The Siberian Husky breed originated as an endurance sled dog of the Chukchi people of Northeastern Asia. When a changing climate forced the natives to expand their hunting grounds, they developed a unique breed of sled dog that met their specific requirements and ultimately helped them survive. Huskies are capable of running long distances at a moderate speed and can carry a light load in very low temperatures without expending very much energy.
The Siberian Husky typically has a joyful demeanor. They are friendly, exuberant, and have a striking appearance. Although Huskies have many appealing traits, they may not be the right choice of breed for any dog owner. It’s important for any potential Husky owner to be aware of the typical traits of the dog breed before committing to adopting one. Read on to learn more about a Siberian Husky’s unique personality traits and temperament.
Husky Temperament & Personality
Siberian Huskies are free-spirited and typically good-natured with people. They are athletic, playful, and light on their feet. They love being outdoors and require significant daily exercise, especially in cold weather. Huskies should be taken for a walk, run, or hike every day.
When they go outside the home, they must be on a leash at all times, as they are very independent creatures and born to run.
If something catches their interest and they aren’t tethered to a leash, they will surely run off.
The friendliness and affection of Siberian Husky personality make them good companions for people of every age.
In addition to family members, this friendliness often includes strangers and other dogs. Because of this, they don’t make the best watchdogs.
Conversely, Siberian Huskies have an independent temperament and are not always so eager to please. They can be very willful at times and must be consistently shown that their owners mean what they say.
Most Siberian Huskies are:
- Great with children
- Compatible with other pets
- Easily trained
- Free-spirited and playful
- Athletic and agile
- Good with strangers and other dogs
Huskies in the Home
Huskies are easily trained and are a great fit for homes with children. As natural pack dogs, they like being part of a family and don’t like being left alone for long periods of time. Since Siberian Huskies are such a friendly dog breed and love meeting new people, they make somewhat indifferent watchdogs.
They are extremely energetic dogs and can’t resist chasing smaller animals. Because of this, they need a secure place to run around, like a fenced yard or dog park.
Most Huskies get along well with other dogs, but they have a natural predator instinct and may chase or harm pet cats if they weren’t raised with them. Additionally, they should not be kept around pet rabbits or birds.
It’s important that the fencing of your yard is high and secure, as Huskies can jump high and dig under fences in order to escape.
To keep your pet in, fencing should be made of solid wood and be at least 6 feet high. Also, the wire should be sunk into the ground along the fence line prevent digging.
Huskies are known to be escape artists and able to squeeze through very small holes, break or chew their way out of a leash, or even run through electric fences.
Unless you live very remotely, your Husky should never be left outside in an unfenced yard without supervision. Additionally, Husky owners should anticipate possible escape routes so they’re always one step ahead of their mischievous pet.
Siberian Huskies are natural athletes and require some form of exercise on a daily basis. Adequate activity can be achieved with walks, runs, hikes, or playtime in a fenced yard. However, because of their strength and speed, exercise should always be administered by an adult that is able to take charge if the dog decides to run wild.
Another great way to exercise a Husky is to have two of them! With two dogs, they will be able to entertain each other. Of course, it isn’t necessary to have two Huskies, but it can certainly be helpful to have another playful dog around. Without another dog in the home, Husky owners will need to be quick on their feet and ready to play on a daily basis.
For a more mellow companion, some people may choose to adopt an older dog. Older dogs will still be very friendly and have a robust personality, and they do not have the same energy levels as Husky puppies.
It’s important to remember that all Huskies will find a way to entertain themselves anywhere they go. This is why it is vital for owners to always find ways to keep their pup occupied. Since Siberian Huskies like to run and work, they require lots of activity from their owners. Without the opportunity to expel their energy on a regular basis, Huskies will become bored and rambunctious.
This can lead to howling, destructive chewing, or escape attempts. Bored Huskies are known for chewing through drywall, ripping the stuffing out of furniture, or tearing up grass in a backyard. Siberian Huskies can develop a somewhat negative temperament without sufficient exercise and regular mental stimulation.
Intelligence & Trainability
Historically, pulling sleds and carts gave Siberian Huskies a purpose in life. Without this type of determined exercise, mental activity, and socialization, they can become incredibly destructive.
Training Huskies can be a challenge because of their strong will and inclination to use their intelligence in clever ways. They will try to keep finding ways to outsmart their owners. Because of this, it’s important for Husky owners to teach their dogs to respect them.
A dog that respects their owner will obey commands and stop what they’re doing when they are told “No.”
Since Huskies have such a love for food, treats can be used as a tool to get their undivided attention when training your dog.
Without an identifiable a pack leader, a Siberian Husky temperament may exhibit dominance over their family or other pets.
They tend to seize opportunities to advance in the pack hierarchy. If they believe they are the pack leader, a Husky may be difficult to train and exhibit some adverse personality traits.
Instinct & Alertness
Siberian Huskies are a breed of dog with a very prominent prey drive. This instinct is inherited from their ancestors’ time in the wild and is still very much embedded within their personalities today. Huskies have been known to chase cats, hunt birds, and prey on other household pets.
Huskies are nomads by nature and can easily adjust to new environments. In fact, they get along with almost every stranger they meet. Their wandering tendencies and innate curiosity make it extremely important to ensure they are always on a leash. Huskies have no fear of cars and not much of a homing instinct, which can lead to them running away, getting lost, or becoming injured.
If you’re thinking of bringing a Husky into your home, consider all of their personality traits and characteristics. Additionally, it’s important to think about whether you can provide your pup with room to play outdoors, how much you’ll be able to exercise him, and if you’re prepared to have him on a leash for each and every walk outside!
- “Siberian Husky – Temperament & Personality.” Petwave, 27 Oct. 2016, Accessed 22 Nov 2017. www.petwave.com/Dogs/Breeds/Siberian-Husky/Personality.aspx.
- “Siberian Husky Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts.” Dogtime, Accessed 22 Nov 2017. www.dogtime.com/dog-breeds/siberian-husky.
- Farricelli, Adrienne. “Unique Siberian Husky Dog Behaviors.” Pets The Nest, 21 Nov. 2017, Accessed 22 Nov 2017. www.pets.thenest.com/unique-siberian-husky-dog-behaviors-6242.html.
- Kriss, Randa. “Siberian Husky Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, Accessed 22 Nov 2017. www.akc.org/dog-breeds/siberian-husky/.
- “Siberian Husky Dog Breed.” Chewy, 26 May 2018, Accessed 22 Nov 2017. www.chewy.com/petcentral/behavior-breeds-siberian-husky-dog-breed/.