Are you tired of your Husky not listening to you?
Yes, Huskies are an independent breed.
But are all of them really that stubborn?
You might be wondering if you can change their attitude.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- How intelligent Huskies are.
- 5 ways to make your Husky listen to you.
- 7 real reasons why your Husky won’t listen.
- Medical conditions make your Husky act this way.
- And so much more…
Table of contents
Why won’t my Husky listen to me?
Your Husky won’t listen to you because of selective hearing, excitement, distractions, age, depression, or lack of training. They will also have a hard time listening if they have medical problems or if they don’t know their name. Your Husky might refuse to listen too if they’re afraid.
How to make my Husky listen to me?
The best way to make your Husky listen to you is to train them and use positive reinforcement as a method. You should never blame your dog for not listening because it’s your job to make them. Exercise is also effective. Another reason is that they might have hearing problems.
7 reasons why your Husky won’t listen to you
#1: Selective hearing
Selective hearing refers to anyone who hears what they want to hear and ignores the rest. This concept is also applied to Huskies and other dogs.
The term “selective hearing” has a bad connotation. But is this true for your Husky?
Some people say that there are breeds more prone to this condition. But this is far from the truth.
Yes, Huskies are independent. But it doesn’t mean that they have selective hearing solely because of their breed.
Keep in mind that there are dogs bred to master different tasks. Some are good at hunting and sniffing contraband like Hounds and Labradors.
In the case of Huskies, they are bred to pull sleds in freezing climates. They aren’t bred to be the most obedient dog.
Their genes aren’t also made to be upset whenever they don’t do a command.
What you need to know is dogs are different from humans. Your Husky isn’t filtering out commands on purpose.
Your Husky isn’t like us that would just say, “I don’t give a fluff what Karen wants me to do” in the back of their head.
It has nothing to do with them being an independent breed. It is all because of genetics.
Your Husky is genetically wired to do 2 things. One is to run, the other is to find fun things to do like other dogs.
This means that if your Husky is doing something, they are less likely to listen. Sometimes, they can’t literally listen.
Another reason why your snow dog won’t listen to you might be…
#2: Hearing problems
Your Husky might have big ears, but they can’t hear you. They might be deaf or have developed hearing loss. That’s why they won’t listen.
There are many causes of hearing loss in Huskies. But, age is the culprit most of the time.
All puppies are born deaf but develop their sense of hearing after 3 weeks. Congenital deafness or acquired hearing loss can affect your Husky.
If your Husky is born deaf, there is a chance that they got it from one of their parents or relatives. Congenital deafness is hereditary.
This study states that there are 3 kinds of deafness. These are:
This is when your Husky can’t hear because something in the middle ear blocks sound signals. Most of the time, earwax buildup or middle ear infection causes this blockage.
This is when your Husky can’t hear because of cell damage in their inner ear.
These are the common causes of sensorineural hearing loss:
- Age-related hearing loss.
You can say that congenital deafness belongs in this category. Sadly, there is no cure for this type of hearing loss.
When your Husky has this type of hearing loss, they might get their auditory nerve damaged.
Central deafness happens when the cochlear nuclei are damaged. This can interrupt the sound waves going to your Husky’s brain.
Huskies can also lose their hearing because of loud noises. This is called noise-induced hearing loss.
You can easily diagnose hearing loss in your Husky.
To test your Husky’s hearing, you can clap or rattle their favorite object from far away then see how they respond.
You can also call their name. Deafness in one ear is harder to identify because your dog can still hear you.
If you think one ear is deaf, snap your finger close to one ear at a time and see their reaction.
Do they pull and yank on the leash when you take them outside? This is because they’re untrained and everything’s exciting for them.
Huskies are active and they tend to get excited a lot. This will get worse if you don’t provide them enough exercise.
Another reason why your Husky gets overly excited is because of anticipation. If a Husky thinks that something will be fun, they’ll do it more than anything else.
Some activities that get a Husky excited are walks, digging, and socializing with other dogs. They would surely be excited if they hear a sound that evokes.
For example, when they hear a squeaking toy.
And remember selective hearing? Excitement and stimulus also play a big part in that.
When you command your Husky, there are 2 choices.
Your Husky’s instincts will choose the option that gets them fun and excited.
And if the choice gets them running, you can’t make them follow you no matter how much you want them to.
When your Husky gets excited, there is a rush of adrenaline in their system. This also happens when your Husky is alarmed.
When an adrenaline rush occurs, your Husky’s heart and muscle move faster during this phase.
Adrenaline is addictive. If your Husky is always excited without control, they can develop behavioral issues.
Do not expect a Husky with behavioral issues to listen to their dog parent. Everything for them is a …
You might be able to make your Husky “sit” in the living room, but the game instantly changes if you tell the same command in a dog park.
This is because they are not trained to solely focus on you when you command them to do something.
Public places have a lot of stimuli and distractions for your Husky. And once they focus on these distractions, they won’t listen to you.
Distractions boil down to 2 types: visual and auditory.
If the distraction brings fear to the dog, they don’t listen to you not because they don’t want to.
