How to Train a Husky to Respect You

How to Train a Husky to Respect You
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon2-8 Weeks
General training category iconGeneral

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.

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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.

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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!

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The Obedience Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Building Trust Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Pack Leadership Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

By James Barra

Published: 03/07/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Coco

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Siberian Husky

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1 Year

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Question

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How do I stop or teach her to quit tearing stuff up when I leave for a couple of hours if I don't take her with me

June 5, 2022

Coco's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, Check out the article on chewing I have linked below. I would work on commands like Leave It while at home, but pup also needs to be confined to a dog proofed room or crate while you away. Giving pup a dog food stuffed chew toy to train pup to be interested in their own chew toys via the dog food stuffing can also help pup learn to prefer their toys while confined. Once pup develops a habit of chewing their own toys and has not chewed yours for several months due to proper training, supervision and confinement while away, you can transition pup to more freedom by leaving pup loose for just 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, then 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hours, 2 hours, 3 hours, and 4 hours. If pup does well for four hours, pup is likely alright for the full day, as long as you don't exceed their potty needs. When you test this, at each timed test come back and inspect the home. If pup chewed something up, then go back to confinement for another month or two before testing again. If pup does well, increase to the next time block the next time. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ It's easiest to do this during a walk without pup at first. You can check when you get back or you can spy on pup with a camera you have set up - which could just be someone's electronic device with a video app set to mute on pup's end, that will stream to your device's app while you are on your walk or short errand. Giving pup too much freedom too soon can lead to long term destructive chewing habits, so confinement while away is an important part of the training. Confinement for a few months with the goal of pup being able to have more freedom at home for a few years later on. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

June 6, 2022

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Ace

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great Pyrenees Alaskan malamute

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1 Year

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doesn't always listen to me

April 6, 2022

Ace's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kaila, Check out the article I have linked below, and all three methods found there. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

April 6, 2022

he knows how to sit and shake paw he still bites when we gets excited and he jumps up on people

April 6, 2022

Kaila


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