Potty training a husky is famously difficult, so we understand why training a new husky puppy is a seemingly daunting task. Before husky puppy owners welcome a new fur baby home, there are many things they should be aware of, one of which is huskies and husky puppies have a mind of their own and are known to be stubborn.
However, does this mean it can’t be done? Of course not. The potty training process for all puppies is the same, it takes patience, consistency, and time. Let’s take a look at how we can make things easier for all Siberian husky parents.
How To Potty Train A Husky Puppy
Before we get down to it, there are a few things you should get ready in the house in order to ensure a successful potty training process.
One of the best and most recommended ways to potty train a Siberian husky puppy is by using a crate. This is something most trainers would also suggest for a puppy of any breed. The crate’s function is to be a safe space or a den for your dog. It’s where he can feel safe, where your Siberian husky can retreat to whenever he needs, and hopefully a place that brings him peace.
Siberian huskies are stubborn dogs and can be difficult to train. But crate training is an excellent method to teach them how to not eliminate themselves whenever they choose and to do it in the right spot. The puppy crate is something that you should already have before bringing your puppy home because it is also a useful tool for other forms of training.
Keep in mind that you should never use the crate as a form of punishment. There are some dog owners that will send the dog to his “room” when he acts up or does something wrong. While we can understand the logic behind this, and a human child could as well, a dog will not. Instead, you are taking two steps back in-house training if you create a negative association with your Siberian husky pup and the crate.
Puppy Pads and Holder
There are a few ways dog owners can choose to potty train their dog, and one of which is with puppy pads. This is a topic of hot debate because some trainers advise against it while others find puppy training pads to be very helpful. It all depends on whether you want to allow your dog to go inside the house. If you are the type to only want your dog to eliminate outdoors and keep your home clean, then try to avoid the puppy pad.
If you do go with puppy pad training, then we would suggest purchasing a puppy pad holder as well. This is a tray that holds the pad with a grate over the top. It’s useful because your new and curious husky pup will not be able to get at the pad, which some can find to be a fun toy. Plus, it prevents wet paw prints all over your house when your puppy steps on a soiled pad.
Doggy Poop Bags
Doggy poop bags are a key component in potty training and for walks. These versatile and hopefully biodegradable bags are used to pick up poop in and out of the house. It’s the same bags you would use during walks or just letting your dog go in your yard.
Doggy wipes are a godsend for potty training. If you have a wooly-coated husky puppy, there is a chance that looser stools will make a mess around his bottom, so having doggy wipes on hand is very useful. Just in case you get some stuff on your hands, the doggy wipes can also be a very helpful accessory.
Harness and Leash
The harness and leash are for dog walking as well as potty training, so it’s something no dog owner can go without. Make sure you get the right size for your Siberian husky pup. Since the Siberian husky is a medium to large dog, there is almost no chance that the same harness will fit throughout his life. You will need to switch harnesses eventually, so don’t get one that’s too big for your dog.
The rule of thumb is to be able to fit two fingers between the harness and your dog from any position. If you go any tighter than that, your dog will be very uncomfortable and some chafing may happen. If you go looser, there is a good chance your dog can squirm free. Since we know that huskies are very active and energetic dogs, we want them to be as secure as possible.
Harnesses are usually adjustable, so make sure you take your dog into the store to find the right fit.
Nothing is better than positive reinforcement when house training puppies. Positive reinforcement is where you reward your dog for good behavior, and give him nothing for when he acts up. Many experts say that dogs respond better to positive reinforcement as opposed to punishment. If you choose to give your dog tasty treats when he does things right, you will have a fully-trained husky puppy on your hands before you know it.
Dogs usually aren’t very picky when it comes to treats – just with food. However, it still helps to figure out what your puppy likes. Try not to use high-value treats for regular training and save those for heavy-duty tasks such as training them to come when called, especially when they’re off-leash. Another tip we have is to choose smaller treats for potty training and even your dog’s kibble could work.
We want small treats because your dog will consume a lot during potty training and crate training, and you wouldn’t want him to spoil his dinner by filling up on less nutritional treats.
Lastly, include an enzyme cleaner in your checklist. It’s a must-have tool when potty training puppies in an apartment or house because accidents are inevitable. There will be many accidents in your dog’s life, even when he becomes an adult dog or senior dog. The enzyme cleaner is extremely powerful and will break down the urine molecules on a molecular level to eliminate any trace.
Dogs are known to return to the same spot to potty. This is why when an accident happens, it’s very likely that the next accident will occur in the same spot. Cleaning it well with an enzyme cleaner will prevent this from happening. When you find the accident, clean it up as soon as possible so it doesn’t soak in.
