Siberian Huskies are loyal, active dogs that can make the perfect pet for an outdoorsy family.
These pups can also be very independent, and that trait can get them into mischief when a pet parent isn’t around to watch their cheeky furbaby! Potty training is also much easier when you use a crate, and bad habits, such as barking and chewing, can be prevented from developing if you crate train your dog properly.
So, you can see that crate training a Husky puppy can be a good move.
Read this guide to discover our top tips on crate train a Husky puppy.
Choose The Correct Crate For Your Husky
You can read a detailed article on choosing the best crate for your Husky here.
Take It Slowly!
You must always take crate training very slowly to give your dog a chance to get accustomed to the crate.
Don’t simply put your dog into his crate and close the door! That will most likely cause your dog to panic and associate the crate with awful memories of confinement that he might associate with punishment for reasons he doesn’t understand.
Always proceed slowly and patiently, using positive reinforcement training methods when teaching your dog to use his crate. After all, your Husky’s crate is his personal space where he should feel safe and secure, not afraid.
Top Tip: To keep your dog safe and prevent the risk of choking or strangulation, always remove your Husky’s collar when he’s crated.
Before You Start
Before crate training can get underway, you’ll need to prepare.
Where you decide to place your puppy’s crate can significantly influence how successful your crate training project will be.
The crate should be:
- Away from direct heat sources and out of direct sunlight
- Out of reach of power outlets and electrical cables
- Away from drafts and air conditioning units
- Away from anything that your puppy is likely to bite or chew
- Not in a high-traffic area, such as a doorway
To begin with, it’s a good idea to put the crate in a place where your dog can see plenty of people coming and going. That helps prevent feelings of isolation and abandonment that could ultimately cause behavioral problems such as separation anxiety.
Later in the process, when your puppy feels more settled and is happy to spend time in his crate, you might want to relocate the crate to a more convenient or peaceful spot.
Creating a Comfortable Crate
Your Husky puppy won’t want to spend time in his crate if it’s not an enticing, comfortable place to be.
Start by fitting the crate with a comfy bed and a fleecy blanket that your pet can snuggle into. Include a few toys, a chew treat, and fit a crate water bottle, so your puppy doesn’t get thirsty. Interactive reward-based toys are a sure-fire way of tempting the most reluctant puppy into his crate!
Ultimately, if your dog expects to find tasty treats, fun toys, and a cozy bed inside the crate, he will be more likely to spend time there.
Crate Training Your Husky Puppy – Step-By-Step
Once the crate is set up in an ideal spot, you can begin your Husky puppy’s actual crate training process.
Introduce Your Husky Puppy To His Crate
Begin by allowing your puppy to have a good sniff around his new crate and check it out. Talk to your pet calmly and encourage him to explore his new special space.
Leave the crate door propped open so that your puppy can go into the crate if he wants to. Many curious puppies are tempted by the smell of tasty treats and food inside the crate, walking right inside to get the reward. If that happens, happy days!
Do not try to force your Husky pup to go inside the crate!
Feed Your Puppy Inside His Crate
Some puppies are reluctant to go into their crate. In that case, feeding the dog inside the crate can be very effective.
Allow your puppy to watch you preparing his food, and then put the bowl just inside the crate. Usually, the puppy will go into the crate to get his meal. Once your pup is more confident, move the food further inside the crate.
It’s very helpful to feed your dog in his crate for several reasons.
- Feeding in the crate helps prevent aggression and competition for food in multi-dog households.
- Feeding in the crate helps to prevent some dogs from bolting their food.
- Crate feeding helps prevent begging for food, counter-surfing, and stealing food from plates.
Once the dog learns that he will be fed inside his crate, he will probably stop looking for food elsewhere.
Close The Crate Door
Once your puppy is happily tucking into his food inside the crate, you can try shutting the door.
The first time you close the door, you must open it again when the puppy has finished eating. Try to get the door open before the pup realizes he’s been shut inside the crate so that he doesn’t start barking or whining.
Try shutting the door for a bit longer with every crate training session. In these early stages of crate training, your aim is to confine your puppy to his crate for up to five minutes after he’s finished eating.
Step Away From The Crate
Provided that crate training is going well and your puppy remains calm, he should now regard his crate as somewhere he receives meals, treats, and toys.
You can make things more challenging for your puppy by stepping away from the crate. Make sure that you stay within your pup’s eye line so that he doesn’t feel anxious, gradually increasing the time the puppy is contained inside his crate.
