You may have heard stories about Siberian huskies destroying objects and furniture around the house, but are huskies destructive or is this just a common myth about the breed?
Huskies can definitely be destructive, and they are more inclined to become destructive if they aren’t exercised thoroughly and given enough mental stimulation. Other times, it can be due to teething issues or learned behavior (which is more difficult to deal with).
When it comes to destructive behavior in huskies, it’s important to understand where the behaviour is coming from and what options you have to deal with it. Let’s waste no time and get straight into the details.
Are Huskies Prone To Destructive Tendencies?
Huskies are definitely more likely to become destructive than a lot of other dog breeds because they have an incredible amount of energy and intelligence (they are considered working dogs for a reason).
They can also be prone to separation anxiety and don’t tend to do well if they are left alone for long periods of time. They love and crave socialization, which can backfire when they aren’t receiving enough attention in the form of chewing and destroying objects around the house.
Why Can Huskies Become Destructive? (5 Most Common Reasons)
Here’s a list of the most common reasons why your husky can become destructive.
Huskies will start teething around 2 to 3 weeks old and should have all 42 adult teeth by the time they are around 8 months old.
During this time, your husky may display a lack of interest in food and lots of agitation caused by teething that can cause them to bite more often than usual. If they don’t have access to plenty of toys to chew on they will chew on just about anything else that they can find.
This is perfectly normal for this age, and luckily by the time the adult teeth have set in the behavior should start to go away. But what happens in cases when it doesn’t go away?
2. Learned Behavior
If your husky learns that it can get away with destructive behavior it will continue to do so into adulthood. You may not realise it at times, but most owners do tend to reinforce bad behaviors without realising it.
The issue here is that once your husky is mature it will be even more difficult to get rid of the learnt behaviors that it may have, including destructive tendencies. Luckily there are still a lot of different training methods (which we’ll explore shortly) you can use to tackle any destructive learnt behaviors, even into adulthood.
3. Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is a very real problem that huskies can face.
To put it simply, the majority of huskies don’t deal very well with being left alone for long periods of time. This can cause both stress and boredom which can promote destructive behaviors.
4. Lack Of Exercise
Huskies are capable of running over 100 miles when trained for pulling sleds, which is the reason why they have such a large amount of energy when kept as pets. It’s also one of the reasons why they can become destructive if they aren’t exercised thoroughly – this excess energy has to go somewhere.
Now, I’m not saying you need to run 100 miles every day with your husky, but you should aim for at least 2 hours of good exercise per day to keep your husky happy. Huskies love to go on hikes, go for runs or simply play a game of fetch (well, most of the time anyway) and these are all great ways to increase the amount of exercise that they receive.
5. Lack Of Mental Stimulation
Huskies also require other mental stimulation as well as exercise in the form of obedience training, playing with toys, socialization or other methods.
This is why it’s a good idea to leave some toys behind if you have to leave your husky alone for a few hours, as they can distract them from destructive behaviors.
How To Train A Husky To Not Be Destructive
It’s all great knowing what can cause destructive behaviors in huskies, but what can you actually do about it?
According to wagwalking.com, there are three main types of training that can help to stop your husky from being destructive:
- Deterrence – Deterrence involves using water spray bottles or simply removing your husky from the area if you catch them destroying something in the house.
- Time Out Method – The time-out method is very simple. All it requires is leading your husky into an area with no other temptations if you catch them exhibiting destructive behavior.
- Focus Method – The focus method involves following a structured exercise routine, as well as offering rewards for calm behavior as positive reinforcement.
Don’t Forget The Essential Care Requirements
Training is a great way to directly deal with any destructive behaviors that your husky may acquire, but it’s also crucial to give yourself the best chance of preventing them in the first place by meeting the essential care requirements.
Follow an exercise routine and provide lots of mental stimulation. Destructive behaviour caused by teething is quite normal, but make sure that these behaviors don’t continue into adulthood as they will become more difficult to deal with.