Winter is a Siberian Husky who is great with people and with the other large dogs in his home. However, when out on a walk with his owner, a little unleashed terrier comes bouncing over, barking and putting up a fuss. Much to his owner's shock, Winter lunges at the little dog, teeth bared. Fortunately, Winter's owner stops him before any harm is done to the little dog.
Winter's sudden aggression to the little dog came as a surprise to his owners, as he gets along well with other dogs in his house. But, any dog who is confronted with another dog invading his personal space or territory and presents anti-social behavior, can react with aggressive behavior. Because Huskies are large dogs, they can present more of a danger to other dogs if they don't get along with them. Also, Huskies are one of those dog breeds that has a high prey drive. Perhaps because indigenous populations that use them as working dogs have not breed this tendency out of them, as it is useful for hunting and defending against other predators in regions where Husky dogs are commonly bred.
Because Huskies are well known for being highly socialized with people and living in packs, it is often not anticipated that they would show aggression toward other dogs. It is possible though, even the usually laid-back Husky may not get along with other dogs if they are not introduced properly, feel threatened, or if their prey drive is triggered.
Introducing dogs to your Husky on neutral territory, if possible, will help reduce territorial behavior from either your Husky or the other dog, which could quickly escalate. If you are training your Husky to get along with other dogs, finding other dogs that are well socialized to model appropriate behaviors is extremely useful. Introducing two unsocialized dogs leaves a lot of room for errors in body language and communication to occur. Also, using very high value treats to reinforce positive social behavior with other dogs will be important, as you need a reinforcement that is more salient than any drive to be aggressive with the other dog. As gradual introduction is often employed, having barriers or markers to help introduce dogs slowly will be helpful.
I've had Massimo since he was a puppy (he's 2 1/2 years old now). He's much bigger than typical huskies, weighing 85 lbs, standing 34in and is about 46in long. He loves to play with other big dogs as well as puppies, letting them bite the sides of his mouth and his ears. Little dogs, however, are a bit more challenging because the moment he swings with his paw, you'll hear a high-pitched squeal from the dog, which worries the owner and, as a result, playtime is over. I've tried to correct the behavior but given that big dogs and puppies enjoy, he resorts back to the same type of play with smaller dogs.
All that being said, my girlfriend has a 25lb pug/terrier mix who is 6 years old. His name is Charlie. Very anti-social with other dogs to the point where when we go to the dog park, rather than play with other dogs, he'll go up to other humans and asked to be petted.
Charlie and Massimo met this weekend on neutral ground. They greeted each other with what seemed like proper curiosity and then we proceeded to have them walk together for a 1/2 hr around the neighborhood. Everything looked fine to want to bring them into the apartment and see how they would interact. That's when things changed.
Massimo became very excited, sniffing around everywhere, grabbing toys, and even began to be dominant about his possession. He's not dominant at all with his own toys. My girlfriend started to become nervous about his behavior and I said to her, let's have you try interacting with him in a more positive manner, so let's try feeding him. I told her to give him commands such as "sit, lay, paw, wait, soft (when taking the food)" so that he would know who was in charge. All that worked well, but when he saw Charlie also receiving a treat, he became very focused and then proceeded to lunge with full teeth showing. Luckily I still had his slip-collar leash on and I pulled him back and had him lay down on his stomach until he calmed down. It obviously scared her, and eventually took him back to my place.
I would love some advice as to the next steps to try and make this work.
