Husky Housebreaking - How to housebreak a husky

How To Potty Train A Husky

I frequently get asked questions about how to potty train a husky. It may sound surprising, but this problem isn’t exclusive to puppies. There are many reasons why house soiling may occur. Barring any medical reasons for this to be happening. 

The Main Reasons For Dogs To Soil Indoors

Newly Adopted Dog

The dog is newly adopted and he lacks any kind of reliable indoor skills, toileting being one of them. It is a big problem for owners when they discover that their new dog lifts his leg on the sofa, squats and pees on the living room carpet, and he has no idea of what is expected from him in this area. This is the only scenario where the current owner did not create the dog’s problem. The owner inherited this problem when he adopted the dog.

The Outdoor Dog

The dog has been in the same home since he was a puppy but he was kept exclusively as an outdoor dog where he eliminated where ever and when ever he wanted. Unfortunately, trying to housebreak a dog that has been living and eliminating exclusively outdoors can be very challenging and frustrating as the dog is not mindful of what he is doing. He simply responds to the urge the moment he feels it.

Very often owners have put very little work into housebreaking these dogs as puppies and after they got tired of cleaning up after all the puppy accidents the dog was relegated to live outdoors.

Badly Trained Puppy

When the dog was a puppy, no one really took the responsibility for making sure that the puppy was taken outside to eliminate regularly and as a result it had a lot of toileting accidents in the house. The owners got angry with the dog for having accidents and punished the dog for eliminating in the house.

The dog never really made the connection about why the humans got so worked up or what they want him to do. He only knows that it has something to do with when he pees or poops. So the dog came to the conclusion that the issue of angry humans and him getting punished could be avoided by making sure that no one sees him doing the peeing or pooping. And this is how a “stealth peer and pooper” is created.

The behaviour cannot be corrected because no one can catch him in the act. He now pees and poops very craftily and stealthily all over the house and the owners have had to buy a steam cleaner to regularly clean the carpets.

Using A Puppy Training Pad

This isn’t how t0 potty train a husky. When you allow or encourage a dog to pee inside, the dog cannot make the generalization that he is ONLY to pee on a pee pad. Nor can he make the judgement between what constitutes a pee pad what is a small throw rug or area carpet.

He also cannot make the generalization of why it is okay to sometimes pee in the house and other times he cannot. Owners can save themselves a lot of time and frustration by immediately starting the process of taking the dog outside to eliminate. If possible, skip the whole training to the pee pad thing.

The good news is that the fix for all of the above mentioned issues are all the same. You must go back to Square One for basic housebreaking principles. In the case of a non-puppy, the difficulty is now you are not only trying to housebreak a mature dog, you are also having to break him of his ingrained bad habits. It is much wiser and easier (as long as you are starting out with a puppy) to invest the time and effort into housebreaking the puppy in the first place and then you do not have to retrain the dog later.

How To Potty Train A Puppy 101

For those of you who have new puppies or are thinking about getting a puppy, you will want to have a very good sustainable plan in place for how you are going to housebreak your puppy. For those of you finding yourself having to go back to the beginning and re-train a mature dog that is not house broken, the steps to reliable housebreaking remain the same.

The following are the 8 basic steps to housebreaking any dog regardless of their age:

1. Create A Potty Training Schedule

One thing is for certain, puppies are playing, eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, and sleeping machines. At any given time a puppy is sure to be doing one of these six things. Watch your puppy to help determine what their natural schedule is going to be. There are some constants for all puppies. Within 15 or 20 minutes after eating or drinking they will need to pee and poop. Right after a bout of boisterous play, they will need to pee and poop. Right after they wake up, they will need to pee and poop. So be vigilant and scoop up your puppy and take them outside immediately after one of these events.

The puppy bladder rule is as follows: You can expect a puppy to be able to hold his bladder in hours equal to his age in months plus one hour. So that means if your puppy is 2 months old, the longest you can expect him to hold his bladder is about 3 or so hours. But just know, that sometimes puppies have not read the memo about this so be ready for them to pee sooner than this.

2. Create A Feeding Schedule

If you know that a puppy will likely have to go potty 15 or 20 minutes after he eats, then make a consistent feeding schedule of 3 or 4 times a day and then you have a reasonably good idea of when you can expect your puppy will need to poop. Creating a schedule makes your life easier in the long run.

3. Pick A Designated Elimination Area

When you take your puppy outside to eliminate take them straight to this designated area. Having a designated elimination area helps the puppy to know what is expected of him. If they insist on running off, put them on a leash and keep them out there until they eliminate. If they relieve themselves, as soon as they are done (do not interrupt them during or they will become startled and stop what they are supposed to be doing) immediately give them praise and a High Value Treat to mark the behaviour. Then bring the puppy back inside to show him that the point of being outside is now completed.

If you have been standing outside for 10 minutes and your puppy has still not relieved himself, bring him back in but watch him very carefully and try again in about 5 minutes time. It is better to keep coming back in and going back out ever few minutes than to stand there for a very long period of time. Puppies have very short attention spans and will forget why they have been brought outside.

If your puppy is having trouble getting the idea of a designated elimination area, try seeding the area with some of his waste to help him understand what you want him to do. If you are using a pee pad, try placing a soiled pee pad in the designated elimination area to help anchor the understanding for your puppy as to what is expected from him.

