Husky crate training is a complex process, but it can be made much easier if you know what you’re doing.
The key to crate training your husky is slowly getting them used to spending more time inside their crate while giving them lots of positive reinforcement. Over time, they will eventually associate it with a safe space and take themselves into it on their own accord.
Crate training has many benefits for huskies, and it’s something that you should definitely consider doing.
This guide will go through 5 easy steps you can follow to help with crate training your husky, as well as some top tips from my personal experience and the benefits it has.
- How Long Does It Take To Crate Train A Husky?
- Husky Crate Training In 5 Easy Steps
- Tips For Success With Husky Crate Training
- Things You Should Never Do During Crate Training
- Benefits Of Crate Training Your Husky
- Husky Crate Training FAQs
- In Summary
How Long Does It Take To Crate Train A Husky?
There isn’t a definitive answer to this question, as different huskies will take crate training faster than others.
In general, you can expect your husky to get used to its crate in a few months and, from there, probably a few more months to get comfortable spending periods inside it.
Huskies are very intelligent, which means they can be wary of the crate at first, so don’t be surprised if the process takes longer than you would like.
Is It Better To Crate Train From A Young Age?
It’s much easier to crate-train your husky from a young age, just like anything of this nature.
Husky puppies are naturally more curious, and if they get used to spending time inside the crate without realizing it, this will only benefit them in the long run and speed up the process.
This obviously isn’t an option in all cases, but don’t worry, mature huskies can still be crate-trained as well using the same method.
Husky Crate Training In 5 Easy Steps
Here are five easy steps you can follow to get your husky crate trained in as little time as possible.
The first step in crate training your husky is to prepare the crate.
When choosing a type of crate, you’ll have to experiment and see which your husky prefers. In my experience, plastic crates make your husky feel safer, but it does vary between individual dogs.
Once you have a crate, put some dog cushions or blankets on the floor to make it comfortable for your husky.
You can also put one of their favorite chew toys inside to distract them and give them something to do while they are inside.
2. Let Your Husky Investigate
Once everything is ready, open the door and let your husky look around.
Don’t force them inside; observe as they look at the crate and sniff it.
At this point, you’ll have an idea of how hard the process will be – if your husky goes inside right away and seems intrigued, there’s a good chance the crate training process will be easier than if your husky is scared to even go near the crate.
3. Reward Them If They Go Inside
After the initial meeting, watch your husky any time they go near the crate and give them a treat and lots of praise when they go inside.
Keep repeating this, and eventually, they will start to understand that entering the crate is a positive event that leads to a positive outcome, i.e., a treat and verbal praise.
You can take this a step further and feed them their food inside of the crate as well. Eventually, they will start to associate this time inside the crate with feeding, which positively reinforces them spending time inside of it.
4. Close The Door
After some time, when your husky naturally goes into the crate either at meal time or if they feel like it, close the door slightly (not entirely at first) to see their reaction.
Keep giving them lots of praise and positive reinforcement- the goal here is to make them as comfortable as possible, even with the door slightly closed.
If you feel confident they are happy, shut the door fully and see how they react. If they start to become anxious, let them out right away.
5. Slowly Move Away
Once your husky seems comfortable in the crate with the door closed, move away and see how they react. At first, move a few feet away, carefully watching and praising them.
Slowly, you’ll be able to move further away as your husky becomes more used to being inside their crate.
Tips For Success With Husky Crate Training
Crate training a husky is difficult; there are no two ways about it.
Here are some tips you can use to make the process a whole lot easier.
With huskies specifically, you have to remember how difficult it is to teach them any new tricks or habits.
Huskies are not people pleasers, which means they are extremely difficult to train, even for people with experience.
If this is your first time with a husky puppy and you are trying to crate-train them, remember that it might take much longer than you initially planned.
Stay patient, and keep practicing consistently over a long period; your husky will eventually get the hang of it.
Be Aware Of Separation Anxiety
Huskies are highly prone to separation anxiety, especially young huskies who don’t have much experience being left on their own.
This can make crate training especially difficult if you want them to use their crate as a safe space when you need to leave them alone.
Even if your husky is comfortable in their crate, they may still become anxious when left alone, which can be exacerbated if locked inside their crate.
The best advice here is to take steps to deal with their separation anxiety first (full details can be found here). Once they are comfortable being left alone, then you can introduce their crate into the mix.
Leaving their crate open rather than locking them inside is a great idea as they will likely go inside it when they are left alone if they feel more comfortable inside it.
Don’t Reward Howling
If your husky gets excited when they walk inside their crate, they might start howling or talking at you loudly, especially if they start to expect a treat every time.
