How to Train a Husky to Walk Beside You
Your gorgeous Husky is going to need lots of exercise and activity. He is highly energetic and needs to burn off excess energy with play time, running, and walking. You can take your Husky on walks with you for your own exercise and to keep him moving. An important thing to think about when you are taking your dog for a walk is how adept he is at staying beside you while you are walking together. Whether your dog is walking on a leash or off a leash, your Husky will need to be trained to stay with you and walk beside you. When your dog is well behaved on and off leash, he will remain safe, free from distractions, and will have an understanding that his expectation is to stay with you and not run after something of interest. And, in turn, this will protect other animals and people you come across while walking together.
Training your Husky to walk beside you will require some distraction-free walking time on or off leash. You will be showing your dog your expectations as you walk together and rewarding him for good behavior as appropriate. Positive reward-based training works well in teaching your dog to stay next to you while walking together because it’s a constant reminder to your pup that he will get a treat as long as he stays near you. Expect to have some redirection as your little guy is learning. If at all possible, try to train leash manners, the ‘heel’ command, and your expectations while on a walk as soon as you bring your Husky home. Training puppies your expectations is certainly easier than training older dogs because they have fewer bad habits to break. However, you can train an older dog to stay with you on walks.
Decide what your expectations are for your Husky before you begin training. Will you expect him to walk on a leash or to walk without a leash and stay next to you? If you are using a leash, consider whether or not you will also need a harness or collar. Be sure to have these things ready for your walks before you begin training. Considering using high-value treats that are different for this particular training than any other basic obedience training you may be doing. High-value treats include cheese, hot dogs, or even a tasty jerky. If you plan to clicker train, be sure to have your clicker at every training session.
The Off-Leash Method
STEP 1 Know the rules If you want your Husky to remain by your side as you walk together off leash, you’ll have to work closely with him. Be sure to familiarize yourself with municipality rules in your area.
STEP 2 Sit Have your dog sit and face you. Give him a treat for sitting.
STEP 3 Treats in hand Place treats in both of your hands and start walking. Your Husky will likely follow if he knows there are treats to be earned.
STEP 4 Rewards Every now and then, give your Husky a treat. This will keep him by your side. If you Husky is distracted during these early days of off-leash training, you can put him on a leash but keep it loose. This way, if he pulls away, you can control him.
STEP 5 ‘Come’ Ask your Husky to come using a command and treats to get him to walk with you.
STEP 6 Practice Practice walking with your Husky beside you, enticing him to stay beside you by using treats. Make these walks short at first and increase the distance over time.
STEP 7 ‘Sit’ If your Husky pulls away, goes too fast, or gets distracted, have him sit. Once you have his attention again, start walking, ask him to come, and give him treat to stay by your side. This will take time, so be patient.