The leash is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of pet owners. It is a way to keep a measure of control over the dog, to help teach lessons, and to ensure that it does not run away. But there are some who like to keep its use to a minimum.
Some like to have their dogs off the leash to give them a bit more freedom. But is that something that every breed can do? Can huskies be off the leash? The short answer is “yes,” though there is a caveat.
Huskies Being off the Leash
Huskies can be off the leash. That said, there are plenty who would advise against it, and with good reason. For one, huskies are naturally energetic, independent dogs. They can even be a bit stubborn in nature.
For that reason, many owners would discourage letting them off the leash. They also tend to run away quite a bit, though they do come back eventually. But if they put enough distance between themselves and you, getting lost is more than likely.
So, yes, you can have them off the leash, but they need to have the proper level of training first. If you feel as though your husky is still at risk of running away, do not take them off the leash.
Training Huskies to Be off Leash
So if you are wondering, “Can huskies be off the leash?” they can indeed. That said, they need the proper training to make that a reality. Thankfully, there are a few proven methods that can have you confident in letting them off the leash.
One of the first ways that you can train your husky to be off the leash is through the recall method. Start by using rewards. Show them a toy or a treat as a way to get them to come to you whenever you call them.
The key here is to only call once. If you call the dog’s name repeatedly, it might give it cause to ignore you. After all, you want your dog to follow your orders the first time, not after the third, fourth, or fifth time.
Make sure to get the dog’s attention with that toy or treat. Wave your hands around or even run away from it. This will further encourage them to come toward you. By being more interesting, you encourage them to come toward you rather than ignoring you.
Whenever the dog comes to you when called, give it treats and a lot of verbal praise. Let it know that it is doing what it is told. The dog will then learn that coming when called will result in a positive interaction.
Another key here is not to use the recall all the time. If you recall your husky only to scold it or do other uninteresting things, it might start to ignore or avoid you instead.
The second method for getting your husky to listen while off the leash is known as the transition method. Begin by having the dog on the leash before you start the training. By now, it should be more than accustomed to being on the leash in the first place.
You should have the “heel” command mastered by now. You can use treats to practice getting the dog to walk in the right position, which is at your side. When it does so, reward it so that it better understands that it should be near your side. Increase the number of steps between each reward. More importantly, reinforce the heel command when you reward them.
At this point, you want to start introducing commands. Take the dog to walk outside in an area where you can safely introduce it to sounds and sights that might be distracting. If your dog does well with those distractions, reward it. This will take a little time and patience, so don’t get discouraged.
Finally, it can be time to remove the leash. Go back to that safe area, removing the leash, and practicing your “heel” command once again. Just keep in mind that you don’t want to let them off the leash in an area where you do not have total control. If anything, practice inside or in an area that has been fenced in. The last thing you want is to be practicing these commands and have the dog run off or put itself in danger.
Be consistent in your training methods as well. Before long, you should be able to ensure that your husky is listening properly and coming to you when commanded to do so. It will give the dog a little freedom from the leash in the end.
Huskies can be naturally rebellious, stubborn dogs. They also have a tendency to run away if given the opportunity to do so. The leash is necessary when walking them as it can prevent them from getting too far astray.
With proper training, they can be let off the leash. But owners must have supreme confidence in the training before doing so. The last thing anyone wants to happen is for the husky to get off the leash and find itself lost.