Coming from the brother of a husky, I have an opportunity to shed (ha) some light on the peculiarity of this breed and some of the necessities required to give your husky the life she deserves.
A husky requires special attention and needs certain things to increase their quality of life including:
- Daily exercise
- Daily brushing
- Lots of attention
- Chew toys
- Daily mental stimulation
- Firm training
- Patience from their humans
A husky is an exceptional dog breed, fully capable of living a wonderful life that adds value to your family on a daily basis.
As I have mentioned before, I’ve lived with a husky sister since she was 5 weeks old. As I’m writing this she’s now 3 years old. I think this hands on experience more than warrants adequate knowledge, worthy of sharing. This is insider information that you’re unlikely to find in any other husky article. However, the choice to continue reading my little piece of content is completely up to you.
Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.
If I were forced to rank these 7 husky necessities, daily exercise would be number one.
Huskies are generally a high energy breed which is what makes them exceptional sled dogs. This is also what makes them chew holes straight through your walls when left alone at home all day.
If they’re not allowed to exert some of that energy through productive means, it will inevitably come out in less desirable forms.
At the bare minimum, your husky will need at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. Are you a jogger? Should you probably start jogging? Or has the thought never crossed your mind?
I only ask because huskies make excellent running partners and can hold you accountable to your human weight loss goals at the same time.
Huskies also love play dates. Meet up with another high energy pup and let them roll it out in the park.
Trust me when I say, a tired husky is a well behaved husky.
If you have never owned a husky, I’m not sure how to adequately explain the amount of hair that continuously falls out and off of these things.
I actually wrote an entire article on this very topic. I’ll link it here in case you’re interested in diving in a bit deeper.
Regardless, you are one-hundred and fifty percent going to need to invest in a high quality dog grooming brush and use it every single day.
You think I’m joking. I’m absolutely not.
Huskies have two coats which only intensifies during shedding season, and also conveniently never seems to end. Sure, it’s worse as the seasons change, but there’s never a point in time where husky hair doesn’t adorn your house walls and pile up in corners.
The good news to all of this grooming? Huskies don’t need many baths. At all. Like ever.
You can get away with bathing your husky once per year thanks to this ridiculous coat – so if ever there was a silver lining, I suppose this would be it.
Lots of Attention
While huskies do have a tendency to be relatively independent, they are pack animals and do not fair well on their own. Huskies love puppy siblings.
Especially if you work full time and don’t have the ability to spend the majority of the days with your husky. Sure, the need for attention can tie into both cognitive stimulation and daily exercise, but the issue remains.
A husky needs both physical and mental stimulated attention to progress and adapt normally as they age.
Is your husky whining constantly? This could be a sign they’re not being properly and consistently stimulated.
Tips for giving your husky loads of attention:
- Let them sleep with you – this allows them to spend all night with you.
- Create a morning routine for your husky that involves human / dog engagement. For example, every morning after you take your husky outside, come in and have them sit and give you a good howdy before you give them a treat. Do this every day.
- Make an effort to invite them up beside you on the couch while you watch tv or read a book at night. Are they not allowed on the couch? Then get on the floor with them for at least 15 minutes.
- Make it a priority to buy your husky a new toy at least one time every 3 weeks. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but huskies love exploring new toys.
- Start a routine of brushing them every single day. This is two-fold. One, it gives you and your husky time together. And two, it helps to minimize their shedding issues.
Start with these if you’re initially at a loss for time and ideas. These are easy enough to implement into your daily routine without carving out any extra time.
Another commonly known trait of a husky, aside from their shedding and energy levels is their ability to chew – everything.
Want to test the structural integrity of any toy on the market? Give it to a husky.
Keep everything off the floor and out of sight from your husky if you don’t want it to end up in your husky’s poop later that day. I’ve seen more pieces of underwear come out in Callie’s poop than a cocker spaniel should ever have to see.
Get your husky lots of toys. From bones to stuffed animals. Make them accessible and readily available to your husky. Scatter them all over the floor and don’t complain about the mess to me.
This ensures they have plenty of options when they’re feeling extra ‘chewy’.
It’s important to note that the ability of a husky to chew things will double as a form of mental stimulation for your dog.
Allow me to explain the importance of mental engagement as a form of productive stimulation for your husky in the following section.
Stay with me, you guys are doing great!
Daily Mental Stimulation
You’ve heard the saying, idle hands, blah blah, something about the devil’s work?
I’m a dog.
I can’t remember the saying.
