Apartment hunting can be ruthless for a current or prospective pet owner. Not only are pet-friendly apartments hard to find, but even those that allow pets can ask for a hefty fee. And as owners of certain breeds often discover, many apartments have strict rules on which breeds are allowed.
German shepherds, Great Danes, and bully breeds such as pit bulls and Rottweilers have been infamously restricted in many apartments for years, but many husky owners have discovered that their dogs have been recently added to this list. But why is this the case? Why are huskies banned from apartments?
While their medium size may play a role in being banned from some apartments, huskies are often specifically banned due to the destructive and noisy tendencies they can display in an apartment environment.
Below, we’ll discuss in depth why huskies are often banned from apartments and whether or not this energetic breed can thrive in an apartment setting.
6 Reasons Huskies Are Banned From Apartments
The reason behind huskies being banned from so many apartments is a complex combination of having an undeserved reputation and having qualities that make them genuinely unsuitable for apartment life. Although any breed can be a poor house-guest, huskies are unfortunately predisposed to not doing well unless you are a responsible owner.
Reason 1: They’re Noisy
For lovers of the breed, noisy and dramatic displays are an endearing and hilarious part of day-to-day life with a husky. But for the neighbors of husky owners, 2 AM husky tantrums and nightly howl-fests can be auditory torture.
Even happy and healthy huskies are very vocal due to their history as sled dogs. The average husky is a pack-driven animal that instinctively desires to communicate in a way that can cut through long distances– that is, audibly.
This alone may be irritating for your neighbors, but a bored or stressed husky can howl for hours on end. Huskies are infamously known to be behind plenty of noise complaints even when occupying houses, so an apartment landlord may be understandably hesitant to allow huskies in his or her close-quarter dwellings.
Reason 2: They Can Be Destructive
Destructive behavior can occur when any dog is not given anything to do, but the likelihood of it occurring is amplified when working breeds and unexciting environments are involved.
So what happens when you put an incredibly work-driven dog in a small, confined space? Often times, disaster results. The boredom, stress, and anxiety related to having nothing to do can quickly drive a husky to chew at walls, scratch at the carpets, or any number of other apartment-ruining tendencies.
As we’ll cover below, there are several ways to help your husky adjust to apartment life. It is important to understand that many landlords have witnessed first-hand the devastation an improperly cared for husky can wreak on an apartment, which makes them understandably hesitant to house the breed.
Reason 3: They Shed. A Lot.
Although it is very possible to avoid destructive behaviors by giving your huskies enough enrichment and exercise, shedding a lot is simply a feature of the breed. As we’ll briefly touch on below, there is a lot you can do to reduce how much your husky sheds, but many landlords are correct in their assumption that husky fur can quickly build up in their carpets.
For owners who do not stay on top of their husky’s shed fur– especially when their undercoat blows out — pet dander and the dust mites that live in it can become irritants for neighbors with these common allergies.
Reason 4: They’re Medium-Sized Dogs
At a weight of 35 to 50 pounds for females and 45 to 60 pounds for males, most huskies surpass the standard 25 pound weight limit posed by some apartments. Often, the assumption is that larger dogs mean larger messes. Aside from their fur, huskies are generally considered to be clean dogs that do not smell under normal circumstances or drool excessively.
This restriction is not as breed-specific as the others on this list, but it is one of the most common limitations for husky ownership in many apartments.
Reason 5: They’re Misunderstood
As with bully breeds, huskies are misunderstood by the general public. This arctic breed’s resemblance to a wolf leads many to falsely assume they are wolf-dogs, or that they are somehow more “wild” than other dogs. Although huskies are a breed known for their affectionate nature, many assume the wolf-like dogs are aggressive or vicious due to their appearance.
The surge of ill-conceived husky ownership– and consequent return to shelters— that resulted from TV shows has also taken its toll on huskies’ reputation. Many landlords’ only experiences of huskies have been negative due to inexperienced husky owners attempting to keep their huskies in apartments, and they may falsely blame the breed for the destruction and noise complaints that follow.
Reason 6: They’re Escape Artists
It’s unusual to hear of any breed breaking out from inside their house, but huskies have a well-deserved reputation as escape artists. While it is an unusual feat for even this breed, huskies have been known to find their way down from multiple stories up.
