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Are You Really Ready To Own a Husky?

I wasn’t sure if I was in the right place, headspace to blog this week.  With the tragedy in Ukraine, and a challenging week with Kota, my emotions have been all over the place.  Writing actually helps me, and it gives me something to put my focus on and attempt to keep things positive.  I am here and if you ever thought you might be interested in owning a husky, I’m going to give you the honest truth on whether or not you will be a good fit for the breed!  

My dog, Kota, is a husky mix.  After the DNA tests she is mostly Siberian Husky and she fits the “stereotype” of one, therefore I use her when discussing the breed.  I’ve also seen many huskies make their way through shelters, I had husky clients when I was a full time dog walker, and I have friends who own huskies.   I have experience and have learned a lot about the breed over the years.  These are my thoughts coming right from the heart.  Are YOU the right person for a Husky?  

1. You Are Extremely Active

Do you run marathons?  Do you ski?  Can you dedicate a portion of every day exercising a dog?  This is no joke – huskies are high energy!  We got Kota when she was just 4 and  half months old as a rescue from Arkansas. Up until recently (11 years),  she was fortunate to have  two walks a day, every day, no matter what the weather conditions.  We walked in blizzards and hurricanes – we didn’t miss a walk if I was home.  If you are ever lookinging for the best dog walk gear, I’m here for you!  Within weeks of her arrival as a puppy, she was running with me as I trained for the Lake Placid Half Marathon. (always ask your vet first about running about this type of training – but wait, I didn’t ask my vet – i just knew this puppy need to RUN!)

Lake Placid Half Marathon
Lake Placid Half Marathon 2011

If Kota was better with dogs, I would have joined a mushing league.  I snowshoe with her every winter, and roller blade with her in the summer.  My husband attempted “bikejoring” with her… apparently that didn’t go so well! (I was out of town so I missed the shenanigans) Skijoring is a great activity.  We hiked a lot over the years.  I hope you get my point. The husky is NOT the couch potato!  They are bred to run and pull.  They need a job for sure!  Even if it’s going out for a run a few days a week, it’s so important and will bring your Husky so much joy! 

Running with Dogs
Kota Running With My Husband - Happy Place!
Husky Puppy Running
A Husky Puppy We Fostered, Karma

2. You Are Patient

Taking training classes with a husky is a must.  The breed can also be a little bit “strong willed” and “sassy”.   They love to dig.  Please don’t take this away from them.  Be patient AND give them a spot in the yard where they can enjoy digging.  They may happily help with the gardening!  

Is your yard fenced in?  At least 6 fit?  Are your gates latched with a carabiner clip?  Huskies are escape artists. They scale fences and are smart enough to unlatch gate.  Again… patience is key!!!  You must be able to outsmart them!

KotaSmileTrail 1 of 1
Kota Strategizing Her Woods Escape

3. You Love Fur…Everywhere!

Do you love clean and spotless floors?  A Husky is NOT for you!  With a husky comes shed – lots of SHED.  I’m not sure how often one would need to vacuum to keep up with it.  I gave up on that!  You will find fur just about anywhere and everywhere.  If you tend to have company on a regular basis, keep a basket of lint rollers by the front door to hand them when they walk in.  And also let them know that black clothing is probably not the best option, especially with a light colored Husky!  If you are here at number 3, and the “shed” hasn’t scared you away, here is my recommendation for grooming:  The Furminator.  I found this to be the best tool out there!

Loki Lazy Day (1 of 1)

4. You Are OK With Small Animals “Murdered”

Huskies have a very high prey drive. The first time my dog killed a rabbit in the yard, I cried.  First of all, I could not believe that she was fast enough to catch the bunny. And once she caught it, it was a quick snap of the neck.  Not a mark was left on that bunny. The thrill of the kill!  Over the years she also killed her fair share of possums and even caught squirrels, chipmunks and mice.  Do you have small animals as pets?  Just be very aware!  (no pictures displaying this haha!) 

