How Much Exercise Do Huskies Need? 11 Exercises They Love

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Siberian Huskies are notoriously high-maintenance in terms of daily exercise, but how much exercise do huskies need to be satisfied?

Huskies need a minimum of 2 hours of exercise each day. Ideally, this exercise should be intense and varied where possible, with things like running, hiking, or walking around the neighborhood.

Stay tuned to learn about how the energy level of the husky changes with age, the problems you can face if they aren’t exercised enough, and some different ways you can implement more exercise into their daily routines.

Why Huskies Need So Much Exercise

Siberian Huskies were originally bred to be working dogs by the Chukchi people of Siberia. Their robust build and thick double coats made them perfect for pulling sleds over arctic terrain, and in later years, their speed made them ideal for sled racing.

To this day, trained working huskies can pull sleds for over 100 miles over several days when racing.

It should come as no surprise then that huskies are a very energetic breed. Not only that, but they also have incredible endurance and can maintain their high energy levels for several hours each day.

We recommend for most adult huskies that you give them at least 2 hours of high-energy exercise per day, but in many cases, you’ll find that your husky will need more to keep them entertained and well-behaved.

A husky’s high intelligence also means they are prone to quickly becoming bored. We recommend splitting this exercise throughout the day to keep your husky happy and engaged.

You’ll also need to supplement their exercise with other mental stimulation such as obedience training, puzzle toys, and more.

Considering Their Energy Level When Adopting

Due to their high energy levels, we only recommend adopting a husky if you have a large and secure garden that they can run around in as needed.

Huskies are known for getting ‘the zoomies’ frequently (aka a sudden burst of energy), and providing them with ample space to run around will help them expend that energy quicker.

You can keep a husky in an apartment, but you need to make many considerations beforehand. Otherwise, you may end up with an unhappy pup with destructive behaviors.

Husky Puppy Energy Levels

Husky puppies can be quite hyperactive when awake but will spend most of their time sleeping.

It’s also important to not exercise them too much while they are growing, as it can put unnecessary strain on the joints while they are developing, especially the hips.

You should wait for your husky to be fully mature before you exercise them for 2 hours per day, and before that, only take them for gentle walks if they have the energy left after playing.

Senior Husky Energy Levels

As a husky gets older, you may notice that their energy level starts to decrease, and they become more content with just receiving a daily walk or two without the need to play in between.

Remember that all huskies are different, though; they’ll have no problem letting you know if they are being exercised too much or too little through their behaviors.

11 Ways To Exercise Your Husky

If you or your husky are getting bored with the regular daily exercise, here are eleven things you can try to change it up a bit.

1. Walking

Walking is the staple of husky exercise, and it’s a gentle way to get them to exercise without putting stress on their joints, which can be helpful for husky puppies or seniors.

If possible, we recommend walking your husky twice a day to help keep their minds engaged and prevent them from getting bored. You can do this in the early morning and evening if you live somewhere hot or anytime that suits you in colder climates.

Try to devise a handful of different routes you can rotate between to keep things more interesting for you and your husky.

How Many Miles Does A Husky Need To Walk A Day?

At an average walking pace for 2 hours, you’ll cover 6 to 8 miles each day.

This assumes that you spend the 2-hour target entirely walking; it could be much less (or more) than this if you let your husky do other types of exercise.

2. Running

Huskies love to run, and it’s a great way to give them some intense exercise and really tire them out.

The thing about running with your husky that I love is that you can use a bike or even a skateboard and let them pull you around. Huskies can run pretty fast, so you might be surprised at the distance you can cover in a short amount of time.

This means less effort for you and more exercise for your husky. – it’s a win-win.

Quick Note – When walking or running with your husky, keep them on a leash if the area isn’t secure. Huskies have a high prey drive and very poor recall, so they can quickly put themselves in danger without realizing it.

3. Toys

Besides walks and running, providing your husky with plenty of toys is essential.

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Toys allow your husky to keep themselves occupied independently, or they can provide a fun way for you to engage with your husky. A simple fetch ball, like the one above, can provide hours of fun and exercise for your husky at a low cost.

4. Mushing

If you can, you might want to consider taking your husky back to the roots of their breed by teaching them mushing.

Huskies being exercised in the snow

Mushing involves hooking your husky up to a rig that allows them to pull you over dry land. Typically, you will be sat or stood on a wheeled cart that has brakes and steering, allowing you to have control.

Mushing can be tricky to set up and find the space to do, so it isn’t for everyone, but it’s one of the few ways to let your husky do what it is meant to do instinctually.

