Huskies might look intimidating, but are they actually dangerous? In this article, I dive deep into the recent statistics and bring to light the true nature of the Siberian husky, while remaining neutral in my judgment!
Although huskies are often perceived as dangerous, they do not hold the typical traits of a dangerous dog. Huskies are responsible for about one fatality per year, much less than many other breeds.
Training and providing the correct lifestyle are crucial in raising a well-behaved husky. If done right, it’s extremely likely your husky will be fun, loving, caring and affectionate to you or whoever greets him.
The facts from dogsbite.org
The vast majority of DBRF (Human Dog Bite Related Fatalities) do not come from huskies.
Some of the most recent data is from a 13 year period, 2005-2017 where “433 Americans were killed by canines”.
Pitbulls and Rottweilers were responsible for 76% (329) of these deaths. Huskies contributed to 13 out of 433 in those 13 years, just 3%
Labrador Retriever is the world’s most popular dog. A breed that never resembles aggression or is regarded as dangerous. Labrador retrievers sit at nine fatalities, four less than huskies over the 13-year period.
Should huskies, as a general dog breed be considered dangerous when they are so close to the number of fatalities from Labrador Retrievers? A breed that never is regarded as dangerous.
Characteristics that suggest huskies are not dangerous
Siberian huskies have been domesticated for a long time and they are one of the world’s favorite breeds. They are actually considered to be a great family pet for many good reasons so let’s take a look at these positive characteristics.
Huskies are not overly suspicious ⭐
Even concluded by the AKC, the Siberian Husky is NOT a breed that is naturally suspicious of strangers or people unknown to them. The strong sociability in huskies actually makes them more inclined to befriend a stranger, not be cautious or aggressive towards them.
Due to a lack of suspicion, huskies do not make good guard dogs. In fact one of the last behaviors you can expect to see from a husky when a stranger enters your house is any kind of aggression.
Huskies are friendly and for the most part, sociable ⭐
Huskies were originally bred and raised in large packs, sometimes up to 15 strong. Living the pack life leads them to be a very playful and sociable breed.
Huskies although in the beginning may not seem to be a very sociable breed, they certainly have the ability to be just that!
After all, this breed is used to spending their whole day with other dogs and their human tribe. Not only just working, but eating, sleeping, playing, and living was done in constant company.
Huskies crave company (dog and human) ⭐
Living so closely with their pack of dogs and humans also made them accustomed to having company at all times, something they really love and need. In general, huskies are ready to make friends with almost anyone in the chance of making a new playmate.
There’s nothing more your husky will love than snuggles up on the couch, spending time with you and your family. This is something that makes kids and huskies bond so well.
How huskies could potentially be dangerous
There are a few characteristics that could be seen as contributors to a potentially dangerous husky. Most of these are not strictly negative characteristics, but one may argue these could lead to a dangerous husky.
Huskies have a lot of energy and need to be stimulated ⭐
Huskies were originally bred to pull heavy sled loads across big distances in harsh weather, they are a true working dog that has developed great stamina and energy levels.
Any husky must be adequately stimulated through daily physical exercise AND mental exercise like training.
If this area of their life is neglected, they’ll quickly get frustrated and resort to bad behavior, disobedience, destructiveness, and perhaps even aggression.
Frustrated dogs are unpredictable and potentially dangerous.
Huskies are classed as a medium to large breed ⭐
Huskies are considered to be of medium to large size, the males usually always being on the large end of the scale.
A big dog comes with a lot of strength and power and the Siberian Husky boasts agility as well. This size mixed with their never-ending desire to play, jump and dash around makes them hazard to small children in your household.
Huskies love to play fight and have developed this boisterous behavior from their previous pack life. If proper training is not instilled from a young age, this excitement and jumping up could lead to them taking the playfight too far, not knowing exactly when to stop.
Huskies are independent and stubborn ⭐
This one is more subjective and is harder to say whether or not can lead to aggression or dangerous behavior.
Nevertheless, I added this because of how difficult training a husky can be and they famously have a mind of their own. Huskies tend to adopt a strong attitude of “doing what I want… when I want to”
This independency and stubborn attitude could be linked to a less controlled dog that can never be fully trusted.
However, I understand this will vary and is heavily dependant on the training given to a husky from a young age.
The physical appearance of huskies doesn’t help them ⭐
Despite the husky’s medium to large build and wolf-like appearances, this does not mean they are wolves or dangerous like wolves, although it’s completely understanding to think they can be.
Despite sharing very close mitochondrial DNA with wolves, so do most other dog breeds, the husky is no closer to a wolf than a poodle is.
The physical aspect of huskies gives them more of a bad rep than what they actually deserve.
Granted, this has nothing to do with their behavior and is something they cannot help.