Having a free-roaming husky is not only dangerous to your dog, but they could unintentionally injure other pets or tenants. Plus, husky fur and droppings aren’t the typical décor most landlords want in their lobby.
Can Huskies Do Well In An Apartment?
Huskies aren’t necessarily guaranteed to do poorly in an apartment environment, but the lack of indoor and outdoor space can easily take its toll on this boisterous breed.
Many of the issues above, such as destructiveness or excessive shedding can be avoided with proper care, but others, such as noise-level, cannot. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a husky if you live in an apartment, but you should expect to make a lot of sacrifices and hope for understanding neighbors.
If you are looking for a furry companion, you would probably be better off with a more apartment-friendly breed. But if you already have a husky and are making the move to an apartment, it’s possible to keep your husky happy in an apartment setting.
How to Keep a Husky Happy in an Apartment
As mentioned above, huskies generally aren’t considered apartment-friendly breeds. But with a lot of work, it’s possible to help your husky do well in a smaller dwelling.
Take Them On Plenty of Walks
When it comes to owning any dog in an apartment, at least one daily walk is simply a requirement. More languid breeds like bulldogs can thrive on a brief daily trek in addition to doing their business. Huskies, meanwhile, require plenty of time on a leash in order to do well in an apartment.
Ideally, walk your husky multiple times throughout the day. It’s important to take advantage of the cooler hours of the day in the morning and evening so that you don’t walk your dog when it’s too hot out. If possible, invest in a dog-walker to give your dog time outdoors when you aren’t available.
Keep Them Exercised
In addition to being walked, any husky kept in an apartment will need an outlet for their energy. According to the Husky Haven of Florida, an award-winning husky-based nonprofit, huskies need the equivalent of 3 to 5 miles worth of exercise four days a week.
Keep Them Busy
Due to their intelligence and strong working drive, huskies require mental exercise just as much as they do physical exercise. When you are at home, you can keep your husky entertained with regular training sessions, plenty of play time and of course, a lot of attention.
It’s a good idea to regularly rotate out your dog’s toys to maintain interest, even if you cannot regularly purchase new toys. As studies have shown, dogs have an innate attraction to “newness,” but old toys can seem new again if you keep them out of sight for long enough or use them in novel ways. Better yet, you can give your dog toys that tap into their reward center by allowing them to solve a problem, like this sliding puzzle or even this simple treat dispenser
Doggy day care or pet sitters are solid options for when you are out of the house, and giving your husky a companion can also do wonders to keep them stimulated.
Give Them As Much Space As Possible
By definition, an apartment is pretty limited in space compared to a house or condo, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of every square inch. Arranging your furniture to create an open, dog-friendly dwelling can do wonders for your pup.
Many apartments also have dog parks where you can let your husky stretch their legs regularly.
Take Care of Their Fur
Managing husky shedding is a major aspect of responsibly owning a husky, but it’s luckily easier than you might imagine. Our article on how to stop a husky from shedding so much covers the topic in depth, but the two most important components are regularly brushing your husky and investing in quality fur-removal tools, such as a pet-specific vacuum.
Weekly brushing and vacuuming should keep you covered for most of the year, but this should increase to daily brushing during your husky’s seasonal blowing out of their undercoat.
Don’t Leave Them Unsupervised Outdoors
To many, the logical way to prevent their dog from destroying the apartment when they leave is to just put the dog outside. However, leaving them outside on your apartment’s patio is a bad idea for many reasons.
For one, if there is a way for your husky to escape an outside area, they will find it. And although huskies can tolerate heat more than many would expect, overheating is still a distinct possibility, especially when shade isn’t available.
Dognapping has also become an increasingly common phenomenon for purebred dogs, and strangers otherwise harassing your husky is possible, especially if they are being noisy.
Along with other infamously misjudged breeds, huskies have been banned from apartments due to prejudice against the breed due to misinformation and bad ownership. But while this reasoning is unfair, there are some genuine incompatibilities for this breed in apartment life.
Prospective dog-owners who live in apartments should consider other breeds, and husky owners moving into apartments should take the effort to make apartment-living as pleasant as possible for everyone involved.