The Husky is a Northern breed working dog, bred by the Chukchi Tribe to pull sleds over hundreds of miles a day in the harshest weather conditions. They are energetic, highly intelligent, and gorgeous, friendly dogs. So, how much exercise does a Husky need every day?
Huskies are working dogs and have been bred to run for miles without a break. With this in mind, a Husky will need more exercise daily than other dogs. A rule of thumb for a healthy adult Husky is two hours a day of energetic activity. This can be split into two one-hour walks, whichever suits your schedule.
We tend to do anywhere between an hour to two hours in the morning, which suits our work schedule. Our Husky then chills out with us for the rest of the day. Occasionally if she’s restless, she’ll get another walk in the evening. But only if she wants one.
We do our walks based on what our girl needs or wants that day. Some days she doesn’t want a long walk, so we don’t do a long walk. On other days she may enjoy a longer walk. If our schedule permits, then we go for a longer walk. It is dependent on what she needs that day.
You need to be aware that a Husky will run itself into the ground if you let them. They will run and run, so monitoring how much high-energy exercise they have is essential. If you look at the Iditarod race held every year, some dogs run until they collapse or die.
A Husky puppy will only need 5 minutes of exercise per month old they are. This is because their joints are still soft and developing. However, over-exercising a puppy may affect their joints in adulthood. So although a Husky puppy will want to play and run until they wear themselves out, it’s essential to have some brain games ready and not let them over-exert themselves physically.
Likewise, an older Husky will need less energetic exercise daily as they are naturally slowing down. So although they may be pretty happy with a stroll and a good sniffy walk, it is dependent on the dog.
Things That Affect A Husky
Generally speaking, Huskies are a healthy breed of dog. However, they do have known conditions that can develop. Some conditions can be exacerbated by over-exercising, like arthritis. Some common conditions that can affect Huskies are:
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye problems
If something is affecting your Husky, it will impact how much exercise they need or want. For example, our Husky had primary glaucoma, and when it was at its height, she wasn’t interested in running or playing. She just wanted to sleep. Since having her eyes removed, she’s back to her usual self, enjoying walks, running, swimming, and playing.
If your Husky suddenly doesn’t want their usual walk, that’s a good indication that something is wrong. A vet check-up is needed because Huskies love to be out and about doing something.
Behavior Issues In Huskies
Huskies’ behavior issues can be linked to under-exercising and a lack of mental stimulation. Huskies are intelligent dogs, and they need to exercise their brains as well as their bodies. Unfortunately, they can become bored quickly, and that’s when they can become destructive and very naughty.
Huskies also don’t like to be on their own and are known to suffer from separation anxiety, leading them to become destructive. So don’t be surprised if you come home to a chewed sofa or other destroyed furniture. This is especially true if they haven’t had a good run before being left alone.
My own Husky destroyed all of the cushions from our sofa, the telephones, the kid’s tablet, and numerous toys when she used to be left alone for a couple of hours every day. After an hour walk in the morning before I went to work, the hour wasn’t enough for her then being left alone for a couple of hours. She struggled, and the destruction was her way of telling us.
Luckily I changed my job, and she was able to be with me all day, go for runs and play with other dogs. The destruction stopped. We were lucky as a family that I was able to start my dog walking business. Luna’s behavior changed overnight, and she was a lot calmer and more responsive in training.
Different Types of Exercise For A Husky
Huskies are intelligent and energetic, so their exercise routine should play to their strengths. Some ideas for exercise routines are:
- Sled/Scooter pulling
- Playing with other dogs
- Sniffing and exploring
- Ball or frisbee
- Agility Training
- Hide and Seek
- Go find it games
- Walking with plenty of opportunity for sniffing
You do have to be prepared to spend quite a lot of time outside, and you should have a decent fitness level yourself if you plan to exercise your Husky properly. Or be prepared to pay someone to take your Husky out for exercise if you can’t do it yourself. It will work out cheaper in the long run to get a dog walker than replacing your furniture regularly if you don’t exercise your Husky.
What Is The Best Type of Exercise For A Husky
Ideally, a mixture of different exercises will keep your Husky happy. For example, a typical morning for my Husky is a lead walk, then a hike through the woods. She then swims in the river and runs through the fields. She has a variety of activities every morning and plenty of opportunities to sniff and forage.
We are fortunate where we live, as we have fields, a Loch, a river, and some woods for us to explore. When the cows aren’t in the fields around the Loch, she can run around the fields and go swimming in the Loch. She also has the opportunity to play with some of her doggy friends most days. So she can play, run, swim, sniff, forage and explore. She’s using her brain as well as exercising her body.
She will wander and sniff if she isn’t in the mood to play. Although, as she’s getting older, she isn’t as interested in mad playing all of the time, she immensely enjoys exploring and sniffing. So, even though she is blind, she still has a very active life and does everything she did before she lost her eyes.
If you live in a town, it may be worth taking your Husky to a well-maintained dog park. They will have the opportunity to run around in a safe area and play with other dogs. Most towns or cities also have parks where you can spend a couple of hours playing with your Husky.
You can also train your Husky to run with you, or if you cycle or skateboard, they can be trained to run alongside you. Training your Husky for these activities is essential. You don’t want your Husky to pull you from your bike or skateboard, and equally, you don’t want your Husky to be hurt by your bike or board.
The best exercise for your Husky is the one they enjoy the most. Each dog is different and will enjoy various activities. It’s often a case of trial and error to find out what they like and what you feel comfortable doing. It is their walk, but you are an active participant, so you both need to find something that you enjoy.
Final Thoughts on How Much Exercise Your Husky Needs
A well-exercised Husky is a happy and well-behaved Husky. Once they have burned off some excess energy, you will notice how responsive your Husky is when training them.
Your Husky will let you know what they enjoy doing and what they don’t want to do. They will also let you know if they need more or less exercise. I’ve seen my own Husky make her way to the car when she’s had enough and wants to go home. I’ve also seen her hiding in the long grass when I want to go, and she’s not ready yet!
Huskies are amazing dogs, and when you get the right balance of exercise and brain work, they are such a joy to be around. First, you will get to know your dog and what they enjoy, and from there, it’s working around what you and your Husky want to do every day. And with a Husky, it will be every day! So make sure you choose a routine that you can do every day.
I hope that you found this article helpful.
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