Huskies are sled dogs that were bred to pull, so it’s no surprise that lead manners can be a bit of a challenge for these beautiful dogs. But when Huskies pull, it is not only frustrating; it can cause a lot of potential problems.
Your canine companion could get loose and cause an accident; they could injure themselves and their owners or get into an altercation with other dogs.
Don’t worry, though it will mean investing some time and quite a lot of patience; it’s possible to train your husky to stop pulling and step out by your side without dragging you around the block.
The best way to stop pulling is by teaching your Husky to walk on a loose leash; with the use of verbal cues, some treats and consistency, in a few days, your Husky will be walking calmly at your left side like a good boy.
This guide will show you how to stop a Husky pulling on a lead and give you some handy tips on how to train a Husky to walk nicely.
8 tips on Training your Husky to Walk on a Loose Leash
Begin lease training from day one
The sooner your puppy learns good leash manners, the better and believe me, it’s a lot easier teaching a puppy than an exuberant adolescent. From the day you bring your new puppy home, they should be learning their name and basic commands like sit, come, leave it and heel; this will make things a lot easier in the long run and best of all, they think it’s fun.
Huskies are an independent breed that likes to do their own thing and some can have selective hearing, which can lead owners to think they are stubborn. That’s why one of the most important things when leash training a Husky is to get them to focus on you and not on what is going on around them.
Work on getting your puppy to look at you for guidance when you say their name and reward with a treat when they do. Eventually, no matter what distractions are going on, you will be able to get their attention.
Teaching self-control is essential for a Husky puppy
Dogs don’t think things through like us humans; they just react on impulse, and this needs to be controlled if you want to stop your Husky pulling on a leash and enjoy a calm walk.
There are many fun ways to train your Husky to control their natural instinct and pay attention to you; mastering these techniques is essential for any dog owner teaching their canine companion to walk on a leash.
Use the right gear
In most of our guides, we recommend harnesses rather than a collar, but placing these on a sled dog is not the best idea as when they feel resistance, it will just encourage them to pull more. So, if you do want to use one, keep it until after your pup stops pulling and is walking nicely.
A wide flat collar with a robust fastening or martingale collar is best and don’t use a retractable leash as these give Fido too much freedom, offer little control and can get tangled up, maybe even causing injury.
Is a no-pull harness better when leash training?
There are many versions available and a non-pulling one would seem like the answer to all your pulling issues. Unfortunately, this is not the case and may even encourage your Husky to pull more.
Although they can benefit older dogs who have had no previous leash training, they are no substitute for proper leash training.
Reward when your Husky is getting it right
Positive reinforcement is all about rewarding your pup for doing what you ask; there should be no tugging on the leash or harsh words if they don’t understand you straight away; it’s not their fault; it’s yours. Simply changing direction if they pull is the only thing you need to do.
Always reward good behaviour when leash walking with healthy treats, their favourite toy or praise profusely. This way, he’ll begin to learn that doing what is required and not pulling on the leash benefits him.
Don’t risk all your hard work.
As we’ve mentioned, behaviour can be modified by positive reinforcement. If your dog pulls and just once you let it slide and go in the direction you are being pulled, all the hard work you’ve put in will go out the window.
The most recent association where pulling got them what they wanted will remain and the problem will worsen. Stop moving forward immediately the leash becomes tense and begin walking in the opposite direction. Fido will soon understand that he needs to keep the leash loose if he wants to move forward.
What about clicker training if your dog pulls?
Some dog owners just don’t have the right tone of voice, commands may be mixed, or the dog just doesn’t get what you want; in these situations, a clicker can be invaluable. Clicker training isn’t difficult; it just requires precision timing for your dog to know exactly what you want.
Give it a try when your puppy begins to walk on a leash. It is especially handy if other people will be walking your dog.
This video has some excellent clicker training tips.
Why a Siberian Husky pulls?
It’s in their nature.
Huskies were bred for endurance and to haul heavy sledges across arctic conditions; this genetic makeup hasn’t disappeared even though they are a popular family pet nowadays. That’s why it can be challenging to train a husky to stop pulling compared to other breeds.
They aren’t getting enough exercise.
This dog breed is not for couch potatoes; they have incredibly high energy levels and require at least 2 hours of exercise a day. If they are not getting enough, they will have tons of pent up energy and pulling will be inevitable. Some Husky owners find it helps to provide mental stimulation along with plenty of exercises.
They haven’t been trained.
Not training a Husky will result in serious behavioural problems where pulling on the lead may be the least of your worries.
Without establishing boundaries early on, your dog may have developed bad habits; some can be destructive and very difficult to manage, which is why it’s crucial to begin training as soon as possible.
The Last Word
Huskies are one of the most beautiful dog breeds, but they are not for everyone as they require tons of exercise and consistent training.
Dogs pull to get where they want to go and a simple way to get them to stop is to stop walking and change direction every time there is tension on the leash. With Huskies especially, you will need to invest some time and start walking education early.
However, once they have learned to walk on a loose leash after a few weeks, all those training sessions will be well worth it.
Not only will you be able to control your pooch when going on daily walks, but once your dog learns not to pull forward, they will be more relaxed and confident, a win-win for both you and your best friend.