Huskies are a beautiful and wonderful dog breed – But they’re also a powerful and independent breed! Huskies also have certain needs that others breeds do not. Because of this, it’s important that you go about raising a Husky puppy the right way. With the right approach, you can ensure that your Husky is truly your best friend, and you can keep them healthy and happy for the entirety of their lives.
Raising A Husky Puppy
Ideally, you will have gotten your Husky puppy at a fairly young age. As a puppy, your Husky is very impressionable. They are starting to learn new things about the world around them, and almost everything you do with them will make an impact on how they understand that world. Because of this, having the right approach to raising a Husky becomes more and more important the younger your Husky pup is. As an owner, you want to give your Husky a solid foundation to build their personality on. In addition, you should make sure they are as healthy as possible, as this is the time that your Husky’s body is developing, and setting up their health for the rest of their lives.
Raising A Healthy Husky puppy
The health of your Husky is going to be the most important aspect of their lives. If your Husky is unhealthy, they can easily become unhappy, or even depressed. This will certainly have on impact on the relationship you are trying to build with your Husky. Unhealthy Huskies are less likely to listen to their owners or to form a strong bond with them. Because of this, you need to make health a priority. Husky health includes several different factors, including a proper diet, the right amount of exercise, and a regular grooming routine.
Raising A Husky With The Right Diet
As mentioned earlier, Huskies have unique needs that other breeds do not have. These needs are very clear when it comes to a Husky’s diet. Because Huskies were bred as working dogs, they have powerful bodies that need to be fed right. If you’re using a generic dog food, you may want to consider switching to a premium Husky dog food brand.
While generic store brands are certainly cheaper, they often do not include everything a Husky needs to be healthy. Huskies require more protein, calcium, and phosphorous than other dog breeds. Without these nutrients, your Husky may not develop properly, which can lead to big consequences down the road.
Exercising Your Husky The Right Way
In addition to having certain nutritional needs, Huskies also need the right amount of exercise to stay healthy. Unlike some other breeds, Huskies absolutely need physical exercise. Not only will a lack of exercise affect their health and happiness, it is also commonly linked to behavior problems. This is because Huskies will get restless without the chance to release their energy, and this can usually cause them to act out.
In general, you should walk your Husky puppy 1 – 2 minutes for every week old they are. So, if you have an 8 week old puppy, you should only walk them for 15 minutes at a time, at most. It’s important to make sure you do not overwork your Husky while they are still young, as this can lead to issues with their development. Hitting that sweet spot will make sure your Husky’s exercise needs are taken care of.
Grooming Your Husky
While owners generally see grooming their Husky as a way to prevent getting fur everywhere, grooming also has important health benefits for your Husky, especially if you live in a warmer climate. In addition, grooming entails more than just brushing your Husky. Your Husky’s grooming needs will include: Brushing, trimming their nails, taking care of their teeth and skin, and the occasional bath.
Huskies are considered a “High-maintenance” dog breed in terms of these needs. However, that doesn’t mean that grooming your Husky has to take a ton of time and effort. Instead, it simply means that you need to keep on top of your Husky’s needs and make sure they do not get pushed off to the side. While you can take your Husky to a professional dog groomer, it is much easier (And less expensive!) to simply learn how to groom your Husky a home.
Training Your Husky
Once you’ve learned how to take care of the health needs of your Husky, you can move onto the training aspect of raising a Husky puppy. As mentioned earlier, Huskies are an independent dog breed – But that doesn’t mean that they are untrainable! What it does mean, however, is that you will need to have a bit more patience than if you were training another dog.
How To Teach Your Husky Right From Wrong
As a puppy, your Husky does not have a full understanding of the world around them. While this may sound obvious, it’s important for owners to understand this when they start the training process. Training your Husky is not about punishing bad behavior – It is a process of teaching your Husky. Because of this, you should not punish your Husky for bad behavior.
If your Husky is constantly misbehaving, it is normal for you to get frustrated. However, extensive studies have shown that this only damages the relationship you have with your Husky, and generally does not help in stopping bad behavior. You want to raise your Husky to want to behave because you two have a strong bond, and not because they are scared of being punished.
The Power Of “Bad Boy!”
At the end of the day, negative reinforcement is simply about teaching your Husky that they have done something wrong. Your dog does not need to be hit or yelled at to know they have done something wrong. As mentioned earlier, this is a type of reinforcement that teaches them to be afraid of punishment, and not to actually want to behave. It’s the difference of, “Your Husky wants to listen to you because they love you” and “Your Husky simply does not want to be punished”.
