Husky difficulties(117 Posts)
We have a 8 month old pure breed husky, he’s lovely and we love him but my god he is hard work. We walk him for an hour twice a day but he’s relentless! His pulling on the lead means I can no longer walk him as he pulls me over. He constantly whines and follows me from room to room. He’s mostly toilet trained but if he needs to go in between his walks he would rather go inside despite having free rein of a large garden. He’s also started snapping at us if we try to stop him from doing something (chewing cables, get off the bed etc) and we cannot leave him loose in the house, he has to be in the cage if we go out or he destroys the house. We are really, really trying with him. We’ve been to puppy classes etc and nothing’s helping. I’m in despair! He’s not been “done” yet so try’s to shag everything (kids included) and bites us when we stop him. Will getting him neutered help?
Any advice or just support would be so appreciated. I love my dog but he’s just so badly behaved.
I can't give any advice on the husky bit but my cocker at 8 months was a complete arse. It's a difficult age.
For the snapping I used to have zero toleration so he got crated or put outside of the room I was in for a minute or two and I kept repeating it until he realised that if he did it he got separated from us which was the ultimate punishment. It also served to calm him down as I found he snapped when he was tired and over stimulated.
Does he get chance to stretch his legs off lead? How long is he left for? Can you find another class to take him as I found the less exercise or training we did the more he was badly behaved at that age.
For the toilet training I would go back to basics as it sounds like just letting him have free reign with the garden isn't working if he is still going inside. Has he ever been fully house trained? We had one incident when he peeded after he had been toilet trained on a new rug but I think it must have 'smelt odd' as he didn't do it again.
Get a two point harness and training lead for the pulling. Take him into garden every hour or so to go to loo. Re the growling then keep all away from him he can't have. After that the key is to show him what you do want. I.e. train an "off" command with four feet on floor. That way he gets a treat if you need to move him. I use "with me" and my dog gets a treat for following me. Do you play with him? Hide treats etc? They need mental stimulation too. Good luck.
Getting him done will help a little and best to do it soon before to much testosterone in his system. Huskies are pack animals and need a firm hierarchy so he maybe testing where he stands with the nipping. I would join a husky owners group and ask directly on there, or the breeder you got him from? They will be able to give the best advice and good luck
Thanks for all the advice so far. I’m at home with him all day every day and my partner wires shifts so is on 4 then off 4. I play with him LOADS, lots of fetch, hiding treats etc. I really really am trying! He was completely house trained and in the last 2 months has gone backwards. We bought a lead that’s supposed to turn his head towards us to stop him pulling but he either gets it off or refuses to walk with it on and he really needs exercise or his behaviour is worse. When I go to put it on him he bites or rubs off and if I corner him he panics and really goes for me. When he snarls or bites us for stopping him from doing something he shouldn’t we go to tell him off and he bites harder. We put all we can out of reach but he’s a big dog and can reach side boards etc. We put doors on every room in the hope that shutting him in one room when we went out (with water, puppy pads etc) would be ok but he ate through every cable, smashed the tv and peed everywhere. We love him and we would do anything to help with his behaviour. I just wish I knew what to do.
I like the idea of isolating him for a couple of minutes when he bites. He was trying to chew my (lovely new!) boots a couple of minutes ago so I went to stop him and he bit me so I tried to put him the kitchen and he just really went for me. How do I get him away to calm down when he bites?
Are you a runner/jogger?
Our dog had issues with pulling and nothing we did could ever tire her out until I started doing canicross with her. Loads of huskies go as it's what they're bred to do and there are groups all round Britain that do it. If you dont have one near to you you could always buy a harness for you, one for your dog and a bungee lead and take him out yourself.
Doing it has helped massively with my dog's behaviour because she's now getting the physical and mental exercise she needs.
We have a husky. She is 4 this week!! She has a scooter and we take her out to pull it!! Worth every penny and the dc take her down the beach with it. Get him done ASAP.
There was an episode of a dog program with the dog trainer Victoria, or something. It was a husky and drew blood. She did the turning back on him and crossing arms so he couldn’t bite. I would seriously get a dog trainers help before it gets worse.
On YouTube look for its me or the dog and diesel the demon...
No I’m not a runner or a jogger, I love walking and happily do so for miles but hate running! I’m 10+6 pregnant so unlikely to take it up soon! Are there people who would run with him for me? Would that help or will it mean he’ll want to run on every walk?
A PP asked if he gets time off lead; no! He has no recall whatsoever. He just does not come back despite countless efforts and hours of training. We have tried everything including raw meats, cheese etc and he just will not recall. The dog trainer was utterly perplexed.
We’ve had 3 dog trainers plus 3 sets of classes with no progress
Do you think he is destroying stuff when you go out because he isn't left that often? Could you go back to basics and start getting him used to be left alone for short periods but more frequently. How long are you leaving him for right now?
