Siberian Husky Puppies are irresistably cute. The adults are also stunningly beautiful with their thick coats, blue, brown or multi-coloured eyes, and facial masks.
As my friend and husky expert Dorothy from the Five Sibes Blog says “To look into a husky’s eyes is to fall in love”.
They are currently very popular because of Game of Thrones (they look a bit like the dire wolf dogs but are NOT) and other media. However we believe it is important to encourage people to do their research before getting a pet and not just look at the appearance.
We have been hearing about a huge increase in the number of Siberian Huskies ending up in shelters and rescues or being rehomed online recently.
As the recent educational post and educational campaign on Five Sibes quotes, according to PETA, the number of huskies abandoned to shelters and rescues just in the UK has gone up over 400% since Game of Thrones started airing. The numbers are probably even higher in the US.
Find out more below, to see if huskies could be the right dog breed for you before you get one.
We thought it would be a good idea to review the pros and cons of owning a Siberian Husky with our expert friend Jess from the gorgeous celebrity Huskies at Gone to the Snow Dogs (plus get some other cool behind the scenes info) at Canadian Pet Expo.
Interview with Gone to The Snow Dogs
As research and responsible pet care education can not start too early, I asked Ashley, one of the stars of Kids’ Pet Club, to interview Jess and Memphis the Husky at Canadian Pet Expo. Ashley has always wanted a husky and is a big fan of Gone to the Snow Dogs.
Jess recently warned people in a post : “Siberian Huskies are amazing dogs for the right people BUT…… Siberian Huskies are NOT the dog for everyone. They are NOT an “easy” breed to own. So if you are considering getting a husky, STOP AND THINK! Maybe adopt an older one. Maybe try FOSTERING one or volunteering with a rescue before you commit. There are SO many right now that people are just giving up on, and it’s NOT FAIR to the breed.”
Postive Siberian Husky Breed Traits
Loving and Loyal
Siberian Huskies usually love their humans and can be very affectionate and loyal. They enjoy attention and can be very playful and loving.
They often get along well with other dogs, especially huskies, as long as socialized well early. They like to be part of the family.
If you have the time, energy, budget and lifestyle to commit to loving, training and caring for them plus an appropriate space to keep them, they can be incredible pets. They can be great with older kids and even make wonderful therapy dogs like our friends Icy and Cathy – see their story here.
Huskies can be very smart and learn behaviours with practise, positive reinforcement and good motivation (food, attention, toys). Find out in the video how Jess trains and which are Memphis and Shelby’s favorite treats.
High energy fun
Huskies are a great breed if you are active and love going for long walks and/or runs and getting outside. Jess takes her dogs camping, hiking, sledding and on all sorts of adventures.
Huskies were often bred to pull sleds and love a job.
Beautiful and Clean
Huskies are very beautiful and also keep themselves and their area clean (although they do enjoy playing outside in snow and water and they do shed).
Possible Challenges of Owning a Siberian Husky
They are extremely smart but not necessarily easy to train. Like all dogs, they require early good socialization and consistent positive reinforcement training. They are STUBBORN, so when you think you have them figured out, they are really just testing you, and will STILL find a way to drive you crazy. Jess recommends working with an experienced professional dog trainer if you get a husky puppy.
NEED Mental and Physical Exercise
They NEED Exercise, they NEED mental stimulation, they NEED to work! They are not a couch potato breed that can just sit and do nothing. They love hiking and running so they need people with an active lifestyle. A bored Husky with pent-up energy may turn to destructive or problem behaviors. Jess takes her dogs out to exercise every single day.
They also NEED companionship. Most of them do better if you have another HUSKY or dog in the house. You need to have time to spend with them too.
They Dig – A Lot
Jess told us that her newest family member, adorable little puppy Kira, has already started to dig. She has some good teachers with Memphis and Shelby.
They are frequently nicknamed “Houdini dogs” as they seem to have a desire to escape, explore and run. They should not be left unsupervised or off leash where they can possibly run away. A smart, athletic Husky can jump over a six-foot fence. If they can’t go over, they may look for other ways to get out and roam.
They Shed- A Lot.
I thought Kilo the Pug shed a lot until I saw posts of the Snow Dogs “blowing” their coats. Yikes!
Built for cold climates, huskies have both an undercoat and topcoat. They usually “blow” their coats in the spring and fall. The undercoat sheds as the new topcoat grows in. It lasts for about three weeks and hair gets everywhere as you can see in the video above and on their channel.
Many huskies have a strong instinctive prey drive. They often like to chase and capture small animals so they may not do well with cats or rabbits and other smaller furry pets. However there are exceptions. See the story of friends @LiloTheHusky and Rosie the Kitten Here
Final Advice from Jess from Gone to the Snow Dogs about getting a Husky.
“BACKYARD BREEDERS and PUPPY MILLS SUCK!! Try Fostering or Adopting from Rescues or go to A GOOD Responsible Reputable breeder. They will take their dogs back if a family they sold a pup to can no longer be cared for. And THEY will do the grunt work of finding them a new home. BUT with Responsible breeders, THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN OFTEN, since they SCREEN all potential puppy buyers, with long contracts and interviews.
So please, if you really think this is the breed for you, go spend time with a few and see if you change your mind. Foster one or Rescue an older one. But please, don’t get one because they “look like wolves” or because you “love Game of Thrones” or for any other stupid reason. Get one because you did the research and you are prepared to commit the next 12 -15 years of your life living with a cute Toddler in their Terrible Twos. . . no joke. . . that’s about what it’s like.”
Thank you Jess for sharing your insights and you can see more of her family and their adventures here youtube.com/Gonetothesnowdogs
Here is one of the Gone to the Snow Dogs latest videos – Making DIY training treats for Kira the husky puppy.
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