There are a ton of articles that give you some extraordinary Siberian Husky training tips when it comes to Huskies or dogs in general. A lot of these articles are geared towards a certain aspect of what it means to train your husky.
As a long-time Siberian husky owner and lover, myself, I have scoured the internet time and time again for tips, tricks, behavioral problems, medical problems and anything else I would need for any given situation. The dog breed is generally notoriously difficult to train.
With all the crazy experiences my two dogs have brought me, and all of our trips to the vet, I have come up with some tips that you don’t often see on these other sites. These are my top 11 tips for how to train a husky that you should know.
My Huskies play on a log at the dog park. Photo courtesy Lukas Thompson @Snow Dog Obsession
How to Train a Husky
To train your husky well, the key types of training you should train your husky on include:
- Obedience training – a well behaved husky is such an angel, but it takes time to nurture good behavior and unlearn bad behavior. Sit, stay and other basic commands should be taught as early as possible as a husky can be difficult to train
- Potty training – potty training should start as a Siberian Husky puppy
- Puppy training – for best results, start training from as early as possible. As the saying goes, it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks
This is absolutely my number one tip when it comes to training a husky puppy, hands down. To train a husky puppy, you need to be dedicated in order to keep your new friend healthy, happy, and obedient. When it comes to this breed of dog, they require quite a bit more exercise than your typical house dog.
Holding a watch in front of a husky
Be prepared to walk anywhere from 10 to 20 miles a day if this will be your only form of exercise to train your husky puppy. I highly suggest a more rigorous exercise schedule, but just walking is completely doable with a husky, just make sure you have the time to put in the miles!
In training your husky puppy, key number two is understanding. You have to be very understanding of your husky puppy as it is going to try to test you almost every day! This isn’t so much of a way of being dominate, but more so because they get bored really easily. A lot of huskies are the definition of ADHD.
Huskies are going to dig holes in your yard, steal your shoes, talk back, argue, and if they don’t get their way you will know about it! So, you have to understand that they are doing the best they can when you brought them into your world. After all, how would you feel if you had strange creatures touching you all day?
Have Compassion for Your Husky Puppy
Tip number 3 when it comes to training a husky puppy would be compassion. You have to care for them like family, remember as a dog, they aren’t able to tell you when they are sick or not feeling well. You have to spend time with them in order to know what is and isn’t normal behavior. When something isn’t normal, you need to seek guidance in assessing the situation. Whether that be from groups that specialize in the breed, or your local veterinarian.
Your husky puppy may accidentally use the bathroom in the house, on your couch, or your favorite pair of shoes. That doesn’t mean that they are doing it out of spite every time – often it is an underlying issue. You have to care enough about the well being of your new best friend to find out what these problems might be.
You’ve taken on a whole new responsibility, it’s your duty to do what’s best for your new husky puppy.
Use positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior. Huskies generally respond well to clicker training, which can be very effective.
Huskies in a pool, courtesy Best Pence LeBeau @Snow Dog Obsession
This training tip is extremely important and a lot of people will feel that I should have placed it higher. Your husky puppy requires an ample amount of exercise. Above walking you may want to explore a few more categories of interest. I’ve created a small list of some activities you may want to try with your new companion.
• Dog Parks
• Rollerblading or Skateboarding
• Agility Courses
• Disc Catching
• Dock Jumping
Huskies enjoying themselves at a local dog park. Photo courtesy Brianna Nicole @Snow Dog Obsession
There are a ton of other activities that you and your dog can participate in, just do a quick search and I’m sure you will find something that both of you are interested in!
You need to actually take the time to bond with your husky puppy. This goes beyond all of the training, exercising and normal routine. You have to take time to let them get back to being what they truly are, an animal. One of my favorite things to do is to take my huskies out on either a flew leash or a makeshift lead I’ve created from a clip and rope.
Husky on a long leash in woods
This allows them to have that feeling of being off leash and gives them the freedom to explore without me having to worry about not keeping up with them. We’ll go to our national parks and spend the entire day, or weekend if we decide to camp. Just remember, you’re there for yourself just as much as you are for them, leave the phone at home and slow down and spend some quality time together.
