When looking for a new dog there are several things that will be on your list. Things such as how aggressive they are so you know they won’t be a threat to your family and how much exercise they demand. I’ve actually picked these two personality traits out as they are both very important when relating to a Husky. Whether a breed of dog is loyal is one such question that many potential owners look for and for good reason. Is it important? To some people yes, but should it be? Well, that’s a different question and one that we’ll look at since we’re talking about the Siberian Husky – it is relevant!
Are Siberian Huskies Loyal? The Siberian Husky is not a loyal dog. Its ancestors spent a lot of time fending for themselves in Siberia and this personality trait has not been lost since they left. They don’t have any aggressive or possessive tendencies and these traits help to make for a loyal dog. This lack of loyalty, however, should not distract, in any way, from the Husky being one of the most awesome dogs on the planet.
What Makes a Loyal Dog?
Firstly, let’s go back a bit – what exactly do we mean by ‘loyal’? Well, depending on which dictionary you look at, it will mean something like this, “Giving or showing firm and constant support or allegiance to a person” (reference here). So, how does that relate to dogs though? Well, when a dog is loyal they will have a special bond with one person. They will show possessive and protective qualities that will be directed towards that person. Usually, the strong bond is centered on just one individual rather than a group. There may be a sense of loyalty to other members of the family for instance but their focus will typically be on one.
Siberian Husky Personality
The Siberian Husky personality is what makes it so special. Yes, of course its looks are what makes so many people go ‘wow’ when they see it but for professional owners (ones that have owned dogs before and for some time) it is what’s inside the Husky’s head that makes it such an awesome dog to own. The Husky has some requirements that make it a breed of dog that not everyone should own and these requirements stem from their genetic make-up.
You see, the Siberian Husky was developed from the original sled-dog and was used for centuries by the Chukchi people who relied on them to survive in the incredibly tough conditions of the Siberian peninsula. Temperatures here were lower than most of us reading this would have ever experienced and it took a very particular breed of dog to flourish. But, flourish they did. Their double coat, with its dense furry undercoat and primary overcoat consisting of guard hairs (that provided another layer of insulation), certainly helped with this. However, it was their ability to work, tirelessly for the Chukchi that made the Husky so valuable to them.
The Husky Was Used as a Sled Dog
During the cold winter months, the Husky was used by the people primarily for transportation and there are really few other breeds of dog (if any) that can work as hard as this. Some people assume they are a large animal and they may be getting confused by the Alaskan Malamute here as the Siberian Husky is not large at all, in fact, it’s classed only as a medium-sized dog. Comparing the size to the Malamute you’ll often find they are half as heavy (although oddly, about the same height).
So, the Husky would be outside all day, pulling sleds and running. They could run at high speeds for long periods of time and their requirements for food was another reason why the local populace liked them so much. The Husky is not a greedy dog and unlike the vast majority of dog breeds, will not continue to eat (if food is provided) until it falls over. They will only eat as much as they need, then they will stop.
How can we define the personality of a Siberian Husky? It is a hard-working dog but one that needs that hard work to be totally content. It is part of their make-up and unless it is exercised a couple of times a day for a couple of hours then it’s not going to be fully happy. The Husky could stay outside all day, it hasn’t lost this ability from its Siberian ancestors. There’s more to this dog though that we need to know to complete the picture, it’s not all about its capability of running all day.
What makes the Husky such a good family pet is down to just two of its personality traits. Its aggression and its possessive personality. Or rather, the complete lack of either of these traits. These also tie into how we determine its loyalty. Firstly, aggression – of course, if it’s aggressive then you’re not going to want it around children. Well, the Husky is one of the most loving dog breeds on the planet – but does this mean it is loyal? Not quite. How about the lack of any possessive traits? Well, this is also a major factor in it being a perfect pet for families as it doesn’t see anything as being theirs. The Siberian Husky will share anything including you!
Don’t Leave the Husky Alone
The next part of the puzzle is its affection towards us and the problems that leaving it alone for any length of time has to it. The Siberian Husky needs attention and interaction from us. Other dogs might be an alternative for them but they would prefer us. The Husky is not a dog you can leave by itself for anything more than around half an hour. More than this and it may well start to show signs of separation anxiety. This is just the start though. Separation anxiety can lead to depression and behavioral problems such as a destructive personality. Basically, whilst you’re out they will feel the need to chew on anything they can get their mouths around. If you have a job that will prevent you from being at home with your dog for big chunks of the day and you don’t have anyone to Husky-sit, then this is not the dog for you.
So, does this reliance and dependency on us mean that the Husky is loyal? Not quite.
