Are Huskies Hunting Dogs? (The Truth Revealed)

Huskies are a working breed by nature, but are huskies hunting dogs, or are they used for something else?

Huskies are not hunting dogs and aren’t good candidates for being used as hunting dogs, either. This is because they are very difficult to train and cannot reliably follow commands. They also lack the aggression needed to be a suitable hunting dog.

Huskies are much better suited for their original role as sled dogs, and in this guide, we’ll explain exactly why they are not good hunting dogs and much more.

Let’s get into it.

What Exactly Is A Hunting Dog?

There are two types of hunting dogs – gun dogs and scent hounds.

Gun dogs are used to hunt smaller animals (commonly birds). They locate the prey and chase them into the open for the hunter to shoot and then retrieve the body.

Scent hounds are used to track prey using their sense of smell. Scent hounds typically wear a bell or something similar so the hunter can follow them when out of site.

What Types Of Dogs Are Used For Hunting?

Most gun dogs are retrievers like the Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever, but other breeds can also be used, like the English Springer Spaniel or Pointer, which specializes in Pheasant hunting.

Scent hounds are breeds that have an even greater sense of smell than your average dog – think breeds like the Beagle, Bloodhound, or Foxhound.

What Qualities Are Needed From Hunting Dogs?

To get a better idea of what is required from hunting dogs, here are the key characteristics that are needed for them to fulfill their roles efficiently.

Endurance & Speed

Hunting dogs need a lot of endurance, as hunting expeditions can last for hours and cover a lot of distance.

Not only that, but they need to be very fast when they need to be in order to catch small prey that tries to flee.

Obedience & Trainbility

Another key aspect of hunting dogs is the ability to follow commands repeatedly and be able to learn new commands quickly.

Hunting with dogs requires a close bond and lots of trust between the owner and the dog.

Hunting dogs need to be able to follow their owner’s commands without fail, or the trip could quickly result in failure.


Hunting dogs need a keen sense of smell, especially scent hounds, which specialize in this area.

Although all dogs have a much better sense of smell than us humans (estimated to be 1,000 to 10,000 times better), scent hounds, in particular, have an even greater sense of smell and can track prey from miles away.

Bloodhounds, for example, have 300 million scent receptors, the most of any dog breed,


Hunting dogs need innate aggression to scare prey out into the open or retrieve them from difficult-to-reach areas.

What Were Huskies Originally Used For?

Huskies originate from Siberia, where the Chukchi tribe domesticated them.

They would live alongside the tribe and pull sleds, making it easier for them to get through the harsh winters by transporting their possessions and goods.

4 Huskies pulling an unloaded sled

In the summer, when they were not as necessary, they were allowed to hunt for themselves, returning in winter to aid with pulling sleds.

Why Huskies Are Not Good Hunting Dogs

Although huskies were allowed to hunt for themselves, their primary purpose was to pull sleds over long distances through the snow and ice, and this remains their working purpose to this day.

Lots of huskies, particularly in places like Alaska, are still used for sled-pulling, and it can be a great way to play with your husky if they are kept as a pet instead.

Huskies can be capable of finding food for themselves when they are desperate, but they are not good at working as hunting dogs, and there are several reasons for this.

Huskies Lack Obedience

The main reason why huskies are not suited for being hunting dogs is due to a lack of obedience.

Huskies are notoriously difficult to train as they are independent and uninterested in pleasing their owners, a key trait seen amongst Spitz-type dogs.

Huskies are also very stubborn, so even if you managed to train one to hunt – which would be very unlikely – there’s little chance they would follow their commands repeatedly.

Huskies Are Not Aggressive

Another key reason why huskies are not suited to be hunting dogs is their lack of aggression.

Huskies are not an aggressive breed at all, not even close, and the data proves it.

Even though they might look intimidating to those unfamiliar with the breed, they are more likely to befriend a stranger than anything else, and this is part of why we love them so much.

It’s also why they would be terrible hunting dogs as well. Sure, huskies did hunt many years ago, but this was more out of necessity to survive rather than something they excel at.

Could A Husky Be Trained To Be A Hunting Dog?

Huskies can’t be reliably trained to do anything apart from pulling sleds, so teaching one to hunt properly would be practically impossible.

Using a husky as a scent hound is out of the equation, as other breeds are much better suited for this role due to having a greater sense of smell.

This leaves us with training a husky as a gun dog.

Huskies do have a high prey drive, so you could potentially take a husky hunting and let it chase after any small prey, but that’s about as far as you would get.

There is no telling how reliably they would chase the prey, and good luck getting them to bring anything back as well.

There are much better options for hunting dogs, and that’s the reason why you’ll never see huskies being used for this purpose.

In Summary

So there you have it, huskies are not hunting dogs by nature, and it would not be easy to train them to be in the first place.

Despite their impressive endurance, they don’t have much else going for them in the hunting department.

The only time they are used for hunting is to find their own food, which is mostly out of necessity to find something to eat rather than their own choice.

Huskies are incredible at pulling sleds and excel in this area, but when it comes to hunting, they are not the right choice.

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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