How to Train a Husky to Poop Outside

How to Train a Husky to Poop Outside
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon3-6 Months
General training category iconGeneral

Introduction

While Husky pups can be stubborn and do not typically respond well to being yelled at, they are relatively easy to potty train using the same basic methods you would use to train most other breeds. Keep in mind that whether you are teaching your pup to poop outside or anything else, he will respond to positive reinforcement far better as long as you provide clear and concise training instructions for him to follow.

One of the most important things you can do when trying to train your Husky to poop outside is that once you choose a training method, you need to stick to it, no matter how long it takes. Trying to switch training methods will only confuse your fuzzball and make it even harder for him to figure out exactly what it is you want of him.

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Defining Tasks

The task at hand it to teach your dog that it is in no way acceptable for him to poop in the house. At the same time, he must learn that it is okay for him to poop in a particular area of your yard. Keep in mind, going potty in the house would be something akin to doing the same thing in his den in the wild. This is something his mother would have taught him not to do because no dog likes a dirty den.

The training process is really not that difficult, it is mostly about spending the time working with your pooch until he finally understands what you want of him.

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Getting Started

What many people do not realize is that you can start training your Husky to poop outside from the minute you pull up in the driveway with him for the first time. At this point, you should put him on a leash and take him over to the spot in the yard that will become his potty. Let him wander around and get used to the area. When he goes potty, be sure to make a fuss over him and give him a nice little soft puppy treat.

Your poop training supply list:

  • A puppy sized crate – For training and when you can't be watching your pup
  • A leash – To take him out in the yard on
  • Soft treats – Soft chewy puppy treats will come in handy as rewards, be sure to use them generously

The last two things on your supply list are time and patience--you will need plenty of both in order for your training to succeed. Also, you need some form of enzymatic cleaner to completely eliminate any odors from areas where your pup has accidents. 

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The I'm Watching You Method

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1

Stock up on treats

Keep a nice supply of your pup's favorite treats in your pocket or a bowl by the door where you can grab a few on the way out.

2

Never a second alone

With your pup in the same room with you at all times, keep a very close eye on him every minute. If he shows any signs that he is thinking about pooping or peeing (squatting, circling, sniffing, scratching, going to the door) say "NO!" in a firm voice. You need to be loud enough to startle your pup, but do not make your voice sound like you are angry, this will just make things harder.

3

We're off to see the…

Grab the leash, hook up your pooch, and take him outside using a verbal cue ("Let's go outside" or "Let's go potty"). When he goes, be sure to praise him and give him a tasty treat.

4

Give him a little extra time

Having startled your pooch, it might take him a few extra minutes to refocus on what he was doing. So, make sure you give him a little extra time before you take him back in the house.

5

The road goes ever on

From here there is nothing to do but keep practicing and working with your pup until he learns to hold himself and no longer leaves you surprises in the oddest places in your home.

The Using His Crate Method

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1

Create the perfect blend

Set your pup's crate up where you can keep an eye on it. Add a water bowl, a few toys, and a bed for him to lie down on. Then place your pup inside and close the door.

2

Out on cue

Set a timer for 30 minutes. When it goes off, open the door, put your pup on the leash, and say, "Let's go outside" or "let's go potty" and take him straight out to the area where he can go poop.

3

Will he, won't he?

You won't know until you give him some time. Give him a good 15 minutes to try, let him walk around. The more he walks around, the more likely he will poop. If he goes, give him lots of praise and a treat. If not that’s okay too, just take him back inside and put him back in his crate.

4

Reset

Reset the timer for another 30 minutes. Keep a close eye on your pup. If he starts to whine and fuss, take him straight out regardless of what the clock has to say. When he poops, be sure to make a fuss over him and give him a treat.

5

Build endurance

Slowly, in five or ten-minute increments, start increasing the time between poop breaks. This will help your pup develop his endurance. Remember to use your cue, "Let's go outside" or "Let's go potty". Choose one and stick to it so he doesn't get confused.

6

Free at last

By now you should be able to start leaving the crate door open and letting your pup wander around in the same room with you. Keep a close eye on him and at the first sign he might be thinking about going potty, use your cue and take him out. When he goes, be sure to praise him and give him a nice treat. Stick to your timer schedule and in time he will learn not to go in the house.

The Mark Your Territory Method

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Stop by your favorite pet supply store

Stop by your favorite pet supply store and pick up a bottle of puppy potty training spray. These sprays contain pheromones designed to mark your grass with a scent that your pup will see as another dog. They then encourage him to mark the area as his by peeing and pooping in it.

