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Why Does My Husky Attack Small Dogs? How To Deal With Husky Aggression

why does my husky attack small dogs?
Photo by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash

Huskies make great pets for plenty of reasons. They’re lovable, huggable, adorable, funny – we could fill an entire book with adjectives, and it still wouldn’t be enough to describe how precious our Huskies are. That said, if you’ve ever taken care of a Husky, you’ve probably noticed something strange about their behavior towards other animals. In fact, the thought, “why does my Husky attack small dogs?” has probably crossed your mind more than a few times.

If this is what you’re going through right now, don’t fret! In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about Husky aggression, particularly towards smaller dogs.

Why does my Husky attack small dogs?

We know it hurts your heart just thinking about your Husky attacking small dogs, but it turns out that there’s actually a variety of reasons why it could be happening.

Huskies are naturally dominant

why does my husky attack small dogs angry husky
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Dogs, in general, are hierarchical animals, more so with larger breeds like Huskies. This means that, in the wild, Huskies naturally form rankings with their packs to assess the strongest individual, also known as the “top dog” or “alpha male.”

If you haven’t given your Husky a clear structure at home, him attacking your smaller dogs may signify that he’s trying to position himself at the top of the hierarchy. He’s basically asserting his dominance over his smaller counterparts.

Huskies have strong predatory instincts

baby husky
Photo by Julissa Helmuth from Pexels

In addition to being naturally dominant, Huskies have strong predatory instincts as well. Like most common working and hunting dogs, they were trained for centuries to go hard on their prey. 

Huskies, in particular, have ancestors that regularly foraged the surroundings for small animals to hunt during long trips. 

This could be why your beloved pet has a habit of attacking smaller living things. Like their ancestors, their predatory instincts are triggered when they see smaller, presumably weaker animals, allowing them to see those other dogs as prey.

Huskies can be overly protective

huskies showing teeth
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More than just dominance, your Husky’s aggression towards smaller dogs could be an expression of its protective instincts. Aside from hunting and working, Husky ancestors were also bred to protect their owners and their pack.

This means that your dog is likely to be on heightened alert most of the time. It could be lead your pooch to view other dogs, especially smaller and typically more energetic dogs, as potential danger.

Your Husky may not be socialized enough

aggressive dogs
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Lack of socialization with other dogs might also be making your Husky more aggressive. Huskies are territorial animals by nature, and they’re used to fending off attacks by other dogs in the wild.

If your Husky isn’t used to other dogs, chances are they could view them as dangerous. This, combined with a high prey drive, could be why your Husky attacks small dogs.

You reinforced the wrong behavior

petting a husky
Photo by Hoang-Mai Nguyen from Unsplash

You might also be unwittingly encouraging your Husky’s aggressive behavior towards smaller dogs, even without meaning to. For instance, do you give your dog toys or treats to stop them from being hostile? While it may give you momentary peace, it’s also teaching your Husky that being aggressive will lead to rewards.

Instead of positively reinforcing that behavior, redirect your Husky’s attention with neutral commands, such as sitting still or lying down.

How to stop your Husky from attacking other dogs

Here are two tips to help your Husky become friendlier towards other dogs.

Proper socialization

why does my husky attack small dogs puppy
Photo by Julissa Helmuth from Pexels

If your Huskies are still puppies, it’s important to get them acquainted with dogs of all breeds and sizes as early as possible. Doing so can drastically minimize their aggression towards other dogs in the future.

This is obviously more difficult if your Husky is already an adult, but it’s still possible. Make sure to keep them on a leash as you slowly introduce them to other dogs.

Behavioral training

If there’s one thing that can override Huskies’ aggressive and dominant attitude, it’s strict behavioral training. Always reinforce positive behavior instead of negative behavior, like giving your dog yummy fish or sweetcorn treats when he’s behaving well.

If your dog is particularly stubborn, you can always hire a qualified trainer. A trainer would know more about how your pet’s mind works and can help bring out the lovable Husky that we all know is there.

Final thoughts

We’ve discussed possible answers to the question “Why does my Husky attack small dogs?”

In this article, we learned that:

  • Huskies are naturally dominant and have strong predatory instincts, leading them to see small dogs as prey
  • Poorly socialized Huskies may view other dogs as danger
  • Huskies can be overly protective against new dogs
  • You might be accidentally encouraging aggressive behavior
  • It’s best to train and socialize your Husky to prevent him from attacking small dogs

Want to learn more about Husky behavior? Be sure to check out our blog at Husky Habits!