Are you looking for a companion to take on hikes with you but not sure which dog is the right fit? You’ve come to the right place. You may have heard a thing or two about huskies and are looking to find out facts from fiction when it comes to this dog breed, but are huskies good hiking buddies?
Huskies are ideal hiking companions. This type of dog was bred to travel long distances in cold weather while pulling cargo on sleds, so they are high-energy dogs and one of the best breeds to hike with. Their thick coats also make them a perfect fit for hiking in cold weather conditions.
If you are looking into making a husky your newest hiking comrade, keep reading to find out if this breed is the right fit for you and your lifestyle.
Do Huskies Enjoy Hiking?
It’s important to keep in mind that each dog has its own personality, but generally, huskies love being outdoors and engaging in any type of physical activity. This is what they were bred to do. Huskies are known for sled running and carrying cargo through miles and miles of snow. Sled huskies can run nearly 140 miles in a single day due to their ability to change their chemical metabolism. They are the only dogs with the ability to change their metabolism!
Your husky doesn’t need to go these same great distances, but the average husky can still run about 10 to 20 miles in a session. If you are someone who is wanting to get a husky, you should be aware that they are extremely active dogs and also be sure that you will be able to provide your big furry friend the amount of exercise they need regularly. This means that they need over two hours of exercise per day. So, if you’re an avid, regular hiker or runner, a husky could be the perfect breed for you.
Pros and Cons of Hiking with a Husky
So, what else makes a husky a good hiking buddy? Or more important, what–if anything–makes them not-so-good hiking buddies? Here, I have laid out a list of a few major pros and cons that come with making a husky your go-to hiking companion.
High Energy – One husky owner reports that his dog loves nothing more than going for long walks. Even a husky with little-to-no-endurance training can easily hike 10-20 miles in a day. For this reason, it’s guaranteed that your husky will be up for a hike any day of the week. Their high energy can also help push you to keep up a certain pace with your pet, which some owners might appreciate.
They Love the Outdoors – One central fact about huskies is that they love to be outdoors. Even in snow and ice, these dogs are happy to be outside. This makes them the perfect breed to take on all your nature excursions, hikes, walks, trail runs, and adventures.
You Can Hike In Any Weather Conditions – Since huskies have no problem with snow or ice, you can take them with you in almost any weather condition. Anything above 90 degrees Fahrenheit will probably be too hot for them to be outside for extended periods of time, but your husky can take any degree of cold weather that you can and be just fine.
They Can Protect You – Huskies are pretty large and intimidating at an average healthy weight of 35-60 pounds, depending on whether they are male or female. If you are a person who often hikes or exercises alone, having a canine companion can help keep you safe from potential psychos or wild animals. Even if your dog is not trained to protect you, their presence alone can be intimidating enough.
They Can Keep Your Running Pace – Many husky owners opt to take their dogs on walks, but many huskies actually prefer higher-intensity physical activity like running. This makes them great companions for trail running since they will be able to keep your running pace with you for extended periods of time.
Large – These large dogs can get ahead of themselves at times, so it’s possible that you might find yourself on what was intended to be a nice light jog on a forest path being pulled by your dog who wants to go faster or saw a squirrel or something that they want to chase. These types of experiences can be avoided or eliminated with good training, but keep in mind that your dog has a mind of its own. It would be wise to use a harness until your dog is trained enough to stay by your side or within your view/hearing distance.
High Energy – Because huskies love running around so much, they can be difficult to get back once let off a leash. They might also pull on the leash and want to run faster if not properly trained, too. For these reasons, it’s important to train your dog to listen to you, walk or run at your pace, and come when you call so they don’t run off too far ahead.
They Shed a Ton – It’s no secret that huskies are very hairy dogs. That massive, luscious coat of theirs also sheds quite a lot. And by a lot, I mean a lot. One time I was hopping in the backseat of a friend’s car, who happened to be the owner of two huskies. I opened the door to find the entire backseat absolutely covered in a layer of thick dog hair. I was stuck sitting on what felt like a pile of hair, mentally preparing myself to exit her car with my entire bottom half and back covered in dog hair.
But you know what? The immense love my friend has for her dogs is not phased even a tiny bit because of their extreme levels of shedding, so maybe it won’t be for you either. And what does this even have to do with them being good hiking dogs, you might ask? Well, if you are someone who plans to drive with your dog to a trailhead or campsite or take a road trip with them to some scenic location, just be prepared for the shedding and hair that will without a doubt be occurring in your backseat.
At the end of the day and in spite of the potential cons (the majority of which are avoidable), huskies truly are one of the best dogs to have as a hiking companion. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself! If you have a friend, family member, or neighbor who trusts you, you might consider asking them to let you take their dog for a hike so you can experience firsthand what great companions they make.