People might stop you on the streets just to tell you how beautiful your dog looks. Although a Siberian husky is a fantastic breed, this beautiful beast is not for everyone.
Intelligent and independent by nature, Siberian huskies don’t depend too much on human relationships like other dog breeds do. So, they require pet owners who are firm and patient, both at the same time.
The good news is that they get along well with kids as well as adults. Of course, they are coachable too. With proper coaching, you are bound to have a blast with your wolf-like dog companionship for many years and beyond.
To make things easy for you, we have covered some valuable tips on training a husky.
The younger the husky is, the easier it will be to coach him/her. By starting at a young age, you can ensure that you have a well-behaved pet at your hands by the time your pet gets to his/her adolescence age.
Of course, younger huskies are bound to have a short attention span. But then, you can still teach them basic obedience commands such as ‘come,’ ‘go,’ ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ and so on.
Keep in mind that ‘eye contact’ is the key when it comes to dog training. You want your pet to focus on you as opposed to everything else around him/her, which will make it easier to communicate and teach him/her new things.
So, try to eliminate all the distractions that are preventing your dog from focusing on you.
Make it Rewarding
Huskies are naturally smart. The moment they realize that they will get a high reward for following a command, they won’t create a lot of fuss. Your best approach would be to lure them with treats for obeying the desired command. You should also praise them a lot. So, a reward can be a toy, food, or even sincere verbal praise. In fact, a short run can also be a reward because it goes well with their high energy levels.
In due time, you will know what motivates your pet the most. Generally speaking, food motivates them the most. Of course, make it a point to reward your pet only if he/she performs the desired action perfectly.
Take Baby Steps
If you are trying to teach new tricks, don’t forget to take baby steps. After all, you won’t be able to teach a new skill in one session. So, don’t expect overnight results. In other words, teach them a new trick in small increments.
Also, don’t vary the training technique too often just because your pet is taking a lot of time to learn something new. Keep in mind that it usually takes numerous sessions for any pet dog to master a new behavior.
Furthermore, don’t keep the training sessions too long or too short. Too long sessions can bore them to death, and shorter sessions might not yield quick results, leading to a lot of disappointment in the process.
Play the Role of Alpha
To be a good pet owner to your husky, you should possess leadership qualities. Yes, you need to be the boss in the relationship. Showing your dominance will enable you to train your pet successfully without too many issues.
If there are a lot of twists and turns in the relationship—sometimes you are the boss, and at other times slave to the Siberian husky, you will end up with one confused and non-obedient dog.
Please know that showing your dominance in the relationship has nothing to do with you being overly harsh or violent. So, don’t force your husky nor rush him/her into anything.
It’s all about providing a safe, comfortable, and structured surrounding for your husky to lead a good life. As they say, ‘there’s no substitute for love, care, and affection.
Praise your pet when he/she gets things right. But, don’t punish him/her for making a mistake. As hinted earlier, patience is a mandatory quality that a husky owner must possess.
Invest in the Right Collar/Leash
Training a Siberian husky is a lot easier than usual with the right tools, such as a collar/leash. During walks, huskies like to explore different smells and everything else around them, causing them to pull on to their leash.
Keep in mind that they can pull really hard because of how strong they are. To prevent this undesirable behavior, you should either stop or move in the opposite direction, preventing them from getting what they want.
***It will take some time, but sooner or later, your pet will realize that pulling the leash/collar will get him/her nowhere***
If you invest in a good quality collar/leash, your motivation to take your husky for a walk will improve significantly, resulting in a healthier relationship with your pet.
Prevent their Escape
Believe it or not, Siberian huskies are great escape artists. When given a chance, they will go on a walk or run on their own. Sometimes, they may never return.
Now, this isn’t to say that they aren’t loyal. They may not return if they have been mistreated. All the tips on training a husky will be of no use if they never turn back.
The desire to escape just happens to be a cultural integration imbibed from the Siberian folks who breed them. The Siberian people worked the Huskies, fed them, and kept them with the family in winter.
During summers, the huskies were left on their own to find food, and, of course, to lead a natural life. This resulted in the dogs being independent and thereby causing them to run/explore whenever the opportunity presents itself.
If your husky is not receiving due attention, plenty of physical activity, adequate training, and quality time from you, it might prompt him/her to run away from you to fix the boredom and lack of affection.
Also, don’t make the classic mistake of underestimating how high Siberian huskies can jump. They are pretty fit and athletic. So, build a high fence in your yard to prevent them from escaping in the middle of an ordinary day.
Don’t Ignore Physical Activity
By nature, huskies hate sitting still at a place for too long. They seem to have an everlasting supply of energy. Since they are packed with energy, they need both mental and physical stimulation on an everyday basis.
After all, they are bred to pull sleds that weigh many times their body weight for hours at a stretch. This should give you a fair idea about their strength and stamina.
In short, your wolf-like dog companion would need a good workout on a daily basis. Due to their exceptional endurance, they need around two hours of exercise a day.
From running, swimming, agility courses, disc catching, skateboarding, bikejoring, dock jumping, puzzle-solving, and more, you have a lot of activities to choose from.
Bear in mind that failure to avoid adequate physical stimulus can lead to destructive behavior. If you can’t provide adequate exercise time, you are not an ideal pet owner for this type of dog breed.
They do calm down a bit once they are into their second or third year of life, which is to say that you can reduce the exercise time a bit after the initial years of their life.
Crate Train your Husky
Finally, make it a habit to place your beloved pet in the crate for night sleeping. The key over here is to wear them down around the sleep time with some playtime so that they don’t resist being in the crate.
If they still keep nagging, offer them a treat when they mellow down a bit. Initially, you might have to also ignore them as they will resist being crated.
Keep in mind confinement isn’t cruelty. Contrary to popular belief, a crate can give your pets a feeling of a sense of security. That said, don’t crate them for a long time in the beginning.
Ideally, they should be crated for a few hours only. Crating your husky for more than 4-5 hours at a stretch is usually not recommended.
When choosing a crate for your husky, make sure that the crate is big enough for your husky to stand inside of it without touching the top of the crate. Also, the dog should be able to turn himself/herself inside the crate to move out.
Basically, get a spacious crate because huskies need a little more space for movement than your regular dog because of their large size.
Huskies are trainable as long as your training practices are not poor. In the end, it matters how dedicated you are as a pet trainer.
Seriously, your commitment and level of patience will outweigh any other tips on training a husky.
This is to say that it will take a lot of time and consistency to fully train a husky. Nevertheless, if you put in the work, you will get a lot from it.