The Siberian Husky: What you need to know as an owner! The Siberian Husky: What you need to know as an owner! - SitStay

The Siberian Husky: What you need to know as an owner!

Bright blue eyed Siberian husky looking serious on a snowy day

The iconic sled dog, Siberian huskies are gorgeous pups with bright eyes, a hard work ethic, and a pretty sharp intellect. Their popularity as a working dog brought them to the US and they’ve become common amongst dog lovers for their joyous, loving personalities and their fun-loving nature.


History

Guess where the Siberian Husky comes from. Give up? It’s Siberia! Bred by the Chukchi people of Asia, these pups have always been put to work as sled dogs. They were brought to Alaska for that exact purpose in 1909. Originally brought and bred for sledding competitions, these pups found their way into everyday society. In 1925 diphtheria took over Nome, Alaska. Teams of Huskies brought medicine to relieve the city’s population and earned the breed national attention. One team, that of Leonard Seppala, even went on tour throughout the US to celebrate their accomplishments! The dogs would go on to compete in sled competitions in New England, where they trounced the local pups and proved their abilities further. Huskies still pull sleds in Alaska, but these days it is mostly leading tours to show a distant past.


Personality

Older Siberian Husky on a hike during the fall days.

The Husky is an even-tempered dog, friendly as can be. They’re known to make awful guard dogs due to their outgoing nature, and few have ever met a stranger they didn’t like. Most are not overly hyperactive, having a very mellow and kind personality. They’re even quite cuddly with their humans, a pack-mentality driving them to stick close to their family. 

Due to their intelligence, Huskies can get rambunctious if not given an outlet for their energy. Be careful, they can get destructive if bored! This can manifest in the form of a disappearing act. Huskies are escape artists and will find ways to burrow out of their confinement if not properly exercised. They’re proficient diggers and will quickly escape, so make sure they stay active with you!


Training

Huskies are pack dogs, so there are some ground rules to training them. The main one is that you must establish yourself as the alpha dog early. They need to remember while they’ve been adopted into a family that you’re still the boss! A steady, patient training is going to be necessary to bring them into line and starting this young will be important. They respond to a variety of different training styles, but consistency and firmness are key. Whether merely training to commands or using a crate, they’ll listen if you stick with it. It’s recommended to work with at least 15 minutes of obedience training per day when they’re puppies so that your rules stick.

Because of their stubborn nature, it remains important to stick to all the rules that you lay down for your furry friend. Huskies, like other sharp-as-a-tack breeds, tend to have selective hearing and will treat rules as flexible if not strictly adhered to. Your companion will be loyal, obedient, and happy as long as you hang on tight and stick to your rules. Lay them down, teach them with patience, and remember to be consistent! Do this and you’ll have a happy pupper that will listen to direction.


Environment

Siberian Husky Puppies sitting on a blanket next to spruce wood and needles in a cabin

Single people with active lifestyles and couples with kids old enough to keep up with a large dog are going to love the Husky! These are dogs bred for hard work and focus, so having people to play with and train with are going to make them quite happy. Huskies also enjoy wide-open spaces, so a backyard or rural homestead are highly recommended. 

Their thick fur is specifically for cooler environments, so working them too hard in the heat will make for a frustrated pup! Huskies were bred to work in the Arctic temperatures, and are genetically predisposed to enjoy the cold. Be sure to keep their living spaces cooler and more comfortable, perhaps even providing a gel-cooled dog bed for them to rest on. Keep in mind that these puppers are howlers, with a wail that can be heard for miles away! Remember that not every dog can be an apartment-dweller, and the Husky might not be right if that’s where you lay your head.



Grooming

Happy Siberian Husky with its tongue out playing in the snow

These pups are going to shed a lot! This won’t happen year-round, but the Spring and Fall are going to see your floor carpeted in Husky hair! During these times it’s recommended to brush your pupper 2-3 times a week and up to every day to get rid of as much excess as possible, lest it winds up on your clothes or furniture or floors instead. This will save you a lot of headaches. The coats are so thick due to their dual layers. This serves to keep them warm in the winter and reflect heat in the summer. Because of the layers of fur, it is recommended to wash the Husky every 3 months or so. Any more than this could rob their fur of important oils that help them stay shiny and their skin comfortable.

A few other common issues need to be addressed with regularity. Be sure to trim their nails every ten days or so. Like most pups, a Husky’s nails can snag on things if they get too long and this can be quite painful. Their teeth also need to be checked and brushed weekly in order to prevent plaque buildup.

The Husky, like all dogs, can develop infections if things aren’t cleaned properly. Be sure to check for dirt and debris and wipe it out! That will help ensure a healthy, happy pup.


Health

Huskies can live a bit longer than other dogs of comparable size, between 12-15 years if properly taken care of. And they’ll get fairly big, coming in between 18 inches and 24 inches depending on the gender.

Like all larger breeds, these pups are prone to hip dysplasia. This occurs when the ball and socket of a joint do not properly fit together, and if left unattended can cause your companion pain later in life. Your vet will want to regularly check their bone structure to keep an eye on any developing problems. CBD oil can also help with pain as you transition into a better dog bed/ lifestyle.

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Your Husky may have the most gorgeous blue eyes you’ve ever seen but be sure to get them checked regularly! Huskies have a penchant for developing cataracts. This has become less of an issue in more recent generations as breeders focus on litters inheriting positive traits, but it still pops up in some pups and is important to watch out for.


Random Fact

Want to know something weird and fascinating? Huskies don’t ever get worn out or fatigued! No one is quite sure what sort of inherent well they tap into, but these dogs are able to go from consuming calories built on food intake to some internal strength that allows them to push on without much food or rest!


Wonderfully happy pups and active family members, the Siberian Husky is a fun-loving dog that is always up for a good time. Friendly, playful, and gorgeous, these dogs are wonderful for any active family no matter the size!

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Clint Westbrook
A lifelong writer and lover of dogs! Clint can be found at either running around with his furry friends like skittles in his picture or at his computer writing everything and anything about dogs.