We often talk about the fact that Huskies are known for being good family pets. Their kind nature and love of companionship make them instant best friends to everyone they meet. If you are expecting a baby to be joining your household soon, you might be wondering how your Husky will react.
Worrying about your baby’s safety is completely normal, even if Huskies do have a good reputation!
In our article, we take a look at the traits that make Huskies suitable for living with babies (along with the ones that don’t) and give you our tips for keeping your household safe. So, are Huskies good with babies? Keep reading to find out!
Before we get into our article, we wanted to make it clear that a baby should never be left unsupervised with any dog. This is irrespective of how good the dog has previously shown to be around the baby.
Having a baby and a dog alone together will never be a completely risk-free situation for many reasons. Although several dogs can happily live with babies and children, we ask that their interactions are supervised at all times and that you maintain control of the situation.
WHY HUSKIES ARE NATURALLY GOOD WITH BABIES
If you’re going to have a home with both a Husky and a baby then we have good news for you – Huskies are a family-orientated breed that are natural carers of babies and children.
This may come as a surprise to you. We’ve heard from several owners that believed Huskies to be unsuitable for life with a bay, likely due to their frequent comparisons to their wolf ancestors. Despite their intimidating appearances, Huskies are naturally very friendly towards humans and rarely exhibit aggression.
Below are some of the key traits that make Huskies a great addition to homes with young children and babies:
- Social skills – Huskies are a very sociable breed and like to be in the company of both people and other dogs. They are very trusting of strangers and new people they meet. This means they are very likely to see a baby as a new friend rather than a potential threat.
- Intelligence – Huskies are highly intelligent and will be able to recognise the way you are acting around a baby. They will not only realise that the baby is a new addition to the family, but they will also see that they are fragile. Even some of the most boisterous Huskies out there know to dial it back when it comes to being around a baby!
- Unprotective – Unlike many dog breeds, Huskies are not known for being protective. Whilst this makes them terrible guard dogs, it’s actually an ideal trait for living with a baby. It means that your Husky is extremely unlikely to see you as a threat to the baby, or vice-versa. Don’t be mistaken though – Huskies will still care for and love new household members, they simply show it in other ways!
- Patience – Huskies are a naturally patient breed and they will rarely become aggressive unless they have been relentlessly provoked. They can easily differentiate between a human trying to play with them and a human intentionally hurting them, making them ideal for being around children. We still ask that you always supervise interactions between your Husky and babies, as no situation is ever 100% risk-free.
Huskies are one of the best breeds for having in the home with babies and they will certainly not complain about the extra companionship as the babies grow up.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR HUSKY SHOULD NOT BE AROUND BABIES
Most Huskies will naturally adapt to having a baby in the household in the blink of an eye. But, are there any signs to look out for that indicate your Husky might not be ready for the addition?
We’ve listed below some of the more negative traits that Huskies can exhibit that are not ideal for living with babies. This is not to say that they should never be allowed near babies, but you may have to take some extra precautions to prepare them.
- Stubbornness – All owners should already be aware that Huskies are naturally very stubborn and highly value their independence. We’ve all been involved in a stand-off with our Huskies where they just won’t back down from what they want to do – despite us trying our best to stop them! This disobedience will be even harder to manage if you have to look after a baby on top of it, so it’s better to try and obedience train your Husky whilst you still have some free time.
- Energy Levels – Huskies have very high energy levels and need around 2 hours of exercise per day to keep them from getting bored. Finding the time to fulfil their activity requirements will not be easy once your baby arrives. If your Husky doesn’t get the exercise they need, it may lead to them throwing tantrums and becoming destructive in the home, which is certainly the last thing you’ll want to have to deal with.
- Boisterousness – Most Huskies will be able to recognise that being around a baby means that they need to be calm. For some Huskies, it takes them a little more time to understand this, and being around a new household member might lead to them becoming overexcited and boisterous. Obedience training before bringing your baby home is a must if you’re concerned this is relevant to you!
As you have probably noticed, the reason these traits can make it difficult to own a Husky with a baby is that you might struggle to find the time (and energy!) to care for them both.
We can’t recommend enough for you to try and find a friend who would be willing to help with your Husky’s care during your baby’s first few months. Having them take the Husky for a walk even once a week will make the world of difference!
