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How To Train A Husky To Walk On A Leash Without Pulling

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How To Train A Husky To Walk On A Leash
How to train a Husky to walk on a leash

If you look like a human kite while walking with your Husky, this article is written for you. 😂

Leash walking is one of the most highly performed human-canine activities but also one of the most misunderstood ones. Let’s take a look at the dynamics of how to train a Husky to walk on a leash without pulling.  

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Why do Huskies Pull so Much?

The short answer to this question is that they are Huskies; hence they pull. These Siberian beauties were born to run and pull sleds. We may have managed to tame their energies over time, but this instinct is inherently present in them.

Possible reasons why your Husky may be pulling you left right and center on your walks:

  • He has excess pent-up energy that needs to be released
  • Something exciting caught his eye
  • He hasn’t been formally trained to walk properly
  • He doesn’t get enough exercise throughout the day
  • He may be reactive to other animals and humans
  • He is not engaged enough with you
  • He just wants to run
Why Do Huskies Pull So Much?
Look! Ducks!!! 🤤 Image from @flash_energy_siberians

Knowing the root cause of your Husky’s leash-pulling behavior will help you manage it better and get more reliable results out of your training. 

Read this study for more info about how dogs can get distracted while on a walk.

How Train a Husky to Walk on a Leash (9 tips)

This article aims at sharing some effective tips that may help you walk your Husky better on the leash. Some of them may or may not apply to your situation. Feel free to pick what works best for you and your dog and make sure to walk the talk, literally. 

1. Burn off that excess energy 

If you are a Husky parent, you know that their energy reservoir is always overflowing. Only two walks a day may not cut it for them. Most Huskies need way more than that. So make sure you know how much exercise a Husky needs.

Burning a little bit of this excess energy before starting off the walks may help calm down your Husky considerably before the walk has even begun.

Activities like playing fetch, running around in a bigger space, tug of war, puzzle games, trick or obedience training, etc. are helpful in quickly tiring out a dog.

2. Allow plenty of opportunities to sniff

Huskies may enjoy running and other physically stimulating exercises but just like other dogs, this breed also enjoys sniffing to their heart’s content. You wouldn’t believe how far a Husky can smell!

Taking a dog outside and not letting them sniff is like taking a child to Disneyland blindfolded. Dogs explore primarily through their noses. 

Sniffing also incredibly helps dogs calm down in an environment. It’s an effective technique of redirection and can be used on reactive, hyper, and anxious dogs. 

3. Keep the walks dynamic

It is true that dogs thrive on routine but switching walk routes every now and then is a welcome change. It is possible that your Husky may pull excessively because the route may be too familiar and predictable for him. 

Consider taking a different direction every now and then to keep things exciting. At times, you could drive down to a different spot like a trail or the park, and have your walk there. 

4. Provide ample outlets for natural instincts

Walks need not have to be the only way to exercise your Husky. Plan activities for your dog based on their natural instincts. To recognize their dominant instincts, closely observe the kind of activities your dog likes to engage in day in and day out. 

If your dog sees an open space and likes to just run in it, your dog has a natural inclination towards running. Keep a cart with a rope attached to it in front of your Husky and wait for his reaction! If he starts pulling it, he probably has dominant sledding instincts. A few trials and errors would give you more clarity on what your Husky enjoys.  

Make time for these activities besides walking. You may observe a considerable change in your Husky’s energy levels.

5. Carry plenty of high-value treats

If you are expecting your Husky to pay attention to you on command in a distracting environment, you need to have an equally exciting motivation. Do not consider this as a bribe, but a reward for a desirable behavior. 

Note that treats are considered positive reinforcement, which is one of many dog training methods.

Make sure to be proactive and positively reinforce behaviors like:

  • Eye contacts
  • Leaving or dropping something on cue
  • Walking away from something on cue
  • Walking without pulling, even if it is for a few seconds
  • Random check-ins
  • Performing a behavior on cue
  • Not pulling towards another dog
  • Not jumping on people
  • Not chasing after a squirrel and other undesirable husky behavior problems

Not sure what treats to use? Read our guide to the best training treats for huskies.

6. Encourage frequent check-ins  

There may be times on your walks when your Husky may just randomly look at you or check in with you. At times it could be to communicate with you whereas sometimes it could be without a reason.

