Depending on your point of view, Siberian Huskies are:
IDEAL because they:
|Have low-maintenance grooming needs...
||Shed an unbelievable amount of fur
| Are non-aggressive, friendly with
|| Are not good guard dogs.
| Are very affectionate...
|| Need lots of attention/company.
| Don't usually bark much...
|| Sometimes "talk" or howl a lot.
| Are good if you like a challenge...
|| Can be difficult to obedience train.
| Are active and athletic...
|| Need daily exercise and love to
| Are medium-sized, can stay indoors...
|| Can become "escape artists" outside.
| Get along well with other dogs...
|| Are not good with cats or livestock.
| Love playing with children...
|| Can be too much for young kids.
| Like to go for walks - love to go
|| Must ALWAYS be on a leash.
| Are generally a very healthy, hardy
|| Can have epilepsy, cataracts.
| Are very intelligent...
|| Can be very destructive when bored.
So If You Want...
A demanding, shedding, digging, chewing, howling, hyperactive,
fence-jumping, obedience-command-ignoring, crazy-about-running (away
from you or while dragging you!), bouncing-off-the-walls-energetic
That Is Also...
A smart, affectionate, comical, friendly, playful, fun-loving,
good-natured, beautiful, graceful creature, with the greatest enthusiasm
and love of life you may ever see...
You Want a Siberian Husky!
Note: The above describes the typical Siberian Husky, especially
the young ones. Yes there can be exceptions, but don't count on
By Lisa Ignacz
Southern California Siberian Husky Rescue
(reprinted with permission)
DOGS - they are not! Oh, they will guard their rawhide
chew, food dish, a stick they found, a tree with a squirrel in it,
the hole they dug in your garden, and maybe small children. But
when it comes to guarding the house, don't get your hopes up. He
will greet just about any stranger like a long-lost friend. He will
show him where everything is while trying to find a ball for him
to throw or the location of the dog food. The only things that might
deter a burglar are his wolf-like appearance, his over-enthusiastic
greeting, and, of course, his nose in the burglar's crotch.
TO DOG HAIR? The Siberian Husky has not one, but two
coats: The outer layer of guard hairs and a downy undercoat. They
generally shed twice a year, in the spring and fall. If your husky
is a housedog, you can expect to have hair in your food, on your
clothes and furniture and floating in the air you breathe. Encourage
your friends not to wear dark clothing or sit in his favorite chair.
When he begins to shed, it will take heavy grooming for about two
weeks to get the coat under control. Shedding is less of a problem
if you groom your husky about twice a week, year round. On the good
side, you can always have the hair spun into yarn (there will be
enough for a sizeable wardrobe). Also, at the peak of his blowing
coat he will have the look of a starved wolf or coyote, which might
discourage intruders (see above).
TO RUN! This is a serious problem with huskies; they
love to run. No matter how much he may love you, he will play the
"chase me" game until he is tired of it (and you will
be tired long before that). They should always be on a lead unless
they are in the house or in a fenced yard. If your husky should
get loose, he will come back sooner if you don't chase him. Tag
along to keep him out of trouble, but act like you don't really
want to catch him. If he likes to go places in the car, follow him
in the car and open the door; chances are he will get in. Although
he may not come to you, he will probably approach a stranger. Try
to get the stranger to hold the dog so you can retrieve him. Huskies
seem to have no understanding of traffic hazards, so if all else
fails, try to get him away from busy streets.
DOGS… Yes, they love to herd things. Like their
puppies, other dogs, children, chickens, ducks and even larger animals.
It is not unusual for huskies to kill (and eat) small creatures
like chickens and ducks. In a pack, they may even kill larger animals,
although this is rare. It is especially important that they be kept
away from livestock since ranchers will rightfully kill dogs found
in their herds. Huskies who are strangers to cats will often chase
them and are likely to injure or kill them. The reason they get
put on the vicious list is because they can catch a cat. By the
way, they are good mousers so you may not need a cat.
THE SOONER THE BETTER! The average husky will come on
command, but only if he is in the mood and/or you have a treat for
him. Basic obedience training (sit, stay, down, heel, etc.) is very
worthwhile. It will make you a little more confident, and the husky
will learn that you are the master. Some Siberians are excellent
obedience dogs; others do not respond well at all. Start training
early, treat him well, and use rewards rather than punishment to
train him. They are very trusting, loving dogs.
If you observe your husky closely, you will have no doubt that he
has considerable reasoning power, and you may even wonder if he
can read your mind. At an early age, your husky will understand
about one hundred to a thousand words and will read "body language"
far better than any human. Due to their independent spirit, they
will often play dumb, but you can be sure he understands at least
such basics as: stay, out, no, bad, good, outside, house, cookie
(dog biscuit), chow, and the names of favorite toys. They are most
forgetful in the obedience or conformation ring at shows, but they
can remember a person they have not seen for years (plastic surgery
won't fool them; they know you by scent), or an event that happened
only once in the past.
They will formulate plans to catch squirrels or birds. A favorite
husky game is one we call "Caribou" in which one dog will
play the part of the hunted animal and the others will chase and
bring him down. The game is strikingly similar to watching a wolf
pack hunting in the wild. They are expert landscapers (although
their idea of landscaping may not conform to yours), demolition
experts, jumpers, and hunters. Descended from arctic dogs, they
are able to supplement their diet with a number of things like grass,
bugs, snakes, mice, and snails. (Avoid using snail bait in your
BACK YARD DOG… NEVER!
If you work long hours, if there are no children or other animals
for the dog to play with, if no one is home much, then a Siberian
is not for you. The breed needs company. They have lots of energy
and will soon get into trouble if no attention is paid to them.
When gone a lot, keep confined for the dogs, yours, and your neighbor's
But most of all, they are an exciting and delightful breed to own...
if your nerves will let you. And by all means, you must have a sense
of humor to own a Siberian Husky!
By Marilyn Lassagne
Siberian Husky Rescue/Referral of California
(reprinted with permission)
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