Author Topic: Training my Husky to not run away...  (Read 58515 times)

Offline ZooCrew

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #45 on: November 28, 2005, 06:03:39 pm »
Is that off leash control just for agility?  Or off leash control for everywhere else too?

I would have no problems at all with an agility course with my husky mix female.  In fact, if I ever have the time, I plan on starting her in agility.  However, off leash outside the ring, is a different story.

Offline Anky

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #46 on: November 28, 2005, 06:10:01 pm »
I never said anything about agility.  Agility is in a controlled environment.  Besides, I thought anyone can get a dog to perfom in a ring?

These are comments from people who's LIVES are all about HUSKIES.  I'd tend to go with what they say......


From the Siberian Husky Club of America

Of all the shortcomings to be found in Siberians, the most dangerous to the pet owner is their tremendous desire to RUN. But the very first dash that a puppy makes across the road could be his last run, anywhere. A Siberian, for his own protection, should be kept confined or under control at all times. If you are one of those people who think it is cruel to kennel a dog, or keep him confined in his own backyard . . . don't buy a Siberian.

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From a breeder of Husky's for 11 years

Dear Paul,
Firstly the easy question,your husky will probably NEVER BE GOOD AT HEEL.Remember the husky was bred to pull sleds and that is what this breed does best PULL.So it would be a really big ask to change this.Perhaps you do not know but it is a recomended practice that YOU NEVER EVER LET A HUSKY OFF LEAD EVER,she will do just what you have described not listen to you at all off lead.She will chase things and in general just not come when called.Even obedience training stands a good chance of failing to teach your dog to do this.So you will just have to accept that this is really part of the breed,huskies that heel and recall off lead do exist but they are very few and far between.I personally do not trust mine to do this at all.

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From the Husky Club of Great Britain

Question: Is it ok to run free

This is generally a big NO-NO in husky-world....purely for the reason that their instinct is to run and if they spot something more interesting than you then nine times out of ten they will run.. and run.. and run!!!!
But, I do know of huskies that are let off to run and they do return to their owners, it's all down to you and your dog, and whether you are prepared to take that risk...

Author: Liz McPherson



This is a very emotive subject for some people. Especially those breeders that have had to comfort someone who has lost a sibe due to it running off and not returning (or coming back in a carrier bag) - especially when they have tried to drum it home that they sibes should not be let off the lead.
For us - the price of getting it wrong is not worth the price of finding out.
Sibes don't understand roads and cars - the only thing I can guarantee is that ours definitely understand sheep and freedom - and are very agile when they see the chance of that opportunity.

Author: Guy Redwood


We also did the 'my husky is different' thing with our first pup.
Despite being told not to, we let her off the lead and yes, she would come back on call each and every time we let her off in a country park...then one day, she was about 7 months old, she spotted a cyclist at the top of a distant hill and she was off like a shot.
By the time Sam got to the top of the hill there was no sign of her.
It turns out she kept running right onto the road and was happily trotting along the roadside!
We were lucky a passing motorist realised what she was and picked her up, he happened to work in a cattery so had somewhere to keep her and let us know....she's never been off lead since, apart from the time she jumped over the back seat of the car, or the time she slipped her collar...but then thats another story. All i can say is that we were frantic with worry for hours.
I think my second girl would be OK off lead but trust me, i'm not taking the risk to find out!

Author: Brian Duncan


I have always had mixed views on this topic. The bottom line for me is that NO DOG OF ANY BREED is 100% safe off lead all the time!
I have lost count of the times that our dogs have been attacked while training by "safe" off-lead breeds. I have lost count of the times I have seen owners of such breeds plaintively asking "have you seen my collie/dobe/spaniel/rottie/labrador....." in the huge park near our house, any every motorist must have had a heart-stopping moment as a dog ran across the road in front of you.
Having said that, I think it is crucial that Siberian owners train their dogs in basic obedience - in particular "down stays" and "recalls" so that if that terrible day does dawn and your dog does a runner, at least you have an outside chance of getting it back. This isn't false optimism, it's insurance.
One of the dogs we bred lives with her owner who has always had border collies and has always trained her dogs for obedience. When she got her Siberian from us four years ago she treated it in exactly the same way. This dog has now worked its way through all the levels of obedience and is starting to beat the BC's at agility. Now her dog, like any Siberian, like any dog, is not 100% safe off lead, but if she did manage to slip her lead in a dangerous situation, at least this particular owner would have a fighting chance of getting her back as a result of her training.
The key for me is simple - by all means let your Siberians off-lead - but only in an area which is 100% safe and which poses no risk of escape. We are really lucky - about a mile from where we live there is a large park completely surrounded by 10ft brick walls and with only one gate. We can let ours off lead there with no problems - one of us guards the gate and the other watches the dogs.

