Do Huskies Bite?


Do Huskies Bite?

Are you considering adding a Husky to your family, but want to be certain that he will not be aggressive? Nobody wants to own a dog that bites. Are Huskies prone to attacking their owners?

As a professional dog trainer, I spend every day working with reactive and aggressive dogs. Today I will share my thoughts on Huskies and their likelihood to bite with you!

do huskies bite

Table of Contents

Types of dog bites

Before we examine how likely Huskies are to bite, let’s look at the different types of dog bites in general.

Not every bite incident is the same. The motivation that the dog had to bite can vary drastically based on the circumstances in which the bite occurred and needs to always be considered.

Puppy biting

Puppy biting is a relatively “harmless” occurrence that is found in puppies of all breeds. Puppies bite because they are teething, because they want to play and because they explore the world in part through their mouth.

While puppy biting needs the right approach to be resolved, it is not a sign of inherent aggression or danger. Even the smallest, most docile lap dog puppies bite – it is completely normal.

Excited biting

Young puppies can nip your ankles or arms when they are excited. It is crucially important that the dog is taught to not do this however, otherwise he will grow up and still bite when excited.

This is a behavior often seen in high-energy working breeds – when they are wound up they jump and nip at the owners arms and clothes.

Defensive biting

If a dog is approached or cornered by what he perceives to be a threat he might escalate to biting. The key here is “what he perceives to be a threat”. A lot of bite incidents sadly occur when small children corner family dogs.

Defensive biting happens when the dog would choose to not escalate if he had sufficient space to move away, but he is not giving this space.

A defensive biter could for example be a dog who bites the veterinarian who is giving him a shot.

“Attack” biting

This kind of biting happens, at times unprovoked, in situations in which the dog does have ample space to move away but chooses to instead go forward and escalate a situation. It often results from long-term reactivity and previous defensive biting.

Do Huskies bite their owners?

Out of the different types of bites mentioned above, Huskies usually show two – puppy and excitement biting.

Unfortunately, more severe bite incidents still happen occasionally. Let’s see why and you can prevent them:

Husky puppy biting

Nearly all Huskies bite their owners as puppies. Again – this is not a sign of aggression and a normal step in puppy development. If the right steps are taken to reduce a puppy’s desire to bite his humans, puppy biting can be resolved quickly.

It is advisable to fill plenty of chew toys for your puppy and let him chew those frequently. Here is a video with some ideas:

Huskies biting from excitement

If a Husky puppy is not taught to channel his excitement in beneficial ways, he is likely to carry on with biting into his adult years.

Excitement biting is unlikely to result in severe marks and usually only causes scratches or small bruises.

This is not an excuse to not teach your Husky to not bite in excitement of course.

In my work as a dog trainer, I come across so many Huskies that jump and nip when they are wound up. It always comes from the owner not being consistent about preventing this in puppyhood.

Make sure to teach your puppy to not jump and nip at you. Otherwise chances are that he will do it as an adult dog.

Defensive and aggressive biting in Huskies

Huskies are rather unlikely to show aggressive biting. The breed is social and outgoing, which is in part based on their original breed purpose.

Developed as sled dogs, it would be very detrimental if Huskies fought with all other sled dogs of their kennel – whether during downtime or even while racing!

As long as a Husky is properly socialized and receives positive exposure, he will likely not be an aggressive dog.

Defensive biting may happen if the Husky is cornered or threatened. You need to make sure that neither other dogs nor children bring your dog in such a situation. Defensive biting is a “last resort” that dogs take when everything else fails.

Luckily, dogs usually show several calming signals before escalating to defensive biting.

dog biting arm

Are Husky dangerous?

Huskies are not an aggressive or dangerous dog breed. They were not developed to guard or defend their property or owner.

Unfortunately, plenty of preventable bite incidents happen every year in the USA. Even though Huskies are generally good with children, these can occur if kids do not respect the boundaries of the dogs.

Those bite cases often originate in families acquiring Huskies because of their great looks: blue eyes or an agouti-colored Husky are highly sought-after, as are the adorable Miniature Huskies. If the dog is then not exercised, socialized and gets cornered by a child an accident is prone to happen.

Some bites also originate from resource-guarding tendencies of the dog.

The Bottom Line

While Huskies are not bred to show defensive or guarding instincts, they can and will defend themselves if cornered. They also show very normal puppy and excitement biting that needs to be addressed in training.

The most important steps to take to prevent your Husky from biting are:

  • Do not acquire a Husky solely based on his good looks. These are high-energy dogs that need daily exercise and training.
  • Socialize your dog with plenty of friendly dogs and people.
  • Provide plenty of chew items for your puppy so that he does not take his chewing desire out on your arm instead.
  • Teach your puppy to not direct his excitement at you with this teeth. Instead, you can practice impulse control exercises, play with toys and train him to settle when asked.
  • Never let anybody corner or threaten your dog. Do not allow children to take high-value items such as bones from your Husky.

If raised properly, Huskies are very friendly and social animals. You can prevent bites by giving your Husky pup the best possible upbringing!