Siberian Husky Personae
The Siberian Husky Breed
The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog. Males range from 21 to 23½ inches tall at the shoulder blades and weigh 45-60 pounds. Females are 20 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder blades weigh 35 to 50 pounds. They have a double coat that sheds twice a year. Huskies come with a variety of markings and striking patterns not found in other breeds.
The Siberian Husky Personality
No matter what shape, size, or color, each one comes complete with a huge personality.
The Siberian Husky Personality
Siberian Huskies are hard to resist, with their joyful demeanor, exuberance, friendliness, striking appearance, and incredibly beautiful smile. However, as appealing as these traits may be, Siberian Huskies are not the breed for every dog owner. After learning more about the Siberian Husky, many have decided to only admire from afar, while others can't get enough of them. While they may look beautiful with those striking blue eyes, how well do you know the breed? From escape artists to loving companions these dogs have many personae to learn and appreciate.
Explore Their Traits
Before embarking on the Siberian challenge, explore the personalities below to learn their many traits and temperament.
Sledding and Other Dog Activities
Activities Similar to Sledding
There are many activities you can do with your Siberian husky. While they are known for sled races, there are similar activities you can perform with your dog, even in warmer climates. These activities include Cani-cross, bike-joring, scootering, ski-joring, dry-land sledding and of course the traditional sledding through snow.
You can also take your Siberian husky for a walk, take them to a dog park to play with their companions, or even set up a play date with their Siberian husky friends (and yours) at your house.
Siberian huskies are natural athletes that will find ways to amuse themselves.
Time to play!
The Siberian Husky requires exercise in some form. However, it is a misconception that the Siberian needs lots of open space. Adequate exercise can be achieved within a small fenced area or with daily walks. Remember, though, that due to their strength, they should not be left solely in the care of a young child or less-than-physically-fit adult.
Another great way to exercise a Siberian is to have two! With two Siberian Huskies, they can entertain each other. While it isn't necessary to have two, it is certainly helpful to have another dog around that likes to play. Without a partner in crime for your Siberian husky, the humans of the house will need to be quick and ready on their feet for play.
Ask any multiple Siberian Home about the wonder of their play. Watching huskies play is often equated to watching a hockey game. “He goes in for the body check.” “Hey, that’s roughing!” Think of the fun you can have sitting back with a nice refreshing drink watching the games in your own club box – no crowds, no sticky floors, and no lines to the bathrooms.
Another option for the Siberian craving person who only wants one dog is to adopt a mature companion. They certainly are still full of spunk, but they are not at the same level as the youngsters. Click here to read more about the joys of owning a mature dog.
Keep in mind that all Siberians will find a way to amuse themselves almost anywhere they go. That is why it is always important to find ways to keep them entertained. With their intelligence coupled with their power, they can be a handful for the unwitting home.
To eat or not to eat? The real question is, what shall I chew on now?
That's food? I'll decide what to eat.
Originally bred to perform on a minimal amount of food, the Siberian requires less subsistence per pound than other breeds their size. Some will actually monitor their own intake and will pass up on eating a meal here and there. However, some will also acquire a taste for table food and will try to hold out for only table food.
Many new Siberian owners have been heard to say, "My Siberian Husky won't eat the kibble; she went three days without eating. I put some leftovers in her food and she finally ate, but she only ate the left-overs. The kibble was left in the bowl."
The Siberian husky will train the owner what to feed, if allowed. Siberian Huskies do require a balanced diet, high in protein and fat. Many commercial dog foods do not meet the dietary needs of the Siberian.
If left unattended...
Siberian huskies will find a way to entertain themselves. If you leave them unattended, you may be surprised by their selected activity. Getting to know your Siberian husky is crucial in understanding to what extent you may leave him or her alone in certain situations. Some know only to play with their designated toys, while others will find new textures to explore, ranging from your shoes, to the couch or even the dry wall!
Can be cat friendly, but not always.
While we are on the subject of what Siberians like to eat, let's dispel the myth that Siberian Huskies will never be able to live with a cat. Although they have a very high prey drive, many Siberian Huskies have accepted cats as part of their family. Keep in mind that while the Siberian Husky has a very strong prey drive, they also have a pack mentality. Some huskies will accept cats as part of their pack.
However, while they may accept your cat as part of the family, that doesn't mean the cats—or the chickens, geese, rabbits, or goats—down the street are safe if they wander into your Siberian husky's sight. You should take the same care with any breed when it comes to other animals. Siberian Huskies are neither the rule or the exception.
You want me to sit?