Author: Mick Brent


Fellow Husky Lovers,

Although very upsetting for us, if what follows makes just one owner STOP and THINK again before letting their beautiful Siberian OFF THE LEAD to RUN FREE once more knowing the dangers; then it's got to be well worth it.

Your treasured Siberian Husky is probably not far away frrom you at the moment; your HAPPY, HEALTHY, LIVELY bundle of FUN who means the absolute world to you. I'm right? Yes?

Well take another long hard look at him or her and try to imagine just what it would be like to have to go and collect your Sibes 'STILL VERY BEAUTIFUL' but 'NO LONGER LIVELY' body from the roadside!!!!
The life that he or she once enjoyed so much; snatched away in a matter of seconds!! No, not nice eh!!, and no it wasn't either; such a horrible image to remain with anyone, as it will with us ........ FOREVER!!

Kira escaped: she was NOT LET OFF HER LEAD TO RUN FREE !!!
and the tragic outcome meant the loss of our friend, our pet, our working team leader and our much loved, very special Siberian 'girl'.
A nightmare which takes you to h*ll and back we can assure you, the guilt, the hurt, the why's, the if only's, you name it - WHY PUT YOURSELF THROUGH IT UNNECESSARILY THAT'S ALL WE ASK?? !!!!

So next time your hand reaches for the clip of your Siberian's lead .... STOP .... THINK .... PLEASE, PLEASE DON'T DO IT .... Don't knowingly let it happen, don't RISK LOSING A PRECIOUS PART OF YOUR LIFE ... WHY ?? .... YOU'LL NEVER FORGIVE YOURSELF .......... EVER !!

Author: Andrea & Steve Taylor


To be perfectly honest, i think that at the end of the day your dogs are your own, and what you do with them is your choice, but what does make me laugh is that even with extremely compelling evidence that letting your husky run free is a bad idea there are still people who are of the opinion that they know better, this is a shame because it wont be these people who end up under a car or shot for worrying sheep!!!

It will be the dogs who end up suffering, all because someone who was relativly new to the breed thought they could do what everyone else would love too, and let the dogs of the lead.

Its at this point its a bit late to say ooopps sorry, you were right.

If you want a dog you can let of the lead a husky is not for you and the sooner people realise this the less of these topics we will have about these amazing people who have the ability to give a husky road sense,and stop its natural instincts to chase livestock.
Author: Dathan Trent


I repeatedly asked my knumbskull husband to please stop letting our 3yr old girl off the lead.It's fine he said there's not a chance of her running off in an open field ! which is exactly what she did nearly 3 miles from home.Crossing and traversing busy main roads in rush hour untill she luckily made her way home pushed open the back gate and calmly waited for my breathless hubby to arrive.Needles s to say it's a lesson he has now taken on board.
Author: Abbie Watts

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From Jalerran Huskies (Breeder of top Champion Huskies)

1. Wanderer - This breed should never be trusted off-lead. They will run and they won't come back when you call them. Don't be fooled into thinking that you can train them to stay in your yard. The many people who have tried and no longer have their dogs can attest to the risk associated with this impossible task.

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Excerpt from "Everything Husky"

They are independent (obedient only when they feel it's appropriate). Huskies were bred to think for themselves and actively disobey if they perceived the situation to be dangerous.
They can't be trusted off-leash (ever!). Huskies were bred to do one thing very well - Run! Take them off lead anywhere and they take off for Canada!

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I have over 96,000 hits on Google that say the same thing.  Please.  I really don't wish to argue about this.  These are facts from people who know the breed inside and out.  I trust them over a handful of owners who've been lucky with their dogs.

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #47 on: November 29, 2005, 02:11:36 am »
Well...I'd just like to throw in some not as educated or experienced commentary here.

I don't think that it is unfair to any breed to acknowledge their history...or in the case of Huskies their current jobs. It isn't unfair to a Pitbull to acknowledge his tendencies and drives. Its responsible. And along those same lines, its not unfair to acknowledge that Huskies can and do run off way more than most dogs. (Sight and scent hounds excepted, of course) Why, WSD would you not want to acknowledge these traits? Why would you deny them? That is why we "pure" breed dogs! To maintain particular (presumptuously desirable) traits! Are we all kidding ourselves that particular breeds have certain traits? I don't think so.

