Siberian Husky behavior issues are not something uncommon. After all, Huskies are primitive dogs with lots of behavioral habits inherited from their wild ancestors – wolves particularly. They are independent and half-wild, which makes bad behavior corrections a lot harder to achieve. If you look from a dog’s perspective, this sort of “bad behavior” is actually OK for him since this is his inborn habit. And, this single fact perfectly explains where is the actual problem! You have to correct something your dog thinks is nice, you have to go against his nature, against his instincts. This is why it’s never easy to make such corrections, and it’s even harder with independent primitive dogs such as a Husky. The key to success, in this case, lies in a single rule – YOU have to become a leader!
This is the reason Huskies are not for every owner, especially for beginners. You have to take a firm stand with your Sibe to establish certain rules he needs to respect. Apart from that, you need to understand his habits, to understand the principles behind them to correct your dog appropriately. Damn, if only we could understand and speak the dog’s language, it would be so much easier :) But, it is as it is, there’s no other way but to apply approved rules in those unpleasant situations. In this article, I’ll explain how to deal with three common types of Siberian Husky behavior issues – food aggression, aggressive behavior with cats and rolling in smelly things. So, without further delay, let’s see how to correct and overcome them. Read, learn and apply!
Siberian Husky Behavior Issues With Cats
I’m sure many of you are wondering, can a Husky and a cat live together? To put it straight, this is definitely not the best combination. I mean, it’s possible, but not advisable. You see, although Siberian Huskies are not aggressive towards humans, they are not so kind with other animals. The reason for that is Husky’s inborn prey drive. It is one of the most common Husky behavior issues. This inherited predatory instinct is what makes these dogs dangerous, especially for smaller animals, such as cats, rodents, chicken, etc. That’s why in the case you decide to have a Siberian Husky and a cat together, it is advisable to adopt the cat first. If done this way, they’ll get used to each other, and it’ll be possible for them to coexist together. However, this is not an insurance because Husky can harm the cat in so many ways – e.g. during a play drive.
And even if the relationship between your Sibe and your cat is fine, there is no guarantee your dog won’t hurt any other cat. Remember, we don’t need him spare a single cat, we need him to know that ALL cats are off limits for him, no matter where you are or what are you doing! So, training a Siberian Husky to ignore them is a necessity, but as you can guess, it is hard to train your dog to ignore an inborn instinct such is his prey drive! So, what you need to do in order to correct Siberian Husky behavior issues with cats? First, you will have to teach him three very important commands – to leave something, to stop doing something and to pay his attention to you. For any of these commands, you’ll have to do a separate training in first place. As always, when it comes to this dog breed, keep your training lessons short, but practice them regularly.
How To make This Relationship Work
So, let’s do it together. To teach your dog to leave something, you’ll have to use a toy or something like that. Small advice here, do not use your dogs precious toy, buy a new one! Take that toy and put it on the ground or hold it in front of your dog. Wait until he turns his head away and then loudly say, “LEAVE IT!” Then give him a small treat. To teach him to stop doing something, you’ll first have to play with him for a while, then stop and say, “STAY!” or something similar. The moment he stops, reward him again with some delicious treat. Repeat this exercise until he figures out the whole thing. To teach him to pay attention to you, you’ll only need a simple delicious bite. Take it close to your face and wait until he makes eye contact with you. When he does, say, “WATCH ME!” first, then give him that bite as a reward for the job done right.
You see, the whole process is quite simple, but you’ll have to be consistent with this behavioral training. Remember, in order to successfully overcome this bad behavior, your dog absolutely must learn to obey all three commands. The moment he does, you’ll have to start combining all of them while using some sort of decoy. I suggest you use a stick with a toy tied up to it. Try applying these three commands while luring him with this “fishing rod”. Practice them in different order until your dog figure out to take his attention off of that decoy. Once you finish successfully this training, you’ll AT LEAST be assured your Siberian won’t hurt any cat in your presence. But, this rule does not apply when your dog is alone, so warn your neighbors to keep an eye on their cats as much as they can.
