The Siberian Husky

A precious dog

The most popular of the socalled "Nordic" breeds, attracts many people in the first place by its wolfish appearance. It is certainly a beautiful dog and also very affectionate. Despite being so kind, many owners have been disappointed by their Husky. As with many other breeds, also in the case of this one, the character it has is not what was expected. No matter how loving they may be, we must not forget what is behind its precious disguise.

Huskies running on land

They are quite primitive dogs which have not been domesticated in the sense of having lived closely with humans over a long period. Until recently they only had to pull the sleds of the Eskimos in the polar area. They have¡ been selected for this purpose, which has led to, among others, their great need to move a lot. They are capable of traveling long distances every day. 50 km. for a Husky is like a walk around the block. His main interest is to reach the horizon, without not being worried in the slightest by the fact that he'll never reach it. To be like this he needs to be very independent, because to be able to do the job of running non-stop one can not be distracted by anything. Those responsible for his upbringing (the Eskimos) did not give much value to treating with their dogs. They had to work. The dogs were either chained up, or pulling a sled. They were expected to never get tired, to be noble noble in dealing with men and little else. The dog whose physical condition was no longer good enough for fulfilling its purpose ended his life serving as food to its companions. They have lived for centuries in those conditions, and until recent years this was the way of live of these magnificent animals.

From this basic life comes another important aspect to be taken into account when one decides to become the owner of a Husky. Given its close coexistence in a pack, they have developed a strong sense of hierarchy. This implies the need to give the Husky a treatment that matches this way of being, at least if you care about having a dog willing to obey you. No matter how loving he can be, you should not be fooled by this attitude. Not knowing how to be demanding and authoritarian you may very well end up living with a dog who lives life as he wants, apparantly deaf to all attempts to get something done from him.

From a very young age, I mean from the day he enters your home, you should begin to explain in an authoritarian manner that in your home the most important is what you want and not want him to do. By not acting in this manner for whatever reason you can expect a quite unappetizing future. The Husky is famous for its tendency to walk off and refuse to obey the command "Come." Its the dog that most often appears in "missing dog" ads. These walkoffs have much to do with his character and especially the lack of a clearly established hierarchy. Its said that a Husky can not learn to obey. The truth is quite the opposite, if you teach him to obey your orders from a young age he will be perfectly capable of being an obedient dog that is even enjoying this.

This does not mean at all that a Husky is not a dog to live with a family in a very successful manner. For making yours a succes story you will need to comply with basic rules.

It is important to consider the innate need to walk a lot, many miles daily. Being unable to satisfy this instinct makes the dog eventually become neurotic, and you as an owner too. If you do not have time and / or energy to walk several hours every day with your dog, this is not a dog for you.

Another point to consider is the very thick coat. Molting twice a year, and for a month or more loosing a lot of hair, you will need to brush it several times a day, in spite of which you will find everything that surrounds your dog with hair. Not a dog for someone who hates to see hair everywhere.

Being originally a pack dog, they often bear solitude very badly. Its not a dog that barks, he howls and makes lots of strange noises. Having to be alone often for many hours, you might drive crazy a whole neighborhood because of these shrieks and cries of despair.

We have observed that there are a variety of characters within the same breed. There are specimens that resemble very little the dog that I described above. Those are, unfortunately, exceptions. Due to the popularity it has achieved some years ago it has been bred indiscriminately, which caused many of them (most) to be unbalanced dogs. Many Huskies with an ugly character, dominant and aggressive, or so unsociable that no one will make them reason.

To avoid a disappointment when purchasing a Husky I advise, as always when choosing a purebred dog, to first contact with the appropriate breed club of your choice. They have lists of recommended breeding kennels. The Royal Canine Society of Spain can provide you with any club's address you request.

Real Sociedad Canina de España
C/ Lagasca, 16 bajo dcha.
28001 Madrid
Phone: 91.426.49.90
Fax: 91.435.11.13 / 91.435.28.95

Remember that a good quality breed dog is more expensive, but the difference between a good and a bad member of a breed is sometimes abysmal.

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