How much exercise does a husky need?
Whether you are the proud owner of a husky – or considering whether to adopt one – here’s something you need to understand:
Huskies need exercise, and lots of it.
Although mini huskies are much smaller than their larger Siberian husky counterparts, they still require plenty of exercise and play in order to tame their energy.
The Siberian husky is a working dog, originally bred to pull sleds in a pack – and the mini versions are no different!
In this Husky Exercise guide, we’ll discuss the various exercise requirements of your dog. We’ll look at the best exercise regimes (how much walking and running is necessary), as well as some useful play toys to help tame the energy levels of your boundless husky companion!
- How Much Exercise Does A Husky Need?
- What Happens If My Husky Doesn’t Exercise?
- Key Benefits Of Husky Exercise
- Best Husky Exercise Ideas
- Walking Your Husky
- Yard Time
- Tug of War Games
- Swimming With A Husky
- Mental Stimulation Toys
How Much Exercise Does A Husky Need?
Before we get started, it’s important to note that the exercise requirements of mini huskies compared to their full-sized counterparts are broadly similar.
While we’re talking about the mini husky, much of the same advice applies if you own a full-sized husky.
If you are thinking about getting a husky then it is important that you know how much exercise they need, just like any other breed of dog. Not knowing what type of exercise your furry friend needs can cause behavioral problems. It may even lead to obesity or laziness.
A husky needs a lot of exercise.
They were bred to run for miles and they need a large space to live in so they can stretch their legs.
Did you know that a husky is capable of running up to 150 miles in a single day?
Now, we’re not saying you need to send your husky cross-country every morning, but it should really highlight just how active this breed it.
An exact exercise requirement depends on the breed.
While huskies are pretty high energy dogs, that doesn’t mean that they require as much exercise as say, a greyhound or border collie might need.
Most huskies do best with at least an hour of exercise per day but if you’re looking to adopt one of these beautiful dogs, there are some things you should be aware of before you make your final decision.
What Happens If My Husky Doesn’t Exercise?
In short – you’re going to have a badly behaved dog on your hands.
If you don’t allow your husky (mini or full size) to expend their energy in a controlled manner, then they will take that energy out on something else.
Being able to provide a lot of exercise is one of the first considerations when you weigh up – should I get a husky?
It’s easy to spot dogs that aren’t exercised enough as they usually display some of the following destructive behaviors:
- Lots of barking and howling to get your attention
- Heavy chewing of anything they can get their mouth around
- Digging in the garden
- Excessive rough play with you and other dogs
- Hyperactive and over-excitable — even at night
- Clumsy and unruly — jumping up on people, knocking items over
Key Benefits Of Husky Exercise
But if you’re able to keep your mini husky regularly physically and mentally stimulated, you’ll have a wonderful dog on your hands and likely none of the above troublesome behaviors.
Here are the benefits of regular exercise for your mini husky:
- Keeps your husky’s weight at a manageable level
- Improves the efficiency of their digestive system
- Keeps your pup healthy in both body and soul
- Strengthens the bond between you and your dog
- Keeps hyperactivity under control
It’s a real no brainer: daily exercise equals a healthier and happier husky.
Let’s have a look at some of the best exercise ideas:
See also: 5 of the best husky games and play time ideas
Best Husky Exercise Ideas
Walking Your Husky
A long walk every day is a great way to exercise your husky – and you!
Thanks to their history as working dogs, mini huskies are resilient in cold weather and love the challenge of a hill or a long hike. Some owners even choose to trek with their doggy pals while others choose to take them on runs.
A word of warning, however: it’s always best to keep your mini husky on their leash, at least until they’re well trained. These dogs are known to run fast and far, and it could take a while to retrieve them if you’re not careful.
Just FYI, a husky is more than capable of running 10-20 miles in a single ‘session’. You don’t want him to be logging those miles against your will!
It’s always a bonus to have a fenced-in yard when you’ve got a husky on your hands as it allows them extra time to play and exercise when you’re not actively taking them out on a walk.
Make sure that you supervise any yard time, however, as the mini husky escape tendencies are strong. If your pup spots a cat or rabbit prowling around the perimeter and there’s a handy hole in the fence, you can be sure that they’re going to chase after it.
Also, yard time can never be a good substitute for a daily walk – you should just see it as a bonus instead.
Fetch is one of the best games to play with your husky as it requires minimal effort and energy from you, while simultaneously fully engaging your dog.
As a bonus, this can be done in your yard, if it’s big enough, or out and about at the park while you’re on your daily walk (if you trust your pup off the leash). It also helps build your dog’s confidence and trust in you as their owner during this fun game of play.
What toy you use for Fetch is up to you – frisbees, tennis balls, sticks are all common – although always be mindful of the fact that your dog will be putting it in their mouth so you don’t want anything likely to fall apart or be full of toxins.
Here are a few of the best Fetch toys on the market:
Chuckit! Junior Launcher
This is a powerful ball launcher that is one of the most popular dog toys on the market. Simply load up, swing for the fences, and let your husky tear off in pursuit!
Here are its stand-out features:
- Throws at least three times as far as a human can
- Can be used with normal tennis balls
- No slobber, hands-free ball pick-up
- Designed in the USA and made of quality materials
- Comes in a variety of throwing ranges and ball sizes
- Ergonomic rubber handle for comfort and control
KONG Rubber Flyer
KONG make some of the best and most durable dog toys on the planet and this frisbee-style flyer is no different.
