Thing to Know About Huskies
I was really surprised when I discovered how little I knew about Siberian Huskies before meeting my one-of-a-kind companion, Meika. In this article, I will include what you should know before taking steps to adopt your own, as well as my personal account of adopting Meika.
Meika is a cherished member of our family, but there are still some things I should have been prepared for before adopting a Siberian Husky. Here are the top five things I wish someone had told me before I decided to adopt a Siberian Husky. (Be sure to check out her adoption story below!)
5 Things to Know Before Adopting a Siberian Husky
- Huskies Are Bred to Run, Run, and Run!
- Be Aware of Their Strong Prey Drive
- They Are "Independent Thinkers"
- If You Want a Guard Dog, Look Elsewhere
- Prepare for Shedding
It's important to educate yourself before making any major decisions involving another animal's welfare. You should feel confident that a Husky will be happy and healthy under your care. If you or someone you know is considering adopting a Husky, read on!
1. Huskies Are Bred to Run, Run, and Run!
Huskies cannot be trusted off-leash. Their drive to run is so strong, as that is what they were bred to do. These dogs are notorious escape artists—jumping over fences or digging under them. So far, Meika has gotten out of the yard twice. Both times took a lot of time and effort (and some ham) to get her back home.
Huskies do not come when called. They will come just close enough to be out of your reach, knowing that you can't catch them at that distance. As soon as you move toward them, they run again. Then they will look back at you with that mocking Husky smile—they know they can outrun anyone. It's a fun game for them.
2. Be Aware of Their Strong Prey Drive
Huskies have a strong prey drive and love to chase small animals. If you own any of the following pets, you may want to reconsider adopting a Husky or develop a strategy to keep them separate.
Animals That Huskies Will Chase
- Guinea pigs
I have never owned a Husky before, and it was after Meika came home that I actually started doing some real research on the breed. I found many sources that confirmed that Huskies rarely live peacefully with cats. I got a message from one Husky owner who said that her Husky lived with her cat for seven years. Then she came home one day, and the dog had killed the cat. Yikes!
A Successful Strategy for Keeping Your Pets Separate
We have quite a complex routine at our house that involves rotating the animals. Knowing the possible threat, we had to make some major lifestyle changes. During the day, the cats are confined while the dog is loose. At night, it's reversed. It's not how I thought things would be when I got a dog, but it's worth it to keep the peace (and keep the cats alive and healthy).
3. They Are "Independent Thinkers"
That's the phrase Meika's trainer used when I took her to basic obedience training. Huskies don't generally do very well in obedience training or competitions. I definitely don't think it's because they aren't smart enough. I believe that Huskies are actually so smart that they won't blindly obey commands for a mere Liv-a-Snap.
Huskies think about each command and decide if it's worth it for them to obey. Sometimes they decide it's not. When this was pointed out to me, I suddenly realized that I've never seen a Husky serving as a police dog or participating in agility competitions on Animal Planet. Then I understood why.
4. If You Want a Guard Dog, Look Elsewhere
I wasn't interested in getting a guard dog, but I guess I did expect my dog to bark when the doorbell rang. Meika doesn't even wake up when we come home or if someone she doesn't know comes over. She greets everyone as if they are her best friend. (Maybe the bond I thought we had when we first met was just her Husky friendliness.)
5. Prepare for Shedding
Siberian Huskies shed A LOT. Of course, I knew beforehand that Huskies shed. They have thick fur coats that can protect them while running through the tundra. It's not until you own a Husky and it "blows out its coat" that you realize how much fur they have and how much of it comes out at once.
A Puppy Love Story: How I Met Meika
Six months ago, I fell in love with a beautiful girl. She was sweet and shy. She had the most beautiful blue eyes I've ever seen and a tongue that was as soft as velvet. She was a three-year-old Siberian Husky. I was at an animal adoption event for PAWS Chicago, a no-kill animal shelter where I had been volunteering.
Her name was Meika, and we bonded during that four-hour event. I petted her, brushed her coat, and took her outside for a walk. She followed me and seemed upset when one of the other volunteers took her leash from me.
A Case of Bad Timing
I was very tempted to adopt her that day, but I lived in an apartment that did not allow dogs. My husband and I had decided to move to a house where we would be able to keep a dog, but not for a couple of months. It was just a case of bad timing. One of the other volunteers said that he would be willing to keep Meika at his place for the six weeks or so until I could take her to our new home. I declined, thinking that it just wasn't the right time. I went home without a dog—unsure if I had made the right decision.
Taking the Plunge
One week later, I went to another PAWS adoption event, and there she was. Meika recognized me immediately and greeted me by wagging her beautiful, fluffy Husky tail. In addition, the same guy who had volunteered to foster her was there. Noticing the bond that had developed between the two of us, once again, he offered to keep her for me until we had our house. This time, I agreed.
