Siberian Husky Training – How to Master Your Dog
Want to find out more about Siberian Husky Training? The Siberian Husky is originally from North-Eastern Siberia, Russia. It’s a medium size working dog breed that belongs to the Spitz genetic family. The Siberian Husky has very distinct features, such as erect triangular ears, unique markings and a thick furred double coat.
Originally they were bred by the Chukchi people, a hunter-gatherer culture that relied on the dogs for help. They're energetic, active and a resilient breed. Their ancestors lived in the extreme weather of the Siberian Arctic, a cold and harsh environment.
Before Starting With Siberian Husky Training
Before you start training your Siberian Husky, there are a few things that you need to know about the breed that will make the training process easier. Firstly, remember that they were originally bred to be helper dogs, this is a very important aspect of their temperament to keep in mind.
Hierarchy and Dominance
You have one of two options – either you become the leader of the pack or your Husky will gladly take the reins. All dog ancestors lived in packs, but when it comes to a helper dog breed, their sense of hierarchy is even stronger.
Challenges for the “alpha” male or female position will always occur, so you need to show your Husky that you mean business when you dominate, otherwise they will challenge your authority. This is the cornerstone of Siberian Husky training. Get this part right from the beginning and the other training steps will be much easier.
Unfortunately this behavior trait is deeply ingrained in the Siberian Husky. Pack animals had to establish territories and defend them with great zeal. Anyone and everyone is seen as a potential threat. From a young age a Husky will tend to be snappy and nippy.
Don’t even think about beating your Husky into submission, this technique will definitely backfire on you and make the dog’s aggression worse. You need to constructively deal with this tendency from puppy age. Read this article to learn more about the different types of aggression in Huskies.
Another ingrained tendency in Huskies. You need to focus on food training to avoid your Husky becoming overly aggressive around feeding time.
This is linked to the survival trait of fight or flight. If your Husky feels threatened and decides it can’t handle the situation, it will choose the flight option. You need to make your Husky feel safe in your presence, reassure the dog that you can protect it at all times. Obedience training is crucial so that you can get your frightened dog under control with a simple command of “sit” or “stay”.
Because dogs used to live in packs when they were wild, that sense of community is deeply engrained in their behavior. Consider buying two Huskies so that they can keep each other happy, otherwise you will have to keep your dog highly entertained when you are away. After being left alone for hours, it will become unhappy, depressed and bored. This will probably result in a destructive spree of chewing stuff to keep itself occupied.
They can be sociable with other dogs, but it is best to rather not mix two very dominant breeds. Read this article to find out more about dominant and submissive dog breeds.
How do dogs communicate? By barking at each other or at you. Siberian Huskies are incessant barkers and it can become very annoying if you don’t teach your dog to obey commands such as “stop” or “no bark.”
If you’re not giving your Husky enough attention, it might start barking just to get your attention. You need to give it enough attention before it resorts to barking. Otherwise a very annoying bad habit will be created. This is why it is so important to invest time in proper Siberian Husky training.
Siberian Husky Training - Taming The Wildness
Siberian Huskies are a very demanding breed. They require constant attention, they have endless energy and are very curios and can get up to a lot of mischief if not trained properly. They are also prone to lots of barking and nipping.
You will have to be very strict in your training, as they are very strong-willed. In their minds the position of “alpha” male or female is always up for grabs.
Burn Up the Energy
Each dog breed has its own energy level. And each individual dog also has a specific energy level. For your Siberian Husky training to work, you need to figure out your dog’s energy level.
Just like human beings can be introverts or extroverts, your dog will lean more to the one side or the other. Siberian Huskies usually have quite high levels of energy, and you will have to figure out how to deal with this.
As mentioned above, if you don’t give your dog enough attention, it will start acting out. Siberian Huskies usually have short burst of energy. They need at least 30 minutes of focused exercise every day. Incorporate your training as part of the exercise time.
Because Siberian Huskies were bred to be helper dogs, they thrive on affirmation. You can turn the training into a game. Just make sure you always remain in charge. Exercise time does not just mean play time.
For at least 25% of the exercise time focus on training. A great concept to incorporate in your training is “nothing in life is for free”. Your Husky needs to learn that if it wants your praise or treats, it must obey you. The dog might try to manipulate you with a very sorrowful look when it doesn’t get a treat or attention. Don’t fall for it, indulging in it will have the same outcome as spoiling a child.
Focused Attention in the Right Direction
You need to pay constant attention to your Husky, not only when it’s behaving badly. To a Husky attention is attention, positive or negative. If you are not affirming the positive behavior, it will act out just to get some form of interaction from you, even if it entails getting reprimanded.
Using the power of attention in your Siberian Husky training can be a potent method. Instead of beating the poor dog into submission when it does something wrong, all you have to do is say “bad dog” and ignore it for an hour after the unwanted behavior. This method will be much more successful than the traditional belief that you should spank the dog to reprimand it.
The Best Siberian Husky Training Method
Combining the motto “nothing in life is free” with the focused attention, you are using a training method called “positive reinforcement”. Your dog needs to accept you as the leader for the training to be successful.
By earning the dog’s trust and respect, you can mold it into a pleasant four-footed family member. Be consistent in your training methods. The same as with kids, let your no be no and your yes be yes. Stick to the same rules every day.
Especially when your Husky is still young it will push the boundaries. If you show any sign of inconsistency, the dog will be hesitant to trust you. Start with all the basic commands such as sit, stay, speak, shake, down and roll over.
Make a list of the activities your Husky loves. Before a loved activity like petting, rubbing, playing or walking, let it execute one of the commands. The dog has to learn “no work, no play.”
- You put the leash in place to go for a walk.
- The dog must patiently sit until you attach the leash.
- You feed the dog
- The dog must lie down and stay until you put the food bowl down.
- You play with the dog when you return home from work.
- The dog must sit and give paw each time you throw the ball for it to fetch.
- You rub the dog’s belly or scratch its head while watching TV.
- The dog must lie down and roll over before being petted.
Things to Remember During Siberian Husky Training
You should never attempt training when you are unwell. Also, don’t train while you are feeling upset, angry or negative. Make sure you are not low on energy or patience when you are busy with the Siberian Husky training.
Dogs are very sensitive to your mood, a dog will quickly pick up when you are not feeling 100% and respond negatively to your training attempt. Don’t train while your mind is distracted or when there’s lots of distractions in the training area.
Do not attempt a lesson if you are not confident about how to execute it. Rather postpone it until you’ve done some research about it or you’ve chatted with a professional trainer.
Siberian Husky Training - The Biggest Trick
Stick to the two main rules: “nothing in life is free” and “no work, no play”. Remember, Siberian Huskies were bred to be helper dogs. If you can give them a sense of purpose, they will remain loyal. But you need to stick to the rules – once a command has been given, the dog must obey. Don’t cave in and still give the dog what it wants.
Your biggest training tool, is giving attention or taking it away. Show patience and persistence and your Husky will eventually submit to your leadership. But the biggest key is consistency. Don’t think that dog’s aren’t capable of manipulation. Your Husky will try to figure out what your weakness is and focus on taking over the alpha role through wearing you down.
Siberian Husky Training Videos
Below are some great videos that show you how to train your Siberian Husky.
How to Potty Train your Puppy
How To Train Your Puppy To Sit, Lay Down and Stop Biting
Do you have a strong-willed Siberian Husky? Have you managed to tame the wildness? What was the most successful training method for you?