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 Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..

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Jesse & Andrea
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PostSubject: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:38 pm

Hey you all, my girlfriend and i have been trying to train Shadow to behave while we are gone. However, when we leave and return the house is a mess. In particular the window blinds and occasionally cords. Any advice as to what to do or how to prevent this from happening? He has outgrown his crate and will be unsupervised for 8 hours a day in two months. So, we have essentially two months to get all of this under control. Also, while left alone he has plenty of toys and bones to chew on. Please offer any advice! Thanks.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:39 pm

Buy a bigger crate.
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Ericobeasto
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:44 pm

Exercise before you leave.
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Jesse & Andrea
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:21 pm

Thank you for the replies; however, buying a bigger crate is not a solution because we do not want him inside the crate for 8 hours. We want him to be able to roam around the living room without being constrained in a crate. We do exercise, but he has a lot of energy. Exercising only helps to an extent. We would really appreciate more advise! Thank you!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:26 pm

Jesse & Andrea wrote:
Thank you for the replies; however, buying a bigger crate is not a solution because we do not want him inside the crate for 8 hours. We want him to be able to roam around the living room without being constrained in a crate. We do exercise, but he has a lot of energy. Exercising only helps to an extent. We would really appreciate more advise! Thank you!

Pray Rolling Eyes Seriously - I think you are expecting too much. Either crate him, tether him, take him to day care or hire someone to stay in your house. Only other possibility is completely empty room with door shut (but, my first girl managed to tear down all the wall paper in the whole apartment in 1 afternoon Mad )
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:28 pm

Beautiful dog, by the way...
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Kellyb
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:37 pm

You exercise, but how much?

IF you cant trust him not to destroy, crate him until you can. it may take a while before he can be left out. It sucks yes, but he'll get used to it. You have the option of a bigger crate or buying new furnitue/blinds/couches.....
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 4:38 pm

So you fully acknowledge that 8 hours alone is too much because you say you don't want him "constrained" in a crate for that long, but then you want to train him to be well behaved, calm, content while free to roam your house?

This is very unrealistic, if not unfair to your Husky.  This is not a training issue, rather it is an issue of meeting your dog's needs.  

Constraint, as it were, is not only what's best for your dog in this case but is really the only way to best make use of the situation you are putting your dog in.

He will destroy things not because he lacks training but because the situation he is in is not meeting his needs.  That being the case, a properly sized crate is the best solution outside of hiring some sort of outside help.  

Leaving him alone and unattended in your house if far more unfair and constraining than a crate would be.

Training is only possible once a dog's basic needs are met. Work on that first.
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lillith87
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:01 pm

I am not sure how old your dog is, but here is a rule of thumb for crating. 1 hour for each month old to a max of 8 hours. So if your dog is at least 8+ months old, it can stay in the crate for 8 hours.

You won't be hurting your dog in any way shape or form or neglecting. Huskies, when crate trained, view their crate as a den, not a prison. At the beginning of crate training it may seem like it is hell on the dog, but if properly introduced, a short amount of time of association will make your husky like being in the crate. When I refer to it, I tell Okami it is her "room". It is a safe way to make sure your husky doesn't get into mischief, or hurt itself during the periods of time that you leave them unsupervised. If it really feels like a big deal, you could always come home on a lunch break, have a trusted friend or neighbor stop in to let them outside, there are plenty of options.

But in conclusion a husky should always be crated at all unsupervised times. An Adult husky on the other hand, (3-4 years + old, depending on the dog of course) will likely be okay outside of the crate unsupervised, but it takes a crate and overtime-training and patience.

My husky is a year and a half old, and I still put baby gates up or tether her to me in the house when she is out, and I am sure a lot of people on this forum do exactly that or similar methods. She is now maturing enough though that I don't leave the gates up because she has learned to stay in the room that I am in, and when I leave it she knows to follow me. But I would never ever trust her alone in the house without being crated. You need to walk before you can run with this one.

If all in all, that crates are still not in your interest, which I strongly advise you to incorporate them, you could always barricade a room off in the house and dog proof it. In example a Laundry room, a bedroom... make sure everything in a floor to 6 feet up is not accessible, like knick knacks, inside of drawers or cabinets or closets, under beds etcetera. Otherwise you will find that a really bored husky found a way to be not bored, with your things.

