Why Are There SO MANY Huskies in Shelters? (Discussed)

Why are there so many huskies in shelters?

It’s a common misconception that huskies can fit in anywhere. Huskies require a lot of exercise, which not all families can provide. This is why so many huskies end up in shelters.

So, before you consider adding a husky to your family, research and ensure you can meet this high-energy breed’s needs.

In this post, we’re going to cover all things Husky so you can be fully prepared for what to expect.

Why Are There So Many Huskies in Shelters?

Huskies are high-energy dogs that need a lot of attention and time to exercise.
Not all families or individuals can meet the needs of a husky.

Unfortunately, there are several reasons for this.

  • Huskies are often acquired without a complete understanding of their needs.

They are high-energy dogs that require a lot of exercise, and if they don’t get it, they can become destructive and/or defiant.

  • Additionally, huskies are often purchased on a whim, without considering whether or not the owner is genuinely prepared to commit to taking care of the dog.

As a result, many huskies end up in shelters after just a few months.

  • Another reason for the high number of huskies in shelters is their strong prey drive.

If not properly trained and socialized, huskies can be very difficult to live with.

They tend to run off after anything that moves, which can put them in danger of being hit by a car or attacked by another animal.

  • Huskies shed A LOT. They blow their coats twice a year, and during that time, they shed heavily. For unprepared owners, this can be overwhelming.

Consequently, many huskies end up in shelters when their owners can no longer deal with the shedding.

While there are many reasons why huskies end up in shelters, the good news is that they make excellent companion animals for those who are prepared to meet their needs.

With proper care and training, a husky can be a devoted friend for life.

Watch this video to get a better idea of just what owning a husky might entail:

Read our related article, Why Are So Many Chihuahuas in Shelters? Learn why these tiny companions are often found in shelters.

The History of the Husky Breed

Huskies are best suited for cold climates due to their dense fur.
Huskies were originally bred as work dogs in Siberia. They have dense coats and are very athletic.

Though their exact origins are unknown, it’s believed that the Chukchi people of Siberia developed the husky breed, hence their full breed name – Siberian Husky.

These peoples were nomadic, and their dogs would need to be able to pull heavy loads over long distances AND be able to survive living in cold or harsh conditions.

As a result, the husky was bred for its strength, endurance, and ability to tolerate cold weather.

Today, these characteristics make them popular working dogs, but they also make them challenging pets.

Huskies are known for being independent and stubborn, requiring, again, a lot of exercise.

Read our related article on Husky Cross Breeds. These crossbreeds make endearing pets!

The Popularity of Huskies

Typically, when a purebred dog becomes trendy (i.e. the Wolf on the Game of Thrones), there’s an uptick in the number of people seeking to buy or adopt that type of dog.

However, this often leads to people acquiring dogs without doing their research and subsequently surrendering the dogs when they realize they cannot handle them.

Huskies are a prevalent breed right now, but they are also a high-maintenance breed that’s not well-suited for everyone.

Huskies are bred as working dogs and need a lot of physical and mental stimulation.

They are also professional escape artists, which can make them challenging to keep safe.

For these reasons, it’s essential to be sure you are prepared to meet the needs of a husky before bringing one into your home.

Read our related article on Wolf Like Dog Breeds. If you prefer fierce over fuzzy, these wolf-like dog breeds are worth considering!

Pros and Cons of Owning a Husky

Huskies are one of the most popular and prettiest dog breeds – and the most misunderstood.

Here are some pros and cons of owning a husky to help you decide if this is the right breed.


  • Huskies are very social dogs that love being around people.
  • They are brilliant and easy to train.
  • Huskies are notoriously independent and stubborn, which can be seen as a pro or a con, depending on your perspective.
  • They have a lot of energy and need plenty of exercise, making them ideal for active families.
  • Huskies are generally healthy dogs with few health problems.
  • They have a thick coat that keeps them warm in cold weather, making them a good choice for owners who live in cooler climates.


  • Because they were bred to pull heavy sleds, huskies have a lot of energy and can be difficult to tire out and frustrating for owners who are not prepared.
  • Huskies are escape artists and can be very difficult to contain. A well-built fence is a must if you own a husky.
  • Huskies require a lot of grooming due to their thick coat. Without regular brushing, their coat can become matted and uncomfortable.
  • Huskies howl and bark often, which can annoy some people.

Read our related article, Do Electric Dog Fences Work On Huskies? Electric fences can be great options for many dogs, but are huskies one of them?

How to Care for a Husky

Huskies need a lot of attention and care.
Huskies are a high-maintenance breed from their grooming needs to their exercise needs.

Because of their striking appearance and independent nature, many people mistakenly believe that huskies are not high-maintenance dogs that require a lot of work.

However, with the proper care, huskies can make excellent pets.

Here are some tips on how to care for a husky:


Exercise is essential for huskies.

They were originally bred as working dogs and thus have a lot of energy.

Huskies need at least 1 hour of exercise each day, and it is essential to give them a variety of activities to keep them mentally stimulated.


Huskies are very social animals, so providing them with plenty of human interaction is essential.

If you work long hours or are gone for extended periods, you might consider getting two huskies so they can keep each other company.


Their coats need to be brushed once or twice a week (more during shedding season), and they need to be bathed every few months or once a month unless they get filthy.

Huskies are renowned for their thick coats, which insulate them against cold weather.

Unfortunately, this coat also traps heat in the summertime, so owners need to provide huskies with access to cool water and shade when the temperatures start to rise.


Because of their independent nature, huskies can resist training.

However, starting early and being consistent with your commands is essential.

You can teach your husky basic obedience commands and tricks with patience and positive reinforcement.


Although huskies make excellent pets, there are many of them in shelters for a variety of reasons.

If you are thinking of adding a husky to your family, be sure to do your research and understand the commitment involved in owning this type of dog.

And if you are already a husky owner, remember to provide plenty of exercise, training, and love as that will go a long way in keeping your furry friend happy and healthy.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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