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.
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.
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.
I am trying to train my husky puppy to sleep in his crate overnight, and the first two nights he slept completely fine waking up a couple times to go potty. Now he does not just whimper but instead screams for a long period of time even after I have taken him out and put him back in the crate making it impossible for me to sleep. In order to get him to stop crying I put him in my bed with me and he will sleep the rest of the night without crying. Do you have any suggestions?
Hello Courtney, The answer here is not fun. You need to let him cry and ignore him. This is a normal puppy phase that usually lasts between three days and two weeks. By letting him out when he cries, he learns to only be more persistent and the training gets harder and takes longer. When he gets older his jaws will get stronger and he will be able to chew through things and potentially ingest dangerous pieces of things while free at night as you sleep - at that point you will probably end up having to crate him at night again but if he is used to sleeping in your bed it will be much harder then than it even is now. It's far easier to do it now and suffer through a few hard nights by ignoring non-potty cries. If you can, crate him in a separate room at night and use an audio baby monitor to listen for when he wakes up to go potty - he is probably crying at night for attention, knowing you are right there. Not being able to see you should help him give up sooner. Once he learns to sleep through the night consistently you can try moving him back into your bedroom in the crate if you want to (sleeping in another room long term is also good for him so either one is fine)...even putting the crate into a large walk-in closet or bathroom connected to your bedroom should help. Also, make sure when he really does have to go potty at night and you take him, you keep the trips super boring. No play, no treats. Take him on a leash so he doesn't get distracted and bring him back inside and put him into the crate right away afterwards, then ignore any crying. Make sure you stop giving him food and water two hours before bed. Make sure he is getting enough mental and physical stimulation through food stuffed chew toys, training, games, and walks during the day and is not sleeping all day, or especially all evening before bed. He will still need naps during the day but should have time to be awake and active mentally (mental stimulation is very tiring) and physically between naps. No long naps in the evening before bed though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Our puppy came home yesterday, he slept pretty well, till 4 am! He began howling after that and absolutely not sleepy at all. What do we do to help him learn 4 is not wake up time?
Hello Ashley, When Zabedee woke up at 4 am did you take him outside to use the bathroom? At nine weeks waking up to pee is completely normal. Expect him to wake up at night for the next few weeks. Many puppies start to sleep through the night around four months of age, possibly sooner. The key is to teach him to only wake up if he needs to pee and not for other reasons, like playing or eating, and to teach him to go back to sleep when you return him to the crate after he pees outside. When you take him outside to pee, take him on a leash and calmly tell him to "Go Potty". When he goes, then take him straight back inside and put him back into the crate. If you are not crating him at night, then start by crate training him. You will not be able to get him to go back to sleep unless you do, if he is loose in your home. The crate will prevent him from chewing your things and hurting himself as he gets more rambunctious with age, and it will help with potty training. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method. I suggest crating dogs when you cannot supervise them until they are over one-year-old and show signs of being trustworthy when left alone. Crate training will lead to more freedom for the rest of his life because it will prevent bad long-term habits from developing as a puppy. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Also, make sure that he is not sleeping in the evening for long periods of time leading up to bedtime. If he goes to sleep at 7 pm (even if its in the middle of the den while people are moving about), then he will be fully rested by 4 am and ready for the day. At this age he will need short naps often, but try to keep him from sleeping for multiple hours during the evening until you are ready for him to go to bed - ten hours before you want him to wake up, by playing with him, training, and giving him something calm to do, like chewing a food-stuffed chew toy. Remove all food and water two hours before bed so that his bladder will be empty by the time he goes to bed. Finally, the crying is normal! The first two weeks of crate training and sleeping at night can involve a lot of crying. This is 100% normal. He is a baby and is still adjusting. He needs time to learn to self-soothe and self-entertain. Crate training can help that happen faster if you follow the "Crate Training" method from the article that I have linked above, or one of the methods from the article that I have linked below. Remain consistent with his schedule, don't let him out of the crate unless he needs to pee or he is being quiet, and give him time. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We've had our retriever/husky mix for a little over a week, and crate training has not gotten any easier. She used to whimper in the crate, but now she resorts to yelping and barking extremely loudly to get our attention. It's hard to tell whether she is barking because she has to use the bathroom or if she's just bored. When we take her out of the crate, we immediately take her outside to use the bathroom but she doesn't always go. She's especially unhappy when we place her in the crate while we eat dinner as well. I don't want to continue to take her out if she doesn't actually have to use the bathroom, since this will just encourage her yelping to get out when she's bored.
