Many people build the image of a wolf-like dog with sharp blue eyes when they hear of the Siberian Husky. While that does say something about the breed, prospective Husky owners have a lot more to learn about Huskies before deciding to go for the dog. So, what are the pros and cons of the Husky?
The Siberian Husky is an attractive dog with a compact body and bright coat. The breed’s social disposition makes Huskies friends of family and strangers. These dogs are primarily healthy and live long lives. But Huskies can be hard to train. They howl and shed a lot and are prone to eye problems.
To help you decide if the Siberian Husky is your canine choice, this article will explore the details of these and other Husky pros and cons. I’ll make sure you’ll not doubt whether the Husky is the best dog for you by the time you complete reading this article.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Husky?
Huskies are beautiful dogs. They have a well-muscled body, almond-shaped blue or brown eyes, and erect ears. Their friendly nature makes Huskies excellent family dogs. Nonetheless, Huskies have a sharp howl and a strong prey drive. They quickly befriend strangers and are not good guard dogs.
Here’s a summary of Husky pros and cons discussed in the article.
|Husky Pros||Husky Cons|
|Huskies are attractive dogs||Huskies can be difficult to train|
|Huskies are excellent family dogs||Huskies howl a lot!|
|Huskies are energetic dogs||Huskies love unauthorized outings!|
|Huskies are affordable dogs||Huskies are heavy shedders|
|Huskies enjoy your company||Huskies can suffer eye problems|
|Huskies are healthy dogs||Huskies aren’t good protectors|
|Huskies are long-living dogs|
The Pros of Huskies
Every dog breed comes with plenty of good qualities. However, different breeds will have different needs and personalities, so you should pay close attention to the pros of any breed you’re considering adopting.
Here are the top pros of Huskies:
Huskies Are Attractive Dogs
If you make a web search of the ‘most beautiful dogs,’ you’ll find the Siberian Husky featuring in a majority – if not all – of the top search results. That’s because Huskies are truly attractive dogs.
These one-time sled dogs have a well-haired body with firm muscles but not excess weight. Their erect ears, medium-length muzzle, and sharp almond-shaped eyes give Huskies their wolf-like features.
The beauty of the Husky is often linked to blue eyes. However, Huskies can also have brown eyes, one eye brown and the other blue, or both eyes particolored.
Huskies also have bright coats. Although they can be solid white or black, white always combines with other colors when a Husky has two colors. Common white combinations on Husky coats include:
- Sable & white
- Agouti & white
- Black & white
- Gray & white, among others
Husky coats can also bear markings. Saddleback markings on a Husky’s coat are considered standard, while the Piebald marking is registered but not standard.
Huskies Are Excellent Family Dogs
Prospective dog owners looking for a good family dog will want their new pet to pass the test of being affectionate with family, good with children, and getting along well with other dogs in the home, among other characteristics.
The Siberian Husky passes the test for all three with a 5/5 mark, going by the AKC breed standard. That precisely means that Siberian Huskies:
- Are friendly with all the members of the family.
- Are incredibly patient with children and will tolerate their playful nature. Huskies are themselves playful dogs.
- Are friendly towards other dogs, both in the home and in public spaces such as parks.
Huskies Are Energetic Dogs
The Husky is a perfect choice if you want a dog that you can take with you for your long morning and evening jogging and weekend hikes.
Huskies were original working snow dogs, bred to pull sleds for long distances at a consistent running pace. That makes them up to the task of keeping up with your pace during a morning run.
Although they may be stubborn to structured training and learning commands, they will enjoy vigorous training exercises and mentally stimulating activities.
Huskies Are Affordable Dogs
Compared to other more popular dog breeds like the French Bulldog and the Golden Retriever – for which you can pay as much as $5,000 and $10,000, respectively – the highest price listed on AKC-registered Husky breeder websites is $2,500.
The most common price is $1,500. I even found a one-year-old male Husky listed for $100!
Consider a moderate buying price alongside factors like good health, cleanliness with moderate grooming needs, and not being a greedy eater, you can conclude that the Husky is cheaper to own than other popular breeds.
Learn About Husky Pros & Cons In This Video…
Huskies Enjoy Your Company
Siberian Huskies were originally pack dogs that often worked together to pull sleds. As such, they are social dogs who love the company of their family. Their social disposition also explains their openness to every human.
Huskies are also playful dogs, meaning that, although they’ll enjoy a cuddle on the couch, they prefer a tug-of-war game better. Their preference for dynamic exercise is explained by the fact that they are high-energy dogs with relatively high mental stimulation needs.
Being naturally pack dogs, Huskies tend to suffer isolation distress (not separation anxiety) when their owner is away. But their indiscriminate friendly nature allows Huskies to be comforted by the presence of other family members or dogs.
Huskies Are Healthy Dogs
The Siberian Husky is often listed among the ‘most healthy dog breeds.’ To maintain the breed’s natural health advantage, however, Huskies need proper care from their owners.
Breeders should also perform the hip and ophthalmologist evaluations recommended by the Siberian Husky Club of America before breeding their dogs.
Huskies also have a more efficient metabolism that burns calories and uses all nutrients. As such, they tend to eat less than other dog breeds.
While there’s nothing to worry about the Husky’s moderate eating, it is important to work with a veterinarian to ensure your Husky is getting the correct amount of the required nutrients in the right amounts of food. You can learn more about Husky nutrition here, Best Diet For Huskies (Nutrition Every Husky Needs).