A Rocky Start
We already had three cats at home, and I was a little concerned about introducing Meika to them. She showed no interest in the cats that were at the adoption event, so I thought the animals would work things out on their own . . . . The introduction did not go well. Now, six months later, she and the cats are still kept separate.
Just the Beginning
Keeping the animals separate keeps the peace, and thanks to our routine, the newest member of the family is finally settling in. We are looking forward to all of the fun and joy Meika will contribute to the household.
I hope that reading about my experience of adopting a Siberian Husky will help you in making your own educated decision!
Your Own One-of-a-Kind Companion
I know I said there were five things, but I have to mention that Huskies are sweet, happy, comical, and friendly dogs. Sharing your life with a Husky means tons of fun. They are not "robot dogs" that do everything you say, nor are they low-maintenance dogs that require little grooming. Regardless, I wouldn't trade mine for any cat-loving, perfectly obedient, non-shedding, doorbell-barking, off-leash dog in the world!
Lyon Brave on July 26, 2020:
I just got one. Mine comes when called.
Snowdogs on October 22, 2018:
I have two, both are service dogs, one can be off leash and both kept in the yard with a 4' chicken wire fence. However! They are an exception to the rule and their service dog training started at 8 an 12 weeks old for hours a day every day.
They were also one of the first breeds to be used as Military Working Dogs in WWI. They need an alpha human in the house and basic training isn't enough, extra tasks like opening the fridge, retreiving items, turning on/off lights all help. They were born and bred to run and WORK
Jax on October 16, 2018:
The first sibe I owned could be off leash. Yes, off leash. And would come to me when she knew I meant business. As for the four after, pretty much no on both. Every one is different which makes this breed all the more attractive. No robo dog here.
clare Giddings on October 15, 2018:
i love husky
Freedom fighter on April 22, 2018:
I have a pure white Siberian husky and is also a service dog, apparently you’re dog was much smarter than you in ways you’ll never understand, save a dog and get a bunny next time
natali on March 05, 2018:
i have one and her name is osita she is so cute and i love her so much.
Nadine on January 08, 2018:
If you can't deal with the shedding DON'T get a husky! I commit fifteen minutes, twice a week to brush my girl with an undercoat rake (paws pamper is great). You can't shave them, either accept it or don't get one.
Loner Wolf on December 27, 2017:
But aren't they deadly and dangerous sometimes
LasDavis on November 28, 2017:
Spot On. "They think about it and decide if it's worth it for them to obey. Sometimes they decide it's not"
Midwest Musher on June 27, 2017:
Great article, and spot on with it all :)
I own 2, and my brother owns 1. Wouldn't trade anything in the world for the Siberian experience!
Carrie on May 18, 2017:
I have a Siberian Husky. She does want to run, but she comes back when called. I have to act silly or pretend to run away. Then she comes after me.
Dave D on March 29, 2017:
The owner in this situation just has no clue how to properly train a dog. Huskies are very independent and stubborn and food driven like owner explained. However very trainable and intelligent. Grew up with a Shepard, lab, and a shih tzu. They will not fetch like these days, however will run forever and show endless love and enjoy cuddling all the time. SHED EVERYEHERE. However if trained early they are very obidient and easy going. My husky barks on command, rolls over, shakes, sits, lays down, the whole 9. Walks next to me without the leash. Follows commands while off leash and does not run away. You have to train them young and provide plenty of excerxise as they will chew and destroy items if pent up. The husky is the smartest and most loving dog I have ever owned you just need to train them early and make sure you have the time available for them.
Snowflake on February 13, 2017:
I actually have a siberian husky. My mom wanted one, so we got her one and she is now 5 yrs old.
Joe M on January 22, 2017:
Our family includes Oslo, Whiskers, Yossarian (Yuri), and Mango. Oslo, our now 11.5 year old Siberian Red, was a sled dog for three years before her musher fell seriously ill, and we adopted her. More correctly she adopted us. Even for a Husky she is, I think, exceptional. A sentiment shared by many Husky owners. Oslo lives in harmony with 2 cats and a very cheeky Pineapple Conure. We have experienced most of what you've outlined, but found that she, Oslo, seems to understand that the other animals are part of the pack. She takes care of the cats, including the occasional forced cleaning, and has a casual outlook on the parrot family member. These animals are interested in each other, and though they do occasionally need supervision, and their own space, have lived together more than amicably for many years. Best puppy ever.
