Siberian Husky Training

|Siberian Husky Training
Siberian Husky Training 2017-06-26T23:50:11+00:00

The following information is where you will learn about Siberian Husky training.

Taking the Lead

The Siberian is very different from other breeds, retaining a great deal of his ancestor’s wolfish ways. Unlike retrievers, pointers, shepherds, terriers and toy dogs, who have had most of the pack orientation bred out of them, the primitive, highly intelligent Siberian Husky retains an extremely strong pack mentality. This mindset must be understood and honored. While a dog pack is most assuredly not the same thing as a wolf pack, neither is it altogether different.

Siberians are a challenging breed in more ways than one: They are prey-driven, complex, competitive, stubborn, strong and clever. They also have an incredible need for exercise, and they need a leader.

If you do not take on the leadership role immediately, your clever Siberian Husky will soon be training you. Every pack needs at least one leader, and the basic rule is that all humans should be leaders above all dogs. Leaders control access to all good stuff that dogs want: food, sleeping spots, and toys, as well as petting and exercise. In the wild, dominance solves a conflict, and conflict establishes dominance. That’s fine for wolves, but it doesn’t work so well in a civilized household and you must not allow it. You do this by exercising you natural leadership. Establish dominance when your dog is a pup using positive techniques.

Harsh methods don’t work especially on a Husky. Real leadership has nothing to do with being violent or overly harsh. It has everything to do with providing a safe, structured, comfortable environment for your husky that includes exercise, good nutrition, and affection. This is what matters to your dog.

If he seems more interested in bossing around the family than in behaving appropriately, there’s been a serious training failure. But that isn’t your dog’s fault. If your Siberian Husky is taking on the leadership role, it’s up to you to re-establish the boundary lines, and hope your Husky understands. He will; dogs are pretty generous.

Setting the tone for training. Establishing a good relationship will your puppy is the foundation for successful training. That relationship means that you are the leader and your dog is the follower. Other family members can also be leaders. Wolves generally follow a mated pair, and today’s household dog should have no trouble obeying all family members. The important thing is that the leader cannot be your dog. You set the tone, and the keywords are kindness, consistency, and confidence.

Kindness

A yearlong study by the University of Pennsylvanian, ending in 2009 and published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, showed that aggressive dogs who were trained with aggressive, confrontational or aversive training with techniques continued their aggressive ways. On the other hand, nonaversive training methods like additional exercise or rewards were very successful in reducing or eliminating aggressive responses. The reason is simple: Harsh techniques are designed to intimidate. Dogs respond to intimidation be becoming fearful. Fearful dogs either cower or bit back-or both. Dogs who are angry, afraid or confused cannot learn anything except to become angrier, more afraid or more confused. The same is true for the trainer. Good leaders do not intimidate, yell, throw things or snarl. They lead. Angry, afraid or confused trainers can’t teach anything to anyone, especially a sensitive dog like a Husky.

Consistency

Good leaders are trustworthy. This means they don’t change the rules on a whim. The most familiars example of inconsistency is the way we humans control- or fail to control- our puppy’s access to food. Sometimes you give your dog tidbits from your plate. Other times, you yell at the dog when he approaches the table. While Huskies are remarkably intuitive dogs, they can’t read your mind, at least not all the times.

Good leaders successfully communicate to their dogs what they want. This isn’t always easy. Humans speak human and dogs speak dog. However, you don’t need complicated syntax to convey your most basic message: “I am the leader, and I am in control of the situation.”

Believe it or not, this is a major stress-reducer for dogs. When your dog knows when you decide when dinner time is, where the games will happen and how long they last, and where his sleeping spot is, he will feel relieved and not stressed. No more anxious guesswork; he knows what to expect. His needs for structure have been fulfilled.

Confidence

When you are confident in yourself, your Siberian will be confident in you. Weak, uncertain, soft owners experience much more trouble controlling their dogs then self-assured and confident people. That’s because your Siberian understands almost at once that you are not a leader, and this makes him feel unsafe. As a result, he may become excessively shy, or attempt to take over himself. If he succeeds, it’s a disaster.

The best way to build your confidence around your dog is to sign up for an obedience course at your local kennel club or Petsmart, where you’ll learn techniques that will establish your leadership. In addition to your classes at your club or Petsmart, work with your dog every day on obedience exercise. You’ll feel better about yourself and your dog will feel better about himself, too.
*Siberians are smart and fairly biddable, and, like all dogs, they require structure and consistency. *
*Your Siberian Husky naturally wants to obey a pack leader. It’s up to you to be that leader. *

Fulfilling His Needs

Your Siberians basic needs are simple. He has no desire to run a business, uncover ancient artifacts or figure out the meaning of life. All he wants is to be a dog. But dogs, almost by definition, need people to care for them and lead them right direction. If not well led, they will challenge you- and most will concentrate their challenge on a point of utmost concern to them: food, possessions (toys) and rest.

Access to Food

You are the leader, you control the food. This means you don’t allow your dog to march up to the table and demand a bite from your plate. If you permit this behavior just once, you have given the dog the message that he might get a treat when he begs. So unless you want to endure every meal with the haunting gaze of your Husky attached hopefully to your meatloaf, let him know from the start that he eats from his own dish.

Begging is bad enough, but interest in food can escalate into protective behavior. Dogs will naturally protect their own dinners. Try approaching your dog while he eats his food. If he continues to eat calmly while you pet him, congratulations he is stress-free.

If he stops eating but shows no aggression, he is revealing some stress. A very stressed dog will growl or snap if you approach him while he’s eating. Some dogs will permit their trusted leaders to remove their filled bowls, but for other dogs, this is an extremely anxiety-producing situation. It takes a lot of trust for a dog to calmly allow you to take his bowl away and many dogs will grow or bit3 over their food. You can tech a food-possessive dog to allow you to take away his food, but it takes time and dedication.

1st step:

Start by removing the food bowl completely and feed your Husky by hand. This helps him realize that all food comes from you and also helps build trust.

2nd step:

Next, put a few pieces of kibble in his dish at a time; let him eat them and then approach with more, dropping them in gradually. Soon he will realize that your approaching his bowl is a sign if good things to come.

