How to Train a Husky to Not Pee in the House

Medium
1-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

When your Husky pees in the house, it can be one of the most frustrating moments. Whether he is a puppy, a newly adopted member of the family, or a former outdoor dog, correcting this behavior quickly is incredibly important. If you're not sure how to train a Husky to not pee in the house, you've come to the right place.

Huskies are beautiful and unique dogs, but they can be stubborn and are not as eager to please as some other dogs. You've got to earn his respect and create a firm foundation for training. If you've just been introduced to the breed, you may be scratching your head trying to figure out how to train a Husky to not pee in the house. There are a few tips and tricks that will make this easier for you.

Defining Tasks

Before you focus on training, make sure there isn't a medical reason your Husky is peeing in the house. The cause might be a painful bladder infection or a sign that something else is wrong. Starting with a dog you know is healthy is essential. When you know the problem isn't related to health, you can begin training.

Ideally, you will start house training your Husky before he ever has a chance to pee in the house but sometimes that can't be avoided, especially if you have an older dog that is just learning about living inside the house. No matter what, never yell or scare your dog if he does make a mistake and pees in the house. You want to make going outside to pee a fun experience.

Getting Started

Training your Husky to not pee in the house can be straightforward and doesn't require anything too fancy. In fact, many trainers advise against things like puppy pads because they may actually encourage him to pee inside. Here are a few items that can help you during house training.

  • A leash
  • High-value treats like cheese or liver
  • A bell
  • A "potty spot"
  • A comfy dog crate

With consistency and hard work, you'll be an expert at teaching your Husky not to pee inside. Look through the three methods below and choose the best one for you and your Husky. 

The Crate Method

ribbon-method-3
Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Set up a comfy crate
Buy a comfy crate for your dog, big enough to stretch out and turn around, but not so big that he could pee in a corner and keep his bedding clean.
Step
2
Crate train
Spend time crate training your dog so he enjoys being in the crate.
Step
3
Follow a schedule
Create a schedule that your dog can get used to. Take him to pee right when you get up in the morning and first thing when he leaves the crate.
Step
4
Make peeing a habit
When you take him outside, make sure he isn't too distracted by being outside to relieve himself. Make this a habit, so he knows when he'll have a chance to pee.
Step
5
Crate him when you leave
Anytime he will be unsupervised in the house, put him in the crate. This will keep him from peeing in the house when you are gone.
Step
6
Keep an eye on him
When he's not in the crate, watch for any indication he has to pee. Circling, pawing the ground or sniffing are indications. Let him outside immediately. Eventually he will tell you when he needs to go, and he'll adjust to his crate schedule.
Recommend training method?

The Schedule Method

ribbon-method-1
Effective
1 Vote
Step
1
Pick a "potty spot"
Choose a spot outside that you want your dog to use to relieve himself.
Step
2
Set a feeding schedule
Feed your dog at the same time every day. this way you can predict at least two times he will need to go out each day.
Step
3
Set a bathroom schedule
For the first few weeks, make a bathroom schedule and stick to it. Right when he wakes in the morning, 15 to 20 minutes after he eats, right after play time, right when you let him out of his kennel. Take note of when he needs to pee and stick to it consistently.
Step
4
It's time to pee
Each time you get ready to bring him outside, say the same phrase in an excited voice. Your phrase can be something like "It's time to pee!"
Step
5
Take him to the spot
Put a leash on him and take him to the spot where you want him to pee. Wait for him to go, and don't look at him or move until he does. You may have to wait a while.
Step
6
Reward him for a pee
When he does relieve himself, tell him "good boy" and give him three of those high-value treats.
Step
7
Keep an eye out
Keep an eye on your dog and anytime you notice him circling or digging like he might need to go to the bathroom, say "It's time to pee!" and take him out to his spot. Soon he'll realize that peeing outside is fun and rewarding.
Recommend training method?

The Bell Method

ribbon-method-2
Least Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Choose a door
Choose which door will be the one you always let the dog out of to go to the bathroom. Hang a bell on the door.
Step
2
Ring the bell
Take him out to go to the bathroom through the same door every time. On the way out, ring the bell before you open the door and make sure he is watching.
Step
3
Take him to the same spot
To start out, take him to the same spot and wait for him to pee. When he does, give him three really good treats.
Step
4
Ask him to ring the bell
After a week or two of ringing the bell before you open the door, bring him to the door and encourage him to ring it, either with his nose or a paw.
Step
5
Pay attention to his needs
Anytime you notice him circling or pawing like he has to pee, take him to ring the bell. Soon he'll be ringing the bell on his own.
Recommend training method?
author-img

Written by Katie Smith

Published: 02/16/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Katia
Siberian Husky
11 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Katia
Siberian Husky
11 Weeks

