Perhaps you are thinking about getting a family dog and you like the thought of a Husky. Being aware of the traits of a Husky will help you to decide whether a Husky is the right breed for your family. It is important to know that they are energetic, intelligent, have a strong prey drive, and can be noisy.
Are Huskies a good family dog
Is a Husky suitable for a family pet? Yes, a well trained, socialized, and exercised Husky can make an excellent pet for the right family. Huskies are a pack dog and love to be part of the family. They are best suited for an active family that can devote the time to provide them with the training and exercise they need.
It is important when deciding on a breed of dog for your family that you decide how they would fit into your lifestyle and family. Different breeds have needs that vary. The Husky does require a family that can spend time with them and provide the exercise and mental stimulation they require.
Huskies are a pack animal, and despite being a little independent, they crave company. Especially human companionship. If your families lifestyle means that no one is home most of the time, a Husky would not be suitable. If your Husky is constantly home alone, they can develop behavioral and destructive issues. You will likely be returning home to find a lot of damage or that your Husky has escaped.
Huskies are also extremely high energy. Don’t forget that they were breed to work. A sled dog team can cover over 100 miles in a day. Even a Husky that is a pet will require at least one to two hours of energy-burning exercise every day. For a guide to exercise for a Husky see here. They are also highly intelligent and require plenty of mental stimulation and enrichment to prevent boredom.
Another important thing to be aware of is how much coat a Husky sheds. If you don’t want dog fur in the house, a Husky is not for you, Huskies are a clean dog and don’t have have that doggy odor associated with many breeds. They only require bathing every two or three months.
However, they do require a lot of brushing. A Husky will usually do a major shed twice a year. During this time you will need to brush them every day. Even at times they are not doing a shed, they require brushing two or three times a week.
Before considering a Husky for your family, ensure that you can provide for their exercise, grooming, and training needs. They also require your company and often don’t do well if left home alone for long periods. Many Huskies end up with rescue organizations simply become people get them without taking this in to consideration.
Are Huskies good with kids
Are Huskies good with children? Yes, Huskies are affectionate and loyal and love human companionship including children. They are generally gentle and are not known for aggression.
It is important to be aware that a Husky is energetic and can be boisterous and may knock smaller children over. You should calm them down if they are getting over-excited.
If you are going to have a Husky that lives with children they should be well trained and introduced in the correct way.
Teaching kids how to treat your Husky
Most kids naturally love dogs and gravitate towards them. They love to cuddle them and play with them whether they are ok with them or not. In most cases, a Husky will be extremely tolerant of kids.
Your Husky is likely going to be happy to see your children and will quickly get used to them coming up and touching them. However, it is important to teach your children to not be too rough or do anything that may hurt the dog. Any dog may react if they are hurt or feel threatened.
It is a good idea for your children to be involved in the training process. This will not only provide your Husky with the required obedience. It will teach your children a lot about their new friend.
No matter how your dog interacts with your kids, you want to make sure your kids understand that not all dogs are the same. You should teach your children to ask permission before touching a dog they don’t know, not to annoy them while they are eating and to be aware of body language such as growling.
These important lessons will teach your children to respect dogs and keep themselves safe. Teaching children to respect dogs and your dog to respect children is key to safe interactions between them.
Training your Husky for kids
Training and socialization is the key to having a Husky that is good around children. The Husky is an affectionate and playful breed. However, sometimes they can become over-excited. This may result in them gripping on to a child’s clothing or play a little ruff.
It is important to teach your Husky a good leave command and learning ways to settle and calm them if they get carried away.
Consistent training will help your Husky learn quickly what is and is not acceptable behavior.
Huskies, in fact, all dogs, need a structured environment to feel comfortable and safe shine and coexist with their people. They will learn through consistency what you allow when it comes to interacting with your kids. By rewarding and praising them for being gentle and correcting them for unwanted behavior such as nipping they will quickly learn the rules and boundaries.
Huskies want to be apart of the family and they can easily learn how to do that safely. Training is a key part of having a Husky as a family pet and a companion to your children.
Are Huskies good with babies and toddlers
In general, Huskies are gentle and friendly towards babies and toddlers. However, you should never leave any dog unsupervised around them. Babies are fragile and a Husky may unintentional hurt them.
Husky puppies can be quite mouthy and may nip a baby if they are not closely monitored.
Introducing a Husky to a baby or toddler
Husky owners are often concerned about how their dog will accept the arrival of a new baby in the home. This should not be a concern if you take the right steps in preparing for and introducing the baby and Husky.
