Are Huskies Good For First-Time Owners?

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This article has been fact-checked by Dr. Dilber Hussain, DVM, to ensure we're providing the most up-to-date guidance. READ MORE

If you’re considering getting a husky as a first-time owner there is a lot to learn before you go ahead and get one.

Huskies are not suitable for the majority of first-time owners. This is because they require a lot of exercise (at least 2 hours per day), mental stimulation, and they can be tricky to train and very stubborn at times.

Getting a husky as a pet is a huge commitment, so I’ve created this guide to take you through all the pros and cons of owning a husky from the viewpoint of a first-time owner and what you need to be prepared for if you decide to get one. Let’s get straight into it.

Why Huskies Can Be Good For First-Time Owners

Although I wouldn’t recommend huskies for first-time owners, there are some reasons why they can be a good choice.

Healthy Breed Of Dog

One of the best things about huskies is that they are quite a healthy breed of dog. Their average lifespan is around 12-14 years old and they suffer from relatively few health problems when compared to other breeds.

I personally think that this is something that a lot more first-time owners should consider before they get a dog as there are a lot of breeders who are breeding for certain features on dogs that are less healthy.

Active Lifestyle

If you have an active lifestyle and want a companion for this then a husky is a great choice.

This is a double-edged sword, of course, as the amount of exercise a husky needs can quickly become overwhelming for most people, but if you can incorporate a husky into your own exercise routine then this can be mutually beneficial.

Great Family Dogs

Huskies can be amazing family dogs as they are highly sociable and affectionate.

They are very loyal dogs despite their independence and are usually great with babies (although they shouldn’t be left alone with them).

Why Huskies Can Be Bad For First-Time Owners

Most people don’t want to hear the downside of getting a husky, but it is crucial, especially for first-time owners.

Here are the things you need to properly consider before getting a husky as a first-time owner.

Difficult To Train

Huskies are intelligent and have a very independent mindset despite being pack animals. They are often compared to cats in that they are not very interested in pleasing their owners, which can be difficult for first-time owners to accept.

This also translates over to training as well. Since huskies are so strong-willed, you’ll need to dedicate a lot of time to enforce rules and consistently train if you want your husky to listen to you.


With independence comes stubbornness; and huskies have plenty of it.

Huskies are known for being one of the most stubborn dog breeds that there are, and they like to live life on their own terms (hence why training is so important).

Require Lots Of Exercise

Huskies have an incredible amount of energy, and this translates into needing 2 or more hours of intense exercise every day.

This is a huge commitment and something that can scare away first-time owners who are looking for a more laid-back type of dog.

Separation Anxiety

Huskies are prone to separation anxiety, a condition where they become anxious when left alone. Separation anxiety can lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing on furniture or scratching doors, amongst several other things.


Another symptom of separation anxiety or even boredom is excessive howling.

Huskies prefer to howl rather than bark, and they can howl very, very loudly. This is something to consider if you have neighbours nearby.

Prey Drive

Huskies have a high prey drive, which means they are not well-suited to being kept with other small animals like cats or certain breeds of dogs.

The exception to this rule is if you are adopting a husky that has been brought up with small animals, but there will always be a risk involved.

Escape Artists

Huskies are very curious, and they will try to get to places where they shouldn’t be.

This has earned them the reputation of being escape artists, so you’ll need to make sure you have a secure outside space that they can’t escape from. They have been known to dig underneath fences as well to escape.


Huskies shed year-round and require daily grooming, but this is not very different to other similar breeds.

When huskies blow coat, however, they need to be groomed more. Blowing coat is a term used to describe the process of a dog changing from its winter coat to its summer coat.

When huskies blow coat they lose a huge amount of fur, which can be daunting, especially for first-time owners. During this time you’ll need to groom their coats at least once or twice per day using the correct tools.

How To Know If A Husky Is Right For You

It may sound like this entire article has been negative about huskies, but the truth is that many people get huskies without fully considering their needs.

Huskies can be great for first-time owners, but you need to understand their specific requirements and be willing to meet them. If you can, you will have endless amounts of joy with a husky.

However, if you can’t meet the requirements of the breed you may end up with a husky that is unhappy and difficult to deal with.

Here’s a quick recap if you are considering getting a husky as a first-time owner:

  • 2+ hours of exercise per day.
  • Mental stimulation and obedience training.
  • Not recommended if you have cats or other small dogs (unless you are adopting a husky that has been raised with these types of animals).
  • Require a secure outside space as they are curious and can escape easily.
  • Prone to separation anxiety and destructive behaviors if they are not cared for properly.
  • Need regular grooming, especially when blowing coat.

Think you’re ready for a husky?

Should You Buy Or Adopt?

If you think you’re ready for the responsibility of a husky, the next question to ask yourself is whether you want to adopt or buy from a breeder.

This is an entirely personal decision, however, we are big advocates for adopting here at the Malamute Mom.

Huskies are a difficult breed which means that a lot of people give them up after realising how hard they are to look after. By adopting a husky, you are not only giving a husky a chance at a new life but you’re also doing something that is incredibly rewarding.

On the other hand, dogs from shelters can be more difficult to keep and may have specific care requirements, so it is an even bigger commitment. At the end of the day the choice is yours, but please consider looking at huskies available for adoption in your area first – you never know what you might find.

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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