Siberian Huskies are fiercely independent and intelligent dogs. They can make great pets, but you need to understand the pack mentality to train a Husky effectively.
It’s hard to train Siberian Huskies because these dogs are independent and stubborn, and they like to challenge authority. However, you can train a Husky by maintaining a structured environment where the dog feels safe, comfortable, and abides by consistent rules.
Read on to learn what you need to know about training a Siberian Husky. This article will cover the basics of training tactics as they apply to Siberian Huskies and other strong pack dogs alike.
Why Is It Hard To Train Siberian Huskies?
Siberian huskies are hard to train due to their intelligence, competitiveness, and the need to look for a pack leader. If they don’t see you as their leader, you’ll have a hard time training them. Huskies will ignore you unless they’re convinced that you are a confident, safe leader to follow.
Things To Remember When Training Siberian Huskies
If you’re going to try training a Siberian Husky, you need to consider their temperament. Keep reading as I share with you some tips on training Siberian Huskies.
You Need To Be Kind To Your Husky
According to a study by the University of Pennsylvania, dogs like the Siberian Husky respond negatively to aggressive training and positively to gentle leadership. Dogs don’t learn things well when they’re afraid or angry, so avoid provoking your dog. Instead of yelling, snarling, or intimidating your dog, try offering rewards or exercise.
Siberian Huskies are also especially sensitive dogs, meaning they will likely pick up on aggression. Ensure that you don’t respond emotionally to your dog, but take intentional, careful steps towards training.
Stay Consistent During Training
One of the most important things you can do to establish your role as a leader is to provide consistency for your Husky. Ensure that your dog knows when to expect playtime and food and that you don’t change its ability to get a good night’s sleep in its favorite location.
One of the most common ways in which people forget to be consistent is in offering food. Sometimes they offer food directly from the table, and other times they get angry at the dog for begging. Treats should also be given consistently, but sometimes owners give treats at a whim rather than in response to good behavior.
Show Strong Leadership by Acting Confident
Because Huskies look for a leader, you need to make sure that you hold yourself with confidence. The more unsure you are, the more likely your Husky will try to take over the role of the leader instead.
It helps to take part in obedience classes, which allow you to practice taking on a leadership role. You can find obedience classes at your local kennel club. And once you’ve learned important training techniques from the class, you can use them to improve your leadership skills at home.
Avoid Using Pinch or Choke Collars for Training
All dogs need collars for training. However, they don’t need pinch or choke collars; in fact, these collars are dangerous to use, especially for inexperienced owners. It’s possible to hurt your dog’s throat with these collars.
Instead of these, you can use a Martingale collar, which gets tight when you tug at it, but not excessively so. These collars are available for purchase from physical and online pet stores. For example, this escape-proof Hyhug Martingale Collar (available on Amazon.com) is made for walking training and everyday use. It also comes in a unique triglide slide design with two small holes on the buckle where you can attach dog ID tags.
Just make sure that you only use this kind of collar for training and not tying up your dog. Also, make sure that the collar is big enough for your dog. You should be able to slip the collar over your dog’s head comfortably.
Pay Attention to Signs of Discomfort
If your Husky is whining, snuffing, or circling, it could be a sign that your dog is uncomfortable and needs to be taken outside to pee. You should respond quickly to these signs, as Huskies are very difficult to house train. Simply take your dog for a trip outside when this happens, and praise your Husky when it successfully pees outside.
If your Husky is frequently peeing inside, know that this could be a sign of a physical illness, too. Watch for other symptoms and consult a veterinarian if you notice this or other abnormal behaviors.
Use a Crate When Raising a Husky Puppy
Husky puppies can be incredibly destructive, and when they first come home, you have to be careful about leaving them in the house unsupervised. You’ll need a crate; just make sure that you take the right steps to make your dog comfortable with it. We refer to the crate as “home” and tell our dogs to “go to their home.”
Take the following tips into account when teaching your dog to use a crate:
- Don’t put your dog in the crate while it’s playing. The crate should be a place for rest, and a playful dog will become restless if you try putting it in a crate.
- Choose the right crate. A crate can be too small or too big, so make sure you measure your dog and find an appropriate one. Some crates come with a divider that you can use to expand the size of the crate as your dog grows. I purchased a Midwest Homes crate on Amazon and its perfect. Comes in multiple sizes, you can get with a divider and you have the option between 1 or 2 doors.
- Avoid lining the crate with towels or a bed. Dogs prefer to sleep on hard surfaces, and they’re likely to rip up or pee on those kinds of materials.
- Use treats as a reward when your dog goes into the crate. One great idea is to give the dog a frozen treat like a kong with peanut butter frozen inside. This gives your dog something positive to enjoy that’ll last some time.
- Don’t leave your dog in the crate for too long. Dogs can spend the night sleeping in the crate, but they should be let out for walks, games, eat, and go to the bathroom during the day.
- Leave the collar off when your dog is in the crate. Dogs can catch in the crate bars if they have collars or tags on, so it’s best to leave them without a collar as long as they’re in it.
Brain Training For Dogs
If you still need help training your Husky or don’t have the confidence, don’t worry! This is very common among new dog owners. You should really check out Brain Training For Dogs. Adrienne Farricelli is a certified dog trainer and her course is completely online. She has over ten years of experience and has trained military and police dogs. Trust me, you wont find a better solution, especially for the price she offers it at.
Siberian Huskies are hard to train but not impossible. By maintaining kindness and consistency, you can make good progress towards teaching your dog to trust you. This is the most important part of training a Husky. Although they are stubborn dogs, they’re also very intelligent and willing to follow people they believe to be competent leaders.