First dog? Don’t get a Siberian Husky

Huskies have a lot of appeal to potential dog owners. With their incredible intelligence and ability to be trained, it seems like this could be the perfect first-time dog for a new dog owner. But is getting a Husky really good idea for a first-time dog owner? I dug in a little further and here is what I found out.

Siberian Husky owners and experts do not recommend getting a Husky or mini Husky as your first dog. Although easy to train they are very high energy and need a lot of mental stimulation and attention. New dog owners may struggle with this, which can lead the dog to turn to destructive behaviors.

With that said, it is possible for a new dog owner to be successful with raising a Siberian Husky or Mini Husky?

There are a lot of great qualities that a Siberian Husky has that can make them an excellent dog, but first-time owners need to know what they are getting into before bringing on the challenge of raising this breed.

Continue reading to find out if getting a Siberian Husky as your first dog is right for you!

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Why Huskies may not be suitable for first-time owners

Have you ever noticed that Huskies are featured in many Hollywood movies, commercials, and hit tv shows? That’s because they are incredibly smart, easy to train, and among the most beautiful of dog breeds out there. All Huskies owners will tell you they are amazing dogs to have!

Taking that into consideration, why wouldn’t they be a good breed to start with? Well, the biggest reason…. sometimes they can be too smart for their own good!

Dogs in general are a lot of work, but certain breeds require more time and attention than others. Huskies are one of those breeds. You have to be 110% committed to investing your time into training and exercising throughout their lifetime.

🐾 They require a lot of exercise

Huskies need a minimum of 2 hours a day of exercise. If you lead a very active lifestyle that you can incorporate your Huskies into then this may not be a problem for you. But if you rather spend your time chilling in front of the fire reading a good book, don’t get a Siberian Husky!

If your Siberian Husky doesn’t get enough exercise it can turn to destructive behaviors as well as whine cry and bark a lot!

Chess Dog 300 x 600

🐾 Huskies are working dogs

Huskies are working dogs, they need a job to do! They were bred to pull sleds and herd, and if not given enough exercise and meaningful tasks to do, they can be found herding any living thing around them including, cats, your children, or even you!

You don’t necessarily need to live on a sheep farm, but you will need to be prepared with a list of jobs you can train your dog to do. Here is a list of jobs that other owners have given their Huskies.

  • find the ball
  • fetch things (newspaper, slippers, people)
  • help herd kids to bed
  • find and put away specific toys
  • run an agility or obstacle course
  • puzzle toys
  • learn to play sports

Huskies are workaholics and if not given work to do they will invent it, and believe me the jobs they invent for themselves will not please you.

You can expect a bored Siberian Husky to chew things up, lick excessively, bark excessively, dig, get into and eat things they shouldn’t (see this article I wrote about eating rocks, dirt, and poop), and basically cause destruction.

🐾 Huskies demand a lot of time

If you have a lot of other responsibilities or you are gone at work for a significant portion of your day it could be very difficult to find the time you need to keep your Huskies occupied.

You will need to be prepared to spend a lot of time playing with teaching and coming up with activities for your Huskies to do. If you are able to keep your Huskies busy your rewards are a super fun, playful, sensitive, extroverted, and intelligent dog!

The exact amount of time can vary from dog to dog, but you can expect at least 2-3 hrs of quality time spent doing things with your Huskies, and then another hour or more coming up with things to keep your dog busy when you can’t be constantly engaged with them.

If you are always walking your husky be sure to have the best harness for your husky!

If you don’t have the time needed to keep your Huskies happy you will start to see your dog turn to destructive behaviors to keep itself occupied.

🐾 Huskies need plenty of space

With family homes trending on the smaller side these days many people may not have the proper space a Siberian Husky needs. 

If you live in a small apartment, townhome, or house without a lot of yard space Huskies can feel really cooped up and have nowhere to focus releasing their excessive energy.  Huskies are best for people with large yards, or lots of property where they can run freely and explore.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to have a well-behaved Siberian Husky as an apartment dog. If you are out exercising and leading an active lifestyle more than you are sitting at home, and you can come up with sufficient activities to keep them occupied then a Husky could be great for you.

