What to do with Husky puppy at the barn?

I have a new Husky puppy, 11 weeks, who needs to come with my to the barn while I ride my two mares (one old, one new!). By pure fluke, I got my new 3-yo (very easy-peasy) and the puppy on the same day.

My spouse works from home and is unwilling to help with the new puppy/allow her to be home while I’m not (does not want to deal with accidents/whining/etc). The only way I can ride both horses is if puppy comes with me.

It’s already winter here in Canada, so crating in the tack room could be an option, but she will probably cry/whine if she’s out of sight from me. Due to Covid, it’s just one rider for their scheduled visiting time, so she would just be bothering the barn staff, not other riders. (But still!!)

I purchased an XL-sized doggy stroller that I was hoping I could bring with me to the barn, and have her play/pee/nap on and off while I’m riding and doing barn chores.

Has this type of setup worked for anyone? Is there another option I haven’t thought of? I don’t want to just plop her in a stall; she will drive the girls at the barn nuts. The BO has already okay’d her to come when I ride, but I cannot think of anything more annoying than listening to someone’s puppy yelp for 2 hours a day if I was stuck mucking stalls lol.

well, you do her a favor if you teach her that she can’t be underfoot 100% of the time. Get her a Kong for the crate, she should be ok and learn that you come back for her.
Just clear it with the staff!


I second the Kong suggestion. If you put it in the freezer after you stuff it, it will last longer. I usually stuff them with kibble mixed in with canned food. Make sure you leave some water for her as well. Also, make sure to have a good play with her just before so she is ready for some quiet time.


I third the crate.

One of my barnmates got a Dobe puppy this summer. Boris stayed in crate with a fan next to him in the tack room and survived. Given that he’ll top out around 125#, staying a crate by himself is a good thing. Sometimes he whined, but he got over it… He spent longer than two hours at the barn many days.


Crate ~ ensures safety for all while at the barn ~ there will be other times crate training will helpful throughout your new dog’s life ~ Congrats on your puppy ? Name ? Pic ?


Start leaving her alone in the crate for periods at home. Dont give her attention while she is whining.


Crate, for sure.

And, if he will be annoying - crate him in the car. Even in winter, the car should be warm enough for a husky puppy. Just get a good crate pad and even consider a crate cover.

The key to crating successfully is that the puppy needs to be tired when you put him in there. So schedule intense play before crating. Then feed, potty and crate.


Why does this dog need to come to the barn with you?! Teach this dog to crate, and leave it at home.

The barn is for horses, and people pay good money to board in most parts of the world to be able to enjoy their horses. Dogs at the barn are dangerous and disruptive, and barn staff are not paid enough to deal with other people’s animals.


Like so many have said, crate training is an important tool.

Until you have taught your new puppy to crate, why not go to the barn, ride one horse then go back home take the puppy out and deal with the puppy and then go back to the barn? Yes it sounds crazy but it makes more sense to annoy your family at home with the untrained puppy than it does the poor workers at the barn.


Thanks all for the suggestions. She sleeps in her crate at home comfortably. I have a portable (metal) playpen at home as well but it’s too big and awkward to move around.

My spouse is unable to manage her/puppy whining so leaving her at home is not an option until she grows up a bit more. I did consider keeping her with me during barn work, then crating her in my car (maybe 40 or so minutes while I ride). It will have to be heated if the cold dips too low.

I also contacted a local doggy daycare to see if they could keep her (in a small, individual run) for a few hours a day. She’s too little to be thrown into a general population.

I will have to try a few different things to get it right.


Am I the only one concerned that you got a new puppy that your spouse isn’t willing to help with?


At 11 weeks does she even have her full course of vaccinations? I wouldn’t be taking her anywhere…

Spouse sounds lovely.


I think doggy daycare is a great option! When we got an Australian Shepherd puppy a few years ago, she went to a kennel all day every weekday right away. They were very careful about putting her in only with small gentle dogs until she grew. She is the most well socialized dog I have ever had. This was a fairly small kennel where all dogs were up to date on vaccinations so we had our vet’s blessing to take her there before she was fully vaccinated.


I’d crate for a few more weeks before puppy daycare as she’ll need to be fully vaccinated first (including both kennel cough vaccines). My guy now goes to daycare on days I ride and works great.
I’m in a similar boat with my spouse. He is supportive but not a multitasker when working from home. I made it work with a crate in the tack room. I also ride at times it’s rare there are other boarders around. Congrats on the puppy!

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Spouse sounds like he has valid concerns, since he works from home. We don’t know the whole story.


I would want to wait until the puppy is fully vaccinated before setting foot into a puppy daycare, but I know some areas there is less risk of some diseases so this might not be a worry where you are.

Is it maybe an option to pay someone to watch the puppy while you ride? A teen or such?


Daycare won’t take him yet, and if they did I would definitely run the other way.

That said, I wouldn’t hesitate to take the dog lots of other places, just not give him free range to mingle with dogs unless you know their vaccination status. It’s totally acceptable (and important!) to allow puppies to play with vaccinated dogs.

I would get a good crate for the car, a fabric cover for the crate, and a well-fitting coat. There will be no need to heat the car if you can be in an unheated building for the same amount of time. Yes, you are moving around, but the puppy has fur. He will be fine for 2-3 hours.


Have her fully vaccinated before you take her anywhere. Give her ample playtime before you crate her and give her a nice bed/blanket, toy. Try putting her in the crate for short periods of time and get her out and praise her and take her for a walk. You can extend the time as she gets used to it and doesn’t feel abandoned. Just like training a young horse. Be sure she has had activity before she goes in the crate and feels safe wherever she is and is certain you’ll be back for her. Putting her in a crate for an extended length of time to start with is the WRONG way to do it!! Increments of time and stretch them out as she tells you she has adapted. Once vaccinated, maybe a doggie day care.


Also on the skeptical spouse train but your marriage not mine.

I’d work on crating skills and crate in a tackroom with a lick mat and kong. A husky may try to eat a lick mat so I’d prove that out under close supervision and remove it before hopping on a horse as a precaution. There are some great kong ideas that can keep a dog entertained for a good while.

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That’s very young to be outside in the cold. Is the tack room heated?

My puppies all could spend a bit of time in the barn, but definitely not enough for a ride or two in the winter. Not until they were probably 6 months old. Even then, I have loads of beds and blankets to tuck them into and they are trained. A puppy can get into a lot of things, IE chew leather. Especially unattended in a tack room. Barns are also dangerous and its not uncommon for puppies to get stepped on and require expensive surgery because someone wasn’t watching.

I always had my puppies in a designated area or on a leash until they were old enough to understand, it’s very dangerous in a barn for a young puppy. You can’t watch the puppy and your horse at the same time.

I don’t think this arrangement is in the best interest of the puppy to be honest.