Few dogs are as visually striking as the husky. Their bright blue eyes, impressive coats, and fun-loving, sociable personalities make them so popular. (They ranked 19th last year in the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dog breeds.)
The Arctic sled dog breeds include the Siberian husky, Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed, Labrador husky, and others. These medium- to large-sized dogs are bred to be working dogs, so they’re generally active, high-energy pets. If you’re considering adopting a husky and you have small children, it’s important to answer this question: Are huskies good with kids?
Generally speaking, yes, huskies are good with kids. They tend to be very tolerant and friendly dogs, making them a good choice for families with young children. But it’s important to remember that dogs and children both need to learn how to safely interact with each other. Generally, it isn’t wise to leave very young kids unsupervised with any dog.
Read on to find out more about the husky’s temperament and trainability, as well as other things to consider when deciding whether to add one of these beautiful and energetic dogs to your family.
The Husky’s Temperament
Huskies are good with kids because they’re generally good-natured, affectionate, and loyal. These creatures are pack dogs at heart, which is one of the reasons they make such good family pets. They see you and your family as their pack and will be very loyal and protective over you and your children. And with an average lifespan of 12-15 years, they’ll serve as a faithful companion throughout your children’s formative years.
Remember: Huskies have a very high energy level because they’re bred to be working dogs. (Specifically, they were often racing and freighting dogs.) This means husky dog owners should be prepared to give their pet a lot of exercise. Huskies will enjoy long walks, jogs, vigorous play sessions, hikes, and even swims. They also love to spend time outdoors, so a home with a backyard is probably best.
Because the husky is so energetic and playful, they make especially good companions for older children. These dogs definitely have the energy to keep up with a rambunctious elementary- or middle-schooler. And, thanks to the husky’s protective nature, they’ll look out for your kids without being possessive over them.
If you have a toddler, infant, or new baby at home, your husky will probably treat them just like part of the family, too. But, again, we don’t recommend leaving your young child unsupervised around your husky, no matter how well-trained your dog is. Medium to large dogs like the husky can accidentally hurt a child simply by bowling them over during playtime or unintentionally sitting on them.
The Husky’s Trainability
Like any dog, the husky needs to be properly trained and socialized to be a well-behaved family dog. Whether you plan on adopting a husky puppy from a reputable breeder or bringing home an adult dog, invest your time in training your new family member — especially if you have young kids. Likewise, you’ll need to teach your children how to be safe and respectful with your husky.
Here’s the good news: The husky is an intelligent dog that, while a bit stubborn, is often eager to please and easy to train. It’s one more reason that huskies are good with kids.
Training your pet is essential. Not doing so will only create more behavior problems for yourself down the road. For example, without crate training, your dog is more likely to develop separation anxiety. If you aren’t up for training your husky yourself, consult a professional dog trainer or enroll your dog in obedience courses.
All breeds of dog benefit from basic obedience training, the husky included. Make sure your canine best friend knows the fundamental commands like sit, stay, come, heel, and lay down. You’ll also want to crate train and potty train your dog (or adopt an adult husky who’s already been trained).
Leash training is also very important. The husky can prove to be a bit of an escape artist on walks if they’re not properly leashed, thanks in part to their high prey drive.
Are huskies good with kids? Those who are properly socialized with children from a young age typically are. However, you can still socialize adult huskies with some extra effort.
An important part of raising huskies is socializing them to a variety of adults and children, other pets, and common situations. This way, your pooch is less likely to be caught off-guard later in life.
Expose your husky to people of different ages, genders, and races. Let them observe and interact with other dogs and small animals like cats in a safe way. Always use a leash, and take things slow. If you’re visiting a public space like a dog park, always ask other people if they’re okay with your dog meeting them or their pet.
Other Considerations for Huskies and Children
Let’s end with some final notes about how children and huskies can coexist:
Expect Some Noise
One thing the husky is known for is its signature voice. While this breed isn’t necessarily a big barker, husky owners should expect their dog to howl. This is especially important for those with a new baby at home to know. You don’t want your dog waking your child up once you’ve finally gotten them down for a nap. Be prepared for the noise, and consider extra training to teach your dog to be quiet in the home.
Teach Your Children About Your Dog
This is especially true when you have toddlers and slightly older children who will be interacting with your husky. Teach them to be respectful of your dog’s boundaries — for example, it’s not okay to tug on your dog’s ears or tail or try to ride your dog like a horse. Not only are such behaviors disrespectful to your pet — an annoyed, threatened, or hurt dog is more likely to act out aggressively.
Help Your Husky Calm Down
Like we mentioned, huskies can be high-energy pooches. If you have a hyperactive dog on your hands and would like to calm them down — perhaps before your child’s nap time — give Native Pet’s Calm Chicken Chews a try. Our all-natural chews help to reduce general anxiety, relax your dog’s muscles, and help improve sleep.
The Bottom Line: Are Huskies Good With Kids?
So, are huskies good with kids? Yes, huskies are generally good family dogs thanks to their friendly, outgoing, active nature.
Huskies make great playmates for slightly older children thanks to being high-energy dogs, but they’ll need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. And it’s important that you train and socialize your husky properly, no matter how old your kids are.
If your husky gets plenty of exercise and is well trained — and your kids know how to properly interact with a dog — this breed will make a great companion for your kids, not to mention the whole family.
If you have a baby, infant, or toddler at home, don’t leave them alone with your dog. It’s very unlikely that a husky would intentionally harm your child, but they may do so accidentally if you’re not watching closely. And the husky’s signature howl could upset a young child who isn’t used to the noise.
For more insight into your dog’s behavior, health, and wellness, visit the Native Pet blog.