3rd step:

After your dog gets used to the idea, make the food-bringing intermittent. Sometimes you can bring something better than kibble, like chicken or cheese.

4th step:

Eventually, you should get to the point where you can approach his bowl and remove it, using the verbal cue “drop it”. Follow by giving him a reward that is better than his supper.

It is also recommended that you have your dog sit before putting down his bowl. This is called the “nothing is free” approach. Your dog should sit promptly and without complaint. Half-hearted compliance is not acceptable. If your dominant dog refuses to sit, put the food dish away and try again in 20 minutes. If he doesn’t obey then, wait until the next meal. I’m betting your husky won’t skip another meal.

Toys & Playtime

Some Siberians exhibit precisely the same kind of guarding behavior over a special toy, which to them may represent a bit of prized game hard-earned from the tundra. If your puppy exhibits this kind of possessive, start by not allowing him toys. Then hand them out gradually, and try trading toys until he becomes comfortable with the idea.

Dominance and submission levels are often decided during play. You may not be aware that this is the subtext, but your Siberian husky understands it perfectly. It’s starts with deciding when play time will begin. Your dog may nudge or put his paw on your leg. While it may look cute, it’s a demand-not a request-to play.

Dogs request play by bowing. You should not allow a dominant dog to initiate petting or play behavior; that is your prerogative, not his. And as long as you feel your dog is challenging you, reserve petting as a reward for obedient behavior-don’t hand it out like candy. It’s all part of a simple program to make him work for rewards, whether it is food, play or petting. The same rules apply to ending the game-you make the decision when to quit. The best time to quit is a little before your dog has had enough.

If your Siberian is the dominant type, don’t play tug-of-war with him, or any game that seems to put you two in competition with each other. Work instead on activities that build trust. Simply getting to the outdoors can be a challenge with an exuberant Siberian. This is a situation in which you must assert your leadership and make your dog wait; it is just not safe for you to be bowled off your feet while your dog crashes through the door and into the street.

Teach him the stay, cue and enforce it. A dog that races ahead of you is not necessarily exhibiting alpha behavior, however; he probably just wants to get out the door right away. But to protect everyone, you need to assert your leadership here; don’t allow your dog’s exuberance to override your good sense.

Good dog behavior is closely related to how much intense exercise your dog gets. No other breed of dog requires more exercise than a young, healthy Siberian husky. A mile or two of walking or jogging will not suffice. And because huskies are not self-exercisers; turning them loose in the yard won’t work, either.

You will need to dedicate a significant amount of time and energy toward meeting your dog’s exercise needs. Seriously consider a Siberian-friendly sport-like sledding, skijoring, canicross, flyball, agility or dock diving-that really gives your guy a workout. The resulting physical exertion leads to a calmer, more pleasant pet. He’s too tired to care. As a bonus, the bond of trust you’ll develop will help you and your dog maintain your respective roles: wise leader and dedicated follower.

Rest & Relaxation

Sleep is important to dogs: they do it for 12 to 14 hours a day. Studies show that people who sleep with dogs are less rested than those who keep their dogs in their own beds. It is a know fact that a 35-pounds husky can take up three-quarter of a king sized bed. The best plan is for you to have your place while your dog has his.

Humans may think that sleeping together is bonding, but the message your dog gets is, this is my bed. I own it and can protect it. Your dog might continue to allow you to sleep there with him, but he may be less than pleased when someone else tries to approach the bed. This is where trouble starts.

If you absolutely must have your Siberian in bed with your (for those cold nights), get in the habit of specifically inviting him there. Don’t let him leap up any time he wants. You want the message to be, this is my bed. I am letting you stay here on sufferance, but it’s my decision.

Chairs and couches also present a challenge. If your dog is sleeping on your chair and you approach and demand it for yourself, his first reaction may not be, Oh, here comes the leader. I’ll vacate immediately, but rather What the-can’t she see I’m sleeping here? Why doesn’t she lie down on the floor?

In the wild, dogs don’t ask other dogs to move out of the way; they just go around. After all, there are no chairs, and one spot is pretty much like another. If he refuses to move, tip the chair gently or lure him with a treat. This is not being weak; it is avoiding unnecessary confrontation. (If your dog doesn’t react negatively to being taken by the collar, you can move him that way, but this can be risky with some dogs.)

Another place dogs like to sleep is in a doorway between rooms. It’s a strategy. Your husky may be claiming his space by making you walk around him. Or he may be trying to keep an eye on two rooms at once. In either case, don’t walk around or step over your dog. Make him move. (Some dogs lie right in front of the refrigerator. it’s pretty obvious what they’re doing there!) When your Siberian understands that you’re, his trusted leader, make a fair decision about important things like food and toys and sleeping places, he can relax.

He won’t feel the pressure to defend himself or his things- he knows you’ve got it covered and he can happily go back to being a dog. It’s what you both want.

*The average Siberian is outgoing, energetic, & clever. *

Mine, Mine, Mine.

Resource guarding and food stealing are natural, normal dog behaviors that can get your Siberian in big trouble. Dogs are opportunistic eaters. If they see food, they eat it.

Scrupulosity Management (put food away or put your dog away!) can prevent your husky from ever learning that there’s good stuff to be found on counters. A well taught “leave it” cue can stop him in his tracks if he’s headed for unacceptable food items on the coffee table.

Here’s the abridged version of the leave it cue: 
Say “leave it” and place a cube of freeze-dried liver (or another really tasty treat) under your foot. Wait quietly while your dog tries to get it. Tip your toe if necessary to prevent him from licking it. When he gives and looks away from your foot, say “Yes!” and feed treats as long as he leaves the cube alone. If he tries to get it again, wait quietly for him to look away, then say, “yes” and give him a treat again.

When your dog is ignoring the cube, move your foot to uncover it. If he tries to get it, cover it with your food, (don’t say “no”) and wait for him to look away again. In time, he’ll stop trying. Eventually, he’ll understand that “leave it” means “you can’t have it” Then transfer the behavior to other situations, first on-leash so you can prevent him from reaching the “leave it” object; ultimately without the least.

