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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