One of the most common behavioral problems that Husky owners tend to face is hyperactivity.
It is common for Husky’s to get overexcited or overstimulated by their surroundings and start acting up. Once your Husky’s excitement level crosses a certain threshold, it can feel impossible to calm them down.
The key to calming down a hyper Husky is prevention. If you are aware of what sets off your Husky and take steps to prevent the situation before it gets out of hand, you will find it much easier to calm your Husky down.
In this guide, we’ll cover prevention, training, as well as methods to deal with a hyper Husky.
A related issue with hyperactivity is jumping on people. Find out how to stop a Husky from jumping on you in this guide.
Why Are Huskies So Hyper
There are several reasons why Huskies can get so hyper, but luckily there are ways that you can combat this and try to prevent this hyperactivity.
Huskies are hyper due to their high energy levels. This is a result of breeding Huskies to pull sleds over long distances and in harsh environmental conditions.
Your Husky probably doesn’t pull sleds every day, so they quickly build up energy and need a lot of exercise to wear them out.
A lack of exercise could be one reason that your Husky has for hyperactivity.
If the amount of daily exercise they have is not satisfying their needs, it will leave them with too much pent-up energy. This energy can be exerted through a large amount of exercise, which is why more exercise can help to stop your Husky from acting hyper.
Husky’s Independence Makes Things Worse
If you’ve ever been annoyed by your Husky ignoring you, that’s a result of their independent nature.
This independent nature can be a problem when your Husky is in a hyper mood. Training your Husky to obey basic commands can help to stop hyperactive behavior. This is explained later in this guide.
Triggers and Thresholds
Knowing your Husky’s triggers and thresholds help deal with preventing hyper behavior. The better you understand your Husky’s triggers and thresholds, the easier it is to avoid hyperactivity.
Triggers are anything that elevates your Husky’s arousal level. Some triggers have a big impact on your Husky’s arousal level, while others have a minimal impact.
Triggers can include other people or animals, loud sounds, toys, the weather, or any other distraction or stimulus.
Thresholds are the point where your Husky’s arousal level shoots up so high that your Husky can’t deal with it. This is when your Husky becomes hyper.
For example, your arrival back at home may be a big enough trigger that it immediately hits your Husky’s threshold. Simply walking in the door at home can be enough to cause your Husky to go hyper.
In this example, the way to calm your Husky down is to decrease how much this trigger impacts them. If you can train your Husky to remain calm when you arrive home, the trigger won’t hit your Husky’s threshold level.
In other situations, a Husky’s threshold may only happen after a build-up of several triggers.
In this situation, you need to be aware of any building up triggers and intervene before your Husky hits their threshold level.
For example, the onset of a thunderstorm may not be enough to hit your Husky’s threshold straight away, but every flash of lightning and every clap of thunder is a trigger that may gradually push your Husky past their threshold.
If you can avoid your Husky’s arousal level from reaching their threshold, you can avoid any hyperactive behavior.
If your Husky reaches this threshold, use the below methods to calm your Husky down.
Training Your Husky to Be Calm
When humans need to calm themselves down, they often take slow, deep breaths and move away from the situation that is stressing them out. We have taught ourselves to calm down in this way, and most of the time, it can be quite effective.
Some people may need guidance in learning how to calm themselves down, but many can work it out for themselves.
Unlike humans, Huskies need to be taught and trained on how to be calm.
Using a mixture of preventative measures and basic commands, you can train your Husky to remain calm whenever they look as though they are going to start getting hyper (about to hit their threshold).
It is much easier to prevent hyperactive behavior before it happens rather than trying to calm down an already hyperactive Husky.
If your Husky is already able to obey commands such as sit or stay, it means that your job will be easier because they already listen to you.
If your Husky doesn’t already obey commands such as sit or stay, spending time training these commands will help you deal with any hyper behavior.
If you consistently train your Husky in other commands and are able to keep their attention and focus, you will likely have more control over your Husky when they start to get hyper.
Step-by-Step Method to Prevent Hyper Behavior
Most of the time, your Husky is hyper because they have become overstimulated by their surroundings or by something happening around them. This, along with too much pent-up energy can result in hyperactive behavior that can be difficult to stop.
The key in this case is prevention. If you can see that your Husky is about to be triggered by something (eg: an oncoming dog while out for a walk) then you need to control and calm the situation before your Husky hits their threshold.