Exercise Exercise Exercise.... a tired husky is a happy husky. Huskies are bred to run run run a ton. They feel unfulfilled if they don't have a sense of work. Depending on the age of your husky is how much they need and what types of activities they can do. If under a year old, absolutely no running/joring. Huskies bones and joints can't handle running at that age, so the best is to take decently long walks, off-leash dog parks, swimming, and just playing with them is needed whenever you have spare time. Over a year however (like 14-15 months) you can start biking, rollerblading, jogging, scooter, sledding, hiking... pretty much anything that you can run them or elevated walking.


Sorry for the book.
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siku&nikolai
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:03 pm

Yep, agree with everyone above. Crates are not that bad. A lot of our dogs are in crates for 8 hours a day. My oldest dog is almost three and he is only left out for an hour (if that) on some days if he has been exercised or if its so hot, I know he won't move from the fan. When huskies get bored they will find ways to keep them busy so you have to keep them contained so they do not have that option. If crate trained right, they will love it. Also daycare is great, mine go twice a week.

There really is no answer to just make them behave while your gone other than a crate, because there is no one to correct them in your absence. Exercise after a couple hours will wear off, and he will go destroying stuff at least until he is a lot older if even then. I understand that you don't want to crate him, but unless you want more stuff ruined or have to pay for an expensive stomach surgery, your going to have to crate. Just exercise before you put them in there, start in slow amounts of time, put food and toys and he will be fine!
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:05 pm

Exactly Erica, it is an open invitation and encouragement to misbehave.
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Jesse & Andrea
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:20 pm

I feel as though I am completely meeting my dog's basic needs. I am failing to understand how Shadow's needs are not being met and how my expectations are unrealistic. Each day he runs at least one mile, and throughout the day he plays for at least two hours with my boyfriend. He has been crate trained since the age of two months. However, over the course of the last 4 months, we have been leaving him outside of his crate while we are absent. It seems to be a hit or miss, somedays he will not touch anything, other days he will destroy. When he has company, for example another dog while we are absent, he behaves well. It is only when he is completely alone that he misbehaves. Could he be experiencing separation anxiety? Are there any other methods that would enable him not to feel alone while we are gone? Thank you for the responses.
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:25 pm

For a 1.5 year old? 1 mile is not that much. Ours walk close to 4 miles per day and the 3rd old does that with a backpack on. Plus they play with eachother all evening. You are looking at a bored dog, step up the exercise. You'll notice when you do he'll be less destructive
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lillith87
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:29 pm

Jesse & Andrea wrote:
I am failing to understand how Shadow's needs are not being met and how my expectations are unrealistic.

It is unrealistic because you have a husky.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:30 pm

Some of his basic needs include companionship and stimulation, both physical and mental, especially being a working breed who need to be a part of something with purpose all the time.

Being alone for 8 hours (upcoming for you, which is going to be worse for him than what is now the case) is lacking in both.

Even in a crate all day for 8 hours, there is still a lack of these basic needs for that time. That said, this is the basic recipe for anxiety, misbehavior, and destructiveness resulting from a feeling of boredom, frustration, and anxiety.

This is why it is unrealistic to expect a well behaved Husky loose in the house for 8 hours, especially as mentioned above if he is under 5 years of age. Once this new schedule starts for you two his anxiety and his alone time will get worse.

Crates, counterintuitively perhaps, actually provide them with comfort and an ability to relax because while they are inside the amount of possibility they have at their disposal is simpler. A dog with few options is pretty much going to sleep all day anyway. But with so many options available to him if he's loose, he will naturally find ways to kill boredom, relieve anxiety, and compensate for a lack of stimulation. In other words, destroy things.

By making his life temporarily simpler inside a crate you are promoting relaxation and reducing his anxiety.

I hope that makes sense.
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lillith87
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:32 pm

@seattlesibe wrote:


By making his life temporarily simpler inside a crate you are promoting relaxation and reducing his anxiety.  



