I get many questions from owners asking why their husky is stubborn and, most importantly, what they can do about it.
I’ll explain the typical causes behind this behavior, tactics to handle the behavior, and how to train your husky to be less stubborn (don’t worry, it’s easier than everyone thinks!).
7 Reasons Why Your Husky Is Stubborn
Whenever owners try to decipher weird behavior, it’s best to take a step back and consider everything from their husky’s daily routine and general lifestyle.
This can sometimes help shed light on the root cause.
Stubbornness in huskies comes down to 7 causes:
- They sense a lack of authority
- It’s in their genetics
- Lack of command training
- Insufficient exercise
- Lack of mental stimulation
- Accidental reinforcement of stubbornness
- Underlying health issues
1. They sense a lack of authority
If a husky senses a hint of low-authority coming from their owner, they’ll be inclined not to listen to their commands.
Dogs, especially huskies, place great importance on “pack hierarchy”. This means they give the most respect and attention to who they consider their leader (above them in the pack).
If your husky doesn’t quite see you as their real leader, they won’t feel the need to follow your commands and do what you say.
Why does this happen?
A lack of authority can come about from many things. It could be letting a husky get away with bad behavior without correcting it, a lack of training in general, a lack of interaction, or the fact that they view someone else in the household as their leader.
2. It’s in their genetics
You’ve probably seen and heard this many times over, but huskies are a notoriously independent and hard-headed breed.
It’s literally in their DNA to be like this…
Huskies are one of the oldest dog breeds we known to us, and for thousands of years would have lived life in the wild surviving on their own, before the Chucki people came to somewhat “domestic” them.
Dogs that are skilled enough to survive out in the wild have to be independent thinkers, meaning they’ve got the situation under control themselves… Aka, They don’t need anyone else telling them what to do!
Still, to this day, huskies frequently display this kind of hard-headed attitude that many owners can’t handle.
3. Lack of command training
General command training is crucial for a well-behaved husky, there’s no getting around it.
Command training such as “sit, stay, paw, down, come, and heel” is oftentimes brushed off as not that important…
Even after your husky learns the super easy ones like sit and paw, it’s crucial to keep going. These kinds of training routines should be done every single day, even if you think they’re boring.
The bigger picture is what’s important here… By training your husky every single day, not only are you building your own authority and leadership, but you’re reinforcing the idea that your husky needs to listen to you.
After a short time of consistent command training, your husky will be used to listening to you and doing what you ask. Ultimately, this creates a well-behaved husky that’s rarely stubborn.
4. Insufficient exercise
This is a big one!
A husky that doesn’t receive a sufficient amount of exercise will nearly always display some kind of negative behavior as a result.
A healthy adult husky should be receiving a minimum of 90 minutes of exercise per day. Ideally, it’s more towards the 2-hour mark.
This should be separated into two sessions, once in the morning and again in the evening. Yup, sounds like a lot, especially if you aren’t already doing this, but it’s what a husky needs.
The amount of issues that comes simply from a lack of exercise is mind-boggling. Defiant behavior, destructive behavior, disobedience, anxiety, and stubbornness, can all stem from having pent up energy, or from being bored in general.
5. Lack of mental stimulation
As well as physical exercise, there’s also mental exercise (otherwise known as mental stimulation).
Many times, mental stimulation gets forgotten about as owners try their best to meet their husky’s physical exercise needs.
The truth is, however, both are equally important, with some expert trainers claiming mental stimulation is even more important than physical exercise…
Huskies need their minds to be worked just like their body. This means training, using puzzle toys, socializing with other dogs, and interacting with them that gets their minds ticking.
As mental stimulation comes in so many different forms, it’s hard to gauge how much is enough. What I usually advise owners to do is to dedicate at least 45 minutes per day to an activity that gets your husky’s mind working. Here’s an article to help with that.
6. Accidental reinforcement of stubbornness
Believe it or not, this is very common! Many owners have accidentally reinforced stubborn behavior in their husky.
This happens easier than most think. For example, your husky defies you or refuses to listen to your commands… You then react in a way that pacifies your husky, or you bribe them…
Ultimately, your husky learns that it’s better if they ignore you as this gets them extra attention or treats they wouldn’t have got otherwise.
It’s important to consider how you’ve reacted in moments of stubborn behavior. Do you bribe your husky? Do you suddenly speak to them nicely or show them praise to get them to do what you want?
If this is the case, it could have been reinforcing the behavior the whole time.
7. Underlying health issues
In more unfortunate circumstances, your husky could have an underlying health issue (or chronic pain) that you aren’t yet aware of.
Dogs that are experience an underlying issue will display this in many different ways, some are obvious, like whining, vomiting, or food refusal, but other signs may be subtle, like not listening to your commands or doing what you say.
Usually, health issues will result in multiple signs happening at once. If your husky doesn’t seem their usual self along with displaying stubborn behavior, then it’s wise to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure everything is okay.
Ways to Tackle Stubborn Behavior in Huskies
Let’s clarify the best ways to resolve stubborn behavior in huskies.
After reading the above you may already have a good idea as to what needs to be fixed. Still, let’s cover them below.
1. Consistent training with positive reinforcement
Provide your husky with consistent command training every single day. 30-45 minutes of running through exercises like “sit and stay” “down” “paw” and “come here”.
Not only will this improve each command individually, but your husky will learn to listen to you instead of defy. Always use some tasty high value treats with training.
2. Avoid situations that cause stubbornness
One of the classic examples of stubborn behavior in huskies is when you need to call them back inside from the yard, only for them to give you an evil look and park their bum down.
Avoid this altogether by going outside in the yard with your husky for a while before you need them to come back inside. Take a few treats, play with them for a few minutes, and engage them. Get closer to the back door, and bring them inside.
This is a far better approach than ignoring them, then randomly trying to call them back inside from the door.
3. Exercise and mental stimulation
Ensure your husky’s physical AND mental exercise is taken care of. It’s crucial to exercise your husky first thing in the morning, this will set them up for success for the rest of the day.
The last thing you need is a husky that’s got pent up energy. They will be frustrated, bored, and ready to disobey you.
4. Interact with your husky more
Sometimes, simply improving your bond with your husky will improve their behavior dramatically.
If your husky feels closer to you and truly views you as their leader, they will be less inclined to ignore or defy you.
Spending more time with your husky, playing, training, exercising, and even talking to them, will all go towards a stronger bond.
Is Your Husky Stubborn?
Let me know your thoughts on this kind of behavior and be sure to message in. If you’ve dealt with this or know extra tips, please let me know!
Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out more articles. Back to home page
DisclaimerThe advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here
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