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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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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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.
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The Workday Method

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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?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Kobee
Husky
8 Weeks
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Question
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Kobee
Husky
8 Weeks

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?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
294 Dog owners recommended

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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Question
Zabedee
Siberian Husky
9 Weeks
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Question
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Zabedee
Siberian Husky
9 Weeks

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?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
294 Dog owners recommended

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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Question
Elle
Husky
4 Months
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Question
1 found helpful
Elle
Husky
4 Months

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.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
294 Dog owners recommended

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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Balti
Chow Chow
10 Weeks
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Question
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Balti
Chow Chow
10 Weeks

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?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
294 Dog owners recommended

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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Jasper
Husky
10 Weeks
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Question
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Jasper
Husky
10 Weeks

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.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
294 Dog owners recommended

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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