If your husky follows you everywhere husky you may find this behavior adorable or annoying. You may also wonder if it’s something you should be concerned about, and how you can curb the behavior.
Most of the time this behavior comes from attention-seeking, learned behavior via rewards or as a natural behavior.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the top 5 reasons why your husky is following you around like a shadow. You’ll also find some tips for minimizing this behavior if it’s problematic for you.
- 1. Attention-Seeking
- 2. Rewards (Learned Behavior)
- 3. Natural Behavior/Instinct
- 4. Boredom
- 5. Separation Anxiety
- Is It Bad If Your Husky Follows You Everywhere?
- How To Stop Your Husky Following You Everywhere
Let’s face it, huskies love attention. They are a lot like a toddler in this way. They need lots of interaction with their owner and will go to great lengths to get it, including following you around.
Huskies need at least two hours of exercise each day. They also need plenty of mental stimulation.
Remember, they were originally bred as working sled dogs. They can travel up to 150 miles in a day, so it’s not surprising that they need lots of mental and physical activity.
Meeting Your Husky’s Need for Attention
If your pooch is following you because they want attention, you’ll need to do your best to meet their needs.
Be sure they get enough exercise and mental stimulation. Walks and runs are a great start. Games like fetch, tug of war, and scavenger hunts can provide physical and mental stimulation.
Set aside time each day to pet or cuddle your husky. It’s best not to leave them alone for long periods of time. If you have a lengthy work day, consider having a friend stop by each day, or hire a pet sitter.
2. Rewards (Learned Behavior)
You probably know that training your husky involves using positive reinforcement. However, you may not realize that you can train your pooch to do things inadvertently as well.
If your husky follows you around and you reinforce the behavior by reacting positively, you have essentially trained them to continue the behavior.
If you find yourself petting them, providing treats, or giving them attention when they are following you around, you are encouraging them to continue doing so.
If you don’t mind the behavior, you don’t have to change this habit. However, if you need a little space, you’ll need to change the way you react to them.
Ending Positive Reinforcement
This can be a really tough habit to break. You love your four-legged family member. You may even feel good when you realize they are following you because it’s a sign of their affection. Of course, you want to reward them for showing you their love.
There’s also the out-of-sight, out-of-mind phenomenon. When you see your husky, you are more likely to think about them and interact with them. This is natural, but it also reinforces their behavior.
The best way to end this type of reinforcement is to ignore them when they follow you. This removes their reward, or positive reinforcement. It will take some time for them to realize that this behavior isn’t working for them anymore, and it requires you to be consistent.
If you begin ignoring them, and then pay attention to them out of guilt or habit, you are setting back the progress you’ve made so far.
Another way to you can handle this is by giving them a command to sit, lie down, or go to their own area when you notice them following you.
This should be done in a firm and calm voice, that offers your husky as little fun as possible. Just like ignoring them, they will eventually realize following you is no longer giving them the outcome they want, and will stop doing so.
3. Natural Behavior/Instinct
Huskies are highly pack oriented, which means they are born and bred to follow the leader. In your husky’s family, or pack, you are the leader. It’s natural for them to follow you, both literally and figuratively.
Huskies were originally domesticated by the Chukchi tribe of Siberia. They were very close companions of their human owners. They slept in the same tents and spent their days working with each other.
Huskies were trained to follow commands, which helped them perform the tasks the tribe needed them to do. This close relationship with their families and their willingness to follow orders made it natural for them to remain close to their owners.
Can You Curb Natural Behavior?
Instinctive behavior is more difficult to control, because it comes naturally to them. In fact, it’s probably not wise to attempt to suppress natural behaviors too much; similarly to how you shouldn’t let a husky off-leash due to their very high prey drive.
What you can do in this case is to avoid compounding the tendency with other reasons, like rewarding them for following you.
Accept this as a natural husky behavior that shows their obedience and willingness to please you. Avoid reinforcing it with rewards, or not providing enough attention. This won’t stop the behavior, but it can reduce it somewhat, or prevent it from getting worse.
Your husky’s intelligence and high energy levels also make them prone to boredom. If your pooch is bored, they may follow you around simply because they have nothing better to do.
