Is your Husky acting scared or timid (all of a sudden)?
Before you start worrying, let me explain why this happens. And what you can do about it.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- 3 useful tips to stop your Husky from being fearful.
- Whether your Husky’s fear is caused by their DNA.
- 9 unexpected reasons why your Husky is scared of everything.
- And a lot more…
Table of contents
- Why is my Husky scared?
- 9 reasons why your Husky is scared (of everything)
- How do I get my Husky to stop being scared (of everything)? 3 tips
Why is my Husky scared?
Your Husky is scared because of traumatic experiences, lack of socialization, illness, injury, new environment, fight or flight response, or phobia. Or their fear might be passed down to them genetically.
9 reasons why your Husky is scared (of everything)
Huskies are known for their friendly character traits.
They’re easy to get along with. May it be with children, people, other dogs, or animals.
But is it possible for them to fear others?
It can happen. Huskies, despite their sociable personality, can fear others. Especially if they’re not familiar with them.
Socialization is a crucial developmental stage. Which all puppies must pass through. Because if they don’t, it’ll cause them to be unnecessarily fearful in the future.
Experts suggest that fear in dogs may come from things unfamiliar to them.
This could be the case if your Husky’s fear shows when there’s someone unfamiliar to them around.
An afraid dog might show signs of:
- Freezing in place.
- Yawning frequently.
- Moving in slow motion.
- Repeatedly licking their lips.
- Trying to move away from the stressor.
- Panting heavily or suddenly stops panting.
#2: Changes in the environment
Did you just bring a new Husky home?
Or did you relocate?
If so, there’s something you should know…
Your Husky’s living environment affects their temperament. And a sudden change to it may trigger their anxiety.
For example, a home environment is very different compared to a shelter. So if you got your Husky from a shelter, it’s normal if they act fearful.
If you used to live in a cool place, then moving into a warmer home will affect them. As I’ve said previously, uncertainty brings fear to dogs.
But this doesn’t mean that your Husky will be scared of their surroundings forever. Just like people, Husky’s need some adjusting to do.
Sooner or later, through your help, your pooch will love their new home.
“How can I help my Husky?”
The first thing to consider is the weather. Huskies are known to belong in icy and really cold places. But you may raise a Husky in a warm environment. Only with proper precautions.
Huskies should always have accessible water to avoid dehydration. And if the temperature is too hot, turn on your A/C. Keep them inside your house to avoid heat stress.
You’ll have to cut down their outdoor exercise too. They shouldn’t spend so much time under the sun. So, it’ll be helpful to add indoor activities to keep them active still.
Warning: Never shave your Huskies fur. Husky’s fur protects them from cold and also from extreme heat. Shaving it will only cause sunburn. Plus, a great chance of heatstroke.
Check out next: 7 Reasons Why Your Husky Won’t Come Inside + 7 Tips
#3: Fight or flight response
Your Husky might fear the threat they detect.
A dog’s fear may be brought on by instinct. It may be anything that they perceive as a threat. It could be an object, person, animal, or situation.
Have you heard about the autonomic nervous system?
Dr. Sung says that its response prepares how the body reacts. Whether for the freeze, fight, or flight response. It’s responsible for a dog’s adaptability and survival.
Trivia: Did you know that Huskies are one of the breeds with profound fear? Profound fear means having an intense fear or anxiety.
Other breeds with profound fear include:
- Border Collie.
- Great Pyrenees.
- Standard Poodle.
- Bernese Mountain Dog.
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever.
- German Shorthaired Pointer.
You might also like: 7 Reasons Why Your Husky Attacks You + 5 Tips To Stop It
Huskies may exhibit fear due to being unwell.
You may see your Husky hiding under your bed. Perhaps in the bathroom or in closed spaces.
As if they’re scared and they’re escaping something. The pain due to their sickness may cause this to happen.
In the wild, sick animals choose hidden resting spots to flee predators.
“But my pawed baby isn’t raised in the wild.”
Dogs will still do it even if there’s no danger in your home. Their instincts push them to seek out a safe hiding spot. It’s mainly for their protection while they heal.
Keep in mind that Huskies are prone to certain health problems. And they are…
Bacterial and viral infections
Huskies are prone to bacterial and viral infections. The most common are:
However, you can prevent these illnesses through vaccinations.
This refers to a disease that involves an excessive amount of body fat. And this is a health problem that mostly occurs in Huskies.
How can this happen?
Fur parents know how tempting it is to hand food to pooches. Especially when they keep looking at you with their puppy eyes.
However, be careful. Giving too much food will lead to obesity.
If this disease gets worse it may also cause:
- Back pain.
- Heart disease.
- Joint problems.
- Digestive disorders.
Huskies are also prone to thyroid problems.
The thyroid is important for metabolism, plus body growth and development.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the body doesn’t make enough thyroid hormone.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism other than fearfulness include:
- Hair loss.
- Weight gain.
- Skin diseases.
- Dry skin and coat.
- Behavioral changes.
#5: Hip dysplasia
Does your Husky’s fear only occur when being touched?
If so, they might have a skeletal problem. Touching them might cause pain. And if your Husky associates touching with pain, they’ll avoid your touch.
But how could this happen?
Let me explain.
Huskies belong to the most active breeds. However, an extremely active lifestyle might cause hip dysplasia.
Canine hip dysplasia is a skeletal condition. This refers to inflammation of joints. It’s common to large and active breeds. But it may also occur on toy breeds.
