Husky House Training
House training is one of the most confusing and misunderstood obedience lessons you will ever teach to a husky puppy. The idea of owning a gorgeous little furry friend sounds great, until the reality that you need to house train your husky becomes apparent. If you dread the idea of your husky staining your carpets and leaving foul odors around your house, you need read on.
There are 2 common reasons why your husky will stall along the way to becoming a perfectly house trained dog.
1) Submissive and Excited Urination
What is submissive and excited urination?
A husky that is an ‘excited urinator’ is a husky that urinates whenever it gets excited or anxious. This can be very embarrassing and messy if you have guest at your house. You definitely don’t want your husky making a mess in the house the moment you get home from work.
Another trigger for this problem can be every time your husky is told off. If your husky is a rescue or shelter husky there is an increased chance of ‘submissive urination’. Your husky literally becomes so anxious and nervous that they pee or poop involuntarily.
Why does it happen?
Husky puppies are the most likely candidate for submissive and excited urination. This isn’t to say that adult huskies will not experience this problem also. The common trait is being timid and overly sensitive. A husky with a history of abuse will have more problems with husky house training.
When does it happen?
Certain situation will make your excited or fearful husky urinate:
- Being reunited after a long absence
- Playing time
- When guests turn up
- When humans are arguing in front of your husky causing stress
- When you are correction your husky (being told off)
- Very loud noises (thunder, lightning or fireworks)
What You Can Do About It?
The good news is that it is fairly easy to rid your husky of its submissive or excited urination problem during the husky house training process.
1. The first thing you should do as a responsible owner is to take your husky to a vet familiar with huskies to make sure there are no medical reasons for the urination (such as bladder infection or diabetes).
Once your husky has been medically cleared you can take control of the situation:
2. Monitor the amount of water that your husky takes in to control the bladder. Make sure you do not restrict water heavily as this will lead to dehydration and related conditions. Just reduce the amount of water for situations coming up that can set off urination. For example you may have a play session coming up soon or you may have guests visiting in an hour. Restrict water for 30-60 minutes before the event.
3. When you return from an absence, do not immediately give your husky attention. Instead keep greeting very relaxed and low key. Go inside for 10 minutes and them come outside and greet your husky. You are trying to avoid a situation where your husky is so excited he urinates. Once your husky is calm quietly go and give your husky a nice pat without giving too much attention. Continue with this method until excited urination is no longer a problem.
4. DO NOT hit or verbally abuse your husky for this behavior. Your husky is not easily able to control these situations. Be very understanding with your husky and realize that it is not something that is done intentionally. If you catch your husky in the act simply use a firm “No!” followed by praise as soon as the behavior stops. Positive reinforcement is more effective than punishment.
5. If your husky urinates when being told off firmly, reduce the levels of anxiety by switching to a calm and relaxed tone. Keep in mind that your husky is overly sensitive and anxious. Make sure that you build your husky’s confidence without adding to the problem.
Scent Marking Urination
What Is Scent Marking?
Scent marking is where your husky marks his or her territory with urine. Technically this is not a husky house training problem because it is based on dominance and territory rather than house training problems (a husky can be house trained but still continue to mark scent inside the house. Although not technically a house training problem, it is common so I thought it best to include some practical steps you can take to stop scent marking.
How to recognize scent marking as opposed to a husky house training issue?
1. With scent marking you will notice that your husky on produces a very small amount of urine. In effect your husky is hoarding urine to place in specific areas.
2. You will also notice that scent marking is often directed against trees, walls, doors and other vertical surfaces.
3. An unneutered male older than 6 months old is likely to be very territorial. Unneutered dogs are much more territorial than neutered dogs and therefore you can expect an increased amount of scent marking. Neutered, spayed and unspayed huskies can all engage in scent marking to a lesser degree.
4. New items are the target of a scent marking husky.
What to do about the problem?
Spaying or neutering your husky at 6 months of age often halts marking altogether. If your husky has been marking regularly for a period of time, he or she may continue with this habit after being neutered or spayed. Eventually with the right training this habit can be broken.
Spaying and neutering isn’t the only solution to your husky house training problem. Your husky will tend to re-mark the same places over and over. If you want your husky to move its scent marking outside, you will need to redefine the places that are being marked.
Here are ways to do this:
- Feed your husky next to the new marking spot
- Give you husky free reign of the new area
- Groom your husky in the new area
- Place your huskies bedding centrally in the new area
- Spend time hanging out with your husky in the new area
Manage power struggles between dogs in your household:
If the huskies in your household are battling for dominance, scent marking will increase. This can prove to be a problem as far as husky house training goes. Your goal should be to dissipate the tension between the dogs in your home.
Feed the clearly dominant husky first. Pet him or her first and give him or her a toy before the rest of your dogs. This is not favoritism but is done to give your house a clear hierarchy and sense of order. Once the hierarchy is realized then scent marking and other territory based behavior become unnecessary.