If your husky has been being aggressive you are probably wondering 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 is my husky aggressive? Possible causes are that previous owners mistreated it, you’re too emotional with it, you mistreated it, injury, inadvertently rewarding the behavior, a lack of training or being overly protective of you or its property.
There are many possible causes of your husky being aggressive and there are many things that you can consider when trying to figure out why it has been being aggressive. Once you have a good idea of the cause it will become easier for you to rectify it.
Why your husky is aggressive
Each of the different reasons that your husky is aggressive will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it is aggressive.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why it might be doing it and what would make them more likely.
The reason that it is aggressive could be that previous owners mistreated it. This would be more likely if you recently adopted it from a shelter.
In this case, if it does not seem to be dangerous, it would help to give it lots of training and exercise as mentioned below. If it does seem to be dangerous then the safest thing to do would be to get the help of a professional dog behaviorist.
You’re too emotional with it
Your husky will likely be highly responsive to your own emotions. If you get highly emotional around it then it will cause it to become highly emotional itself.
Instead, it would help to be calm when interacting with your husky and to give it lots of training and exercise.
You’re too aggressive towards it yourself
The reason that your husky gets aggressive could be that you have been aggressive towards it yourself. As mentioned above, your husky will respond to your emotions and being aggressive around it will cause it to behave similarly. Additionally, if you are aggressive towards it, your husky won’t always know why and it could lead to feelings of resentment.
Instead, it would be better to interact with it calmly and to train it to be well behaved with the use of positive reinforcement training.
A lack of exercise
Huskies are a breed that require a lot of exercise. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day. When they don’t get that much it can cause them to develop behavioral issues. If your husky is not currently getting that much exercise then it would help to make sure that it does.
If your husky did not get to socialize much when it was a puppy then it might not have been able to learn to trust certain people and dogs. This would be more likely if it tends to be aggressive towards other people or dogs. I have written more about why it might be aggressive towards other people and dogs here.
The reason that it has been doing it could be that something is causing it to be in pain. This would be more likely if it has become aggressive suddenly and if it has been showing signs of being in pain such as by limping.
If it does seem like it might be due to being in pain then the best option would be to take it to a vet.
You have been rewarding the behavior
It might be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to be aggressive by giving it things that it wants when it gets aggressive.
Instead of giving it things such as toys, attention or treats when it is aggressive, try to use positive reinforcement training to get the behavior you want and to avoid rewarding it when it is aggressive.
A lack of training
If you have not spent much time training your husky then it will not know how to behave so it will behave the way that it wants to. The way that it naturally wants to behave is unlikely to be the way that you want it to behave. This is why it is important to give it lots of training.
Related: Why is my husky not affectionate?
Protecting territory or its owner
The reason that it gets aggressive could be that it is being protective. This would be more likely if it does it when someone approaches the door or when you are around other people.
Related: Why does my husky whine a lot?
Things to consider
If it has only started to become aggressive recently
It would help to consider when your husky first started being aggressive since it could be the case that there was an event that triggered it to start being aggressive.
If it started being aggressive suddenly then it could be that it got injured, someone mistreated it or that you inadvertently started rewarding the behavior.
Whereas, if it has always been aggressive then it would be more likely that it does ti due to things such as previous owners being aggressive, being emotional around it or a lack of training.
When it becomes aggressive
It would also help to consider the timing of when it becomes aggressive. If it becomes aggressive at a certain time then it could be that someone is around that it doesn’t like or because something causes it to become fearful. Whereas, if it does it at random times then it could be due to any of the reasons mentioned above.
How to get your husky to be less aggressive
The best way to get your husky to stop being aggressive will depend on the cause of it doing it. Below, are a number of options that you have. You will likely find that a combination of them will work well.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you get your husky to display the behaviors that you want to see by rewarding it when it displays them.
To use it to get it to stop being aggressive you would reward it when it is not aggressive when it normally would be and you would reward it when it shows signs of not being aggressive.
Avoid positively reinforcing bad behavior
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have been inadvertently reinforcing bad behaviors. Instead of giving your husky things that it wants, when it is aggressive, try to notice when it is about to be aggressive and redirect its behavior. One way that you can redirect its behavior would be to train it to come to you on command.
Train it to listen to your command
It would also help to train your husky to do lots of simple things such as to sit or to stay so that it sees you as the leader and so that it is easier to control.
Avoid being high energy yourself
As mentioned above being emotional or aggressive around your husky will cause it to behave differently and to react. Instead of being too emotional around it, try to be calm with it so that it will be more likely to respond calmly.
Avoid punishing the dog
If you tend to punish your husky it would help to avoid doing so. If you punish it then it might not know why and it can cause it to become resentful. Instead, try to recognize when it is likely to start misbehaving and to redirect its behavior and to use positive reinforcement training.
Make sure that it is getting enough exercise
As mentioned above, huskies are a breed that are meant to get a lot of exercise daily. When they do not get a lot of exercise, it can cause them to develop behavioral issues. You can give your husky exercise by walking it, playing fetch with it or by getting a dog walker to do it for you.
When training your husky, it is important to be consistent. It is unlikely that you will be able to achieve drastic results with just one training session but if you are consistent with the training then you will be able to get good results over the course of weeks.
Get help from a dog trainer
If you can’t figure out why your husky has been being aggressive or you think that it is being dangerous then the best option would be to get the help of a dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to get expert help showing you exactly what you need to do with your particular husky in a safe way.