Are Huskies Smart

Siberian Husky is one of the favorite breeds of most dog owners. More than their great looks, they are also known as sociable, affectionate with kids, smart, athletic, and loyal. 

On the other hand, you probably know that this breed is often used as work or companion dogs, especially for sled pulling, which they where they originate from. Hence, this breed is often referred to as independent working dogs and often mistaken as "hard to train". Its personality and character are what make it interesting to own one.

We did some further research to help you know more about this breed such as its history, personality, temperament, and intelligence. Let's start to get to know more about Siberian Huskies!

Do Husky Dogs Shed Their Coat?

Are Huskies Dumb or Smart?

A Siberian Husky is always mistaken as dumb since they are honestly hard to train but it does not mean that they are not smart. Its disobedience to its trainer does not equate to their ability to understand and work. Meaning, they are smart but stubborn as well. 

If you own one, you probably know that it is not the typical kind of smart or intelligent dog that you will encounter. In fact, it is so smart that it can independently work on its own and just navigate its way around the area. Their independent character is what makes the dog very difficult to train since it can decide on its own and determine the things that it will do. Hilariously, its intelligence is making them think that it knows better than you do. 

Furthermore, if you start to train your dog as young as possible, then it would probably develop a sense of submission to you as its trainer and owner. Eventually, it can be a great companion in your work or home. 

This breed usually works on its own based on its instincts. Meaning, it tends to be unpredictable during the training most of the time by obeying the commands and then suddenly wanting to do something on its own the next day. That is why Huskies are known to be disobedient for some owners and may frustrate, too. 

But just remember that this breed is bred to be independent and survive in a vast, cold area. It is known to be physically active, such as digging around, carrying weights, and hunting for any prey that it sees. 

How Long Can Huskies Run?

Do you know running is one of the top skills that a Husky has? It is basically made to run as much as it can and pull sleds for several miles in the Siberian region. That is why do not be startled when you see your dog chasing around for food and smaller animals like squirrels or cats around your place. Though this breed is not referred to as aggressive, it can still look one when preying. 

Also, do not be confident in putting it off the leash when walking around since it is smart enough to escape by running so fast, hop on fences, digging holes, and anything that they can do to escape. Feedbacks from several dog owners revealed that their Huskies are usually good at escaping from whatever is restricting them. They tend to run more as you chase them, so better just wait for them to get tired and come back. 

And you do not need to worry about your dog getting lost along the way because this breed is really good at navigating since it is bred to carry sleighs on its own. Usually, a sled dog is good at finding its way back home without the owner, even if it is several miles away given that it is very smart enough to be aware and mindful of its surroundings. 

What Are the Characteristics of a Siberian Husky?

Though its stubborn and independent personality tends to turn off some dog owners, it still ranks as one of the best and most popular dog breeds among others. So, let us get to know deeper about this breed. 

  • Sociable

Some say that it is not fit as a guard dog since it does not usually bark at strangers and not aggressive enough like the German Shepherds or Chihuahuas. This is because it is very friendly and sociable even to those people that they do not know, hence it is a perfect pet for children. 

It is very cautious to people and dogs that they know, especially those that it grew up with. 

  • Energetic

Being energetic is one of its highest traits as a dog. You would be amazed by how active it is especially on its puppy stage. So, as young as possible, it is great to train your buddy and give them an active lifestyle like doing enough training, playing with you, walking around, and hiking. 

Being energetic will also lead to having a goofy, quirky, and funny personality that will certainly make a good companion in your home. Expect it to always love to have attention from you and often feels bad when ignored. 

  • Affectionate

Since this breed is one of those very affectionate and loving animals, it is always used as a companion and therapy dog because of its ability to treat strangers well without getting aggressive. It is also very playful, hence it can help ease your tension and anxiety.

Where Do Siberian Huskies Originate?

Siberian Huskies were originally bred as sled and companion dogs by the indigenous Chukchi people in Northeastern Asia, particularly in Siberia. During their hunting, they use this breed in pulling sleds that are pulled by Huskies by a pack. Moreover, it even became popular transportation when aircraft and snowmobiles were not invented back then. 

To help the tribe in their nomadic life, this breed eventually becomes popular for being sled pullers, setting up races for amusement, and checking out working stock as well. For over 3,000 years, this spitz-mixed breed became more popular for its endurance despite its small sizes. 

