Huskies are highly energetic dogs and love nothing more than going for a run. But there are some things that you need to consider before heading out with your Husky and engaging in a high-intensity exercise like running.
While some people might think it is as simple as pulling on your running shoes and going outside, there are other factors that come into account.
In this article, you will learn some of the potential problems you might encounter while running with your Husky, and the ways that you can get around them to enjoy a successful and fun running experience.
Can You Run With a Husky
Yes, you can run with a Husky. Siberian Huskies have excellent endurance and can run with you for long distances.
As explained below, you need to take into account the weather and your Husky’s current physical status before going on a long run.
With some appropriate training and conditioning, your Husky may become a great running partner.
How Can Huskies Run For So Long
Huskies are better known for their endurance rather than their speed. This is because they were originally bred by semi-nomadic people of Siberia whose lifestyle required them to cover long distances in search of food.
Huskies can run for so long because they have been bred over time to pull heavy sleds over large distances. Their endurance was a lot more important than speed and this trait remains in Huskies today.
Having said that, there are some Huskies in Alaska that are bred specifically for sprinting. They still have the stamina that helps them last over a three-day racing period.
In these races, they can race over 19 miles (31km) an hour, and between 20 and 30 miles (32 and 48km) a day.
Can Huskies Run In The Heat
It’s not a good idea for Huskies to run in the heat. Because of their thick, double-coated fur, they can quickly and easily overheat, which can lead to health problems.
It is best to run during cooler weather or, if it is continually hot, skip running altogether and just walk.
How Far Can Huskies Run in a Day
How far a Husky can run in a day depends on what they were bred for. Huskies bred for sled races can run up to 100 miles per day (160 km). Huskies that are bred as pets will not be able to run as far as that in a day.
In Alaska, dog sled races are held where the longest distance covered is 1000 miles (1609km).
This is usually completed between 8-10 days, meaning that they are able to run approximately 100-125 miles (160-201km) per day, for up to 10 days in a row.
Huskies are able to run extremely long distances if they have been trained or bred to do so.
How Fast Can Huskies Run
If you’re thinking of getting a Husky or want to run with one, you might wonder how fast they can run.
Huskies can run up to 28 – 30 miles per hour (45 – 48 kilometers per hour). This is average for large dog breeds. Huskies are known for their endurance rather than their speed.
Of course, this range can depend on how much exercise your Husky gets- a Husky that runs every day is going to be able to run further and faster than one who only runs once a week.
How Long Can Huskies Run
If your Husky has been trained or bred to run, it will be able to run for a very long time. Huskies are endurance runners and are able to keep up a steady pace for hours at a time.
Racing Huskies in Alaska are known to run up to 11 hours per day as they compete in races that last 1000 miles (1609km).
If you plan on running with your Husky, don’t expect a Husky bred as a pet to have this level of endurance. Start by going for short runs and gradually increase the length while paying attention to how your Husky manages.
What to Bring When Running With a Husky
The most important thing to bring when running with your Husky is water.
You don’t want your Husky to overheat and dehydrate, and so it is important to make sure that you always carry a water bottle with you like this one (link to Amazon).
It is also important to make sure that you have a lead for your Husky (particularly if you are running in an area where they aren’t allowed to roam free) and that you have some dog bags with you (if your Husky needs to relieve their bowels).
Different leads suitable for running are covered later.
Running With a Husky Puppy
Although you probably want to get started running with your Husky puppy straight away, it is best to wait until they are at least one year old.
Husky puppy joints and muscles are still growing until they are one year old, so running can put extra pressure and stress on their ligaments, affecting their growth.
Until they are ready, you can play ball games with them or take them on short walks.
A general rule of thumb for all dogs is taking your puppy for a 1-2 minute walk per week of age. For example, you would walk a 10-week old puppy for about 10-15 minutes.
Once your Husky is over a year old, you can slowly introduce them to running. Gradually increase your distance and speed each time until you are both comfortable with your pace.
Husky puppies grow to almost full-size in their first year as explained in this article. This is why it is a good idea to wait until your Husky is a year old before you start to run.
Exercising With a Husky
Running is just one of the exercises that you can enjoy with your Husky and your Husky will enjoy some variety.
Because they have such a lot of energy, you can also take them on long walks (on either pathways or more challenging terrain), go for a swim or play games where your Husky is mentally challenged.
A well-exercises Husky is a happy and healthy Husky. Regularly exercising your Husky can help avoid bad behavior that other Husky owners experience.
Training Your Husky to Run
If your Husky is anything like mine and my friends, they will be curious about everything around them.
Most of the time when walking, my Husky will cut across my path to investigate something of interest, and I have to be careful not to trip over her lead.
This can obviously be a problem if you are running with your Husky.
