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Are Siberian Huskies Hunting Dogs?

There are many reasons why people buy dogs but the most common is arguably just for companionship. Whether the owner is in a family environment, where the dog will need to be able to get along safely with children or just for a couple who love animals and want to share their life with them, some dogs are better at certain roles than others.

Are Siberian Huskies hunting dogs? No, the Siberian Husky cannot be a hunting dog. The best breeds for hunting are the Golden Retriever, Irish Setter and the Beagle, amongst others. Each of these breeds has been bred for hunting, the Husky has not. You will also not be able to train a Husky to perform this job as it does not have the temperament to do so.

The Siberian Husky is, without doubt, a special breed of dog. Not just because of its wolf-like looks (although it is as much wolf as any other dog) but because of its personality.

The Husky has a very special set of requirements that makes ownership certainly more challenging than your average canine. In fact, it can safely be said that this dog should be reserved for the professional dog owner, one that has owned dogs before, has done their research and knows what they are getting into.

Are Siberian Huskies Hunting Dogs?

If you’re looking for a dog for a specific purpose though, you need to do your research before you commit. Every breed of dog is unique in some way and every breed will be better at some things than others and equally, they may not be suited for some tasks as others.

What Is A Hunting Dog?

Let’s get the basics out the way first and define exactly what we mean when we talk about a ‘Hunting Dog’. This refers to a dog that will either hunt alongside us, helping in the activity – or they will hunt for us.

There are many breeds of dog that are used for these purposes, so it’s understandable that you might ask whether the Husky is one of them. But how does the hunting dog actually assist the human?

Well, different breeds have different areas of expertise but generally speaking, the hunting dog will help locate, help retrieve or assist in flushing the prey to somewhere that the human can dispose of it.

For example, a Pointer will, as their name suggests, locate the quarry and point to it for you. The Labrador is best suited for retrieving prey, often from water due to its water-resistant coat.

What Qualities Does A Dog Need To Be A Hunting Dog?

A hunting dog is bred, not trained. Although, if you have a specific breed of dog that is known for its hunting skills (as mentioned above) then, of course, it can be trained to further hone those skills.

My point here is, you can’t just decide that you want your dog to have hunting skills as this just isn’t how it works. The right dog will have been born with the right qualities for this job, they won’t be able to learn them. So, apart from being the right breed, what qualities should they have?

  • Temperament – it is unlikely these days that your hunting dog will have only this one job. Things have changed and usually, the dog will need to integrate into a family environment, that may or may not include children. So, they need to be good with people and not show aggressive and possessive tendencies when with them.
  • Endurance – when out on a hunt, the dog may need to run for the best part of a day. Some breeds simply aren’t capable of this. If you take the wonderful French Bulldog, it has many, many qualities but being outside running for some time most certainly isn’t one of them.
  • Intelligence – all dog breeds will be classed by their intelligence in the same way as their physical properties. This may not be entirely fair as all dogs are individuals but it also holds mostly true. An intelligent dog will be able to learn instructions quickly and will equally be able to obey these instructions.
  • Nervousness? – if a dog gets spooked by fireworks then it’s unlikely to be a good hunting dog. A good dog will not respond to gunshots in the way many animals will, they will not be fazed by it.
  • Brave – the hunting dog will be able to operate in unfamiliar surroundings, locations they haven’t been in before. They may need to operate in the dark and with people they do not usually work with. There are limits, of course, all dogs are individuals, but the hunting dog must be able to take this in their stride.

These personality traits are usually part of the dog when they are born though, they are not usually developed (apart from an exception or two) over time.

Do Siberian Huskies have hunting qualities?

So, let’s now turn our attention to the wonderful Siberian Husky. We know what qualities the typical hunting dog should possess – but does the Husky have any of these?

Are Siberian Huskies Hunting Dogs?

Let’s look at the Husky’s temperament, shall we? The Husky is a gentle beast. This is actually one of the reasons why it makes such a good family pet.

They don’t have any possessive or aggressive tendencies, well – at least to us humans. Which makes it fantastic company – but is also the reason why it does not make a great guard dog. Actually, if you have a pet goldfish then this may be a better guard dog than your Husky!

How about endurance? I think we can agree that the Husky firmly ticks this box! The Siberian Husky would happily spend all day outside running about. This breed was originally designed to pull sleds all day long so is hardly troubled by a little run around outside occasionally!

Fundamentally though, the Siberian Husky does not have those qualities that you need in a hunting dog. Let me tell you exactly what would happen if you tried to use the Husky as a hunting dog.

  1. You’re out with the Husky to do a spot of hunting. They are off the leash as they obviously need to either locate the prey or help retrieve it.
  2. The Husky, happy to be off the leash, will then run off.

Okay, I may be joking just a little but it probably won’t be too far from what actually happens. The Husky should be kept on a leash if it is outside, it does have a high prey drive which you think might work in your favor but the problem is it’s unlikely you’ll be able to control it. They can be a stubborn breed at times (err a lot of times) and they will most likely just ignore any commands you choose to give them.

Can The Husky Be Trained To Be A Hunting Dog?

No, the Siberian Husky cannot be trained to be a hunting dog. In fact, I would go as far as to say that no dog can be trained to be a hunting dog. There are dogs that were bred to be hunting dogs and with these, you can certainly train them to be better hunting dogs but you’ll have a tough time training a non-hunting breed! In case you’re interested, these are the better-known breeds that are best for hunting:

  • Labrador (great for water-based prey)
  • Golden Retriever (great for small prey)
  • Beagle (great for smaller prey, like rabbits)
  • Bloodhound (can be an aggressive, persistent hunter)
  • Pointer (does what it says on the tin, points to the prey)
  • Irish Setter (commonly used for turkey hunting)

There are several more of these of course but one breed you’ll never find in a list like this is the Siberian Husky 🙂

Conclusion – are Siberian Huskies hunting dogs?

Hopefully, that’s made it quite clear that the Siberian Husky cannot be used as a hunting dog. The Husky is a fantastic breed for the right individual but that person would be best to look at other breeds if hunting with their dog is high on their priority list.

If you’d like to know more about the Husky then I can recommend this Complete Guide to the Siberian Husky, where you will find pretty much all you ever wanted to know about this breed.

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