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 Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!

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Clabont
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Join date : 2013-12-27

PostSubject: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:29 pm

Hello everyone,
I recently adopted a Siberian Husky and despite all of the literature and advice I've read & received, it has been more of a job than I could have ever anticipated. This pup is the biggest little tyrant I've ever dealt with, and I'm wondering if there are some different approaches I should be taking with a Husky since their mentality is fairly unique.

His name is Kupo. He is 11 wks. old, and while I know he's a puppy, I don't want these to be habits he forms for life. But... What he lacks in discipline, he makes up for in cuteness.



Kupo doesn't like being controlled. At all. My biggest problem with Kupo is whenever I encounter a situation which he has to be held under control for longer than 10 seconds. Example: Going to the vet's office. Having to hold Kupo in one place or in my arms makes him go insane. He kicks and screams bloody murder as though I'm inflicting pain on him and it's embarrassing as all hell. The veterinarian told me he was the most high maintenance pup he's encountered and that he is very much an "alpha male" due to his size. Kupo is 21 lbs already, and when he left his siblings at ~7wks he was 11 lbs compared to the next highest at 8 lbs.

The vet told me I had to assert my dominance however I can until he finally can see me as his alpha. He showed me how to flip him on his back and cover his mouth so the screaming doesn't destroy my ear drum. He said that it won't affect his personality, that it's all a display of dominance and him resisting to my alpha approach. He did say Kupo would probably take a month of doing this at least twice a day until he finally put up no resistance, but it honestly sounds traumatizing to the poor guy and I don't know how I feel about doing this to him. I also want to dissuade him from his crying and yelping he does, but this tactic only seems to induce it.

I do have to say, however, that his behavior has improved remarkably. He no longer has accidents indoors, he listens to "sit, down, no bite, no bark" commands pretty well for the most part. I don't know how to stop him from the crying and yelping, and that's one of the most important things I want to stop. If there are people or dogs around and I'm stopping him from saying hello he will kick and scream until I let him go. It makes me look like a terrible parent and it's like he knows I have to let him get his way or I'll look like an abusive parent or someone with an absolutely retarded dog!

Ok, there's a lot to type, but I think that highlights it... Any tips, please? And please, no judgment if I am doing something wrong... I'm seeking help for a reason. Smile



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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:41 pm

What incentive are you giving him to NOT throw tantrums? You're embarrassed by your puppy's behavior yet your way of dealing with it is to reinforce it and let him get his way. Why?

You need to change before he will. He's a puppy who doesn't want to be alpha male over an adult human. He's a puppy without boundaries or limitations or positive incentive to change.

I guarantee you he wants meat or cheese or peanut butter more than he wants to be your alpha male.

He is acting this way because it works. Male sure the ratio of positive to negative interaction you have with him is heavier on the positive. He should be learning to respect you and trust you right now, not either fear you or control you.

Build trust and respect. Lesson 1 after potty training. Be a positive source of security and his only means to get anything good. With patience and a lot of discipline things will eventually change.
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Clabont
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Join date : 2013-12-27

PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:46 pm

Sorry, I suppose I didn't explain the tantrum in public thing. Basically when he throws a tantrum in public and I constrain him, he starts to really do his screaming and yelping thing and makes it sound like I'm beating him. I do stop him from doing it, but he's not showing improvement and will use every ounce of strength to run over to a random stranger to say hello. I oftentimes feel like I have to extricate myself from interactions with people prematurely because I know he will only continue freaking out more and more unless I let him get his way.

As for incentives to get him to not throw tantrums, I constantly reinforce his good behavior with treats, chew toys, and other things he likes while he is behaving. If he's being held and isn't throwing a tantrum I will give him a treat and nurture him with "good boy"'s and such. As for reinforcing good behavior with strangers it's tough. He doesn't bite on me or chew on me but I can't get him to stop with strangers because regardless of me saying "no bite" a random stranger will always say "oh no, it's ok, I don't mind..." (sigh, really?!)
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:52 pm

So let him throw a tantrums. What harm will it do?

He will learn eventually that it is unnecessary and pointless. As for people, well, you have a baby of a stubborn, independent,high maintenance breed and you can't always be polite or pleasant in public. What your puppy thinks of you is more important than what people think of you.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:56 pm

Let him throw a tantrum. As soon as he is calm and quiet, praise him and treat him. You win.
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Clabont
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:01 pm

The most recent of him doing this drew the attention of almost fifty people... His screaming literally sounds like I'm torturing him makes it seem like I'm hurting him. As much as I'd like to be the dominant one in this situation and control it, his tantrums aren't decreasing in frequency nor is my level of embarrassment.
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AnyaLuv
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:06 pm

Sorry if this sounds insensitive (I don't mean it to be!) but so what? Let people look, you'll never deal with them again. But you will deal with this behavior forever if he gets his way.

If the embarrassment is seriously too much, you need to hire a very good trainer to work one on one with him, or you are looking at a lifetime of tantrums.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:08 pm

But you're NOT torturing him;.he's torturing you.

I once joked that Huskies should come with a warning staying that they are "not recommended for the weak at heart."

Know in your heart that you care for him and want to make him better and seriously, let it go. If you continue to give in, no matter what your justification, it won't get better.

