Five Key Principles of Training a Husky
To get the best results in training your husky, you might want to change the way you think about it. It's true that huskies are exceedingly intelligent, and sometimes reveal their predatory instincts. That makes some people apprehensive that their husky is always waiting for some chance to take advantage of his owner. Actually, a husky appreciates having a strong leader to follow; if you take charge, he will be happy with that. As a pack dog, he needs to belong to your pack. He will do what he needs to do to be accepted.
Disobedient behavior that is particularly destructive is a good place to begin learning how to train a husky. You can adjust his behavor within the limits that are set by his instincts. It is a big no-no to flip out at your dog during training. Remember, he or she is looking for a strong leader, not a bully.
1. Crate Training
Huskies who are properly crate-trained tend to be more calm, because they have their own territory and area to go back to. Train your husky to regard his crate as a den or nest where he is safe and can await your return, not as a prison where he is punished.
Punishing your husky through detention in a crate is cruel and in no way do I condone this.
Initially, when you are crate training your dog, make sure you never leave him on his own. Keep him calm during the initial crate training and spend as much time as possible with him, so that he adapts better. House-training problems, barking, and separation anxiety can all be reduced through an effective crate-training regime.
Crate-Training a Puppy with a Clicker and Treats
2. Leash Training
If you are having problems when walking your dog on a leash, you should take a step back in training, and make certain that your husky is acting peacefully before heading off for a walk. Don't rush him while you are waiting for him to get calm before walking. Once he is calm, he will most likely respond much better to your commands during the walk.
If your dog doesn't know the leash rules, it's not his fault if he behaves badly. When he tugs or pulls on the leash to advance ahead of you, calmly sit him down beside you for a few seconds and then continue walking. Eventually your husky will associate his pulling on the leash with the interruption of the walk.
Teaching a Husky not to Pull the Leash
Reinforcing Proper Behavior Outdoors
3. The Alpha Position
As you may well be aware, huskies are working pack dogs legendary for working hard within a team. Taking "the Alpha position" is the way you provide your husky with a dependable leader and a sure foundation in the home location. It should be your highest goal to have your husky realize that you are in control of the home area and of them. When he understands that you are the leader and the provider of food and safety, he will calm down and be more receptive to good training. The more time you can spend early on teaching this idea, the less frustration you will face in later training.
4. Obedience Training
It is an exceptionally good idea to take your husky to a professional obedience school when he is a puppy. He really needs to socialize with other puppies; learning basic commands is just a bonus of puppy school. After puppy school, obedience classes are a great way for owner and husky to learn more advanced commands and to develop the alpha relationship. An older husky that has developed some bad habits could also benefit from obedience training classes.
5. Being Consistent in Your Training
Remaining consistent in your training and rules for your husky is essential. Training requires consistent messages and rules given over time, and anything else will lead to bad behavior. A good example is making sure that boundaries around your home remain consistent. Make sure that everybody in your home knows the ground rules for your husky, where he can and can't be and what he can and can't do, to avoid mixed messages. Having him sit down before crossing the road is a good example of teaching positive habits that reinforce good behavior. Getting compliance from your husky will be easy if you stick to your rules.
Kurt Tully is a husky owner who has a genuine love for huskies and has experience in dealing with health problems and training.