A question that husky owners often ask me is why their husky is so needy and clingy? Is this needy behavior normal for huskies or is there something else to be concerned about? Stay tuned, this article has everything you need to know.
Is Needy Behavior Normal In Huskies?
To a certain extent, yes, but this might not be what you would consider “needy”…
Huskies are a breed known for developing exceptionally close relationships with their owners, ultimately leading to a lot of affection and attention. And in the eyes of some, this could come across as “needy”.
There are, however, additional reasons that could be causing your husky to be far needier and clingy than a normal level. And if this is the case, it’s likely being caused by either a behavioral or lifestyle issue. Each will be explained in the next section.
5 Reasons Why Your Husky Is So Needy
Dealing with a persistently needy or clingy husky quickly drives most owners crazy. But whether or not there’s something wrong, all depends on the reason why this behavior is happening to begin with. So let’s cover that first.
1. Under Stimulation ⭐
One thing about huskies is that they desire and crave far more mental stimulation than many owners are aware of.
Mental stimulation is a broad term, consisting of many things from command training, general training, playing with interactive puzzle toys, socializing with other dogs, general engagement, and even speaking to your husky counts!
If your husky doesn’t receive enough of it, he’ll seek it. And as you are his owner and go-to person, he’ll be coming to YOU, waiting for you to give him something to do or be entertained from.
2. You’ve Been Accidentally Reinforcing It ⭐
This one usually raises the most eyebrows. Believe it or not, it’s surprisingly easy to accidentally reinforce behavior that you don’t want.
Dogs understand things in black or white terms… You either don’t want the behavior from him ever OR, it’s okay. You only need to reward your husky a few times after having demonstrated needy behavior, for him to now think that this behavior is okay and acceptable.
Rewarding can be anything from slipping him some of your food, to allowing him up on the couch, to literally just responding to him. If you reward him in any way while he’s clinging to your side, you just reinforced to him that this was good behavior from him… That’s how easily this is done.
3. Separation Anxiety ⭐
Separation anxiety is a big topic when it comes to huskies as it’s a common condition among the breed.
Huskies are prone to developing separation anxiety which by definition is being unable to spend any amount of time without a certain person, usually the owner.
This leads to huskies quite literally clinging to their owner from the moment they wake up, to when they walk to the bathroom, and so on.
Other signs include of separation anxiety include:
● Erratic behavior when you prepare to leave the house
● Excessive panting, drooling, or howling when you prepare to leave
● Refuses to drink or eat when alone or before you leave
● Quickly resorts to destructive behavior when left alone
● Practices “self-destructive” behavior when left alone (excessively chewing paws, legs, tail)
Husky separation anxiety is a deep topic that I cover entirely in the post linked.
If you suspect that your husky has separation anxiety, then action must be taken. This condition significantly reduces your husky’s quality of life and leads to many unwanted mental issues, as well as behavioral issues and temperament changes.
4. Lack of Exercise ⭐
As with mental stimulation, a husky needs HIGH amounts of physical stimulation too, which comes in the form of exercise.
A husky should be seen and understood as one of the top athletes of the dog world. And so their lifestyle and activity levels should reflect that.
If an otherwise healthy adult husky doesn’t receive at least 2 hours of high pace daily exercise, he’ll resort to pacing around, bad behavior, and pestering you until you grab the leash and his ball.
5. Harmless Attention or Showing Affection ⭐
Sometimes, your husky might just be, well, being a husky!
They are extremely sensitive to their owners, will respond and react to things you do, watch your every move, and wait for you to do things.
Huskies can be super nosey, follow you around, and be fully involved in your “business”. That’s just them… and for some owners, this may come across as neediness, when in fact, it could be normal.
It’s also very possible that you just have an AWESOME relationship with your husky, or at least that’s what your husky thinks! It’s no secret that huskies can become very attached to their owners. Being close to you and seeking your attention might just be his way of demonstrating that.
Of course, there are always exceptions and “limits” to what’s normal. But keep in mind that your husky might not be doing anything out of the ordinary (for a husky anyway!)
Questions To Consider:
Here are several helpful questions to consider that might shed some light on your own situation:
● Has your husky been fed and let out yet? or does is waiting for that?
● Has your husky been for his daily exercise? (or at least half of it)
● Is your husky displaying needy behavior at specific times of the day?
● Do you engage, play with and train your husky enough on a daily basis?
● Is there a chance that you have been accidentally rewarding your husky when he’s needy?
● Does your husky have ongoing behavioral issues, destructive behavior? disobedience? Could this neediness be out of anxiety?
● Does your husky freak out when you go to leave the house? Is this when the neediness starts?
Recommended: Do Huskies Get Attached To One Person?
How Needy Is Your Husky?
How severe is the issue? Does your husky follow you around the house occassionally? Or does he/she go insane when you get up to walk to another room?
The severity and frequency of this behavior can be used to identify whether you have a real issue on your hands or not.
Separation anxiety might likely be the case if your husky cannot fathom being away from you for a second, and so follows you around like a shadow.
On the other hand, if your husky only displays “needy” behavior at certain times of the day, this might indicate a basic-needs issue, like he’s waiting for you to take him out, or feed him…
Noticing patterns in the behavior, as well as the severity of it, will likely explain which of the above 5 reasons applies to your husky.
Trending Article: Do Huskies Like to Play Fetch?
How To Stop Your Husky Being So Needy
If your husky’s needy behavior is far beyond “normal” and is getting out of control, then you’ll want to put a stop to it (or at least reduce it).
To solve this behavioral problem, it must be tackled at the source.
● If the neediness is related to basic daily requirements, not receiving enough mental stimulation or exercise, then the solution might be a reasonably simple one.
● Start providing your husky with more command training, more interaction, socializing with other dogs, and take him out for a sufficient amount of exercise (2 hours a day). In the vast majority of cases, this will reduce his neediness at all other times of the day. So this is seriously worth trying.
● If the neediness is severe enough to the point you can’t leave the room without him following 100% of the time, then it’s worth considering whether you’ll need to implement separation anxiety training. As that is quite a long topic, I will link to that article instead of going through the steps here: Desensitizing your husky to your absence.
Huskies are somewhat of a needy breed, to begin with, but there could be additional factors that are making your husky excessively needy. A lack of stimulation, exercise, separation anxiety, and attention-seeking are all potential catalysts for a clingy husky.
Is your husky needy? Let me know!
Thank you for reading!