How to Crate Train a Husky Puppy

Medium
1-2 Months
General

Introduction

Your Husky is a special breed. He likes to talk. He likes to scream. He likes to sing. So when it’s time to crate train your Husky, be aware that he will let you know the entire time he's in there exactly how he's feeling. He's okay. This is just his personality. 

If you are unfamiliar with crate training, now is the time to start with your Husky. A crate provides a safe place for your pup to go when you are not home, when he is tired, or during the night when it's time to sleep for several hours at a time. Crate training your Husky can save your home from damage he may cause when he misses you while you are away. Over time, as your Husky gets used to his crate he will see this as his personal safe haven. This will be his bedroom when he's sleepy during the day and needs a nap. This will be the place he goes when you are not home and he needs to be protected just as much as your belongings need to be protected.

Defining Tasks

When you crate train your Husky, you are teaching him boundaries. You will be teaching him where he will be during certain times during the day such as when you are away from the house. You can train your Husky at any age to begin to use the crate. However, the younger your Husky is, the easier this training will be and the more your Husky will view the crate as his personal space. You can decide to crate train your Husky only during the day, giving him free reign of the house during the night when you sleep, or you can crate train your Husky to only sleep in the crate or both. Eventually, you will notice your Husky going into the crate on his own when he feels sleepy or at bedtime, or when he just needs a break from the world.

Getting Started

Crate training is easy to do when you're well prepared. You will need a crate large enough for your Husky to stand up and turn around. There is no need to get a separate crate for a puppy and an adult. But you may consider blocking off some of the space in the crate while your Husky is a puppy, so your pup doesn't use the extra room as a potty. Be sure to have lots of soft, clean, comfortable bedding in the crate as well. Your Husky will want some entertainment while he's in the crate, so some new toys for him to chew on while you're away will help to keep him happy and entertained. You will also need some high-value treats to encourage him to go into the crate and remind him he's safe while he's training.

The Nighttime Sleep Method

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Most Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Place the crate
Be sure to put your Husky's crate in a place where he will be comfortable sleeping at night. You may want your Husky in or near your bedroom or in a quieter area of the house or even a popular family room area. Either way, be sure you can hear your Husky if he's a puppy and is still potty training.
Step
2
Play and potty
Take your Husky outside for one last trip to the potty. While he's out there, play with him for a few minutes and wear him out. It will be easier for your Husky to train for nighttime sleep in the crate if he goes to bed sleepy.
Step
3
Good night
Begin to use a command phrase such as "good night" to train your Husky when it is time to go into his crate for nighttime sleep.
Step
4
Treat
Give your Husky a treat and place one inside his crate, encouraging him to go inside to get it. His crate should be all set up with bedding, making it a comfortable place for him to sleep all night.
Step
5
Door
Once your Husky is inside the crate and settled comfortably, close the crate door. You may need to hang out for a few moments encouraging him with a soft voice to stay and go to sleep.
Step
6
Whining and crying
If your Husky cries after putting him in the crate, use a calm voice to tell him again to 'go night-night' or bid him good night. You can offer him one more treat before bed but eventually walk away and let him whine until he's asleep. You may want to stay close by so he knows you're near and still has that sense of security rather than thinking he has been left alone.
Step
7
Bedtime
If it all possible, put your Husky in his crate to go to bed when it's time for you to go to bed as well. This will mean your Husky knows the house is quiet and you are sleeping too. If your Husky's crate is in your bedroom he should know that you're nearby.
Step
8
Husky puppy
If your Husky is a puppy, try to remember he can only hold his bladder for about an hour for every month of his age. This means if your Husky is 3 months old he may wake two to three times during the night to go potty. He should whine and let you know he needs to go. When you let him out of his crate, carry him outside rather than letting him walk so he doesn't stop to go potty in the house. Outside of using the potty, let any other whining go with a simple treat and a wish for a good night sleep.
Step
9
Patience
Have patience as your Husky is getting used to the crate for nighttime sleep. When he wakes in the morning, let him out of the crate and take him outside to go potty right away. It's always a good idea to give him a reward when he wakes up as well. Over time, your Husky will get used to the crate and begin to go directly to the crate at night time for overnight sleep on his own.
Recommend training method?