Hello Emmanuel, It sounds like a combination of possessiveness and dominance between the two dogs. Based on your description of the two dogs, Charlie is likely giving off odd body language or asserting dominance and your dog is not willing to submit so the dogs are at odds. Both dogs need to go into boot calm and work for everything they get by having to obey a command first. For example, tell him to Sit before you pet him, down before you feed him, heel right beside you during walks. You want both dogs looking to the people for leadership so that neither dog is allowed to be in charge. I highly suggest hiring a trainer to help with this. Because of the difference in size this needs to be done very carefully with Massimo on a back tie that prevents him from getting to Charlie if he tries to lunge. Structured exercises like walks are great, but need to be done carefully just in case Massimo tries to go for Charlie again. You may need to train both dogs in a more structure fashion for a while around each other, without treats, to avoid food aggression. It does sound like he has possessiveness issues, especially if he was guarding the toys around your girlfriend and not just her dog (that is even more serious because she is a person). The toys were new and exciting so that is probably why it showed there. Also, although he does well with other dogs at the park you said, that doesn't mean he wouldn't act the way he did toward Charlie to another dog in that type of space. A home is not neutral territory like a park, so dominance and possessive issues can be more likely there, unless you have had other dogs over before and not seen this issue with several other dogs in a home setting - if you haven't then that means it is specifically Charlie that he has an issue with. Hire a trainer to help. You need someone who can make adjustments based on the dogs' body language, demonstrate how to implement new boundaries and structure to build the dogs' respect for you and your girlfriend carefully, and practice with dogs other than your girlfriend's dog first. Look for a trainer who uses positive reinforcement, fair corrections, structure and boundaries for dogs, is experienced with dog to dog aggression, dominance issues, and possessiveness. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello. I have a female siberian husky that is about 2 1/2 years old. She is energetic and playful. She is the only dog in the household. Since she was a puppy she got a long great with any other dog that she met. I could take her to dog parks full of other dogs, on hikes of leash, anywhere and I never had to worry about her. Since she was about 1 year old she had been going to a doggy day care where she did great. All of the staff loved her and she got a long great with all of the other dogs. Once she turned 2 years old her behavior started to turn. She would get into fights at the day care. The workers there did not understand her behavior (they were not well trained staff), and would tell me that she would be playing and then all of a sudden attack at dog that was bothering her. Eventually she was kicked out of theday care.
Now she is very unprdictable. When she is off leash about 80% of the time when we come accross another dog she is playful and happy and does great. But the other 20% of the time she will attack the dog. She will approach the dog or vice versa and she can tell some how if she likes the dog or not. If not she will lunge and attack.
My best guess is that she is trying to display some dominance of some sort. When she comes up to a dog she can tell if she needs to show her domanance and will attack it. Maybe she is afraid and feels she needs to protect herself. I have persoanlly watched this interaction can't tell why she doesn't like the other dog. Sometime she will go up and smell another dog and will just start growling, her hair will stand up, etc. and the other dog hadn't evendone anything. Other times she will smell the dog and then start wagging her tail and it is all good.
I would just like to understand this behavior more and do what I can to fix it. It is so confusing because she has grown up around other dogs at this day care since she was a little puppy and has always liked to play with other dogs. Like I said, she had always been great and I felt safe taking her to dog parks and other areas where there were other dogs off leash. Now I do not feel comfortable taking her off leash at all.
Hello Kyle, Dog parks and the daycare (probably based on your description of the staff) are both unstructured play areas where there is a lot of opportunity for dogs to intimidate, dominate and bully one another. It is possible that she was bullied or constantly intimidated by other dogs and now has a poor association with certain types of dogs (usually a certain personality). It is even more likely that she was the one intimidating and bullying and no one was connecting her because it was subtle (stares, preventing dogs from passing by, resting her chin on a neck, not letting other dogs up while wrestling, always being the one to chase and win at games, ect...). At two years most dogs reach mental and sexual maturity and that is often when temperament issues that we're subtle before become obvious. Dogs at that age also play differently than puppies and may become less tolerant of boisterous play or dogs rushing into their space or being pushy. This shows a lack of tolerance on the dog's part. I suggest not taking her to the dog park right now. Every to she attacks another dog her own aggression is encouraged and it is putting other dogs at risk or getting hurt but also developing fear aggression themselves. She does however need to practice being around other dogs, but this needs to be done with clear leadership and structure. Practicing obedience around other dogs, going on structured heeling walks with other dogs (where she has to work at focusing on you and stay behind you the entire walk), and generally working on her respect for you so that she feels like she can defer to your judgement about how she should act when she needs another dog. If you have a number of friends with dogs who you can practice walks and obedience around, rewarding focus on you and calmness, you can do much or the training yourself potentially, but if not you will need to find a training group to facilitate training around the trainers' dogs, a local dog clubs or meetup.com group can sometimes be a good place to connect with other owners wanting to practice training with their own dogs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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excive bitting and wont potty outside
Hello Gary, Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below for potty training. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside For the biting follow the "Leave It" method from the article linked below. Once he fully understands what Leave It means (expect this to take a couple weeks with consistent practice - mouthing takes time to improve), then if he disobeys your command, follow the "Pressure" method from that same method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I have a husky named Aspen who since she was a little puppy has been around 2 labs who are a year older than she is. She would play with them and run around in the yard with them for a long time. Then one day came where she and one of the other labs got into it. They started fighting and as soon as I heard it I broke it up and separated them. She to this day does not like this lab. When I try and put them together in an open space she immediately runs to the lab and the lab submits and she just stands over the lab and growls at her. She will still play with the other lab she grew up with from time to time but generally likes to be on her own when she’s outside. She used to love playing with them and sleep beside them and stuff. Now we have to keep her separated from them because we are afraid she will lash out at them.
