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Your Husky is an important member of the family who brings you all together. They get you all giggling as they make their way around the dinner table begging for food. They bring a smile to your face when you walk through the door and they’re jumping up, eager to cover you in slobber. That’s why it’s sad when your Husky tries to run away. For the most part, you don’t understand it. You give them food, water, a comfy bed and plenty of love and affection.
Training your Husky not to run away is important for both you and them. If your dog escapes onto roads they could end up in a serious traffic collision, which could result in hefty vet bills or worse. This type of training will also instill discipline that you can use to phase out other bad habits too.
Training your Husky not to run away isn’t always straightforward. First, you will need to identify the underlying cause of their running away. Once you know that, you can then start tackling the problem. While you are doing that though, you can introduce a number of preventative measures. Obedience training will also be involved so you develop a need within yourHusky to always stay close by.
If your Husky is a puppy then they should be at their most receptive and you could see results in just a couple of weeks. But if your dog is older, stubborn and got a real taste for running away, then you may need a couple of months. If you get training right you’ll never have to worry when you lose sight of your Husky again. It also means you’ll be able to let them off the leash safely, which will give them more exercise and freedom to explore.
Before you start training, you will need to collect a few items. You will need a long leash. You will also need secure fencing and baby gates for one of the methods. A generous supply of treats or small pieces of your dog's favorite food will also be required.
Set aside just a few minutes each day for training. You can practice in a yard, in the house or in nearby fields.
Once you have all that, just bring patience and a can-do attitude, then work can begin!
The Come Method
Call their name
When you’re at home, make sure you have a few treats tucked away in your pocket. Then every now and then call your Husky’s name. You can also hold out a treat to tempt them over.
As soon as they get to your feet, shower them in verbal praise and hand over a tasty reward. You want them to associate coming to you with positive consequences. Call your pooch to you several times through out the day.
Start with your dog on a long leash when you go out for walks. Then periodically call them over like you have been doing inside and then hand over a treat. Do this regularly throughout the walk.
Lose the leash
Once you have done this for several walks, you can then try letting them off the leash and continuing to call them over regularly. Before you know it, your Husky will be in a habit of always staying close to your side and running away won’t cross their mind.
You can also have other members of the household call them over and give them rewards. The aim is to build up a dependence in your Husky to be near your family. It may take a while, so you will need to be patient.
The Meeting Needs Method
Your Husky may be running away for any number of reasons. One of those may be that they are not regularly taken to the toilet and therefore have accidents and are trying to escape punishment. So, make sure you take your dog out regularly to avoid accidents and the drama that follows.
Consistent food routine
Your dog may also be running away because they are hungry. So make sure you feed them meals at the same time each day. You need them to know they can expect food and don’t need to look elsewhere for it.
Their running away may also be attention seeking behavior. Just like humans, Huskies can be needy too. So spend a few minutes each day playing around, stroking them and making them feel loved.
Alternatively, your dog may be running away out of boredom. So make sure they have plenty to do when you are not around. Toys and food puzzles will keep them occupied for hours on end. This can be particularly effective if you leave them in the house all day while you are at work.
Secure your Husky to a leash and walk them around the perimeter of the house, once in the morning and once at night. This will drill into them where their territory begins and ends. They will then naturally want to stay within their territory to defend it.
The Prevention Method
Obscure their view
Your Husky may be determined to escape because they can see a world of interesting things out there. So sometimes simply drawing curtains or putting up bushes to limit their view can remove the temptation.
If your Husky is easily escaping and running away through certain doors then you may want to consider fitting baby gates. They are quick and easy to install and may prevent him running away entirely.
If they are escaping from your yard, then think about putting up some fencing. Make sure it is built deep into the ground as despite their size, Huskies can squeeze through remarkably small gaps. If they can’t escape, you will find your dog quickly gives up trying.
Try tethering your Husky to a long leash. Give them enough freedom to roam around, but make sure they can’t jump over any fences or escape. Again once they realize they can’t escape, they will swiftly give up.
Don’t use punishment
If you punish your Husky when they run away, you may only frighten them and make them more determined to escape again. Instead, use positive reinforcement to make home the place where they want to be. This is the most effective way to train a Husky.
By James Barra
Published: 03/21/2018, edited: 01/08/2021