Siberian husky dogs are energetic and restless, so they need to practice various exercises and activities that make them happy. In addition, they are loyal, kind and show a lot of affection for the people who raise them as pets. On the other hand, they can be stubborn and difficult to train and train - and not everyone can. If you are thinking about buying a puppy, consider whether you have the time, patience, energy and dedication necessary to give your pet a long, happy and full life.
Part 1 of 3: Training the husky
Step 1. Socialize the dog
As a puppy, he must learn to interact well with various aspects of the environment (people, other dogs, etc.) to become a confident and well-behaved adult. To do this, let him interact with different people, places and sounds.
- You can try to find dog centers in the area where you live. In these places, he will be able to interact with other animals. Start looking when your puppy is four or five months old.
- In addition to these centers, you can expose the puppy to different situations in the environment where he lives, such as the sounds of city traffic, as well as invite your friends for a visit - so that the pet is comfortable with new people.
- Take the dog for a walk in local parks to expose him to different people, sights and sounds.
- Keep an eye on the dog as he explores this new world. If he seems scared or afraid about certain experiences, stop immediately.
Step 2. Take the puppy to a training center
By nature, every Siberian husky is independent and intelligent. However, they can also be stubborn, which makes training at home difficult. It is a good idea, therefore, to call in a professional.
- You can hire a professional for different stages of the dog's life, such as when he is a puppy (about four months) or an adult (from 12 months onwards). For the husky to be obedient, it is essential to start training in the first few months of life.
- As it is intelligent, the Siberian husky is able to differentiate the training center from the owner's house. So he can follow the handler's commands to the letter, but disobey when he gets home. While this is frustrating, keep training and reinforcing what he's learned.
Step 3. Teach the puppy to stay in the cage
This is even more important with Siberian husky dogs. If you teach him to stay in the cage, all the training at home will be easier - since he won't urinate or defecate where he sleeps. What's more, the cage will become a safe haven for the pet, which it can turn to whenever it gets scared or tired.
Do not use the cage to punish your husky. If you trap him in it every time he misbehaves, he'll start to associate the space with bad things
Step 4. Get the dog used to being on a leash
If you let him go, he'll probably run away - either to play or to go after something interesting. Even if the animal loves its owner, its instinct to run and be free (and perhaps even its predator instinct) can be stronger. That's why it's essential to get him used to the collar.
- If you train the dog to get used to the collar, he will stop resisting it. If he starts pulling, you can either stop moving and call him by name or walk in the opposite direction the dog wants to go.
- Don't go into tug of war with the Siberian husky on a leash, or it may try to pull even harder to your side.
- Do not use retractable collars - the dog may try to pull even harder.
- If the husky is a puppy, let it sniff and "explore" the collar at home before using it for walks.
- The handler can help you get the dog used to the collar.
Step 5. Make it clear that you are the leader of the "pack"
Siberian huskies are pack animals and hope to have a leader they can follow. In your case, you are that leader. To make this clear, make the dog wait a while to eat, for example.
- If you control what time the husky can feed, it will see you as the sole provider of feed and other resources - ie, the leader.
- You can also take control of the situation when you go out for a walk with the husky. That way, it will show that he has to follow your commands, not the other way around.
- The husky may try to take over as pack leader from time to time. If this happens, be firm and consistent with your gestures.
- Not assume the position of leader through physical or verbal aggression gestures. The husky will not show trust and respect if you try to intimidate him like that.
Part 2 of 3: Playing and exercising with the husky
Step 1. Help the husky exercise every day
Siberian huskies are very active. In Siberia, the region from which they originate, they were used to pulling heavy sleds for tens or hundreds of kilometers at a time. Therefore, they still need a lot of exercise each day (at least 30 to 60 minutes) to release the accumulated energy.
- You can take the husky for longer rides.
- If you want to dare to help your dog exercise, attach his collar to a bicycle or wheelbarrow and let him pull your weight. However, only try to do this if the animal is trained.
- Playing throwing objects for him to search and making trails with the husky are also good exercise options.
- If there is a body of water near where you live, take the husky for a swim.
- Remember that the Siberian husky is very energetic and almost always wants to play and exercise. Save plenty of energy to keep up with him!
Step 2. Adapt your backyard to prevent the husky from running away
Huskies are great at the art of escape. If your house is not surrounded by walls on all sides, install some kind of fence in the yard so that it doesn't go out of there. However, that may not be enough - the dog may end up digging a hole near the wall to try to access what is on the other side.
- To prevent the dog from trying to dig a hole, install the fence deep into the ground. You can even put concrete or wire mesh at the base of the wall.
- Hire a fence installation company to adapt the site to prevent the husky from fleeing.
- If your husky can dig some holes, fill the space with cement blocks to keep the situation from getting worse.
- Always keep an eye out when releasing the husky in a relatively protected location. As much as the dog loves to be out and about, he may end up getting lonely or bored - and thus start to destroy what he finds in front of him.