2

Every 30

Set a timer for 30 minutes and when it goes off, put your pup on his leash and take him out to the spot you marked previously.

3

Let him wander

Let your pup wander around the marked area and give him time to go potty. When he does, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.

4

I don't need to go right now

If after 15 minutes your pup has not found the need to go, that's okay, just take him back inside. Reset the timer and keep a close eye on him. While the timer is ticking away, if he shows any signs he need to go potty, take him straight out to the marked area. When he goes, be sure to praise him and give him treats.

5

Keep on keepin' on

The rest is all on you. You need to keep practicing with your pup slowly adding more time as you go until your pup starts letting you know when he needs to go. Mission accomplished!

By PB Getz

Published: 03/09/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Sky

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Alaskan Husky

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3 Months

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Hi I’m just got sky a week ago and since then I have been having a very hard time getting him to be social and he refuses to go outside so it is becoming impossible to potty train him in my back yard. When I open the door he whines and runs to the living room and when I put him leash on him to encourage him to come outside he freaks out whining and barking and he lays down refusing to move. How ever he is way to big for the pee mats so he NEEDS to start potting outside but won’t even come near the house door what should I do

April 7, 2022

Sky's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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Hello Shania, First, if pup hasn't been introduced to a leash before, check out the Drag method from the article I have linked below, so pup can become comfortable with that. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accpt-leash Second, I would keep a drag leash on pup while you are home to ensure it doesn't get caught on anything, so you can calmly pick up the end of the leash instead of having to chase pup and clip one on when its time to go outside. Third, I would try one of two things to get pup outside, I would either run around with pup while you hold a six foot leash, creating a game of pup running after you with the door to go outside opened. Once pup is really happy, confident, and excited to follow you, use pup's momentum to run outside and play out there. You may have to use the leash to keep pup going a bit if they put on the breaks but the overall goal is to get pup in a happy place before they go outside even if a bit nervous once out there, so they aren't working up anxiety about going out beforehand. The other option is to regularly leave the door open (if fenced) and create a line of treats going outside. Make sure you do this when you are in the room (pretending not to notice) so you can ensure the neighbors cat or other critters don't come inside instead. Let pup follow the treat line as far outside as they will go, replacing the treats every hour or so (you can use pup's meal kibble taken from their daily meal portions so avoid overfeeding, for this). As first pup will probably not go near the door, but as pup sees that nothing scary happens, pup is more likely to venture further and further outside gradually. Once pup is willing to go outside at least a couple of feet, I would spend time sitting outside with pup to desensitize pup to that environment. Take treats and pup's favorite toys, and in a pesticide/car fluid free area you can also play treat hiding games. At first, simply sit outside with pup for an hour at a time and read or do a similar calm activity - pup probably won't be interested in treats or games at first but don't give up on those. As pup gets used to just hanging outside regularly with you their desire for those things should increase, and the use of those things make the training speed up even more. Do this for 30-60 minutes as often as you can, with at least an hour break back inside between. If there are several family members who can manage pup, take turns doing this to make it less time consuming for one person if needed. Once pup is interested in treats after spending time outside chilling, then also reward pup for any curious, friendly, or calm responses to new things around them. Start this in as calm an area as you can find, and gradually move areas to ones in other locations outside (like the front yard on leash, calm cul-de-sac, neighborhood spots, calm park, willing friend's home, busier park, pet store, ect...with a little bit more distraction as pup improves. quicker in the long run. For the potty training itself, I recommend crate training, and utilizing the crate the confine pup when their bladder hasn't been emptied outside during the past 2 hours. This means that when you take pup outside if they don't go potty within 15 minutes of being out there, you bring pup inside and crate for another 30-60 minutes, then take pup directly back outside (carrying pup if needed to prevent an accident on the way). You will repeat this cycle every hour until pup finally goes potty outside - at which point you reward and praise pup (if they won't take the treat then just praise genuinely). Once pup does go potty outside, they earn 1-2 hours of freedom out of the crate. Generally 1.5 hours unless pup has accidents before that point. Since pup is not 8 weeks old, you can add 30 minutes to the times listed in that article to make up for pup's increased bladder capacity. You may find pup goes 4 hours without pottying the first week. That's okay. Pup needs to learn that its okay to go potty outside. You may even want to put a pee pad outside for pup to use at first if that's what pup used to use inside. You can then gradually cut away the pee pads size until its gone and pup is going potty on just the ground that was underneath. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If pup's never been introduced to a crate, go ahead and start introducing that while working on the outside comfort, to get pup more comfortable with a crate for outside potty training soon. Pup will probably cry a little when first crated for a while - that's normal, but pup getting over the initial hump of the crate being completely new will make potty training with the crate in a couple weeks easier on you both. Introducing a crate -Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

