Crate and play pen area, grooming tools, food, treats, toys and training resources.
- Picky Eating
- Not Sleeping Through the Night
- Frequent Peeing
- Resource Guarding/Food Aggression
- Coat Care
- Leash Training
This is how we house your puppies!
Image 1: We stay with our mommas for as long as required while they are whelping. They get to eat ice cream in between deliveries. Whelping pens are set up in our living room of our house.
Image 2: Our mommas have a huge whelping pen. We add “pig rails” to help keep the puppies safe. We change linens as often as needed. Our puppies will stay in this pen until around 3 weeks of age.
Image 3: Our puppy pens evolve with each stage of their development to assist with potty training and motor skill development. Puppies will stay in a pen attached to a separate area for their moms until around 5 weeks of age.
Image 4: Our puppy pens are cleaned each day. Soiled and wet linens are replaced with fresh clean bedding. All plastic surfaces including litter boxes are disinfected daily. Puppies will remain in this set up until time to go home (8 weeks of age).
Image 5: Our puppy room is equipped with video cameras and an air exchange unit. When playtime is over, we use natural based cleaners to disinfect all surfaces of the playroom.
Image 6: We only use the most gentle soaps for laundry and naturally-based disinfectants.
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Care Set-Ups and Supplies (Food, Treats, Toys, etc.)
This is our preferred crate set up area when we can’t supervise our puppies (when we go out for groceries, for example). We attach the puppy pen directly to the crate and ensure that there are lots of potty areas and some safe toys in the pen area.
I use this pen (I would recommend 30″ or taller) to attach to the crate: https://www.amazon.ca/Midwest-Foldable-Metal-Exercise-Playpen/dp/B00377WL46/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=dog+playpen&qid=1588433016&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-4
You can also use two smaller crates attached together and have one crate as the bed area and the other crate as the potty area.
For a more solid (and pricey) pen that’s easy to customize, I use the X-pen: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B014KMJPH2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 You can attach it to a crate with a little more work, zip-ties seem to work best.
Some pups can climb out of the above two pens, so you might need to use a Billy Gate/Regalo type enclosure instead. Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Regalo-configurable-fixations-murales-mat%C3%A9riel/dp/B0024FAWSE/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=billy+gate&qid=1596817305&s=pet-supplies&sr=1-1.
This area is where we keep our puppies when we are eating dinner or do not want them running around the house. I place a large litter box sometimes with or without a pee pad below directly beside their favourite bed. When the puppy wakes up, they are most likely to use the litter box right away. There’s also a crate that they like to use as well. It’s dark enough that it doesn’t need a blanket. My favourite part of this set up is the blue blanket that is waterproof and reversible. You can even drape it over furniture. I picked one up from Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B075WZGFJG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I’ve found many gently used crates online (kijiji and Facebook market place). We have several brands at our home including Life Stages 1630DD and Kong. Both are great quality crates and I really like the dual doors. The crates that all of my dogs (regardless of size) enjoy are the Kong 31″L x 20″W x 21.4″H and retail for around $100 new at PetSmart https://www.petsmart.ca/dog/crates-gates-and-containment/carriers-and-crates/kong-dual-door-rust-resistant-dog-crate-51180.html and the LifeStages 30 L x 21 W x 24 H that retails for just over $80 on Amazon https://www.amazon.ca/Medium-MidWest-Folding-Divider-Protecting/dp/B0002TKBUS?th=1. These crates are perfect for my adults, but for babies, it comfortably fits both a 24″ x 18″ sleeping bed (https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07WQZ38W4/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and a small 20″ x 15″ litter box (https://www.amazon.ca/PuppyGoHere-Litter-Indoor-Training-System-Large/dp/B00HCK31LQ/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=puppy%2Bgo%2Bhere&qid=1596818589&sr=8-1&th=1).
As the puppy gets older, you can remove the litter box entirely from the crate. Some actually prefer cooling pads in their crate: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07R282RVS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
If your pup is having a hard time sleeping through the night in a crate, try draping a blanket on top of the crate to keep the area darker.
These are the big 24″ litter pans we use for potty training. I fill them with a mixture of horse bedding pellets and alfalfa pellets, both of which you can get from any horse feed store. I prefer to use horse bedding which is made with non-toxic wood products. Alfalfa pellets help mimic the smell of grass.
You can also use Rubber Maid totes and cut an entrance in to them. I bought mine from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00G7RMCI8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I use the smaller 20″ litter pans in their bedtime crates.
