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I just got a Husky puppy just over week ago, she is now nine weeks old (her name is Nova). She has several bad puppy habits I am attempting to train, and her living situation could be improved but I can't decide on the best plan of action.

Some Background

I have own a few dogs before, but they were all shepherds, easy to train, and easy going dogs. I knew Huskies were independent and energetic before I got one, I just had no idea how independent and energetic they were until experiencing it first hand. I live in the city, but I have an extremely large backyard (roughly .8 acre lot) for the pup, and I take her to the park almost everyday after work. I have done a lot of research on training and handling huskies, and spend 2-3 hours a day on training and playing with her. On top of that I just have her around me while I do things around the house for the remainder of my day.

Her Behavior

note: the positive negatives I chose to teach her first are "good (girl)" and "no"

She is extremely energetic, despite running her at the park, walking, and playing with her she often is not ready to lie around at the house when I get home, or even go to bed. She takes a short nap and is back at it. She bites everything, I have been training her not to bite since the day I got her, but it seems to be having little affect on her. She will stop biting my shoes about 70% of the time when I say "no". She has several toys/bones/chewy-bone-snacks but will often only play with them for short bursts before chewing on the leg of the chair or the rug unless I give her direct play attention.

She often bites my hands (and has bitten my nose once to the point of blood) in a playful way when I go to pet her. But I know this is a bad habit, and she can't control how hard she bites when she gets to excited, so I have tried several methods to get her to stop and only lick/nuzzle. this includes:

  1. saying "no" firmly and stopping play with her until she pauses to think about it, then resuming when she has quit.

  2. whimpering/yelping to make her think I'm hurt.

  3. walking away if she plays to rough.

As I expected, for a puppy, she needs pretty much 24 hour supervision accept for when she falls asleep.

Also, I have been trying to off-leash train her, I know it is extremely difficult for huskies so I'm starting early, but she only comes to me during backyard practice on command %30 of the time. She gets quite distracted, and usually won't come unless she is sure I have a treat. This is mostly to help her stay close when she is on-leash when I am walking her and teaching her how to walk next to me.

Her living quarters

Before I start, please don't hit me with negative comments about my ability to take care of this dog as far as living quarters, I'm looking for feasible solutions for a good environment. I work full time, as does my wife, so the dog is in the crate during the day and let out during lunchtime by family. I know this isn't good and contributes to her energy, but she is 9 weeks and I can't just let her roam. all my previous dogs potty trained quickly and used a doggy door, so they were autonomous until I got home to take them for a walk and play.

Like I said we have a large backyard, but each idea I have has setbacks:

  1. Let the dog live in the backyard during the day: I would puppy-proof the yard, replace a couple broken fence pieces, and put chicken wire in the ground along the fence to prevent her from digging out. Also, buy a dog house for shelter from rain, and put a blanket in there for comfort.

    negatives: she scratches at our back glass door if I just let her out without going out with her. I feel this also doesn't contribute to her learning how to behave indoor/outdoor and knowing the differences.

  2. Get the dog a play-pen indoor they have metal play pens that connect to her cage, I could make room for it on the hardwood floor.

    negatives: she will probably go to the bathroom inside, she will probably whine when put in the pen, and may be able to push it around/escape. Also, does not re-enforce or teach good behavior.

  3. Build a dog run outside same idea as 1, except I build a fenced in area so she doesn't have the whole yard, and won't scratch the door.

  4. Put in a doggie door Install a doggie door through my wall and let her be independent. This is my ultimate goal, I just think it will take a really long time to get there along with training. This would allow her to get a lot of energy out during the day.

    negatives: she will chew up my house because bite and chew training are going poorly, and sometimes tracking mud into the house.

Summary

I know she is a puppy, so some of this stuff just takes time. But what could I be doing better to speed things up, or help our relationship as a whole? Based on my post:

Q: How can I improve my relationship with my puppy husky? How can I improve her reckless behavior? How can I give her a better and more sustainable living environment?

