Some people view huskies like wolves. The association then follows that of course, they’d be excellent watchdogs. Unfortunately, that’s incorrect on both scores. There are several things to consider when asking the question, are huskies good guard dogs? Let’s begin by discussing what traits make a good watchdog and see how the husky measures up to the task.
The Makings of a Good Watchdog
You probably have several things in mind when you think about what makes one dog a better choice as a guard dog over another. They include characteristics such as:
The husky gets high marks when it comes to alertness. This breed is highly intelligent, which probably speaks to its mushing lifestyle. A dog has to be on guard for hazards while running at fast speeds. The husky is definitely a loyal pet. He loves his family members. This breed is also good with kids, although you should supervise play with younger children. Puppies are sometimes nippy.
Anyone who owns a husky will tell you that this pup has a lot to say. Not only will he bark, but he’ll also howl and make a variety of vocalizations. It comes with the territory of being part of a team. And all the members must communicate. The question is whether your husky would bark as an alert or all the time? The answer is more likely the latter, whether you encourage it or not.
The history of the breed also played a significant role in how territorial the dog is. Remember that the husky is a part of a team that all depend upon each other. This dog defines gregariousness. His attitude is what’s mine is yours. Being territorial isn’t how this pup rolls. That even applies to strangers. You’re only a stranger once with the husky. We can go as far as saying the husky needs other dogs in his life.
You can also scratch fearless from the list of watchdog traits in the husky. This dog is actually quite sensitive to harsh words or scolding. That makes positive reinforcement the best approach from training a husky. It also means that the breed isn’t an ideal choice for the first-time pet owner. While some dogs are aloof, it’s not the same thing as implying a pup is a guard dog.
Training a Guard Dog
Teaching your husky to be a guard dog goes against the breed’s nature. This pup loves people, kids, strangers, and other dogs. One way that some dogs end up with guard-dog traits is through a lack of socialization. The stage between 3–7 weeks is a critical time for puppies to develop their social skills. It’s probably the most important time in their lives for determining what kind of pet they will be as adults.
Pets that don’t get a lot of exposure to other people, dogs, or new situations are more likely to develop behavioral problems as an adult. That can also mean unwanted behaviors in addition to alerting you when someone knocks on the door. Bear in mind that many pups will act out not out of a sense of duty. Instead, it’s fear.
One way you can foster watchdog-like traits is to encourage your husky to bark when he spots someone coming to your home. It’s a positive experience for your pup because he thinks it’s a new friend. You benefit by knowing when someone is approaching your home. It’s a decent compromise if having a guard dog on patrol is essential for you.
Good and Bad Watchdogs
Even if the husky isn’t the best choice for a watchdog, other dogs can step up to the plate and take on that role. Many small dogs, such as Chihuahuas and Dachshunds, are aggressive by nature, even if their bark is worse than their bite. Don’t discount the latter. Their size won’t prevent them from nipping if they feel threatened.
Others, like the Maltese and Pekingese, are less welcoming of strangers and are quick to sound the alarm. Breeds that served protection roles also make excellent guard dogs. Examples include the German Shepherd, Akita, and Doberman Pinscher. They are often aloof and naturally wary of strangers. Their large size also sends a clear message to anyone with nefarious intentions.
On the flip side, other breeds don’t make the cut for good guard dogs in addition to huskies. Alaskan Malamutes are high on that list, along with Bulldogs, Bloodhounds, and Labrador Retrievers. It’s often helpful to research a breed’s history to determine if it would make a good guard dog.
The X Factor
The fact remains that a dog can learn some behaviors simply by how it’s raised. Selective breeding encourages desirable traits, whether or not that involves being a guard dog. Of course, size is one of them because sometimes that’s all it takes. Others, such as the Bull Mastiff or Rottweiler, will assess the situation before they act.
We should make the distinction between a guard dog and a watchdog since we’ve used both terms. The former protects the home front, escalating its response as necessary. The latter alerts you when something out of the ordinary is afoot, whether it’s the UPS guy at the door or a strange dog sniffing around your backyard.
The X factor with either case is how you raise your pet. Huskies are lovable dogs. However, if they’re mistreated or not socialized, they can become the polar opposite of their typical nature. That could possibly make them guard-dog material. Remember that pet ownership is a responsibility and not a right. It’s imperative to take your role seriously if you invite a husky or any animal into your home.
Huskies may look fierce, but their appearance belies the fact that they are real people-dogs. They enjoy playtime and romping with the kids. They’ll even welcome strangers into your home. It comes from a long history of socialization on both the human and canine fronts. They may act like watchdogs with their barking and howling. However, your husky is probably wanting attention more than anything else.