He's a 10 week old puppy hardly bigger than a football, and he's a brat. Own it. I doubt people actually think you're torturing him. They probably just think he's a cute little devil, which he is, so own it.

Smile
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Rocio_Caballero
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:23 pm

I agree with Jeff. This sounds EXACTLY like Lycus when he was a pup. He's now 75lbs and a few times he will still yelp if I don't let him meet someone or another dog. I just drag his ass away so he can't see them whatsoever. I may come across rude to some people, but if my pup is acting out, I won't let them pet him. His training is more important to me than strangers praises. I would take Jeff's advice and stay consistent and eventually your pup will start to trust and obey you. Smile

Good luck! I wanted to strangle Lycus MANY times because he was exactly like yours lol.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:36 pm

Yeah agreed. I had a lady that would constantly bully me about Dizzy's bad puppy habits. Eventually I calmly called her out on being a sadist and she hasn't said a word since. I'd stop the 'dominating' thing. Honestly, it's a pretty insecure person that tells you that if you don't 'dominate' your puppy, then he'll be a terrible dog. Diz wasn't a screamer, but I do know someone who has a husky that used to do it. It was embarrassing and rediculious but she grew out of it eventually. Build trust and respect. Teach gently, use time outs, go to training classes and most importantly be patient. If you do the things suggested he will grow out of this puppy crap. They are lucky they're cute, because mine sure was a little devil. Wink
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:37 pm

Thanks Rocio. I can't count how many times I wanted to scream and smack the crap outta Link in public.

I'm a firm believer is accepting the nature and essence of something and there is nothing whatsoever polite or docile or decent about these puppies at this age. You just gotta own it and stay strong and consistent and disciplined, and surely primarily committed to what's best for them at all times.

Blinders.

Tunnel vision.

Ignorance is bliss.

Or just be like them. Stubborn and defiant of social norms Smile

You gotta make an ass of yourself in public with them. Par for the course.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Fri Dec 27, 2013 11:41 pm

Ha ha. People would say things like, "OMG, aren't you totally in love with him?" Or "You must be having so much fun with him!" I wanted to ask them if they had ever owned a growling, biting, crying, peeing, smart ass raccoon with an evil streak.
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Clabont
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:01 am

Hahah thanks so much, guys... It took a bit of courage to post on here, but you're all very helpful. I swear this dog is brilliant and thinks he knows when he can get away with things, and strangers just make it worse. They think the tantrums are adorable... meanwhile I'm holding his mouth closed and smiling thinking about how much he's annoying the shit out of me.

Jen, 10/10. People always tell me, "OMG, he's the cutest puppy ever!! I'm going to kidnap him!" ... I always respond that his cuteness comes at a price. Haha. Smile
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techigirl78
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:56 am

When you hold him do you hold him tightly? I kind of just gently wrap my arms around my pets and they are fine. If any pressure at all they kind of freak. If I am nervous they freak. Nice calm gentle hugs usually work.

When he is in cuddly mood just gently wrap your arms around him. Over time it may help.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:34 am

My response to that was " if only it were as simple as him being cute."
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siku&nikolai
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Sat Dec 28, 2013 10:21 am

I agree with what everyone has said. Honestly the more tantrums he throws in public the less you care about what people think. The embarrassment goes away pretty quickly when you have a husky puppy! I know what your going through Siku was a screamer and still sometimes is a screamer. I swear everytime I give him a bath I'm scared the police are going to come knocking at my door because they think someone is getting murdered, but just stick with what you want him to do and reward him when he does it. They will be further in between and maybe you will even get lucky enough for them to stop! I know its hard to have patience sometimes, when it comes to these dogs and trust me not all of us are perfect at it and we do have our moments but it does pay off. Its okay to get overwhelmed but all of this will pass if you are consistant.

I just do not agree with the dominance thing at all. Yes he is very smart and will learn to take advantage of you if you give in but respect will get you further with him then trying to be the boss. This bond takes a long time to build and through out his life you will have to keep building on it. These are very sensative animals and should be treated as such. Constistancy rather than fear will get you where you need to be eventually. This will not happen over night. Its going to take a very long time, but in the end it will be worth it!
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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:32 pm

To this day Cato will scream to holy hell in a vets office. He wants the people to pet him and he wants the dogs to play with him. Simple as that. I don't care about his talking and quite frankly, I don't care if other people care. My dog, not theirs. He doesn't do it anywhere else, except when introduced to a new dog. He loves dogs and loves to talk to them. He's excited and wants to see everything. Even as a puppy, I would never say this was a temper tantrum. It's more excitement than aggression or dominance. You have an 11 week old puppy, they are very excited about their surroundings.

As far as the alpha techniques, please don't roll your dog and don't assert dominance in a physical way. Seek out a real trainer, not a veterinarian who probably specializes in vaccinations.

FWIW, my most dominant dog is also my most well trained and well behaved. We made the mistake of alpha rolling her and trying to assert our dominance and that was hell for a while. Now that we have approached all of her training in a positive way she is a gem - a stubborn one, but a gem none the less.
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Hughie
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PostSubject: Re: Super Alpha-Male Issues... Help!   Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:47 pm

...and remember confidence; I think the showing dominance thing gets confused with projecting confidence and being calm. Calm and confident and your dog should be happy to work with you.
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