Training Your Husky to be a Guard Dog

Huskies are beautiful dogs that are also incredibly friendly, despite their wolfish appearance. They can look majestic and fierce, but can also have the appearance and disposition of a comedian or a clown.

Although wolf-like in appearance, huskies are no more closely related to wolves than poodles and bulldogs are. That said, any intruder who doesn’t know much about huskies might be intimidated by one at first glance. 

evil looking husky

That said, Huskies generally are not peoples’ first choice when it comes to having a guard dog.  They generally don’t like to listen, and they are very independent, as they are quite intelligent.  One thing they love is to play, for long periods of time.

So, if you do end up training them for the purpose of guarding, the upsides, briefly, include the fact that they’re quick, once they’ve learned something, they don’t forget it, and they respond well to whistle and signal commands.

It also depends what you want them to guard.  Huskies, when trained, might be a better choice for guarding a farmhouse or homestead, rather than a small home or apartment.  This is due to their energy level, which is generally high, and the fact that they are good in colder temperatures than most other dogs.  That said, you must be wary when it comes to their prey drive, as a dog that spends more time outdoors is liable to chase after things that they see, which can be bad, since they could disappear or get hurt.

Quick Link: Neuman K-9 Academy (great dog training resource, also find them on Youtube)

Huskies, originally bred by Inuit people for pulling sleds in the arctic, have the advantage these days of being loyal, a dedicated to their owners, which makes them a good family dog and a potentially good guard dog, if they can be trained properly for that purpose, without having to go against your dogs natural instincts.  You wouldn’t want to take a dog who is naturally fun and friendly and turn him into a miserable beast, just to make it into “guard dog” material.

The word “Husky” is simply a variation of the word “Huskimo”, which was what English tradesmen of the 19th century referred to Inuits, or Eskimos, as – “Huskimos”.

In terms of popularity, the Siberian Husky is the twelfth most popular dog in the United States, according to the AKC, and its cheerful attitude, beautiful appearance, and friendly temperament continue to win hearts of dog owners throughout the United States.

Despite its tendency to dig under fences and chew on household items, a Husky may fit well in a family that enjoys outdoor adventures and playing together.  On the other hand, some people have had a hard time controlling their huskies.  This could be due to the owner, or it could be due to the dog’s personality.

Due to their alertness, Huskies can be watch dogs, informing you of the presence of someone on your property. They can also be trained to be guard dogs although they do lack natural aggression that other guardian breeds have.

Stay with us to find out more about this amazing dog breed. Here is what we are going to cover today:

Traits of Huskies

Are Huskies hard to train

Training your Husky

Basic Obedience Training

How to Train Your Husky to Be a Guard Dog

Ok, let’s get to it.


Traits of Huskies


They are very energetic

Huskies are energetic. This is a positive trait for watch and guard dogs, but this means a Husky is not a good fit if you have little space and do not want to exercise your dog for thirty minutes to an hour each day.

However, if you like to keep fit and enjoy jogging or running outdoors, a Siberian Husky is one of the best possible choices of dog.


They are curious

Siberian Huskies are problem solvers and will find a way to get to whatever they want – even if it means climbing, opening cabinets, or destroying things.  They are excellent climbers!

This is also a good trait for watch and guard dogs since they will likely investigate any strange noises or scents. However, this can be dangerous if your dog escapes.


They are friendly

This is not always a bad trait for guard dogs, but Huskies are extremely friendly and not naturally suspicious of strangers.  In other words, if you’re buying a Husky with the intention of it being a guard dog, you will probably have to do extra work.

If you want a dog that will attack intruders, a Husky is not a good choice. However, this amiability does mean that this breed is a wonderful dog for families.


They can be destructive

These dogs are known for digging, chewing objects, and escaping yards. If you own a Husky, you need to ensure that your dog cannot dig out of the yard and has positive ways to release this energy.

Watch this video if you want an idea of what a “bored” Husky can do while you go out to get milk.


 

They are NOT naturally aggressive

Known for their distinctive wolf-like appearance and relatively large size, Siberian Huskies are sometimes thought of as aggressive or dangerous dogs. However, the truth is that Siberian Huskies are actually among the least aggressive dog. 

They are not aggressive, possessive, or suspicious. While you do not have to deal with the negative results of these behaviors, they don’t have these important traits that make good guard dogs.

However, like we said before, they look like wolves. A Husky in your yard may cause some would-be intruders to reconsider due to their frightening appearance.

So, are they really hard to train? Stay with us to find out…


Are Huskies Hard to Train?

As we have already mentioned above, Siberian Huskies are independent, athletic, energetic, and intelligent. Unfortunately, all this makes them relatively hard to train. Hard but not impossible though.

Because Siberian Huskies are pack dogs, they will literally put your leadership and patience to the limits. As they are very energetic, they easily become destructive if not exercised.

Huskies should be taken running, hiking, and/or biking every day. When going out, your Husky should always  be on a leash, for he is very independent and born to run. If something catches his interest and he is off-leash, he’ll be gone.

In order to avoid any bad experiences and unpleasant situations with your Husky, it is crucial to understand their temperament and their nature in order to properly train them for all sorts of experiences and situations.

Next, we explain you how to properly train your Husky.


Training Your Husky

Just like any other dog, you should teach your Husky basic obedience lessons and ensure that he or she is properly socialized. Proper socialization and training will prevent many behavioral issues.

