When it comes to adopting a dog, aspiring dog owners usually have their preferred breed. However, in the case of service dogs, not all dogs are qualified and unfortunately, you may end up adopting a breed you’ve never even thought about before.
Service dogs play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for individuals facing various challenges, including those with disabilities, medical conditions, or mental health issues. These highly trained companions provide assistance, support, and a sense of independence to their handlers.
Can huskies be service dogs? The short answer to this question is YES! Even though Huskies are often perceived as stubborn, unintelligent, and difficult to train by a lot of people, these lovely dogs embody the features that qualify them as service dogs.
In this article, we have revealed the unique traits of huskies, and the accurate answer to the question Can huskies be service dogs?”.
Without further ado, let’s begin!
What Are Service Dogs?
These dogs can be grouped into categories depending on the assistance they render to their owner. Some of the categories include guide dogs, mobility assistance dogs, psychiatry dogs, hearing aid dogs, and medical alert dogs.
Service dogs are not only trained to perform complex tasks that benefit their owners but, they are also trained to be well-behaved and focused while performing the task.
For example, a service dog expected to help a visually impaired person navigate his way in the store has to ignore all sights and sounds around them, just to ensure their owner is fine.
Service dogs are vital to their owner’s wellbeing and this is the main reason why they are allowed to enter almost everywhere with their owner. They can go to the store, cinema, event centers, hospitals, or even religious homes with their owners.
As you can see, service dogs require extensive training to become the nearly perfect helpers they are known for. So, do huskies have the mental prowess to excel in these training sessions? Well, keep reading to find out.
Huskies vs. Traditional Service Dog Breeds: Exploring the Differences
Dogs like Labrador Retriever, Poodle, German Shepherd, Great Dane, and Golden Retriever are commonly used as service dogs. Let’s compare their unique personalities, physical traits, and thinking abilities to those of huskies to see if huskies stand a chance.
Temperament and Personality
Service dogs have a calm temperament. These dogs are social and friendly, and they won’t become unnecessarily aggressive or uncomfortable when approached or touched by strangers.
How about huskies? Are they also calm? Well, huskies have mild temperaments, but they are also stubborn and independent with little tendency to please their owners. This sense of independence might make it difficult for a husky to become a service dog. However, with proper training, these dogs will excel as a service dog.
When it comes to physical features, there is no strict preference for a specific size, it all depends on how well they can perform.
Service dogs are expected to be energetic, and they should have the desire to work. A service dog is expected to be happier while taking a walk than when they are just lying around the home.
But are huskies also energetic? YEAH! Huskies are a highly energetic breed that is always willing to work. This is one feature that makes huskies a perfect breed for service dogs.
Service dogs are intelligent. They can perform complex tasks independently without little or no supervision. These dogs are also good at making the right decisions.
Well, when it comes to cognitive abilities, huskies exhibit impressive problem-solving abilities. They are emotionally intelligent and they have great communication skill which includes expressive body language and vocalizations.
All these features are advantageous in-service roles requiring quick thinking, emotional support, communication, and adaptability.
Why Do Huskies Make a Great Service Dog?
While it is uncommon to see huskies acting as a service, these dogs have what it takes to become one.
Below are the characteristics that make huskies great service dogs:
They are Intelligent.
One of the major reasons why Siberian huskies can be considered service dogs is their intelligence. According to The Smart Canine, huskies’ intelligence is evaluated to be above average and they have a very fast learning pace.
Aside from smartness, these breeds also have a strong ability to communicate with humans and they are independent, meaning they can work under little or no supervision.
This considerable adaptive intelligence, ability to communicate, and independence have enabled man to be able to use them as search and rescue dogs, communication-oriented animals, sled dogs, and of course, great service dogs.
Ability to Withstand Unfavorable Weather Conditions
service dog is expected to be active at all times, even during unfavorable weather conditions. This is another reason why huskies qualify to become service dogs because they can withstand unfavorable weather conditions, especially winter.
There are many images out there showing huskies pulling sleds in Arctic regions, this is to show that these dogs can thrive in winters.
However, huskies have a low tolerance range to excessive heat or a humid environment. During this period, their thick coat becomes uncomfortable and they are always found sitting under a shed.
With that being said, while huskies may be great service dogs for those residing in Arctic regions, we will advise you to consider another breed if you live in a warm climate.
Perfect Size and Physical Build
The weight of huskies is estimated to be around 35 – 60 pounds, placing them among medium-sized dogs.
Their size provides a good balance – not too small or too big. This means they can assist with tasks like mobility support without being too bulky.
Still talking about the physical build, huskies are notoriously vocal. This feature can make them communicate effectively with their owner when needed.