It is possible to train your Husky to be desensitized to certain situations so that they do not get hyperactive. If they are able to be relaxed in these situations, the likelihood that they will hit their threshold level and become hyper will be reduced dramatically.
Let’s go through some scenarios to see how to deal with this:
How to stop your Husky from going crazy after you get home from work/school:
If your Husky gets super excited when you arrive home at the end of the day, then you need to desensitize them to the situation. You need to make sure that your arrival back doesn’t result in hyperactive behavior.
In my article How to stop a Husky from jumping on you, I outlined an approach that can also be used here to prevent your Husky from getting too overexcited.
This method can be used when your Husky’s hyperactivity is due to excitement after you or a family member arrive home.
How to stop your Husky from getting hyper before going for a walk:
If the idea of going for a walk sends your Husky into a frenzy, these steps might help to lower the excitement levels and make them calm again.
Step 1: Indicate to your Husky that it is time to go for a walk. This could be by saying the word ‘Walkies’ or showing them their harness/lead. No doubt they will get excited at the prospect and start getting hyper as a result.
Step 2: Back out of the room and close the door or walk away from where your Husky is and go inside. Wait for at least 30 seconds or until you can hear them calming down. It is important to give them this time so that if you approach them again and they’re still hyper, you’re not rewarding their behavior and you’ll be adding another trigger to the situation.
Step 3: Approach your Husky after at least 30 seconds and monitor their excitement levels. If they start to get excited again, leave the area once more.
Step 4: Wait at least 30 seconds more and on your approach, give your Husky the ‘sit’ command (only say it once). If your Husky doesn’t sit, you may need to repeat the last two steps again.
Step 5: If your Husky remains sitting on your approach or immediately sits when asked, you can slowly enter and give them a reward for good behavior while they are still sitting.
Once they realize that they’ll only be able to go for a walk if they sit and wait, they will start to adopt this better behavior, rather than jumping around and becoming hyperactive.
The goal here is to reduce the hyperactivity and excitement levels and train your Husky to greet you while sitting instead of jumping and getting hyper. This is the best method to desensitize your Husky and prevent an overenthusiastic greeting.
In the above photo, you can see Sasha patiently waiting for me as I get her harness ready for a walk. In the beginning, she would jump around and become hyperactive whenever somebody would utter the word ‘walkies’.
By using the above method, we trained her to patiently wait at the gate, then be calm as we put on her harness.
She will patiently wait as we unlock the gate knowing that at any stage if she doesn’t remain calm, I will go back inside and the walk will not happen.
This change in her behavior didn’t happen overnight, but the method does work if you are consistent.
This method can be used for a variety of different triggers that your Husky has, but be aware that context is important.
If your Husky is getting hyperactive because of another animal approaching, for example, then this method is not going to be relevant. You will need to instead remove your Husky from the situation, and attempt to desensitize them to that particular trigger.
How to stop your Husky from getting hyper around other animals/people:
Unfortunately, you can’t control the behaviors of other animals and people that come near your Husky, but you can attempt to control your Husky’s reactions to them.
If you notice that one of the triggers for your Husky’s hyperactive behavior comes from being around other animals or people, this desensitizing solution could work for you.
Step 1: Identify what is setting your Husky off. Is it the size of the dog approaching or is it just the dog in general? Is it the sounds the person is making or the way that they are approaching? If you can work out what is making your Husky so hyper, you have a better chance of working out how to calm them down.
Step 2: Once you’ve identified the trigger, you need to work out how to desensitize your Husky to it so that they can remain calm when faced with what is making them so hyper. The best way to do this is to train your Husky to focus on you, rather than what is approaching.
Focus training may be hard at first, but once your Husky starts to learn it, it’s a powerful way to control any situation.
This training is best done one-on-one and in an area of few distractions. You need your Husky’s focus to be on you for this to work. As they get better at it, you can gradually start to introduce distractions so that your Husky gets better at focusing on you during any scenario.
Focus Training Method
Huskies are well known for being independent and ignoring owners. Using the focus training method is important for every Husky owner.
Step 1: Find a distraction-free area and command your Husky to sit. Hold up a treat in your hand and make sure that your Husky sees that you have it.
Step 2: Slowly move the hand that is holding the treat up towards your eyes. Make sure that your Husky follows the movement. Point towards your eyes using the same hand so that the Husky is able to recognize the gesture.
