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Training your Husky According to your rules.

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Hi Boer - not Erika but I can try and help :)

Thank you Bec. Even though the question was directed at Erika, anyone who offers some advice is much appreciated. I will try to start training Polar's recall in different stages to increase the distraction.

Thanks again! Happy New Year!

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Some Examples Of Healthy Integration/Response for rescue dogs.

While it is always a good idea to first see how a rescue may do with your current pets, It may also benefit you and

your other family members to know what to look for to know that the newcomer is going to settle in and become a

Happy Family member.

Some rescue dogs are going to have very cautious behavior and resist our attempts to make them comfortable while

others may have little or no problem at all. Some professionals believe this has mostly to do with age and environment

and for the most part I do agree, although as far as I can tell a dog can become difficult to integrate into a family at any

age depending upon the time they have already spent in shelters, rescues, or unsociable/bad home environments. I

also (after my experience with Solo) would say that a dramatic change in home environment can cause a serious problem.

Solo came from a farm/ranch environment and as far as i could tell he was not taught manners for inside the home probably

because he spent very little time inside the home, and most likely only at night after a full day. My feeling about Solo is that

he likely spent most of his time outside and was working. I feel that he was likely very adapted to a one dog one person

relationship, and had no reason to actively compete, but in my home despite my attempts to help him feel comfortable,

his desire was to be closest to me. When I was younger I used to read alot about leadership among animals, and I once

read that it can be normal for a member of a pack to compete to be close with the leader, sometimes competeing so much

as to cause others above him to attack him. It is not entirely uncommon in wolf packs that a lower member of the pack will

fight and compete with other members until he has either been killed or has fought his way into a higher role within the

pack. In some cases a dog who does this will be booted from the pack by its leader. I believe that the aggressive behavior

that Solo continued to show toward chewy had to do with the fact that he wanted to be recognized before chewy all the

time and because I was unwilling to acknowlege him first he was trying to fight to get that acknowlegment.

Achilles, on the other hand, seems to have come from a companion dog home. He has shown very little discomfort toward

the routines and structure of life inside my home. While it is obvious that he doesnt know some basic obedience, he does

seem to understand appropriate social behavior with other pets and children, and has responded very quickly. He has no

issue with being this packs lowest member and I actually think he prefers it. We had a bit of a time getting him to respond

to human pack members the first day, but after being shown that he would have to wait and earn food and wait to be

invited inside a few times, he started to pay quite a bit more attention to what was going on around him and now naturally

follows suit. Sometimes he waits for the command and other times he just watches chewy and does whatever he sees chewy

doing, ie, sitting for meals, going into the crate at night or leaving a room.

here are a few positive signs to watch for when you bring home a rescue to a full home and

you want to know if they are doing well or not (im sure that someone has a longer list, lol):

(1) they follow the stream of activity...following family members around the home with interest.

I call this gravitational pull, lol, next time your best friend is over...get up and walk into another

room...9 times out of 10 you will notice they get up at some point and follow.

(2) eye contact when being spoken to, ie, you say name they look at you.

(3) they begin to take cues from your other dog, ie, you take out treat bag your other dog sits

down and watches you, and then the newbie does the same without being given a command.

(4) they respond to body lanuage, ie, your hand goes up and their heads go up and their butts

go down, you stand up quickly and with a purpose they back off and watch you...

(5) they start with you but then begin to show interest and affection to each family member, by

coming and sitting close to you and licking arms or hands when there is no food, coming up

and touching with paws or nose to ask for something such as asking to go outside, etc.

(6) when the house is quiet the start to lay down and rest naturally.

(7) my personal favorite with huskies...they will begin to display worry or upset when a child in the

house cries and go sit or lay by them because they want to comfort them.

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Great thread. This will be very beneficial for when our pups get here and need to start being trained. Our pups will be 9 and 10 week and we hope to get them trained and figure out a good exercise regiment to supplement their obedience training.

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Great thread. This will be very beneficial for when our pups get here and need to start being trained. Our pups will be 9 and 10 week and we hope to get them trained and figure out a good exercise regiment to supplement their obedience training.

Hi Blackshears

Congrats on your pups!

