Huskies are most well known for their striking looks and funny personality, but it’s also commonly known that they like to free roam. While this can be an asset, it can also be dangerous and scary.
Finding out why your husky is escaping and how to fix it can save you and your husky from risky situations. While it’s more common for huskies to be escape artists, it should be said that not all huskies will try to escape. Similar to other beads, some will naturally be more mischievous, curious, or fearful.
Read on to learn more about husky’s mischievous behavior and how to easily fix it.
Why Does My Husky Keep Escaping?
Huskies are very complicated dogs, as they have high energy, intelligence, and independence. For these reasons, they’re generally not recommended for a first-time dog owner. But, even if we are experts at huskies, sometimes they may develop some undesirable behaviors. Like, for instance, running away. Among the many reasons a husky might escape, the main reasons are because they’re bored, restless, curious, fearful, sexually aroused, or lacking in social interactions.
Imagine you have a really intelligent child. This child would likely get more bored than others in an environment that didn’t stimulate their minds… The same goes for huskies. Huskies are not your average dog – they were bred to be intelligent enough to pull a hunting sleigh and make decisions for both their owner and themselves.
If your husky can’t find anything to entertain them within your house or your yard, they are more likely to be inclined to check out what’s on the other side of the fence. A big yard doesn’t mean anything if your husky doesn’t have someone or something to keep its attention.
Now, imagine you have a really energetic child. This child would likely get bored and agitated if they were made to sit in a silent house for too long. Again, the same goes for huskies! They can pull sleds for miles and would love to. They need an extensive amount of exercise, and without it, they can develop some bad behaviors.
A short walk around the block isn’t usually going to cut it for a husky because they love to run and explore. On average, a husky needs around 2 hours of exercise per day.
While this is very uncommon in neutered dogs, it isn’t impossible – especially if your husky was fixed later in life. Thus, a husky may repeatedly escape from your yard because there is a lady to chase. Unlike the others, this reason can have severe unwanted consequences and be hard to stop.
Lack of Social Interactions
On top of being extremely stubborn and intelligent, huskies are also very social dogs. Historically, they usually grew up in tight-knit packs and became used to being around other dogs.
Thus, the average husky is very dog friendly – and if they aren’t allowed to play with other dogs, they may “sneak out” to do so on their own time.
Lastly, and especially if your husky only escapes on occasion, they may be running away due to fear. Many dogs are afraid of loud noises like fireworks or cars breaking down. Other dogs, especially those from shelters, sometimes come with unknown fears or behaviors. Both of these combined may cause them to want to escape.
Common Mistakes with an Escape Artist Husky
Escaping is a very frustrating behavior, as it often leads owners to be fearful for their pet’s safety. However, no matter how scared and worried we become, there are some things to really try to avoid amidst the chaos of trying to find our husky.
Our huskies are like our family, so escaping can cause serious stress. However, when the reunion occurs, the last thing you should do is begin punishing them because:
- Your husky won’t understand what they’re doing wrong. If they’ve escaped, they’ve likely been gone for at least 20 minutes. So, at this point, they won’t comprehend what you’re yelling at them for.
- Husky is likely to think you’re punishing them for coming back, which is likely the last thing you want your husky to think.
- It won’t accomplish anything. Besides being confusing, punishing your husky for bad behavior that is your doing is unethical. Our dogs don’t get to choose how much we exercise them, play with them, or their fears. So, punishing them for a behavior developed from their needs not being met isn’t fair.
On top of that, there are better times and places to approach unwanted behavior.
Electric fences are a bad response to escape artists for several reasons.
- First, it deals with the symptom instead of the issue. If your husky is never exercised or played with, they will want to escape regardless of whether the fence is electric or not.
- Second, a fix like this will cause the husky to look to other bad behaviors to solve their boredom. While the majority will become destructive, some may become frustrated and aggressive.
- It’s dangerous. Huskies are very determined dogs and can repeatedly shock themselves to get what they want. Since we want to stop them from escaping to keep them safe, this option doesn’t make much sense.
WIthout other proper training and tools, using a crate to stop an escape artist is not a good solution.
- It’s likely to worsen the problem. If your husky is bored, a good solution is not putting them in a smaller, less interactive environment.
- They can still escape. If your husky has found ways to escape your yard, they may be smart enough to escape a crate.
How to Stop a Husky From Escaping
Luckily, there are many easy ways to prevent a husky from wanting to escape in the first place. Doing some of these may not only stop your husky from escaping but may also help with their overall manners and behavior.
Drain Your Husky’s Energy
One of the most common reasons for bad behavior and rehoming is that huskies are full of energy. This, combined with their extreme intelligence, can cause them to develop unique ways to meet their needs.