In this case you can clearly see how hard it is to deal with a single one of Husky behavior issues, even the most common of them. So, if you wish your Husky and cat to live together, the best solution is to buy a cat first or together with your puppy. But, if you already have a Husky and wanna buy a cat, you’ll have to do your not-so-easy homework properly and carefully. I wish you all the luck with this, you’ll need it :) Oh, and one more thing! I’m aware that you’ve probably heard somewhere there is a way to learn a Sibe to ignore cats with a shock collar. Since I find this method quite rude and unethical, I just cannot suggest you that. Your dog is not a slave or prisoner! That’s why I find it inappropriate to use such rude methods on him. I know for some of you there’s no other way, but please try not to use it often!
Rolling In Smelly Things
I’m sure some of you unfortunately experienced this Siberian Husky bad behavior. I did once I was hiking with my Sibe Leah through the wood, when she suddenly rolled over a stinky fish carcass. It was just awful and I was so angry about that. Anyway, this wasn’t something I’ve never seen before because when I was still a child, I had a mixed-breed dog which used to do this. However, it was still quite shocking thing to witness with my Siberian, because I had the opinion this is a clean dog breed. So little did I know :) So, if you wonder will your Husky do this, there’s your answer. But before I explain the proper solutions for this, the most disgusting sort of all Siberian Husky behavior issues, we need to know why do dogs roll in smelly stuff.
Causes For Such Bad Behavior Of Your Husky
First of all, you need to know that this is actually normal and natural dog’s behavior. There’s not any definite explanation for this, but there are several opinions about that, which we will go through here. We know the dogs inherited this bad behavior from their wild ancestors. Today we have some carnivores in the wild, such as wolves, rolling in carcasses or the droppings of their prey to disguise their scent while hunting. This might be the right explanation why Huskies are doing this since they have high prey drive. Another possible reason is to improve their coat. Lovely :) There is an opinion that fat released out of the decomposition of rotting flesh helps in nutrition of their fur. You see, dogs in general have quite different methods for beauty care compared to us.
Huskies actually hate the smell of dog shampoo, the same one you think is nice! So, be cautious if you are going out with your Siberian Husky after bathing because he will probably try to find his own perfume, some nice stinky stuff, and make use of it ;) There’s one more theory which revolves around opinion that this behavior is some sort of communication between dogs themselves. This way they can tell each other where they’ve been, what were they doing, etc. So there you go, those are some possible reasons for the stinkiest of all Husky behavior issues. Said it already, I really hope one day somebody might learn secret dog language to tell us exactly why are they doing this, but until then, we can only continue guessing. No matter what, this is really unpleasant thing and we need to know how to deal with it, right? Onto the solutions then!
Stop Your Husky Rolling
The first solution for this Siberian Husky behavior problem is to make this habit unpleasant for him. What do I mean by that? For example, when you’re going out, take a bottle of water with you (you can mix it with a little bit of his “favorite” shampoo), and watch after your dog. Be alert! If you spot your Sibe is about to start his little smelly ritual, act immediately! Take that bottle of water and squirt all over him. This will be a huge shock for him, trust me, and it will result him thinking twice before doing it again. Nonetheless, you will probably need to repeat this action three or four times if you wish he remember the consequences of this “naughty” act. However, even after this behavioral correction, I suggest you always keep an eye on him. After all, he’s a Husky and he will certainly try to test your limits again!
