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. Danielle says

    Hi i have a 10 week husky pup (got her when she was 7 weeks and 3 days old) I have taught her to sit and give both paws and she learnt quick with the training pads for her toilet training but my hands and arms are black and blue from when she’s paying with her toys (she has loads of different ones) she will bite me so hard like clamping down and i have to prize her jaws open. She even bites my stomach and anywhere. She’s drew blood about 50 times my hands and arms and legs look like I have got a knife and stabbed myself lots and sliced my arms. I actually have bruises on my upper arms where she’s bit me so hard. My vet said try a teddy and get her to bite it and play and the min she bites me I Yelp and stand up and turn my back on her, she said do this 5 times a day. She won’t stay on her own follows me everywhere and if i shut the door on her to wash the floors or something she goes crazy. Sorry for the long message.. My other husky i had for 9 years I rescued him at 9 months old and 5 weeks ago i found out he had bone cancer and had weeks left to live I tried everything to save him and exactly a week later the vet had to come to my home to put him to sleep he was in to much pain, crying all night in pain. My mum got me this new puppy to help heal my pain I love her so much but the biting is so bad xx

  2. Cynthia A. Moore says

    I have a 13 week husky lab and rot mixed puppy. I am having problems with her peeing in the house. She goes outside to go poop and pee. But when she comes back in the house not even two mins later she pees in the house. I have used apple cinnamon vinager to clean up her pee. I have her ring the bell and put her outside to go pee. But for some reason she is not ring the bell to go pee. Any help?

  3. Chelsea says

    Hi I have an 10 weeks year old Siberian husky and she won’t stop chewing my box spring under my bed I’ve tried everything I could possible do to stop her and I would love some advice

    • Nathan Flaherty says

      put some vicks vapour rub on the parts hes chewing after trying to eat once or twice they wont want to do it again

  4. Rhiannan says

    Hi me and my partner have recently bought a 6-7 month old huskyxmalamute and he was very shy to begin with and now his puppy side is coming out he has never been trained. He bites at my clothes if I leave a room and tries to get my attention by taking things he shouldn’t, I have tried ignoring him taking away out affection and restricting him. I don’t want his puppy side gone as it was lovely to finally see it but we do need it toned down a little. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated

  5. 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?

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.)

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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?

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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?

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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-

  28. 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?

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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! 😀

  33. 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…

  34. 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.

  35. 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! 😀

  36. 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. 🙂

  37. 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.

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