If your husky has a habit of mouthing you this post will show you why it might be doing it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my husky mouth me? Possible reasons are that it is looking for attention, it’s teething, it has not been trained not to or that you have inadvertently rewarded it.
There are actually a number of reasons why your husky might be mouthing you. Fortunately, there are also a number of things that you can consider that will help you in figuring out the exact cause. Once you do have a good idea of the cause, it should become a lot easier for you to get it to stop.
Why your husky mouths you
Each of the different reasons why your Siberian husky mouths you will likely come with some clues.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it could be that it is looking for attention from you. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
Instead, try to recognize when it is about to do it and to redirect its behavior before it starts mouthing you so that you can avoid rewarding it when it does it. Giving it attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it would also likely help.
It is exploring
Dogs interact with the environment using their mouths and their noses as much as they do with their eyes and even more so when they are puppies.
The reason why your Siberian husky has been mouthing you could be that it’s interacting with you. This would be more likely if it is a puppy.
Even if this is the case it will still be important to get it to stop by training it not to mouth you.
The reason why it has been doing it could be that it is teething. This would be more likely if it is a puppy still, it has started doing it suddenly and if it has started biting on other things as well.
In this case, it would help to give it things to chew on such as toys and bones. It would also help to start training it to behave the way you want now so that it is well behaved when it is no longer a puppy.
It wasn’t trained not to
If you have not spent much time training your husky it will not know how it is meant to behave and it could be a factor in why it has been mouthing you. There are a number of tips mentioned below on how you can train it not to mouth you.
It has been reinforced
It might be the case that you have actually trained it to mouth you by giving it things it wants when it does it.
Instead of giving it things such as toys or treats in order to get it to stop mouthing you, try to recognize when it is likely to start doing it and to redirect its attention. If it does start mouthing you, try to withdraw your hands and to avoid giving it attention until it stops as mentioned below.
The reason why your husky has been mouthing you could be that it gets excited and it is trying to show its excitement.
This would be more likely if it only seems to mouth you when you’re about to do something exciting such as to go out for a walk. It would also be more likely if it tends to show other signs of excitement when mouthing you.
In this case, something that you could try would be to stop it from mouthing you by standing up and turning around or by leaving the room. You would then reward it when it shows signs of behaving the way that you want it to. Doing this will teach it that mouthing you does not get it what it wants.
Things to consider
Below are some things that you can consider that will help you in figuring out why your husky mouths you.
When it started doing it
It would help to consider when your husky first started mouthing you since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.
If your husky started doing it suddenly, it would make it more likely to be due to things such as teething, inadvertently rewarding it or stopping training it. In this case, it would help to consider what else changed when it started doing it.
Whereas, if it has always done it, a lack of training would be more likely to be the reason. If you have trained it not to do it, your training method might not have been effective and you could try using a different strategy.
How old it is
If your husky is still a puppy it would make it much more likely that it mouths you naturally because it is teething.
Nevertheless, it would be important to train it not to mouth you so that it doesn’t do it when it is older.
If it is an adult then it would be more likely that it never learned not to do it.
However, if it started to do it suddenly and it didn’t do it in the past then it might suggest that something is wrong such as that it is in pain.
When it does it
The timing of when it mouths you more would also be something to consider. If it mouths you more at a certain time, it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
If your husky tends to mouth you when it is time for it to get a walk then it is likely trying to remind you of that.
Whereas, if tends to mouth you whenever it gets excited then it would be likely that it does it naturally but it hasn’t learned that it is not ok to mouth you.
How to get your husky to stop mouthing you
Below are some options you have in getting your Siberian husky to stop mouthing you.
Train it not to
Positive reinforcement training is where you get your husky to do the things that you want by rewarding it when it displays the behaviors that you want to see.
To use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop mouthing, you would do as follows:
- Start giving it positive attention
- Stop giving it attention by turning your back and hiding your hands when it starts mouthing you
- Carry on giving it attention when it stops mouthing you
- Stop giving it attention again when if it starts mouthing you
- Repeat the above until it learns that mouthing you results in you not giving it attention
Avoid negative reinforcement training
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to mouth you by giving it things that it wants when it does it.
Instead, try using positive reinforcement training as shown above and to redirect its behavior as soon as it looks like it is about to start mouthing you.
Give it distractions
In addition to the above, it would also help to give it things to be distracted with so that it is less likely to feel the need to mouth you. Things you could give it would include, toys, bones and puzzle games.
Get help from a dog behaviorist or trainer
If you cannot figure out why your husky has been doing it, you cannot get it to stop or it does it aggressively, consider getting the help of a certified dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular husky.