It marked a history when a team of Siberian Huskies raced 340 miles conquering through a raging blizzard serum in Alaska for diphtheria-stricken Nome in 1925. For five days and a half, it became a remarkable experience when Balto, the lead Husky, went down and became successful in the run and now, it has its own statue in Anchorage, Alaska, and in Central Park, New York City. 

 Until now, it is known for local races and skijoring with people

Are Huskies Hard to Train?

As mentioned above, this breed is kind of hard to train but intelligent. It is not the kind of dog that easily obeys every command, but it can be trained well when you start young. It can be intimidating and frustrating at times, but we got you some tips on how to successfully do it:

1. Start to train them young

Training your dog as early as their puppy days will make it easier for it to develop a habit when it grows older. Since it has a tendency to be stubborn and follow its own instinct, it will grow up to follow what it all knows. 

For an instance, if you have trained it to eat its dog food without getting messy when it is young, it will eventually be used to eating properly in the dog food bowl without spilling any kibble. However, if you have failed to train it when it's younger, you will surely see it carelessly eating its food on the floor. 

2. Spend time with your Husky

Spending time does not mean sitting or lying beside your dog but actually spending quality time together. It is an essential way of building a stronger bond as you being its trainer and master. You must also build a loving and trustworthy bond between you and your buddy, which is easier when it is young. 

And since it tends to be very independent, it may do things on its own. However, making it grow to respect you will make it easier to for it to obey when fully grown. Treat your buddy with respect if you want it to respect you back. 

You might see some Husky owners having fear and frustrations when training their dogs, but it doesn't mean it will also happen to you. That is why you have to build a trustworthy bond between your dog to not make them respond a hard way. Never use abusive training because it can build fear at the same time, it will automatically shift to its independent personality that will force them to avoid you and your command, which is something this breed is very good at.

3. Treats and rewards

Just like humans, a Husky can also make it hard during training, especially if there are no treats and rewards. To motivate their desire to obey and move, you should show and ready something that they can have after every command. Unconditional obedience is not in their vocabulary, so better push them to be eager to earn a pleasurable reward. 

Also, remember that a Husky might not also be interested in the same reward or treat you give, a walk in the park or running around the backyard while playing with some neighborhood dogs without any leash might sound great to your pet, too. 

This way of training might make it look dumb, but it actually is intelligent. It just doesn't have any motivation during tiring training. 

4. Use crate training

Its stubbornness may lead to being destructive in your own house, especially if it is not puppy-proof. A puppy might need extra supervision when letting it roam around the house. However, using a crate or cage will be better, especially if they are alone and you wouldn't want to eat and poop wherever it wants. 

For it to be trained in using a crate, start training it slowly, day by day, until it gets comfortable in sleeping and hanging inside the crate. Then start to leave it alone and close the door for several minutes and observe how it behaves.

It may sound cruel to some to leave a puppy in a crate, but it actually helps them to nurture discipline. Besides, it is a natural characteristic for an animal to have its own den that is why you see them as territorial. Moreover, crates or cages will make it easier for you to potty train them.

5. Leash training

One of the secrets in developing obedience to your dog is by mastering the "come" command. As previously mentioned, a Husky has a tendency to always escape and run away when off-leash. It has a very strong urge to chase smaller animals.

So, a well-trained Husky that responds well to a "come" command won't be a problem when off-leashed. Do not let them go around without mastering this command, even professional trainers use this to make them obey easily. 

Also, remember that a dog who is full of energy is more likely to run faster and farther when given a chance. You should ensure proper physical and mental stimulation to your buddy. 

Related Questions

Are Huskies as mean as they look?

No. They may look fierce and mean but they are actually very affectionate and gentle towards people, especially children; thus, they make a good family pet if they are well-trained. 

At what age is a Husky full grown?

Huskies are medium-sized dogs that always gives confusions to their owner regarding their physical growth. But actually, it is already fully grown during their 15th to 18th month of age and it can even grow taller as high as 30 inches.

Are Huskies good family dogs?

Yes, they are good family dogs. They also nicely interact with other dogs as well. To make them a better pet, you have to train them well during their younger days.

How long do Huskies live?

Huskies have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years. They are recognized as one of the healthiest breeds and not prone to some doggy health problems, unlike the Dobermans and Poodles. The only health problem of Huskies that the owners have observed is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) that may eventually lead to blindness if not properly checked and prevented. 

Julia is an animal volunteer and a Vet Tech she helps us with research and product evaluation. She also have worked in technical roles that help her sift through the marketing smoke screen. She is passionate about all animals and often helps out at shelters.