The Siberian husky is instantly recognisable as one of the breeds that is very wolf-like in appearance, thanks to their builds, coats and pale, very distinctive eyes. While they can be very disarming to see for the first time, many dog lovers soon fall in love with this unique and very handsome breed, which were relatively uncommon within the UK until a couple of decades ago.
Originally used as a sled dog thanks to their endurance, ability to weather the cold and stamina to run for hours on end without tiring, the Siberian husky in the UK today is most commonly kept as a pet, but they can also be seen competing in various types of canine sports and activities, or training for sledding in other countries.
While the Siberian husky can be a hugely rewarding dog to own for the right type of owner, they are not a good choice for everyone, and are one of the breeds that has a high abandonment rate due to inexperienced owners underestimating the demands that a Siberian husky will place on them when they first get their dog.
All Siberian huskies are of course individuals with their own personalities and preferences, but nevertheless, the breed as a whole shares several core traits across the board, which can be seen in virtually all dogs of the breed. In this article, we will introduce you to five universal personality traits of the Siberian husky.
Siberian huskies are very open, personable dogs who will usually show no fear or nervousness around new people, and will often march straight up to people that they meet out and about to say hello! They love attention and spending time with people who will entertain them and play with them, and if they feel that you aren’t quite up to the role, they will often be all too keen to wander off in search of someone who is!
This puts some people off husky ownership, as they see the dogs are potentially slightly disloyal, or not interested in bonding particularly strongly with their immediate family, but in reality, the husky is simply a very friendly dog that likes the company of humans, and is always open to making new friends.
In their traditional working roles, Siberian huskies lived and worked in packs, and the breed enjoys the company of other dogs as much as they do people. Owning more than one dog can help to provide companionship and company for your husky, as well as a potential partner in crime!
Huskies generally live perfectly happily with one or more other dogs, and they like to meet other dogs when out and about too, and will play with virtually any dog that they meet at the dog park. They tend to be excellent with other dogs, good at reading their cues, and excellent at adapting their behaviours to match the mood of their new pals.
Siberian huskies require tall, strong fencing in their yard or garden to keep them contained, as they will think nothing of hopping over the fence (or burrowing under it) if they get bored and want to go for a wander! They will also sometimes use the opportunity to slip out of an open door within the home and go roaming around, although these behaviours can be managed to some extent by ensuring that your husky has a busy, active life with plenty of exercise.
The Siberian husky has a very strong prey drive, and will often pursue smaller animals such as cats or wildlife outside of the home. This can of course be a problem, and may mean that you need to muzzle your husky when they are off the lead. Teaching your dog good recall and reliable responses is vital, although the husky can be very single-minded once they fixate on potential prey, and may run off or cover quite some distance when going after it.
Huskies can potentially share their home with a cat if they are introduced young enough and taught to respect the cat, but this does not always mean that they will not chase other cats outside of the home!
The Siberian husky is one of the most challenging breeds to own when it comes to fulfilling their exercise requirements, as they are not only very fast on their feet, but have bags of endurance and can run for several hours at a time without tiring.
They do not thrive when cooped up in the house for hours at a time, and simply turning them out into the back garden is not enough; they may well let themselves out and go in search of an adventure.
The Siberian husky requires hours of exercise every day, with lots of variety and chances for socialisation. Without this, the dog will soon become unhappy, destructive and bored, making them hard to handle, prone to escape, and apt to act out in destructive ways.