The Siberian Husky is a unique breed of dog. It has a fascinating, traceable history and most of the characteristics that were present a couple of hundred years ago, still appear to be present now. To some, the Husky is the ultimate dog but it is far from ideal for the first-time owner and for someone who doesn’t know quite what they are getting themselves into.
Therefore, any prospective owner must think very carefully before buying the Siberian Husky as it is not a dog that is suited for everyone. In fact, far from it. So, here is a list of the top 15 reasons why you should NOT buy a Siberian Husky.
1) The Siberian Husky Has a LOT of Energy
The Siberian Husky was originally a working dog and was used in the Siberian (obviously) peninsular by the Chukchi people. The dog was utilized by the local population by pulling sleds and they were relied on, totally. Without the Huskies, it is unlikely these people would have survived and thrived as well as they did during this time.
This desire to run all day has not been bred out of the Husky since that time. What this means for you is that you will need to exercise your dog every day and for some time too!
How long exactly? Well, that depends on the dog but I would recommend no less than at least twice a day and for at least an hour each time. If you could exercise them all day then this would suit the Husky perfectly! However, we have other responsibilities such as boring jobs and things that prevent us from doing this, even if we could!
So, the next best thing is to play with them a lot inside or alternatively put them on a dog treadmill! I know what you’re thinking – are you mad? Well, yes I might be but this is actually a good idea and the Siberian Husky is absolutely perfect for this. Do check out the link if you want to know which one I recommend!
2) The Husky could escape from Alcatraz
Whilst they are in your home they will be quite content. They will spend as much time with you as they can and they will be content, as long as you’re giving them some attention. However, when they are let outside it is like something switches in their mind. They will have a desire to escape from
The most common place is from your garden. Don’t think that just because you have a five-foot fence this will prevent your Husky from escaping. Far from it, unfortunately. These dogs have been known to jump and climb over obstacles 9 feet high, and sometimes higher! The point here is, don’t assume they are safe just because you have some kind of fence. There is a reason that so many are called ‘Houdini’ by their owners 🙂
Other problems can be seen when they are kept in the larger crates that don’t have a top. Again, these crates were not designed for the Husky. If you’re looking for a crate that’s ideal for the Siberian Husky, check out my recommended dog crates – you don’t want to make the mistake that so many people do and choose the wrong one.
3) Everything Will Taste of Fur
You will probably already be aware that the Siberian Husky loses a fair amount of fur. Whatever you have read, you will not be prepared for the storm that will hit you after you get one!
However, expect their fur to be covering everything you have in your home by that point. Any food you prepare will have a slight Husky-taste to it and it will start to become the ‘norm’.
The Siberian Husky has two coats, a dense undercoat that blows (falls out) usually twice a year and a primary coat that consists of guard hairs which are quite long. These guard hairs provide an extra layer of insulation and also protect it from insect bites and associated infections.
So much fur can fall out in fact that people make stuff out of it! A Husky owner friend of ours created a lovely long scarf from all the fur they sucked up. However, one point to consider when making clothing out of Husky-fur, try and remove any guard hairs from it before you make something! These can be a little scratchy 🙂
The best suggestion for keeping on top of all this fur is to vacuum up daily. However, if you have a vacuum cleaner with a power cable this is soon going to get boring. If I was you’d I’d take a look at the awesome Dyson V10 Animal Cordless Cleaner from Amazon. I have the V8 version (before the V10 came out) and will be buying this myself. Not only is it a cordless but it’s arguably the best cleaner out there.
4) Huskies Are Stubborn
The Siberian Husky is an intelligent breed of dog and this can be both good and bad. Good, because they are able to comprehend what you are trying to get them to do. Bad, because they may decide they don’t want to do it.
The trouble is you don’t know when they are going to be stubborn. If they are outside, having some fun playing around and you decide they need to come in now, they may choose not to. They will probably just sit there, looking at you – or lie down, pretending that they are asleep and that they can’t actually hear you. Or they may sit there and just howl in protest at your obviously ludicrous request.
This stubborn-ness is difficult to fix. Even with proper formal training at an early age, some Huskies will just be more stubborn than others. All you can do is try and train it out of them using a treat-reward system. Unfortunately, this stubborn streak is just part of the package so you’ve just got to accept it may be there!
Siberi a n Husky Doesn’t Need You
They may not need you but that doesn’t mean they don’t want you. Don’t get me wrong here, this is two entirely separate things. You will (at least most of the time) be the most important thing in the Husky’s life. When you’re inside they will play with you, eat with you and spend their evenings curled up alongside you on the sofa, sometimes actually on you. They will follow you around the house (including the toilet) and will not want you to leave them for more than a few minutes before they get up and start looking for you.