Don’t be surprised if your pet begins showing anxiety at first by whining or crying. If that happens, don’t immediately let your puppy out of his crate. Instead, turn your back on the puppy, and wait for a minute until your pet is calm again. Once the pup has been sitting quietly in his crate, you can turn around and let him out again.
Gradually, increase your puppy’s confinement time with the door closed. Don’t forget to let your pup out for a toilet break every two hours!
Using The Crate For Nighttime Sleep
Most dog owners prefer to use their dog’s crate for nighttime sleep, and there are a few good reasons for that, including:
- Your puppy is safer confined to his crate overnight to avoid getting into dangerous situations in your home or backyard while unsupervised.
- Your puppy is less likely to use his crate as a toilet area, whereas accidents are almost inevitable if your pet is permitted to roam around the house unchecked.
- Very young puppies need to be taken outside for a potty break every couple of hours. If your puppy is right next to you in his crate, you’ll hear him when he wakes, making accidents more preventable.
- You will get a much better night’s sleep if your puppy is not roaming around the house, potentially jumping onto your bed.
In an emergency, such as a house fire, it will be much easier to rescue your puppy if he’s confined to his crate at night than if the little guy is running around the house in a panic, potentially hiding away.
Introduce Verbal Cues
When crate training your Husky puppy, you need to teach him some verbal cues that he can easily remember and understand.
For example, most people use “Bed” or “Crate.” Other effective words to use are “No!” for bad behavior and “Good dog” when your pet deserves praise and a reward.
Up The Ante
Once your puppy is accustomed to spending time in his crate with the door shut, you can leave him in the crate for longer and move out of sight.
Give your Husky puppy a good run or playtime session before each crate training session. Your pet is much more likely to settle in his crate if he’s not full of boundless energy.
Ultimately, your puppy should understand that being confined to his crate for brief periods is simply a part of his daily routine. Provided that your pet has a cozy crate packed with enticing treats and fun toys, your puppy should quickly learn the correct behavior.
Many dogs find the crate more den-like and cozy if it’s covered with a proper crate cover. Not every dog appreciates being confined to a dark crate, so you’ll need to observe your pet to understand his likes and dislikes.
What Do I Do If My Puppy Barks Or Whines When Crated?
Unfortunately, some whining, barking, and complaining are expected when crate training your Husky puppy. That is simply an occupational hazard and not an immediate cause for concern. How you deal with that situation will greatly influence how future crate training sessions will go.
Protest whinging is a different kind of cry when compared with a request for a bathroom break. It’s up to you to observe your puppy and get to know and understand the different sounds that your puppy makes.
There are essentially three ways to deal with puppy protests:
You might want to stay in the room and ignore your complaining puppy.
Turn your back on your puppy and ignore him until he quietens down. Once peace has been restored, you can let your pet out again.
Only release your puppy when he’s quiet. If you let your puppy out as soon as he begins vocalizing, you reinforce those undesirable behavior issues by giving your pet what he wants.
Most dogs will eventually understand that barking and whinging won’t get them what they want, and they will give up.
Choose a cue word, such as a simple “Shhh!” that you only use when the puppy begins whining.
Do not interact or speak to the dog in any other way. If you do, you’re reinforcing the undesirable behavior you’re trying to prevent.
Go To Another Room
Another option is to remove yourself to another room, leaving your puppy alone. That sometimes works because the dog works out that barking and whining is pointless as there’s no one there to listen to their complaints. Often, the dog will simply shut up and go to sleep until you come back to let him out of the crate.
However, some pups become very distressed when left alone, and that can make the behavior worse.
Whatever approach you choose to take, you need to be consistent.
Use your preferred strategy, and stick to your guns until your dog exhibits the preferred behavior you want. Don’t give in! If you do, you’re allowing your Husky to train you, rather than the other way around!
Crate Training Dos and Don’ts
Here are a few dos and don’ts to be mindful of when crate training your Husky puppy:
- Before you crate your dog, make sure he’s had a bathroom break. In the case of young puppies, you must take your puppy outside for a potty stop as soon as you let your pet out of his crate.
- Provide your Husky puppy with lots of mental stimulation while confined to his crate. Give your puppy chew toys and interactive games to play to keep him busy.
- Your dog must always have access to clean water, especially overnight and in warm weather. You can either use a crate bottle or a crate water dish that won’t get tipped over.
