Umbilical Training a Husky

Training to Develop Synchronicity
Umbilical Training is an excellent exercise to create and improve cooperation and synchronicity with your Husky. Nothing is more rewarding than a well trained cooperative Husky that responds to cues. Sadly many owners fail to achieve this. In fact, I quite often see owners faced with multiple obedience challenges – pulling the hair out of their heads and wondering why their Husky just won’t comply. These nasty problems can easily be avoided if a clear leadership role, based on mutual respect and trust is established from the start.
Yes, we would all like to jump straight into the rewarding stuff with our four legged friends, but taking the time to develop a relationship based on mutual understanding and trust is the first step to success. Your Husky will not be a willing well-trained partner overnight, but getting there will be faster if you build a good working relationship first.

Be sure to read our article about establishing your role as the Alpha dog and how to improve your leadership skills before getting started with Umbilical training.

Preparing your Husky for Umbilical Training
Whether you are retraining your dog, teaching a young puppy or establishing a new relationship remember that developing the leadership role is the first step. Once you have established yourself as a good leader, you can start asking for more complex behaviors and introduce new exercises.
Huskies are closely related to the wolf, by nature they are pack animals. If you spend some time observing wild pack animals, you will find the leader displays certain qualities. One would do well by keeping this in mind and emulating these qualities. Be the kind of leader a pack animal can respect and follow. Pack animals like wolfs, live in groups for survival purposes.                                                                                                                                                         The Alpha dog is clear, consistent and dependable. Pack animals don’t pick their leader as a result of an emotional feeling; leaders are chosen for their qualities that ensure the pack’s survival.
Reasons for using Umbilical Training
– Your dog learns to observe and be mindful of your actions. He understands that you are in the lead and he goes where you go.

As the leader, you are the one who decides what to do when to do it and where to go.
– It develops your bond and cooperation arises as a result.
– Training can start with short increments and grow progressively longer.
– No fancy equipment is required, just a simple long leash, approximately 6 foot.
– It develops harmonious balance between you and your dog if done correctly.

To Start the Umbilical Training
Attach the leash around your waist. Initially, it is a good idea to use a quick release not in case you get into trouble. Umbilical training can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing, especially if your leash is around your waist and you work with a big dog. Once you have your leash on like a belt, you can clip the end onto the dog’s collar and get started.
Start your training with small increments and repeat the process every day for several weeks.
Begin in a familiar environment with few distractions. While your dog is attached to your waist go about your business around the house as normal. More challenging environments can be explored at a more advanced stage.
Always bear in mind you are the leader in this situation and the goal is for your dog to look to you for clues and guidance. So don’t walk circles around your dog, it is better to gently through him. He has to move when you move, avoid talking or using cues.  In the initial phases, it will take some getting used to. Be patient and keep your end goal in mind.
A little tripping and confusion, in the beginning, is to be expected. Ignore any mistakes and just continue going about your business.
Once you start noticing that your dog is paying attention and looking for clues, reward him by marking the behavior with a simple “good boy” or YES and a delicious treat.
Continue your training and practice regularly. You will get to a point where he instinctively moves with you, and there is no resistance.

Points to Note
Be careful with younger puppies, move slowly, be aware of where they are and avoid stepping on the delicate little paws. Young dogs need shorter periods of training more frequently.
With older rescue or rehomed dogs be patient, don’t get frustrated when they get it wrong. Just ignore the mistakes and redirect the behavior.
Huskies are particularly prone to bolting or racing out ahead of you, so be aware when you start. Once you are successful with the training, this particular training will be very helpful as you will never have to worry about being pulled around or your dog bolting out of an open door without you.
Once you feel synchronized around familiar environments like the house, you can start to venture out and build on this exercise with loose-leach walking.
With any type of training, always keep your end goal in mind. Be patient. Your actions today will determine the results you get tomorrow.