How To Help Your Puppy Husky Overcome Separation Anxiety
There are many breeds of dogs you could choose as a family pet. Some of these breeds are more self-reliant than others and will require little to no maintenance. However, breeds such as huskies will require more attention and care. For this reason, it is important to know whether you can care for a puppy husky long-term.
Why Does a Husky Puppy Need More Care?
If you have a family with young children or someone that spends most of their time at home, a puppy husky might just be a perfect fit. Husky puppies are intelligent, friendly, and gentle, making them a perfect companion for anyone seeking a canine friend. However, if you or your family members are often not home, your puppy husky could begin to suffer from separation anxiety and/or other conditions.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a condition caused by the fear and belief that you are going to be left alone. Puppies, especially a puppy husky are so young and naïve. They are not old or mature enough to understand how the world works, and, as a result, may suffer from this syndrome.
In the beginning, your puppy husky will need to adjust to their new surroundings and routine. During this process, they may show signs of anxiety and destructive behavior due to their age and experience. This should dissipate after a week or so. In case it doesn’t, and you believe you see signs of it worsening, you may need to take further action.
What Are the Signs To Look For?
In any stressful situation, you will start by seeing some general signs of stress and anxiety. These can include pacing, whining, and crying more than usual at the time you prepare to leave or excessive barking and howling after you leave. One way that you can monitor this is to have a neighbor listen out for any activity in the home and contact you if it continues, or, the purchase of an at-home pet camera.
Increased Destructive Behaviors
Your puppy husky will naturally get into things they shouldn’t. Keeping them in a crate or defined area may be a good way to train them, but it could also cause them to engage in more destructive behaviors. Chewing and digging around exits such as windows and doors is a major red flag when considering separation anxieties with your puppy husky. These actions typically signal that they are trying to escape their designated space.
Anxious Behaviors and Actions
Another serious sign of anxious behavior is if your puppy husky tries to run away from you during certain times of the day. In the morning when you are getting ready to leave and you want to crate your puppy, or otherwise put them up for safety, they may growl, run away, or salivate and drool. If you see these actions, it is a good bet that your puppy is suffering from anxiety.
Prepare the Family for a New Puppy
Separation anxiety is going to be a major issue on both sides of the family if you don’t prepare everyone for the new puppy before it arrives. Understanding that bringing home a new puppy will be a major shift for everyone is crucial and preparing early will be beneficial.
Understand Your Puppy’s Past
Huskies are very desirable dogs and, at times, come in contact with individuals who don’t care for them as they should. This could result in your puppy husky suffering from separation anxiety as well as other issues. For example, if your puppy is a rescue, you should be sure to learn their history. If they had previously been harmed or left alone in unfavorable conditions, this will be essential to know before ownership so you can better train and love them in ways that are comfortable for them.
Create a Safe Environment
To help determine if your puppy husky is suffering from separation anxiety, or just needs to become accustomed to the home and surroundings, you first need to set some guidelines. These guidelines will help create a safe environment that your husky puppy can go to calm down.
A crate is considered by many to be mean and harmful. However, the crate is going to be the best place to keep your puppy husky safe and secure. It also gives your husky puppy a sense of ownership. The trick to making crate training work is to focus on association. Similar to sending a child to their room, a crate is their personal space. You want to fill it with toys, treats, and items that give them comfort. After a short time, they won’t see the crate as a prison but rather their home within a home.
Fill Their Crate With Comfort Items
You want to start with a bed. You want the crate to be large enough to handle a Calming Dog Cuddle Bed. This bed has raised sides and is made of a soft, comfortable material. You want to place the bed in the crate as well as several comfort items. Another thing you can do is help with the scent. Using a calming spray on the bed or over the general area of the crate will help create a calming environment.
Downplay your activities
Getting excited when you see your puppy husky is natural. You had a long day and you're looking forward to the companionship for the remainder of your evening. During a typical encounter, your puppy husky will hear you coming home, jump to a window, or stand by a door. When you enter, they will typically run to you with delight, jump, and get affection. One way that you can help with separation anxieties is to downplay these actions. Don’t seem so excited or give them that much attention when you first enter the house. Give it a minute or two and then engage with them.
Don’t Let Them Know You Are Leaving
Anticipation is a killer. Similar to going to the doctor or waiting for Santa, knowing that they are going to be left alone will cause your puppy husky to start acting up or fear being alone. To help avoid this, consider leaving at a different time, out of a different door, or not making as much noise as you normally would when leaving.
Like anything, it will take time for your puppy husky to associate actions and situations. The goal is to make everything that you do with your puppy husky a positive one. If your husky puppy doesn’t perform an action or doesn’t perform the action fast enough, don’t scold or punish them, rather praise them and do it again.
You want to start slow. When leaving your puppy husky, consider leaving in five-minute intervals. This can be grabbing your keys, turning on the television to a specific program, or leaving the radio on. When you leave, acknowledge your puppy husky, give them some love and attention and speak to them. When you return once again, acknowledge and interact with them.
Schedule Leaving Drills
Association with the front door, back door, and events that cause you to leave need to be practiced with your puppy husky. If every time you leave the house your husky puppy associates it with being gone for an undetermined amount of time, this is what they will expect. Scheduling and performing leaving drills can help disassociate them with that.