Sef on December 04, 2016:
On #3 huskies do not decide if they want to obey a command as much as they decide if the command makes sense and is necessary. Due to their native environment and function they are in a lot of dangerous situations and have the ability to determine what is safe and most efficient based on the resources they have available which are far more acute than we humans.
on August 28, 2016:
HI this hub is very helpful
Chase Harvey on May 08, 2016:
We had a half wolf half Siberian husky named Sawsha for 13 years and I agree with everything in this article. They are escape artists but that's because they are adventurers. We had to go to the point of putting cement under certain gates and even then she had found a bar of the gate that allowed her to leave and come when she wanted. She played fetch with a ball once and by once I mean I threw the ball and she brought it back and then decided "Yeah I am never doing that again". They are highly intelligent dogs which from a long time breeder told me once they are as smart as a 3 or 4 year old. They just choose to do as they please and everything is a hilarious game to them. Also if you live anywhere near a hospital be aware that they howl every time they hear an ambulance. They don't attack like most dogs but only if it's a completely necessary situation and out of all dogs that attack they have the highest kill rate I have been around a lot of dogs and have even had small medium and large dogs...evenhad a half wiener half chihuahua. Even all the work these dogs take they are some of the funniest to have around. Huge personalities and a best friend.
Sharon on April 20, 2016:
I have one Siberian husky Kingston, I can relate to some of what is being said. He love to prey upon small animals but it actually doesn't stop there. He doesn't seem to responsive to new dogs on the block either. He barks, howls and get anxious each time someone comes to our front door territorial I think. He loves affection, very friendly to children. Not so easy to listen except when it comes to not entering or crossing the streets doing our runs. I definitely would never allow him off his leash he demonstrate the urge to want to run if we are standing in the backyard. He is very smart and some one independent. I love him and outside of him being my pup who I have had since he was 2 1/2 mos and now 2yrs old. He holds allot of sentiment value.. I wouldn't know what to do if I came home and he wasn't sitting at the top of the stairs with this harness in his mouth waiting for me to harness him up to go out.
Taylor on April 12, 2015:
We have two male Huskies, and have had cats forever, at least 7-10 at a time(we do a lot of fostering so a revolving door) and the huskies and cats absolutely love each other, the dogs will actually seek a cat to clean their ears. And over that time we've had countless litters of kittens, they'd actually let the kittens knead on them. The only difference is, we got our huskies when they were 3 months and 5 weeks old, they were raised pretty young together. going on nine years and they all get along...sadly I couldn't say the same for our few chickens that got out..(though we worked on it and now they just leave the chickens alone) In the end, yes, there's standards for every breed, but every dog is different, and it takes the owner to set the standard.
Wendy on April 03, 2015:
When our husky gets loose, we catch him by running away from him. He is always happy to play chase so we run away and let him catch us and then we just grab his leash. Of course he has to he has to circle the house several times before he notices us running away from him, lol,
Bill on October 19, 2014:
I must have an exception, Sky plays ball in the yard with me. Took awhile and you have to give her constant attention or she'll wonder off. she and the my 2 cats are best buddies. She does not like to be left alone. ate the handle one the door. I think the trick is you have to let them know how is the alpha male.
Shelley on July 21, 2014:
My sibe 's name is Candy. I too did not know anything about Siberians and bought one cheap (so I thought). Well surprise she was the alpha of the litter. Candy is now 4 and we have been through a lot (or should I say that I have been through a lot ). I also have a cat and I was determined that she is not going to kill the cat. So far so good. You can't let them off leash as I found out after she got out. I cannot describe the frustration I felt with this dog. I - I finally had to accept her for who she is - a Siberian Husky. Now we live in peace.
Rachel on June 15, 2014:
...However I will add, that if you want a Siberian that is well behaved off a leash, a Siberian that will not kill or eat the cat, a Siberian that will do well at obedience training or competition, I strongly suggest that you raise the Siberian from a young pup.
Also selective breeding has a lot to do with it; lines that are obedience titled are probably a good bet.
Older pups or adults that have not been trained on these matters, such as most of the Sibes in shelters and rescues such as the girl you have rescued, will probably be a lot like what you have described in your article here and the owner should indeed beware ;-)
Rachel on June 15, 2014:
Most of the facts about Siberians that you have listed are indeed true, however I can say that two facts that you mentioned are not so absolute:
Siberians can indeed be trusted off leash, in spite of the fact that they are bred to run and run, and they indeed can be great at obedience training and competitions; they simply need to be trained, like any dog, and which you correctly pointed out, they are "independent thinkers" and very smart. Where they differ from most dogs, as you pointed out, is that they do not typically blindly follow commands, however the reason for this is because of the breed's strong pack orientation. So, if you can show the dog that you are the boss the dog will obey without question so long as you maintain that status. The Siberian needs lessons to be worth it or not worth it, and this requires strong leadership on the part of the human.
Most people do not bother or have the capacity to train a Siberian to such potential.
