My husky sister is ‘broken’. She doesn’t do any of the typical ‘husky’ things. I like to take credit for this, I raised her after all. So let’s take a common husky trait and analyze it a bit further. Do all huskies howl?
Not all huskies are vocal or howl. While it is a common characteristic of a Siberian Husky to howl and ‘talk’ frequently, they can’t all be lumped into this one single category. Some huskies can be shy and timid in situations where others may showcase more innate and vocal behaviors. The level of communication is completely dependent on the personality of your husky.
I’m a cocker spaniel. I was two years old when we brought Callie home to live with us. She was a five week old husky, and it was up to me to teach her the laws of the land. Because I was her guide, she mainly picked up on my individual traits.
Disclaimer: The Can My Dog articles contain information based on the individual research and opinions of the author of the site – who just so happens to be a dog. How you utilize the information given is completely up to you. Proceed at your own risk.
Does Nature vs. Nurture Affect Husky Howling Behavior?
Here we go with this age old concept. You’d be hard pressed to find multiple articles that agree with each other on all of the nature vs. nurture theories and case studies out there.
There’s more conflicted conceptual ideologies on this particular subject than there are disputes concerning modern day politics.
Quite frankly, it’s exhausting.
Let me attempt to shed some light on the subject – in Callie’s case, anyway.
First, I want to accurately and appropriately speak on my personal experiences with why our husky is broken and very rarely talks at all, unless she’s needing her elbow rubbed.
She does this.
Having her elbow rubbed is her thing. I can take it or leave it. I personally prefer my belly rubbed.
*Later on in this article I will display the results from a small pool of husky data I was able to conduct and pull from to further understand the percentage of huskies that are vocal and if genetics play a certain role.
If Callie had stayed with her birth parents and other husky siblings she more than likely would exhibit inherent combinations of the general ‘husky’ qualities. The howling, constant talking, digging, toy destruction, chewing, etc.
Instead, she was predominantly raised with me (a cocker spaniel). I’m typically easy going, relaxed, and level headed. Some may even say I’m pretty close to perfection.
Not my words.
Because I was her role model, she was nurtured to act more like me than revert back to her more natural tendencies. Now, that’s not to say that she doesn’t ‘husky spaz’ every now and then, because she absolutely does.
She goes crazy in the dog park digging holes and acting like some kind of wild animal. I think she does it to get on my nerves. I chase her when she starts digging and I’m fairly certain that she thinks it’s a game.
Not All Huskies Howl
Callie just turned two a few weeks ago. I literally JUST heard her bark at someone yesterday. Like full on attention ‘bark’, not just play around ‘chase me’ bark.
Two years old – it took her TWO YEARS to yell at someone.
I told you our husky was broken, but I prefer her being selective with her words. I think she’d drive me crazy during the day when our humans are at work if she talked to me constantly.
I’d probably end up slipping an extra drop of CBD oil in her morning breakfast bowl if so.
Kidding. Don’t tell on me for that. I hate being in trouble.
Quick story break: One weekend Callie had been lounging under the bed all day long. When she finally decided to come up on the top of the bed with the rest of us, my mom asked her, “why have you been under the bed all day?” I kid you not, Callie responded, “I don’t know”, in a weird and mumbled husky voice.
I’d be a millionaire right now if someone had caught it on tape.
Can You Teach Huskies to Howl?
Sure you can!
While huskies are notoriously stubborn (and trust me when I say this is absolutely the truth), if worked with and exercised on a consistent basis, they can be taught and trained just like any other dog.
The key to training any dog breed will always come down to repetition and consistency. You will hear me say this more than you probably care to hear it.
Let’s break the process of teaching huskies to howl down into 5 simple steps:
Step 1: You husky may in fact be unfamiliar with the sound of a howl. Especially if she’s a puppy and has yet to be around other dogs.
Start by howling softly to teach your husky the sound.
Step 2: If your husky mimics your howl, praise them immediately and reward them with a small training treat.