Ways to prevent your husky being aggressive or dangerous
Assuming you have a husky puppy, you must give all the necessary training from an early age to avoid a badly behaved, uncontrolled husky later on.
With proper training, you are able to have a very obedient, kind and loving husky that never displays aggression or poses a threat to anyone else.
To prevent an aggressive, potentially dangerous husky it comes down to these important points
- Understand dominant behavior and control it
- Properly train your husky
- Exercise your husky sufficiently
- Start socializing early on
Understand dominant behavior (and control it) ⭐
From a young age, your husky puppy (female or male) will start showing signs of dominance and will be testing you.
This dominance test can be seen in a lot of different actions and behavior and needs to be understood and addressed right from when you bring him home.
Huskies are a pack dog that needs to know who is boss, a clear hierarchical system is needed in your household and your husky HAS to know he’s at the bottom.
Any kind of jumping up, biting too hard, boisterous behavior needs to be solved with immediate training. It’s a mistake to think this is “ok because they are a puppy” Once your husky is fully grown to be 60lbs jumping up and biting will be a big issue.
A husky who thinks he’s the boss, will for sure cause many issues in your home.
Properly train your husky puppy ⭐
Training if you couldn’t tell by now, is the most important overall thing you can do to ensure an all-round well-behaved obedient husky.
Perhaps one of the worst mistakes a new puppy owner makes is thinking they need to wait to start training, or that they “have time”.
Your husky puppy is absolutely more than ready to start a serious training routine. So when you bring them home, basic obedience commands, potty training, crate training, bite training, leash training are all to be implemented.
Thankfully, I have many articles on husky training here on My Happy Husky and one is specially designed for husky puppies: How to Train a Husky Puppy, The Correct Way!
Exercise your husky sufficiently ⭐
Huskies are a super high energy breed that needs to be properly exercised in order to be well-behaved.
Huskies can run up to 100 miles per day, without much trouble. This instantly gives you a clear understanding of what we are talking about when we say “energy”
This high energy breed can become frustrated if adequate exercise is not given to them on a daily basis. Frustration can lead to destructive and aggressive behavior.
Huskies should receive around 2 hours of intense exercise per day in order to release their energy and be sufficiently stimulated.
It’s also a good idea to have interactive toys and administer obedience training on a daily basis for mental stimulation. Another important requirement for this intelligent breed.
Start socializing early on ⭐
One super important part of any puppies development is proper socialization from a young age.
Proper socialization has a big impact on preventing aggressive behavior in your husky later on.
Socialization helps your puppy learn than other dogs and people are there to be friendly and not a threat. A well-socialized dog better gets along with all other dogs and people for their whole life.
The recommended window of opportunity where socialization is best given is as early as possible, 3 weeks old is a good place to start.
From 16 weeks old your puppy can indulge in things like puppy playschools and dog parks, something that is highly recommended for maximum social experiences. Constantly bumping into new puppies, dogs and owners will broaden their ability to be around other animals and people without fearing them. Animal Humane Society
Are kids safe around huskies?
This one is debated heavily, and of course, is an area where a lot of caution should be taken regardless of opinions. I have an interesting article completely dedicated to answering the question are huskies good with kids
There have been a few incidents in 2019 where huskies have caused injuries to kids. This will always be a very sensitive topic with people defending the kid and others defending the husky. This clash of opinion will go on forever, without a conclusion…
Huskies are currently the 14th most popular dog breed according to the AKC and are a very well-accepted family dog.
The Siberian husky is considered a loving, affectionate intelligent dog breed that in general does not pose a threat to kids or young children.
However, it’s important to clarify that due to their size, desire to play mixed with their high energy, this may be too much for a young child and obvious hazards are present. Intentionally or not your husky could easily play too rough for a kid. You should never leave a dog and a child unsupervised.
Could a husky attack its owner?
Another frequently asked question within this topic, is if a husky could be capable of attacking and turning on its owner
Although the chances of this are extremely unlikely, we can never say that it’s impossible.
If a husky is raised with love, care, and in a calm environment then there would be no reason for a husky to ever turn on its owner.
Even dogs that are known guard dogs, like German shepherds, rarely turn on their owners.
For this to actually happen, it would mean something is SERIOUSLY wrong with how the dog was raised. Most likely, punitive training, excessive punishment, or abuse (either verbal or physical). If the dog in question is extremely fearful of its owner, then one day he/she could snap and try attacking them.
So, are huskies dangerous dogs?
It’s a fair conclusion to say that ANY dog, not just a Siberian husky could be dangerous under certain circumstances.
The Siberian Husky, in general, is not a naturally aggressive or dangerous breed. and with proper training and care will be a loving, affectionate, sociable dog without any issues.
