When it comes to starting dog training with a Husky (or any other dog for that matter), the age of the dog in question is crucial. This process should not be started too early, nor left too late.
But when is it the perfect time? What is the right age to start training a Husky puppy?
Husky Pup Training Basics
Puppy training should start at the age of three months, and then continue up until the age of six months until the basics are firmly established.
Then continued consolidation should be kept up until the age of 12 months, daily.
Regular training needs to be done after that until the dog reaches about two or three years of age. By this stage, they will know exactly what you want from them, and it will run like clockwork.
How To Train A Husky Step-By-Step:
8 Weeks Old
Settling In At Home
When your Husky comes into your home, it will be around 8 weeks of age. You should not allow a pup into your home before this age because they still need their mother and their littermates for food, comfort, warmth, and socialization.
When your dog is 8 weeks old, they are far too busy getting used to living away from their mother and adjusting to life in their new home. Their minds are too ‘full’ of this to bother with training – they are simply not ready.
The most important thing that you can do to set your pup up for a life of success is to give them all the warmth, love, attention, and encouragement that they need to know that you are their new family now.
Once your pup has settled in, you can begin the process of toilet training. This can start not long after you get them home and settled. Some may come to you from the breeder partially toilet trained, which is a bonus.
The easiest way to toilet train a puppy is to take them outside after meals, and every few hours per day. All you have to do is watch for signs, which is the dog being a bit restless, pacing around, staring at you, and possibly whining. Leave them a puppy training pad overnight to use so you can get some rest.
Don’t worry, dogs are smart creatures and they will figure it out quickly. You just have to be attentive to their needs. And remember that accidents happen, they are still learning, and NEVER rub their noses in it! This will make them feel anxious around toileting and exacerbate the issue.
Learn more about: Husky Training For Dummies
12 Weeks Old
Now that your pup is toileting properly and settled into your family, you can start some basic obedience training.
Basic obedience training includes teaching them verbal commands. “NO” is probably the most important word you can teach your pup at this age. This is so that if they go to the toilet in the house, or chew on your shoes, or try to eat the cat’s food, they know to stop. Use a stern voice when you say “no”, and add their name at the end.
Manners Around Food
Teaching your dog some manners around food at this age is a good idea too. This includes making them wait until you have stepped away from filling their food dish before eating and also teaching them to allow you to take food from them if you need to, i.e. take up their bowl halfway through a meal, or take a treat or bone from their mouth. This also helps when you need to take a dog toy out of their mouth (or your shoe, for that matter!)
This will stop your dog from growing up to be aggressive around food, which is crucial for the safety of other family members. Just be gentle when you do it, and let them know what you’re doing – no fast moves or sneaking upon them!
Wearing A Collar and Leash
This is also the right age to put a puppy-sized collar on them so that they can get used to the feel of it. This is not so you can take them for long walks – they are still too young. But a little walk up and down the street just to get them used to it is a good idea. Be patient and do not pull or jerk on the leash, rather, talk to them and use their name.
Their collar should be made of soft yet strong material, have a sturdy clip, and be adjustable. You should be able to slip two fingers inside the collar comfortably; this helps you gauge that the collar is neither too tight nor too loose.
Learning to ‘Sit’
This is one of the most important commands you can teach your dog. It is helpful if they get excited and jump up on you, or if they are too boisterous at mealtimes, or if they wiggle around too much when you try to clip their leash onto their collar.
As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a video on how to teach your dog the basic sit command.
More Husky Training Tips
- Teach your dog manners whilst walking on the leash. This means not letting them pull you along or strain you. You do this by making the dog sit before walking off, every time they pull. Repeat as many times as necessary – the message you are sending your dog is “we do not walk at all if you pull”. This can take time and patience, but it is well worth it because a full-sized dog that pulls on the leash is a menace to both you and other people and dogs. A check chain may assist with this. Hold the leash short and close to the dog with your dominant hand, and loosely hold the slack in your other hand, to keep the dog close to your side.
- Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement (pats and praise), and food treats.
- Other commands that you may wish to teach are ‘heel’, ‘lie’, and ‘stay’. These can be added later after ‘sit.’
- Puppy school is wonderful if you need some hands-on guidance and confidence, plus this will go a long way in socializing your dog with other dogs.
Read more about: Are Siberian Huskies Easy To Train?