Hello Jeffery, Between 1-2 years of age is when a lot of aggressive or fearful behavior issues become obvious. There are often subtle signs before then but it may not become fully expressed until then. Around 1-2 years there is a mental and sexual maturation (even for spayed dogs), this increases territorial, dominant, protective, and defensive drives. It's hard to say exactly what happened between the two dogs but there may have been something one was possessive of (like a stick) or they might have gotten highly aroused playing and that played turned into competing, and when one dog wouldn't submit to the other a fight broke out. The fact that she stands over the other female and growls at her when they meet now suggests dominance. To deal with dominance issues between a dog both dogs need to respect the owners and understand what the household rules are, so that both dogs understand that they have to interact in a certain way because you say so and not because the other dog is in charge or they are in charge. It sort of removes the option of trying to dominate by not allowing either dog to dominate the other one. I don't suggest trying to let the dogs play freely together anymore. Even if you recover their relationship, that sort of play can be very unstructured and highly arousing and it would be easy for the same thing to happen again even when they start out in good terms. Long term your goal can be peaceful coexistence and things like going on walks together or practicing obedience together - their interactions need structure and the focus needs to be on and the other owner primarily. A lot of counter conditioning and respect training will need to take place to salvage the relationship. Counter conditioning essentially means that when she is calm around the other dog, reward her in the other dog's presence so that she associates the other dog with good thing - when the other dog leaves, stop the rewards. Do this from a distance at first to avoid aggressive responses. I also suggest correcting aggressive outburst toward the other dog while doing this, but hire a professional trainer with experience in aggression to help you with this. An aggressive dog can redirect the aggression to a person nearby so any training that deals directly with that needs to be done with safety in mind and the right timing. To build respect work on obedience commands that teach impulse control and focus on you. Check out the videos and articles linked below for some commands to practice. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo When you have reestablished respect for you and she is calm when the other dog is in the room or near her, you can practice walks together with the dogs. Start with the dogs further apart. Don't try to walk them together for a long time. Work up to walking them with about five week between them as your goal, so that they are walking in the same direction and both dogs walking slightly behind their owners and focused on the person walking them and not the other dog. When you do walk them side by side, I suggest having both dogs wear a basket muzzle that has been introduced ahead of time the first few times - introduce the muzzle ahead of time so that the muzzle isn't a big deal during the walk and doesn't add additional stress. Check out the "Walking Together" method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/greet-other-dogs Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I just got a husky puppy yesterday and I have a chaweenie that’s a year & a half and I’m not sure how to go about getting them to like each other. I haven’t really had another dog or cat living her with my other dog and I don’t want her to feel replaced.
Hello Crysten, I recommend doing a few things to get them off to a good start. 1. Give both dogs boundaries. Decide what your house rules are and enforce those rules for both dogs so that neither feels the pressure of enforcing rules for the other one - that is your job. For example, if one dog takes another dog's toy, take the toy back from the thief, return it to the dog who had it first, and make the thief leave the room. This helps the dog who it was stolen from learn to trust you to handle issues instead of getting in a fight. If one dog is hovering around the other dog's food, staring at them while they eat, or trying to eat their food, you be the one to make the pestering dog leave the area, instead of waiting for the dog that is eating to get up set and start a fight. Better yet, feed both dogs in their own locked crates so that they can relax while eating and not worry about it. Some good rules are: No dog is allowed to guard furniture or people. No dog is allowed to steal food or toys. No dog is allowed to handle something in an aggressive way. No dog is allowed to pester another dog when they want to be left alone. No dog is allowed to keep another dog from getting through a doorway or from going somewhere. No dog is allowed to be pushy, beg for food, or stand on your lap. Don' be afraid to give your older dog rules also. Rules can help dogs feel more secure, less aggressive, and less anxious when incorporated with consistency, firmness and calmness. 2. Give your older dog space when you are not directly supervising and mediating puppy and dog's interactions. This can look like crate training and using an exercise pen, so that puppy has somewhere to hang out away from your older dog, when you are not there to manage the interactions. 3. Whenever your puppy enters the room right now, or your older dog acts especially tolerant, reward your older dog with a treat. Try to give the treat so that puppy doesn't see it when you can, to avoid puppy running over for a treat too. 4. Give them time and adjust expectations. It is alright if your older dog doesn't want to play. As long as they can simply hang out in the same room and coexist peacefully that is fine. Many older dogs do not want to play with puppies because they play differently and can be overwhelming. If you keep interactions peaceful through the above training, they will hopefully learn to enjoy each others company, and might even play once your puppy is more mature and calmer. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello. We have always been a big dog family. We have two rescue dogs who are 12 and 13 that we’ve had pretty much their entire lives. We got Maya, our Siberian Husky, when she was 3 months old. The senior dogs never wanted to play with her (obviously). We ended up getting another husky this past October. He is an intact male about a year older than Maya. We had absolutely zero problems with them getting along. They were inseparable from the get go. In April, a storm blew our gate open and Maya and Aztec (our male husky) got out. He has yet to be found. We wanted to get Maya another playmate and companion so we adopted another Siberian Husky from our local shelter. She is a female, about a year old. Maya was excited and curious at first, but our new dog snapped at her. Since then Maya has been VERY territorial around her and they’ve been in a couple of fights which we were able to break up. I now know that we went about introducing them all wrong. In our backyard, we let Sadie (our new dog) play with Maya’s toys. We just didn’t think it would be a problem since Maya is so easy going. She’s never been aggressive towards other dogs. My question is will we be able to remedy this, or is it too late since we introduced them wrong?
