Training a dog to do anything can be a difficult process. Most owners will pick up a dog training book or two when they get a puppy/adopt a dog for the first time, and they usually do alright if they follow the tips and guidelines. The terrible part about most of these dog training books is that most of them were not written with training a husky in mind.
Training a husky is probably the most frustrating, grey hair inducing thing you can do besides maybe raising idiot children, or making your living being a crash test dummy. We bought a few husky specific books, and the one thing they all agreed upon was that we were fucked. One of them said that it would take 6 months before our dog could sit consistently; others said that you basically needed your home and yard to be Fort Knox so that your dog couldn’t escape, and others just told you to buy a bottle of scotch and hide in the basement. Okay, not really, but I wanted to. All in all, we were a little disheartened. We had bought this little guy, and were trying to prepare the best we could to bring him home and turn him into a happy, well-adjusted dog, and now we’re hearing that it’s basically impossible.
Both Nate and I were committed though, so we each took a substantial amount of time off from work, in fact, we took off more time than most fathers do for the birth of their children. Take that, dads!
Between the two of us, that dog had someone with him for over a month before we were both working again. And even then, Nate was able to swing half days so Dalton wasn’t locked in a kennel, holding his wee little bladder. I honestly would do it all again too. Dalton learned to sit in a few weeks, and we had him doing it consistently in about a month and a half. He knew how to lie down, and knew what stay meant. (still working on that one, all in good time….)
Even though we were able to spend all that time with him, we are still working on consistency. Especially now that we are entering into adolescence (that’s where puppies forget everything you taught them, and think of cool ways to make your life a living hell.) we have to work every day to get him to think doing what we want him to do is cool. I think we have spent more on treats the last 3 months than we have on groceries.
Our dog isn’t perfect, but he does listen most of the time. He hasn’t chewed anything expensive (yet), humped our neighbors leg (yet), killed a cat (yet), or run away (yet), so were taking the small victories.
On his best behavior.