Are Huskies High Maintenance Dogs?

By John Martin - August 12, 2021

Husky in the mountains hiking

Are you thinking of getting yourself a beautiful blue-eyed Siberian husky? Huskies aren’t like other dogs and require certain conditions to be met before they can adjust completely.

So, if you’re wondering, are huskies high maintenance dogs? Then the answer is yes, Huskies are considered to be a high maintenance dog breed. They’re more demanding than other breeds.

Hence, it’s crucial to understand how to take care of them properly. Or else, you might have a displeased and aggressive husky to deal with.

Things You Need To Know About Huskies

Siberian Huskies are very attractive dogs. They make excellent home pets and are extremely loving and affectionate.

What’s more, they are perfect as guardians and watchdogs and are sure to take their guardianship very seriously. They are high-energy dogs that will keep you up on your toes.

But what does owning a Husky mean? What will you need to know about them before you get yourself a big blue-eyed friend?

What Are They?

Siberian Huskies, as their name suggests, are arctic working dogs. Because they are working dogs, they will value physical workouts a lot more than being sedentary.

They are not passive and submissive dogs who like to lie on your lap as you pet them. No, instead, you will find yourself being pulled to the outdoors by them.

Siberian Huskies were developed in Russia and were made for the task of pulling heavy sleds for miles. They were known to be companions and sled pullers for the Chukchi tribe in Russia.

Are They Energetic?

Siberian Huskies are immensely energetic and will demand the same level of activity from you too. It is not easy to keep up with them.

They will demand daily exercise and playtime from you, at least one to two hours daily. If your lifestyle does not allow for that, it is better to look for other options before you can be a bit more stable.

How Big Can They Get?

Siberian huskies aren’t small, petite dogs. They are big and demand attention and cannot be ignored.

They can get up to 23 inches tall and can weigh up to 60 pounds. They also tend to live for longer and have a lifespan of around 12-15 years.

Also Read: When Do Huskies Stop Growing?

Ideal Spaces

A Siberian Husky isn’t ideal for keeping in small apartments or places that don’t have much room for them to roam around. It is important to have a space for them where they can have some space.

Ideally, a house with a backyard would be well suited for them. Nonetheless, if you cannot keep them in yard spaces, there are always ways to train your husky to live in your space.

Albeit this will take intensive training and a lot of adjustment for both you and your pretty friend.

Maintenance Requirements For Huskies

Before you think of bringing your new friend to your home, it is important to understand all you need. Not only will you need to make adjustments to your space, but also your schedule and your own life.

Huskies aren’t low maintenance and will demand your constant time, attention, and energy, and it is important to figure that out before you get them settled.

If, after understanding the requirements, you think they are not suited for you at this point, then don’t despair. There are plenty of other low-maintenance breeds available for you to dote on and love.

But before that, let’s understand the characteristics that make Huskies such high maintenance dogs.

Need For Exercise

Huskies aren’t dogs that you can let laze around. In fact, they don’t even want to laze around. They will require you to be consistent with their workout and daily exercise routines.

If you miss a day, don’t worry, you’ll know because your Husky will not let you forget. Sometimes, it will be with some fun pokes and tugs, but other ties, they may get aggressive and become destructive.

You probably will even hear a lot more complaints in the form of barkings, and at that point, you will absolutely need to get your dogs outside for some playtime.

A part of the reason why they require so much exercise to burn out their energies is that they were made to do high-energy work. Pulling sleds in the snow for miles is no simple task, and though you may not have miles of snow at your disposal, a husky will still demand to be worked.

There are various types of workouts that are very beneficial for Huskies. They are exercises like hiking, chasing, jumping, running, high-intensity agility training, and even sled pulling.

Need For Mental Stimulation

Not only do they need regular and daily exercise, but they also require mental stimulation. Huskies are extremely intelligent and smart dogs, so they require a good amount of training so that you can keep them well-mannered.

Or else, with their highly independent personalities, you might have to run around chasing them constantly.

