Sunday, July 9, 2017

Husky Puppy Training - Look At Me

Husky Puppy Training - Look At Me

So Luna, my husky puppy is right at 6 months old now and even though I have been a dog owner since I was a kid, she is the first breed I have ever had that requires so much attention to training. It is incredible what the husky breed is capable of if given the right direction! 
Now, before I got her home several months ago, I did a little research on huskies, which I highly recommend to others before buying any breed of dog. Just because an animal is cute does not mean it will work in your home with your family so make sure that you know everything you can before you commit!
Huskies are a working dog which means they feel good when they have a purpose. With that in mind, there are several ways that you can make your pup feel like they are doing what they need to for you. A major one of those options is training. Daily training. More than once a day training. And if you want your husky to listen to anyone besides you, all the other family members need to train them too! 

Em and Nic like to try to see who she will listen to first......

So we started off with a basic command which is a key to keeping your pups attention all the time. "Look at me." Just like with kids and people, the best way to know you have someone's undivided attention is through eye contact and it is a big first step for puppies. 

My home is full of other animals, we have two other sweet doggies, two cats, two rabbits and a bird too so sorting out how to work training time can be tricky, but it is very important especially at the beginning to have as few distractions around as possible.  So with the other dogs outside and the cats basking in my bedroom, I started off with Luna.  
It took a couple days before she even knew the name we gave her, so if your pup is reluctant to respond to the command right away don't be discouraged! Treats worked very well to gain her eye for sure.  Also as a sidenote: what we are teaching Luna are commands, I don't use the word tricks when talking about training

Emileen even knows to put the treat away until Luna has looked enough!

Anyway when teaching your pup the "Look at me," command, a little bit at a time is good. So if you get a glance, give a treat.  Once you can tell that they have gotten the idea, spread the time out a little bit.  After Luna caught on to the getting a treat for a glance, it really only took her a couple more training times to get all the way up to 10 seconds before getting her treat.  We haven't gotten to a whole minute yet, but I am working on her! 
As this is a lead-in command, meaning you are just gaining their attention to work on the next one, once they catch on to "Look at me," and hold the length that you want, you should be able to move directly to the next command without treating. 
In my experience with pups, treats every single time until they have clearly grasped the command works, but then space out the treat to every third or fourth command until just saying "Good dog," with a pat is enough of a bonus for them.  I am not there yet with Luna, she does love her treats but we get through three or four commands at a time now before her bonus!

Even at 6 years old, Nicolas is a master trainer!

Consistency is extremely important when working with puppies. If you are not working on them at least twice a day, they are not going to understand that the commands are something that should be listened to all the time.  So throughout the day, just throw a command out and see how they respond. I work with Luna twice a day myself and my other family members, two kids and husband, do once each and at 6 months old Luna is a pretty good listener and she does seem to enjoy the one-on-one learning time.

An extra cuddle after training is always good!

Check out my videos of Nicolas and Emileen working on Luna's "Look at Me," commands!

*If you like my training advice, please share with others!!*

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