Husky Temperament: What’s it Like Owning One?

Huskies seem like they have a chill temperament. After all, they are an arctic dog, but what are they really like? If you haver ever wanted to know what it is really like to own a husky read on!

So, what is it really like to own a husky? Most husky owners have a blast with their wolf-like dog companions. Their high energy and fun-loving nature keeps things interesting, but owning a husky is not for the faint of heart. Huskies tend to be independent thinkers and like to escape from their homes to conduct wacky escapades on their own.

 If you are thinking about owning a husky, make sure you know the ins and outs of the breed before you bite off more than you can chew.

Huskies are beautiful dogs, but they have a dark side. If you aren’t strong willed and consistent your husky will take advantage of you and may even escape. Let’s take a look at what it’s really like to own a train a husky.

Owning a Husky: What’s it Like?

Let me start off by saying how much I love this breed of dog. Not only are they strong and intelligent, but they are also the friendliest dog out there.

Owning a husky has been compared to parenting an especially rambunctious toddler. They are chock full of energy and never seem to shut their mouths.

Owning a husky isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t recommended that first-time dog owners get a Husky, due to their stubbornness.

In order to really understand what it’s like owning a husky, let’s look at a few different aspects of the breed. Mainly:

  • Personality
  • Trainability
  • Health

Let’s jump right in and take a closer look at the temperament of the Siberian husky.

Personality

Huskies are like the Disney Land employees of the dog world. It’s almost like they are paid to be happy and smiling all the time.

Huskies are famous for their ability to get along with children. They make excellent family dogs. It has been said that huskies are often mischevous like young children as well.

But owning a husky isn’t always fun and games. Let’s look at the best and worst things about a huskies temperament.

Best Things About Huskies

  • Huskies are always energetic. There is nothing more fun than coming home after work to an energetic husky. These little guys fly off their beds to greet you whenever you come through the door. Huskies are always down to go on walks or play fetch. They make excellent friends to any energetic kid you may have around the house. Which leads me to my next point…
  • Huskies are the BEST family dogs. Boy oh boy, do huskies get along with families. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Huskies were bred to be pack animals. Even today, Huskies pull large sleds across the frozen tundra, cooperating with their incredible pack instincts to carry out difficult jobs. This pack mentality transfers to their new, human family as well. For that reason, Huskies get along with children, adults, and even other dogs. Be careful though, a huskies friendly attitude makes them lousy guard dogs.
  • Huskies are super smart. Any dog can sit or roll over, but how many dogs do you know that can pull a huge sled? And that’s just the beginning of their great tricks. Huskies can be a tricky breed to train, but if you know how to make them work, they can do all sorts of cool things. If you want a smart working dog, then a husky is right for you.
  • Huskies are clean. This one is a huge perk. Huskies generally don’t smell. They are what is called a “natural” breed, meaning they don’t need to be bathed all that often. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, huskies only need to be bathed a few times a year. Weekly brushes will help stop shedding, but other then that, these dogs are good to go. Are you the type of person that loves dogs, but hates constantly cleaning one? Then try out a husky!

So, there are a lot of great things about huskies but what about the things that around so great. Nobody is perfect and the husky is no exception. Let’s take a look at the worst things about a husky.

Worst Things About Huskies

  • Huskies are always energetic. I know this was a good thing like 5 seconds ago, but it really is a double-edged sword. A huskies fun playful nature is great until you feel like sitting down to relax. It can be hard to sit down and watch TV with a fully grown 60 lb husky jumping on you every 5 min. Really, 9 out of 10 times it is a good thing, but that 1 time you would rather sit and relax is where huskies can be really annoying. Of course, huskies are far less likely to be annoying if you train them right and give them the exercise that they need.
  • Huskies like to run away. Don’t take it personally if your husky tries to hop over your fence and escape. If Great Danes are the “Apollos of the dog world” then Huskies are the Harry Houdinis. These mischevious dogs have a reputation for hopping fences and gallivanting on their own through the countryside. Make sure you take the necessary precautions and have a 6-foot high fence around your property so your husky can’t escape. He could get lost or hurt out on his own.
  • Huskies are stubborn. Have you ever seen someone get a boulder to do a trick? Neither have I, but that’s what it can feel like sometimes trying to get a husky to listen. Huskies are extremely proud and strong-willed. They don’t like to take orders, and it can be hard for an experienced trainer to control them. If you lack experience with dogs, it might be a good idea to hold off on getting a husky until you get a little more experience.
  • Huskies like to bark. These guys are chattier than a 7-year-old full of coffee. The energy that comes shooting off of these guys comes in many forms. They run around and play, but they also bark their little doggy heads off. This problem can be controlled if you are an effective trainer, but the novice may find it difficult to temper. Make sure that your husky has plenty of company. A lonely husky is much more likely to bark than a well-socialized one.

Now that you know a thing or to about how a husky acts, let’s look and see how easy these guys are to train.

Trainability

Huskies are free thinkers. Something that we usually encourage in others, but it can be a pain in the butt when the message is take to heart. Huskies have adopted the free-thinking mentality and have decided to not take nothin’ from nobody.

They do what they want and tend not to listen to their owners.