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    She is 9 weeks! she is a puppy give her time, my puppy settled down a bit when she was around 3.5 - 4 months and every dog is different..just be consistent in your training and shell get it – Daniel Jul 31 '18 at 19:29
  • Thanks @Daniel! i know she's young, I just haven't had a dog with this temperament. I wanted to make sure she will level out a little. – user12665 Jul 31 '18 at 21:21
  • Another thing you can do for biting is redirect her to her chew toy, when she starts mouthing at you say no and then give her a chew toy and praise her...teach her whats acceptable to chew..be consistent and patient, change wont be overnight, she will get it – Daniel Jul 31 '18 at 23:24
  • I think a lot of your problems come from the dog being too wound up still. Some areas have people who are professional dog walkers. You might try hiring them to walk your dog during the mornings and/or afternoons on weekdays. – Kai Aug 2 '18 at 13:09
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First I think you are doing great with training and playing with your dog. The thing with puppies is that they are like little children, it takes time to teach them. For some it will be few days, for other few weeks. But with stuff like biting you can slowly reduce how often it occurs, and probably won't eliminate it full until all teeth are changed. All methods you listed are good ways to teach puppy how and if it can bite, but it takes time to learn fully that. You should also have some toys dog can chew on, so you can switch you hand for it.

As for keeping the puppy when you are away. Cage is perfectly suitable for that if it's big enough and you put water there. Leaving the puppy for 8h alone is something you should not do. But you said, that someone is letting her out during the day, and that is okay. Buy something like kong toy, and fill it with ex. wet food, and give it to dog every day you are leaving in morning. It will keep dog occupied at the beginning, and she will start liking to be in cage. You also should let her go to cage etc. during day, put treats there from time to time, so she likes it there, and won't associate it fully with you leaving her.

I would strongly advise against leaving her outside. There is to much stuff from outside your yard that can get there. Starting on leaves, dusts to insects which can be really dangerous for her. Imagine if she gets bitten by wasp when you are away. It could be deadly for her.

Also energetic dogs can get overexcited/overtired, and will need help to settle down, or they'll keep running until they drop exhausted. With this cage can also help. My border collie puppy gets often overexcited after nightwalk/play and start running around bedroom, instead of lying down. Putting him in cage for 2-3 minutes usually helps him settle down (even if he tries to get out by whining/digging on doors) And don't forget water!

EDIT - i did not notice part about off leash coming

As for coming to you off leash - it also takes time and a lot of practice. for start you need to find the point when she always comes to you. And make distance smaller and be more and more exciting for her until you find that point. You should also start indoors (the less distractions the better at the beginning) and slowly work your way up to bigger distances, and more distractions( yard) but you should minimalize times when she won't listen to you. And if she won't come, take step back. But try to avoid adding distance and distractions at the same time, make it as simple, and easy as you can so you ensure here chances of success are very high

  • thanks @Shirru! I really appreciate the advice and encouragement. – user12665 Aug 2 '18 at 17:25
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Your husky is still a puppy. She will most likely grow out of some of these habits, such as the biting. She could be just teething. My puppy used to do that, too but eventually grew out of it as she got older. My best piece of advice would be to not expect her to grow out of these habits right away. As for the outdoors part, I suggest trying to take her outside in increasing amounts of time. Start with a short while, then gradually increase how long you leave her outside until she feels comfortable doing so.

  • Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. How long did it take to grow out of these habits with consistent training? I like that idea about letting her be outside in growing amounts of time. – user12665 Jul 31 '18 at 18:10
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TL;DR: It takes time. Work through each and every issue. Keep at it, be firm, be patient, repeat.

I've been told (I believe it comes from Cesar Millan) that a dog takes 15 repetitions to learn something. Most of the times, that's 15 days. Some times, that's 3 work-weeks.

Don't just wait for it to get better though. A lot of people think that they have to sit back and wait for their puppy to grow out of it. But you shouldn't just sit back. Work on those issues.

Yes, you'll have to dedicate a lot of time to her. Tell her time and again what you like in her behavior and what you don't. But the sooner you get going the more effective your training will be.

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