Every dog is an individual even of the same breed. You will know the personality of your own Husky. If they have a dominant personality caution needs to be taken. It is important for the dog to know their place in the family.
With the first introduction, it is a good idea to have your Husky on a leash so you can pull them away if necessary. Stay relaxed so you are not projecting tension onto the dog. Allow your Husky to make the first move and don’t force them to show interest in the baby. The dog should view the interaction with the baby as a positive experience.
It is also crucial that you don’t exclude or ignore your Husky every time the baby is around. This can foster an environment of jealousy. You will still need to devote time to your Husky and ensure their exercise and enrichment needs are still being met.
One final and important point is that your Husky must have a safe space they can go to. This will allow them to remove themselves if they want to get away. This is especially important once the baby becomes mobile and is crawling.
Is a Male or Female Husky Better for a Family
Ultimately, it depends on which you prefer. Both male and female Huskies can make an excellent family dog. Every dog is an individual even of the same breed.
However, in general, Males tend to be more playful and want more attention. This makes them good for an active family who can provide the necessary time for what can a attention demanding breed.
Female Huskies tend to mature quicker and may not be as playful. This means that they can be a little calmer and not be so attention-seeking. That is not to say they won’t want attention but once they have had their fill they are content to go and lay down.
The other consideration between a male and female Husky is whether or not you are going to have them desexed. Obviously, an unspayed female will come on heat around every six months. A male can reproduce at any time and if there is a female on heat in the location they may want to escape. Ideally, having your Husky desexed is recommended to avoid unwanted litters.
As Huskies desire company and companionship, many people get them in pairs. When it comes to what gender the second Husky should be, two males are generally better than two females. However, this is not a hard and fast rule.
Are Huskies really hard to train
Huskies have a reputation for being difficult to train. This is true to a certain extent. They can be strong-willed and independent. Being a pack dog they follow a hirachry and providing strong leadership is essential.
They are highly intelligent and actually learn quickly. Just because they understand what you want doesn’t necessarily mean they will do it. They can be quite stubborn.
By being a calm stable leader and being patient and consistent they are very trainable. Just remember not to give up too soon.
When it comes to potty training, Huskies are reasonably easy to train. Huskies are a clean dog and with consistency and routine they will pick this up quickly.
Are Huskies good guard dogs
To a stranger, a Husky can be quite a scary-looking dog. However, Huskies are extremely friendly and are more likely to want to play a burglar. For this reason, they don’t make great guard dogs.
Huskies are not aggressive, possessive, or suspicious of strangers. This makes them great dogs for a family pet but not so great as guard dogs.
Do Huskies get attached to their owners
Huskies were bred to work as part of a pack for a human handler. It is their natural instinct to follow a leader. They are very human orientated and crave human companionship. Huskies tend to become extremely close and attached to the people they spend the most time with. They can often be what is referred to as a velcro dog.
A velcro dog is a dog that is stuck to your side everywhere you go. They also prefer not being left alone for too long and can develop separation or isolation anxiety. For more on anxiety in dogs left alone see here.
Leaving a Husky home alone
A Husky should not be left alone for extended periods of time. They are prone to separation or isolation anxiety. A Husky that is left alone will quickly become frustrated and bored. This will often result in behavior issues and destructive behavior.
With our busy modern lifestyles, there will be times that your Husky will have to be left alone. With training and providing to their needs when home alone they can become better at this.
For a complete guide to leaving a dog home alone see here.
Are Huskies good with other dogs in the home
Huskies are generally excellent with other dogs. They are very friendly and love company whether it is human or other dogs. They can be boisterous when playing with other dogs and this may annoy some dogs.
If you are thinking of adding a Husky to your household with an existing dog or dogs, this should be no problem. However, it is important to establish yourself as a strong leader and set the rules. This is particularly crucial when it comes to feeding. Some guidelines for managing a household of two or more dogs are;
- Ensure all your dogs receive the right amount of exercise and mental enrichment they require. Unreleased pent up energy can lead to fight or behavior issues. For a guide to Husky exercise see here. If the other dogs in the household are of a different breed see here for a guide to their exercise needs.
- Supervise feeding time. Each dog should have their own bowl and not share. The dogs will quickly learn which is their bowl and understand the rules to mealtime.
- Ensure all the dogs receive equal attention and don’t have favorites. This will help to prevent any jealousy developing. Samoyed can tend to want to hog the attention and fuss.