Time for a game!
Training a Siberian Husky is a challenge. They are extremely intelligent and stubborn, which can be difficult when training. They might talk back when you ask them to sit and soon you will find yourself having a conversation with your Siberian about why he or she should sit for you. Or they might stare directly at you in understanding of the command and decide they just don't feel like listening.
Because of their independent spirit, training must be handled with consistency and patience. A Siberian Husky owner really should come armed with both a lot of good reading material and a good sense of humor to be able to handle their antics.
A successful Siberian Husky owner will tell you that training involves lots of positive training. You ask, "What is positive training?" Positive reinforcement training is a method by which a dog is praised for performing the desired task or behavior. Generally, this praise is done by voice, clicker, or treat. It is most assuredly the best method to use when training your Siberian. As a working dog, they like to learn and enjoy having a job to do. The dog is happy learning something new, and the owner is happy to be successfully teaching. It is a positive experience for all and a great way to bond with your dog.
As with all training, it is important to be patient and consistent. Training should be done for no more than 10 minutes at a time, as your dog may become bored. If you decide to devote 30 minutes a day to training, you will get much more from three 10 minute sessions than one 30 minute session. Siberians are very intelligent dogs, and as such, are prone to become bored during training. Therefore, it is good to continually teach them new things throughout their lives. As they learn new things, your relationship will continue to grow.
Dig! Dig! Dig!
Siberian Huskies have a natural tendency to dig, and with awe you can watch them dig large craters in your yard. They might even find that sump pump leak, which was 3-4 feet under the ground. They have an instinct to dig which can be curbed to some extent but not eliminated.
Many Siberian Husky owners find the need to keep a towel ready by the door and often cringe at the sight of rain—because when there is rain, there is mud. And where there is mud, there are Siberian Huskies standing in the middle. The image of muddy Siberian is an image that can make some laugh and others cry.
In addition to their natural tendency to dig, Siberians—not unlike most other dogs—will also do some other "light" gardening around your home. One may decide for you that the bush outside needs trimming. Another may try to help your prized rose bushes with a natural watering.
In coming to an agreement on the subject of gardening, many Siberian owners have taken one of two courses of action:
With the use of training and/or setting up physical boundaries, the Siberian Husky owner will keep their "prized gardens" to themselves and give the Siberian Husky their own "novice garden."
Forget the garden and learn to use to the words "Oh well!"
Every stranger is just a friend they haven't met yet.
You want me to watch for what?
Siberian Huskies have an extremely sociable nature that makes them useless as watch dogs. In fact, if a burglar broke into your home, your Siberian would likely show him where the money is and then invite him to play. A Siberian might do harm in kissing a burglar to death, but that can take some time.
On the bright side, Siberian Huskies are very pack oriented. This means that while they would be happy to make friends with the burglar, they will also happily be friends with everyone they meet. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, which is why it is always important for any dog to become well socialized with a multitude of different people and dogs in various settings.
What does socialize mean, exactly? It means that a dog should have "happy" encounters with lots of kids, other dogs, and people. Dogs don't necessarily generalize well. For example, a dog could live very happily in a home with another dog. This dog never leaves the house to meet other dogs, and so they never get to learn more than how to react within the setting they are accustomed to. When that dog goes out on the town one day and is insecure the first time he meets a differe29nt dog in this new setting, who's to blame? This is why it is so important for a Siberian Husky (or any dog) owner to socialize their pet beyond their "known" pack.
Within the Siberian Husky personae, it is typical for a Siberian to bond with their pack whether it is other dogs, humans, or both. Being pack oriented, they can sometimes be wary at first of creatures outside their pack. A plumber can come into your home to do his work and a Siberian husky might stand himself between your daughter or son and give that evil eye as if to say, don't touch my sibling. However, keep in mind that if you are looking for a reliable protector don't count on the Siberian husky to do the job.
You want me to guard? Nah, I'll just observe from here.
A speck of Siberian husky hair? Expect more!
Double insulation, double duty.
Many have seen the beautiful thick coat of the Siberian Husky and immediately condemn them to life as an "outside dog." Although they are coated with a double insulated coat of hair which protects them from both heat and cold, they need as much indoor comfort as any other breed.
While we are on the subject of that thick, wonderful coat, let's stop one fallacy here. Siberian Huskies CAN, HAVE, and DO live in hot climates such as Florida. While they are subject to dehydration, just like any dog or human, they are just as happy as long as they are with the people they love. Of course, they need water and don't mind some air conditioning.