Beth Onoffrey on May 05, 2014:
All valid points well said I am especially fond of the last on having my second Husky now.I have never loved an animal more than my wonderful girl, Karma. I think it is because she keeps me on my toes while loving me like no other. PS All my Huskies have been with cats since they were born ...never a problem. Maybe because they never knew life without cats :)
Angus on February 15, 2014:
I wouldn't doubt the bond issue, my Zorro chose me over my mother, living at her house. It's because I RUN the dog, she only feeds him so he can stay alive, see the priority there. Sandbags and cinder blocks under our side gate. He only barks once loud when someone new puts a card on the door, knows the mail ladies perticular footsteps. Best story: When we adopted him (ran away 6months old) He heard my mother's voice on the answering machine and pulled the phone base ( where his friends voice was coming from) and ripped it out of the wall!!!
He chewed all the faces off Madres antique duck decoy. This being said the younger you get the dog to stop lifelong bad habits the better. His mom didn't get to teach him not to nip so I press his tooth on his lip and pretend yell ouch! So he's converted to occasional love licking slobber baths, especially flower scented lotion or scenty hand soap. Could go on all day, Zorro's my best friend;-)
Joe on January 16, 2014:
You're a complete idiot. To tell people this is how Sibes are is utterly ridiculous. I'm a little shocked as to you working for a shelter, and not knowing how to train a dog. My female (Sarah) is 3 years old, and for the last 2 years she walks off leash roadside, obeying my commands. If she takes off after a squirrel at the park she immediately retreats back to me once I call her. It's called training. You train them very day in a controlled environment until they prove to you they are an obedient companion. Look up xxprodigypmxx on youtube, I have videos of my girl, and in the next month I will post a video of her doing the unthinkable, "off-leash walk"
Rob Krakoar on December 24, 2013:
I lost my first Siberian, Miko, to cancer back in 2003 (9 yrs. old). I have one now that is three years old and from the same breeder named Maksim. These two I bought from Judy Russell. I have a half acre yard with a seven foot fence. When they get out, they don't wander but two or three houses from ours. I had another Siberian from a different breeder that got out and ran until it was hit by a car (that is why I built the fence as the expensive invisible fence does not work with Siberians because of their EXTREMELY high pain tolerance. I love Siberians, they are loving and very smart. They are breed to think for themselves. I have a harness for Maksim and attaches to my mountain bike. He runs out in front of the bike (quite fast I may add). One day at dusk, we were out and he was running out in front of my bike and he turned quite suddenly jerking the bike hard to the right (which is a feat in itself as I am a 5'11" and weight 255 pounds and he only weighs 60 so pounds). I stopped and was about to admonish him for what he just did when I looked back and notice a big chunk of concrete missing in the road. He saved me from an extremely serious bike accident as we were going at a good clip. I cry like a baby every time I watch "Snow Dogs" with Paul Walker especially when a couple of the Siberians die.
rhonda rhodes on November 28, 2013:
Rhonda /Na she mae' 7yrs . I just. Lost. My girl to lymphoma. Two months ago. I noticed. Her glands in her throat her the size of baseballs that was a Sunday afternoon. I got her to the vet on Monday.it was the worst day of my life.the vet said she has lymphoma. All her glands were swollen & i would have about 2 months with her then i would have to make. A decision. I broke down crying. I said. I can't lose my girl i just can't. So we took it day by day.
D e a d on November 06, 2013:
Although I may agree that the things you presented about huskies may pertain to the one you adopted, it really depends on the dog's experience and training in how they behave. It is true, huskies are bred to run and need plenty of exercise, but that does not mean they'll run off and cannot be trusted. I have a 10 month old that stays by my side, although eager to run, still is compliant. One reason you brought up was their instinct to pray on small animals- this really depends on the dog's training and how they are brought up. Any breed will chase cats if they aren't use to them. People say the same about German Shepherds, and I have heard some will eat cats, but my parents' shepherd doesn't even touch their chickens because of her experience as a puppy to leave them alone. My husky does have his own personality, and can be a pain in the butt, but he's the smartest dog I've ever known, and is hilarious! I wouldn't say he is wild, he's a huge baby! He loves to cuddle and cries when he wants to go to bed (to my dismay on many nights). One thing about him is he barks, a lot. It doesn't bother me, because that is how he tells me he needs something, and he also barks when someone is at the door or walking down our street. It really depends on the dog, not necessarily the breed, in how they behave. I do recommend people learn more about the breed before adopting, and maybe connect with a current owner of a husky to prepare yourself. Thank you for adopting Melka, there are many huskies left in shelters because people are able to handle their personalities and high energy.
