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! Out of Control Teething (?)

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I got my pup about 2 weeks ago,she's about 2.5 months now. I love her to death and so does my whole family, but we are all first time dog owners and are finding her to be quite a handful particularly with her teething. She's biting everyone and I'm not sure if it's the phase of her teeth coming out or she's asserting herself as the authority figure by nipping at everyone and vocally complaining when we ignore her bad behavior. It's gotten to the point where we have several (rather cat-like) scratch marks on our arms. I've tried distracting her with toys, but she prefers skin. I also tried holding her mouth closed, looking into her eyes and saying "no" in a low growl tone . I've also tried grabbing her by her scruff and saying "no" , and yelping really loud, and also ignoring her (during which point she proceeds to follow me and nip whilst barking). I do these consistently and she seems to only be getting more rambunctious. I need advice from all you experienced husky owners! I've researched the breed and have several puppy books but nothing beats the advice straight of dog owners themselves.

PS: please refrain from commenting on the fact that I got a husky as my first dog. You should know how attractive the breed is yourselves (and no, I don't just mean physically!!!!) without me having to explain myself. I do love a good challenge and I'm open to learning how to commandeer a husky and have her as a lifelong companion! :):lovebone:

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Firstly, no one here would blame you for chosing a husky as your first dog. A lot of people here have done exactly the same thing - Kiska is my first dog and although she's a cross she's still half husky ;)

The biting won't be because of teething - they only start losing their puppy teeth from about 4 months. You say you've been 'consistent' yet you can only have had her for a couple of weeks and you've rattled off quite a list of different things you've tried. Pick the most effective method and stick with it, don't be tempted to throw something else into the mix or she won't know how you're going to react to her and you'll be turning it into a game - if one of your reactions is inadvertantly rewarding for her (for example walking away, because she gets to chase you) all you've done is created a variable schedual of reinforcement which actually strengthens a behaviour rather than extinguishing it. It's like gambling; you get plenty of failure before you finally hit the jackpot, and it's that elusive jackpot that keeps you playing.

I would suggest, because nothing you've tried so far has worked, that you go a step further on from simply ignoring her and instead shut her out of the room away from any attention (or in a crate if you have one, but if you're crate training this might not be so great because you don't want her to develop a negative association with being in there) for a few moments before letting her back in. Any undesirable behaviour when she comes back in and she goes straight back out. It will take some strong consistency but she'll definately be able to make the connection between biting and being shut away fairly easily from that. You just need to make sure it doesn't interfere with other training, such as the crate as I mentioned before, but also toilet training so make sure she's not alone too long. Good luck!

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That sounds like sound advice. And I guess you're right about me not being consistent, I thought after a couple of weeks she'd catch on to what I need from her...but she's still too young.

I have been consistently varied is more like it. :P

I'm gonna follow your instructions, thanks!

Can't wait until she's old enough so I can enjoy long jogs with her... (I'm an avid runner :))

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It sounds like your in the same boat im in. i also have not been consistant and i have mixed up my approaches. i am signing her up for obediance classes this weekend, i hope that the trainers also have good advise and can get my Riley to stop. Does ur pup allow you to pet her when she is riled up or does she just nip at you?

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stay consistant and be patient = best advice i can give lol - steph pretty much covered it all :)

Hey BingBlaze&skyla did ur huskys bite this much and not let u pet them when they were riled? (my arms look like im a cutter lol) How old were they when you got them?

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Hey BingBlaze&skyla did ur huskys bite this much and not let u pet them when they were riled? (my arms look like im a cutter lol) How old were they when you got them?

blaze was 7 weeks n 3 days n learnt pretty quick that a firm NO meant not to bite

skyla was 14 weeks old when we got her so was abit harder to train as we are her 2nd home after her breeder - n still mouths me occasionally (like when i get home frm work - she only does it with me tho so i think shes just glad im home) a nice firm AHAH noise worked with her

also when the dogs licked me i would give the command 'give kisses' so when they went to bite i would go NO or AHAH (no for blaze ahah for skyla) and then say give kisses to turn the bites into licks - when they licked instead they got lots of praise :)

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Teeko is our first dog...and a husky...and we also expected to be frowned upon for making this decision but, and it sounds like you are on the same lines, we just found that it made us that bit more determined to do a good job when training him.

