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There’s lots of debate as to the best age to start puppy training, but more and more trainers and experts are coming round to the belief that the earlier you train your mini husky, the better.
So, if you get your mini husky home at 8 weeks old, that’s when training should start!
Of course, the attention span of puppies is notoriously short and intermittent so keep training sessions short when you first start — under 15 minutes, ideally.
Mini huskies are very intelligent dogs with great memories that are ripe for training. Consistency is key when it comes to training — if you commit a short amount of time every day to train, you can expect great results quickly.
Let’s find out more…
What’s the point of puppy training?
There are two objectives to puppy training:
- Stop bad behaviors
- Repeat good behaviors
Stopping bad behaviors would include training your mini husky not to go to the toilet away from their designated area, to stop stealing food, or not to jump up on to laps uninvited.
Repeating good behaviors would be the act of training your dog to obey commands: sit, lie, fetch, come here and many more.
Puppy training methods
There are lots of different ways to train your mini husky puppy; you should choose the method that best works for your circumstances, schedule and your dog’s personality.
It doesn’t really matter which one you pick; just that you do it consistently and with patience.
Different types of training work for different types of behavior too.
Best for: toilet training
Crate training is a reliable way to both toilet train and encourage your mini husky to feel comfortable and cozy in their own space.
As they see the crate as their own little home, they are unlikely to go to the toilet in it. This will ensure that they are more likely to go to the toilet when you take them outside at appropriate intervals.
Crate training is also great for giving your mini husky their own space and allows you to keep them safe without necessarily being in the same room as them – it may come in especially handy at night.
The first hurdle to overcome with crate training is actually encouraging your pup to embrace the crate as their own space. This should be done slowly but surely in order not to upset your mini husky.
Tips for making crate training a positive experience:
- When you first start out, put your puppy in the crate and leave the door open so that they can leave anytime they want.
- Line the crate with a familiar blanket or an old t-shirt that will provide them some comfort.
- Offer up lots of praise and some treats when they approach and go into the crate.
- Leave a treat or a toy inside the crate to tempt your pup in.
- When they’ve got used to the crate with the door open, start closing the door for 30-60 seconds at a time (after they have stopped whining) before opening it again.
- Keep gradually increasing the time with the door closed.
- Make sure the crate is plenty big enough for their size.
You can read more tips and tricks for crate training here.
Best for: learning new commands
Clicker training is one of the best ways to teach and reinforce new behaviors with your pup. Mini huskies are very intelligent and respond well to this memory-based method of training.
First off, you will need a clicker – a mechanical device that makes a distinct ‘click’ noise when you press it. You can find them on Amazon here.
You will need to press the clicker every time your dog performs the correct behavior on cue during training. So, if you say “sit” and they sit, you should press the clicker. This will reinforce and show them that they are doing the right thing. This should be combined with praise and the occasional treat for exceptionally good behavior.
A click is more effective than a simple “good boy” because it is such a distinct and unusual sound – nowhere else will your pup hear that noise unless during their training. Voices obviously vary hugely in tone and volume whereas a click always sounds the same. Your mini husky will do weell with consistency.
Try the clicker training when you’re teaching new commands and even tricks.
You as the alpha
As well as these short, regular bursts of training to mold these behaviors in your dog, as their owner you should command respect and be perceived by your mini husky to be the ‘alpha’ of the family.
All dogs have an innate ‘pack’ instinct dating back to their wolf ancestry. All packs revolve around a hierarchy of power – you need to be at the top of that hierarchy as the alpha, in order to ensure that your dog doesn’t take that role instead. If your dog perceives themselves as the alpha, they will likely indulge in a host of dominant, bad behaviors as a result.
Both you and your dog will be happier with you as the leader of your pack. Your dog gets to be secure in following you, while you don’t need to deal with a dog challenging your authority. Be sure to assert your leadership early on with your mini husky.
Here’s how to assert yourself as the alpha:
- Be confident and strong-willed when giving commands: don’t give in to whining or ignorance.
- If they ignore a command, walk away and don’t give them what they want. Try again with the command in a few minutes.
- Show that you “come first”: always lead your dog and enter through doorways first, for instance. Eating before your dog is also a good idea.
- Be firm yet fair: always reward good behavior and never use violence or shouting against your dog. Never display anger; just leadership.
- Build a helpful vocabulary to signal to your mini husky when they’re doing right or wrong: yes, no, stop, stay.
General training tips
As well as the above methods for training your mini husky puppy, it’s always worth bearing in mind the following tips and ideas when you want to successfully train your dog.
- Consistency is key: short, daily sessions are best for teaching and reinforcing new behaviors with your puppy.
- Always reward good behavior: just like humans, dogs sometimes need an incentive. Small, bite-sized treats will keep them motivated and happy.
- Always supervise children: it’s great to involve children in the training process, just make sure that there’s always strict supervision.
- Set up a feeding schedule: for toilet training, it’s best if you have a set schedule that you repeat every day. For instance, in the evening, take your pup straight outside after feeding so that they can relieve themselves.
- Feed high quality food: your puppy’s toilet habits will be more consistent and healthy if they’re eating good foods – not cheap stuff high on fillers with little nutrition.
Now it’s time to start training!