They’re just too occupied to obey your command. Unless they’re desensitized to these sounds, they will keep getting distracted.
Hyperactivity can prevent your Husky from listening to you too.
You might ask, “isn’t hyperactivity the result of excitement?” Well, not in this case.
Dogs and humans have lots in common. One of these is the possibility of suffering from ADHD.
Huskies with ADHD are known to be spontaneous when a stimulus is present. You might be wondering how this is different from a dog who’s just excited.
Well, a Husky who’s only excited will react when a distraction is present. A Husky with ADHD will have an increased temperature, heart, and respiration rate even at rest.
This means that they will be rowdy because of the tiniest reasons. A Husky with ADHD has a poor attention span.
And if a dog isn’t attentive, don’t expect them to follow your commands. In some cases, Huskies with ADHD tend to be more aggressive.
Some symptoms of ADHD in dogs include:
- Unable to pay attention.
- Lots of fidgeting and movement.
Researchers found a dopamine receptor is linked to ADHD symptoms in Huskies’ brains. These symptoms are inattention and impulsiveness.
This means that Huskies have a slightly higher chance of having this condition.
You might be wondering how experts diagnose Huskies with ADHD. That’s really simple.
A dog parent answers a questionnaire about the Husky’s attention skills and activity. A diagnostic test is also run by the vet.
If your Husky is diagnosed with hyperactivity, all they need is proper training and lots of love.
When it comes to listening, age affects dogs in 2 ways.
First, if your Husky is still a puppy, they have a lot of energy. This means that they’d rather run around than listen to your commands because they’re always excited.
There might be a chance that you haven’t trained your puppy yet. This means that they don’t know how to respond to certain cues that you tell them.
On the other hand, old Huskies can have a hard time listening too due to hearing loss.
A Husky’s auditory nerve weakens over time. Your Husky might soon lose their hearing once they turn 13.
And if you haven’t trained your Husky when they were a pup, don’t expect them to follow your orders. Huskies use their bodies to communicate.
What they understand are “cues” and a positive connection with the cue.
This means that your Husky only sits or rolls over because they understand these cues. They’re conditioned that sitting and rolling over gets them treats.
Visual cues also work for them.
The statement “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is outdated. Old dogs can still learn commands.
But, it would take more time because they first need to unlearn past behaviors before.
#7: You use intimidation
Using intimidation can lead to no good when it comes to training your Husky.
Yelling, and physical abuse can do nothing but shut your Husky down. It prevents them from doing the simplest tasks.
A Husky is an independent breed. If you abuse yours, it might refuse to obey your commands.
Some people think hitting their Husky would reduce their disobedience. But it doesn’t work like that.
Let’s put it in this way:
Your Husky chewed your favorite shirt. You haven’t caught them in the act but you know it was them.
Then, your Husky went to you for some petting. What you did was hit them with a flip-flop.
You may think you corrected their behavior of chewing. But, your Husky thinks that they shouldn’t go near you anymore.
They think that the punishment was not for chewing your shirt but for coming towards you. Why? Because it was the last thing they did.
Warning: Negative reinforcement can cause depression and anxiety. What’s more, your Husky might attack in a self-defense attempt if you abuse them.
#8: Lack of training
If you don’t train your Husky enough, don’t expect it to listen to you at all.
What they understand are cues and positive associations with a certain cue.
If you say “sit”, they won’t know what the concept of sitting means. What they know is that they will get a treat whenever they hear “sit”.
They associate “sit’ with something positive until it becomes a habit.
Vocal intonation is also important.
They might not understand your language. But, they know when you’re angry or happy with what they did.
Both humans and dogs can’t function well if they’re depressed.
Depression can be hard to diagnose in Huskies. After all, they can’t tell you they’re depressed.
Instead, their body language is what you should look at.
Here are some signs of depression in dogs:
- Paw licking.
- Frequent hiding.
- Refusal to exercise.
- Sleeping all the time.
When a Husky is depressed, they’ll lie all day rather than follow your command. They’re too sad to listen to you.
There are different causes of depression among Huskies. One of the most common is the death or departure of their previous owner.
Your Husky might get depressed too if they knew their dog friend dies.
They can also be depressed if you have someone new in your house. For example, you’re moving in or having a baby with your partner.
Your Husky doesn’t listen to you when they’re depressed. It’s you who needs to listen to them.
#10: They don’t know their name
Would you respond if someone calls you “Michael” when your name is Stacy? Of course not!
The same thing can happen with your Husky. They’re not listening to you because they don’t know their name.
Huskies who have a name with more than 3 syllables will have a hard time knowing it.
Dogs can recognize cues with 2 syllables or less. That’s why most commands only have 1 or 2 syllables when you say it.
Such ones are:
- “Play dead”.
And when they display positive behavior, what do dog parents say?
That’s right, “good dog”. Also within 2 syllables.
Here are the top female dog names in 2020:
And here are the top dog names for males:
Experts say that their name should not also sound like commands. Refrain names like “Kit” or “Bo” because they sound like sit and no.
