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Devynthecatwithsocks

Need Training Advice!

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Hi we rescued a 10 month old Siberian husky back in September. She is about a year old now and has quite a bit of issues. Now a lil background from her. She was found as a stray and was taken to a shelter and was there for 2 months. She ended up on the euth list due to kennel stress and tapeworm. She was rescued by another shelter, was there for a lil bit and then adopted out. This new family had a senior border collie, who, they had hoped, would lighten up a bit with a puppy in the house. This did not work. The border collie hated her and she spent the next couple weeks outside...in a kennel....tethered. So she hates crates now. We tried to crate train her and show crates as a positive environment by doing a number of things with the kennel throughout the day (of course encouraging her with food). However, nothing worked. Crate training for us is only used when we leave the house. The first time we put the crate inside and she broke out with ease. We actually put her back in later that day to see how she got out and she just used her paws to open the crate. So we put it outside and surprise surprise same results. Next we ziptied it shut.....she broke the zip ties. Next we decided to place a kong wobbler in there to distract her and success! Now yes she was sitting in a corner, in her own pee and poo but it worked.....the first time. Next couple times it failed badly. The last time we crate her I came home cuz I forgot something and I could here her whining in her crate. Next thing I heard was a blood curdling scream and silence.... Apparently she bent the metal crate and crawled out, hurting her back. Nothing to bad or vet worthy but you could tell she was hurt. So next we decided to keep her outside with a 6ft long tether.....she broke it. Then we thought lets just let her outside by herself. Well she broke the window and got inside the house. Now if we leave her outside unattended (off leash) she jumps the wall....we have a 6ft wall.  Now here is what happens when we leave her inside by herself. First Im going to mention the pee and poop EVERYWHERE. Even if she just went both somehow there is still enough to go everywhere in the house. Next she goes through the trash and eats God knows what and we come home to trash everywhere. She also jumps on all the counters and breaks dishes and eats anything she can find. One time we had just bought a new pack of toilet paper and she pulled it off the counter and broke open the package and ran around the house tearing the toilet paper everywhere. The last and final time we left her at home alone was when she ate 50$ in cash she had found on the table. During all of this our other dog just sits and watch or barks at her. I want to say this is a mix between separation anxiety and pure utter boredom. We know she has separation anxiety cuz when I leave the room and she cant follow she looses it. Door closed....she opens it. She follows me around the house and she has a no closed door policy. Next is her counter surfing. This is more like food obsession than anything else. If there is food in the room she cannot focus on anything else, which is usually a good thing, but not her. We actually have hidden kibble in the room and she will dedicate the next (how ever long it takes her) to find that food. If you were to place an entire 30lbs bag of dog food in front of her she will eat it in 5 minutes (I am serious). Her normal serving she will eat in 10 seconds or less depending the day so now she eats from the kong wobbler. She also sidewalk surfs which is starting to get better. Anytime we go out for a walk her nose is to the ground sniffing for food. She will eat napkins. rewards cards, paper paper plates, glass bottles, sticks, dirt, plants, and even lemons and rocks.....All of which Ive had to pull out of her throat. I taught her 'leave it' which has helped with the sidewalk surfing, but that is it. As for the counter surfing/trash digger, it has not even put a dent in the issue. You cannot leave her alone when food is out. We have a 'no dogs in the kitchen' rule....she doesn't care. Her counter surfing is soooooo bad that I could be preparing food on the island and she jumps of and trys to grab what I have...(and she is the most behaved when I am around). We cant even eat dinner without her on leash now. And with the trash, she somehow nudges it open with her nose and does a head first dive in and grabs whatever she can and takes off. 

Unfortunately, we cant afford a trainer right now cuz our other one was in a car accident and needed a 5,000$ surgery. Any tips or training advice will help so much! 

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First .. bless you for continue giving her a chance.  She is still young.  //  Crate training:  start from scratch, however teaching in games, changes the dynamics she is & has been facing.  You need to build & create trust - and it has to be two way.  Here's how I did all mine..