Resource Guarding

Dogs resource guard because they’re worried you’re going to take their good stuff. Indeed, sometimes we do! Some Siberian pups as young as 8 weeks of age exhibit guarding behavior. Sometimes the behavior appears in more mature dogs after they’ve repeatedly experienced humans taking things away from them.

The key to avoiding or modifying resource guarding in your husky is convincing him that your presence makes more good things happen. Do this by walking past him (at a safe distance, if he already guards) and dropping high-value treats, until he looks up happily as you approach, in anticipation of more tasty treats falling from the sky.

It’s also good to teach the trade game. Anytime your dog has something in his mouth, cheerfully say “Trade!” and offer to switch for a high-value treat. If you chase him and yell at him, he’ll quickly learn to guard. Drop treats on the ground, if necessary, to convince your dog to drop his trade item. If it’s his toy, give it back to him to show him that trade doesn’t always mean he loses his object.

Mastering the Basics

*Your dog should learn these five essential cues for good behavior: sit, lie down, stay, come and heel.

Where to Begin?

The common denominator of the five basic behaviors is attention to you. While that alone may seem insurmountable, it really isn’t. Once you have solid focus from your dog, the rest is easy. I like to use a clicker (a small, plastic device that makes a sharp click sound when pressed) for a novice dog, because the click makes everything crystal clear to him: that specific behavior what you want, and that he will get rewarded for doing it in the future.

You can also use a verbal signal (such as yes!), although our words can sometimes get lost after all, dogs don’t speak English! You won’t have to use the clicker forever; just in the beginning stages of teaching new behaviors. Repeat each step for a few minutes every day in five-minute increments, twice a day for at least two weeks, and then two to three times per week for the rest of your dog’s life. This way, eye contact, name and word response will remain strong throughout your husky’s life.

Prime the Clicker

Start off by “priming” your clicker. Have about 60 pea-sized treats in your hand, click, then give your dog a treat. The treat should follow the click by no more than a half second so that the correct association can be made. Now wait for eye contact, and click when your dog looks up at you. Believe me, after feeding 60 treats, if all of a sudden nothing is happening, your husky will look up as if to ask, “Why did you stop?” The instant he does, click and treat.

Practice Name Response

Next is name response. Say your dog’s name the instance he looks up at your face, then click and give him a treat. Be sure to say his name when he is looking at you, rather than to get him to look at you-one way is teaching, the other is nagging. Repeat this for a few minutes, as well.

Teach the Recall Cue

Now you need to teach your Siberian that the word “come” is the best thing since sliced bread. When he looks at you, say his name and “come” then click and give him a treat.

Focus His Attention

Because Siberians weren’t bred to be focused on their owners at all times (they can’t pull a sled if they keep looking back), in addition to the exercises above, hand feed your dog his daily ration of food, one kibble or treat at a time for a t least two weeks, so that he learns that all good stuff comes from you. Every time he looks at you, hand him a treat. I promise that this will not ruin his mushing if you do sledding with your husky, and, in fact, teaching basic skills will help your entire hobby, from getting in out of the car, through the crowd, to the sled and then hooking up his guideline.

Basic Cue No. 1: Sit

Once of the easiest and most useful behaviors to teach once you have your dog’s undivided and willing attention is a sit. The sit cue is beneficial in countless ways. It is the antithesis of jumping, it is great for the visitor for etiquette, it’s helpful when putting on a leash or harness and it’s just polite behavior.

Have a treat in the palm of your hand and hold it slightly over your dog’s head. Use canine physics: head goes up and rear end goes down. When your husky’s rear end hits the ground, say sit then click and treat. Be careful that you wait until he actually performs the behavior before naming it otherwise, you are naming the wrong behavior! After a few repeats, you won’t need to have the treat in your hand; just use the same hand signal and your dog will sit.

Basic Cue No. 2: Lie Down

The lie-down cue is functional for greeting young children, staying for a long period, getting your dog to lie down on his bed and for spot checks for ticks, fleas, and rashes.

To get your dog into a down position, ask him to first to sit. Holding a treat between two fingers, lure it in front of your dog’s nose, straight down, slowly (you can let him nibble the treat to keep him interested) until he is in the down position. Once he’s lying down, name the behavior (lie down), click it and give him a few treats.

If your dog doesn’t understand the behavior right away, don’t despair or think you have done wrong. Break the behavior down into smaller pieces and click and treat as your dog lowers his head until he performs down. Be sure to only say lie down. When he actually does the action. Don’t get lured into thinking you need to push him into a position that will only make him resist.

Basic Cue No. 3: Stay

Stays are essential for multiple dog households or for going in and out of doorways. Also, if you happen to drop something poisonous and don’t want your dog to get, stays can be a lifesaver. If you do musing with your dog and happen to fall off the sled, you most definitely need your Husky to stay. You can teach your dog a sit-stay, down-stay or stand-stay.

Here’s how to teach your dog to do a sit-stay, the most common kind of stay: Stand in front of your dog and ask him to sit. Turn your head and shoulders slightly away from your dog. Turn back instantly and give him a treat (We are not working on duration just yet, so turn back quickly.) Repeat this until you see that dog is comfortable staying in place while you move.

The next step is to turn farther away. Turn away and lift a foot as if you are going to leave. Then actually take a step. Then another one, and so on. Each time, go back quickly so your dog remains successful. As you are about to leave, give your verbal reminder cue sit. If at any time your dog gets up, go back and ask him to sit again. It’s no big deal if he breaks his stay-hen just doesn’t understand it yet.

Try not to get angry with him because that may make him nervous about staying. Once you are about 10-15 feet away and your dog is rock solid, you can start to add your stay cue. Ease into it by saying, sit, stay.

Be sure to practice the sit-stay cue amidst distractions. Once your Siberian is acting like a statue, allow the distractions to become louder, closer and faster, but always set him up to achieve success. Heavily reward him for remaining in position. If you have a pack of dogs who all need to stay together, practice with each dog separately, then two dogs, then three and so on, all through your distance, duration, and distractions.