Thinking about shaving your siberian husky? Learn why you should not here
This luxurious undercoat will fall out in clumps twice a year (no matter where they live) when they "blow coat." When it is hot outside they often find it cooling to take a bath in the mud. Some Siberian owners have resorted to leaving a "kiddie" pool outside to let their Sibes cool off.
To see all of that Siberian Husky hair covering your carpets, one can't help but think, "what a waste of hair!" Well don't fret, it can be used to spin yarn and make garments! You can have a Siberian husky coat of your own.
The escape artist who up for any challenge.
The houdinis of the dog world.
They have the ability to squeeze through the smallest of holes, break or chew their way out of a tie-out or run through an electric fences. Some will actually devise a plan for their escape route that you may have never even thought of.
We've witnessed this actual escape plan: one Siberian waits patiently around the corner for the prime opportunity when you open that front door, then bolts over the coffee table, over the chair, and one last leap over your shoulder...then begins the game of catch-me-if-you-can. Think it can't happen? Think again. Sibe owners learn to anticipate escape routes so they're always one step ahead of their quick or devious Siberian Husky.
These intelligent dogs are always learning new things; if you live with a Siberian husky they will certainly teach you that you have never seen it all. A Siberian husky home must learn the tricks of the trade, before their Siberian does a magic act for them.
Some human tricks of the trade:
There is a proper way to leave and enter your home—always be aware of where your Siberian husky is when you are coming and going.
Avoid doors with an intentional delay, set to close behind you. These doors offer precious seconds that any red-blooded Siberian will certainly take advantage of.
It is a good idea to place door latches up high. Better yet, lock doors to the world outside. You'd be surprised what a Siberian husky can do when motivated.
Can I fit through and explore what's on the other side?
It is always party time for these social butterflies.
Part of the pack.
These social butterflies are considered to be very pack oriented and gregarious. Whether their pack includes humans or other dogs, they easily become bonded with others. They are not meant to be left alone for long periods of time. They require the companionship of others, animal or human. If left with no others around to occupy him or her, either the howling begins, the escape route is started, or something you really liked is destroyed. For example, a Siberian pup could easily relieve boredom by turning your waterbed into a large pool. As they say, "idle paws are the devil's workshop!"
This isn't to say that Siberians can't happily live as "only children." Nor is it to say that Siberians can only live happy lives in homes that have someone home all day. There is always a way, if the Siberian owner is willing. In today's day and age most dogs are left to their own devices while their families are out and hard at work earning biscuit money. During this "free time," the use of a crate is strongly recommended.
The word crate is often viewed by many people as being a prison or jail. While it could become that if it isn't properly used, the crate—when utilized properly—can be a happy condo or safe place for a dog. Remember that dogs are denning animals and they look for the close and confined security that a crate can give them.
Ever notice a dog without a "crate" often takes to resting under a computer desk, under a table, or behind a couch? Slap a gate on the opening and what do you think it is? Answer: A crate.
Nomads by nature makes them never trustworthy off leash.
Nomads by nature.
Siberians can easily adjust to a new environment. In fact, to them every stranger is just a friend they haven't met yet. This nomadic tendency, coupled with their innate curiosity, makes it extremely important to always have them confined or on a leash. With no fear of cars and no homing instinct, this nomadic tendency could easily leave them prey to hunger, injury, disease, or worse.
Remember that these beautiful fur-kids are often expert Houdinis, so this wander-lust coupled with their ability to escape can be a dangerous thing. Security is extremely important for the Siberian Husky owner to review on a continual basis. Many Siberian Husky owners find refuge in crating their Siberian when they are not home to watch them outside, thereby keeping escape opportunities at a minimum.
Imagine you and your Siberian having a nice walk in the woods. It is a beautiful day and the birds are singing and a little bunny is hoping past you. Oh wait! There goes your Siberian husky after the bunny! You yell for your dog to come back, while the words "independent" and "stubborn" pop into your head. It has happened, it could happen again; without a leash your Siberian husky can take advantage of any opportunity that they see fit to use.
Up for the Challenge?
After viewing and reading the Many Personae of the Siberian Husky, if you can honestly say that you can't wait for the Siberian challenge to begin, you are as crazy and stubborn as the rest of us Siberian owners. Despite their many challenges, the more time you spend with a Siberian the more you will understand that there is usually a logical explanation for most of their outlandish behaviors. While the Siberian will not submit quickly to your will and will insist that you prove yourself as a good and reliable leader, once you have earned his or her respect you will be rewarded for years to come.
Article reproduced from Siberianrescue.org