How I Trained My Husky Puppy

Puppies have a lot of hyper energy and very short attention spans.

They are also infinitely curious and want to put everything that they see in their little mouths. This can make puppy obedience training something of a challenge.

When it comes to puppy training, we want to get our puppy to repeat good behaviors, and stop bad behaviors. The more a puppy practices a behavior, the more likely she will repeat it. Therefore, by encouraging good behaviors, we ensure that she will have a good repertoire of people friendly actions to draw upon when she grows up.

Here, we deal with the 3 primary elements of puppy obedience training –

  • How to communicate consistently and effectively with a puppy.
  • How to encourage good puppy behaviors.
  • How to discourage bad puppy behaviors.

1. How to Communicate with Puppy

The first two words I teach my puppy are “Yes” and “No”.

“Yes” is used to mark a desirable behavior and “No” is used to mark an undesirable behavior.

Yes is usually followed by a positive consequence (e.g. a food reward, affection, toys), and No is usually followed by a negative consequence (e.g. withdrawal of attention, timeout).

In fact, we do not need to use the words “Yes” and “No”, and can pick whatever mark-words we want. The best mark-words are unique, and do not frequently come up in normal conversation. This helps to prevent confusion with our dogs.

For my dogs, I use Ack-Ack as a no-mark and Good-Boy or Good-Girl as a yes-mark.

  • When my puppy does something good, I say “Good-Girl” and present her with a small treat reward.
  • When my puppy does something bad, I say “Ack-Ack” and redirect her into doing something positive.

Consistency is very important while communicating with our dogs. We want to stick to the same yes-mark and no-mark.

In addition, we also want to establish very consistent rules and a fixed routine. This helps our puppy understand what is expected of her, as well as what she can expect from us.

One of the first things that I do with a new puppy, is set up a fixed routine. My puppy schedule includes playing time, training time, walking time, feeding time, and the ever important sleeping time. I try to keep the schedule consistent, so that each of these activities happen at around the same time every day.

Keeping a fixed schedule is good for me, and good for Puppy. It allows me to be more efficient about getting things done, and it sets aside some me-time while Puppy is sleeping and resting in her crate.

It also helps get a puppy accustomed to a new environment, without being overly stressed. In the beginning, everything is new, foreign, and possibly scary for a new dog. A fixed schedule helps to reduce stress, increase trust, and quickly integrates her into the existing family rhythm.

Similarly, a consistent set of rules will help to avoid confusion, and hasten the puppy learning process.

2. How to Encourage Good Behaviors

Puppy obedience training and even adult dog training is centered around two key areas-

  • How to encourage and get puppy to repeat good behaviors.
  • How to discourage and get puppy to stop bad behaviors.

It is important to recognize though that what we see as good and bad behaviors may not coincide with what our dog considers to be good and bad behaviors.

Dogs, even puppies, think for themselves and have needs of their own.

Therefore, we want to use our newly established communication system to teach our puppy what is good and bad for us. In addition, we must also motivate our dog so that she actually cares about our human values, which very likely, make little or no sense to her.

We encourage good behaviors by using the yes-mark, as soon as our dog finishes doing something good.

For example, when our puppy finishes doing a Sit we say “Good-Girl!” and then present her with a reward. The yes-mark is very helpful in training because it allows us to immediately mark the behavior that we want to reward.

To effectively train our puppy, we want to clearly indicate which action she is being rewarded for. If we wait too long, she will have moved on to something else, and we may inadvertently reward the wrong behavior.

Therefore, quickly use the yes-mark as soon as our dog finishes a good behavior. Then, we can take more time to present Puppy with her reward.

3. How to Stop Bad Behaviors

When it comes to stopping bad dog behaviors most of us think of applying a physical punishment, for example spanking the dog, jabbing the dog with our fingers, or giving the dog a collar correction.

These techniques apply pain to the dog, at which point the dog may stop her current behavior in order to avoid further pain and stress.

However, such pain based techniques are risky. If they are not executed with exactly the right force, timing, and redirection, they may cause more behavioral issues down the road; even aggression. It is especially risky to apply such techniques to puppies because of their young minds, and still developing bodies.

How then can we stop bad puppy behavior?

I have found that the best way to stop bad behavior is through the control of resources. *We* naturally control everything that a puppy wants, including food, toys, freedom, affection, and play.

To encourage good behaviors, we motivate our puppy by giving her something that she wants.

To discourage bad behaviors, we motivate our puppy by taking away something that she values, for example her freedom, or our attention and affection.

Note – This does not mean that we should tease our puppy and take away food while she is eating, or forcibly remove a toy that she is playing with. Doing so can encourage food aggression or resource guarding behavior.

What works best is to withhold something that my puppy wants, but does not yet have. Another possibility is to take away a privilege, such as withdrawing my attention or restricting her freedom.

When my puppy bites at my hands, I give her a no-mark (Ack-ack) and then redirect her to do something else, for example, chew on a toy. If Puppy redirects, I give her a yes-mark (Good-Girl), and reward her with something that she really wants, such as a yummy treat.

If Puppy ignores the no-mark and continues to bite at me, I withdraw my attention by standing up, folding up my arms, and turning away from her. In this way, she loses a valued play-mate, and no longer gets to engage in something fun.

If Puppy escalates her behavior and starts to jump on me or bite my clothes, I take away an even more important privilege; her freedom. I do this by calmly saying Timeout, and then taking my puppy to a boring but safe timeout area.

Puppies often bite at us to initiate play or to get our attention. We can effectively stop puppy biting by teaching her the following-

  • Biting = No attention and no play,
  • No biting = Attention, play, and treats.

How to Train a Puppy

To stop bad behavior, I have found that it is important to –

  • Start by redirecting Puppy into doing something positive. In this way, we turn a negative situation into a positive one. We not only get our dog to do what we want, but also teach her that following our commands, is the fastest way to get to her heart’s desires.
  • Make the punishment suit the crime. I always start small and give my puppy many opportunities to choose a path for success. If she continues or escalates her bad behavior, then I slowly escalate her punishment.
  • Stay calm at all times. Puppies have high energy and are easily distracted. If we get angry or frustrated, we will only inject more bad energy into an already volatile situation. This will likely cause our puppy to lose focus, become more hyper, and behave in an even more erratic fashion. If we want our dog to be calm, we must stay calm ourselves.
  • Set Puppy up for success. Carefully manage our puppy and only expose her to situations that we think she can handle. For example, start by introducing her to new objects that are not moving, then slowly move on to moving objects, then objects that move and make noise, and so on. Start small and slowly move up to bigger things. The more successful a puppy is, the more confident she will become, and the more balanced she will be when she grows up.

Goal of Puppy Obedience

The goal of puppy obedience is to learn how to communicate with our puppy, and teach her how to live well and harmoniously with us.

Obedience training can also help to protect our puppy from inadvertently harming herself and others, or from engaging in activities that may be detrimental to her health (e.g. over-eating, walking on glass).

Obedience training is *not* for acting out our anger, or venting our frustrations when our puppy poops on our furniture, eats poop, and spreads garbage all over our expensive designer couch.

We are not perfect, and Puppy is not perfect. In the initial stages, mistakes will be made, some of which may lead to chewed up designer shoes, scratched kitchen cabinets, and stained carpets. However, this is all part of the learning process.

Puppies, and indeed all dogs do not perform bad behaviors just to piss us off, make us angry, or exact revenge.

Puppies Acting Badly

Puppies or dogs act badly because …

  • They do not know that something is bad because we did not teach them properly.
  • They were stressed and started chewing, digging, or even pooping in order to relieve that stress (displacement behaviors).
  • They felt threatened and thought it was necessary to protect themselves, or their belongings.

The key to puppy obedience training is in learning to see things from our dog’s point of view.

Once we understand what motivates our puppy, we can prevent undesirable actions and encourage desirable ones.

Dogs spend a lot of time observing us, understanding what makes us tick, and making us happy. The least that we can do, is try to return the favor.

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  1. Amanda says

    I have a Shiba Inu puppy and your website has been incredibly helpful in deciding on food and supplies! You mentioned using a soft grooming brush — do you have any specific recommendations or brands that work well? When shopping, there are so many options that it’s a bit overwhelming. Slicker? Furminator? Rake?

  2. Alayna says

    I just got an almost 3 months old (DOB: 12/30/2015) Siberian Husky and he bites and chews on everything BUT his chewing toys i buy for him. How do i get him to stop chewing/biting on everything else but his toys? He also pees and poops everywhere. How do i train him? Should i get training pads? I am currently live in an apartment, is there anything i can do to keep him happy and healthy? Thank you so much! Your husky is absolutely beautiful!

  3. Wassam says

    We recently got a 9 week old husky pup and we are already encountering some issues.

    We got out for dinner and come back to see he is growling and moaning in the house. He also growls and moans after he has done his poop.

    At the moment we have training pads and we would like him to get potty trained outside but it is raining here.

    He also seems to run away when we try to go next to him and he looks scared too.

    We will be gone for the day to work and he will be alone in the house, what’s the best way for the pup to be less destructive and be independent.

    Today I went to gym, before I left, he was napping and after I came back, he was growling and moaning and when I went inside the room, where he is kept, he had done poop.

    He is kept inside the room and we will be closing the door, so if accidents happen, it’s only limited to that room.

    Weather is crazy here and it’s raining and it will be hard for us to take him out for a little while.

    Lastly, we got a collar tag and leash for him and he won’t walk at all with him.

    But if we put him in the yard when it isn’t raining, he will run and go hide in a corner.

    We also got a couple of chew toys which he is slowly starting to use them.

    We were suggested to maybe leave a radio or tv on, while we will be away.

    And also get a big teddy bear, so it reminds him of his mom

    Please help/suggest

  4. Stephine says

    Hi my name is Stephine
    My husky is named Chief. I found him wondering around about a year ago and could never find the owner. When we go him we moved I to a house with a small chain link fence. He always got out. And then we put him in a kennel and he would find ways to get out. So we moved to a house with large back yard with a 6ft wooded privacy fence. Within 24 hours he has gotten out 4 time. A different way everytime. So I put him back in his kennel Soni could go out a do a few things. When I got home he was at the door when I opened it. When I checked his kennel I can’t figure out out he got out. The doors were still locked… what can I do to keep him in the yard. Or do you think it would be best for me to find a husky rescue for him so they can give him the proper care?

  5. Katherine says

    Hi! My family and I recently got a husky puppy. She is about 10 weeks old and very much still a baby. We’ve already fallen in love with her, but the problem is that she can be aggressive at times; she has bite my five-year old son in the face twice (drawing blood both times) as well as biting me on the side of the face once (also drawing blood). In none of the cases was she being provoked/eating/etc. She also growls frequently, sometimes playful, sometimes not. I’m beginning to fear that she may not be the right fit for our family (I can’t have a dog with aggressive tendencies around my child). Is there anything I can do to nip this in the bud now, before it gets even more out of hand? I’ve tried timeouts, withholding attention, etc. But nothing seems to curb the behavior. I just know that if we have to find her a new home my son will be heartbroken, but I can’t put him in potential danger as she grows much larger. Any advice would be extremely appreciated! Thank you!

    • Youenn says

      Hi Katherine,
      We had a husky/german sherperd puppy 2 months ago and we soon realized that we had to show her her place in the family hierarchy. (we already have a 2 years old dog) So every time we had to pass a door, it was humain first than my 2 years old dog and than my puppy. When we had to eat, we prepare every body meals (humain and dogs) and put it on the floor next to us so she could see it. We ate first than when we were done, we took there plate to there respective place to eat and let the older dog eat first and finally the puppy.
      An other example, when we arrive home, we always say hi to each other first and than the older dog and finally the puppy.
      She quickly realize that she wasn’t the boss and had to wait for our attention. When we play with her, we are always the one winning and always the one saying when the game start and when the game ends. She never bites us in the face but it happened that she (without control) bit our fingers and hands. We always said very loudly ”Aoutch” like if we were very heart and stopped the game there. So she could understand that she did a bad action.
      Quickly her attitude changed, she was more happy to learn and listen and to obey.

  6. Cassidy Gibson says

    I have a 8week old puppy I need help stopping him from whining and barking.He does this 24/7 we can’t have quite right a comment if you can give me a thing to do

    • Geoff says

      Put your puppy in a crate and put it in the bedroom with you when you go to bed. Thats what worked for us. Now she sleeps all night and doesent make a sound. Leaving her in her crate in the kitchen resulted in her howling and whining all night and it drove us crazy.

  7. Anonymous says

    I really need help with my puppy he barks constantly I read training stuff but I still can’t stop this Whining and barking if you can help please right a comment.

    • Geoff says

      The most important thing is to not give the dog attention when it barks or whines, you have to ignore it or it will think when it barks or whines it will get what it wants. When we first got our puppy at 12 weeks she would whine all howl at night and a few nights outside in the kennel in the pouring rain fixed that but then she would start doing it again a few days later and the cycle repeated. What finally worked was putting her in her crate at night in our bedroom. She hasnt made a sound since.

    • Anonymous says

      Try making your puppy feel safe! What I did was out her crate in my bed and let her sleep with me or you can get on the ground eye level with a sleeping bag for a couple days to let her know she is safe and not alone.

  8. Jeanette says

    I have a husky/lab mix, both working breed, I gotten her when she was 6 weeks old, now she is 9 months. I need some questions.

    – What are some good punishments when she’s being naughty?
    – How do I train her to stop jumping on people?
    – I know that she likes to challenge me, a lot, whenever I try to put her in timeout, or give her kennel time, whenever I grab her collar, she likes to roll and bite my hands?

