If you are a proud Husky owner, you might already know by now how active the breed can get. But, considering their double coat, are Siberian Huskies good running dogs? This short guide will look into the exercise needs of Huskies and if you can make a good running partner out of them.
Siberian Huskies and running
Huskies were originally bred by the Chukchi people to work as sled dogs under extreme cold and they love physical activities outdoors. Although Huskies don’t have any issue running during winters for miles, summers may spell some trouble for them.
If you are living in an area with hot climate, your Husky might have some issues adjusting. However, you don’t need to worry because Huskies can be excellent running partners as long as you follow a few important tips.
The breed is known for their high energy and endurance so running might just be the best and easiest way of meeting all their physical needs. Aside from this, running together may also be a fun means of bonding with your adorable Husky.
Things to remember when running with Siberian Huskies
Your Siberian Husky may not be that inclined running by your side and might even wander off the track. Encounters with other dogs, hot and dry weather, and busy roads can all make it tricky and challenging to run with your Husky.
Here are some pointers to keep in mind when running with your Siberian Husky:
- Hydration and overheating
The thick and double coated fur of your pup may cause overheating, particularly during warm summer months. In case you have plans running with your dog during warmer season, it is best to schedule your run for late evenings or early mornings.
See to it that you also carry with you a water bottle and a bowl for yourself and your Husky. It is also a must that you take some breather every 15 minutes then let your Husky get a good drink.
- Dog leash
Make sure you also use a retractable and comfortable leash to give your pup just enough freedom for running while keeping a close eye on him. You can go for a large or medium leash depending on the size of your Husky. You can also let your pet run alongside you or ahead of you.
Remember that if you don’t leash your Husky, he might end up wandering in different directions. If your Husky is all grown up, he might be much stronger than you and might also be hard to control. To ensure that your run doesn’t get chaotic, go for a lightweight and shock-absorbent leash.
- Rest breaks
Siberian Huskies can go running great distances with no signs of tiredness at all. But, it doesn’t matter if your pup is already panting or not because it is still important that you give him frequent rest breaks.
You might feel tempted to run with your dog for long distances all at once. However, it is important to build the stamina of your Husky gradually and slowly. Start with several miles initially then increase it little by little. You can try to alternate between running and walking to prevent over-exhaustion.
Siberian Huskies are bred to endure extreme colds so they don’t really love to run in high temperatures. Try to stick to less than 5 miles per day if the temperatures go beyond 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Another good alternative is to take your Siberian Husky for a great swim or you can also exercise him indoors.
Meanwhile, if you are living in a colder area with temperatures going lower than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you might be able to train your dog to run for up to 10 miles. It gets better if the weather is colder. If you are living in a place with snow, running outside is almost like heave for your adorable Husky.
How to train your Siberian Husky to go running with you
Huskies can be very intelligent although they also have a stubborn side to them. You should train your dog first to prevent any possible injuries during a run.
However, before you start training your Husky to go running, see to it that he is already adept enough with some basic commands such as stop, sit, and come here. Also, it is important that your pet is already familiar with walking with a leash. After you meet these two requirements, you can now start to train your pup to run alongside you.
- Start with speedy but casual walking. You can use a hands-free belt to let your Husky walk right ahead of you. You can walk your pet like this for several days so you can help him get used to fast walking.
- After setting your Husky with this particular walking style, you can start drawing him closer to you so you can have better control. Try switching to a retractable leash so you can give your Husky some breathing space and still be in control of him.
- Before you run, you could try positioning your dog in a running posture. You can ask him to sit beside you and offer him a treat when he does so. You can try to repeat this for the first several times before going on a run.
- Now that you got the attention of your companion, tell him that you got more delicious treats. This is when you can start to walk him while keeping a firm and steady grip on the leash.
- Stop every once in a while and praise your pup for his effort. You can use his favorite treats to reinforce the behavior. You also have to make sure that you let him drink some water in between.
- After your Husky has mastered walking in this particular style, you can change the walk slowly to a jog. Just repeat the cycle of reinforcement, stop, praise, and offer a treat as a reward. There will be no longer a need for treats after several practices and your pet will be running alongside you just fine.
Over time, you will be able to switch to the hands-free dog walker from the regular leash. However, see to it that you always keep your pet on the leash when running even if he seems obedient enough. This will help you gain better control over some tricky situations such as traffic.
See to it that you gradually switch to jogging from walking then running. It will help your pet to adapt to running and build endurance.
When can a Siberian Husky start running
Vets advise not to take a Husky out for a run before he reaches the age of one year old. It is because before the first birthday of your pup, the ligaments and bones of your Husky will still be tender and fragile. Running and jogging at such an early stage might make your dog suffer from permanent injury.
By this time, see to it that you give your Husky some exercise at home. When your Husky becomes old enough to go running, you can start with a slow jog and increase speed gradually.
For how long can a Siberian Husky run
Although a healthy Siberian Husky won’t have any issues running for as far as 100 miles, exhausting your dog is never advisable. You can begin with 2 miles then take this to a maximum of 10 miles. If you wish to maintain the health of your Husky, avoid over exhausting him with excessive running in one go.
Siberian Huskies require moderate regular running instead of all at once. Walk your pup for several miles. You could take your dog for a run for longer distances during colder winter months than during hotter summer months.
What should you do if there are other dogs during your run
Your Siberian Husky might lose control if he encounters other dogs or animals along the way. You might want to try to run in open spaces such as parks or beaches so you can maintain a good enough distance between other dogs and your pup.
This will also give you enough time to try keeping your pet away from the other dogs. In addition, in case the other dog happens to be hyper and big, it will be much better if you walk away to another direction the moment you see them.
However, if the owner of the other dog is in full control and the dog is also on a leash, you might be able to let your pet go past the other dog. You could also try slowing down your pet so that you don’t end up eliciting a hyperactive response from the other dog.
Having said this, if ever your Siberian Husky has been known for causing trouble every time he sees other dogs and furry friends, steering clear is a better option. Running as well as other exercises that are physically demanding can heighten the hyperactivity of your pup. Be familiar with the route ahead of time and always do your research prior to stepping outside with your Siberian Husky.