The majority of husky behavioral issues are related to boredom, which can arise due to a lack of exercise or mental stimulation. In other cases, they can be due to a medical issue, or if your husky is simply displaying natural behavior like chewing that can easily be mistaken as a problem.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 9 of the most common husky behavioral problems, what causes them in the first place and some top tips for dealing with them quickly.
- What Causes Husky Behavior Problems?
- 9 Common Husky Behavior Problems
- What To Do About Them
- In Summary
What Causes Husky Behavior Problems?
Huskies can develop behavior issues for a lot of reasons.
Sometimes it’s due to past trauma, which is quite common in the case of rescue huskies, and sometimes it can simply be due to boredom or even an undiagnosed medical issue.
Huskies tend to be more prone to behavior problems because they require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, and they are also very intelligent dogs which make things more tricky.
Huskies also have little desire to please their owners and are often described as cat-like, so it’s pretty clear to see why some people have problems with them.
9 Common Husky Behavior Problems
Before we jump into the most common husky behavior problems, it’s important to note that some of these ‘problems’ are actually just natural behaviors that can sometimes become excessive.
These tend to be very easy to fix, and I’ll share the details of how to do this once we’ve gone through the list.
1. Excessive Howling
Huskies are a super vocal breed and use howling and ‘talking’ as a form of communication.
This lends itself to the common issue of excessive howling.
This can be even more of a problem if you have more than one husky, as when one starts to howl it can set the others off very quickly.
Hyperactivity is one of the most common behavioral issues that huskies can exhibit, and it should be no surprise that this is the case.
To tire them out, huskies need at least 2 hours of moderate to intense exercise each day. That means walking, running, hiking and other activities alongside mental stimulation in the form of training and playing games.
A lot of owners don’t realise just how much work huskies are, and when they inevitably fail to meet the demand of the breed they are met with a hyperactive dog that seems impossible to deal with.
Hyperactivity can show in many forms, including some of the other issues in this list, but it usually results in a husky that can’t settle and is on high alert all of the time.
Chewing is a common problem amongst many dog breeds, including huskies.
Excessive chewing is usually more of a problem during the teething stage as a way to deal with the pain, but it can also be a problem for mature huskies as well.
Chewing is completely natural for huskies, so most of the time you just need to give them a durable chew toy that they can use instead rather than trying to stop them from chewing altogether.
Huskies are not an aggressive or dangerous breed by nature, but they can show signs of aggression if they are not socialized properly or if they have been mistreated in the past.
Aggressive traits include biting or lunging towards other dogs, as well as growling or snarling.
Digging is again quite normal for huskies to do, but it can become a problem in excess, especially if they are digging to try to escape from your yard.
Huskies are known as escape artists for a reason; they will try to escape from just about anywhere for numerous reasons, including boredom, sexual roaming or if they spot a small animal.
6. Separation Anxiety
Huskies are prone to separation anxiety, which is a condition where they become highly stressed when left alone for medium to long periods of time.
Huskies that suffer from separation anxiety will develop destructive behaviors as a coping mechanism for being left alone. For example, they might chew on furniture or howl excessively when left alone.
Huskies are usually not food motivated, but they might still beg for food regardless as a way to get your attention.
It can be easy to give your husky a bite of your food, but this reinforces the behavior and makes them beg even more, which is when it can become a problem.
8. Peeing In The House
Peeing in the house is one of the most frustrating husky behavioral issues to deal with.
It’s usually due to ageing, stress or anxiety (often linked to separation anxiety) or a lack of training.
Huskies love attention from everybody, and jumping is a surefire way to get somebody’s attention.
Jumping can be a tricky issue to deal with because a lot of strangers will praise your husky for jumping up at them, especially if they are comfortable around dogs.
This can reinforce the behavior and make your husky more likely to repeat it.
What To Do About Them
By working through the points below you should be able to solve every type of behavior problem that your husky might develop.
Meet Their Exercise & Mental Stimulation Needs
In the majority of cases the only thing that you need to do is exercise your husky properly and give them enough mental stimulation.
Make sure you are exercising your husky for at least 2 hours each day, and include intense activity such as playing fetch or taking them on a run as well.
If your husky still seems to be bored or restless, consider supplementing their mental stimulation with obedience training or puzzle toys. You’ll see a stark improvement in their behavior if you keep up with their physical and mental needs.
Toys are great for mental stimulation, but they’re also a great way to combat other issues like chewing.
If your husky is teething, or if they are simply chewing often as an adult, a durable chew toy is a must-have.
Chewing is completely natural, so if you try to stop your husky chewing completely it will not work and they will find other things to chew (like furniture) that you don’t want them to.
Having access to toys can also help with boredom, which can solve some other behavioral problems that arise due to your husky being bored, so it’s a win-win.
Discipline Your Husky The Right Way
Teaching your husky discipline is crucial for identifying and dealing with any problematic behaviors that they might develop.
Our recommended method for husky discipline is to withhold attention, as well as reinforce positive behaviors.
For example, if your husky is chewing on something you don’t want them to you could say ‘No!’ (or any other word you choose) and then ignore them completely until they stop. When they stop, you can reward them with praise.
Alternatively, you could say ‘No!’, replace the object they are chewing with a chew toy and then praise them when they start to chew the toy.
Consult A Canine Behavior Specialist
Huskies are notoriously difficult to train, so if you aren’t having much luck there is no shame in speaking to a canine behaviour specialist who will be able to guide you in the right direction.
Make sure you choose somebody who is certified – ideally with the CCPDT certification.
Consult Your Veterinarian
Some behavioral problems are telltale signs that something is wrong with your husky.
For example, excessive begging even if you are feeding your husky the recommended amount can be a sign of a medical problem like Cushing’s disease or due to a medicine.
Excessive chewing has also been linked to several medical conditions.
If you’re concerned about a specific behavioral issue, then get in touch with your veterinarian right away. They will be able to diagnose any potential issues that are causing the behavioral problems in the first place.
Huskies can develop a variety of behavioral issues if they are not taken care of properly. The root cause is most commonly related to a lack of exercise or mental stimulation.
This guide has hopefully given you the toolkit to identify the problems and understand both where they come from and how to go about dealing with them.
If you have any other behavioral issues relating to huskies that you would like to see included don’t hesitate to get in touch.