Just keep in mind that for the first six months exercise won't be a big focus as there won't be much you can do with them whilst they are still growing. The general rule is no more than five minutes per month of age each day - so at three months, you wouldn't do anymore than 15 minutes of structured exercise each day :)

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Bec,

Thanks for that information. Our breeder was telling us today while we were visiting the pups that we wouldn't want to do anything like that until 6 months. Your break down makes a lot of sense and we will abide by that

Thanks

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If you have recently brought home your cute little husky (congrats) or if you are about to...here is the best rule that the new owner should follow! LOL

POTTY TRAINING MUST COME FIRST. As cute as it is to teach them to sit, lay down, shake, or play fetch- these things can all be taught in conjunction with potty training- in between trips outside to potty and you should not be pausing to teach them to sit before teaching them where they are allowed to pee and poo.

Before you let the puppy explore your home (after a ride in the car to get home) you should always take them directly to the place where you always be taking them to go potty...NO EXCEPTIONS! If you dont want their first accident to happen in the house within 5 to 10 minutes- keep their leash on and take them out back to relieve themselves. Take them to a specific spot in the yard, and dont just let them roam around.

The key to success here is that the spot you take them to, is the same spot they will be using every single time they go outside....and this lets them know that there is ONLY one place where they are allowed to potty. In the begining, allowing them to roam and potty all over the yard can set the idea that they can "go" whenever and where-ever they want, so you should set a pattern so they get used to how things work...and quickly.

The rule of thumb for how often the pup should go out to potty is this...they should at least go out once every 2 hours. However, it is a very good idea to take the puppy out within 20 minutes of eating, playing actively, and within 20 minutes of waking up from a nap. This is key to early success with potty training.

If you have trouble getting your puppy to go potty...then feel free to tell them to "go potty." this often does help them know that you are expecting them to do something. even if you never give the command be sure to praise them for going potty outside when they go. If you decide to use treats to praise you MUST give the treat BEFORE they come back in the house.

For the first 2 to 4 wekks your puppy should not go out to his spot to potty without a leash on, you should always be leading them during this time so that they know to pay attention to you and so that they always go to their spot to eliminate.

If you are not prepared to clean up steamies or puddles in the morining when you have just woken up then you may want to crate train your puppy to stay in a crate at night. In the first 2 to 4 weeks the puppy should still be taken out at night to potty at least 3 times so set a few timers. If your pup is up at all hours howling, whining, crying, yipping and barking...then when they do it they should go outside then be placed back in the crate....and to help keep them calm I reccommend putting a blanket or sheet over their crate as this often has an immediate calming effect. Once your puppy stops waking you up at night, then you can test them to see if they will hold it all night...if they do hold it all night...feel free to stop getting up at night.

Once your puppy is consistently going potty in their spot everytime you take them out, and gladly following you outside on the lead, then you may chose to test your puppy by taking him outside to potty without his leash. with this you go stand by his spot and see if he follows you. If he does go to his spot without any trouble, then you may continue taking him out this way- making sure to stand by his spot every time for about another week. Once your pup has consistently had no accidents for 3 to 4 weeks then you can stop going out to stand near his spot, because he has already shown you that he KNOWS where to go.

The other good thing about this training is that you will begin showing your puppy the ropes because he is on his leash...and never unsupervised in the home. The only time that someone will not be at the other end of his leash is when he is napping in his crate, so he will learn to walk around nicely on his leash, follow you and pay attention to you.

Yes, doing it this way can be alot of work but if you do they are often potty trained in weeks instead of months. When you have to leave or need a break he can be placced in his crate for rest or even for food

(although feeding a husky inside the crate can get really messy). Just be sure not to leave your husky in their crate for longer than 2 hours without getting them out to go potty...this is bad for the potty training and bad for them emotionally.

Potty training (or lack there of) is the #1 reason why pups are not kept by their origional owners and end up being shuffled from home to home in their first year or two. If you do not begin potty training the day you come home (and try to keep putting it off) you will have a harder time the longer you wait...so dont wait...start showing your puppy that you care about them when they first get home.

this is excellent and although i have been letting my two roam around the yard, i think i will be able to reinforce your advice, as i can start this straight away. I have had them for 3 full days so I don't think it will be too late to turn this around. Will keep u posted.

