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 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.

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barbianj
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Sun Dec 08, 2013 6:59 pm

Sounds like you need a trainer to help you and Brick how to walk together. Without the professional help, I could see us being in the same situation that you are in now.
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:00 pm

What was your situation and how did a trainer help?
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barbianj
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:12 pm

We started out with a flat collar, then switched to an easy walk harness. His walks improved, but my wife is a small person, and was starting to have a little trouble with him by 12 weeks, when training could begin. Walks became a battle rather than enjoyable. It's difficult to describe the difference in words, but instead of having crazy puppy that does whatever he wants and pushing his bounds, we have a fairly well behaved boy. He is constantly getting praised by people we meet on walks. We are only half way through training and will continue after this session is over.Unless you are that good with dogs, or a trainer yourself, I can't see going about it alone. I guess, the biggest thing that I learned in training was how much I learned. The trainer is really training you.
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GeorginaMay
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:43 am

I know the Halti has an on/off muzzle feature that you can close the dogs mouth with, I'm not entirely sure how it works since I have not used it I just know others who have. It's designed to help with pulling so maybe it would be good for both?

A trainer definitely sounds like it might be a good idea especially if you are not enjoying walks which you can't be if they are getting so awful. Maybe Brick is picking up on your emotions when you're out walking and that could play a part?? I've found that when I am training Orion if I get frustrated or start to get upset for any reason he turns into a little demon!

Kudos for persevering, you sound like you are doing wonderfully just hang in there Smile
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:28 pm

Definitely kudos for persevering! We were in that boat not too long ago too, and it is very frustrating because you just want to spend time with them outdoors, but it gets so frustrating!

Reading through some of the recent posts, I was wondering if maybe Brick is getting frustrated and therefore throwing a tantrum. i.e. maybe it's not as random as we think? I know that when we started to REALLY do loose leash training with Gus, after probably 15-20mins, he would start getting frustrated and start talking back, or just not paying attention to me anymore (even if i had food). Maybe instead of your 30mins-60mins walks, you can cut it down to a few shorter ones, and just some good ol' exercise of tug and fetch in the backyard. I think it's important to set him up for success. And by that, i mean, start and end with something very easy. Don't end your walks or training sessions with a frustrated dog because that could be giving him a negative association with a leashed walk.

A trainer is always a good solution too though!

For the muzzle suggestions. Gus pulls A LOT when he is close to the park or just in an area where he knows there will be playing involved! Our dogwalker said they tried a gentle leader (the one that wraps around the muzzle) on him, and he was great on it! We had originally got that when we first brought him home, but he really didn't like having anything wrapped around his muzzle so we switched to the Easy Walk harness. I haven't tried the gentle leader again myself, but just thought i'd throw that out there. And yes, definitely desensitive to the gentle leader! Gus acted like we were trying to kill him when he had it on!
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:52 pm

Maggie, what you said makes a lot of sense... maybe he is getting bored of the loose leash training... something I took for granted because he can be REALLY good at it, so I took it as just regular walking instead of actual training.

Do you think playing a good game of fetch + tug + perhaps chasing him around my yard at full sprint + a short walk is good enough for exercise for now?

I really appreciate all of your advice and I've been trying real hard to promote the "if you jump/bite, i'm going to turn by back and ignore you" concept, but it's REALLY been getting a lot WORSE. Today, I ran into my neighbor who's had several german shepherds in his lifetime who were all really good dogs. His current one is pretty old and fragile so I can't really let Brick meet her since he will just pounce on her! Anyway, I passed by them with Brick and Brick got so excited. I had to tell him to sit and hold him back and as expected, he started biting and jumping on me. I tried to turn around and ignore him but he really wouldn't stop... My neighbor told me that I had to grab his collar and lay him on the ground until he relaxes. This isn't the first time I've heard this. What are your thoughts on this method? It'd be very difficult for me since I'm kind of a small girl, but I'm quite willing and able to try anything to keep this behavior from getting worse Sad
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GeorginaMay
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:32 am

Pinning them to the ground in a down position is commonly called "Alpha Rolling"

What Ever You Do - Do Not Do It.

Alpha rolling is part of the dominance training theory and can do serious damage to a dogs relationship with their owner. Stories of people being attacked by their dogs after they tried alpha rolling are extremely common, I was reading one just the other day of a woman who tried alpha rolling a full grown German Shepard bitch and she ended up with a face full of stitches and having to have her dog destroyed. Honestly please don't try it!
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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:02 am

Do not alpha roll your dog, you will get bit.

Why do you want him to sit? Anytime he releases from biting you, even for a split second take Svtange of it and praise/treat like crazy. When he stops, and you're telling him to sit, he's just as frustrated as before and probably more now. You can add sit later- for now you need to jackpot when he lets you go as it seems this could avoid continuing the tantrum.

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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:32 am

I tell him to sit because it shows that he's actually listening to me. If I give him treats right after he's been biting me... won't that mean I'm rewarding him for biting/jumping?
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TheBadGuppy
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:09 pm

Based on how excitable and mouthy Brick is, I wouldn't suggest the collar grab either. When Gus gets exceptionally jumpy on me, I will sometimes grab him by the collar and just hold my arm straight so that he can't jump on me anymore, but i'm not pinning him to the ground. He is in a sit position, and i'm just preventing a punch to my face. It's almost acting like i was standing on his leash. He might try and jump again, but once he gets the same sensation as me standing on his leash, he will sit and wait for me to pet/praise him. Sometimes he'll just turn around and walk in a circle, and then come back and slink behind me (almost like a cat rubbing against your leg haha). This is usually just when i get home and he is really happy to see us.