Hello Terra, With the right help there is a good chance that they can learn to peacefully coexist. They may never be buddies and play well together though. They may need interactions to always be calm, more structured, peaceful co-existence, opposed to relaxed play and being buddies. I would set that as the goal - perhaps they will surprise you in the future. Although the introduction was not good, there are probably other reasons why they are not getting along also. Two females are more likely to disagree then a male and a female are, especially if both are a similar age. It sounds like your new dog is a bit stand-off-ish with other dogs or has a lower tolerance level; that increases the likelihood of them not getting along too. Finally, some dogs simply do not like each other. Dogs tend to have preferences for certain personality types in other dogs also. Some dogs simply do not get along as well because of personalities, dominance, different energy levels, or things like being territorial. Not all dogs have to be friends, but they do need to learn to peacefully coexist and let you handle issues instead of resorting to aggression. Work on respect with both dogs, so that both are looking to you for direction, understand the house rules (like no stealing toys or being pushy), and expect you to handle any disagreements so that they don't try to handle them themselves through aggression (For example, if one dog is hovering, trying to steal something from another, make the dog hovering leave the room, then the dog with the item doesn't feel the need to guard. If the dog with the item acts aggressively, they also have to leave what they are guarding - resource guarding should always be dealt with carefully in general though). With each dog working for what they get in life, abiding by house rules, and looking to you for direction, you can also work specifically on their relationship with each other. Do structured obedience activities with both, with a second person handling the second dog. Do things like a structured heel walk, where both dogs have to heel, focus, and randomly do commands like sit and down near each other (not close enough for a fight at first though). Practice obedience on long leashes, such as Down, Sit, Heel, Come, Stay, Place, Watch Me and other things that encourage focus, respect, calmness, and obedience - but do it with them in the same area as each other so that they associate it with each other also - just be sure to give enough distance and use long leashes to prevent fights right now. Reward both for being tolerant and calm around the other one - especially when the other dog first enters the room where they are. Be sneaky about your treat rewards though so that the other dog doesn't simply rush over and cause an issue. Teach both dogs an Out command (which means leave the area) so that you can prevent issues and be able to tell the dogs when to give the other dog space and leave the area. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ You will likely make progress faster if you hire a trainer who can come to your home and help, who uses a lot of structure and boundaries, fair discipline, but also mainly positive reinforcement. You want someone who teaches the dogs' minds and builds respect through relationship and teaching the dog's mind. Ask for references and whether they have experience with what you are dealing with. Don't assume a trainer has experience with aggression or possessiveness - some trainers deal more with teaching obedience and not behavior. You need someone who is experienced with problem behaviors like aggression also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittendne
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My husband and I got 2 Siberian Husky in March.(They are Siblings 4 Months). One day ago a friend gave us a 2 month old Female Siberian Husky because she could not keep her. When we got home we took Maya to our backyard so she can me Blanca and Rocky, at first they didn’t get start playing Rocky stared to growl at Maya. We took Maya back to the patio, and we took our other 2 puppies with us as well with there leashes, 2 minutes later Blanca started to get along, but Rocky was still growling, we took the 3 of them for a walk and they started to play, licking each other and walking together. The next Blanca wanted to bite Maya but Maya bit Blanca back the same with Rocky, in moments they play and moments they start chasing each and want to bite one another. The 3 are still young. Are question is Can the get along? What can me do so they can play and not chase each? Can the be jealous? And should we be worried that soon as the grow the will attack each other?