Hello Genevieve, When you are home I suggest taking her potty every two hours. If she barks before it has been two hours since she last went potty and she has already pooped that day as well, you can ignore the barking. Also, in addition to ignoring the barking, reward her when she is quiet. Put her into the crate with a food stuffed Kong to help with her boredom. Leave the room and when she barks ignore her. When she stops barking for at least three seconds, return and sprinkle a few small treats or pieces of dog food into the crate, then leave again. Repeat going to her and sprinkling the treats when she gets quiet then leaving again. If she stays quiet after you leave, return in five minutes and sprinkle more treats, rather than waiting for her to bark first. When she starts to get quiet sooner, then wait a few seconds before going to her with treats. Gradually require her to stay quiet for longer before you reward her so that she is then being rewarded for staying quiet, rather than just barking and stopping. She should learn to prefer silence because that gets her more rewards, until it just becomes habit not to bark in the crate. While she is being quiet, let her out of the crate when it is time to; even if she is only quiet for a couple of seconds try to time your return during that brief window of her not barking. Taking her outside to go potty every two hours when you are home should prevent her needing to go potty sooner so that you can safely ignore boredom barking. In the crate she should be able to hold her bladder for a maximum of 4-4.5 hours at this age during the day, so 2 hours should be doable for her. You can add one hour to that time for every additional month of age she is, meaning when she is five months old, she can hold it for 5-5.5 hours, but only while in the crate or sleeping. She needs to be taken out more frequently while potty training still. If the barking continues after doing the above training for a month you can use a small canister of air, called a Pet Convincer, to correct it by spraying a small puff of air at her side, but she does not yet understand what she is supposed to be doing in the crate and is barking because she is bored and it the crate is new, so it's not time to correct yet, she needs to understand and be given time to adjust first. It normally takes puppies about two weeks of consistency with the crate for them to adjust. I would give it a full month before correcting though. Work on giving her a Kong stuffed with dog food and a little peanut butter and rewarding her calmly when she is quiet in the crate with treats. If she gets the food out of the Kong quickly, you can put her kibble into a bowl, cover it with water, and let it sit out until the kibble absorbs the water and turns into mush. Mix a little bit of peanut butter (Avoid Xylitol - it's toxic to dogs), or liver, or cheese into the kibble mush, then very loosely stuff a large Kong with it and freeze the stuffed Kong. You can make several of these at once and freeze all of them so that you can simply grab one from the freezer as needed. You can feed her her meals this way too, just adjust how much kibble you are giving her at other times during the day. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I'm trying to crate train my chow mix but it is clear he prefers laying on the cold tile floor is there a crate bed that'll be more enticing than a cold floor? Or do I simply use treats to get him into the crate at the appropriate nap times (when I'm away at work) and bed time?
Hello Ramon, Check out www.primopads.com Primopads have a cool vinyl cover (which also makes them good for potty training because they aren't absorbent, and for chewing puppies because they are more durable). They provide a firmer foam pad support, which is less cushy but good for joints. I also suggest using treats as well simply to make the crate a more pleasant place for him. You can stuff a hollow chew toy with his food as a special crate treat to help him learn to self-sooth and self-entertain in the crate as well - doing this can help prevent barking, separation anxiety, and destructive chewing, since it encourages pup to chew his own toys. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I have a male husky puppy named jasper. During the day he hangs out in the backyard (supervised) then at night we play with him in the garage. He has his huge bed in there and like to sleep on it during the day.(its too big to be in the crate plus he pees in the crate) The struggle is when I want him to sleep in the crate over night. He HATES it. Ive put his favorite toys in there, given him treats while hes in there and even put his kong toy. Nothing works. He wont go in there on his own I have to put him in and close the gate right away. Hes super stubborn and will cry and howl for 15 mins before sleeping. I ignore the crys. What should i do? Please help.