Crate Training - How & Why This is not cruel, but important for the safety of your dog, and folk who are dog shy, & esp for young children/not dog aware! Giving your dog a space of their own also gives them security. ● Ensure the crate is roomy enough: tall enough & long enough, to stand and stretch out fully lying down. If they're to spend time in here, then they need room to stretch too. Set crate covered over the top ⅓. Put in bedding, toys. Door open. Throw in a treat. Only when they go in & pick up to eat it, close door quietly. Let them finish, and then praise 'Good dog- into bed!' Let them out again with a pat. Leave a while, then repeat. Leave in 15 seconds longer while you praise them again, & reward inside before you release. Do this on & off through the day, leaving in longer, whilst you do your stuff, within sight. Leave the door open in between. Encourage them to go into 'Down' to lie down & settle in there. Always praise, reward & fuss. Eventually (after at least 30 repetitions), ask them 'Go to bed' and encourage with a treat from inside the crate. Huge praises & encouragement when they do, and close the door. And reward. If they don't, ask again, & point. This breed is a fast learner, however, remember they will always think over your 'commands' or requests so don't expect instant obedience. Bribery certainly works. Remain quiet, firmly staying and waiting until they give up & obey, because as you ignore all other options they might try with you, you.prove.to.be.the.more stubborn. Do stick to small low/no sugared treats, and reduce main feed if they've had a lot of treats! The more repetitions & successfull outcomes will create a muscle-memory response, (ie, auto reflex) so keep doing it! 🤗 Successdogs show how as well 🤗 //  Next - Bonding - both can do this taking alternate days - just one hour a day... this creates focus on you...

"Watch Me"

You need time so if at home and a weekend is near you can take turns to do this.

But do look at Successdogs - getting the basics in on HOW to train with positive reward is really important. No shouting, sitting voice, add hand signals too (simple visual ones to match the one word commands & both of you to use the same). I started with hand motion first with word said after... 

When you get them to LOOK at your eyes, you can use these too - eg, eyes off them to floor = down. Eyes to side = away, or, to your side for heel. They learn fast, but be clear & simple for each command.   

If they don't get it, start from basics again, Sit, Down, Wait! Stay, Bed, Fetch, etc but get their eyes on to yours.

I love the 'watch me' one : -

Watch me

Closed room no distractions, one on one.. no words..hand signal/s only (eg 'Stop signal, finger point to floor for 'Down!')

You on a chair. Dog in 'Down' in front of you about 1½ meter/4ft.

You place a treat by your foot (& able to move foot to cover it).

Dog looks at treat.. or starts to move = foot covers it, you say NOTHING but hand sign Stop, & Down.

Uncover treat.

Repeat until your dog stops looking at treat but suddenly up to you - eyeball to ball - the 'YES! Watch me!' (Two finger move up to your eyes) and give the treat.

Repeat until they look straight at you ignoring treat on floor. 

Be enthusiastic in praise & reward within three seconds. It take 30 repetitions to start getting a new command 'IN' to their reflex memory.. but renewals must be done. Then you can start skipping giving treats through training sessions & reward with a pat -> verbal praise 'GOOD BOY/GIRL/DOG' /s if more than one, 

● BUT, train individually always or you'll get 'copycats' & following a wrong response/habit is harder to break.  

Good luck - let me know how you progress.  

I have loads of tips..

A good dog = a diligent owner. So rewarding!!  //  Next : SA -

SA, Separation Anxiety, Chewing, stress.. whimpering.. going nuts when out/in car... at home ..( this helps all dogs).

Just in case you think your furkid has this or will - it depends on you as the trainer.

Filled Kongs; toys. These ARE safe to leave, (& provided too big to choke on). No rip-up materials.

Good idea too for only one favourite when you're going out.

Radio on.

A 24/7 safe secured outside access is also ideal.  Look at coyote fencing ... 

And maybe a companion if possible!

Close off ALL rooms not in use for damage control.

Mine have access from inner hall, through kitchen (all food out of sight) via 24/7 access to outside - 2 x 2L bowls of water outside in a high stand. Replenished/cleaned daily. 

● New dogs...