Basic Cue No. 4: Come

You can teach your Siberian to come on cue by making it into a game. Play in a fenced-in area, or attach a 50-foot-long line to your dog. That way, you’d have to hold the leash, but you can always step on it if you need to keep him safe. Once your dog knows that the word “come” pays off, pair it with the actual behavior. You can try playing the “drop-the-cookie-and-run-like-heck” game.

To do this, simply:

Drop one treat (To get a head start and tell your dog “get it”) Run away fast. As your dog is coming to you, say his name and your come word. Give your husky a jackpot of treats, feeding one treat at a time (which will keep him with you longer) Feel free to be generous; your dog will remember when it really counts! To make sure your dog won’t think that your running away is part of the cue, start to throw the treat farther so you don’t have to run. Just like with the stay cue, work in distractions gradually and always heavily reward your Siberian when he comes to you.

Basic Cue No. 5: Heel (Loose-leash Walking)

All breeds will push or pull against anything that is pushing or pulling against them. Equipment doesn’t train your dog you do. However, a harness is comfortable and will take the pressure off his neck, so at least you know you won’t be causing tracheal, neck or spinal damage.

You have two options for a harness. If you are musing with your dog, use either a standard “H” harness or a leather tracking harness (the kind with a padded breastplate). If you are doing track, then use an X-back sledding harness.

To teach your Siberian how to heel:

Maneuver right and left as your dog follows and/or chases you. Click and toss him a treat. Repeat until you can’t get rid of him. Back up in a straight and sometimes wavy line and click and treat your dog for following you.

Be sure not lure him-let your erratic body movements attract him. Put the leash and clicker in your right hand, treats in your left. Pivot so your dog is on the left, then click/treat each step forward if he is looking up at you. After a few repetitions of this, click and treat every second step, every third step, etc., then mix it up so he never knows when you will click.

In between clicks place your left hand up by your stomach (this becomes your hand signal for the heel). Gradually add in distractions and heavily reinforce your husky for staying with you. If he loses focus, jump around between steps one, two and three. Once he is heeling beautifully, start to add in your cue word. As he is looking up at you, say “heel,” then click and treat and repeat often.

Teach Your Husky to Walk on a Loose Leash

Once he has mastered the heel, attach a 15-foot leash to him. That way, he will have some room to choose to be with you. Heavily reward your dog with lots of treats for sticking around. Your job here is to be proactive and click and treat (toss it toward him) before the leash gets tight. Sounds easy, and it is but it takes a great deal of practice on your part to get the timing correct.

If you miss it and he starts to pull, stand still and wait. When he comes back to you, change direction and start over. Be careful not to get into a pattern of pull-come-back-get-a-treat-pull-again. Don’t give him a treat right away; get in a few steps of loose-leash walking before rewarding him. You can also add in a verbal cue such as “let’s go” or “with me” it doesn’t matter what the phrase is, just make sure it’s different than your heel word.

*Knowing a few basic cues helps your dog become a well-mannered member of the family. *

Get Down

Even if you sternly tell your dog “off,” glare at him and push him off your legs, you’ve looked at him, touched him and spoken to him. For many dogs, this is more than enough attention to reinforce the jumping behavior and encourage them to do it again. Instead, avoid doing all the good stuff.

When your Siberian starts to jump:

Without making eye contact, say “Oops!” to mark the unwanted behavior. Turn your back on him and step away. If he keeps following you and jumping on you from the behind, walk through a door and close it behind you, with your dog on the other side. Repeat as necessary.

When your dog realizes that jumping up makes you go way, he’ll start offering some other behavior. If you’ve done a good job of rewarding him for the sit cue, sitting becomes his default behavior-the behavior that he chooses when he doesn’t know what else to do. When jumping stops working for him, sitting should be the behavior choice that leaps to his brain. When your dog offers to sit, be sure to reward him with lots of attention. With practice, he’ll greet you with a sit instead of a jump.

Housetraining a Husky

*Teach your Siberian to potty where and when you want him to.*

Tinkle Talent

Siberians are very clean animals and generally do not like to be in a messy situation. When you and your Siberian develop a sound relationship that’s built on mutual respect, he will love to work with you.

Siberians are very independent, so as a trainer, you need to be confident and believe in your ability to train your dog, as well as be consistent in what you expect from him.

Step One: Choose a Potty Spot

Before you can show your Siberian husky where you want him to do his business, you need to figure out where that spot is. Make this decision carefully. This is the area that will serve as your dog’s bathroom. While you’re housetraining him, you’ll do everything you can to make sure he uses this spot and this spot only. Because your Siberian will grow up to be at least a medium-sized dog you should plan on training him to do his business outdoors right from the start.

Your backyard is an obvious place to position his outdoor potty but makes sure it’s located some distance away from flowers or plants that might suffer from your housetraining’s anointing’s. If you don’t have a backyard, have your dog do his business on the medium strip between the sidewalk and the streets, but be sure to clean up afterward.

Step Two: Get in Gear

A crate? Yes, it looks like a cage or a shipping container, but a crate can be your Siberian’s best friend. That’s because of the crate capitalies on one of your dog’s most basic instincts: not soiling the place where he sleeps and eats. The use of a crate is the best way to teach Siberian bathroom manners. When crates are properly used, Huskies take well to their use.

A scent cloth. This make-it-yourself item is what guides your husky housetraining to the place you wants him to potty. Start by using a paper towel to wipe your dog’s bottom after he pees but don’t throw that paper towel away. Instead, save it for his next potty break. At the time, bring your dog and the soiled paper towel to the place where you want him to potty. Place the paper towel on the ground, and let his nose do the rest. In other words, he’ll smell the scent of his previous potty on the paper towel and, in all likelihood, will perform an encore right on top of it.

A collar and leash? You’ll be teaching your Siberian to potty outside, you need to buy him a collar and leash. You’ll walk him to the spot, watch him potty and reward him for having done so. Tiny treats that you give to him when he potties in the proper place can provide that incentive. Give him one immediately after he potties where and when you want him to. After a week or two, he’ll know where his bathroom is, and he’s expected to do when he’s there.

Step Three: Follow a Schedule

Like all dogs, Siberian Huskies are creatures of habit. If you take your husky to his potty spot at the same times every day, he’ll soon become accustomed to that schedule. You’ll condition him to do his business only at the times and place you want him to. Figuring out when those times should be can be a little tricky, though.

