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 Distract and Replace Method

Most Recommended
3 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
1 Vote
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?

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?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Meeka
Husky
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Meeka
Husky
9 Months

We can’t seem to get our husky to quit chewing on clothes of mine or our bedsheets. What do you recommend doing to stop this behavior. We have tried crate training her and she just throws a massive fit and destroys her crate everytime.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
131 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. It sounds like you are dealing with some separation anxiety, or generalized anxiety. Without being able to ask a follow up question regarding if she only does this when you are not around, I don't want to give you incorrect information. But I am going to assume you are dealing with some separation anxiety. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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Question
Milo
Siberian Husky
7 Months
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Question
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Milo
Siberian Husky
7 Months

He just started chewing on everything. He has ripped a hole in our carpet, he’s chewed up 3 pairs of shoes, he’s destroyed his plastic cover for his cage, and he’s constantly using the bathroom in the house

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
92 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Huskies are a very energetic breed and Milo is letting you know that! He'll need a few walks a day, with one of them (at least) being long and at a very brisk pace. If you have any runners in the family, once Milo's bones mature (the vet can give you the okay), he'll make a great running partner. Huskies also need to use their minds regularly and thrive on mental challenges. Buy Milo toys that provide stimulation, such as a feeder toy where he has to work at it to get the food. Feed him 1/2 of his meal in his bowl and the other 1/2 in the feeder (supervised always) and give him help if he needs it at first. Here are tips for the chewing: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-chew-the-carpet and https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-chewing-shoes. There are excellent tips, so be sure to read both guides through and apply the ones that will work best for you. Puppy proof the house (don't leave shoes, purses, clothing etc lying around). For the potty training, start again from day one with one of the methods from this guide: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. Take Milo out every 30 to 60 minutes for a pee break. It may seem excessive but once he catches on, it will be worth it. Praise him highly when he has success outside and give him a treat. Clean all accidents in the house with an enzymatic cleaner to remove the odor. You may not smell it, but Milo's keen nose does. Enroll him in obedience classes for socialization and training - Huskies need direction and leadership, so be sure to start the training classes soon. Good luck and have fun!

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Biggie
Husky/germen
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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Biggie
Husky/germen
8 Weeks

What would happens to the dog if he dident get his shots and ate Guinea pig poop

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Luna
Alaskan Husky
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luna
Alaskan Husky
6 Months

My only issue is the she is chewing everything and tearing paint of the wall

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello Bryan, Check out the article linked below. When pup is not able to be supervised, they need to be crated at this stage. When you are supervising, work on teaching commands like Leave It. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bella
Husky
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
Husky
3 Months

She doesn't want to listen to any of us. She is starting to get aggressive towards my 4 year old. Keeps on biting him in his face.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello Cherine, I highly suggest joining a puppy class in your area. Check out the article linked below. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" method. At the same time however, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when she attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if she makes a good choice. If she disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told her not to. The order or all of this is very important - the yelp method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When pup gets especially wound up, she probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help her calm down and rest. If you are using any methods that involve physical roughness with your hands, like popping pup, then I would switch to a different method. Also, work on getting puppy used to touch and handling. Use puppies daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of puppy's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold her collar and give a treat. Touch her tail gently and give a treat. Touch her belly, her other paws, her chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Check out the free PDF e-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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