Siberian Huskies: Is It The Dog Breed For You?
I am lucky enough to be the owner of gorgeous ten year old Siberian Husky. His name is Jaxson (Jax), and he is a third generation sled dog from Northern Wisconsin. I met him when he was just four weeks old, brought him home at just over six weeks old, and he has been another loving family member since that day.
My husband and I did a fair amount of research on dogs before deciding what breed would be good for us. I have to admit, some of the typical "husky" traits did scare me a bit, but we decided to make the commitment.
These days, we can't imagine life without our Siberian, however, we definitely had our share of trials and tribulations with the breed. If you are considering getting a Siberian Husky, please read on to see if this dog might be the perfect dog to make your family complete!!
- Aesthetically Appealing: I feel this is the most common reason people choose to get a Siberian Husky. They are gorgeous... stunning even. From the day we brought our husky home, we get compliments everywhere we take him.
- Friendly: This is one of the key reasons we chose the Siberian breed. The dogs are naturally friendly, and fantastic with kids. We knew we were eventually going to have a family (our daughter arrived when our dog was three years old, and our son when he was five), so we wanted a dog that would be okay with kids. Even though he was used to being the "baby" of the family, Jax took to our kids like a duck takes to water. I have never seen a smidgen of jealousy or anger from him towards any kids (even when it was well deserved!!). He is equally patient and loving with adults and elderly.
- Great Workout Partner: Huskies love to run!! As a result, they make terrific workout partners. I used to run with our husky quite often. As long as I was careful of conditions (mainly just staying away from the afternoons of the really hot summer days!), he would keep me clipping along at a pace that gave me some of the best workouts of my life!!
- Independent: Siberian Huskies are very independent dogs. I worked full time the first six years we had our dog. When I would come home from work, I often wondered if he missed me or wished he had company. Now, I am a stay-home-Mom. While our dog enjoys attention just like any dog, I realized he spends most of the day upstairs, sleeping in my bed, away from the hustle and bustle of the family. He will come down when he wants something, but truly enjoys his space. It is nice, especially during busy days, to have a dog that doesn't need constant attention.
- Quiet: Siberian Huskies are traditionally quiet dogs. Aside from the occasional howling (which in my home is saved for only the utmost excitement, such as a trip to the dog park or a visit with Grandma and Grandpa), many of them are totally silent. Our dog does not bark. Ever. Even if the mail man delivers a package, a garbage truck drives by, or the doorbell rings, he stays quiet. When he has to go outside, he will go stand by the door. If no one is in the room (or we take too long to notice him there), he may utter the tiniest yelp, or whimper, but that is the extent of his noise. This personality trait was especially convenient when my kids were babies and sleeping really often.
- Hypoallergenic: Siberian Huskies are hypoallergenic dogs. They have oil in their skin (similar to cats), that allows it to clean itself. As a result, they have little need to be bathed, and people with pet allergies can often stand to be around them. Many comment on how our house has never had a "doggie" smell, which is a nice perk of the breed!!
- Economical: Although Siberian Huskies are considered "large" dogs, they have eating habits comparable to a small dog. Our husky is a self regulated eater, meaning his food bowl is left full at all times. There are times he will eat four cups of food in one day, and there are times he will go three days without eating a single thing.
- Shedding: As aesthetically beautiful as Siberian Huskies are, that undercoat of hair that keeps them viable in cold winter temperatures, blows itself out multiple times through the year. This results in hair coming out by the handful. While brushing them can help, the hair is truly never ending. Thus folks concerned with keeping a neat and tidy home, may not be the right owner for this type of pet.
- Exercise Requirements: Huskies are extremely energetic dogs. While some might consider this a good quality, they do need a decent amount of exercise each day, above and beyond the need for other large breeds of dogs. The need is especially great up to about the age of three, but for some huskies, it can last a life time. Daily walks and/or a fenced in area for the dog to run are easy ways to satisfy this type of dog's physical requirements.
- Natural Predator: Siberian huskies are natural predators. As a result, they are not a breed of dog that is likely to get along with cats or other small house pets.
- Dominant Personality: While huskies are very friendly with people, they do have a very dominant personality. This can cause them to have trouble getting along with other dogs, specifically other huskies and/or dogs that are not willing to be submissive to them. Problems can be avoided if you keep your husky on a leash and use caution when introducing them to a new dog for the first time.
- Not A Watch Dog: Due to a Siberian's friendly nature, they are most certainly NOT a watch dog. Huskies are much more likely to invite a burglar into your home and lick their hand, than they are to ward them off.
- Escape Artist: Siberian huskies are smart and tricky dogs. They have been known to escape by opening doors, jumping fences, and running through invisible barriers. Our husky used to let himself out of his crate. We could not figure out how he was getting the door open. One day we spun the kennel backwards against the wall, so if he did get the door open, he wouldn't be able to open it. Instead, the little bugger figured out to move the crate first (by moving his body back and forth), and once he slid it far enough back, he let himself out again!!
- Digging: Siberian Huskies are diggers!! They will dig in mulch, they will dig in dirt, they will dig in water and sand... they have even been known to dig up patches of grass. If you take a large amount of pride in your yard and/or plantings, a Siberian may not be for you.
In conclusion, Siberian Huskies are magnificent and beautiful creatures. As any breed of dog, they come with their own set of benefits and challenges. When properly cared for, huskies can be a loving addition to any family. It is my hopes that this article will help you decide if that family could be yours.