Generally, a pup needs a potty break whenever he wakes up from a nap or from a good, full night’s sleep, after energetic playing, and after meals. Older Siberian Huskies can go longer between housetraining pit stops. Either way, until you’re sure your Siberian puppy is reliably housetrained, you would be wise to not let him go for more than two or three hours between daytime trips to the porch potty. Beginners, especially young puppies, may need to go hourly.

Step Four: Ready your Siberian

Sometimes, your Siberian Husky will just plain refuse to poop or pee when you take him out for a bathroom break and sometimes, he’ll get that urge to go even if he just went a half-hour or so earlier. But if you can learn to read the signs that your four-legged friend needs to do the go, you can get him to his proper potter in time for him to unload there instead of your carpet.

The trouble is that dogs have different potty signs. Some like to circle an area before they go. others pace back and forth, while others sniff an area. And others-especially puppies-simply stops whatever they’re doing and do their thing. So how can you tell when your Siberian Husky needs a bathroom break? Just study him, and you’ll soon discover his unique gotta-go body language. When he does go give him a lot of love and a tiny treat.

Step Five: Expect Accidents

As hard as you work to keep your Siberian Husky from having accidents, he’ll inevitably make some potty fouls. The appropriate way to deal with doggie accidents is to simply clean them up. Clean up completely; because of a trace of strain or odor remains, your Husky is likely to return to his site of his potty foul and commit another one.

You should also clean up without a comment. A housetraining accident is almost always the fault of the owner, not the dog. So if you come upon an accident, don’t scold or attempt to discipline your Siberian husky. Instead, promise yourself-and him- that you won’t make the same mistake again.

Step Six: Be Patient

Housetraining takes time. Your Siberian needs time not only to learn what you want him to do but also to develop the physical control necessary to do it.

A Little Nip, A Little Chew

Stop your dog chomping before it gets out of hand.

Dogs develop preferences for chew objects during puppyhood. Your job is to prevent your dog from chewing things you don’t want to be chewed, and to supply him with plenty of the things you do want to be chewed.

Give your Husky safe, high-value toys so he can satisfy his needs to gnaw. Even though, as a pup, those needle-sharped puppy teeth all fall out and are replaced with adult teeth by 6 months of age, your dog will still chew throughout his adult life. Don’t relax your supervision. Some nipping is playful.

Watch puppies play together and you’ll see plenty of tooth actions. You’ll also occasionally see a pup jump out of playing because a sibling bites too hard. You can do the same. Use a calm, verbal, non-rewarding marker such as “oops!” then remove yourself from your dog’s presence for 30 to 60 seconds, to let your Siberian Husky know that biting makes good stuff go away.

If your dog nips when you’re touching his paws, he’s saying he doesn’t like having his feet handled. Help him like it by counter conditioning and desensitizing him. This will be helpful when he’s visiting the groomer, or if you need to clip his nails.

  1. Reach toward you dog’s paw and feed him a treat. Repeat this until, when your hand moves toward his paws, he looks at you with a happy, ” Where’s my treat?’ grin.
  2. Touch his paw for one second and feed him a treat. Repeat until you get the “Where’s my treat?” grin.
  3. Touch his paw for two seconds, and then feed him a treat. Repeat until you get the “Where’s my treat?” look.
  4. Gradually increase the length of time you touch his paws, and then hold it, until he thinks paw touching always makes good stuff happen!

If your Siberian is chasing and nipping children, the answer is management. He can’t be running around children who are playing. When he’s learned good manners, a down-stay, and other self-control exercises might suffice to keep him under control. Meanwhile, encourage your kids to play canine-appropriate games when the dogs are around, and put him away when they want to run and roughhouse.

Socialize Your Husky

Introduce your dog to all the things that will make up his world.

Socialization involves giving your Siberian husky positive, enjoyable exposure to a variety of people; other dogs, places, and objects. Socialization is an extremely important part of helping your Siberian became a well-adjusted dog, and his strong personality is an important factor to consider when working on it. So, what is proper socialization? Ideally, socialization should start when your Husky is young, and preferably when he’s still a puppy.

Dos and Don’ts

To make sure you Siberian husky’s social skills are on the right track, you first need t know what to do, and what not to do.

  1. Don’t let your dog be overwhelmed by the attention.
  2. Do be assertive and protect your dog from inappropriate attention. Encourage children and other humans to calmly greet your dog while you feed her tasty treats.
  3. Don’t take a very young Siberian to dog parks or doggie day care. While these can be great places for socializing adolescent or adult dogs, there are too many hazards for a young pup. Out-of-control, exuberant or bully dogs can scare your dog puppy, and cause her to become dog fearful, dog reactive and/or dog aggressive.
  4. Do give your doggie social play time in controlled sessions with pre-approved, appropriate canine playmates.
  5. Don’t take a young puppy to big events. Carnivals, fairs, festivals, and parties can be to much sensory overload for a puppy include fireworks, which can turn your pup into a sound-sensitive, thunder-phobic mass of nerves.
  6. Do start with small gatherings, and save the county fair for her adult adventures.
  7. Don’t take her places where “bad things” happen to her only when the “bad things” is going to happen. If she only goes to the vet to get shots or the groomer to get groomed, she may become fearful of these places.
  8. Do take advantage of these places for positive socialization by dropping by with your pup several times just to have her say “hi” and eat cookies.
  9. Don’t be lazy and say you’ll socialize you dog “tomorrow” Siberian- and all dogs- need new experiences to keep them sharp.
  10. Do make a commitment to do at least one new socialization activity with your dog every day. You’ll be glad you did.

But now that your dog is in your care, you take over the responsibility for continuing his lessons. This means finding opportunities daily to give him positive associations with the world around him. See the mail carrier coming? Grab your leash and treats, one after the other until the carrier has passed by. “Hmm”, your Siberian thinks. “Mail carriers make treats happen. I like mail carriers.” Hear the UPS truck; start feeding tiny pieces of treats, until the UPS driver leaves. “Hmm,” your husky thinks. “People in uniform make treats happen. I like people in uniform!”