The Relaxing Place Method

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Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Crate
Set up your Husky’s crate in a place where he can rest and sleep overnight. This could mean moving the crate at night or investing in two crates. If your Husky is older, you might just want the crate for night time sleeping. If he is younger, you may want it for daytime use while you are away.
Step
2
Soft and peaceful
Make the crate a nice place for your Husky to be. You’ll need soft bedding and some toys that are safe to chew on. If your goal is for night sleeping only, one soft toy might suffice so he is not awake entertaining himself too much.
Step
3
Treat inside
Place a treat inside the crate to encourage your Husky to get in. He might stay and sniff around or lie down on the bedding. He may also eat the treat and come right back out. If he lies down, give him another treat. If he comes back out, try again with encouraging words or a different high-value treat.
Step
4
Sit outside
While your Husky is getting used to the crate, sit outside blocking the doorway and talk to him. If he’s ready to play, he won’t be interested in staying inside too long. Bring him back after some play. If he’s sleepy, pat his bedding and encourage him to stay. Offer more treats if he’s lying down.
Step
5
Quiet
Once he’s settled down, quietly close the door and sit outside the crate. If he goes to sleep, walk away but stay close by in case he wakes.
Step
6
Timing
Pay attention to the clock the first few times your Husky is in the crate. If he is a puppy, he may need to go potty every few hours, even during the night hours. If he is getting used to the crate and is house trained, staying in too long might turn him away from wanting to be in the crate during times you need him to be, such as for night sleep or when you are at work or away.
Step
7
Potty
As soon as you take your Husky out of the crate for awake time or playtime, be sure to take him outside to go potty.
Step
8
Nighttime
Place your Husky in the crate at night for night sleeping. Try to wear him out a bit with some playtime before bed. If he needs to go potty during the night, take him but place him back. If he’s whining to whine, give him a treat during a quiet spell and then ignore him. He will get used to staying in the crate.
Step
9
Patience
Do not overuse the crate. Use it for times when you know you will be away from your home and cannot keep an eye on your Husky, during short moments you are home but worry about keeping your Husky unattended, such as during your shower, and at night time. Be patient with your Husky as he gets used to using the crate for those moments he is alone or sleepy.
Recommend training method?

The Workday Method

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Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Timing and location
If at all possible, try to crate train your Husky over the course of a day or two off of work or over a weekend. Place the crate in the area your Husky will be happy to be and an area where you are comfortable having your Husky while you are away from the house.
Step
2
Crate introduction
Introduce your Husky to his crate by placing a treat inside and encouraging him to step in to eat the treat. Be sure the crate is set up with soft bedding and some entertainment in the form of safe to toys while you are away during the day.
Step
3
First day
The first day you introduce your Husky to his new crate, leave the door open at first as he gets used to the space. Encourage him to go in the crate when he is sleepy after meals and after play time. Be sure to take your Husky out to go potty before he comes in to nap.
Step
4
Stay close by
Your Husky will want to know that he is safe and secure. He will find security knowing you are nearby. Over the course of the first day you will eventually begin to close the crate door but stay close so he can hear you and see you. If he's napping for a long time, keep the door closed but encourage him to stay inside with a treat.
Step
5
Second day
After your Husky has spent a day getting used to the crate and how it works, spend the second day putting him in the crate for short periods as you do simple tasks around the house. Only this time, close the door each time. So for instance, as you wash dishes put him in the crate and close the door. Keep these sessions fairly short before opening the door again.
Step
6
Naps
On the second day of your Husky crate training, when he takes naps be sure he's in the crate and for every nap he takes, keep the door closed for the entire nap. If he whines while still awake, offer him a treat but keep the door closed. Walk away, staying close by so he knows you are near and he is secure. Once he wakes, open the door and take him out to go potty.
Step
7
Alone
Once it's time for you to leave the house and leave your Husky alone, place him in the crate with the door closed. Always give him a treat for going into the crate and close the door. Be aware of how old your Husky is and how well has trained he is. You may need to come home or have someone let him out during the day to go potty.
Step
8
Coming home
Once you come home from the end of your workday or tasks out of the house, let your Husky out of his crate and give him a treat. Be sure to take him out to go potty right away so he doesn't have any accidents in your house after being in the crate for some time.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Stephanie Plummer

Published: 02/06/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Camellia
Husky
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Camellia
Husky
2 Months

How do I get her to stop tearing up things and whimpering when she’s in the cage?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sonny, Check out the Surprise method from the article I have linked below. You can skip to the part where the crate door is closed in your case, since she is already being crated. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate For the chewing, check out the article I have linked below on chewing. Also, know that chewing is developmentally normal during teething as a young puppy, and again when pup's jaws start to strengthen during adolescence, so working on the chewing will take time; that's one of the reasons the crate is so important when you aren't supervising pup. The below article, with crate training, teaching things like Leave It, and using products like bitter apple can help manage the chewing in the meantime and ensure it is something pup grows out of and not something that becomes a long term habit. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nikita
Siberian Husky
8 Weeks
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Nikita
Siberian Husky
8 Weeks

My boyfriend just got a new Siberian husky puppy and he is having trouble crate training her to go to sleep at night