Hello Lorena, Check out the video linked below and see if the biting and chasing they are doing looks similar to the puppies in this video. If it does, then it is called puppy mouthing and is actually a good thing most of the time. Puppy mouthing during puppy play helps puppies learn social cues, how to control the pressure of their mouths, and adjust their play styles to be more gentle when needed. It can prevent dangerous aggression as an adult if you guide puppies in how to play while young. While they play, they should be supervised. If things start to get too rough, one puppy is trying to get away, someone yelps and other puppies don't give that puppy a break, or one puppy starts to bully another, pin them and not let them get up (pinning is fine but they should take turns being on bottom, and take turns chasing vs. being chased)...if any of those things happen, interrupt the puppies' play, let everyone calm down, then when they are calm, let the puppy who needed a break go first. If that puppy wants to play, then you can tell other puppies to "Go Play" and let them go also. Puppy Play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ab1rdFQchyM When puppies need a break or you don't want them playing then, then use the Out command which means leave the area. I also highly suggest crate training puppies and teaching them all a Place command so that they can learn to simply stay on the separate Place beds and chew on toys when things should be calm. Play is good at this age but it shouldn't be all the time or in locations that you don't want. They should be taught how to stop when you say to using crate training, the Out command, and the Place command - give them all dog food stuffed chew toys in their crates and Place beds to teach them to rest quietly and not bark. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place command: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-place-command-the-good-dog-training-tips/ Crate manners with door open: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Crate training: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate The puppy growling when they first met is probably a sign that the puppies need to be socialized around more puppies. That was likely a fear reaction. Being around other dogs at home is not enough for socialization - they will learn to get used to each other but could still grow up to be aggressive and fearful of other dogs if not socialized around other puppies and calm adults too. They need to get used to safe 'strangers' - but avoid any over-excited adults or potentially aggressive adults. Puppies are a safe way to accomplish socialization and choose calm, well socialized dogs for adult dog introductions. A good way to do this is by joining a puppy kindergarten class that gets good reviews. Such as a Sirius Pup class if there is one in your area. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Mya is my 4 year old husky she is always super friendly with all people and very playful with other dogs big or small. I got her when she was about four months old and at the time she suffered from separation anxiety which we have since remedied. I used to take her to the dog park almost daily and she always did very well. She was kind of delayed at reading other dogs social cues, meaning she would play too much even when the older dogs were tired of playing which would lead to them eventually snap at her. Her reaction was usually to squeal and submit.
Now she’s four and our recent issue is she does great with other dogs until their is a tennis ball she does not wish to share or if another dog tries to drink from the same water bowl as her at the same time she is drinking, she does not like this at all in fact she hates it! She will growl and show her teeth as a warning sign. Most dogs will walk away when she does this however ,sometimes the dog will not walk away and it will either lunger and her or vice versa and bam they are fighting. She never seems to bight just snap, lunge, and growls. Always fairly easy to break up but sounds and looks scary. I know this is not an ideal behavior on her part. How can I fix this?
She is never aggressive when people try and take her food, water, or toys. You as a human could snatch it from her mid bite and she could care less however, if it is in another dog attempting to intervene she will not have it. She is good if these items are not around but i cannot keep public water bowls or tennis balls out of the dog park. My guess is she feels dominant to all other dogs and the ones who submit and allow her to be the alpha she is fine with. The ones who challenge her usually much bigger dogs than her, they battle it out.
Hello Cynthia, You can desensitize her to other dogs being around while those things are present, but she is also a dog who probably shouldn't visit the dog park. She should continue to get around other dogs but instead of the dog park I suggest focusing on finding a group dog-walking or dog-hiking group you can participate with regularly. To desensitize her to another dog being around when balls or bowls are present she needs to be corrected for any displays of aggression and rewarded for tolerance and calmness around the other dogs. Body language and distance are extremely important here. You want to reward her when she is actually doing well - based on the cues she is giving with her body language, not when she is seemingly calm but ready to explode. Distance is also important when starting out. In order to be able to reward her while she is actually calm the other dog will need to be further away and simply passing by, not actually trying to get the ball or drink. You want to create a pleasant association with the other dog being near the ball or bowl and to condition her to have a calm response mentally to that. Corrections for this type of behavior are usually done with an e-collar on her "working level" - which is the lowest level she responds to, determined ahead of time while nothing exciting it going on. Only a highly quality e-collar should be used for this, such as Dogtra, e-collar technologies, Garmin, or SportDog. Better collars have at least 40 levels. Don't buy a cheap 3 level made in china collar. This training should NOT even be done at the dog park. You need to hire a professional trainer who is very experience with behavior problems, e-collar use, desensitization, counter-conditioning, how to use fair corrections to modify behavior, and has access to several different calm dogs to practice the training with - where you can control the environment and interactions during training. It is possible that one day she will be able to return to the dog park, but a more structured activity like walks and hikes with other dogs would be a lot better for her. Either way do not go right now because every chance time she guards the toys or bowls around other dogs the behavior is further encouraged and can get worse. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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I brought my new Siberian Husky 6 days ago (Saphira, she is 10 weeks old). My Yorkie (Athena) tends to be super shy, submissive, and would not get along with other dogs at the beginning. But after a while when she knows them she'll stay calm and even play with some. She is not really aggressive, never have bitten anyone. My puppy wants to play with her and she won't have it, she nipps at her and growls, which is not normal behavior on her. My puppy sometimes stares at her and walk really slowly when Athena is giving her her back as to "haunt" her. I know Huskies have a huge prey drive. I'm just concerned that they never get along and when Saphira is older she may hurt Athena.
