How to Calm Down a Hyper Siberian Husky

by Melissa McNamara, Demand Media Google
    Siberian huskies are not for laid-back families.

    Siberian huskies are not for laid-back families.

    A Siberian husky can be a good companion for an active household if you can spend plenty of time every day providing the physical and mental activities this high-energy, easily bored breed needs. Exercise and proper training can help you calm your husky when he engages in hyperactive behavior.

    Items you will need

    • Dog food
    • Treats
    • Leash
    • Chair

    Step 1

    Provide high-intensity energy-burning opportunities. Enroll your dog in a club for activities such as agility courses. Play fetch, go to the dog park, or put a leash on your dog and run with him. Your husky has a strong desire to be with people or other dogs and to be active. He will easily be bored and destructive otherwise, according to the Siberian Husky Club of America. Plenty of time with you, and daily exercise, will produce a calmer, happier husky.

    Step 2

    Measure your dog's dry food breakfast and take it on your morning walk. Before leaving the house, have your dog sit every 30 seconds. Animal behavior expert Dr. Ian Dunbar suggests having your husky sit every 25 yards during the walk. Give him a morsel of food the instant his butt hits the ground after each command. Your husky's hyper personality can't cause problems while he's sitting. The husky may put up some resistance to the idea of sitting during initial training stages, but he can't resist the treats and his own desire to please you.

    Step 3

    Teach your Siberian husky that calmness gets attention. Put him on a short leash. Sit down in a chair, remain quiet and do not make eye contact with your dog. Allow him to whine, roll over, fight the leash or whatever behavior he chooses to display for attention. Remain quiet no matter how much the behavior annoys you. If he jumps in your face, gently pull down on the leash. Eventually, your husky will sit or lie down. The Marin Humane Society suggests counting three seconds, then bending down and giving the dog a firm, one-directional massage as a reward for his quieter behavior. If he becomes hyper again, immediately withdraw the attention.

    Step 4

    Try some basic training using the silent treatment, Dr. Dunbar recommends. Quietly hold a treat in front of and slightly above your husky's nose, just out of reach. Wanting the treat, he eventually will sit or lie down, even without a word from you. Give him the treat immediately. As his calm, patient sitting improves, gradually increase the time between the moment he sits and the moment you give the treat. If he breaks the sit, turn your back on him for three seconds, then start over.

    Tips

    • Adopt a second dog so your husky always has company. Huskies are gregarious and are not happy alone. Two dogs can be good company for each other when you're not available.
    • Remove stimuli that cause hyperactive behavior. Bring your husky into the house, close the curtains, or use a dog crate when he's in the car, the Marin Humane Society recommends.
    • Ask friends to ring your doorbell while you and your Siberian husky practice sit and stay commands. This increases the level of difficulty for your husky.

    Warnings

    • Do not leave a husky unattended in a fenced yard. These dogs enjoy being busy and love to dig. If you're not alert, your husky is apt to amuse himself by digging his way out of your yard, according to the Siberian Husky Club of America. Once out, he's likely to indulge in his love of running. The chances are great that he will be lost or injured.
    • Never flip your husky onto his back to calm him. This dominating position can incite aggression from your husky.
    • It is unfair to physically punish your husky for being hyperactive, and it can make him lose trust in you and become fearful.

    About the Author

    Melissa McNamara is a certified personal trainer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and communication studies from the University of Iowa. She writes for various health and fitness publications while working toward a Bachelor of Science in nursing.

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