Hello Brenda, Since he is only 10 weeks old and is going to sleep after 15 minutes of noise, you are actually doing pretty good! I know that may not sound encouraging to hear but it is normal for puppies to protest the crate during the first two weeks of crate training and some puppies protest it for hours - 15 minutes is a very average amount of time for this, so you are probably pretty normal right now. Most puppies don't learn to love the crate until they are older and calmer - he should learn to relax in it while young though. In general, he simply needs more time to get used to it. Keep doing what you are doing and ignoring the crying. You can help him adjust sooner by doing some training during the day too though. Follow the surprise method for an hour each day, during the day, but not right before bedtime. Since you don't want to give food at night or encourage him to stay awake at night- this needs to be done during the day, and simply ignore the crying at night. You can also use the other two methods found in the article I have linked below also, but if you want to use those, do them in addition to using the surprise method, not in place of it. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Finally, he may need more interaction with people during the day. It's great that you supervise him while he is outside - outside can be great, but also make sure that you are spending some intentional time with him, taking him places to socialize him (carry him before his 12 week shots while in public), have short 15 minute training sessions with him where you teach him new things, like Sit, Down, Come, and fun tricks - obedience is great but you also just want to stimulate him mentally and build a bond, and play fun games that build focus - like hide and seek, fetch, or round robin. You don't have to interact with him every minute of the day (most people couldn't anyway) but just make sure he is having his need for mental stimulation and bonding met to help him feel more secure. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi, Our puppy is nearly 11 weeks old and we've seem to have nailed the night time after a couple of weeks, with a crate in the bedroom he goes in and after a couple of minutes of whimpering he goes to sleep for mostly all the night. The issues come when we need to leave the house - We have an identical crate downstairs (although not covered with a blanket as he pulls it through the gaps), toys, kongs, radio on but he howls nearly continuously until we return. He may have the odd 30 minute gap in between howls and crying but mostly its continuous. The most hes on his own is around 4 hours (wont ever be much more then that). How do we keep him quite whilst not at home, obviously welfare is a main concern but neighbours are becoming annoyed. Next week I will be able to walk him so a daily walk before anyone leaves will be a must but any other help would be appreciated.
Hello Ade, First, practice calmness surrounding the crate and building self-control. Practice Place command and the crate protocol from the videos linked below while home: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Next, purchase a vibration collar with several levels of vibration intensity. Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the vibration button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this. The collar used in the video is stimulation but you can use the same protocol with vibration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once you have found the right vibration level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours. Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave the room. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the vibration button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, vibrate him again. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being vibrated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. If he continues to ignore the collar, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your pup stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around inside. While he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Continue to put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with him. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it and that will help him to enjoy the crate more. First, he needs her anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead, since he will need something other than howling to do at that point. If he cries while you are home, then you can also use a Pet Convincer to spray a small puff of air at his side through the crate wires (NOT at his face). When he is in the crate while you are home, every five minutes that he stays quiet, return to him and sprinkle a few pieces of dog food inside through the wires, without letting him out. As he improves, space your rewards further apart so that he has to stay quiet for longer and longer - until he is content with just the food stuff Kong. Also, leave the door to the crate open and randomly sprinkle treats inside and around the crate for him to find throughout the day - that will help him want to be near the crate on his own more. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I would like to ask you for some advices to crate train my puppy, yesterday was the first day she slept in the crate and all night she was screaming, ALL NIGHT I just ignore her, I didn’t know what to do. Also I don’t know what amount of food should I give her? And at what time after she ate should I take her to potty!