What are the exact causes?
Factors that lead to hip dysplasia include:
- Improper nutrition.
- Excessive growth rate.
- An intense type of exercise.
Also, watch out for signs of hip dysplasia, such as:
- Decreased activity.
- Stiffness or limping.
- Lameness in the hind end.
- Loss of thigh muscle mass.
- Noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscles.
- Difficulty or reluctance rising, jumping, running, or climbing stairs.
Don’t forget to check out: The 27-tip guide on how to keep your Husky healthy and happy
#6: Emotional trauma
Does your Husky have a traumatic past?
Husky’s are very affectionate. They get emotionally attached easily.
However, these sweet pooches can also experience emotional abuse. For that reason, they may develop fear.
Emotional trauma might be caused by:
- Abusive environment.
- Bad domestic situation.
Research shows that a sample of 5,239 abused domestic dogs displayed fear. Particularly to people and other dogs.
Aside from fear, abused dogs also showed:
- Persistent barking.
- Attention-seeking behaviors.
- Strange or repetitive behaviors.
#7: Physical trauma
Other than emotional trauma, Huskies may be subjected to physical trauma too.
This will cause them to be afraid and be unnecessarily cautious. They’ll be afraid of doing things that caused their trauma.
There are 2 things to keep in mind when it comes to physical traumas in dogs. One is abuse and the other is accidents.
Physical trauma may happen through enforced abuse. Such as hitting, punching, and throwing something at a dog.
But physical trauma may also be caused by accidents. It might happen in particular to active and adventurous breeds such as Huskies.
They might get injured while on a run. Or when they’re hiking with you.
Further reading: 9 Reasons Why Your Husky Is So Nervous + 5 Tips
There’s a possibility that phobia causes your Husky’s fear.
There are a lot of things that can cause Phobia to Huskies. The most common are…
Meaning: fear of thunder. It’s common in dogs with noise sensitivity.
This fear might cause your Husky to tremble during a thunderstorm. And their body language will look like:
- Wide eyes.
- Tucked tail.
- Flattened ears.
In severe cases, this fear leads to:
- Destructive behavior.
Fear of fireworks
Another dog phobia that is caused by noise sensitivity is the fear of fireworks.
Aside from the unpredictable loud noises, its source is also unknown. Plus, your pooch may fear unfamiliar lights flashing in the sky.
Fear of stairs
Phobia with stairs occurs because of trauma or lack of exposure.
This will be the case if your Husky had a bad experience with stairs. Getting an injury after falling down the stairs, for example.
Also, fear will trigger if your Husky hasn’t seen a staircase before. They’ll be uncertain of the sight of it. And the feeling of climbing the stairs too.
Fear of being alone
This phobia is commonly known as separation anxiety.
Dogs with separation anxiety often show behavioral problems when being left alone. Some of these behavioral problems are:
Did you know that fear may be genetically passed down?
Dr. Terri Bright says that fear in dogs may be inherited through DNA.
So, you might consider tracking down your Husky’s bloodline. Find out if one of their parents were:
- Severely injured.
How do I get my Husky to stop being scared (of everything)? 3 tips
If your Husky’s fear is due to phobia then counterconditioning will help them.
Counterconditioning helps your Husky associate their fear with a positive feeling.
If your Husky’s fear is triggered, prepare their favorite treat.
Then, give them the treat if they start to act fearful. By doing this, you’re changing your dog’s response to their phobia.
The aim is to turn negative behavior into a positive one.
Desensitization will help you treat a Husky’s fear. This is a therapy in which you gradually expose your dog to their trauma.
Here’s how you’ll do it:
Step 1: Identify what causes your dog’s fear.
Is it thunder, stairs, or people?
Step 2: Introduce their trauma trigger at a low level.
Playing the sound of thunder from your phone for example. Or let them get used to the sight of stairs. If they’re afraid of people, start by letting them see other family members.
Step 3: Aim for a calm reaction from them.
If they don’t react fearfully to it, you may move onto the next step.
Step 4: Gradually increase their exposure to what they fear.
Playing a louder sound of thunder for example.
Let them be on the first step of the stairs. Or increase the number of people they meet.
Step 5: Practice consistently until your dog doesn’t react to their phobia with fear.
Note: Coping with fear will take a long time. So, it’s best to bring your patience with you on this journey.
Watch how a Husky recovered from being fearful for a year:
Allowing your dog to socialize will make them less fearful.
It decreases the chances of uncertain encounters. It also makes dogs explore more and be happier.
Socialize your puppy
In general, you should start socializing your puppy at 4 weeks old.
When they reach 14 weeks of age, they’ll start to perceive unfamiliar things as a threat. That’s when fear starts to develop.
Your Husky’s fear may get worse if not taken care of right away.
Socialize your adult Husky
If you happen to have a rescued Husky, they’ll likely have no socialization. Or little exposure to their environment.
As a result, they’ll fear whatever is new to them. This may cause them to act aggressively.
What you should do is desensitize them. Just like what I’ve previously mentioned.
Fear in dogs may also be cured by medications. But only with a veterinarian’s prescription.
You might also consider working with a dog trainer. Doing one without the other will not be as effective.
Vets suggest that you bring your Husky to an animal hospital if they exhibit:
- Dull coat.
- Hair loss.
- Weight gain.
- Change in appetite.
- Behavioral changes.
- Lack or excessive sleeping.
- Lumps or bumps in their body.