If two of you, plan & book staggered time/periods off / at home, in the first week or two to share being with them, popping out briefly, so they get used to you out of sight. Crate training can cover SA too, with outside travel.

A weekend at home & then leaving them (& you are back to work), is NOT enough time for adjustment, settling in. 

Young pups have enough upset/trauma leaving litter pack & mum at nine weeks.  

Responsible breeders hold pups till a min 12 weeks - they are much more confident & 'socialised' within their pack, (and also taught manners by mum and/or other parent/aunts/uncles). 

However, this also looks like SA.   S/he misses YOU.  Also.. little or no socialising as a youngster before she left her mum  & litter pack.  They desperately need this up to 12 weeks before leaving home.. because next to nothing is given when they do leave around eight/nine weeks, and fear, uncertainty and new stuff, humans, no assurance or training... Nada...so yeah it really freaks them out

If s/he's left alone, isolated from the other members of their family pack, s/he will stress.

My timeline (album/videos) has a subject on SA & how I dealt with this on all my three - [to be fair my new boy Blu was pretty chilled] - but he will grab loose books, papers to shred given half a chance, but so will my girl Eski or Chester. 😉

This breed is a companion, more than just a pet-@-home.

~~~

When you CAN take them with you, do so.

Let them see you from the car, (not in temps over 10°C because it rises +6°C inside a car) with you going in, & out of shops. 

Observe casually behind sunglasses, but also from inside th'e shops, not looking directly at them.

There should be enough 'distractions' going on around too which gets their focus off you, especially if you've parked in the high street, but where they're not out-of-sight. 

I never leave my vehicle 'o-o-s' with them in although my 'camper' van now, can hide them, when they're in their crates, from outside peeking.

The purpose is, they see you in and 'out of sight' for brief periods, but you gradually increase these periods.

This is not a one-off exercise, but will need to be several exercises, over few times in a week, and over weeks.

If they start getting restless or begin to howl/show distress, 'magically' appear, and walk relaxed towards the car, and around it as if checking the vehicle. 

Before opening any doors/rear hatches, get them to 'Sit!' with words of praise when they do; REWARD. NB you reward that 'Sit', not their stress.

Check they are still secured inside (as per 2014 HIGHWAY CODE UK for transporting pets/animals in cars).

Ensure they learn & follow in 'Sit/Wait' mode while you unclip from inside . Gather all leads securely /clip on to your canibelt (● very advisable to have, to prevent ever dropping leads if they make a sudden dash out, or anywhere). 

Beware of close moving traffic if on high street/motorised area where you are parked & ensure they cannot put a 'butt' out into the traffic or move into that pathway. 

Check traffic and then 'OK' to let them exit.

I cannot stress how important it is that, when you go to get them out of the car, (anywhere) for a walk, teach them 'Wait' .. to stop & sit while you detach from seat belt hook up strap, and gather up leads.  

It IS safer to wear a canibelt with hookup on a locking swivel carabiner; hands are free but still able to grab lead/s to bring in close.

Then go to Costa/Starbucks, or any dog friendly establishment, sit outside; this is good for socialising and exposing to much more, than just being at home. 

Meet & Greet folk. Desensitise to other dogs - distract them with 'here' & treat/reward. This is great for all training (including working on recall) and 'Down!' - may save their life...

Use & say 'watch me' with fingers up to your eyes, and reward when they turn to look AT your eyes and refocus on you. 🤗

Repetition ++++ 

It takes 30 reps to sink an instruction in. Then more to create (hopefully) a reflex muscle action ... but never stop.

It's harder to break a bad /slack habit than to make a new one.

Successdogs;  Absolutedogs; Outback Dog Training Pages;  Marianne 🤗

Next //  Resource Guarding - how to eradicate with patience & persistence...

Teaching no growling or 'resource guarding' eg, toys, bones, food, general. This excludes a REASON for this, eg, if being teased, abused, hurt... And.. there'll be growling in play esp with tug of war on a toy or rope.. this is ok - with a waggy tail. You may also find they'll bring it to you to play. Teaching 'away down' says No. Same applies if the ask to come up on bed or sofa Mine always ask.. ok/away down directs them. 🤗 It is best brushed against the fur in short brisk but gentle strokes, and not pressed hard into the body - this really loosens the undercoat. Remember to move around or 'a burning' sensation can affect your pet; (eg, alike to you scratching yourself nonstop on one spot - it can begin to 'burn'). The dog groom tool is the same, however mine seem to prefer long strokes) & both ways as well. You can in a full 'Blow' have to 'release' the tool after EVERY stroke..