If your husky has been acting nervous you might want to know why and what you can do about it.
In this post, I will show you a number of reasons why it might act nervous and what would make them more likely.
So, why does my husky act nervous? Possible reasons are that someone mistreated it, separation anxiety, being in a new home, inadvertently rewarding the behavior, a lack of exercise or you might be acting too emotional with it.
There are actually a lot of reasons why your husky might be acting nervous and it could be the result of a combination of factors. However, there are also a number of things you can consider that will help in figuring out exactly why it has been doing it. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it will become easier to get it to stop.
Why your husky is so nervous
Each of the different reasons why your husky acts nervous will likely come with a number of clues in the way that it does it.
Below, I will show you a number of reasons why it might be acting nervous and what would make them more likely.
The reason why your husky has been acting nervous could be that someone mistreated it.
If you adopted it from a shelter it could be the case that previous owners mistreated it and it has caused it to be nervous around people as a result. In this case, it might improve as it becomes more comfortable in its new home but you can help by giving it positive attention in the form of exercise, training and by playing with it. If it doesn’t improve after a few months consider getting the advice of a vet or a dog behaviorist in your area.
If your husky started being nervous suddenly it could also be the case that someone mistreated it recently. This would be more likely if there is a certain person that it tends to hide from or if you saw someone mistreat it yourself.
It might 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 nervous. This would be more likely to be the reason if it starts being nervous or anxious when you are about to leave home.
If it does seem to have separation anxiety it would help to train it to be less anxious without you.
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
A new home
If your husky has recently moved homes it could be what has been causing it to be nervous. When dogs are unsure of their surroundings it will often cause them to become nervous since they do not know whether or not they can feel secure in their new environment.
If your husky has suddenly started being nervous after moving home it would be likely that it will begin to calm down as it gets used to its new environment. You can help by walking it around its new environment and by giving it lots of positive attention.
You get emotional around it
Huskies and most other dog breeds will be highly responsive to their owner’s emotions. The reason that your husky gets nervous could be that you get highly emotional around it.
Instead of interacting with it in an emotional way, it would help to be calm with it and to give it lots of positive reinforcement training.
You have inadvertently reinforced the behavior
It might be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to be nervous by rewarding the behavior. If you give your husky things that it wants when it is nervous it might be doing it might have learned that acting nervous gets it rewards.
Instead of rewarding it when it acts nervous, try to reward it when it is not nervous or when it shows signs of being nervous and to redirect its behavior when it seems like it is about to start being nervous.
Someone left or another pet passed away
The reason could be that someone recently left home or that another dog passed away. This would be more likely if it started being nervous shortly after the person or dog left.
It would be likely that it will improve over time. However, you could help by giving it exercise, training and toys to play with.
Not enough exercise
Huskies are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they don’t get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally. If your husky is not getting much exercise it might be contributing to it acting nervously.
Generally, it is recommended that they get at least an hour of exercise daily. If yours is not getting that much it would help to make sure that it does.
It is still young
If your husky is still young it could be going through a more nervous phase.
In this case, it would be likely that it will become less nervous as it gets older.
However, it would help to give it positive reinforcement training, attention and exercise now to reduce how nervous it is when it is older.
An issue with its diet
It might be the case that there is an issue with its diet that is causing it to behave abnormally. This would be more likely if it started acting nervous after you changed its diet. You can read more about what you should and should not be feeding your husky here.
Illness or injury
Illness or injury could also be the reason why it has been acting nervous. This would be more likely if it has started acting nervously suddenly and if it has also been showing other signs of being ill or injured. If it does seem like it might have an illness or injury the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Things to consider
If it started being nervous suddenly
It would help to consider whether or not your husky started being nervous suddenly as it could be the case that something caused it to start being anxious.
If it started being nervous suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as being mistreated, frightened of something, a change in its schedule or moving homes. It would help to consider what else changed when it started being nervous.
Whereas, if it has always been nervous it would be more likely to be due to things such as you inadvertently training it to be nervous, separation anxiety, being emotional with it, being young or not enough exercise.
When it becomes nervous
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to be more nervous at.
If it does seem to be more nervous at a certain time it would be more likely to be due to things such as separation anxiety, someone being around that it does not like or something happening at that time that it is afraid of like construction works. It would help to consider what is different at the time that it starts being nervous.
How to get your husky to stop being nervous
Below are some options you have when getting your Siberian husky to stop acting nervous.
Reward it when it is not nervous
The first thing to do is positive reinforcement training which is where you reward it for behaving in a way that you want it to.
To use positive reinforcement training to get your husky to be less nervous you would reward it with treats just before it starts to become nervous. Then, if it starts to get nervous, you would stop giving it treats until it starts to show signs of not being nervous.
Avoid negative reinforcement
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have been making it act nervous by giving it things that it wants when it is nervous.
Instead of rewarding the behavior, try to reward it when it is not nervous and to redirect its behavior when it starts showing signs of being nervous.
Avoid being emotional around it yourself
As mentioned above, your husky will respond to your own emotions. If you are highly emotional around your Siberian husky it will cause it to react itself. When dealing with your husky it would help to be calm and to use training to get it to behave the way that you want.
Get help from a dog behaviorist
If you cannot figure out why your husky has been behaving nervously or you cannot get it to stop consider getting the help of a certified dog behaviorist in your area. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your specific husky.
Avoid leaving it alone for long periods
Since your husky might become nervous due to separation anxiety, it would help to avoid leaving it alone for long periods possibly by coming back quickly on your lunch break.