Dog Breeds Dog Training

Are Huskies Good Guard Dogs? – Reasons Why They’re Better Watchdogs

A husky guarding his owner's property.
Written by Richard Jeng

The Huskies are stunning dogs with heavy, shaggy coats, stunning blue eyes, and wolf-like ears. But it’s because of their wolf-like appearance that people think that Huskies will make for good guard dogs. However, looks can be deceiving when it comes to the Husky.

So, are Huskies good guard dogs? Huskies don’t make good guard dogs, as they have friendly, non-aggressive temperaments. They just love people too much. Huskies are also different to train, which makes it hard to teach them to be a good guard dog. However, Huskies can still make excellent watchdogs with minimal training.

This guide helps you understand why Huskies don’t make good guard dogs, but rather good watchdogs instead. If you need a guard dog, we also have some suggestions for alternative breeds later in the article.

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Why Huskies Don’t Make Good Guard Dogs

How much exercise do Huskies really need?

There are several temperamental traits of a good guard dog. The best guard dog breeds should be alert, patient, responsive, focused and have high levels of energy. They should also be easily trainable.

An owner needs to have the assurance that their guard dog will attack and protect, should the owner or someone else in the house become threatened. At the same time, the dog can be called away from the attack by the owner. 

And while Huskies, in some cases, can make decent guard dogs, they typically don’t fit the bill as a formidable guard dog. Here’s why a Husky, despite having lots of energy and being alert, is not suitable to be a guard dog. 

Huskies Are Friendly and Playful 

Siberian Huskies are naturally playful and friendly. In fact, Dog Time lists Huskies as a dog breed with high potential for playfulness. These fun-loving dogs love nothing more than to play all day with their owners.

Although this is a great trait for a pet to have, it’s not the best trait for a guard dog to have. Instead of scaring off or attacking intruders, your Siberian Husky may instead welcome the stranger in, and try to play with them! 

While capable of strong affection for his family, the Husky is also very friendly with strangers. So, if you want the fierce loyalty of a one-man dog, don’t buy a Siberian.

– Valerie C. (Husky Owner)

Huskies also don’t have suspicious or aggressive personalities. Yes, it’s true that Huskies are one of the most “dangerous dogs,” at least according to dog attack statistics. However, these attacks are mostly due to their high-energy temperaments, not from aggression.

They will very rarely see intruders as a threat. It’s likely that Huskies are able to spot the intruder in the middle of the night, but will go to them for pets and play. Even if they’re wary at first, it’s not hard befriending a Husky very quickly.

They’re Relatively Difficult to Train 

Huskies have stubborn temperaments and an independent nature, thus, making them fairly difficult to train. Combine these qualities with the Husky’s high energy, and it’s easy to see why they have a hard time focusing on training lessons.

And according to canine psychologist, Stanley Coren, Huskies are the 77th smartest breed for obedience & working intelligence. This means that out of 138 evaluated dog breeds, the Siberian Husky performed just “average.”

Obedience and working intelligence measures how quickly dogs learn new commands. In addition, it measures how obedient the dogs are. There’s nothing wrong with being average intelligent, but it just proves Huskies aren’t the most biddable dogs.

Siberian Huskies are also curious dogs, which makes them easily distractible. They may not have the brilliant nose of a Beagle, but it doesn’t take much to get their attention. All it takes is a streaking squirrel or an interesting noise.

That being said, it’s hard to train Huskies to be aggressive towards intruders. Plus, it will be equally hard to train a Husky to stop attacking an intruder. While they may be working dogs, Huskies just don’t have the desire for training (in most cases).

Huskies Can Be Destructive 

Huskies have lots of energy and can become destructive when they’re bored or frustrated. As such, Husky owners may leave their dog alone for a few hours and come home to find cushions shredded, footwear chewed up and furniture scratched at.

The sight of a destroyed living room is a situation that far too many Husky owners may be familiar with. However, most of the time, adequate exercise is enough for them to remain calm while you’re away.

We recommend Huskies need around at least 2 hours of physical activity each day. This can be long walks, hiking, running, fetch and even swimming. When they have sufficient exercise, Huskies will be “easier” to train.

The problem is not every owner is capable of giving their Husky the recommended amount. I mean, 2 hours every day is a lot. Perhaps it’s because Huskies frequently don’t get their recommended daily exercise that they’re labeled as mischievous dogs.

And because Huskies are known for the occasional destructive behavior, many owners opt to keep their Huskies in a pen when they are out. Being stuck in a kennel is another reason that Huskies don’t make good guard dogs!   

Guard Dogs Better Than Huskies

Huskies are not as dangerous as people think.

If you’re looking to bring home a good guard dog, Siberian Huskies may not be a good fit. I probably wouldn’t count on them to deter many intruders. Rather, here are some breeds you should consider instead of a Husky: 

Rottweilers

Rottweilers are strong, fiercely loyal dogs who can be aggressive and dangerous if they think their territory is threatened. However, Rottweilers need to be carefully trained and socialized to ensure that their aggression can be controlled. 

Doberman Pinschers

These strong, intelligent dogs make excelled guard dogs. Doberman Pinschers are not only protective of their territory, but are also very trainable. At home, they are very affectionate towards members of their pack, so they also make good family dogs too. 

Bullmastiffs

Bullmastiffs are large, strong dogs who weigh an average of 120 pounds. Because of this, they can attack or tackle most humans when protecting their homes and owners. They are brave and confident, but also loyal enough to retreat when called upon.