You don’t want to associate this with a reward during the early stages of crate training, so make sure to give them a treat after they have stopped howling, assuming they are still in the crate.
This way, they will understand that they need to get inside their crate and be quiet to get a treat rather than howling excessively.
Make Sure They Are Tired
There’s a much higher chance of your husky being comfortable in their crate if they have received enough mental stimulation and exercise:
- Make sure they’ve had at least 2 hours of exercise (if mature). Husky puppies usually tire themselves out while playing and sleep most of the day anyway.
- Don’t neglect mental stimulation, as this is a great way to tire them out. Give your husky puzzle toys or try to teach them new tricks (see more recommendations here).
This way, your husky will be tired and more likely to lie down or even sleep when they get inside the crate.
This is obviously beneficial because it means they will be spending more time inside the crate and getting more used to it in the process.
Things You Should Never Do During Crate Training
Here are some things you need to avoid while crate training your husky.
Use It As Punishment
One of the most important things to avoid with crate training is to use it as a punishment.
Punishing your husky by putting them inside their crate will only negatively reinforce the experience and make them much less likely to want to use their crate at all.
It can also confuse your husky and make them anxious, leading to other unwanted consequences like crying or howling.
Force Your Husky To Stay Inside
You should never force your husky to stay inside the crate if they are uncomfortable.
This has the same effect as using it as a punishment, and it will make it much less likely for them to want to stay inside of the crate again.
Benefits Of Crate Training Your Husky
It’s all well and good knowing how to crate train your husky, but without understanding the benefits, there isn’t much point.
The points below highlight exactly why crate training your husky is a good idea and something you should do.
The main benefit of crate training your husky is that it gives them a safe space to go if they feel anxious or nervous.
Huskies are very energetic, but once they’ve spent their energy, it’s essential to give them time to relax and recover properly. Crates should be filled with padding and blankets to make them as comfortable for your husky as possible so they can relax and unwind.
Beneficial For Separation Anxiety
As I mentioned, huskies are prone to separation anxiety, so having a safe space like a crate can be a great coping mechanism.
Eventually, once you deal with the separation anxiety, your husky will take themselves into their crate and relax when you leave them alone for periods rather than potentially showing destructive behaviors like chewing.
Can Be Used In A Variety Of Different Situations
Crate training has a lot more applications than you would expect.
For example, if your husky ever has to visit the vet and needs to be placed into a crate for a period of time, they will be less anxious about the process. The vet can be a stressful experience for your husky, and it can be even worse if they aren’t used to a crate.
Another example is during road trips; crates are great ways to transport your husky and make them feel less anxious when in a car.
It’s also relatively easy to secure the crate and make it safe for them to use, so much so that it’s our top recommendation for traveling by car with a husky.
Useful For Introducing Your Husky To Other Animals
If you’re introducing a new animal to your husky, a crate is a great way to keep them separated while letting them see and smell each other.
Huskies tend to get along well with other dogs, but taking the introductory process slowly can be beneficial, and a crate allows for that.
When introducing your husky to another dog, you should first let them meet outside while they are both on leashes and then slowly transition into your yard and inside your home.
Crate training is excellent for implementing a routine into your husky’s day.
If you regularly go out for small periods, your husky can get into a routine of taking a nap in their crate. They’ll also get used to eating food inside the crate if you use this as a training tactic.
If you want your husky to sleep in their crate at night, they’ll get into the routine quickly and go inside before bedtime.
Husky Crate Training FAQs
How Do You Stop A Husky Crying In Its Crate?
If your husky starts crying in its crate, you must return to the basics and ensure they have been appropriately crate-trained. The first thing to do, of course, is to let them out of the crate when they start to cry.
Crying is a clear sign that they aren’t comfortable and that you need to slowly build up the amount of time they spend in their crate until they can be comfortable.
How Do You Crate Train A Husky With Separation Anxiety?
As I mentioned before, it’s important to address the separation anxiety first – full details can be found here – before you force your husky to go in its crate while you’re out of the house.
It’s a good idea to leave the crate open when you’re out, as your husky will likely go inside if they feel more comfortable there.
How Long Can Huskies Stay In Crates?
A good rule of thumb to follow is one hour of crate time per month of age, so once your husky has matured, they should be able to stay in their crate overnight with no issues, assuming they are crate trained.
Depending on their age, husky puppies can manage a few hours per day or more.
So that’s it. Hopefully, this guide has cleared up any doubts you had about crate training your husky.
Remember that it’s a long process, and it can take several months for your husky to get used to a crate. Crate training is a worthwhile investment of your time because it gives your husky a safe space and is beneficial in other scenarios like long car trips or vet appointments.