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You know you are potty training a Husky when you are in the process of cleaning parts of your house you never knew existed. And, no matter how hard you try, Sh*t happens! Let’s understand the nitty gritty of how to potty train a Husky puppy.
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What to expect when potty training a Husky
Expectation setting is the first and foremost step of learning how to train a Husky. Expecting too much of your Husky too quickly is a classic recipe for disaster and failure.
Remember these basic pointers before getting started with the process of housebreaking your Siberian Husky:
- It’s all about the surface; some Huskies may prefer grass while some may prefer harder surfaces to relieve themselves. Knowing this preference will make it easier to decide on a designated spot
- Your Husky needs to feel safe and secure in their designated spot. Pick a spot accordingly
- Know your Husky’s bladder control ability
- It will take some time, even if you are starting on a clean slate
- Accidents happen even with the best of dogs and dog trainers. Don’t let that dishearten you
- Watch your dog like a hawk until you get 100% reliability
How long does it take to potty train a Husky?
There is no straightforward answer to this question. The time taken to potty train a Husky really depends on numerous factors, some of them being:
- Age of the Husky pup
- Previously learned behaviors by the dog
- The pet parent’s consistency
- The time and efforts put in by the pet parent
- The puppy’s preferences. i.e. If the dog prefers peeing outdoors, potty training them indoors would be quite challenging
- The puppy’s temperament. i.e. A nervous or anxious pup may have more accidents and may be trickier to housebreak
With a combination of consistent and positive training and an unwavering routine, a Husky puppy can be house-trained in a couple of weeks. However, if there are glitches, it could take several weeks or even months to potty train a Husky.
How to Potty Train a Husky Puppy (quick and dirty version)
Take your husky puppy outside first thing every morning and wait for them to pee or poo. Then take him/her outside every 60 minutes. Make sure to wait. Do this all day every day for 2 weeks. Eventually, they will learn and wait by the door to be let outside.
10 Husky Puppy Potty Training Tips
1. Routine is EVERYTHING
Dogs are creatures of habit. They respond to routine and schedule better than anybody else. Setting a schedule does not just mean doing things at a fixed time; it also means having a set pattern of certain activities flowing one after the other, like eat – sleep – play – repeat. Dogs are experts at grasping and following these patterns and can soon predict it too.
E.g. if you consistently take your dog to their pee/potty spot immediately as they get out of the crate, after a few days they will find their way to the designated area without being prompted to do so.
Furthermore, try to keep their meal time, play-time, walk time and crate time more or less fixed so that they can adjust their body clock accordingly. This will enable them to relieve themselves at certain fixed times during the day and it will make potty training easier.
2. Crate training and Potty training go hand in hand
One of the most important aspects of potty training is setting the dog up for success. The more accidents your Husky has in your absence, the more difficult it will be to potty train them because they’re repeatedly marking their scent elsewhere and getting habituated to the alternate spot.
Crate training a Husky puppy has a plethora of benefits when it comes to raising a puppy and being a potty training aid is one of the most important ones. As they grow, puppies soon learn to associate different places with different activities like play, rest, sleep, pee, poop, etc. They generally do not like soiling where they sleep; hence a crate is an excellent tool when it comes to:
- Avoiding accidents around the house
- Building bladder control
- Keeping the puppy safe in your absence
- Setting and following a consistent routine
- Making it significantly easier for you to take care of your husky!
Be mindful that leaving them too long in their crate can lead to your Husky puppy crying. So it’s worth knowing how to stop your Husky puppy from crying in their crate.
Recommended: Best crates for huskies
3. Reward reward reward
Positive reinforcement is a principle by which EVERY species not only learns a certain behavior, but also willingly repeats it. Having the best treats for huskies accessible while your Husky pees in the right spot is a great way to reinforce positive behavior and strengthen it.
Plus, rewards are one of the major differentiators between peeing in the right spot vs the wrong one. Consider having separate dog treats for potty training; these would be treats that your Husky would only get when they relieve themselves in the right spot. Soon they would start associating the designated spot with the rewards.
Rewards may not just include treats and praise. It also means making the designated spot an uber positive space for your puppy. A pup must be absolutely comfortable and at ease while relieving themselves.
This is because when a puppy is peeing or pooping, they are at their most defenseless selves. Hurrying the dog, getting frustrated, scolding them etc can make them nervous and just delay the whole process of potty training.
