“Do huskies bark?” is quite a common question that people ask if they feel the urge to get a fluffball puppy of this incredible Nordic breed. Huskies are probably one of the most loved dog breeds and there are thousands of videos on YouTube that show just how adorable they are. Some of these videos also show huskies making funny noises when interacting with humans. Especially if you have neighbors or live in a condo, having a dog that barks a lot could become a problem, so it is always a good idea to get as much information as possible on this matter.
Luckily for all husky lovers that cannot stand too much noise, this breed usually does not bark at all. Barking is in fact a feature of territorial dogs that want to protect their owner or their home. Huskies are not territorial so they don’t need to bark to frighten away strangers or other dogs. Huskies are exactly the opposite of territorial and that’s why they don’t make good watchdogs. They would rather let an intruder in the house so that they could maybe play together and have a good time… What’s wrong with that?
Even though huskies don’t usually bark, this does not mean that they are quiet dogs… quite the contrary. Huskies are known to be a vocal breed because they love to communicate with humans and other dogs. Their preferred way to express their thoughts to anyone is by howling. They are really good howlers from when they are puppies, it just comes very naturally to them as it does to their ancestors, the wolves. All husky owners have a lot of stories to tell about how their dog “talks” to them. When a husky howls it makes a noise that is really very similar to a person talking and it can be really funny.
Huskies Are A Primitive Breed
The reason why huskies prefer to howl instead of barking isn’t quite clear. It is probably due to the fact that they were bred as sled dogs by the Chukchi, a nomadic tribe that lived in North-East Asia. They lived with these people in a very isolated and spread out part of the world, where a low pitch sound like barking was difficult to hear. A high-pitch sound like howling was instead much easier to be heard and would travel even long distances. In addition, a dog can howl for a long time and this also increases the chances to be heard by humans or other animals.
Huskies are known to be a “primitive breed”, like Samoyeds, Akitas, and Shiba-Inus, which means they are very similar to their ancestors, the wolves. These types of ancient breeds still maintain their independent and willful way of being, since they have not been genetically changed by humans through breeding to make them more adaptable and obedient. Huskies today are very similar to the ones that lived in Siberia over two thousand years ago and, unlike other dog breeds, have still a lot in common with wolves. One of the similarities they have with their ancestors is howling.
Huskies Can Bark
Even though huskies don’t usually bark, there are some exceptions. If you have read this article up to here and you already are the proud owner of a husky that barks, you don’t need to worry. Barking huskies do exist and while they are less common than the howling ones, there is absolutely nothing wrong with them. Numerous huskies alternate howling to noises that go from barking to whining. This is normal and the way a husky expresses her needs can vary a lot from one dog to another and can depend exclusively on their personality.
While barking, as we said earlier, can be something that a husky does, if it is continuous and it happens only in certain situations this could be a sign of distress or need of attention. Huskies were bred to be sled dogs that lived in packs. This is why they aren’t dogs that can be left alone for a long time because they can develop anxiety issues. If a husky feels left out of the pack he will probably start howling or even barking to get anyone’s attention.
This is what a husky would do if he was living in the wilderness so that the other pack members would hear him and wait for him. If you are thinking of getting a husky, but you know you will be out all day at work, you can expect barking and\or howling to happen frequently. If this is the case, you would be wise to look for another dog breed to take home that doesn’t need as much attention as a husky.
Can Huskies Be Trained Not To Bark Or Howl?
As mentioned before, huskies are quite vocal and they love to communicate with their humans. There can be moments when this urge to constantly express oneself can become a bit overwhelming even for the most patient husky owner. In these cases, there is the possibility to train your dog to “talk” only in certain situations and when you say he can. This kind of training can be long and not easy to accomplish, given the temperament of huskies which makes them not the best performers at obedience training.
If you need to train your husky to be less loud, it is necessary to take him to a good trainer that knows how to deal with this breed. Huskies can learn how to howl on command and when to be quiet, quite easily, but if they get tired of you telling them what to do, they will just ignore you… and you’ll have to put up with it. Even after doing all the training, don’t expect to make your dog completely silent, because that is just not how huskies are made.
They are joyful, love to play, get very attached to their owner, but they will always be an independent breed that loves to communicate with the other members of the pack. If you like huskies, you have to like their way of being which is quite different from all other dogs.
Do Huskies Talk Instead Of Barking?
Huskies don’t talk, but they have a way of expressing themselves that can be a mix of howling and whining. This unique way of communicating can be misinterpreted as talking because some sounds that huskies make can remind us of words. Here is a video in which you can clearly hear a husky “talking” to its humans.
Barking Can Be The Sign Of A Problem
While usually barking is a normal way of expressing needs, there are some circumstances in which you need to pay a bit more attention to what your dog is trying to tell you. If your husky usually never barks and you notice that he starts to have this habit, you should notice in what kind of situation this happens. If your husky starts barking while on a walk, this could mean he can sense the threat of another dog nearby and he wants to alert you.
If the barking happens only in some periods of the year, like for example spring and autumn, this could mean that your husky is in heat or can smell another dog that is in heat. This would happen only if your dog has not been neutered.
If your dog is not getting enough exercise, he could express his need to be taken for walks more often by barking more than usual. Taking your dog on at least 3 daily walks of half an hour each and making him run at least twice a week is essential for his well-being.
Whenever you see that your husky has unusual barking moments and you cannot understand why this could mean he is suffering from some kind of physical problem. In this case, take your husky for a check-up to the vet as soon as possible to make sure that he has no illness and is in no pain.