How much exercise does a Siberian Husky need? Well, like most things, it depends on the dog. Puppies, adult dogs, and seniors need different levels of physical activity to stay healthy. It also depends on how big they are. The average Siberian Husky is a medium-sized sled dog with a thick coat of fur. Despite their fluffiness, they’re built for endurance running and love to be active, especially in the snow!
Here’s a quick look at the breed:
- AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 14 of 197
- Height: 21-23.5 inches (male), 20-22 inches (female)
- Weight: 45-60 pounds (male), 35-50 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 12-14 years
Siberian Husky’s Ancestry
Siberian Husky’s ancestors were bred as companion dogs and sled dogs in northeastern Asia by the Chukchi people — so the dogs are not too different from how they are used today!
However, the changing climate forced the Chukchi to expand their hunting ground, which made them turn to their dogs for transportation. Because the Chukchi were so isolated from the rest of the world, the Siberian Husky line maintained its purity for many generations.
It wasn’t until the 1900s did this breed start to catch other people’s eyes. They were winning sed race after sled race and mushers from all over wanted to see the dogs in action. The most famous Siberian Husky in history was recognized a few years later.
In 1925, legendary musher Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog Balto led a relay of Siberian Huskies 658 miles in only 5.5 days to rush a lifesaving serum to Nome, Alaska, where an epidemic of diphtheria had broken out. The thrilling “serum run,” reported breathlessly in newspapers around the world, won Siberians a popularity that has not abated to this day.
Balto, who was Seppala’s lead dog on the final leg of the journey, remains one of the most honored hero dogs in canine history and a statue of him stands in New York City’s Central Park.
How Much Exercise Does a Siberian Husky Need?
Knowing their ancestry, now you know why Siberian Huskies are as energetic as they are. They’re built to go and they’re happiest when they’re moving.
Your Husky will need a minimum of two hours of exercise every day. We’d recommend spreading this across the day and vary your walking routes so they don’t get bored. Keep in mind that Siberians are born to run — and they will, given the chance. Keep them in a harness when they’re not in a secured yard or dog park. This will help keep them safe, as well as whatever they’re chasing.
With their heavy coats, you should also be careful about the heat. They can overexert themselves very easily and the summer is not always their best friend. Keep an eye on them for signs of heatstroke and try to avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day. Early mornings and evenings are probably the best times to go for long walks and runs. Keep water with you at all times to help keep your pup cool as well.
Siberian Huskies are also notorious diggers. You’re going to want to watch your step in the yard if you have one around.
What About Puppies?
Puppies don’t need 2 hours a day, but they do need at least 30 minutes to keep their bodies healthy as they’re growing. Like with all puppies, don’t overdo it! They’re still growing, so their bodies aren’t quite ready for long exercise sessions yet.
Provide a Digging Area or Pit
To avoid a yard disaster, it’s a good idea to let your Siberian Husky dig in a designated area (if you can’t train it out of them, that is). Provide an area or digging box for them so they can dig to their heart’s content.
You can get a toddlers paddling pool, fill it with sand and hide their toys or a bone in it for them to find. Just be aware that if the weather is warm the sand may get hot. You can wet it down with the hose if it is!
Mental Exercises For your Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies love to be physically and mentally active. If they’re bored, they’ll let you know. If you’ve ever heard a husky tantrum, then you know this all too well! We recommend trying these games with them to keep them on their toes.
Hide and Seek
Ah, hide and seek. It’s a classic game from all of our childhoods, well, it’s time to play it again! If your husky knows “sit and stay,” then you’re in a great spot to play this with them. Have them sit in another room and you go hide. Behind doors is always our favorite spot. Once you’re ready, call their name and have them find you!
Bonus points if you capture it on camera — it makes for a great video!
Give Names To Your Husky’s Toys
This one sounds crazy, but stick with us. We already say “where’s your ball?” after all, right? Naming your dog’s toys and teaching your dog how to identify their toys by those names is great for their mental health. While you might sound weird telling your dog to “go get Wilson!” it will be worth it when they come trotting back with a volleyball in their mouth.
Here’s how to do it. Take two different toys to start out and hold one in each hand. Show your Siberian Husky one toy, say it’s name, and let your pup sniff it. Do it again and praise them. They’ll begin to associate that toy with a specific name. Do the same thing for the other toy, and then switch it up.
Try holding out both toys and saying “Get Wilson.” If your dog goes for the toy you named Wilson, then they’ve got it! If they don’t, well, it takes time. We’re not all the best at remembering names!
When they do it successfully, give them plenty of praise and love. It’s a fun game for them and it’s a good laugh for you too.
That’s it from us at Doggy Brace. Be sure to give your husky an extra treat from us.