So, you think you want a Siberian Husky?
by Bonnie Schaeffel
Well, there are some things you should know before making that decision. Many people choose a Siberian Husky because they have beautiful markings and frequently, captivating ice blue eyes. They also have amazing dispositions. They are friendly, loving and enjoy attention. They are part of the working breed of dogs.They are very energetic and will be a willing companion on all kinds of recreational activities. If you four wheel, they will want to run alongside. The same is true for biking, jogging or just walking. They are great for recreational sledding or more serious sledding competitions, if YOU are up to it. :-)
The above are some of the many qualities that endear this breed to people. There are also qualities that could be considered a drawback by some people. Huskies are an extremely high energy breed. They need LOTS of exercise. If you are a couch potato, this is not the breed for you. If you work all day and expect to leave them home alone, kenneled or confined, this is not the breed for you. Get a Goldfish! :-) :) Huskies need a lot of attention, like every breed of dog, but unlike some breeds they thrive on a great deal of exercise. They should walk or have some form of exercise at least an hour each day. Does this fit your life style?
Their joy of running, can be a drawback if they are let out in a non-fenced area or simply off leash. They may just take off running for the sheer fun of it! Very few huskies can be totally trusted off leash. Many can be escape artists (not all, but many). They dig, climb over or go under just about any fencing. So, plan on having fence and kennel repairs to do! Many love to chew! If not kept in the house, they need to have a LARGE kennel and need to be out of it for long periods of time every day in a fenced area or walking with you. They will be miserable, (like most dogs), tied to a chain all day. Please do not buy one if this is your plan. Also, do not buy a Siberian if you are someone who says, "I don't like to kennel my dog or keep them on a leash. That seems cruel." If left to run wherever they want, you will end up with a very DEAD dog, a lost dog, or a dog who breeds or is bred by whatever dog they come across. Keeping your dog contained so it is safe, is NOT cruel. It is RESPONSIBLE!
Siberians have a high prey drive. Many are not good with chickens, rabbits or cats. Some of you will be saying, "But my husky gets along with cats." Yes, there are huskies that do get along with cats. But,many do not. So, you need to consider that possibility.
Huskies shed twice a year and when they do, it's A LOT! They have a very thick undercoat and it can take weeks to shed it all out, unless you help them with brushing. Patches of hair and undercoat will come out and they will look like the are having a "bad hair month ', not just day. lol!
While they love the snow and are well-suited for the cold, they still need some help in warm weather. Cold is easy for them to survive in, but heat is harder on them. They need A LOT of shade or air conditioning. They also need a LOT of water. A small kiddy pool that is filled with water, can be helpful. They can splash their feet in it. The pads of their feet are one way they can cool themselves. Most Huskies do not like swimming and when its hot it can even be harmful for them. Their outer coat dries, but their undercoat can remain wet for a fairly long time. The moisture will heat up and cause the dog to get even more overheated. It may also cause yeast infections or hot spots. So help them dry off and see that they have shade.
In many ways, Huskies are hardy. However, they can have more sensitive digestive systems than many breeds. They do not do well with food containing corn or corn by-products. If corn is listed in the food, it should be 4th or 5th on the list and not in the first 3 ingredients.They need a quality food that has at least 24% protein, (higher protein when they are puppies, in whelp, nursing, or working.) Ideally a single source for the protein is best and no by-products. If you change from one dog food to another too quickly, they may get diarrhea. You should mix your old dog food with the new food so there is a gradual transition.
One last thing ... Siberians are not good watch dogs. They are much too friendly and people loving. Their sometimes mysterious wolf look may intimidate some people until they start to interact with them. Also, they are pack animals. They very much enjoy the company of other dogs, particularly their size. With lots of attention, they can do well alone, but ideally, they love to be with other dogs.... particularly other Siberians.
This is a breed that we have absolutely fallen in love with, but it is not (like any breed), a breed for everyone. Please carefully evaluate whether the needs and personality of a Siberian Husky will fit your life style, living situation and personality. If you feel it will, then we hope to hear from you and help select the right Siberian Husky puppy for your family.
Below I will list some additional links written by others where you may find a few new points and information about this breed. Some of it parallels what I have written but I feel it is important for a potential buyer to research and have as much information about this breed as you can. Please take the time to read through as much as possible.
1. Is There a Siberian In Your Future?
2. So You Want A Siberian Husky?
3. Is A Sibe For You?
4. What To Do BEFORE Your Dog Gets Loose
5. What To Do WHEN Your Dog Gets Loose.
6. What To DO AFTER Your Dog Gets Loose.http://www.huskycolors.com/escape.html