    • GuyTub says

      This is exactly my situation. I’ve had her since she was 5 months old and now she is 8 months old, time to start working more on our communication. She is absolutely sweet and gets along with everyone…. but she is also a real prankster. She hates the leash she just keeps on running like I am a sled and if I hold her collar she would try to bite me.
      Besides that, It doesn’t matter how much I take her out or play with her, she still wants to remain independent, running away every time she can, digging and so on.
      Food perks don’t help too much when trying to call her. Any advice? lol

  9. jason says

    Ok. i need help like now! i live aylmer quebec canada 20mins from ottawa. i have husky and… hes aggressive vicious, but also loveable. we spent some money for training and it didn’t work i’m looking for someone that would help me train my dog for free please

  10. Lloyd says

    Hi there. This is a great article. We recently bought a 8 week old male husky and its been a roller coaster ride. I took 2 weeks off from work to help the pup settle in. However, while my wife and i are at work, we check in on him via a camera system we use. He sleeps most of the day but looks sad and lonely. While i know most recommend not to get a companion dog, is this an instance where we could look at adopting a 1 year old medium sized dog as company for him? My wife and i currently wake up at 5am daily to take him for a walk for 30 mins and play with him for 1.5 hrs before we leave for work. Then when we come home from work its another 30 min walk and lots of playing till sleep time. We are doing the best we can with our schedules, but would really like your advice.

  11. Isabela G. says

    My name is Isabela and I’m from Romania.
    I just bought a 6weeks old husky puppy yesterday. She is really shy and scared and I wonder when she’ll stop being like this. Maybe she’s just scared because today was her first day wothout her mommy. She does not kinda like eating or drinking water and I’m really concerned about that. What treats should I give her?
    Thank you very much.

  12. Claudia says

    This puppy looks identical to mine. I was wondering what colour it has grown to now? Also, my Ghost is constantly biting, now matter what we do, and we have tried telling her no, ignoring her, and tapping her on the nose. Nothing seems to be working. Any ideas how to sort that?

    (She’s 16 weeks old, we’ve had her since eight weeks.)

  13. Ashley says

    I have a 6 mo old siberian husky and I just got him almost 2 weeks ago. He is very hyper and does not like to listen very well. He also eats every toy we buy him. And find things to chew and shred at home. I have put puppy pads in the crate and he shreds and eats them. Im trying to get ahold of him and to train and manage him because I want him to be a joy to our family. I know he is just a puppy but I would like some advice on what to do. Thanks.

  14. Diana says

    Hello I just got a new husky mix. He’s name its Zeus. He’s 4 months. I have a Yorker mix he its 3 years. My husky its very shy but very sweet. And my Yorker do not want him to get near me or the area that he its. What can I do for my Yorker accept my new puppy. Also I been having trouble to walk with my husky he doesn’t like to be in a leach. I put it on when I on the back yard but when I try to walk him he doesn’t like it or pull to go back in. Help please

  15. Megan says

    My 10 week old Siberian husky puppy is very playful but at time she becomes very aggressive towards us. Her nose will scrunch up and try to bite our faces. We try to show dominance over her and redirect her to her toys but she has no interest in them. She starts to growl and continue to bite us even when we try to play with her with her toys. We aren’t sure what else to try besides more training (which she will start once she has her second round of shots)

    • shibashake says

      We try to show dominance over her

      How do you show dominance over her?

      With my Huskies I set up a fixed routine and a consistent set of house-rules, play-rules, walk-rules, etc. Structure is very important because it helps to keep them safe and it helps to create certainty. They know exactly what to expect from each other, what to expect from me, and what I expect from them in return. Certainty helps to reduce stress, over-excitement, and extreme behaviors.

      I deal with puppy biting by doing-
      1. Bite inhibition training,
      2. No-bite conditioning, and
      3. Structure and puppy self-control.

      More on how I deal with puppy biting.
      More on how I set up structure and teach my puppy self-control.

      As for training, we did both puppy classes and private sessions with a good professional trainer. Puppy classes were useful for positive socialization training, so we picked classes that focused on socialization and used positive training methods. For dealing with specific behavioral issues and learning dog training principles, private lessons were much more useful for me and my dogs.

      Also, the dog training field is not well regulated, so the first few trainers I got gave us bad information, and ended up making my dog’s behavior worse in the long-run. The articles below have good information on what to look out for while picking a trainer.

      How I went about finding a trainer for my dog.

  16. Gaby says

    We have a 4-month-old pup (Ace) who is absolutely in love with our 5-month-old kitten. They play together, sleep together, groom each other, eat together, etc.
    However, he’s outgrowing her fairly quickly and is playing with her too roughly.
    A few weeks ago, he was visiting my brothers girlfriends house and her dog and our pup killed two of the neighbors chickens. More recently, he and another one of our older dogs (german Sheppard) killed two of our chickens. I suspect Ace the instigator behind these actions, because our other dog has never gone after our birds before and is very sweet dog (he also loves and cuddles with our cats.) Is there a way to correct this behaviour? Do I have to keep him away from the cats?

  17. Sam says

    We just got a 8 week old male Husky. However, our two year old female Shiba does not like him. Anytime he comes close to her she growls and shows teeth. I don’t want to rush their bonding, but I also don’t want my Shiba to feel like she’s an outsider in her own home with the new puppy. Do you have any suggestions? What can I do to show her she is still important without encouraging her bad behavior?

    My Shiba is generally very iffy about meeting new dogs. We normally have to ease her into it. However, once she knows a dog she is a great dog friend. She is great with our kids and other dogs within in our extended family that come over. So, I know she has it in her to be friendly.

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, my Shiba is kindda iffy as well, especially now that he is older. With our second Husky puppy, it took him about 10 days to accept her into his circle of trust.

      With my dogs, I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules and I put my new puppy on a very fixed schedule. In this way, all the dogs know exactly what to expect from each other, what to expect from me, and what I expect from them in return. This helps to create certainty, and certainty helps to reduce stress and conflicts.

      I do not let my new puppy bother my adult dogs when they do not want to be bothered. With my Shiba, I try to create as many positive and rewarding events as possible, and I let him do the approach on his own.

      For example, I would spend a lot of time training my Husky puppy with food, I do a lot of frozen Kongs with her, grooming exercises, play exercises, etc. Since this is fun and very rewarding, my Shiba will usually come over and join in. When he does that, I do training for all of them together, and I reward them extremely well for staying calm and doing work for me. In this way, Sephy learns that the new puppy is an enhancement to his lifestyle.

      In general, I try to not only maximize positive together experiences, but also minimize negative events. Sephy seems to do best when I give him the freedom to decide when he wants to join in. Therefore, I focus on creating fun and rewarding experiences with my new puppy that I know will attract Sephy.

      More on how I introduce a new puppy.

      Congratulations on your new Husky puppy! 😀

    • Sam says

      Thank you so much for your advice! Dori is definitely starting to come around the new puppy more often.

      In regards to the schedule. Besides specific feeding times, potty times, and play times what else should I put in our new puppies daily schedule? I don’t have a fixed time for sleep because he normally is ready for a nap after play time. Should I be doing more?

      Thanks for your help!

    • shibashake says

      It is awesome that Dori is warming up to the pup. Big hugs to them both. 😀

      As for the schedule, it sounds good to me. Maybe throw in some grooming exercises. They are a lucky pair!

    • Anonymous says

      It helps to introduce them in a neutral site. For example: A dog park, that way the home dog doesn’t feel the need to protect. Hope that helps. This is a common practice we use when introducing our department K9’s to family dogs.

  18. Shawn says

    I just got my husky a week ago he’s 12 weeks and I’ve been trying to get him to listen to me but all he does is ignores and plays with his toys. I’m still working with him on the yes command as well as look and come while I give him a treat. Also he keeps nipping me and I know he’s teething but what should I do to tell him no or put him in timeout.

  19. Melissa says

    We brought home a 8 week old siberian husky 2 days ago and he does not like my 3 young children. He is amazing with adults but the minute one of my children come near him he either goes to try and hide in a corner or grows and then tries to nip them. This is really worrying for me. What should i do?

  20. Ulises says

    I have a 6month huskie and I have issues him listening, he sees me calling and he won’t come back or when I walk to get him he acts as a game and runs away. What are a few tricks so he can learn to come on command and stop running away?

    • Anonymous says

      One way I have learned is to create a reward from a new sound. Invest in a whistle, like a referee carries and start training slowly. Start at home, every time you blow the whistle, give a treat. Keep this up for the first week, everywhere you take your dog. They will learn that whistle=treat. The next week start to wean them off the treats, the first three days give them a treat every other time you whistle and use another ‘yes marker’ (such as good boy or a scratch behind the ears), and so on like this until they no longer need treats. Hope this works for you like it did for me!

  21. Taylor says

    Hi I just got a three month old husky a month ago and me and my husband have been doing everything to potty train her but it doesn’t work. we’ve tried spanking, putting her nose in it, and putting her outside but she still does it and she won’t go to the bathroom outside it doesn’t matter how long she’s out there right when we get inside she goes to the bathroom. She also chews on random things especially on my daughters bottle we spank her and put her in a corner but it doesn’t work she eats out of the trash even when she has food in her dish. My husband is at his breaking point and wants to get rid of her but I really don’t want to she’s my dream dog so he gave me two weeks to make progress please help

    • Anonymous says

      You spank her and put her nose in it? What on earth are you doing?? You will make her go to the toilet in your house more by doing that because she will be ashamed. Your teaching her that going to the toilet is wrong. Imagine if you did that to a human baby.

      If a puppy potties in the house it is the humans fault, you should have a feeding routine and a toilet routine and watch your puppy for signs they need to go outside, sniffing the floor, circling and scratching, nipping you or trying to get your attention are key signs. You then take them out to the same place using the same door and establish a routine. The puppy will learn very quickly not to potty in the house this way. Our husky is 15 weeks and is fully potty trained, we used a crate to train him and watched him carefully. My partner and I both work full time but have still managed to do this so it’s possible.

  22. Emily says

    I have a question about timeouts – I think they would do out puppy some good, but we live in a small apartment. I have heard you shouldn’t use the puppies crate (we use a small exercise pen for him at night and when we are gone) so I don’t want to put him in there. Or is that ok? He usually barks like mad when he is in there too, which we ignore (as I’ve read we should) but really grates on our nerves and that of the neighbors. Any ideas or solutions? Thanks! Frankly, we could use a timeout from the puppy sometimes too!

    • shibashake says

      My dog’s timeout area is the laundry room. I never use his crate or exercise pen because I want him to associate those places with positive events. His crate and pen area are his safe areas. He goes there for food, relaxing, sleep, etc. Crates are very useful for transportation, management, and more, so I want to make sure that my dog likes going into his crate.
      More on how I do timeouts.

      Frankly, we could use a timeout from the puppy sometimes too!

      Haha, yeah a puppy can be very draining. I set up a fixed schedule for my puppy (which includes nap time) and consistent rules. With a fixed schedule, at least I have some time to myself, and little planned breaks.
      More on how I set up structure and teach my puppy self-control.

  23. Ken says

    We just adopted a 4 year old dog from the shelter. We were not told )nor did we discover until a few days later), that he is deaf. He really can’t hear anything. We love the dog and he is part of our family now, but training is totally different than anything I’ve ever encountered. Absolutely no voice commands whatsoever, so no “yes” marks or “no” marks either. Any suggestions you might have or directions to point us for help would be appreciated.


    • shibashake says

      Four paws up for helping a dog in need!

      I have never lived with a deaf dog so I don’t have much experience in this area. My dogs respond very well to hand signals though, and based on what I have read, that is what people use with deaf dogs.

      How Can I Communicate With My Deaf Dog?

      Love and empathy are the first steps. Don’t get frustrated that your dog no longer responds to you the same way she used to. We also recommend the following:

      – Train your dog to understand hand signals. It’s a good idea to use signs she can easily see from far away.
      – If you want to get your dog’s attention inside the house, the vibration from a loud stomp may make her take notice.
      – A flashlight or laser penlight can also be used to get her attention.
      – Make sure your dog knows when you’ve come into a room and when you’re leaving by tapping him gently on the back or shoulder.

      This site also has some good information on training deaf dogs-

  24. Dasha Vodoleeva says

    Hi! Your blog is really very useful, not only for shiba owners.

    Can we discuss one issue about translation some of your articles into Russian?
    In Russia shiba inu is getting popular, though there is not much relevant information regarding this breed, it’s character and training details. As you can imagine, a lot of people and dogs get problems dealing together just because of lack of information.
    I am going to make a blog about this breed, where I want to
    1. translate some foreign articles (with a link to original articles of course)
    2. write about my own dog, which I am going to have in summer. I hope I will be equipped with all the information not to make most of mistakes.

    So I wanted to ask you, if you are okay if i translate your articles to Russian and post it in my blog with link to your site. Thank you in advance!
    (Sorry for mistakes if there are any)

    • Anonymous says

      I have a 6 week old Siberian husky , is it normal that he has some jerky movements when he sleeps?

  25. Devon says

    I have a 10 month old husky and I am having trouble establishing complete dominance. He listens to certain commands but he still pulls sometimes during our walks especially when he sees another dog. How do I get him to view me as the aplha?