German Shepherds

German Shepherds are popular dogs in police forces. This is because they have excellent noses paired with intuition that’s capable of sensing threats or danger. They are also brave and have a lot of stamina, which helps them perform their guard duties for long periods. 

Huskies Can Be Good Watchdogs

Although they don’t make good guard dogs, Siberian Huskies are not completely useless in home safety. Rather, the Huskies’ personalities and temperament make them some of the best watchdogs.

Good watchdogs are alert at all times. In addition, they’ll warn their owners if any perceived threats are on the property, either by barking or howling. Here are some top reasons why Huskies make excellent watchdogs:

Intimidating Look 

Even though Huskies are playful and friendly, they have an intimidating appearance. Their shaggy fur coats and sharp muzzles make them look similar to wolves. Huskies can be an intimidating sight for those that don’t understand these dogs.

However, the eerie resemblance between the Husky and wild wolf isn’t because they’re so closely related. National Geographic conducted a DNA study of 85 dog breeds and found that Shiba Inus and Chow Chows are, in fact, most closely related to wild wolves.

Still, we can appreciate the fierce and intimidating appearance that the Siberian Husky has, especially for home owners looking for a burglar deterrent. Just don’t count on them to do anything more than that.

They’re Curious Dogs 

Huskies are curious dogs – you may just come home to find your garden being excavated by a Husky in search of a smell. The Huskies’ curiosity will help them detect anything out of the ordinary

Huskies are notorious escape artists. They just don’t like to stay put because whatever is on the other side of the fence always seems so much more interesting. The grass is always greener on the other side for these dogs.

This common Husky behavior is fueled by their strong curiosity. But if you can safely secure your Husky in the yard, they’ll be intrigued by anything that comes near the home.

Vocal Huskies

While Huskies do not bark a lot, they are very vocal. They express themselves by whining, moaning and especially howling. They’re great at communicating with their owners and if something isn’t right, they’ll be sure to let you know.

As you build your relationship with your Husky, you’ll learn that he has a range of different vocalizations. You’ll also begin to link specific vocalizations with specific triggers. Over time, you’ll be able to recognize that your Husky is howling or whining to signify a threat. 

Training Huskies to be Watchdogs

A good watchdog will bark (or howl in the Husky’s case) when they perceive danger, but will also be intelligent enough to distinguish between possible threats and harmless visitors.

The best watchdogs should also be somewhat trainable so that an owner can get them to quieten down if there’s no real threat. Fortunately, it’s much easier to train a Husky to be a watchdog than a guard dog.

Teach a Husky to Quieten Down

First, start with teaching them basic obedience commands like sit, stay, and come. Once your Husky gets comfortable with obeying basic commands, you can then begin to teach him the “hush” command. Here’s how: 

  1. Identify triggers that make your Husky bark, whine, or howl. These may include the presence of other dogs, the sound of sirens, or visitors coming to your house. Some Huskies may even begin to howl along to music or the television! 
  2. Place a trigger in front of your Husky. When he starts to make noise, say “hush,” firmly, looking your Husky in the eye. Make sure that when you say “hush,” you are on a higher level as compared to him. 
  3. Give him a treat and praise him once the Husky stops making noise. 
  4. Keep repeating this until he immediately quietens down when you say “hush.”
  5. Start bringing the “hush” command into other situations. For instance, when your Husky begins to bark at a squirrel or cat, say “hush” and reward him with a treat when he quietens down. 
  6. Over time, stop giving your husky treats for quietening down. Over time, it will become a habit for him to quieten down when you use the “hush” command. 

Again, for all the reasons we’ve discussed, it could take some time to train your Husky this. What’s important is that you approach training with positive reinforcement only, and show plenty of patience and consistency.

Teaching Huskies to be Alert of Intruders

Huskies will use their vocal cords in a range of different scenarios. An important part of training your Husky is teaching him when to howl or bark and when to quieten down. That being said, be careful about when you are using the “hush” command. 

If you want your Husky to be a watchdog, don’t use the “hush” command immediately if he starts barking when someone comes to your door. This will only teach the Husky to shy away from alerting you of intruders.

Instead, you’ll want to use the command only after you have welcomed the visitor into your house. This is so that your Husky learns to accept other humans only once you have given him approval. 

Huskies Aren’t Good Guard Dogs 

Despite their somewhat threatening appearance, Huskies don’t make good guard dogs. They’re people-oriented dogs with friendly, playful temperaments. They would rather make friends with an intruder than attack them! 

If you’re looking for a guard dog, consider a German Shepherd, Dobermann, a Bullmastiff, or a Rottweiler instead. These are protective, suspicious dogs that will help you keep your home safe at all hours of the day. 

However, Huskies can make great watchdogs. Since Huskies are attentive and curious, they will immediately alert you when they find something unusual around the home.

However, it’s important to make sure you’re training your Husky to only alert you when there is actually a perceived threat. If you train your Husky well, he will definitely play a role in keeping watch over your home! 


So is your Husky a good guard dog? Let us know in the comments section below. And if you have any training tips, we’d love to hear from you!

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About the author

Richard Jeng

Richard has been raising dogs his whole life, including a Poodle, Pomeranian, Corgi and Australian Shepherd. He's always working with animal shelters and dog rescues because of his passion for all dogs. Fun fact: his all time favorite breed is the German Shepherd. Read More.

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