It’s Training Time

Training can be a blast if you appeal to your dog’s love for fun and games.

Bonding Through Games

When he is just 4 months old, put your dog on a leash, hooked up to a tire. Let him pull it. He’ll love this. By 1 year, you can hook him up to a sled to pull a child through the snow. Even if you don’t compete in sledding, it’s great fun for your dog.

Keep your cool
 if your Siberian is doing something you like, be upbeat to encourage him to do it again. If he does something you don’t like, yelling and chasing will not help. This is true of all breeds but doubly true with Siberian Huskies. If you yell, you teach them that they shouldn’t listen next time.

Trivial Pursuit

~Keep your Siberian’s need to chase in check~

Closer to their wolf ancestry than many breeds it’s not surprising that Siberian Huskies are notorious for chasing and even killing cats and other small prey animals, and for pursuing larger prey such as livestock, skateboarders, and bicyclists. Play with the come cue as “Round Robin” game in which family takes turn calling and running away at top speed, reinforcing with a “Yes!” and a treat when your dog reaches them and then pausing to wait for a “chase my next human” opportunity.

Make sure you save your come cue for only good stuff. If you call your dog to you and you do something that he doesn’t like, such as trim his nails, give him a bath or scold him for not coming sooner, he’ll learn that “come” sometimes makes bad things happen. He won’t be so excited about coming the next time! This called ‘poisoning the cue” and it’s guaranteed to make your husky think twice about coming when you call him.

With a really good recall in hand, you can use the Premack Principle with rabbits, for example by taking your Siberians out to rabbit territory on a 20-foot-long line. Let him explores. When he sees a rabbit, call him back to you. If he ignores you and heads after the little bunny, restrain him with the long line and happily encourage him to come to you.

When he finally does, even if the rabbit is long gone, grasp your dog’s collar for a few seconds, then say, “Let’s go get the bunny!” Together, run as fast as you can in the direction the rabbit was last seen. The bunny’s already safe, and you’re one step closer to teaching your dog that if he wants to chase rabbits, he has to come to you first for permission.

Back To School

Training Choices

You’ll find private trainers, canine boarding schools and a whole range of classes that teach everything from therapy work, agility competition, tricks and games to advanced manners, problem-solving and responding to a clicker or a signal.

Start with a class because Siberians understand working alongside other dogs. With Siberian husky, it’s important to establish yourself as the leader of the pack right away. Huskies are a very smart breed; you have to get inside of their heads and figure out what they’re thinking as soon as you can. Once you begin this process, your Siberian husky will respect you and the training will go smoothly.”

Staying positive before beginning your search for a class or a trainer, it helps to read a few training books or watch one or two instructional DVDs. These will give you some background information before you attend your class and can supplement what you learn in class later on.

To locate a class or a trainer, ask your veterinarian, local shelter kennel club of friends with dogs for referrals. When narrowing down your search, ask to observe a session. Look for a trainer who has a sincere desire to help dogs learn and become good citizens in their environments. You should fell comfortable with the instructor. After all, you’ll be learning alongside your dog and need to trust this person and feel confident that you can succeed.

Unless you get lucky, chances are you won’t find a trainer who personally owns or has owned a Siberian husky before, but that’s OK. A good trainer should know about all the breeds and will have experience working with medium and large-size dogs. Ask the instructor what his or her credentials are, but just because the person might have trained dogs for many years doesn’t mean he or she is the right trainer for you and your dog.

Be sure to check the person’s references. Today, many pet-supply stores offer dog training. Before singing up for a class, ask about the instructor’s amount of eduction. Also, ask for references from previous clients. Check on the limit for the size of each class, and look into the training locations, preferably large open areas.

No trainer can offer a guarantee of results or their timing, so be wary of such promises. Dogs learn at different rates, and owners need to put in the practice time to create change. Also think twice about training that demands that you purchase specialized and expensive equipment. Pick an instructor who uses positive methods and gives you specific examples of how they are achieved.

Choosing a Class

When choosing a class for your dog, start with basic instruction. If your dog has never had obedience classes before, don’t rush into agility or trick training just because it looks like fun. A good beginning class should introduce the foundations of stay, lie down, and come, and by the end of the course, you should expect your dog to be fairly proficient in these skills.

It should also limit class size to one instructor and possibly an assistant for every six students. It’s helpful if assistants or volunteers are available to answer questions, manage the class or give you private attention if you can refresh your memory at home and share the lessons with other family members.

Sometimes a dog will act like an angel in class but will develop a case of obedience amnesia around the house. Some dogs seem to forget everything you’ve spent hours trying to teach them that’s OK. You can always sign up for the next class level. Many classes allow repeat sessions and will help you work out any problems you have at home with your dog.

Finding a Private Trainer

Hiring a private trainer to come to your home to work for you and your dog has become a popular training option. Although this is convenient and offers you undivided one-on-one instruction, it’s also a very expensive alternative. If you like the ideas but feel uncomfortable inviting a stranger into your home, agree to meet in a public place and invite a friend along.

Interview prospective dog trainers over the phone, check their credentials and ask for references. Never agree to sign up in advance for a large number of classes, and don’t pay a huge fee upfront before you know if you like this person and can trust him or her. Above all, go with you gut feeling about this person and never let anyone hurt your dog in the process of training. No amount of pain is worth teaching your dog anything.

Boarding Schools

During your search, you’ll come across board-and-train schools that do all the training for you. You drop off your dog, and these facilities promise to return a completely trained dog to you within a few weeks. While this may sound heavenly, there are a few drawbacks.

These schools are extremely expensive and you have no idea what methods they use or what goes on behind the scenes. Even if they allow you to watch a demonstration, you’re not around 24/7, and there’s no guarantee what can happen to your dog when he’s out of your care.

Training isn’t only about fixing a few problems. It’s also about building a bond with your dog and know what works with him and what doesn’t. During his stay at the school, dog establishes a relationship with the trainer but not with you. After your dog comes home, other problems may crop up and you won’t have the slightest idea how to solve them. The biggest joy of owning a dog is taking the journey of learning and growing together. This only develops over the time and requires love, dedication, and patience.