    • shibashake says

      It is natural for a young dog to get excited when exposed to interesting stimulus such as another dog, a running cat, a squirrel, etc. Siberian Huskies have a free and independent spirit, are high energy, more easily excitable, and they are also bred to pull, so it took some extra consistency and patience in leash training my Sibes. My Huskies also have very high prey drive.

      I do dog-to-dog desensitization exercises to teach my dog to be calm and to relax in the presence of another dog.

      I manage my dog’s environment carefully so that I set them him up for success. In this way, I can slowly build up his tolerance for exciting stimulus and his ability for self-control.

      However, my Huskies are not perfect nor do I expect them to be. They are an independent breed, and I enjoy that about my Sibes.

  26. TAMARA says

    she is so hyper, very busy and never takes training seriously, I have tried everything to try get her to behave or to even listen when I say ‘no’ she chewed my phone this morning. In half! my mattress is in pieces from her biting it, as well as my cupboards, everything is chewed up. that is why I must send her to our farm. I hope it is the right decisions.

    • shibashake says

      My Huskies really need human affection and supervision. They want and need to be with people a lot of the time. After walks I always check them for ticks and I also use a good tick prevention product. In addition, I vaccinate them against lyme disease because there are deer ticks in our area.

      If I can no longer provide my dogs with these things, then I will do my very best and try my absolute hardest to find a good home for them, where they will get the love, supervision, and care that they deserve.

  27. Cristiani777 says

    I just got a 4 week old husky what are your suggestions when potty training him? And what to feed him to grow bigger and stronger?
    It is my first husky.

    • shibashake says

      4 weeks old is really young to separate a puppy from his mother and siblings. In general, it is recommended that we wait until a puppy is at least 8 weeks old before taking him home. Here is why.

      Also, when I get a new puppy, I take him to the vet as soon as possible to make sure that everything is ok, and to see what kind of vaccination schedule my vet would recommend.

      How I potty-trained my Husky puppy.
      How I pick food for my dogs.

      However, *note* that I got all of my puppies at 8 weeks or older, so the experiences that I talk about in the articles above relate to puppies that are 8 weeks or older.

  28. Jordan says

    Our newest member of the family, a 12week old Siberian, is progressing pretty well. Thanks to the advice you wrote. There are times when we take her out for potty break and she just jumps into her new digging area and just goes into a crazed rage. This gets her so amped up she needs a 15 minute timeout just to claim down. I know digging is all part of the fun but this Tasmanian Devil aspect is hard to deal with. I have tried just taking her out leashed but I had hoped to develope an independence, and give me a break as well. Please advise, thanks

    • shibashake says

      Hmmm, what do you mean by crazed rage? Is she doing over-excited playing or is it something else? What does she do? What are the behaviors that you want to stop? What is in her digging area?

      Husky puppies have a lot of energy, so with Lara I try to direct her energy towards structured outlets. In general, I try to set up clear rules for everything, and I manage her excitement level by redirecting her focus back onto me. For example, after she does her business, she knows that I have some good rewards for her, so we do some recalls with very high priority rewards. Then, we may play something fun together, e.g. flirt pole. In this way, she has some structured but fun alternative outlets for her energy.

      I manage her excitement level during play by having short but frequent play-breaks where we do very simple commands, e.g. Look, Sit, etc. She gets rewarded well for those, then we go back to playing. In this way, she refocuses on me, and has a chance to calm down. She also learns that these little breaks are rewarding, and then play gets to continue when she is calm.

      Congratulations on your new Husky puppy! 😀

  29. toetsie says

    i have just got a Siberian husky, she is 6months old and Is the naughtiest puppy I have ever had, she chews furniture and when you try discipline her she barks and plays more and bites my clothes. I stay with family of a friend and they said I cannot keep her anymore because of her behaviour so she is going to my fathers house on a farm but my dad is never on the farm and she will be alone with two other dogs and the farm manager, I will only see her once a month if I can. I had a MultiMate husky and he was 10000% perfect on the farm, he was so happy but he died of tick bite fever and he was never this naughty. is it ok to send my puppy to this farm or must I sell her? I am madly inlove with this puppy and she is my baby, I am so confused on what to do…

  30. Desislava says

    Hello, I have a huge problem with my puppy. She is 2 months old jack russel and she wouldn`t stop whining and crying, no matter day or night. All the time she wants to cuddle in my arms. We can`t leave her alone at home during the day, because she never gets tired crying. At night she falls asleep in her crate in the kitchen, but after an hour she starts whining again. And if I don`t move her with her crate in my bedroom, she wouldn`t stop. But even if I do, after an hour she`s awake again, crying and I need to comfort her in order to put her to sleep again. The situation is impossible for me and my family and I`m desperate. Please, help!

    • shibashake says

      What is your puppy’s daily routine like? What does she do during the day? Has she been to the vet for a check-up?

      When I get a new puppy, I find it helpful to set up a fixed routine and a consistent set of rules. Routine and structure help to create certainty, and certainty helps to reduce stress and fear.

      In terms of alone time, I get my puppy used to that gradually. I start with very short periods of alone time (e.g. seconds) and slowly build up from there. More on how I train my dog to be comfortable with alone time. More on how I crate train my dog.

      At night, my puppy sleeps in the bedroom with me, in his crate. I make sure that he can see me from his crate. In the beginning, I take my puppy out for potty breaks at night, as necessary. Being in the bedroom with me helps with bonding, and helps my puppy to relax because he is not alone. This is very important in the beginning, because my puppy just got separated from his mother and sibilings. In addition, he is in a totally new environment. Therefore, I want to make sure that I create a stable environment, where he feels safe.

      During the day, I make sure to direct my puppy’s energy into positive and structured activities, including training exercises, bite inhibition exercises, grooming exercises, collar and leash desensitization, etc. Training my puppy will help him gain confidence and give me the tools to teach my puppy positive behaviors.

      When I first got my Shiba Inu, I also enrolled him in a good puppy class that focuses on socialization. The instructor made sure to check all puppies for health and vaccination records.

      With my Shiba, I also got help from several professional trainers who can observe and evaluate my dog based on his regular routine and environment. My trainer also helped me with timing, consistency, how to set up structure, management techniques, and more.

    • Desislava says

      Thank you, Shibashake! Last night she`s slept in our bedroom in her crate and she hasn`t been whining at all. We`ll try to calm her during the day as well, but it`s not going to be easy, because in the minute she finds herself alone in the room, she starts whining and scratching the doors.

  31. Christy says

    Saturday I will be bringing home two 9 week old huskies from the same liter. Is it alright to keep them in the same crate or should they have their own space? Thank you!!!

    • shibashake says

      I have only taken in one puppy at a time, so I am not sure. I have my hands very full with just one puppy. They are very a lot of work, very energetic, and require a lot of attention, especially during puppyhood. 😀
      First 10 days with my Husky puppy Lara.

      I have seen my breeder keep two puppies in the same crate, depending on temperament. It seems fine, but I don’t have first hand experience with this.

      I find the Furminator to be useful for my Huskies. However, I slowly get them used to grooming, first with a softer brush. Then, I am careful about how much force I use when furminating, especially on more sensitive parts of their bodies.

      Some dogs are more sensitive, so it really depends on the dog. I adjust what I use accordingly.

      Congratulations on your upcoming pups! 😀

  32. Jenner says

    I am getting a samoyed puppy soon and was wondering how your fixed schedule was with your youngest Husky? I have an idea of how I’m going to make the schedule but I want something good to go off of. :)

  33. huskydog says

    We just got our husky puppy 2 weeks ago and he is now 3 months old. We are already teaching him tricks like sit, down, stay and he is doing quite good with those.

    However, the biggest issue is the recall command. When I have a treat in my hand and he knows it, he will come when called for the reward, but as soon as I am without the reward he just ignores us and goes around backyard. And if we follow him, he just runs further. We have a very big yard and he is living outside with another dog, so he is free to run around during the day or night, when he wants to. So when he comes to us, we’re not taking his freedom away or anything.

    So do you have any advice how to improve this and eventually teach him to come every time he is called and stop ignoring us?

    • shibashake says

      What is he usually doing when you call? What usually happens when he comes to you? What type of training is he used to? What is his daily routine like? Does he get all his food outside? What does he like to do?

      With my dogs, I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program. It is a great way to teach them to work for the things that they want, and they also learn that people are the source of good stuff. I use food, play time, affection, going out into the backyard, and more, as rewards, and mix them up.

      It is important to get a good recall, so I always use really good stuff for that, including play-time which my young Husky really loves. I reward especially well in the beginning, and I keep up with rewarding well for recalls. Having a good recall is very useful and can be extremely important when accidents (e.g. collar slips) occur. Which rewards work well will depend on the dog and what he loves to do.

      Sibes are an independent breed though and they generally do have high prey drive. My Huskies are pretty good about coming when called, but if there is a cat or squirrel about, then all bets are off. This is why it is generally recommended that Huskies be exercised on-leash or in-harness when in a non-enclosed area.

      …, we strongly urge that no Siberian Husky ever be allowed unrestrained freedom. Instead, for his own protection, he should be confined or under control at all times. Sufficient exercise for proper development and well-being may be obtained on a leash, in a large enclosure, or best of all, in harness.
      [Siberian Husky Club of America]

      During puppyhood, I also have my Husky puppy inside the house, with me, most of the time. I hand-feed her a lot of her food, for bite inhibition training, and it also helps with bonding. I play with her inside the house, and she gets most of her food inside the house, through obedience, grooming, following rules, and more. She knows that when I call, it is usually for something fun and good, so she will come, unless there is a much stronger competing motivation. A puppy usually likes following people around, so it is a great time to do recall training.

      In general, I always try to set my dog up for success. The more successful recalls there are, the more my dog learns to come when called, and the more I can reinforce the behavior. If she does not come when I call, then I always go fetch her. In this way, she learns that –
      Coming when called = Play time, food time, and lots of good stuff,
      Not coming when called = Get fetched anyway without the good stuff,
      and recall always means she ends up coming with me.

      I don’t chase after my dog, because that will likely cause her to run away, thinking that it is a game of chase. Usually, she doesn’t come because she is obsessed with another animal, so I can fetch her because she is in a given area. Some people may also use a drag-lead or long-line during recall training, but this is only under close supervision and only with a flat collar or harness (no aversive collars). It is important to make sure that our dog does not get hurt if the line should briefly catch on something.

      This article from the ASPCA has more on recall training-

    • huskydog says

      Thanks for the answer. To answer some of your questions, when I am struggling to recall him, he is usually sniffing around the big yard we have, and keeps running away each time I get closer to him. I believe he thinks we are playing a game… When he is in this “mood”, I have to chase him for a while to catch him and then if I punish him with taking away freedom for a while, I’m not even sure if he would understand that correctly?

      He is always rewarded when coming to a recall, either with a treat or play time, but I’m not sure how exactly should I “punish” him when he is not coming to a recall and if I go catching him around the yard?

      He eats and lives outside together with another dog.

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, I do not chase after my dog for recall because as you say, that becomes a fun game and rewards the dog for not coming. As I described above, we can prevent chasing games by using a lead or long-line, but only under supervision and only with proper equipment. Check out the ASPCA article for more. It has a lot of useful information.

      I never punish my dog for recalls. Recall training is all about making a dog want to come to me, therefore, even if I have to fetch my dog or use a long-line, I never punish him.

      The key with recall training, for me, is to set my dog up for success. I want to maximize successes and minimize failed recalls. Therefore, I do recall training with extremely high priority smelly food, e.g. sardines, that he only gets during recall training. The smell helps to engage his interest early on. Then, I can further increase my chances of success by managing the environment and calling him when he is most likely to come. In this way, I can consistently reinforce his coming to me behavior, which will make him want to keep repeating that behavior. I keep doing these exercises until I have a good recall.

      Once I have a solid recall, then I can slowly increase the timing and environment challenge. However, I always start small and set my dog up for success.

  34. Victoria says

    Hi I have a 1yr old siberian husky and she recently was being babysit while I was at work and Incountered a tragic accident and it resulted in her haveing her back left leg amputated . Well the problem is that since she has returned home from the vets she will pee outside but she WILL NOT poop outside anymore . I just don’t understand how she can go from completely potty trained to now not pooping outside at all even when I catch her right as she starts and take her out side she just will not go . But soon as I bring her in the house she try’s to poop .

    • shibashake says

      What accident? Did it occur outside in the yard? Is she recovering well? Anything else outside that would make her uncomfortable/fearful? Sounds/smells? How long has it been since her amputation? Is it only grass outside? Is it mostly flat outside? Are there twigs, uneven ground, or anything else that may make it difficult to balance/squat on a single back leg?

      Dogs are in a vulnerable position while pooping, so I have observed that my dog will only go in places where she feels totally safe and comfortable. Also, with a missing back leg, it may be more difficult to squat depending on the surface, especially while still healing. When my Husky was going through her surgeries and recovering, I let her go on puppy pads until she was feeling better.

  35. Kirolos Eskander says

    Hi, I was considering to adopt a male puppy but i have a problem, I’m from Egypt and i can’t take my dog out and walk him, it will not be good for him in my area, but i can play with him in my house as long as he want, is that will be a problem with him and can i training him in the house and train him to pee in the bathroom ?
    I really want Husky, but i’m afraid that i can’t make him happy or relieved
    Please help me
    Thank you

    • shibashake says

      1. My Sibes do not do well in the heat. They get hot really quickly because of their thick double coats. For hot climates, I would look at breeds with shorter hair.

