How to Train a Husky to Stay in the Yard

How to Train a Husky to Stay in the Yard
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon5-12 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

Huskies are incredibly beautiful dogs. Their piercing blue or dark eyes and fluffy fur makes loving on them easy. Your Husky is also incredibly energetic. He is intelligent, but novice owners might take his personality as stubborn while those who know Huskies well, know they are eager to learn. 

If you have a Husky in an unfenced yard, the world is at his fingertips. You will need to teach him to stay in your yard by giving him boundaries. His energy, zest, and excitement will lead him right out of your yard and potentially into harm's way if he doesn't understand where he needs to stay to remain safe. If your Husky is left alone, he will likely seek companionship elsewhere. Because he's so highly intelligent yet sensitive, he yearns for attention and will go seek it if given the opportunity. To keep him safe in an unfenced yard, boundary training will be imperative.

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Defining Tasks

Teaching your beautiful Husky to recognize and obey boundaries won't be incredibly different than other advanced training. You will need to build a foundation with basic obedience commands, so he understands how to heel and stay on a leash. During this training, he will also need to know how to sit and stay. You will be challenging him by crossing boundary lines yourself and almost daring him to do it but rewarding him when he makes the right choice. This training will have to continue for several weeks, possibly even months, before you can trust your Husky to stay in your yard and not cross your boundary lines. Though training Huskies from a young age is easier and takes a bit less time than training an adult dog, you can train your fluff-ball at any age how to stay in your yard. Just remember with your strong-willed pup to make your rewards high-value and continue to challenge him, even when you think he understands what you're asking him to do.

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Getting Started

Even if you don't want your Husky to be on a leash once he is fully trained to stay in your yard, you're going to need a leash to start training. Take a bag of tasty high-value treats with you each time you walk the perimeter of your yard with your Husky to reward him for each positive choice he makes. Schedule specific times to train this task to your Husky. In the beginning, these scheduled training sessions need to be free of distractions and short enough to maintain his attention for the entire training. Over time, you will add distractions and lengthen your sessions. Be patient with this one. Your dog's life is important, so spend all the time you need training this task.

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The Boundaries Method

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1

Clicker training

Use your training clicker to train your dog to recognize boundaries. For this training, you will need boundary place markers such as yard or utility flags your dog can recognize as a boundary.

2

Make boundary lines

Using boundary markers like utility or landscaping flags, create a boundary line in your yard you would like your Husky to obey. This works if you are blocking off an area of your yard, do not have a fenced-in yard, or would like your dog to stay in your front yard.

3

Introduction

Introduce these boundary markers to your Husky before you head out to your yard for training. While you're indoors, show your dog two of these markers. When he looks at one, sniffs it, acknowledges it, or shows any interest in it, click the training clicker and give him a treat as a reward.

4

Two flags

Use two flags or boundary markers train your dog to recognize both. Place them few feet from one another inside your home and walk your dog to each flag. When your dog acknowledges the flag or shows interest by sniffing it, click your clicker again and give a treat. Walk to the second flag and do the same.

5

At boundary

Take your Husky outside and place your flags along your boundary line. You can do this with your Husky on the leash so he can join you in marking the boundary and watch you place each marker.

6

Command

Give your boundary line a command word such as "border" or "boundary" so as your Husky trains with you he recognizes a command that will always tell him not to cross that line.

7

Walk dog

With your Husky on the leash, start walking him along the boundary line. Every marker you pass with your Husky, he should recognize and acknowledge with a sniff or a glance. When he does this, click your clicker for each marker you pass and give him a treat every time.

8

Practice

Keep practicing with your Husky on the leash walking alongside your boundary markers without crossing and rewarding him with a click and treat each time you pass a marker. As he gets better at this, you can begin to drop the leash or take him off leash if you trust him to be off altogether.

The Perimeter Training Method

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Walk boundary

Place your Husky on a leash and walk the perimeter of your yard. You will need to do this several times a day for several weeks as your Husky gets used to your expectations and what he is supposed to be learning during the scheduled walks.

2

Pointing

Your Husky is smart. As you walk past your border, point to the ground and every few steps and give a command such as ‘border’ or ‘boundary,’ or you can even say "do not cross." Pointing and giving the same command while you walk along your perimeter will eventually condition your dog to understand what this perimeter means to him.