Make sure to always reward these check-ins with verbal and physical appreciation and treats. Doing so will greatly improve engagement on walks and make your Husky want to keep up with you more. 

7. Work on a solid impulse control 

When your Husky sees a squirrel and takes off after it, they are giving in to their impulse. But a Husky seeing a squirrel and choosing to stay put is a classic example of impulse control.

Solid impulse control comes with continued training and practice of commands like leave it, stay, and recall. Perfecting these commands will help you manage your dog better when they get over-excited or hyper or reactive. 

8. Use the right equipment

A back clip-on harness combined with a retractable leash may not be the best choice for a Husky that pulls. According to this study, dogs pull more when wearing a back harness.

Instead, consider training tools like a front clip-on harness or a head halter to make your walks with your dog easier. 

If you haven’t got the right harness, read my guide to the best harnesses for huskies.

If you aren’t sure about your husky’s collar, read my guide about choosing the best collar for a husky.

To get the most out of a harness or collar, you will need the best leash for a husky.

If you are going on an adventure, consider the best dog backpacks for huskies.

9. Practice practice practice

How To Train A Husky To Walk On A Leash - Tips
No distractions out here! 🧘🏼‍♀️ Image from @karianneelarsen

No matter how much money you invest in teaching your dog to walk better on a leash if you do not invest time and effort in practicing the techniques with your dog consistently, you may never see the desired results. 

With great practice comes great results. Make sure to practice with low distractions before expecting anything with high distractions. 

How Long Does it Take to Train a Husky to Walk on a Leash Without Pulling?

The answer to this question is highly subjective and depends on several things like the age of the dog, natural and dominant instincts, training provided by the pet parent, etc. It is possible to see the desired results faster in a Husky pup; you’d be starting on a clean slate. 

However, when it comes to an older Husky, you must remember that they have been practicing the behavior for several months or years and it will take some time for them to unlearn everything and relearn alternate behaviors. 

Having said that, with patience and consistency, you may start seeing results in weeks.

Eventually, you’ll be ready to learn how to train a Husky to walk off leash.

But first, learn how to train a Husky to come when called!

Final Thoughts

One of the reasons why leash walking can be tricky to master is that your Husky has to believe that good things happen when they choose to walk near or with you.

Rewards can help to an extent but it will eventually boil down to the relationship you build with your dog along the way. 

Have you tried training your Husky to walk on a leash without pulling?

Share your experience in the comments below.

Does your husky need more training? Read my ultimate guide about how to train a husky.

Enjoy a good book? See our list of the best husky training books. 👈

FAQ

What is leash training?

Leash training is teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash without pulling or yanking.

Can I start leash training with a puppy?

Yes, you can start leash training with a puppy as young as 8 weeks old.

My husky constantly pulls on the leash, what can I do?

Teach your husky to walk on a loose leash by using positive reinforcement and rewarding good behavior. Avoid yanking or pulling on the leash yourself.

How do I teach my husky to walk on a loose leash?

Start by allowing your husky to get used to wearing a collar and leash indoors. Then, begin walking with your husky using small steps, rewarding good behavior, and stopping whenever your husky pulls on the leash.

What is the benefit of loose leash walking?

Loose leash walking allows for better control of your dog and can improve the bond between dog and owner.

Do I need a specific type of collar for leash training?

A well-fitted flat buckle collar or a harness can be used for leash training.

How do I teach my husky to heel?

Teach your husky to heel by using a good leash and a positive reinforcement method, such as rewarding your husky when they stay close to your side while walking.

What is off-leash training?

Off-leash training is teaching your dog to stay close and respond to commands while walking without a leash.

Why does my husky want to go his own way during walks?

Huskies have a natural desire to roam and explore, but training can teach them to walk by your side and follow your lead.

How do I teach my husky to stop pulling on the leash?

Use a stop-and-go method while walking, rewarding your husky when they walk by your side. You can also change direction frequently to keep your husky guessing and staying attentive.

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Author
Siddhika Bhat

Siddhika is a certified dog trainer, behaviorist, and professional pet writer. She has the qualifications and experience in the theoretical as well as real-life applications of science-based dog training techniques.

With the expertise to write about a plethora of dog-related topics and a personal interest in dog cognition and behavior, Siddhika is an out-and-out canine nerd. To learn more, visit the team section of the about page.

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