However, don’t think for a second they wouldn’t survive without you. If all humans were removed from the planet at once the Siberian Husky would most likely do just fine. In fact, they’d probably forget all about us in half an hour. Once they escaped the confines of your home they would run around outside chasing (and catching) small mammals. They would dig holes to store their food and make a shelter. They would find other dogs and just do what wild dogs do.
It is both comforting and somewhat frustrating that the Husky would do so well if we weren’t here. We spend all this time waiting on them, providing for them and they’d do just as well without us! What a cheek!
6) They Have a Preferred Climate
The clue is in their name really. The Siberian Huskies ancestors thrived in the cold Siberian winters where they would work all day and be happy doing just that. The temperatures there would plummet to −50 °C (−76 °F) which is far colder than anything most of us would have experienced. This was never a problem to the Husky though with its two-layered, dense coat and the amount of exercise they had.
However, it is possible for this dog to start overheating when exercising at only 0 °F, which is still colder than many of us have experienced!
This wasn’t a problem, of course, until recently. With the internet came social media and with this came the sharing of thousands of photos of this incredibly stunning breed of dog. This prompted many people who had never even considered the breed to start doing just that, purely off the back of the dog’s looks. Most of these people do not live in the cold climate that the dog was originally developed for.
This isn’t necessarily a problem though. In temperate climates, the Siberian Husky can survive just fine although we do need to be somewhat careful of them overheating. Problems can occur when they start to be found in climates such as what we see in Arizona or alternatively, other countries, like India. It simply isn’t possible to give the Husky the exercise it needs in the heat that can be experienced in these locations.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have one but it does mean you will have to find other ways to keep their anxiety levels down. Perhaps taking them out at night or only at dawn and dusk. This, combined with a lot of play-times at home will certainly help.
7) The Husky Has a High Prey Drive
What do we mean by this? When we talk about a high prey drive in a dog we mean that it is likely to chase and destroy small mammals that it considers prey. The Siberian Husky definitely has a high prey drive.
There is only so much you can do about this as it is really part of their build and will always be so. Yes, ensuring they are properly socialized when young certainly can help, not just with this but with how they get on with children of course. However, the problems are typically seen when a Husky is living with a cat or when the Husky is being taken for a walk.
Now, many people keep cats and Siberian Huskies together and they live in perfect harmony (reminds me of a song!). However, your Husky is still an animal and sometimes those natural instincts can just switch on when you are least expecting it.
There are several stories of Husky and pet-cat living together with no problems for a long time, only for one day the Husky suddenly sees the cat as prey and destroys it. In my opinion, it is not worth the risk and a Husky should not be kept in the same home as a pet cat.
The other problem can occur when you take them out for exercise without a lead, again – they can be fine for years but one day, instinct takes over and they’re off. More on this later.
8) The Siberian Husky Doesn’t Like to be Left Alone
No dog likes to be left alone but the Siberian Husky particularly so. If you are in a position where you need to work and will be out of the house for most of the day with no one there, then the Husky is not the right dog for you.
They need a lot of attention and they are incredibly sociable. Separation anxiety can kick-in after only about 30 minutes and
What is a destructive personality in a dog? It is when separation anxiety reaches a threshold and causes them to chew anything they can get their teeth around. This could be your couch, slippers, tables, doors or anything really and once they start it is unlikely they will stop. As well as this, they can become depresses and also use the inside of your home as a toilet.
My friends, who own a couple of Siberian Huskies, left their dogs only for a very short time once, in their conservatory. Lots of glass and light, able to look around, perfect you would think, considering they weren’t going to be out for long. When they came back from the shops, not long after they’d left, the first thing they noticed was the windows on the conservatory all had condensation on them.
When they got inside, to their horror they noticed that all the plants that were previously in the conservatory were now ex-plants. They had been utterly demolished and it was the moisture from these that created the condensation!
If you’re thinking of leaving your Huskies more than about 30 minutes you should consider a crate. At first, I was against these as to me it seemed like I was sending them to some kind of prison. However, it’s not like this at all. They find the crates provide them with a sense of safety, security, and comfort and you’re a lot more likely to come back to find them asleep within them and almost reluctant to get out!
9) Huskies Like to Howl
The Siberian Husky is quite a quiet breed of dog. Well, it can be but not always. They don’t bark much though, they tend to howl! Usually, this howling will occur when you’re not doing something they think you should be. Like when it’s time to be taking them out for some exercise but it’s cold and raining outside and you were hoping they’d forget!
