Could you cope with me?
The Scottish Siberian Husky Club is concerned that along with the rapidly growing popularity of our lovely breed, potential owners are made aware of the DISADVANTAGES as well as the ADVANTAGES of owning and living with the Siberian Husky. With these thoughts in mind we have instigated this information.
- Siberian Huskies are exuberant, friendly and intelligent and can form strong bonds with their owners, but this does not make them a one man dog and they would quite happily trot off with anyone on the other end of the lead. They owe you no loyalty.
- Being independent they need firm and consistent handling from the start. You make YOUR rules on day one and with luck they will be respected “ to a degree “ learning to compromise is one of the first human lessons in living with a Siberian!
- Their friendliness towards almost all people does not make them guard dogs they would probably show an intruder where all the best goodies are kept! It is doubtful if the Siberian would even bark to announce the arrival of a visitor, and would probably just survey the situation with a knowing superior stare!
- They rarely do bark but they can howl beautifully and often “talk” to you and other dogs in a soft musical “woo-woo-woooh!”
- Their exuberance is in their play exercise: – they love a rough and tumble. Being very much a “pack” dog, they are gregarious by nature and enjoy the company of other dogs in a family or group situation. If no canine companionship is available your company is much needed by the Siberian and it is hoped you will be able to play their games!
- Siberian Huskies are not usually aggressive with other dogs but will normally take up a challenge if provoked.
- Until comparatively recently the Siberian Husky has been strictly a working dog used to pulling sledges, hunting and to a lesser extent, herding. As a result of this they are still a very natural breed, in the sense that they are close to nature and whilst they are charming with people and socialise well with other dogs, they are also very affective, keen and lethal hunters and love to roam. Because these instincts are VERY strong in the Siberian Husky YOU ARE ADVISED NEVER TO ALLOW A SIBERIAN HUSKY TO RUN FREE it will very quickly “click” into hunting mode. Great care must be taken at all times to prevent them from straying and escaping and killing livestock or getting run over. SO, if you do not have a garden, or are unable to fence the garden you do have, you may be better off with a budgie! Whilst we are talking about gardens, Siberians are not a breed for those who take great pride in their rose beds or immaculate lawns. They love digging holes (caves!) and appear to indulge in this activity for no other reason than enjoyment. They also use this skill in assisting them to escape from your “well fenced” garden and will use the midden bin or the coal bunker as a step up to go over the top! It is therefore advisable not only to have a high fence to discourage jumping out (six foot is usually enough) but also to bury the fence in the ground or put paving slabs or concrete around the base. This could help prevent the holes becoming escape tunnels.
- It is often remarked that Siberian Huskies do not have a doggy smell and it is also interesting that they do not seem to cause an allergic reaction in people who are normally allergic to dogs and cats.
- “CATS” is another good word to extend on! Although Siberian Huskies are sometimes able to accept a cat within the pack they have been brought up with, all other intruding cats will be regarded as fair game. It is perhaps not advisable to leave a cat and a Siberian confined together unattended for any length of time.
- Siberians tend to be a meticulously clean breed and many lick themselves like cats to keep their impressive double coat in good working order. The Siberian Husky also performs a useful function in providing wall to wall deep pile carpeting which usually coincides with the once or twice yearly moult. SO, if you are house-proud perhaps you had better get a goldfish instead! You will also probably find yourself looking around for clothes of a colour which do not show the dog hairs quite so much. The smart black suit and the nice little black number are REALLY saved for that special occasion!
- The Siberian Husky needs a lot of exercise and because it is still a sled dog the easiest and best form of exercise it can be given is to allow it to pull some kind of vehicle. Please note that this is not permitted on the Queens Highway or the M8!
- If you have been doing your homework on the Siberian and have been lucky enough for an owner to have taken you to a training session it will have become instantly obvious at the “hitch-up” from the noisy excitement and the happy expressions on their faces that working and running in harness is their greatest love. Can you provide what the have been bred for over countless generations?
- The Siberian Husky is mischievous as well as intelligent and uses both to challenge you mentally. You MAY have had the last word, but there is this sneaky feeling that behind those eyes someone is laughing at you and already planning the next move! You will very quickly start to learn about dog psychology and it will be the Siberian teaching you!