The only times I’ve seen a Husky, their owners are college age or older. So, what about kids? With their large stature and wolf-like appearance, would a husky be able to get along with children?
Are Huskies good with kids?
Huskies have friendly, good-natured personalities, which helps them get along everyone, including small children. Huskies are a breed whose needs are seen as a little high-maintenance. They require vigorous training, but their love of other dogs and general indifference to people make them ideal family dogs.
Now that we’ve got the short answer out of the way, let’s talk in depth about what it means to own a Husky, including the positives that come with owning them and the potential negatives that future dog owners and parents should be aware of.
(As a disclaimer, most of my research will be on the most common breed of Husky, the Siberian Husky.)
A Husky’s Temperament
A Husky has an even temperament, so you don’t need to worry about them switching moods suddenly or becoming volatile.
Like all dogs, Huskies are very loving in nature. They’re pack dogs, so they can befriend just about anyone, even children. They won’t bark at trespassers, so there’s no risk of them frightening your kids with sudden loud barking, and they are adaptable to any situation.
For example, if you’re bringing home a baby, it’s still important to introduce the concept to a Husky beforehand, but it will be slightly easier for them to adapt than most breeds.
Even older Huskies can be puppies at heart. They have great excitement for life, and even if they’ve been outside a thousand times, each time feels like the first. They are incredibly outgoing and love to have fun.
So, if you have young kids, then they will share the same fascination of life as a Husky. They’ll both have a buddy to play with!
They are very reliable, and they have a high level of energy that can match your child’s, especially if they are more hyper; you can watch them tire each other out.
I want to put extra emphasis on “watch.” Always keep an eye on your child when they’re playing with a Husky or any other dog. Huskies like to use their mouths, including nipping while playing.
Huskies Around Your Infant
While children might be a little more prepared against Siberian Huskies, infants are more vulnerable and can’t do a whole lot.
A Husky will still express love and affection towards your infant, but it is very important that you teach them how to behave around your newborn.
If you are expecting and you have a Husky, then you need to take measures to help them be prepared when there is a new addition in the house. It is not recommended to surprise any dog with the baby. The sudden change in your attention towards them will cause them to be jealous.
The sooner and more in-depth you train a Husky on how to behave around an infant, the better you’ll be prepared when you bring him or her home.
Don’t leave your infant on the floor alone with your Husky, as they could injure the baby by trying to play with them. I suggest waiting until after your dog is securely in another area, whether blocked off from the area or placed in the backyard until tummy time is over.
Raising Huskies Alongside Kids
While raising kids, you have to teach them important skills like how and where to use the bathroom and how to behave. The first few years of their life is their time to learn the difference between right and wrong, and as the parent, you help guide them along the way.
Dogs are the same way. You need to teach them.
When it comes to raising Huskies and kids at the same time, the best outcome is one that is laced with respect: the canine needs to learn how to behave around a kid, and the kid needs to learn how to treat and respect the canine.
For kids, they need to understand that tugging, pulling, or grabbing isn’t okay; for dogs, they need to learn not to bite, nip, or jump.
Huskies are a big breed. Females range from 20 to 22 inches (50 to 56 cm) and weigh between 35 to 51 pounds (16 to 23 kg), and males range from 21 to 24 inches (54 to 60 cm) and weigh between 44 to 60 pounds (20 to 27 kg).
It’s huge compared to a two-year-old, who is only half that heft. When the play turns to roughhouse, you need to be ready to stop it before someone gets hurt.
But just keep in mind that both sides mean the best, and they like each other and want to be friends. Playing and interacting with one another can strengthen their bond.
A Husky’s Needs
Aside from the obvious love and kindness that should be shown towards a Husky, they have needs that, as the owner, you need to be prepared to provide for:
Physical and Mental Exercise: Huskies are very energetic breeds, which comes from their lineage of being sled dogs, so that means adopting a lifestyle of vigorous exercise, mentally and physically. This can be done with a leash, by playing with them, and even through mushing.
(If you don’t know what mushing is, it’s a sport or transport method that is powered by dogs. The owner stands on a sled with their dog or dogs leashed to the front, and they pull the sled. Kind of like a horse-drawn carriage, except it’s pulled by dogs and it doesn’t look as elegant.)
Huskies need to stay active and mentally stimulated, which is why it’s important to include them in family activities. When a Husky gets bored, they can become mischievous or destructive, so it is crucial that you keep them occupied with plenty of attention and exercise.
Attention: How do you feel when you think you’re not getting enough attention from someone? What about your child? To get your attention, they might do something mischievous or against the rules so you will pay notice to them.
This is the same thing a dog goes through when they aren’t being given enough attention. Huskies require an enormous amount of attention.
If Huskies are not given enough attention, they will find ways to entertain themselves, including ways that are against what you have taught them.
Activities for Kids and Huskies
If you want a dog and your kids to get along with each other, the best way is to let them spend time with each other.
- Sports: Hiking, walking, soccer, whatever- sports is a simple and fun way to let your kids and dog play with each other.
- Go swimming or run through the sprinklers: There’s nothing more fun than running through the sprinklers or splashing around on a hot summer day. Kids and dogs love to play with water.
- Training: Your kids can get involved in training, too! You can make it into a game. This can help your kids build confidence and a sense of accomplishment, and your dog can get some treats!
