12 facts and myths about Huskies
I also want a Husky!
No, you do not want that! At least, probably not if you understand what it means to have a Husky. The Siberian Husky, or rather the house-garden-and-kitchen-husky as I call the pedigree-free Huskies that are mainly found, is not a Maltese, a Labrador or a Chihuahua. No, our Siberian friend is a profession together with his brothers (including the Alaskan Malamute and the Samoyed). The category, where the Husky falls, is a group of fluffy dogs with an independent character, who can manage without an owner. Besides the Siberian Husky there are many Huskies and variants on this breed. In this blog I will talk about the average Husky and I will go deeper into 12 facts and myths about Huskies.
How it started with me ...
It started with a visit to the dog shelter together with my friend for a cross that looked a bit like a black labrador with a black eye. I found that eye was scary, but there was a click. Not much later we walked home with the three of us. Dear Nyx, a cross between a German Shorthaired Pointer and a Siberian Husky. Thanks to Nyx I rolled into the Husky topic on the internet. First at a general dog forum, later via various pages on Facebook about Huskies. After 1.5 years Skye joined us, our first home-garden-and-kitchen-husky. Only 13 months old, very thin and in a few weeks time she had several owners. She had developed a severe anxiety aggression because of this. We took her home to foster her and find a good house, but she stayed. Almost 2 years later Amaya came to us, 16 months old. Via a foundation for Salukies she was brought to the Netherlands from Qatar. Yes, the adopters said they could handle her, a Husky was no problem. But less than four weeks later she was out of their house. She demolished the house, she was unclean and was terribly active. After 2 months in the pension she came to us in the shelter. Amaya has never left. The stories of Skye and Amaya do not stand alone, these are the stories of many young Huskies. As soon as they start puberty, people notice that they have made a mistake and the dog has to leave. They are offered for sale as a pedigree dog on the internet ; Huskies between 6 and 18 months old. We got our Huskies in the middle of their puberty, the toughest time for almost every dog owner, but the Husky is such a breed that just goes a step further.
Look before you begin
This of course always applies to every purchase of a dog , but a Husky is a special case where it is sometimes not enough to think about it only. Those beautiful blue eyes, that special mask, that soft coat and that full curled tail. If you see such a dog, the view will take you far to the north. Okay, stop, stop, stop. Time to discuss a few facts and myths about this misunderstood beauty, before you are making a decision.
12 facts and myths about Huskies
1. Huskies are made for snow!
I hear this every summer: “It is far too hot for them!” It is hot, that is right, but in Siberia it is just 86 degrees in the summer. Only Siberia has an extreme continental climate, which means that the winters are very cold and the summers are very hot. When I look at my dogs, I notice that our black crossing Nyx is much warmer than our Husky ladies. This is because Nyx does not have a thick double coat. The coat of the husky consists of 2 layers: an upper and undercoat. This double coat insulates in two ways. In the summer it keeps out the heat and in the winter it keeps the cold outside and the heat inside. Super handy coat! For the above reason it is a bad idea to have your Husky shave at the dog groomer. You take away its natural insulation and thereby increase the chance of overheating.
2. Now... that we are talking about hairs
Yes, Huskies are shedding horribly. Twice a year, my friend regularly curses everything about 6 or 10 times a week. He finds hair in his food, hair in his drinking, hair on his computer, hair on his clothes, hair in his beard, hair in the laundry, hair on the towels, hair after vacuuming, hair literally everywhere! Really everywhere! You can fill a big gray garbage bag with dog hair per a dog. And the shedding in the spring is the worst: all those hair they kept warm in the winter now have to go. Regular coat care with brushing and vacuuming, seems as if you do it for nothing. Are you able to afford a groomer, then you can go to have your Husky washed and blow dry. But believe me, she probably will not thank you for it. Her whole salon is from top to bottom filled with her. But it does help a great deal. You can also do this at home with a water blower (dog dryer). If you are indeed attached to your clothes, my clothes are covered with dog hair all year round. I do not buy black clothes anymore, that does not make any sense, because there are always hairs. And when I have showered, I dry myself with a towel full of Husky hair.
3. All Huskies have blue eyes
No, that is not true. Huskies can indeed have 2 blue eyes, but also 2 brown, light brown or even green eyes. Sometimes each eye has a different color and it is even possible to have 2 colors in 1 eye. For example, Amaya has 1 blue eye and the other is brown with a bit of blue (see the picture at the top of this article). Why so many Huskies have blue eyes? People like that, so that often these are selected during the reproduction of the Husky.
4. Destructive Husky
Yes, I can not ignore that. With the exception of a few, all Huskies, possibly even later in life will demolish something. And no, it does not stay within a pair of shoes and a box full of toys, if only so. Here is a selection of what Skye and Amaya have demolished: a cucumber, packages of milk, boxes of petroleum jelly and the content have disappeared, various cables, caps, hats, gloves, socks, t-shirts, stuffed animals, dog toys, shoes, fleece blankets, dog cushions, the cushions from the couch, bills, the cable of a lamp, the cable of a drill (2x), pens, lighters, oven mitt and I can go on. Now you will think “then you should have done…”. Well dear people, you do not know a Husky yet. Locking in the bench is not always an option to prevent demolition in your absence. A bench is in fact easily demolished, according to Nyx.
