Are you ready for a husky? Answer key

Give yourself five points for every answer that appears in green and three points for every blue answer. More than a hundred points possible for husky wizards.

Does your family have ten hours a week to walk a dog?

  1. Yes. Ideally, your husky is walked twice a day for at least thirty minutes a walk.
  2. No.

To which of the following do you have daily access? Circle all that apply.

  1. A fenced in yard of a half acre or more.
  2. Access to a dog park.
  3. Access to a dog day care facility where dogs play at least eight hours a day.
  4. None of the above.

Huskies need to be run and walked just about every day. They get discipline and a sense of relationship to their humans from walking on leash. They burn off their nervous energy through running and wrestling other dogs. Dog day cares that offer ten or more hours a day of play can really help you manage your husky’s excess energy.

How many hours a day will your dog be completely alone, i.e. without companionship of other dogs, cats, or humans?

  1. No more than three hours a day. Huskies are not wolves and do not enjoy lone wolfing it. They are highly social, with people and other dogs. They also get bored very quickly when not socially stimulated. Unless you are retired or home all day, it’s really better to get two huskies than one husky. Two huskies can entertain each other, taking the pressure off you to entertain them constantly. Huskies will also bond closely with other dog breeds, especially herding breeds like blue heelers, and, under some circumstances, household cats.
  2. Three to eight hours a day.
  3. More than eight hours a day.

Define “positivity training.”

  1. Reward positive behavior. Constantly. Especially if you are raising a husky under two years of age, you really have to administer a lot of treats. Don’t count the treats. Is that too many? No. As long as he’s doing something you like or even just something that doesn’t bug the shit out of you, reward that behavior with treats, toys, play, and praise. Huskies love to play and will often learn to sit, go down, stay, etc. for a game of tug the rope. Positivity training is really the only viable training for a husky.
  2. Reward positive behavior and administer physical punishment for negative behavior.
  3. Reward only really good behavior with treats, then ignore bad behavior.

Do you fundamentally believe that dogs don’t need to take obedience classes?

  1. Yes. Huskies are feral enough with training. Don’t even think about getting a husky and not hiring a trainer or taking a class.
  2. No.

If you have children, did you ever discipline them by hitting, spanking, or shouting?

  1. Yes. If you couldn’t manage your children without resorting to violence, you should definitely not get a dog. And please don’t have any more children.
  2. No.

Do you believe that dogs learn from being slapped or kicked or yelled at?

  1. Yes.
  2. No. All a dog learns from being yelled at or beaten or slapped is that you are a mean person and not to be trusted.

When your dog steals half a bagel, dressed with cream cheese, from your plate, what is the appropriate response?

  1. Yelling “no!” in a loud, firm voice.
  2. Screaming and then rubbing the dog’s face in the cream cheese.
  3. Beating the dog for ten seconds or less.
  4. Taking responsibility for putting your dog in a position to do something that displeases you and letting him finish his bagel in peace. Husky ownership obligates you to anticipate things that can go wrong. 

Are you or is at least one member of your family physically able to walk a mile in fifteen minutes or less?

  1. Yes. Huskies like to walk fast. Unless you have an older husky–six or more years old–you will need to walk briskly to keep him happy. A husky is a good choice of dog if you want to get in shape through power walking.
  2. No.

How big do huskies get?

  1. 40-70 pounds. According to the American Kennel Club, they average 50 pounds, but sometimes get as big as seventy pounds. This is a big dog. If you want a bigger dog, consider a Malamute. If you want a smaller dog, consider a Pomsky, which is a breed that looks like a husky, but will only get to be twenty-five pounds or so. If you want to be assured of a forty pound husky, you will have to obtain one that is already at least two years old. If you are obtaining a husky puppy, you should try to meet the mother and father and observe their size. This will give you some idea how big your puppy will get, but it is not a guarantee. Other indications that your puppy will be huge are: if he is the first born of the litter, if he arrived a day ahead of all the other puppies, or if the breeder says things like, “he eats all the food.”
  2. 60-80 pounds.
  3. 25-45 pounds.

What is the best harness for a husky? Circle all that apply.