I think that by grabbing Brick's collar, you may possibly make his anxiety worse, and it could stress him out even more and who knows how he could react if he's excited AND stressed AND anxious. I think what Kristina suggested makes sense though. Does Brick know the command "watch" or "focus"? It's basically teaching him to make eye contact with you, and focus on you. The easiest way to teach it is to put a treat in front of his nose, and once he's looking at it, bring the treat to your face (i touch it to my nose) and say "Watch!". Start with just 1-2 seconds of eye contact, then slowly increase it. You could even incorporate a clicker. So after he's watched you for the time you want him to, click, and treat. What Kristina is suggesting is to simply praise any attention that he gives to YOU over anything else. So watch might be a good command to practice with him when you're outside, not necessarily on a walk. But just outdoors in that same environment. Don't reward him when he's biting. Reward him when he makes eye contact with you.

When we started our loose leash training with Gus, we did it during mealtime. So (1) he was hungry (he always acts hungry anyways though), and (2) it forced us to do at least 15-20min sessions with him twice a day. Before we started that, mealtimes were still training sessions. For awhile, all he knew was sit and down. But just doing that back and forth non stop teaches him that focusing on us gets him rewards. At first, he would get VERY frustrated and start woo-ing or walking away. We would give him a break at those times, and go back to easier commands. I don't think this is any different from loose leash training. When you train him on other things, does he have focus on you?
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:59 pm

The problem with Brick is that if I held his collar at arms length, he might not be able to jump, but he will be able to bite me.

He sort of knows "focus," but so far, only when I have a treat in my hand. then he will make eye contact with me. I haven't practiced that during walks yet, only when we're at home with no distractions.

Training during mealtime means you take his food during your walk and feed it to him like treats, right? How about during your normal walks (to go to the bathroom, to the park, etc)? Do you still train him to walk on a loose leash or let it slide if he pulls?

When we're doing actual training sessions, he does focus on me... but that's likely because I have something he wants (food, water, a toy). I've started training him to come to me and 'sit' or 'down' after I've put his food down. so he doesn't get to eat until he acknowledges and listens to me.

Let's take this example: we're walking and he bites me. after he stops, do i ask anything of him or should i just give him a treat for stopping? Also, I know this will show him what is GOOD, but how will this show him that he's done anything bad in the first place?
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:15 pm

@clothing-optional wrote:
I tell him to sit because it shows that he's actually listening to me. If I give him treats right after he's been biting me... won't that mean I'm rewarding him for biting/jumping?

No, because you're catching the moment he stops the biting and rewarding that.

Your problem right now is getting the biting to not be a rewarding activity. So by rewarding heavily when the biting ceases... It will extinguish the behavior.

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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:00 pm

Another thing that might be worth adding is to teach him ah-ah, meaning bad. So when he starts biting, say AH-AH... or making any loud noise to snap him out of it. Then when he stops and looks at you, ANY moment of calmness where he's not biting or being crazy, treat him.

Just don't forget that it will take him awhile to figure this out. Right now, he probably hasn't figured out that being calm and focused on mom gets him rewards. He might just be too crazy in his husky brain to put all that together. So repeat repeat repeat! And shorter sessions are better to drill it in them. Maybe even try it just in front of your home a couple times before he has the chance to be distracted. Try it in an area where you know for sure he won't be distracted, and do that until he learns it. THEN venture out into areas where he can be distracted. This is what we did with Gus. Everyday, same area until he learned it. Then we started to expand our walking area. I think i mentioned this above already, but for the first week or so, we probably walked in circles in a 100m area! You feel kind of silly because people are wondering why this girl is walking in circles. But then it's nice when people give you a little smile when they understand you're trying to train your crazy dog Razz

Baby steps! Keep at it! I'm sure he'll figure it out soon. When he does, you'll be so proud of him and yourself too!
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PostSubject: Re: 9 month old husky—Jumps and Bites during Walks.   Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:30 pm

I need a method for DURING these tantrums. He knows "no biting" when we're at home and he's trying to nibble or if we're handing him a small treat... he would be VERY gentle during these times. All of these commands and training go away during the tantrums. In terms of places to go where he WON'T throw tantrums are getting very limited. He used to only throw them when we were on our way home (seemingly to say he doesn't want to leave yet). Now he'll start jumping as soon as he does his business across the street from our house... so we haven't even walked 10 minutes before he starts.

This morning my plan was to just take him to do his business, then go back to my yard to play fetch or other games. We couldn't even do that! I spent the rest of the hour just TRYING to get back home, but I couldn't cause he wouldn't stop no matter what I did. Also, this brings me back to the amount of exercise he needs at this age. While he's throwing tantrums, it minimizes the amount of time I have to actually play with him since I'm spending all my time begging him to stop. I can't go on my long walks anymore, and walking around the block would probably be pretty boring.
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