In an attempt to reduce waste, we have attempted to use only washable pee pads for our puppies and rarely use pee pads. The washable pads I use are 44″x52″, can be machine washed, dried and bleached and still maintain outstanding absorbancy. I picked mine up from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.ca/KANECH-Bed-Pad-Washable-Waterproof/dp/B076X1LF6R/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=KANECH+Incontinence+Bed+Pads+Washable+-+44%22x+52%22-+Extra+5+Layer+-+Waterproof+Pads+for+Adult%2CChildren%2CPets&qid=1607120290&s=kitchen&sr=1-1
This flow chart (no pun intended haha!) can help guide you as to when you should be bringing your puppy to potty, either outside, or by placing them directly in their indoor potty areas.
Our puppies love the donut bed! Best of all, it’s extremely easy to throw in the washing machine and dryer. You can get several different types on Amazon, but PetSmart carries a great bed (I prefer the knit ones as they don’t trap as much dirt/dog hair) at a very reasonable price: https://www.petsmart.ca/dog/beds-and-furniture/cuddler-beds/top-paw-overstuffed-knit-donut-pet-bed-60248.html
This is the food we give our puppies, great for sensitive tummies: http://www.canadiannaturals.com/pages/dog-productline.php The adult larger kibble is also available. Most Global Pet Food stores can order in this food.
Grain free diets are not recommended due to increasing reports of Canine dilated cardiomyopathy, which affects a dog’s heart muscle and often leads to congestive heart failure.
If you’re having trouble finding Canadian Naturals, Pet Valu also carries a line of dog food called Performatrin Ultra. You might have to specifically request the “Woodland” blend, but it’s as close as possible to the Canadian Naturals Turkey and Salmon. I don’t love that it has chicken byproducts as some of the ingredients, but my dogs seem to do well on this food too.
I also keep a small bag of Royal Canin Gastrointestinal dog food on hand. If my dogs get any upset tummies (either end) I swap out their regular food for the Royal Canin for as many days as needed until their tummies settle. I then combine the Royal Canin at 50/50 with their regular dog food for a few more days before putting them back on to their regular dog food. I had to get the Gastrointestinal food directly from my veterinarian: https://www.royalcanin.com/ca/en_ca/dogs/products/gastrointestinal
We send our puppies home with a couple packages of Purina FortiFlora and we always keep this on hand for our adults. This a great probiotic that is in a powder and you can sprinkle some on their food and add water to make a gravy-like consistency if they have any gastric upset (vomiting or loose stool). We recommend 1/4 package twice a day for puppies and 1/2 package twice a day for adults but your vet may suggest otherwise so be sure to follow their recommendations. Most vet clinics will carry or can provide you with FortiFlora.
Toxic Plant Guide for Animals https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants
These Kimalayan Dog Chews are the best dog treats for any active chewer! I include one of these with each of the take home Puppy Care Packages for your new puppy. Smudge loves these as well and they take forever for the dogs to chew. One note of caution: Buy these on the larger side… your dog WILL try to swallow them. You don’t want them to get caught in their throat so supervision is necessary. Most pet stores carry some brand of these. We will send one in each of our Pomsky care packages. Here’s more information: https://www.himalayan.pet/products/himalayan-dog-chews
We also like to use all-natural treats for training, such as PureBites from PetSmart, and you will receive a package with your puppy. I don’t like feeding my dogs liver treats since the liver is the detoxification centre of the body. I prefer turkey or salmon/fish treats since the puppies are already eating those ingredients with their food: https://www.petsmart.ca/dog/treats/chewy-treats/purebites-freeze-dried-dog-treat—turkey-23879.html
A great interactive toy for our clever pups! There is one of these toys in our puppy play area. I picked mine up on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B003YHB8EI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Another great thinking toy, hide treats and let your pups figure out how to get them. There is one of these snuffle mats in our puppy play area. I picked mine up on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07QCRRFWC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
These toys have been an absolute favourite of my dogs. I include one of these with each of the take home Puppy Care Packages for your new puppy. I normally find them at Canadian Tire, but you can sometimes find them at Walmart and Amazon carries them as well: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B078MX5987/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The iDig digging toys provide dogs with a positive outlet through which to express their natural digging and foraging behaviors. The owner loads the three flaps included with the iDig products with their dog’s favorite toys and/or treats, and then the dog digs away to find the treasure. The iDig comes in two versions: the iDig Stay features a hard shell, plastic base best for aggressive diggers, and the iDig Go features a fabric, collapsible base that’s best for storage and travel.
