Siberian Huskies are one of the most popular dog breeds, but a lot of people don’t realise just how stubborn they can be.
Their nature can present a lot of challenges for new owners, especially those who don’t expect this personality. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to understand this behaviour and decide whether you have the skills to take care of a husky’s needs.
In this article, we’ll look at all the factors that contribute to Husky stubbornness and what new and prospective owners need to know when it comes to how Huskies show their stubborn nature.
Why Are Huskies Known To Be Stubborn?
It doesn’t take long to figure out that Huskies are a stubborn breed, but why do they show this type of behaviour in the first place?
Huskies were domesticated by the Chukchi people of Siberia and used to pull sleds over long distances.
To survive in these conditions, it was vital that Huskies were self-reliant. They quickly learned to live with humans and pull sleds, which required a basic understanding of commands and how to work, but outside of that, they were very independent.
As a Spitz-type dog, Huskies exhibit the classic independence that is seen across most of these dogs. Other examples of these dogs include Pomeranians, as well as Alaskan Malamutes or German Spitz.
Although Huskies work in packs, they were bred to be able to pull sleds independently with little input from humans. This means they have an independent streak and frequently choose not to listen.
You may also notice that Huskies often like time to themselves, which is another common trait for Spitz-type dogs. It isn’t uncommon for Huskies to take themselves outside for sleep if the weather allows for it.
Another reason why Huskies can be so stubborn is because they are actually very intelligent.
Sure, they score quite average on standardised dog intelligence tests, but these rely on the repeatability of newly learned tricks, which Huskies do not excel at as they aren’t very eager to please.
Huskies scored 77th out of 138 breeds on Stanley Cohen’s Intelligence of Dogs, but any owner knows exactly how smart Huskies are in their own way.
Huskies pick and choose when to listen, making them very stubborn in many situations.
Huskies are not only intelligent but also capable of tremendous feats of endurance.
This means that if they aren’t being exercised a lot every day and receiving mental stimulation, they can become bored easily, leading to stubborn behaviour.
How Does This Affect Daily Life?
All owners need to be aware of how stubborn Huskies can be because it plays a big role in daily life.
The first area that it impacts is obedience training.
Huskies are notoriously difficult to train because of how stubborn they can be; they have little drive to please their owners to start off with, so the chances that they will listen to you are slim to begin with.
Combine this with their stubborn nature, and it’s clear to see why Huskies don’t do very well in obedience or agility competitions.
Their stubborn nature also means that tantrums can become a regular occurrence, especially if they aren’t being exercised or mentally stimulated enough. If your Husky wants to go for an hour-long walk and you simply don’t have the time at that moment, there’s a good chance they’ll throw a tantrum and start howling or ‘speaking’ at you.
What Do Owners Need To Know?
If you’re considering getting a Siberian Husky, there are a few crucial things to know about their stubborn nature and what you can do to make sure it doesn’t have a negative impact on your future relationship.
Meet Their Exercise & Mental Stimulation Needs
Huskies are much more prone to exhibiting stubborn traits if they are not exercised enough or mentally stimulated, and this can happen much more often than you would think:
- Huskies need at least 2 hours of exercise per day, which is a very high amount for even the most active of people. This is thanks to their background as sled dogs capable of pulling light loads for miles at a time with no rest.
- Huskies also need lots of extra mental stimulation outside of exercise, from things like puzzle toys, obedience training (although challenging), and playing games like fetch.
There’s a reason why lots of Huskies end up in shelters, and it’s unfortunately because many people are unable to meet their needs.
Don’t Rely On Obedience Training
It’s extremely important not to rely on obedience training in real-life situations with your Husky.
A prime example of this is recall training. Even if you have spent hours and hours training your Husky recall, there’s still a very high chance they won’t listen to you when the time comes, especially if their high prey drive kicks in.
This can put them in danger, so it’s best to use a secure collar and leash at all times when in an unsecured area.
Huskies might be very stubborn, but it’s important to understand why this behaviour happens and what you can do to set the right expectations and make sure it doesn’t become problematic.
Huskies are an incredibly rewarding and loveable breed to own if you are able to meet their requirements, so make sure you do your research before diving into this breed.
If you put in the work to provide them with plenty of mental stimulation and exercise you’ll be rewarded with an incredibly loyal and unique dog that makes a great addition to any family.
If you’re interested in Siberian Huskies, then make sure to check out our listings for Husky puppies for sale.