18 Aug 2012
I’m thinking about buying a Siberian Husky puppy. I was wondering if anyone had some first-hand experience about them. We have a fairly large, fenced-in backyard, and also take our dogs to the off-leash area of the local park regularly to play with other dogs.
Right now we have 2 dogs: a 6 month old Great Dane, and a 10-year-old Shih Tzu/Poodle mix. Both are female. We also have 2 cats. Our Shih Tzu/Poodle prefers playing with our cats (since they are similar in size) and our poor Great Dane is often left with no one to play with. I am looking to get a male Siberian Husky puppy, in hopes that he will enjoy playing with our Great Dane. Our Great Dane usually prefers to wrestle. Can I expect the Husky to wrestle with her? (of course, not RIGHT away, but once he matures a bit and gets a bit larger )
Should I expect problems if I were to take the Husky to the dog park to play with other dogs?
How "needy" are Huskies? I have heard that they are generally more independent than your average dog. Personally, I’d prefer a dog that wants to be around me often.
How hard is it to train a Husky to do basic commands? (i.e. Sit, Stay, Come when called, Fetch, etc.)
How do Huskies like water?
I live around St. Louis, Missouri. We generally have pretty cold winters and pretty hot summers. Will there be problems in the summers? We don’t normally leave our dogs outside for long periods of time, especially when it is very hot, however the heat is unavoidable if I decide to take him to the dog park during the summer.
If I did need to leave him outside for an extended period, assuming it wasn’t dangerously hot, would a small pool for him to jump in and cool off be sufficient? We also have trees and an umbrella on our patio he could use for shade.
If I did leave him outside for a few hours, should I expect him to start digging? If so, would he be less likely to dig if I left him outside with our Great Dane?
Roughly how much should I expect to pay for him? I live around St. Louis, Missouri, if prices vary by region.
Sorry for asking so many questions, but I do appreciate if you read all that and can provide some answers. It tends to be difficult to find answers to these very specific, practical questions.
Thanks in advance!
Hello, I live in Kansas City and have 3 huskies, so I hope I can help some!
Huskies love to play, and play rough and like to wrestle. Usually they are very friendly and love everyone, but you do have to do your part to socialize them a lot when they are puppies. The dog parks are great for this! As long as he is socialized properly, you shouldn’t have any problems, although every dog is different, huskies are usually very friendly and outgoing and get along with everyone. However, they also have a high prey drive and may not be safe around cats or other small animals. I do have cats with mine, and as long as you get a very young husky and get him used to the cats as a puppy you should be fine. But your husky may still attack other cats, that he doesn’t recognize as members of the family, and you will have to provide supervision until you are SURE that he won’t hurt your cats – and never allow him to chase them as this can result in an instinctual kill, even if he is normally friends with the cats.
As far as neediness, I would say it vary’s from each dog’s individual personality. Overall, they all want to be near me all the time, so I guess I would consider them needy. I think they are considered more independent because of their training dificulties and own personal attitudes or personalities, but they are very social and very much pack animals. I can’t usually move without having all 3 right on top of me.
As far as training, I have found it is extremeley ease to teach them basic commands, they are incredibly intelligent and catch on right away. However, they have a mind of thier own and if they don’t see the point in doing the command they won’t do it just to please you, so they are hard to keep repeatidly doing the trick. Usually treats help, but if it’s something they don’t want to do (like coming inside when called and there’s snow out), then they will debate their options first.
Mine hate the summers here. I don’t really make them stay out if they don’t want to, I usually prefer them inside with me. However, on vacations, etc, they have been outside and been OK. Just make sure they have lots and lots of water, and shade. A pool would be very nice, wetting the pads on the bottom of their feet also helps keep them cool. It is definatley better to keep them inside in the summer, but they can survive outside, yes.
And yes, they all dig. Usually I would say some individuals might not, but all 3 of mine LOVE digging and do it regularly. The Great Dane would help, but he would still dig. Mine all get together and work on the same hole, taking turns and digging as deep as they can. It is very important to make sure you have a good fence to hold him, which should preferable go underground b/c of this. But I have found simply placing a brick in the hole deters mine from that hole, and now I just have bricks all over my yard. You can, of course, try training them not to dig at all, or dig in a certain dog specific area of the yard. But it is something they really seem to enjoy, so I have never tried to stop mine, and it really isn’t too bad – they tend to stick to the same big holes instead of a million little ones everywhere if that helps any.
Prices can vary a lot. I think adoption fees are usually around $300, and you could maybe find a puppy (try petfinder.com). If you order from a breeder, expect to pay around $400-1000 (try puppyfind.com). If you find one that isn’t local, you will also have to pay shipping expenses, usually around $300. I have found that I have had less "trouble" with my more expensive, high quality pups. However, the "trouble" and attitude of a siberian are what makes them unique and so special sometimes. They can definatley be a challanging breed as they are so smart but not necessarily obedient. I personally like the challange. It is all about your committment to the breed, they will come up with something to do wrong and you have to make the committment to figure out what the problem is and how to fix it. They are very expressive and funny dogs. I think the biggest problem, for me anyway, is having to always keep them on a leash because they WILL run away if given the chance.