Before we adopted Hendrix I spent a lot of time reading up about the breed and what to expect. Even with all the research I don’t think anyone can fully know what they are getting, because at the end of the day, just like humans, all dogs are different and have their own little personalities. So I cannot speak (or bark) for all huskies out there, but here are a few insights of what life is like with Hendrix:
Playtime will never be when I want it to be, always when he chooses.
And 9 times out of 10 it is at the most inconvenient time. I can be at home all day, trying to encourage him to be more active, or play in the garden, and all he wants to do is sleep upstairs. I can try to engage him with toys but am just met with a “well what am I supposed to do with that” look before he goes back to sleep. However, once he has had his beauty sleep, usually around the time we settle down in front of the TV at night after his walk, he decides it is playtime. If you try to ignore him? You get told off, smacked with a paw, a toy thrown at you until you give in and end up on your hands and knees wrestling with him. It’s just the way it goes.
You get told off a lot.
Having a husky is like having a stroppy teenager, they answer back a lot. If I go out and come back in with shopping, I get told off. If I tell him no for begging for treats on the park, I get told off. If i’m not paying attention to him when he wants it, I get told off. If I hoover the house, I get told off (see video). Now the difference between huskies and teenagers, huskies are very cute with their attitude, so it is very difficult to be mad at them for it, it just makes me love him more!
All food in the house should be shared with him.
Now before you think of me as a irresponsible dog owner, I do not share all my food with him. However in his eyes I should share everything or else I am a horrible human. Therefore whenever anyone has food, he pulls out his most adorable puppy dog eyes and sit their patiently waiting for what he thinks should be his. You even get given a paw! Now I have never agreed with dogs begging for food and he had to very quickly learn this. I don’t know what he got away with at his old house, but not here. So now he just pulls his cute face until I give him “the glare” and he goes to lay down and sulk somewhere (usually not very far from me and the food in case something accidentally ends up on the floor).
Everyone is his friend
Now the one thing I did read about huskies which I completely agree with is the fact they make rubbish guard dogs. Hendrix is more than happy to greet everyone that comes in the house with open paws. His urge to meet and greet everyone also extends to the park, not that it is always reciprocated. Numerous times he has gotten me into trouble with people because he goes bounding over to say hello and not everyone wants to see him. I have had women hold their little dogs above their head thinking he was going to eat it to which he just sat there looking confused. He is getting a lot better with this with ongoing training but he still doesn’t understand why we all can’t just be friends. For the most part everyone thinks he is lovely and he gets a lot of fuss and even the odd treat from people he meets. Thanks to him I have met a lot of lovely people too.
For a big dog, he is a bit of a wimp.
Owning a big dog means that some people will naturally avoid you and fear your dog. It is understandable to a degree, to look at him I can see where the concern comes from. However the reality is, he doesn’t have a bad bone in his body and I have never seen him intentionally harm anything. As mentioned in the previous point he has a habit of running over to greet new dogs, now I have seen him get scared off by a chihuahua! No word of a lie, he came to hide behind me! There are quite a few big dogs that we go for a walk with in a morning, another Husky, a Golden Retriever and a German Sheppard. To see them all play fighting together it looks really aggressive but the lot of them are big wimps and often get put in their place by the smaller dogs. So as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover!
Huskies can be let off lead
I am in no way telling you all to go and release your husky on the park and everything will be fine. Considering every piece of literature I have read on huskies warns you to never let them off leash, there must be some truth to it. Saying that, like I said earlier, all dogs have their own personality and although breeds will follow certain traits, you cannot tar them all with the same brush. I was petrified when I first let Hendrix off. I had managed to find a completely enclosed part of the park so I bit the bullet and unclipped the lead. I had visions of him jumping the fence at the first sight of another dog and he would be gone. I was actually pleasantly surprised, he responded to my every word, and would come back when called. At the end of the day all he wanted to do was run, and he was never going to be able to do that on the lead. We met a few other dogs on that park, some would bring their dogs in the pen to play with Hendrix. From this I was able to get a feel for how he was with other dogs. Eventually we moved on to the big country park near us when he got bored of the same patch of grass in the pen. I was still terrified to let him off in case he just bolted off but a lovely old lady named Heather persuaded me that he would be fine and to let him play with her dogs. We have been going on that park every day since to meet Heather and her fellow dog walkers and Hendrix loves it. After us, another husky joined the group and then a husky puppy. All three of them play together off lead, and yes, there are times when they wander off and won’t listen when called back. On the whole, they are pretty well behaved. So all I’m saying is, don’t write it off completely, you more than anyone knows your dog, so trust your instincts.
He needs his beauty sleep
Huskies are supposed to be working dogs and full of energy to be able to pull a sled for miles. Personally I think I own the worlds laziest husky. As I mentioned earlier he likes to spend most of the day sleeping. It wasn’t always like this, when we first got him he never stopped, I don’t think I ever saw him sleep for the first few weeks (I’m sure he did at some point). Since he has gotten himself settled in, his lazy side has come out. I used to feel super guilty on days when both me and my boyfriend had to be in the office because I worried about him getting bored on his own. I soon learnt that, whether I am at home or not, he likes to spend his day sleeping. My boyfriend likes to say he takes after his owner as I am partial to an afternoon nap myself, that’s if I can fight him for space on the sofa!
Like I said at the start, I can’t say that all huskies are like this. I have always said that Hendrix is one of a kind. I would love to hear from all you other husky owners about whether any of these apply to your happy husky.
Howls and woofs,
Emma & Hendrix
All views are my own and I am by no means an expert, just someone who likes sharing stories about their dog.