- Crafts: Your dog can get involved in crafts. For example, you could encourage your child to decorate their collar, their food bowl (with food-safe paints) or you can press your dog’s paw into some clay and let your child paint it.
- Go to a pet-friendly park: This is a great time for your dog and kids to run around and enjoy some time in the sun.
- Fetch & Tug of War: These are classic activities that burn some energy and are fun for your dog and can be fun for your kids.
There are a bunch of other activities that your child and dog can do together: blowing bubbles, playing frisbee, reading together, even just cuddling together.
Thinking of or getting ideas for activities is really easy to do, and it means lots of fun for your family.
Costs of Raising a Husky
All right, so you’re set on getting a Husky! You’ve decided that they’re the perfect dog for you and your current and/or future children.
But like any dog, raising an animal is a big responsibility, especially financially. Before you sign the adoption papers, be sure to check if you’re equipped with the money to raise them.
Keep in mind that the average lifespan of a Husky is 12 to 15 years, so they are going to be sticking around for quite a long time.
- Initial cost: A husky puppy alone will range between $650 to $800. It’s possible to find them at cheaper prices, such as free pet sites or ads in your local paper, but it’s very risky territory, as you might get scammed into getting a puppy that is diseased, and if you have other dogs, they are at risk. Save yourself the trouble and get a puppy from a reputable breeder.
- Food: About $400 a year. While food is dependent on what you feed your Husky, I recommend quality food. Cheap, junky food is mostly corn, and won’t be healthy or beneficial to your dog. Feed them something that has higher meat and veggie content instead.
- Toys: About $50 a year. Balls, ropes, and chew toys are going to be ripped to shreds by your canine’s canines frequently.
- Snacks: About $200 a year. Snacks aren’t necessary, but they’re a great way to reward your dog during their training or for good things. Your Husky will love to learn new commands and tricks if there is an incentive involved.
- Vet Bills: If your Husky is healthy, it should cost about $250 a year from check-ups, yearly shots, and protection against worms or fleas. The cost, however, can increase if something happens to your dog, and it usually comes unexpectedly. If you choose to spay or neuter your dog, it can cost an additional $100.
That brings the total up to a whopping $13,500… and that’s only if your dog is perfectly healthy throughout its entire life. Because that most likely will not happen, that total can increase by a
This isn’t meant to scare off any first-time or inexperienced dog owners. It’s important to understand the big task that you would be taking on for the next decade, and how it will impact your wallet.
Does the Type of Breed Matter?
There isn’t one set breed of Husky- there are several. Like I said at the beginning of my article, my research was based on the Siberian Husky. But what about the other breeds? Is there a difference in temperaments? Are there some that would make good family pets and others you should steer clear from?
First, let’s talk about the different breeds of huskies in general and how they compare to a Siberian Husky:
- Alaskan Husky: While they draw their personalities from their ancestral line, they are typically affectionate and adventurous.
- Alaskan Malamute: They are taller and heavier than Siberian Huskies (23 to 25 inches and between 75 to 100 pounds). Alaskan Malamutes can be aggressive towards other dogs, but they are loyal to their owners. Because this breed as a very thick and long coat, it is important to learn how to care for them during the summer to protect them from things like heat stroke.
- Alaskan Husky: This is a breed that is very alert, and they make great companions. They weigh between 35 to 50 pounds, which is lighter than Siberians, but they are taller and faster.
Now, let’s go over the different breeds of Siberian Huskies:
- Akita: Akitas are a strong, independent breed that is affectionate towards family members while acting aloof to strangers. They are a heftier breed of Siberian Huskies, but both breeds share the same docile, faithful, and friendly temperaments.
- Samoyed: Well-bred Samoyeds are an intelligent and gentle breed. They love to be involved in the family, and they are kind towards adults and children. They are a working breed, so they can appear strong-willed, but nonetheless, they are very friendly and loyal. With this breed, they require close association and are mentally and physically unsuited for being left alone in the backyard.
- Schipperke: This breed is different from other Husky breeds, as they aren’t dogs that are used for sports, but regardless, they are still hard-working, just like the rest. They are fearless, agile, and curious, but also very friendly.
Just like the Siberian Husky, all other Husky breeds are very friendly towards people and faithful to their human companions, including small children.
Whether you decide to keep it traditional with a Siberian or get something more exotic like an Akita or a Schipperke, your Husky will love your kids unconditionally.
Would I be able to have a Husky in my apartment? Whether you’re living in a house or an apartment, a Husky can live happily, although living in an apartment can pose some big challenges. The need for daily exercise will be even more crucial, as they can’t run around in an apartment.
Are Huskies good with cats? Huskies are equipped with strong predatory instincts. While they’re friendly with other dogs and people, do not leave them alone with small animals inside and outside the home, such as cats, squirrels, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, or birds. Yes, they can learn to be cat-friendly, but most likely, you’re not watchful, your Husky will eat it.
Do Huskies shed? Also referred to as “blowing coat,” Huskies shed twice a year, in the spring when it gets warmer and before winter to prep for a thicker coat to combat the cold weather. It’s recommended to brush your Husky constantly during these “coat blowing” seasons and at least once a week after to keep the shedding under control.