If your husky is clingy you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
In this post, I will show you a number of reasons why your husky might be doing it and what can be done about it.
So, why is my husky so clingy? Possible reasons are that it has separation anxiety, it wants attention, it was mistreated when it was younger, you have inadvertently reinforced the behavior or that it does it naturally.
There are a number of possible causes of your husky being clingy and there are a number of things that you can consider to help figure out why it does it. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become a lot easier to get it to stop.
Why your husky is so clingy
Below are a number of common causes of dogs being clingy and what would make each of them more likely.
It was mistreated when it was younger
The reason why your husky is clingy could be that it was mistreated when it was younger and it does not like being left alone now. This would be more likely if you adopted it from a shelter.
In this case, it might start to become less clingy as it gets older and you can still do the training tips below. If it is bothering you then you could also consider getting help from a dog behaviorist.
It has separation anxiety
It could be the case that your husky has some separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely if your husky becomes more clingy just before you leave home.
If it does seem to have separation anxiety, it would help to avoid leaving it for extended periods and to periodically check up on it if possible.
Also, it would help to train it to be less anxious when you are leaving and when you are away.
To do this you could do as follows:
- Make it seem like you are about to leave by doing something such as picking up your keys
- Reward your husky for not being anxious and repeat these two steps a few times
- Make more moves towards actually leaving such as by picking up the keys and putting your hand on the door handle
- Reward your husky for not being anxious and repeat the process a few times
- Actually open the door and go outside for a few moments then come back and reward your husky
- Repeat the above, each time staying outside for slightly longer
Huskies were bred to work alongside their owners for hours on a daily basis. With that being the case, it is to be expected that it will look to you a lot for direction. This is why it is important to give huskies training so that they know what is expected of them.
It could be the case that it does it because 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 becomes clingy.
Instead of rewarding it with attention for being clingy it would help to give it attention throughout the day by training it, playing with it and exercising it and to redirect its focus when it starts being clingy.
You have been reinforcing the behavior
It could be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to be clingy by giving it things that it wants when it becomes clingy. This would be more likely if you tend to give it things like toys, treats or attention when it does it.
Instead, try to reward it when it is behaving the way that you want and to redirect its focus onto something else when it starts being clingy.
Things to consider
Below are some things that you can consider in order to help figure out why your husky has been doing it.
When your husky started being clingy
It would help to consider when your husky first started being clingy since it could be the case that something happened that caused it to start doing it.
Things that may have happened could include:
- You moved home
- Someone left home
- Another pet died
- Someone was aggressive towards it
- Your schedule changed
If it has always been very clingy then it would be more likely to be due to its nature or wanting attention.
When it becomes clingy
It would also help to consider the timing of when it becomes clingy. If it seems to become more clingy at certain times, it might be the case that the timing will give you some clues as to the cause.
For example, if it tends to become clingy when you would normally leave for work, it would make it more likely to be due to separation anxiety.
What to do about your husky being clingy
Below are some options that you have when getting your husky to be less clingy.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you train your husky to behave the way you want it to by giving it things that it wants when it does it and not rewarding it when it does not.
To use it to get your husky to be less clingy you would stop giving it attention when it is too clingy and then reward it when it shows signs of being less clingy.
You could also train it to sit or stay and then tell it to sit somewhere else when it starts being clingy. I have written about how you can train your husky to stay, in the past, here.
Avoid negative reinforcement training
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have inadvertently trained your husky to be clingy. Instead of rewarding it when it is clingy, try to use positive reinforcement training and to redirect its focus when it starts being clingy.
Give it attention throughout the day
It would also help to give your husky attention throughout the day so that it does not feel the need to get it from you itself. You can give it attention by training it, exercising it and by playing with it.
Give it lots of exercise
Huskies are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise daily. If your husky is not getting much exercise, it could be contributing to the abnormal behavior.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get an hour of exercise daily. If yours is not getting that much it would help to make sure that it does. You can exercise yours by walking it, training it to play fetch or by getting a dog walker to do it for you.