He has a very independent mind and spirit, and will only perform, if we make it worth his while.
If we want an obedient dog, that only lives to please us, then the Siberian Husky is not for us.
A Sibe is not a “yes sir, no sir“, kind of dog. To live well with him, we need to be fair, but firm. We need to consistently enforce our house rules, or he will take over the house.
The best way to train a Husky, is through the control of resources. Teach him that the best way to get what he wants, is to first do what we want. Use reward obedience training, and follow the Nothing in Life is Free program. Harsher techniques, can make a Sibe distrustful, and ruin the natural free spirit of the breed.
Siberian Huskies are independent hunters. Their original breeders, the Chukchi of Northeastern Asia, would let their dogs free during the summer months, to hunt for food on their own.
Siberian Huskies are independent hunters.
This has two very important consequences for living with a Siberian Husky today –
1. A Siberian Husky is not to be trusted with cats, or other small animals. He can be trained to live with cats, but his instinct is to hunt them;
2. A Siberian Husky is not to be trusted off-leash. If he sees a small animal, he will likely bolt after it, and forget about cars, commands, and everything else. By the time he comes to his senses, he may be lost and far from home.
I have gotten a few comments about cats lately, so let me be clear …
Siberian Huskies can be trained to live with household cats. However, Sibes usually have high prey drive, and will likely want to hunt and chase small animals, including squirrels, mice, and cats. Just because a Sibe gets along with our house cats, does not mean he will treat other neighborhood cats in the same way.
Siberian Huskies are bred to run and pull. This makes them more difficult to leash train than many other breeds. To train a Husky to walk on a leash, we need to have an immense amount of patience. Always be firm and consistent with the no-pulling rule, and reward good behavior.
If we do not have a large backyard, bring our Sibe to an enclosed park, or soccer field, so that he can have some nice off-leash time to run, run, run.