How to Train a Husky to Not Chew

Medium
3-7 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

You walk into a room in your house and notice something on the floor. You pick it up and look at it. Looks like a stray piece of fabric. Then you see another, and another. This trail leads you to the scene of a crime: your Husky chewing happily on a pair of your shoes. Without proper training, this type of behavior will happen again and again. Huskies, like all dogs, love to chew. Teaching your Husky to not chew is the best way to protect your possessions from complete destruction.

Defining Tasks

Dogs chew. There is no getting around this fact. If you try to convince your dog to give up chewing altogether, you may drive yourself insane. However, with proper training, you can redirect your Husky's behavior to more appropriate objects. You can start this training with young puppies or an older dog. Keep in mind that young Huskies may still be teething, so make sure you are always offering a substitute rather than stopping your pup from chewing completely.

Getting Started

To train your Husky to stop chewing on your favorite stuff, you need good treats and an alternative toy for your furry friend to chew on. Kongs and other sturdy chew toys are great because they do not resemble off-limits objects, such as stuffed animals. As you work with your Husky, don't scold her for the behavior you dislike. Instead, offer consistent reinforcement for the behavior you do want to see. If the chewing is very bad, invest in a crate for your dog to protect your possessions while you are out of the house.

The Drop It Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Choose a command word
Settle on a command which you will use every time you want your dog to drop something she shouldn't be chewing on. "Drop it" is a common choice. Be consistent with this cue so your Husky gets used to responding to it.
Step
2
Choose some objects your dog likes to chew on
Tempt your Husky to chew on something while holding treats in the opposite hand. One she puts the object in her mouth, hold a treat near her nose and say the command word.
Step
3
Give her the treat
As soon as she drops what is in her mouth, praise her and give her the treat. At the same time, pick up the object with your free hand.
Step
4
Return the object to her
Give her back the thing she was chewing on. The idea is to teach your Husky that giving up an object isn't a bad thing. Instead, when she drops what she has, she gets something good.
Step
5
Use 'drop it' for forbidden items
Once your Husky gets the hang of dropping on command, you can use drop it when she gets a hold of things she shouldn't have. In these cases, give her a treat for dropping what is in her mouth and then give her something she is allowed to chew on, such as a Kong or rawhide. Eventually, she will get the hang of what is okay to chew on and what isn't.
Recommend training method?

The Distract and Replace Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Make sure your Husky has a lot of chewing toys
Fill your house with objects that are okay for your dog to chew on. You want her to have lots of options besides your personal things.
Step
2
Keep an eye on your dog
In the beginning, watch your Husky closely and pay attention to anything she gets in her mouth. You need to be ready with a distraction for cases where she picks up something off-limits.
Step
3
Cause a distraction
Choose something to act as a distraction, such as a loud clap or dropping a loud object. Make sure your Husky doesn't see you cause the noise. Otherwise, she will associate you with the negative reaction.
Step
4
Offer a good substitute
When your Husky drops the off-limits object, offer her an appropriate alternative, such as a rawhide or other chew toy.
Step
5
Reward her for good choices
When your dog takes the proper toy, give her praise for making a good choice. Be consistent with your Husky and make her drop anything she is not supposed to have. You should always be ready with a substitute so she learns what is okay to chew on and what is off-limits.
Recommend training method?

The Crate Training Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Chewing is its own reward
For dogs, chewing is a distraction and a fun activity. It is similar to reading a book or watching TV for humans. It can be hard for dogs who chew a lot to stop because the action reinforces itself.
Step
2
Pick out a comfortable crate
Limiting your Husky from chewing can help minimize the behavior. Choose a crate that is large enough that your dog can move around in it, but not oversized. You want the crate to feel like a comforting den. Placing cozy bedding on the floor can also help your furry friend enjoy time in the crate more.
Step
3
Get your Husky used to the crate
In the beginning, many dogs see a crate as a form of punishment. They think, "I get put in this box and then my person leaves me for hours." Help your dog associate the crate with positive experiences. Put her in her crate for an hour or so while you are nearby and give her meals and treats while she is inside.
Step
4
Reward her when she chooses to go into the crate
If you see your Husky use the crate of her own free will, reward her with a treat or by giving her an appropriate toy to chew on.
Step
5
Work with her on choosing the right toy
When your Husky is out of her crate, make sure you are consistently replacing off-limits chewing objects with appropriate ones. Crate training mixed with reinforcement of proper behaviors can help your Husky stop chewing faster.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Ian
Husky
5 Months
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Question
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Ian
Husky
5 Months

Hello, our dog Mina chews to get our attention. We keep her in the kitchen when we are out and when we have dinner, she immediately chews on the bottom fabric of the seat of the chair. We attempt to distract, to say no and ask her to stop. However she will only do so if we engage - and we don't want to reward what appears to be attention seeking behavior.