As soon as you take him outside, cue your puppy to eliminate on command. Pick a word, it does not really matter word you use as long as it is use consistently. In my house the dogs can be cued to either pee or poop using those words as the cue.

4. Know The Signs That Your Puppy Needs To Potty

When a puppy needs to eliminate, his nose goes right to the ground. He begins to frantically circle, pace, and sniff looking for just the right potty spot. His tail will be held up in readiness for the impending elimination. If you see your puppy doing this behaviour IMMEDIATELY scoop him up and rush him outside to his elimination area. Do not try calling him to you or try to get him to follow you outside. By the time he is sniffing the ground, in a few moments he will be peeing or pooping. Good timing is crucial for successful housebreaking.

5. Do Not Give Your Puppy The Run Of The Whole House

It is far easier to keep a good close eye on your puppy when he is contained to the immediate area. Barricade off areas using baby gates or other temporary measures until you can get the puppy eliminating outside consistently.

6. Crate Train For Housebreaking

Because puppies learn from their mother at an early age not to soil in their sleeping quarters, you can use this to your advantage when training your puppy. Buy a crate just large enough for them to lie down and turn around or buy a bigger crate for them to grow in to but use the divider to confine your puppy to a smaller space. If the crate is too big, your pup will eliminate in one area and sleep in another and the point of crate training for house breaking purposes will have been lost on him. Once a puppy starts to soil in the crate, it can be very difficult to break him of the habit so make sure that you set the dog up for success by using the correct sized crate for the dog and by using the crate correctly for this purpose.

7. How To Handle The Puppy Overnight

This is probably the most challenging part of puppy training. If you have been using a crate, then you can crate the puppy in your room right near your bed (where he can see and hear you). Be prepared to get up at least once at night to take your puppy out to pee. Scoop him up and take him out to his elimination place. Have your shoes and a jacket ready and sitting by the door waiting for your middle of the night potty break. Once the puppy eliminates, bring him back inside and put him back in the crate. Be prepared that once the cool night air wakes him up he may not want to go back to sleep so you may want to negotiate the rules with him.

A reasonable night time schedule could be for you to stay up until close to midnight, take the puppy out for his final potty break of the day, and then put him to bed in the crate. He will most likely wake up about 3 am or 3:30 am. Take the puppy out to pee, and then go back to sleep until about 6am. This way you are only having to get up once through out the night.

8. What To Do When Soiling Accidents Occur

Inevitably accidents will happen, especially during the first few weeks. If an accident happens, do not shout at your puppy or show signs of frustration or excitement. Your puppy is learning a new concept and negative emotions will only hinder the process.

If your puppy has eliminated in the house, immediately take your puppy outside to the designated spot and stand with him for a while showing him where you want him to potty. If you are lucky, he may eliminate again once he recognizes the scent of his own waste. If not, just return indoors.

Upon returning to the house, quickly and thoroughly clean the soiled area following these steps:

  1. Remove as much of the mess as possible using paper towels.
  2. Saturate the soiled areas with a specialised pet mess cleaner such as Simple Solution Stain And Odour Remover, which contains Pro-Bacteria and enzymes to effectively remove stains and odours. Regular cleaners only mask the odour but do not eliminate them causing your puppy to eliminate in the same spot later.
  3. Leave the solution for 10 minutes while the enzymes break down the stain.
  4. Blot the excess solution and leave to air dry.
  5. A strong 3 parts vinegar to 1 part solution can be sprayed on areas to discourage puppies from sniffing and eliminating. Though keep in mind that using this spray indoors may make your house smell like vinaigrette salad dressing for a while. It is great for outside use to keep puppies from eliminating in undesirable places.

Note: Avoid using cleaners that contain ammonia, as this is likely to cause your pup to continue to defecate in the area.

Housebreaking The Mature Or Adolescent Dog

The steps for effective housebreaking remain the same regardless of the age of the dog.

The keys to success for training a non-puppy are:

