Husky puppy shrieking/howling at night

Posted by tym
May 23, 2010
I have an 8 week old husky that I've just brought home a week ago. At night, we place him in a covered play pen and go to sleep. But we have not been able to sleep for the past week.

1. Once he realizes no one is around, he starts shrieking and howling to wake everyone up. Initially we thought those were toilet emergencies and he just didn't want to eliminate where he slept. However, once he did it in the yard and we put him back in the pen so that we can go upstairs to continue sleeping, he howled again.

Subsequently we realized that when people were around him in the play pen, he knew how to eliminate on the side with the pee pad. We have tried coming downstairs and facing our backs toward him until he keeps quiet (to discourage the shrieking) and he does stop, but only when someone comes down and ignores him from where he can SEE them.

In the day, when I'm alone with him at home and I go upstairs to take a nap, he also starts shrieking/howling. How do I stop him from shrieking every time he knows everyone has gone upstairs?

2. The first couple of days, we managed to bring him to the yard to eliminate every 3 hrs and he seemed to be getting the hang of it. So we thought to reinforce the direct method of house training by taking him out every 3 hrs (including in the middle of the night), but it seems to be working against us in problem no. 1 as we would think that he needs to eliminate whenever he shrieks/howls. But oftentimes, when we arrive downstairs, he has already done it on the pee pad side of the play pen. And we feel that it's attention he's craving for, instead of a need to eliminate.

Right now we think that it is more important to solve problem no. 1 and reinforce eliminating in the back yard after he has gotten over sleeping alone. Do you think he will be able to eliminate in the back yard after problem no. 1 is fully resolved? If not, what should we be doing now instead?

3. Is it common for an 8 week old puppy to have an extremely short attention span? He gets easily distracted when we're trying to get him to eliminate in the back yard (He would sniff around the grass for 20minutes and wouldn't eliminate even when we use "poo-poo" and start howling as if he needs to eliminate the moment he is back in the play pen), and when we're trying to give him 5 minute obedience trainings, even with treats.

Thank you in advance for your kind feedback.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
May 24, 2010
Hi tym,

I am sorry you haven't got enough sleep due to your puppy's howling.

The best thing to do is to completely ignore him during the night. He might have to go potty but after certain time, don't even come to see him. He might wet his bed but that is just fine, compared to him developing a separation anxiety.

He will learn to hold bladder during the night eventually, but once he gets used to have somebody be around alll the time, especially at night, it will be very hard for him to learn that he should be OK to be left out, even during the day.

I understand he misses his mom and siblings but he will have to just learn to be by himself from now on. You can leave your old sweater or something that can comfort him in his play pan and just ignore his howling one straight week or so.

He howls because he knows you would come see him when he does. He has already learned that works.

Puppies are so cute and it's hard to ignore but you will just have to do it as soon as possible. Potty training is not the first priority. He can go on the pee pad during the night. You can potty train during the day.

All dogs will learn where to pee/poo eventually. On the other hand, dogs with separation anxiety will create a headache for a long time and it is one of the most difficult things to fix.

Here is a success story of ignoring the barking dog at night for your reference:


Be determined and patient
Posted by tym
May 24, 2010
Hello there,

Thanks so much for the tips. I've read that link and since bought wax earplugs for my entire family and placed him in the study at night where the noise is minimized from where we sleep.

We will try this for 1-2 weeks before moving his playpen outside again. I'll update you on any improvements so that others can benefit from this too! Cheers!