This is the same situation. If you’re husky is bored and lacking consistent cognitive stimulation, they’ll inevitable stir up a hearty helping of trouble for their humans.
Talking to your dog can be one of the most influential initiatives you could ever hope to integrate into their life.
Oh! That reminds me.
I have another post I wrote on the benefits of talking to your dog. I’ll link it here for you to read through in your spare time.
Anyway, the only way to break a husky of their stubborn intentions is to stimulate their mind and expand their cognitive reach by talking to them, training them, and having IQ toys at their disposal every single day.
There are no exceptions here.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, “a tired dog is a good dog”.
Well, what you didn’t know was this was written about huskies.
What I’m trying to explain is that huskies require copious amounts of not only physical (which we discussed previously) but mental stimulation in order to cause a natural fatigue that will allow for comprehensive comfort, relaxation, and wellbeing.
Don’t think you can take your dog on a daily jog with you and call it a day. The physicality of the run is only half of the husky recipe for daily engagement.
Next comes the mental part.
- Teach them a new trick.
- Tell them a story (seriously, this is good for them).
- Give them toys with treats hidden in them.
- Work on one word commands.
Don’t over think this part. The mental stimulation needs to be focused on your husky – not you. 🙂
I briefly alluded to the fact that huskies can be independent, but I should also inform you that these dogs are extremely stubborn. The best way to combat their stubbornness is through firm commands and consistent training.
If you think you’ll be able to get your point across with nonchalant name recognition commands and a few treats when it comes to husky obedience, you’ve got another thing coming to you.
I’ve literally watched my mom sit right beside Callie and call her name multiple times as Callie refuses to take the time to turn her head (or move at all for that matter).
Let me be very clear here.
Firm is NOT synonymous with bossy or mean.
Firm means assertive and intentional. This does two things: shows your husky that you mean business and teaches without confusion or uncertainty.
Aside from being firm in your husky obedience training, you must be consistent. Huskies (all dogs actually) learn through repetition and consistency.
Patience From Their Humans
A combination of excessive shedding, high energy, and stubbornness can create a lack of patience nightmare for some husky human parents.
Don’t fall victim here.
Understanding your husky and their temperament is essential to successfully training them to live a better, more trusted, free, and interactive life with you.
This is mutually beneficial. You won’t be stressed out and they won’t be clueless.
A husky’s stubbornness will play right into a short tempered human’s trap – and not in a good way.
Let me explain.
Attempting to teach or train a husky to do something or NOT to do something will only work if you lead with patience. You will be tested with blatant disregard from a strong willed dog.
If a husky isn’t in the mood to listen, nothing you say or do will change that. If you lose your temper you will only compound on their behavior and make it worse.
When you are confronted with this type of reaction from your husky in response to a training session, it’s best to walk away for the day.
Don’t make the issue worse by feeding into the bad or nonchalant behavior your husky is displaying.
If you stop paying attention to them and remove the positive reinforcement, they’ll soon understand that this kind of behavior gets them nowhere – and certainly gets them no more treats.
Patience is a virtue, humans. Whether you’re dealing with 5 o’clock traffic or huskies – gather all the patience beforehand so you’ll be better prepared for what will more than likely be thrown your way.
Go slow but be persistent in your continuous pursuit of husky excellence.
This is by no means a husky warning, but rather a husky check list to better prepare you and your family for adoption.
I personally love my husky sister.
Can she be annoying? Of course. What sister isn’t?
Can she be wild? Of course. What sister isn’t.
Can she be stubborn and make our parents mad? Of course. What sister can’t?
Just stick with me, humans. I’ll teach you the canine ways.
In the meantime, continue to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often.
Love you guys,
P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.
Is a Husky High Maintenance?
Siberian Huskies are considered a high maintenance breed.
They are predisposed to shed a lot of hair which requires daily brushing and continuous house cleaning.
Huskies are also high energy dogs and will need at least 30 intense minutes of exercise every day.
Aside from the physical stimulation needed, cognitive engagement is also required. They need consistent training and stimulating dog toys to keep them preoccupied while you’re away from home.
If you’re thinking about brining a husky into your home as a first dog, perhaps you should start here: Is a Siberian Husky a good first dog?
Siberian Husky Temperament
A husky’s temperament is playful, gentle, and friendly with accompanying outgoing characteristics.
I wrote another article further detailing husky temperament and what it’s actually like living with one.
If you’re at all curious, you can read more here: Husky temperament – what it’s like living with one.
This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.