- it take eg, three weeks still, to get 'through' like the groomers & the "rake" still needs to be used. This tool is very 'prickly' so very slow gentle strokes underneath on belly, only. Around the collar area is most popular. However.. the tail is I think the least favourite being groomed; doing this by hand, when mine are feeding is the best.. otherwise it's a two person job with bribes/rewards at the head end! 👍🤗 ● I started stroking - just the once - when they started their feed, (twice daily), over a week .. then adding a couple of pat's, on the back, and (almost like it was absent mindedly) a stroke along their sides as I move around them. Twice daily over a week - on all three of mine, over a week. Then a long stroke from neck to tail. A gentle pat/press on their right hip got them to step with hind legs to their left - with a few pat's of praise & adding 'Good boy/girl Move'. On the left hip: they shuffle to the right. 'Move' teaches them to move later on other occasions, alike to when they are blocking a doorway, narrowing access, or anywhere.. saves getting impatient because they don't (know) recognise that word. Now, I can spend longer on all of them each, even around their heads, on top and up & down legs - a quiet voice of praise, or stay, or wait... new vocabulary becomes added into their consciousness. 🤗 The grooming started like the pat: just one stroke .. followed by a pat as I moved around them during feeding. (Both my rehomed Eski & Blu were 'extreme food guarding/resourcing), so extra slow over a lot of extra time. (With my Chester, I started from the first day he started eating). Teaching 'Leave it' or 'Give' : as in Successdogs, Absolutedogs AND Outback Dog Training Pages, step by step training however, Successdogs teaches the HOW in any new command, trick or discipline you are asking of your dog / but especially a Husky. Restart the basics if they don't 'get it'...your fault not theirs. Remember they reach maturity (around three) and have the intelligence of a two to three year old max.. some 'brighter' than others! They can learn over 150 words, commands too. 🤗👍 + Praising your dog when they do anything nice without you asking - eg "Good dog Sit .. Down.. Wait.. Give .. Leave ... Come .. On Bed..." etc. When praising any nice action.. they will then start to associate with a given 'ask' or command - ie, using Logic.. Adding in your own specific hand signal is good too. Commanding silently is pretty awesome. I use my eyes in direct eyeball to eyeball then look at the floor = I see you. You see me... I look 'Down' to say Down, or Sit. Watch their eyes if they come 'begging' to come up on bed, or sofa. Mine all ask. If I say 'No, away down' I am refusing that request. They know, albeit 'huffily' and looking away completely, they turn around and lie down. If I say 'OK' and/or pat the sofa or bed.. they know and can, and they do! 🤗

Next // training, games & stimulation

The four quadrants of Training.

What are the 4 Quadrants of Operant Conditioning!?

Okay, relax, I know this likely sounds like something out of a science book but it's really pretty easy to understand... Not only that, but it's super important too!

The 4 Quadrants are Positive Punishment, Negative Punishment, Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement. Positive means to add, negative means to remove... Reinforcement means to increase a desired behaviour, punishment means to decrease a desired behaviour.

Positive punishment (P+) – This is adding an aversive stimulus to prevent the behaviour happening. Examples are a check on the collar, an e collar etc.

Negative punishment (P-)- This is removing a [desirable] stimulus to reduce the frequency of behavior. If a dog jumps on a person to greet them, and the person walks away when the dog jumps, negative punishment has been employed – that person is removing their attention to reduce the frequency of jumping in the future.

Positive reinforcement (R+)-This is adding a [desirable] stimulus to increase the frequency of behavior. A dog sits and gets a click and a treat. You go to work all week, and are reinforced with a paycheck... See it's not just dog training! 

Negative reinforcement (R-)- we are removing an [aversive] stimulus to increase the frequency of behavior. Your alarm clock goes off continually until you get up to turn it off – the behavior of getting up to turn off the alarm clock has been negatively reinforced. A dog runs away from the handler and an electric shock is administered until the dog begins to return to the handler (not that I agree with this but hey ho it was an obvious example!)

The four quadrants of Training

So when do you know to use them!? Well my friend, that's the hard bit and the knowledge comes in time. You can feel out a dog to work out when to use them but we can go over that some other time!

Multiple videos surrounding the quadrants in my academy so get yourself over there. In fact, there’s over two hundred videos now to help your training.