One way to effectively drain your husky’s energy is to change your walking pattern. If you work all day or go to school, try to walk them in the morning and the evening. Breaking the exercise up makes it so that while you’re at work, your husky isn’t daydreaming of playing outside the yard.
If you don’t have the time or energy to walk your dog, try getting in touch with a dog walker. This is an even better option because a dog walker can break up their alone time. Nowadays, there are even cheaper, more accessible options for dog walkers.
Lastly, an excellent way to drain your husky’s energy is to walk them in a new environment. The same old walk provides your husky with the same smells and sights, which may not tire them as much as you want. Going to a new place allows them to be much more engaged in their environment, leading them to be more tired and less interested in escaping.
Give your Husky Mental Stimulation
One way to decrease a husky’s energy and keep them satisfied is to drain their mental energy. Like humans, huskies can get tired from using their brains. Coming up with games and challenges that test their knowledge and make them use their brain is a great way to tire out an energetic husky.
Here are some ideas on mental stimulation games:
- Freeze peanut butter kongs and give them when you leave. Not only will your husky be interested because of the food, but the game will take them a long time to finish.
- Hide treats around your yard. Best used while your husky can watch you, hiding treats (or toys) allows for your husky to test their sense of smell and can leave them engaged for a long time.
- Safe, chew toys. Huskies love chew toys, so good chew toys that are only given on special occasions can leave them occupied for hours. For a special bonus, put peanut butter on the chew toy and freeze it for a day or two!
Take Them to Doggy Daycare
While some doggy daycare is better than others, good ones offer your husky a multitude of benefits.
First, it continues to socialize them. As stated previously, most huskies are highly social and dog-friendly. In addition, socialization gives a dog both mental and physical stimulation.
Lastly, doggy daycares have high fences and (generally) safe environments. You can stay at ease at work while your dog stays happy and safe.
Develop a Consistent Routine
Just like humans, dogs (especially huskies) thrive on consistent routines. It lets them know their place in your home and know that boredom doesn’t last forever. Routines lower your dog’s anxiety and create a sense of happiness in your home. Plus, a good walking/running routine is also good for you!
While you shouldn’t do this alone, it is a great addition to other advice in this article.
Continue Your Dogs Training
There are so many benefits of continuing to train your husky. Huskies are very intelligent dogs and thrive off of continued challenges. In addition, it allows you to grow a stronger bond with your husky!
One way to do this is to go to obedience classes. There are several options for this, including groups that meet weekly, biweekly, or monthly to continue their dog’s training. Not only will this allow your husky to get mentally challenged, but it will also help nip out other undesirable behaviors.
Spay or Neuter Your Dog
While there are several health reasons to spay/neuter your dog, it may also help keep them in your yard.
As stated earlier, some huskies may escape to find a pretty lady in the neighborhood. While you may tire them out and continue their training, it will be challenging to stop a motivated, unneutered dog from following its instincts.
Create an Interesting, Inescapable Yard
A bare, uninteresting yard will likely encourage your husky to escape. Fortunately, there are many ways to create distractions and barriers in your yard.
- Fill up holes right when they make them. If your husky is digging their way out, it’s likely that digging a sufficiently large hole will take them a while. As soon as you catch your dog digging, or find a hole, discourage the behavior and fill the hole.
- Plant bushes or roses along the edge of your yard. Bushes are both a good distraction and barrier for escape artists, as they provide a point of interest and a barrier. Bushes welcome small animals, different smells, and something to pee on. They also create a stopping point for a husky that has to run to get over the fence.
- Spray your fence with foul-smelling chemicals. Now, when I say “foul-smelling,” I mean foul-smelling to your husky. Scents like citronella oil, citrus, or vinegar are great deterrents for a dog. As a bonus, citronella oil and citrus also deters bugs like wasps and mosquitos!
- Build a fence that curves back. If all else fails, try adding a “curve” to the top of your fence. This will make it so your dog can’t run and jump the fence. While it’s not the best option, sometimes you have to do multiple things at once.
Track Your Husky
Huskies are more likely to be escape artists than other breeds; it’s in their genes. With this in mind, it’s probably a good idea to come up with options to find your husky if they do escape. Some options are:
- There are many GPS collars on the market nowadays. Many husky owners have them, as it allows them to let their dog off-leash. As a bonus, some even allow you to talk to your husky!
- Making sure your husky has a microchip is also important. Huskies are commonly friendly and will likely walk up to a stranger while on their escape. When the stranger turns your husky into a shelter or vet office, the staff can scan the microchip and help reunite you and your friend.
Regardless of the reason for your huskies’ escape, always remember to keep your husky’s safety and health at the forefront of your concerns. Try not to punish them, and try to remain patient while you overcome something many other husky owners battle with.