But, it’s crucial to remember there are exceptions for every breed and if a husky due to whatever reason is aggressive, they certainly have the size and strength to be a dangerous threat to anyone, child or adult.
Are you thinking of getting a husky? If you are then do not hesitate, the husky is a wonderful breed. The most important thing to be sure of is having the time, commitment and focus for their exercise and training needs. If you do, there will be no issues.
Thank you for reading, If you have some advice or tips, please comment below and help the many other husky owners that will read this article after you!
Most Recommended For Huskies 🐶
Best Brushes For Husky Shedding ⭐
My two favorite brushes for a beautiful coat are a simple Undercoat Rake and a Slicker Brush. These brushes when used together will de-shed and maintain your husky’s coat better than anything else.
Best Online Training Program For Huskies⭐
Brain Training For Dogs has become increasingly popular with Siberian Huskies in the last few years. It’s now recognized as perhaps the best way to train a husky in the most stress-free, positive way.
Best Husky Puppy Book ⭐
If you would like to support My Happy Husky directly and have an easy to read and entertaining guide for training your husky puppy, check out my book The Husky Puppy Handbook on Amazon. All purchases are greatly appreciated.
DisclaimerThe advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here
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Wednesday 12th of May 2021
My much loved Lhasa Apso Shitzu cross was killed by a well-socialized, trained, on lead dog with a responsible owner, while out walking only 6 weeks ago. We weren't doing a 'meet and greet' and were standing at least 4 metres apart from the husky and its owner who had just said that his husky was good with small dogs after my sister who was walking Boo, told Boo that she was too big for him to meet. We don't know if the husky's owner let her walk forward or if it was as he said that the lead slipped. The husky didn't run or pounce or anything like that but she was next to Boo and before we could ask the owner to call her back and she wasn't even looking at Boo, she sank her teeth over his back and into his sides and wouldn't let go. You can't tell me that huskies aren't dangerous because this was an unprovoked attack with none of the normal aggression or other warning signs and the husky simply saw my dog as lunch. And having been up close and personal with my hands around the husky's mouth so she didn't start shaking her head and make the injury worse, I wouldn't let one near any children, dogs smaller than them or with a mouth smaller than a husky, or with anyone they didn't know well. I've now read every article I can find and huskies are implicated in numerous maulings and fatal attacks but also fatal attacks on other dogs they have lived with for years with no issues - which don't get reported in the statistics. And they have been reported attacking dogs as prey up to half their size. Boo was a third of this husky's weight so not a toy dog. Sadly Boo died a few hours later having had his spleen removed and while a vet valiantly tried to repair all the damage to internal organs. As the vet transfused more blood, Boo just bled out everywhere and it was an impossible task. If Boo had survived, there would have been multiple surgeries, possible spinal damage and he would not have been the same happy dog after this trauma. This was just one bite and we weren't doing a meet and greet. Muzzling of all dogs would have saved Boo as would dog armour and he may have only had a couple of cracked ribs. There was no second chance in this kind of attack. And if we humans think we can socialize and train away all of a husky's innate genetic heritage and 100s of 1000s of years of evolution, we are wrong and we put other people and their non-fatal fur friends at risk. Yes all dogs can bite but not all dogs can kill and so easily. I liked huskies until that terrible moment. By all means get one if you have the courage and decency to deal with your dog's behaviour if it goes wrong and you can live with the consequences -and I hope your dog never does as this moment has changed both my life, and also the devastated husky owner's life, forever. Had I known what I know now about husky's, that simple good morning on a morning walk would have never been said and Boo would be alive today because we would have never been within 100 metres of her.
Tuesday 18th of May 2021
That is extremely terrible to hear I am very sorry for your loss.
I have no doubt you're upset beyond words and no one ever wants to experience something like that. I do, still, believe that huskies, *in general*, are not an aggressive or dangerous breed, and of course, you will disagree with that due to what has happened and that's completely understandable.
Im not sure what that particular husky went through or how they were raised in order to attack like that. But the truth is that the vast majority (NOT ALL), the vast majority of huskies are in fact very friendly. Despite the fact they look like wolves, huskies were actually rarely used to hunt, despite the fact they have a high prey drive, huskies were used almost solely for transportation purposes as sled dogs. They were not used as hunting dogs. So hunting and killing other animals is not actually in their heritage. Huskies also make for terrible guard dogs and that's why they have never been used by police, military, or for guard dogs duties, which require breeds that have a natural aggression and ability to attack.
However, that doesn't mean to say they aren't capable of it. And in this case, it seemed to be a husky that was. Once again I am very sorry for your loss
In my article, I don't explicitly say that huskies are not capable of being dangerous. In fact, I cover examples of when they could be dangerous and even give tips to help owners avoid that.
You are right, muzzling is very important and is something that more owners should consider.
Once again, my condolences to you and your family.