Top Ten Frequently Asked Questions about Huskies
- What type of person/lifestyle is best suited to a husky?
A. Since the husky is a very energetic dog, it needs a very energetic person. No couch potatoes please! The ideal human companion for a husky is one who likes to play hard, spend a lot of time outdoors, and is physically active. The husky keeper should also have strong leadership qualities. These include being able to set boundaries and enforce them, take responsibility for the health of the pack, and be free from emotional baggage. The leader human should recognize that the husky will normally challenge authority and not take it personally. Getting angry or frustrated will not serve you or the dog. Being consistent will. There is a fine line between being understanding and permissive. Understanding means that you recognize the dog’s challenges to your authority as natural and as something that you need to address by asserting and re-asserting your authority in a benevolent but firm manner. Being permissive is to let the dog get away with being his own boss. This will result in the dog being your boss, too! Asserting authority means to firmly and immediately address ANY infraction on the dog’s part of the rules you have set. It also means to make these rules intelligently so that the dog CAN follow them, and then to keep them consistent.
- What personality or temperament are huskies known for?
A. Huskies are ‘work hard – play hard’ dogs. They will run their hearts out in a team and get you and your load to the destination, no matter what the cost. They love to run and play. They are generally friendly to humans and other dogs and can be socialized with cats, preferably when husky and cats are still very young. Although they can look fierce, they are more apt to welcome a stranger as a potential playmate than protect your house. Strange cats, rabbits, chickens, and other small livestock are ‘prey’ in the husky’s mind. They are independent, and although they may well know what you want them to do, they are not inclined to do it just to please you.
- What climates can huskies resist?
A. Huskies originate from some of the coldest climates in Siberia and have been used as working dogs in arctic conditions because of their natural resistance to extreme cold. On the other hand, they also adapt well to other climates. Resist the temptation to shave or cut the husky’s hair if you live in a hot climate. Their dual coat protects them against heat as well as cold (think of what people wear in the Sahara desert!) In hot climates, they need access to shade and plenty of drinking water. They also love splashing in pools, even if it’s a toddler-sized plastic wading pool.
- How big do huskies get?
A. The AKC standard for a male husky is up to 23 ½ inches at the withers and 22 inches for a female. Weights are between 35-60 pounds. They can be bigger or smaller than that, but these numbers are a good general guideline.