5. They have energy for 10 dogs
Yup, that is right! Huskies are generally, with few exceptions, active critters. It is up to you to determine how much movement you provide your dog with. If a dog gets little exercise, he will become less active in the long run(he might become frustrated and misbehave then). However, this does not mean that 3 times around the block will be enough! With my dogs I do not do dog sledding (is possible in the Netherlands), but I will occasionally cycle with them in the winter. Although I do not have any sport i do with my dogs, I will walk with them for 1.5 to 3 hours a day. This is also a good guideline if you want to purchase a Husky. Do you have enough time daily to spend on your dog? Especially at puberty, the Husky needs a lot of challenge in the form of movement and mental challenge to limit the troubles they cause at home. Keep in mind the body limits of your dog. For instance is too much movement bad for the joints? Especially when they are younger than a year! From one year old the energy requirement will decrease and it will just be very active dogs. If you are a couch-potato, then a Husky is probably nothing for you. If you like to be active outside, the Husky may be the ideal dog for you!
6. They are hunting!
You cannot ignore that, most of the Huskies hunt. Unlike hunting dogs that have been bred for hunting within a particular purpose, Huskies hunt for themselves for food and as a form of entertainment. A Husky is thus able to kill and eat his prey, something that most other hunting dogs do not do. They are therefore not very suitable to participate in hunting training , but you can always try. Huskies are independent hunters, they do not need a man to hunt. Many huskies therefore become leashed through life.
7. They can not run free
Apart from a few, this is also true. Most Huskies can not responsibly run loose . Besides the fact that they go hunting independently they have a vague urge and because of their independent character they are often not prepared to listen to the owner if they do not have to. Huskies are known as runaways, this is due to their wanderlust. They just have a strong tendency to go on an adventure, and they have a very broad understanding of staying close to the owner. Here you see again that independent character. Why should I listen, what does it give me? A Husky is able to save his own butt and he knows that. So why would he do what you say? Fortunately, there is a lot that can be trained, but you notice that some have a very cat-like character and just draw their own plan. I hear and read stories from people who let go of their Husky and saw them an hour later. Than they think “he will come back” or “he needs it”. This is just purely irresponsible. You do not know what your dog is doing or happens in that hour. He can go hunting and kill a mother deer, wound a sheep, fight with other dogs, be taken away, break a leg in a ditch and die there and so on. I would personally have a heart attack if I see my dogs disappearing on the horizon. Do you want a dog that can run loose: do not take Husky.
8. Huskies are dominant dogs
Yes, they are fluffy and cute. Regardless of their looks they are dominant. There are also Western breeds that curl their tails or carry them high. Well- socialized , most Husky males are also sociable towards their sex partners. Our ladies occasionally have their moments too, then Nyx does not even bother to get involved with them. In this case, bitches are not always easier. This tendency works for other breeds as well.
9. They are stubborn
Stubborn, no. Independent, yes. It is in their genes to make their own decisions. As a musher (sled dog driver)who,sends Huskies over a frozen lake, puts trust in their instincts. If the Huskies notice that the ice is not strong enough, they will go around it. You now understand that blindly listening to your command has to be considered first. Is it wise, what do I win? Huskies have a strong character, be consistent, otherwise they will walk over you with all 4 their white paws! Being consistent, ensures peace and regularity. Your Husky knows what to expect. For instance if you do not want them on your couch, stick to your decision! If once you have accepted it can take you months to go back to the ‘no couch rule’.
10. They can not bark
Oh yes! Barking , crying, squealing , yapping, chatting and howling. They are not all equally vocal, but most can chat like a pro!
11. They cannot stay alone
Well, Huskies are naturally used to living in groups, just like various other dogs (eg Beagles ). It is in their nature to stay with the pack. But you also have to ask yourself: if you are home not that often, why do you choose a dog and specifically a Husky? You have work, friends, family, shopping, maybe volunteering. The dog has you and perhaps the walking service. Huskies are active companion dogs who also happen to work. Keep in mind that your Husky may be the exception that does not accept to be alone. What are you going to do then?
12. Waiting for reassignment
After purchasing Mister Blue Eyes many brand new Husky owners run into one or more of the above points. As a result, many pubescent Huskies, as well as puppies and adults, end up in the dog shelter. There are several pages on Facebook for Huskies looking for a new home! You can also find them on websites for second-hand items. The puppies are offered in large numbers by breeders. There are also many produced by enthusiasts. Therefore read my blog with 4 different types of puppy providers.
Dogs with a misunderstood beauty
Huskies are not the easiest dogs, that is what you have thought in a meanwhile. But the the other side is that they have a good sense of humor, are crazy about people, can cuddle wonderfully, they help you with sports and greet everyone with a happy spin. But I want to ask you one thing: if you want one: can you handle Mister Blue Eyes? The demolition of your new couch, the crying until the neighbors complain, the running away after which you desperately search for hours in the rain, the bouncing in the house just after you have walked for 2 hours, biting the rabbit of the girl next door. Assume the worst, it is often the case, but not always. Be honest with yourself and make sure that another Husky does not have to find a new home. But if the Husky is your cup of tea, then I can tell you: you never want anything else!
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