Breed Spotlight - The Siberian Husky
Each month, we will focus on a breed - and what better way to start than with The Siberian Husky.
I own two of these so seems only logical that they should be my first post.
Many have fallen in love with the wild nature and pride of huskies, but are unaware just what this breed is truly like. This is not a breed for everyone. Their beauty often drives people to purchase them, unaware of their difficult traits, which makes many Siberian Huskies prime candidates for shelters. The popularity of certain TV shows such as Game of Thrones has hugely increased the desire for this breed, with many not understanding what they were getting themselves in for!
Huskies stand between 20-24 inches tall at the withers, with males being slightly taller. Females tend to weigh between 16-23kg, and males 20-27kg, but it is common to see larger dogs these days as many have been bred with malamutes and such.
Huskies are very trainable, but it’s tricky to get them to obey commands every time. They tend to weigh up the benefits before doing things. Is there a treat that I can see? Will I get cuddles? Am I being shouted at? Did I get a treat last time? Will this be more fun than my current activity? You commonly see them actively ignoring you!
Huskies like to figure out escape routes and test them. If you leave a kitchen window open, they will be at a BBQ miles away with their “new family” before you notice. They will often enter a new area and immediately check out all the edges before they are happy.
Huskies are normally great with children and are good family dogs. They are also good with anyone, so they make rubbish guard dogs, making friends with intruders or just ignoring them completely. They are often very playful, so must be trained to know what sort of play is suitable for children, but when calm a normal husky will put up with an enormous amount of stroking and cuddling from children. The Chukchi people used to place babies in the middle of a curled up husky to keep them warm.
Huskies blow their coat twice a year, where their whole undercoat comes out. These can lure people into a false sense of security. A real coat blow lasts around 3 weeks, but some will tell you they blow twice a year for 6 months at a time!
As a puppy, a husky will trot around next to you quite obediently and may not even try and run away from your garden. This doesn’t last long though and you’ll need 6.5 foot fencing if you want to keep it out of trouble. Chain fencing is no good – they will climb this while laughing at you.
One of the biggest debated topics is about recall. Huskies do have good recall - when they want to listen. Their ability to learn recall is no different to any other breed, the problem lies in that they decide whether to obey or not. For this reason - all responsible breeders and rescues will tell you it is never safe to let your Husky off the lead unless in a secure area.
There is a great article written about this - https://siberianhuskywelfare.co.uk/why-always-on-lead/
I might be biased - but they are fantastic dogs although not for everyone. They have so much personality, so much love to give and really are a breed of their own. As the RSPCA said to me when I adopted Alaska - 'If you want a dog, don't get a husky'
If you are thinking about adopting/buying a husky - please feel free to reach out to me for any information.
Next month we will be focusing on; The Staffordshire Bull Terrier