How To Keep A Husky Busy
Huskies are an amazing dog breed. Strong, smart, playful, and energetic, these dogs truly embody the working dog spirit that their ancestors earned. However, if you are a first-time husky owner, it can be overwhelming to find an outlet for their seemingly endless energy.
So, how can you keep your husky entertained? The first thing that can be done is to ensure that your husky gets lots of exercises. Working dogs have been bred for strength, intelligence, and energy, so it is not surprising that huskies required a lot of exercises to keep them happy. Activities such as training, fetch, or tug of war are always good, along with ensuring that you provide toys for play and recreational chewing to keep your husky entertained. For those who have the facilities or the nice weather to do it, having your husky pull you on a bike or skateboard, or taking them to doggie daycare for an afternoon of socializing is always sure to put that trademark Siberian smile on your husky’s face. In a pinch, you can also set up simple puzzles for your husky to figure out while you are away.
Huskies were bred for pulling heavy sleds over long distances in freezing temperatures. As such, you may be surprised at just how much exercise or interactive tasks it takes to keep your husky entertained. However, it is very important, as a bored husky can quickly become difficult to manage as they try to entertain themselves.
How To Keep Your Husky Entertained
The most important thing to keep in mind when you own a husky is the amount of exercise they need. Without appropriate exercise throughout the day, your husky will quickly lose interest in low-energy tasks or training, which can result in disobedient behavior and hyperactivity. Most veterinarians recommend that you give your husky at least one full hour of exercise per day. As a husky owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that your husky receives at least this amount to help curb their destructive or escapist tendencies and to make sure that your husky is getting the best care to keep them happy and healthy.
One of the most obvious ways to give your husky the exercise it needs is to simply walk it every day. Since huskies were bred to pull heavy sleds laden with supplies and sometimes multiple human passengers you may find that a one-hour walk around your neighborhood just isn’t enough for your husky. If this is the case, you can try adding obstacles to your route. Take your husky through hilly areas, take them to a dog park where your husky can run freely to their heart’s content, or purchase a weighted vest specifically designed to give your husky more exercise over a shorter distance.
Another way to help your husky exercise and to give them attention is the game of fetch. It may take your husky a bit longer than some other dog breeds to figure out the game, but when they do it can keep them entertained for hours. I go through a step-by-step method of teaching your husky this amazing game in the link above.
Fetch is a great game because your husky gets to engage in near-continuous sprints with very short periods of rest, helping to wear them out quicker.
Teach It To Swim
Swimming is a great way for you to help your husky exercise and keep them entertained. It may take a few tries, but teaching them to love the water is a benefit for you and for your husky.
Swimming provides a full-body workout for your husky. Just as we need to keep our feet and arms moving to stay afloat, your husky will expend a lot of energy over a short period of time to keep it aloft in the water.
Some huskies can be nervous to go into the water by nature, but there are many ways to teach your snow dog to love swimming that I talk about here.
Give It Toys
We lead busy lives and unfortunately cannot always be home with our huskies. However, while we are away at work, or out with friends, we can help keep our husky entertained by ensuring that we give our huskies enough toys to keep it entertained.
By providing your husky with safe and entertaining toys, you will be able to keep your dog occupied with an object that you have approved. This means that your husky’s attention will be diverted away from destroying objects or things in your absence.
Give It Lots Of Training
Giving your husky a lot of exercise is a great way to keep your husky entertained, but an important part of owning any dog is training.
When you spend time training your husky, they will naturally focus on you. This focus builds your relationship with your husky and the time spent training will help tire it out. In addition, this time spent with your husky will help make it more responsive to your commands and will help you to keep your husky under control.
When your first start training your husky, you should begin by teaching it the basics. These include sit, stay, and lay down, and should initially be done in an environment where there are very few distractions to help your husky focus. Once your husky listens to these basic commands in a low distraction environment, you should work with your husky in more difficult environments where there are several distractions vying for their attention. If your husky responds to your commands in these difficult environments, you know it is time to advance to harder tasks, such as teaching them to come to you on command.
Give It Puzzles
Huskies are incredibly intelligent animals, which is why it is easy to understand how quickly that they grow bored without a stimulating environment. To help keep them entertained, there are a number of puzzle games that you can buy that are designed to make your husky think in order to receive a reward. We would recommend getting one that is slightly more challenging, knowing that huskies are already quite skilled due to generations of strong working dog breeding.
Play Tug Of War With It
Tug of war is a fantastic game to play with your husky. As a working breed, they are known to have a strong prey drive that can be used during play. You will likely find that your husky loves to play tug of war, as the action required to play the game is very similar to your husky’s natural instincts as a hunter, and it is a great way to keep their focus.
Use A Dog Walker
If your day is packed and you know you won’t have the time to keep your husky properly entertained or to give it enough exercise, an alternative is to consider paying a dog walker to do it for you. There are now several apps that you can download that let you book a local dog walker directly on the app. You have the freedom to ensure that your dog is being cared for by a responsible and knowledgeable person, and your husky gets to burn their energy while you work.
Walk It With Other Dogs
Huskies, like most dogs, love to socialize. Going for long walks with your dog can be great, but this activity can be even better if you have a walking partner or even just another dog to walk alongside them.
By walking it with other dogs, you will find that your husky tires out faster. This is due to their increased excitement and their drive to play and compete with their fellow canines. Though, the most obvious benefit of this activity is helping your husky socialize with other dogs in a productive and energetic environment, which can also encourage your dog to listen more attentively to your commands.
Give It Chew Toys
Many breeds of dogs engage in something called recreation chewing. Without a proper toy to focus on, your husky could end up chewing anything from your couch to the wall. There are even some toys that are designed to calm your husky down that you could use to help your dog avoid destructive behaviors and curb their hyperactivity.
Have It Pull You
You can use your husky’s natural desire to pull when you take them out for exercise. Grab a skateboard, rollerblades, or a bike and let your husky pull you along on a sidewalk or trail. You will likely find that your husky has far better endurance than you ever could on two feet, so this method of exercise will give them a great workout and will wear them out much more effectively than a simple walk around the block.
If you do not have the time during the day to entertain your husky, it may be a good idea to consider taking them to doggy daycare, intended to look after your dog in a fun, social environment.
Things To Consider
Huskies Require A Lot Of Effort
Huskies have been bred to work alongside humans every day in harsh, unforgiving conditions. This means that you are not likely to get a lazy husky that just likes to lay around and watch television. It is important to remember this before taking on the responsibility of owning a husky or an energetic crossbreed like a Huskypoo, and if you are unsure that you will be able to spend the amount of time and effort needed to properly care for a husky, you may want to consider a more laid-back breed.
It is important to consider the age of your husky. If you have a young puppy, they will require a lot of attention, but the amount of exercise needed on a daily basis is much less than for an adult dog. Generally, it is recommended that your husky receives approximately 5 minutes of exercise every day per month of age. This limitation is because when puppies are young, their joints and bones are still developing and too much exercise could cause serious injury or even chronic pain for the rest of their lives.
Give It Attention Daily
Huskies are a breed that requires daily exercise and attention. If you are determined to get a husky, be prepared to give them your attention and time every day.