Additionally, you should get your Husky from a reputable breeder to safeguard against genetic health and personality problems, as well as to guarantee that you are not supporting animal cruelty. Your dog should know that you are the alpha, and you should be firm and consistent.

You should teach your dog that his or her crate is a safe haven, not a punishment. This way, your dog has a place to go when he needs time to be alone.

Preferably, your Husky should have a place in your yard where he is free to dig. To teach your dog where his digging spot is, you should command him to sit and stay while you bury some treats or toys while he watches. You can use the clicker training method to teach him the basic stuff.

Dog clicker training is one of the simplest ways to teach your dog commands and tricks. The value of the clicker is that it tells your dog exactly which behavior you’re rewarding.

EcoCity 4-Pack Dog Training Clicker with Wrist Strap

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Karen Pryor Clicker Training Terry Ryan Clik Stik for Pet Training

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PetSafe Clik-R Trainer

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Moving on…


Basic Obedience Training

husky obedience

It is very important your Husky learns the basics of obedience before you move onto more complicated training.

Teaching your Husky basic obedience training commands can be helpful when tackling behavior problems. Basic obedience training involves learning the usual commands of sit, stay, and down.

Without any further ado, let’s take a look at how to teach each of these commands with a few simple steps.

Remember that your patience is mandatory and you should always reward and praise when he gets it right, and do not punish when he gets it wrong.


SIT

husky sitting

Teaching your dog to sit is one of the most basic commands to teach your Husky, thus making it a great one to start with. This command is so simple that even dogs who are new to training can learn it within a few sessions.

A dog who knows the “Sit” command will be much calmer and easier to control than a dog that isn’t taught this simple command.

The most popular way to teach sit is with lure and reward training using some delicious treats. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Hold your dog’s favorite treat in your hand and make sure he knows you have it there
  2. Sit in front of your dog and hold the treat just in front of his nose
  3. Once he starts sniffing, move your hand up, allowing his head to follow the treat and causing his bottom to lower
  4. Command “SIT”
  5. If your Husky does not sit on his own, gently guide his backside down using your other hand
  6. As he begins to sit down, command “SIT” again
  7. Once he sits, praise him and reward him with the treat.

Here is a video showing how to train your husky to sit:

 

Repeat this process several times every day until your dog has it mastered.  Once your Husky can sit, you can move on to other commands.


STAY

husky stay

“Stay” is another great command that will teach your Husky self-control.

A dog who knows the “stay” command will remain sitting until you ask him to get up by giving another command. A dog who knows how to stay won’t run into the street if he gets loose, so this is one of the most important skills your dog needs to master.

This command should be taught when your dog is tired and hungry so he won’t get too hyper to focus. Most dogs usually take several days to understand this command and it can take a few weeks to master it.

  1. Start by commanding your Husky to sit
  2. Give your dog a hand signal – put your hand out in front of you with your palm facing forwards
  3. Take one or two steps back. Keep your stop palm gesture firm and keep saying ‘stay’ while you do this
  4. If your dog stays, reward him with a treat and praise
  5. Have your dog come to you. Release your dog from the stay position by using a release word such as “All Done” or “Okay!”
  6. Keep repeating this but start increasing the distance that you are creating between you and your dog each time.
    Go 5 steps back, then 10. Then see if you can get across the whole yard.

Here is a video showing how to do it the right way:

 

Unfortunately, Huskies can sometimes be a little energetic and this can make it easy to lose patience and give up training. However, your patience and efforts with training your Husky will be rewarded when you have a well-behaved dog.


DOWN

husyk down

This command is harder to learn but will teach your Husky great control and will help him feel calm in stressful or busy environments.

  1. Ask your dog to sit
  2. Hold out a treat tightly between your fingers and let them sniff and lick it
  3. Lower the treat slowly to the floor
  4. Let your dog follow your hand and encourage him to get “Down”
  5. When he is in the down/prone position praise and reward him with the treat immediately
  6. Repeat this until your dog lies down with only the verbal cue and no treat-guiding

This video explains everything in detail:

 


How to Train Your Husky to Be a Guard Dog

guard dog

Training any dog to be a guard dog is challenging and unfortunately, Huskies are no exception. However, the earlier you start training your dog, the sooner you may see results.

You’ll have to teach your dog to bark or howl when there are people on your property. 

Teach your dog to bark when someone approaches the house and give commands to stop, indicating that the person is a friend. On the other hand, when a stranger approaches, allow the dog to continue barking until you ask him to stop.

When you train your Husky to be a guard dog, you are teaching him boundaries. You need to teaching him where he will be during certain times during the day such as when you are away from the house.

To teach your dog to understand the boundaries of your property, you have to show him those boundaries clearly. Walk the perimeter together, and teach him to stay within that zone by using “Sit” and “Stay” commands.

Here are some videos explaining how to train your Husky to be a guard dog:

Here is another video that explains how to train your Husky to attack on command:

 

More husky guard dog training videos you might find helpful:


Final Verdict

While Huskies can be difficult dogs to train, they are affectionate dogs and can fit well in a family setting.

Nobody can tell if their Husky is a good candidate for guard or protection training just by reading an article or watching a few YouTube videos.

If you’re serious about finding out if your Husky would be a good candidate, have your dog assessed by a professional guard dog trainer.

Thanks for reading!