#11: You let them disobey you
The reason why your Husky doesn’t listen is because they think they can fool around with you.
Husky puppies are smart enough to choose who to obey. They also go through a teenage phase where they test who to follow.
There is a chance that your Husky isn’t following your command but obeys other people living with you.
This concept is way different from what dog trainers call an “alpha” instinct in dogs. They’re not trying to dominate you.
You can compare this to children and older people.
They might not follow an order from someone their age. But, everything changes once their dad or grandma orders them to do something.
#12: Command nagging
You might hate it if someone constantly repeats themselves. Your Husky could do too.
This is called command nagging. It’s when you keep repeating the same command because your Husky won’t listen.
Most of the time, this happens when dog parents are training their Husky to come.
You might think that by repetition, you’re making your Husky understand the command.
Instead, you’re training them to not respond right away when you tell a cue.
When they develop this habit, you may think they aren’t listening. But, they take a longer time to follow.
#13: Overtones and gender
Please don’t get offended that I’m talking about gender. It doesn’t mean that a certain sex can or can’t train dogs.
But a reason why your Husky won’t listen to you is because of your tone and gender.
Huskies have sensitive ears that can identify tones. When you command them, they follow firmer tones.
And men have a firmer tone than women because their voices are deeper. On the other hand, most women have high-pitched voices.
Because of this, there is a higher chance that your Husky will follow a man more than a woman.
But does this mean that women have no edge in training a Husky? Of course not!
The high pitch that women have is needed for arguably the most important aspect of canine training, motivation.
Women have a better “good dog” voice than men.
Men are better at imposing commands, while women are better at encouraging dogs to train.
5 tips on how to make your Husky listen to you
#1: Train them
Training your Husky obedience will ensure they won’t misbehave.
First, you need to train basic commands such as sit, stay, and lay down. Then, you can proceed with training them on how to focus.
Once your dog can do these tricks for more than 15 seconds, you want to increase the difficulty of their training.
You can then add more distractions in their training area. But, you should remember to do it slowly.
Once they overcome the distraction, add another. Do this until your dog can do the commands outside.
And give them a better treat once you introduce another distraction.
When you get the behavior you want, be generous in giving the treats. This method is called proofing.
Note: When training your dog, use positive reinforcement. This encourages them to learn more.
#2: Check their hearing
If you think that your Husky is getting deaf, you can take them to the vet. They might have ear wax buildup.
If your dog has ear infections, your vet might prescribe oral antibiotics. Fungicide will be given if your Husky’s ears are infected with fungi.
Tumors can also affect your dog’s hearing. They might spend a few days at the clinic if tumors are diagnosed.
Surgery is needed to get it removed but you shouldn’t be afraid.
What if they’re permanently deaf?
If they are permanently deaf, you should adjust for your Husky. You might want to put them in a fenced yard.
They might not like being at only one place, but deaf Huskies can’t hear cars and other hazards.
Communicating using hand signals is also key. Unlike humans, dogs talk using body language.
Establish signals for certain commands and even for their name.
You should also put a bell on your Husky’s collar if they’re deaf. That way, you can easily hear them.
A tag that says that your dog is deaf on their collar is needed too. The tag must have your number in case your Husky gets lost.
#3: Get a canine hearing aid
If you have the money, why don’t you buy a hearing aid for your Husky?
Yes, there are hearing aids for dogs. These are used if your Husky reaches old age and loses their hearing.
Bear in mind that hearing aids do not fully restore a Husky’s hearing to its original level. This is because only a limited amount of sound is transmitted to the hearing aid.
Once your Husky has a hearing aid, you need to teach them to interpret sounds transmitted from it.
This is difficult if your Husky is old as they need to relearn the things they used to know.
So how do you get canine hearing aid done? Here are the steps.
- Your dog must have a diagnostic and hearing test performed.
- A vet will evaluate if your dog is a good candidate.
- Earmolds are made.
- The hearing aids are created.
- The devices are fitted and fine-tuned.
Bear in mind that hearing aids might not work for some dogs and they cost from $3,000 – $5,000.
#4: Don’t blame the Husky
When a Husky doesn’t listen, some owners blame the dog. This is wrong on many levels.
First, blaming your Husky for selective hearing is like saying that you don’t love your Husky for who they are.
I know, this is difficult to grasp but please hear me out.
Your Husky can’t help themselves from not listening instantly. Their genetic code made them working dogs, not companion dogs.
But it doesn’t mean you can’t change their behavior.
Second, blaming your Husky’s stubbornness is just a scapegoat for impatience.
Yes, training a Husky can be difficult but it doesn’t mean you have to quit now. Your patience will surely pay off for you and your Husky.
#5: Get them exercising
It is common knowledge that you should exercise your Husky. It eliminates most behavioral problems.
But when it comes to listening, exercise also plays an important role. Especially for hyperactive Huskies.
Your Husky will exert energy if you exercise them. Hence, they will become calmer.
Once your Husky is calm, they can remain more focused. And if they’re focused, they’re easier to train.