Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why you should NOT own a Siberian Husky


When I am out and about with my Siberian Husky, I am asked almost every day by a stranger on the street “How can I get one?”  I find myself listing the reasons they should not. 

Don't get me wrong, I love my furry little beast and would not swap him for any other dog.  He is smart, handsome, intuitive, and a bundle of fun.  In fact, I want a second one.   But, Siberian Huskies are not for everyone.  I did a lot of research on Siberian Huskies prior to getting one, so I knew about the quirks of the breed before I got him. Do your research about the breed you want. 

If you are in the market for a dog, ask yourself these questions and important points:

  • Are you prepared to give your dog at least 60 to 90 minutes of exercise a day?  Letting him out in to the yard does not count.  I mean walking, running, or going to the dog park so he can run with other dogs. A bored Siberian with pent up energy is a recipe for personal property destruction. 
  •  Do you have a secure area for your dog?  Some dogs are perfectly restrained by a 30 inch fence. The Siberian Husky needs a 6 foot fence (or maybe even higher!) and the fence must be attached to the ground. They don’t call them Hairy Houdini’s for nothing. 
  • Do you want a lap dog? The Siberian is very independent. Most are not lap dogs and don’t need continual attention.  Once they have had their exercise, they are content to lay across the room from you (and keep an eye on you in case you go to the kitchen for food.) Don’t be offended if he comes up to you, gets some attention, and then walks off. 
  • Most Sibes love everyone!  Kids, your neighbors, your friends, and the degenerate that just broke in to your house. 
  • Are you offended easily?   You may be sitting on the floor giving your Siberian a tummy rub when he hops up, trots to the other side of the room, and sits down.  
  • Sibes love cats and birds.  Their delicious!  Seriously, unless the Siberian is raised with a cat or other small animal, don’t trust him with them. 
  • Do you like fur?  The Siberian male sheds about once per year and the female sheds about twice per year. I’m talking Die Hard: Shed With A Vengeance shedding. He will need to be bathed several times during the shedding cycle and gently brushed every day. 
  • Siberian Huskies are natural explorers. You can NOT allow them off leash in an open space. They have no fear of traffic, large mammals, and Mack trucks. 
  • Are you not very strong? The Sibe *is* strong* and powerful. A young adult Siberian can pull a load 4 or 5 times his own weight. 
  • Those cute tricks you can teach your German Sheppard or Golden Retriever?   Fetching, sitting, coming when called, you know the ones.  Those are strictly optional with the Sibe.  When you yell “Dog, come!”, the Sibe will look around at you with a look that says, “Thanks, I’ll take that under advisement.” The Sibe *can* be trained, but it is much harder than with a dog that *wants* to please you. 
  •   The Sibe wants to be alpha and you will be tested.  All the time.  If you are not consistent with him, your azaleas will be mulch. 
  •   Despite being strong and fairly resilient, Siberian Huskies have a delicate tummy. Keep them on a consistent diet.  No table scraps and treats should be less than 25% of their daily food intake. If you change their food frequently or give them things they don’t normally eat, it will NOT be pretty come poopy time.
  I have heard too many stories of people having to return their Siberian Husky to the breeder or give them to an animal shelter because they cannot handle the dog or do not have time for it.


When you look for a dog, don’t just look for a dog that “looks like a wolf” or “has nice blue eyes”, but find a breed that matches your lifestyle and the time you have to give to the dog. Both the dog and you will be much happier.


42 Comments:

At 7:06 AM, Blogger ARodomus said...

Great post. Thanks for the advice. They are a beautiful breed, but your article confirmed that they are not for me. Especially the shedding. Noooo...

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger ARodomus said...

Great post. Thanks for the advice. They are a beautiful breed, but your article confirmed that they are not for me. Especially the shedding. Noooo...

 
At 10:56 PM, Blogger Rey Freeman said...

Thank you for your post...very much helpful.....I was considering getting a husky...but no more now...Keeping a husky is a big responsibility...I'm too lazy for that...

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger John Francis said...

Describes our Muki pretty much, except that he thinks he's a lap dog! That huge beast insists on climbing up on our laps.

 
At 8:13 AM, Blogger ra husky said...

Great post mate,

RA

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger Marta Malvis said...