Amber Huseboe from Marshalltown, Iowa on November 04, 2013:
I have a Siberian Husky, she is 2 and a half. Her name is Dakota and she is pure a breed although what you way about the breed in general is true me and my husband fortunately raised her with a lot of knowledge and books on the breed, so that since she was 1 she has not been on a leash since and has never even tried to run away, and we do not have a fenced in yard. she has a brother that is a Siamese cat that she loves so much, they eat, sleep, and play together and she is very obedient, you just have to show them who's boss. If you let them walk all over you then they will not respect you or listen to you. I love my little girl and recommend to anyone to put in the time and patience for Siberian Huskies, they are the best dogs, and with the right training they are amazing companions.
Angel on November 03, 2013:
It depends a lot on the breeders. I have had my Siberian husky for 3 years, and he has been the greatest dog I have ever had. I will never put a leash on him. Sure sometimes he tends to get ahead of me from time to time but as soon as if all for him he will stop and come back. I will agree on the intelligent part, I take him daily on run ( he runs I don't) he will pull me on my long board and knows his lefts from right and when to stop along with that knows plenty of other commands.
With that being said I have had 2 litters with him. I bred him the first time with another husky who was a bit more on the crazy side. The puppy came out a little more wild The second batch I bred with a more passive husky with the same intellect as mine. Those pups are the same way that my dog is down to the t. You just have to do some research on the breeders and see how they dogs are. A do g who has always been on a leash will have he mentality he "free" when he's off of it.
Jim Demestihas from Sparks, Nevada on November 02, 2013:
Its exactly the same for Samoyeds!
Nordic breeds rock!
Jaimee on November 02, 2013:
I must say I do not agree with this assessment of Huskies. I have a Husky/wolf and a full wolf at home and have dealt with these breeds a lot through my life. It is not a matter of what you can train them to do, it is a matter of what roll you play in in their lives, as to whether or not they will respect you enough to do what you ask. You have to be the "pack Leader" to gain their respect. If you are not the Alpha they will know this and they will not respond the way you want. Yes, they will even run away. My Husky wolf will only go so far and as soon as I call him back he comes, why?? Because I am the pack leader and he knows it. The same with my wolf. I have 2 cats in my house and neither of them is in danger because they have been introduced as a member of MY pack. I cannot say the same for any other cats in the neighborhood, since they are not part of the pack, but my cats are fine. Heck, my wolf even plays with one of them! The cat will chase her! (fyi, this is not a puppy, nor was she when we got her... ) Overall, yes, they can be a handful, but it takes an Alpha personality to get the respect one needs from them, and YES anyone is capable of this...
Laurie on November 01, 2013:
i agree i have a husky he is a very energetic attentive barking fun loving fur piling dog ... i like you did not know how much care you have to give them .. as i already had two other dogs a lab and a german shepherd .. im thinking how hard can it be to give a rescue unconditional love and keep them grounded .. my life has turned upside down over him .. but i can tell you i wouldn't trade one sec one minute one 24 hour day for any one else .. :) i love him to pieces!
Karen on March 09, 2013:
I am so sorry you had to put Amesa down. A friend emailed me a picture of a male that the owners are going to put down if they can't find a home for him because, they say, he has seizures and they aren't home enough to care for him. He is only 3-4 years old. I am sick about it; we already have three dogs, two are Huskies, and we both work. Huskies are demanding but are so very worth it. Hang in there, Gina. You did your best and we're all thankful for that, and most of all, Amesa knows what you did for her. :)
RirmRilmAberb on March 07, 2013:
We used to obtain on top of living although lately I've truly accumulated the weight.