what can I do to teach them to get along? Currently I'm very firm with Saphira's training and I'm crate and potty training her. When I'm practicing tricks with her Athena comes along to do them too and here they're actually super good and calm around each other.
thank you for your help!!
Hello Danielle, Crate training is a great start. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, no bothering another dog when they want to be left alone, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If puppy obeys, praise and reward puppy. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make your older dog leave the room while also disciplining pup for antagonizing if needed. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want her to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or she has to hide all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after her while you are home, you can also clip her to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that she has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give your older dog a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever Athena is calm, relaxed or tolerant of puppy also give Athena a treat. Try not to let puppy see you rewarding her though so that she doesn’t run over and overwhelm her. Right now your older dog probably feels overwhelmed by pup and because of her age it’s harder for her to handle her and keep up with her energy. She needs to feel like you are the one managing puppy, protecting your older dog from her pestering her, and making her appearance pleasant for your older dog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello! I have two huskies, Zeus (6yrs) and Blue (3yrs), Zeus we had since he was a puppy and Blu we adopted at 2yrs. They get along fine with the occasional fighting (which I think is due to Zeus not being a playful dog). I started noticing Blu will no longer eat until Zeus is done eating and she hovers over her food (guarding it I think). She did not do this when we first adopted her. I also started noticing her being possessive over toys, she won't let other dogs play with them and will take toys away from other dogs, even if she had no interest in the toys before.
Hello Ashley, For the food guarding, I suggest feeding all the dogs in separate locked crates, so that the stress of feeling like they need to guard the food decreases and no dog can hover near another dog, wanting to steal their food. Second, decide what your house rules are for the dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. Be careful when doing this - keeping a calm attitude and being aware of any potential aggression or redirected aggression toward you. As the enforcer of rules, teach each dog the Out, Droop It, and Leave It commands, and use those commands to stop them from stealing toys. When one dog is playing with a toy, the other dog should respect that and leave that toy alone. When another dog leaves a toy, and a second one goes to pick it up, it's not alright for the dog who was finished to act aggressive toward a dog who then plays with a toy they were done with. You be the one to enforce rules with consistency, calmness, and by teaching commands that can be enforced. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Place - use this to teach the dogs to interact more calmly and give each other space as needed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Drop It: https://wagwalking.com/training/drop-it If any of the dogs show any form of aggression toward you at any point, the training needs to be adjusted. Seek the help of a professional trainer who specializes in behavior issues, has a lot of experience with aggression and resource guarding, and comes well recommended by their previous clients. During this time, there are many trainers who also offer Skype and remote consultations, to come up with a training plan tailored to you, with the ability for the trainer to ask questions about the situation, hear about what's working and not working, and demonstrate how to do certain techniques that could help you. Pup may also need to be desensitized to wearing a basket muzzle to keep things safe during the training period. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hi there, I was hoping to get some guidance for how to socialize my 9 week-old husky puppy with my 7 year old husky/German Shepard mix. I have had Inka, the older dog, since she was 8 weeks old and recently decided to get a puppy to give her some company and play with. Inka has a ton of energy when it comes to play time and I didn’t think we were quite cutting it for her. In the past, she has shown some dog aggression with older dogs she doesn’t know and her prey drive will kick in with very small dogs. With that said, she has always been good with puppies she has been around and surprisingly patient. We slowly introduced the two dogs, keeping a close eye on Inka’s behavior. Once we introduced them in the yard, we came in the house were they proceeded to gently play in the living room. SUCCESS! Well so we thought. Ever since then, I have felt my older dog become less tolerant and I can’t tell her body language is not friendly. We have picked up all of Inka’s toys and bones as to not give her something to get possessive over, as well as feeding them in separate areas. I am also concerned that when they are outside, Inka wants to play much too rough with the puppy. We have found ourselves keeping them separated most of the time due to our fears of Inka hurting the puppy. Any advice on how to calmly train the older dog how to relax in the situation? I am very concerned that my older dog is not going to take to having a puppy around and act out aggressively.
