In my experience, Siberians come in three varieties. Worker, Pet, and Hybrid.
The Worker: He’s a sled dog who doesn’t know or live for anything else than pulling a sled no matter what the destination. He’s all about the journey, and he wants to see and live all of it. He lives on a chain for the most part, but don’t let that bring you down.
This is not some pampered dog born with a silver spoon in his mouth. This is a dog who was born into work. These are dogs that have never known anything else but the chance to run and pull with a team. They don’t miss what they have never known, and they don’t care for anything else than what they were born to do.
You don’t teach them how to pull. They already know how to pull because they’ve been doing it for thousands of years. You teach them directional commands, other than that you just let them go and enjoy the ride. Running and having to pull you along is a minor inconvenience to a true sled dog, for the one who gives food and takes care of you.
The Pet: This is a husky who has had most of his natural instincts bred out or suppressed. The show ring is his world and so is the apartment. No matter how much people try… the wild will come out sooner or later. Not being able to do what you were meant to do, leads to frustration and boredom. You might lose a door, wall, carpet, or even your couch. The need for new and varied mental stimulation is strong in this one.
The Hybrid: To me this is the best combination of both worlds. A dog that can pull and also be a pet. They learn to live inside and out. They are allowed to be who they are when it comes to work, and I think it’s the future of the Siberian.
As weather changes, costs increase, and free land shrinks he still gets to be who he is. His needs are not forgotten. He learns to run on dry land as well as snow. He gets to work but he can sleep inside with his family if he wants. In my opinion he gets the best of both worlds from those who make it happen.
If you want your husky to be truly happy you build your life around what they need and want. They repay this in so many ways I can’t even describe them all. It has to be experienced not told to you by another. Each journey with a husky is different, and many are life changing as it was for me.
It’s been one hell of a journey, I only wish that I would have started sooner.