- Some background noise can help a dog to feel less isolated when he’s left home alone in a quiet house. So, try leaving a radio or TV on to keep your pup company.
- Be prepared to spend plenty of time crate training your puppy. Don’t rush the process, be consistent and methodical.
- Practice crate training your pet every day until the penny drops. Your dog learns to accept being crated as part of his normal daily routine.
- A tired dog is much more likely to settle down in his crate than one popping full of energy. So, make sure that you give your puppy plenty of exercise before crating him. A session of exercise could take the form of a walk, a trip to the dog park, or simply a game of fetch in your backyard.
- Always be consistent in your approach to crate training your puppy. Keep to the same rules and use the same verbal cues so that your Husky puppy doesn’t become confused.
- Don’t cave in when your dog starts whining or crying. Stick to your guns and wait until your puppy becomes calm before releasing him from his crate. If you give up and let your puppy out every time he starts crying, you’re effectively rewarding him for undesirable behavior.
- Never pull, push, drag, or force your Husky puppy into or out of the crate. That will only make your pet resentful and fearful of what’s supposed to be his special cozy, safe place.
- Do not use the crate to punish your dog by locking him inside. If you do that, your pet will always associate the crate with a negative experience, which will destroy the crate’s usefulness as a training tool.
- Huskies love to be part of their human family. Don’t crate your puppy simply because he is asking for attention, and you don’t want to give that to him. Shutting your dog in his crate because you don’t have the time to devote to him is cruel and unfair to your pet. If you can’t give your puppy the attention he deserves, you should consider rehoming him to a family where he will receive the interaction he needs.
- Never crate a dog that has severe separation anxiety issues. If the dog becomes panicky, stressed, or aggressive when confined to his crate, you should seek professional help to address those behaviors.
Not all dogs can accept being crated. If your puppy is one of those Huskies that won’t tolerate confinement, you’ll need to take a step back and consider alternatives, such as an exercise pen or outdoor kennel with a run.
How Long To Crate?
Now that your puppy is crate trained, you’ll need to know how long you can reasonably leave him confined to his crate.
Ideally, you should crate your pet for a few hours, up to five hours at a stretch. Of course, crating your dog overnight is somewhat different since the dog’s metabolic processes are slower. That means that your dog will be able to last longer overnight than he can during the day.
Most older puppies and adult dogs can remain in their crate overnight without needing a toilet break.
Why Crate Train Your Husky?
Crate training is beneficial for both dogs and their owners for several reasons.
A Safe Space
Dogs are naturally drawn to a dark, enclosed den-like space where they can sleep and relax in security and safety.
If you set up your puppy’s crate correctly, as previously described, your puppy should be happy to go into his crate whenever he wants to retreat from the hubbub of a busy family home to find a little peace and quiet. That can help to prevent your pet from becoming stressed and anxious.
You can use a crate for potty training a puppy.
Dogs don’t like to relieve themselves in their sleeping area. So, placing your puppy in his crate can prevent toileting accidents from happening around your home. Set your puppy up for success by ensuring that he goes outside for a potty break right before you crate him so that he’s comfortable.
Puppies cannot hold their bladders for as long as adult dogs, so you need to bear that in mind when crating a young pup. Always let your puppy or adult dog out for a potty stop before you crate him for any long period.
Preventing Destructive Behavior
Teething puppies and some destructive adult dogs can be prone to chewing.
If left unsupervised, your pet could munch his way through furniture, clothing, shoes, and even electrical cables. However, if your dog is confined to his crate, he will have his toys to chew, keeping your possessions safe.
Crate training can help prevent your dog from developing a chewing habit in the first place, so you can safely allow him the run of the house without fear that your valuables will get destroyed.
Keeping Your Husky Puppy Safe
Puppies and adult dogs can get into trouble when left home alone or roaming loose overnight.
Your dog could eat something harmful, swallow something, choke, or become trapped somewhere. If your puppy is crated, he will be safe in his crate until you’re there to let him outside again.
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Crate training has many benefits for dogs and their owners, including making potty training much easier, preventing destructive behavior, keeping your dog safe while you’re not around, and providing your pet with a comfortable, secure den-like space. Take things slowly when crate training your dog. Be consistent, and never use your puppy’s crate as a tool for punishment.
Did you crate train your Husky puppy? Tell us how you got on in the comments section below!