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This is brilliant!!! it's is early days for me, I have 2 boys Tikaani & Shesh, I have had them for 3 days now and yes it is indeed very hard work, but i think i have made it harder for myself really as not always having all the correct information means i can't get it right, and this will enable me to do that. So thank you very very much.

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Im glad to hear you are doing well with your new pups. Im happy that this advice is helping.

You are very welcome, and update us here in a few weeks :)

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Hows it going with training, is anyone still reading this? lol

If anyone needs me to clarify or add creative training stuff, just let me know :)

how about training on how to take treats "gently" :)

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Ok sorry I sometimes forget to look at my own thread, lol. Ive been very busy trying to stop Tanks bad habits, and with trying to ensure that Chewy doesnt pick up Tank's bad habits.

Since one of Tanks bad habits is quickly a roughly snatching treats from my hands, because he is so excited, I will be happy to cover that. Thanks for this idea Sarah.

Ok so, husky, malamute, GSDs, all have big mouths and lots of (hopefully healthy) sharp teeth. It can be painful to feel those sharp teeth, even for a second, and even if they do not penetrate the skin of fingers, toes or other body parts.

As Merlin says in another thread it isnt about teaching you dog to just not use their teeth, but to teach them that if they do they have to watch that chomping refelex, because they will hurt you if they dont.

First, if you go to give a treat or toy and they chomp and try to snatch it from you, then do not give it to them. Bring your arm and hand back up close to your chest, and be calm. when

you go to give the treat again use your index, middle and thumb to hold the treat, and as you lower it to their mouth, say "gentle" in a calm, soothing voice. If this ends up working just fine then practice doing it this way each and every time you give a treat. A dog who wants to get the treat will either gently take the treat with his teeth or he will find a way to use his tongue to take it from you. Chewy is a dog who uses his tongue to take treats if the treat is very small, and very gently with his teeth if it is a large treat or bone. When your pup or dog begins to watch your face and hands as he takes a treat, this means you have taught him to be gentle and mindful.

When that doesnt work, then you should not only take back thew treat away, but this time you will have the treat in the middle of your loosely closed hand, just inside the circle that your index and thumb make. They may try to nibble you a little but then usually they will start to lick at your hand. If this happens then you have your dogs attention, and he is being gentle and if he is sitting licking your hand, then he is also learning to be patient, so the you would open your hand so that it is flat with the treat in the middle and allow them to lick

the treat from your hand. Pratice this several times, and then graduate up to using the 3 finger method, and when they allow you to place the treat in their mouth, and wait patiently without chomping then you have taught them to use their teeth gently, and so long as you never allow the snatching behavior again, then you shouldnt have any more problems.

If you get a rescue dog or rehome who is really really bad about mouthing, biting and chomping on you to get treats, you may want to try feeding them their treats from a metal spoon. Most dogs hate the taste of metal, and the sensation they get from chomping a spoon, so they

will learn quickly to take a treat from a spoon gently with their teeth or they will use their tongue to lick the treat from the spoon. Remember that when you are using a spoon it is an extension to your arm and should be used exactly the same way you would use your hand. Most trainers say that using a spoon is a very quick cure to the biting reflex and so it only takes a few times of using the spoon to get them to be gentle. Once the dog takes the treat gently with their teeth or tongue about 20 times over 3 or 4 days, stop using the spoon and graduate to using your closed hand and then opening your hand to let them get the treat. After this works for a few days then graduate to the 3 finger method and see if they will let you place the treat in their mouth instead of them getting grabby.

Most puppies can be taught to be gentle very quickly, and you shouldnt start with a spoon for a young puppy. If you are going to allow children to give treats to a puppy, you will have to teach your children the closed hand method and you should first teach the puppy to use only their tongue to get treats.

A young adult or full adult dog, may not require a spoon either, and some may learn to be gentle very quickly. Others will be more difficult and you should be prepared to do whatever works for your dog and for you. If you have a snippy, chompy older dog then do not allow a child to feed them treats until you have gotten them to control their behavior and their mouth.

now some dogs just dont have a mean bone in their body and just get so excited that you will have to not only teach them to be gentle, but also to be calm and patient, because if they do as they are asked then they will get the treat.