Huskies Are Long-Living Dogs
Good dog owners want their furry friends to be around as long as possible. If a canine pet is healthy and well taken care of, it can live with us for its entire lifespan.
Some dog breeds have a longer lifespan than others. Huskies are among the long-living dogs, with a 12-14-year life expectancy.
Although the general belief is that smaller dog breeds live longer than medium and larger breeds, the Siberian Husky is assigned the same life expectancy as some smaller breeds like Russell Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, and Manchester Terriers.
The Cons of Huskies
Besides its advantages, the Siberian Husky has some disadvantages you should know before deciding that the dog has enough good qualities to make you a Husky owner. And being forewarned is being forearmed!
Huskies Can Be Difficult To Train
Dog intelligence is usually assigned a direct link with trainability. When it comes to the Husky, trainability can be an issue.
First off, the breed is categorized among dogs with average working and obedience intelligence in the celebrated dog intelligence list by the dog psychologist Stanley Coren. Huskies share the 45th spot on the list with the Bichon Frise and King Charles Spaniel. Concerning trainability, dogs in this category:
- Will require you to repeat new commands as many as 25-40 times before they can understand them.
- Will only obey commands immediately 50% of the time.
Husky trainability is also rendered difficult because they are an independent breed. They are not pleasers but instead stubborn, sometimes appearing as though they willingly ignore you.
Huskies Howl a Lot!
Most dogs usually bark to send a message to their owner and other people or dogs. But Huskies have a unique way of sending messages: howling.
The howl of the Husky is traced back to their wolf ancestors. In the wild, a wolf uses the howl to alert other wolves of its location. Because the howl is a prolonged cry, the howling wolf can be easily traced by the rest of the pack.
Like their wolf descendants, Huskies howl to communicate with other dogs and tell their human friends when they are happy or sad. They can also howl in response to another Husky’s howl, when they hear sharp sounds, when anxious, or when they sense danger.
Unlike normal barking, howling is sharp and prolonged. This can put you in trouble with neighbors who find your dog’s howl noisy and disturbing.
Here are 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Husky…
Huskies Love Unauthorized Outings
Huskies were bred as working dogs, pulling sleds for long distances at a moderate speed in extremely cold weather.
As working dogs, they are high-energy dogs, but they also have an innate chasing drive. So, while they easily get along well with other dogs, they will readily consider smaller pets like cats, chickens, squirrels, and rabbits as prey.
Because of their prey drive, Huskies can also be hard to contain, meaning that your furry wolf-like friend will run away if given a chance. As such, your home should be well enclosed to ensure your Husky does not find a point of escape. Note that a Husky would go as far as burrowing to make an escape exit.
I always thought this was a shame as my dog loves to run freely off-leash. However, she takes it to an enclosed field where there is no escape!
Huskies Are Clean but Shed Heavily
Siberian Huskies have a double, medium-length coat with a harmonious fur appearance. The undercoat is soft and heavy, while the outer coat has straight guard hairs that lie smooth on its body.
You’ll find Husky hairs around your home throughout the year. Additionally, they’ll shed heavily twice a year. In fall, Huskies will shed their fur in preparation for winter and the same in spring in anticipation of the summer heat.
Do you want to know more about Husky shedding, so you’ll know what you’re letting yourself in for? Check out this article, Husky Shedding Like Crazy? Here’s How To Reduce Shedding.
According to the AKC’s Siberian Husky Breed Standard, the outer hairs around the dog’s toes and feet can be trimmed to present a neat appearance. Trimming should, however, not be done on other parts as the dog’s body as a Husky adapts to seasonal changes through shedding.
Despite their tendency to shed, Huskies are one of the cleanest breeds and have little, if any, doggy odor. They require brushing to remove loose fur once every week but only need a couple of baths in the year. Besides, Huskies do a lot of self-cleaning, which explains their natural cleanliness.
Siberian Huskies Can Suffer Eye Problems
While they are generally a healthy breed, Huskies can come with genetic tendencies to eye diseases.
According to the Siberian Husky Club of America, three inherited eye defects can occur in the breed:
A study comparing cataracts in Siberian Huskies and other dog breeds reported that Huskies had an 84% risk for hereditary cataracts compared to 52% in other breeds.
Other diseases Huskies may be prone to include Hip Dysplasia and Hypothyroidism.
Huskies Aren’t Good Protectors
The Siberian Husky should not be on your list if you want a guard dog. You should choose a breed such as the German Shepherd.
Huskies can be noisy with their howl and are rated high on barking levels. But a Husky will not always bark to tell you that a stranger is approaching. That’s because they have indiscriminate openness to strangers and consider everyone their friend.
For the same reason, a Husky can easily be convinced to pass to the enemy’s side, leaving you unguarded, even when the danger is real.
At first sight, the Siberian Husky gives the impression of a dog in wolf clothing. But don’t be deceived by their erect ears, keen blue or brown eyes, and medium-size muzzles.
Huskies are friendly dogs and will enjoy your company. As high-energy dogs, they will especially cherish playing a fetch or tug of war game.
Besides, you do not have to put up with a strong doggy odor. That’s because Huskies are clean dogs, even though they will leave their mark on your couch cushions with their shed fur.
If you’re considering owning a Siberian Husky, I hope learning about Husky pros and cons has swayed you – one way or the other.