To this end, a simple scold is enough to communicate to your Husky they have done something wrong. You should keep your scold the same each time so that your Husky will associate that scold with bad behavior. For example, you could point at your Husky, and say in a stern voice “Bad boy!”. Soon enough, they will learn from your body language and tone of voice that they are misbehaving. Through this, they will learn what is good and bad behavior, and will stop this behavior after being scolded enough.
Positive reinforcement training
In addition to scolding your Husky for bad behavior, it’s equally important that you reward your Husky for good behavior. This can be anything from going potty outside to not tugging on their leash during a walk. Positive reinforcement also has the added benefit of building the relationship you have with your Husky.
After your Husky has done something right, you should immediately reward them with a treat and some pets. Both of those things will make your Husky happy, and your Husky will start to associate their behavior with this happiness. Over time, your Husky will quickly learn what you want them to do, and because the two of you have built a bond, they will be happy to make you happy.
Potty Training Your Husky
When raising a Husky puppy, one of your first priorities is going to be to potty train them. After all, the last thing you want is to have your Husky puppy pottying in the house! Potty training is unique in that it is a mix of positive and negative reinforcement. It is also going to take some time – So be patient. When potty training, you have to understand you are trying to teach your Husky something that is totally outside of their nature.
To start potty training, you should start rewarding your Husky anytime they use the bathroom outside. This will teach them one side of the equation – That pottying outside is a good thing. Next, you will need to teach them that pottying inside is a bad thing. Once again, you can use a simple “Bad boy!” approach to stopping your Husky from pottying inside.
If you catch your Husky pottying inside, you can simply scold them, and then take them outside. If your Husky goes potty inside and you do not catch them, you should bring your Husky over to their mess before taking them outside. Just a few minutes after they potty inside, your Husky will probably forget about the accident. So, they will not associate pottying inside with being put outside unless you show them why they are being put outside.
For a more expansive look at potty training, check out our full guide: How To Potty Train A Husky Puppy: A Complete Guide!
F.A.Q On raising a husky puppy
As with anything, there are always going to be special cases when it comes to raising a Husky puppy. Below, we’ll take a look at some of those special cases and how you can deal with them.
Raising A husky in an apartment
Raising a Husky in an apartment will look very similar to raising a Husky puppy in a house. Your biggest issue, obviously, will be the lack of space for your Husky to move around. As mentioned earlier, Huskies are an active breed that needs physical exercise. So, you should aim to take your Husky out for walks more frequently than if you have a house or yard with more space.
You should still stick to the exercise rule of thumb for Husky puppies, which is 1 – 2 minutes of exercise per week of age. As your Husky grows into adulthood, however, they will require 1 – 2 hours of exercise daily. To this end, you should trying to find a park or other public space you can bring your Husky to so that they can run or fetch. Without proper exercise, your Husky will become restless, which will not be good for either of you.
Raising A Husky In Hot Weather
Huskies were bred in the Northern parts of Siberia, an icy tundra. Because of this, they have incredibly dense fur to protect them from the cold. If you’re raising a Husky in hot weather, you will need to pay special care to your Husky to make sure they do not overheat. In hot weather, grooming your Husky should be a major priority, as it will remove excess fur. You should not, however, ever shave your Husky, as doing so can cause severe skin damage.
In addition, you will want to avoid taking your Husky out during the middle of the day, as this is when temperatures will be highest. Instead, try to allow your Husky to get exercise very early in the morning and late into the evening to prevent overheating.
Lastly, you should be able to recognize the signs of overheating. Huskies, like all dogs, will breath through the mouths when they are trying to cool down. If your Husky begins panting more than usual, it may be a sign that they are too hot, especially if they are not running around or doing a lot of physical activity. In addition, the inability to walk straight or having a general lack of balance is another sign of overheating.
Raising A Husky With Cats
If you are going to try raising a Husky with cats, you should try to adopt your Husky at the youngest age possible (8 – 10 weeks old). By doing this, your Husky will grow up with a cat by their side, and they will typically not become hostile towards them. If your Husky is already reaching adulthood, you may not want to bring a cat into their lives. This is because Huskies can be territorial, and they will not appreciate another pet in the house. While it is possible to train your Husky to get along with cats, it will be a difficult process.
Closing thoughts on raising a husky puppy
At the end of the day, the most important aspect of raising a Husky puppy comes down to your approach. Remember, you are working to build a relationship with your Husky, and you are not trying to control them (Mostly because, well, Huskies do not like being controlled!). While everybody wants a great relationship with their Husky, it’s important to remember you can only have this relationship if your Husky is healthy and happy. Caring for your Husky’s health and nutritional needs will keep them happy and feeling well, and it is only when they are healthy that you are able to start building this bond. If you care for your Husky and treat them well, the two of you will certainly become best friends!