Read this before you get a Husky.
Huskies are indeed a striking breed and much admired by dog lovers the world over; but in recent times, both here in the UK and in the United States, the numbers of abandoned huskies have risen at an alarming rate. While Huskies look soft and cuddly, they are quite a demanding breed and many people are unaware of just exactly how much commitment they require.
Unfortunately, television shows such as ‘Game of Thrones’ have popularized the husky to the extent that many more people have been encouraged to own one. Unfortunately, people buy them without realising the commitment required in owning one. Huskies are strikingly beautiful animals, but as pets they can also be challenging; particularly for first time dog owners.
In April this year, the Blue Cross reported that the number of abandoned huskies had been steadily rising over the past few years. With the right environment and up-bringing huskies make good pets, but Holidays4Dogs offers a few things to think about before rushing out to purchase a husky puppy.
All dogs need daily exercise, but huskies are bred to race and as such their energy levels can be through the roof! As sled dogs, they are capable of running hundreds of miles over rough terrain, so a half hour walk around the block is not going to cut it. Once fully grown, an adult husky requires at least two hours of exercise and without this, owners may very well find they have a bored and frustrated dog on their hands – and this can lead to undesirable behaviours such as barking and howling, destructiveness within the home and general exuberance.
Northern Inuit breeds like huskies thrive on the company of other dogs – they have been bred to work in packs and they can be miserable (and destructive) if they are left alone for long periods. They need a lot of socialization and an active life to thrive, so if your time is limited, a husky may not be the right choice for you.
Huskies have a very strong predatory drive and as such can be unpredictable off the lead. Many huskies have to stay on the lead for most, if not all, of the time because of their innate desire to run and because of their chase instinct. As such, huskies make excellent companions for biking, (bikejoring) or cani- cross, so if you are athletic yourself and already enjoy these activities, a husky would be a good companion.
Huskies are also excellent escape artists and need a secure garden with suitably high fencing. They can climb and dig and if fencing is not secure enough and they spot the neighbours cat, they could be away in the blink of an eye. If they have also not had enough exercise, this could become a persistent problem.
Lastly, while huskies look cute and fluffy they shed like there is no tomorrow! They need daily attention with regards to grooming and you will need to invest in a super dooper vacuum cleaner too – see our other Holidays4Dogs article for recommendations! The only upside to all that dog hair floating around is that some owners say the thick arctic fur of the husky carries less of a doggy odour than other breeds.
If you have oodles of time, patience and a very active lifestyle – a husky could be just the ticket – but it is important to be honest about this; otherwise you may just regret buying a husky pup that turns into a non-stop running machine!