Affectionate Houdini - The Siberian Husky

  • 25/04/2016
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Siberian Huskies were originally a working dog, bread to withstand very cold (-50 degrees F) temperatures and to pull sleds. They were also bred to find their own food and to have very low food requirements. Also, the dog was developed as a pack animal - the pack primarily being the other dogs in the dog sled team. Consider carefully your selection of a Siberian Husky. This bred is not recommended for a new dog owner or even an experienced dog owner that does not have the time or will not take the effort to train the dog. Best training efforts are to spend 15 to 30 minutes a day, every day to train the dog. The Siberian Husky is independent and intelligent and expects to have a pack leader. As the owner you must be the pack leader, however, that leadership cannot involve corporal punishment of the dog. They will respond much better to a consistent and controlled environment. The breed is very affectionate with pack members, does well around children and other pets. They even enjoy strangers - so they do not make a great watch dog.

Another consideration for the Siberian Husky is that they are escape artists. Typically, a fence at least 6 feet tall and buried a couple feet in the ground are needed. They have been known to clear fences as tall as 8 feet. This is remarkable, as the dog is typically about 20 to 24 inches tall and weighs about 40 to 60 pounds. Siberians Huskies are capable of breaking tie out chains, chewing through collars and leads, and jumping over or digging under fences. Electronic dog collar systems do not work due to the thickness of the fur (more on that later). The breed can be destructive to flower beds and yards, so they should have a designated digging spot, as they will dig, it is just a matter of where.

The coat of a Siberian Husky is a double coat and very thick and requires weekly brushing. In warm climates, the dog will shed heavily for about 3 weeks a couple times a year. This is referred to as "blowing the coat". This is very descriptive of what happens and the fur will come off in hands full. Brushing is required during this time of the year, as well as weekly throughout the year. Grooming requirements for this breed are very high and require a time investment on a regular basis. The thick fur will insulate the dog from hot temperature as well as cold, but the Siberian Husky is more comfortable in a colder climate. They also shed less in cooler climates. Toenails should be trimmed frequently, at least monthly. The good news is that the breed does not emit the "dog smell" we detect in other breeds.

A healthy dog, the Siberian Husky, will live for about 12 to 15 years. There are very few health problems with the breed. They are a high energy dog and do not adapt well to apartment living. The bred does not bark, but it does howl, much to the dismay of owners and neighbors! Care should be taken to socialize the dog to other pets and children. While the Siberian Husky is affectionate and not typically aggressive, they can try to establish pack dominance over other animals and children. They also have a high prey drive and wanderlust potential. Remember they were bred to find their own food and they are great escape artists! They will try to get out of any enclosure just to see what is on the other side and run if given the chance.

The Siberian Husky can be a great pet for the right owner. This would be someone that has time to establish a pack leadership role, has time to exercise the dog, and has time to groom the animal on a regular basis.

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