Always use a leash
Anyone who has owned a Siberian Husky will have heard of this one. Whenever you take the Husky outside for a walk it absolutely must be kept on a leash. Why? If it isn’t then due to its high prey-drive they will be off as soon as they catch sight of a small mammal that they want to run after. You will see later what this means relating to loyalty later but this is another part of the jigsaw.
The Husky is Stubborn
The Siberian Husky is a stubborn breed of dog, without a doubt. This is something that will frustrate you throughout your relationship with the Husky. It will make initial training challenging and they may choose to ignore any commands you decide to give during the length of your relationship. Where many owners see this as a problem though is when trying to control them when their natural instincts kick in and they want to chase after a small mammal, usually a cat. The most likely outcome is that they will ignore you. This is actually the reason why a Siberian Husky should not live in the same home as a cat!
The Husky is an Escape Artist
The Siberian Husky will want to escape from any situation where it feels restricted in its movement. This includes when it’s exercising in your garden! You may think that your six-foot fences are enough to contain your Husky, but think again. Anything under around 10 foot and there is a risk that they will escape. They can climb up and jump over a fence any less high than this – and they will, given the opportunity. As much as you think they want to be with you, why are they always trying to escape then?
What we know
What are the facts that we’ve learned about the Husky? Let’s have a look:
- The Husky is not aggressive in any way.
- The Husky is not possessive.
- The Husky requires interaction and attention from us and can suffer from anxiety-related problems if we’re not around.
- If you don’t have something attached to it when you go out, there is a good chance it will run off.
- They will want to escape from any confined place.
We, therefore, know that the Siberian Husky is quite happy to share things with us, requires interaction from us and can’t bear to be away from us. So, does that mean it’s loyal? Errrm No.
How Loyal Is the Siberian Husky?
The Siberian Husky is not a loyal dog. Despite it not wanting to be away from us for any amount of time and despite it being so loyal, loving and affectionate towards us – it is not a loyal dog. Despite all you have read and all you know about the Husky, it is an extremely independent breed.
Remember earlier when we spoke about the history of the breed we mentioned that during the summer months the Chukchi people let the Husky off to fend for itself for a few months? It would go off and fend for itself, with the other dogs and would hunt and where necessary make shelters to protect itself from the harsh conditions. It would only actually return to the people (where it was very much welcomed back) when the weather started to get very cold and its prey was getting more difficult to get.
The Husky Will Fend for Itself
This ability that it has to totally fend for itself has not been lost since they left their ancestral home in Siberia. We see this behavior when we take them out and they get away from us because a leash wasn’t attached. We see this behavior when it is in your garden and
So, combine the selfless behavior where it doesn’t care about its possessions, take its desire to escape whenever possible and its history that has not been lost in the hundred or so years since it left the Siberian peninsula. You’re left with a breed that, which although undoubtedly loves you and thinks the world of you, would be perfectly fine if it never saw you again. Does that sound a bit harsh? Well, yes of course it does but you can’t escape the evidence. The Siberian Husky is quite simply just using us. It is truly an independent breed of dog and loyal, it is not.
This does not (and should not) distract from how awesome this dog is. It will love you and your family for the length of its rather long life. It will provide you with entertainment and if you’re not fit now then you soon will be after owning one of these for just a few months. They are intelligent and they are a daft as a brush. They will make you laugh and they will provide you with
What Is the Most Loyal Dog?
So, it’s quite clear that the Siberian Husky is not a loyal dog. This is fine and shouldn’t be a problem but have you ever wondered what the most loyal dog is? The thing that you need to remember here is that loyalty, like in humans can vary from dog to dog. So, just because a breed is in here (or isn’t) doesn’t mean every dog breed will share that loyalty!
- Australian Shepherd
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Tibetan Mastiff
Summary – So, is the Siberian Husky A loyal Dog?
It should be pretty clear that the Siberian Husky is not typically a loyal dog. However, having a loyal dog shouldn’t really be one of the things on top of the list of pre-requisites when looking for a new dog. Having a loyal dog is great when trying to train them, especially when giving them instructions in a typically challenging situation for them. For instance, imagine your Husky sees a cat. What would be ideal would be if you gave them an instruction to stay, a loyal dog would obey. The Husky will not. Deal with it, it’s just the way it is.
I think that’s enough and hopefully I’ve made it clear that although the Siberian Husky is not loyal, by any means, that should not distract from its awesomeness! If you’re looking for more information about the Husky, then do check out this Complete Guide to the Siberian Husky (opens in a new window) – everything you ever wanted to know about the breed.