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sarah, Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below and practice crate training with that method often for 30 minute -1 hour periods during the day to help pup adjust to being alone more quickly. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate At night, ignore any crying unless it has been at least 2 hours since pup last went potty. When it has been at least 2 hours and pup wakes up crying, take pup potty on a leash and keep the trip super boring - no treats, talking, or play, and return them immediately to the crate after they go, ignoring any crying that happens when you return them. Keeping trips boring helps pup learn to only wake at night for potty needs and not play or food, to begin sleeping longer sooner. Pup will need to go potty 1-2 times at night right now at this age, even when fully crate trained, but being consistent, practicing crating during the day, and keeping trips outside boring, can help pup wake less at night, cry less when first crated, and start sleeping through the night sooner as their bladder capacity increases with age. Know that its normal for pup to cry in the first two weeks. The first three nights tend to be the worse, with pup gradually getting better and better after that. The more consistent he can be, the sooner pup should adjust. If he gives pup a lot of attention outside of potty trips, or lets pup out of the crate when they cry and don't need to go potty, it will prolong the process a lot. Some puppies cry loud and long. It can be hard to listen to, but it is normal, so unless pup is sick, injured, or needs to go potty encourage him to stay strong, and know its normal at first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nakia
German Shepherd Husky Mix
8 Months
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Question
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Nakia
German Shepherd Husky Mix
8 Months

Hello! Our puppy, Nakia, is having trouble staying home alone for a couple of hours while my girlfriend and I are at work. We tried putting her in a crate, but she howls. We tried again with a long lasting treat like peanut butter in a Kong toy, she eats it for 5 minutes before howling nonstop. We’ve even tried making sure nothing is out for her to get into and letting her room the house. However, she still seems to find something to chew up that she not supposed chew. We’ve tried giving her dog CBD and dog melatonin after she’s tired playing at the park. Nothing is working. We live in a duplex and don’t want to irritate our friendly and understanding neighbor. She doesn’t sleep in her crate at night. She sleeps on her bed in our room. During the day if she takes a nap, we put her in her crate next to us while we watch tv or do chores and she sleeps. The goal is to have her be a “normal dog” where we can just leave and she can roam the house freely without needing to constantly watch the in-home camera. Any advice??
Thank you for your time and looking forward to hearing back from you.

-Andrew & Darian

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Andrew and Darian, First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As he improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating him during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. If you are home during the day, have lots of 30 minute - 1 hour long sessions with breaks between to practice this, to help pup learn sooner. Whenever he cries in the crate, tell him "Quiet". If he gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if he stays quiet. If he continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at his side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever he cries. Once pup is doing well with you in the house in another room, use a camera to spy on pup from outside. Start going outside where pup can't see or hear you. When pup barks, return to quietly correct then go back outside again. When pup gets quiet and stays quiet, initially for a couple of minutes, gradually working up to longer periods, then return to sprinkle in treats then leave again. After 30 minutes of practice, gradually working up to three hours, return when pup is quiet, ignore pup in the crate for 10 minutes until they are waiting calmly while go about your business in the home (correct if pup gets really loud and isn't settling down on their own). When pup is being patient and quiet in the crate, let pup out calmly. If pup tries to rush the door, close it again, making pup wait. Practice this until pup is waiting inside with the crate door open. At that point, happily tell pup "Okay" and let them come out calmly. You want to set that expectation of staying calm as they exit, so they don't get into the habit of getting anxious and excited in anticipation of being let out. As pup improves when you are outside, work that time up until you have worked up to you being outside for three hours and pup staying quiet the whole time. At that point, you can give pup a dog food stuffed chew toy in the crate. They will probably enjoy it once they are calm enough to focus on that for entertainment. As far as pup having free range of the home, right now you are still in the second chewing phase, related to jaw development. Because of that, I generally recommend waiting until pup is between 12-18 months and hasn't chewed anything they shouldn't while you are home for three months, before testing if pup is ready. Keeping pup crated until that time makes it far more likely pup will be able to be uncrated later, since you are avoiding letting pup get into the habit of chewing things they shouldn't without you there to interrupt. When you do feel pup is ready age-wise and behavior-wise, you can test it by leaving pup out of the crate while you go for a ten minute walk. When you get home, inspect the home or spy on pup with a camera while gone, and see if they had any accidents and got into anything they shouldn't have. If they did well, you can increase that time by 5 minute increments, up to thirty minutes, then by thirty minute increments until pup is being left out of the crate the entire time you are gone. If pup has a chewing incident one of those times while working up to longer, go back to crating pup for another month, then you can try again in 1-2 months, repeating that cycle until pup is mature enough to be left out. Working on things like Leave It and general manners when you are home to prevent unwanted chewing at those times, can also help prepare pup for being out of the crate when you are gone later. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Kobi
Huskita
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Kobi
Huskita
10 Weeks

He is very aggressive and bites a lot. I feel he never listens to me n infact wheb he pees and i try to correct him, he jumps back at mr.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
241 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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LUNA
Siberian Husky
9 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
LUNA
Siberian Husky
9 Weeks

I tried crating her at night. She goes crazy. She usually ends up pooping herself and then after being cleaned and put back still bangs, chews and attacks the crate. She even hurt herself as I found blood on the side of the crate tonight. I've given toys treats etc un there. She naps there now since I've been picking her up during naps and carrying her there til she decides to stay and nap there. But once the door closes, she goes insane.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
241 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. It sounds like there may be some separation anxiety going on. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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