Not trying to rehash old stuff or start arguments here. I'm just not sure why you would try to deny the traits that have been bred into a breed for thousands of years...

Offline siberescuegirl

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #48 on: November 29, 2005, 08:03:37 pm »
Anky, I agree with you 100%. The bigges risk to the Siberian Husky is the novice who comes along and says "Well, I met one person once who walked their Husky off leash and it was fine, so I'm going to walk my Husky off leash."

There are always exceptions to the rule. However - the general instinct of the Siberian Husky is to be an independent thinker, and to chase things that run. It would be extremely risky to the dog, and extremely irresponsible of the owner, to take such a chance.

The rescue group I volunteer is always full. Why? Because there are more Huskies than almost any other breed either found as strays (because they ran off or escaped from a yard) or turned in because they "don't listen and run away all the time". DUH! That's what Huskies do! I became extremely creative in reinforcing my parents' split rail fence and the chicken wire that went around the inside. I helped my dad put in new chicken wire all the way around, and we buried it 6 inches deep - my Husky, thank goodness, is not a digger or climber - he just looks for holes, weak spots or gaps that he can push through.

But if I hadn't read about the breed beforehand, I wouldn't have known I needed to always make sure that the gates were securely latched, and I wouldn't have been so proactive about making sure that the fence was secure.  I would not have known that it's a breed characteristic, and I might have thought he was just a "bad dog" and tried to find a new home for him. People who aren't prepared and don't know what they're getting into, 90 percent of the time, end up wanting to "get rid of" or re-home their Huskies.  Hence the shelters and rescues that are overflowing with them.


We've heard and seen horror stories about dogs that jumped out of cars in parking lots or at gas stations and were hit and injured or killed. One dog lost a leg this way, because someone left the car door open at a gas station and he saw a squirrel.

About a year ago a Husky was adopted out to a family on a house near a busy road. Well, that alone can't disqualify them (or we'd never adopt any dogs out!) and we educated them THOROUGHLY on security, doors, leashes, gates, etc.

The day after he was adopted he got out of the house (bolted out of the door after someone) and was hit and killed.

Please - just be a responsible owner, be aware of the breed characteristic s, and do what you need to do to protect your dog. I'm amazed at how many Husky owners I run into that stop and ask why they don't listen, why the always run off, etc. When I start talking about breed characteristic s they have no idea. It just amazes me.



Offline siberescuegirl

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #49 on: December 02, 2005, 12:36:33 am »
Yes, and the point that you have failed to grasp is that the statement that Huskies cannot be trusted off leash and are prone to running off is not a myth. It's a breed instinct, just like pulling a sled and loving snow and cold weather. It's in their genes.

And even very experienced Husky owners who have trained, owned, and fostered many Huskies would never ever take the chance of letting their dogs off leash outside of a fenced area, simply because they know the risks and they care too much about their dog's safety. Not because they aren't capapble of figuring out how to train their dog to be reliable on recall.

Spreading a myth is unproductive. Ignoring the truth can leads to lost, injured and dead Huskies, which is why Husky rescues are always at maximum capacity.

By the way, have you ever owned a Husky?

Offline mishka

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #50 on: April 09, 2006, 04:19:37 am »
I would never let my sibes run loose ,i run my youngest next to my bike in a trscking harness attached to a springer device. I used to race my sibes but they are too old now. I let my young sibe run loose in a tennis court in a park near where i live on the way home when out on a walk .she chases my collie when she runs after her ball.but has no way to escape!!

Offline LuvmyMal

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #51 on: April 09, 2006, 08:17:32 am »
With my experience with Northern Breeds I have not had on that could be trusted off leash. We have taken Tonka offleash only while hiking with her her dogpack on and she does good, but there is a leash attached to her dogpack just in case. I had a husky that would escape and be gone for hours hunting, running, digging, you name it she was doing it...good thing I lived in the country and no one really minded until she ate livestock. With my 2 mals, Tonka has escaped our yard 4 times before we mal proofed it when she was gone she was chasing something (rabbit, squirrell, bird) and only stopped for an akita that is 2 streets down, he scared the mess out of her. Nala, well we have not tried anything with that wild woman. I know people who have let theirs off leash and they do fine, but they are very stubborn and have their own sense of timing.