🐾 Huskies are escape artists

Because Huskies are so smart they can sometimes turn into little Houdini’s, figuring out how to escape any type of containment you may try to enforce on them. 

Just look on YouTube, you will see countless videos on the escape of the Siberian Husky. They are so smart they figure out how to unlock and open doors, dig under or jump over fences! If you think their area is secure, think again, because it’s probably not.

If your Siberian Husky is well-occupied and has had plenty of exercise before you put him in his crate, or other confined area then you shouldn’t have a problem.

🐾 Huskies shed a lot

For new dog owners that have never dealt with having dog hair everywhere, it can be quite difficult to manage. If you are used to going out to parties or social gatherings and not wanting to spend countless hours with a lint roller then maybe a Husky is not right for you.

If you are still set on having a Husky as your first dog then I suggest you read up on Husky Shedding and how to deal with it.

Siberian Husky Shedding Complete Guide (Tips and Tricks From Owners)

🐾 Huskies bark a lot

Because of the nature of the Siberian Husky being a working breed, they tend to be more vocal than most. Not only do they bark a lot but they can also easily get into the habit of whining as well.

If you want a highly alert watchdog that will let you know when anything or anyone is on your property then a Husky may be right for you. But for the rest of us who just want a companion pet to hang out with and exercise with we may not be able to handle all the barking.

Your Husky can be trained to not bark, but it will take some experience to know how to do it properly. You can hire a professional dog trainer, and while you are at it start reading up on Husky barking here.

Siberian Husky Barking Complete Guide? (With Tips from Owners)

🐾 Huskies can be sensitive

Because they are so smart Huskies can be highly reactive and sensitive. When training them they may respond to every little movement you make trying to out-think you and respond ahead of your next move. This can be very frustrating for new dog owners who are just learning how to train a dog.

Their sensitivity also requires specific attention to socializing them when they are young. They need to be taught to have good associations with other people and animals.

This can also lead them to become very shy and or reactive around other people. They may become very clingy or develop separation anxiety.

If you don’t take the time to properly socialize your Huskies while they are young he can become very shy, standoffish, and possibly reactive.

Are Huskies Prone to Separation Anxiety? (What to Do)

To summarize

If you neglect to give your Siberian Husky the proper space, exercise, and stimulation that they need, they will seek it in destructive ways. This will be shown as excessive barking, chewing on things, trying to show dominance, and having a lot of neurotic undesirable behaviors that will be hard to correct.

What would make a Siberian Husky a good first-time dog for you?

My brother loves to be outdoors. Hiking, fishing, hunting for antlers. His dog Nico is very loyal and always by his side. My brother has taught Nico a lot of cool things and has come up with some very creative ways to help his dog get exercise.

He has invested a lot of time into building a great relationship with his dog. He also has 2 little boys who love and adore their puppy brother!  Huskies can be great family dogs and a very loving and loyal breed.

  • You are a highly active person who loves to exercise with your dog.
  • You have a lot of space.
  • You have a lot time to invest in learning how to train and care for your dog.
  • You can spend enough time with your dog each day to train and teach it.
  • You have a lot of patience.
  • You can be creative in coming up with jobs for your dog.
  • You have a desire to teach your dog a lot of cool thing.

So a Siberian Husky is the right breed for you if you are a very active person who is outdoors a lot jogging, hiking, or generally going on adventures and you have a lot of time you want to spend with your dog.

If you are willing to invest a lot of time learning about the breed, how to keep it properly stimulated, and take classes on how to train and care for your Huskies then they can be a great dog for you.

Huskies will take a significant amount of time and energy, but the investment you make in time and energy will be greatly rewarded in a loving and loyal dog!

With some dedication and thought on your part you can have a well-adjusted, well-behaved, super loyal four-legged best friend. Huskies can thrive in a lot of situations if given the right guidance, but they can also turn into complete disasters if neglected even a little.

While we strive to give the most accurate and helpful information about your pet’s health that we can, this article is meant to be informational only and not medical advice. Never disregard, avoid or delay in obtaining medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified veterinary health care provider regardless of what you have read on this site or elsewhere.