I may be biased, but I think huskies are fantastic dogs. They are beautiful, graceful, energetic, friendly, playful, and downright mischievous at times. They are also quite gentle, which a lot of people don’t realize. Probably because they are quite wolf-like in appearance.
So are huskies good with children? Generally speaking, yes, they are. I say generally speaking because like any dog, it really depends on the nature of your husky. And it also depends on your children.
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Have you taught your children to speak a little bit of a dog? Children need to be taught how to interact appropriately with dogs in order for them to be safe and for the dog to feel safe around them. After all, a dog who feels safe around its humans, large or small, will have no reason to bite them.
Before we got our husky, my children had to do homework on being around dogs. They had to learn how to identify basic dog body language and how to interact with dogs safely. Any dog, huskies included, can bite, and it’s up to us to learn how to prevent dogs from biting. I’ve recently written an article on How to Prevent Dog Bites.
Huskies as a breed are known to be very friendly. Really friendly, they tend to see everyone as a friend and potential playmate. Even someone who isn’t meant to be there. They are not overly protective so make poor guard dogs. They love people and other dogs, they are a very social breed. Although they do have a high prey drive, so need to be trained not to attack smaller animals like cats. I’ve written an article Can Cats and Dogs Live Together?
Even though huskies are very friendly and pretty much love, everyone, you still need to teach your children how to interact safely with them. Even the most placid dog can get fed up if they are constantly grabbed, pulled prodded, or teased.
You have to be aware that not every husky is going to be friendly. Poor breeding practices have led to some negative traits becoming present in huskies. It is always a good idea to meet at least the mother to see her nature and the environment they are in before buying a pup. Genetics and the environment play a part in a dog’s temperament.
A husky is at their happiest when they are running and playing. Huskies love to run and they love to play, so it’s heaven when they can combine the two. But huskies do play rough! A sign of love from a husky can be a body slam.
We had to teach our husky not to body slam our children when they came home from school! She would get so excited to see them. She would do her happy husky dance (aka zoomies) then wham, body slam. Knocking them over, climbing all over them, and licking them. Huskies are exuberant when they are happy to see you. She still does her happy husky dance and licks them but she has learned not to body slam them.
Huskies can also be very mouthy when they are playing, so teaching them good bite inhibition when they are young is essential. Our husky, Luna can still be mouthy, but she is very gentle. She will sometimes suckle your fingers in her mouth to make you laugh.
It is also important to teach your children how to play with your husky. You don’t want your husky getting over-excited and your child getting hurt. You should encourage gentle playing between your children and your husky.
Energetic and graceful
The husky is well known for their high energy levels and graceful movements. They were bred to pull sleds over long distances, so they tend to have really good stamina. They will need a lot of exercises or they can become quite destructive and disruptive as well as vocal, howling your house down.
A bored or lonely husky can be extremely destructive. When our husky Luna was a young pup, before I started my dog walking business, she was left alone for a few hours every morning while I was at work. She had a walk before I went to work, so her destructiveness was boredom or loneliness, possibly a combination of both because Huskies are very social.
Within a few months of having her she destroyed:
- 8 sofa pillows
- 3 tv remote controls
- 1 house telephone
- 1 Samsung Galaxy tablet
- Numerous dolls and their accessories
- Uncountable pieces of Lego
- Lots of pens and crayons
- Several lipsticks
- 3 hairbrushes
- 4 wooden spoons and several other kitchen utensils (I’m still not clear how she got a hold of these)
- Quite a few tubs and lids
I count myself quite lucky in that she didn’t destroy any furniture or the building itself.
You need to take this energy level into consideration before introducing a husky into your family. Are your children going to be able to go on long walks or hikes with you on a daily basis? Do you have the time to do long walks or hikes on a daily basis?
Plus, huskies love it when the weather is cooler, their metabolism kicks in and they want to go faster for longer. So you need to be prepared for long walks or hikes no matter the weather.
Any husky owner will tell you that a husky can be very mischievous. From sneaking up behind you to howl, or pinching your bottom to make you jump. Even hiding watching you calling them.
Not only that, if they get bored you can say goodbye to your lovely lawn. Huskies LOVE to dig and will leave lovely husky holes all over your lawn. My girl dug under a tree in our garden, which then had to be removed because it was falling over. The kids were playing on the trampoline at the time and didn’t notice her digging under the tree. It’s amazing how much they can dig in a very short space of time.
They are also really good at escaping. There have been reports of huskies jumping over 6-foot fences to go on an adventure. I’ve even seen a video of a husky climbing up a chain-link fence to escape. They are also known to dig under fences to get out.
A husky owner that I know had to get a customized harness for her husky as he was able to get out of his harnesses and runoff while out on walks!
Huskies are fantastic, but you do need to train them, and training them will take time. It’s important to involve the whole family in training, including the children if they are old enough to understand. When you go to a reputable trainer, you will find that it’s you that will do most of the learning, that’s why it’s a good idea for the whole family to be involved.
Training is also great for creating a bond with your husky. This is another reason that its good for everyone to be involved, as it gives everyone a chance to bond with your husky. Once your husky bonds with you, you can really start to reap the benefit of having a husky in your life.
Loyal and affectionate
Once a husky bonds with you, you have a loyal and affectionate companion. They will always be happy to see you and will shower you with affection. This is why they are so good with children (and adults) they have bonded with.
Our girl Luna is the first one there if one of our children is upset. She’s straight over leaning against them and licking them until they stop crying. Sometimes, that’s all you need to feel better, affection with nothing expected in return.
If you can handle the training and the exercise, a husky is a great choice of dog for a family. Happy, playful, and affectionate. Just remember to teach your children some dog safety rules and enjoy an active life with your husky.
I hope this article was helpful.