April 7, 2022

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Athena

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Siberian Husky

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3 Months

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My husband and I are having trouble with her separation anxiety and her learning how to use the bathroom outside. Whenever my husband leaves the room she starts crying and when he comes back she poops in her crate. She's only 3 months old and trying to have her understand out commands has also been a hard challenge. We don't want to train her with puppy diapers because we feel like she will get used to using the bathroom in side and we don't want her to do that. I guess my question is, how can we get her to listen to us and have her learn how to go potty outside while letting us know. We give her enough time to use the bathroom outside but as soon as we walk in she goes potty inside.

July 8, 2021

Athena's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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Hello, First, its important to do a little detection work to ensure the accidents are due only to anxiety, and not the schedule or crate set up also needing to be addressed. Most puppies will cry a lot in the crate for the first two weeks of crate training. That is normal. The pooping can be related to that, but it can also be the schedule or crate set up on top of that. Here are a few things that can cause that: 1. If pup is being crated for longer than 3 hours during the day at this age. 2. If pup has something absorbent in the crate. If there is a soft bed or towel in the crate, remove that and replace it with something non-absorbent like www.primopads.com or k9ballistic non-absorbent crate mats. 3. If the space is too big. The crate should be big enough for pup to turn around, lie down, and stand up, but not so big that they can go potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid the accident. Too big and it won't encourage pup's natural desire to keep a confined space clean. 4. The timing of potty breaks is off. Most puppies will need to go potty 10-45 minutes after eating, not right away. If you are feeding pup, taking them outside immediately, then crating, that timing might lead to pup needing to poop after they have sat in the crate for thirty minutes. Pay attention to pup's internal clock and how soon after eating they tend to need to poop. 5. Pup isn't pooping outside before being crated so they have to go while in the crate. This is common with some pups, who get easily distracted or anxious while outside with everything being new. Check out the crate training method from the article I have linked below and pay attention to the tip on using potty encouraging spray/scent, movement from walking pup around slowly on a leash, teaching Go Potty and rewarding with a treat when pup goes potty, taking pup to a calm location to go potty, and the timing of potty breaks - like mentioned in point 4. If pup doesn't poop outside yet when you know they may need to, I would tether pup to yourself with a hands free leash and watch for signs they need to go, like circling, sniffing, squatting, whining, pawing at you, trying to get away, or farting. When you see those signs, pay attention to the timing of that potty need for future reference, and take pup outside again to try, doing the suggestions from the crate training method to ensure a poop. Repeat this cycle every 30 minutes until pup goes if pup still won't go when you take them. For example, take pup outside for 15 minutes. If pup won't go, go back inside with pup tethered for 30, then try again after 30 minutes, giving pup another 15 minutes to try. The more times pup goes potty outside, the easier it should become to get pup to go right away when you take them, so that you can then crate them after. Crate training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside 5. Pup has something medical going on that's causing more frequent peeing or pooping. If pup's poops are runny, more than three times a day, or pup can't hold their pee for more than 45 minutes during the day I recommend visiting your vet. Dogs can generally hold it for longer while asleep than in the day so something could still be going on even if nights are fine if there are other indicators or an issue during the day. I am not a vet, so check with your vet about anything medical. 5. Pup has lost their natural desire to keep a confined space clean. This sometimes happens when a pee pad is placed in a crate and pup intentionally taught to go potty in there at some point. It can happen when pup is forced to go potty in the crate too many times due to not being let outside when they truly do have to go potty - like being crated for 8 hours as a puppy when their bladders can't hold it that long without potty breaks. Pet stores and some shelter stays can lead to this because they go potty in their kennel spaces. Some rare dogs simply do it regardless of their past. When loosing their natural desire to keep the space clean is the case, you will need to switch to another potty training method. Check out the Tethering method from the article linked below. Whenever you are home use the Tethering method. Also, set up an exercise pen in a room that you can close off access to later on (pup will learn it's okay to potty in this room so choose accordingly). A guest bathroom, laundry room, or enclosed balcony - once weather is a safe temperature are a few options. Don't set the exercise up in a main area of the house like the den or kitchen. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below, and instead of a litter box like the article mentions, use a real grass pad to stay consistent with teaching pup to potty on grass outside - which is far less confusing than pee pads (Don't use pee pads if the end goal is pottying outside!). Since your goal is pottying outside only use the Exercise Pen at night and when you are not home. When pup will hold her bladder while in the rest of the house consistently and can hold it for as long as you are gone for during the day and overnight, then remove the exercise pen and grass pad completely, close off access to the room that the pen was in so she won't go into there looking to pee, and take her potty outside only. Since she may still chew longer even after potty training, when you leave her alone, be sure to leave her in a safe area that's been puppy proofed, like a cordoned off area of the kitchen with chew toys - until she is out of the destructive chewing phases too - which typically happens between 1-2 years for most dogs with the right training. