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.
The Journey Home
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!
You can then take your puppy inside and offer it some food and water. Your puppy’s breeder should have given you a supply of food (see our page on Feeding Husky Puppies).
It is also 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.
We tend to let our new puppies sleep in our room for a while after we bring them home. The old-fashioned ideas about leaving a new puppy alone in the kitchen just don’t make any sense to us. These ideas don’t seem to come from any particularly enlightened source or have good reason behind them – they are just a ‘tradition’ that arose somewhere in the past, developed from attitudes about the ‘proper’ distance that should be established between Man and Pet. We have no desire whatsoever to assert our dominance and superiority in this way – we don’t need to. Puppies get upset when left alone, and the idea of leaving them to ‘toughen up’, having just yanked them away from their litter-mates, is not one that sits well with us. So, our puppies sleep upstairs with us.
Many of our friends with Huskies instead choose to sleep downstairs with the puppy for the first few nights – this seems to work just as well. The main point is that we feel it’s only fair that the puppy should have company – we don’t take on a dog with the intention of keeping it at a distance – we take them on as part of our family, and treat them as such.