10 Signs You're a Husky Parent, From an Escape-proof Yard To Knowing What Every Howl Means
Is there any dog breed more immediately recognizable than a Siberian husky? You know, unless someone is mistaking him for an Alaskan malamute. (Or an extra from Game of Thrones.) But as a husky parent, you can't fathom mistaking his bright eyes, white face, and all-around striking appearance for anything but exactly who he is—a snow-loving, highly musical escape artist on four legs. And you love him, coat blowing seasons and all.
Not every dog lover is up to the task of husky parenting, it's true. Huskies require more exercise and attention than some breeds; that gorgeous fur really does get everywhere; and it's possible some folks don't find their, uhh, musicality as charming as husky lovers do. But all that really means is husky parents are as special of a breed as their beloved furry friends. Seems rather fitting, doesn't it? Here are 10 signs you're a husky parent, and proud of it!
1. You've Accepted Fur as Part of Your Home Décor
If you live with a husky, you already know they shed constantly, pretty much all year long. And then, a couple of times a year, the shedding somehow intensifies. When they blow their coat, you'll certainly know it, as will anybody who happens to walk into the fur tornado you call your house. Still, a little fur on the furniture is an awfully small price to pay for the honor of sharing your home with such an incredible animal, right?
2. You Know You've Got a Houdini
Sure, you might have a large yard that would be super-secure for just about any other dog on earth, but huskies are such talented, determined, and intelligent escape artists. Even surrounded by a tall fence reinforced from every angle, he's still pretty darn likely to find a weak point and make a run for it. Giving your husky plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation can help curb this urge a bit, but it's still crucial to keep an eye on whatever containment system you've built. Just make sure your pup's ID tags and microchip information is up to date, just in case he sneaks away.
3. Your Favorite Song Has No Discernible Words
Those melodic howls—sometimes even resembling human words and sounds—is an entertaining delight for those who know and love huskies. Your neighbors might have different musical tastes, so it's helpful to work with your husky on a quiet cue and use positive reinforcement to teach him that, sometimes, we need to use our inside voices.
4. Winter Is Your Favorite
Snow is the best, and the colder the weather, the better as far as huskies are concerned. Therefore, you've learned to embrace the chill, too. Because you love nothing more than making your furry friends happy and tapping into their roots, they'll love nothing more than joining you in cool (or cold!) temperatures to go running, hiking, snowshoeing, or skijoring.
5. You've Decided Holes Really Add a Little Something Special to Your Landscaping
The digging instinct is strong in this breed. His ancestors had to dig through the snow in the Arctic to hide food and build protective dens. Husky parents know that, at most, they might be able to train their pups to dig in certain places, like a sandpit in the corner of the yard or out in the forest while on a walk. But that's OK, right? Those holes really pull the lawn together.
6. You're Equally Prepared for Zoomies and Snuggles
Energy? Your husky has puh-lenty, as you might expect from a breed with a history of traveling hundreds of miles and pulling sleds for hours on end. So, seeing him burn off a little excess energy with some zoomies makes plenty of sense. But, husky parents also know that as much as he loves setting records for most laps around the dining room table in 10 seconds, he also adores settling down with his family to cuddle up, receive belly rubs, and simply be involved in whatever his people happen to be doing.
7. You Have (Or Wish You Had) a T-shirt That Says 'Not a Wolf'
If you had $1 for every time someone said, "Oh my gosh, is that a wolf?" you'd probably be able to afford a huge farm where you could frolic with dozens of huskies and truly live your dream. Sadly, that isn't a paying gig, so you'll have to make do with the husky you already have. You can make it a little more interesting, though, by sharing interesting insights about huskies and wolves. For example, did you know that even though huskies look more wolflike, they're not more closely related to wolves than other dog breeds? That being said, dogs share 98.8 percent of their DNA with wolves, so some resemblance is noticeable.
8. Steering Clear of Small Animals Is Now Your Default Response
Huskies tend to get along well with other dogs of similar or larger size; after all, they were bred to work in teams. However, this breed has a high prey drive, and even if you put plenty of effort into training them, some huskies may never quite grasp the concept that cats, bunnies, or other small mammals can be friends. That might mean choosing dog parks that have a designated large dog section, and it probably means keeping a firm hold on the leash when you spy a bunny while out on walks. As long as you remain aware of your surroundings, there's no reason you can't enjoy pleasant neighborhood strolls together.
9. You've Canceled Plans To Go On Yet Another Walk
That energy we mentioned earlier doesn't burn off with a walk around the block, and responsible husky parents make their pooch's exercise needs a priority—even if it means they might have to miss out on people-only plans. That choice may be entirely altruistic; huskies who don't get enough activity are more likely to exhibit more boredom behaviors, like excessive digging, attempts to escape, howling, or stress chewing, so getting plenty of exercise on the reg is truly in everyone's best interest.
RELATED: How Much Exercise Does a Dog Need?
10. You Aren't the Jealous Type
It's not that your husky doesn't love you with his whole heart—it's just that huskies are not necessarily one-person dogs, and you've accepted they're going to greet everyone who walks through the door with joy. If they give him some attention, he'll give them his heart. Even if he shows love freely with everyone who crosses his path, it's his family he's truly bonded with, and at the end of the day, you're the one he'll snuggle up with for a snooze.