You want them to know the signal and recognize it as ‘focus’ even when you aren’t holding a treat.
Make eye contact with your Husky and when they look directly at your eyes, give them the treat as a reward.
Step 3: Decide what prompt to use when doing the gesture so that your Husky can recognize it. Words like ‘Look’ and ‘Focus’ are good options.
Introduce the word when doing the action, and only after your Husky has mastered connecting eye contact with the gesture. Give your Husky a treat as a reward every time they successfully focus on you.
It may take a while for your Husky to associate the action with the word but if you consistently practice and reward them, you should be able to train them to look at and focus on you when the action is made.
Advancing Your Training
As the training progresses, increase the amount of time between giving a food reward, until you are able to phase it out altogether.
Here are some ways you can advance the training.
Eye contact. Start out by treating your Husky if they maintain eye contact for three seconds, then increase it to five seconds and steadily add on more time until it is an instinctive action from your Husky when the gesture and word are given.
Practice training from different distances. You don’t want your Husky to only respond when they are within a few footsteps of you. This training needs to be applicable to longer distances as well, especially if your Husky’s hyperactive behavior is triggered while they are further away from you.
Introduce distractions. Once your Husky has mastered this in a closed environment, slowly introduce distractions and see if they can maintain the training. Gradually move to more populated areas and try not to worry if your Husky doesn’t succeed straight away. If the distractions are too great, move back to a quieter place and try to build up their practice again.
It will take time for your Husky to remain calm when around things that can trigger their hyperactivity. But as long as you are able to train them to focus on you and not on their surroundings, you will be able to curb at least some of their hyperactive behavior.
While the above training methods are useful for maintaining control and desensitizing your Husky from their environment, sometimes the cause of the hyperactivity is simply too much energy.
Exercise Your Husky to Prevent Hyperactivity
It is usually recommended that dogs get at least one hour of physical activity each day, be it walking, running, swimming or playing. But breeds that have higher energy levels, like Huskies and working dogs, need far more physical activity to spend their pent-up energy.
The more exercise your Husky gets, the more tired they will become. If they are tired, they will be far less likely to have pent-up energy and become hyper.
Read this guide if you want to try and run with your Husky or if you live near a beach or lake, teach your Husky to swim here.
Mental stimulation can also work to prevent hyperactivity. Toys that have treats hidden inside them will challenge your Husky and they will be so focused on trying to get their reward that they will not be as interested in going crazy when they have that to distract them.
Common Mistakes When Trying to Calm Down a Husky
When you’re trying to calm down your Husky, the worst thing you can do is raise your voice or physically try to stop them. Likewise, showing anger is unlikely to do anything, and will only make things worse.
You probably know from your own experiences that it’s impossible to calm down when you have someone yelling at you. Just like us, Husky’s don’t appreciate being yelled at.
In fact, because they aren’t able to yell back as we would, they do the only thing that they can and that is act up even more.
Yelling is only likely to increase the hyperactivity, as the harsh sounds will increase your Husky’s trigger for hyperactive behavior.
If you speak to your Husky in a soothing, lower tone you are more likely to calm them down than if you are yelling at them.
Don’t get Angry
This point is very similar to the one above. If you show that you’re angry, you will not be sending out soothing vibes and your Husky will be unlikely to calm down.
You need to understand that they are not getting hyperactive on purpose.
Your Husky might be too energized or may have been triggered by something that has excited, upset or scared them. You need to work out what the problem is and deal with it, without losing your cool and getting angry.
Don’t get Physical
Your Husky needs to calm down, and grabbing them and forcing them to sit or stay is not going to do anything to fix the situation. In fact, using physical force will just rile them up more and make the situation worse.
This is where the focusing training from earlier comes in.
If your Husky can understand basic commands and obey them, there will be no need to get physical. If the distraction is too great and your Husky is too hyper to listen, you need to remove them from the situation.
If possible, move the source of the trigger or hide it from your Husky’s view so that they don’t have that distraction. Then try and get your Husky to focus on you until they are calm enough to get them out of the area.
Huskies are (physically) a very strong breed. Even if you are able to physically move them, it is better to avoid doing so. In a hyperactive state, they could snap back and hurt you if they feel threatened.
It also goes without saying that you should never hit or physically harm your Husky in an attempt to get them to listen to you.