We had big big problems with mouthing as teeko left his litter at only 5 and a half weeks old (inevitable...but still sad) and he hadn't learnt bite inhibition. This is something we are now constantly aware of and the tools that we chose to use than are still very effective and used regularly now (he is a year now).

We found that a combination of yelping and ignoring worked best. But with ignoring I will cross my arms across my chest, stand up and stick my chin in the air (i call it the stroppy teen stance!). He soon found me boring when I stood like this and he picked up quickly that this was the end of the game.

When he began to respond almost instantly to this approach we added the word 'finished'. As a result, no matter how hyper he gets now we can say the word 'finished' and he stops immediately.

Another approach that we have adopted and still use that will more than likely meet disapproval is to 'pin' him down. I say 'pin' as I can't think of a better way to explain it. We would hold him until he became calm (a big sigh was usually the hint) and then we'd play again. It is something that became part of play. Rough and tumble type play. Almost a wrestling fashion of who can pin who! It became fun so he never sees it as aggression. Now if he becomes somewhat over zealous I can (literally) touch his scruff, push down very gently and say 'down' and he will stop, lie down and sigh. I wouldn't say its on par with the 'alpha roll' as it is not as aggressive or even as domineering as it sounds and as it is alwagys part of play he responds well to it (the fact that it is also linked with and followed by cuddles probably helps!) I can't explain this any better.

Good luck and don't give up! If you ever feel like you're really going to blow....walk away. Take yourself out of the room and out of the equation until you feel calm again.

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I got my pup about 2 weeks ago,she's about 2.5 months now. I love her to death and so does my whole family, but we are all first time dog owners and are finding her to be quite a handful particularly with her teething. She's biting everyone and I'm not sure if it's the phase of her teeth coming out or she's asserting herself as the authority figure by nipping at everyone and vocally complaining when we ignore her bad behavior. It's gotten to the point where we have several (rather cat-like) scratch marks on our arms. I've tried distracting her with toys, but she prefers skin. I also tried holding her mouth closed, looking into her eyes and saying "no" in a low growl tone . I've also tried grabbing her by her scruff and saying "no" , and yelping really loud, and also ignoring her (during which point she proceeds to follow me and nip whilst barking). I do these consistently and she seems to only be getting more rambunctious. I need advice from all you experienced husky owners! I've researched the breed and have several puppy books but nothing beats the advice straight of dog owners themselves.

PS: please refrain from commenting on the fact that I got a husky as my first dog. You should know how attractive the breed is yourselves (and no, I don't just mean physically!!!!) without me having to explain myself. I do love a good challenge and I'm open to learning how to commandeer a husky and have her as a lifelong companion! :):lovebone:

The husky thing like the vocal complaining huskies are very vocal! and keep in mind they are cheeky so they most likley wont listen ALL the time. Marius did the same thing as a puppy and I did the yelp and a firm " no biting" and ignore thing if that did not work he would get a time out. He would get tied to a chair or something in view of everybody else but he had to sit there until he calmed down. We also did an exercise with him so that he knew yelping ment let go (usually other dogs would teach them this) i would play tug with him with his favorite toy and in the middle of play I would yelp and he would let go if he did not let go i stopped all play and turned my back on him and went and did something else. I would come back later and do the same thing. I would like to refrain from commenting on a husky being your first dog but even experianced dog owners have problems with them YES they are beautiful but they are a VERY different kind of dog you should not get a dog just because it looks pretty :P. If you did research on the breed before you got it you would already know this. I hope you did! But dont fret everyone is here to help you :D I hope that the suggestions I made help and Welcome I think you will do a good job if you love the challange :D

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Consistency is the key, no matter which method you chose. Of course, you have to determine which method it is that your husky is responding to.

Here's a link to a real good thread about bite inhabition...

http://www.husky-owners.com/forum/threads/bite-inhabition-the-most-important-thing-you-can-teach-your-dog.8234/

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