When most people consider having a Siberian husky as a family companion, it is likely that they think about their physical appearance. After all, the markings on their coat along with their beautiful eyes tend to be rather striking, but their looks are only part of the story. The Siberian Husky is highly intelligent and athletic and when they are cared for properly, they can be a welcome part of the family.
It is not fully known where the Siberian Husky originated, but it is thought that the ancestors of the breed came from Siberian nomads. Although the history is not fully understood, it is known that they are one of the oldest dog breeds in existence. Those nomads did use the breed for transportation and they also used them as a family dog. They provided warmth for the family, including the children during the colder times of the year. They were eventually imported to Alaska and in 1908 they began to be used during the gold rush as sled dogs. They became recognized by the American kennel club in 1930.
Because of their breeding and the reasons why they were used as a breed, they tend to have a very strong pack mentality. When you have a Siberian husky in your home and they have respect for you, it makes it very easy to train them. That doesn’t mean, however, that they will not try to push back and it is important for you to avoid the temptation to give in when they do so. Establishing leadership in the pack is one of the most important things you can do. They tend to be full of energy, somewhat destructive and at times, mischievous.
You will find that huskies tend to be healthy but some of the health conditions that can occur include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and elbow dysplasia. Huskies may also have a variety of problems with their eyes, including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and corneal dystrophy. Cataracts can sometimes be corrected with surgery but the other conditions don’t typically have a treatment that works well.
Although many breeds of dogs do well with regular exercise, it is imperative for a Siberian husky. In order to keep them from being bored, they need to be exercise vigorously for up to 60 minutes every day. Be cautious about exercising them in the heat, because they can get overheated quickly. If you don’t exercise them, they can get bored and may become destructive. You should also take part in ongoing obedience training and teach them how to walk on a lead, as you would never want to have them off leash when they are not inside of a contained area.
Siberian Huskies can make a good family dog but they are a specialized breed that requires a lot of attention. If you are willing to give them that attention, including extensive training and lots of exercise, you may just find that they are a welcome part of your home as well.