IMPORTANT SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS FOR HUSKIES AND BABIES
Now we know that Huskies are usually a good breed to live with babies, let’s take a look at some of the safety precautions you should take to protect both the baby and the Husky.
- Never fully trust your Husky – It doesn’t matter how long you have known your Husky, at the end of the day they are still an animal. They can’t fully communicate to us if something is upsetting or angering them, meaning they could act unpredictably at any time.
- Don’t allow your Husky to be aggravated – Sometimes, children and babies interact with an animal in ways that as adults, we know might provoke it. This includes poking, prodding, punching, and pinching. Generally, they mean no harm and are simply trying to explore their world but animals don’t always understand this. Whilst Huskies are very patient, you should still not allow your baby to aggravate them.
- Stop your baby from touching your Husky’s face – This extends from the previous point. Many dogs, including Huskies, will sometimes nip you if they are feeling annoyed. This is not done with aggressive intent, but instead as a warning similar to how they would nip their own puppies. We recommend you stop your baby from touching your Husky’s face to avoid them being on the receiving end of a nibble!
- Don’t leave your baby on the floor near the Husky – As previously mentioned, Huskies can be very boisterous and excitable. During their excitement, they may accidentally step on or knock into your baby if they are left on the floor. Always keep your baby out of reach of the Husky.
- Don’t ignore your Husky – Bringing home a new addition to the family will of course take up some of your time, but remember that you still need to care for your Husky. They are a time-intensive breed that needs lots of attention from their owners to stay happy. In our experience, Huskies do generally adapt well to living with a baby – just remember to give them lots of praise and cuddles to remind them they aren’t being replaced.
It may seem like a struggle at first, but soon life with both a baby and a Husky will become your everyday normal.
The video below actually disregards a lot of our advice (leaving the baby on the floor, allowing them to play rough, touching the face) but we wanted to include it because it shows just how patient the breed really are. The parent is clearly in control of the situation and the connection the Husky and baby have is truly heart-warming!
WHAT TO DO BEFORE AND AFTER A BABY ARRIVES
Let’s take a quick look at what you should do before and after your baby arrives to give your Husky the best possible chance of adapting. For many Huskies, these steps won’t be needed as they will adjust to their new lifestyle easily. In our opinion, it’s still worth going through them to ensure they are completely ready.
Before the baby arrives:
One of the things we’ve heard that Huskies have the hardest time adapting to is baby gates in the home. Huskies take a lot of pride in their independence and often think that baby gates are put in place to try and control them! If they see that they can’t get into a specific room anymore, their desire to go in there will often amplify.
This is the kind of behaviour you definitely don’t want to be dealing with when the baby is here, so it’s better to get it out of the way early. Install your baby gates as needed at least a month before the baby’s expected arrival to start getting your Husky used to them.
You can then use the baby gates as a way of gradually getting your Husky used to the idea of not always needing to be in the same room as you. Use the baby gates to separate yourself from your Husky for just a couple of minutes a day, and slowly increase this time until the baby arrives. Once they are here, you should be able to have private time with your baby without your Husky trying to desperately interrupt!
Just before you bring your baby home, have a family member bring your Husky something with the baby’s scent on it. This can be a towel or some clothing, as long as it has been in contact with the baby.
Doing this will familiarise your Husky with the baby’s scent and will take away some of the initial excitement and curiosity once your Husky meets the baby in person. Keep the item in a prominent place, such as on the sofa, so your Husky recognises it as being an important scent.
After the baby arrives:
Now it is time for your Husky to meet your baby. Our most important advice for this scenario is to have the mother go in and greet the Husky alone whilst another family member keeps hold of the baby outside.
The Husky is going to be very excitable and will likely want to jump up on the mother so for safety reasons, it is better for them to not have the baby with them at the time. This will also give the Husky another opportunity to encounter the baby’s scent. If they can smell it strongly all over the mother, it will help them to recognise it as a safe scent.
Try to get your Husky completely relaxed and calmed down before allowing them to meet the baby. You may choose to put them on a leash (make sure they don’t think they are going on a walk!) or hold their collar.
Remember that your Husky will simply be curious about the new baby, but make sure you have control of the situation at all times.
Huskies are one of the best breeds for living with babies, but make sure you still have the time needed to fulfil their daily needs. Remember that Huskies are still an animal at the end of the day and should never be trusted to be alone with a baby. Keep control of every interaction, and you shouldn’t face any issues.
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