The Siberian Husky is a highly adaptable, loyal, and energetic breed. Their wolf-like beauty and friendly temperament have made them one of the most popular dogs to own. So if you’re thinking about getting a husky, you might be wondering if huskies are good with kids.
While there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to picking a family dog, the Husky does have a number of characteristics that increase the likelihood it would make a great option for a family with kids.
If you’re looking for a family dog, read on to see if the Husky is the right breed for you.
What Makes a Good Family Dog?
Good family dogs all share a few common characteristics. Let’s see how the Husky adds up!
Husky Temperament – Friendly and Tolerant
When selecting a dog breed for your family, it’s important to consider temperament, and how the dog will interact with your children and friends. For families with kids, selecting a dog that is outgoing, friendly, and tolerant should be at the top of the list. Luckily, Huskies check all of those boxes!
Child playdates are incredibly popular with parents and kids, so having a dog that’s friendly, sociable, and tolerant with new people is a must. Huskies are typically happy to meet new people, and they would love to have another child in the yard to play with. More kids mean more opportunities to have fun and run around and play!
For this reason, when you bring a Husky into your home, be sure it receives a lot of socialization. Take it to the dog park, to doggie daycare, to a friend’s house, if they’ll let you, or the beach. The more opportunities your Husky has to interact with and meet new people, the better!
How a dog reacts to the way children play, especially young children, is also important and will tell a lot about the dog’s temperament. Young children, in particular, can sometimes play a little too rough with a dog by accidentally pulling on an ear, or throwing toys, for example.
A tolerant dog will walk away from the child, or ignore “heavy-handed” playing. A good family dog will not react aggressively or nip at a child.
Having said that, it’s important to teach your children the correct and gentle way to interact with a dog. That means no tail pulling, ear tugging, or generally tormenting the family dog. All dogs should be treated with kindness and respect, by all members of the family.
Trainability – Are Huskies Easy to Train?
The Husky was bred to have a job. As many Husky lovers already know, its primary job was to work together with its pack to pull a heavy sled and help its owners transport food and other items across the snow.
Because the Husky is so intelligent and hardworking, training this breed should be easy if you are consistent with a training schedule – particularly if you have a Husky puppy.
A responsible Husky owner should be able to control their dog at all times, especially if they have children. Your dog should be alert and responsive to your commands, even in situations where a lot is going on.
For example, if you’re hosting a boisterous child’s birthday party, but you notice one of the children is afraid of dogs, and your super friendly Husky is trying to gently make friends, your Husky should immediately respond to you calling it back to you.
It’s also worth noting that even though your kids might love your Husky, and vice versa, not all kids will love dogs (no matter the breed).
Are Huskies Affectionate?
Good family dogs are affectionate and they love to be with their families.
While some breeds are more independent and even a bit aloof, even to people in the household, the Husky is affectionate and loyal.
Because generations of Huskies were used to working and living with other groups of Huskies (afterall, it takes a whole team of Huskies to pull a sled), they absolutely love being with the other pack members in the household – especially the two-legged, human kind!
While the breed may look intimidating to some people, due to its wolf-like appearance, Huskies rarely display signs of aggression. The breed is so friendly that it’s never included on lists of the best guard dogs.
Husky Energy Level
Anyone with kids knows that kids have a ton of energy. The good news is, a Husky will play in the yard all day long with your kids and their friends! There’s a good chance by the end of the day, both will wear each other out – a win-win for parents!
Families with active lifestyles that enjoy hiking, camping, and taking long walks, will love their Husky’s ability to keep up with them on all of their outdoor adventures. If the day’s activities involve going somewhere new and exploring for a few hours, then the Husky is the dog for you.
However, if your family is less active, and prefers to stay home and relax, the Husky might not be a good match for your family. Because the Husky is such an active dog, considering your family’s energy level might be the most important factor when deciding if a Husky is the right dog for your kids.
One reason the Husky is such a popular breed for families with kids is its adaptability. Huskies can live in just about any climate and in any condition – even in hot deserts if the proper precautions are followed. If your family likes taking road trips and visiting new places, a Husky would be a great companion!
If your family life looks a little like the beach one weekend, the mountains the next, a kids’ soccer camp, or a family retreat the week after, a Husky would be a great match. These dogs love to be on the go with their people. As long as the Husky is with their pack (your family), they’ll be happy and content.
Husky Size – How Big Do Huskies get?
Huskies are considered a medium-sized breed. Females can weigh between 35 to 50 pounds, and be 20 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder, and males can weigh between 44 to 60 pounds, and be 21 to 24 inches at the shoulder.
Families with small children and infants will want to monitor their children around any dog that is larger than the children. The family dog doesn’t always understand how large it is and could inadvertently knock a child over while playing, causing an injury.
A Husky’s Needs
We’ve looked at a few qualities of the Husky that make it a good fit for families with kids, but what about the needs of the Husky? As mentioned above, the Husky is an active dog that requires a lot of physical and mental stimulation.
The Husky may not be the best breed for your family if:
- The family travels a lot, but can’t take a dog with.
- Does not have the time or ability to walk and/or exercise the dog appropriately – remember, Huskies require about two hours of physical activity a day.
- Does not have the time to devote to training.
If you can’t devote an adequate amount of time to giving your Husky the physical and mental stimulation it needs, there’s a strong possibility that the dog will act out by chewing and destroying things he shouldn’t, by digging, or by excessive howling.
In these situations, the dog isn’t being bad, he just won’t have an outlet for all of his energy! Like all working dogs, they will be at their best if they’re properly exercised and engaged.
Living With a Husky
Because Huskies are such an active breed, they will do best with a family that has access to a yard. The more room a Husky has to move around and stay active, the happier it will be.
Keep in mind though, a Husky should never just be left outside in a yard alone for extended periods of time and expected to entertain itself. And, it goes without saying that your dog should never be left outside in extreme hot or cold weather – even though it’s built for sub-zero temperatures.
If your family lives in an apartment, consider how the limited space might affect a dog like a Husky. If you can take your dog on extra long walks (an hour or more, twice a day), you could probably make it work. But again, with the limited space, you might want to think twice about adding a high-energy, working dog like a Husky to your home.
Whichever dog you select, make sure that the breed is a good fit for your lifestyle. If you’re looking for a family dog that’s good with kids, is friendly with new people, and is super active, a Husky might be just the dog for you!
No matter the breed you pick, remember: you should never leave small children or babies unattended with any dog. You may have the world’s sweetest, friendliest dog, but kids, and dogs, often find very creative ways of getting into trouble!