If your husky is afraid of other dogs, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your husky has been being afraid of other dogs and what you can do about it.
So, why is my husky afraid of other dogs? Possible reasons are that it didn’t socialize as a puppy, it was mistreated by other dogs, it is being submissive or it might naturally be timid.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your husky is doing it. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.
Why your husky is afraid of other dogs
Each of the different reasons that your husky does it will likely come with a number of clues.
The reason that your husky is afraid of other dogs could be that it did not get to socialize with them as a puppy. When huskies are puppies they will learn a lot about who to trust and who not to trust. If it did not meet many other dogs then it will not have had the opportunity to learn to trust them.
In this case, it would help to let it socialize with other friendly dogs whenever possible. It would also help to employ the other tips that will be mentioned below.
It was mistreated by other dogs
The cause could be that other dogs were aggressive towards it. This would be especially likely if you know that other dogs were aggressive towards it while it was still a puppy.
In this case, it would also help to socialize it with friendly dogs when possible and to give it positive reinforcement and desensitization training as well.
It could be the case that it is being submissive this would be more likely if it does things such as hide its tail, hide behind you or go onto its back around other dogs. The reason that it is being submissive could be that the other dogs are bigger than it, they are slightly aggressive or that other dogs mistreated it in the past.
It might be the case that your husky is naturally not very trusting of other dogs. This would be more likely if it has always been afraid of them and it didn’t start being afraid suddenly.
In this case, it would help to give it positive reinforcement training, desensitization training and to avoid rewarding it when it shows signs of being afraid.
Related: Why is my husky not affecionate?
Things to consider
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your husky been being afraid of other dogs. Below, I will mention some particularly helpful things to consider.
When it becomes afraid
Considering whether or not your husky always gets afraid around other dogs or if it gets afraid only at certain times or in certain environments could help.
If it only seems to get afraid when it’s in a certain location, then it would suggest that it is something in the environment that is causing it to get afraid. One possible reason could be that it was mistreated by another dog, in that location, in the past.
If it seems to always be afraid in all locations then it could be that it was not able to socialize as a puppy or it is naturally submissive. However, it could still be that it was mistreated by another dog especially if it was not always afraid.
If it becomes afraid around all dogs
It would also help to consider whether or not it always gets afraid with other dogs or it just does it some of the time.
If it does it some of the time then it would be more likely that it is being submissive especially if the other dog is bigger than it or aggressive. It could also be the case that it was mistreated by a similar dog in the past.
Whereas, if it becomes afraid around all dogs then it could be the case that it was mistreated in the past, you have inadvertently rewarded the behavior or that it is naturally more timid.
How old it is
It would also help to consider its age. If it is still a puppy then it would be more likely that it is afraid because it has not yet learned what dogs to trust and what not to and because it is not yet fully grown. Whereas, if it’s an adult then it could be due to any of the reasons mentioned above.
If it was always afraid of other dogs
It would also help to consider whether or not it has always been afraid of other dogs or if it has become afraid suddenly.
If it has become afraid suddenly then it could be the case that other dogs mistreated it recently or it might be due to something such as illness or injury.
Whereas, if it has always been afraid then it would be more likely to be due to things such as nature, not socializing as a puppy, being mistreated by another dog as a puppy or you might have inadvertently reinforced it.
How to get your husky to be less afraid of other dogs
Below, are a number of tips that you can use to get your husky to be less afraid of other dogs. The best option for your husky will depend on the cause so keep that in mind when getting it to stop.
The first thing to try to do is to allow it to be around other friendly dogs as often as possible.
If it does not get the opportunity to be around other dogs very often then it will be more difficult for it to learn not to be afraid of them.
Positive reinforcement training is where you reinforce the behaviors that you want to see from your husky by rewarding them.
To use positive reinforcement training to get it to be less afraid of other dogs you would reward it after interactions where it was not afraid, reward it while it is near other dogs and it is not being afraid and stop rewarding it when it starts to become afraid.
Avoiding reinforcing behavior you don’t want
It could be the case that you have inadvertently trained your husky to be afraid around other dogs by rewarding it when it shows signs of being afraid.
Instead of giving it things such as attention, toys or treats, when it is afraid, try to reward it while it is not being afraid and to stop rewarding it when it becomes afraid.
See a dog behaviorist
If you can’t figure out why your husky is doing it or you cannot get it to stop then one option would be to get the help of a dog behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular husky.
If your husky is still young then it would help to socialize it with other friendly dogs, in a controlled environment, so that it can learn to trust them.