Bringing a new husky puppy into your home is really exciting for all of us.
At the same time, it's most likely a confusing and bewildering experience for the puppy. They will have just been taken away from everything they has known so far in their life; their mother, siblings, familiar sights, smells and surroundings.
Aside from what your puppy has been taken away from, it is also being introduced to a whole new range of experiences - new people, places, sights, smells, etc.
Above all, a new puppy needs time to adjust to all the new things happening. Don't overwhelm it with attention, or let everyone in the neighborhood come round to say 'Hi'. Giving your husky puppy the time and space it needs to get used to its new life will help to ensure it grows up to be a happy, well balanced adult dog.
Every puppy we've ever had has spent the journey back to our home drooling and throwing up all over us!
Dogs, and especially puppies, often get travel sick until such times as they have become accustomed to car journeys.
Don't be too alarmed by this happening - it's pretty standard.
Do prepare for this to happen - when you pick up your new puppy or dog, take along lots of kitchen towel, plastic bags, wet-wipes and a couple of old bath towels or blankets. Ask the breeder or previous owner NOT to feed the puppy or dog for a couple of hours before you pick it up. It will probably be sick anyway, but maybe a bit less-so than it would otherwise!
Some people put their husky puppy in a car-crate on their journey home. We tried this with the first couple of husky puppies we brought home. Within ten minutes the puppy had been so upset that we stopped the car and brought the puppy out to sit in the lap of whoever was in the passenger seat. We just have new puppies sit with us from the outset now - it saves them getting upset, and saves us getting stressed. Having a husky puppy sit your lap during the journey home does make it very likely that the puppy will be sick ON YOU. We just accept this as part of bringing a new puppy home, and prepare accordingly.
If you have a long journey home, and need to stop along the way, you will have to be EXTREMELY CAREFUL about taking the puppy out of your car. Your husky puppy will probably not have had all its shots yet. Even if it has, will probably not have had sufficient time to develop full immunity afterwards (there is normally a 2 week grace period after the second injection, before which you should keep your puppy away from public areas). Motorway service stations and other areas at the roadside are not going to be very clean, and are sites where hundreds of other dogs will be going to the toilet. These are not safe places for a young puppy.
If you know that our journey home from picking up a puppy is going to be more than a couple of hours, try and arrange to stop off at a friend's house along the way. This way you can let the puppy have a toilet break in their garden. Plan your route and breaks in your journey before you set out. If you have several hours to drive and are stuck for somewhere to stop, ask your puppy's breeder. He or she will be very concerned that the puppy gets home safe and well. They should be more than happy to call anyone they might know who's house and garden can provide a good 'rest stop' for you and your new husky puppy.
Your husky puppy will probably be sleepy and woozy from the journey home.
Generally the best thing to do is to put your puppy in his or her crate in a corner of the living room and let it settle for a while.
Make sure if you have kids that they keep the noise down and give your puppy some space.
Let them come and take a look and say hello, but make everyone who comes in to the room with the puppy behaves calmly and quietly.
Sit in the room with the puppy with a book to read or the TV on low volume.
When the puppy wakes up, take it straight outside to a spot in the garden where you want it to go to the toilet, and wait until it does. When it starts to 'go', tell it 'good pee!' or 'good toilet!' or whatever else you want to say... and there you go - toilet training has begun! (Find more information on toilet training here).
You can then take your puppy inside and offer it some food and water. Your breeder should have given you a supply of food (see our page on Feeding Puppies).
It is a good idea to bring a couple of bottles of water from your breeder's house. Localized changes in the water supply are a common cause of upset tummies in the first few days in their new home. Slowly introducing the local tap water at your house by mixing it in increasing quantities with water that the puppy is already used to may help avoid this.
Having a new husky puppy sleep in with you also helps with toilet training.
We tend to wake up if we hear the puppy stir, at which point we get up and take the puppy outside to its toilet spot
(you must do this quickly! - a good tip is to sleep in sweat pants and a t-shirt, and have shoes by the bed or at the door).
Puppies develop incredibly quickly, and it doesn't take long before they will sleep through the night without needing to pee.
Toilet training will take a while, and there will be accidents... just when you think they've finally got the hang of it, your puppy will pee all over the carpet - again!
We have always found that one day it just seems to 'click' as it were... in the mean time, be patient.
Don't punish your puppy for accidents - NEVER EVER, EVER rub his or her nose in it or shout at your puppy when it goes to the toilet where it shouldn't. All you will do is confuse your puppy and make it thing going to the toilet is bad.
Never tell a puppy off for anything unless you catch it in the act, or it will have no idea what it is being told off for. You should soon be able to tell from its behavior when your puppy is about to 'go'. It will start to sniff the floor in circles or 'squat' down. As soon as it does this, or if you catch your puppy 'in the act' make a short sharp noise to distract it for a second, pick it up and take it outside to a spot where you want it to pee. Wait with your puppy and praise it while it goes to the toilet.
It is much easier to teach a puppy through praise and reward when it does something good than by telling it off when it does something bad.
When you tell a dog or puppy off, you are only telling it what it SHOULDN'T DO. If you try and toilet train a puppy this way, all you are telling it is that it shouldn't go to the toilet. Stop your puppy from going to the toilet indoors with a gentle but firm 'NO' or 'STOP' and take it to a place outside where you want it to 'go'. Reward it when it does go in the right place, and your puppy will soon get the idea.
You will find there are various products designed to help with toilet training. We have found that 'Puppy Pads' are not very useful - all the puppies we have tried them with have just ripped them apart and made a mess.
One product you probably will want to invest in is urine and stain neutralizer. These liquid-sprays are designed to neutralize the smell of urine and toilet stains. Dogs and puppies tend to 'go' where there is a smell of pee, and so these products are really useful to discourage a puppy from peeing somewhere where it has had a previous accident.
Huskies and sled dogs tend to suffer from separation anxiety more than many other breeds.
Huskies and sled dogs are pack animals and do not like to be left alone.
Most huskies will learn to settle when left alone, but may be noisy and destructive at first.
This is especially the case with puppies, who will be used to the constant company of their litter-mates.
Leaving your dog or puppy in a dog crate with a chew toy such as a Kong can help to keep them occupied. You could try filling a with canned dog food. Make sure any food that you fill a Kong with will not upset your dog's stomach. We use Chappie tinned dog food for stuffing Kongs. Mashed up tuna fish and sticky rice can also be a good option. We have a few Kongs and fill them up at the same time, then put them in the freezer. This way the food inside stays fresh, and our dogs are occupied for longer as the frozen food takes longer to get out.
You can also buy a special CDs or DVDs that play music or images to soothe your dog and make it feel as if it has company while you are out. Make sure your dog is safe inside a training crate when you leave it alone in the house, especially if you have electrical equipment in use. Alternatively, you can try simply leaving the radio or TV on for your dog, but do make sure to select a channel which shows nice soothing programs that won't upset them.
For more useful information, you should buy a book about puppies, and at least one that focuses your chosen breed.
Buy these before you go and visit breeders and their puppies.
On Siberian Huskies...
On Alaskan Malamutes...