Puppy Do’s and Dont’s. (according to me and my experience)
DO crate train! You would not leave a toddler alone and unsupervised in your home, why would you leave a puppy alone? You are setting yourself and the pup up for punishment and anger and it is not worth it. If you cannot supervise your pup, put them to “bed”. When you are cleaning, if you are outside mowing, leave to the grocery store, go to work or go to bed for the night! It is much easier to crate train a puppy at 8 weeks then try to crate train a 6 month old with bad habits. You can always crate train now and when they are older try to let them out at night to sleep with you, etc. Autumn was in a crate for one year in our room, next to my bed. It helped calm her being close to me. She now sleeps in my bed or on the floor next to my bed without eating clothes, furniture, etc. If you crate train have realistic expectations… Start right away! Know that they WILL cry, whine, howl, bite the wire, and generally hate it for the first 5 nights or so! Don’t give up. If the noise gets to you, try putting them in your room where they can see you! Or put them next to another dog’s crate if you have one. Understand that they can NOT hold their bladder for long periods right now! They will need to be let out to potty at least once though out the night! You can try smaller periods of time by putting them in the crate in afternoon for an hour or so. Be happy and positive, give it a name “bedtime”, “kennel up”, etc. Take them out to potty, walk them or exercise them before crating them. Offer treats for going in and give them toys to chew on to prevent boredom. Baby gates are also good to keep them out of certain areas. Puppy pens (look for one that is fairly high) also can help contain them or even extend the area they are confined in by attaching it to the crate. But know it might not last long as they are great climbers and jumpers!
DO expect potty accidents. Potty training can take patience. Generally, puppies need to go out as soon as they wake up (or taken out of their crate), after they eat, after they have a burst of energy and playtime, and before bedtime (being crated). Of course, you need to watch for signs, sniffing, turning in circles and squatting (or standing still for boys) are all signs they need to be rushed out!
DO keep your puppy on a high quality food and consider supplementing with fresh foods. If/ when you switch, do so slowly! Changing foods can cause tummy issues. We no longer require you to keep your pups on Nuvet, but if you are interested in vitamins, it is a great option.
DO consider puppy training class and puppy proofing your home. If you do not have experience training pups, please consider a class. Remember behaviors that are cute now will not be cute at 6 months old!! Manners like, sit, down, stay (hehe), drop it, leave it, wait, off, are very important! Puppies are ALL teeth and mouths at this stage!! Just like toddlers put everything in their mouths so do puppies! Do not let your hands become toys… it sounds silly but I know many folks who use their hands to play with puppies and then complain when the puppies grab their hands at other times and insist their puppy is mean! NO, you just taught them that hands are toys! Since puppies use their mouths to explore their surroundings it is also a good idea to keep things off the floor and out of reach if at all possible. Shoes, wires, bras (yes bras), socks, ponytail holders, diapers, game controllers, charging cords, etc.
DO keep your puppy current on all vaccinations, as well as flea and heartworm treatment and prevention. Find a vet you trust! Please remember your pet is NOT fully protected until they have had their complete series of vaccinations!
DO NOT leave your puppy unsupervised with children! Please! So many sad stories in the news… it breaks my heart! Also just like you have to train a puppy to be easy and gentle with kids, you need to train/teach your children to be easy and gentle with their new puppies! Please, Please, Please do not allow your child to ride their dog, pull ears, tails, grab faces, etc. If a child runs, a puppy will chase them and more times than not they will knock them down. It’s natural, but the puppy gets blamed for being too rough and mean. Both child and puppy need education on how to behave! Another reason I recommend training classes.
DO offer plenty of exercise, toys and interaction, a bored husky is a destructive husky. Huskies are pack animals, they need your love and attention. Look up canine enrichment activities, keep them mentally and physically active. With that being said, please be mindful of your puppies age and development and not to over exercise them. Over doing it (including high impact actives like using stairs, jumping off furniture, etc) can cause damage to growth plates that are still developing and injure joints, etc.
DO try to avoid possible separation anxiety issues by not packing your husky around like a baby or Chihuahua! In most cases separation anxiety is our fault!
DO NOT leave your husky (or any dog) out in extreme weather (hot or cold). Kiddie Pools, Ice, Frozen Treats are fun summer outside activities in the heat. Also, save walks for early morning or late evening in the summer! But access to air conditioning at the hottest part of the day is a MUST! Do not get a husky if you are going to leave it outside!! Watch for hot concrete and asphalt! The pads of their feet will burn!
DO have fun, love them, care for them and know that like children they will act up, make mistakes and be naughty! Love them anyway!!