  • Consistency and frequency of how often you take the dog outside. Mature dogs do not have the same issues with bladder control as puppies do but a dog that has become used to relieving himself in the house has now made a habit of it. The way to overcome this issue is to take the dog outside every 30 minutes to the designated pee area, on leash, and you stand there with him until he eliminates. Be prepared to wait a while. Those first few attempts will be the most challenging for you both. If he has not eliminated in 10 minutes, go back in the house and try again in 10 minutes.
  • If your dog is having trouble getting the idea of what you want him to do in the elimination area you can seed the elimination area with a soiled paper towel or his own waste to help him get the idea of this is where you want him to eliminate.
  • Cue the dog using only one consistent word, like PEE or POOP. Do not lecture the dog as he does not understand the English language. Talking at him will only serve to confuse and distract him.
  • Have extremely High Value treats ready to dispense when he finally does eliminate. High Value treats have to be something special and yummy and something that he cannot get any other time or any other way. Use praise and treats to mark the elimination behaviour once it occurs.
  • Put your dog on a schedule for eating and drinking so you can better monitor his pattern to eliminate.
  • Do not give an unreliable dog the run of the whole house. Just as with puppies, an un-house broken dog needs to be vigilantly supervised at all times. If you have created a stealth peer or pooper, cutting off access to the rest of the house will do wonders for eliminating opportunities for him to stealth eliminate in the house. If you cannot see him doing the behaviour, how can you begin to correct the behaviour?
  • You must thoroughly and effectively clean all surfaces in the house where the dog has eliminated. Make sure to use an appropriate cleaner meant for cleaning up dog messes otherwise you will be fighting a losing battle. If you do not take the time to do this, the dog will just keep re-soiling these areas again and again. Clean the areas and then barricade off access to the dog until such time as you can reliably trust him to be housebroken.
  • Do use a crate for the dog during those times when he cannot be directly supervised. Just as with a puppy, make sure that you are using the correct size of crate for this process. The idea for this type of training is that your dog will not soil the area where he lays and sleeps. If the crate has too much space, the dog can soil in a far corner and the crate will become useless as a training tool. If you are crating your dog while you need to be gone, make sure that you take your dog out for a very long vigorous walk before crating him. Always set your dog up for success.
  • If you must be away during the day, consider hiring a pet sitter for a while so they can help reinforce the outdoor elimination schedule. If the dog is being crated all day, consider having someone to come in at least once during the day to let the dog out of the crate and take it for a long walk.
  • Mature dogs that are intact may be more likely to eliminate in the house because they are marking and remarking their territory. If this is an issue for your dog, consider having them de-sexed and see if the problem does not abate. BUT, keep in mind, that once a dog has started marking indoors it may be very challenging to stop the process even after de-sexing has taken place.
  • Even though the issue of a mature or adolescent dog eliminating in the house can be very frustrating for you, remember, your dog is not trying to be annoying or destructive. Eliminating in the house is a problem that was created by human error or neglect, either by you or by someone else.

Retraining or rehabbing a dog’s behaviour is far more challenging and time consuming than training a puppy. But, there is nothing you can do to change what did or did not occur in the past. All you can do right now is to live in this present moment and work with your dog to help shape new behaviours.

Learn to understand your dog’s behaviour from your dog’s perspective so that you may understand where you can change your behaviour. Instead of blaming the dog for his behaviour, try to understand how your choices and behaviour helped create or perpetuate this problem. You cannot expect to see changes in your dog’s behaviour if you insist on doing exactly what caused the behaviour problems in the first place. Look at new ways to communicate more effectively with your dog so clearly understands what is expected of him.

And finally, always, always, always …. see your dog, accept your dog, issues and all, and set him up to succeed.

As always, we welcome your questions, comments and stories on this to potty train a husky. When we share our stories we may be helping someone who is currently struggling with their Snow Dog.

Helping ALL Snow Dogs …. one owner at a time.

41 thoughts on “How To Potty Train A Husky”

  1. Jeremiah A Skurtu

    Hi, I have owned many dogs in the past and just got my first husky. I knew it would be a challange. He was 13 weeks old and is now 5 months old and the previous owner had him pad trained. Which worked when he was a little 1 ft tall pup. I have been trying since day one to get him to go outside. I have done the steps and thought he was starting to get it… the problem im having is now we come back from that long walk or letting sniff around the designated spot and he does nothing.. as soon as we go back in he immediately poops/pees inside.

    I already love him so much even though he is bull headed . Please any tips/tricks and suggestions!

  2. I have a 1 year old male husky and his problem is that he always poops in his crate while we go to sleep and when we wake up hid crate is all smeared of poop . His an indoor dog and when were at home his out in the living room with us he has a certain time to sleep and certain time he eats, we always take him out right before bed time . I just don’t understand why he always poops in his crate we have tried using the divider but he doesn’t care he will poop and lay on it . PLEASE HELP!!!!

  3. My husky is 3 years old. We got her from a grooming place when she was 1-2 years old. She pees and poops in the house when we leave for work and are CONSTANTLY cleaning our carpets and picking up her messes. She tears and breaks out of crates when we try to put her in one. We have to close our bedroom door and the bathroom door, put a chair on the couch and a tv tray on the recliner so she cannot get on them and rip into the couch. So i am very stuck on what to do! She is a very good girl when we are home and around. She does not use the restroom inside while we are here nor chew on things. I know she has anxiety when we leave but we do not know what to do or how to fix her issues. what do we even start with??

    1. Try leaving a TV on so it isn’t dead silent. I have two Husky’s inside 24/7 and two Husky’s inside only at night time. (Four dogs total), and the two that stay inside, at first i use to leave the TV on Disney or something just so they could hear somebody’s voice. It was comforting. Little by little the messes got smaller and now i don’t even have to cage them.

  4. I have a 4 month old Siberian Husky, she sleeps through the night and when I wake up for worknat 530am I take her outside for 30 minutes to the spot I want her to go to the bathroom in and she doesn’t go. The second we go back in the house she pees and poops on the carpet. I’ve tried picking her up running outside with her to the spot hoping she’ll go and still nothing. Then again once back inside she finishes her business. I’ve tried negative reinforcement, positive reinforcement, placing her poop outside where I want her to go and still nothing. Any ideas on what to do!!??

    1. What’s your situation now? How did you train your dog now that it’s been over a year?
      I’m having the same problem with my year and a 1/2 year old husky I just adopted.