Stop a Husky From Running Around Your House
Your Husky could be doing this for several reasons. They could have an overabundance of pent-up energy that they need to expel, in which case you need to make sure that they get enough exercise to tire them out.
Your Husky could also be doing this because they think the action will be rewarded with treats or attention.
If you ignore this hyperactive behavior, your Husky will soon learn that they will only be rewarded for calm behavior. This might help to stop the hyperactive behavior.
Alternatively, if your Husky is normally an outside dog, running around and being hyperactive shouldn’t be a surprise when they’re let inside. Being let inside can be a big trigger for these Huskies. Using the training methods explained above and only allowing your Husky to stay inside when they are calm will reinforce good behavior.
The key point to remember is that ‘fixing’ hyperactivity in your Husky isn’t a one-time solution. Training your Husky in any of these situations requires patience, consistency, and repetition.
Why Is My Husky Out of Control?
Your Husky is probably out of control because they feel overstimulated by their surroundings and have too much pent-up energy.
Increasing the amount of exercise you give your Husky can tackle part of this problem, but you also need to be aware of what is causing the hyperactive behavior. Is it because they are excited to see you? Is there another animal or person nearby that has set off their trigger?
If you can work out what has made your Husky get out of control, and calm them down using the focusing method, as well as other distractions, you will be able to stop the out of the control behavior.
Tips to Calm Down a Husky
Increase their exercise: This is more of a preventative measure but if your Husky is tired out, they will be less likely to get unruly.
Work out their triggers and thresholds: Overexcitement and overstimulation can make your Husky act hyper. If you know what is setting them off, you can remove them from the situation and this will help to calm them.
Get them to focus on you: Practise the focusing method so that your Husky instead focusses on you and not their surroundings. If they can use you as a calming anchor, they will be less likely to get hyper.
Don’t get angry: Aggressive behavior such as yelling at them or getting physical will not calm down your Husky. Try speaking to them in a low and soothing tone.
Calming Down a Husky FAQs
Here are some common questions you might have about trying to calm down a hyper Husky.
What Age Do Huskies Calm Down?
Your Husky probably won’t begin to calm down until they are about 6-12 months, although this can vary due to their high energy levels.
Most Huskies tend to calm down as they reach adulthood, but if you can train your Husky to be calm, this may happen a lot sooner.
Are Huskies Always Hyper?
Huskies are a high energy breed and are usually more hyper than other dogs because of this. Luckily, you can train your Husky to calm down and not react in such a hyperactive way.
You can also increase their exercise levels to help expel some of their pent-up energy, which will help to make them act less hyper.
Do Huskies Calm Down After Being Spayed?
Your Husky is unlikely to calm down after being spayed because this will not correct any negative behaviors your Husky might have.
The only way you can calm your Husky is by training them to be calm in different situations and making sure they don’t have too much pent-up energy.
How Do You Punish a Husky?
You don’t. Never use violence or a raised voice against your Husky (or any animal).
Instead, use a system where you praise or reward your Husky for good behavior. Give treats when they have done something correctly and withholding said treats when they have not succeeded in what you are training them to do.
Positive reinforcement is significantly more effective than using punishment.
Why Are Huskies So Annoying?
Your Husky could be annoying because it is seeking attention or it is bored. You need to keep your Husky’s mind stimulated with toys and games, and give them plenty of exercise.
If you give them attention when they are annoying you, this will only reinforce bad habits, so make sure that you do not acknowledge their bad behavior and only give them attention when they are calm.
Are Huskies Lazy?
Huskies aren’t lazy. They are high-energy dogs and require a lot of exercise to keep them happy and calm. They sometimes get the moniker of lazy because they tend to sleep a lot, but this is only so that they can recharge their bodies after expelling so much energy.
If your Husky suddenly appears to be lazy and is sleeping a lot with no obvious reason, then you should get them checked out by your vet.
Why Does My Husky Go Crazy?
The most common reason for your Husky going crazy is that it hasn’t had enough exercise and has too much energy. If you increase their daily exercise, this can help to make them less crazy.
Alternatively, they could be overstimulated or overexcited by their surroundings so you need to train them to calm down and focus on you, rather than what’s around them.
To get the best behavior from your Husky, read these Top Husky Training Tips. The guide covers best training practices and common mistakes to avoid.