Example: Tank is 16 months of age, and has a big healthy mouthful of very sharp teeth. This guy is literally just a big baby, nothing mean about him whatsoever. He is easily excited and is in the process of learning to not be alerted and excited constantly. He got very used to being HUNGRY, and so food and treats excite him most of all. He still thinks he must gobble everything down in a hurry and so his mouth and biting reflex are not under control. He obviously never means to hurt me, but has caught my fingers a few times. I have also had to slow myself down because with Chewy treat giving is easy and very gentle so its usually quick. He is learning that relaxing and paying attention to my hands will get the treats without me fussing or closing my hand.

If you are very consistent about using "gentle" as a command and about not giving treats when they are too eager or exited then you will be able to stop them from trying to take your fingers when they take other things from your hand. It also helps to never give treats if they are standing and/or bouncing around, and to make sure they are still doing a sit or lay down, stay command when you give the treat.

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wow that's great advice Erika as always! :up: added to rep :)

Love the idea of using a spoon very original!

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No - thank YOU :D Will be trying the spoon idea out tomorrow! :)

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Hi there. Since this last week has given me some new insight into further training I thought now that I am calm again,

I would share some more advice with husky (and other dog) owners.

As you all know I used to have a GSD living with me, and I had to do alot of training, exercise and work with him after

the abuse and neglect he had experienced. This last week I was forced to rehome him, and Im not pleased to report

that I have no idea where he is right now. The new (and I thought very good) owners I chose for him, were not good

at all and within three days of getting him, they sold him off again.

The excuse they gave for rehoming him was ridiculous. They said in their ad "my daughter doesnt like him, and is afraid

of him, so we have to rehome him." I called some 12 times trying to reach them once I saw the ad, and they never did

answer or get back to me.

Anyhow, their excuse, is just an excuse to me, because my son is the same age as their daaughter and I have a younger

daughter as well. Tank was never bad with my kids, aggressive, mean, or anything else. He was quite gentle with my

kids, so to me thats a cop out.

My advice this time is that if you get an older puppy and they are wild and unruly, the first thing you should do is set the rules.

You have to teach them how you want them to behave around you, children and other animals or dogs. If you just set them

loose to bounce around the house unsupervised, you will likely have issues with jumping, nipping, and stealing, etc. They may

do perfectly fine with adults, but not know how to play with or socialize with your kids, and your kids may not know how to

play and socialize with the dog or puppy. If you dont teach the puppy or dog, and if you dont teach the children, then you will

continue to have problems. Leaving a big puppy unsupervised to run around, can become dangerous if you allow it. you should

never get a puppy or dog without considering that you will have to do the work and training to ensure that the dog and the

children will do well together, it just doesnt happen magically.

Its really not hard to teach a dog and a child to play and socialize together properly so they wont be scary or scared. If the pup

or child reacts in an unexpected way they are probably just excited and confused. It is also possible that the child could be

accidentally provoking the puppy to do things that scare them and things that cause the pup to be overly excited and confused.

The common link between children and puppies and dogs is that they all learn best by play, because you can incorporate alot of

things into the training and play and have it still be positive and fun.

When you bring the puppy home try exercises with the child and dog. Playing with rope toys and a tennis ball and talking to your

child and showing them what to do and what not to do with the pup, is easy and it helps alot as the pup gets bigger.

When training your puppy or dog the best way is to teach them what to do when they are in a situation that you want them to know

what to do.

In this case you want your pup or dog to know how to respond to, greet, and play with your child. Try having the child show the puppy

or dog a toy after having the dog sit down. then have the child roll the ball across the floor or toss the toy. Tell the child not to try and push the pup, run, or make loud noises, this way the pup or dog will not be as excited and will be more likely to relax and play nicely. If you want the pup or dog to put the ball down on the floor in front of your child you can always tell them to "drop it" "leave it" and then to sit again. If the puppy or child becomes uninterested during the play session, thats ok dont force it. Call the pup to you, and let everyone calm down.

Exercises like this show your dog and child how to act around each other and with a little practice they become very easy to control, and they start to automatically do what they have been taught to do.

The point is that you cannot expect a puppy or dog to know exactly how you want them to behave, the very second they come into your

home. If they do something that you really dont want them to do, then teach them what you DO want them to do in that situation. Dont

Blame the dog or child because you didnt think about training the dog or puppy and just allowed the dog to do what they wanted, and

dont blame the child for not knowing how to react to the dog or puppy.