How this works is you will perform a series of steps. The first will be you opening the front door, standing there, and then closing it. Remain on the inside of the house a few times so they understand what the purpose of a door is. From there, take it a step further and step outside but don’t close the door. Wait a minute or so and then walk back into the house. The actions of doing this will begin to train your puppy husky into understanding that your actions are routine for a human and that you will always come back.
Take Them With You
Another thing you can do is take your puppy husky with you on a trip. This can be going to a park or just for a ride in the car. When you return, let them run around outside and do something enjoyable. Association is going to be key to training your puppy husky and their reactions to you leaving.
Give Them Plenty of Exercise
With a puppy husky, you will want to keep them moving and active. First thing in the morning, it might be a good idea to give them some exercise. Allow them to run with you on a morning jog, throw a ball in the backyard, or let the kids be active with them before school.
First thing in the morning, your puppy husky will have loads of energy that needs to be expelled. Keeping this in mind and creating a routine that will put them into a position to want to rest will keep their minds off you being gone. Without exercise, your puppy husky may start to feel anxious, stressed, and potentially destructive simply because they need to. Take this into consideration before diagnosing them with separation anxiety.
Fence in Your Yard
Depending on your situation, if you have a yard or area that will allow them to be outside, this can be a great situation. When you leave, allow your puppy husky the ability to come and go into the backyard as they please. Different types of doggie doors can be installed to allow your puppy husky entrance and exit from the house. Giving them this freedom and ensuring that they have control over their actions will give them the confidence, and even excitement, of wanting to be left alone.
If you are doing this option, consider having food, water, and other items available to them while you are gone. Creating a seamless environment regardless of your presence can cement their presence in the home and over their situation.
Consider Medical Conditions
Puppy huskies are like any other animal and may require some type of medication. When first getting your puppy husky, take them to the vet for a full workup to ensure that they are happy and healthy. Standard bloodwork and a physical can show a predisposition for any conditions that are unusual for your puppy. If you do find something that requires medication, take your time and allow your puppy husky to become acclimated to it. Never give anyone medications until you know how they are affected.
Find a Companion
One puppy husky may seem like a handful and two may be out of the question. However, if you find a companion for your pup, such as a cat or maybe another breed of dog, it could be a form of companionship for them while you are gone.
Choosing a companion for your pet shouldn’t be difficult. It will be a good idea, however, to have the companion be a little older and more experienced than your puppy. Older dogs are typically good at guiding little ones and can teach them it is not scary to be home without their owners.
Going the companion route will also have its challenges. The first being creating safe and secure environments for both of them. Keeping them in the same crate or on the same comfortable bed might not work. You will also want to have separate dishes for food, water, and toys. The idea is to have them feel comfortable in the home and with each other. Exchanging one problem for another is never a good thing.
Try To Keep It in the Family
Huskies, like all other dogs, are born in litters. They quickly form a bond with their mothers as well as other siblings. Before adopting a single husky, consider getting two from the same litter. Doing so will help with separation anxiety as well as any bonding issues that may occur if you decide on another breed of dog. This is not a requirement of husky ownership, but rather just something to think about.
Prepare a Decoy
Taking on two or more puppy huskies may not be possible in your situation. A trick that many puppy husky owners have done is create a decoy for stressful situations. How this works is you will take a warm blanket or a piece of your worn clothing and place a warm water bottle inside. You can place this beside your puppy husky when they are in the crate. To have an added effect, consider a calming spray. Calming spray is a calming mist that, when sprayed over the towel or their bed, will cause a calming effect in their minds. Humans will usually use lavender on their pillows to simulate the same effect.
After trying the blanket and the spray, if your puppy is still not calm or is suffering, consider recording your voice on a tape recorder and play it in the crate or on a tape that is on a continuous loop. This will have the effect of them believing you are still in the house and, combined with being in their safe place, lessen their separation anxiety. The smell and sound of you will soothe them right to sleep.
Get a Pet Sitter
Combining the best of both worlds would have someone be with your pup at all times. Having a pet sitter or taking them to a doggie daycare may be a viable solution. Puppy huskies, just like other animals, will mature and grow at different rates.
Give Them Some Alone Time When You Are Home
Get them used to being alone when you are home. Keeping your husky underfoot all day is not a good idea. Consider giving them commands that will have them go to their crate or find another form of interaction. If you work from home or have an office, consider closing the door or putting up a barrier so your husky can’t see or interact with you. This alone time will train them to be self-sufficient and in control of their actions in the environment. The trick in helping them overcome separation anxiety is to show them that they can be independent of their owner.
Developing a Routine That Works for Both of You
Separation anxieties are real. It is believed that fifty percent of all dogs, husky puppies included, suffer from separation anxiety of some sort. The best way to handle this issue is to learn about your pet, understand triggers and states that cause the situations, and work with them to create a routine and environment that will help make them feel safe while knowing that you will return home.
Create a situation where you can spend as much time with your beloved puppy. Give them every reason to know you will be coming back and, when situations arise with your puppy, deal with them to the best of your ability and move on with training. They will be your best friend for life.