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.
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.
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:
saying "no" firmly and stopping play with her until she pauses to think about it, then resuming when she has quit.
whimpering/yelping to make her think I'm hurt.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?