3

No pointing

After several days of practicing a perimeter walk with your Husky while pointing and giving a command to recognize the boundary, stop pointing and only use the verbal command as you walk the perimeter of your yard.

4

Treats

As long as your Husky is behaving well on the leash as you are walking the perimeter together, offer him a tasty treat every few feet. This will keep him engaged and reward him for a job well done.

5

Off-leash

Because you have walked this perimeter several times with your Husky on the leash, as long as he is showing an understanding of the border trying not to cross while under your control, challenge him by taking him off the leash. Alternatively, you can keep the leash on him only make it very loose or drop it altogether. This way if he tries to get away you can quickly grab the leash and regain control.

6

Challenge

After lots of practice walking the perimeter on and off leash, your Husky should be ready for you to challenge him. As you are walking the perimeter, step over the perimeter line and ask your Husky to stay. He should stay on his side of the border. Give him a treat when he successfully stays where he is supposed to.

7

Continued practice

Keep practicing with your Husky, challenging him and rewarding him for his good choices as the two of you walk the perimeter together. Add challenges by crossing the border on your own expecting him to stay where he belongs on his side. It will be some time before your Husky can be trusted to go off on his own and stay on his side of the perimeter.

The 'Leave It' Challenge Method

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1

Commands

Before you train your Husky boundary training, he will need to have a foundation of basic obedience commands trained and well understood. Be sure to train him 'sit', 'stay', and 'leave it'.

2

Leash

Place your Husky on a leash and walk along the border of your yard. Always stay within the boundaries you expect your Husky to stay in once he is trained. Try to keep your training sessions distraction-free so he can stay focused on expectations.

3

Walk the border

Just as you would do with leash manners training, start walking the border of your property where you expect your Husky to stay and give him a treat every few feet he is walking with you and behaving well while on the leash. This sets him up for positive reinforcement training and gives rewards for good choices.

4

Treat toss

After you have walked the perimeter with your Husky several times, start tossing a treat to the other side of the border challenging him to stay on his side and not go after the treat.

5

'Leave it'

Before your little guy even has a chance to try to go after the treat, use your ‘leave it’ command. This should tell him right away he's not to cross that boundary to get what he wants.

6

Practice

Practice enticing your Husky to cross the boundary line using the command ‘leave it’ and then walking away. When you are able to walk away with your Husky then you can reward him with a treat.

By Stephanie Plummer

Published: 04/01/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Meeko

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Siberian Husky

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2 Years

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Question

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Normally he stays in our yard but evening time he has a bad habit of getting off our property and wanders off and won't come back for a few hours. What do I do to teach him that this is bad and he could get hurt or killed by wandering off like that

April 25, 2022

Meeko's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Steven, If your yard unfenced or is pup digging or climbing to escape the fence? I suggest following the "Recruit Help from Friends method" from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/stay-in-an-unfenced-yard I would also do some remote collar training in addition to the above method since you are probably competing with pup visiting very interesting things in the evening. First, learn how to fit the collars correctly by watching the video below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Figure out pup's "working level" on your e-collar, which is the lowest level that dog responds to at all - indicating they can feel the collar at all. Check out the video linked below on how to find this level and go through this protocol for each dog. Finding their Working Level - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Next, walk pup, one dog at a time around your perimeter. Each time they approach the boundary line (which I would use property flags to mark well so pup's can visually remember and you will be consistent), use your leash to reel them back toward you, back inside the property line while at the same time pushing the stimulation button on the remote collar while pup is on the wrong side of the boundary line - as soon as pup gets back on the correct side of the boundary line, the correct stops and pup is praised. When pup begins to avoid going over the boundary line, you can also give treats for staying on the correct side. This will involve a lot of walking. Pup's will need to do this a lot, each dog separately, one at a time at first around the entire property line. Once pup's have learned the lesson well. You can go for a walk near the boundary line with the dogs off-leash and correct with the remote training collar if they cross the boundary during the walk - showing them that they still can't cross while off leash either. While you are still training the dogs you will need to physically keep them on your property using leashes and such so that they aren't running across the boundary line when you aren't ready - that will ruin your training. They need to be corrected consistently for crossing the boundary lines while you show them what they are supposed to be doing using the long leash (if you just correct and skip the long leash part they will likely run away and not toward you because they won't understand at first why they are being corrected - reeling them in with the leash and stopping the correction as soon as they are on the correct side of the boundary helps them learn to come back over to your side of the line). Another, easier option that will likely be even more effective if it's an option financially will be installing an electric fence around your property. You will still need to walk them around the boundary using a long leash and reel them back to your side of the boundary line when they cross to show them how to stop the correction - but the collars from the electric fence will enforce the correction for you and will be very consistent in correcting pups for crossing the boundary when you aren't around - making the training more effective and probably quicker for you. With electric fences, use flags to mark the boundary also and because your property is large, don't remove the flags later - keep them in place a s a reminder since you don't have a physical fence to remind pups. Don't skip walking the boundary with pups and teaching pup to avoid the electric fence - many people skip that part and it can ruin training for electric fences because dogs cross, then run and don't know how to stop the correction by returning - pups need to learn to return to make the correction stop so that they understand how to avoid the correction by not crossing the boundary. Reward pups with treats for not crossing. If the issue is pup escaping a physical fence, something like Halo or an invisible buried wire fence, with the range set two feet inside the physical fence, to enforce pup not approaching the physical fence to dig or climb it. An invisible fence alone often isn't a good choice for a dog whose desire to roam is strong enough to climb or dig out though; it needs to be used in combination with the physical fence. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