Step 3. Find a canine friend for the husky
Siberian huskies are quite sociable. Your pet will probably enjoy being able to play and run with another animal. Ideally, this partner should be the same size and energy level as he is.
Let the husky meet other puppies and choose which ones he wants to play with
Step 4. Don't make the husky exercise when it's too hot
Siberian huskies have a double coat of fur, making them ideal for cold climates. Still, that's not to say you can't have an animal like that if you live in a warm place - you'll just have to be more careful when you play and walk with it during the hottest times of year.
- If you live in a hot place (which is the case in most of Brazil), only let the husky exercise in the early morning, when the temperature is not so high.
- The husky can suffer heat stroke or other heat-related problems if it spends too long in the sun or in hot environments. Try to leave it indoors during the hottest hours of the day.
Step 5. Entertain the dog
The Siberian husky is very intelligent and therefore needs mental stimulation to stay busy and distracted. You can buy specific toys that are durable and stimulate your pet's mind.
- Buy something like kong toys, which you can stick bones and other snacks into.
- Remember that the husky can be quite destructive: choose toys that are durable, that keep him occupied, but that are resistant.
- In addition to toys, you can teach the dog tricks, such as playing dead, looking for thrown objects and other things that stimulate his mind.
Part 3 of 3: Feeding and caring for the husky
Step 1. Feed the husky a quality feed
In the beginning, Siberian huskies were conditioned to survive by eating little. Thus, the animal does not need so many calories to stay healthy and have energy to play and exercise.
- Feed it once or twice a day, and don't let the husky exercise for at least 90 minutes after feeding.
- The husky may need more or less feed, depending on factors such as size, age and health.
- If the dog is a puppy, start feeding him three times a day: morning, noon, and night. By the time he's three or four months old, he'll probably be able to start eating twice a day.
- If you feed the husky human food, he may start to become selective about what he eats and/or develop diarrhea.
- If you have purchased your husky from a professional breeder, you can ask them to recommend the ideal dog food. Also, talk to a veterinarian or other people who have dogs of the same breed.
Step 2. Brush the husky's fur
Siberian huskies are clean animals by nature. They give off almost no dog smell and clean their fur regularly; that way, you won't have as much work. However, they also shed a lot of fur, especially during spring and autumn, when all the fur is changed.
- This fur change period lasts for at least three weeks.
- Brush the husky with a soft, large brush at least once a week throughout the year to remove dead hair and leave the fur shiny and well-groomed. Buy the accessory at any pet store.
- Not fleece the husky in summer. You might think it will be cooler, but it will eventually remove the layer of protection it has against ultraviolet rays.
Step 3. Bathe the husky
Since Siberian huskies take care of their own hygiene so well, you will probably only need to bathe your pet once a year. If you can't do this on your own, take him to a pet shop.
Step 4. Trim the dog's nails every one to two weeks
If you can't cut them yourself because of the dog's size and fuss, make an appointment with your veterinarian. In addition, the animal itself can end up leaving its nails naturally short with the amount of exercise it does.
Step 5. Brush the dog's teeth
If you can, brush them two or three times a week. Purchase a suitable toothpaste from the pet store.
- It is important to brush your dog's teeth to not only keep his breath fresh, but also to prevent the formation of plaque and tartar, which can lead to serious illnesses in the mouth and body.
- Consult your veterinarian if you need further guidance on brushing your husky's teeth.
- If you are unable to brush the dog's teeth, schedule a dental cleaning session with the veterinarian. However, it can be expensive as the animal will need general anesthesia.
- On average, Siberian huskies live from 12 to 15 years.
- Huskies are stubborn and adapt better to experienced owners who make it clear who is the leader of the pack.
- It takes a lot of patience and perseverance to train the husky.
- Make regular appointments with the veterinarian to take care of the husky's health and update vaccines.
- Give the dog a heartworm remedy once a month, as well as flea and tick remedies.
- Give the dog plenty of fresh water.
- Give the husky resources to keep busy and feed and water for when he's hungry and thirsty. When he's alone, he can end up destroying the environment around him if he gets bored.
- Siberian huskies are susceptible to some diseases, such as developmental hip dysplasia, as well as eye problems (progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, etc.), which are not detectable in the early stages of life. If possible, only buy the dog from a breeder who does the necessary tests and take the animal to the veterinarian if you notice he has any problems walking or seeing.
- Huskies can engage in highly destructive behaviors when they are alone and do not have access to physical and/or mental stimuli. Give your pet lots of toys when you go out, but keep an eye out even when you're at home.
- Huskies are predatory dogs. If you have a cat at home, the dog may see you as prey. If necessary, choose a breed that doesn't have such strong instincts.
- Huskies are not guard dogs. On the contrary: they may even want to pet intruders or strangers who enter their home, which could jeopardize their safety and that of their family. If you want to feel more protected, buy another breed, such as a German Shepherd or a Doberman.