~~~~~~~ More ~~~~~~~

Hi, and welcome to the unique world of huskies!  1. Training (prefer from Day 1) 2. Training  (daily) 3.  Training  with investment in time, patience, perseverance and Positive Reward input. I will go further because you need to know from where & what to do. Successdogs Absolutedogs Outback Dog Training Pages They aren't so much as stubborn, as that they won't or do not understand what you want of them.  And they want to please, especially if you have the right 'Lure' to 'Capture' their attention for the 'Reward'. Naughty behaviour = clip on a lead.  No words. Walk them out to another room with no humans or animals. ie, isolation, rejection. Close the door.  Three  - five minutes, and, provided they are quiet too, then bring them back in to the 'social' room, or where you are.  If they start again, repeat the removal, no words.  They are extremely intelligent. Usually by the third time, they've 'got it'. They hate rejection. They want to be companions. And at this puppy stage, they are experimenting with being bossy, bullying, and using their weight, teeth and paws - just as they would in a litter pack, and Mom would pick them up and remove them if their behaviour was becoming unacceptable to any others and hurting them.  You are now mom.  WHEN they behave nice on returning, immediately praise "Good girl/boy! Be nice! / No Jump / Stay Down / No Bite". AND REWARD WITH A TREAT WITHIN THREE SECONDS. Verbal & a positive reward for good behaviour. The 'treats' can,(much much later) be replaced by a pat, fuss, verbal praise, however, that 'bribe' close to your hand (& their nose) in a waist belt pouch as an incentive will certainly help too.   So, ignore the bad (,innword or hand) but remove from a home situation of bad behaviour, ie, rejection. Not long, (their time span comprehension compared to us is one hour but seven hours to them!) Read Monty Robert's "Equus". His months of study on wild horses relstes back to all animals, including the hundreds of children he fostered.  Ignore the bad, but reward the good. You know if a naughty child only gets 'attention' through being naughty, then they remain naughty even though it means they get yelled at.  It IS the only attention some get because their parent has not learned to praise and reward.  Follow the training sites.  Invest in a CD. Successdogs was my first eye opener into just how intelligent this breed is, and yes, unique to ANY other breed.   I grew up in Borneo, with fostered animals, many were adopted, or rescued, brought back to trusting humans, and others were kept, or found vetted homes, and followed up tpoo. This included: nearly 50 orangutan orphans, or kept as 'pets', otter kits - bottle reared, macaque monkeys, slow Loris Lemurs, Gibbons, anteators,  giant sea turtle, orphaned clouded leopard kittens, dogs/puppies, cats/kittens, parrots, African Grey (adopted), Mynah bird, (rescue rehome/adopted), Sun Bears (rescued from Captivity, taken to zoos abroad as not able to release).  We never had less than 30 cats on the labour line - they earned their living by keeping the rat population down, and 14 dogs/pups at home. Also geese, ducks. A young retired racehorse, and a rescued circus pony. And 3,500 chickens - new stock brought in by my mum - a pioneer and entrepreneur.  You need to research anything & everything on Husky .. on Google. Diet, coat care, exercise, and training. Invest in a first aid kit for dogs, incl eyewash, Piriton for stings, tick remover, nail clippers, treating for anything.  Good luck 🤗

General Info on this breed :