One of the ways that this can be prevented is through training. Despite what some people will say, Huskies can be trained to behave when walking or running.
If you want to get the best results when training your Husky to run with you, make sure you follow the best practices and principles covered in this training guide.
Training a Husky to Run Along Side You
If you are able to train your Husky to stay by your side as you run, this will make your runs together a lot easier. One way of doing this is by motivating your Husky with food.
Start out at a walking pace and use a treat to get your Husky moving by your side. They should only get the treat after a couple of steps by your side.
Increase the number of steps before each reward and your Husky will soon be keeping pace with you for longer periods of time and with less back and forth action across your path.
The number of training sessions you need to do before your Husky learns depends on your Husky’s age and temperament.
A Husky puppy will learn this quickly, while training an older Husky who has been pulling on the leash for over a year may take a lot of sessions before they change.
Here is a short before and after example of how this is done from a professional dog trainer.
Some people mistakenly believe that Huskies will always pull on the leash because it is in their nature. This isn’t true. There are many videos of professional dog trainers on YouTube able to change the behavior of the most stubborn Huskies.
If you use effective training methods and stay consistent, even the most stubborn leash-puller can change.
Train your Husky to walk alongside you before you try running. That way the behavior can carry over.
Awareness of Surroundings
Training your Husky to stay by your side, rather than cutting across your path as you run, is important. But at the same time, it is also important that your Husky stays aware of its surroundings.
Other people (with their own dogs or without), traffic and other animals like birds can be obstacles to a successful run with your Husky.
Make sure that you notice any of these potential distractions and try to steer clear of them if possible.
Training your Husky to feel comfortable around other dogs will reduce the possibility of a bad encounter while running.
Overheating and Hydration
Because Huskies have thick, double-coated fur, it is easy for them to get overheated, particularly in warmer climates or during summer.
If you still want to run with your Husky and you live in warmer areas, it might be better for you to try running either early in the morning or later in the evening, when the temperature is not as hot.
It is not recommended that your Husky run in temperatures that exceed 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). If it is too warm, consider walking your Husky instead.
The higher the temperature, the less time your Husky should be running.
Make sure that you bring water with you and offer it to your Husky to keep them hydrated.
Check out this dog water bottle (link to Amazon) for an example of what to bring.
You can see in the above photo that I take a water bottle that can clip on to your clothing when I go for a run with her.
While Huskies are better known for their endurance while running, rather than their speed, they still have to build up to that level.
A good way of doing this is by slowly increasing the distance that you run together, over a period of time.
As with humans, this will build up your Husky’s stamina and make it easier for them to go a bit further each time.
Leashes and Harnesses
Huskies can grow quite large and can be very strong. Running with a leash attached to their collar can be restrictive to your Husky if your paces aren’t evenly matched.
If your Husky runs alongside you, then this isn’t a problem and a simple neck collar will be fine.
But if your Husky moves too far ahead and starts to feel choked by the leash pulling back on their collar, they will quickly become tired.
Likewise, it can be difficult to pull back a strong-willed Husky, particularly if there is only a long lead keeping them tethered to you. The strain this would put on both you and on your Husky’s neck would be uncomfortable for all involved.
One solution for this is to buy your Husky a harness, which you can then attach their leash to. This takes the pressure off of the neck and allows your Husky to breathe easily.
There are plenty of harnesses available to purchase and all have their strengths and weaknesses. Check out this harness for an example of what to look for.
As you can see from the above photo of Sasha with her harness, it completely takes the pressure off of her neck. She still has her collar on, but it isn’t connected to the leash.
You also need to decide what kind of leash you are going to use when running.
A retractable leash is useful if you’re in a large space and want to give your Husky a chance to cut loose and run.
I use a retractable leash when I take Sasha for sprints as it gives her plenty of space to slow down after she flys past me.
Here is an example of a retractable leash suitable for Huskies.
Depending on the size of your Husky, you may need to choose between medium or large size.
Some people may prefer a short leash when running with their Huskies. I prefer a retractable leash as it gives me more control.
You can allow your Husky to run ahead of you, give them plenty of room to run around, or shorten the length to stay close to you.
Running After Eating
Like humans, Huskies can feel uncomfortable going for a run straight before or after eating. Their stomachs can get bloated, which can lead to serious health problems.
It is best to wait at least an hour after eating so that food has time to digest properly.
If you plan on going for a run before eating, make sure you wait at least 30 minutes after running to feed them.
Huskies are known to run extremely long distances, but even they can tire after a while.
Watch out for signs of tiredness in your Husky which include heavy panting and decreased energy. If you notice any of these signs, either slow your pace or end the running session until a later time.
Build up your Husky’s stamina gradually to prevent injury or overexertion.
Another great way to keep your Husky exercised is to take them swimming. Find out about Huskies and water in this guide.