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Basic Steps to Potty Training a Husky Pup
1. Create A Potty Training Routine
Puppies thrive on routine. Trust us when we say potty training will be a lot easier if you establish a schedule. The first thing is to create a potty training routine. You can determine what their natural schedule is, but puppies are very adaptable creatures and since you are the leader of the pack, they will adjust to your schedule. The schedule part is easier with huskies because they are pack animals and working dogs. Once you have established yourself as the leader, they will listen more often.
All puppies share a few constants, which is needing to eliminate themselves soon after eating or drinking. They will also need to do so when they wake up. Knowing this, you can create a schedule that suits their natural needs and fits into your own routine.
Don’t make your dog hold it for longer than he can. The rule is puppies can hold it for their age plus 1. For example, a 3-month old puppy can hold it for 4 months (his age = 2 months, plus 1 = 4).
2. Create A Feeding Schedule
Following that thought, the feeding schedule is one thing that will give normalcy to the potty training. As we said, a puppy will need to go around 15 minutes after feeding. Knowing this, you can choose to feed your puppy when it suits you – around 3 to 4 times a day. This way, you can have a pretty good idea when your dog needs to go poop, which will give you a fully potty-trained pup in no time.
3. Outline a Potty Area
In order to for your puppy to know what to do and where to go, you have to choose a permanent potty spot. When you’re training him indoors or out and it’s potty time, take your puppy directly to the designated area. Once he has gone a few times and received positive reinforcement for his success, your puppy will know what’s expected of him when he goes there in the future. This will carry over to when he is an adult dog.
So, what happens if your dog is stubborn and doesn’t eliminate himself right away? What if instead, he wants to explore, play with your shoelaces or make an enemy of the leash? It’s okay to bring them back in and wait for a few minutes before trying again. There are many times when husky owners have told us that the minute they bring their pups inside, they decide to pee. it can be frustrating when this happens, but you can avoid it if you learn to look for the elimination signs, which we will cover in a bit.
Some tricks that can help speed up the process and lead to a potty-trained pup faster is to place a soiled pee pad or even traces of his poop in that area so your pup understands what to do. The odor of your puppy’s waste will prompt him to go.
It’s also helpful to associate elimination with a keyword so your dog understands what to do with repetition. Pick a short word, such as “pee pee” rather than one with more syllables so it’s easier for your dog to remember.
4. Read the Signs
Knowing when your puppy needs to go could save you from a lot of cleaning up. When you see your pup dip his nose to the ground, circle, sniff, and while frantically, and pace around, you know it’s time for business. When you witness this, do not wait. Pick up your husky puppy immediately and head out to the potty spot.
When there, give him some time to do the do. Remember to give him plenty of praise and a treat for positive reinforcement. Some husky parents may not have time to pick up a treat before ushering their dog outside, but that’s okay because sometimes positive encouragement can take the place of a treat. So give your dog some happy and motivating words with an excited tone of voice and a soft pat on the head.
5. Contain Your Pup
Limit your puppy’s access to the rest of the house. When your puppy is given free time or during playtime, we suggest sectioning off a specific area using baby gates or doggy pens to barricade off a section of space. You can do this until you are confident your dog is properly house trained.
6. Use the Crate
We already went over using a crate to potty train and the importance of doing so since a crate doubles as your pup’s den. The crate should be large enough for your dog to stand up, turn around, and lay down comfortably. It shouldn’t be big enough for him to take a few steps because that will give him enough space to eliminate in a corner and sleep comfortably on the other side.
Dogs don’t typically go where they lie, which is why crate training is the key to preventing random accidents. For fear of having to lie in his own mess, your husky fur baby will try his best to hold it. Of course, don’t make him do it for longer than he can, and don’t make holding it a regular thing.
It can be hard to buy a crate that’s the right size, and it’s quite wasteful to purchase a crate that’s the perfect size when your dog’s a puppy, but have to buy a completely new one when he becomes an older dog. A way around this is to buy one that is suitable for your dog at his projected size and use a crate divider to cordon off the rest of the crate for house-breaking purposes. When your dog gets bigger, you can do away with the divider.
7. What about Overnight Training?
Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of house training happens overnight. Crate training is so crucial to help dog parents maintain their sanity during this time. It’s okay to let your puppy sleep in your room, or you can choose to place him anywhere you hope will become his “spot”. You have to get up at least once a night to take your puppy to the bathroom, and this is a necessary part of the training process you can’t avoid.