If you are thinking of owning a husky, but have never trained a dog before, consider getting a more trainable breed first. Either that or be willing to fork over some money for a training school.

Of course, if you are determined to train your husky puppy, here is a crash course of how to do it.

Be the Pack Leader

Huskies are used to working in teams. On a sled, the lead dog calls the shots and the other dogs listen. You need to become the lead dog or your puppy is going to start calling the shots.

Pro Tip: Don’t yell at your dog or become angry. Overzealous behavior like this can cause your dog to lose respect. Always be calm, but firm.

Get the Right Collar

Believe it or not, a collar can go a long way in helping you keep your dog under control. I recommend getting the Petsafe Martingale collar. It is adjustable so you can find the perfect fit for your husky and won’t dig into his skin. One little tug on this collar is a nice way of helping your dog remember that he needs to behave himself. Trust me, it could help you out a lot.

Be Firm and Consistent

Huskies are adorable and there is no way to deny it, but the worst thing you could do is reward your husky for being stubborn. If you give your dog a command and he sits there with his nose in the air, don’t give him any attention.

Any attention, even the yelling and screaming kind, could be misread as positive.

Pro Tip: Try using praise as a reward instead of treats. Praising your dog is usually just as effective and less expensive than a dog treat.

Teach Your Dog Where to Do His Business

House-breaking any animal is difficult, but Huskies seem to find particular joy eliminating in your house. Training a husky to go outdoors requires a lot of patience and awareness.

Start by familiarizing your dog with his bathroom area. Let him sniff around and understand that it is “his”.

Look for the signs that your dog has to go (sniffing, pacing, lifting a leg, etc.) and immediately hurry him to his spot.

Say loudly and clearly your bathroom command. It can be something like, “go potty” or “tinkle time”. Personally, I prefer “business time” as my command. It feels more dignified.

Getting this right requires patience. Your dog won’t get it right the first few times. Be persistent and your dog is sure to become a potty pro! Or a “business” pro. More dignified.

Pro Tip: Play a game right after your husky goes in the right place. This will help affirm to him that he has done a good thing.

Teach Your Husky the Basic Commands

If you ever want to teach your husky to bring you a newspaper or play dead you will need to teach him the basic commands first. The basic dog commands are as follows:

  • Stay
  • Sit
  • Come
  • Heel

Once your dog has mastered these 4 commands he will be able to take on almost anything.

Teaching your dog these commands is simple but it isn’t easy. Start by getting your dog’s attention with a treat. Repeat the command firmly and clearly and only give your dog the treat when he complies.

Remember, don’t give your dog any attention until he listens. If your dog is being stubborn, the best thing to do is walk away. Removing yourself from your huskies presence is usually punishment enough.

Training a husky isn’t easy, but it can be done. Keep at it and your husky is sure to listen.

Now that we have devoted some time to what it is like to train a husky, let’s look at what their health is like.

Health

Understanding a dog’s health is key to understanding what it will be like to care for the dog. Some breeds naturally have more health problems and will require that the owner be heavily involved in grooming the animal.

Other breeds are more self-sufficient and require minimal help and the part of the owner staying clean and healthy, so what about huskies?

Are Huskies Usually Healthy?

Luckily huskies are a relatively healthy breed. Huskies are somewhat prone to cataracts at an early age, so it isn’t a bad idea to have their eyes checked when they reach about a year in age.

Huskies may also develop dental problems. You can keep the problem down with a weekly brushing with dog safe toothpaste.

The American Kennel Club recommends you give the dog both a hip screening and a Ophthalmologist Evaluation.

But overall your husky should be healthy.

Grooming

Huskies shed a ton but only two times a year. In the spring and fall a husky will “blow” its coat which basically means it leaves its fur all over your nice carpeted floors. Like, all of its fur.

To lessen the impact of “blowing” brush your huskies fur at least once a week. This will make the inevitable less miserable.

Pay special attention to your husky’s nails. They will need to be short, but not too short. If the nails get too long, it could lead to some pretty serious foot injuries so make sure you keep a close eye on that.

I mentioned it earlier in the article, but Huskies only need to be bathed a few times every year. They are excellent at cleaning themselves and hardly have a “dog smell” at all. All of your house guests will thank you for that.

Nutrition

Huskies require a high protein diet in order to remain healthy and strong. If your dog is working in a harness, he will need extra protien.

The American Kennel Club recommends giving your husky a diet at least 20% protein in its off months, or 32% protein while working. A high protein diet is essential for your dog’s skin and coat.

Exercise

Siberian huskies were bred to be working dogs and are happy when they have something to do. Huskies like to run any moment they can so make sure you give them ample opportunity.

Consider training your dog to compete in a dog show, or take daily strolls through the park to give them the exercise they need.

Related Questions:

Are Huskies good family dogs? Huskies live great with families. They get along famously with children of all ages and are loyal to adults. Huskies even prefer to be in the company of other dogs so are a great choice for a family that already has a couple of animals.

Are Huskies good guard dogs? Although these animals may look like ferocious wolves, they actually are too nice to be effective guard dogs. Huskies can get along with anyone and I mean anyone. If an intruder were to walk in, your family’s husky probably wouldn’t care. Best to go for another breed if you are looking for a guard dog.

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