Dogs are den animals which means they naturally seek out small places that are easily defendable, giving them peace of mind, a feeling of safety. Purchasing a crate for your husky is a great way to satisfy this instinctive behavior and doubles as a great training tool. Our husky Aura suffers from separation anxiety so it was necessary for us to crate train her very quickly after we brought her home. After doing some research on the topic I have assembled some of the best tips for crate training huskies.
It’s Not a Jail!
There are many people that have an aversion to crates because they are reminded of jail cells looking at one. You should never use the crate as a punishment device though and if trained correctly your pup will see the crate as a safe home base and not a prison sentence. A crate is much more like a playpen is to a child than a prisoner in a jail cell.
Benefits of Crate Training Huskies
Here are a few of the benefits that come with crate training your husky.
- Creates a sanctuary for your beloved pet to retreat to in times of stress.
- Keeps your dog from making messes or chewing things while you’re away from home.
- Greatly accelerates potty training because most dogs will avoid going potty where they sleep.
- Traveling with your dog is much easier as many establishments require that dogs be confined in a crate.
Crate Training Supplies
Here is a list of supplies you’ll need to most effectively crate train your husky.
- An appropriately sized crate for your husky that allows them to turn around and get comfortable. We have a 42 in L x 28 in W x 30 ‘fold and carry dog crate’ by Grreat Choice and it’s the perfect fit for her.
- Towels and training pads for any accidents.
- Water bottle with a water and vinegar mixture to clean the crate.
- Dog toys, a KONG is a great option.
- Dog treats to help your dog associate training as a positive experience.
- A sheet or some sort of cover to put over the crate.
- Some sort of bedding or soft material to make the crate comfortable.
Crate Training Huskies
Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to crate train your husky.
- Put the crate in a room where you will spend most of your time. Dogs are social creatures and want to be near you so this will make training much easier. We have Aura’s crate in our bedroom.
- Prepare the crate by putting a soft material down inside. For puppies if possible getting a blanket that smells like the mother is very helpful. You can also put a sheet over the crate which will make it feel safer and cozier to your dog.
- Decide on a command to give your dog when they enter the crate. We tell Aura to ‘go to your room’ when we put her in her crate. Whatever you choose, be consistent with it.
- Entice your pup into entering the crate by putting a toy or snack inside. If your dog tries to take the treat out of the crate then take it from them and put it back in. This will teach them that they only get the treat if they’re inside the crate.
- Reinforce this behavior by giving your dog a treat every time they completely enter the crate when giving the command. This can take a long time or not much at all depending on your dog. Just remember to be patient with them while they’re learning.
- At first sit in front of the crate with the door open to help your pet get comfortable with it. Pet them while speaking in a calm voice to help them acclimate easier.
- When your pet has become more comfortable with the crate, then close the door and wait a few minutes.
- Repeat this process and each time leave your dog in the crate a little longer. Start with five minutes and work up to half an hour, an hour, etc.
- Begin to leave the room once your dog can stand to wait more than five minutes in the crate. This will teach them to be more independent and that you’ll always come back.
- Slowly your husky will come to associate their crate with good things and will start to enter of their own accord. This is a good sign and you should further reinforce this behavior by praising them.
Additional Crate Training Tips
Here is a list of additional crate training tips to take into consideration.
- If your dog whines or howls do not let them out of their crate. Huskies especially are known to be very vocal and I know it can be hard but do your best to wait for a lapse in the whining before letting them out. If you don’t you then you will teach them that bad behavior will get them out of the crate.
- Consider feeding your dog their meals while they’re in the crate. This will further associate good things with the crate.
- Always be calm and assertive when your dog enters and exits the crate. Acting too excited will encourage them to see the crate as a punishment which we want to avoid.
- Praise your dog when they show good behavior and ignore them when they behave badly.
- If your dog has a collar be sure to take it off before putting them in their crate as this can be a choking hazard.
- Some crates come with a ‘divider panel’ so that you can buy one crate that accommodates a puppy into adulthood. As the puppy gets bigger you simply push the divider back until it is no longer needed because your dog now fits into the crate appropriately.
- Dogs should not be left in their crate for too long. Puppies are only able to hold the contents of their bladder in for short periods of time and require frequent potty breaks.
- Tiring your dog out with playtime or by going on a walk before trying to crate train can be helpful as your dog will be tired and more likely to calm down.
- For faster training have your dog sleep in their crate. If you go this route you’ll want to put the crate in your room and expect some crying. Be sure to let the dog out if you think it needs to use the restroom though.
- You’ll periodically want to clean the liner to your dog’s crate. A water and vinegar mixture will do just fine.
Last Notes on Crate Training Huskies
Crate training huskies is a fairly straight forward process and its benefits far outweigh any perceived negative emotions associated with it. Be Always very patient with your pet through the learning process and try not to get too frustrated if things aren’t working right away. It can take weeks to months to crate train your dog depending on a variety of different factors.
If you had success or are struggling with crate training your dog please leave a comment below with your story! What was crate training your pet like?