Updated on November 23, 2022
How To Train A Husky To Not Run Away [9 TIPS]
If Harry Houdini was a dog, he would be a Siberian Husky, without a doubt. Did you know, roughly 60% of pet Huskies have darted out of the door and run away at some point in their life? The remaining 40% are figuring out a way. 😂
In this article you will learn how to train a Husky to not run away. Also, It’s important to understand what makes these beautiful dogs want to leave their loving families and choose to run away in the first place, and of course some ways we can make them stay!
Why are Huskies such great escape artists?
It comes as no surprise that Huskies can jump, dig or find their way out of almost any enclosure. Here are the reasons why Huskies run away and why they have the expertise to pull it off!
They were bred to run
Huskies are born to run. Some even live to run. Monotony is not something that these wild runners enjoy. However, their desire to break free is not a testament to their attachment towards you. They just yearn to be on the move.
Boredom and lack of supervision
Siberian Huskies can easily feel frustrated when they’re bored and unsupervised. This will lead them to make poor decisions like digging excessively, whining and howling, destructive chewing and even wanting to run away to chase wilderness.
Lack of training
A Husky’s natural impulse at the sight of an open gate is to run. As undesirable as it may seem to us, it is just what seems natural to them. If you want your Husky to do better, they need to know better and that kind of sensibility only comes with training.
Huskies are passionately curious beings. They want to know and explore everything that comes (and doesn’t come) their way. This often leads them to making poor decisions like excessive leash pulling and running away.
Looking for a mate
It is not uncommon for dogs to wander off in search of a mate. Consider this their version of quest for true love!
9 tips on how to train a Husky to not run away
1. Provide ample physical and mental stimulation
Huskies are high energy dogs who are hard to please with 2 walks a day. They need a healthy balance of physical and mental stimulation to keep them from displaying undesirable behaviors stemming from boredom.
Providing them with enrichment activities like puzzle feeders, interactive games and engaging them in activities that will give them an outlet to harness their natural instincts like sled pulling, running, digging, etc, will give them one less reason to jump the fence in search of excitement.
2. Fulfill their curiosity
Siberian Huskies are highly curious beings. They are also quite determined in the sense that if they are inquisitive about a certain something or someone, even at a distance, they will stop at nothing till they get there.
One of the best ways to fulfil a Husky’s curiosity is by giving them a DIY curiosity box or a bigger set up in the house or yard for them to explore and sniff. You can put together a few things your dog loves like toys, treats, etc, and make it into a game of treasure hunt.
3. Husky-proof your yard
Did you know, several Huskies are able to jump as high as 6 ft? If you have a bigger yard, your Husky will be able to build ample momentum to take a high leap. Make sure to secure your yard with a high fence to prevent your Husky from pulling a Houdini.
Do remember that if jumping up isn’t an option, your Husky will try to find other alternatives like digging underneath to get to the other side. After all, they are quite adept at that too. Barricade your yard effectively.
4. Work on a fabulous recall
If there was only one command you could teach your Siberian Husky, make it a recall. A reliable recall will save your dog almost every single time from everything you don’t want them to do.
Consider a fabulous recall your ammo while training your Husky to not run away. It is a great way to ensure yours and your dog’s protection while setting them up for success.
Tips on how to train a Siberian Husky to recall (reliably!)
- Make the outcome of every recall ultra positive
- Never use it in a negative way
- Make sure to proof the recall with the 3Ds: Distance, duration and distractions
- Practice and perfect in a variety of situations, locations and environments
- Take time. Don’t rush it!
5. Use a long lead
By long lead, what we really mean is a lead that can extent up to 30-40 ft. A long lead is imperative for a Husky that is a flight risk, yet demands the freedom to run around and explore.
A long lead will help you achieve the best of both worlds. It will give your Husky ample liberty while ensuring their safety in any environment. Having said that, a long lead would work much better in an open ground as compared to a park with bushes, trees and shrubs as it may keep getting entangled during play.
A long lead is also an excellent tool to train your Husky to come back to you every single time and set them up for success.
6. Work on reliable impulse control
When your Husky with a strong prey drive sees a squirrel, their natural impulse is to run after it. Impulse control, as the name suggests, means teaching your dog enough self control to not act impulsively.
Other signs that your Husky needs impulse control training are:
- Darting out of doorways
- Jumping on people
- Barking at people and dogs passing by
- Picking up everything off the ground
- Chasing smaller animals
- Pulling on the leash
Here are some tips to teach your Husky impulse control at the door:
- Use a leash
- Create distance from the door if your dog is too excited
- Ask your dog to perform simple commands like Sit and Down and work on duration-building
- Consistently practice everyday
- Keep rewards high
- Build a routine and implement it every time the door opens
7. Use high value rewards
If your Husky is motivated to run away every time they see an open door, make sure to use rewards that are either of more value or at least equal value as whatever lies outside the door.
Huskies, like every other dog, are opportunists and a high value reward simplifies training and communication. It gives a dog a good reason to not display an undesirable behavior and perform an alternate behavior instead.
8. Focus on building a strong relationship
A Husky may not be considered as the most trainable breed, but they thrive under human companionship. They are devoted to their owners and loyal to their last bone.
Traditional training methods may not always yield results while training Siberian Huskies. Building strong relationships with these dogs not only gives them enough reason to stick by your side in any environment, but also enables humans to trust them at liberty.
9. Start training early
Training a Husky to not run away at the age of 10 weeks is definitely a lot easier as compared to training them the same thing at 2 years of age. By 2 years of age, they would have ample experience in practicing and perfecting the art of running away. Thus, teaching them anything new would involve a lengthy process of unlearning old behaviors followed by learning a new behavior.
At 10 weeks of age, we get the opportunity to mould a Husky puppy the way we want as they have no history whatsoever.
Final thoughts about how to train a Husky to not run away
There are many things you can do to change your Husky’s mind about wanting to run away. A combination of training, control and management and precautionary measures are a great way to get there. Try not to take it personally, as this is more of their personality trait rather than an attachment issue.
How often does your Husky run away?
What creative ways have they found to escape?
Share your experience in the comments below!