Huskies High Prey Drive
Ember Playing Fetch

5. You Love Cold and Winter

If you don’t love cold and winter, you will now! I didn’t love winter… until I had a Husky!  They LIVE for the cold and snow!  They come out of their shell.  Their personality changes.  That joy you see in them is infectious.  I promise you that winter WILL become your favorite season. The Husky will get you off of the couch and into the winter wonderland of the outdoors. 

Kota Snowfall
Kota Sitting In Her Element
Rufus Rock (1 of 1)
In Memory of Rufus (my neighbor's husky)

6. You Are Loving And Kind

I know, everyone who owns a dog should be loving and kind.  It’s true! Please do your research on breeds and find a dog that fits your lifestyle. I’ve volunteer in rescue for several years and I have seen quite a few huskies come through the shelters, whether strats or surrenders.  People are attracted to them.  They are beautiful dogs.  They also don’t fair well in shelters and often regress. I’ve seen too many of this breed euthanized after ending up in shelters. The enclosed spaces and lack of exercise does not help them thrive.  

They do need training, just like any other dog. Positive reinforcement is the way to go, to reinforce your bond.  Like I mentioned above, these breeds are “pullers”.  Using forceful and aversive methods like prong collars is not fair and causes pain. Allow them to pull with certain activities, and teach them to walk with you while they wear a on a secure harness.  My choice over the years has always been the Wonder Walker.  Harnesses are safe and comfortable.

Just two of the many huskies that I’ve met coming through the MSPCA Nevins Farm in Methuen, MA

Husky Gordon MSPCA
Mishka Husky MSPCA3 1 of 1

Are you in?  Are you ready for this amazing breed?  I promise you if you are “all in”, they will change your world for the better!  No regrets, here!!!

Thank you so much for stopping by this week!  This post is part of a pet photographer’s blog circle.  Click on the link at the end of each post and follow along. Next up is the wonderful Nicole Hrustyk of Pawtraits by Nicole shares portraits from her recent session with Cookie, the Afghan Hound.  Have a great weekend!  

7 thoughts on “Are You Really Ready To Own a Husky?”

  1. This should be required reading for anyone considering getting a Husky! I just have to mention, you might be the bravest human ever, to rollerblade with a Husky! I used to roller blade with my Border Collie, but since I didn’t know how to stop, I could tell her to down and I could drop the leash, whenever I was getting out of control and needed to slow down. Down is a natural thing for BCs. I would be dead if I tried roller blading with a Husky. But then, I’m not the most coordinated human. lol

  2. My boyfriend and his son LOVE huskies. Not the breed for me!

    Point #1 – NOPE – I don’t want to run, don’t want to do marathons, don’t want to go go go.
    Point #3 – fur everywhere? Nope, no thanks
    Point #5 – not particularly my favorite season – walks in subzero temps, nah not for me!

    These 3 factors alone are great reasons why I wouldn’t want to own a husky. Sure they’re great dogs for the right people, just not for me!

    A well written post! Fun to have the owner perspective!

  3. And I thought my catahoulas were a handful. Your Kota is so gorgeous I think I could put up with all the work they require. Although, my terrible knees would probably ruin most of those activities though. I did see there’s a group in Germany that’s doing bikejoring with Catahoulas though. Hmmm….

  4. Shedding? Check.
    Loves the cold? Check.
    High energy? Hard no.
    Whew! The Maremma sheepdog is the dog for me. While Bella loves to be on the go, she’s also perfectly fine with do-nothing days … as long as we’re together. You husky people are special, though!

  5. Such a great post on Huskies, they are not for the faint of heart (and it always makes me a little sad when I see one in Texas…it’s HOT down here). As a dog trainer, I do see a lot of huskies because they are so beautiful, people are attracted to them, but there’s usually a complaint that they pull horribly on the leash, to which I reply “Google Iditarod” LOL.

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