Dog Care Tips Dog Behavior

Do Huskies Get Along With Small Dogs? Factors to Know

Originally, Huskies were bred by the Chukchi tribe who are the indigenous people of the Siberian Peninsula to work together as sled dogs in this cold desert.

As they were bred to work as part of a team, they do get along with many other dogs. Especially those breeds that share a similar temperament, energy, prey drive, and size like the German Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, and Alaskan Malamutes etc. 

But do huskies get along with smaller breeds of dogs such as Boxers, Standard Poodles, Pugs, etc? Today we will find out.

But before going into that in detail, it’s important to understand a husky’s personality as an individual dog. A dog’s character greatly affects how it bonds to other members of its species.

Personality Traits Of A Husky

Looking back at the origins of huskies,  They were bred to work in open spaces, pulling sleds, and relying on their owners for guidance. So we can understand why they possess a strong sense of independence. These experiences shaped their independent and assertive nature. 

Moreover, the mere act of pulling sleds across vast areas of ice made them physically strong and resilient. Then comes the strong bonds they formed with their owners as a result of all this hard work in the snow. That is why they are very susceptible to getting separation anxiety. 

Thus, It’s important to be aware of these traits when owning a husky and provide appropriate care and training to address any potential challenges.

Highly Intelligent

Score: ⅗ 

When it comes to independent breeds like huskies, who have been trained to make decisions and interpret their owners’ cues, their brains are always moving fast to respond to stimulation.

Dogtime rates them quite well on the intelligence spectrum. Thus, it becomes very crucial to give them mentally engaging tasks. 

This will keep them mentally sound and they will be ready to receive and respond to your cues on the go.

However, if you do not provide them with such tasks, you’ll end up having a very irritated and fussy dog. 

Now, what does that have to do with being good to other dogs? Well, an intelligent dog knows what it wants. It will get what it wants if the other dog tries to intervene. 

On the other hand, such dogs know and appreciate the importance of teamwork for a task that requires a collective effort.

Very Energetic

Score: 5/5 

Huskies, as already mentioned, were built to work under extreme conditions, thus they have gathered remarkable energy and their energy reserves do not extinguish easily. 

So, to have a dog that’s not fussy all the time, you would have to have your Husky be physically engaged throughout the day. You can do this by taking your dog out for walks frequently. You can also have them play dog sports like frisbee, hide and seek, etc.

High-energy dogs could be a headache for couch potatoes – the breeds that want to lie around and do nothing. 

Independent And Challenging 

Score: 5/5 

As I have mentioned in the beginning, Huskies were originally bred in the vast and icy plains of Siberia, so they have developed a strong sense of independence. This can make them very challenging for owners who try to restrict their freedom. 

It’s important to note that Huskies tend to be skilled escape artists and may attempt to jump over fences to explore beyond the boundaries that they are confined into.

Furthermore, due to their independent nature, huskies may try to assert themselves over other dogs, particularly those smaller in size. This behavior stems from their natural trait to be dominant and should be taken into consideration when you want to keep them as a pet.

It’s worth mentioning that huskies may not be the best choice for inexperienced dog owners, as stated by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and Dogtime, due to their unique characteristics and requirements.

Mouthy 

Score: ⅘ 

Huskies nibble, bite, or use their mouth in any way to assert themselves. Now they may not do that to hurt you or your pets, things could easily get out of control. So, you better watch out for which breed you’re going to adopt. 

Considerable Prey Drive

Score: ⅗ 

One thing I may not have mentioned is that huskies have a considerable prey drive as they were left to prey for themselves when they were not sledding.  

If not properly tamed, A husky would run after smaller animals and even small dogs and try to put them under its paws. Thus, it is important to train them for a shared living so they do not oppress other pets in the household. 

The Good Traits That Make Husky Get Along With Dogs

Now that I mentioned some traits that might have driven you away from keeping a husky along with your other dogs but don’t worry. A Husky also comes with a lot of traits that make them a good breed for you to adopt. 

The following traits are the reasons why I’m saying that.

Dog friendly

Score: 5/5 

Being friendly with humans and being friendly with dogs are two separate things. But surprisingly enough, Huskies are good with other breeds too.

They are capable of understanding what it means to share a space and an owner and they do that without making a fuss about it.

Family Oriented 

Score: 5/5 

Huskies are also quite family-oriented, Dogtime rates them a full 5/5 in this category. Now that makes sense if we again look where they come from. They will shower any person or animal they consider as a family with great love and affection.

Cannot Tolerate Loneliness

Score: ⅕  (loneliness tolerance)

You already read huskies are prone to separation anxiety. This is because they were raised as pack animals and cannot live alone left to their devices. Once they bond with you and the rest of the pack, there’s no turning back. 

To deal with their separation anxiety, one of the methods suggested is to adopt more pets, preferably the dogs that I have mentioned below.  

Can Huskies Be Around Small Dogs?

No, as a general rule, huskies should not be allowed with small dogs because of their high prey drive. They were left by Chukchi tribes to feed themselves by hunting when the odds weren’t in their favor.