      2. My Sibes enjoy being outside, they love going on hikes, and I walk them daily. We are out anywhere from 1-4 hours (part of it is resting and enjoying smells). 😀

      There was one day when I skipped walking my younger Sibe, and she ended up digging her way to my neighbor’s yard. I also play with all of my dogs, we do obedience work, and more, but they still really need/want their walks. That is when they get to smell lots of interesting things, meet new people, etc.

      3. My Sibes love to dig after rodents and other Earth critters. They both have high prey drive and will go after small animals or even larger ones, e.g. deer. Since the escape, I make sure my fence line is very secure and I put concrete blocks all around so that they can’t dig out.

      Previously, when I didn’t have a yard, I picked a much smaller dog that is lower energy. High energy, larger dogs, are going to need more space and more exercise. Sibes generally love the outdoors and are high energy. After all, they were bred to pull sleds in very cold weather. 😀

  36. Cassandra says

    Hi I am 17 and wanting my own husky now my aunt had explained about the things needed for caring for one and I am fully v aware and serious about one I an willing to try really hard to care for one and I wanted expert opinion on this.

    • shibashake says

      Will you be going away to college soon? What will the dog’s home situation be like? What will the dog’s daily routine be like? Will there be any changes happening soon, e.g. new job? What is the context?

  37. STLuttrell says

    I have a 6 month old Siberian Husky puppy that I’ve had since he was 2 months old. We (my girlfriend and I) quickly learned that we need to set a routine for him and it has helped immensely for both us and him. He is generally well-behaved although he is VERY playful, which I don’t usually mind because he is still just a puppy and I enjoy playing with him. However, when we let him out to go potty (we have a fenced-in backyard) a lot of the time he won’t listen when we want him to come back inside. He will come up close to us and then when we reach out to grab him he takes off running. It is extremely frustrating because he knows what we want him to do, but he blatantly disobeys the command. It is increasingly becoming a bigger and bigger problem. He won’t come for food, treats, toys, anything. I try to give him the benefit of the doubt on days where we are busy and don’t have the time to play with him and walk him as much as we normally do, but we usually play outside with him for 30 mins to an hour and then walk him for another hour or two every day. Even then, he sometimes will still disobey the recall when we want him to come inside. I don’t want to punish him when he finally does come because I’ve heard that if you do he will not want to listen next time out of fear of being punished. The older he gets the more defiant he becomes in this area. Like I said, he is pretty well-behaved especially for a puppy. He doesn’t chew things (besides his toys) and is excellent on his leash, it’s just his recall that he seems to ignore when outside off-leash. Any tips on how to correct this behavior?

    • shibashake says

      What usually happens after you call him inside? Does he go into his crate? Is it sleep time?

      Dogs usually learn not to come because they associate coming, with an end to fun and play. Often, rewarding with just a toy or a treat will not work, because the reward is not strong enough to justify what must be given up, i.e. loss of freedom and fun. For this same reason, punishing a dog when he comes, will make things even worse, because not only is it an end to freedom, but he gets punished in addition.

      I practice recall with my dog many times a day. When she comes, she gets rewarded with exceptionally good stuff and a fun game. Then, I let her go back to out if she wants. In this way, she associates “coming” with lots of positive rewards *and* no loss of freedom. I also make time inside the house be a lot of fun. I play with my dog inside, she get lots of affection inside, I prepare her food toys inside, and she only gets her food toys inside. Therefore, inside time to her is very awesome as well.

      At night, I give her multiple great food toys to work on right before bed, filled with microwave chicken. This is something she doesn’t usually get during the day, so she is very happy to come in at night. The only exception is when she finds some animal outside, so in that case, I go outside and fetch her. In this way, recall always means come. If she doesn’t come, then she gets fetched anyway and misses out on the rewards.

      Therefore, she learns that-
      Coming when called = Lots of food toys, fun play session, and usually gets to go out again,
      Not coming when called = No rewards, no fun, and get fetched anyway.

      This ASPCA article has more on recall training-

    • shibashake says

      There are some things that can be a more difficult to train for a Husky. Both my Huskies have high prey drive, so their recall only goes so far. Leash training can also be more challenging because of the breed trait to pull.

      I use reward/resource based training and that works well with my Huskies. More on Siberian Huskies.

  38. Maxine says

    Hi! I have a one year old husky named Thor, i love him and he loves to run! When i call him to come back he doesnt always come to me. I tried different treats but nothing works! Any advice????

    • shibashake says

      This ASPCA article has a good list of recall training techniques-

      Huskies usually have high prey drive though, and as you say, they love to run, so their recall is not always reliable. Big hugs to Thor! 😀

      There is one final characteristic of the Siberian Husky which we must point out — their desire to RUN. There are many breeds of dogs which, when let out in the morning, will sit in the front yard all day. Not the Siberian Husky. His heritage has endowed him with the desire to run and his conformation has given him the ability to enjoy it effortlessly. But, one quick lope across a busy street could be the last run that he enjoys, ever. Because of this, we strongly urge that no Siberian Husky ever be allowed unrestrained freedom. Instead, for his own protection, he should be confined or under control at all times. Sufficient exercise for proper development and well-being may be obtained on a leash, in a large enclosure, or best of all, in harness.
      ~~[Siberian Husky Club of America]

  39. Chanel says

    Hello we have a 1 year old husky names Beau. Hes generally a really good dog and knows most commands however the park i walk him at there is an enclosed pen where he can run free and interact with other dogs which he loves but when trying to recall him back he doesnt listen as other dogs are far more interesting that me any tips on how to make him return to me when needed. Thankyou!!!

    • shibashake says

      Here is a good article from the ASPCA on a variety of recall training techniques-

      However, the dog park situation is a very high level recall challenge because as you say, there are a lot of distractions and interesting playmates.

      What I currently do with my dogs (at home) is to call them to me every so often during play. I make sure to reward them very well with high priority items, and then I let them go back to play.

      In this way, they learn that –
      Coming to me = get some great rewards, and then they can continue playing.

      These “breaks” are also a useful way for me to manage their excitement level, by redirecting their focus back onto me and doing some quick commands to calm them down.

      A common mistake that I made early on, is to call my dog to me when I am ready to leave, leash him up, and then go home. When I do that, my dog starts to associate me calling him with an end to fun and an end to play. Therefore, next time I call, he will probably not come because it signals an end to something that he really enjoys.

  40. ZHasan says

    Hey! So we just got husky puppy and three days back and she is only 3months old. We are keeping her inside the house. She lives in my room and we have set a routine for her which she follows but the concerns I’m facing is that taking care of her and being with her is disrupting the whole house (we own two cats also) since someone or the other has to be with her. Plus we don’t have a crate for her right now so what would you suggest as an alternative? Another issue is that she gets ticks, maybe it’s cause when we take her outside to play or to poop. Given all these things, my mum is saying we should return her but me and my sister really want to keep her. Right now both of us are on holidays so we have all the time in the world but when they get over in a month and half it might get a bit challenging so within that time do you think we can get her trained enough so she adjusts almost perfectly?
    Looking forward to your reply! Thank you!!

    • shibashake says

      Siberian Huskies generally have high prey drive and a lot of energy. Both my Sibes need a fair amount of daily activity and structured/supervised exercise. Because of their high prey drive, I keep them on-leash when in non-enclosed spaces.
      Here in more on Siberian Huskies.

      Puppies require a lot more training and supervision, but I still spend a lot of daily time with my adult Huskies ~ for daily walks, grooming, training, etc.

      My Sibes sometimes get ticks as well. I make sure to check them thoroughly after going out on trails or places where there may be ticks, especially during tick season.
      More on ticks and other skin parasites.

      Plus we don’t have a crate for her right now so what would you suggest as an alternative?

      That would depend on what you plan to use a crate for.

  41. Ryan says


    I got my first husky a week ago. I am constantly trying to train her. At 9 weeks old today she’s already managed to chew out of her run twice. Shes in a large run with two other dogs (labs) but she still seems keen to escape and seems very uninterested in her training.

    Really need some help!!



    • shibashake says

      How are you trying to train her? What is her daily routine like? How much time does she spend in the run? Are the labs full grown? Is she supervised while out on the run? When puppy escapes, where does she go?

      When I got Husky puppy Lara, she was very small compared to my two other dogs. Because of the big size difference, play can be risky and also scary for the small puppy. In the beginning, I supervised my dogs very closely, and still Lara got hurt when my Shiba (who is only about 32 pounds) accidentally ran over her. A small puppy cannot outrun adult dogs, and will often get rolled, and may get accidentally stepped on.

      After that, I always had Lara on lead so that there is no running/chasing games. If I cannot be there, I put her temporarily in her crate or enclosure so that she stays safe. More on the first 10 days with my Husky puppy.

      How is your puppy’s interaction with the two labs? She may be escaping to try and get out of their way.

      Escaping is also a self reinforcing behavior. If a dog tries to escape and succeeds, then she is rewarded with a fun trip outside with lots of freedom. This reinforces the escaping behavior, which makes a dog more likely to keep trying it in the future.

      When I get a new dog, I set up clear dog-to-dog interaction rules. I make sure that my puppy does not overly pester my adult dogs and similarly, that my adult dogs do not get too rough with my puppy. When Lara was still small, I keep her separated from my adult dogs, unless I am there to supervise and have her on-lead so that she cannot start a chasing game. I try to maximize positive, calm interactions while minimizing bad encounters.

      More on how I introduce a new dog to my existing dogs.

    • Ryan says


      I am training her with treats and attention when she does something good. When disciplining her I try to tell her off by saying no and sometimes a tap on the nose, but she never seems to pay attention and just thinks its be messing around with her.

      Currently I get up at let her out and let her run around outside with the other dogs for about 45 minutes shes then goes into the large dog pen with the two labs. At the moment she gets let out at midday but this will eventually stop and she will be in there for the whole day. The labs are fully grown, and she was supervised at first but there isn’t someone around all day to keep an eye on her. When she escapes she just stays in the yard as there is no way for her to get out from there.

      Generally she is supervised with the other dogs (we also have two dashhounds) none of the other dogs haven’t taken very kindly to her and snap at her over every thing shes does or try to avoid her entirely. At night she sleeps with the two dashhounds as we’ve heard the huskys like company & at night shes as good as gold.

      She also cries a lot even when shes outside with the other dogs or even when by herself. She only stops when I go out to her.

    • shibashake says

      Puppies generally have very short attention spans, so I motivate my puppy by keeping training sessions very short, fun, and extremely rewarding.

      If the other dogs are snapping at her, the puppy may be escaping to get out of their way.

      Both my Huskies love the company of people, and they also have a lot of energy. I make sure to provide them with enough people time and daily structured activity. More on the Siberian Husky temperament.

  42. Jean says


    I just got a 2 months husky and I need some basics training tips. this is my first husky and I’m not very familiar with the breed.

    I’ll appreciate your help!

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new Husky puppy.

      Some things that helped with my Husky Lara-
      1. I set up a fixed routine and a consistent set of rules. I slowly teach my puppy what the rules are and I motivate her to follow rules by following the Nothing in Life is Free program.

      2. I make sure to include a lot of positive structured activity in her daily routine. Puppy Lara had a lot of energy, so I had to direct that energy into good activities.

      3. I also spent a bunch of time desensitizing Lara to grooming, e.g. fur brushing and teeth brushing. Huskies have a lot of fur, so getting them comfortable with brushing is a very good thing. 😀

      4. I also did bite inhibition training with Lara, to teach her to control the force of her bites.

      5. One big mistake that I made with Lara was that I did not socialize her enough. As a result, she is now somewhat reactive to people and other dogs. If I could do it over again, I would try to socialize her a lot more, in a positive and structured way. Here is more on dog socialization.

      I write more about my training experiences here-

      Big hugs to your Husky puppy!

  43. David says

    I recently adopted a 10 month old husky pup. I am the 3rd owner so he is lacking in training. The main problem is that he starts to bark in his crate at around 5 am every morning. He goes into the crate happily at night and I never use the crate as punshment. I’ve been trying to ignore this behavior but he doesn’t stop. Typically I let it go on for about 30 minutes then I get up and take him for a walk. Any suggestions to get him to sleep late?!

    Thanks in advance.

    • shibashake says

      One thing that helps with my dogs is to set up a very fixed routine, and to schedule a pee-break right before bed. In this way, they do not need to go as early in the morning. Still, I wake up at around 6 or 7 to let them out. Dogs are crepuscular, so they are most active during dawn and dusk.

      Does your Husky go right away when you let him out in the morning? Is he vocalizing because he needs to go or because he is ready to start the day?

  44. Allie says

    Hello, I’m getting a 8 week old Siberian Husky in one week. Her name is Luka. It’ll be my first husky, but I’m worried about introducing her to our 3 and a half year old White German Shepherd and Lab mix. His name is Bones. He’s male, and we’ve introduced him to other female dogs before, and usually he takes it well. But I’ve noted that he takes the dominance stance. He’s not that aggressive, and hardly barks at all. But he has snapped at other dogs if they get too close and they bark or bite at his face. Should I be worried for Luka? And do you have any helpful tips to introducing them?

  45. Maria says

    Hi, I’m getting a Miniature Goldendoodle puppy in 2 weeks. It’s my first dog… do you have any tips for me?

  46. Stephanie Sarac says

    Hi, We have an 8 week old Siberian husky and we also have 3 cats. (I know not the best mix) but we talked to a trainer and a vet before getting her and they said as long as she’s raised with them she will be fine. My question is, How to stop her from playing with them to rough? She really loves to play with them but she likes to bite everything including them and myself. Thank you!