For walking honestly I have seen some dogs respond really quickly to a bit of training and other breeds like my own are renowned for not walking great without a lot of training. Do you have the money for a bit of 1-1 training where they walk with you to find a technique that works for both you and your dog.
My dog has earnt freedom in the house. When a young pup we lived in the kitchen and as he got older and behaved better he got more freedom as we would then go into the other rooms. If he started playing up we moved back into the kitchen. This made it easier to properly dog proof one room and makes controlling their behaviour easier.
For the toileting if he was 100% house trained maybe think about a vet check up to make sure no uti etc otherwise I would start again with training.
Sorry, just realise he's only 8 months (one of the first things you wrote so I should have seen this). You'll need to be very careful with the running until he's fully grown. depending on where you are there are dog walkers who will run with the dog, right now though you don't want him pulling while he runs as it will impact on his joints and bones. There are places online where you can hire secure fields by the hour so he could be let off though. There is one near me which is £6 an hour and it's a godsend for dogs like mine who have no recall and can't get off-lead.
I keep questioning myself and wondering if I’m just a lazy owner but I’m lost and have spent thousands of pounds and god knows how many hours trying to train our lovely pooch. He’s trying very hard to dominate me atm and is more aggressive to my partner.
The majority of huskies won't come back so I wouldn't worry about that too much. The biting is a big big issue. Is his bad attitude aimed solely at you op?
Are there any secure fields to hire so he can be off lead? I haven't used them myself but I have heard of them.
How bad is the snapping? With mine I could gently hold his body and walk him to his crate when he snapped but he never actually bit me. If he was actually being aggressive rather than arsey I think I would get a behaviourist in.
Just seen you said you are pregnant, I really hope you manage to sort something before the baby is born You must feel torn in two
I honestly don’t know why he destroys stuff, when I show him things he’s destroyed and tell him off he hangs his head and seems to know I’m upset. We live in a two bed flat and even if I’m in the room with him he will chew/destroy items. It doesn’t seem to be anxiety. We haven’t left him loose in the flat for a few months, he goes in the crate if we go out. He seems ok with this set up, he has his bed and a couple of chew toys in there but if we leave him loose he goes mad. I really love our dog but I feel like I’m falling him! I do a lot of physical and mental stimulation with him and show him lots of affection which he loves. The two main things I feel need addressing are the pulling on the lead and the toilet training. Firstly the pulling, I feel if I can exercise him on my own he’d be better? How can I stop him pulling me over?
Right first of all you aren't a lazy owner otherwise you wouldn't be on here asking for help.
I went to a few puppy classes when mine was young and it was horrible as all the other dogs responded so well to the training whilst mine looked like some hooligan. It was only when I found one specific to my breed did the training work (working breed). I think huskies can be challenging so maybe try and find a trainer that specialises or works a lot with your type of breed?
A husky in a 2 bed flat?
A husky who'll be 14-15 months old when you have a newborn?
A husky who's only walked, not run?
You've chosen one of the worst breeds for your living situation possible. He needs a TONNE of excercise, stimulation and clear boundaries. Biting + newborn = disaster.
I really do @Raindancer411
I like the idea of a secure field but how do I get him back on the lead at the end?!
Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.
Aside from the resource guarding most of this doesn't sound particularly unusual for an adolescent Sibe. They're very specialist dogs and renowned for being destructive, particularly when left alone. The breed club even lists it as one of their negative points of the breed.
Getting him neutered is not guaranteed to help with anything and I definitely wouldn't be in a rush to get him done so young. Humping is very often not even sexual, it's much more often either over excitement or sometimes stress. Working on his impulse control, teaching him to settle at home (this doesn't always come naturally to some dogs, especially very active ones) and also keeping his brain occupied should help with this.
We have tried everything including raw meats, cheese etc and he just will not recall. The dog trainer was utterly perplexed.
Easy answer; he's a Sibe!! They are notoriously iffy with recall, there are always exceptions but on the whole Sibes cannot be trusted off lead and the breed club recommends they're only ever left off lead in fully secure (i.e. 6'+ dog proof fencing) areas. He's too young for running now (in fact two hours a day at his age is rather a lot of exercise, especially if it's on lead) but as an adult he's likely to need something more than just on lead walks, whether that's regularly going to somewhere he can run loose, running with him or doing something like scootering or bikejoring. Sibes need a lot of exercise and being unable to let them off lead in most areas does make providing this quite challenging. This website has a list of fields available to hire. It's well worth a look though bear in mind people's definitions of "secure" vary, 5' sheep netting might be fine for many dogs but not for Sibes.
His resource guarding absolutely needs sorting but cornering him and telling him off is not going to be helping, in fact it could well be making things worse. I agree you should get some professional help. I'd recommend going through one of these organisations to find someone or joining the Dog Training Advice and Support FB group and post a request for a recommendation. You should also be able to get some quick advice to help you manage the situation until you can arrange for a professional to come out to you.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.