Or, when they want to play with you inside because they’re bored and you’re watching the television instead. Usually, though, the howling is a form of communication between the dog and you. Your job is to work out what they want, good luck with that.
10) The Husky Will NOT be a Good Guard Dog
The Husky is special in so many ways, including how sociable and friendly it can be towards you and your family. However, the friendship won’t end there. The Husky will be friendly to pretty much anyone who gives it any attention. This could be the postman, school children, friends or a potential burglar. If you decide to make them a Guard Dog (I couldn’t blame you, they do look the part at least) then this is most likely what will happen:
- An intruder enters your property without permission – your Husky hears something unusual and goes to investigate.
- The Husky sees intruder who initially becomes nervous at the sight of a dog – your Husky wags tail frantically.
- The potential Intruder considers running as fast as possible in the opposite direction – your Husky sees this intruder as a new best friend.
- Intruder starts to slowly back out of the house – Husky quickly fetches his favorite toy so they can play.
- The Intruder and Husky become best friends.
You can totally see the above happening. The Siberian Husky does not make a good guard dog as they are simply too trusting and too friendly. Which, I guess could be seen as both a good thing and a bad thing maybe? Well, only a bad thing if you wanted to use them as a guard dog. If you wanted a dog for this purpose though there’s plenty to choose from that are better than a Siberian Husky. Actually, a frog would make a better guard dog than the husky.
11) Your Husky Will Dig up Your Garden
This is part of the Husky’s natural instinct and you will find it very difficult to train the behavior out of them. Some seem to have more luck than others but it seems to vary from dog to dog. The reason they do it is that their ancestors used to apparently bury food reserves in the ground. Well, that was one reason. The other is that they dug to make a shelter for themselves to escape the harsh conditions.
12) You Will Need to Keep The Husky on a Lead
All Huskies should be kept on their lead when they are exercised. There’s really no excuses – they simply can’t be trusted to not run off if you let them off the lead. I mentioned above that the Husky has a high prey-drive and this is the cause of pretty much every single time they run off when outside.
They are quite happy being in a harness, remember – this is how their ancestors were exercised for years. So don’t feel bad about putting one on them, they like it and feel secure with it.
If you take this leash off you are telling them they can do exactly what they like. Now, most of the time they will stay with you – no problems at all. However, as soon as they get a sniff of anything small outside that looks like prey (e.g. rabbit, cat, etc.) then they will be off.
There will be no stopping them and will be miles away in no time at all. Considering what a great escape artist the Siberian Husky is, I’d really suggest getting a good dog locator for one. I’ve been through my fair share and there’s really only one that I can recommend to you that’s worth the money. Check out my reviews of the best locators here. if you like. Please consider it. You will have so much of a better chance of getting your precious Husky back if one day it does escape.
Will Need to be Quite Strong
The Husky is a sled dog and used to pulling sleds (errr obviously, right?) so you won’t be surprised in hearing that this dog is quite strong. However, considering it’s really just a medium-sized dog, it is quite surprising how strong they actually are. Now, imagine you’re out and have them on a lead taking them for a run.
The Husky sees something that they think is prey and they are off. If you’re not strong enough you will be pulled over and dragged in the direction of that prey. It may slow them down a bit but more likely is that you’ll let go of the lead and they will be off (see above point about this).
Therefore, you need to be pretty strong to be able to control a Siberian Husky.
14) Siberian Huskies Expects Authority
As a pack animal, they expect authority. In fact, if they don’t get it they may try and assert themselves as the Alpha and try and dominate you which can cause all kinds of problems in itself.
So, you need to be authoritative and at least give them the impression that you are in control, not them. Formal training helps bucket-loads so this really should be considered as mandatory when they are a puppy – but don’t think it’s too late if for whatever reason they didn’t get this. It’s never too late! It will be harder, sure – but not impossible.
However, if you don’t think you can be assertive enough to control a dog, this most definitely isn’t the right one for you!
15) The Husky is for the Professional Owner
If dog ownership was a computer game then Husky owners would definitely be playing the Advanced level! Owning a Husky is not for everyone as hopefully you now know. It can be the most wonderful, loving breed of dog and so many owners would never go back to any other breed once experiencing the Husky.
However, it’s all about you, not them. You have to be able to commit to them. You have to provide them with the right amount of exercise and deal with all their little nuances. There are so many breeds of dog available there is no reason to go for the Husky if you can’t do this. Many buy one just because of their stunning looks but have to give them back or they end up in a rescue center a few months later as they weren’t able to control them.
Don’t get yourself into that position!