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excellent post again erika added to rep xx

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Hi Erika!

my sibe always nip her leash! she already had 5 leashes and its all broken.

what should i do with her? is it ok to use chain as her leash?

tnx for ur help!

by the way, i find ur post very interesting and would be a very good help for everyone! nice! ^_^

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Thanks for taking the time to write all this info in one place, very good informative thread and with only 2 days before our first husky is ready to come home, i'm sure i'll be refering to it alot over the coming weeks/months.

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Hi Erika!

my sibe always nip her leash! she already had 5 leashes and its all broken.

what should i do with her? is it ok to use chain as her leash?

tnx for ur help!

by the way, i find ur post very interesting and would be a very good help for everyone! nice! ^_^

Hi, I see this was posted a while back but I thought I post this anyway since maybe others have the same question. :)

Zihna is 3 1/2 month now and every time I put the leash on her she would start biting it! So this is what worked for me. She LOVES going for walks. So when she see's the leash she already comes and sits down for me to put it on her. However, as soon as its on she will bite it.

In order to get your puppy to sit still to put on the leash it is helpful to teach them the sit command first. Which should not be too hard. Attempt to put the leash on your puppy when in sit position. As soon as the puppy moves to run around in circles or jumps up on you. Straighten up turn your back and cross your arms. Wait for the pup to calm down ignoring it completely....now depending on your pup this may take a few....:lol: Zihna was not so bad but I do have an older dog and she kind of did what he did so it was easy with her. When the puppy is calm try it again and again if the pup does not stay still, immediately stop and ignore any unwanted behavior. It takes a bit if patience but it does work.

Ok on to the leash nipping.

Each time I put the leash on her and she started biting I said: "NO" and took the leash back off. Then I waited about 15-30 seconds, put her leash back on and praised her for being such a patient girl and not running in circles when putting the leash on, but again as soon as she put it in her mouth I said "NO" and took it off. Did it again and again...I think it took about 6 times and she got a hang of it and did not bite the leash anymore and we walked to the door.

I also want to add about my experience with sitting by the door waiting to go out. This is how I did it. I made her sit by the door, open the door slowly, if she gets up before I want her to I close the door again. The first few times she would jump at the door when it was closing...Kind of like: NOOOOOOOOO I want to go out there!!!!! :lol:

But after about 3 times she stayed sitting a bit longer and longer each time the door opened. After closing the door in front of her face about 10 times she got the hang of it and realized that the door would close if she got up and she stayed nicely until I told her to walk out. No treats necessary for this exercise. Their reward is going for a walk and most huskies or any dog will love that more than any treat!

Remember, just because your puppy did it right on Monday after practicing it does not mean that the puppy will remember what to do on Tuesday. So just repeat the process anytime you puppy is being a clown again when getting ready to go for a walk. And this will also work with older dogs. Give it a try. :)

Hope this helped :)

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Hello, myself and partner have had our husky boy for over a week now (hes 9 weeks) and one thing that is becoming a problem is biting. Now i know it hasnt been long enough to know if the methods outlined are having an effect but after trying them he doesnt seem bothered. Holding his mouth shut and saying no makes him do it straight away afterwards, whimpering loudly and then ignoring him makes him either go and bite his toy which is great or he will play with my partner and try biting her, plus after 10 minutes if i go to stroke him he does it again! He also got introduced to a year old golden lab the other day whose very tolerant but even with her he was hanging off her coat and biting her ears, even after she yelped he still continued to try. We are starting puppy classes Monday so hopefully this will help with the socialisation side of things but is there any other ideas you have that might help? You say they dont like to bite metal, maybe wrapping our hads in tin foil for a while might put him off??

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks

Dan

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hey Dan - not heard of tinfoil before but hey - might work!

It will take longer than a week but your doing everything right - just keep at it - consistency is key :)

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Dan were having the same problem as you just keep at it he's starting to get the message (sometimes) sometimes he starts barking at me for a few minutes then he lays down as if he's given in and I've won but he doesn't always do this we do all the same as you sometimes he calms down sometimes he keeps going for me when he carries on I then stand up and ignore him and he wines then because I've stopped playing eventually he gets the message it just takes time so just carry on with what your doing and you'll get there! Their teeth are just so sharp at this age lol

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