Jennifer on February 28, 2013:
I have owned a few huskies in my lifetime and have been quite blessed with two extraordinary ones... My current husky, "Shadow" is a wonderful dog! I began training him with positive reinforcement and he does very well. I do agree that they are too smart and sometimes decide what they want is best, but as long as you do not allow them to become alpha dog you should not have any issues with this. There have been a cpl of times when we were out walking him and all of a sudden his leash broke/he was able to slip his head thru and he took off suddenly but then heard me call him and realized that I was not following him he turned towards me, ears back (showing submission) and came right back to me... very lucky since it was a busy street this happened on! My relationship with Shadow is one in which he knows I am alpha and looks up to me for guidance. I know he is glued to my side at all times and cannot stand being away from me so i am sure that played a huge part in him returning to me off leash both times. My other husky that had a very similar personality, "Blade" was very similar to being far from a guard dog. He absolutely loved everyone and was well socialized. However, "Shadow is more unsure of strangers and will bark if he senses danger or any threats. My husbands two old friends came by for the first time and he had his hackles up and was giving them a deep warning bark and was very unsure of them for some time but once we reasured him, he was ok. Even on walks, I notice him get unsure if other ppl are around. So I do think that huskies can be good watch dogs if they have the right personality and are trained to be. What it really comes down to is their personality. Huskies are very emotional dogs and need a lot of attention really. I am not saying you have to constantly play with them, but they do need that constant bond and they do very well. As for cats... I brought Shadow in when he was a puppy and we already had a cat so he grew up with her... sadly she passed away due to cancer R I P... but we adopted an adorable kitten and now we may need to rehome her because Huskies prey drive is so strong that everything you teach them goes out the window! However, as long as you never leave them together unsupervised and spend a lot of time working with them, building that relationship slowwwwly and safely using the right techniques, you can safely allow them to be around eachother with supervision... but there are steps to follow of course and it is very time consuming. I will be trying these steps with Shadow and our kitten Mittens and if all goes well, we will keep the kitten, but if we feel that it isn't going as planned, then it will be in the best interest of the kitten to be rehomed so she can have a life of not being cooped up in a room half the day or worry about being killed. As for the shedding goes... it is the biggest downfall of owning a husky but everything else about them makes up for it in a huge way! When they shed their undercoats I just take him outside and brush him out until I get most or all of it and this only happens twice a year at the most... and as long as you give him a daily brush, it isn't much worse than other breeds. Because huskies are working dogs... sled dogs... they love to pull and walking them can be a challenge but if you ever watch The Dog Whisperer, you shouldn't have a problem teaching them that you are alpha and you are leading them instead of vice versa. I have actually gotten some great tips from watching that show and they really have helped me walk him instead of him walk me! :-)
Gina on January 29, 2013:
We have had 5 Siberian Huskies in the 24 yrs. we had been married. Two things I would like to add, 1- we lost our last two Huskies within 4 months of each other, one to bladder cancer and the other one to breast cancer. We did not get our female spayed until she was older and that was a mistake. By not getting her fixed sooner it increased her chances greatly of developing breast cancer, this I did not know until later in her life. After we lost our first Husky, I bought a female puppy and then four months later we lost our male, I then bought another female puppy. Many "people" who raised Huskies told me that two females do very well together, maybe some do, but mine were never as close as my male and female. I have one female who is very dominating. Our other female came from a very good home, she was a very sweet girl, at around 8 months old she started having seizures. At first they were not bad, as she became a little older they became so bad and a horrible thing to watch. Today we had to put our not yet 4 yr old Husky down because her seizures have become so bad and she was already on three different medications. My advice to anyone is to ask for references from people who have bought puppies from the breeder, more then likely Amesa's seizures were hereditary. When I contacted the breeder about Amesa's seizures she informed me that no one else had ever contacted her about a dog they adopted from her having seizures, might be true, but how I wished I would of checked with others who bought a dog from this breeder. It is a horrible thing to watch your family dog have grand mal seizures. I have spent thousands of dollars in the almost four yrs. that Amesa has had her seizures, many late night trips to the emergency vet, lots of med. We love our Siberians, I don't think I will ever get any other breed of dog, but next time (not for a long time, it is heartbreaking) I will try to get as much history on the Husky as I can.
martellawintek on December 02, 2012:
hello again tomhas if your still in need of them here is there web address
and some info , they have a deal on at the mo , mention marta told you to ring him
Steven on August 31, 2012:
I was recently considering getting and dog and am so attracted to the husky breed. I know great deal of time alone is not good for them, but would they do alright alone from about 8 am until noon, where someone could let him out at lunch, and then at 3 or 4 when the family gets home?
Mike541 on August 29, 2012:
I have a 1 1/2 yr husky and I agree that he's stubborn. But I've spent the time(a lot of time) to bond and trim with him and he's amazing. He is no guard dog but he listens so well and most the time better than other dogs. I never use a leash on him. If you put in the time with your husky it will be worth it. Make sure you show the husky that you're the pack leader.
Yuki on April 16, 2012:
I think its so nice of you to share your story and experience with us, I'm considering getting a husky but want to be fully prepared before hand. I'm a beginner so I've never owned a dog before but has always wanted a husky. I have been doing an incredible amount of research; reading a lot about the breed, how to potty train and leach train before hand so I can nip down on it strait away after getting it. I've read alot of information and comments on various sites so I have a pretty good idea about the Siberian Husky. They are definitely a handful but along with the difficulties comes a great companion. I can't wait to get my Siberian Husky and plan to get it from when it's still a smalll pup. I am also aware that at those stages, they can be a little more difficult than later stages but can't wait to start an interesting, hard but a lot of fun, well comitted journey with my dog :)
Lisa on April 13, 2012:
We have a 1 year old Husky and she's an amazing dog. She doesn't bark at anything except intruders (found out the hard way) and people who are smoking. She comes when she's called 95% of the time. If we're reprimanding her though she will look around, which makes it hard to stay mad because its so funny. We run with her off leash at our house and she's off her leash at small parks/playgrounds but if we're going to a large park we leash her because there are geese and so many people she wants to chase and play with.