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new Husky puppy!

      I don’t have any cats so I don’t have any firsthand experience in that area. I find the ASPCA to be a great resource for my dogs though, so here is their article on introducing a cat to a new dog –

      When I introduce a new dog to my *existing dogs* –
      1. I put my new puppy on a leash so that I have good control over her and can teach her what the dog-to-dog interaction rules are. I can also stop her from pestering them when they do not want to be pestered.
      2. I manage my puppy’s excitement level. When my Husky Lara was young, she would get over-excited and then play starts to get out of control. Therefore, I throw in many play-breaks so that play doesn’t get out of hand.
      3. I try to create as many positive experiences as I can between the new puppy and my existing dogs, and at the same time I try to minimize bad interactions.
      4. I set up a very fixed routine and consistent interaction rules. I supervise puppy very closely when she is out and about. When I cannot supervise, I put my puppy in her enclosure. In this way, she can’t start anything with my other dogs when I am not watching.

      Big hugs to your puppy!

    • Melanie says

      My husky pup (just turned a year old) surprisingly learned that he can be rough with a larger dog, and has to be gentle with my smaller dog & cat pretty much on his own.
      Obviously observing and correcting when things go too far is important, but other than that I let him figure out how much others can handle, much in the same way that a gentle grab of my hand when he wants something is okay vs biting.

  47. Martin says

    Hi, I happend to become a husky owner by faith.. A while ago ago a puppy somehow stumbled into my yard.. I have seen it a while ago walking around, but i thought the owner was somewhere around.. day after i realised it is lost and some kids were playing with him.. it came to my yard by its own will.. gave him food, water and I set up a temporary dog house for him. The owner hasnt looked for him.. So I decided to keep him. I dont really know how old it is but I think he is a few months old. The dog looked really healthy when I found him, wasnt skinny at all and his furr looked really well. I have some experience with dogs but never with a husky. I would appreciate any advice, on how should I check how old it is, traning, food etc. Tnx :)

    • shibashake says

      What a clever puppy to find a good home for himself. 😀

      In terms of age, I think a vet would be most equipped to estimate that based on his teeth and possibly other physical characteristics. When I get a new dog, I usually bring him to the vet for a check-up anyway, to make sure he is in good health and for his shots if necessary.

      As for food, both of my Huskies have pretty sensitive stomachs so I try to limit the number of ingredients that I give them and stay away from most grains (with the exception of rice which they seem good with). I am currently giving my dogs Wellness CORE which is a grain free, high protein kibble. During puppyhood, I was using the Wellness puppy formula. More on how I picked my dog’s food.

      For training and day to day care, my Huskies are pretty independent and high energy so I try to provide them with consistent rules and a fixed routine. I try to focus their energy into doing positive, structured activities with me, and I supervise them well, especially initially so that I can teach them what the house rules are and redirect undesirable behaviors. I also follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs. More on my training experiences with my dogs.

      Congratulations on your new puppy!

  48. husky owner says

    i have a 1 month old Siberian husky cross breed with a Labrador she used to bite the electric wires inside the house, what should i do? i don’t have any experience in taking care of a dog it’s my first time of being a dog owner can you help me on how i can teach her a potty train? and i’m even scared in playing with her because i’m afraid that she might bite me

  49. Elizabet says

    HI, my name is Liz
    So, my boyfriend and I are getting an 11 month old Siberian Husky this Saturday! I am so excited, I am making sure that before I bring this new pup home I have pee pads, a bed, food, etc. I have never had a husky before and am just wondering what to expect, how to start off training him, and also, is it too late to change his name??

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new furry family member!

      In terms of training, I also follow the Nothing in Life is Free program, and I talk about my other training experiences with my dogs here.

      As for my dogs’ names, they really are more for me than for them :) I mostly use their names as markers for good and bad behavior. As such, teaching my dogs to “know” their names is really just a matter of consistency and training.

      Give your Husky a big hug from me on Saturday! 😀

    • Anonymous says

      Do not use pee pads, all it does is give the dog the okay to soil in the house and add an extra step to learn

  50. Maddi says

    I have a 13 week old husky, how old would you recommend she should be before taking her for walks? The vet said Huskies get hip problems if you walk them too early?

    • shibashake says

      I only took my Husky puppy out on neighborhood walks *after* she was fully vaccinated. As I understand it, puppies have developing immune systems and are a lot more susceptible to catching something bad such as parvo or distemper. Puppies are also very curious, so they are more likely to go smell poop from other dogs or other animals that may be contaminated, or drink contaminated water.

      As for the hip issues you mention, is it concern over hip dysplasia or is it something else? It is perhaps best to follow-up with your vet on it, especially since he is the one who mentioned it. Here is an article from the ASPCA that has some good information on hip dysplasia.

    • Madd says

      She is now 18 weeks old – fully vaccinated, can I take her for walks? She has soooo much energy and while she does run around the back yard most of the day she is still very hyper.

      Can I talk her for 30 min walks? IS this too much or not enough?

  51. Kadee says

    Hi, I love how much information you have about huskies. I can spend hours reading all the different posts. However, I do have some questions more specifically towards my 9 month old husky. First, a little background info… We got Koda when he was only 6 weeks old. (Bad situation with the breeder.) Potty training was a breeze; as well as simple commands like sit, down, shake, crawl, etc. When he got bigger, he started showing dominance to our 2 year old son. He (Koda) was aggressive and I consistently had him in timeout in the kennel. Once he became bigger than our son, he left him alone and started showing dominance to our 7 year old daughter. Still does. He will randomly nip at her for no reason. Koda has been pretty good with my husband and I. Not too aggressive. The last time he nipped my daughter I went to put Koda on his back, look him in the eye, and tell him no. He freaked out! He showed teeth, bit and kicked me; hard! I had a cut across my face from his nails. It scared me. He went to time out and started behaving better. (That was a week ago maybe.) Until today. I took him to a groomer to have the whole bath, brush, nail clipping treatment done; and they called me 10 minutes after I left. They couldn’t do anything to him because he was growling and showing teeth to them! I picked him up, took him home, and my husband and I gave him a bath at home. He was doing better and had calmed down. Just before bed my son went to hug Koda (he always does), and he growled and showed teeth to my son. My husband said no and spanked him. Koda went nuts again. He bit my husband 3 times, drew blood; it was like a completely different dog. I don’t know what’s happening. The past week has been a nightmare and he’s getting worse after we thought he was doing so well. Please help!! I care a lot about him but I fear for our safety now and question whether or not we should get rid of him. Sorry for the novel, I thought maybe a little background info would be helpful. Thanks.

    • Seth says

      If the dog is kenneled a lot and you are using kennels as negative re-enforcement, any time you put him in the kennel he will think you are upset with him. Stop using kennel as punishment. It should be the puppy’s/dog’s happy place.

      From personal experience, I would guess inadequate exercise/attention. My dog was acting out at that age, it was at it’s worst in the 14-16 month and at a year and a half I stopped kenneling all together and all most all the issues disappeared.

      My dog at that age probably would have had to been run 8-12 miles to really get her worn out, I wasn’t able to wear her out physically till she got arthritis at around 7. An old adage is a worn out dog is a well behaved dog is very true, but sometimes near impossible to get with a young husky.

      It will get better if you can figure out the trigger, (my guess inadequate attention from head of pack, so acting out against pack member just above himself to try to improve pack postion and get more attention)

      Huskies are definitely a challenging breed with their need for daily brushing and their constant need to push boundaries, but they are great jokesters. I hope you figure it out.

      If you haven’t done a professional training class, do it. An average trainer is a million times better then a great book. Involve the kids, and it can be a lot of fun. Petsmarts and petcos do them. just over 100$ But definitely talk to a trainer before you do anything drastic.

    • shibashake says

      The last time he nipped my daughter I went to put Koda on his back, look him in the eye, and tell him no. He freaked out!

      I had a similar reaction with my Shiba Inu. Using the alpha roll and other physical based techniques ended up making him a lot more aggressive towards me, and I also lost a lot of his trust. Losing his trust made a lot of things very difficult, including grooming.

      Here is more on my experiences with the alpha roll.
      Here is more on why I no longer use physical based techniques with my dogs.
      Here is a UPenn study which shows that physical based techniques have a high risk of actually increasing aggression in dogs.

      After Sephy’s aggression increased because of my use of alpha rolls and other aversive based techniques, I became quite afraid of him. My fear only made his behavior get worse.

      I considered giving him back to the breeder, but the truth is, she was not a very good breeder and would not have accepted back an aggressive dog. No-kill shelters have a temperament test that they put dogs through before acceptance, which Sephy would not pass. I quickly realized that the chances of an aggressive dog getting adopted is almost none, which means that Sephy would essentially be put down. His temperament is such that being in a shelter environment would also cause him to suffer greatly.

      I decided that I would do my very best to help change Sephy’s behavior. I started reading up a lot on dog behavior and I also contacted several professional trainers for help. We did individual sessions to troubleshoot particular issues. Group classes mostly focus on training commands, and were less helpful for us in terms of Sephy’s aggression.

      I also did more research on Shiba breeders, and we went to visit several who gave us advice on the breed and their behavior. No one person helped to fix all of Sephy’s issues, but each person helped a little. The more I learned, the more I was able to understand what was truly causing Sephy’s behavior, and to come up with safe ways to manage him and help us both get to a better place. Here is a bit more on my experiences with Sephy-

      For cases of aggression, it is usually best to get help from professional trainers. In addition, reading up on dog behavior helped me to better understand Sephy’s behavior, and find better trainers. I also totally stopped using risky physical based techniques.

  52. Cherie says

    Hi there. I just found your website. I’m learning a lot from it. You mention having a schedule for your dog. I was wondering if you could share your schedule? I really need help in setting one up for our puppy! Thanks!

    • shibashake says

      My schedule for when Lara was a puppy was pretty simple. I had about 1.5-2 hours rest time, followed by 1.5-2 hours interaction time and so on. I would take her out for potty as soon as she wakes up, and then we would play outside as a reward for doing potty. Then we would come in, and she would have supervised play with my other dogs, we would do obedience, grooming exercises, etc. Finally, I would sit with her and help her work on her Frozen Kongs. The frozen kongs helps to engage her in something calm, then she usually drops off for a nap after that.

      She is more active in the evenings, so I would lengthen play-time then, and shorten rest time.

      At night, she would sleep for about 8 hours or more, with potty breaks outside as necessary.

      My schedule was a bit different for each of my dogs though, depending on their energy level and temperament. I try to observe each dog and then adjust things to work well for their own particular idiom. 😀

  53. Arafat Khaskheli says

    Hi! I have been visiting your site for sometime and it has helped greatly. There is a problem with my dogs which I have been unable to solve. I have a Rat Terrier and a Chi mix. My Rat is a rescue dog whom I trained to the point that he would not go in the house until I would get home to take him outside. Two months later I got him a playmate (Chi Mix) She barely weighs 7lbs. She was utterly fearful of everyone when I picked her up at SPCA but Jose warmed up to her immediately, hence the reason why I chose her. Sadly she pees and poops in the house and when left in the Kennel too long, she would poop in there and be completely uneasy. I associated treats with the Kennel so now she loves getting in there but still pees and poops in the house. Now my Rat Terrier is doing the same thing. Everyday I come home from work I spend two house cleaning up the house before I can even sit down to eat. I could really use some advice or good pointers.

  54. Rachel says


    My boyfriend and I got an adorable Shiba pup named Win about a month ago. We got him from a pet store and within a week he was diagnosed with pneumonia and put in the hospital for 3 days. He’s made a full recovery now but his illness delayed getting the rest of his shots and, since we live in NYC, it has unfortunately meant that he still isn’t able to go outside. My boyfriend and I also both work odd schedules and he often accompanies one of us so he’s not left alone for too long if we’re both working. Since he is unable to go outside, we have been pee pee pad training him and he does fairly well (he seems to recognize the pads and his crate as consistent no matter what environment he is in) but he has taken to urinating on the pad and then running off somewhere secret to poop in the split second someone takes an eye off him. He has also taken to running away when we come to pick him up which we’d like him to stop.

    We have another dog (an extremely well behaved pit mix) who he adores and we hope will rub off on him a bit. But in the meantime, do you have any recommendations for training a shiba on the go? We’re slightly concerned he won’t be able to figure out how to go potty outside now that he’s been doing it inside for so long.

    A few other concerns:
    -He’s inconsistently good about being left alone. In the crate he tends to go to sleep, but in the playpen (unless the other dog is in there with him) he screams and pushes it across the floor and poops everywhere
    -he eats EVERYTHING. Paint chips, poop, tape, dirt…literally anything he can find. Sometimes stuff we can’t see until he has it in his mouth. Then he runs when we try to get it from him.

    We’ve tried to be positive and calm like you recommend. Most of the time we are but we’re not sure if we’re then affirming bad behavior by being too calm…and there are some grey areas. for example when he does something right and we go to reward him, he jumps up on us which is a bad behavior. He will sit amd wait for treats but he always jumps up first so we’re not sure if he thinks we’re rewarding that and not the good thing he did before it.

    Luckily, he’s very social and kind and doesn’t really bit us (he sometimes nibbles gently). He’s definitely a fan favorite but potty training is a big issue for us right now. We’d love a sweet AND well behaved shiba!

    Sorry about the novel…We plan on taking him to puppy training when he finishes his shots but we have to wait another few weeks! Any advice is much appreciated. You sound like the shiba whisperer.

    Thanks so much!