4. Have ONE designated spot
The emphasis here is on having ONE spot.
The following may highly confuse your dog and may actually result in more accidents:
- Having more than one pee pad or grass patch inside the house
- Frequently changing the location of the pee pads
- Expecting your dog to relieve themselves indoors and outdoors
- Training the dog to pee inside the house during puppyhood and then expecting them to unlearn everything and go potty outside
It’s okay to play around with a couple of spots before your dog gets comfortable with one, but expecting your dog to change their ways after getting them used to a designated spot would be unfair to the dog.
Bear in mind that several dogs may have preferences in terms of location, surface, surroundings, etc. If your dog prefers to pee on the grass outside, they may find it difficult to pee on the pee pad and may, therefore, end up having accidents.
Make sure to take your puppy not just a couple of times but several times a day in their designated spot.
5. Keep your Husky puppy’s world small
When we welcome a Husky home, many of us often end up making the mistake of giving them access to every corner of the house. This can do more harm than good.
If we want our pups to pee in a designated area, it should be easily accessible to them at all times, failing which they will just end up peeing wherever they deem fit. This is exactly how repeated accidents happen in the house.
Keep your Husky puppy’s world small by only giving them access to one room with all their essential resources for survival, at least for the first few weeks or until they consistently start relieving themselves in the right spot.
This will leave no scope for accidents and quickly set them up for success. As their potty training gets more reliable, open up one additional room at a time.
6. Look out for signs to prevent accidents
Your Husky is constantly communicating with you through body language and signs whether you know it or not. Many of them may also use their voice to make themselves heard.
If your Husky has been with you for a few weeks, you may have noticed that your dog may engage in certain behaviors before peeing.
If you haven’t, here are some general signs that your dog wants to pee:
- Sniffing excessively
- Wandering off mid-play
- Whining and barking excessively
- Going towards the door or the designated spot
- Approaching the space where they generally have accidents
- Getting restless while biting and nipping
- Circling in a particular spot
- Screaming or howling
7. Knowing when your puppy needs to pee
Our dogs communicate the need to relieve themselves through signs and body language. But as pet parents, we must meet them midway by being on the lookout for certain activities and times when they would definitely need to pee.
Some of them are as follows:
- 15 – 20 minutes after drinking or eating
- First thing in the morning
- 25 – 30 minutes into any kind of physical activity
- After any nap during the day that exceeds 25 – 30 minutes
- Last thing before they go to bed
- Immediately after crate time exceeding 30 minutes
Furthermore, it is good to be aware of how much bladder control your Husky puppy has at every age. The easiest way to calculate this is ‘age of your Husky (in months) + 1.’
That is the number of hours your pup can hold their bladder. So, a 4-month-old Husky can hold their bladder for a maximum of 5 (4+1) hours.
8. Have a cue
Having a cue is not a necessity, but it definitely helps.
Here are the steps to teach your dog to pee on cue:
- Wait for your dog to start peeing
- Add a cue WHILE he/she is peeing
- Repeat Step 1 and Step 2 several times every day
- After a few days, say the cue first and see if your dog pees. If they don’t, repeat Step 1 and 2 for a few more days
The trick is to get your dog habituated to peeing when they hear the cue. This will speed up the process of getting them to pee when you’re outside with them. A cue is also super helpful when they’re in an unfamiliar place and they have no idea where to go pee/ potty.
9. Use a leash
When you see your adorable Husky pup about to have an accident in the house, it is natural for you to run to them, pick them up and place them on their designated spot. Here’s a quick word of advice: Don’t!
Picking up a puppy and putting them in their designated spot is more of a displacement strategy and does nothing to teach them the direction towards the right spot.
Instead, have your pup on a leash when they’re active and roaming around the house and use it to gently guide them to the designated area when they communicate signs. This will accelerate the process of potty training.
10. Consistency is key
A famous dog trainer once said, “The best technique to train a dog is the one that the pet parent will actually follow.” This couldn’t be truer when it comes to potty training. You can read as many advice pieces and articles as you want but if you do not follow it consistently, you will keep stepping into poop.
Consistency is the only thing that will actually make your efforts bear some fruits. Consider potty training as a one-time investment in time and effort. The more you invest right now, the easier your life will get in future.
