There are many qualities that set the Siberian Husky apart from the vast majority of other dog breeds. It is a dog that should be reserved for that special owner who is able to cater for its needs properly and this owner is most likely one that has owned dogs before.
If you’re someone who is unable to commit to at least two long, outdoor sessions with the Husky each and every day, rain or shine, then is most likely not the dog for you.
The Siberian Husky can run in excess of 100 miles in a day after proper conditioning has taken place. This breed of dog was designed just for this purpose, to run long distances, pulling loads at a high speed.
Although the requirement to do this was lost when they left Siberia in the early part of the 20th Century, the desire and ability to run has not been lost.
The Siberian Husky Was Designed To Run
The Siberian Husky originated in the Chukotka Peninsula which is in Northern Asia (Siberia). Here, the dog lived with the Chukchi people for over a thousand years.
In this tundra climate, temperatures can drop to extremely low numbers and the local population needed a dog that would help them survive.
In the coastal regions, where the hunting of seals would take place, this dog would need to pull sleds over long distances as the main population lived quite far in-land, and they would need to do it at high speeds.
A Husky can pull a lot of weight. If you’re interested in how much – check out my article here where I looked into this myself!
For many generations, the people engineered the Husky (it was not known as the Siberian Husky until it was imported into Alaska) by crossing it with other dogs to get the type of breed they required.
This dog needed to survive in the cold temperatures, be strong and fit enough to pull sleds quickly and have enough stamina to keep this up over long periods of time. They would have to survive without food for large parts of the day and would need to be intelligent enough to understand and respond to orders.
Finally, the Husky would need to be gentle enough to live with the Chukchi families once the day finished. The dog you see today is the dog that was manufactured for these reasons all that time ago and these traits haven’t been lost in the hundred years or so since they were first seen outside of Siberia.
So, the Husky was designed for a very specific purpose and unless you’re prepared to accommodate the above then you’re going to left with an unhappy doggy.
It is rare that you find a lazy Siberian Husky – however if you do then do take a look at my article all about it over here (opens in a new window).
How Far Did The Husky Run When Living In Siberia?
This isn’t the easiest of questions to answer as it would certainly have varied depending on where the hunting was taking place. They can fun fast when required (over 20 mph) but they wouldn’t be moving at these speeds when pulling loads over long distances.
There is a race called the Iditarod, where Huskies will race (in packs of up to 14) from Anchorage to Nome (in Alaska), a distance of 938 miles. The race is completed, usually, in 8 to 15 days (the record is just over 8 days) so you can see just from this that they are obviously more than capable of running more than 100 miles in a single day.
Weather conditions can be atrocious and may considerably slow proceedings down with complete whiteouts and temperatures down to a somewhat nippy -100°F (wind-chill factor applied). In perfect conditions, we know it could run much farther than this.
When they lived with the Chukchi though they would have, I suspect, run much farther than this. However, this was the job that the Husky was designed for and would do for most of their life.
So, just because the Husky, whilst it was living in Siberia, could run up to approx. 200 miles a day, doesn’t mean yours will be able to! Although most Huskies will be able to run a considerable distance at a good speed, don’t expect anything like these numbers without proper training.
How Far Should You Go When Exercising
I would not concentrate on the distance you take your Huskies when you take them out. Concentrate on getting them out twice a day (at least) and for a good hour each time. Obviously, a gentle stroll for an hour isn’t going to be good enough for this dog. They need to be pushed a bit. If you’re not fit when you get the Husky you’ll need to up your game as you’re going to have to move at a brisk speed to keep these dogs happy!
Spend at least an hour at a moderate speed (not a walk and not a fast run) and the Husky will get enough exercise to keep them content.
If you can’t keep up then maybe consider getting a bike but whatever you have (unless it’s powered) you’re going to struggle to keep up with them if they really want to up the speed.
Covering 5-10 miles in an hour will take a lot more out of you than it will the Husky!
Can I Train The Husky To Run Further?
Yes, it is possible, with careful conditioning to train your Husky to run further. In fact,
- Start regular exercise when they are still young and ensure they are only exercised when they are not injured. Trying to exercise your Husky when they are injured or not feeling their best will hinder your progress.
- Build up the distance gradually. The limiting factor will most likely be the owner as they have such tedious things as work and families to take care of! However, most people who are doing this are committed full-time to the cause as it is a way of life for them and they are full-time dog handlers.
- Simply continue to repeat step 2, ensuring they are on a good diet. Actually, this is an interesting point as the Siberian Husky isn’t like other dogs in this respect. It will only eat as much as it needs. Most other breeds will continue eating until they are physically sick but not this one.
What Age Is The Siberian Husky At Its Fittest?
Your Husky won’t be fully developed until they are around two-years-old, although it could be sooner. Up to this point, they physically haven’t developed completely and their muscles will still not be in peak condition.
Huskies can be found running long distances well into old age and as long as they are healthy and are still able to enjoy it then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t continue until they start to slow down a bit.
So, the age at which your Husky will reach its peak physical fitness could be at any point from when they reach maturity to old age, depending on how often you take them out.
How Fast Can The Siberian Husky Run?
The Siberian Husky can run, in short distances, at speeds over 25 mph however this is more of a ‘sprint’ and won’t be maintained for long periods of time.
Typically, when the Husky is out on a long-distance run, alongside other Huskies, it will happily maintain around 10 mph for a considerable amount of time. If you’re not sure how fast this is you should really jump onto a treadmill and set the speed to this just for a few minutes.
If you can maintain this speed for anything more than a few minutes then you’re a lot fitter than me! This may be cruising speed for the Husky but for us (well, at least for me) it’s most definitely a sprint.
My point here is if you want your Husky to maintain this cruising speed for some time you’re going to have to be realistic and appreciate you’re not going to be able to keep up with them! As I mentioned at the start, consider getting a bike!
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand just how far the Siberian Husky is able to run. This, after all, was what it was designed for all those years ago and it still wants to be able to do it now. I would argue that the Husky is at its happiest when it is out running. You’ve only got to look at how waggy their tails are!
If you’d like to know more about this increasingly popular breed of dog then do take a look at our Complete Guide to the Siberian Husky where you will find out pretty much everything you ever wanted to know about them!