gjbroom92: Can you train a Siberian Husky to the point that you can let them off the leash?
We have a 5-month-old Siberian Husky puppy and everything that I've read says that you cannot train your Husky to obey off the leash due to their working dog instincts. They say that even older Huskies will take off and run for miles and miles. Can Huskies be trusted without the leash?
Photo Credit: Jasen Miller/Flickr CC
Answers and Views:
Answer by Karen
Have had 4 Siberian Huskies 3 of which can be off-leash constantly the 4th is starting to become capable of small amounts
Answer by Larry
I have had three different male Siberian Huskies. Until they were tired, none of them would/will come to me on my command if they were outside and off-leash. Sure, inside they will come to you, but outside, no. If they get loose outside, your best hope is a stranger that they might go up to play with. Maybe they will come up to you with another non-Siberian obedient dog such as a Golden Retriever. Alternatively, you have to follow them until they tire playing "keep away". The only difference between a senior dog and a younger dog is that the senior dog might get bored playing "keep away" sooner.
Answer by Helene Orenstein
I learned the hard way that Siberian Huskies cannot be trusted off-leash. I had 2 beautiful females, that we used shock collars with the underwire fence. I wish someone had told me they need a good fence and not to be off-leash. I worked with them, had several sets of lessons and they got off our property and someone shot them claiming she thought they were wolves.
An experience I will never get over and I post this to prevent it from happening to someone else. My experience is that no matter how well trained they are, a husky is bred to run and run they will. Please don't ever take the risk of thinking you will be the one that can train them to stay off-leash.
Answer by Brodie C
It's going to go both ways for eternity. The point is it depends entirely on your relationship with your dog. If he/she trusts and fully respects you, that mixed with proper training, a husky will have no problems with an off-leash. My 4-month-old is a spirited one, but he comes when I call. I have him with his leash on and I just drop the lead and let him drag it. Took him to the dog park for the first time yesterday and, after the general curiosity passed, he still came when called. Do NOT attempt training off lead without a guarantee that the dog won't get loose. But it is entirely possible and whoever says it isn't is narrow-minded and gives up too quickly.
Answer by S (in reply to Brodie
He's a 4-month-old puppy so will come when he's called and you will get away with letting him off leash just wait till he's older. The majority of husky owners will not let theirs off-leash. It's nothing to do with being narrowly minded it's being aware of the breed.
Rabbitgoo Outdoor Dog Harness No-Pull and Easy Control
Answer by kristen
I think you may have missed the window of opportunity to train Husky off-leash. We started with ours as early as 6 weeks. There was a point around 10 weeks when he became very independent and started running off.
- The Price Range for Siberian Husky Puppies?
- Tips on raising a Siberian husky?
- Нow to eliminate dog-like odor in a Siberian Husky?
We then started working on call back training at the dog park. This is great for training because there are so many distractions (other dogs) and it's usually a wide open area, but you can rest assured your husky won't be hit by a car, or run too far (the park should be fenced in).
Our Huskies can be trusted off-leash, and he is 5 months old. However, it took quite a bit of training. If he's not wearing a leash, he may run off. But if he's wearing it (but we're not holding it, it's dragging behind him) it puts him in the mindset that he needs to stay close.
It's absolutely possible! Just know it will take hard work. Use treats and praise him when he's coming back to you!
Know better? Give your own answer to this question!
Comments ( 21 )
Our husky is 2 years old and he is great off the lead, we treat every day as a training day there are things he will encounter that are much more interesting than we are. Today he met horses for the first time whilst running free in the woods. It took us a while to get him away but he is not agressive and luckily the horses were well used to dogs. He has had ample opportunities to run and keep running but he not only follows the command to come but also the one to keep moving (for when he encounters dogs, and people who dont want him greating them) it didn’t work with the horses but at the end of the day he is an animal and they can be unpredictable. I just let the riders know he had never met a horse before and we dealt with it the best way we could.
I would like to add we never used any electric collar, it sounds so cruel and we never attended any classes and apart from a baby boy in the house there is no firm male. Yes our boy did all the things mentioned he even broke the window locks on several occassions, he opens the fridge and the freezer any cupboard or door. He is most definitely an excellent escape artist the only thing that has curbed this behaviour is the 45 minute free run in the woods he is a different dog unless he is left to long then he gets bored and hae met us at the gate but has never run away.
Thank you for your comments. We have published them on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/RusDog/
I have a rescue league Husky/German Shepard mix – the brown eyed side wants to do the right thing, the blue eyed side – not so much. He is 2.5 years old. I have done some training classes, but the alpha in him made him somewhat of a terrorist in class. I believe he can be a good dog and one day can be an off leash dog. I had a husky before that was somewhat successful at that but he was older and had been tied up his whole life when I got him. This guy has me baffled though, I am willing to put in the work. I have a GPS shock collar fence but don’t trust it. Advice welcome.
Jon Noble says
Sounds like you have the right state of mind and are willing to be open minded. Just know that it wont happen over night and will be a long process but will be worth it in the end.
I also used to use a long leash when i first started training him. I also found it useful to let him off in a secure area like a tennis court or basket ball court, some where i knew he couldnt escape from, untill i had confidence that he would come back consistantly.
Clearly know one hear would say it would be a good idea to let any dog off lead for the first time in a area that is not safe, regardless of the breed.
The other tool i used was an e-collar for when i was in busy areas where there were more distractions. Then eventually just used it less and less, now i dont use it at all.
This was one of the best tools i used as it gives you the confidence to stay calm knowing that if he tries to run off you will be able to stop him. If you get an e-collar use it sparingly as the more you use it the less effective it became in my experience.
Dogs are happier off lead and you will have a more enjoyable walk with a dog off lead too.