The second solution in this case is to try to distract him with a loud scream or sudden sprint towards him. Anything that can make him feel uncomfortable can do the trick. Remember, always make your move while he’s still rolling or when you notice he’s about to start the rolling! This is the only way to make your Husky understand what the actual cause for your sudden rude reaction. Yeah, it might be rude, but everything’s better than bathing your dear Sibe after his stinky fun, right? I think we agree ;) As you can see, out of all Siberian Husky behavior issues, this might be the easiest to deal with. However, as it is always the case with Huskies, there’s no ultimate solution for this problem. You will have to be persistent and alert all the time when out, no other way. Wish you luck with this :)
Dealing With Siberian Husky Food Aggression
Honestly, I’ve never had to deal with such Siberian Husky behavior problems. My dog Leah is so calm and kind while feeding, so I can easily take away the bone out of her jaws. Anyway, I’m aware Husky food aggression, especially with other dogs, is not something unusual. It is actually normal for all dog breeds. Although Huskies are not some voracious dogs, you don’t have to feed them with large amounts of food, they are pack oriented dogs and that can mean some trouble in this case. You see, take for example a pack of wolves, which are actually close relatives of Siberian. They will fight each other over a piece of meat, it is the fight for survival, no mercy! Now you get how serious issue it can be with Huskies. That is why you’ll have to deal with it as soon as you bring your puppy home.
There are two types of Siberian food aggression, the one with humans and the other one with the dogs. Both are quite common Husky behavior issues. The first one is particularly dangerous, especially for kids and toddlers, and as such is unacceptable. It demands immediate correction, from the moment you spot it in your dog. The second type of Husky food aggression is very pronounced. Huskies are larger medium size dogs, which are very strong, so if you have another smaller dog, or even worse, a puppy, this can be a serious issue. Sibe will mercilessly defend his bowl of food or even try to get food from another dog’s bowl. This can likely lead to some bad consequences or even death of another dog. We don’t need such problems and that’s why we WILL correct our dog as soon as possible.
How To Correct This Behavior Problem
So, what is the best way to deal with this kind of Husky behavior issues? Well, there are a few, but no matter which one you choose, you’ll have to work a lot with your dog. In my opinion, the following is the best solution for this bad behavior. This is what you need to do. Take some food and feed your puppy by hand. Your puppy will literally attack that piece of food, which is normal. He is just fighting for survival and for that he needs a lot of food and fast. He will bite you, scratch you, but I’m sure you’ll have fun with it. After a while, put that food into his bowl and start pushing it around while your dog’s feeding. If he starts growling, immediately take away a bowl and say, “STOP!” sharp and loud. Then, wait a few minutes and give the food back to a puppy and repeat the exercise.
You will have to be persistent with this until your puppy finally stops showing any signs of aggression. Remember, always start with the corrections while he’s still a puppy. It is very important because practicing this with a grown-up dog might get you hurt. But, I know some of you are already late, and have to deal with the grown-up Husky food aggression. If you’re one of these, this is how you do it. I have to warn you here, you’ll have to be careful if you don’t wanna get bitten. I suggest you use some protective gloves just in case. So, repeat the whole process, but when you start pushing the food in the bowl take a deep breath and focus because your dog will definitely try to bite you! The moment he does, grab him behind the neck and force him on the ground on his back. Hold him this way until he stops struggling, then repeat the exercise.
You see, it’s tricky, but it’s not that hard. This is the only way, you’ll have to establish yourself as a leader, and the leader you must be when working with Huskies. This is especially important when you have a few dogs. These Husky behavior issues are particularly expressed in a company of other dogs. That is why, in this case, I suggest you feed your dogs in separate rooms. If you are unable to do so, you will have to learn how to properly correct your dogs with the sit and stay (check above) commands. First, you’ll have to make your dogs earn their food. Do a proper sit/stay exercise before you give them their food bowls. Then, watch them carefully, and if you spot a Sibe trying to eat from another dog’s bowl, stand in his way and correct him immediately. Rule over the situation, CORRECT!
All these corrections are not some math, but they demand time and patience. That’s how it always goes with Huskies, never easy :) I know it can be boring and frustrating to work the same stuff day after day, but it will pay off in time, trust me. No matter which one of these Siberian Husky behavior issues you have to deal with, I’m sure with a proper approach you’ll successfully overcome it. Relax before every exercise, let your demons out and try to enjoy every moment with your dog. If, in any case, you start feeling frustrated while working with him, take a deep breath and leave him for a moment. Wait until you calm down, then get back to exercise. After all, you’re dealing with some of his inborn habits, you’re going against his nature, literally, it’s never supposed to be easy. That’s why it is important to show your dog some love and respect. Good luck and have fun :)