Siberian Huskies are fantastic dogs. They have bright, piercing eyes, a thick cuddly coat, and they look like wolves. Siberian Huskies make great companions too. But, before you adopt a Siberian Husky, there are some things you should know. Siberian Huskies do come with their challenges and are not the easiest dog for novice pet owners.
Things to Know Before You Adopt a Siberian Husky
You should always do your research before adopting any new pet so you can prepare for the unique needs and quirks of that particular animal. Siberian Huskies are no exception. Siberian Huskies can be demanding, and a lot of new pet parents cannot handle them. For this reason, a ton of Siberian Huskies get put up for adoption.
Every dog is unique, and not all of these may apply to your Siberian Husky. However, in general, the following list contains information that you may want to think about before you adopt a Siberian Husky.
Siberian Huskies Need Lots of Attention
Siberian Huskies are pack animals by nature, and will likely view you and your family as their pack. For this reason, Siberian Huskies typically crave a ton of attention from you and your immediate family members.
Your Siberian Husky will likely greet you at the door wagging his tail enthusiastically while showering you with cuddles every time you get home. He may also follow you around the house, sit on your lap, and remain glued to your side as much as possible.
If you are looking to adopt a Siberian Husky, make sure you will have the time and energy to give him the attention he needs. If you are away from home for most of the day, the Siberian Husky may not be the dog for you. Consider adopting another breed that doesn’t mind spending time on his own. However, if you are still set on a Siberian Husky, it may help if he has other dogs to spend time with at home while you are away.
Teach Siberian Huskies to Follow the Leader
As stated previously, Siberian Huskies are pack animals. As pack animals, your Siberian Husky will show respect to and follow the leader of the pack. Just make sure he is aware of who the leader is. If you adopt a young Siberian Husky, it is easier to establish authority, but you can still train an adult Siberian Husky to follow the leader as well. It just takes some extra time and patience with older dogs.
To establish leadership, both you and your other family members will need to demonstrate authority. The key is to make sure your Siberian Husky knows he is lower on the totem pole than any of the people in your household.
Although Siberian Huskies are pack animals, and therefore, will follow the leader, they are also incredibly stubborn dogs. Siberian Huskies tend to challenge their position within your pack. Your Siberian may test his limits by disobeying a command or breaking your rules. You will need to be strict with your Siberian Husky to make sure he knows this behavior is not acceptable. If you let him get away with breaking rules, you may end up with your Siberian Husky ruling the household instead of you. This could cause significant behavior problems down the road.
Do Siberian Huskies Bark?
Siberian Huskies may look like wolves, but looks can be deceiving, and they may not be the ideal choice if you are looking for a guard dog. These dogs are more likely to make friends with intruders than alert you to them or scare them away. Moreover, Siberian Huskies rarely bark, which is great in some cases, but not so great when someone is breaking into your house.
Although Siberian Huskies don’t bark often, they do whine and howl quite a bit. This whining and howling increases whenever they are looking for attention or food. Siberian Huskies use howling to communicate and may have a lot of howling “conversations” with birds, alarm systems, and sirens.
How Do You Groom a Siberian Husky?
Siberian Huskies come with extra thick coats and shed A LOT twice a year. This excessive shedding is called “blowing” their coat, in which they are either losing or getting ready to get their winter coats. This substantial shedding period typically lasts a few weeks. During this time, your dog’s fur is going to get EVERYWHERE. Throughout the rest of the year, Huskies are pretty easy to maintain with some light grooming and a simple brushing once in a while. During your Siberian Husky’s shedding period, you may need to brush him several times each day. For more grooming tips, here’s a professional groomer’s guide on How To Groom a Husky.
What to Feed Your Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies are known to be super picky eaters. They can go days turning down meals if they don’t like what you are serving. These dogs often have sensitive stomachs. If you think about it, Siberian Huskies in the wild will eat meat and bone of the animals they have hunted down. For this reason, it is better to avoid foods with a lot of vegetables, grains, and preservatives because these are all things Huskies are not built to consume. Your Siberian Husky’s food may cost a little more than other dog foods, but it will save you money on veterinarian costs later on.
As far as your dog’s pickiness, if you are serving food that is appropriate for his digestive system, you are in good shape. Continue to give him this food at the same time every day and eventually he will learn to eat it. You do not need to switch his food out if he is stubborn or to try to entice him with treats. Siberian’s are typically stubborn and will take advantage if you start feeding them based on their changing preferences and whims.
Your Siberian Husky and Small Pets
Siberian Huskies are predatory by nature. If you have smaller pets at home, a Siberian Husky may not be the best choice. Smaller animals such as hamsters, birds, mice, and rabbits are all enticing prey for Siberian Huskies. Even if you keep your small pet in a cage, your Siberian Husky may become obsessed with trying to get it.
You can have smaller pets with a Siberian Husky. However, it is easier if you get them together at a young age and make sure you watch them at all times. As far as other dogs go, Siberian Huskies are typically super friendly and will get along with others just fine. Although, your Siberian Husky will try to make sure he is higher in the pack than the other dogs.
Siberian Huskies Are Great Escape Artists
Siberian Huskies are independent and adventurous. For this reason, your Siberian will need an area in which he can run around and explore. Huskies can jump super high and are considered to be great escape artists. Your Siberian Husky will need an enclosed area with high fences dug deep into the ground. This way, he won’t be able to escape by digging under them or jumping over them. If you are looking for a “house dog” or you live in a small apartment or condo, you may want to consider another breed.
Should You Keep You Siberian Husky on a Leash?
Siberian Huskies tend to wander off chasing after small animals or exploring new sights and smells. These dogs can easily get lost, and when fixated on something interesting, may not respond to your commands, calls, or whistles. You may want to keep your Siberian Husky on a leash when you are out and about unless you are in an enclosed area.
Your Siberian Husky and Exercise
Siberian Huskies were originally bred as sled dogs, built to work hard pulling sleds through the ice and snow day after day. For this reason, modern Siberian Huskies are equipped with excess energy that they need to burn every day. Your Siberian will need lots of exercise to avoid destructive outbursts.
If you have a large enclosed yard, your Siberian Husky will love to run around in it. However, if you live in a small apartment or do not have much of a yard, your dog will need regular walks. Siberian Huskies also make great jogging partners. Siberian Huskies in warmer climates will require significantly less exercise and will need more mild forms of exercise to avoid getting overheated.
Take Extra Precautions in Hot Weather
Siberian Huskies are built for cold weather. If you live in a cooler climate, your Siberian Husky will be just fine. If, however, you live in a warm or hot climate, you will need to take extra precautions to make sure your dog does not get overheated. Your Siberian will need lots of water, shade, and air conditioning. You may want to try a cooling dog bed.
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“Siberian Huskies may look like wolves, but looks can be deceiving, and they may not be the ideal choice if you are looking for a guard dog. These dogs are more likely to make friends with intruders than alert you to them or scare them away.”
I hear variations of this conventional wisdom around and have to disagree. If you have a young intact male, he will put jump on and put his teeth on an intruder. How serious things get from there depends on whether he knows the password the dog is thinking of. Seems unlikely. Point is, if the human is up to no-good, things WILL escalate quickly. You should see the kinds of bones Scout can crush. I’m satisfied he can act as guard dog. He knows “the wolf posture”. Very intimidating.