10 Things to Know Before Adopting a Siberian Husky

Huskies are energetic and affectionate.

Huskies are energetic and affectionate.

Siberian huskies make excellent companions for people who understand and meet their unique needs. With a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, a husky can be a valuable member of your family for a long time.

Living Conditions

If you live in an apartment, you might want to wait to adopt a Siberian husky unless you can give the dog plenty of exercise. A house with a large, fenced yard is best for this breed, as long as you don't care about your lawn or garden -- these dogs dig.

Exercise

Siberian huskies have a ton of energy, need daily exercise and can make great workout buddies. If you don’t have a large yard where the dog can run, figure on walking or jogging with him every day, but go easy during warm weather.

Preparing the Yard

Before you adopt a Siberian husky, thoroughly escape-proof your yard, because this breed likes to roam and explore. You should have a fence that's at least six feet high, solidly built, with wire or concrete barriers below the fence to prevent the dog from digging out.

Preventing Escape

Never let a Siberian husky off-leash at the park or during a walk, because she's likely to run away. This doesn't mean she's disloyal or dislikes you; the breed simply enjoys exploring and roaming around. If you adopt a husky, get her microchipped at the vet, and make sure she always wears a tag with her name, your name and your contact information.

Optimal Climate

Siberian huskies do well in cool climates but can become uncomfortable and even dangerously ill in heat. If you live somewhere hot, provide plenty of shade outside and have effective air-conditioning inside. During the summer, you may need to exercise your dog early in the morning or late in the evening, or find ways to challenge his body and mind indoors.

Shedding

Because of their thick fur, Siberian huskies can shed a lot, especially in warm climates and seasons. Twice a year, they spend a week or more shedding very heavily. Plan on vacuuming frequently, brushing your dog at least daily and sharing your home with clumps of fur.

Leadership

Siberian huskies have been bred to work with a leader. You need to be that leader, or else the dog will take over. Training and obedience classes can help you establish a hierarchy with you and your partner at the top. If you can’t provide consistency and clarity in your leadership, a Siberian husky probably isn’t the dog for you.

Other Pets

Siberian huskies have such strong predatory instincts that smaller pets -- such as cats, birds, rabbits and ferrets -- often aren’t safe sharing a home with them. Huskies can get along well with dogs of other breeds, but it varies by individual.

Temperament

Siberian huskies are friendly, playful, intelligent and easily bored. If you and your partner are away from home for more than eight hours a day, you might do better with a different breed, because huskies can be destructive and overly hyper when they don’t get enough activity. They might also howl if they feel neglected. Because they're so friendly and rarely bark, they're not usually good guard dogs.

Appetite

With their high energy, you might think Siberian huskies eat a lot -- but you'd be wrong. In fact, you might be surprised at how little food they need.

 

Photo Credits

  • Portrait of a siberian husky puppy image by rgbspace from Fotolia.com