Why Does My Husky Keep Escaping?

Huskies are notorious escape artists. Some reasons for their frequent breakouts include boredom and anxiety.

Jan 25, 2024By Jessica Montes
why does my husky keep escaping

Husky owners know that this wolflike breed has a mischievous personality. They are known escape artists and often run away if left off-leash or in large, open areas. Take our advice and understand what sparks this behavior and how to prevent your Husky from escaping in the future.

Huskies Enjoy Adventure

Photo credit: Kateryna Babaieva

This breed makes an excellent pet because of its affection, friendliness towards families, and openness with strangers. Huskies also have an endless energy supply. They release their zoomies through multiple walks each day, extensive playtime, and mentally stimulating toys or activities. Huskies are the happiest with active owners who match their enthusiasm and exercise demands.

Changing the location and activity will add variety to their routine. You can walk around the neighborhood, dog park, or nature trail. Take them walking, running, hiking, frisbee chasing, swimming, or alongside you as you bike around. Because of their thick fur, Huskies enjoy outdoor time, even in cold temperatures. Ensuring your Husky exercises regardless of the weather can decrease problem behaviors, like escaping.

Boredom Could Lead to Escape Attempts

Husky grass
Photo credit: Julissa Helmuth

One major culprit of your dog’s escape artist habits is understimulation. They need an enclosed, enriching environment with space to run, dig, explore, play, and tire themselves out. If you don’t have the physical space or time for exercise, Huskies will get creative. They will tap into their independent nature and problem solve a way to get out.

An under-stimulated dog may run out of an open front door, fence, or gate. They may speed away the second they’re let off the leash and start an involuntary game of tag with you. Other common problem behaviors associated with under-stimulation are hyperactivity, rowdiness, and even chewing on furniture, shoes, and non-dog items. Fill your home with dog puzzles or toys that encourage independent play, so your pup stays busy at home.

Huskies Have High Prey Drives

Husky park
Photo credit: Kateryna Babaieva

Huskies have strong prey drives. They enjoy chasing cats, squirrels, rodents, and other small animals. It’s part of their predatory instincts passed down from wolf ancestors. Sometimes, they will chase to kill, but other times, they chase out of curiosity or as a form of play (although your cat might not think it's fun!). Huskies might see a creature on a walk or in the backyard, and it becomes their mission to capture and chase it.

Keeping them in enclosed areas with sturdy gates and keeping a firm grip on the leash can prevent them from giving in to the prey drives and running away. Throwing toys and playing fetch can also satisfy their need to chase small things at home.

Huskies May Deal with Loneliness

Husky fence
Photo credit: Alexander Nadrilyanski

Another reason for escaping is loneliness. Huskies are pack dogs and love socializing with others to accomplish a common goal. When they are left alone for too long without other animal friends or humans who will play with them, they become lonely. Hearing your neighbors’ dogs having a great time or seeing a friendly jogger might encourage them to join in on the fun. When they see an opportunity, they may escape to somewhere they’d rather be.

Evaluate how much time your pup spends alone versus with you or other pets. Make sure you spend quality time together. Show your Husky verbal and physical affection so they know you care about them. In addition, planning regular dog play dates lets your pup socialize with friends so they feel less lonely.

Training Can Curb a Husky’s Impulsivity

Husky training
Photo credit: Yaroslov Shuraev

A trained dog is less likely to act impulsively and escape. However, even the most obedient of Huskies can give in and chase whatever their hearts desire. You can train your dog at home or enroll them in canine or agility school. On your own, you can tackle simple commands like “stay” and “sit.” For experienced owners, they can also teach them to obey nonverbal gestures, retrieve items, and jump over obstacles.

Dog schools are fantastic if you want someone else to do the heavy lifting or don’t have time. Huskies can learn obedience training or high-energy agility courses. The latter can tire your Husky and prevent escaping because of the speed demands. Dogs are trained to run through courses with elevated platforms, hurdles, hoops, tunnels, seesaws, and weave poles. Huskies benefit from the fast movement and changing activities they can repeat.

Other Solutions for Preventing Escapes

Husky dog walker
Photo credit: Gustavo Fring

Ideally, owners spend time with their dogs each day. However, life and responsibilities can get in the way of meeting your pup’s physical activity needs. If you find yourself temporarily unable to exercise with your Husky, hire a dog walker. This can be a family member, friend, or neighbor who can keep up with their energy. Websites, like Rover and Wag, also connect you with local pet sitters that match your Husky’s enthusiasm.

You can also give them something to do by investing in a doggy treadmill. Show them how it works and reward your Husky with treats once they use it. If your dog likes being on it, this keeps them in a supervised area where they can run for as long as they want. While convenient and helpful, a treadmill should supplement outside time with an owner, not replace it completely.

Finding a Lost Dog

GPS dog tracker
Photo credit: FitBark

Even if you follow all the steps above, there’s a chance your Husky will still escape. In this case, prepare for the worst-case scenario and make locating your lost pup as easy as possible. Start by buying a collar tag with your personal information engraved or written on it. You have two options for finding their location: microchips and GPS trackers. Both will show a dog’s whereabouts, but trackers are the more affordable option.

Posting on social media and community groups or printing paper flyers spreads awareness, too. Include your contact information, your dog’s name, and any tips for how strangers can approach them if found. Websites like PetFBI.org let you upload this information and then send it to shelters, animal hospitals, and groomers near you.

Jessica Montes
By Jessica Montes

Jessica is a California-based writer, journalist, lover of animals, and vegan of 17 years. Growing up, she owned parakeets, fish, a rabbit, and a red-eared slider turtle. She currently has a black cat named Marty and a tabby named Jellybean. In her free time, she enjoys reading, baking, camping, and roller skating to funky tunes.