^^^ This a million times.  Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven Like a Star @ heaven 
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:33 pm

And yes, 1 mile per day for a full grown Husky is not enough. Most happy Huskies I know of get at least triple or quadrupal that a day.
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:36 pm

My girl is 4, going on 5, and only a mile a day would make even her mellow butt nutty. That aside, when there's another dog he has someone to play with to keep his attention and help in burning off excess energy. When there isn't another dog he must get creative, AKA...tearing up everything. Step up the exercise before leaving and leave a radio on while you're gone. Keeping the house picked up also helps. The less stuff for him to get a hold of the better. Raise the blinds, hide loose objects, put bitter spray on everything else, but since the dog is already crate trained being in the crate isn't going to be that big of a deal to him as long as he has a toy or bone to chew on. That's basically all you want him to do anyway, just not in the crate.

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Jesse & Andrea
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:39 pm

Thank you all so much for the responses! Everything has been great advice and I am definitely going to up the exercise. Also, I have another quick question. What size crate do you all use for your dog and how large is your husky? Is it good to follow the suggested weight for the sizes of the crate or do you all use a different method while selecting a crate? I feel as though Shadow may have outgrown his crate..
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:42 pm

My buddy is within standard and we use a 42L x 28W x 30H crate with a Primo Pad inside and he fits in it perfectly. He can stretch out and sit and stand.

I wouldn't put a German Shepherd or Malamute in this size, but for a standard Husky it is perfect.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:43 pm

How tall is he, do you know? Weight?
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:47 pm

@seattlesibe wrote:
My buddy is within standard and we use a 42L x 28W x 30H crate with a Primo Pad inside and he fits in it perfectly.  He can stretch out and sit and stand.  

I wouldn't put a German Shepherd or Malamute in this size, but for a standard Husky it is perfect.

This is the size I have as well. Kenzi is 21.5" tall and weights about 50lbs and she fit well in it when we were thinking of crating her.

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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:47 pm

Just some quick exercise ideas:

Do you have a bike? Would you be able to get a walky dog or a springer system and do that with him in the early morning (anytime below 60 degrees)? This is what I do with my dogs a lot of the days before we do a walk at night, and it mellows them out for the day. They get to run a lot at a speed that tires them out, and its a quick fix if you don't have a lot of time in the morning.

If you don't, like Kelly said add a backpack, it gives him a purpose and will tire him out quicker. Or daycare like I suggested earlier is a huge help and gives you a break from having to walk them 3 or 4 miles a day. Or dog parks if you are near one are great as well! There are lots options, but tiring him out is going to be a great thing, then put him in his crate, and then do it all again at night and you will notice a huge difference and in a couple of years you can try leaving him out of the crate or for very short times right after exercise.

You should be fine with the 42" crate if he is in the standard. We have a 49" and its massive. They can completely stand up, turn around, fully extend, as well having food bowls. We only did that though because one has seizures and needs to be able to fully stretch out while having one for comfort. But I also love that they have that much room now that we don't need to use it for potty training.


Last edited by siku&nikolai on Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:47 pm

Jesse & Andrea wrote:
Thank you all so much for the responses! Everything has been great advice and I am definitely going to up the exercise. Also, I have another quick question. What size crate do you all use for your dog and how large is your husky? Is it good to follow the suggested weight for the sizes of the crate or do you all use a different method while selecting a crate? I feel as though Shadow may have outgrown his crate..

We have 42" for Ami - he is big - 24 ish at the withers and now 63 pounds. He and I both fit in there for his kong ritual at night Laughing  He can stand up fine, even when I have it piled with bedding in the winter (it was in unheated outbuilding.) I had nothing to do with the sizing - it was a hand me down from son's fiance when we impulsively got a dog and were so not prepared Rolling Eyes I would think, if toilet training is not an issue, too big is not a problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Training a Husky To Behave While Absent ! Stumped..   Mon Jun 09, 2014 5:49 pm

When I went to get my crate, the box should have a general list of dog breeds that would fit in it adult size. When I got my second crate it ended up being just a bit bigger than the first one I bought, but I got it at a garage sale lol. What I noticed is I got the second to largest crate they had at Pet Supplies Plus. The next size up had dog breeds listed like Great Dane, St. Bernard etcetera lol...

36" x 23" x 25" is my upstairs bedroom crate
42" x 28" x 30" is my downstairs living room crate
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