Although it is common knowledge that dogs are intelligent in general, certain breeds have inherent behavior characteristics that may increase their responsiveness to training.
Thus, the owners and prospective owners of huskies may indeed be curious about the intelligence level of the breed.
While most people are likely interested in knowing about a breed’s intelligence for basic obedience training purposes, others may like to know simply out of pure curiosity.
So, exactly how smart are huskies? The answer may surprise you, but you can rest assured with the knowledge that almost any dog breed has the capacity to be trained.
Let’s explore the intellectual abilities of huskies.
How Smart Are Huskies?
Huskies have been rated as having an average level of intelligence. They possess a heightened effective communication ability with humans. They’re very instinctual animals, hence, they can survive independently. They were bred to become working dogs skilled at navigation. However, huskies can behave stubbornly due to their independent nature.
Huskies are Said to Have an Average Intelligence Level
Although most people would initially guess that huskies are most likely very intelligent dogs, some studies have declared huskies to possess merely an average level of intelligence when compared to other dogs.
This was determined by a husky’s tendency to require a higher number of repetitions than other dog breeds needed when learning how to obey a new command.
However, they scored slightly above average on the general obedience test.
While the results of these studies may not sound promising with regards to a husky’s intellectual capacity, other experts have disputed the claims that state that huskies have only an average intellect.
On the contrary, some experts have classified huskies as being amongst the most intelligent dogs. So, which is it? Are huskies smart or not?
Since huskies are known for their stubborn and independent nature, several experts have determined that huskies usually do understand your instructions.
Often, they simply don’t feel like obeying.
Huskies Have a High Capacity to Communicate with Humans
Although huskies may not have been declared as being highly intelligent, they do have certain characteristics that make them superior to other breeds.
One such characteristic is their ability for effective communication.
True, huskies don’t speak the same language as humans, but thanks to their close familial connection to wolves, they continue to have a pack mentality.
Now that they’ve become domesticated, their owners are considered to be their new pack.
Ancestors of the husky were known to communicate their location to other pack members through howling.
Howling was more effective than barking because the howls would echo through mountainous terrain and increase the likelihood that the husky’s call would be heard.
Fast forward: Even though you don’t howl back, huskies continue to have the capacity to communicate with you better than most dog breeds, which is why many experts claim that huskies are indeed intelligent and completely understand the lessons that a human teaches them.
They likely score lower than other breeds on intelligence exams due to being stubborn.
Huskies are Instinctual and Independent
Another aspect of a husky’s intelligence is their survival instinct.
Despite having a bowl of dog food provided for them daily, they may continue to hunt smaller animals, possibly even the family cat.
They are also known for digging holes to trap and bury prey. Although they may no longer need to engage in these behaviors, they still do purely out of instinct.
While other domesticated breeds may become feral and malnourished if they happen to be abandoned or neglected, a husky would have a greater capacity to survive on its own.
Huskies are naturally independent animals. They don’t necessarily need an owner as they can make it on their own.
However, due to their inborn pack mentality, they can develop a strong bond with their human families.
Of course, this independent nature can lead them to take off running down the street, and not return home until they’re good and ready to.
Sure, many dog owners may prefer to have the type of dog that can care for themselves, but huskies aren’t the best choice for some prospective dog owners, especially those with smaller pets.
Huskies are Working Dogs and Skilled Navigators
Sure, many lost dogs manage to find their way home simply by following the scent trail, but this characteristic is especially true of huskies as they were originally bred as working dogs with the job of carrying passengers on a sled across long distances.
Their selective breeding makes them skilled at running and navigating. It also means that they do have a high capacity for obedience, contrary to intelligence studies.
Naturally, a dog that is specifically bred to work for humans would need to understand and obey verbal commands. However, huskies can be unpredictable when it comes to obedience.
Occasionally, they may come to you when called, but sometimes they’ll get distracted by a squirrel and act as though they don’t hear a word you are saying.
While huskies do indeed have the capacity for obedience, they are still very strong-willed dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions About How Smart Huskies Are
So, are huskies considered smart dogs?
Huskies are generally considered to be smart dogs, but they have a very stubborn and independent nature. Although they thoroughly enjoy human companionship due to their pack mentality, they are also avid runners and have a tendency to frequently take off when their owners call them.
Are huskies hard to train?
It can be extremely difficult for any fur parent to train a husky, but it isn’t because they can’t understand the commands that you are trying to teach. They are just very strong-willed dogs.
What canine breed holds the highest IQ?
Golden retrievers are actually believed to be the most intelligent dogs due to their ability to learn quickly and be easily trained.
While huskies may not have scored very high in intelligence studies, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t smart dogs.
On the contrary, they are well known for their stubbornness and independence, which could account for their lower scores.
Overall, huskies are amazing dogs that have many positive characteristics.
Between their communication skills and capacity to navigate, most likely huskies are indeed very intelligent, but they also have a very strong will and only obey when they feel like it.