How to Train a Husky to Not Chew

How to Train a Husky to Not Chew
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon3-7 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

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.

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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.

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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.

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The Distract and Replace Method

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4 Votes

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Crate Training Method

Effective

1 Vote

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Effective

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Drop It Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

By Christina Gunning

Published: 03/05/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Freki

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Siberian Husky

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6 Months

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He’s chews on everything, and I don’t know what to do. He’s an outside dog, and destroys my yard.

April 9, 2022

Freki's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Madison, At six months of age pup is right in the middle of the most destructive chewing phase a dog has. Puppies will chew while teething but between 5-9 months of age pup's jaws will develop and that combined with boredom can lead to a lot of chewing, but now pup will have the jaw strength to actually destroy things when they chew. I would consider crate training pup and crating pup while you are gone off and at night if someone can be home to take pup potty at least every 7 hours, and working on house hold manners while home, to teach pup not to chew and give feedback for pup when they do chew. If you can teach and prevent a lot of destructive chewing from happening while young, so pup doesn't develop a habit of that, while also encouraging appropriate chewing by doing things like stuffing a kong with dog food to make pup's own toys more interesting so he learns to prefer those, then most dogs will outgrow this level of chewing and learn to chew their things more often by 12-18 months of age - exacy age depending on the specific dog. When pup is bored and left to chew without guidance or prevention this can turn into a long term habit though that's much harder to stop later. If pup cannot be brought inside more often, you may need to consider installing a kennel run, with appropriate shade, water, food, and entertainment like dog food stuffed chew toys - giving pup frequent exercise, training, and affection when you are home though. If pup is destroying just one or two area of the yard but would be fine in the general area, you can use a pet barrier device, such as this one - but I only recommend these when other needs are being met and there is one or two specific areas pup needs to leave alone and pup can otherwise move about with corrections, such as pup needing to leave a garden bed alone but having the rest of the grass area and porch to be free without correction. https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/petsafe-pawz-away-outdoor-pet-barrier-system?ds_e=GOOGLE&ds_c=Shop%7CGeneric%7CAllProducts%7CHigh%7CSSCCatchAll&gclid=CjwKCAjw3cSSBhBGEiwAVII0Z_4sPt5wdpPqdONYcbRjn9WHL-7oZcn5QWEH_pHdniWe3eXxdM4gqhoCY0kQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds It really sounds like pup is being given too much freedom and not enough interaction, mental stimulation, and supervision for this busy "teenage" puppy period. I would work on limiting freedom and providing more interaction and entertainment through things like what the article I have linked below recommends. Chewing article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

April 10, 2022

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Mordecai

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malamute husky

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2 Years

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My husky loves to chew on things whenever he is left alone for even a few minutes. His favorite thing to chew on is cords. He has completely chewed off the cords to our tv, window AC, electric fan opener, etc… How can we encourage him to stop this behavior? I believe he does it when he’s alone due to the lack of attention. He has to be crated when we leave and when we are asleep at night or he will chew everything up and use the bathroom inside, even when he doesn’t really have to go yet. We love him so much but can’t afford to keep replacing all the electronics in the house.

Dec. 24, 2021

Mordecai's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cheyenne, Check out the article I have linked below. I would also continue crating him when you can't supervise, unless you are intentionally spying on pup with a camera to train. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ I would practice Leave It around items pup tends to chew while you are present. Give pup a dog food stuffed chew toy and encourage pup to chew that by making that item enticing. Once pup understands that those things are off limits really well, you may also need to create a deterrent of the items pup chews while you are away. A pet barrier device, remote training vibration collar, stimulation based e-collar, or sprays like bitter apple, are a few examples of a deterrent. You want to spy on pup with a camera from outside and correct right when pup goes to put their mouth on the off-limits item, having providing an appropriate item for pup to chew instead, which should be rewarded when pup chooses that item. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Dec. 27, 2021


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