- Made in the USA of a durable, non-toxic, natural rubber
- Safe on the teeth and gums
- Soft and flexible so safe to play with
- Folds for easy storage
- Cleans easily
- Bright red in color so easy to spot
Fetch & Glow, Dog Glow Ball
The Fetch & Glow ball glows in the dark so is perfect if you’re playing with your mini husky in darker conditions. It’s also super durable – perfect for those strong jaws.
- Glows in the dark and otherwise neon so is always easy to spot
- Made of durable, non-toxic material that’s soft and safe
- Floats in the water
- Waterproof and easy to clean
- Holds up well to heavy chewers with no obvious weak points
Tug of War Games
Tug of war is another great, interactive game that will both wear out you and your dog, while allowing you some much-needed bonding time.
It’s a great game for huskies to engage with as it allows them some quality chewing time, and they just love wrestling around with something in their mouth.
Just like with fetch, however, you’ll need to get a toy that can hold its own in your pups’ jaws and not be toxic or dangerous.
If you’re worried that your mini husky may become possessive or aggressive during tug of war, it’s best to consult a dog behavioral specialist, who’ll be able to advise you on the safest methods of training and play.
Here are a few of our favourite tug of war toys:
Tug of War Dog Rope Toy
This is a simple, inexpensive tug of war toy that’s safe and fun for your dog to play with.
- Super durable to withstand sharp teeth and strong jaws
- Won’t fray and too tough to be ripped up
- Made with safe, high-quality, unbleached cotton – no plastics or chemicals here
- Economical – comes in a double pack
- Long enough for your mini husky to play with humans or even another dog
- Great for mini husky puppies who are teething
West Paw Design Zogoflex Bumi Tug of War Toy
West Paw are a highly trusted and popular manufacturer of dog toys that are renowned for their bright colors and durability. This tug of war toy lives up to the hype.
- An interactive S shape that stretches to twice its length
- 100% guaranteed toughness
- Made in the USA, of non-toxic, FDA compliant, BPA and Phthalate free materials
- Dishwasher safe
- Floats in the water
- Brightly colored and easy to spot
KONG Wubba Ballistic Friends Toy
This cute looking tug toy is perfect for mini huskies who fancy a friendly face when they’re playing tug of war!
- Covered in durable, reinforced nylon for added toughness
- Squeaker included to amp up the fun
- Great for indoor and outdoor use, tug and fetch
- Floppy tails easy to pick up and throw
Swimming With A Husky
Another fun exercise activity that many mini huskies love is swimming.
It’s not only a great way to expend their energy, but also a fun way to cool down in the heat and a great life skill to develop too.
However, don’t assume that your mini husky will naturally be able to swim. Just like with humans, some dogs are naturally better at swimming than others, some can be taught to be good swimmers and some will just plain hate going in the water.
Here are some tips if you want to start having some water fun with your mini husky:
- Start small and introduce your dog to the water slowly – ease them in to it and just do a few minutes at a time at first.
- Have fun – maybe try playing contained games of fetch near bodies of water to help them get used to being in water.
- It’s great if you can go in the pool with them to help them relax and grow in confidence.
- Invest in a well-fitting dog life vest – these give some extra buoyancy to your dog and helps them stay afloat.
- If they want to get out, let them get out.
- Never let your dog swim anywhere with a current, very deep or dirty water – stick to dog pools instead.
- Never leave your dog unsupervised while swimming – dogs can drown just as easily as humans. Even if they’re wearing a life vest!
- Don’t allow your dog to get cold – chances are, if you’re getting chilly in the water, so are they.
- Hire a dog trainer for swimming lessons!
Mental Stimulation Toys
Of course, not all exercise is physical and your mini husky will need plenty of mental stimulation if you want to keep them healthy, alert and intelligent.
Huskies and mini huskies are renowned for being very smart dogs and will thrive when lots of time and energy is devoted to their training and brain health.
There are plenty of products on the market that will help you challenge your mini husky mentally – treat dispensers, for instance, and even chew toys are great for this. Chew toys also help to keep jaws strong and teeth clean.
See our guide: the best husky chew toys.
Be sure to check out our training page too for tips and ideas on how to get your mini husky to follow your commands and become domestically trained.
KONG Classic Dog Toy
It’s KONG yet again with this classic chew toy: one of the most popular dog toys on the planet, in fact.
- Can be stuffed with treats, which are then dispensed unpredictably as your husky battles to get them out
- Very tough and durable, even for heavy chewers
- Has an unpredictable bounce and wobbles: your husky will need to work hard to get a grip on it
- Made in the USA with tough, natural rubber
- Lasts even longer if you freeze it beforehand
- Easy to fill and clean
West Paw Design Zogoflex Tux Stuffable Chew Toy
This is another stuffable chew toy that will keep your husky occupied for hours – working out their jaws while challenging their brain.
- Extremely tough and durable against heavy chewers – 100% guaranteed
- Freeze the treats for a longer and harder chewing session
- Made in the USA, of non-toxic, FDA compliant, BPA and Phthalate free materials
- Dishwasher safe
- Bounces for even more fun
Benebone Bacon Flavored Wishbone Chew Toy
This flavored wishbone chew toy is the perfect way for your husky to work their jaws and really engage with a toy.
- Ergonomically designed to allow full engagement – patented curved design
- Real, 100% bacon flavor
- Made in the USA
- Has deep grooves so your dog can get a really good bite
- Increased surface area for improved scent and flavor
- Made only of nylon and bacon