  1. A weighted back pack. You get full points for this, because a weighted backpack will divert some of your husky’s pulling instincts into carrying. Weighted packs also help equalize the energy level of the husky and her walker.
  2. A sled harness.
  3. A shock harness.
  4. This is a trick question. You shouldn’t harness a husky because it activates her pulling instinct.

Do you need a lot of physical affection from your dog?

  1. Yes.
  2. No. There are definitely more affectionate dogs. Pit bulls, beagles, King Charles spaniels, and Labrador retrievers, to name the most obvious. That’s not to say that your husky won’t come to love you, but it will take longer, and you will have to earn it.

Do you need a lot of eye contact and emotional support from your dog?

  1. Yes.
  2. No. There’s a reason you rarely, if ever, see a husky performing as an emotional support dog. They never make the list of best dogs for fighting depression either. Huskies will challenge your physical and problem solving abilities, rather than supporting you.

When training a dog, what is the reward that most reinforces good behavior?

  1. Dry, odorless dog treats.
  2. Stinky, moist dog treats. If you think all dog treats are equally good, you will be in for a rude shock. Huskies quickly develop a sense of what treats are high value enough and will only learn new things for those treats. Your husky might initially go outside to pee for a small, dry treat, but, if going outside isn’t enough fun, you will find yourself graduating to beef jerky, then cold cuts, then redesigning the yard to be more fun. 
  3. Scratching behind a dog’s ears.
  4. Praising the dog lavishly with a loving tone of voice.
  5. Rewards will have to be rotated and re-evaluated on a daily basis because your husky will tire of any reward that’s too consistently administered.

You believe your relationship to your husky will be most like:

  1. A master, servant relationship. Don’t get a husky. 
  2. An alpha dog, beta dog relationship. Whatever Cesar Millan might think, there’s no science to the notion that dogs think of people as dogs. 
  3. A friendship.
  4. A collaboration. Your husky wants to play and explore. Your best option is to be his fellow explorer and play buddy.

Do you enjoy gardening and raising flowers, fruits, or vegetables in your front or back yards?

  1. Yes. Unless you have a six foot fence around your cultivars, there’s really no mixing a beloved garden with a beloved husky. Huskies have an instinct to dig. They are great dogs for people who look out on their backyards and say, “You know, what we really need back here are some craters.”
  2. No.

When your husky kills a baby bird, the appropriate response is to:

  1. Beat the dog because he knows better.
  2. Scold the dog so that he never does that again.
  3. Identify where in your yard birds are nesting and then, during the winter months, trim tree branches and block cavities to prevent birds from nesting in your yard.
  4. With the patience of Gandhi, accept that huskies have a strong prey drive and that there will be a few casualties.

As you are taking off your shoes, your husky grabs one, runs across the house, and has chewed a hole in it before you catch up with her. The appropriate response is

  1. Nothing. Your opportunity to make this a learning moment expired the moment she got her teeth around your shoe. You will now buy only cheap shoes. Again, it’s not enough to be a good dog owner who keeps her temper. You must also anticipate trouble and get ahead of it.
  2. Scream “NO” at your dog and then get the shoe away from her by screaming and pulling.
  3. Hit your dog until she gives up the shoe, then hit her with the shoe for at least five seconds.

You come home to find that your husky has chewed the corner off your favorite chair. The appropriate response is to:

  1. Remind yourself that you signed up for chewed furniture when you got a husky and take your dog for a lovely long walk.
  2. Drag your dog by the collar to the chewed chair. Scream and point at the damage.
  3. Hit your dog at least three times while yelling, “chair, chair, chair!”

Your husky pees the floor when you come home from a long day at work. The appropriate response is to:

  1. Rub your dog’s nose in the pee.
  2. Make a mental note hat, when you come home every night, the first thing you should do is firmly command your dog not to pee the house.
  3. Recognize that your dog was probably stressed and lonely in your absence and that, when she saw you, she got so excited she lost bladder control. Make a mental note that, when you come home from work, you should immediately go outside with your dog and show her that you are as excited to see her as she is to see you. If you don’t have an enclosed yard, keep a leash by the door.

Your results

I lied. I’m not going to tell you what kind of dog to get. I just want you to know what you’re getting into.