Huskies are beautiful and fun dogs to have. You might have a strong point arguing that they’re among the most sought-after breeds in the world today. But you know what they say, “looks can be quite deceiving.” So that I don’t fall for only the looks, I started a journey a few years back to discover the level of intelligence of these dogs. I share my intriguing insights here with you today so that like me, you can make an informed decision.
Are Huskies smart? I found that huskies are highly intelligent and independent dogs. The dogs were initially bred to be working dogs. However, their high intelligence doesn’t correspond to ease in training.
To find out about their history, personality, temperament, and intelligence, read on.
Before delving deeper, the first mystery I want to unravel is that of Huskies being considered as stubborn or disobedient. The breed is energetic, strong-willed, and intelligent.
Huskies always know what they want and so it might be hard for them to submit to a leader that’s not principled and firm.
Most of the stubbornness attributed to these dogs isn’t because they don’t understand what you want them to do, but simply because they want you to put your foot down and be resolute.
So if you’re the sort that gives up clearly, then this breed will definitely test your patience.
Huskies are smart; as matter of fact, they’re among the most intelligent breeds you’ll ever meet.
However, in an average dog, high levels of intelligence translate to unquestioned obedience, always willingness to listen, and quick response to training. But the intelligence of the Huskies is of a different kind.
Theirs are such that they’re able to tell between a weak and strong leader. They also can’t stand being led by a leader that they consider inferior.
If that happens to be the case, they’ll swing into action and take charge without flinching an eye, even if that has got to go down with a fight.
But that shouldn’t get you worried.
There’s a way to work around that to have a Husky that’s obedient and well-behaved. And that is to be intentional about training and ensuring you’re in charge of the entire process.
If you give these dogs an option, they’ll be the ones to decide whether whatever you want them to do is worth their time and energy or it’s a waste of time.
The Huskies are so smart that they’ll look at you and know whether or not they should treat whatever you’re saying with seriousness. That’s where you’ll need to demonstrate your firmness.
The breed does exceptionally well when it comes to looking after itself. It’s nearly impossible for them to get stuck in any situation. Their independence is perhaps the factor that contributes to them being termed as “hard to train.”
Another thing about their breed is that at times they can be predictable, especially if they’re not well-trained.
One day they wake and respond to every command while other days, you’ll be calling them to come to you but they instead choose to head down the opposite direction in total ignorance. But the moment you get to understand them, it will be easy for you to get along with them well.
Huskies are also instinctive dogs; meaning they’ll react when prompted by their instincts to do something. As a matter of fact, everything this dog does is led by purpose. Sometimes they act to save a situation even when you’re not aware.
You’ll also realize, as you spend time with the Huskies, that they can’t wait around to be shown how to survive.
They know how to look out for themselves. For instance, if you don’t provide them with food, they’ll hunt down and kill small animals in the neighborhood including rodents and even cats.
I would advise that you keep your Husky away from the small animals. Even better, if you can, don’t have them around.
If the dogs are bored, they tend to dig a lot. It’s therefore important that you come with engaging activities so that the dog gets rid of the excess energy. Otherwise, the dog will engage in destructive behavior that will have you frustrated.
The breed also loves to run. Their original role was to pull sleds in icy, rugged, and mountainous regions.
So it’s not a good idea to restrain your Husky in a confined space because that’s how they’ll bring into play the escape-artist capabilities.
This breed can leap over fences and dig holes through the other side of the fence. Usually, when the dog manages to escape, it will run until it can’t run anymore.
In case your Husky breaks lose, running after it might be an exercise in futility. However, they’re good navigators and so they can easily find their way back home.
Husky Personality and Temperament
Let me now show you something rather interesting about this breed. Whereas many might argue that Huskies are a stubborn and untrainable breed, the table below shows that the breed was voted as being among the top 15 dog breeds for five consecutive years.
In the last American Kennel Club statistics released in 2017, the breed was ranked position 12 out of the possible 193 breeds that were studied.
So as you can see, this breed is one of the most sought-after dog breeds in the world. Wondering what makes them be beloved or many dog enthusiasts? Of course, their beauty is breathtaking. But that’s not the only thing.
|Year||Most Popular Breed – Husky (Out of 193)|
If well-trained, your dog will be friendly to everyone, free from aggression and always oozing with affection.
Huskies also love people and so they’ll want to hang around you more. They’re also packed animals and so they’ll thrive even more when they are around other animals.
However, from my experience, I’ve learned that it’s not a good idea to have two or more Huskies living under the same roof. That’s because they’ll be mischievous and get in more trouble than you can think.
The Huskies are puppy-like and even when they grow up, they don’t lose that affection and puppy-like energy. They’ll always want to run and play with you.
They are funny and will definitely be a source of good hearty laughs for the entire family. Whereas they might not be noisy barkers, they’re also far from being silent.
They’ll moan or growl especially if they want to get your attention. They’re tender and so it’s no wonder they’re used as therapy dogs.
4 Training Tips for Huskies
So far, we’ve learned that Huskies are smart. But that doesn’t mean they’ll readily obey. However, with proper and intentional training, it shouldn’t be hard to have a Husky that’s well-behaved. Here are my top four tips for training Huskies.
1. Puppies always learn better
It’s a good idea that you start early when your Husky is a tender age. That will make it easy for you to instill into your dog the art of listening, talking, and following commands.
At that point, whatever you’ve instilled in your puppy is all it will know when it’s all grown. They’ll follow your commands when they mature because that’s how it has always been.
For instance, if you’ve trained them never to get on the couch when they’re puppies, chances are high that they’ll never attempt that move because they don’t know what it’s like.
2. Cherish the time you spend together
For training to be effective, you need not see it as a duty that you’re trying to execute religiously. That’s one way not to get good results with your dog. Instead, cherish these moments and look forward to them. Be creative and look forward to an exciting time together.
It’s also important that you learn your Husky so that you’re not just spitting out commands one after the other. When there’s an understanding between you and your dog, then it’s easy for trust to be established between the two of you.
If you can get your Husky to trust, then you’ll be in a position to achieve your training goals without a lot of struggles.
3. Positive reinforcement does the trick
Huskies don’t like being shouted at. Neither do they like working under pressure. If you instill fear into your dog, you might never get it to a point where it can trust you.
Instead of hurling insults, shouting or punishment to train your dog, use positive reinforcement and you shall not be disappointed. Use treats, give him verbal praise such as “good dog” followed by an affectionate scratch.
4. Patience and persistence pays
Even when you’re working with a Husky pup, you’ll need to be persistent and patient. One thing to make it easy to achieve your training goals is to be firm. Don’t give up when there seems like there’s no progress.
If the dog realizes that, then it will take advantage of that to trick you into thinking that it’s not getting whatever you want it to.
For instance, if you’re training it to sit, ensure there’s progress towards sitting. Always strive to ensure every training session ends on a positive note.
As you’ve seen, Huskies are quite interesting dogs to have. They’re not just intelligent but their smartness is on an advanced level.
That they can even read your mind and fool you into believing something, is quite an intriguing thing.
By following the tips I have shared in this post, you’ll be able to take charge of your dog’s training and turn it into your desired kind of husky companion.