Are you attracted by the wolf-like appearance, thick fur, and mesmerizing blue eyes of a Siberian Husky? Yes, its physical features might be striking to many — but adopting this dog breed takes a lot of commitment and maintenance. Keep in mind that you also need to find out if Siberian Huskies are the right match for your lifestyle and preference.
Want to know whether this family dog is what you’re looking for? What makes the Siberian Husky different from other dog breeds? Read the rest of the article to find out.
Table of Contents
What is a Siberian Husky?
The Siberian Husky originated from Northeastern Siberia. Before they became cool family dogs, their ancestors were originally bred by the nomadic Chukchi people as sled dogs to transport goods in the icy fields. The canines could also sense anything out of the ordinary, making them the best guardians for the Chukchi community.
Siberian Huskies are known for their erect ears, almond-shaped eyes, and double coat. Their eyes can be brown, blue, or black. In rare cases, a Siberian Husky may have parti-colored eyes, with each eye consisting of two colors.
According to the American Kennel Club, this dog breed has a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years. An adult dog can grow up to 21 to 21.35 inches and weigh 45 to 60 pounds for males. On the other hand, female Siberian Huskies can reach a height of 20 to 22 inches and weigh 35 to 60 pounds.
The Siberian Husky has a double coat — the topcoat and the undercoat. The long, straight topcoat protects the skin, parries water, and regulates the husky’s temperature. The coat is capable of absorbing heat during winter and assisting in ventilation in warm weather. In the daylight, their skin can block the penetration of UV rays. On the other hand, the undercoat is thick, crimped with soft and fine hairs. It can trap hot air to add warmth during cold seasons.
The Siberian Husky is a dog breed that has been recognized by the American Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club. The national breed clubs also designate and revise breed standards for many other dogs as well.
The Siberian Husky Club of America or SHCA is a national breed club recognized by the American Kennel Club. The organization is created to maintain the breeding of the pure-bred husky.
If you’d like your dog to participate in dog sports and shows, you may want to consult the national breed club’s guidelines on the qualifications.
To satisfy the breed standards, huskies are screened for any undesirable health conditions. An example is juvenile cataracts. The Siberian Husky Club came up with strict guidelines on the condition to limit its reported cases. Another health issue to look out for is hip dysplasia. A canine ophthalmologist is the one who conducts examinations for the abnormality.
Is Siberian Husky the Right Family Pet for You?
It’s important to know what you’re getting into as a dog owner, specifically the Siberian Husky lovers. Siberian huskies are one of the most intelligent and athletic dog breeds out there. But before you get one, there are some things you need to consider:
1. Are You Living in a Cold or Tropical Climate?
The Siberian Husky’s double coat allows them to adapt to warm and cool settings. However, they are generally more used to cooler temperatures. If you’re living in places with generally warm weather, you would have to make some adjustments to make the dog more comfortable. During peak afternoons, the Siberian Husky is recommended to be in an airconditioned area. You would also have to constantly hydrate the dogs by giving them lots of water. The Furry Companion has a previous blog post on how to take care of a Siberian Huskey in tropical climates. If you’re this topic concerns you, feel free to check this out.
2. Are You Okay Dealing with Hair Shedding?
Siberian Huskies don’t typically shed too much. Due to seasonal changes, they “blow” their undercoat, causing them to shed. Also, the topcoat sheds slowly as the days pass, but this only results in a minimal amount of falling hairs. Manage the shedding hair by using a pin brush to groom the husky’s hair once a week.
The tedious task comes in dealing with the undercoat shedding, which happens usually twice a year. The husky’s fur sheds every day, and this continues for two to three weeks. To the undaunted ones, investing in a powerful vacuum cleaner can make the job easier during shedding season. Undercoat shedding usually happens in the summer and the husky is left with a single topcoat. During the winter season, the undercoat grows back lush and thick.
Hair shedding also poses another difficulty for Siberian Husky owners in tropical environments as they tend to shed more than in cooler climates.
You may have to religiously groom the dog during hair shedding, but the good news is that the Siberian Husky doesn’t develop a bad odor, unlike other dogs.
3. Will You Spend Time on its Training and Exercise?
Classified as working dogs, Siberian Huskies are a high-energy breed. They were trained as sled dogs who can run over long distances in harsh conditions. Some Siberian Husky owners even continue this tradition up to this day.
Many owners would just like to keep their dogs physically active. This means taking the Siberian Huskies out for a walk or playing with them for 30 minutes to 2 hours a day. Engaging in vigorous exercise gives mental stimulation to Siberian Huskies, making them good-natured. This may come across as physically demanding to some. But if you’re active, you might enjoy this exercise.
Find a way to incorporate the dog’s exercise into your routine. If you’re a couch potato who’s been looking for a reason to be fit, you have just found yourself an accountability partner.
