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Once we brought our new puppy, Charlie, home we were super excited to start playing with him and get him used to his new place. He seemed to adapt pretty well to our apartment and the noises of Seattle. He definitely slept a lot those first few weeks, which we were a tad worried about. I remember, looking back on it now, being concerned about every little thing that he did, and wondering if it was "normal." I wanted so badly for him to be happy and healthy. I didn't want to mess anything up because it felt like we were new parents.
With that in mind, we wanted to start training right away! We had heard all too often about how crazy huskies can be and we didn't want him to grow up to be disobedient. The months leading up to his adoption I had researched how to train malamutes and huskies. I wasn't sure if they were different, but I wanted to make sure that I was prepared. We enrolled him in a six-week puppy training course and took him there once a week. We also heard that crate training helps with potty training and also helps with separation anxiety. We started crate training pretty much right away as well.
We would put him in the crate for a little bit at a time, and then we would leave the apartment. We started at ten minutes and would increase the time slowly. We also left a camera to see how he would do. He did pretty well with the training for the first couple of months. After that, we changed our schedules, which meant we no longer had a routine, and unfortunately, huskies NEED a routine more so than other breeds. He would start to (what we called) Houdini himself out of the crate. We would put him in the crate in the morning, and when one of us would come home to walk him at lunchtime he would be sitting on the couch. The crate door would still be shut and there would be no evidence of how he got out. We tried to watch him on the camera, but we could never catch him! Except for one time, my wife happened to look at the camera while she was working and saw that he was halfway out of the crate. She rushed home, and he was just sitting on the couch giving her a huge grin. She then noticed that he had knocked one of his teeth sideways, and there was blood on the floor in front of the crate. We, of course, called the vet right away and thankfully it was just a baby tooth and he was fine.
We decided from then on to start putting tiny padlocks on the crate so that he wouldn't be able to break out anymore. That seemed to work for a few weeks as well until we took him to my mom's house over Christmas and left him for a few days. One day my mom put him in the crate with the two locks on it, and when she came home to let him out he was sitting on the sofa, again! The crate was still shut and locked! There was no way that he could have wiggled out. At this point, we were all shocked and at a loss. My wife and I decided that it was time to start training him to be left alone inside the house, outside of the crate. That was definitely an ordeal as well. Stay tuned to hear what kind of collateral damage came from that next training adventure!