Adopting a Siberian Husky - Are they the right breed for you?
When adopting any breed of dog it is best to do some homework and especially when it comes to adopting and introducing a Husky into your home, here are some husky traits that can help you along the way:
Siberian huskies are wonderful, fun, beautiful, loving dogs, but they are not the right breed for every person or a good addition to every household. So please inform yourself about the breed characteristics and about the character of a specific dog you might be interested in before you get a Siberian, especially if you consider adopting a rescue.
A lot of our rescue dogs have been bought as expensive puppies by owners who did not do their homework on husky behaviour and just wanted a beautiful dogs with the blue eyes and a few months later, when these cute puppies start behaving like sled dogs, they find themselves in rescue, on the streets or on death row at the SPCA. Note: Blue eyes are not a sign that a husky is purebred as a lot of people still believe. The breed standard of a Siberian husky states that their eyes can be any colour (blue, brown, amber, green, or a mixture of all of these colours). The quality of a Siberian husky should be judged by its ability in pulling a sled, not its eye or coat colour.
Huskies and energy levels
Huskies typically have high energy levels. They are working dogs and were bred to pull a sled for hours every day in very tough conditions, so they have great stamina and are also very smart. If you want a happy husky, you will have to provide your dog with a lot of physical as well as mental exercise. This can be done in the form of long, on-leash walks, jogging, letting your husky pull you on a bike or scooter, taking them for dryland sledding, clicker training, dog dancing, agility, flyball… (We can give you information on many of these activities!).
If you provide your husky with a lot of stimulation, it will help to keep him out of trouble e.g. digging up your garden, chewing your sprinkler system, ripping the washing in tiny pieces or looking for a bone right in the middle of your couch,… Please also be aware that huskies were bred to pull, so some huskies might not walk very well on leash and still need some training – we can advise you on which dog will make you enjoy a relaxed walk and which dog still needs leash-training. If you have a very busy life and cannot spend a lot of time exercising your husky, we suggest that you consider adopting an older dog. Huskies age very gracefully and maintain their good looks well into old age, but their need for exercise will diminish slightly with their age.
Huskies and secure confinement
Huskies are bred to run, run, run, run, run and in addition to this are very curious dogs – they will use every opportunity to check out the neighbourhood, or the doggies next door, or the cat on the other side of the road. This is why we only rehome our rescues to “husky-proof” properties (at least 1,8m high walling, double gated or separate front and back garden). Huskies will run and often get lost, taken in by people with no good intentions or hit by a car. Please also remember that most huskies cannot be trusted off-leash and have to be exercised on-leash at all times.
Huskies and other animals
Huskies are typical pack dogs and LOVE to be with their human and doggie friends. We do not recommend to keep a husky as a single dog as they are often very lonely, get depressed and resort to destructive behaviour. Nevertheless we sometimes have huskies that are not good with other dogs and have to be rehomed alone – if you are interested in a single dog, please contact us and we will put you on our waiting list.
Huskies usually get along with all kinds of dogs but seem to have a preference for their own breed – if you have ever seen a pack of huskies play with each other you understand what I am talking about, so we usually recommend that you keep huskies (at least ;-)) in pairs. Some huskies might not be good with small dogs – if they have not been socialized with them, they might see them as prey or they might simply play too rough and be to boisterous for small, fragile dogs – we can advise you which of our rescues can be rehomed to smaller doggie friends.
Huskies have a very strong prey drive – in Siberia where the breed existed for thousands of years huskies were free to roam during the summer months and had to fend for themselves – they know how to hunt and kill and our modern huskies have not forgotten this part of their heritage. Huskies will hunt and kill livestock like chicken, sheep and goats as well as any other small animals that live in your household (cats, parrots, hamsters etc). Therefor we do not recommend to rehome a husky with any of the above. If you do have cats and still want to adopt a husky, we recommend that you consider a husky mix – while this is not a guarantee that the dog will be cat-friendly, it increases your chances significantly. In any case please never leave your cat and dog together unsupervised.
Huskies and guard duties
Huskies are typically friendly to everybody and absolutely do not make good watch dogs!! On the contrary during a burglary at your house your husky simply might run off through the open front door. Do not get a husky if you want a guard dog!!!
Huskies and children
Huskies are usually very good with children, even very small ones. Nevertheless remember that huskies are high-energy dogs and might knock a small child over while running and jumping around – in any case a small child should never be unsupervised with any dog. If you adopt a rescue, please explain to your children that the newcomer had a stressful time and will need some quiet time to settle into your household. Also explain to them to not approach the dog while it is sleeping or during feeding time. We can also advise you which dog has already lived with children. THANK YOU for going through all this information – if you still think that a husky is the right dog for you, please contact on of our HR representatives.
Please contact us if you are considering adopting a Husky, we are happy to help with any information you need.