A Siberian husky is one of the most majestic dog breeds that a person can own. Their soft, clean fur and piercing eyes are sure to win the hearts of everyone around. With their lineage as sled dogs and stately wolf-like appearance, it stands to reason that a Siberian husky will undoubtedly protect it’s owner.
But is this really the case?
A Siberian husky will have some protective traits for its owner. An increased sense of security and alerts for potential danger, without being an actual guard dog. However, if burglary and battery protection are your primary concerns, Siberian huskies are not instinctively inclined to attack.
While a dog’s breeding goes a long way toward determining its demeanor and behavior, that does not mean that you have to watch in frustration as your husky tries to make friends with suspicious strangers.
Every dog can be trained to perform specific functions for its owner.
Siberian huskies are no exception.
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.
How a Siberian Husky Can Help Protect It’s Owner
Although a Siberian husky is not a guard dog that will bark and threaten potential trouble in the same way that a Rottweiler or mastiff will, they do offer some protective benefits to their owner that may be preferable over some of the more aggressive guard dog breeds.
Husky’s Provide a Sense of Security
At 20 to 24 inches in height and up to 60 pounds for mature males, the Siberian husky definitely looks the part of a guard dog. In addition, their heavy coat of fur is sure to make your husky look even bigger than they are, and their wolf-like appearance can make them even more intimidating to others.
All of this adds up to Siberian huskies being an excellent crime deterrent.
Criminals will definitely think twice if they peek through your window and see a husky curled up on the floor. A dubious passersby will also pay you a higher level of respect if they see a husky at the end of your leash.
For many people, this sense of security is far more desirable than a dog that actually attacks.
Knowing that you have a gentle giant that keeps trouble at bay can even provide more peace of mind than an overly aggressive dog that scares innocent people. Not to mention the lawsuit waiting to happen if your dog bites the wrong person.
Alerts to Trouble
A major part of protection, from smoke alarms to home security systems, is about not being caught off guard. If people know something is wrong, then they will be able to deploy the appropriate defense strategy.
Although Siberian huskies are generally quieter than other dog breeds, they are always alert. With keen instincts and a nose for potential prey passed down from their wilder ancestors, your Siberian husky’s behavior will noticeably change if something is amiss.
This will give you the chance to set your guard and stand your ground.
Husky’s Provide Protection From Other Animals
Even if your husky will not attack other people, they very well could protect you from other animals. Huskies are more likely to detect animal-against-human interaction as a definite threat.
This is primarily due to their lineage as predators and could propel them to fend off another aggressive and threatening dog.
Other Factors that Make Huskies Protective
As with all behavioral matters relevant to the animal kingdom, the issue of nature versus nurture is inevitable. Even if Siberian huskies, as a general breed, are not predisposed to act as traditional guard dogs.
Some mitigating factors can change their protection habits on a case-by-case basis.
The Personality of Your Husky
Not all huskies are created equal. There will always be some specific dogs that are more aggressive than another.
If you have that husky with a bit of an edge to their personality, then you may very well have a legitimate guard dog on your hands.
If you have the docile dog of the litter, then raising its ire could pose as a challenge.
Training Your Husky
If they have not been trained to protect from a young age, there is a strong chance that they will take a “paws off” approach to potential danger.
On the same token, huskies are very intelligent.
Given firm training and direction from puppyhood, your dog will likely intervene when a threat arises. While it may be difficult to teach and hard to test whether your husky will attack in the presence of danger, most owners can effectively get their dog to react to a safe word.
For example, if you were in trouble and were to say “sic ’em!”
“”Sic ’em” would then be your command and you would be able to train your husky to lift its paws, bare its teeth, and start making a lot of noise.
Just remember that huskies’ independence can make them hard to train. They are a naturally free, roaming dog who only responds to the order of the pack.
If you think your efforts to train your husky as a protector are hopeless, stay patient: your dog is smart and will get there with continued practice.
The Dog’s Experience
As with humans, a husky’s life experience will go a long way toward determining how they respond to situations.
The following factors can help you determine how your husky might behave as a protector:
- Huskies born and reared in stable, loving homes (without protection training) are likely to be very gentle and docile.
- Rescues that have spent significant time wandering will likely have their independent nature reinforced and, therefore, difficult to train in protection.
- Huskies that have spent time around other dogs that are highly reactive to threatening stimuli may be more likely to bark and protect.
- Huskies that have provided protection in the past are more likely to do so again.
How to Train Your Husky to Protect You
As mentioned, the training your Siberian husky receives from a young age will go a long way in determining whether they will protect you.
As the safe word method is the best way to ingrain the desired behavior in your dog, the following positive reinforcement steps can be used to get your husky to react to your cry for help:
- Find a treat that your husky likes, and frequently give him or her small samples to reward for good behavior.
- Tease your husky with a treat, only forking it over when they bark.
- Implement a safe word with your teasing, only giving the treat when the bark follows the command.
- Gradually reduce the teasing to where your husky only barks when hearing the safe word.
- Once barking is mastered, try to incorporate other behavior, such as scratching and snarling, that the husky must perform in conjunction before getting the treat.
(Source: Wag Walking)
In addition to safe word training, it is important to remind your husky what good human behavior looks like.
This should not be difficult; huskies are naturally gentle around humans. However, you want to be completely certain that your husky does not misinterpret threatening actions with normal behavior.
In the traditional sense, a Siberian husky will not protect their owner in the same manner as more classic guard dogs like Rottweilers or Mastiffs.
However, a Siberian husky can be useful in deterring crime and providing warning alerts to their owner. With the proper safe word training, you can effectively elicit desired behaviors in the presence of danger from your husky that may serve as all the protection you will ever need.
But until you have your husky ready to fight crime with you, continue to Live, Love, Laugh, and scratch our bellies 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.
This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.