All about puppy kindergarten

If you have a puppy, enroll her in a puppy kindergarten or preschool class as the trainer will allow. Puppy kindergarten builds your pup’s self-esteem so she may learn how to handle stress and new situations as an adult. It also provides her with the chance to meet and became comfortable with children and other adults. This early training comes at critical development stage for puppies and provides important stimulation that lasts a lifetime. Besides keeping your pup busy, it upgrades the quality of her life by giving her something to think about and makes her a better dog overall.

Learning at a young at a young age gives a puppy that might otherwise have grown up fearful and defensive the confidence to overcome her problems with other dogs and people early on. At this age, your husky will quickly pick up certain lessons that require more work if you teach them when she’s older, such as walking on loose leash, paying attention when you call her, coming when called, greeting people without jumping up and not using human hands and feet as chew.

The instructor leads discussions on canine body language, play styles and puppy behavior, and will provide suggestions on house training and management around the house. You’ll also learn how to recognize the difference between play fighting and the real thing.

When choosing a class, ask the instructor if you can observe a session before braining your pup. Look for an upbeat, positive training environment you feel comfortable attending. Observe the instructor’s methods and the way the class is organized. When the class ends the, training isn’t over. Continue giving your dog more challenge by singing her up for an obedience class. Siberian Huskies are intelligent creatures who do best when they’re using their minds.

No Pulling Allowed

Teach your dog to walk nicely on a leash

Pulling on the leash comes naturally to so many Siberians. The trick to teaching polite leash walking and still allowing your sled-dog to be a sled-dog is separate equipment. If you want your dog to be able to pull, get him a pulling when he’s in his “sledding clothes.” When he’s in his walking outfit, no pulling is allowed. Of course, the sooner you start this with your husky, the better.

Ideally, start when he’s a puppy. It’s easier to prevent reinforcement for pulling on his walking leash when you still out weights him several times over. The bigger he gets, the more difficult it is. I am not a fan of discomfort causing collars such as prongs, choes (also called slip collars) and especially shock collars, as these can erode you dogs’ trust in you, cause physical damage to your dog’s trachea, and give him strong negative associations with whatever he sees when he feels the pain-associations that can turn into aggression.

In order to prevent reinforcement for pulling, regardless dog the equipment you use; it’s important that you stand still as soon as the leash tightens. If you walk forward with a tight leash, you teach your dog that pulling gets him where he wants to go. If you stop even back up when the leash tightens, you teach him that pulling makes forward progress stop, and a loose leash makes “go” happy. It’s even more effective if your mark his loose-leash walking with a “Yes!” and follow it up with a tasty treat.

A loose leash equals forward movement and treats! Practice you loose-leash walking in an area with fee distractions before you take it on the road, so your dog has a strong reinforcement history for benign close to you when walking. Lots of directional changes will help him realize that he needs to watch where you are, but don’t yank him off his feet; let him now each time you are turning.

When he walks well at home and you’re ready to take the show on the road, try him out first with some high-energy play sessions of tug or fetch in the backyard. He’s more likely to remember his walking lessons if you take the edge off first. If you’re still having problems with leash walking, consider a waist-belt (more appropriately called a hip-belt).

As long as your dog isn’t able to pull you off your feet, this is a safe and useful tool that enables you to brace with your whole body, rather than just your arm, when your dog is about to reach the end of the leash. This prevents him from getting even the reinforcement of moving forward and arm’s length when he starts to pull. And make sure you Siberian husky get plenty of safe off-leash dogs, and on leash walks just aren’t enough exercise for an active Husky. Happy walking!

Thwarting the Escape Artist

Proper fencing will keep your dog in the yard where you want him.

Fortunately, proper kenneling, fencing and strategic landscaping combined with exercise, attention, and supervision can prevent your Siberian from becoming one of the estimated one in three dogs who get lost during his lifetime, with most never finding their way home.

There are many fencing options available to keep your Huskies in your yard, including chain link.

Must-Have Materials

Kennel and yard fencing materials vary widely, with some working better than others for confining a Siberian husky. Here are some common examples.

  • Chain link: This woven wire fencing gives rather than bends upon moderate impact, helping to maintain its shape and appearance. Available in different thickness, or gauges, chain link is a favorite for kennels and perimeter fencing.
  • Welded wire: This is a very thick wire that is securely welded and makes an excellent kennel. Thinner gauge, weed wire fencing, often used for livestock, can bind when a dog jumps on it.
  • Wood: Treated lumber, cedar and redwood are popular choices for fencing. Attractive and workable into many styles, wood provides strong against escape-prone huskies.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl fencing has become widespread in recent years. Sold in several colors, vinyl fencing usually comes in 5-foot long panels that require a stepped placement on sloping ground. Beautiful and low maintenance, vinyl offers an excellent fencing option.
  • Aluminum: Most of today’s fashioned iron-type fences are actually aluminum. Sold in a number of eye-catching designs and colors, aluminum affords a serviceable fence that adds class to any home.
  • Landscape fences: Thick hedges and bushes with 2-3 foot high wire or plastic fencing effective, neighbour-friendly barrier, which is particularly valuable in “no fence” areas.

Chain-link fencing

Chain-link fencing has been a staple among dog owners for any years, and with good reason. This wire fencing comes in galvanized or aluminized silver-tone corrosion protected shades, or attractive vinyl and powder coated colors.

Quality chain link holds up well despite dogs jumping against it, and it looks good for many years. Unfortunately, the open links provide marvelous footholds for a climbing husky, a feature this breed often explits even a 5 or 6-foot high fence. Weaving wooden or other material sets made specifically for a chain link through the mesh eliminates these footholds.

Welded Wire Fencing

Wire fencing welded prevents your dog from running out of the yard, but, as with chain link, the open design encourages climbing. In addition, they unyielding construction causes wires to bend upon impact, resulting in an unsightly appearance in dogs jump against it regularly. Heavier gauges minimize this problem.

An important installation aspect of welded wire relates to the external framing. Unlike chain link’s usually all-metal construction, welded wire frequently utilizes wood framing. This allows the option of adding a wide top rail that blocks your dog from scooting over the top, thwarting any but the Mount Everest-worthy climber.

