Originally bred to pull sleds in nordic climates, Siberian huskies are highly affectionate and energetic. Like all breeds, Siberian huskies have unique character traits that make them endearing and challenging. While no breed of dog is inherently more difficult, certain husky traits can be challenging if your lifestyle doesn't fit his needs.
The Siberian husky was bred to run for dozens of miles in one stretch without tiring. Without sufficient exercise, huskies will become destructive indoors or get lost after escaping the yard for a run. If you're a marathon runner or an avid bicyclist, the husky's energy level makes him a suitable fit for an exercise partner. If, however, you prefer exercising indoors or enjoy the occasional brisk power walk, the husky is probably not the right fit for you.
The Siberian husky's plush double coat is made up of very soft fine hairs. This means husky's shed constantly. Unlike Labrador retrievers, or other single-coat shedding breeds, the husky's downy fine fur falls out in large clumps, creating tumbleweeds of hair in your home. The downy-like hairs from the husky's undercoat also stick to everything from furniture to clothing. Regular brushing and grooming will reduce the shedding, but those with a low tolerance for stray fur will find huskies to be high maintenance.
Because Siberian huskies were bred to exist cooperatively with other dogs and humans, they don't do well being home alone during the day or isolated from the family. For this reason, huskies are best suited for families where at least one person is home during the day. Although a husky who's left alone won't bark, they are likely to howl. This can be problematic if your neighbors live nearby. In addition to howling, lonely huskies become bored quickly, which can lead to destructive habits when you're not home.
Even if you have a large well-fenced yard, and even if your husky gets regular exercise, his natural instinct will be to escape and run. This means digging up your flower beds and tunneling under the fence. The urge to break out of a confined space and run in the open is one of the primary reasons huskies end up in shelters as stray dogs. The lightening speed of even a young husky puppy puts him at risk for injury if he decides to take off on his own.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.