Are Huskies good with small dogs
As Huskies are generally very good with other dogs, playing with smaller dogs should not be a problem. The only thing to keep in mind is they can be boisterous and full-on.
It is a good idea to supervise the play and settle them if they are overpowering the smaller dog. This is not an aggressive thing, but rather the result of overexcitement.
Are Huskies good with cats in the home
Huskies are generally not good with cats. They have a high prey drive and are likely to chase and harass a cat living in your home. This is not to say that a Husky and cat can’t live in the same home.
Ultimately, it comes down to how you go about introducing and conditioning the Husky and cat. Even though Huskies have a chase instinct towards small animals they are also a friendly and gentle dog. They are also highly intelligent and respond well to training.
The chances of a Husky and a cat living in harmony are greatly improved if they are brought up together from a young age. Alternatively, a Husky puppy coming into a home with an existing calm adult cat is usually successful also.
How to introduce a Husky to a cat
For more tips on introducing a dog and cat see here.
Make your pets familiarize with each other’s scent
Dogs have an impressive sense of smell. So, why shouldn’t you make use of this impressive ability? Grab a cloth or a towel and wipe it down your cat. Let your pooch sniff it. Better yet, tuck the cloth underneath your dog’s bed so he can get accustomed to your cat’s scent. Do the same for your cat.
Separate your cat at first
Avoid face-to-face confrontations for the first few days. Confine your cat in a room with her bed, food, water, and toys. Ideally, install a cat tree scratcher or a multi-level cat condominium. Having multiple high areas to hide can help your cat feel more secure. Cats are just as territorial as dogs. Hence, you need to give them enough time to adjust to their new situation.
Feed your pets on opposite sides of a closed-door
Feed your pets on either side of the door. Continue this process until the newcomer and the resident pet can eat calmly directly on each opposite side of the door. This will help prevent fear and aggression from developing.
Conduct short face-to-face meetings
Do this in a common area of your house, not your cat’s little retreat or your dog’s domain. Be sure that you have already set an escape route for your cat just in case things could go haywire. Keep your Husky on a leash and ask them to sit down.
Next, allow your newcomer to come and go as they wish. Let them explore the room at her own pace. Just keep rewarding your dog for good behavior. It would be better if your dog acts as though the cat does not exist and is more interested in the treats.
Repeat this process several times daily, but keep it short. Having frequent short visits are better than dragging it out so long that either pet becomes stressed or agitated.
If your cat leaves the room, let them do so. There may be times when your Husky tries to see how you would react if he gets too close with the cat in an aggressive way. If this happens, give the “Stay” command and immediately reward your dog if they obey.
See to it that your pets eat simultaneously
Let your pets eat together, so they can create a close bond. At first, you need to supervise all interactions between the two. To stay on the safe side, place your cat’s food on the counter. Over time, this will establish the idea that they belong in the same pack.
Proceed with caution
After multiple introductions and simultaneous feedings, set your pets loose inside a room and observe how they would react towards each other. If your Husky shows tolerance with your cat’s presence even without your intervention, then you can finally have peace of mind knowing that your pets can hang out together and eventually, become close buddies.
Caring for a Husky
When selecting any breed of dog for your family it is important to be sure that you are able to care for and provide to their needs. Things you need to take into consideration are;
- Financial costs – take into consideration the cost of food, vet visits, or pet insurance, boarding costs if going away, etc.
- Time needs – do you have the time to spend with your Husky. They like to spend as much time with the family as possible. If they are going to spend a lot of time home alone, behavior problems may develop.
- Exercise needs –Huskies need a large amount of exercise a day. They are also very smart and need enrichment and mental challenges to prevent boredom. For a guide to Husky exercise needs see here.
- Grooming needs – Huskies need a lot of grooming they will require regular brushing. If they are not brushed regularly the coat can become matted and they will leave fur all over the home.
Summary – A Husky for a family with kids
A Husky is an excellent pet for an active family that can devote the time to provide them with the training and exercise they need. They are friendly and loyal and are good with children.
However, for the wrong family, they can be a nightmare. Many Huskies end up in rescue organizations because the owners didn’t have the time commitment they require. Failure to provide to their exercise, enrichment, and companionship needs can result in serious behavior and destructive problems.
Before considering a Husky for your family, ensure that you can provide for their exercise, grooming, and training needs. They also require your company and often don’t do well if left home alone for long periods.
More Husky articles that may interest you
How often should you bathe a Husky
Stop your Husky digging – Causes and Solutions
What small dog looks like a Husky