I think that sibes are the best dog in the world. The person who has one must have a great connection with dog, and when it happens is so special and wonderfull. My sibe and I are one. Always doing canicross, bikejoring in the mountain or in the dog park, we are always together and working! BORN TO RUN! :)

 
At 9:19 AM, Blogger Linda Lewis said...

Jim, I do the same thing thing. Tell everyone who will listen that these dogs are not for everyone. They are wonderful delightful companions but not suitable from some people. My Sibe is a rescue from an owner who was entranced by his beauty at a pet store. A month later I found him at a shelter. Too many of these dogs are bought for their stunning good looks and discarded for their mischievous nature.

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger Debra Cassiero said...

Sometimes rescuing an older husky or malamute is best for less active ppl.Puppies always req alot of training.fostering for Rescue groups are always welcome if you have space and enclosed areas.

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger Helen Klimeck-Jones said...

I went into husky ownership with my eyes only half open. Now, I absolutely adore this breed, but they most definitely are a handful. Days like today, when it's pouring rain and the last thing I want to do is go for a walk, all I can do is suck it up because if we don't go, it isn't pretty.

 
At 12:55 PM, Blogger Nicholas Guillory said...

I own one but I was ready to take on those responsibilities. I have learned everything the hard way that you just pointed out but wouldn't change my baby for the world.

 
At 12:57 PM, Blogger Nicholas Guillory said...

I learned everything mentioned the hard way. Two years later I will say I love my dog and her stubborn ways and I love the breed.

 
At 1:23 PM, Blogger Ashley Pawlowski said...

LoL Pretty much but my Kota seems to shed year round just more often through different seasons. And also if a shelter tells you oh there cat friendly we seen it first hand ... Do Not Buy that Line! It's a lie! We keep our cats in part of our home and Kota in the rest. And if your leash breaks...Don't I Repeat. ..Don't run after them walk fast and do not shout until your right up on them and just grasp a collar and walk again back home ;) Or they think playtime and RUN! And these dogs are built to run miles!! ♥

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger Shannon Welckle said...

Where was this article before I got mine!!

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger Dee Boutte said...

I have two siberians and have fostered others as well All you posted is true and more. I have to plan my day, week, weekends and vacations around my Sibe's schedules. They are not just let anyone walk them kinda dog. Mine are inside dogs who require 2 hrs of heavy exercise.
Investments in a dyson, leather furniture, and a kickbike with a tug n tow are all recommendations I give. Food is grain free, high end like Blue, Acana, Orijen, or Wellness. Also a furminator will be your best friend.
I will say they are a breed that requires you to be "on". They are not a dog thatyou can be casual with.
I love my sibes wouldnt trade them for the world, but many adopters, and owners do.
Pick a breed that fits your lifestyle.

 
At 5:25 PM, Blogger Carol Long said...

My Sibe, Mika, thinks he is a lap dog, wants to sleep with us & cuddle. He is the perfect dog other than if he get's loose, you cannot get him back until he is ready to come back! He does shed but I deal with it. I love Sibes so much. I got him as a re-home, grown, he was a year old but he is very well trained and minds almost every command accept come back, lol.

 
At 7:04 PM, Blogger Melissa Stultz said...

To be honest, my sibe is different than a normal sibe. He likes to cuddle, he sheds twice a year, he eats anything and everything, he always sits and gives me his paw, and he always follows me everywhere. He's not like a typical husky in my eyes.

 
At 12:57 AM, Blogger larry aguilar said...

As a 4 pack owner, everything you said is right on. They are not for the faint-hearted. They are like having 4 more furry children who make messes and nothing is ever truly hair free again. But they are also the most loving, loyal, sweet, dogs I have owned. They are not good guard dogs unless my 7 yr old daughter is crying and then God be with the person that made her cry. She is also a member of their pack they think and dote all their positive attention to her. All 4 have different personalities....my Alpha male is the boss, all the others follow his lead and he knows it, but he is a sweetie. My Alpha female is the one who gives lots of loves all the time and even plays dress up with our daughter. She is the one who will cuddle and snuggle and enjoys being a part of everything. Our Alpha male's son is the third and he is special. He had to be "birthed" so he lacked oxygen for a bit too long, he is the "silly guy in wolves clothing". Not the brightest of the bunch, he beats to his own drum and is content keeping to himself. He will let you pet him for about 3 seconds before he runs off in a Zumbie mode. Lastly our old girl who gave up her role as Alpha female to a younger model....she was the one back in the day, but at 9 she is laid back, loves kisses, and all the attention in the world as long as she eats alone. That is the only time you see some fire left in her. All of them our different but a lot the same. I wouldn't trade any of them for the world and although I could do without the fur, I love that all the birds know what yard to come to for nest building supplies! God Bless!