    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your Shiba puppy!

      In terms of potty training, I was able to train my Husky to first go on potty pads, and then later to go outside. Shania had to go for multiple surgeries when she was young, and it was necessary to use pads so that she did not have to keep going outside. After the surgeries were done, I started retraining her to potty outside, and with consistent supervision, she quickly picked-up that going outside was a lot more rewarding than going on her pads. 😀

      I made sure to reward her very very well for doing her potty outside with her favorite food, affection, games, and more. I also set up a fixed schedule and consistent rules so that her potty schedule is more predictable and I can anticipate when to take her out. More on what I did to potty train Shania.

      In terms of running away, that was also a favorite of Sephy. He really loves to play chasing games, so when people started chasing him, it is a *very big reward* for him. He used to steal the t.v. controller, because he learned that whenever he did that, people would chase him, and a fun game ensues. In this way, I was inadvertently rewarding him for his stealing and running away behavior. Instead of chasing Sephy, I put a drag-lead on him. I *only* use a drag lead when I am around to properly supervise him, and I use it with a flat collar or harness, *never* with aversive collars. In this way, I can prevent Sephy from running by using the lead from pretty far away. I always make sure *not* to cause a hard stop so that he doesn’t hurt his neck.

      In terms of alone time, I helped Sephy become more comfortable with being alone through desensitization exercises. I first started with very short periods of alone time (seconds) and then slowly built up from there. More on separation anxiety and desensitization.

      In terms of rewarding the right behavior, I establish a yes-mark and no-mark with all of my dogs. In this way, I can accurately mark the good behavior with a consistent verbal cue, and then my dog knows that a reward will be coming. If my dog performs a bad behavior in-between, I no-mark it and tell him what to do instead. As soon as he performs the command, I mark the behavior and then reward him. I *never* reward during or right after an undesirable behavior. I talk more about this in the article above.

      As for being calm, that is very important for all of my dogs, especially my Shiba. Sephy is very sensitive to my energy, so if I am not calm in any way, he will pick up on that and get even more crazy. I am calm when rewarding Sephy and I am calm when correcting him. If I am calm, then he has an easier time staying calm himself and listening to me. Being calm does not mean there are no consequences. It just means that I am in control of my own energy, so that I can respond to my dogs in a fair, consistent, and decisive manner.

      I have a bunch more Shiba Sephy stories here –

      Bigs hugs to your Shiba puppy and Happy Holidays!

  55. KD says

    I recently adopted a husky pup, she’s a little over 10 weeks old and everything was going fairly well, she would whine to go outside, she was affectionate and playful, and she listened for the most part. Up until yesterday. She had numerous accidents in the house, and I attribute this to me trying to clean and not paying close enough attention. She started to do the “kill shake” with my cat, where as previously they’d just play, she refuses to even acknowledge when I speak to her. Not even glancing at me when I say her name. She won’t even look at my face or let me pet her. She actually got up and went to her crate when I tried! This has not happened before. She would never leave my side actually, choosing to play or sleep right at my feet. This is not the case with my boyfriend, however, she responds to him, plays with him and let’s him pet her. So I am very confused as to what is going on! Do you have any suggestions?

    • shibashake says

      Hello KD,
      I went through a similar thing with my Shiba Inu when he was young. In our case, a lot of it was due to my own energy. Sephy is a very sensitive dog, and he would very quickly pick up on how I was feeling. If I got frustrated, anxious, or stressed, he would pick up on that, become stressed himself, and act out of character. He was also a lot more affectionate with other members of the family.

      Since I was the one that mostly took care of Sephy, this hurt me pretty deeply, which made me get even more frustrated and anxious around him. This in turn made him get more stressed around me, and he would often avoid me.

      Once I started controlling my own energy and being more calm around Sephy, his behavior toward me improved significantly. Being calm and in-control was very important with him. I set up a fixed routine, consistent rules, and followed the Nothing in Life is free program. This calmed him down significantly, and I also started to gain his trust.

      A bit more on my difficult beginning with Sephy-

  56. Vanessa says

    My husband and I are picking up our husky on Thursday. This will be our first husky. We had a German shepherd a few years back. Till we moved and could not bring her so she lives with his parents now. She’s 8 weeks old and although excited I’m very nervous. I do have a 1 1/2 year old daughter an I’m worried about training. Do you have any advice? I’m feeling over whelmed but have already paid for my pup so can’t back out now. Is there any advice you can give me to ease my mind? Thank you for your time.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Vanessa,

      Congratulations on your upcoming bundle of fur! Husky puppies are absolutely adorable and a lot of fun. They do need a lot of supervision tho, especially in the beginning. What helped with my Husky puppies –

      1. A fixed schedule. In this way, puppy has some consistency in a time of change, and also starts to learn her boundaries. It also gives me some time to do chores, and take a much needed break.

      2. Consistent rules and supervision. Supervision is really important during the potty training period. After my puppy was potty trained, things got a lot easier, and I got to sleep normally at night.

      3. Occasional puppy sitting help. In the beginning, it helps to have others around who can puppy-sit. Husky puppies can be pretty energetic.

      I’m feeling over whelmed but have already paid for my pup so can’t back out now.

      In my experience, most club registered breeders will take back their pup if things don’t work out. In fact, the Shiba and Husky breeders I have met also take back adult dogs from their kennel, if conditions change, and there is a need. I would discuss this with the Husky breeder.

      I write more about my new dog experiences here.

      Good luck and big hugs to puppy! Please share some puppy picture links with us if you have the time. 😀

  57. anonymous says

    I am adopting a 2 year old husky this weekend from a bad situation. She had spent most her life chained and used in a puppy farm scenario. She has burns on her neck from a constant bark collar and is very timid and will shy away if you try to touch her. She has had no training whatsoever so my question is where do I start? Do I train her as I would a puppy or would you recommend doing things differently?

    • shibashake says

      Bless you for helping out a dog in need.

      This article from the ASPCA has some good information on adopting a puppy mill or timid puppy-

      What has worked well for me with my more timid Husky is to go slow, and give her space to get used to her new surroundings. I try my best to always make things positive, slowly earn her trust, and let her come to me on her own accord. The more positive experiences my Husky has, the more she trusts me, and the more confidence she gains. Negative experiences will undermine her confidence, so I do all that I can to go at a pace that she is comfortable with, keep things quiet, and to only introduce her to new things when I am sure she is ready for them.

      I also do desensitization and counter conditioning exercises to help her deal with her fear triggers.

      Happy Holidays and big hugs to your new Husky (when she is ready for hugs :))

  58. New owner says

    Hello, I’m getting a husky puppy soon and I’d like some advice on housebreaking, as I live in an apartment and I’ll be leaving for some hours during the mornings. Is there any best way to teach him to wait till we get downstairs to eliminate?

    • shibashake says

      When she was really young, my Husky puppycould not hold in her pee for very long, especially when she was excited. Sometimes, she couldn’t even hold it long enough to get to our backyard door, so I usually tried to anticipate when she needed to pee and I take her out before she *really* has to go. For example, I observed that my puppy frequently had to go after about 15 minutes of play with my other dogs, so I take her out after about 12 minutes or so.

      I also set a fixed routine, so that her potty routine became more regular. Here is more on what I do to potty train my dogs.

      When Puppy has to go, Puppy has to go. 😀

  59. Levi says

    Hi there
    first off thanks alot for your comprehensive articles, very helpful.
    My partner and I have just brought home a 10week old Blue Heeler named Jake.
    hes a beautiful pup and very energetic.
    He is now biting but ill try your methods, but my question is, whenever we let him in the house he will pee any advice besides rubbing his nose in it like everyone suggests?
    also He has started humping on occasion, is that a sign of problems to come ie. dominance issues
    thanks again and look forward to your reply

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new puppy!

      Here are some of my experiences with potty training my dogs.

      What I have observed with my dogs is that they usually hump in play. It can sometimes be seen as a dominance move, especially between dogs who are not familiar with each other. Whatever the case, it is not a behavior that I want my dogs to practice, so I institute a no-humping rule. If they hump each other, I no-mark and temporarily stop play.

      If my dog humps a person, I no-mark and ask him to do something else, e.g. Sit or Down (something simple that he knows very well). If he ignores me and keeps on humping then I calmly say “timeout”, and put him in an appropriate timeout area for a short period. In this way, he learns that –
      Humping people = Don’t get to be with people and lose freedom in the house,
      No humping = Get attention and play.

      Here is a bit more on dog dominance and bad dog behavior.

      Big hugs to Puppy!

  60. Anonymous says

    My husband and I just bought an 8 week old, all white, Siberian husky. We named her Laney and LOVE having her. But for the first two weeks, I think that I got to shower..maybe 4 times? I can’t leave her alone for a second-literally. She is so cuddly, and I love it. She even tries to sit on my lap with her chew toy. This has been harder than a newborn baby.

    We live in a 3rd floor apartment. We have a fairly large, gated deck. So using puppy pads, we have trained her to always do her business outside and on the pads. But the problem is that 1. I am her only company the majority of the day. 2. She needs to run and we only have so much space…

    Laney loves to play with other dogs and we do that 2 times a week and I take her for walks 2xs s day, sometimes more. We know that she is going get bigger, and quickly, but we plan on being in or own house within the next year. But until then, I really am worried that she is getting depressed. I play with her A LOT, I have a variety of toys, I play music for her, take her to the park, etc. but again, it’s just me until my husband is home from work.
    We have a good and consistent schedule, which includes 3 naps- 45-90 mins long each time, 2 walks, 4 feeding times (just smaller amounts. We are up 6am-11pm), lots of cuddling and playing. But she even looks depressed sometimes and just cries. And her tummy has been bothering her and I seriously think that it is because she is depressed and feels like she is being held captive.

    What kind of advice do you have for an apartment environment with only 2 people? We will have kids within the next couple of years too, but wanted to make sure we had a good, solid, well trained dog before we start that! I grew up with a large Samoyed and have had experience with huskies before, but not puppies… We are active, we are healthy, we feed her healthy foods, she has not had human food once, we give praise and discipline appropriately (firm voices, no treat, withhold cuddling, never hitting), I just don’t know what else I can do for her to help her be happy with us.

    Thank you for all of your advice, I have been on your site for her whole 90 min nap!

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your Husky puppy!

      I play with her A LOT, I have a variety of toys, I play music for her, take her to the park, etc. … 2 walks, 4 feeding times (just smaller amounts. We are up 6am-11pm), lots of cuddling and playing.

      Laney is a very lucky girl. 😀

      But she even looks depressed sometimes and just cries. And her tummy has been bothering her

      My Husky Lara also had upset tummy when she was young. Both my Huskies have sensitive digestive systems, and they also have food allergies, especially to grains and strangely, some types of fish. What is Laney currently eating? Does she have soft poop or gas? When did her tummy start bothering her? What kind of upset tummy symptoms is she showing? Has she been to the vet for an initial check-up?

      When does Laney cry? What is the surrounding context? Is it in response to not getting to do something or not getting something that she wants? Could the crying be from her upset tummy?

      From your description, it sounds like she has a very active schedule. Is she energetic during play? What makes you think she is depressed or unwell?

      Also, you probably already know this, but I am very careful about where I take my puppy when she is young and before she has gotten fully vaccinated. Puppies still have developing immune systems, and are infinitely curious about everything, so they are susceptible to infection.

    • Anonymous says

      Thank you for your reply! Her tummy has settled so much in the last week, all solid poos in healthy amounts and only a couple farts when she’s in deep sleep:) we ended up switching her dog food and I add a little water to her dry food to make it softer and she really likes that. The depression seems to be getting better too, which leads me to think that her bouts of just laying there whimpering and looking misterable were probably related to her tummy aches and bloating.

      She also seems to want CONSTANT attention. No matter what i am doing, she wants to be touching. Sadly, this mist isnt always possible, do leaving her alone more than 10 seconds is devastating to her and she cries, barks or acts out. This is partially my fault, as I have given her attention 24/7 since we have had her. So I am trying to get her to be ok with being alone even for just a fee minutes at a time. It’s hard though because she literally looks so sad when you don’t play with her!

      We are making a large “porch potty” for her so hopefully that will help with stabilizing her potty area vs her play area, allowing her to feel like she has more space to run and play. Now it’s just getting through the MUST CHEW EVERYTHING phase.

      Thank you again for your reply and all the great nfo on your site!

    • shibashake says

      It is great to hear that her tummy is much better. 😀

      It’s hard though because she literally looks so sad when you don’t play with her!

      Haha – yeah, it is very difficult for me to resist my Husky’s ‘look’ as well. They use it to great effect.

      Big hugs to Laney!

  61. Bonnie says

    We just got out little boy a week ago and he’ll be 10 weeks tomorrow. He is nipping and even intended to bite my stepdaughter yesterday. She was only trying to divert his attention from something he couldn’t have. What are the best suggestions you have for this. We have 6 people living here ages ranging from 14 to 20 for kids and my Husband and I. Butch, our Siberian Husky, seems to listen to me and my Husband fairly well considering the short time we’ve had him, but the kids not so much. I spent all day yesterday working and playing with him and he seemed fine most of the day, he challenges me, but I don’t back down in my direction and he does end up getting the praise as he will change action. Once the kids started coming home keeping him reeled in got more challenging. I feel Butch and I are developing the Alpha, but not sure what to direct the kids to do?

    Thank you :)

    • shibashake says

      Puppies are energetic and easily excitable. Running, fast movement, loud noises, excited physical interaction, and more will get a puppy even more hyper, which is when they will start to bite even more because they want to join in on the fun, play, and interact with the people around them.

