If you have ever had a dog as a pet, you understand how much a part of the family these fur pals can become. Raising a dog from a pup is a rewarding yet challenging experience. I am currently training a 7 month old Husky, whose owners abandoned him. If you’re a dog enthusiast, you may already know that it is a matter of controversy whether this breed is actually a dog. In fact, it belongs to a unique genetic family line known as the ”Spitz.”
These animals are from the north and include breeds such as the Siberian and Samoyed Husky, as well as Pomeranian, Malamute and several others. While some people claim that Huskies are hybrid dogs that have been bred with wolves, that is simply not true. They are part of the Spitz genetic line. Training a Siberian Husky will test you to your limits. They are typically non- aggressive. However, they are some of the most high energy dogs in existence. They’re also highly intelligent and loyal, IF you train them properly. (That IF is there because Huskies can be extremely stubborn and are not afraid to show it!) In this post, you’ll find four helpful tips for training a Siberian pup—tips that have already been greatly beneficial in my own journey with Beppo, the newest member of our household.
A Husky interprets yelling as excitement
If your goal is to train a Husky pup to be obedient, loyal and as calm as possible, the last thing you will want to do is yell at it as a form of discipline or instruction. While it might seem logical that raising your voice is a sign of authority to a dog, Huskies, in particular, interpret yelling as excitement. In other words, when you yell, your Siberian pup thinks you are excited and that you want it to continue doing what it is doing. It thinks that you are playing.
On the other hand, a Husky responds to changes in voice tone. If you are showing encouragement or are pleased, you’ll want your voice to convey the message by using a higher and peppier tone. If you are displeased or issuing correction, you will want to speak in a slow and deep tone of voice. The key here, however, is to speak calmly.
A Siberian Husky is a vocal animal
Another characteristic that is especially distinct in the Siberian Husky line is that these dogs are highly vocal. Let’s say your dog thinks you are taking too long to get your shoes on to go for a walk. A Husky pup in this situation might start growling or even bark at you. This is not a sign of aggression. Your dog is trying to communicate with you. It is saying, ”Hey! You said let’s take a walk, so let’s get moving. You are taking too long!” If a dog is growling in aggression, its ears will flatten and lips will curl expose teeth.
Also, if your dog is growling to be vocal, it sounds a lot different than a growl that says ”I am about to bite your face off.” A vocal growl sounds a lot like complaining rather than warning. Huskies also LOVE to sing, or, in their case, howl. My daughter often gets Beppo to duet with her in the car. She will howl and say, ”Beppo, sing with me!” and he will! It is understandable that you might want to teach your dog to be quieter in the house, which is definitely possible through consistent training, which brings us to our next tip.
Huskies thrive on routine and consistency
Huskies are swift learners. If you want them to retain what you have taught, you must be consistent. This goes from your routine for going out to potty, waiting to eat from a food bowl until given a cue or anything else you would like to teach your pup. If you take him or her out a different door every time or you reprimand for jumping up on someone one time but not the next, this inconsistency will make training now go well.
Determine what things you think are most important for your Siberian pup to learn. Then, stick to whatever routine you develop. If your dog is not allowed to have people food, for instance, then do NOT make exceptions. If there is a room in the house that is off limits to your pet, establish that fact from Day One, and do not change the rules.
How to teach your pup to stop jumping on people
A Husky can jump at least four to five feet in the air, if not higher. This breed is also a highly sociable animal. You might notice that your pup wants to greet every person it sees by jumping up to put paws on his or her chest. This is not a good habit to allow. When your Husky is fully grown, it could hurt an elderly person or child by jumping on them. They are large dogs! (Btw, here’s a great large dog article that one of our writers shared a while back!)
The best way to teach a Husky NOT to jump on humans is this:
Come into a room or through the door.
When the pup jumps up on you, push through it and keep walking to the next room.
TOTALLY ignore the dog!
Do NOT back up from the jump.
Do not say OFF or DOWN.
Just plow through it, causing it to fall back on itself and keep walking away.
When the dog calms down and ONLY then, should you go back and offer a greeting.
Share your Husky training ideas with us
If you have more ideas for training a Siberian Husky, leave a comment under this post on our Facebook page. In the meantime, here are a few YouTube links for Husky trainers that have been especially helpful to Beppo and me!
1. Sixty Formula