Though Siberians are to be better climbers than jumpers, the latter poses a possibility. For this reason, despite a top rail, your husky may need supervision in another dig-proof bottom. Even this can be risky, as dogs have managed to chew through welded wire fencing.

**Gate doors should have strong, sturdy, husky proof locks on them to prevent them your dog from escaping.**

Wooden Fencing

6-foot privacy fencing is the safest for a Husky. That makes wood the fence material of choice among Husky owners who are serious keeping their dogs at home. Available in various price ranges and styles, wooden fencing can be as simple or elegant as you desire. The type of wood you use comes down to personal preference and price.

Treated lumber is less expensive than cedar or the more costly redwood, but it does contain. When choosing a style, make sure that fence contains no doggie footholds. Also, consider how this fence will affect your neighbor. “Good neighbor” designs look the same on both sides so no one gets the ugly side that shows the framework.

You may want to privacy-fence only a portion of your property to save money or just to maintain a pretty view. If now house door leads into the fenced area, consider installing a doggie door so your Siberian husky goes directly in and out. An unused closet works perfectly for a doggieatrium, with the door left open for ventilation when in use and closed at other times to block access.

Vinyl Fencing

Vinyl fencing has become extremely popular thanks to its low maintenance, lasting good looks, assorted colors and diverse styles. The majority of vinyl fencing comes in premade panels connected together on site. Sloped land requires panels placed in a stepped pattern, leaving space beneath that must be filled in to block a way out. Use caution when buying vinyl fencing because quality varies significantly.

Thickness, UV protection, cold weather durability and basic assembly all affect how vinyl holds up in the long term. This, in turn, affects how well your vinyl fence contains your Siberian husky.

A thin fence or one that becomes brittle from exposure could be easily damaged by a determined dog. Cost can be prohibitive for a quality vinyl fencing, but many people find the benefits worth the extra money they spend. Whether you want a 6-foot privacy fence for ultimate Husky safety or a shorter height for a supervised outdoor time, you can easily find a style that you and your neighbors will appreciate for years to come.

Aluminum Fencing

Sold in a large variety of styles, Aluminum fencing offers many no-foothold choices in different heights. Strong, maintenance free and elegant, quality aluminum fencing will sometimes be accepted in communities that prohibit other fencing types. Outfit a shady area with 6-foot fencing for a classically styled kennel, or fence the entire yard, Safety Tip: Choose a fence bar width that’s too narrow for your Siberian to get his head through!

Securing Gates

The safest option to prevent this intelligent breed from flipping the latch is a lock. Locking makes it impossible for your dog to wiggle the lockout, and also stops an uninvited guest from letting your dog loose.

Creative Landscaping

Landscaping may be the most overlooked aid in keeping dogs at home, whether you want to provide privacy or an actual, physical boundary. As an example, to stop turf wars, block your dog’s view of the neighbor’s dog or cat using shrubbery, low-limbed trees and fencing with climbing plants.

For a physical boundary, tall, dense hedges or bush rows can conceal a 2 to 3-foot fence fitted underneath. While this won’t keep in an unsupervised Siberian Husky, it will stop him from suddenly dashing off as you do yard work or walk into the house briefly.

Additionally, because the actual fencing can not be seen, this setup often works on no- fence zones. Strategic landscaping probably presents the safest and most attractive option for no-fence areas. The landscaping reduces visual temptations to leave the yard. Even so, supervision will be necessary. Landscaping also helps keep your Siberian cool. Trees give your soul-loving breed shady area when the weather’s warm. Many dogs enjoy a minister that sprays them with cooling water.

Before planting begins, makes sure your greenery isn’t poisonous to pets. With 556 plants making the nontoxic list, the avid landscaper or gardener’s choices abound. Helps people make the right choices for a lovely garden and a happy and safe dog. As the title implies, you can have both!

As much as your Siberian husky adores you, the “call of the wild” still resides within him. Fortunately, proper supervision and a suitable fence with a solid lock can keep your wanderer safely where he belongs.

Your Husky Houdini

Keep your roaming dog safe in the yard by blocking his escape route. 


If the roaming part is a function of running away when you let your dog off leash, the answer is to teach a very reliable recall. Meanwhile, don’t let him off-leash in an unfenced area until the recall is solid. Along unfenced area until the recall is solid. A long leash can provide additional freedom while still keeping him safe. If, however, your Siberian escapes from you fenced-in yard, you have a different challenge.

First, examine why your dog is escaping. If he’s bored, lonely, too hot or otherwise finds the environment aversive, bring him inside the house, or enrich his outdoor environment so he wants to stay put. If your dog must be left in the in the yard, determine how he’s escaping-that usually means going over, under or through the fence. Each of these requires a different approach.

Climbing or Jumping Over

For an athletic Siberian husky who likes to scale a fence or spring up for freedom, try these ideas to discourage him. Remove or block off all objects near the fence that your dog could use to springboard to freedom; a woodpile, a doghouse, a picnic table, a vehicle. Some dogs even use a tree as a ladder and climb the trunk with their hind feet.

Add an extension to the fence that comes inward at a 45- to – degree angle. If your Siberian Husky is trying to jump over the fence, this makes it more difficult for him to gauge the height. If he’s climbing, the “roof” stops him at the top.

Note: For an athletic breed like a Siberian husky, your fence should probably be a minimum of 5 feet high, but preferably 6 feet high. If you start with it lower than that and raise it when your Siberian starts to jump over, you’re when your Siberian starts to jump over, you’re just teaching your dog to jump or climb higher and higher, and he’ll try harder each time you raise it.

Alternatively, for climbers, install a “coyote roller”- a PVC pipe suspended on the wire along the top of the fence that rolls when your dog tries to grab it pull him over.

**Be sure that your dog is properly microchipped and tagged so he will be promptly returned to you if you managed to get out of the yard. **

Digging Under

Bury your fence 1-foot underground. Line the inside of the fence will semi-buried cement blocks or large rocks, or dig a ditch and fill it with poured cement. Plant a durable, thorny plant around the interior perimeter of the fence.

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