Jump to section
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.
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.
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 Obedience Method
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Building Trust Method
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Pack Leadership Method
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By James Barra
Published: 03/07/2018, edited: 01/08/2021