 
At 2:23 PM, Blogger Marielle Durand said...

thank you thank you thank you for saying all you said

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger Ohmaira Maisonet said...

Iam a new husky owner. I love my Sysqo but you are right! If you do not give him his time to burn off that energy, they will go bonkers and get into everything.

 
At 2:46 PM, Blogger helen mautaritnaaq said...

Great post,
We love our Siberian (Mickey) that we had bought, We started training him to be a sled dog (Mushiing dog)
We started training him with both my boys who is 5 & 7 years old on the slide than when our Mickey got older their father whom is about 170 to 175 pounds on the slide and they would go about a mile or a little more,
We feed him about 1 cup of dry dog food every day and when we can we feed him caribou as up North our weather get brutal.
He already survived our blizzards that gust up to 90+ winds and really high wind chills.
Looking forward to winter to be running our Mickey.

 
At 10:27 PM, Blogger Paula Jakobsson said...

This is so true. I live in Finland with 5 sleddogs and I´m always getting these same questions when ppl see my dogs. They get attracted to the pretty face but know barely nothing ´bout the breed. Having and owning a husky is not a bed of roses.

 
At 11:11 AM, Blogger Ryan Jones said...

I've heard huskies can be difficult to live with and train before too. Good advice though. I wonder if huskies could make good family dogs though (considering kids can have lots of energy too)?

 
At 6:47 AM, Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks for the post! I've been researching the breed and decide on a Husky who I'll be bringing home in 6 weeks :) But it's a huge commitment and I don't take it lightly!

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger Tony Ramirez said...

I agree except for the bathing. Huskies require only 1 or 2 baths a year. Huskies for the most part are very clean by habit and since they blow there coats and get a new one baths are not needed. Also too many baths can dry out there skin. 20 plus years of eating husky hair and i wouldn't have it any other way.

 
At 5:51 PM, Blogger Tony Ramirez said...

Huskies are great with kids but kids tend to run in and out of the house without thinking of closing a door and WHHOOOSH there goes the husky who you likely never see again. 1. Cause they won't stop running and 2. May be hit by a car. If you can put a huskies needs of exercise every day before your own and your kids by all means do so, they are great family members

 
At 6:01 PM, Blogger Tony Ramirez said...

You will get the best friend you'll ever have, I promise! I have my 5th best friend now and miss every husky before every single day. one thing he didn't mention before you open any door outside always know where your husky is or boom they can bolt out the door.

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger Tony Ramirez said...

I have show huskies but i don't show i just attend for fun. Furminator is known to damage husky hair follicles resulting in baldness. You can look it up. I learned from handlers/groomers at shows.

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger Tony Ramirez said...

Bathing ones or twice a year is all that is needed since they blow there coats. Too many baths can dry out there skin and cause itching. Huskies are usually clean freaks, all 5 of my huskies always went around mud puddles or water. Great article!

 
At 6:25 PM, Blogger Tony Ramirez said...

I agree except for the bathing. Huskies require only 1 or 2 baths a year. Huskies for the most part are very clean by habit and since they blow there coats and get a new one baths are not needed. Also too many baths can dry out there skin. 20 plus years of eating husky hair and i wouldn't have it any other way.

 
At 1:16 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The shedding. It is raining dog hair in our home. It is unbearable. We can't sit down anywhere except our bedroom, where the dogs are not allowed.

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The dog hair. It is raining dog hair. The shedding is everywhere. We cannot sit down anywhere in our home except our bedroom where the dogs are not allowed. We have our home cleaned by maids once a week and it is still awful. BAD BAD BAD

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Cindi T said...

