The Siberian Husky can be described as many things and the breed makes an awesome family pet…for the right family. There are many traits to the Husky that make it a breed that is not for everyone though. Like a vintage whiskey, for some, it can be the perfect match but for others, a can of beer would be far more appropriate.
There’s nothing wrong with a can of beer, of course, but I see the Siberian Husky like a vintage whiskey. To a connoisseur, this whiskey is perfection and to a professional owner, someone who truly knows about dogs, you don’t get any better than the Siberian Husky.
However, one of the many traits that appears to be in dispute is how affectionate this breed is. There are many things that you can say for sure will happen if you have one. They will be stubborn. They will demand your attention and they will need you to exercise them, but what about cuddling up to you at night?
Do Siberian Huskies Cuddle? The Husky will probably not want to cuddle you. This is a generalization, of course, but more often than not your dog will be quite content to just be in your company. They don’t need this kind of close contact. However, this isn’t to say that they all don’t like it. In fact, 1 out of 5 Huskies will probably not be able to keep its furry paws off you!
How Affectionate Is The Husky?
I don’t think there can be any doubt that the Siberian Husky is a friendly dog. They will want to spend as much time as possible in your company as possible. In fact, they will seek out attention when required. However, this attention isn’t solely reserved for their owner, in fact far from it! The Husky doesn’t care where it gets its attention from, as long as it gets it!
There is not an ounce of aggression within this breed, at least typically. I know there are always exceptions but those are few and far between with this dog.
They are not only great with their alpha leader (usually you) but other members of the family and especially children. I think they love kids as they know they get a lot more fuss from them! Strangers also.
Don’t expect the Husky to make a good guard dog, this isn’t something it will ever be any good at. I said earlier that the Husky doesn’t care where it gets its attention from and this is very true. If you’re outside walking, you will get a lot of people coming up to you, you’ll eventually just get used to it. Everything you do takes double the amount of time.
Just watch their tail. As soon as someone approaches, with the obvious intent of interaction, the tail starts wagging. It doesn’t matter that they haven’t ever seen this person before, this is irrelevant to the Husky. What matters is the attention it is about to get!
Affection does NOT equal Cuddles
So, yes – the Siberian Husky is a very friendly breed of dog. Being friendly is different from being affectionate though. Getting a fuss made out of is not the same from getting a cuddle for instance.
You see, the Husky will get as much attention as the world can provide, there can be no limit. But when it comes to being affectionate, which to me means engaging in a bit of cuddling on the sofa, not so much.
The thing about the Husky and it showing any kind of affection towards you is that it needs to be done on its terms, not yours. You will not be able to make the Husky cuddle you. Remember, it can be an exceptionally stubborn breed of dog and if it doesn’t want to do something, it won’t!
So, if you get impatient, pick them up and put them on the sofa next to you, they will most likely get off and this will only have the effect of making them less likely to do it in the future, so probably best if you don’t.
Manage Your Expectations
So, what I’m saying here is this. Although you can give your Husky as much fuss as you like, if you are expecting affection back, you may well be disappointed. If they are cold (err unlikely probably in the climate you’re reading this) then there’s more chance of this but they will rarely feel the need to snuggle into you unfortunately.
I asked this question to other owners actually to see what their impression was and indeed, the majority of people said that their Husky was not a cuddly dog, although a lot more than I expected said that theirs was. So, it seems that if you’re looking for a dog that’s going to cuddle up to you each night, there’s no guarantee that this will happen with the Husky, in fact – it’s unlikely.
However, having cuddles at night isn’t really why anyone buys the Siberian Husky in the first place, right?
Can I Make The Husky More Affectionate?
You will have your work cut out for you if you try and get your Husky to do anything that it doesn’t want to particularly do, including being more affectionate! However, there might be something you can do.
Firstly, if your Husky is still a puppy, do ensure that you socialize them at an early age. Just make sure they are introduced to as many different people (strangers, children etc.) as possible during those first few weeks.
It will help to make the Husky a more rounded dog and more accepting (and potentially affectionate) of people in general. To be honest though, the Husky is such a naturally friendly dog it’s not exactly going to be aggressive if you don’t do this – it just might be a little more affectionate if you do.