Stacy on February 16, 2012:
It sounds like u need to train her.....i have a 5yr old husky that I starting training at a year in a half and he never runs away and comes when I call off leash everytime
Chris on February 10, 2012:
It's hard for me to read this and not say something. My Husky just turned 6yrs old this past December and because of "consistent" training he is the best pet ever. I can go jogging with him without a leash and he stays with me, he may start to run off but with a strong command he is right back on my side. My home has a wooded area and a farm behind my house and I let my husky run wild almost everyday on his own and he always comes back. Most of the time he just hangs out on the front porch watching the cars go by. What I've learned is that huskies are pack dogs and must have a family presence. Ever since I got Kaden as a puppy I've treated him as my child(within reason). If you get a husky and leave him outside all the time or locked up, don't expect him to respect you as an owner which is probably why most people have poor experiences with their husky. My point is if you plan to have a husky he should be a part of your family not just something you buy food for and take on an occasional walk. Treat him with respect and he will without question be your most loyal friend.
Heather on December 05, 2011:
Hi- I have a husky he is only 14 months, but he is amazing. He has been the smartest dog I have ever seen, any trick I would teach him he learned in 5 minutes. He is very protective over me, he doesn't like anyone near me that he isn't confortable with. He is also an escape artist! Can't keep him anywhere! He can open the doors in our house!! :) He is amazingly awesome with children. There is one thing that we can't seem to understand. He will only let female dogs eat from his bowl. He is very territorial. I guess he is the alpha male. But I will def be getting a girl soon!! :) They are very smart!! :)
kaylie on August 26, 2011:
I have had two husky's, one died last christmas, and she was probably the best dog anyone could ever ask for, she was very much a guard dog but only when other dogs came into the yard, she was a very good listener when she was on the leash, and me and my parents just adopted an 8 week old puppy cute as can be, her and her brother and sisters where left for death on the side of the highway, and a girl and her husband took all 7 of them in and cared and loved them for 6 weeks , they really are miracle puppies, she is very fast and hyper puppies with losts of energy she gets along with other dogs very well. I am so very happy that we got her shes an amazing puppy and cant wait to see her grow up and she will be seeing her brothers and sisters all the time , (:
Eternal Evolution from kentucky on July 09, 2011:
Great hub and those are definitely things prospective huskies owners should know. Those wanting a dog, especially, one of a particular breed needs to do some research before getting one. Lack of research leads many dog or many breeds to end up in shelters, changing homes over and over again, sometimes this can even cost a dog its life.
We have a 9 month old husky we got from a re-home when he was 6 months. We also have cats. Now Kuma my husky is fairly good with the cats but I NEVER fully trust him. He is not an off lead dog since my yard is not fenced so his is never nor will he ever be off lead around the cats.
Ryan Humphrey from Texas on April 18, 2011:
after writing my hub i found yours... good to see we're on the same page. :)
filmchick1987 on February 14, 2011:
Absolutely spot on depiction of a Husky! We have a Siberian Husky crossed with a Norwegian Elkhound. She is the SMARTEST little monkey in the world, but thankfully she gets on really well with my cats & isn't an escape artist. We are lucky in those respects :)
siberblogger on February 12, 2011:
I own three Siberian Huskies, I also volunteer for a local husky rescue and I can tell your article was spot on. Although a husky is most likely one of the most "human" like dogs you can find, with that comes the fact that they are very head strong and independent. I like to say that a husky is much like a toddler on steroids. Great work keep it up.
I also have a hub your readers might enjoy https://hubpages.com/animals/How-to-train-a-husky-... as an added note the pretty little girl in the picture is our newest adoption.
Tim on February 06, 2011:
Me an my wife just got a husky mix jan 1. She is 13 weeks old now and I see the traits in her already. I am a little worried about the cats thing. We have two cats but introduced them right away. Hoping Sofie will look at the cats as part of her pack but only time will tell. We always crate sofie when we are not around and the cats are good at hiding if sofie get a little rough, She does want to play with them though. But I love huskies and I agree, research before getting one. I did and knew what I was getting into, but for some reason that really didn't prepare me 100% But so far she is wonderful.
stey_true from Maine on February 03, 2011:
I love your article. I think it is great that you got to adopt Meika and I hope she is now doing well in your home. My first Siberian Husky I got as a puppy and he grew up with cats. One day I let them both out at the same time and he got ahold of my cat ..only my Sibe came back inside. I never thought that it would happen because he had been around them his whole life. Now I have owned 4 Huskies and I will never own any small animals again. I know you can train a dog not to do something but it's there instinct and I don't want to risk it.
Miss Lil' Atlanta from Atlanta, GA on January 12, 2011:
I know quite a few dog breeds pretty well when it comes to the facts, but surprisingly the Siberian husky just isn't one of those dogs breeds that I know much about, so I definitely just learned a thing or two on this breed of dog.
