Given their high levels of intelligence and independence, Siberian Huskies sometimes gain a reputation as a breed of dog that is difficult to train. While it is true that Huskies can be somewhat stubborn, they are also fast learners. If you take a few key tips and tricks on board, your Husky training will proceed much more smoothly.
One of the best ways to ensure success in training your Siberian Husky is to begin training while still a puppy. Beyond this, the two most important principles for dog training are consistency and positivity. You should always be committed and consistent in your approach to training your Husky pup. Using positive reinforcement will always get you much further than bullying or aggression ever will.
If you keep these basic training principles in mind, it will become much easier to train your Husky, regardless of the training methods you use. Whether you are teaching basic commands, instructing your Husky puppy in potty training, or even training your dog to walk off-leash, both you and your Husky will enjoy the training process much more.
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1. Start early
It is always advisable to begin training your Husky while he is still a puppy. At this age, it easier to train your Husky pup as he is still in his formative stage and will be more inclined to take on board any instruction and training you give.
Although it is not impossible to train adult dogs, they are likely to be much more stubborn, and you may even need to unteach some unwanted behaviors.
When you begin to train your Husky puppy, it is important to start small to avoid confusing him. Begin by building respect and obedience towards you as the owner.
Simple obedience training with your Husky pup could be as easy as rewarding your dog with a treat or a cuddle when he behaves well – this could be walking beside you during leash training or doing his business outside during potty training.
This idea taps into the positive reinforcement technique. If your pup learns that you are likely to reward him with treats and love when he behaves well, he is far more likely to do just that!
Crate training for puppies: should I do it?
Crate training for puppies sometimes has a bad reputation, no doubt to the plaintive cries and wails that arise in the first few days of using the crate. Despite this, crate training can be a handy tool in your obedience training.
Crates can help with housetraining, can stop your Husky pup from biting and chewing furniture, and can also provide a place of refuge for your pup in your home.
To maximize the benefits of crate training, try to avoid using the crate as a place of punishment. If you put your Husky pup in the crate to punish him, it will become a place of fear instead of refuge.
Also, try to avoid leaving your pup in the crate for too long – they only have small bladders, and you may find yourself with an accident on your hands!
The most important part about crate training, however, is consistency. Put your puppy into the crate at the same times every day, and make sure you are using the crate in a way that will not confuse him. You are much more likely to make good habits stick if you are consistent.
2. Potty training your Husky pup
Although it can be one of the messiest, house training is also one of the most important training tasks you can take on as a Husky owner. Properly training your Husky pup to do their business outside will make your life easier (and less smelly!) and create a solid foundation for a long, happy life together.
Just as it was important with crate training, consistency is crucial when potty training your pup. Be committed and consistent in the approach you take and the methods you use. Some simple tips and tricks to potty train your pup include:
- Taking your puppy outside at the same time every day.
- Limiting your puppy’s access to food and water, especially at night, to avoid accidents.
- Not going too long without a bathroom break – about one house for every month of your puppy’s age is a good guide.
- Don’t punish bad behavior or accidents – take your puppy outside immediately and wait until they do their business in the correct place.
- Always reward your puppy when he uses the bathroom correctly.
House training is a great example of one of the types of training that requires a firm schedule. Building your potty training into your dog’s daily routine will become second nature to them.
Additionally, by using positive reinforcement during potty training, your Husky dog will come to associate this activity with rewards and happy feelings. Once you have passed the initial stage of potty training, you will not need to reward your dog for using the bathroom correctly continuously – he will get it!
3. Teaching basic commands
Again, positive reinforcement and consistency are your best friends as a Husky owner trying to teach their pup basic commands.
According to the American Kennel Club, teaching your puppy to ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ ‘come,’ or any other command will require you to manage your furry friend’s expectations once your pup knows what you expect of him and knows that he will be rewarded for it. He is much more likely to do what you ask.
Whatever command you are trying to teach your puppy, make sure you keep the training sessions short. Huskies have a short attention span, and any dog owner familiar with puppy behavior will know that these little guys can tend to wander off when they become bored.
Take regular breaks during training sessions, and always try and incorporate some training element into playtime so that your puppy will look forward to his training and be more likely to take it on board!
In short, build the simple steps of command training into your daily routine, and always use positive reinforcement when your puppy does something right.
4. Agility training: yay or nay?
Agility training for Siberian huskies may also be beneficial but requires proper training and an obedient dog.
If you wish to train your Husky in competitive agility, you can start from about one year of age. It can be a great way to keep your pup healthy and happy and requires lots of consistency and discipline both on behalf of the dog and on behalf of their human!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Siberian Huskies hard to train?
Despite tales of Siberian husky obedience issues, this breed of dog is indeed trainable. After all, Huskies have been trained to pull heavy sleds across ice and snow for generations.
This being said, training your Siberian Husky can prove to be a very challenging task. With a firm independent streak, these dogs certainly have a mind of their own. Unless you incentivize and encourage good behavior in your Husky Puppy from the outset, it can be difficult to instill the behaviors you may wish to see.
Are Siberian Huskies good for first-time dog owners?
Although Siberian Huskies may present a bit more of a challenge for first-time owners than some other dog breeds, there is no reason why a committed, willing first-time owner should not have a Husky.
You can begin by creating a routine for you and your dog that is suitable for your dog’s schedule (i.e., around his eating, sleeping, and playing times). This will help you understand the unique traits of the dog and how to handle them.
For example, huskies are very playful. With this in mind, it would be wise to come up with a training program that is fun and playful. This will encourage your Husky puppy to be attentive and obedient, as he is doing something he likes. Training should be fun for human and Husky alike, not an opportunity to frustrate your both.
When should I start training my Husky puppy?
It is possible to begin training your Husky puppy from the age of eight weeks. Although he will have a short attention span, beginning your training at this early age will allow you to make the most of every opportunity and interaction and make a chance for learning and development.
Is it possible to train an adult Husky?
Although the old saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is familiar to most, it isn’t necessarily true.
Although it may take longer, and you may need to stamp out some bad behaviors that your older Husky may have acquired, it is certainly possible to train your adult Husky. Some Husky owners will ever tell you that potty training is easier, as the adult dog has a larger bladder.
If you are really struggling with training your adult Husky, you can always take them to formal obedience classes with a qualified trainer.