Hello,
My dog keeps peeing in the house even when we take her to the bathroom during a set schedule. We have two Huskies and she is the only one that is still peeing in the house. Our white Husky is a year and 2 months and he was potty trained fully around 7 months. Katia doesn’t have any medical issues but she does have a whine a use to tinkle when she seen people but stopped. She also pee in her crate from time to time. She is too hyper for the bell method. I am out of suggestions and I really want to see if there is another way of trying to potty train her.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
942 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shequita, I would make sure the following are being done first. Some dogs won't need things as strict but if pup is struggling it's important to cover all of your bases first. 1. How often is pup being taken potty? I wouldn't go longer than every 2 hours at this age or you will run into accidents more often. Even in the crate, expect pup to need every 3 hours maximum during the day, and at least once at night. 2. How is your crate set up? The crate will need to be only big enough for pup to stand up, turn around, and lie down. If it's so big pup can go potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it, pup may not be motivated to keep it clean. You can use a metal crate divider for wire crates if your current crate is too large, without having to buy an entirely new crate. Is there anything absorbent in the crate, including a soft bed or towel? If so, take those out. You can use something like www.primopads.com or k9ballistics crate mats for a non-absorbent bed option. Anything absorbent may not encourage holding it in the crate. 3. What do you use to clean up accidents? I recommend a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. Look for the word enzymatic or enzyme on the bottle somewhere. Only enzymes will fully remove the smell to the level a dog needs, so pup won't be reattracted to that spot to potty there again. 4. When you take pup potty outside, are you taking them on leash going with them? If not, pup may be getting distracted and not finishing going potty. Check out the crate training method from the article I have linked below. Especially pay attention to the section on what to do if pup doesn't go potty when you take them outside, how often to take them out, and how to reward pup when they do go potty. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If you non of the above need to be changed and you still want to change methods, check out the Tethering method section from this article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Stephanie macnab
Siberian Husky
10 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Stephanie macnab
Siberian Husky
10 Years

10 year old outdoor sled dog. Starting to house dog. Having issues with her messing in the house. And with leaving her outside when we are at work. She is an outside dog.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
942 Dog owners recommended

Hello Stephanie, What exactly is the issue while pup is outside? Is she digging, chewing, barking, or something else? For the inside potty training needs, is pup having potty accidents or chewing, or both? Either way I would crate train pup. For potty training, check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take him potty less frequently. I suggest taking him potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) of freedom out of the crate, return her to the crate while his bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since her last potty trip. When you have to go off she should be able to hold her bladder in the crate for 5-6 hours - less at first while she is getting used to it and longer once he is accustomed to the crate. Only have her wait that long when you are not home though, take her out about every 3 hours while home. You want her to get into the habit of holder her bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever she feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Since she is older, I would also keep in mind that there could be potential urinary incontinence due to age. If you find she really can't hold it more than 3-4 hours even while crated and doing the above, it may be due to a medical issue and not a behavioral one. In that case I recommend speaking with your vet, and the method will need to be adjusted to account for what she is capable of at this age. If she is not already used to a crate, expect crying at first. When she cries and you know she doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give her a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy to help her adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If she continues protesting for long periods of time past 1-2 weeks, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell her "Quiet" when she barks and cries. If she gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If she disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at her side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If she stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. If pup is chewing, check out the article I have linked below, especially the part about crate training, teaching Leave It, teaching Out, and providing dog food stuffed chew toys to entice pup to chew toy instead - to teach good chewing preferences. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Luna
Siberian Husky
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luna
Siberian Husky
1 Year

I took her outside for 2.5 hours she did nothing as soon as I got her in here she peed inside

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

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use the crate to help with potty training. This information is written for puppies, but the procedure is exactly the same for training an adult dog who doesn't quite know where to go potty. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Question
Rebel
Husky
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rebel
Husky
2 Years

Rebel keeps peeing in our house, but only when we are asleep so we don’t catch him in act to stop him, how can we stop him from peeing in everything?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
942 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brianna, Since this is happening in the evening, I recommend crate training pup and crating them at night. A correctly sized crate normally will motivate a dog to hold their bladder while in the confined space, allowing pup to practice holding it overnight without you having to get up several times a night to take pup outside. This will only work if pup is healthy though. If pup physically cannot hold their bladder overnight for 8-10 hours, despite being two years old and in a crate, I recommend checking with your vet, to make sure there isn't something causing incontinence. I am not a vet. In order for this issue to improve the accidents have to be stopped through management, and pup needs to develop a habit of holding it overnight. I would crate for a year, then if pup has been accident free consistently for 6 months, after a year or crating you can try giving pup more freedom outside the crate at night if you wish. Surprise method - for introducing a crate, in the day first, if pup isn't already crate trained. At night you can either ignore any crying the crate until pup adjusts, or gently correct with something like an unscented air canister - blowing a brief puff of air at pup's side with unscented air (Not in the face, and not citronella)...I would practice with treats during the day before moving the night and adding corrections if needed though, so that pup understands how to get quiet in the crate and relax, first. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate/ Also, if are simply letting pup outside in a fence to go potty and not accompanying them, I recommend going with pup outside to go potty right before bed to make sure they are actually relieving themselves completely and not just getting distracted and coming back in after walking around without going. If pup is getting distracted, take pup on a leash and walk them around slowly, telling pup to "Go Potty" and giving a treat after they go, to teach them to go on that command quickly in the future. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lola
Siberian Husky
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lola
Siberian Husky
2 Months

It’s my first time with a puppy and I don’t know where to start. I’ve been trying to watch her bathroom han it’s but it’s all over the place. What do you recommend I do? She does not have her vaccines so I don’t want to take her out so much until she does and I don’t know if puppy pads are the best choice. Please help :)

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

Hello! Here is information on potty training, as well as crate training just in case you decide to use a crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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