3

I have an 11 months old female husky, she has a lot of energy and she’s very sweet. We took a training class and she did very well but lately she started destroying things in the house when we leave, she’ll hop on the counter to get a cereal box or on the desk to grab any paper that’s laying there.

She started this behavior about 2 months ago. We decided she couldn’t be left loose in the house when no one was there when she destroyed the christmas tree so we took out her crate. She used the crate when she was smaller and potty training and she hated it she would pee in her crate and cry all day.

She doesn’t like it either now. She’ll howl and cry to get out and when I get home and get her out she’s always covered wet from either pee or saliva from howling a lot but I don’t know which. She also hurts herself trying to destroy the cage.

She’s a dog that gets a lot of outside time when we are home and she’s a very good dog when there’s people around but her behavior is starting to be problematic for us because we can’t let her loose in the house and for her because she stresses a lot in her cage and hurts herself.

Any trick or opinion is welcome either on how she can stop destroying everything or how she can accept her cage as her safe place and stop stressing when we leave her in it.

  • My experience is most dogs will accept a create but some will not ; maybe some training will change that but I never found the right training. – blacksmith37 Feb 5 at 1:59
3

What you have is a working breed, a dog bread historically for a job. These dogs tend to be highly active and have buckets of drive to work and play. Not to mention she is young too so she will be even more active because of her youthful vibrance. They typically command a lot of attention from owners and can grow bored and be destructive very quickly if they don’t get it.

Sadly a lot of people get these types of dogs and not realise just how much of a commitment they are.

These types of dogs aren’t great at being left alone but it is possible with training.

She has separation anxiety and you need to teach her to be alone and that that’s ok to be.

If you are seriously going to leave this dog for long periods of time while you go to work I would do the following:

Get her used to being alone

  1. Take some time off to train her. Start by leaving her for an hour, then two, then three over a course of a week or so, this will teach her to be alone and be able to be comfortable in her own company. This helps begin to set a routine. Keep doing this for a while.
  2. Leave her stimulus when you leave. This can be anything; Doggy puzzle games, complex toys, something to chew (like a marrow bone, fresh meat on a bone like a duck or turkey neck etc). This will occupy her mind and in time she will just forget that she is alone.
  3. Perhaps close the curtains so it’s a bit darker, relaxing and soothing. This also stops any external stimulus.
    1. Do something with her before going to work. Tire her out so it encourages her to sleep. Take her for a run/walk and train her in obedience. A mix of mental and physical exercise for 30m/1hr will work a treat.

Crate train her

For now I’d leave her out of the crate as this may now be a cause for bad behaviour. You need to change her perception of this.

In time start to reintroduce her to it by feeding her in it for ALL meals by shutting her in with her food. Once she’s eating she again has a distraction and the excitement/anxiety will go and be inadvertently rewarded with food. Then leave her in there for 20 mins or so to let her settle and then come out and reward her with play. This makes her crate a safe place for her, put a blanket over it to make a little den. So when she feels this anxiety again she can go there for refuge. If she starts to get destructive in there then correct her by telling her “No!”.

Eventually she will become more comfortable with her crate and be able to spend longer in there comfortably. But I would not leave her in there for the entire day while you go out. Because she will grow bored, uncomfortable, anxious and eventually want to get out. Like if a human eventually spends too long in bed or sat down it becomes uncomfortable and we want to move - this is the same thing.

This has worked for me. I have two high drive GSDs living in my house and it worked a treat. Both had the same issue to a degree. One of them even ripped an entire floor up in my house, this routine worked really well for them.

| improve this answer | |
1

The problem

Dogs are bred over thousands of years of domestication and crave human or dog companionship. She is not suited to being left alone during the day and this is not a fault in her as a dog or even as a husky.

Husky's are an active breed and you dog is still a puppy. It's unreasonable to expect a puppy to be alone for much of the day and bordering on cruelty putting it in a cage. Puppies are a bit like human children, they need company and activity. They get bored and when they're bored they will make their own fun. Imagine leaving a 3 old at home all day, let alone putting the child in a cage.

The fact that she's wet all over and covered in saliva is a sign of how distressed she is. This distress is normal, given the circumstances.

Alleviate the distress

To address your current circumstances:

Do not lock her in the cage again, unless it is to transport her.

Leave her some toys and a large bone for the day. Use fresh bones, not the packaged treats, many of them contain colouring and glues to make them look enticing. Soups bones are good for distraction and teething as they cannot work through them, so it will still be there at the end of the day.

Leave out a supply of dry food - possibly in some type of slow feeder so she has something to keep herself interested.

Clear all the kitchen benches and put away anything you cannot risk being destroyed: shoes, cushions, pillows etc. This is something that needs to be done when there is a puppy in the house anyway.

Consider leaving a talkback radio show on. This way she has the sound of human conversation.

Consider getting a trusty dog walker to take her out during the day for a long walk and run through the park. When paying people to care for pets it's advisable to ask for video footage of some of the activities to ensure they actually do what they are being paid to do. Too often people will take the money and do a half assed job or not do it at all.

An ideal situation

Change employment so you she has less time left alone.

If you had an enclosed yard with shelter that she could use during the day, with her small toys, bones, dry food and some larger toys, this would help.

The other thing you could do is get her a friend (an older dog) and do not lock her up. She needs company.

Let us know how you get on.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.