How to Train a Husky to Not Destroy Things

Medium
1-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Your Husky is the life and soul of the party. He loves being the center of attention and plays up to the role at any given opportunity. He spends his time charging around showing off whenever you have guests over. However, they all see the best of "Lucky", while you are present to witness his shortcomings. His worst bad habit by far is destroying clothes, shoes, your yard and anything else that is around. It was easy to overlook to start with, but now it’s becoming a serious problem.

Training Lucky not to destroy things could save you considerable money in replacing carpets, rugs and more. It will also save you from coming home after a long day of work to have to clean up the mess he has made. Finally, this type of training will make it easier to stamp out any number of other bad habits too.

Defining Tasks

Training a Husky not to do anything can be challenging, especially if this habit has developed over many years. Although they are intelligent they can be difficult to train. So the first thing you need to do is introduce some deterrence measures to make him think twice about destroying stuff. You will then need to combine that with positive reinforcement. Channeling his energy into something productive instead is also important.

If Lucky is a puppy the habit should be relatively new and he should respond swiftly to training. So you could see results in just a week or two. However, if the habit has been years in the making then you may have your work cut out. It could be six weeks before he gives up destroying things. Succeed and you won’t have to worry about the damage that’s about to unfold as you turn your key in the door.

Getting Started

Before you get to work you will need to collect a few things. Treats or small chunks of your pal's favorite food will be needed. You will also need to get your hands on a water spray bottle and a deterrence collar for one of the methods. Food puzzles and other toys will also be required.

Set aside 10 minutes or so each day for training. The more regularly you train, the sooner you will see results.

The only other things you need are patience and a proactive attitude, then training can begin!

The Deterrence Method

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Step
1
Remove the temptation
If he’s destroying your yard, limit his access to it. Only let him out there when you can supervise him. Alternatively, you could keep him tethered to a spot where he can’t cause any damage.
Step
2
Remove him
If you do catch him destroying something you need to react swiftly. Give a loud, firm ‘NO’ so he understands you're unimpressed. You can then take him by the collar and lead him away.
Step
3
Water spray bottle
You can also give a quick squirt of water near his face when you catch Lucky destroying something. This will quickly make him associate destroying with negative consequences from his owner.
Step
4
Deterrence collar
A deterrence collar is an effective way to show your disapproval. You just need to make sure you’re around plenty to use it when you catch him. Simply hit the remote button whenever you see him causing damage and an unpleasant spray of citronella will be emitted.
Step
5
Get all on board
It’s important everyone in the house reacts when they catch him destroying. If some people laugh or don’t react then Lucky will get confused and the end result will be pushed back.
Recommend training method?

The Time Out Method

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Step
1
Setting up
The time out method is a fantastic way to train your Husky not to destroy things. All you need to do is make sure you have a room set up with no toys or anything he might play with.
Step
2
React
As soon as you catch Lucky destroying something, calmly take him by the collar and lead him into the time out room. Then shut the door and leave him in there for thirty-seconds. Make sure you don’t scare him as you take him away, stay calm at all times.
Step
3
Release him
Once his time is up, let him out. You can then go back to playing with him or whatever it was you were doing before. However, keep a close eye on him in case he goes back to his previous crime.
Step
4
Increase the sentence
If he does destroy something again you need to take him by the collar back to the room. Only this time leave him in there for an additional thirty seconds. Continue to add thirty seconds onto his sentence until he gets the message.
Step
5
Positive reinforcement
To discourage him from destroying after he’s been released from his time out space, gently praise him as long as he remains calm. This combination of positive reinforcement with the time out step will yield results swiftly.
Recommend training method?

