Southern Siberian Rescue
Please take all of the following traits and requirements into consideration when thinking about adopting a Siberian Husky. Remember that you are making a long-term commitment by adopting a dog. If you would like to talk with a Siberian Husky owner for more details, please email us and we will be glad to provide you with the telephone number of a Siberian Husky expert.
Siberian Huskies are known escape artists.
If they can’t dig under, they may jump over. They can separate chain link and bite through light aluminum wire. They can climb through holes in chain link that are no more than 6 inches long. Once out of an enclosure, they tend to run. They may run for a long time and for many miles. Their original purpose in life was to haul a light load at moderate speeds over long distances. Even though you might not run dogs with a sled, their instincts are first and foremost as sled dogs. The Siberian Husky also has a high prey drive. While your Siberian Husky is on the loose, she could be endangering the neighbors chickens, cats, small dogs and even goats. A dog at large runs the risk of being shot, poisoned or hit by a car. The purpose of SSR is to save the lives of these beautiful animals. Education on safe containment is one way to ensure these dogs stay out of shelters and off the streets. Here are a few tips on safely containing a Siberian Husky.
SSR does not promote nor recommend the use of "invisible barrier" fences or underground fencing. This containment method does not work well with most Siberian Huskies. They will endure the short burst of pain in order to indulge their greatest love: running. In addition, the battery operated collars may run low of power, may be removed by someone and may be chewed off. The underground fence will also not protect the dog from outsiders, such as other animals or bad people, who may threaten them. Unlike some herding dogs, such as the Briard or the German Shepherd, Siberian Huskies do not conceptualize boundaries well. They need a physical boundary to remind them!
Photo Courtesy of Karen Ramstead with North Wapiti Siberian Husky Kennels (http://www.northwapiti.com/)
Download our free guide to hotwiring fenced-in yards . Siberians are definitely escape artists, and hotwiring is usually the best and most effective way to keep them safely in your yard instead of outside where they can be hit by cars, lost, or stolen.
SIBERIANS SHED! (AND SHED AND SHED AND SHED AND…)
Siberians shed. Unlike short-haired breeds which shed constantly, Siberian shed copiously twice a year. Generally in the spring and the fall, Siberians have a complete makeover hair-wise. They literally blow out their coat. Their coat consists of an undercoat and guard hairs. Some Siberians will shed both coats at the same time. Others will shed over a longer time, shedding first the undercoat then the guard hairs. If immaculate sofas free from dog hair are your things, a Siberian is probably not. If you do not like cleaning up little hair balls, a Siberian is probably not your thing. Another issue to consider is pet allergies. Many people are allergic to dog or cat hair. Although Siberian Huskies have little doggy smell and are not one of the most allergy-causing breeds, a serious pet dander allergy of a family member should have you reconsidering a dog for your choice of pet.
SIBERIANS ARE PACK ANIMALS
Siberians are pack animals (think sled dogs... again). They need a pack. Some Siberians will be OK with an all-human pack. If that pack all goes off to work or school together, the husky is alone. Lonely huskies can be destructive huskies. Crate training and companionship with other dogs are helpful.
SIBERIANS NEED STRONG ALPHA DOGS (THAT’S YOU!)
Obedience training should be a must for all dogs of any breed, but most especially for Siberian Huskies. Their natural intelligence and independence can get them in trouble. Obedience school can help them respect you as an owner and can give them definite boundaries. A Siberian Husky with clearly defined rules is generally a happier dog. If a Siberian Husky is not properly trained, she can become quite a nuisance as SHE will assume control of the day-to-day operations of the household.
SIBERIANS DO NOT NEED TO BE SHAVED
Contrary to popular belief, Siberians (or any other dogs) do not need to be shaved at any time of the year. Not even the so-called "dog days of summer;" in the deep South. Dogs have natural ways of cooling themselves and shaving them can actually hinder this. The Siberian Husky is generally free from skin problems unless you shave them. Then, they are more susceptible to skin allergies, sun burns and parasite infestation. The treatments for these problems can then lead to more serious conditions. Your Siberian will appreciate your air conditioning vent inside your house. He will also appreciate plenty of fresh water and shade.
SIBERIANS MAKE NOISE!
Siberians are very vocal animals. Some Siberians are more vocal than others, but most enjoy a good long howl every now and then. They can sound very wolf-like when they howl. They also "talk". If you think that your neighbors will enjoy occasional Siberian concerts, great. If not, make sure that any Siberian Husky is in your house before 6 am and after 11 pm.
SIBERIANS MAKE POOR GUARD DOGS
If you want a guard dog, think again. Siberians know that they can outrun danger so they don’t tend to stick around when there is trouble. They are not effective as watch dogs either. Siberians have been known to watch quietly as burglars cart off the family valuables.
SIBERIANS ARE NOT TAMED WOLVES
All dogs have wolves as their common ancestors from prehistoric days. Siberians are not wolf dogs, part wolves or tamed wolves. They are pure-bred dogs who have retained some of the primitive instincts of their past such as strong pack orientation and independence.