Why should a Husky not be walked off lead?
Huskies are a very active, energetic breed, they originated in the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic.
Siberian Huskies were bred by the Chukchi of Northeastern Asia to pull heavy loads long distances through difficult conditions and helped whole tribes survive these conditions too. It is in their nature to run; fast and far. This instinct gives the breed a tendency to roam and to make escape attempts. Combine this with their usually extremely high prey drive and they will pursue small animals such as cats, squirrels, rabbits etc., and even sometimes small puppies can trigger this prey drive.
These athletic, intelligent dogs can be independent and challenging; no amount of training can stop these instincts. One day they will kick in and your dog’s life will be hanging in the balance whilst they run free, rapturous at fulfilling the very instinct that made their ancestors so useful to the Chukchi tribes but entirely oblivious to the dangers around them. At best they may end up miles away from home, happy at their adventure but lost, with frantic owners searching for them. Or worse, they may stumble upon prey that loses their life which could result in them losing theirs; being shot if they stumble upon farm land and worry the livestock; being hit by a car, a bus or a train.
Those roads and railway tracks that they have crossed are obvious dangers to us but to a dog chasing prey or just euphoric from running they are all part of the chase…until its too late.
The risk is NEVER worth taking.
The Chukchi people bred Siberian Huskies to help them survive the harsh winters, the instincts and traits we still see in Siberian Huskies today have survived thousands of years. These dogs absolutely had to have temperaments that saw them loving people, children especially, (Huskies kept the Chukchi children warm through many frozen nights by huddling together!) and being able to be in a large pack without conflict; they had to work as a team or they and their people may not survive, they would freeze to death in arctic temperatures (people included).
These Huskies needed to not only be able to survive and run on very little food but they also had to be efficient at hunting so that they could feed themselves; this instinct is still a very prominent trait of today’s Siberian Husky. Whilst they live in nice warm comfortable homes and get fed twice a day by their owners they still have those hunting instincts, they are very clever and patient hunters, the will lull their prey in to a false sense of security and pounce when least expected. All small furry animals (including cats) can trigger this instinct, again this instinct cannot be trained out of the breed, you cannot train a person to stop breathing, it’s a natural instinct, as is prey drive within this magnificent breed.
Being a Husky owner I quite often get asked “Is your dog a crossbreed because of their different coloured eyes?”, “Are dogs with blue eyes blind?” and the answer to both is no. Huskies can have a combination of eye colours, whilst most people think of blue eyes when they think of the breed it is not a given that a Husky will have blue eyes. They can have brown, amber, blue or green coloured eyes, or a mix known as Heterochromia. Some even have parti-colored eyes where one eye has different colours within it.
Siberian Huskies with blue eyes are not blind, there are no health issues stemming from eye colour, all Siberian Huskies can be prone to eye problems but this is a genetic problem that can be present within the breed (just as some breeds are prone to hip dysplasia etc.).