Having been bred for pulling sleds, it’s no surprise that Huskies are a notoriously energetic breed. One of the most common questions we hear from prospective owners, therefore, is ‘how much exercise do Huskies need?’. We’re here to give you a complete guide on what to expect with exercising your Husky, and provide some ideas on how to keep your Husky occupied.
How Much Exercise Do Huskies Need?
Siberian Huskies were originally bred to be working dogs by the Chukchi people of Siberia. Their strong 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.
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.
If you’re considering adopting a Husky, you need to be prepared to cope with these high energy levels. 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 that they are prone to becoming bored easily. To keep your Husky happy and engaged, we recommend splitting this exercise throughout the day.
Typically this exercise will be in the form of long daily walks or hikes and playtime with toys, but keep reading for more ideas on how to exercise your Husky.
Due to their high energy levels, we only recommend adopting a Husky if you have a large and secure garden that they will be able to run around in as they need. Huskies are known for getting ‘the zoomies’ frequently (aka a sudden burst of energy) and providing them with a large space to run around will help to expend that energy quicker.
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. Keep in mind that all Huskies are different though, and they’ll have no problem with letting you know if they are being exercised too much or too little through their behaviours.
Ideas on How to Exercise Your Husky
As we’ve already mentioned, Huskies have excellent endurance. This makes them the perfect adventuring partner to take with you on long walks and hikes.
Their arctic origins also mean that Huskies are not typically deterred by cold or wet weather. In fact, we’ve known many Huskies who actually prefer to be outdoors during the rain and snow so make sure to purchase a good pair of winter walking boots to be able to keep up with them!
If possible, we recommend walking your Husky twice a day to help keep their minds engaged and prevent them from getting bored. Try to come up with a handful of different routes you can rotate between to keep things more interesting for both you and your Husky.
Other than walks, it’s important to provide your Husky with plenty of toys. Toys allow your Husky to keep themselves occupied on their own, or they can provide a fun way for you to engage with your Husky.
For example, one of our personal favourites for keeping a Husky busy is the AWOOF Snuffle Feeding Mat. The mat has different layers and pockets for you to hide small treats and kibbles in which will encourage your Husky to sniff around and search them out. It’s made with a thick and durable Oxford cloth which can be put in the washing machine to freshen up when you need to.
If you have a particularly big garden and like the idea of playing fetch, we recommend buying the Chuckit! Kick Fetch Ball to keep your Husky entertained. The ball’s unique shape means that it bounces in unpredictable directions when thrown or kicked, and its extra-durable design makes it ideal for Huskies who like to play rough.
If you are able to, you might want to consider taking your Husky back to the roots of their breed by teaching them mushing. 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.
Finally, exercise can 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 needed too (although we still recommend getting those 2 hours in per day to keep them healthy!).
What Happens if a Husky Does Not Get Enough Exercise?
Not giving your Husky the exercise they need can lead to bad behaviours forming. This is because your Husky needs physical and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. If they go a long period without fulfilling their exercise requirements, they will quickly become frustrated and unhappy.
Those of you who own the breed will have already witnessed just how quickly boredom sets in for Huskies. We all have those days where we don’t feel up to a long walk due to illness, or the weather is simply too hot to risk taking our double-coated dogs out. Unfortunately, that leaves us with a miserable Husky who is practically bouncing off the walls.
Huskies will use up their extra energy in different ways – the most common of which is through talking. We all know that Huskies are a loud breed and are happy to express how they feel through their ‘woos’, but these may come out particularly loud and clear if they have too much energy.
Other, more destructive behaviours unfortunately can include chewing up furniture and digging up your garden. In some situations, your Husky may even set their minds on trying to escape to take themselves on a walk in order to use up some of their spare energy.
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 fulfil their daily needs to give them a happy and healthy life.
To try and prevent this, we recommend getting a good variety of in-door toys that your Husky can play with by themselves. You may even want to find someone who can step in and walk your Husky for you on days when you are unable to.
If your Husky does start to develop destructive behaviours due to a lack of exercise, these can usually be unlearnt through consistent training and re-implementing a regular exercise routine.
So, there you have it. A typical Husky will need at least 2 hours of high-energy exercise every day, but many will be happy to play for as long as you’ll allow them to. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or get in touch by filling out our contact form here.
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