That has been ingrained in their personality. Huskies still love to chase down small animals once that drive kicks in. 

But this is not my final verdict. If your husky isn’t trained to be around small animals, including small dogs, make sure you first give him the right training sessions. Keep the following things in mind:

Food Aggression

Huskies often show food aggression based on their primitive instincts and they can easily get angry at small dogs that try to share a bite with them. They are extremely capable of hurting them severely.

Thus, they should be trained to control themselves at the sight of food. The earlier this is done, the better.

Bigger Size

On a given day, your husky may tend to knock over the smaller breed out of nowhere. That’s something they enjoy given how playful these beasts are. Not to mention how they do everything with sheer intensity, according to Dogtime.

In the meanwhile, the small dog may get hurt because well, it’s small. 

Nipping and Biting 

You already read how mouthy huskies are. This mouthiness could easily turn into a brawl where the small dog may receive more blows than it’s designed for, unfortunately.

All these things must be kept in mind before you opt for a smaller breed to live with your Husky.

How To Introduce A Husky To A Small Dog?

Owing to the autonomous and intrusive traits of huskies, you should avoid adopting a small dog as a companion for them. 

That’s especially important if both are adults and haven’t received any former training.

But with proper training, the Husky and their smaller counterparts can remain together in peace in your home.

Obedience Training

This should start right from puppyhood. Both dogs should have adequate lessons on how to behave when another dog approaches. Predominantly, however, this training mostly involves teaching the dog to listen to you at all costs. 

Now you could incorporate positive reinforcement to do that by using treats or you could take benefit from using shock collarsnegative reinforcement. 

Both ways work like a charm, as I have tried and tested them. You’ll have a dog listening to you without second thoughts. 

Choose A Neutral Location In The Start

For their first meet-up, you should opt for a location that is neutral for both dogs, this will give more room to both of them to show respect and try to get to know each other better.

Otherwise, one dog may be overconfident and the other may feel underwhelmed. 

Don’t Leave Them Unsupervised

Introducing the husky to a small dog requires great prudence. Even certain small breeds are also too territorial to leave any other pooch near such as Chihuahuas. They may be the ones starting the war and not your husky. 

The best way to avoid any unnecessary confrontation is to have both dogs on leashes. You can even use harnesses, which are better than leashes as control devices if you ask me.

Introduce Them As Strangers

Before formally introducing them, try to give them a preliminary introduction. That could include walking the two side by side on a leash. I’ve also seen owners let the two dogs sniff each other’s belongings to get familiar with their scents. 

When they stop showing interest in the new smell of the dog, then it’s the right time to formally introduce them. 

Let Them Meet In Their Space

Considering your adoption options, the dogs are going to live together in your home. When they have been familiarized with each other’s scent and also walked side by side for some time, you could try arranging a meeting in your home – their future shared space. 

But again, staying aloof from the dogs’ interaction even after the training has been completed is a major red flag. They are animals and huskies, especially, are known to challenge you. 

Consider Profession Trainers

Even after following all the steps mentioned above, if you find that your Husky is being overly aggressive towards the smaller dog(s) or is being way too fussy about it, you can opt for professional training.

Professional dog trainers use more or less the same techniques as mentioned above but with more expertise and less clutter.

Thus, it is more likely that they can make your Husky receptive to a shared living. This will depend on whether you can afford it or not.

Be Patient

As far as training a Husky goes, you’d have to be a real stoic for them to improve. This is because Huskies can be very stubborn at times and it takes a lot of effort and waiting before you can see them changing their behavior.

What Are The Dog Breeds That Get Along With Huskies? 

Training a pack dog can be relatively simple although a bit tiring. Huskies can occasionally present challenges due to their tendency to be independent thinkers and to continually test your training techniques.

The following breeds are generally considered to be the most compatible for shared living with Huskies.

  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Boxer
  • Border Collie
  • Dalmatian
  • German Shepherd
  • Standard Poodle
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Labrador 
  • Golden Retriever
  • Other Huskies

FAQs

Related questions.

Do huskies get along with all dogs?

As a rule, Huskies do get along with all dogs that share the same size, energy, and temperament.

However, they have a hard time loving and respecting dogs that are smaller, not energetic, and tend to be couch potatoes.

Do Huskies Get Along With Other Huskies?

Huskies get along with other huskies because of the same temperament. They have the same energy levels, intensity to do tasks, obedience to follow you, and not to mention the same size! 

They will take care of each other well when left alone as compared to a husky and a small animal.

Do Huskies Get Along With Small Dogs – Conclusion

Huskies do get along with other dogs as they were bred to work together with other dogs. However, it is advisable to opt for a larger breed that shares similar energy and strength as a Husky when considering a companion for them. 

Smaller breeds are more likely to struggle when it comes to handling a Husky’s high energy levels, strong prey drive, and assertive behavior. 

Nevertheless, with proper socialization and training during their early life, they can learn to coexist peacefully.

About the author

Linda Michaels

Linda Michaels is a proud owner of a Labradoodle named Mylo. She is a trainer who posts about dog training and behavior.
🎓: University of California, Davis
📍: PetWell Animal Hospital