The Siberian Husky (also known as the Arctic Husky) is a beautiful looking dog and they have lovely piercing eyes. Huskies are thought to originate from Eastern Siberia where they were used to pull sleds over long distances by the Chukchi. They were exported to Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and later spread into Canada and America. Once there they were used as sled dogs but over the years they became more popular as pets.
We have seen quite a few huskies at Cherrydown and know how popular they are as pets. If properly trained they can be very good with people, children and other dogs. Huskies are commonly known for their friendliness toward people.
However, one thing that does upset us is there are many people who take on huskies without doing the proper research and end up dumping them or putting them in homes because they can’t handle them anymore.
In this blog we will go through a few things which are useful to know before getting a husky.
A Husky will shed A LOT! You will have hair EVERYWHERE! We have heard from long term Husky owners that they shed from September to February and March to August. So basically, they will shed hair all year round. Also Huskies will “blow their coat”. This means their hair will literally come out in chunks. You are going to have to make sure you have Henry the Hoover on high alert when that happens.
Huskies need A LOT of exercise as they extremely energetic and athletic. These dogs were bred to run for long distances and pull sleds so they will most likely leave you tired while they still have lots of energy. However, use some common sense in the height of summer. These dogs are very hairy so if it’s really hot outside don’t let them over do it. Huskies are very intelligent and will need things to keep them occupied or entertained. If they are bored they can become very unhappy. They can also be very destructive if they are bored and left alone. You could come home and find your best shoes or the kids toys in tatters. Be prepared to give a husky a lot of mental and physical stimulation.
Huskies are very stubborn so can be harder to train than other dogs. That’s not to say it’s impossible but they will need a bit of extra work to get them to do as they are told.
These dogs have been bred to run and pull so if you are walking one on a lead you will definitely need a good arm to keep them from tugging you. These dogs are strong. You will need a lot of patience to train them to behave on a lead. As long as you are firm and consistent about the no-pulling rule and reward good behaviour you should get good results. However this is not a guarantee. Unless a husky has had good training from an early age, letting one of the lead is not a good idea unless it’s in an enclosed area. These dogs are natural hunters so if they are off the leash and spot a small animal they may be off without considering its surroundings and will ignore your commands. This could result to them being lost or injured.
Huskies like to dig. If you have a well kept garden you might find it full of holes. Be aware that Huskies might end up digging a hole under the fence and escaping.
Huskies have sensitive stomachs and can be fussy eaters. Speak to your vet for advice on feeding them.
Huskies are generally healthy dogs and could live to a ripe old age. However, as with a lot of breeds there are specific problems. Many of the problems with Huskies are genetic such as seizures and eye disorders (such as cataracts, corneal dystrophy, canine glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy) and congenital laryngeal paralysis. Hyp Dysplasia isn’t common with this breed. However, as with all medium to large breeds, it can occur. If you want to know more about Hyp Dysplasia, the links to our blogs on the subject can be found at following links:
Hyp Dysplasia Part one – Click HERE
Hyp Dysplasia Part two – Click HERE
As with all pets, the more you put in, the more you will get out of it. Huskies can be hard work but the rewards will be great.
If you have any questions about this or any about any of our blogs please call us at the clinic or leave a message on our Facebook page.