5. Obedience Training

Exercise can also come in the form of training your husky. Huskies need consistent training throughout their lives to stay well-behaved and to keep their minds engaged.

Teaching your husky new commands is the perfect way to tire them out mentally, which can lead to a lower amount of daily exercise (although we still recommend getting those 2 hours per day to keep them healthy!).

Just remember that training your husky will be no easy task; they are notoriously stubborn and not very eager to please, but you should still try all the same!

6. Swimming

Okay, not all huskies like water, and it’s actually more common for them to be instinctually afraid of water.

However, there are still lots of huskies who do enjoy getting wet and going for a swim. The main benefit of swimming is that it puts no pressure on their joints, so it can be great for huskies who have hip problems.

Just take it slowly, and don’t force your husky to swim. You’ll quickly be able to figure out if they are enjoying themselves or not.

7. Hiking

Hiking and walking are obviously very similar, the main difference being that hiking takes on more challenging and exciting routes and places.

Huskies make great hiking dogs for many reasons. They will have absolutely no problem keeping up with you all day long, and they’re great with meeting other hikers, too.

It’s also great for letting them experience new smells too, boosting their mental stimulation.

Just make sure to check the weather and bring plenty of supplies for them as well, and you’re good to go!

8. Agility Training

Agility training is very similar to obedience training in that it is very difficult to teach a husky how to do it properly.

We’ve all seen the videos of huskies running off during agility competitions (check out the one below if you don’t know what I’m talking about), but it is still a great thing to try if you have the space.

You can set up a few basic obstacles like the tunnel and hurdles and let your husky go wild. They may even use it on their own once they’ve got the hang of it as well; just don’t go expecting to win any competitions!

9. Frisbee

If you can teach your husky to bring a frisbee back to you, it’s an incredible way to spend some time with them while tiring them out pretty quickly.

You’ll need a big area for this, so places like the local dog park (as long as it’s secure) or big open fields make great options.

10. Tug Of War

Tug of War is one of the most popular games to play with any dog, and huskies love it as well.

Just make sure you’ve got a very strong rope because huskies have a very powerful bite that will make quick work of ropes that are designed for smaller dogs.

11. Hide And Seek

The last way you can exercise your husky is by playing hide and seek.

To do this, take their favorite toy or treat and hide it somewhere in the house or the yard while they are sitting down and watching you. You may need to have somebody hold them at this point, depending on how well they know the ‘stay’ command.

Once it’s hidden, let them find it. It shouldn’t take too long, and you may find that your husky loves to play it all the time!

What Happens If You Don’t Exercise A Husky Enough?

Not giving your husky the exercise they need can lead to destructive behaviors forming.

This is because your husky needs physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They will quickly become frustrated and unhappy if they go a long period without fulfilling their exercise requirements.

Those who own the breed will have already witnessed how quickly boredom sets in for huskies.

We all have days when we don’t feel up to a long walk due to illness or the weather is too hot to risk taking our double-coated dogs out. Unfortunately, that leaves us with a miserable husky practically bouncing off the walls.

Here are some of the most common problems you can face if your husky isn’t exercised enough.

(Even More) Vocal

Huskies will use their extra energy in different ways – the most common of which is talking.

We all know that huskies are a loud breed and are happy to express their feelings through their ‘woos,’ but these may become particularly frequent, loud, and clear if they have too much energy.

They also might start howling at any time, day or night, and if you have more than one husky, this can set them all off, which isn’t ideal. This can also cause problems for your neighbors, so you must consider other people, not just yourself.

You can do several things to stop a husky from howling, but the most important is to address their underlying boredom.

Destructive Behaviors

Unfortunately, other, more destructive behaviors can include chewing up furniture, scratching at the door, and digging up your garden.

In some situations, your husky may even set their mind on trying to escape to take themselves on a walk to use up some of their spare energy.

Huskies In Shelters

Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons huskies are surrendered to shelters is because their owners were unprepared for the amount of exercise they require and couldn’t handle the consequences that came with it.

We ask that you only consider adopting a husky if you can fulfill their daily needs to give them a happy and healthy life.

In Summary

Huskies are a highly energetic breed, and they need a whole lot of exercise.

People interested in this breed must be aware of just how much work they can be – huskies are really only for very active people with lots of spare time on their hands.

If you can’t meet a husky’s needs, you will encounter many issues that are detrimental to you and your husky’s life, so don’t take the decision lightly.

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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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