How to Walk a Siberian Husky
Properly walk your husky with these simple but effective rules
Siberian huskies are very independent and energetic dogs that will require a lot of exercise to get rid of their excess energy. This abundance of energy can potentially make walking your husky quite a challenge, as they do get excited and curious about exploring the environment in which they are seeing, and smelling which is completely natural.
For husky owners this could be in the form of being pulled by their husky who was bred for pulling. Now you’ve found yourself in a game of tug-of- war or chasing after your husky, which can cause a lot of problems and possible injuries for the handler and others.
Nonetheless you can successfully walk with your husky and not the other way around. However, this will take time, practice and patience to have your husky successfully walking with you either on a leash or off. Here are a few steps you can implement to ensure that you and your husky can have a great day out.
1: What you will need for a successful walk
Walking your husky off-leash is a possibility, but this comes with a whole lot of time and training. If you’re a new husky owner or you are just generally unaware of the proper ways to walk your dog, there are a few things you have to bring with you for a smooth experience.
The first thing you will need is a leash. A retractable one is great as you give them more room to run around when they get overexcited (and they will), and to teach them how to pull. However, it does take a bit of practice because the cord can be very skinny and you have to pay attention to what’s going on! If you’re uncomfortable with a retractable leash then get a regular one length leash, probably around 36 ft for an adult husky or 16 ft for a puppy.
The next accessory you will need is a collar or harness. Neck collars are best for puppies, they tend to chew on things, and with the neck collar they aren’t able to reach it with their teeth. Another reason why you can use a neck collar for puppies is because they are not going to be doing much pulling, as they are still quite young. However, be careful when using neck collars and make sure that they are not too tight to cause strangulation.
When your husky has grown older, around a year old and understands harnesses are not for chewing, you can use one of those. This can also be fun as they can pull you in a sled or on a skateboard. You definitely do not want them to pull you using their necks as this can damage their throats, you want them to pull you by using their shoulders which is what the harness provides.
The third thing you’re going to need is some delicious treats! No one in their right mind will take their adorable, ferocious friends outside without some treats to lure them back if needed.
It’s useful when they get out of the leash and out of control which may happen at some point, or if you want to do some outside training. Walks are the best time to do some training, because there are so many distractions that if they can get it done there, they can get it done anywhere. Your dog is going to smell those treats and know what awaits him if he’s a good boy (or girl). And the best way to make them good along the ride is bribing them with delicious treats!
Oh, and lastly don’t forget poopy bags. Their stools can be magnificent! But you don’t want to leave their masterpieces in the neighbor's yard, they probably aren’t enthusiasts of that kind of artwork. Too modern? Too rustic? Well, no one can blame them. Usually not even the owners are able to appreciate it.
Ok too much sarcasm, no one likes husky dejects. Grab a bag, it’s etiquette.
2: What to do when you’re out with your husky
When you’re out, pay attention to your surroundings, huskies have very keen perception, and they will chase almost anything. If the leash is retractable, try to keep it close. Don’t give them too much space right in the beginning or it will be hard to get it back. It’s almost like a tug-of-war and you can’t win if you don’t know the tactics.
If they’re pulling too much, try to give them some training for that. The best time to teach tricks to your dogs is when they are distracted! Sounds weird, but it’s true, when they are inside in a controlled ambience, it’s easy to get their attention, but outside is a real challenge!
When you’re trying to teach them outside, they have to learn and get used to focusing on your commands with everything else happening around them, but practicing this can save you a lot of trouble. Also do not forget to reward your husky.
Another thing you will have to get used to is a bit of pulling. Huskies do that even more than other dogs due to their nature, if you enjoy being pulled on a sled then you want to keep them that way... but do encourage them to have a healthy slow walk sometimes. On the other hand if you have no such intentions or if it's excessive, there are ways to train them but it will be more challenging than other breeds.
And don’t forget, getting them outside everyday is very important. Their wee-wee is like Twitter, so it’s a dog “tweetter”, it’s a form of communication. Keeping your dog locked in is the same as keeping a teenager without their smartphone, it will be stressful and frustrating for them.
When you do get them outside, you should let your dog know who’s in charge by making them sit and stay for a few moments. No matter what’s happening, they have to learn to listen to you! So do it several times, everyday.
Siberian huskies while are some of the most amazing dogs, will require you to have patience. Some days they are more distracted than others and those are the most important days to practice even if their instincts are flaring up.
While this is a husky-focused walking guide, you can use it pretty much for any other breed of dog, as they are very useful whether you’re a husky first timer or a doggo veteran.