      The best way to keep my puppy calm is to direct others to be calm around him. I also set up a fixed routine for my puppy and consistent house rules that everyone implements in the same way. Consistency is very important in dog training.

      In the beginning, I also found it useful to keep a leash on my puppy (only with a flat collar and only under supervision). With a leash, I can more easily control my puppy and prevent her from jumping on people, rough play, and more. If necessary, I can clip the leash onto my belt to keep my puppy with me so that I can properly supervise her, manage her excitement level through play-breaks, and teach her how to interact with others.

      More on what I do to train my puppy not to bite on me and others-

      I also do bite inhibition training and follow the Nothing in Life is Free program.

      Given that there are many people involved, including children, it may also be helpful to consult with a good professional trainer. Dog behavior is very context dependent, so having a professional see things first-hand was very helpful for me, and helped me to resolve issues more effectively with my dog before they escalate.

  62. Bryan says

    Hi I recently got a Siberian husky puppy and all he does the majority of the day is sleep is this common? He’s 9 weeks already so I’d accept him to be more active. When I try to walk him he just stays there and won’t move.

    • shibashake says

      That does sound somewhat unusual for a Husky puppy.

      When I get a new puppy I usually take him to the vet for a checkup as soon as possible. In this way, I can make sure that he is in good health, and I can also get him started on their recommended vaccination schedule. I do not walk my puppy outside until he is fully vaccinated. Puppies still have developing immune systems, so they may be susceptible to parvo, distemper, and more.

      Where did you get your puppy from?

    • Bonnie says

      I have also noticed this with Butch, our Siberian. He will play and such, but he seems to nap often. He has been given a clean bill of health with the exception of fleas, which we bathed him in dawn and used puppy frontline and I haven’t seen a flea in 3 days now. I thought maybe they were getting the best of him, but the frequent napping continues. He does have another appt with out Vet on the 26th.

  63. Anonymous says

    I have a husky puppy, and most of his training is going well. However, recently he has started becoming extremely aggressive while running. I have tried ack-ack, shaking a can of pennies, and ending the walk. He continues to bite me and the leash but only when i try and run with him. Any ideas?

  64. Annie says

    I recently got a shiba inu puppy and is currently teaching him to stop biting me, but it’s not working!
    He only bites/nips when he gets excited or if there is a lot of people around. How do I get him to stop this?
    He tends to bite my hands when I am playing with him and when I am standing he bites at my legs.
    I tried hand-feeding him and it has worked for him to have a soft mouth up until recently and he bit too hard and drew a bit of blood.
    I’ll say no and walk away but he’ll bark and continue to bite!

  65. Jayd says

    Hey. I just got a husky puppy. I want him to spend the majority of the day time outside and night time inside. When I put Loki outside all he does is cry and howl and bite at our security door. I’m afraid he’s going to break his teeth. Some people say to ignore him and some say to squirt him with water. I don’t want to do either of those as they seem to be on the nasty side. How would I go about training him not to do it?

    Also how would I go about teaching him to “go to bed” when it’s sleep time and not want to play and get into everything?

    Thanks =)

    • shibashake says

      Congratulations on your new Husky pup!

      Puppies, especially Husky puppies are very affectionate, and they like being with their family most of the time. Husky puppies are also very high energy, so they need structured activities to keep them occupied.

      I train my dogs to get used to alone time by doing desensitization exercises. I start by doing only very short periods of alone time, and then I *very slowly* build up their tolerance.

      When separated from their people, puppies may cry, chew, or paw at doors, because they are stressed and want to get back to their people. Because the behaviors are symptoms of stress, any kind of aversive punishment (e.g. water squirt) will *not* help and will probably make things worse.

      A bit more on dog anxiety.

      I also set up a fixed schedule for my puppy and a consistent set of home rules. My puppy’s schedule includes a lot of training, play time with me, supervised play time with my other dogs, and grooming exercises. Structured activities help to teach my puppy play rules and house rules, as well as gives her many positive outlets to drain her energy.

      A couple of hours before bedtime, I start to slow things down and keep puppy calm. Then, I let her work on a frozen Kong before bed.

      Here is an article about the first ten days with my Husky puppy, Lara. It was difficult and very tiring – but worth it in the end. 😀

  66. Sophie says

    I have a 6 month old husky named Aro.
    He is a well behaved dog, follows commands and is very calm ‘most’ of the time.
    However, whenever he gets something he is not supposed to have such as socks, human food etc. or when he is eating his dinner or is given a new chew toy such as a pigs foot he gets uncontrollably aggressive.
    I try to stop him by saying no and grabbing it out of his mouth but sometimes this is impossible. He shows his teeth, growls, and lunges towards me. I have been too fast for him to bite me although he has latched onto my shirt once.
    I know the answer is to put him in his timeout zone, which eventually I do, but sometimes it is too dangerous for me to grab him to be able to put him in there.
    Is there a way of getting him out of this habit and getting him out of this aggressive zone in his mind?
    Thank you

  67. Kirsty Jean Pienaar says

    Hi thanks for the articles they have given me hope I have a 6 year old male siberian (Jack) and we have now got a 6 week pup ( Sasha) Jack was raised outside and Sasha is being raised inside (due to the swimmimg pool until we can teach her to swim) she lets us know when she wants to potty and whens shes hungry or thirsty but also her biting has just started as well as her magic escapism tricks(houdini) she seems to just wiggle her way out of any area weve created inside the house, she is proving to be more enegetic than Jack and doesnt respond well to the word no. I need to set boundaries for her to help her feel safe and secure because at the moment she gets too excited and then the biting begins and takes a while before it subsides. My husband does the tug of war game with her but she expects me to be as rough and when im not she gets annoyed and starts “attacking”me. I dont recall Jack being like this, she is so tiny and doesnt seem to follow commands yet not does she seem to recognise her name, any advise?

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, my Husky Lara also had crazy energy and the attention span of a gnat during puppyhood, which makes training a bit more of a challenge. 😀

      With Lara, consistency is very important during training. We set up a consistent set of rules, which we both enforce in the same way. For example, there is no hard-biting on people and no rough-play. If we sometimes allow rough play and sometimes not, a puppy will have a difficult time understanding what we want from her. As a result, she may keep trying to play rough, because the next time she tries, we may give in and play with her without any rules.

      To make things clear and to facilitate learning, I try to be very consistent with house rules and play rules.

      As for biting, I first no-mark the behavior, then, I tell my puppy what to bite on instead, for example, a toy. Sometimes, I give her an alternate pre-trained command. If she redirects, then I reward her well with a fun game and food. In this way, she learns not to bite on me, *and* she also learns what to do instead, e.g. bite on the toy. Here is more on what I do to stop my puppy from biting on me.

      Here are a few more puppy biting tips that helped with Husky Lara.

      I also follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs. It is a great way to motivate them to follow house rules, and to build trust.

      With my Huskies, it is always the most difficult in the first few weeks. Then they get better, and I forget what a pain in the ass they were. 😀

      Lara is now over 2 years old and she is a big sweetie, but here is a record of her first puppy days.

      Big hugs to Jack and Sasha!

  68. Cindy says

    Hi ShibaShake my dad and brother keep on putting my 8week husky maya outside in this area where we are supposed to put her but everytime they leave her she starts to cry,whine and weep and I don’t know what to do because we recently got a trainer and he told us his opinion about where we should put her and etc. I don’t know what to do and every time she crys I feel sorry for

    • shibashake says

      Hello Cindy,
      Is placing her outside for potty training? What behavior/problem is the trainer trying to address?

  69. Grasiela Artiga says

    Hello i have a 10 week old husky and his name is rocky. Now i also have a 3 year old lab-retriever named casper. I feel rocky looks up to casper alot although very differen’t personalities casper is very calm. Now when i try to train rocky he is very stubburn and if you keep repeating a command you lose his attention. Also he tends to bite us alot i hold his mouth close gently and say no and it only seems to aggrevate him more, i’ve also tried to say no and tell him “pow pow” and hell get more aggresive and want to bite more. When training his good on his training pads but doesn’t go poop on them he decides he reather go somewhere else. I was very good at training my 3 year old but i dont know how to go about training rocky to become a little bit more like my 3 year old dog. I would really appericiate some help

    • shibashake says

      Here are some things that I do to control my Husky puppy’s biting –

      I find that any physical interaction (e.g. holding her mouth) will only get her more excited, because she thinks I am playing a fun wrestling game with her. When my puppy bites, she is usually trying to initiate play or get my attention. Therefore the best way to control her biting is to teach her that –

      Biting and jumping = No attention and no rewards,
      Sitting and being calm = Attention, a fun structured game, and other rewards.

      I also do bite inhibition training with all of my dogs to teach them to control the force of their bites when they are interacting with people.

      As for commands, I first start with hand signals. I find that my puppy learns visual signals much faster than verbal commands. Once she learns the behavior and associates it with the visual signal, then I start to associate the behavior with the verbal command. In the beginning, I say the verbal command *one time* and do the visual signal at the same time. Then I wait for the right behavior from my puppy and reward her very very well for doing it. Each success will reinforce the behavior and teach her to associate the verbal with the action. Once she is doing well, I *very slowly* phase out the visual signal.

      Here is a bit more on how I taught my puppy some simple commands –

      I also follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs to motivate them to follow house rules and do work for me.

      Good luck and bigs hugs to Rocky and Casper!

  70. Ceci says

    First, I love your articles, they are very useful!
    But, I have a question:
    How can I prevent my husky from digging soooo much in my garden?

    • shibashake says

      Haha, yeah my Sibes also love to dig. Two things helped with them –

      1. No-dig training.
      When Lara starts to dig in a “no-dig” area, I no-mark, and get her to do something else. If she keeps going back to digging on the unsanctioned area, I take her inside the house and she temporarily loses her outside privileges.

      In the beginning, I also watch her when she is alone outside, so I that I can no-mark and correct the behavior. In this way, she learns that the no-dig areas are off-limits even when I am not around.

      2. Other outlets for their digging energy.
      It also helps a lot to have other outlets for their digging energy. For example, we left a big area of our backyard unlandscaped so that Lara and Shania can have fun digging there. When I take them out for walks, we often go to areas where they can have fun digging.

      Instead of just suppressing the behavior, this gives them positive outlets for enjoying their need to dig. 😀

  71. Arlene H says

    So obviously there is no one all-encompassing method of training, but would you do anything drastically different for a Shiba pup than what you did for your Husky pup? i.e., something specifically geared toward a dog with a (possibly) dominant personality? I’m planning to get a Shiba pup in about a year or so, so I’m preparing myself for the little hurricane :)

    • shibashake says

      Heh, Shiba Sephy is a lot more stubborn and more frequently tests his boundaries, so he has more rules and I am a lot more strict with him. He also requires more patience and calm energy because he is very sensitive to the emotions of the people around him.

      My Huskies are more easy going, so they get rewarded with more freedom.

      Here is a bit more on dealing with a dominant dog.

      It is awesome that you are getting a head-start on Shiba training. I didn’t look into things until after I got Sephy, and as a result, had a very difficult beginning with him.

  72. Dannielle Panuccio says

    Hi how are you! I have an American Staffordshire Terrier and as we all know pit bulls have a bad reputation as a breed. He is only 11 weeks old but I am terribly afraid he might become an aggressive adult. I am trying to train him well but every time I try to give him a stern command he barks at me and he’ll bite and my hard, arms, anything. He also will never let me walk him with a leash, He’s chewed through two leashes. He will listen better if I have him ‘come’ while we’re on a walk(without a leash), but then he will get distracted by people walking by and run up to them. Obviously as he gets older he’ll need to learn the importance of a leash because he is a pit and people will be intimidated by him. I had another pit before him and he was nothing like this. He had a perfect demeanor and never bit anyone. I am afraid with this puppy because little kids love pups and they’ll run up to greet him and he whips out his teeth to start playing with the kids. I love your articles they are very helpful. I have been trying to teach him that for biting he gets no reward I always scream OUCH! and turn my back on him, sometimes though he’ll just start biting at my pants or continues growling and biting at me. I dont have a place for him in my apartment for a ‘time out’ so I use his crate but when I put him in there he barks a few times then falls right to sleep so I wonder if that is even working. I feel like each day gets worse, not better. Help Please!!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Dannielle,

      In general, it is best to use someplace else of timeouts. This is because we want the crate to be a positive place, and we do not want our dog to associate it with punishment.

      I put my dog’s crate in the family room, so that he can still see and be around his people when he is in there. He also gets to work on special interactive toys while in his crate. My dog goes into his crate at night, when he travels, and for other management activities – so it is important that he sees it as a safe and positive area.

      On the other hand, my timeout area is far away from people, boring, and very low stimulus. This will help my dog to calm down. He also learns that if he does not behave with people, then he temporarily does not get to be with people. My dog’s crate area and his timeout area serve very different purposes, so it is important that they be in different locations; appropriate to their intended purpose.

      I also had a difficult time training Sephy, my Shiba Inu in the beginning. Some things that helped me turn things around with Sephy-
      1. Control my own energy. To get Sephy to calm down, I also had to be very calm. If I am angry, frustrated, or fearful, Sephy will pick up on my energy, get stressed himself, and act even more crazy.

      2. House rules. I set up a routine and a consistent set of house rules for Sephy to follow. I make sure to be very consistent about enforcing house rules, so that Sephy learns what his boundaries are, understands what he can expect from me, and also what I expect from him.