If you get a pup & raise them with kids or get one that has been exposed it is all good. Ours wasn't raised with little ones (same height or smaller), cats nor small dogs so she wants to chase them all down & either dominate then or eat them (the animals) . LoL As to training, they are REALLY smart & will learn commands quickly - IF there is something in it for them. But you have to stay vigilant or they walk all over you. Independent is a nice word for Stubborn - which the breed can be. Ours has a mind of her own - if she knows she MUST sit before going for her walk - she will sit. But if she knows dad will let her go without - then she won't & if she does, it is after 10 (or more) commands of patient "sit" and realizing she isn't going until she does it. (Oh and she WILL hold out) however, they get bored with the simple stuff & if you don't have something they really want - they will sit there & stare at you, like "Really?? I KNOW you can do better." LoL

 
At 5:50 PM, Blogger firsttimedogowner said...

Thanks for the post! I am a first-time dog owner. I went to a kennel the other day and played with a 5-year-old husky for a while. He is very friendly and gentle. he even let me pat him for a while. I understand that it's rare that huskies play fetching but he did! do you think this particular husky would be easier to train?

 
At 2:28 PM, Blogger stormchaser said...

Great information I'm looking for some advice I have a 3 year old male who has been howling and won't eat for the last week.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Brielle's Ma said...

I raised them 30 years ago, and it aged me! They were always shedding, destroying things, getting hurt, running away. So adorable, but uncontainable!

 
At 7:32 AM, Blogger Zem Karlos said...

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At 4:35 PM, Blogger Haylee Ard said...

I just got my baby, Palliton from a Humane society. She's 7 months old. She was abused by her first home, and then dropped off on the side of the road and was ferial for at least 3 months. Vet believes she may have a small amount of Alaskan malamute in her. (Ex: Her mom or dad was probably half malamute, half Sibe, and other full Sibe). She's completely terrified of humanes, mostly males. I have had her for 2 weeks now and she's finally warmed up to me. She's so sweet. But man. Does she like to chew. Everything. And escape. Luckily she always comes back to my call ( but only if I'm distressed? Its seems) and if that doesn't work. We let our olde English/ boxer mix out and she comes running back to play.

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

perhaps anyone could help me... how to get my sibe to poop n pee at one place instead of around the house... I have tried many ways but seems it doesn't really work

 
At 3:07 PM, Blogger Jared Archuleta said...

I beg to differ. I have a big husky named Theo. We live in a townhome with no yard. He is white with crystal clear blue eyes and brown ears. List of things I love about him and hate. (Bare in mind that my wife stays home so he is not in a can all day but free to roam our three floor town-home)
I like that:
- He is very cuddly and if he could he would be a lap dog but he is simply too big and not aloud on the couch ever.
- He is always happy and in the mood for a cuddle.
- he is obedient and knows how to sit and shake with no effort.
- we take him out 3 times a day usually and is good with not pulling, took a couple of trips with a training leash.
- he loves to lay down and chill just watching tv.
- he is an extremely smart dog.
- we have a baby that is 14 months that cuddles with Theo and Lays on him constantly. Theo loves it and curls up with Ezra like he is his own. It is amazing.
I hate:
- you cannot leave him out of the cage when you leave he thinks the world is ending and he needs to escape even if it means taring down your blinds.
- he is so dependant constantly wants attention and some times it's a bit too much.
- he has giant poops (bigger than human).

 
At 3:26 PM, Blogger Honda Crf said...

Was considering one of these amazing dogs. I was wondering what you do with the hair that gets brushed out and would a pool in the middle of their fenced in yard space be ok?

 
At 3:28 PM, Blogger Honda Crf said...

I was wonderin if a 6 foot wooden fence would be ok and if a pool in the middle of their fenced-in space would be a problem. also what do you do with the hair they shed after you brush them?

 
At 1:49 PM, Blogger Alex Henderson said...

Fantastic post . My parents have had 2 Huskys in the past since I was growing up. I am now 24 and own my own Siberian husky. Me and my boyfriend got him when he was 2 months old and I trained him straight away. He is so clever and I am more the dominant one rather than my boyfriend and I wouldn't trade him for the world. We are very lucky on how wonderful he is. I do strongly agree with this post. I have watched my parents bring up huskies and it is true when they say it takes certain people to handle them. Some people don't realise that getting a husky isn't all about the look they have. They have to be dedicated to the maintenance of the breed. Great post that a lot of people who want these dogs needs to read

 

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