If your husky has been walking behind you a lot while you’re walking it, you might want to know why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your husky might be doing it and what you can do about it.
So, why does my husky walk behind me? Possible reasons are that it wants to interact with things, you have inadvertently trained it to do so or that it’s being submissive.
There are a number of reasons why your husky might be doing it and it could be a combination of multiple reasons. However, there are some things you can consider which will help in figuring out the exact reason. Once you have a good idea of why it walks behind you it will become easier to get it to stop.
Why your husky walks behind you
Each of the different reasons why your husky walks behind you will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it does it.
Below are a number of possible reasons why it does it and what would make them more likely.
It wants to interact with things
The reason why your husky walks behind you could be that it wants to interact with things. This would be more likely if it tends to stop and sniff things a lot when it is walking behind you.
Huskies have a much stronger sense of smell than humans do and they can gather information about what other animals have been around based on the scent that they have left behind.
In the past, knowing about what other animals have been around recently would have been very helpful for the survival of the husky or its ancestors. It is likely that huskies have kept this urge to know about what else has been around recently which could be why your husky is always lagging behind you.
In this case, it would help to train your husky to come on command so that you can call it when it starts lagging behind. It would also help to reward it when it walks beside you as you want it to.
The reason why it walks behind you could be that something is making it fearful. This would be more likely if you used to punish it when it would walk alongside or ahead of you. In this case, it would help to avoid punishing it and to use positive reinforcement training, as discussed below, to get it to behave the way that you want.
You have made it do so
It could be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to walk behind you by giving it things that it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it treats in order to get it to catch up with you or you let it sniff things for longer.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want and to use the tips below to get it to stop sniffing things when you’re walking with it.
It’s unlikely to be because it’s being submissive
Some people would argue that it is a sign that it is being submissive. However, there is research to suggest that dogs don’t actually interact in a hierarchy and they would normally overlap each other and take turns being in front in the wild. So, this would be less likely.
Things to consider
When it started walking behind you
If your husky did not always walk behind you it would help to consider what changed when it started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If your husky started doing it suddenly it would make it more likely to be due to things such as you punishing it or rewarding it when it walked behind you one time.
When it does not walk behind you
It would also help to consider what is different when it does not walk behind you.
For example, if it doesn’t tend to walk behind you when there are not many things for it to sniff it would make it more likely that it normally does it because it wants to sniff things.
How to get your husky to stop walking behind you
Below are some options you have when getting your husky to stop walking behind you.
Train it not to with positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you train your husky behave how you want by rewarding it when it behaves that way or at least when it shows signs of behaving that way.
To use it to get your husky to walk alongside you, you would reward it with treats when it walks beside you and stop rewarding it when it lags behind.
You can also train it to come on command so that you can call it whenever it starts lagging behind. I have written about how to train a husky to come on command, in the past, here.
Avoid punishing it
It might be tempting to punish your husky when it walks behind you but you should avoid doing so. If you punish it your husky will probably not know why and it could lead to it having feelings of resentment or fear.
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have actually been encouraging it to walk behind you by giving it things that it wants when it does it.
Instead, try to reward it when it walks alongside you. When it does walk behind you get it to come to you by training it to come to you when you call it.