Did You Know ? Huskies are incredible, compared to any other breed I've had or known.  https://www.smartpettoysreview.com/huskie-intelligence-making-good-pets/ FYI : Nose - avoids freezing by drying up in subzero temps.  Are now being used to find drugs and other items. Muzzle- can sense raised temps on ice where this may be dangerous to walk or travel over. Unique trait to this breed. Eyes - multiple colours incl tri coloured eyes.  Purebred Malamutes only have Brown or Amber eyes. Their eyes are almond shaped, can squint in blizzards, to still see; ref husky/dog eye physiology : ● (new edit Mar 12, 2020 re eyes : found out the correct term is Tapetum Lucidum - a pigment just behind the retina in dogs, wolves, coyotes, (hunters) but also deer, rabbits etc (prey). It isn't apparently in all blue-eyed dogs or humans (see about genetic/inherited link just under this) hence these are less likely to suffer/struggle with snow blindness, however Doggles for dogs (and goggles for us) is advisable in exposure to high UV light on mountains/terrain with bright light & snow. https://sites.google.com/site/sciencemysteries/blue-eye-mutation) Very expressive too; mine use these exaggeratedly to beg, ask, ignore, or look at me admiringly (usually whenever any food is about!) Wide head incorporating extremely high and underestimated intelligence, the ability to think before acting, and ... applying logic. Very fast learners within the right training environment. Ears - the Siberian Husky is THE only true Husky breed, & there are many other husky 'types. Their ears are higher set in relaxed mode than a Malamute.  The Alaskan Malamute was bred to pull far heavier loads, ie, as a 'work horse' for haulage. Their larger body mass takes longer to cool down after extreme exercise.  The Siberian Husky is light of foor, so can traverse more easily over fallen snow for longer, whereas the Malamute steps in deeper but has the strength & stamina to work steadily through this.   Digestion - Unique also in how they can run if necessary for several days without food, breaking down their own bodies safely, for more energy.  Humans go into ketosis if starving. The husky's digestion used to take only seal or whale blubber, being able to convert this into a full nutritional meal.  They also ate raw frozen fish. Over the years, domesticated huskies' diet has changed completely.  They would not tolerate that blubber now.  However, they do not carry enzymes to digest/break down gluten, wheat, maize* (*uncooked), and require a higher percent of protein in their diet. Certain fruits & vegetable are safe. ● Raisins, grape family are toxic, along with other things.   Legs - Their legs maintain a min 2°C temperature so do not freeze (unless wounded by injury) and have thick fur between their pads.  Nails can actually 'grip' into ice to aid stability and speed. Coat - double coated after approx six months there are three lengths.  Short furry, Med furry and long/wooly. The outer guard hairs protect from extreme cold, and sun. It should never be shaved or cut unless for medical reasons. It sheds constantly, hence they are one of eight cleanest breeds. Within hours of a mucky dog, whether from bloody bones to running through mud, they are practically if not wholly, pristine!  The undercoat is their 'eiderdown jacket' enveloping the whole body. In times of plenty, and/or seasonal temperature changes, this will 'blow' in huge amounts over several weeks with a sleeker slim appearance until the new undercoat is established. Grooming regularly maintains a healthy breathing coat (avoiding hot spots). They can withstand temps to minus 50°C.  Their belly is very furry but longer/lighter fur than body coat above - this also stops nipples freezing, as in shorter haired dogs with a smooth almost hairless belly would.  Husky dogs dig out a  'den' in deep snow to stay below the icy winds. The famous 'Swish' of tail when they curl up covers their nose, to allow warm air escaping but also warming the air breathed in. Huskies carry their tails high and in a curl. To other breeds this often causes attack because it indicates (wrongly) dominance. A Siberian Husky tail normally doesn't curl full circle. A Malamute's tail is tighter and touches down on the back or hangs slightly lower and off centre to the side.  Their tails 'perk up' sitting higher, when happy striding out on a walk, in that comfortable swaying sinuous body motion. They are not reliable on recall given their very high prey drive, so look out in case they see that squirrel 👀or rabbit 👀 first, 🤦‍♀️ or you may meet a tree painfully hard ... or mother earth. 😖😉🤗 Please don't hesitate to contact me if needed. Have to go for now.. much to do.

Marianne aka Maz

Edited by Maz51

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