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If you haven't already noticed, your Husky is a very vocal animal; he has no problem vocalizing how he feels. Huskies howl, chirp, and whine, but rarely bark. Huskies tend to be high energy and love the sound of their own voice, in fact, they seem to never hear enough of it. While ol' Duke may like his voice, the rest of the family, not to mention the rest of your neighbors, are going to tire of it quite quickly as your pup reaches adulthood and full volume.
Worth noting is that since Huskies rarely bark, even at strangers, they do not make very good guard dogs. In fact, they are more likely to make friends with strangers before they think about the possible dangers. Aso, remember that barking is how dogs communicate so don't expect to be able to completely silence your pooch. The best you can hope for is to be able to control his barking and teach him to only bark when it is necessary.
You have only one job, that is to train your Husky to be quiet. This can be a bit challenging as barking and making other sounds are his only way of communicating. At first, you will be using positive reinforcement training in which your pup receives praise and a treat for getting things right. You should never punish your pooch or yell at him for getting things wrong.
At the same time, you are looking for a way to teach your pup that, for the most part, he needs to remain silent and he must always follow your command to be quiet, but that there are times when making noise is acceptable. Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? Thankfully, as you work to train your pup, it will all sort of fall together over the course of time.
While so many other skills require a long list of supplies in order to accomplish your goal of having a quieter Husky, this skill has a much shorter list. In fact, the only things you need to teach your Husky to be quiet are treats, time and patience.
For some methods, it will be helpful, if not essential, to have taught your Husky to 'speak' speak or bark on command. This may seem counterintuitive, but when you can prompt your pooch to bark, it makes training 'quiet' more convenient and gives you more control over the training session.
The most important thing to remember is that your pup has times when he can't hold it in and he needs to let it out. The trick is to train him to be quiet when you need him to, but at the same time, you should give him time to sing his song from time to time. This way both of you win.
The Oh No You Didn't Method
Bag of treats
If you are short on treats, make sure you go out and pick up a fresh supply to use as rewards during the training process.
Pay close attention
Pay attention to your dog, especially when he goes to an area where he typically starts to bark. When he does, let him go until he gets tired of the noise he is making.
The perfect moment
At the very moment your pup decides he's had enough and stops barking, make sure to praise him and give him a nice treat. Repeat this process over the course of several days until he gets the idea that you will reward him for being quiet.
Use your command
This time when he stops barking, be sure to introduce the 'quiet' command at the moment he stops and then give him the treats and praise. Keep doing this over the next few days while he learns to associate the command with what is expected of him.
Carved in stone
Continue working with your pup using this training method, giving the 'quiet' cue earlier and stretching the time between when he stops, and you reward him. Soon he will stop barking randomly for the most part (best you can expect) and will always stop on command.
The I Hear You Method
Using a firm voice, give your pup the 'some' command. When he arrives, have him sit and then give him a treat and praise him.
Start out by giving your pup the 'speak' command. Let him have his say for a few seconds and then tell him "Quiet."
I hear you
Give your pup time to have his say and see that you have heard him. This shouldn't take long, so pay close attention. The moment he stops, be sure to praise him and give him a tasty treat.
Let's see how far you can go
With your pup obeying your "Quiet" command with an immediate reward, it's time to see how far your pup can go. Start adding to the time between when he quiets down, and you give him a treat. Not only does this teach him not to bark non-stop, it also shows him that the more quickly he stops barking, the sooner he will get his treat.
Silence is golden
Continue working with your fuzzy friend until he finally understands that his unnecessary barking and howling is not acceptable. Be patient, it will happen, just don't expect your Husky to be completely quiet as this simply isn't in his nature, there are times when he just needs to let it all out and howl his song to the world.
The Did You Say Something Method
Stock up on treats
Start out by stocking up on your pup's favorite treats.
Go with your pup to one of the areas in which he typically spends a lot of time barking. Hang out with him, watch him, and let him do his thing.
Did you say something?
At some point, the trigger will occur, and your pooch will start singing his song. When he does, your job is to pretend you can't hear a thing.
Let him go
Let your pup have his moment in the sun, he will get tired of hearing himself in due time. When he does, be there with plenty of praise and one or two of his favorite treats. Repeat for several days, to help him get the right idea.
Add the cue
Time to add the cue, "quiet" each time your pup stops barking right before you give him praise and treats.
The end justifies the means
Keep working hard with your pup until he'll respond to "quiet" when you say it during his solo. He will eventually figure out he is the only one who likes the sound of his caterwauling. After this, you should be able to enjoy a lot more quiet time with your pup and your neighbors will be much happier with both of you.
By PB Getz
Published: 03/09/2018, edited: 01/08/2021