The Siberian Husky is a medium sized working dog breed that hails from the frozen East of Russia. The Husky is the ultimate running dog, and was historically used as a sled dog, a practice that is still commonly undertaken today in the colder countries of the world. They are energetic, active and have amazing stamina, as well as a handsome and distinctive appearance.
It is the unique and impressive look of the Husky that attracts many people to considering ownership of the dog, and for this reason, many eventual buyers do not spend enough time and effort researching the breed, and establishing if they are capable of taking on its ownership. The Husky is a challenging dog to keep, particularly for the first time dog owner or those who do not fully understand the breed and have not spent much time around them, and Husky ownership is not an endeavour to be entered into lightly!
However, the Husky dog really is dog like no other, and they have an amazing open personality that is highly appealing, and can provide many years of companionship and entertainment for their owners. If you are considering taking on the ownership of a Husky, it is important to thoroughly research the breed and ensure that you are happy with the unique and sometimes challenging personality traits that these dogs possess. What is a plus point for one owner might, after all, prove to be a waking nightmare for someone else!
Read on to learn more about the personality traits of the Siberian Husky, and some other information that all potential Husky owners should know!
First of all, that beautiful and distinctive husky coat! The good thing about the Husky is that they are not a particularly smelly dog, and are not likely to take on the rather unpleasant “dog” smell that some breeds are prone to. However, the Husky is a heavy shedder with a double layered, very dense coat, and will drop significant amounts of fur around the house all year round. Added to this, twice a year the Husky will blow its coat, shedding most of its coat over the course of a couple of weeks to bring in their coat for the new season. Think fur, everywhere, and then double it, add more, and you may be close!
The Husky is not a difficult dog to feed, and does not tend to be picky or prone to allergies. They are also not one of the dogs that require particularly large quantities of food in ratio to their body size, but some Huskies are adept scavengers. Feeding a balanced diet is of course important!
...And run and run and run. Yes, the Husky loves to run, and many people grievously underestimate the truth of this statement. There is no way to remove this desire, train the Husky out of running or alter their lifestyle so that running is not a part of it. Your Husky needs to run, every day, for a prolonged period of time. They need lots of exercise, plenty of walks, and plenty of free range time stretching their legs off the lead. Huskies are also keen to walk themselves, and will often let themselves out of a poorly secured garden for a run about if they not adequately exercised or entertained!
The Husky’s rather wolf-like appearance can come as rather a shock to some people, and the appearance of the Husky often leads people to believe that they make a good choice of guard dog. However, “appearance” is as far as it goes, and the Husky really does not have an aggressive or defensive personality as a general rule. Their body language is clear and unambiguous, and you can trust that whatever a Husky is “saying” with it is exactly what they mean.
Siberian Huskies love people; all people. Adults, children, dog lovers, dog haters, the Husky is an equal opportunities attention seeker! They enjoy plenty of time spent with and affection shared with people, regardless who the people are; their long-term owner, or someone they have just met in the street! While there is a lot of good to be said about this level of personability and friendliness in the dog, it can also on occasion lead to the first time owner feeling that their dogs are a little disloyal and not too picky about their friends!
This same trait makes the Husky an ineffective guard dog, as they are generally perfectly welcoming to strangers, even strangers who enter their home uninvited!
Huskies are pack animals, and will generally be very happy in a multi-dog household or in open spaces where they can play with other dogs. They do, however, require adequate socialization when they are young, and can on occasion be territorial with other dogs. They are not afraid of standing their ground if somebody is looking for a scrap!
The Husky is a highly intelligent dog, and one that can be challenging to train. They have strong hunting and running instincts, and can be difficult to train to recall or to leave things alone. They require firm, unambiguous positive reinforcement training, and a knowledgeable trainer that understands the abilities and limitations of the breed. Having said that, the well trained, well managed Husky is bright and alert enough to retain a wide range of different training commands, and does of course take well to working roles and working with other dogs as part of a team.
Bored Huskies and those without firm boundaries do have a tendency to become destructive, especially if they do not receive enough exercise.
Over all, the Husky is an excellent, personable companion for active, knowledgeable owners, but may not be a suitable choice of dog for those who are inexperienced or do not have a thorough understanding of the traits of the breed.