Training for Huskies
Obedience and agility trials are lots of fun, but training is more than just competing in the ring. The right training helps your dog be happy, confident and well-mannered, as well as free of behaviour problems - instead of a destructive, noisy or antisocial pests who cause you constant stress.
All dogs are need owners who are willing to train them, and no dog is ever too old to learn new skills!
SHCNSW recommends using only positive, dog-friendly
training methods, and promotes this as the official position
for all events held by the club.
What are Dog-Friendly Methods?
Using dog-friendly training methods means rewarding desirable behaviours, ignoring or redirecting undesirable behaviours, and otherwise preventing behaviours that can't be ignored.
Rewarding a behaviour, e.g. by giving food treats, makes that behaviour stronger whilst behaviours that go unrewarded will disappear.
This is in contrast to training methods that use physical dominance, coercion or punishment to correct a dog for wrong action or try to force a dog to comply.
Methods based on punishment are sometimes seen by owners as "more effective" than positive reinforcement, however studies indicate that the opposite is in fact true and reward-based training results in higher levels of obedience and lower levels of problem side-effect behaviours. Houpt, 2004
For more information on what "dog-friendly" training means, visit the APDT web site.
About Dominance and Punishment
The term Dominance refers to human beings using force or aggression to make dogs submit or defer, in an attempt to establish 'hierarchy'.
Dominance Theory is the outdated idea that this kind of force or aggression is necessary in training.
Intimidation, physical force and aggressive acts like "Alpha Rolls" are inappropriate training methods, and can actually be dangerous.
Read the AVSAB Position Statement on Dominance Theory for more on why the need for dominance in training is a myth.
Punishment is the use of force, coercion, aversives or physical correction in order to stop an unwanted behaviour. Equipment used often includes choke chains, pinch collars or electronic shock collars.
Punishment has a number of serious drawbacks that make it an undesirable method:
► Using it with a reactive dog can be physically dangerous
► Punishment increases other behaviour problems in the dog
► If applied inexpertly it can escalate to abuse when behaviours don't change
► The trust and good relationship most dog owners are after is quickly eroded by punishment
Read the AVSAB Position Statement on Punishment for more on the negative consequences of using punishment in dog training.
Training for Huskies
The same dog-friendly training methods will work as effectively to train a Siberian Husky as they will with any other breed, large or small.
It's a myth that Siberian Huskies are "related to wolves". They are a purebred dog breed that is no more closely related to wolves than Poodles or Chihuahuas.
Siberian Huskies are intelligent and physically very capable and often more in need of training than other breeds so that small problem behaviours don't grow into big ones. Behaviours that can perhaps be tolerated in toy breeds often become completely unacceptable when done by a dog as large and active a husky.
Finding a Trainer
Classes that avoid punishment and use rewards or motivational techniques in training are suitable for all Siberian Huskies, young and old.
Finding the right trainer is important though, so take a moment to check what's going to work best for you: