When looking to buy a dog and choosing which breed to go with, one of the common factors owners consider is ‘will this breed of dog protect me, my family and my home?’, a characteristic commonly related to the Husky breed.
Will Huskies protect you? Huskies may protect you to an extent. However, after many years of domestication, it may require extra training to get them to be the best guard dog they can be.
Now, let’s go deeper into the protective nature of Huskies and how you can train your Huskies to be more protective if they are naturally a sweetheart.
Will Huskies Protect You?
The short answer is that, yes, huskies will protect you! Huskies are very protective dogs by nature and are incredibly territorial animals, with a strong focus on protecting the rest of ‘the pack’ – a trait inherited from their genetic predecessors in the wild, the wolf.
However, having been bred for domestication over many years, this trait isn’t quite as prominent as you may imagine these days.
While huskies are a naturally protective breed, it will take some training from the owner to ensure that their husky considers them a part of their own ‘pack’ and becomes naturally inclined to protect you and your family from potential threats.
Luckily, there are many practices you can set into place to promote this behavior, which we will read into now.
How Can I Train My Husky To Protect Me?
If one of the influencing factors in your decision to purchase a husky was their protective nature, then you will be pleased to know that they are, to an extent, naturally very territorial towards their ‘pack.’
However, while your husky – like most other breeds – will likely become very affectionately attached to you quickly, this will not automatically lead to them being protective of you.
A strong desire to protect their owners is a trait that requires instruction and training from the owner to implement, as with many appealing qualities in dogs.
Your dog’s natural inclination will only go so far, as many aspects of the husky personality present in wild huskies and wolves have become less prominent over years of careful domestic breeding.
This was designed to make huskies less hostile and a lot more approachable and friendly.
If you wish for your husky to set their sights on protecting you and your family (in the eyes of the husky, their ‘pack’), there are training practices that you can use to promote this behavior.
Husky Training Tips For Protection
Here, we’ll look at some of the training practices that you, as the owner, can put into place to mold your husky to be more naturally protective of you and your family.
You may be surprised to see that they aren’t quite as strict or as difficult as you first imagined – your husky will likely already see you as being a part of their territory.
It’s just about reinforcing that you are also a part of their territory, which needs to be protected and defended against any potential danger.
Of course, these tips are best used from a very young age. Puppies are far more likely to retain information and let it influence their behavior than older dogs, who have already developed their personalities.
Husky puppies will always be far more malleable in their habits and actions and will be much easier to raise and train into being much more protective dogs.
If you are planning on adopting an older husky, bear in mind that this training may not be as effective, as they will have pre-acquired characteristics that will need to be unlearned for them to become more protective – and this won’t always happen.
Before You Start Training
Any effective dog training routine requires a few different tools! Before attempting to train your dog, purchase:
A training leash and body harness. If you are training your dog to be protective, you’ll need to be responsible and make sure that you are able to prevent them from behaving aggressively towards innocent bystanders.
Small training treats and toys. These can be used as positive reinforcement tools.
A clicker. Another positive reinforcement tool, used as a way of sending a clear signal to your dog that they have behaved positively.
Finally, make sure that you are willing to set aside at least ten minutes a day for training – this may be a very rewarding process, but it’s certainly not a short one!
Now we’ll look at some of the specific training practices you can use.
Build On Their Natural Instinct
This practice is all about utilising your dog’s protective nature and building on it so that they become more protective of you. Try this out whilst walking your husky.
Upon seeing a stranger approaching you and your dog during a walk, draw your dog’s attention to them. You could do this by making a noise to your dog as you see someone walking towards you, or by giving their leash a slight tug. Eventually, they begin to catch on to what you are doing.
When your dog begins to show an interest in strangers without you drawing them to their attention first, use the clicker and then give them a training treat to reinforce this positive behaviour.
Continue this process for a few weeks, ensuring that you always reward your dog within a few seconds of them showing interest in the stranger.
Once you are confident that your dog is capable of automatically showing an interest in strangers in a non-aggressive way, enlist the help of some friends to assist with the next stage of training.
Have them slowly approach your dog and allow your dog to take an interest until they begin barking, then have your friend make a noise and run away, alarmed. Continue to practice this regularly until your dog’s natural reaction is to bark.
Continue to reinforce this behaviour with positive encouragement. Don’t punish your dog during training, as this will confuse them.
Use Walks To Establish Their Territory
This practice is about showing your dog what their territory is and what they need to remain protective over, as well as establishing boundaries so that they do not become aggressive outside of their own homes or when no threat is posed.
Twice a day, walk your dog around the perimeter of your property. It’s important that you also keep him on a short leash, as this establishes with your dog that you are also to be protected.
This practice is best performed once in the morning and once in the evening, as the regularity will allow your dog to quickly build their knowledge that your home is their territory.
As you continue this practice, begin to walk your dog on a longer leash, lengthening the leash every few days.
You should ensure that you are regularly introducing your dog to family and friends and allowing them to recognize who is ‘safe’ and poses no threat to his territory, as well as rewarding him when he barks at strangers.
Teach Them To Bark On Demand
It’s important to teach your husky to bark on command, as this will come in useful if they do not bark initially at someone who does pose a threat.
Look out for situations that cause your husky to bark naturally, such as when strangers pass the house or when you are giving them their dinner. You’ll be able to use these moments as the foundation for teaching them to bark on command.
Once you’ve identified a situation that consistently causes them to bark, decide on a command word that you will use to get them to bark on command, such as ‘bark’ or ‘speak.’
Start using this word whenever they’re in the situation that causes them to bark naturally – just as you see a stranger approach the house or just as you bring out their dinner.
When your dog barks, use the clicker and reward them with a training treat.
Start testing their ability to bark on command by giving them the signal outside of these situations.
Once your dog is consistently barking on command, introduce them to another of your friends. While you are talking to your friend, issue the bark command – if they bark, use the clicker, and reward them with a treat.
Continue to practice this behavior and use positive reinforcement with your dog until they bark on command consistently – you can then start to phase out the use of training treats slowly.
These three practices will allow you to slowly build on your dog’s natural protective nature until they behave protectively without needing any instruction from you at all!
Huskies are a naturally territorial breed, so they make an excellent option for anyone looking to ensure that their dog is protective of themselves, their family, and their property.
Just remember that they need a little help and encouragement from their owners to build on these characteristics!
Remember, this kind of training can be a long, slow process, but keep with it – while the positive changes may be few and far between at first, they will certainly come with time.