The default answer to ‘Do Siberian Huskies make good pets?’ is…no. But with such a generic question, you are liable to a generic answer.
It’s not wether they make good pets, but can they be good pets? To which the answer is of course, yes…absolutely.
If you are considering bringing a husky in to your life, you might first want to do-away with the typical understanding of what makes a ‘good pet’ – as almost all huskies will fail in some of these criteria. Here we’ve compiled a short-list of the key differences you can expect to see from a Siberian Husky, over a traditional pet-breed.
The Affection Paradigm
Siberian Huskies are often referred to as being unaffectionate, sometimes cat-like. Whilst true in some circumstances, it’s not a trait that’s set in stone.
It’s always important to remember, that every dog is different. So no matter how much you read, it wouldn’t be possible to accurately predict the temperament of any one in particular.
In our experiences, male huskies tend to lean toward the more affectionate – but also the more boisterous overall. Females are often cited as tilting toward the more distant and cat-like – but this is very much a generalisation.
Separation anxiety is a huge issue with many breeds, however with huskies it often leads to extended behavioural issues. Huskies certainly do not deal well with being left alone for long periods of time – if they have a strong bond with other dogs in the home, their collective company can be enough to help them deal with your absence positively, but this is not a given.
Run, run, run…
Thousands of years of breeding for the most enthusiastic runners won’t be disappearing any time soon. Whilst there are a few examples of huskies that don’t want to run, they are certainly the 1%. Running a husky in suitable conditions is so beneficial to their physical and mental wellbeing, it would be safe to assume that running your dog is an absolute must.
The Great Escape
Siberian Huskies are natural born escape artists. Their reasons for escaping are often unclear, although a lack of exercise, a need to run and a high prey-drive are all frequently-sighted contributors. Regardless of how much you provide for their needs; you should always implement the extra security required to contain even the most determined escape artists. Many breed-specific rescues sight the need for a 6ft garden-perimeter as a minimum – although the most agile dogs have been known to scale an 8ft wall with relative ease.
The Caviar, please…
Siberian Huskies are without doubt very fussy eaters. Whilst it may not be the most expensive brand of dog-food they desire, it can take some time to work out what works best for both their appetite, and their stomachs. Click here to read our article on what to feed your Siberian Husky.
Follow The Leader
Huskies are born to pull. And there is no escaping that. They are happiest doing what their ancestors have done for thousands of years, and that is being in-front and pulling all the way. Whilst there are a number of products available that claim to prevent dogs from pulling, very few are effective against the natural urges of a sled-dog. It’s worth considering early-on that being pulled is a way of life for a husky-owner, and your efforts should be focused on how to achieve this is a safe and manageable way.
Not tonight, I’m washing my…husky
Once your unique bond with your dog has set in, it is very likely to have a huge affect on your social life. You may not think it now, but you will quickly become that person that stays in because they don’t want to leave their dog on their own. It may sound unhealthy for the inexperienced – but this is the reality for many.
One Husky, Two Husky, Three Husky, Four
It’s always advisable to discuss the real-life ownership of any breed with people that have been doing it for years. In the case of huskies, you’d be surprised with the number of long-term owners that have several of them. In no uncertain terms, they are addictive. It doesn’t matter how much you tell yourself now that you only ever want X number of dogs – that number can quickly rise once a husky takes over your life.
So…can you deal with that?
Don’t kid yourself in to thinking non of the above will be difficult to manage or that they won’t change your life in a huge way – because they absolutely will.
Provided you can manage their requirements responsibly, Siberian Huskies can make the best companions in life.