    2. Stephanie Inglis-Dubin

      The same thing is going on with me right now… We adopted a 6 month old husky and I can not get her to use the outdoors no matter what. I can stand out there for ever doesn’t matter. I’m very frustrated… Help if you can!!

      1. John Shaffer

        My girl is almost 2 years old now and she’s amazing. Keep up the consistency of taking her out to the same spot. If she doesn’t go bring her in then a few minutes later take her out. I kept doing that until she learned where to go. I would say go potty as a verbal command then reward her with a treat after she went. Now I let her out and say go potty and she goes. Believe me they’re extremely stubborn but very smart and have their own way of doing things, but once that pecking order in “the Wolfpack” as I call it is developed and they view you as the leader everything falls into place. I also found after exercise or running around they go to the bathroom easier.

        1. Brittany Aquiar

          I tried that. My husky is 10 months and at 3-9 months she was able to tell me when she had to go out. She actually learned from my german shepherd. He would hit the bell and bark if he had to go out. She started doing the same thing my husky would hit the bell if she had to go outside to the bathroom. Within the last month she went backwards. She does her business outside no problem then the minute she is inside she does it again. either in the middle of the living room or in my bedroom. Peeing more then pooping. The schedule she is on never changed. From 3 months I had her in her crate, 6am I take her outside and my shepherd outside, until like 6:30 then I take them back inside. I wake my stepson up for school. then At 7 I take her for a longer walk and play excersie I know they have a lot of energy. At that time it is just her and she goes to the bathroom a lot. in the morning she poops at least 4 times and then she pees at least 10 times. my shepherd is 6 he knows the schedule. After I take her inside she pees in my bedroom right away She knows she is in trouble because after she does it she runs really fast to her cage. I put her in timeout in her cage for 5 minutes tell her bad take her outside and tell her to potty and of course she will go outside. she runs around the house plays with her brother then. SHe takes 4 long walks and 3 mini walks just to go to the bathroom. IDK what happned idk what to do idk what happened in the last month but I feel like she is doing this out of spite. I cry because of this my shepherd and my mastiff (rip he passed October 16th 2019) were easy as puppies never had any issues with them. I need help

  5. I have a 6 month old male husky,as a puppy I took him out every 30 minutes around the clock. He would do his thing outside but then 1 day decided it would be “fun” to just start doing it inside,he shows no signs of wanting or needing to go just does it. I still take him out every 30 minutes watch him 90% of the time bit still no luck.
    Any thoughts on fixing this problem,its getting very frustrating.

  6. Jordan R Wilder

    reading elizbeths comment made me laugh in this moment of potty training stress

  7. Daniella Marie Apalsch

    I have a 6 month old female husky. She was housetrained for ober a month and then now all of a sudden she has started going inside and she doesn’t care if I am there or not. She will go on,the floor while staring right at me as well as if I’m in the other room. As soon as I point at it and say bed she pins her ears back and runs to her kennel but nothing I do seems to help. I’ve tried positive and negative reinforcement. Lots of praise when she goes outside and treats and a bathroom schedule. Sometimes though i will take her out for over 10 minutes and she wont go and then the instant we come inside she will poop on the floor. I don’t know what else to do!

    1. Rheanna J Allen

      I am currently having the exact same problem with my 7 month old male husky. He has been potty trained for a couple months now and the past week he keeps going potty inside, right in front of me. I think it’s a behavior thing? I see this was posted over a year ago, what did you end up doing to resolve the problem?

  8. I have two huskies, one is 10 months old (female) and the other is 5 months old (male). They are both as different as can be personality wise but they both have problems with holding their businesses. I think that while some huskies may take to going outside easily that it can also be said that others have an extremely hard time. I work from home so I give them plenty of attention and structure, but it is still hard to potty train them. If they had it their way they would be going out at least once (if not twice) within a 2 hour period. Despite my working from home this is simply a ridiculous schedule and I don’t think my life should revolve solely around 15 going out times. Not to mention, I can’t always be the one to let them out at these times. It doesn’t help that the 10 month old excited pees. And I don’t mean submissive peeing, it’s not the same thing. She does it when she anticipates something good or exciting happening. For example, I told the vet she was peeing all over the place and of course when we got to the vet she was nervous but never even attempted to pee. Whereas when a friend comes to the door she jumps around excitedly whilst peeing. The 5 month old, the male, should (by all accounts) be able to “hold it” for 5 hours at a time. I have been working with them both to hold it for 4 hour time periods. But they still go out about 7 or 8 times a day. Is this how many times a day I should expect to take them out always? Or can they go out the more traditional 2-4 times a day?

    They go out when my girlfriend wakes up for work at 5am, when I get up at 9am, after they have breakfast at 10:30am (we had some food aggression issues I revolved by making sure I eat first, thus the time gap), in the afternoon at 2:30, after their dinner at 6pm, again at 10pm and then the 5 month old goes again before I go to sleep at 1am. Even this schedule has been hard to hold them too. I know I feed them good food, I obviously stick to a schedule with them, I don’t doubt that they understand that I’m the pack leader, I use positive reinforcement with treats the minute they go outside, but even with all of this it is still hard to make it through those 4 hour time gaps without accidents. I’ve never used puppy pads and I’ve never let them think going inside is acceptable. If I am not the one letting them out at these time periods they will definitely have “accidents.” Although, I don’t think the word “accident” is true because I’m rather certain they think they can get away with it if their dad isn’t home. I cannot crate them together overnight because without fail they will both pee and poop in the crate together (yes, it’s large enough for both). So I crate them in separate rooms with crate dividers to make sure they have the proper amount of space and this usually stops “accidents” overnight.