Following you is only one sign your husky is bored, however. Essentially, when a dog is bored, they will find a way to entertain themselves. Unfortunately, they typically choose activities that you don’t appreciate.
Boredom often causes dogs to become destructive. They may chew your favorite shoes, rip a hole in a couch cushion, dig through the trash, or dig holes in your yard.
Boredom can also lead to other issues. They may develop compulsive behavior, like frequent scratching or licking. It’s rare for a husky to bark, but it’s possible for them to bark out of boredom. It’s more likely that they will chirp or howl, seemingly endlessly, to the dismay of you and your neighbors.
If your husky is bored, there’s a good chance you aren’t meeting their needs properly. A lack of exercise or mental stimulation is often the culprit. It can also stem from them not getting enough attention from you.
The first step to busting boredom is ensuring that your pooch is getting enough exercise and attention.
Once you know this need is met, you can consider other ways to get rid of boredom. One of the simplest ways to help your bored husky is to take them on regular walks.
Vary the route you walk, so your pooch will get new experiences, sounds, and scents on the walk. This provides some physical exercise, and stimulates their mind.
Puzzle toys and even doggie TV shows can help entertain your pooch when you aren’t home.
Huskies also benefit from spending time with other dogs, so doggie play dates may be exactly what they need to get rid of boredom. When dogs get together, they can entertain each other, and fulfil their need for socialization.
5. Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety occurs when your dog becomes anxious or upset when they are away from you.
Any dog can develop separation anxiety, but some breeds, including huskies, are more likely to develop it than others. Because huskies are highly social and develop very close bonds with their owner, this is a common problem for them.
Some dogs have mild separation anxiety, and are unable to be away from their owners for long periods of time. Others can’t tolerate their owner being out of their sight and will follow them from room to room.
If your husky gets very upset when you leave, they have separation anxiety. They may howl, become destructive, pace about and chew on anything they can find. When you come back, they will probably be ecstatic.
Separation anxiety has several causes, including previous trauma or abuse, too much dependence during puppyhood, and introducing a new family member into the home.
Managing Separation Anxiety
Managing separation anxiety requires patience and thought on your part. If you must leave them alone for long periods, have someone visit them while you are away.
Allowing them to sleep with you can help give them the affection they need, which may reduce separation anxiety. You’ll also need to be sure they get plenty of exercise and quality time with you when you are home.
You can help them overcome separation anxiety by leaving them alone for short periods. This might mean quick trips to the store, simply crating them or allowing them to be in an enclosed yard while you are inside for short periods.
As they become more comfortable with being alone, you can increase the time you are away.
It’s also important to avoid making a fuss when you return. It’s natural to be happy you are back home with them. However, excitement, when you return, reinforces the idea that it’s bad for you to be away.
Is It Bad If Your Husky Follows You Everywhere?
This ultimately depends on how you feel about it. Most owners enjoy their dog following them sometimes. However, it can be highly frustrating when you can never get a moment alone.
Your husky following you isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you’ll need to consider why they are following you. It can indicate that your husky is experiencing an issue, like boredom, a lack of exercise, or separation anxiety.
These are issues that need to be addressed, for your husky’s well-being as well as your sanity.
If you don’t like your husky following you, then it’s a bad thing for you. If they are following you due to an issue, this is concerning as well. However, if both you and your husky are happy with the way things are, there’s no need to change.
How To Stop Your Husky Following You Everywhere
To stop your husky from following you everywhere, you’ll need to address the underlying issue. The first step is to determine why they are following you. Then, you can take steps to remedy the problem.
It’s important to note that there may be more than one reason for the behavior. Your husky may be bored and need more physical activity, for example.
To stop the behavior, you’ll need to address all the causes.
Why Does My Husky Follow Me To The Bathroom?
Your husky may follow you to the bathroom for the reasons listed above. They probably follow you everywhere else as well, but having them as a bathroom partner can be particularly awkward.
Why Does My Husky Stare At Me All The Time?
Your husky is likely staring at you to show their affection. As humans, we stare at the people we love, including our partners and our children. It’s a way to convey emotion, and acknowledge the person’s importance to you.
Your husky stares at you for this reason as well. It’s just one of the ways they show you they love you.