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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.
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.
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.
The Boundaries Method
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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