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands - Also found on Amazon www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com You can also make your own out of a piece of grass sod cut up and a large, shallow plastic storage container. 6. Another cause of accidents in the crate is separation anxiety. True separation anxiety is generally very obvious and different than the normal adjustment period that accompanies crate training puppies, with several signs, including heavy panting and drooling, no-stop barking, accidents in the crate, trying to escape to the point of injury, shaking and trembling, refusal to eat, and/or vomiting in the crate. Some of these signs should be investigated by your vet to make sure its not something else going on, and if they are happening when you are home and pup isn't crated also, assume a trip to your vet is needed and not that it's anxiety. To address accidents due to separation anxiety, the anxiety itself needs to be resolved. To address separation anxiety: First, pup needs to be crate trained to help build independence. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below and work on that method to get her used to you being out of the room while she is crated. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate She also needs to build her independence and her confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into her routine if you haven't already done so. Things such as making her work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets by obeying a command like Sit first. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching her to remain inside a crate when the door is open as well as closed. Give her something to do in the crate or on Place during the day while you are out of the room (such as a dog food stuffed Kong to chew on). Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ For a young puppy, I would only do the above until pup is around 5 months of age. If the above isn't sufficient, once pup is a bit older there is a more strict protocol that can be followed to address the anxiety. In the meantime, I would follow the protocol for dogs who have lost their natural desire to hold it in a confined space, using the exercise pen method and tethering methods I linked above, while at the same time working on the open door portion of crate training from the surprise method, so that pup is more comfortable by the time they are 5 months and ready to start the separation anxiety protocol below. If doing the above is not sufficient, I recommend doing the below in addition to it, as needed. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of pup's life too. Second, purchase a Pet convincer. DO NOT use a citronella spray, make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh and the smell lingers a long time so the dog continues to be corrected even after they stop the behavior). Next, set up a camera to spy on her. 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 her but she 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. Set up your camera to spy on her while she is in the crate and leave. Spy on her from outside or another room - whatever normally triggers the barking. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear her crying or see her start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, quietly return, spray a small puff of air from the pet convincer at her side through the crate wires, without opening the door, then leave again. Every time she barks or tries to get out of the crate, correct, then leave again. After five minutes to ten minutes of practice, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back into the room where she is and sprinkle several treats into the crate without saying anything, then leave again. Practice correcting when she barks or tries to escape, going back inside and sprinkling treats when she stays quiet, for up to 30 minutes a session at first. After 30 minutes -1 hour of practicing this, while she is quiet, go back into the room and sprinkle more treats. This time stay in the room. Do not speak to her or pay attention to her for ten minutes while you walk around and get stuff done inside. When she is being calm, then you can let her out of the crate. When you let her out, open and close the door again whenever she tries to rush out, until she will wait in the crate with the door open. Once she is waiting calmly, tell her "Okay" or "Free!" and let her come out. You want her to be calm when she comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home - so that she isn't building up those emotions habitually anticipating your arrival home each time. That is why you need to ignore her when you get home right away also. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Also, for longer alone times give her a food stuffed Kong into the crate/room with her. Once she is less anxious she will likely enjoy it even if she didn't pay any attention to it in the past, and that will help her to enjoy alone time more. First, she may need her anxious state of mind interrupted so that she is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give her a food stuffed Kong in the crate for her to relieve her boredom instead of barking, since she will need something other than barking to do at that point. Regularly practice her staying on Place and in the open crate while you are home and leave the room as well. Finally, teach pup the Quiet command to make communication with her clearer. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark When you are home, also make sure you are exercising her both mentally and physically - regularly teaching and practicing obedience commands or tricks, and incorporating those commands into her day is one way to stimulate mentally - such as practicing heel, sit, and down during a walk or game of fetch, having pup do a command before giving her something she wants, and feeding meals in dog food stuffed chew toys or or things like automatic treat dispensing devices like autotrainer or pet tutor, or kong wobbles. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

July 8, 2021


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