    So far as I can tell I’m following the proper instructions for potty training huskies and I think it will happen after a lot of time and effort. But I do wonder why so many places online make it look like they are easily house trained by their 3rd or 4th month of age. Are my huskies unusual? Should I expect this if I were to ever get another member of the breed? I should mention, I grew up with multiple Great Pyrenees and Australian Shepherd mixes and have never had so much trouble with house training and Pyres are easily as strong willed as huskies, just less rambunctious. I did not think that huskies would be such a jump from the intelligent / active shepherds and the strong / stubborn Pyres but I was mistaken. If I am missing something in this training please tell me so I can fix it and have a better life for and with my huskies.

    1. UPDATE:
      My huskies are doing much better now. I have realized that despite doing my best to stick to a schedule this wasn’t enough because things happen in life that are out of our control. I think that even if I was a couple minutes off then everything would fall apart. But here’s the good news, I have found other methods that you can always stick to.

      1) One treat every time they go to the bathroom outside is enough, right? Wrong. 1 “regular” treat for peeing but 3 high value treats for defecating outside. We’re talking cut up pieces of lamb lung, here. Husky gold.

      2) Praise them highly OUTSIDE before bringing them in, then act as though everything is back to normal to bring down the excitement level once you enter the house. I no longer play with my dogs in the house. That might change later when we have more trust built up but for now all the playing is outside.

      3) Time is still important. A late (or early) going out time is extra, it does not replace or push back the regular schedule. If your morning out time is 8am it doesn’t matter how late you were up, they need to go out at 8am.

      4) This is one of the biggest things I found with my dogs – for the last “out” time I take whichever dog I’m walking and ask them to “go to the bathroom.” I then walk them around the block and return to the potty spot and give the command again. If at this time the dog goes again we walk another round, going farther and to more interesting spots for them, then back to the potty spot. If at this time the dog simply pees I give the regular treat and we go back inside. If they defecate again then there’s another walk (it doesn’t have to be insanely long, but fast paced seems to be good) and so on until they are done. Since I have been doing this I have had no accidents in the house of any kind. At all. And it’s been a couple weeks. Yes, there could always be a relapse but I now know what to do.

      I use the potty spot method because I don’t think the dogs were distinguishing inside and outside. So when I let them go whenever they wanted on a walk or in the yard I think they correlated it more so with “I get to go to bathroom whenever I feel like it” rather then “Oh, I’m outside so I can go.” They needed this structure of my telling them when it was okay.

      Now the following things are systems I used in addition to the rest to jump-start this new routine:

      1) Let them out the minute you’re up to the designated potty spot. I mean I’ve been outside in my yard in boxers without an ounce of shame because my dogs needed to go out and nothing, not even decency, was going to stop me from taking them outside as soon as possible.

      2) After going to the bathroom outside I would feed them breakfast in their slow feed bowls and give them a big bowl of water each. Half an hour after I put those bowls down we were back to the potty spot. At that point I would set a timer for 3 hours for the next out time. And yes, for the first couple of days they went out every 3 hours. You are not “giving in,” you are training. I would do the same thing with dinner. After a couple days of success I lengthened the time to 4 hours, and now they go out when I wake up, after breakfast, in the afternoon, after dinner, and then the night walk routine. And if you don’t work from home you can have a dog walker come in the afternoon without fear that they will arrive to what looks like a poopocalypse.

      3) I would only let the dogs rough house after their designated out times. Otherwise, I had to use the umbilical method with one dog while the other was secured with a leash to a sturdy piece of furniture. The leash doesn’t have to be short, in fact I’d suggest it isn’t or else the dog might feel stressed or confined and then have an accident. And get covered in said accident. It was just to stress to the dogs that they did things on my terms, not theirs.

      I need to stress again I’m not a first time dog owner. I grew up with many rescue Great Pyrenees who often hadn’t lived inside before and had some level of abandonment or aggression issues. Then my first dogs were a brother / sister pair of wild Australian shepherds who were going to be put down by the warden because they weren’t considered tame before I took them. Those were all challenging dogs to train but they came absolutely nowhere close to my two huskies. I love them and obviously give their care and training a lot of thought. But I can’t stress this enough – I would not suggest the breed to most people I know. Yes, there are huskies that aren’t nearly as difficult. I’ve met some! But if you get the difficult ones… it’s really hard to keep working at it and maintain a relationship, for example. Because it’s not just about training the dogs, but training the people who interact with them as well. It’s hard to tell someone you share a house with what they can and cannot do in their space because it “might throw off the dogs” especially because of my excitement peer. Please, please, be prepared for a strict regimen. If you don’t think you can do that please go with another breed. If you are prepared for a struggle and then get a great, responsive dog then it’s all the happier when it comes more easily to them. I know some might not like the way I’m writing this because they think it will perpetuate a negative view of the breed but I think it’s important to be well informed because if someone reads this and thinks they can’t do all of these steps would you really want them to own a husky?

