So you’ve got your heart set on a miniature husky?
With his expressive face and teddy bear cute coat this small dog with a big personality is certainly a charmer. However, the mini husky is no lapdog, and the prospective pet parent should be be clear on the nature of this canine character before expanding their fur family. This isn’t to say miniature huskies aren’t a delight – they are- but in this being small has not shrunk their wanderlust or need for exercise.
Indeed, their hardy disposition and obsession with escaping is hardly surprising because the miniature Husky is genetically identical to their big brother, the Siberian husky. This is on account of the mini Husky being created by breeding together small Siberian huskies (rather than altering the gene pool by using a smaller breed.)
Much like a smart phone, which although pocket-sized retains full functionality, the miniature Husky can be thought of as a pint-sized version of the Siberian husky. Although superficially the miniature husky size might seem like a great option for the would-be Siberian husky owner who lives in an apartment, this is only partly true. Their physical size belies their need for exercise and an owner unable to provide this will find a bored mini husky is a destructive one
What is the difference between a mini husky dog and a Siberian husky?
The consensus is that a mini husky stands less that 12 – 16 inches at the shoulders, and weighs in at less the 35lbs for the males, and 30 lbs. for the female.The good news is that the mini husky had a long lifespan, and many live well into their teens.
The Health of the Miniature Husky
Most purebred dogs are prone to certain health problems, as a result of being selected from a narrow gene pool. This means that any issues carried on the genes, tend to be passed on from generation to generation, making those health problems more likely in that breed than another.
Indeed the hereditary problems mini husky puppies acquire from their parents mirror those of his bigger brother, the Siberian husky and include:
- Congenital cataracts: This is the tendency of the lens within the eye to develop premature cataracts. This means light is blocked from passing to the light-sensitive retina and the dog cannot see. Unfortunately, this can happen as young as a year or so of age, which obviously has an impact on a dog that loves to be active.
- Glaucoma: Many owners are attracted to miniature huskies because of those hypnotic eyes topped with expressive eyebrows. However, those eyes are prone to a condition called glaucoma, where pressure builds up inside and damages the retina, leading to blindness. Early detection of the problem means there is a chance of controlling the damage done, but more often the dog becomes blind as a result of this condition.
- Hip dysplasia: The hip is a ball and socket joint, and smooth movement depends on the ball moving smoothly within the socket. Unfortunately huskies are a bred that carries genes for poor hip anatomy, meaning that the bones don’t fit perfectly and can knock and rub against each other. This leads to the development of early arthritis in the hips, with all that this implies in terms of pain and lameness.
To minimize the risk of taking on a miniature husky puppy that could potentially become sick at a young age, ask searching questions of the breeder about the health of their breeding stock. The responsible breeder will already have gone to considerable lengths to screen the parents, out of a wish to improve the health of future generations of miniature huskies. Of course, screening tests and keeping dogs in tip top health costs money, so be prepared for the miniature husky price from a responsible breeder to be more of that from a puppy mill or other disreputable source.
The Character of the Miniature Husky
Hopefully you will be sharing your home with a miniature husky for many years, so it’s best to be certain they are a good match for your needs. For example, despite being a roughy-toughy little dog, the miniature husky is not especially good as a guard dog. This is because they have a friendly disposition, and are more likely to ask a burglar for a fuss than bark at them.
Does their friendly nature make them good family dogs?
Yes and no. It’s essential these dogs get plenty of exercise, and so although they are friendly and tolerant with children, they do place demands on family life but exercise is not optional. Come rain or shine the dog needs to go out, which can be especially difficult with young children in tow.
Also, like all dogs, the miniature husky only has so much patience. If a child is overly rough and takes the mini husky’s good nature for granted, this could lead to a tug on the ear too far which causes the dog to defend themselves and snap. It is a rule, no matter what breed, that children and dogs should be supervised at all times since it’s simply not fair to have the dog’s reputation put in jeopardy by an overenthusiastic child.
On the plus side, for the active family bursting with energy that loves nothing better than being outdoors, then the mini husky makes a great little companion. Their willingness to run and run, and exercise in all weathers, means that they’re never going to be bashful about going for walks.
Indeed, not meeting this need for energy busting exercise is liable to result in a bored and badly behaved mini husky. This could result in barking, digging, or destructive behavior that does nothing to endear them to a pet parent.
Another trait that can be difficult to live with is that miniature husky’s love of freedom. They see fences as a challenge and walls as something to be go over. Leave a miniature husky unattended in a yard for ten minutes and it’s highly likely they won’t be there when you get back.
This aspect of their character has another implication, in that they aren’t great at recall. Not only do they love freedom but they are easily distracted. So the mini husky off leash that spots something interesting like a rabbit is liable to go tanking off and not be seen for dust.
Try as you might, they can be slow on the uptake of learning recall, and for many the only safe solution is to use a long line when exercising the dog in order to prevent runaways. Then it can be helpful to foster a love of playing Frisbee so the dog can run energetically, whilst on the line.
Food and the Miniature Husky
You might suppose that an active dog is perpetually hungry, to replace all those burnt calories, but you would be wrong. The mini husky can actually be quite a fussy eater, prone to leaving his dish untouched.
This in part is due to his Siberian husky heritage as their genetic makeup means their metabolism is very efficient and the dogs only tend to eat when hungry. They are also notorious for taking an irritational dislike to something they previously enjoyed, and point blank refusing to eat even when hungry.
Coat Care of the Mini Husky
With that amazingly thick double coat and those delightful marking that make the mini husky look permanently surprised, you may be wondering how much effort it takes to groom a miniature husky.
Actually, they are fairly low maintenance because the coat is coarse and harsh enough not to know up. On a day-to-day basis it’s largely self-cleaning and a matter of checking through for thorns and twigs after a walk. However, the downside is that they do shed, and when this happens there’s a considerable amount of fur literally flying round the home.
The use of a deshedding tool, raked through the coat a couple of times a week can capture some of that shed fur and reduce the amount forming dust bunnies in the corner of the room.
The Task of Training a Miniature Husky
These independent characters can appear conditionally deaf, and completely ignore your commands when the mood takes them. Key to successfully training a mini husky is to train regularly, (short sessions several times a day) and to use reward based training. Their lack of interest in food can make this something of a challenge, but try a game of tug or playing with a favorite toy as a motivation.
Read this and still in love with the miniature husky? Then go get ‘!