Trust me, bonding is going to make everything else you do with your husky puppy a lot easier.
Husky Dog Food
This is another huge tip when it comes to training your husky. By providing the proper nutrition for your new pet, you are allowing them to learn in a much better state of mind. You are also able to work on commands such as sit and wait during meal times.
A husky chewing on a pumpkin, photo courtesy Amanda Cox @Snow Dog Obsession
When it comes to diet, it’s much like that of a human, if you are putting the correct things in, you are going to be producing a lot more energy and you will think more clearly. This is going to allow both of you to perform at your absolute best. So, remember to take the time to sit down for a nice breakfast in the morning with your new husky.
This is actually an amazing training tip and people often skip over it entirely. This is one of the best opportunities to work on all kinds of tricks with your dog. You are able to work on multiple verbal commands and obedience all while spending some quality time making your pet look amazing!
Take the time to work on commands like sit, stand, wait, hold, roll-over, shake, high-five, down, and a slew of others. You are also able to work on noise tolerance if you decide to use something like a blower to help with that notorious husky shedding. Trust me, this is one training session you will both grow to love!
This is another one of those training basics that a lot of pet owners glance over. Your pet needs time to relax and not be working or learning all of the time. Getting some puzzle toys or a Kong to reward your husky for being a good boy or girl is an absolute priority when it comes to retaining all of this information you are putting into your dog’s brain.
A husky relaxing in a pool of sand. Photo courtesy Tosha Ludizaca @Snow Dog Obsession
If they do well on a task and then get a reward, they remember those things and it helps them retain the lesson quicker than without any kind of reinforcement. Other forms of entertainment can be walks, hiking, dog parks, or even a day at dog daycare to hang out with some four-legged friends.
Hold Your Temper
Siberian Huskies are often referred to as the Houdini of the dog world, and for good reason too. A bored husky will find some ingenious ways to escape from their containment areas. They will climb fences, escape from windows, break out of crates and take off running.
A husky stealing a car and making an escape, courtesy Sean Boetticher @Snow Dog Obsession
A good tip is to expect to come home to your couch destroyed, trash on the floor, and a number of other incidents before your dog is fully trained. This is going to cause you to become very frustrated, look to a behavior specialist if you need to. Know that they did not do this to hurt you or your things, they were probably just scared or anxious.
Your husky still loves you and you shouldn’t treat him any different. Physically punishing a dog for a mistake that they are unaware they caused is not the way to go about correcting the problem.
Veterinary exams are another great place to work on training with your husky. While here they are going to be subjected to multiple forms of distraction. This is a perfect chance to work on keeping your dog’s attention and having them control themselves on a leash.
With other dogs and cats around you will be able to work on keeping your dog next to you on a loose leash. You’ll be able to work on your sit commands, wait commands, as well as building trust with your dog. The real training starts when you get to the office and start the exam.
My dog Akira at the vet, photo courtesy Lukas Thompson @Snow Dog Obsession
Here is where you will teach your dog patience, as well as how to feel comfortable with the staff and veterinarian. There are a lot of things your dog won’t be comfortable with, and it’s your job to make sure he makes it through everything okay.
This is another one that people seem to forget about and is key to you and your husky learning new tricks and techniques. You have to be extremely patient with this breed of dog. These animals are extremely stubborn and want to do things their way. They will often put up a struggle to do anything.
You need to work on your training routines as often as possible, doing things a few times and expecting them to retain it isn’t going to work. You need to build a routine for you and your husky to do every day. If you change just one thing in your routine, you may see a huge difference in the behavior of your dog.
A girl being licked by her pet husky, photo courtesy Becky Smith @Snow Dog Obsession
My last training tip for you and your husky is to love them every day. They are going to be your best friend no matter what, so love them in return and you will have the greatest companion possible in life. Never forget why you got them and spend as much time together as you can.
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.