      I hope this helps someone else out there. Good luck!

      1. @Shane: GREAT advise. People don’t realize the breed requires extra focus BECAUSE they’re really smart. ONLY educated people should have huskies. Don’t get a husky just because it’s a beautiful breed, owning a ANY DOG requires commitment, dedication and education!

        Thanks for your feedback

      2. Thank you so much for your detailed steps. I wish you the best of continued success. I have just gotten a 4 month old male husky a week and a half ago. We are working on all this since he’s gotten home. Your detailed steps will help me to tweak what I am already doing. Thank you.

  9. I have an 8 month old husky that I’ve had since 10 weeks old. She is crate trained and also house trained for my apartment. To make it easier for her to go potty and sit outside whenever she wants to (and I also live in a location that snows/is cold during winter so don’t want to keep a door open for her), I installed a doggy door in my sliding door so she has access to go outside to the porch 24/7 (even during the night). My husky isn’t a vocal dog, but if the doggy door has been closed, she will sit at the door and wait for me to open it. While she is crate trained, now she’s older, I don’t close the crate door at night because I know she’ll go outside when she needs to and comes back inside when she’s ready. Have I mentioned she loves the outside? Quite often she wants to just be laying outside to cool down. She does not have accidents inside ever. Whenever I visit my mothers house, she constantly goes potty inside. They don’t have a doggy door and she’s not vocal about needing to go potty. She loves being outside so frequently jumps on the door to go outside, but this doesn’t necessarily mean she needs to go potty. We take her outside throughout the day and night (muddy backyard so potty time has to be on leash in the front yard) and most of the time she sniffs around, but rarely goes potty outside and literally 10 minutes after going back inside, she will poop/pee in the kitchen (hardwood floors) in exactly the same location every time. It’s really frustrating because at my home, she has patiently waited by the door, but at my mothers she won’t wait. She has her crate at night at my mothers, and I close the door at night because of her potty issues. I have no idea how to re-train her at my mothers place. Ideas and help would be great as it’s getting annoying! I have tried putting some of her waste outside but she doesn’t seem to care and won’t go where I placed it. And I never used pee pads at my apartment. I do not yell at her as I know this doesn’t help the issue. This has also started because of winter and when rain melted the snow, the backyard became super muddy which limited outside time. Prior to that she’d spend most of her day outside playing in the snow and going potty whenever she wanted so there were never accidents. Please help!

  10. I got my male husky at 4 months old and the previous owner said he didn’t have accidents in their house. Got him home to my house and he wasted no time and did pee and poo inside the house. For the first week I didn’t have a crate yet. Ovn I would find a pile or two of poo and some pee spots. I never got angry bc I treated it like as if my toddler had an accident and I just quietly cleaned it and took him outside. Then I set up a schedule of only 2 feedings a day and specific water drinking times and controlled the amounts. There are acceptions for when the dog has been playing and they need more water. I then started taking him outside hooked him on his outside staked in leash and kept him outside and stood with him telling to go potty. When I finally saw him pee I praised him with lots of love. I now use the word potty for doing his business outside. So I finally got my crate a week after having him, and used it only for ovn (overnight). It was going well when all of a sudden it changed. I woke up one morning 3am to him howling and whining. I went to his cage, which isn’t in my room. It smelled so putrid. He pooped all over and had it all over himself. I had poopy trail of paws leading from the crate to the back door going outside. After cleaning the crate then bathing him at 4am I put him back in it. We woke up around 7am and he made it through accident free. A few early mornings kept happening with poopy accidents in the crate, so I started feeding him his last feeding at 4 pm rather than 6pm. Also started keeping him out on the leash longer periods. Also started setting my alarm clock to let him out once at 3am. A month later he now sleeps in the crate all night from 10pm-7am. Sometimes 6:30am. He whines and barks before he poops so progress has been made. It takes patience and willingness to bend to the pups needs. My husky is a smart boy. I adore him and he senses it. I also dominate him and let him know he can’t dominate my kids although he tries to. Still more training to do.

  11. Lane Reinke

    Does it make a difference having two puppies? One 9 weeks older than the other?

  12. Frustrated puppy mom

    I have a 5 month old husky I brought home and potty training her is a nightmare. She would soil herself in her crate and everywhere around the apartment. We ditched the crate because crate training her wasn’t going anywhere. My fiance now has her going on puppy pads, which is perfectly fine for when we are both at work and confine her to the kitchen. But I could spend up to four hours with her outside after feeding and giving her plenty of water and NOTHING. However, as soon as we get back in the house, it’s straight to the pad. I’m so frustrated by this and it’s a pain to break her of old habits.
    I know she got used to being in the pet store of soiling herself in her pen because no one bothered to walk the dogs and my husky had to spend her life at two different stores because no one wanted her because she had brown eyes. She’s a sweetheart and I love her dearly, but I could just scream because she won’t go outside. :(