      3. Identify motivators. I observe Sephy closely so that I understand what things motivate him most. Then, I make sure that he works for all the things that he wants, by doing simple commands for me. This is also called the Nothing in Life is Free program.

      Here are a few more things that I do to control puppy biting.

      Finally, I also visited several professional trainers to help me with Sephy. With dog training, timing, technique, and energy are all very important. It was very helpful to have someone right there to explain Sephy’s body language to me, and correct my timing and technique in real-time.

      Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes.

  73. Alisha says

    I loved this article! It was immensely helpful, AND has shown me what mistakes I have been making, but also what I have been doing correctly! 😀 Thanks!

  74. Anonymous says

    I have a serra de aires puppy now 14 weeks old. She is beautiful but very unbelievebly strong willed and does not listen to me at all. She chases my legs biting as I walk and gets mad half hours where she gets so excited running around mad and if I am anywhere near her she just leaps on me and bites my clothes, hands etc and just wont leave go and it hurts as she is not gentle at all when biting and I worry she is not playing as she gets so rough. It is not through lack of excercise as I live by the beach so spend at least 2 times each day on the beach with her. When she is calm she is adorable and she is the perfect dog but I just cant play with her as she gets so rough and then the biting starts.

    I am starting obedience classes with her this weekend so I am hoping it will help us both.

    I had 2 german shepherds previously for 13 years and neither one of them behaved like this so I dont know if it is the breed as she is a sheepdog but I cant have her biting as I have family with small children and I worry she will bite them also.

    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated as I am getting worried as she is getting bigger and her biting is getting worse.

    Many thanks in advance.

    • shibashake says

      Some things that help with my dogs for biting –
      1. Bite inhibition training.

      This teaches them to control the force of their bites.

      2. NILIF program.

      I follow the Nothing in Life is Free program with all of my dogs. This teaches them that the best way to get what they want, is to do something for me first.

      3. Calm energy.

      I try to stay very calm and use a calm voice. If I am angry, fearful, frustrated, or stressed, my dog will pick up on that energy and get even more crazy.

      4. Clear and consistent communication.

      When my puppy bites, I no-mark and then either redirect her onto a toy, or ask her for an alternate pre-trained behavior, e.g. Sit. If she redirects, then I mark the behavior and reward her well for it with play and attention. If she does not listen, then I totally withdraw all my attention by standing up, folding my arms, and turning away from her. At this point I do not give her any attention (not even eye contact) until she calms down.

      In this way she learns that –
      Biting = Get ignored,
      No biting = Play, attention, and other rewards.

      If she escalates her behavior and jumps on me or bites my clothing, then I calmly say “Timeout” and remove her briefly to a timeout area.

      Here is more on my puppy biting experiences.

      I also set clear rules during play time and have many play breaks where we do some simple commands. Play breaks help to manage my dog’s excitement level, so that she doesn’t lose control of herself and learns impulse control. If she does not follow the rules, I no-mark and stop play briefly. When she is calm enough to do some simple commands, she gets rewarded with more play. In this way, she learns that –

      Biting or jumping on me = Play stops,
      Following play rules = More play, attention, and other rewards.

  75. Nicholas says

    I have a 11 weeks old siberian husky, name Baxter. I don’t know what cause it keep on bitting our hands and legs very badly(seems like he is purposely to bite on our skin). I’ve tried out to ignore him when he bite me and stand up and walk away. After few seconds, i bring his toy and let him to chew on but he still choose my hand to bite. It is kinda painful due to his teeth is so sharp right now.

    • shibashake says

      Hello Nicholas,

      Yeah, my Sibe Lara was also very mouthy as a puppy. Puppies are infinitely curious, and they interact and play with objects, with each other, and with us using their mouth. Some things that helped with Lara –

      1. Bite inhibition training.
      This teaches her to control the force of her bites, especially when interacting with people. We have much thinner skins than dogs do, so I needed to teach Lara that she has to be more careful when interacting with me and other people.

      2. Set Lara up for success.
      I always try to set Lara up for success. This includes not just telling her what *not* to do, but also what *to do* instead. For example, if she bites too hard on me, I will no-mark, and then tell her what to do instead, e.g. bite on a toy or do some very simple commands. I make sure to always have a toy ready right there and then, because timing is very important. I want to redirect her right after I no-mark the behavior.

      If she properly redirects, then I can reward her well for her success by giving her treats and playing with her using the toy. If she does not redirect, then I withdraw my attention by standing up and folding my arms.

      In this way, she learns that-

      Biting on a toy = attention, games, and treats, but
      Biting too hard on people = game stops, no attention, and no rewards.

      If Lara escalates her biting behavior and starts jumping or biting on my clothes, then I put her very briefly in a timeout area.

      3. Frozen Kongs.
      Young puppies are teething, which is another reason why they like to bite or chew so much. Frozen Kongs are a great way to keep puppy Lara occupied and to help with her teething pain and soreness.

      Here are a few more things that I do to control puppy biting.
      This article from Karen Pryor’s site has more puppy biting tips.

    • Nicholas says


      Thanks for the information.
      May i know how to determine wether they are attacking us or playing with us?

      Do you have facebook or any contacts?

      I got ton of questions to ask about my husky due to this is my first dog.

      Thank you and will be very appreciate from your help.

    • shibashake says

      In general, to interpret what my dog is “saying”, I observe his body language, environment, people and objects in his environment, and also use what I know about his temperament, past experiences, etc. Dog behavior is very context dependent. This article from UC Davis gives a short but good overview of dog aggression.

      Personally, I would be very surprised to see aggression from a very young puppy. When my Sibes were puppies, they were very curious, energetic, and just wanted to explore and play all of the time. Why do you think your puppy is showing aggression? Is there something else other than the finger biting that would indicate that?

      Do you have facebook or any contacts?

      I do have a facebook account but I am not there much at all. It is best to post questions in the comments section on this site. I check site comments pretty regularly.

      I got ton of questions to ask about my husky due to this is my first dog.

      I would be careful about relying too much on any one source for dog training information (including me ;)). When it comes to dog training, everyone claims to be an expert, and unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there, whether online, on television, or in books.

      Some good places that I go to, to get dog training and dog behavior information –
      1. Articles from top veterinary schools, e.g. University of Pennsylvania, UC Davis, and Columbia University. I just use my regular search terms, and then add in upenn or ucdavis. Articles from these places are great because they are usually based on scientific studies and solid animal psychology principles.

      2. Well regarded organizations that are known for their advocacy of dogs, e.g. ASPCA, RSPCA.

      I have also gotten some good information from breed specific online forums, but in these more public/open to everyone areas, a lot more filtering is necessary.

    • Nicholas Ooi says

      “Personally, I would be very surprised to see aggression from a very young puppy. When my Sibes were puppies, they were very curious, energetic, and just wanted to explore and play all of the time.”

      As what you mentioned above. If he acts like this, he is a very normal and healthy puppy?

      “Why do you think your puppy is showing aggression? Is there something else other than the finger biting that would indicate that?”

      He don’t just bite our finger, even foot etc. While bitting, he will shake his head like somehow pulling.

    • shibashake says

      If he acts like this, he is a very normal and healthy puppy?

      Let me put it this way, if my puppy is low-energy, and doesn’t want to play or explore, then I would get very worried and take her to the vet right away.

      As for puppy health, I always take a new puppy to the vet for an initial check-up when I first get her. I also set up a vaccination schedule with the vet at that point.

      Often, puppies will try biting on lots of things because that is how they interact with their environment, with other puppies, with people, etc. Puppies do not know what is right and wrong, what is desirable to people, and what is not. They are trying different things out and learning what works for them and what does not.

      When I first got puppy Lara, she did not know what the rules are, and what her limits are. Therefore, it is important to set up some structure and rules for her, and then teach those rules to her so that she knows what we expect of her, and what she can expect from us in return.

    • Nicholas Ooi says

      I get it. So, that is how my little boy does. As long as we need to be patient and take the time to teach him. Slowly, when he grows up, he will become more mature and know how to think? Is this what you mean?

    • shibashake says

      That is how it was with my Huskies. As long as I communicated properly with them, and carefully taught them the right thing, they learned pretty quickly what behaviors get them the best results.

    • Nicholas Ooi says

      May i know how to leash train if i have tried out to leash him but he just stood there and don’t move.

    • shibashake says

      That would probably depend, to some extent, on why he is standing still. How did he react to you putting on a collar and leash? Was he afraid? Uncomfortable? Is this inside the house or outside? Is this in a new environment? Is this the first time putting on a collar and leash?

      Sometimes, a dog may freeze because he is uncertain or afraid, especially when he is facing something new. When I introduce my puppy to something new, I always start small, go slowly, and make it very positive. In this way, he will gain confidence, and grow up to be a balanced dog. The process of introducing our dog to new things is also called dog socialization.

      Sometimes a dog may not do anything, because he does not know what we want him to do.

      There could be many other reasons.

      Dog training is very dependent on context. I have found that to train my dogs well, it is not just about the end behavior but also about understanding what led to the behavior, the surrounding context, and more.

    • Nicholas Ooi says

      First of all, i introduced the collar to him and well, he let me wear for him with a very quiet attitude. But whenever put on the leash, he will start bite and pull. I try to heel him and he will just sit there and totaly won’t move at all. Don’t even bite the leash anymore, just sit.

    • shibashake says

      Yeah, it can sometimes take a puppy some time to get used to something new. I try to start small, go slow, and make the experience positive. For example, to get my puppy Lara used to a lead –
      1. I first use a very light lead.
      2. I clip the lead onto a flat collar (*not* an aversive collar) and then just let her move around with it, under supervision. This gets her used to wearing the lead and gets her accustomed with its weight.
      3. Once she is comfortable moving around on her own with the lead on, then I may sometimes pick it up and engage her in a fun, rewarding game, e.g. Find-It. This teaches her to associate me holding the leash with something positive.
      4. When she is comfortable with me holding the leash, then I start to leash train her. I first train her to walk on a loose leash.

  76. Shayla says

    I have been reading your tips and tricks all day. I am curious to see how to properly potty train your puppy. You state that by smacking the dog could cause some aggression later. So i was just curious to see as to what you could do. I have a 12 week old male siberian husky. His name is Nikko, (neeko), he is really good with listening, most of the time. Like “sitting”, “laying down”, “Fetch” and ever “roll-over” or “bed-time”. But what I don’t understand is that he can be really good about going potty outside and then he just hits this really bad streak and I don’t know what to do with him at that point.
    When he gets really amped up and excited he becomes mean, biting, growling, lashing at the face and my boyfriend and I just tell him no and put him outside to calm him down but this doesn’t always work.
    Any advice?

    • shibashake says

      Hello Shayla,

      In terms of potty training, I find that the most important things are supervision and consistency. Here are some things that worked well for my Husky Lara –
      1. I set up a fixed schedule and routine. I always take Lara out as soon as she wakes up, and also after active play. When Lara was a puppy, she had to go after about 10-15 minutes of play.

      2. I look for potty signs. When Lara has to go, she will usually go to corners and/or start circling. As soon as I see her going to corners, I call her over, we both go out, I give her the “Go Potty” command, and reward her very very well for doing the right thing.

      3. If I am too late, and Lara has already started, I no-mark (ack-ack) and then interrupt her. Then we both go out, I take her to her potty spot, and give her the “Go Potty” command. Since I just interrupted her inside, she will usually go as soon as we stop moving, so I set her up for success and can reward her well for doing the right thing.

      Very quickly, she learned that
      – Potty outside = Get lots of attention, food, and a fun favorite game.
      – Potty inside = Get interrupted and taken outside.

      The most important thing was to supervise Lara well so that I not only maximize successes, but also minimize mistakes.

      Here is more on how I potty trained Lara.

      Here are a couple of articles on how I trained Lara not to bite on people.

      For timeouts I use the laundry room. It works well at calming Lara down because it is a very low-stimulus, quiet, and safe, place with very little to see, smell, or do. I let her out after a very short duration, if she is calm. I usually ask for a simple command, e.g. Sit before letting her out.

      When I play with Lara, I make sure to teach her game rules. It is important to teach her that interacting with people is different from interacting with other dogs, and she has to be more careful with her teeth and her paws.

  77. Brooklyn Bennett says

    Hello! I’m getting a little female shiba inu pup soon and I know they can be little devils, so I’m reading the heck out of these training tips! Thanks for all the information! And wish me luck please, I may need it lol

    • shibashake says

      LOL! Good luck!

      Sounds like you are well prepared and have done a lot of research – so you are already ahead of the game.

      Have you decided on a name yet?

  78. Boo's Mom says

    Thank you for a very informative read. I just got a new boston terrier puppy (10 wks old) and found this very helpful. So thank you again!

    • shibashake says

      Hello Jenna,
      What do you mean by useless?
      Dogs usually do not know how we want them to behave, and they do not know what we (people) consider to be good or bad behaviors.
      With my dogs, I try to set up a consistent way of communication and teach them my house rules. Similarly, I try to understand what their needs are and help them fulfill those needs.

  79. SusieQ42 says

    I’ve put this on facebook. My granddaughter just got a new puppy so I’ll let her know to read it. Thanks for the helpful info.

    • shibashake says

      Thanks Susie. Glad you enjoyed the article.
      Puppies can be a lot of fun but the first couple of weeks will be somewhat stressful. I usually get very little sleep for the first few weeks, then things slowly improve after that.
      Congratulations to your granddaughter on her new puppy and good luck!

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