It may take some time during evening potty breaks, because your young pup may be groggy. Once he wakes up, it may also be a bit more difficult to get him to go back to sleep. Unfortunately, during nighttime potty training, you won’t be getting much shut-eye. In order to maximize your sleep, we suggest parents go to bed later than usual. Your pup will most likely get tired by 9 or 10 o’clock, but you shouldn’t head to bed until a little closer to 12 am.
By doing so, you can wake up once at around 3 or 3:30, because then you can get up at 6 or 6:30, which is a pretty regular time for most who have office jobs. Feel free to adjust your dog’s schedule to fit your own for an easier time.
8. How to Handle Accidents
We mentioned the importance of cleaning up accidents thoroughly with an enzyme cleaner, but we’re going to cover how to handle accidents in more detail. Aside from never punishing your dog for doing something wrong, and instead, rewarding them for a job well done when something is done right, you should also not scold your dog if you do not catch them right before, during the act, or right after.
This is because your dog is unable to associate your present aggression with their wrong-doing from hours ago. If you don’t catch them, just silently clean up the mess and hope they will do better next time. But if you do catch them in the act, say “no” right away and scoop them, and head to their potty spot to let them finish off. Once they do, reward them with a treat or encouraging words.
Tips to Help House Train Your Husky
- Always be consistent with when and where you allow your puppy to go, and also with your keywords. Doing the same thing over and over again for a length of time is what really gets things to stick in your dog’s mind.
- Don’t be frustrated with your dog if he doesn’t get it right within a certain amount of time. Every dog is different. So while it may take one dog a week to get it, it could take yours a month. It’s okay because your dog will get there eventually.
- It’s all about positive reinforcement. Remember to always have treats ready or be ready to meet your pup with an excited and encouraging attitude to let him know you are very proud of him and to make it clear that what he is doing is what you want.
- Never underestimate the power of a consistent feeding schedule. It will help you get a better grasp of when your dog needs to go. This will also prevent accidents from happening as often.
- Do not give your dog free rein of the entire house. A husky owner who does that is looking at constant cleanups. Even if you have potty pads, accidents will be inevitable if you can’t control their access to the house.
- Husky owners should also not underestimate the power of a good enzymatic cleaner. These cleaners can virtually eliminate all traces of accidents and prevent your dogs from making the same mistake again. It will make it much easier to potty train your pup when there are no temptations. However, you can also use this natural instinct in your favor by leaving traces of past accidents in his potty area to help him go.
- A crate also makes a great tool for when you cannot readily supervise your dog, when you’re out of the house, or when you simply need some peace to get stuff done. This is why it’s so important to make sure your pup views the crate in a positive light. Hopefully, you will reach the point where your puppy will not resist being in the crate and he may even like it. You can do this if you place all his favorite things in the crate with him, maybe along with an old shirt or something that smells like you to bring him comfort.
- For those that work full time, potty training can be difficult. It is also why we suggest hiring a pet sitter or walker if you can to keep the potty training going even in your absence. It’s crucial to make sure the dog sitter or walker remains consistent with the training, the schedule and the commands to avoid confusing your puppy.
- If you have a male dog, marking is almost unavoidable. Whether they do it in the house, however, is another story. Pet parents who use puppy pads have said marking may happen, but the chances decrease greatly. This is because male dogs who have been trained to eliminate indoors with a puppy pad when they don’t get to go out won’t forget this as they grow older. They will still do the squat in the house when using the puppy pad.
If you have more than one dog at home, the marking could very well be an act of dominance in order to let all the other pets know that something belongs to him. Female dogs don’t mark, so you will not have an issue with leg raising in the house – just the occasional accident when you’re potty training. Another way around random eliminating in the house is spaying and neutering the huskies when the time is appropriate.
Always train your husky when they are young and remain vigilant because they can be a bit stubborn. Trust us when we say it is much more difficult to retrain or train an older dog than it is to have started when they were young.
You can start to potty train as early as 8 weeks old, but understand that your dog’s bladder has not yet fully developed and that accidents are inevitable. However, at that age, it’s more about the concept of potty training you want to ingrain in your dog rather than getting it right. Once your dog is 3 months old, he will be a little better at holding it in and bladder control, although it won’t be until 4 months when they can really start to control themselves.
Potty training is no easy feat, but you and your dog can get to the finish line quicker if you follow our tips above. Remember that it’s not a race, and your dog will get in in his own time. Meanwhile, there are plenty of things you can do to make it easier for yourself and your dog to reach successful housebreaking sooner. Remember to always be patient, consistent, kind and encouraging while offering plenty of positive reinforcement and avoiding any punishment.