How to Train a Husky to Respect You

Medium
2-8 Weeks
General

Introduction

No one could accuse your Husky of being short of energy. Wherever you turn in the house, Fluffy is at your feet. On the bright side, he tires the kids out for you. However, it isn’t all good news. His energy means he frequently bounds up to strangers or you, even when you try to get him to leave. If you’re cooking he’ll jump up. If you’re trying to cuddle with your partner on the sofa, he will leap up and place himself between you. He simply doesn’t respect your boundaries--or you. Now, this would be alright if he was a little Pug, but he isn’t, he’s a Husky. That means he’s big, strong and potentially dangerous if not properly trained.

Training him to respect you, therefore, is essential. Not only will it mean you can go about your daily routine without being interrupted, but it also means Fluffy will respond to your commands promptly, every time.

Defining Tasks

The good news is training a Husky to respect you is more straightforward than many people realize. Training is about getting him into a consistent routine where he follows your instructions and respects your space. You will have to enforce strict obedience commands until he understands you are the pack leader. That means you will have to use food and toys to impose your control. 

The younger he is when you start this training, the sooner you will see results. It could be just a few weeks before he respects you fully. Whereas, if he’s older you may have years of bad habits to break first. This means it could be a month or two before training yields consistent results. Succeed and you won’t have to worry that he will disobey you near traffic or when strangers approach.

Getting Started

Before you can start training you will need to gather a few items. The most important component will be food. You can use treats or you can break his favorite food into small pieces. A toy or two will also be required.

Set aside 15 minutes each day for training, at a time where neither of you will be distracted. However, you will also need to be vigilant throughout the day.

Once you have all that, just bring patience and a can-do attitude, then work can begin!

The Building Trust Method

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Step
1
Calm energy
Before your Husky can respect you, he first needs to trust you. To earn his trust, be calm and assertive with at all times. Calm energy will reassure Fluffy, while anger and upset will confuse him and scare him.
Step
2
Create boundaries
Once you have his trust he will naturally start to follow you. You now need to control what he can and cannot do and for how long. This will assert your position as pack leader and command his respect. So, control which rooms in the house he is allowed in.
Step
3
Make him ‘wait’
Don’t let him eat his meals until he has sat and waited for your permission first. Simply move the bowl away each time he moves towards it until he realises he needs to wait. This is fantastic way to command respect.
Step
4
Set his toilet routine
While it’s important he gets to go to the toilet when he needs it, you should be the one that decides when you take him out. Again, this will show him that you are in control and he needs to follow you.
Step
5
Cold shoulder
If he begs, barks or whines, it’s important you ignore him. If you give in to this attention seeking behavior Fluffy will think that he is in control. So turn around and wait for his whining to stop before you turn back around.
Recommend training method?

The Pack Leadership Method

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Step
1
Work before food
Make him work for his meals by taking him for a walk first. Then wait for him to be in a calm/submissive state before you let him at his bowl. Fluffy will have no choice but to respect you if you control his food.
Step
2
His own space
Make sure your Husky has somewhere in the house that is all his, be it a bed or corner in a room. By having one place that is just his, he will realize everywhere else belongs to you.
Step
3
Protection
If he is to respect you, you have to be the pack leader and protect him when he is scared or vulnerable. That means positioning yourself between him and pets and people he doesn’t know.
Step
4
Comfort him
If you can see he is visibly scared, calmly stroke him and reassure him. If his tail drops too low make sure you remove him from the situation. This will help build trust and ensure he goes to you when he’s worried.
Step
5
Never punish him
The most effective way to command respect from your Husky is through positive reinforcement and boundary training. Don’t resort to punishing him. This will only make him terrified of you. Instead, be firm but calm.
Recommend training method?

The Obedience Method

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Step
1
Training classes
Take your Husky to group training classes. Here he will see how other dogs respect their owners and follow suit. Not to mention it will help you teach him a range of commands too.
Step
2
‘Sit’
Start by teaching Fluffy basic obedience commands, such as ‘sit’ and ‘down’. Use treats or toys as rewards. This type of training will reinforce your control and emphasis the power balance is tipped in your favor.
Step
3
Control his toys
If you are in control of his possessions, such as toys, he will swiftly learn to respect you. That means only let Fluffy have his toys for a few minutes and then take them away again.
Step
4
Gentle play
You need to encourage him to play in a calm/submissive state. So spend a few minutes in the evening gently stroking him. Give him the odd treat and verbal praise so he associates submission with positive consequences.
Step
5
Consistent boundaries
It’s important you enforce boundaries every time. If you allow Fluffy to jump up on the sofa a few times, he will understandably be confused when you tell him he isn’t allowed on there on other occasions. So be consistent. This also means ensuring everyone in the house imposes the same rules.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Brody
AnimalBreed object
1 Year
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Question
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Brody
AnimalBreed object
1 Year