May 2, 2022

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chunky

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Husky mix

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3 Years

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i adopted chunky about five months ago and my biggest issue is he still escapes the yard. his personality is definitely more husky and he can scale a fence like nothing. he also seems to get separation anxiety when i leave even if someone else is home as he is super bonded to me. he is getting better and will come back from his running off when called although some times its hard to get back his attention. i live in a rual area so hes not in much danger of traffic running around in the front of the house but that isnt the point

Sept. 28, 2021

chunky's Owner

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Alisha Smith - Alisha S., Dog Trainer

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257 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Training your dog to stay inside a boundary is quite simple. To get started you will need to purchase marker flags from your local hardware store. These are generally found in the garden section. You will also need high value treats for your dog. I like to use grilled chicken, roast beef, or cheese cut into very small pieces. Look for a treat your dog will go crazy over, and only use this special treat for boundary training. I prefer to use a clicker as a marker for training this behavior. The clicker is a reward marker communicating to your dog that she did the right thing and will get a reward. You will start inside your house with your dog. Show your dog the flag, when she touches it with her nose click the clicker and give her a treat. This will teach her that touching the flag is what gets her the reward or treat. Next, place the flag a few feet away from you. Have your dog touch the flag; when she does this again you will click. She should then return to you to get her treat. Move the flag further way and practice having your dog go to the flag, click and give her a treat when she returns to you. By doing this, you will be conditioning your dog to move away from the flag. Before moving the training outside, I like to work with my dogs for about a week to make sure they understand they are to move away from the flags. Remember to always use a clicker and a treat to reinforce this. Once your dog understands they get rewarded for moving away from the flags, it is time to take the training outside. Place flags along your boundary line every 8-10 feet. Using a 15 to 20 foot long line, walk your dog around the boundary of your yard. She should go to the flags and touch them. After this happens you will click and your dog should return to you for her treat. Remember to continue to use your clicker and click and dispense a treat every time she touches the flags. For the best success practice this several times a day. You are classically conditioning your dog to return to you when she sees the flags. The flag become the cue to return to you, this becomes an involuntary response to the dog. Practice as often as you can, 8 to 10 weeks of practice will help make this a very solid behavior. The more you practice the more solid the behavior will be. As your dog gets better at returning to you, increase the length of the long line to 40 or 50 feet. You can also introduce some low level distractions to the training. This increases the difficulty of the behavior so make sure your dog gets a lot of praise and reinforcement for returning to you. Gradually increase the level of the distractions. If your dog is having trouble with this part of the training, make sure your distractions are not too high level. The last step is working with your dog off-leash. Make sure you are supervising your dog during this part of the training. Reinforce your dog often during the off lead sessions. Be aware of what is going on outside your yard and if you feel the distractions are too much for your dog to handle put her back on the lead. You will also want to make sure your yard is a fun environment for your dog. The yard should be a place where your dog feels safe and happy. One last tip; Do not punish your dog if she goes out of her boundary. Simply call her back and praise her when she returns. This will teach her that being inside the boundary is always rewarding and good things happen whenever she is inside the boundary.

Sept. 29, 2021


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