  13. sportsfanatic55

    What are you talking bout that it will think it can pee in the house? I have had my Siberian Husky for a week and a half now and it is fully potty trained to pee on the pee pads and poop on them too. she is also only 12 weeks old. Was 11 when I first got her. Huskies are ridiculously smart. I have owned many dogs in my lifetime. What I do is get the XL Wee Wee pads and put a few in your bathroom and stack them on top of each other. First week was hard but you follow your puppy in your place for a few days and watch her closely and as soon as you see her sniff bring her to the bathroom with the pads then close the door. Have a bell on the inside and don’t open the door till she rings the bell with her paws. Don’t open to scratches on door. Has to be bell. So when you open the door and she walks out reward the dog with a treat and tell her to sit so now the dog gradually will know when it goes to the bathroom in their it will get a treat when it comes out. The key is NO ACCIDENTS for three days straight because if there is an accident you have to start OVER. It is hard work watching over her but it is worth it. So after three days of putting her in the bathroom land closing the door leave the bathroom door open. For the fourth day when you leave it open make sure to close your main door to your living room so the dog has to stay in your room. The reason for this is for your dog to get familiar with your bathroom being the pee place. So when you see your dog go into your bathroom follow it and reward it with a treat when it comes out. The next day you do the same thing but don’t follow her in. I noticed for the fifth day what she did was after she defecated in the bathroom she waited outside in the sitting position for a treat. So she was already operantly conditioned. Next day watch tv with your dog in the living room and have your door open along with your bathroom door opened. Have the dog in the room with you watching tv and if you see the dog sniffing around in your living room bring the dog to the bathroom with the pee pads. This may sound silly but bring the dog slowly so the dog knows the route it takes to get from the living room to the bathroom. Repeat doing that and again NO ACCIDENTS. I repeat NO ACCIDENTS so keep a hawk eye. Then the next day when you’re in your living room with your dog, the dog should go to your bathroom and when it does be prepared to reward it so it knows when it walks all the way from your living room to your bathroom it will still be rewarded. Just today I let my dog go by itself from the living room to my bathroom and I didn’t follow it but when it was finished it walked all the way over to me when I was sitting on the couch and sat staring at me waiting for a treat. So it completely learned where to go when it needs to go and that I will reward it if it comes to me now.

  14. We just adopted a 6 month old female husky. The past owners said she was completely house broken and trained well. She is going inside our house a lot. We have never had a dog in this house before and we take her out prob 2-3x every hour. And they aren’t short walks either.. Normally she just sniffs around, (and is distracted/tries to chase EVERYTHING) but doesn’t go to the bathroom. Sometimes she will go pee within seconds of walking back in the house. Most of the time she waits until we aren’t looking to go run off and do her business.

    We just recently bought a crate and trying to get her to enjoy being in there. With treats, toys, bones, etc. but she still barks and whines. We don’t leave her in there for long periods and just started keeping her on a leash right next to me for most of the day. She seems to hold it in for obscene amounts of time too. I’m not sure if it’s all due to stress and a new environment. Or if she just wasn’t every potty trained at all?

    Help. :(

  15. How can we take the new 2 month husky outside due to catching parvovirus since he’s barley getting his 3rd round of shots the pads don’t work but we want him as in indoor dog

  16. I just got a Husky puppy 1week ago. I take her out every 15 to 30 mins she will pee and sometimes poop. But when sje comes back in she does it again on my floor. I have tried everything including giving her treats and praising her but does not work

  17. “The dog never really made the connection about why the humans got so worked up or what they want him to do. He only knows that it has something to do with when he pees or poops. So the dog came to the conclusion that the issue of angry humans and him getting punished could be avoided by making sure that no one sees him doing the peeing or pooping. And this is how a “stealth peer and pooper” is created.”

    This is the best advice Ive seen yet and trust me ive read plenty of articles on potty training huskys. This is pretty much where I am at now with my daughters dog. It was a outside dog when we got her at 12 weeks and we originally started using pads in the house and taking her outside but after a few weeks and reading another article’s advice about not using pads we got rid of the pads and started crate training her. Within a few days she was excellent about letting us know when she needed to go if she was in her crate (scratching and whimpering quite a bit) but when out of her crate she would pee the minute someone took their eyes off her. Around this same time I read a article that said if you catch them in the act immediately tell them “NO” in a strong voice and take them outside to the designated potty area. I would do this and it still didnt seem to help but to be fair it was probably more my fault as you cant watch them 24/7 and I was only catching her in the act once every 2 or 3 days.

    Then I read that that it also helps if they are on a schedule so we starting doing that and would take her outside and stand there for 10 minutes after she ate and after playtime and she would occasionally go, but the times she didn’t she would come back inside and if not placed back in the crate would pee or poop within a matter of minutes as soon as nobody was watching her. The first few times she did this I said “bad dog” and took her crate outside with her in it for 6 or so hours and then bring her back into the house. A week of that didn’t make any difference (other than she would howl to no end and it got to the point I put her crate in the detached garage and left her in the dark for 6 or so hours)

    Next I put up a camera in the kitchen where we keep her when shes out of her crate so we could watch remotely and help catch her in the act but even after catching her more often (once a day or occasionally once every 2 days) and taking her outside nothing really changed other than we just started leaving her in her crate more often because at least then she would tell us when she needed to go and we wouldn’t have to clean up a mess. Eventually I because so frustrated I just started beating or kicking her when she peed or pooped on the kitchen floor (whats left of my kitchen floor anyway since she ate the linoleum off it, and the dishwasher trim and the fridge trim and the wiring to the fridge) and my 10 year old daughter would cry and my wife would yell at me and as you might guess nothing got better other than anytime I had a paper towel in my hand and walked anywhere near the dog she would roll on her back and start pissing everywhere which frustrated me even more to the point I was thinking of ways to get rid of her and even though we still have her I honestly think its only because I haven’t thought of a good enough excuse to tell my daughter why we no longer have a dog.

