Puppy class and follow-up obedience training are especially important for the Siberian Husky. The trainability quotient for the breed is moderately low as Huskies can be resistant to obedience training. However, if you want to live in harmony with your Husky, you have to be the top dog in his life, and obedience training is the only way to accomplish that. Puppy kindergarten starts the day you bring your puppy home.
All dogs are pack animals, and as such, they need a leader. Your Husky’s first boss was his mother, and all of his life lessons came from his mom and littermates. When he played too rough or nipped too hard, his siblings cried and the game stopped. When he got pushy or obnoxious, his mom cuffed him gently with a maternal paw. Now you have to assume the role of mom and leader and communicate appropriate behavior in terms his little canine mind will understand. Remember, too, that from a canine point of view, human rules make no sense at all.
When you start the teaching process, keep this thought uppermost: The first 20 weeks of any canine’s life is his most valuable learning time, a period when his mind is best able to soak up every lesson, both positive and negative. Positive experiences and proper socialization during this period are critical to his future development and stability. Keep this golden rule of socialization in mind: The amount and quality of time you invest with your Husky youngster now will determine what kind of an adult he will become. Wild dog or a gentleman or lady? Well-behaved or naughty dog? It’s up to you.
Canine behavioral science tells us that any behavior that is rewarded will be repeated (called positive reinforcement). If something good happens, like a tasty treat or a scratch on the head, the puppy will naturally want to repeat the behavior. That same research also has proven that the best way to a puppys mind is through his stomach. A similar rule applies to human husbands. Never underestimate the power of a cookie (or steak)! This leads to a very important puppy rule: Keep your pockets loaded with puppy treats at all times, so you are prepared to reinforce good behavior whenever it occurs.
That same reinforcement principle also applies to negative behavior or what we humans (not the dog) might consider negative (like rooting through the trash can, which the dog thinks is good smelly fun and not wrong). If the pup gets into the garbage, steals food or does anything else that makes him feel good, he will do it again. What better reason to keep a sharp eye on your puppy?
Next step: Basic Obedience for Siberian Husky Puppies
Reprinted from Breeders Best: Siberian Husky © 2004. Permission granted by Kennel Club Books, an imprint of BowTie Press.