Step 3: Be sure to initiate your human howl with a hand gesture, so that your husky begins to learn that there are times when howling is appropriate. When your husky howls on queue, reward her with another treat.
Step 4: Do the same with a “quiet” command or hand gesture. Training your husky to stop howling when needed will be one of the best things you ever teach her after she figures out how cool howling actually is. Trust me when I say you NEED this command.
Again, reward her when she stops howling on command.
Step 5: Repeat as often as needed.
Consistency, patience, and repetition = keys to all dog training successes.
2 Years Down and No Howling Yet
Like I mentioned before, Callie just recently turned two and I have never heard her howl. I’m not even sure if she can. My humans have attempted to teach her and have even played huskies howling on YouTube and Callie just stares at it.
Perhaps she’s trying to break the ‘animalistic’ cycles of huskies and their direct association to wolves? I’m not sure.
Maybe she thinks she’s a human? Who knows. I do find it interesting though – intriguing concept for sure.
Research Developments From My Husky Polls
As I previously mentioned in my study, I was able to personally pool a group of 20 non related huskies to determine the percentage that are vocal and howl regularly versus the huskies who have a more timid, shy, or laid back personality.
The second study I conducted used all the huskies from Callie’s litter. This allowed me to look into the role that genetics play in the vocal tendencies of a husky.
Study #1: My findings from a group of 20 random / non related huskies
|Vocal Huskies||Non-Vocal Huskies|
|12 out of 20 = 60%||8 out of 20 = 40%|
As you can see from the graph, the majority of huskies are vocal, but not enough to classify ALL huskies as howlers. 40% is a large enough number to begin to rethink the cliched characteristic.
Study #2: My findings from the huskies that came from Callie’s litter
|Vocal Huskies||Non-Vocal Huskies|
|1 out of 4 = 25%||3 out of 4 = 75%|
This is interesting to me. As you can see from study #2, genetics seem to play a predominant role in the vocal tendencies of a husky.
I think it’s important to also disclose that the mother of the litter is not a vocal husky, yet the father of the litter is highly vocal.
Another factor worth mentioning from my study is that the one vocal husky happened to be the one that remained in a pack of 3 other huskies – further entrenching him in the innate pack mentality discussed earlier in this article.
The One Thing That ALL Huskies Do Across the Board
You just cannot imagine.
My humans read up on this before we brought Callie home, but there’s not enough words in any article that could possibly prepare you for the amount of hair a husky will shed in a given day.
I have more husky hair on my body than cocker spaniel hair.
Anyway, as far as I’ve experienced, shedding is the only thing that is guaranteed with a husky.
In summation, no, not all huskies howl. Just like not all humans are right handed.
Just because certain characteristics are dominant in a certain breed doesn’t mean every single dog will develop and portray all associated characteristics.
Don’t be frustrated with your husky sisters and brothers if they’re broken. We’re all a little bit broken and different.
As always, continue to Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies (or elbows) often.
Love you guys,
P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.
What is a Husky’s Temperament?
Huskies are a unique breed. Loyal, friendly, and stubborn.
Huskies have an innate sense of family with a temperament associated with a playful, gentle, and friendly demeanor. Huskies may have the natural ability to look intimidating, but they aren’t anything if not a horrible excuse for a guard dog.
Most common husky character traits include the following list:
Want to understand a husky a little better? Read more here: Husky temperament – What it’s like living with one.
Is a Husky a Good First Dog?
As a general rule of thumb, adopting a Siberian Husky as your first dog is not recommended.
Owning a husky takes a lot of patience, a lot of endurance, a lot of time sweeping up hair, and a lot of time mentally and physically engaging your husky.
Owning a husky as a first-time pet is a challenge, and future owners should know what to expect before proceeding with the adoption.
Huskies are NOT for everyone. And that’s perfectly okay.
I have comprehensively outlined the expectations, tips, and tricks of what it’s like having a husky.
Read the article here: Is a Siberian Husky a good first dog?
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