Shortly after moving to Central Oregon to work for Ruff Wear, my husband I decided we needed a dog that matched the Central Oregon lifestyle. We wanted a dog that would keep up on long runs, enjoy bike riding, and endure the cold Central Oregon winters. But little did we know just how “active” an active dog could be!
We checked the local shelters for a dog that would meet our credentials. We wanted a larger dog with shorter hair and a fun-loving personality. We stumbled across a shelter 40 miles away that was a no-kill shelter (The Humane Society of the Ochocos). They had just received a litter of five pups–“probably Saint Bernard mixes” (FYI – that’s shelter talk for “Husky”).
Not that we don’t think Huskies are beautiful, charismatic dogs, but in no way were we ready for the adventures Jack would take us on. Through the years, Jack has eaten an entire couch, cost us $280 in fines from running away, escaped from a six foot tall electric fence, and shed enough hair to clothe an entire county. But despite his destructive nature, he’s one of the most loving, sweet, and hysterical dogs I’ve ever met.
We’ve definitely grown used to Jack, and he becomes a bigger part of our family every day. After talking to numerous trainers, we found we were able to keep him under control with a nightly 5 – 10 mile run (us on the bike while he runs like the wind). The running away from home came to a halt with the birth of our son, whom Jack is extremely attached to. He stands guard at the doorway to whatever room the baby is in and alerts us of any intruders (including the cat) with a great big howl. The reward for his good behavior includes his favorite treat of a slice salami, in which he does all eight of his tricks simultaneously and without command to earn it!
Despite his quirks–which are many–Jack has kept us dedicated to a nightly biking routine, a weekend filled with exercise, and major training pre-baby. I even used to joke that Jack was more difficult to raise than the baby! But he’s a wonderful dog full of the character we sought so much when taking trips to the pound to pick out a pup. He fills our lives with love and many funny stories. If you don’t believe me, check out this blog article that made me giggle (though Jack is not a Siberian Husky, but a Husky nonetheless). It defines exactly what raising a husky is all about:
“Siberian Huskies do have their short falls. Like shedding (or blowing their coat) twice a year, so you need to have a love for hair and fuzz or a really good vacuum cleaner….
Siberians also need room to exercise, so a one room apartment is out.
Companionship; Siberians need it! If you leave to go to work for 8 hours and there is no one else at home, there may be no home left when you get back! Everything you own maybe in little pieces when you return. So it is wise to have a kennel at home where they can exercise and do their thing or just have someone around them.
They do like to dig! Well, at least some of them do. So if your backyard happens to be their kennel too, be ready to replant everything.
The Siberian Husky is a known escape artist and are extremely proficient at getting out! You may end up cementing under fences, or wiring above fences. If there is a way out, THEY WILL FIND IT!
Cats and Siberians, if raised together, will generally get along, as long as the cat never crosses the Siberian, like trying to eat out of the Siberians empty food dish, may cause the cat to become deceased. A stray cat crossing the Siberian’s territory, or even close, is toast!
Mice, gerbils, hamsters, and alike are simply food to a Siberian, so don’t even think about it.
Running: Siberians LOVE TO RUN!!! If you open your front door and have no fence or leash on the Siberian the chances are good that the Siberian may become the following: roadkill (he ran across the road so fast that I…), shot (your dog was eating my chickens….) so don’t let them run unless in a enclosed area!!
There are more considerations to be made if you or even your neighbor have other pets, or animals and how much time you spend on training and raising the Siberian Husky.”