My Siberian Husky Guide
Pros and Cons to Owning a Husky
As with any long-term investment, weighing the pros and cons is the first step in deciding on whether the choice you are making is right for you.
Siberian Huskies are an amazing breed of dog, but they are not like just any dog. So, if you are interested in giving a Husky a good home, but are not sure what is involved, then continue to read. I will list my experiences with the pros and cons of owning a Siberian Husky.
Here are a few reasons why choosing a Husky may not be the right choice: they are extremely high-energy dogs. They have a constant need to be active. If Huskies are not able to let out some steam, they are prone to chewing and rowdiness in the home. Not only that, but they will get into everything including the waste can and toilet brush to your favorite pair of socks. If you are the type of owner that is gone from home all day (more extreme than a typical 9 hour work day), does not have time to take the dog for walks, runs, or trips to the dog park just about every day, or the patience to teach them on a treadmill, then be prepared to have your house destroyed when you are home.
I have found that taking my Husky to the dog park for an hour several times a week and for moderate walks on the other days make an enormous difference in the temperament of the dog. She is much calmer over all and less likely to chew on toys, furniture, or myself. Secondly, Huskies have two thick coats. They are sled dogs. There is a reason they are called Siberian Huskies (or even Alaskan Huskies, for that matter). They are cold weather dogs. In other words, they will not fare well in heat and are prone to heat stroke. Taking them out for a run when it is ninety degrees is probably not a good idea, so it is better to not own a Husky if you live where it is hot year round. There are alternatives to exercising your dog even if you live where there are seasonal changes. I have not experienced this with my puppy yet, but Youtube is full of videos that will enlighten you. My Husky is heading towards four months old and hardly sheds at all yet. But within the year, I will need to be prepared.
With the aforementioned two coats, Huskies shed. A lot. They blow their coats two times a year and if you do not brush them your home or yard, or where ever the dog stays most of the time, will look like a winter wonderland. There are some good brushes and combs out there, so talk to your neighborhood pet store or talk to other dog owners to get some advice on which ones work best. Brushes or combs that will get the undercoat are ideal. I recommend the Undercoat Rake.
Lastly, some Huskies tend to attack other creatures such as rabbits, gophers, and other woodland creatures. They may even attack your cat, should you have one of those. They are said to do well with cats if the Husky grows up with them from the start, but in my experience, it is proving to be a hard habit to stop. Mine likes to bite the cat. It seems like she is playing. She does not make any sounds to indicate aggression, but the cat does not like it. I am working every day with my pup to teach her that the cat is off limits. It is a lot of work and sometimes I do not feel like dealing with it, but I love my cat and I love my dog. In the end, I really do not mind the work. Overall, these traits are not lacking in other dogs. Unless your lifestyle matches my descriptions, I would not let these deter you from owning a Husky. In fact, some of these traits could also be seen in a positive light. Since Huskies are working dogs, they are very strong. If you want to have some fun with them in the winter, let them pull you on a sled. Or they could be your ticket to a healthier lifestyle. Get a bike and let them pull you. They make contraptions that allow the dog to pull you without running the risk of it being run over by your bike when it stops and causing an accident for you. Now that we have gotten the not so great stuff out of the way, lets move on to just why a Husky is such a great choice in a pet. They are extremely loving and loyal. They will give you unconditional love. Huskies like to cuddle with you, so if you let them up on the couch or in bed with you, they will lay there for hours. It is the sweetest thing when they put their heads up in the crook of your neck and snore softly. They are also very good with people of all ages and other dogs. However, they are companions, not guard dogs. While they are a lot of work, they are like one of the family (or one of the kids). Because they are highly intelligent, they can learn all the same tricks as any other dog can, and sometimes catch on faster. During our obedience classes, my Husky is always the first to learn the lesson of the day. The key to a well-trained dog is consistency and patience. They are such beautiful animals, with the prettiest striking blue eyes (though some have brown or even one brown and one blue). They have typical patterns such as white in the face, white feet, and white on the tip of their tail, but their markings are almost as unique as your fingerprint. Think of owning and raising a puppy Husky as if you are raising a child. You must provide them with time and attention, love, nourishment, activity, and rest. I guarantee you that you’re life will never be the same. Even if you become busier and have less time for yourself, I am confident that once you hold that snoring puppy in your arms or watch it chase its tail for five minutes straight, that you will wonder how you ever got a long without a Husky.