If your husky nips you a lot you might want to know why and what you can do to get it to stop.
In this post, I will show you a number of reasons why your husky might be nipping you and the options you have in getting it to stop.
So, why does my husky nip me? Possible reasons are that it’s teething, you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior, it’s looking for attention or it might not have learned that it is not ok to nip.
There are multiple reasons why your husky might nip you and it could be due to a combination of factors. However, there are some things you can consider which will help you in figuring out the exact reason. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it will become a lot easier to get it to stop.
Why your husky nips
There will likely be some clues that come with each of the different reasons why your husky nips you.
Below are some reasons why it might be doing it and what would make them more likely.
It could be the case that it has started teething and that biting on things soothes its gums. This would be more likely if your husky is a puppy and it has been chewing on other things a lot as well.
In this case, it would help to give your husky lots of things to chew on such as toys and bones. It would also be important to give it lots of training now so that it learns what it can and cannot bite on by using “leave it” training and the other tips mentioned below.
You have been reinforcing it
It might be the case that it has been doing it because you have actually been rewarding the behavior. If you give it things such as toys, treats or more attention when it does it, your husky might have learned to do it more in order to get those rewards.
Instead, it would help to avoid rewarding it when it does it by withdrawing your attention and to reward it when it is well behaved.
It hasn’t learned that it’s not ok
If you have not trained your husky not to nip you it might be the case that it has not learned that it is not ok to nip you. If you haven’t it would help to start training it by using the tips in the section below.
It wants attention
It might be the case that your husky does it because it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it attention or if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
It would help to give your husky attention throughout the day by training it, walking it and by playing with it. But it would also help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it nips on you by withdrawing your hands or leaving the room if necessary.
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 nipping your feet, hands or ankles could be that it’s interacting with them. 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 do so.
How to get your husky to stop nipping
Below are some options you have when getting your Siberian husky to stop nipping you. Making use of a combination of them will likely be the most effective solution.
Train it not to
It would help to train your husky not to do it by using positive reinforcement training. This is where you train your husky by rewarding it for making small steps towards doing the thing that you want and avoid rewarding it when it misbehaves.
To use it to get your husky to stop nipping you, you would:
- Stop giving your husky attention whenever it nips you by hiding your hands or temporarily leaving the room if necessary
- Start giving it attention again until it starts nipping and then stop giving it attention again.
- Repeat the above, rewarding with a treat it each time it doesn’t nip you when it normally would.
Alternatively, you would withdraw your hands, feet or ankles as soon as it shows signs of being about to nip. Each time it doesn’t nip when it normally would you would reward it with a treat.
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that it has been doing it because it learned that nipping you results in it getting things it wants.
Instead of rewarding it when it does it, try to recognize when it is about to do it and to withdraw your hands and attention and to reward it when it does not nip.
Give it other things to chew on
In addition to the above, it would also help to give it lots of things that it is ok for it to chew on such as toys, bones or chews. By doing so you will make it less likely that it will feel the need to bite on things you don’t want it to.
If you cannot figure out why your husky nips you or you cannot get it to stop consider getting the help of a certified dog trainer or behaviorist in your area. By doing so you will be able to get expert help tailored towards your particular husky.
Things to consider
Below are a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out why your Siberian husky nips you.
How old it is
It would help to consider the age of your husky.
If your husky is still young, it would make it more likely that it nips you because it is teething. In this case, it would help to give it lots of things to chew on and to train it not to nip you using the tips mentioned above.
If it is an adult it would be more likely to be doing it due to rewarding the behavior or because it has not be trained not to do it. In this case, it would also help to train it using the tips mentioned above.
When it started nipping
It would also help to consider when it first started nipping you since it could be the case that it has been doing it because there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as teething, negative reinforcement or looking for attention. It would help to consider what else changed when it first started doing it.
What is different when it does not nip
If it does not always nip it would also help to consider what is different when it does not do it.
For example, if it does not nip when it has gotten a lot of exercise it might be a sign that it nips when it has excess energy. In this case, it would help to make sure that it is getting the right amount of exercise daily.
When training your husky it would help to be consistent with the training. If you only train it once it is unlikely that you will be able to get many results. Whereas, if you train it consistently over the course of weeks and months you will be able to get much better results.