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Siberian Huskies as Sled Dogs

Siberian Huskies are natural pack and sled animals. It was their job to pull their owners through snow for work. It is part of their heritage, but not all of them will like doing this today. Siberian Huskies make great sled dogs, but you should never force your dog to pull you or anyone else if he doesn’t enjoy it. It is cruel to make your dog do something that scares them or hurts them or makes them uncomfortable.

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Training to Pull

When dog sledding is done correctly, it can be a fun activity for both you and your dog. If he likes pulling, you can train him to pull. Start small with something light and make him get used to pulling weight behind him. When he gets used to it, you can try attaching a sled or something similar. It is of great importance that you make sure your dog is wearing a cross-breasted and secure harness. The harness should not hurt your dog and it also shouldn’t be too loose. The wrong harness and incorrect wearing can cause your dog injury and pain.

Commands

It is also important that you teach your dog the pulling or sledding commands. You can decide which works for you. You should have commands that tell your dog when to start moving, when to stop, when to go left, when to go right, when to slow down, and also when to pass an obstacle or distraction. There are commands associated with these actions, but you can decide what works best for you.

Controversy

Dog sledding and dog racing is a controversial issue in some places. Professional sled dogs are not always treated in the best way and are left outside in the cold. Animal rights groups have a big problem with this treatment and so do we. However, we are talking about dog sledding as a recreational activity and not necessarily a competitive one. If you treat your dog well, feed him, and give him lots of care and love, there is no reason to worry. If you use a sturdy harness and don’t allow your dog to pull excessively heavy loads or for extended periods, you are being responsible.

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Taking part in Events

If you want to take part in events with your dog, you should join a club like the International Siberian Husky Club. They have a lot of good advice to share and can even help you train your dog to be a sled dog. These clubs promote the rights and well-being of the Siberian Husky and will not allow inhumane treatment. They also have events where you can compete and have your dog practice his training. It is important to make sure that your dog is fit enough to do these events. Sledding should be fun for you both and should in no way harm your dog.

If you are interested in training your Husky as a sled dog, contact ISHC for more information. Also, keep doing research and always put your Husky’s health and well-being first.

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How to Train a Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are very intelligent dogs and some people believe that this makes them untrainable. This is, however, not true. Huskies can be trained well if done correctly. Training is more effective if it starts at a young age rather than later, but older dogs can still also be trained.

Follow these tips to train your Siberian Husky.

  1. Be consistent – Consistency is the key to training any dog and actually any human or other animal as well. Be consistent in your rules and what is allowed and what not. Make sure that everyone in your family enforces the same behavior and don’t give your Husky mixed signals. When the Husky understands the boundaries and they are consistently applied, he will obey and not be a problem-dog.
  2. Be the alpha – Siberian Huskies are pack dogs by nature. They need to feel part of your pack and if you want to call the shots, you need to be the alpha. If you are a strong leader, he will gladly listen and obey. To make it clear that you are the alpha, do the following:
  • Always end with the toy when you’re playing. You should be the one that starts and ends play time.
  • Always enter a doorway first. This way he will know that you are the leader and that he should follow.
  • Consistently enforce the rules and boundaries that you set from the beginning.

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  1. Take him to puppy school – Siberian Huskies must be socialized and trained to obey. The best place to do this is at puppy school. At puppy school, you and your dog learn to bond and he learns to obey basic commands. After puppy school, you can also do obedience training. These training sessions are good for socialization purposes and because it gives your dog exercise and fresh air.
  2. Do crate trainingCrate training means that you train your dog to know where his own little space is. A crate that is big enough for him to sleep in and move a bit is a good size. Train him by leaving him inside for a few minutes and reward him if he stays calm and let him out. You will have to repeat this several times to make him understand that the crate is his place. He will learn that he can go there to sleep, get away from people and other pets, and patiently wait for you to return home.

These simple tips will get you on the right track with your Siberian Husky. They truly are excellent dogs and once they understand the boundaries and recognize you as alpha, you will have lots of fun together.