    As you might guess now we have a stealth pee/pooper (ill take the blame for that) but she only does it when my kids or wife are at home watching her. When I’m at home she has not gone in the house now for a few weeks now but that might be due to the fact that I rarely let her out of the crate when I’m home unless I can keep my eyes on her at all times but my wife and kids always feel sorry for her being in the crate so much so they let her out and the second someone has waited too long to take her outside to go potty she waits for that split second nobody is looking and pisses like a racehorse or poops where she wants with not a care in the world. My next step at this point is to buy a shock collar and spend a few days at home and giving her free roam of the kitchen while I watch her non-stop via the camera until I catch her in the act and then fry her like a piece of bacon in the hopes it teaches her to do the same thing OUTSIDE the crate as she does INSIDE the crate when she needs to go to the bathroom. If that doesn’t potty train her then Im not sure what the next step will be but I’m out of ideas and patience.

    1. Oh no, the whole family needs to be on board for puppy training. Your wife needs to learn to leave the dog in the crate and take out for potty breaks only. She is only hindering and reinforcing the bad behavior. I went through the same with my son & had to eventually give up the dog to a better family all willing to contribute. Now we have a new puppy and my son is wiser and actively realizes that he must leave puppy in the crate and take him out every 3 hours for potty breaks. Don’t let puppy roam the house unless they keep puppy on a leash at all times with him, puppy has to earn his way to sharing your home. It’s hard to do alone, thankfully I have someone to share the responsibilities of training. It’s only been about a week and we find barely any trouble, puppy is learning great. You need to be really strict with your family. Puppy wants to learn and will but now you need to reinforce the good behavior, do it quickly get your family on board. Hurting puppy won’t help, you need to train the trainers.


    3. Hey. I understand your frustration. I hope you still have the dog and that the issue is gone. but if you are still struggling:
      Sometimes my husky puppy is stubborn and speaking alone doesn’t work. Sometimes I get mad, too. Instead of hitting him, however, I suggest you look into pet corrector spray. This spray does not do anything harmful to the dog. It does scares the puppy a bit and grab their attention. Do this consistently every time you catch her and keep her in the crate when you can’t attend to her.
      Meanwhile, your family needs to be on board. Feeling bad shouldn’t be an excuse. Your dog probably learned at first but relapsed because your family was not being consistent. It’s a bold choice to give your ten years old daughter a husky puppy which is quite of a challenging task for her to train it properly. So, you might as well treat the puppy as your own dog and establish a distinct leadership with your family if they kept hindering your training process. Say you will be the only one letting the dog out until you are confident that she is fully trained. Otherwise, training a dog on your own in a household with three other people not knowing what they are doing is not going to work.

  18. kevinparker

    Hi,I brought back a little husky pup with two months old,I really want to know how long to potty train it usually?

  19. I am currently struggling to understand my husky`s behavior to pee or poop in the house, not in stealth mode but with us (myself and my husband) in the room! We have an almost 5 months old husky that is potty trained to eliminate on the special absorbant pad and we also take him outside to eliminate though he`s not so familiar to eliminating outside, but for the past few days it`s like he`s gone mad! He`s undermining our authority and even though we`ve tried everything- ignoring him for his behavior, acting like nothing went wrong or becoming an angry human, nothing seems to work. I know we might have done something wrong and he`s just trying to get our attention but I need to understand this from a different view in order for us to do the right thing. Thanks!

    1. Did you read the part of the article that said to NOT use potty pads indoors? All that tells your dog is that its okay to go indoors. Also, sounds like you need to set dominance with your dog, my vet told me if you dont show him who the boss is he will think its him and do as he pleases. She recommended rolling your dog over on his back and placing the palm of your hand on his stomach and pressing down and holding it there for a few seconds.

  20. Langlios Jackie

    My 3 months husky pup ,runs outside for 15 min. But rushes to go back indside the house to pipi&poops inside on the news papers! What to do to do his dropings outside?

    1. Jackie langlois

      My 3 months puppy is very in secure & always stays very close to me . I often walk on him & or trip on it normale for him to be always stuck to me?

    2. Pickup the droppings he left inside, and place them outside where you want him to go. That way he recognizes the scent of his own and returns there.

  21. My husky is 6 years old. He is a great dog. We walk him a mile daily also take him out when he goes to door. Our biggest problem is when we leave even if it’s only 10 min he will pee or sometimes poop. Not sure what to do.

    1. I have the exact same thing! Not sure if it is an anxiety or not enough exercise issue or the type of food. My husky is one years old and potty trained, but will poop/pee in her crate even if we’re gone for 10 minutes. It could be out of spite, or something. I’ve tried everything!

  22. Mu puppy pee twice on my carpet while I was reading this article

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