Siberian husky off-leash training sounds like a task no husky owner is up to taking on. But, what can you do to make it an easier process?  

The point of off-leash training isn’t always about letting your dog run free and trusting them to come back on command. More often than not, good off-leash training is most beneficial when used as a safety precaution in case your dog becomes free in an accident.

The Importance of Off-Leash Training

There is no real way to predict how well a dog will follow what you say when it is running after a squirrel.  Siberian huskies have an incredibly strong ‘prey’ drive. That means as soon as they see something, by nature they want to go after it. Generally, taking a husky (or any dog) off-leash in an uncontrolled environment is NOT a good idea!  

Training your siberian husky to ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ in the controlled environment of your home tends to give people a false sense of security. We think ‘My dog sits the first time I ask at home’ and don’t realize how different that is than being in public. 

Off-leash training is about how your dog responds to those commands when they aren’t in a controlled environment and that is what makes it so important.

Off-Leash Training & What You Need to Get Started

A controlled environment is the perfect place for Siberian husky off-leash training!

We are not very big fans of going off-leash, for any dog. No walks around the block, no free-roaming time at the beach. It may sound harsh but our dog’s safety is paramount! But, it happens…and you know what ‘it’ is. 

Every dog owner at some time has, or will, drop the leash. Likewise, a dog can take off running whenever they choose. Unpredictable situations happen and it is better to be prepared than caught off guard. A well-timed ‘come ‘ere’ or distracting whistle can be the split second you need to get control of what could be a very bad accident. 

Off-Leash Training & What You Need to Get Started

To get started training your Siberian husky to behave off-leash you have to establish a reward system and a way of creating distance while maintaining contact. That is a long way of saying you only need “treats and a leash”!

Your reward system is probably already set, it may be treats or a favorite toy even excited praise, the choice is between you and doggo!

To keep the connection and keep things under control, we recommend getting a 25 foot (or more, up to you) lead. Letting your dog get used to always being within a certain distance is ridiculously helpful. 

That’s it. Off-leash training is a mind game between you and your dog. It is a stronger reinforcement of the commands you’ve already taught your dog. It is a process and there are no fancy tricks to it, just practice and patience.

Microchips, Dog Tags, and Dog GPS

Dog tags and microchips are a must! In many places, dog tags are required and microchipping dogs is something that gets easier every year, and there really is no excuse to not have either.

Microchips help vets and shelter workers contact you if your pet is found and then taken to them. That is the caveat to microchipping: the person finding your husky has to have a chip reader or take it somewhere that does. That is why we consider dog tags the ultimate backup plan!

Dog tags make contacting you about your missing dog far easier for you and the person who found them! Not to mention how easy it is to make a new one with updated info, we’ve all seen the kiosk at the local pet store!

A dog tag should include the pet’s name, your phone number (or contact information of some kind), a city or full address, and any important info you may think of.

For example: 

Zeus 

Please Call: 555.555.5555 

Cincinnati – Chipped

Friendly – Lost if alone – Need Meds 24hrs

Dog GPS is a real thing, and it’s pretty awesome! A dog GPS is a small device that attaches to your dog’s collar and gives you a constant feed of the location. It’s almost like watching your uber eats driver except they appreciate belly rubs… If your husky is the type to stay away from people or is lost in a huge area dog tags and microchipping aren’t going to help. A dog GPS tracker is perfect for these situations and very worth the investment!  

Siberian Husky Off-Leash Training Do’s & Don’ts

Do:

  • Make sure your dog’s collar fits properly and has a tag. Rule of thumb: you should be able to put 2 fingers between the collar and your dog’s neck. Not too tight, but not so lose it slips off.
  • Keep up to date info on the dog tag (name, phone number, important info).
  • Start slow, never skip steps

Don’t:

  • 100% trust your dog off-leash. This goes for all dogs, not just huskies!
  • Use a recall command as a precursor to punishment.
  • Skip steps!

Start Training Before You Start Training

If the goal is to have some trust in your dog to follow commands without being on a leash, he or she should probably know the commands beforehand. It doesn’t make much sense that the first time your husky hears the command ‘Heel’ is the same day you start off-leash training.  

Training builds upon itself. Before introducing new training, make sure the basics have been taken care of! Practice basic commands regularly! Keep ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’, ‘Heel’, and ‘Come’ fresh in your dog’s mind. 

These are the commands you want your dog to know and respond to as much as possible. Hopefully hearing these commands, even at a distance, will trigger the response and all will be well!

Remember to keep your own expectations in check and be on your dog’s side! Nothing involving a dog happens quickly and if it does it isn’t going to stick.

Is Siberian Husky Off-Leash Training a Good Idea?

It is a great idea! Such a great idea that it is recommended that you, and every dog owner, does some sort of off-leash training. How far you go with it is up to you and your dog, but it is important to have some baseline of expectations!

Training dogs to do anything is a series of small steps and wins. The first time your puppy stays while you walk around the corner for 2 minutes is a major win but getting there took 50 smaller wins. 

Keep going, keep trying!