Siberian Huskies also tend to get bored very easily, so you can’t leave them unattended for long. Not if you don’t want to come back to your place as a mess with destruction everywhere.

But once you get their requirements down pat, they’re a treat to have and will make your life happier. They are extremely affectionate and tactile, so they will not shy away from expressing their adoration to you.

However, they are not everyone, especially if their requirements aren’t met and certainly not for people who may not have any prior experience with high maintenance dogs.

Too Much Shedding

While most of the dogs shed more or less, Huskies take it even further and shed every day. Constantly.

You will not be able to escape their constant shedding, and if you have any allergies, then Huskies are a big no-no for you.

Their fur coat is made up of soft and fine hair, and when they shed, they do it with noticeable clumps. It will also stick to everything, especially fabrics.

The amount of shedding alone can be daunting, but there are always ways to tackle it. Regular grooming and brushing will be an absolute requirement as it will reduce the shedding considerably and give you a clean hair free space.

You can be fine with brushing their coat maybe once or twice a week on normal days. However, if it is spring, then you might need to do it almost every other day. Or even daily.

You may also need to take them to get professionally groomed every once in a while.

Need For Companionship

Huskies are inherently drawn towards companionship. They are pack animals and don’t handle loneliness well.

Hence, they are not dogs you can leave alone for extended periods. Moreover, they thrive on socialization. Socialization not only with your friends and family but also with other dogs as well.

If you have a companion for your Husky, maybe say another Husky of different sex, then you will probably have a much more tempered Husky. They are exuberant in their love but can also be quite demanding when they don’t get their required amount of company.

So it would be best if you didn’t leave them completely alone. It’s even better if you have other family members that can be given company to your Husky while you’re away.

However, if you live alone, it might be wise to rethink getting a Husky before figuring out if you can dedicate a lot of time to them.

Need for Proper Training

You guessed it- since they are such a high-energy breed and always moving around, they need to be appropriately trained. And is it hard to train Huskies? Well, as with any breed, there are certain challenges, but Huskies can be a bit of work.

That is mainly due to their extremely independent and stubborn nature, but they are highly intelligent and intuitive animals. Some training methods like positive reinforcements, socialization, and obedience training are a must.

Training also makes them well-mannered and unlikely to display destructive behaviors. So training a Husky cannot be skipped, especially in the initial stages.

Once you have incorporated proper training into them, they will be very well behaved, albeit way too excited all the time.

Eating Habits

Unlike some other dogs, say Pugs or Labradors, Huskies can prove to be picky eaters. Huskies can often display a lack of appetite and may not eat nearly as much as they should.

It can become a problem if the behavior persists for too long, and a visit to the vet should be in order as their lack of appetite can also point towards health issues.

Sometimes, health concerns may be coming in between your husky and their food, but other times, it may just be their inherent nature.

They were bred for long, taxing work with limited food around. Huskies may need some time to adjust, and proper training and supplements may help get a Husky to eat properly and healthily.

Escaping Habits

Huskies are notorious for running away. Often fences are needed, even if your yards before you can let them loose.

When in public, it is a must to always have a leash on your Husky. Huskies have instincts that urge them to run and explore, but it’s not always safe for them to do so, especially in urban areas.

Unless they are trained enough not to escape, it is advised not to take them off-leash and have proper fencing around so that you are not constantly chasing them around.

So, Are Huskies High Maintenance Dogs?

By now, it will be clear to you that yes, Huskies definitely are high maintenance dogs.

They also can’t do well in too hot climates as they were bred for the cold. So an air conditioner is a must to ensure their proper health and comfort.

And unless you can meet their requirements and make compromises in your life to accommodate them, they may sadly not be for you.

Wrapping Up

It is best to understand everything you can about the nature of Huskies and their requirements as you do your research before deciding on a future with them.

Since they are high maintenance dogs, you may find yourself unsuited as an owner to a Siberian Husky. In that case, it is better to find out if a Husky will be compatible with your lifestyle before you venture out to adopt one.