A very common concern for any husky owner out there is their ability to escape. Huskies are the true Houdini of the dog world. In this article, I will go over some reasons WHY huskies run away and HOW you can prevent it from happening.
Yes, huskies do have the tendency to escape and run away. This usually happens if their needs are not met, they become bored, or something interesting lurks beyond your fence. It’s extremely important to ensure your yard is escape-proof.
This article will be your complete help guide that will go through the possible reasons your husky has escaped in the past or why they may in the future. I will also go through exactly how you can prevent this dreadful situation from happening to you!
Why Do Huskies Run Away So Much?
The Siberian Husky has the tendency to run away much more than other breeds, and it can be explained fairly easily.
Here are the main 3 reasons behind this Houdini behavior:
- Huskies are born and bred to run
- Huskies are very independent thinkers
- Huskies require a lot of attention
Let’s go through each one in more detail below…
Huskies were bred to RUN
We first have to remember what the Siberian Husky was bred for… Huskies were bred to RUN, yes, exactly that. The desire and need to run is literally in their blood and this will never change.
The Chukchi people for thousands of years used Siberian Huskies to pull heavy sleds transporting goods and people for hundreds of miles over short periods of time.
Huskies are capable of running up to 100 miles a day (yes, it’s true). If you’re training for a marathon, a husky will be your best training partner imaginable. This is literally how much huskies like to run.
But what does this mean exactly?…
It means that huskies have an enormous amount of energy that needs to be released. A husky requires at least 2 hours of intensive exercise per day on top of other mental exercise and training routines.
If a husky does not receive this release of energy from intense physical exercise, he will seek to release it himself, and with a simple skip over your fence he’s able to run as much as he likes.
Huskies think independently
On top of having a massive desire to run, the Siberian Husky is a very independent-thinking breed. Their past and how they were raised encouraged them to be strong, independent thinking working dogs who will take matters into their own
hands paws if left alone.
Siberian Huskies will not have a problem doing exactly what they want. If your husky is mooching around your yard and hears, sees or smells something interesting beyond your fence, he will have no problem going to “investigate” and by investigate, I mean digging or jumping his way out from your yard.
With enough time and the correct method, you can train your husky to resist distractions no matter how tempting they are. I will cover this further below.
Your husky isn’t receiving enough attention
The Siberian Husky is deemed to be the No.1 most attention-seeking breed of dog.
The word attention, in this case, means many things. If your husky doesn’t receive everything he needs, a lot of physical activity, a lot of training, a lot of quality time spend with him, it can lead to a bored, unstimulated husky.
A husky that feels bored, unstimulated, lonely will likely try to seek this elsewhere, no hard feelings… But he’ll take matters into his own paws and the quick fix to his boredom will be to escape or run away.
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How To Prevent Your Husky From Running Away
Not all hope is lost, there are some ways to prevent your husky from escaping. I will go through each way in order of importance.
Here are the main four ways to prevent your husky from running away:
Husky proof your house and yard ⭐
The first appropriate measure to take is to physically prevent your husky from escaping. You never know how long it will take to train your husky not to run away.
It’s important to physically prevent him from escaping before you worry about anything else.
This means making your fence HIGHER than 6ft. Huskies can jump incredibly high.
You will also need to use chicken wire under your fence to prevent him from digging out.
I have an article that covers this more thoroughly here.
It’s a good idea to always lock your front and back door. It’s easy for your husky to jump and paw at the handle to open the door.
Provide adequate physical activity ⭐
The next most important thing to ensure is the exercise requirements of your husky are met.
Despite generic veterinarian advice being to walk a dog for 1 hour per day. For huskies, this is more like 2 hours per day. One hour in the morning and another hour in the evening.
This physical activity needs to be intensive and shouldn’t just be a casual walk.
It should ideally involve a lot of running, sprinting, chasing their ball, going on hikes, visiting the park with other dogs, going on trails, and in different environments to keep things exciting.
Train your husky self-control ⭐
Training your husky to “stay” is one of the best basic commands you should teach your dog as soon as you get him. This command is also used in the Front Door training method explained below!
A husky that is trained to “stay” will benefit from higher levels of self-control.
Self-control will help your husky tremendously when in a situation where he has an opportunity to run away. For example when you open the front door or let him off the leash.
The front door training method that I cover below is exactly something you should implement.
Provide a lot of attention ⭐
You’ll want to ensure you give your husky a lot of attention, which will come in many forms.
When you take your husky out for their daily exercise and spend time training them this will count towards providing attention.
However, it goes further than this. You’ll have to provide attention by spending the most amount of time you can with your husky, playing with them, making a fuss of them, talking to them even! It all counts and it’s all-important for your husky.
After you’ve given your time to ensure he’s well exercised and trained every day, he also needs to feel cared for a loved through a lot of attention. This all quality of life definitely gives your husky less reason to run away.
The Best Training That Helps Prevent Escaping
Like I explain in complete detail in my post how to train your husky not to run away the best training to teach self-control and obedience is the Front Door Training Method
Excuse the unimaginative term “Front Door” Training. As you could have guessed this training involves the front door to your house.
The goal of this training is to successfully teach your husky to resist running out of your front door when it is fully open, with distractions outside. Your husky will be able to sit still, at your front door, resisting all distractions of people, noises, and even your neighbor’s cat! Yep. That’s pretty serious…
This training will take some time and you will need to use a harness and leash to prevent an actual escape! – very important.
Why does this training work so well? The front door training may be the best training a husky can receive, specifically designed to teach them to resist distractions and know their boundaries!
Imagine your husky (after some serious training) can sit at your OPEN front door, without a leash, with people walking by, cats in the distance, smells and noises grabbing his attention, but he remains still, waiting for YOUR command. This will undoubtedly reduce the chances of your husky wanting or trying to escape all round in many other situations.
A FULL GUIDE on the Front Door Training Method can be found here: Train your husky not to run away – My Happy Husky
Do Huskies Come Back If They Run Away?
Good question. Most of the time a husky will venture too far before taking a look up to see where he has gone. After a husky escapes, even a close distance will possibly confuse him and once he thinks he’s lost, he’ll become disorientated and will likely not find his way back.
If you do the same walk time and time again, daily, and your husky sticks by that specific route, it’s likely he will find his way back.
Siberian Huskies are independent and are adventurous, if your husky escaped because he did not like his conditions in your home, he will not come back or try to come back.
It’s very important to chip your husky so he can be identified when found. It’s also important to have a collar and a dog tag with your contact information.
Things To Consider
Here are some extra things to consider while you are tackling this problem and training your husky.
Do not punish your husky
Punishing your husky for a behavior you do not want, will only lead to them feeling anxious, confused, and will negatively affect their ability to learn.
If your husky escaped, or you catch them trying to escape, or they are struggling with the front door training, do not punish them. Guide them to better behavior and reward them when they achieve that.
It’s not personal
When people find out their husky keeps trying to escape, it’s commonly heard that their husky “doesn’t love them” this isn’t how it is. Your husky is an independent breed and if his needs are not met, he’s bored, or something is beyond your fence, an untrained husky won’t think twice about taking off.
It’s not really personal. Although you should realize that something is not quite right. Either your husky is not trained and the distractions are too tempting OR you are not providing your husky with what he needs.
You will need to take some kind of action!
Thank you for reading and if you have experience with this topic, comment below and help other husky owners!
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