Another great way to satisfy teething puppies is to stuff a Kong. Deer antlers and bones should only be used when their adult teeth have grown in so this is a great option until that time. There are some great recipes to freeze in your Kong here: https://www.playbarkrun.com/frozen-kong-treat-recipes/
Avoid dangerous ingredients like preservatives and artificial sweeteners found in human food (such as Xylitol), dried fruit, grapes, nuts, apple seeds, chocolate, garlic, onions, celery, and peppers. Make sure you don’t use any foods that your dog might be allergic to, which usually stem from specific proteins (chicken, beef, lamb, etc…). If your dog is sensitive to dairy, just leave out the cheese, yogurt, or cottage cheese.
This will leave a mess! Don’t let them consume their treat on the couch or carpet.
If you’re looking for the best puppy slide ever, we now have two of the Step2 Sports-Tastic Activity Center slides. They are small and fit in any set up. Our pups get hours of fun sliding, climbing and even sleeping on top of this slide. Sometimes goes out of stock online but check Wal-Mart or Amazon.
Wyze cameras are amazing to monitor your pups remotely. They offer night vision and recording options (micro USB cards can be used for no-cost recording). These cameras also have a 2-way speaker that allows you to talk to your pup. The free App is easy to use on your phone. https://www.amazon.ca/Wyze-Wireless-Camera-Android-Version/dp/B076H3SRXG/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=wyze&qid=1618428566&sr=8-3
I purchased this dog chew toothbrush when my vet gave me a bottle of liquid dog toothpaste for our old boy, Smudge. Creed seemed to really enjoy it as well. https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07SNPXLK9/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Mickey’s owner shared an amazing alternative to a cone. She used a pool noodle (Dollar Store, Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire are all good options) and tied it with ribbon. She said Mickey was so much more comfortable and was not able to reach his stitches.
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Our Personal Care and Training Tips:
***IMPORTANT*** Your crate is never a place for punishment: It’s a place where your puppy must always feel safe and relaxed! The idea of putting your puppy in their crate is for them to calm down, relax and think. NEVER put a puppy in a crate when you are mad. You never want them associating their crate as punishment. They might protest at first, but they should calm down with more frequent use of the crate as a “time out” area.
It is normal for your dog to eat less some days. If you are concerned they are not eating enough and they aren’t vomiting or have diarrhea (vet should be consulted for either), try giving them hard boiled eggs.
Not sleeping through the night:
Try offering your puppy several bedding options. Sometimes they will be too hot and prefer a cooling mat or to lay directly on the crate floor. Other times, they might start to wake when they can see light. Try putting them in a darker room, black out the windows, and/or put a dark blanket over their crate <NOTE: Blankets MUST allow air flow and must not make them too hot in their crate>. Giving your puppy a warm meal before bed might also help them sleep through the night. You can warm up a bit of water in a cup and pour over their kibble to soften a bit. Make sure it’s not too hot before you give to your puppy.
Puppies are notorious for getting distracted and not voiding entirely. This can cause them to urinate frequently. If your puppy goes potty and then runs around and pees again within less than 20 minutes or so, you might want to try putting them on a harness when you bring them out to potty. This will prevent them from running off and might help them fully void before coming back inside. If your puppy has accidents and you know they weren’t trying to reach the litter box or front door, put them in their crate (with a litter box) for 15 minutes or so. Take them out and immediately bring them outside to potty. If they do not potty after 5 minutes, put them back in their crate for another 10-15 minutes. Repeat until they potty outside and then allow them free access outside of their crate.
Pomskies can be notorious biters/nippers. It is very important to stop this behaviour before it becomes an issue. Keep in mind that biting is a way for your puppy to engage you in play. There are many professionals that will say re-directing your puppy with another toy is the way to curb biting. I personally feel that re-directing your dog while it’s doing something that is potentially dangerous is not the best option as I feel that you are in a sense, rewarding your dog with another toy for nipping you. These dogs are smart! In a pack, if a dog is misbehaving, the alpha dog will make sure the behaviour stops. My personal success with nipping/any destructive behaviour is to put your puppy in their crate for a time out. Do not do this when you are mad. Do not yell at your puppy or say “BAD!” You want them associating their crate time with “time to relax and calm down”. Say those words when you put your puppy in their crate. Know that your puppy is not trying to make you mad, they are just being a puppy.
