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Dog Training/Off leash training for husky boxer mix


Me and my fiancÚ recently rescued a husky/boxer mix female. She is currently 12 weeks and we are starting to pro-actively train her as we go. My main concern is about her husky side. I am a 6 day a week mountain bike rider and one of my goals in getting a dog was to have one that I could ride with off leash. I ofcourse,in my excitement of finding a cute puppy to rescue did not research the fact that huskys are known to be very tough to train to be off lead dogs. Is there any hope for our pup Shiba to be off lead? We do plan to have her on the leash for hiking and such but still having grown up with austrailian shepherds I was hoping for this style of attention and obedience.

I apologize if this is a broad idea but just looking for some hope other than the small glimmer I have heard from the few individuals that have been able to train there huskies to be off lead. (Granted our pup is again a husky/boxer mix)

Any insight would be awesome
Thank you

Hi Bryce,

Well, I'm not one to give up so easily and I would not say that your goal of having a dog that runs off leash along side you that is part husky is totally out of reach.

Your dog may have some husky in her but she is a mix and therefore I think you stand a better chance of having a dog that will not run off. So here's the thing. Huskies run because they have been bred to run. I believe you can direct that natural ability and drive. Dogs that enjoy a low amount of off leash time or outdoors time will run like the dickens when they have the opportunity. So, one secret of having a dog that doesn't run away from you is giving the dog lots of off leash time, especially while it is young.

Another important measure is reward-based training. You must make coming to you and being with you very rewarding for your puppy and never, ever scold her if she should not come when called. Reward every single check-in with praise and or treats and never call your puppy to you for anything she does not like.

There is a DVD I would recommend you purchase called the Really Reliable Recall ( by Leslie Nelson. Leslie has been able to teach reliable recalls to her sighthounds and if she can do that with these dogs, you should be able to teach it to your husky mix.

What I would suggest to you is to learn clicker training (from a reliable source such as a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner: - call the 800 number if you don't see a trainer listed for your area)and teach your dog to run alongside your bike starting now. You could use a leash attachment to start for the purpose of training, but I'm thinking once your dog understands what is expected and enjoys your company and running, you can leave the leash off.

You will need to have a really reliable recall and you will also need to train your dog in impulse control with exercises such as eye contact, "leave it" and waiting at the door and to be fed.

Good luck - I think you can do it!


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Cindy Ludwig, M.A., R.N., KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA


My specialty is clicker training. I'm a Karen Pryor Academy graduate and Certified Training Partner (certified clicker trainer). Karen Pryor was a marine mammal trainer and one of the early proponents of force-free animal training who helped popularize clicker training in the early 90's. I also do behavior modification with dogs that have fear, anxiety and aggression. I work with service dogs and was a certified therapy dog evaluator with two other organizations before starting my own therapy dog program, the first of its kind requiring all dog candidates to be trained with force-free methods and all evaluators to demonstrate a commitment to force-free methods. I made weekly visits with my own therapy dog to a nursing center in Dubuque, Iowa for four and a half years. I have an undergraduate degree in science and am a registered nurse with a previous specialty and certification in critical care, so I can answer questions pertaining to biology, behavior and pharmacology but because I am not a licensed veterinarian I cannot legally or ethically answer questions requesting a diagnosis. I have done graduate work in animal learning and wolf ethology, and have also completed coursework in dog biology, behavior and pet nutrition at regionally accredited U.S. universities. I continue my study of applied behavior analysis with top experts in the field. For more information and to schedule a consultation or enroll in classes, see my Canine Connection website:


Prior to becoming a full time professional dog trainer in May 2009 and opening my business, Canine Connection LLC I worked part time as a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant and also volunteered at humane societies in several states over a period from 1992-2009. My previous full time occupation was in the medical profession. I have completed various continuing education programs including but not limited to the Purdue University Veterinary School Principles and Techniques of Behavior Modification course; Clicker Expo; undergraduate courses in dog biology, behavior, and pet nutrition; and graduate coursework in wolf ethology. I was a Field Representative for Paws with a Cause for 3 years and train service dogs. My Golden Retriever that accompanies me in my work as a Field Representative is a "career changed" dog from the Paws breeding program that I have clicker trained as a demonstration service dog. This same dog I trained to earn the first Dog Scout title in the State of Iowa. She and I were also members of the Badger Kennel Club Drill Team and performed with the group annually at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. My dog, Ginger and I provided weekly pet therapy visits to a local nursing center for the past three and a half years. I continue my education by participating in seminars and class offerings provided by such notable experts as Dr. Sophia Yin, Dr. Ray Coppinger, Michele Pouliot and others. My services include in-home private training and behavior modification, group classes and pet sitting. More information is available on my website:

Founder and owner, Canine Connection LLC; Founder, Canine Connection Positively Trained Certified Therapy Dogs; Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT); 2010 APDT Education Committee; Truly Dog-Friendly Trainer Coalition; Doggone Safe; American Kennel Club

Top Tips from Top Trainers: 1001 Practical Tips & Techniques for Successful Dog Care and Training (March 2010); The Golden View; Family Connections;; Animal info Publications; HubPages; Finding Fuzzybutt Four Blog; Petopia Newsletter, Galena, Illinois; Suite 101;;; Dubuque 365 Ink Magazine; Dubuque Telegraph Herald; Columbia Business Times; Columbia Senior Times; Columbia Missourian; Columbia Daily Tribune; Graphic Education Corporation; Belson-Hanwright; Critical Care Nurse; Journal of Emergency Nursing; Home Healthcare Nurse; Nursing; Journal of Emergency Medical Services; Shape; Houston Community College Egalitarian; Findlay College Obelisk

B.S., Science; M.A., Higher & Adult Education with graduate work in animal learning, canine biology and behavior, pet nutrition; Graduate, Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior; Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner; Diploma, professional nursing; licensed registered nurse (R.N.); Paramedic completion program; previously licensed paramedic in Texas and Missouri

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