Keeping Siberian Huskies in high energy also affects their overall health. Daily exercise not only keeps their body strong and healthy, but also keeps them happy. Over time, your dog will develop good manners, instead of getting bored and lazy, resulting in other unpleasant forms of recreation such as howling or simply acting stubbornly. The onset of other unwanted health conditions may also happen if the dog is not kept agile and active.
Training this dog breed is critical as they’re known for being intelligent and free-spirited. Being strict and consistent in enforcing rules with them can go a long way. At the same time, a tough but confident dog owner is needed to train and manage Siberian Huskies well.
You may also choose to find a reliable dog trainer who can train the husky for you. Reputable breeders of Siberian Huskies may be good candidates for trainers. These people are knowledgeable on ways to raise a healthy breed. Furthermore, the breeders will be able to look out for any underlying health conditions that the husky might acquire.
The American Kennel Club recommends exposing the husky puppy to socialization and obedience training. As much as possible, the training should start at an early age.
4. Can You Keep a Watchful Eye on Them?
Siberian Huskies, unfortunately, fall into the category of dogs known for being escape artists. Their wolf-like features may seem pleasing to the eyes, but these also enable them to wander around and conduct their own escape attempts. These high-energy canines are so strong and sprightly, which enables them to jump off fences, dig deep into the ground, or break chains to find their way out.
There have been cases before of Siberian Huskies causing destruction in homes. They may prod down the dirt of your most prized garden or even mark their claws on home furniture and walls.
As mentioned before, investing time to train your Siberian Husky can go a long way. Providing them daily mental stimulation can lessen their chances of developing negative traits. You may introduce crate training to teach them the habit of seeking refuge in their crates whenever they’re lonely or not feeling well.
If you live in an area with no surrounding tall fences, it’s best for your dog to undergo leash training. You wouldn’t have to worry about your Siberian Husky getting away from you whenever they chase after anything that catches their attention.
Siberian Huskies are also known for being friendly dogs. Meaning, they have the ability to get along with any human being or even other pets. Their agreeable nature especially shines through when they’re in a pack with other dogs.
Siberian Huskies are too friendly. In fact, they could even show the burglar around your house. Siberian Huskies don’t make for a reliable guard dog, which is another reason it can’t be left alone by itself. This most especially holds if you’re living on your own. If you’re looking for a watchdog, the innocent husky may not be ideal.
5. Do You Have Other Small Pets and Children in your Home?
Most Siberian Huskies are amicable compared to other dogs. But sometimes, its prey drive may act up and result in aggressiveness towards others. This instinct stems from the fact that Siberian Huskies originated from sled-pulling dog breeds trained to hunt for food in the wild.
There have been reports of many Siberian Huskies preying on small animals like cats, rabbits, and squirrels. If you already have smaller pets or plan to in the future, you might want to reconsider getting a husky.
Another suggestion would be to think in advance about how you can make the husky and the other pets co-exist peacefully. You may also try to manage its prey drive by increasing its socialization skills during training.
Many huskies are observed to be very tolerant and playful towards children. However, it’s best to always be on the safe side. If they’re overly suspicious or not taken care of well, they might manifest the opposite behavior. Maintaining close supervision is vital in order to preempt any possible chances of biting, clawing, between the husky and the young kids.
6. Are You Living in an Apartment?
As creatures geared as sled dogs, it may be advantageous to have a big lawn surrounded by tall fences. Designate an area for the Siberian Husky within the yard. Once it becomes a large dog, the husky will need a bigger space where it can dig up or freely run as it pleases.
On the other hand, a Siberian Husky may find it hard to maneuver around an apartment because of its small space. But don’t worry, there are still ways to work around this. Make sure the dog is able to get enough exercise daily by walking it out on the street or at a nearby park.
Another issue that may arise is its loud howling. Instead of barking, the Siberian Husky lets out a howl. If you can’t get your dog to behave, your neighbors might find the noises disruptive and even lead to them complaining about the noise.
Do You Still Think a Husky is Right for You?
Raising a Siberian Husky is no easy task. It’s a dog breed that requires high maintenance for its overall health.
A scenario to avoid is buying a dog and eventually getting tired of taking care of it. Dog owners then decide to abandon their pets who might end up in a dog shelter. Sometimes, these dogs may just be let out of the wild, requiring a rescue unit to save them. Worst, these dogs might be given to puppy mills run by backyard breeders.
Being a dog parent is a responsibility. So it’s a must for all dog owners to keep their canines safe and healthy.
In this blog post, we laid down different important points to help you decide whether you’ll push through to be this adorable furry animal’s parent. The Furry Companion looks forward to having you as a future parent of a Siberian Husky.
If you decide not to get one, in the end, you may want to consider other breeds. In this case, you can check our other blog post on the reasons why you should get a Corgi Husky, a mixed breed of the Siberian Husky and the Corgi. See you, furry parent!
A fitness junkie and a cosmopolitan traveler, Kathy is the mom of peppy baby Malaya and mixed beagle Holly. She’s a capable businesswoman who balances work with living a wanderlust life with her hooman and fur babies.