Please I really need a lot of advices for crate train her. Thanks!!
Hello Luisa, Most puppies cry ALOT the first two weeks - usually the first three nights are really bad, then there are a couple weeks of just a few minutes of protest when you first put them in but they get quiet after that - If you don't let them out when they cry so they can learn how to settle down. You can give a food stuffed chew toy during the day and an empty durable chew toy at night. The exception to not letting them out of the crate is when they need to potty. At night your pup really will need to go potty 1-2 times at night for another month or two because of her small bladder at this age. If she has been awake for at least three hours, then she will need to be taken potty on a leash at that time - keep the trip super boring and on task- then put her straight back into the crate after she goes potty outside. Try to let her out of the crate to go potty when she is quiet for a second - it doesn't have to be long, but try to catch her in a quiet second if she has been crying for a long period of time (if this isn't possible then just do the best you can - you don't want an accident in the crate). If she falls asleep, then just take her outside when she wakes up and starts crying to be taken potty after at least 2.5-3 hours - which is what should happen once she adjusts to the crate - crying when first put in and when she needs to potty, but not in between. She will be able to hold her bladder for longer than 3 hours once she adjusts to the crate and stays asleep more, but may still need 1-2 potty trips every 5-6 hours or so if she wakes to pee, for a little longer. Keep those trips boring and calm too, then straight back into the crate - no playing or treats or she might start waking up to play too. Finally, follow the Surprise method from the article linked below to speed up crate training and help her become calmer and quieter sooner. Practicing during the day lets you use treats to reward calmness to help speed things up. Do NOT give food at night though or she will probably stay awake hoping for treats. Practice the Surprise method during the day several times a day, spacing out sessions if you are home, or for at least thirty-minutes in the evening and more often on the weekend if you work during the day. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Our dog does great in the crate eating, sleeping, and just hanging out, but not so much when we leave for work. He eliminates in his crate every time we leave...It's early in our training process, but I am wondering if you have any tips and tricks to expedite the process? Thanks!
Hello, First, know that at 3 months of age your pup cannot hold his bladder any longer than 4 hours during the day - if he is left in the crate for longer than that he will have no option but to eliminate in the crate. If he is eliminating in the crate within the first thirty-minutes of you leaving, the issue is more likely anxiety or the way you have the crate set up. Make sure that the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down, and stand up - too big and it won't encourage his natural desire to keep a confined space clean and he will likely pee. If you have a wire crate and it's too big, you can purchase a wire crate divider to make a larger crate smaller by blocking off part of it - then you can adjust the size as he grows. Second, make sure there isn't anything absorbent in the crate. Remove any soft bedding, towels, or other absorbent things if there is. Check out something like www.primopads.com to use in the crate until he is fully potty trained and past the destructive chewing phases (which will likely increase again for a while around 6-8 months while jaws are developing. If the issue is anxiety, I suggest working on building pup's independence and giving pup a dog food stuffed hollow Kong when you leave to keep him occupied. You can let the dog food sit out in a bowl ahead of time, mix a little liver past or peanut butter (NO xylitol - it's toxic to dogs) into the dog food, loosely stuff the mixture into a couple of hollow Kongs, insert a straw through the entire Kong out both holes, then freeze them overnight. When you leave, give one of the Kongs from the freezer to pup. The next day you can give the second one, then re-make and freeze. You can also purchase additional Kongs to have ready. Independence building: Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Distance Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Also, practice keeping departures and greetings super boring. Practice leaving for short periods and returning super often - 1, 5 or 10 minutes around the block, changing your leaving routine so pup isn't anticipating your departure for as long - giving them less time to become anxious beforehand and able to calm down easier, and when you get home, if pup can hold their bladder, ignore pup, leaving them in the crate for 5-10 minutes. When you free them, follow the crate manner's protocol above- keeping exits calm, then ignore pup for another 5 minutes (you can take pup potty during this time just limit interactions). You want to condition pup to feel like your arrivals and departures are no big deal. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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