Hello Alex, If you feel overwhelmed, things are getting worse, or there is a bite, then I would seek professional help. Aggression is something best addressed immediately or it can get worse, so if you feel good about working through it yourself you can try the below suggestions, but if you are not seeing improvement or feel overwhelmed by it, then you may want to hire someone who is very experienced with aggression to come to your home and help one-on-one with you (obedience classes aren't enough). Work on taking the pressure off of the dogs to be in charge and in control by mediating situations for them, work on commands that improve calmness and self-control, and make and enforce the rules so that the dogs are not working it out themselves - you are telling them how to react and behavior in a calm but firm way - especially Inka, but this will be true for pups in some ways now and as they grow. I suggest teaching both dogs Out (which means leave the area) and Place - which is similar to Stay but on a certain spot and they can sit, stand, or lie down but can't get off the spot. Practicing Place with both dogs in the same room on separate place beds can help facilitate calmness around each other and respect for you. Out is great for giving direction and giving a consequence of leaving the room when there is pushiness or mild resource guarding. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s I also suggest crate training both dogs so that they can have a calm place to chew on a chew toy away from each other when things are tense, or one dog is pestering the other, or you are not home to supervise while they are still getting to know each other. Crate training is an important potty training and safety measure for a young pup also. An open crate while you are home can also serve as an additional Place to practice, and feeding both dogs in separate locked crates can prevent food resource guarding and remove stress around mealtimes - definitely keep feeding them separately. Crate Manners - great calmness and gentle respect building exercise : https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Surprise method - for introducing crate for first time: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem, you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your other dog when she is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If he obeys, praise and reward him. If he disobeys, stand in front of your other dog, blocking the pup from getting to her, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your other dog. If your older dog pushes pup or gets between you and pup uninvited, tell your older dog Out and enforce her leaving. When she is waiting for her turn patiently, then send pup to place and invite Inky over - no demanding of attention right now from either dog. Make them wait or do a command first to work for your attention if pushiness is an issue, and make them leave if being pushy or aggressive. If your older dog growls at pup, make the older dog leave the room while also carefully disciplining pup if pup antagonized her. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your dogs - you want them to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for them to learn respect for each other because you have taught it to them and not because they have used aggression. When pup first enters the room, give your older dog a treat without pup seeing so pup is associated with good things for your older dog - treats stop when pup leaves. When your older dog is being calm, tolerant, and friendly without acting dominant and pushy toward pup, you can also calmly give a treat. Try not to let puppy see you giving the treats to her though, so that pup doesn't rush over and trigger resource guarding from Inky. Keep the energy calm when interacting with the dogs. Don't feel sorry for either dog but give clear boundaries instead. Don't expect them to be best friends right now - the goal is calm co-existence. When puppy matures and they have learned good manners around each other, they may decide to be friends as adults, but calmness, tolerance, and co-existence comes first. Keep any play you allow calmer - interrupt both dogs often, calling them apart to two separate people, and rewarding with treats for doing commands - so that being called apart isn't a bad thing. Don't allow play to escalate to highly exciting, interrupt before energies climb too high. It's also completely fine and sometimes preferred not to allow roughhousing period. Instead, facilitate a calmer relationship or staying on Place in the same room and doing group activities like group heeling walks and structured hikes all together. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello! I just adopted a 2 year old (I personally think he's a little younger) Siberian Husky was who is a total wreck when I walk him. He pulls all the time, which makes it very difficult for me (seeing as he's very big and heavy, and I'm 16, very short and light.) Even worse, he barks and screams and pulls when he sees another dog. He doesn't care about the people, just the dog. I really wish he'd stop that behavior but I don't have any friends with dogs that can help me train him to ignore other dogs. He also is very calm indoors but when we play with him, he tends to grab our hand with his teeth (he doesn't bite, but he puts a little pressure) or when he wants to keep getting petted and we stop. Personally, I think he just hasn't been socialized well at all as a puppy. I don't want to take him to a dog park because he plays too rough and bit a dog a little too hard when our neighbor with his dog came along to greet us. He already has a bad reputation in the neighborhood (any dog owner who sees me with Juno, automatically turn around or hide behind care with their dogs.) I just want him trained and for people to know that he truly is a good boy :)