Reasons why your Husky may be having accidents in the house
It can be maddeningly frustrating when you try to do everything right and still come home to a stinky poo. It helps to remember that during such times, your Husky is not giving you a hard time, they’re having a hard time.
There could be several reasons why your Husky is still having accidents inside the house. Some of them are listed below:
- They have way too much access in the house and have difficulty tracking the right spot
- Their bladder control is not that good, yet
- They need a little more hand holding
- They could have a UTI
- They could be marking territory
- They’re not comfortable with the designated spot and may prefer a different spot
- They are not being rewarded enough
- There may have been a sudden change in their daily routine
Further reading: Why does my Siberian Husky pee so much?
How to potty train a Husky puppy in an apartment
If your husky lives in an apartment, and you cannot take your pup out frequently to relieve themselves, it is advisable to train them to pee and potty on a pee pad or a grass patch inside the house.
Here are some tips to remember while potty training your Husky in an apartment:
- Give them easy and 24*7 access to their designated spot
- Keep their walk timings fixed. While it is fairly easy to teach a pup to pee indoors, several of them prefer pooping outdoors. Keeping walk timings fixed will help your pup adjust their body clock accordingly
- Once your pup has peed on their spot, take them away from it, else they may use it as a resting spot or, worse, start shredding the pee pad/ grass patch
- Crate train your Husky to get fast and effective results
- If your dog prefers to wait to go outside to relieve themselves, increase the frequency of taking them out. Keep the timings more or less fixed
- Use house training aids like pee pads, grass patch, pee deterrent sprays, pheromone sprays, etc. to make training easier
- Use a leash to lead your dog to the designated spot
Should you take your puppy out in the middle of the night?
When you first welcome your Husky puppy home at the age of 8-9 weeks, they have a tiny bladder, understandably so. During such times, it is okay to take them in the middle of the night to pee.
However, this is not a routine that humans can keep up with every night. Hence, as your pup grows, it is advisable to put them to bed late and wake up super early, and very gradually increase this gap rather than waking up in the middle of the night.
Dogs respond well to consistency and routine. Thus, it is not recommended to start anything that you may not be able to keep up with in the long run. This may only end up confusing them and reverse all the training.
Things you must NEVER do while potty training your Husky
The greatest mistake dog owners can make is make their dogs afraid of making a mistake.
Punishing your Husky for having accidents does not teach them to pee in the right spot. It only teaches them to pee in your absence. Hence, many Huskies choose to pee and poop behind their humans’ backs.
Here is a table explaining the things you must avoid doing while potty training your Husky and what you must do instead.
|DON'T DO THIS||DO THIS INSTEAD|
|Scold or punish the puppy for having an accident.||Quietly clean up the mess and try to catch your puppy before or in the act the next time. Once you catch your pup in the act, quickly lead them to the designated spot.|
|Take a newspaper, roll it up and hit your puppy.||Take a newspaper, roll it up and hit yourself (Just kidding! But seriously, don’t punish your dog).|
|Take your puppy home immediately after they are done peeing or pooping outside.||Spend some time playing with them outdoors and then get them inside.|
|Rub your puppy’s nose in their pee.||There is no point in reacting several minutes or hours after your dog has had an accident. They live in the moment. They would have no idea what just happened to them.|
How to potty train an older Husky?
While training an older dog, it is imperative to remember that you are not starting on a clean slate and that they have been living in a certain way for many years.
So, before expecting them to learn a new behavior or a routine, make sure to give them time to unlearn their old ways while adopting new ones. This would mean more consistency and way more patience and rewards.
Potty training an older dog would also mean meeting them midway rather than trying to completely change their ways.
E.g. If your dog is habituated to peeing inside the house and you want them to pee outside, provide them with pee pads and grass patch inside the house, but also take them out more frequently with a lot of rewards.
You could gradually start moving the pee pad near the door and eventually out of the door, but at a pace that is barely noticeable to your dog.
Final takeaways about how to potty train a Husky
Potty training a Husky puppy may seem like a tedious task, but isn’t as insurmountable when broken down into smaller, trackable steps.
Remember to stick with it, even if you may face some roadblocks, especially then. If you’re feeling too stymied, be sure to reach out to a professional.
Share your experience with potty training your Husky in the comments below.
Do you enjoy reading a good book? See our list of the best husky training books. 👈
Further reading: Are huskies good for first time owners?