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Saturday, August 5, 2017

Luna the Husky and Puppy Crate Training

Luna the Husky and Puppy Crate Training 

In my home animals run the show, from my three dogs to the two cats and then the caged beasts (a bird and two bunnies), I am always going from one thing to the next to keep up with them all.  My two older dogs, Bella and Thor, have been around quite awhile (Bella is 10 years old and Thor is 6 years old) so they know the drill and don't really test me too much. So when I brought Luna home at just 12 weeks old I was not quite prepared for the chaos she would be adding to the mix.

Boston Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and cat
Vail the cat, Thor and Bella enjoying a nap together

Of course I had read up on huskies, I wanted to make sure she would be a good fit for my family and I knew there would be some work involved, just like with every puppy. The other dogs have free roam of the house whether I am home or not and I am pretty confident that they just lay around and sleep until I get home.
I couldn't do that with Luna. First, she wasn't even close to potty trained when I brought her home. She had been in a pet store so she didn't even mind sitting in her own mess because that is what she was used to. Second, all of my research had led me to believe that the moment I brought a husky into my home all of my furniture, toys and clothing would be ripped to shreds and even though I love animals, I don't want to have my stuff destroyed.
So, when we brought her home I knew I would be crate training her and had purchased one from Walmart to start her off right.  The only problem was that it did not come with a divider, which at the time I didn't think was very important. So when she immediately made messes inside the crate and seemed just fine with it, I was concerned that I would never get her properly crate trained! 

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I was worried about accidents at first so she had just a bone!
I jumped onto Google to check some advice forums on what to do with a dog that doesn't mind poo and the internet is full of dog owners who apparently have awesome animals that don't like sitting in their own mess. The majority of what I read said, "They won't mess in the cage and if they do it will be in the corner because huskies especially like to stay clean." 
Luna, my husky is clearly the exception to this rule.  She is a walk-pooper, which means she doesn't sit still to go she walks in a large circle, so she can't go in a corner to do it. Every single time I would leave her in the crate for five minutes (that is what I started off with because ohhhh the crying!!) I would come back to a smear festival of poo that could make a grown-woman cry.  It was crazy! I don't know how poo can get all over the walls from the distance her crate was from them but she managed to do it multiple times.
So back to Google I went in search of actual help. I purchased a new crate off Amazon that had a divider this time and was more cost friendly than the first one and I placed the divider at a point where she can just barely turn around when in the crate.
It was not an immediate fix, there were still a couple of accidents to be had, but the divider stopped the majority of the messes immediately.  I am shocked by how well this worked out! Another thing that helped with the potty training was putting the other crate (after a crazy deep cleaning) in my bedroom for her to sleep in at night. To this date, she has never had an overnight accident in the crate in my bedroom and within just a couple weeks she was making it through the night without having to go outside. Having her right by me to let me know when she needs to go out, has been a big perk.

Shepherd, husky, American Staffordshire terrier crates

Luna having a sleepover with Annie and Bella on the end!

Crate training is a very important aspect of puppy care, whether you have a husky or any other breed. To be able to leave your home knowing that all of your furniture is safe from the havoc a dog can wreak in just a few minutes is worth the effort to get them comfortable in a safe crate. Whether they stay crate trained over time or not should be based on your dog's character and how likely they are to be destructive when you are not around.  Huskies are well-known for tearing things up even into adult dog hood so there is a strong chance that Luna will never free roam like my other dogs.  But she accepts it and seems to actually enjoy having her own special place to eat and sleep so I call it a win.

Husky crate training amazon san antonio texas
Typical night sleeping pose for Luna now

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Dogs like a den-like feel in their crate so sometimes it adds a bit of comfort to have part of the crate covered up. I did this with Luna for a little while but she would take the blanket off so clearly she likes to be able to see everything going on!  I definitely recommend crate training starting off with your puppy, it can help to make training a little smoother and give you peace of mind when you have to be away from your canine companion. If you are searching for a crate that is price friendly and comes with the divider included, this one from Amazon turned out to be perfect for my husky pup!

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