Love for Humans
Huskies are often perceived as an independent and stubborn breed. While this might be true, you can easily correct these negative behaviors by proper training and socializing from puppyhood.
Huskies are particularly loving and loyal dogs, they are very affectionate and they can become fond of their owners if raised properly. Their loving and loyal nature enables them to form strong emotional bonds with their owners.
This deep connection creates a sense of devotion, making them want to be close and helpful at all times.
Real-Life Success Stories: Huskies as Service Dogs
To make this blog post more enlightening and authentic, we decided to search for people who own huskies as their service dogs and make inquiries on how their dog has been performing so far.
Below are the reviews from huskies’ owners:
Case Study 1: Husky as a Diabetic Alert Dog
This review was from Dianne, a diabetic patient who owns a husky service dog named Brownie.
To summarize, this is what she said “I never imagined a furry friend could be such a game-changer in managing my diabetes! Brownie, my husky, astounds me with his ability to detect changes in my sugar levels in the blink of an eye. His timely alerts prompt me to take my medication. The bond we share is beyond words, quickly solidifying into a source of comfort and support. Brownie isn’t just a pet; he’s my lifeline in navigating the challenges of diabetes. Grateful for this incredible companion!”
Case Study 2: Husky as a Mobility Assistance Dog
This review was from Jackson who is having mobility issues and how his husky service dog named Brady has helped him so far.
To summarize, this is what he said “Brady, my husky service dog, is a game-changer in my mobility challenges. Navigating stores and public places was daunting, but with Brady by my side, it was a breeze. His guidance is like having a reliable friend always there. Brady isn’t just a helper; he’s my key to independence. Grateful for his assistance, making every day a bit brighter. If you’re considering a service dog, I highly recommend these incredible companions for enhancing mobility and enriching your life!”
Case Study 3: Husky as a PTSD Support Dog
This review was from Jake who is suffering from PTSD and how his husky service dog named Ollie has helped him so far.
To summarize, this is what he said “Ollie, my husky service dog, is my steadfast companion through the challenges of PTSD. His comforting presence wraps me in a sense of safety, easing the grip of panic attacks. Ollie’s intuitive responses are a beacon of support, guiding me toward emotional healing and stability. His loyalty goes beyond service; he’s become my trusted friend. Through every struggle, Ollie stands by me, offering solace and strength. Grateful for his unwavering companionship, Ollie is not just a service dog; he’s an invaluable part of my journey to overcome PTSD.”
How to Get a Husky Service Dog
As stated earlier in this blog post, huskies are not usually trained by charitable organizations for service dogs. Instead, these organizations train dogs like Labrador Retriever, Poodle, German Shepherd, Great Dane, and Golden Retriever.
This means you will have difficulties in securing a husky service dog from the organization. The best bet is to get a husky dog from a reputable breeder and employ a professional dog trainer to train him to become a service dog.
Before the training commences, the trainer will want to confirm if truly you are disabled. Hence, you are expected to submit a letter licensed by a medical doctor, certifying your need for a service dog.
After the confirmation of the letter, the dog trainer will proceed to train your dog to become a service dog and after doing that successfully, you are expected to get the service dog badge issued by the government for your dog.
Can Huskies be Service Dogs? The short answer to this question is YES! While huskies are not the most popular type of service dog, these dogs have the prowess to become one.
These dogs are intelligent, loving, and active. Although they are also stubborn and self-willed with proper training, you can modify their behavior and make them become the best service dogs ever.
If you are looking forward to getting a husky service dog, visit a reputable breeder and adopt a husky, preferably a puppy. Consult with a professional dog trainer and enroll the dog in his training.
Frequently Asked Questions (Can Huskies Be Service Dogs)
How Much Does a Husky Service Dog Cost?
Huskies service dogs are not typically sold in organizations. However, if you are looking forward to getting one, you may purchase a husky dog from a reputable breeder. This should not be more than $700. If you choose to adopt from a shelter instead of a breeder, the cost is likely to be notably lower.
After getting the husky, the next thing is to enroll him in dog training. The training expenses will vary depending on the trainer.
How Long Does It Take to Train a Husky as A Service Dog?
There is no specific time as it all depends on your husky’s learning pace and ability to respond to training. But just to give a rough estimate, an average husky dog should be able to become a reliable service dog after 1 year of receiving training from an experienced service dog trainer.
Are There Any Legal Restrictions or Regulations Regarding Huskies as Service Dogs?
No, there are no restrictions or regulations regarding huskies as service dogs.
Do Service Dogs have to be on Leash?
Yes, Service dogs are expected to always be on leash especially when they are outside or in public places.
Are Service Dogs Allowed Everywhere?
Service dogs are allowed in almost anywhere the public can go. Although there are few reasonable exceptions like commercial kitchens, grocery stores, etc.