Brody sometimes becomes aggressive and he bites and bark at me he seems angry but I don’t think that i did something that makes him angry except that I didn’t let him bite me, can you please tell me what should i do about it?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
674 Dog owners recommended

Hello Noor, I highly suggest hiring a professional trainer to work with you in person for this. I also suggest carefully getting pup used to wearing a basket muzzle to make training and interacting with pup right now safer. Have pup wear the muzzle when they are free and with you. Have a trainer help with the muzzle introduction if pup may bite you if you do it, do not get close to pup's face, and make the introduction as fun and rewarding for pup as possible.Tether pup to something behind them so that they cannot reach you if they tried to bite while introducing the muzzle also. To introduce the muzzle, first place it on the ground and sprinkle his meal kibble around it. Do this until he is comfortable eating around it. Next, when he is comfortable with it being on the floor with food, hold it up and reward him with a piece of kibble every time he touches or sniffs it in your hand. Feed him his whole meal this way. Practice this until he is comfortable touching it. Next, hold a treat inside of it through the muzzle's holes, so that he has to poke his face into it to get the treat. As he gets comfortable doing that, gradually hold the treat further down into the muzzle, so that he has to poke his face all the way into the muzzle to get the treat. Practice until he is comfortable having his face in it. Next, feed several treats in a row through the muzzle's holes while he holds his face in the muzzle for longer. Practice this until he can hold his face in it for at least ten seconds while being fed treats. Next, when he can hold his face in the muzzle for ten seconds while remaining calm, while his face is in the muzzle move the muzzle's buckles together briefly, then feed him a treat through the muzzle. Practice this until he is not bothered by the buckles moving back and forth. Next, while he is wearing the muzzle buckle it and unbuckle it briefly, then feed a treat. As he gets comfortable with this step, gradually keep the muzzle buckled for longer and longer while feeding treats through the muzzle occasionally. Next, gradually increase how long he wears the muzzle for and decrease how often you give him a treat, until he can calmly wear the muzzle for at least an hour without receiving treats more than two treats during that hour. Muzzle introduction video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJTucFnmAbw&list=PLXtcKXk-QWojGYcl1NCg5UA5geEnmpx4a&index=6&t=0s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Rocky
AnimalBreed object
8 Months
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Rocky
AnimalBreed object
8 Months

I’ve recently received a male 8 month old Siberian Husky from a friend of mine and so, Rocky, has been fine however at times when he is eating or playing with a toy he begins to growl or bite me when I get near him and so I was wondering if there is anything I should do to get him to respect me and not act possessive since I have a younger brother and I am worried about how Rocky would act

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
674 Dog owners recommended

Hello Julio, First, I don't recommend working on this by yourself. Look for someone who is very experienced with aggression and different types of aggression - many trainers are only experienced with fear based aggression and you likely have some dominance- based or possessive aggression going on too, and they are treated a bit differently than fear. Second, Have him work for everything he gets for a while by having him perform a command first. For example, have him sit before you feed him, lay down before you pet him, look at you before you take him outside, ect.. If he nudges you, climbs into your lap uninvited, begs, or does anything else pushy, make him leave the room. Teach him a Place command and work on him staying on place for up to an hour, even when you walk into the other room for a minute. Practice crate manners. Work on teaching a structured Heel. Forget about getting places during a walk for a while right now, instead go somewhere open, like your front yard, a park, or culdesac and practice a heel where his nose does not go past your leg. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Third, for the resource guarding specifically, work on the above training first. Pup should also be fed meals two times a day in a locked crate and not free fed (if you aren't already doing that). Check out the video below on resource guarding. Only do this training with the help of a trainer who is very experienced with such things (done wrong you can make resource guarding worse not better). https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-out-command/ Once pup is no longer guarding, then the second step to dealing with this is to reward pup for tolerance also. You can do this by walking past pup when he has a toy or is eating and dropping tasty treats when he is behaving well. When he is really safe, then you can make a fake arm using something long and a glove, and practice gently petting pup with it while he eats, then immediately rewarding him with something even better, like chicken, for being tolerant - you have to work up to this though and don't use your real arm for this now. Practice the command "Drop" during training sessions - where he is rewarded with another toy or treat for obeying (start by using long toys you don't have to let go of first and toys he likes less - trading for toys he likes better when he obeys. The reward needs to come when he is not behaving aggressively though - which is why I suggest very carefully using the firmer approach first. You can use a purely positive reinforcement approach for this too, gradually associating your presence and dropping things with good things - starting with more distance and decreasing distance as his tolerance and body language improves (watch for him becoming tense - you are progressing too fast if he is tensing up). This approach alone can help manage the behavior but done by itself it just doesn't address the entire issue (resource guarding is usually a combination of a lack of respect and a lack of trust...Corrections and structure in daily life deal with the respect, the positive reinforcement and rewards for tolerating your presence and dropping things deal with the trust part). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Storm
AnimalBreed object
4 Years
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Storm
AnimalBreed object
4 Years