Hello Shantall, First, check out the Step Toward method from the article linked below, and the Leave It method from the second article below for the jumping and biting issues. Step Toward: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite I suggest looking for a G.R.O.W.L. class in your area, which is a class for dog reactive/aggressive dogs who all wear basket muzzles and are intensively socialized together in a structured environment. When you walk pup, pay attention to his body language. At what distance does he tense up when someone is getting closer? (Not lunge but get tense or fixate) Second, pay attention to your body language and emotions during a walk. Are you tensing up, is your heart rate getting faster, tightening up on the leash as someone approaches, ect...You may accidentally be giving him signals at a certain point that he should also feel stressed. It's hard not to feel that way and do subtle things but it does make a difference in your dog. Getting to a point where you can feel more confident and calm through your own practice can help that if tension is present. Work on pup's structured heel and focus on you at a distance where both you and pup can stay relaxed around other dogs. Pup shouldn't be scanning the horizon or staring at dogs. You need to work at that distance from dogs, interrupting any staring or fixating on dogs early, and rewarding any focus on you and calmness - until pup's body language stays relaxed and happy while heeling. When pup can stay relaxed - pay attention to body language, you need to change the mental state here, not just stop the lunging, then practice at a closer distance. Very gradually decrease the distance only as pup is actually relaxed around others at the current distance - interrupt pup for focusing on people or tensing up and calmly let him no not to do that with a calm and confident "Ah Ah" or "No", then give alternate instruction like heel or watch me. Reward pup for focusing back on you, relaxing again, and staying focused or relaxed for certain periods of time - reward the most for STAYING calm and focused. Do not reward while he is tense or fixating - only reward the correct mindset. Work on teaching pup a very structured heel where they are slightly behind you, in environments where others aren't around first. Start the walk off with pup calm, having to focus on you before getting to move forward, and letting you exit the doorway first. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel If pup shows any signs of aggression toward you at any point, it's time to hire a professional trainer who help you in person with this, instead of tackling it on it's own. Some dogs will redirect aggression when highly aroused to whoever is closest. Always be careful when dealing with aggression or reactivity. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My husky is anti social, not dog friendly and I want to train him to be all of these and generally trained , I realize this will take time before I can get another dog that is well trained and introduce them so I am looking for any sort of advice that could help me on my journey
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Our Siberian Husky, Gunner, is a neutered purebred, with papers to prove it. He came from a top breeder in AK. Breeder told my son he'd been thoroughly socialized with other non-Husky dogs & many people, while still a pup, stressing that was very-important to having a well-behaved household member. He loves all people & tries to love all other canines, but he's killed 2 dogs who attacked him, very-swiftly. One was a Chi who stupidly attacked a much-bigger dog. Gunner simply crushed it with one bite. The other was a beagle who charged & attacked him in the street when I was walking him. He grabbed the beagle's neck held him with his paws, & ripped the throat open in a split-second. Gunner is abnormally-large, 30"tall & 120 lb. He's in perfect health, enormously-strong. We feed him Dr. Marty's, Blue Buffalo, & raw fish & chicken guts. (No intestines!) We wonder why he grew so large, as his parents & littermates are normal-size. Our vet, who's also a trainer, said it's normal for a Husky to fight back lethally if another dog attacks, as they're the nearest relative to wolves, with corresponding bite power & killer instincts. His advice is for us to simply be careful about exposing Gunner to potentially-hostile dogs & to never leave him alone with a cat, as , of all dog breeds, Sibes are about the least-tolerant of cats. So, we just act accordingly, as he gets along fine with several other dogs in the 'hood. Also, he has a strong prey drive, which the vet said is normal for Sibes. Once he escaped from me & ran down an adult rabbit, while he was trailing our Flexi-Leash through brush & scrub, quicklt catching & killing the rabbit. He then carried it around, not knowing what to do with it. we just let him keep it til he tired of it, then disposed of it. We can't really complain about Gunner's behavior. He's a good companion, loves to play, especially "tug of war", is very quiet, well-housebroken, very clean, etc. I just have to remember his POTENTIAL. He's yanked me down a couple of times wanting to go after a rabbit or a squirrel(I weigh a good 235), goes his own way when being walked, & would run off if he got loose. I believe it's the same with any other dog-remember their capabilities, likes & dislikes, & as much as possible, let them be Huskies, Labradors, Beagles, or, if curs, whatever breed they resemble. (Some of the best dogs I've ever seen were curs !)