Huskies were bred to be sled dogs and like most working dogs, they are energetic, smart and resilient. They are a very popular breed all over the world, but not every environment is suited to them.
If you live in an apartment, here’s everything you need to know before adopting a husky.
Huskies have great personalities and are very loving as family pets. However, they have a lot of energy and need to be showered with a lot of love and attention if you want them to be happy and healthy.
If they get plenty of exercise throughout the day and are trained well from puppyhood, they live in an apartment too. It will be a challenge to take care of all their needs in an apartment but if you are up for it, you could make it work.
Read on to get a better idea of what keeping a husky in an apartment would entail:
Huskies possess enough energy to run great distances and pull sleds. When they live in an apartment and don’t have a ‘job’, all this extra energy needs to be utilized. Otherwise, your pooch could turn destructive.
They are very active and need a decent amount of stimulating activity every day. The exact requirements can differ between individual dogs, but 2 hours of high-energy activity every day is enough for most huskies.
If you observe the following signs in your husky, he needs more exercise:
- If your husky turns into an escape artist whenever you take your eyes off him, it means that he is not getting enough exercise and is looking for other ways to spend that extra energy.
- Chewing on things around the house or excessive digging are also signs that your husky is looking for something else to do. He could be both bored and in need of exercise because he has way too much energy.
- If your husky turns clingy and follows you everywhere you go or brings his toys over to you and barks to get your attention, it can mean that you need to increase his daily exercise routine.
Most huskies love outdoor activities and will jump at any chance to get out of the house. Having a backyard to play in doesn’t always mean that the husky gets enough exercise.
Whether they live in a big house or an apartment, it is up to the owner to ensure that their husky gets enough exercise every day.
If you are going to be living in close quarters with them, it is important to make sure they are well trained. Even though huskies are quite intelligent, they aren’t the easiest breed to train because they are very independent.
They can be very stubborn and if you don’t establish yourself as the leader of the pack early on, it will be very difficult to get them to obey you.
You need to start training them very early and ensure that you stay consistent. Do not treat your pup as an equal in the household and always be confident while dealing with him.
Using positive reinforcement has proven very effective in training dogs. It also helps keep them from being afraid of you or turning aggressive.
Going to obedience classes early on helps build a good foundation for your husky and helps you understand their personality and what works best for training them at home later.
Huskies are used to cold climates and have a double coat of medium length. They will shed throughout the year and once or twice a year they will shed their entire undercoat.
This means that you will spend a fair amount of time dealing with their fur floating all around the house, so make sure you are prepared to deal with that.
You need to brush them well once a week and almost daily if the weather is hot. They don’t really need a bath, so only bathe them if they have gotten dirty. Brushing their teeth is also recommended as it prevents bad breath and dental problems.
Potty training can be a tad difficult in an apartment. You have limited space, so it is important to establish a particular spot for your dog to do his business in. You can lay down newspapers or use a pee pad to encourage them to use the same location every day.
As they get older, start training them to pee and poop outside. You need to take them out at the same time every day. If there is a grassy area near your apartment, it will be perfect for your dog.
Whenever your dog pees or poops in the right area, praise him or give him treats. Never punish your husky for having an accident inside the house as he will have no idea what he is being punished for.
You need a lot of patience to potty train a husky in an apartment. They have tiny bladders when they are younger, but as they get older they will learn to pee and poop outside the house. Be ready to clean up a lot of messes as it won’t be an easy journey.
Huskies aren’t usually territorial so they don’t bark a lot. This also means that they don’t make great guard dogs and are generally friendly with strangers and visitors.
However, they love being vocal and howl a lot. This is a natural trait and there isn’t much you can do about it. You can train your pup to be quieter, but there’s no guarantee that you will be successful.
So if you have pesky neighbors who tend to complain about the noise in your apartment, you should reconsider getting a husky.
If your husky is barking at you, it is probably due to a specific reason. They either want your attention, need to go to the bathroom, are feeling anxious or are just bored.
They don’t usually bark, so it is important to observe them and understand the reason when they do bark.
Huskies are built to survive extremely cold climates. They have a thick double coat that keeps them quite warm. If you live in an apartment, make sure it is airy and has good ventilation.
A warm or stuffy apartment will not be comfortable for a husky and he might frequently try to escape if he feels too hot.
Huskies can live in warmer climates, but you need to make arrangements to keep them comfortable. You also need to brush them regularly to get the excess fur out of their coat.
Here are a few things you can do to make your husky more comfortable in an apartment:
- Establish a walking schedule. A quick 15-minute jaunt around the neighborhood is not enough for a husky. They need a good 45-60 minutes of outdoor activity every day.
- Make sure they get a lot of exercise. This makes it much easier for a husky to live in an apartment, as they will be tired out and want to rest when they come back home.
- Take your furry friend to the dog park whenever you can. It is a great change of scenery and gives your husky an opportunity to run around freely and play or socialize with other dogs.
- Get puzzle toys or interactive toys to keep your husky engaged during playtime. A lot of dogs love a mental challenge and these toys can keep them happy for hours.
- Make sure you train your husky well. Spending time and effort in training them consistently will save you a lot of trouble later.
Huskies like having attention and also howl a lot, so it is not recommended to leave them home alone. If you have another pet to keep your husky company or you have a friend you can leave your husky with, it would be much better for your dog.
You can also get a dog walker so that your husky isn’t home alone for too long or leave them at doggie daycare.
If your husky is comfortable being home alone when you’re away, leave them plenty of toys to keep them occupied. Lock up all your belongings and make sure there isn’t anything lying around that could be dangerous for your dog.
Leave enough food and water for your pooch when you leave. Huskies can run very hot due to their thick coat, so they need plenty of water to stay hydrated.
You can also get a dispenser that will release food at specific intervals or dispense more water whenever the bowl is empty. All of these steps might seem like small things, but they will keep your husky safe and comfortable when you’re away.
Huskies aren’t really that well suited to live in apartments—unless their owner is dedicated to keeping them healthy and comfortable even in a small space. If you take care of all the factors listed above, you could raise a husky in an apartment too.