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Old 09-05-2008, 01:15 PM   #1
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Default Training a Husky not to take off?

Right well, for the past few months my family and I have been thinking of getting a female husky pup. I've done heaps of research on them and I'm positive I can deal with one. The only problem that I thought of today was that, I love going camping on my mates farm and would like to bring the husky with us once it gets older. But from what I've read they like to wonder when off the lead and not come back which wouldn't make camping very fun. My question is, is it at all possible to train a husky not to leave a trail of smoke when let off the leash?

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Old 09-05-2008, 01:49 PM   #2
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I think it's possible to train any dog. IMO, Huskies are stubborn, vocal, & tend to have issues with smaller animals. They're INCREDIBLY smart, hence many of their issues. (Shelter here has one that can get out of any kennel)

If you're dedicated to training & work hard, you should be able to train a Husky to stick around. But be prepared for long/hard training & be prepared for the dog to want to take off a few times.
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:51 PM   #3
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I lived with a Husky years ago and they do like to wander off. You can probably train one to stick around but it is going to be harder than if you start with say a Retriever who naturally wants to stay with you.
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Old 09-05-2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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I absolutely agree with both white cat and skunk. I do not accept the view of Husky breeders in the UK that you can NEVER, NOHOW NOWHERE let your husky off the lead. That is just not true. But they have a huge prey drive, they are supremely intelligent, they are stubborn, have the wolf aloofness and a desire sometimes to go deaf, and they have a propensity to run, so they are going to be harder than some breeds to train to recall.

when people tell me with my dogs (husky/mal crosses) that you must never let them off the lead, my back immediately goes up and I set out to prove them wrong. You can train ANY dog to do virtually whatever you want them to do, you just have to stick at it and have dedication. As sure as eggs are eggs, you are never going to train a dog not to run away if you never let it off the lead. My advice on your camping trips would be to let your husky off the lead, but watch him like a hawk as a very young pup before he is big enough to be able to build up a head of steam. If and when he runs off away from you, try and encourage him to come back to you (not with titbits, but with enthusiasm and praise at least to start with). We find with our husky/mal mixes, if you turn around and run off in the opposite direction, they will then come, it has worked well with the three we have had so far. When they come, make a huge fuss of them. With huskies, the trick is knowing "what's in it for them". They think like wolves in that they have to have a raison d'etre for everything they do. And it has to be something more than just food quite often. I am not a fan of training with titbits, but you can always use that as a last resort if it works.

To my mind, there is nothing worse than a husky who is condemned to a life on a lead.

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Old 09-05-2008, 05:49 PM   #5
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I do agree with everyone here in that a dog should be able to be trained to do anything (or NOT to do something as the case may be). But you have to be very committed to training because that's a tough one and huskies WILL run off if not trained properly. My very close girlfriend has a husky that she got from the pound and he is terrible with wandering off. He doesn't just wander off - he will jump their fence to get out. They have a 6' fence and then had an electric fence installed when he was clearing 6' like it was nothing. The electric fence has not deterred him at all. I'm on her case to get a trainer but money is tight for them right now so in the meantime he is on a lead outside when they are not able to stay out there with him. He's actually on the town's Post Office "Most Dangerous Dogs in Town" list. Which is not funny, but it is funny only because he is the sweetest most lovable thing in the world. He just has escaped and chased down one too many mailmen. Of course once he gets up to them he just wants to say hello and lick them to death. But a big dog like a husky can be quite intimidating when running at you full throttle! My friend is an avid camper and they do take their husky with them every time. However when camping they never let him off the lead unless he is in the camper with them. I love huskies - they are absolutely beautiful and incredibly smart dogs.
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Old 09-06-2008, 09:05 AM   #6
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They are indeed Cassidy ! One of the husky "things" is to hurtle straight at you like an Exocet missile, swerving at the very last moment ! It is extremely intimidating, but they mean no harm by it. This behaviour is apparently a wolf trait - it is called "clipping". They will swerve at the very last moment, sometimes just "clipping" you with their flowing coat, or their tail ! They think it is hysterically funny, but I don't ! Our last husky/mal cross used to do this, and so does our current one, Tai. He weighs in at about 80 pounds or more, and if he did cannon into me, it would jolly well hurt ! It is a hard thing to stop of course, because you are calling the dog after all, and you want to achieve a perfect recall, so you can't tell them off for coming straight at you really, can you ? !!

They are extremely intelligent dogs, as your friend has found out they can jump like gazelles, our previous Husky/Mal cross's son, Woody, clawed his way up a 12 foot high tennis court-style wire fence, went over the top, and jumped down the other side to escape from his new home back to our's, crossing the M1 in the process ! If it is of any help, we find that with these northern breeds like huskies and mals, they have to be with you, they cannot be left alone, and if they are living outside in a run or whatever, they WILL escape, especially if they are Home Alone. This is probably not of much use to your friend, but it is a fact of life with huskies and mals in particular. They HAVE to be with you 24/7.

If camping with Hal or Tai, we would certainly have had to keep them on the lead, or they would both run off. Not run away away, but just run away and come back, if you get what I mean. There is a big difference between a dog who has no recall, and a dog who actually legs it over the fields and far away. My experience with northern breeds is that they will always come back once they realise you are no longer around, but nonetheless this is very undesirable and has to be addressed.

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Old 09-06-2008, 03:40 PM   #7
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I have faith in training any breed the way you need it to be with tons of Patience and love. They like my working lines have alot of prey drive, mine do NOT wonder off, they love their home too much to.

Huskys are quit stubborn, but alot of breeds are smaller ones especially hard to train. Many own smaller breeds and get the training done, so you can also. I would sure keep him handy for a time at camp on a long leash until he knows he stays where you are.! They are highly intelligent, but loved to roam, many dogs do, so this is something you will need to learn to deal with and maybe get some help in over coming this issue with one.

Nothing is impossible, have faith you can train it your way and lots of love, kindness and pats on the back and I am sure it will learn to be with you better than roaming about. Get videos and watch, I did on training the working Shepherds and Shutzhund which I do not even do but wanted to understand it more so into detail. Books from dogsbestfriend.com can be bought to help us all out with any issues. Patience, love and persistance pays and will for you....
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Old 09-06-2008, 04:40 PM   #8
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I am the owner of a 13 week Siberian Husky and will be doing plenty of training, especially letting him off the lead.

The Breeder who we got him from lets their two (his mum and dad) off the leads in a big field.

However, from a previous litter a guy who lived across the road bought a pup from him and trained it extremely well. The dog when older could walk down the street next to him with no lead and would never run away. Only one day he just bolted and ran. He ran and ran and ran and has never been seen since! He had posters out offering a reward for the dogs return, but has never had any reply.

That worries me, that mine would just bolt one day.

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