By the way your dog Meika looks so beautiful, and her eyes are seriously just so stunning.
Zoey's Mom on December 15, 2010:
They are definitely smart enough to train, but I think the earlier you begin the training the better off you are. You really need to start training them when they are puppies if you are looking for a super obedient dog...that way they don't know any different. Your dog wants to make you happy. It is good to inform people. Sometimes people fall in love with the idea of a dog and think they are all the same, but a dog like a child required disapline and attention. If you can't put the time and effort in, than get a lap dog, cats, or goldfish...they require much less.
sdorrian (author) from Chicago on December 01, 2010:
dan- I am NOT saying don't get a Husky. I am saying that if you are considering getting a Husky, be prepared for the traits that I described. I absolutely disagree with you that any dog can be trained for anything. Specific breeds were bred for specific characteristics. A Husky would not be a good dog for duck hunting. Get a retriever for that.
Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on October 20, 2010:
We have a Siberian mix we got from a rescue and has many traits you describe. Our previous dog was a Husky/shepherd mix which looked like a Husky but had the size of the German shepherd. I read somewhere that Siberian Huskies were bred for the independent quality. The reason being that if a sled driver did something stupid like want to cross a body of water that is not safe the dog would sense the danger and refuse to go,
huskyowner on August 11, 2010:
I have a 3yr old male husky and this is SPOT ON!! If you don't want these traits in a dog, do NOT get a husky. This is why so many end up in shelters - ppl who don't know what they are getting into. A Husky can also be very destructive if it is not getting enough attention or exercise - they are pack animals and do not do well alone for long periods of time. All that said, i wouldn't trade my husky for anything!
dan on April 24, 2010:
so what you are saying is that huskys are NOT a good dog own and dont get one i have always wonted a husky now you have fully put me off getting one i was going to use it for all sorts of things even duck shooting the way i think about it is that a dogwill do anythink for you as long as you train it rite
My Odyssey from Somerset, Kentucky on March 24, 2010:
What a wonderful Hub! Me and my Husband are planning on moving to a bigger home soon and we are wanting to purchase our first own family dog. The one dog who is just a part of the family. We have not picked the breed yet however Husky was on the list. I am glad I read this!
Solorio on March 19, 2010:
To the don't leave them off the leash in open space I agree 100% mine took off like a rocket (i wanted to teach him to fetch (lmao he is no lab)).... but i remembered something that I had read somewhere and called him, yelled easy by, stop, hoa (scootering calls i had thought him) he didn't stop he stopped looked at me, smiled and continued runnin, i turned the other way and ran as fast as i could, and he began to chase me instead.... i reversed the chase game... and it worked but i wouldn't suggest unlocking the leash in a park
shibashake on July 18, 2008:
Very nice list of all the Sibe traits. I have a tripod Sibe so the pull, pull, pull thingy gets to be a bit tricky with her. Other than that she is such a sweetheart. My other dog is a Shiba Inu. I think they are the EXTREME independent thinkers of dogdom. Words cannot really describe how stubborn and strong-willed the Shiba is.
sdorrian (author) from Chicago on February 27, 2008:
Thanks, Kim! I've never seen a Husky being used as a service dog. I just assumed they were too independent to do it. I'm excited to see that they can be service dogs. I'd love to get updates on how you and Keisha are doing. I also checked out your site. Keisha is beautiful - and so is Sophie!
Kim on February 27, 2008:
I am actually in the process of training Keisha, a siberian husky to become my new guide/service dog. My current guide dog, Sophie is a yellow lab and I am training Keisha to have her ready for when Sophie decides to retire. Keisha will be both my guide dog (I'm blind), and my service dog (I'm also a quadriplegic). I picked a siberian husky because they are "free thinkers" and they need to be able to decide when to do things when it is safe to do them (intelligent disobedience), otherwise your guide dog could walk you out into traffic because it just listened to your command without thinking about it first.
Kiz Robinson from New Orleans, Louisiana on February 25, 2008:
My sweet Sierra is the best thing that has ever walked into my house, after my fiancé of course!! She definitely doesn't do what she doesn't want to do, and unfortunately that includes the kennel!
I think your readers would like reading this one too:
Thanks for featuring my hubs!! Husky Owners of Hubpages unite! hehe
sdorrian (author) from Chicago on February 21, 2008:
I agree. Sometimes we can see Meika doing her own "cost-benefit analysis" in her head before decidong if she wants to do what we ask.
pgrundy on February 21, 2008:
Great hub. We have a Malamute, and I agree about the intelligence thing. Malamutes also don't do well in obedience training and have a reputation for being hard-headed, but I think it's just that they are very independent. They care what you want but sometimes what they want is more important, even if it invokes your wrath.