If your puppy gets too out of control, this includes being hyper, put them in their crate for a bit of relaxation time. Do not let them be in a pen area where they can still run around or play with toys. You really just want them to settle down and relax. Keep in mind for your hyper pups that they need a lot of stimulation like frequent play inside and outside, but that they might need an adjustment time from being with litter-mates to help burn some energy. Having your puppy attend a couple of days of Puppy Daycare, having play dates with other familiar (fully vaccinated) dogs, and having lots of toys, especially for chewing, will help your puppy burn energy. It’s also VERY important that your puppy has time alone in their pen with their own toys to learn to self-soothe. They will need to learn that they can be by themselves and be calm for them to have the best chance of not having separation anxiety issues later on. A couple 1-hour “quiet” times in a pen area (or dedicated room away from you and your family) is very important for your puppy’s development.
Puppies can be very snarky with their siblings when it comes to eating food, playing with toys, or having treats. There are amazing videos on Resource Guarding and they seem to work well for Pomskies. The idea is that if your dog has something they shouldn’t, use a treat or reward of higher value and “trade” your dog for the treat, especially if they have something dangerous in their mouth. When it comes to food, try taking your pup’s food away from them. Put a few pieces of their kibble in the palm of your hand and let them eat it from your hand. Once they realize that food will be offered to them and you will provide it to them, the behaviour should start to improve. The more you practice taking away their food, then giving it back to them, taking it away again, then giving it back, the less they will care about guarding their food.
Huskies looooove to run, and they looooove to be chased. They think it’s hilarious to have you run after them. If your pup runs away from you, practice inside the house with a long leash. Use the words “come” and “cookies” to signal that you have something good for them, and then give them treats every time they come to you. Pomskies are usually very treat motivated so will usually come for treats. I shake a bag of cookies if they aren’t listening and I can usually get most of them inside and then they always get a treat. Also, be sure to sometimes grab their collar and scratch their back or tummy, but then let them go so they don’t fear being grabbed by their collar. Only grab their collar every so often if they are already weary of you grabbing it. Save the grabbing and holding on to their collar for emergencies as much as possible.
Puppies don’t always like to be brushed or bathed – this is because their puppy coat is much less thick than adults and brushing might actually hurt them. If your puppy is protesting with brushing, try using a soft baby (human) hair brush to start. Bathing should only be done at a minimum with double coated dogs. A good rule of thumb is to bath them with each season (4 times a year). You can always use waterless coat conditioners to help with tangles and smell.
Some of our pups love to do the full on alligator death roll when they have a harness put on. This is a very common/normal reaction. Be sure to try out a lot of different types of harnesses. We’ve found that those that slip on more like a bra are better than the ones that go over their heads. Here’s how we’ve had the most success with teaching our pups to walk on a leash with a harness:
Step 1. Place treats in the harness for pups to eat/explore
Step 2. Place pup in harness while offering lots of treats.
Step 3. Allow pup to run, play, roll, scratch with harness on. Offer more treats.
Step 4. Attach harness while pups are distracted with treats.
Step 5. Use treats to coax puppy to walk. Offer treats after a good small walk. Repeat but start slow with 1-2 good walks only.
Step 6. Remove harness and place more treats on top of harness for pups to eat.
I use both the XS and SM harnesses for my dogs. I like that this one is a step in, clips on their back with padding (so we don’t get fur pinched) and is also breathable with mesh lining: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07FTSYQFW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
These are the style of harnesses we use to train our puppies at our farm for the first time. I like that they don’t have to go over their heads and have closures that are easy to fasten. We use both types, the top one is super easy to put on. Both can be found at PetSmart:
I also have this leash with an elastic area that really helps prevent close-lining your dogs when they suddenly run or bolt. Love that you can clip your dog into your car as well with this leash https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07GRL7CL3/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Other Professional Training Resources:
Fantastic training resource. You can download an electronic copy of the file, or order them from Amazon. Published by the Pomsky Owner’s Association https://pomskyownersassociation.com/pomsky-training-2/
Link for a wonderful positive video on how to crate train your puppy to sleep through the night. https://youtu.be/DrqZOQrBMjQ
Zak George has lots of great training videos if you can get past the 1-2 min of sponsor promotions he does. He has several husky type dogs too:
- Everything you Need to be Prepared for your New Puppy!
- Playlist: A Step by Step Guide to Teaching Your Puppy or Dog (in order)
- How to Teach your Puppy to Listen When they Won’t!
- How to Train your Puppy to Stop Biting
- Puppy Biting? Learn Bite Inhibition Training!
- How to Potty Train your Puppy EASILY! Everything you need to know!
- How to Train your NEW PUPPY to Walk on Leash!
- How to STOP “Food Aggression”/ Resource Guarding in Dogs- WITHOUT FORCE
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