Congratulations! You've Adopted. What Happens Next?
Training should be constantly incorporated into your daily routine.
- Sit and wait before eating or going outside.
- Practice going into the crate on command. Down, wait and/or stay, come, look, heel, etc.
- Start practicing heel and loose leash walking next to you in the house. If she/he pulls ahead, turn around and go the other way.
- Use small, soft training treats, and break them into smaller pieces.
- Look into group training classes once your pup has all of his/her vaccinations.
- Crate training to keep him/her safe and save your house & belongings.
- For larger crates, make sure to use a divider to limit space at first. She/he should have enough room to turn around and lay down comfortably, but not enough to go potty in one spot and lay in another.
- For teething toys/chews, there are some you can put in the freezer and then give to your pup. Know that husky puppies will often bite & nip a TON until they are finished teething which is usually around 5 months old.
- Leave a collar on all the time (except at night or in the crate). Make sure it's snug enough that she/he can't get out of it or get his/her lower jaw under it.
- Make sure she/he has an ID tag with your contact info.
- Keep a leash on him/her in the house to correct/stop unwanted behavior and keep him/her near you to prevent potty accidents.
Make your vet appointment now for puppy check ups and vaccinations. Get pet insurance NOW. If you wait until there is an issue, it will be a pre-existing condition and won't be covered. And more than anything - TONS of patience & consistency!
It's imperative that they first bond with you, their humans. The new dog should build a connection or trust with you, before being introduced to the resident dogs.
- During this initial period, if the new dog seems ok with things, place a resident dogs bed or blanket under the his crate. Also do the reverse, once the new dogs scent has made it onto bedding or a towel or something.
- After the initial settling in period, where the new dog has developed some trust you can introduce them on neutral territory, taking a walk through the neighborhood or a nearby park. With aid of another adult, walk the dogs together. First handler will leash and walk with your dog, while the second handler walks behind with the new dog. Let them see each other while maintaining a safe distance. When dogs have acknowledged each other, walk side by side leaving plenty of space between you. Allow them to sniff each other if appropriate. When you return home from the walk, separate the dogs again. DO NOT FORCE THE DOGS TO INTERACT Once the dog’s “graduate” this step, and are able to walk together comfortably for a few days in a row, you can move to the next step.
- The next step will be limited play or leashed interaction time on the walks. If they seem to be giving the play bow or are eager to sniff and run around each other a bit, let them do so on the walks. It’s important to note that these interactions should never go on too long. They should always be redirected towards “the walk” when they are enjoying themselves the most. You want to always end these interactions on a positive note so that is all that they remember the next time they see each other. Once they’ve graduated this step, they are finally ready to “see” each other in the house, on a very limited and restricted basis.
- When they can acknowledge each other under the same roof, across a buffer zone, place one in his or her crate, and allow the other one to come visit his area and sniff around the crate and look around his room. Then you put the visitor in his crate and let the other one come visit him in his room. And keep walking them. When they’re able to visit each other in a crate then you can move to the next step.
- Next step would be letting the dogs interact in the yard. It’s important that they still have plenty of room, but that they are allowed to get a bit more personal with each other. Leashes should still be used, but should be kept loose. Let them get used to the yard, sniff around, and get comfortable. Keeping a close eye on the body language of both dogs. If they begin to play, or, once they begin to play, limit that for 5-10 minutes. As soon as they seem to be having a lot of fun you stop it. This way the next time they see each other, that amazing fun time they had becomes ingrained in their memory. During this step, keep up with all the previous step, and every few days if things are going well, increase the play time a few minutes.
- Final step is getting the dogs together inside the home. It is very important at this step to make sure there are no toys, bones, food, or treats that could cause scuffles. It is important to always keep a close eye on body language and that they are always supervised. Having each dog leashed is suggested for the first several sessions, or until you are comfortable removing them. Give each dog his own water and food bowls, bed, and toys. Always only give toys and chews to the dogs when they are separated. Some dogs can be possessive and toys could cause a scuffle between even the most bonded pair. Be sure to pick up food bowls when you are done feeding. Some dogs will fight over bowls that recently contained food. Letting the dogs see each other and interact but using a baby gate to separate is a good way to let them move freely, but still feel safe. This is an important tool to use while they are getting used to each other.
For potty training, patience, consistency, and close observance are the keys. For potty training, patience, consistency, and close observance are the keys. Constant vigilance!
- Keep the pup on a leash in the house to keep him close and watch him like a hawk every second.
- If at any point the pup stops and gets into potty position or squats even a little, scoop him up with a "no" or "uh-uh" and take him outside to his potty spot.
- If you can't watch him for even a minute, put him in his crate. Use a crate divider if you have a big crate so the pup doesn't have room to sleep/lay in one spot and go potty in another. Just enough room to lay down and turn around comfortably. Animals will typically not potty where they sleep or eat.
- Take pup out every 30-60 minutes at first - and always after eating, drinking, playing/running around, chewing, and immediately after waking up from a nap.
- If you see the pup sniffing around, go immediately outside.
- Praise and treats every time pup goes potty outside. As he's going (not before – he needs to learn the association first), say "go potty!" or whatever command you want.
Work on crate training throughout the day when you are home, not just when leaving the house or at night. If done well, a pup’s crate will be his/her quiet safe space and can actually prevent separation anxiety. In addition, if your pup ever needs to be boarded or stay at the vet or animal hospital (ex: after being spayed/neutered), being crate trained means they won’t hurt themselves, or have to be sedated.
- Teach them the command "crate" where he goes in. Start by tossing in a treat and saying "crate" when they go in. Advance to having them go in with the command then giving them the treat. In both cases, let them come right back out. Work up to closing the door for a second or two, then opening. Gradually wait longer before opening.
- Put some of their toys in the back of the crate. They’ll have to go in to get them. Going into the crate = happy toy fun!
- Hand feed them part of their meals through the sides of his crate with them inside. First with door open, then with door closed. However, do not put a food bowl in the crate because that can lead to resource guarding.
- Put them in the crate when you're home and in the same room, starting with a minute or two and building up time. Then leave the room for a few seconds. Then a little longer, etc. Eventually leave the house for a few minutes - stand outside or in the garage, then come back in.
- Only let them out of the crate if they are calm and not carrying on. Never let them rush/push out. They should sit with the door open until you tell him/her it's okay to come out.
- At night, if they cry and get all worked up in the crate, don't turn on any lights or talk to them. Take him/her out, carry them outside to their potty spot, stand there and ignore for 1-2 minutes, carry them back inside, whether they have pottied or not, and put them back in the crate. Repeat as necessary - you may need to do it MANY times for the first few nights.
- You can try covering the crate, but make sure the puppy can NOT pull any of the covering inside and potentially chew/eat it and end up having a medical issue.
- Put your pup in the crate tired. As they get older, that means after a significant structured walk followed by a few minutes of training.
- When you leave, don’t make a big deal out of it. Don’t pet or baby your dog. Have your pup go in the crate, mark the good behavior, and leave.