Is it OK to just let her chew and ignore her? Or are we instilling the idea that the chairs and things in the kitchen are 'her's'?

Many thanks for the advice.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ian, Five months of age is a huge chewing age. Puppies are finishing teething at that age and their jaws are developing. Puppies will chew to relieve the discomfort and keep away boredom. Purchase some bitter apple or bitter melon spray and spray it on the items that she tends to chew often. Also, purchase several hollow, rubber chew-toys. Put Mina's dog kibble into a bowl and cover it with water. Let it sit out until the food absorbs the water and turns into mush. Next, mix a bit of peanut butter, squeeze cheese, or liver paste into the mush. Avoid the ingredient Xylitol though. It is extremely toxic! Loosely stuff the chew-toys with the mixture and smear a bit of the liver, cheese, or peanut butter right on the opening. Freeze the toys and give the toys to her throughout the day in place of part or all of her meals, depending on how much she eats. This should give her something to work on to help with the boredom while also helping to relieve the discomfort of teeth and jaws. Subtract whatever you feed her in the toys from her food amount for the day. That will keep her more interested in the toys and keep her weight in check. Do this until she gets past the heavy chewing phase. For some dogs that happens around nine months of age. For other dogs it can take until they get paste one year. If it takes all of her food to fill the chew toys and she eats all of her meals out of the toys, that is alright. In fact it is a good thing. She does not have to get an actual bowl of food as long as she is getting all of her food in other, entertaining ways. Doing all of these things should make it so that she does not chew your items as often, but you cannot ignore it when she does or it can turn into a lifelong chewing habit, which you do not want. Instead, tell her "Out" and point to where you want her to go, then get between her and the item she is chewing on, and then calmly but very seriously walk toward her to make her back out of the area. Block the area until she stops trying to get around you to go back. Repeat this any time that she tries to go back to the area. Do this calmly and seriously or she will think it is a game. She will probably try to go back to the area right after, keep repeating it until she decides that you mean business and leaves the area. With time she should learn to leave an area when you say "Out" without your body blocking that area. Also, work on teaching her the "Leave It" command, and use that command when she chews on things that she shouldn't or starts toward something that she should leave alone. When she obeys, then give her one of her own interesting toys, like a food stuffed chew-toy, instead. Check out the article below and follow the "Leave It" method to teach her the "Leave It" command. That article mentions using "Leave It" for mouthing you, but you can also use that command for objects. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Nova
Siberian Husky
2 Years
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Question
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Nova
Siberian Husky
2 Years

I have a 1 year old Siberian Husky that I absolutely love to death. But, I have school and Nova tends to be put in her crate a lot for her bad chewing habits when nobody is around. I would love for her to be able to have a place to roam around without the destruction. She chews anything and everything she can get her paws on. Do you have any suggestions on how I can solve this problem or break this habit so I can allow her to roam around unattended?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Natalie, It sounds like Nova needs to mature a bit more before I would suggest attempting to leave her out of the crate. It is not unusual for a dog to need to be crated for the first three years of life while you are gone. Most dogs need to be crated for the first two years in general. You can do a couple of things to help her learn though. First, give her supervised free time while you are at home, teach her the "Leave It" command and "Out" command, and practice those commands with household items that she tends to chew. Second, when you crate her, give her large classic Kong toys stuffed with her own dog food. Do this to build her interest in her own toys so that she will learn what to chew and will prefer her own toys more and will be more likely to chew her own toys while free. To make the food stuffed kong more interesting, put some of her dog food into a bowl and cover it with water. Let it sit out until the food turns into mush, usually this takes at least a couple of hours. When it turns into mush, then mix a bit of peanut butter, liver paste, or cheese into it, and loosely stuff the kong with the mush mixture. Freeze the kong and then give it to her in the morning when you put her into the crate and it will thaw overtime, lasting her longer. Avoid the ingredient Xylitol in peanut butter. It is extremely toxic to dogs. You can also make several of these stuffed Kongs at once to save you time throughout the week, then you can simply pull one out of the freezer as needed. When she no longer chews things while you are at home with her, then try giving her freedom outside of the crate. Start with only leaving her alone in the house for five minutes. If she does well with that, then leave for ten minutes the next time, then thirty, and so forth, until she can handle at least three hours without an issue. At which point she is probably ready to try being free for the entire day. If she gets into something, then she is not ready. Crate her for two more months and then try it again. Prevention is very important until she is ready maturity-wise. You have done great by crating her up to this point. That has kept her safe and will increase her chances of being able to be free in the house later. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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