One of the most important factors for prospective pet parents is whether their dog can handle alone time. We all want a dog, but not all of us can handle a Velcro dog that wants to be around us all the time. And let’s be honest, we have to work so that we can provide for the family. So, when you are considering a Siberian Husky, one of the things you have to pay attention to is separation anxiety.
Can Siberian Husky be left alone? That is a good question. And the simple answer is no, you cannot leave a Siberian Husky alone for a long period. These social animals need plenty of interaction and affection from other animals or their humans.
Siberian Husky Personality Traits
Before we can talk about Siberian Huskies and separation anxiety, let’s take a look at the breed’s personality traits. In other words, let’s get to know the Siberian Husky dog breed. Here are some common personality traits:
- These dogs have an independent nature and a free-spirited personality. Outside, they are free adventurers and explorers who might not follow you
- Huskies can exhibit stubbornness at times, and have a strong sense of adventure. For them, everything is play
- Highly energetic dogs that need plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation
- Huskies have a strong instinct to run and explore due to their history of being used as a sled dog
- Friendly and outgoing, they are some of the most sociable dogs in the canine world. They enjoy social interactions with other animals or humans
- While they are intelligent dogs, they can be independent thinkers and choose to do things their way rather than listening to you and blindly following commands
- They express their vocal nature by howling, not by barking. Be ready, these dogs love to talk and communicate
- Huskies are pack-oriented, and they have a strong history of working in teams. Remember, sled dogs work in a team
Do Huskies Suffer From Separation Anxiety?
Huskies have an excessive need for love, attention, and affection. Separation anxiety is a common problem with a Husky, even the Alaskan variety.
Here are some scenarios that are common with Huskies. You are getting dressed, putting your jacket on, your shoes on, and picking up your keys, and your Husky begins to act up. That would include crying, screaming, and even howling. These dogs know and anticipate when you are going to leave them alone. And they will tell you they do not like it!
Huskies do not love to be alone. They crave company and attention. Can Siberian Husky be left alone? Absolutely not for longer periods. If you intend of leaving your Husky alone for more than 6 hours, it might be better to choose a different breed.
Or get a second animal that will act as a therapy dog. There is a reason why Huskies are often paired with dogs that do not suffer from separation anxiety in the household.
Here is a fun fact, the Alaskan Malamute, a similar dog, doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety.
What Happens If You Leave Your Husky Alone For A Long Period?
We talked about how long you can leave Siberian Huskies alone. But what happens if you leave them for longer periods?
Most dogs, when left alone, nap away easily and then come to greet you when you come back. But not a Husky. These dogs get bored to the point they will try to find anything to fulfill their need for adventure. Here are some potential scenarios.
Destroy Your House
Yes, this can potentially happen. Sad to say this to potential Husky owners, but the reality is that when left alone, especially as puppies, Huskies can go wild at home. They can destroy plants, furniture, and clothing among many things.
It depends on how long you leave them alone. One or two hours is fine. But leaving them for six to eight hours? Now that is a recipe for disaster.
Huskies will look for things to pick and chew. We have to note, chewing is one of the favorite hobbies of Huskies. When they are alone, they have an open bar.
Whining And Whimpering
When they do not get attention, Huskies are known to whine. They might whimper to the point they will disturb your neighbors. And that can result in calling the animal police on you.
As we said before, Huskies are quite vocal, and when left alone, somehow, their need for talking increases.
Remember, Huskies are highly energetic dogs. They have plenty of energy to burn. When they are left alone, it might result in extreme restlessness. They cannot sit and relax. Huskies do get bored when they sit calmly.
So, coming back home to a dog with bundles of energy, who hasn’t spent a tiny amount of it, might mean your night will be fun.
Digging is one of the most common destructive behaviors Huskies exhibit when they are bored. You will find a Siberian Husky puppy continually and rapidly digging holes in your furniture.
In the summer, if Huskies are in the yard, they dig for a different reason. They are looking for a cool place to refresh themselves.
How To Deal With Husky Separation Anxiety?
The question now is whether you can have a Husky that you can leave alone for a longer period. Well, if you are patient and put effort into proper training, you can get there. Nothing is impossible with the right mindset and training. Here are some ideas you can try.
Leave Plenty Of Toys
Huskies love toys. They will play with them until they have no energy, and even then. Chewable toys are the best thing here.
Make sure to buy toys that are safe and with soft materials. Preventing dental damage is just as important as keeping your Husky entertained. I recommend plush toys and balls.
Leave A Piece Of Your Cloth
This has been a common trick in helping separation anxiety in dogs. Leave your clothing near your Husky to leave a scent of you nearby. This way, your Husky will not miss you too much and stress about it. We cannot say it is a 100% guarantee, but it is worth trying.
Hire A Dog Sitter
Hiring a dog sitter or dog walker is an effective way of dealing with dogs that have to be left alone for longer periods. Huskies crave attention, and when they do not get it for a long period, they become anxious and stressed. A sitter will handle that.
Get Another Dog
This route might be risky, but it often pays off. Now, the trick here is to get a dog that is playful, sociable, and doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety. You do not want two stressed dogs at home, right?
Usually, a mixed breed works wonderfully. Mutts are used to being alone and they rarely exhibit separation anxiety. Of course, if you are rescuing a dog, make sure to ask about the dog’s history.
This is a technique that works to reduce the threshold of your dog’s anxiety. Basically, you repeat things over and over again until your dog is comfortable with them.
In this case, you repeat things that trigger separation anxiety. For example, putting on your jacket, getting dressed, picking up your keys, and so on.
Your goal is to desensitize your dog to these triggers. Put on your clothes and sit by the door. Wait until your dog gets comfortable and realizes you are not going anywhere.
Provide Plenty Of Exercise
As we said before, Huskies are some of the highest-energy dogs. They need between 60 and 90 minutes of physical exercise and mental stimulation per day. If you can tire out your Husky before leaving home, that would be ideal.
Even older Huskies need plenty of exercise.
Give Treats Before Leaving And After Returning
The trick here is to have your dog associate the event of you leaving and coming back with something good. And that is not an easy thing. But if you are persistent and consistent enough, and start with small time intervals, you can succeed.
If you have a Husky with separation anxiety, I have to warn you, it will not go away overnight. It will take months of repeating the same methods over and over again.
But the goal is to be consistent. If you can stick your head into it, and be patient enough, you can help your furry friend get through it.