Teaching your Husky puppy recall is a critical life skill that will serve you and protect your dog for her entire life. It is never too early to start working on this behavior. Even at 8 weeks old, you can start to get your Husky puppy used to her recall command and the rewards that come with it.
Keep in mind that Huskies are a breed that can be independently minded, bore easily, and have a high prey drive. Because of this, it is always going to be a risk to let them off-leash, particularly if there are potential dangers or irresistible distractors near-by.
That being said, Huskies can still be trained a fairly robust recall, especially if you start early. A good recall can:
Read on to find out how!
In addition to the training steps in each method listed below, we have a few pointers to make the most of your recall training with your Husky puppy:
Don’t call your dog then punish her when she gets to you. This will only teach your dog that they are possibly facing punishment for following your recall command, essentially the opposite of what you want.
Touch the collar, then reward. Simple, but easy to overlook. If you get your Husky used to having her collar grabbed before getting the reward for a recall, then you can count on the fact you will be able to get a leash on her in an emergency.
Say your recall command only once. Repeating your command breaks its power. You can entice your dog to come after saying the command with gestures, sounds or tempting rewards… but only say the command a single time.
If you will not enforce the recall, don’t use it. This is tricky, but once your Husky is at that stage in his training where he is expected to come or be punished (usually with a "time out"), then you need to be consistent. If you see he is into something you know he won't leave behind to come to any reward you have to offer, use another method to get him attention such as running away, putting food in his dish or squeaking a favorite toy. If you do use the recall word and he does not come, you will have to put your shoes on and go after him to enforce the behavior.
There are a few essentials you'll need to get started training recall with your Husky pup:
High-value food rewards. Make sure the rewards you are using are very exciting and tasty for your dog. In addition, once you are beyond teaching the basics, you will want to start adding in other rewards like a game of tug or a toss of the ball so your Husky will be interested in learning what she will get when she comes.
Stash treats around the house. Training recall is impossible if you only do it in official training sessions. You must start to randomly call your dog to you with a reward ready. Try stashing some treats in different rooms of your home so that you can pull a fast challenge to reinforce this behavior outside of training sessions.
Long line. Huskies come with a more than average risk of running off. When you are ready to take your training outside, make sure you have a long leash or rope (25’-50’) to keep her safe when outside of a fenced area. Just let it drag on the ground when working with her, it is just so you can regain control over your puppy if you need to.