Hey, I got storm my 4 year old siberian Husky a couple weeks. He is a very quiet amd calm dog. Can sleep all day and night when I’m around however I am struggling to consistantly Get him to follow command. He definitely knows what they mean but sometimes takes 5/6 times for him to sit or come here and that’s just in the house. He does work for his treats but with my job and lifestyle I just require him to obey first time. If he is outside on a walk in lead there is no way of getting him to come especially if another dog is there as he just wants to play. Not even treats work then. I would ideally want a dog I can walk off lead as I go up hills and on runs as a personal trainer but I am worried he won’t come back even tho his previous owner said he is fine. Cheers

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
674 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dimi, Check out the Reel In method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall PreMack Principle: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ I also suggest checking out James Penrith from Take the Lead Dog Training. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtJxSXu4rfs&t=775s Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Riggs
AnimalBreed object
3 Years
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Question
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Riggs
AnimalBreed object
3 Years

We just adopted a 3 year old Siberian Husky who loves to hunt rabbits and squirrels. How do you suggest taming his aggressive reaction on seeing small animals along our walks? Is there a type of leash you would recommend or training to help overcome his high energy to “prey?”

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
674 Dog owners recommended

Hello John, First, I suggest laying a good foundation of communication by practicing commands like Leave It, Watch Me, Out, and Heel. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Heel - Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Come: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Work on teaching those commands first, since pup needs to know what you are asking of them before they can be expected to comply, have the skills to remain self-controlled, or understand why they are being rewarded or corrected. If the animal chasing is happening while pup is on a leash walking with you, I suggest working on the structure of your walk first. You want pup to be working during the walk - having to stay behind you, focus on you, perform commands periodically, and not have his mind on scanning the area in search of other dogs. The walk should start with him having to exit your home very calmly, performing obedience commands at the door if he isn't calm. He should wait for permission ("Okay" or "Free" or "Let's Go") before going through the door instead of bolting through if that's an issue. When you walk he should be in the heel position - with his head behind your leg. That position decreases his arousal. It prevents him from scanning for other animals, and ignoring you behind him. It also requires him to be in a more submissive, structured, focused, calmer mindset - which has a direct effect on how aroused he is. Additionally, when you do pass other animals, as soon as he starts staring them down, interrupt him. Remind him with a fair correction that you are leading the walk and he is not allowed to break his heel or stare another animal. It is far easier to deal with reactivity when you interrupt a dog early in the process - before they are highly aroused and full of adrenaline and cortisol, and to keep the dog in a less aroused/calmer state to begin with. This also makes the walk more pleasant for him in the long-run. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo The below videos are of dog reactive dogs - but they are good examples of keeping a dog calmer on the walk through structure and obedience exercises - to build focus on the handler and teach pup to ignore distractions. Reactive dog - example of interruptions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY8s_MlqDNE Example of interrupting an aroused dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo Once pup is focusing on you regularly and ignoring distractions - at that point, you can also begin rewarding pup with small treats, further increasing their attention on you. You will need pup to be in a calmer mindset first though - so that you are rewarding the focused, calm attitude and not the aroused, predatory state. If pup is a dog who typically does this behavior when you aren't around while outside on their own, you will need to pursue avoidance training. Check out the videos below for information on that. I suggest hiring a trainer with experience in this area and who uses a similar training style to the trainer in the video - combining rewards, proactive communication, and correction. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Leo
AnimalBreed object
9 Months
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Leo
AnimalBreed object
9 Months

how to get him too respect you

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