The Focus Method

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Step
1
Exercise
Huskies are big dogs that need a lot of exercise. His destructive behavior may be a release of pent up energy, so ensure he is getting plenty of walks. You can also play fetch with him to tire him out. Tired huskies don’t have the energy to destroy your stuff.
Step
2
Food puzzles
Lucky may be destroying things because he’s simply bored. So leave him with food puzzles to get through. This should keep him entertained for hours and is particularly useful if you’re going to be leaving him alone for long periods.
Step
3
Dedicated play time
His destroying things may also be a form of attention seeking. So try to make sure you dedicate a few minutes each day to playing games with him. Even just lying there and stroking him calmly can help.
Step
4
Rewards
It’s important he associates being calm with positive rewards. So hand over the odd tasty treat and verbal praise whenever he plays calmly. If he gets too worked up and looks like he might start wrecking stuff, quickly take away any attention.
Step
5
Obedience commands
Spend a few minutes each day teaching him basic obedience commands, such as ‘down’, ‘roll over’ and any other instructions you may need. This will help channel his energy into something productive, while simultaneously increasing your control and strengthening your position as pack leader.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Polar
Husky
6 Years
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Question
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Polar
Husky
6 Years

He is very destructive. Digs holes in yard. Under the fence. Has gotten out many times! Chews the trim around the back door. He is not allowed in the house because of these things. But otherwise a good dog

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sally, First, I recommend teaching a reliable Come command. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Come: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Second, assuming pup is staying outside in a physical fence - like a wooden fence, that he is escaping out of through things like digging or fence climbing, I recommend installing an invisible fence two feet inside of your physical fence around the yard. The electric fence should help pup not to even approach the physical fence so that he won't have opportunity to dig or climb it. The invisible in-ground electric fence should only be paired with the real fence and not in place of it, or it will not be effective. There still needs to be a physical barrier so that pup can't just bolt through the electric fence quickly. Something like Halo may also be worth looking into. The destructiveness is likely pup being bored and trying to entertain himself. Being outside by himself all day, he has nothing to do and no one to interact with. I would crate train pup and start working on commands like Leave It, giving pup time inside on a leash to practice things like Leave It, provide dog food stuffed kongs to teach pup to chew those instead, and crate pup when you can't supervise to train and prevent the chewing. Pup needs more mental stimulation - like training time, canine sports that challenge pup mentally, or hollow chew toys or durable puzzle toys that pup works to get food out of.. Pup needs physical exercise - like running, walking with a pack, agility, hiking, or fetch. Pup also needs social interaction, like being inside more often with people. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Luna
Siberian Husky
18 Weeks
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Question
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Luna
Siberian Husky
18 Weeks

Hi! So I noticed that whenever my sisters dog (shiv-tzu) leaves with her somewhere my husky starts screaming I don’t know why like it also happens with her brother max when my other sister brings him for play dates. I Also noticed that she destroyed a mini couch we bought for her last night, is this normal for an 18 week old? Thanks!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Angela, The destruction is normal for a puppy this age. I highly recommend waiting on giving pup soft beds until closer to 12-18 months because most puppies will destroy them, and doing that over and over again will not only cost you money, but can also teach pup to destroy things like couches, mattresses and comforters. Instead, I like beds like www.primopads.com or k9ballistics crate mats or cot type beds until pups are older, because they are not absorbent to help with potty training, and more durable so they don't encourage destructiveness when you aren't around to stop it. Check out the article I have linked below to help pup learn to be less destructive as they grow. This is normal and it does take time, but it's still important to work on it so pup isn't still destructive as an adult. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ For the barking, puppies need to practice being alone, which includes being left without another family dog around, so they don't develop separation anxiety about people or other family pets leaving as adults. Right now the crying is normal, but pup is still young enough they should be able to learn how to be alone. I recommend when you leave pup alone, practice crating them (also helps with destructiveness) and about half of the time at this age, crate them with your other dog in another part of the home so they get used to being alone without them there also. You can also occasionally take you older dog with you on walks or short car trips where you won't be getting out of the car and leaving pup in a hot car, but leave the puppy at home by themselves. When you leave pup alone, give pup a dog food stuffed chew toy, like a kong, so they learn to self-entertain and self-sooth on appropriate toys instead of barking. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Luna
Siberian Husky
4 Months
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Question
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Luna
Siberian Husky
4 Months

