When you’re thinking about getting a Husky, there are lots of questions that you’re likely asking, and one will usually be if they’re the kind of dog that constantly barks at anything, anyone, day or night.
We can all agree, that it can drive us nuts when trying to deal with a dog that barks all the time, so let’s see how Huskies match up.
Do huskies bark? While huskies are vocal dogs they rarely bark, instead they like to howl or “talk”. Howling is an instinctive behavior deeply rooted in their genes.
Let’s dive in and discuss why huskies don’t usually bark and what other forms of communication they prefer.
Why Huskies Don’t Bark
So we mentioned above that huskies don’t bark. Let’s make sure we get it right… Huskies don’t usually bark. It is entirely possible that your Husky, or future Husky barks, it’s just not typical behavior seen from this breed.
Reasons why Huskies don’t bark: All will be explained below
- Barking can be seen as territorial behavior
- Barking is commonly used when protecting or guarding
- Huskies are able to learn to howl much easier
- Howling is deeply rooted in the genes of Huskies
Barking is of course extremely common in dogs and it’s good to point out that it’s actually quite rare to come across a breed who pretty much never barks. Well, that’s what you get with the Siberian Husky, but this doesn’t mean they’re quiet… more on that later.
Dogs can bark for many different reasons, and this vocal behavior is usually territorial, something that Huskies are not!
Barking usually occurs when someone unknown or something comes in close proximity to the dog or its owners, family or property. Barking in this circumstance would be a vocal warning. Again Huskies are not territorial and they typically aren’t protective, another reason why huskies don’t really utilize barking.
Huskies actually make terrible guard dogs for exactly these reasons. If an intruder was to come into your property, your Husky wouldn’t bark like most dogs, it’s like they would befriend the intruder.
Some dogs may use barking to communicate when they need to gain the attention of their owners. This could include wanting to play, be let outside, or remind you it’s their mealtime! Huskies would howl or “talk” to you instead.
Why Do Huskies Howl Instead of Bark?
Huskies find howling much easier, and it comes naturally to them. Why bark when you can howl? Husky puppies may initially “yap” but before long they will typically switch to howling.
Inherited Behavior From Wolf Ancestors
So why do huskies howl? well, if we look at their ancient wolf ancestors, we can find the answer. Howling was and still is the preferred method of communication for wolves. Howls can travel much further distances than barks and it’s typically used as a distress call or to find other wolves that have lost their pack.
Although Siberian Huskies descended from wolves thousands of years ago, they still lived in similar ways, primarily outside in the same conditions, and in packs. Howling is how Huskies communicated to each other in their packs.
Our domesticated Huskies are likely not lost from their wolf pack, as they live with us in our homes! But still, howling is more efficient, it’s louder, travels further and gains the attention of others easily.
I’m sure by now you have seen at least one of the many Husky videos on the internet, where the Husky is howling in response to something completely irrelevant. Like a police car in the background, to the tv, or when a baby cries.
I say irrelevant, but is it? To your Husky, it’s actually likely they see this as another pack member that could be lost. It’s a natural instinctive response that your Husky can’t stop. A certain sound might have a similar frequency to a howl, not that we would know. But to the finely-tuned ears of your Husky, it is.
Another classic example is when a baby cries. To us, they’re our family members, but to a Husky, they’re pack members, including little babies. Huskies have a nurturing instinct in them and if a baby cries, it’s normal for the Husky to howl in response, as an attempt to comfort the baby.
Can My Husky Bark?
It is still possible to have a barking Husky, it’s just more uncommon.
Barking or howling is a way of communication and it’s either a warning or to gain attention because they want something.
An example of when Huskies change their vocal behavior is the beach Husky I live in the Philippines. He howls in response to sirens, birds flying by and when people laugh loudly. But he barks when he’s trying to initiate playtime with the other dogs or people.
All Huskies are different and will have different ways of communicating, depending on the situation.
When To Be Worried About a Barking Husky
So now you know that Huskies don’t usually bark that often, so it’s natural to cause some concern if your Husky starts barking quite frequently.
We have to remember that all sounds are a form of communication, so it’s like that your Husky is trying to tell you something.
Let’s go over a few reasons why your Husky may be barking more than usual.
1) Your Husky may be barking out of fear:
It’s possible that your Husky is scared or spooked by something. All dogs, not just Huskies can sometimes get spooked by things that they hear or think they hear. Barking will be a response that’s different from their usual communication, and it will be different because they’re trying to tell you something different.
2) Barking could be the result of loneliness:
Leaving your Husky alone for many hours at a time could lead to them feeling lonely and even developing separation anxiety. Barking may be their cry for attention or help. As you aren’t there, it’s likely your neighbor will inform you of this one!
3) They need to be let out:
Your Husky may switch to barking if they desperately need to go outside to use the bathroom, or they’ve seen the neighbors cat in your yard. Either way, a sudden desperate need for something could lead to them abruptly barking, rather than howling.
Always take note of the situations and whats happened leading up to the moment your Husky starts barking.
If your Husky barks every day at the same time, take a second to think what this may mean, do they expect to be walked at this time? is it mealtime, or they always need the toilet at this moment? Maybe your neighbor comes home from work at the same time every day which unnerves your Husky.
Awesome video of a Husky responding to distant sirens
Husky Barking FAQ’s
Here are some extra frequently asked questions about Huskies and their vocal tendencies. Let’s check them out!
1) Can huskies actually talk?
Huskies have the amazing ability to sound as if they’re talking. Sometimes it can sound incredibly similar but they aren’t actually talking, and they don’t understand letters or words. Huskies are great at howling and this helps them repeat the sounds of words. For example “I Love You” your Husky could learn to howl in the sound of that to make “I woooow yu”
2) Can I stop my husky from howling?
So Huskies don’t really bark much, but they love to howl. Howling can be just as annoying as barking, so how can you stop it? You will have to undergo consistent training with your Husky. Training a Husky to stop howling is possible and there are many training methods out there for this. It’s too long to give an answer here so I have an article for you! https://www.myhappyhusky.com/stop-my-husky-from-howling/
3) Do huskies bark at strangers?
Huskies don’t typically bark and on top of that, they are not naturally suspicious of strangers. It’s more like your Husky will make friends with a stranger. Barking is oftentimes a warning sound that will come from territorial or protective tendencies, both of which Huskies don’t really have. If a Husky would make noise at a stranger it would be more like an excited “yapping” sound.
4) Why does my Husky bark at me?
There are can be when your Husky is stood there, staring at you barking like mad. They’re trying to tell you something. Maybe it’s an initiation of play, or they need to be let outside to use the toilet. Maybe it’s past their feeding time? The only way to really know is to be aware of the situation, time of day and any significant events that have recently happened.
5) Why doesn’t my husky howl? Is there something wrong
We all know that Huskies are a breed that howls, so then, we expect our Husky to howl! So what if your Husky doesn’t howl? This isn’t usually anything to worry about and will come down to their personality and character more than anything. Some Huskies are more vocal than others, It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your Husky. If you have any reason to be concerned, you should visit your local veterinarian for a check-up.
So now you know why Huskies don’t usually bark and why.
Despite what’s explained above there will be some Huskies who just bark all the time and rarely howl. Anything is possible and all Huskies are different! I wouldn’t worry too much about this. The best way to know if something is actually wrong is to pay attention to each situation and the time your Husky barks.
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The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute pet medical advice. 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.