Siberian huskies are well known for being sled dogs of the Great North that obediently pull precious cargo with their teammates. They have a job and are most happy to perform it. Huskies do like to be busy!
All puppies need training, even if they are adorable, fluffy, and too cute to discipline but you don’t want to own an adult Siberian husky that is, much to your horror, unruly, ill-mannered, and rebellious. This is why obedience training is a must.
Although extremely friendly and social, Siberian huskies are prone to be stubborn, willful, and pretty independent. This is where you, their owner, need to step in when they are puppies and give some serious training.
If you’re not sure where to begin, this post will give you some information on husky obedience training with a husky obedience training formula and also some tips on how to deal with an aggressive husky.
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Husky Obedience Training Formula
There really is no secret formula for training your Siberian husky. Their temperament is friendly, outgoing and one of intelligence but you may butt heads with their stubborn and devil-may-care attitude.
They don’t exactly want to be in charge but they want to do everything their way! Keep in mind also, that while I’m saying Siberian Huskies are stubborn, each husky, as well as each separate dog of every breed, are individuals like you and me, and your particular husky may not have a stubborn bone in their body.
Below is a formula of things to remember as you begin obedience training.
You must create a lasting bond with your Siberian husky so they will learn to trust and love you. You need to give them plenty of love and attention but, at the same time, stand firm when it comes to rules and training.
Your husky is going to be a member of your family and though children grow and speak, being able to voice their needs such as hunger or pain, your husky won’t always be able to communicate in a way you’ll understand.
Huskies are extremely vocal dogs, not often barking, but whimpering, whining, howling, and a sort of jibber-jabber, that sometimes seems as if they are talking. In time, with bonding, you will begin to understand what most of their vocalizations along with body language mean.
Siberian huskies are instinctively packed animals. Every pack has an alpha leader who is in charge of the entire pack and sees to it that they all obey the rules.
Betas are second in command, followed by other pack members and the lowest members, the omegas. You will always be the alpha in charge and no matter how large or small your family is or how stubborn your pup can be, they need to always be the omega member of the pack.
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This is perhaps the biggest factor to consider before bringing your husky into your home. Do you have time for everything that entails owning a husky; training, feeding, grooming, etc.?
If you want a properly trained husky that is obedient, well-mannered, and an awesome companion, then time is needed.
Consistency and diligence
Along with time, you will need to be consistent and diligent with training. Yelling, screaming, or hitting is never acceptable to accomplish this.
Your pup will need an owner who is firm, patient, and steadfast with rules, never changing your mind by saying “no” one day and “yes” the next. This only confuses your husky and sets the tone that they may just have the upper hand in your relationship. Consistency is key.
Your pup will need to be scolded from time to time but it’s best to concentrate on the positive and reinforce good behavior. When you see your husky playing quietly, tell them what a “good pup” they are with plenty of praise. Likewise during obedience training, reinforcing good jobs with happy praise to build their confidence. Never yell if they don’t understand. Concentrate on the commands they conquer.
To help your pup concentrate on their training, give them plenty of exercises so they aren’t wound up and are able to focus during training sessions.
You can begin training with basic commands at eight weeks as soon as you bring your husky puppy home. If you have adopted an adult husky, start training immediately also.
Husky Obedience Training
Below are some steps to basic obedience training. If you are a first-time pet owner or aren’t sure where to begin, puppy classes are a great way to get both you and your pup off to a good start.
Collar and leash
First and foremost, your Siberian husky should wear a collar at all times. If they should become lost, their tags will identify them and their owner.
Puppies need to get used to wearing one so start by putting their collar on several times a day until they are unaware of it and don’t try to get it off.
When acclimating your pup to the leash, clip it on and let them drag it around, and get the feel of it. Then try walking with them while holding the leash loosely.
If the pup pulls, tugs, or chews on the leash simply drop it and don’t resume until they are calm. Your husky will soon equate their leash with fun adventurous times.
You can begin teaching your puppy basic commands at 8 weeks, but take it slow. Keep training sessions to 3-5 minutes three times a day. You can increase the time as they get older and have a longer attention span.
To teach your pup to sit, place a treat in your hand and keep it enclosed. If you don’t want to use treats, you can use a favorite toy or ball of your husky’s.
Put your hand or toy by your pup’s nose and raise it above their head, saying “sit” at the same time. As they raise their head to look up, down goes their bottom.
Whenever they comply, make a big fuss and give them the toy or treat. Repeat and practice.
Especially when your pup is small, teach one command at a time until they are mastered. Never try to skip around during a session with many commands. This can be confusing.
For teaching the stay command, you can practice this on a leash and begin with the pup in the sitting position. Tell them to “stay” while putting your hand up like police directing traffic and back a step away, keeping eye contact the whole while.
If they stay, reward them with praise or a treat. If they come to you, gently take them back to the starting position and try again. Gradually increase the distance as they progress and practice in a fenced-in area without the leash. Try to limit distractions during early training sessions.
With pup in a sitting position, place a treat in your enclosed hand and move it in front of their nose. Then move your hand to the floor and say “down.” they should follow your hand and slide down. Reward them with the treat or praise if they accomplish the task. Try again if they are having trouble and practice often.
This command is very important if you eventually want to take your husky anywhere off lead or if your pup should become loose and run. Huskies are big “escape” artists. It’s imperative that they come to you when called for their own safety.
Have your husky sit and stay away from you. Then call them by name and say “come.” Again, if they are spot on, give them plenty of praise and a reward. When they do well, practice in larger fenced-in areas at farther distances and add some distractions.
With all of these commands, give plenty of praise for a job well done. It is also the tone of your voice that will tell the pup what a good job they’ve done, and how pleased you are with them.
How To Deal With An Aggressive Husky
Many breeds are well known for their aggressive tendencies, the Siberian husky, however, is not one of those and is rarely aggressive.
Yes, they can be rebellious and stubborn but you just need to be the alpha leader because they are just pushing your buttons to see what they can get away with!
Below are a few ways to deal with an aggressive husky if it should occur.
Prevent aggressive behavior by properly socializing and training your Siberian husky puppy.
Deal with aggression promptly
Work on stopping aggression at the first sign. As soon as your husky shows any aggressive signs remain calm, tell them “no” and try to remove them from the situation.
If it’s a case of your puppy nipping during play, tell them “no,” walk away, and ignore them until they are calm; then, resume play. They will get the idea that bad behavior equals no fun.
Identify and remove the trigger
Identify what has caused the aggressive action and either remove the trigger or your pup. Keeping them away from a trigger may be the only way to curb and eliminate their aggression but this is not always possible.
Reward them with positive praise when they regain their composure. When they show aggressive actions, tell them “no’ firmly with their name. Praising when calm will tell them that good behavior is acceptable.
Often fear causes aggressive actions. Sometimes going to the veterinarian can cause anxiety and fearfulness. In this case, using a muzzle may be the best way to deal with the situation especially if this is the only time they act out.
If your husky continues to act aggressively you will undoubtedly become frustrated. Don’t yell, scream or hit because this will not solve the problem and may even exacerbate it. Seek help from your veterinarian, a trainer, or a behavioral therapist. With a professional, you will get on the right track to help solve and eliminate the problem.
Creating an obedience training formula does not have to be a daunting task. Studying up on the Siberian husky personality will give you insight into the breed. With their sometimes independence, you must always keep in mind that you are in charge.
If you give them an inch, they will gladly run with the mile! Help is always available with obedience classes or a professional trainer such as Brain Training for dogs to guide you as you navigate Siberian husky obedience training.