The next thing you might want to try is something that I find works quite well with my son – bribe them 🙂 If I really want him to do something that he doesn’t want to do then eventually I get to a point that I need to give him a bigger incentive – in his case it is hard cash. Honestly, it works. So, how about the Husky? Well, this is where having some of their favorite treats may come in handy…
Bribery Works With The Husky
What you want to do is associate an action with a reward. So, if you want them to jump up onto the sofa right next to you as you’re watching a scary film, you need to give them an incentive to do so.
Your love and desire for cuddles may well not be enough! So, the idea is you give them a little treat every time they do it. They may well jump off a minute after consuming that treat but then 30 minutes later you repeat.
They will only get the treat when they’re literally right next to you on the sofa. Now, this behavior may well be frowned upon by many and actually, this behavior should not be encouraged. However, my take on this is, so what? Life is too short, and everything in moderation – does it really matter if they are happy being on the sofa next to you? Do make sure this is what you want though as once you start encouraging it, there may be no way back!
Is Your Husky More Affectionate With Someone Else?
I don’t know about you but I find this infuriating! You provide them with their food, their toys, and their exercise, give them as much love as you can possibly offer and yet, all they want to do in the evenings is spend time with someone else! The cheek! So, what can you do about this treacherous behavior?
Well, you’re going to need patience. Also, perhaps a little bit of understanding. I know it’s ridiculously annoying but if your Husky is happy then that’s the main thing, right? So, how can you persuade them to spend more time cuddled up to you than anyone else (bear in mind that the ‘someone else’ might not be happy about this!).
The first way is to potentially use the treats/bribes that I just mentioned but I don’t like to use this method to get this outcome. To me, it feels like cheating so I’m not going to recommend it.
What I am going to recommend though is this. However much time you’re spending with your Husky, you need to spend more with them. Eventually, the sight of you (and the scent of you) will provide them with a sense of security and safety – they will want to spend more time with you as this will be when they feel most comfortable.
It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight but this is probably the best long-term solution – just spend more time with them!
It May Well Happen Only On Their Terms
There are many breeds of dog that will do exactly what they are told and just get on with it. The Husky, alas, is not one of those dogs but owners of these tend to know what they’re getting themselves in for. Owners of the Husky tend to be different to owners of other breeds. They tend to know what they are talking about.
The Husky is not a dog that’s recommended for the first-time owner and many owners that neglect this regret it later. They don’t do their research and don’t realize how much effort it is to look after and provide them with what they need. The end result is that many Huskies are returned or sent to a rescue home after only a few months which is desperately sad.
My point here is that as any good owner of the Siberian Husky knows, you will have your work cut out for you if you want to get them to do something they don’t want to do. For some things, like training and responding to commands you just persevere and be relentless until they get it – because you have to. It’s in the interest of the pet learning to live in your home and is necessary to give your Husky the grounding that it needs.
With something like affection and cuddles though, well, this isn’t mandatory I’m afraid and certainly not required for the Husky’s well-being. You can try and encourage it using the couple of methods I explained above but you can’t force it.
What Do Other Owners Say?
I touched on this earlier but I asked several other owners to share what their experiences have been with their Siberian Husky. I asked them a simple question, ‘Was their Siberian Husky up for cuddles?’. I asked 32 owners in total and here are their responses – I found them rather interesting:
- 11 of the owners said categorically that their Husky was not up for cuddles, at any time.
- 7 of the owners said that their Husky was absolutely fine with having cuddles and actually seemed to enjoy them.
- 14 or the owners said that their Husky would have cuddles but only on their terms – i.e. when they wanted a cuddle they would allow it but not when you wanted it.
So, what can we make of this? Well, based on these data the chances are that if you buy a Husky you won’t be getting a cuddle when you want and this equated to about 78% of the time. So, that’s roughly 4 out of 5 Husky dogs won’t let you dictate when it’s time for a cuddle, they are in control!
However, the number of owners that said theirs were perfectly okay with it was more than I actually expected. One thing I did notice though was that a fair amount of people did say that
So, in summary – the Siberian Husky will most likely not be a breed of dog that will provide you with cuddles every night. It is an affectionate dog and it does need companionship, however, that does not mean it’s going to be cuddling up to you during film night. It is possible that you might be able to encourage this behavior using the reward (err bribe) system and good early socialization may well help also.
It has also been reported that as the Husky gets older they are more likely to be cuddly than when they were younger.
If you’d like more information on this magnificent breed then do check out my Complete Guide (opens in a new window) – this will tell you all you need to know about the Husky.