Hello, I have a bought a 4 month old husky last week who is turning 5 months on the 31st and she keeps wanting to chew everything and knock down everything she sees. I say “NO” but it seems like she isn't picking it up. I would like her to be more calm and stop trying to wreck everything. Im still trying to potty train her but she rips the training pads. What can I do? Thank you for the help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Aneris, First, check out the chewing article I have linked below, I would especially start with teaching Leave It and Off. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Section on teaching Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ You can also use the Leave It command for the training pads, but since she will be a large dog, I recommend going straight to outside potty training, using the crate training and tethering methods from the article I have linked below. Since she is older, you can add an hour to the times listed in the training article. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If your schedule won't allow you to go straight to outside potty training, check out the Tethering method from the article linked below. Whenever you are home, use the Tethering method. Also, set up an exercise pen in a room that you can close off access to later on (pup will learn it's okay to potty in this room so choose accordingly). A guest bathroom, laundry room, or enclosed balcony - once weather is a safe temperature are a few options. Don't set the exercise up in a main area of the house like the den or kitchen. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below, and instead of a litter box like the article mentions, use a real grass pad to stay consistent with teaching pup to potty on grass outside - which is far less confusing than pee pads (Don't use pee pads if the end goal is pottying outside!). Since your goal is pottying outside only use the Exercise Pen at night and when you are not home. When pup will hold her bladder while in the rest of the house consistently and can hold it for as long as you are gone for during the day and overnight, then remove the exercise pen and grass pad completely, close off access to the room that the pen was in so she won't go into there looking to pee, and take her potty outside only. Since she may still chew longer even after potty training, when you leave her alone, be sure to leave her in a safe area that's been puppy proofed, like a cordoned off area of the kitchen with chew toys - until she is out of the destructive chewing phases too - which typically happens between 1-2 years for most dogs with the right training. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands - Also found on Amazon www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com You can also make your own out of a piece of grass sod cut up and a large, shallow plastic storage container. Finally, check out the free PDF E-book AFTER You Get Your Puppy, downloadable at the link below. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
newton
Siberian Husky
10 Months
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Question
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newton
Siberian Husky
10 Months

hi i am facing alot of problem in my husky behavior as he is becoming alot of destruction especially when he is alone in the backyard at night.As he does not like to stay in at night time and when we sleep he just rip apart all the possible things he can get whether that is car cover,leather chairs or sofas he destroys everything.so plz suggest what should i do as my parents are fedup and now they are not allowing me to let him stay at home.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emma, I recommend crate training pup, crating pup at night, and teaching pup not to bark while in the crate. To do this, first, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. Practice for a few days until he is doing well during the day. You can either continue what you are currently doing at night during this process or go ahead and jump into what I explain below for night time training - waiting until the day is good before starting the night or starting the night and day both at the same time. When he cries at night (in the crate - where he needs to be sleeping for now) before it has been 8 hours (so you know it's not a potty issue), tell him Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if he doesn't become quiet and stay quiet. If you go straight to nights and days like this you will probably have about 3-5 rough nights, with lots of correcting before he gets quiet - don't give in and let him out or this will take much longer! You may want to pretend like you are all going to bed two hours early and read in bed with the lights off - anticipating having to get up a lot the first couple of hours to correct - so that you don't loose as much sleep. Choose whichever option seems less stressful for you ultimately and is something you can stick to. For the daytime destructiveness, check out the article I have linked below. I would also look into a pet barrier device, if pup is destroying one particular area outside. For inside, work on commands like Leave It and chew toys and confinement when you can't supervise. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
nukka
Husker
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
nukka
Husker
2 Years

how to te

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Veronica, It appears that your question was cut off. What were you wanting to ask? Check out the article linked below. Perhaps a different description of what to do will be helpful. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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