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 Would appreciate some help on building a stronger bond with my husky pup and training.

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Kona
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2014-08-08

PostSubject: Would appreciate some help on building a stronger bond with my husky pup and training.   Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:23 pm

Hello everyone,

First off, I'm new to the forums. I have spent a few days glimpsing the forums at work, and decided to ask all you husky owners for some advice with my pup.

Her name is Kona and she is currently 8.5-9 months old.
She definitely shows many of the common husky traits and personality. However, I also believe she is in ways more tame then what most typical husky owners make their dogs out to be. She is generally well behaved and I've had no issues with aggression of any sort so far.

Now, a little background with my experience with dogs. I grew up around dogs and had many family dogs. I've taken care of many dogs as well. But, I've never really dealt with huskys and dogs of similar traits (basically super stubborn dogs). I've also never really had a dog of my own, Kona is my first.

So, with all the research I did on raising a husky and training tips and etc.. I decided I wanted to try training her myself. I already expected a difficult time, I just wanted to go through the learning experience and perhaps get a better understanding of my dog. I started with crate training and basic commands at first. I realized early that she is a super quick learner.. so with the use of treats, I was able to teach her basic commands (Sit, Down, Stay, Wait, Gentle, and so on) fairly quick. I was thrilled with the results and how quick I was able to teach her things. I then moved onto some behavior issues and recall training. This is when I started running into problems. I started exploring options, and tried a variety of methods (including treats). As she got a bit older though, some progress was lost and she reverted back to some old habits.

And now were here at 8-9 months old. She never really was a destructive husky and I've had no issues really with leaving her at home to roam around. She behaves well in the house most of the time. But, I'm not happy with where we our in terms of a bond/relationship. Despite the general good behavior, I really don't feel as close as I want to be with my dog. I know that huskies don't show much affection (mine only shows it when I greet her after hours of being away), but I still feel like we could develop a stronger bond/relationship. She's at a point where she really rarely listens to me unless she wants something. Despite some early success with the "come" command, the word means nothing to her anymore. Its also frustrating and embarrassing taking her to the park (and she loves her time at the park) because I literally have to chase her around for 15-30 minutes to get her back on the leash. So basically, she is stubborn and doesn't listen much, like a lot of huskies are.

So what am I asking for?
-I'd just like to see what others do with their huskies to help develop a stronger/better relationship. (It's just so odd for me that I felt closer to my husky at a younger age, and now we seem so distant)
-I've heard debates for both sides on being an alpha pack leader. Many argue that once you become the alpha and gain your dogs respect, training her will become much easier. Some input on this would be great from other husky owners.
-Dog trainers. I've never been through one and don't know what to expect. Any opinions and experiences (postive or negative) with dog trainers on your husky.
-This is related to the dog trainer. I've already read so much about ecollar training that my head hurts lol. There are many husky owners who love it, and also many who oppose it. I'm currently in between on the idea. I'm not too concerned about off leash training, which most people say is the purpose for these collars. However, some have mentioned using them to correct behavior with great results. I'm more for positive reinforcement and having my dog respect and want to do what I ask her, as opposed to making her do it with vibrations/shocks. Anyways, just wanted to see what your opinions are and if it really is something I should consider.

Basically put guys.. I love my little girl and want to do what I can to make her life with me comfortable and happy. I want to make both of our lives easier on a daily basis, and this starts with the relationship/bond I have with my dog. I feel that as we get closer, I will have an easier time understanding and working with her. I just don't have an exact idea to go about that, which is why I'm asking for your help. I already plan on hiring a professional trainer to assist me and fixing my mentality and approach to training my husky (obviously what I'm doing now is no good). Anyways, would appreciate any help on this, I love my dog and can't help but feel guilty that we aren't as close as we should be.
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seattlesibe
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Male Join date : 2013-02-05
Location : seattle, wa

PostSubject: Re: Would appreciate some help on building a stronger bond with my husky pup and training.   Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:38 pm

What is it that you are looking for in terms of a bond? What does a good bond, the type you are longing for, look or feel like?

It seems your post can be cut in half with two distinct issues: training and bonding. Your Husky sounds very well trained.

Sounds like maybe your personal expectations for what a bond is aren't being fulfilled ??
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Kona
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2014-08-08

PostSubject: Re: Would appreciate some help on building a stronger bond with my husky pup and training.   Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:54 pm

I'm not looking for an obedient dog that only wants to please me or anything. If that were the case, I probably would have ended up with a Golden Retriever or something.
I'm more so just looking for a loving relationship with my husky where we have a better understanding of each other and where she respects me as her owner. Currently, I don't feel any of that. With time, I'm sure I'll eventually get to the point where I can read her body language and actions. She doesn't seem to see me as her leader or respect me at all. She does what she wants, when she wants. Luckily, she's pretty calm and tame in the house, and I don't have many issues with her. However, when I do need something from her, it rarely happens. Even with a stronger relationship/bond, I don't expect her to listen to me all the time (it's in their nature to question, I know). I just feel like there is something I could be changing about myself (mentality, behavior, etc.) to promote a healthier relationship. Sorry if that didn't answer your question, I'm just not the best at wording what I want to say.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Would appreciate some help on building a stronger bond with my husky pup and training.   Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:03 pm

You are familiar with dog adolescence yes? This, in conjunction to being a Husky, is what your dog is going through and honestly she sounds perfectly normal for a teenage Husky.

Practically, what you an do is relax a bit so that you can promote relaxation in your dog. Your worry and stress and lack of confidence will be contagious to her.

Long walks, hikes, just hanging out can all build trust and respect. Just work on setting a good example for her to look towards. She needs to know you are confident and secure so she can be, especially through her adolescence.



I just sense that you're expectations are perhaps premature or a bit unrealistic for a teenage Husky.

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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Would appreciate some help on building a stronger bond with my husky pup and training.   Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:16 pm

Huskies tend to be very disappointing year 1 in terms of emotional gratification.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Would appreciate some help on building a stronger bond with my husky pup and training.   Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:47 pm

Year 2, also. The only way I know how bonded Ami is to me is that my husband tells me he looks for me and waits for me any time I leave the room. His eyes follow me as I move around. I call him my shadow - follows me around like..."a puppy dog" (sorry, bad pun Laughing ) But, he wants to be in the room with me or laying on the grass in front of the back door. Not next to me or on the chair with me (outside chair). Not so big on petting, maybe the occasional belly rub - he wants "proximity" not physical contact. Does he listen? He listens quite well - does he comply? When it gets him what he wants Rolling Eyes But still - it is abundantly clear to everyone that Ami, in his mind, is my dog.

Now, my son's husky mix - that little guy is a snuggle bug. He's at least as interested in me as he is in the treat. Curls up on the chair or in my lap. Adores my petting, scratching him.

You will just have to be constant with Kona and trust in her quiet acceptance of you. A ready supply of kibble in the pocket helps, too Laughing 

And, finally, human kids in adolescence are the same...

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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Would appreciate some help on building a stronger bond with my husky pup and training.   Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:59 pm

Last year when Jen and I (we're BFFs) were documenting Link and Dizzy's developmental stages it wasn't until around the 11-13 month mark that our dogs respectively became OUR dogs in terms of bonding. That's when the melty eyes and true companionship started. I wish I could quickly link those threads for you.....
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GeorginaMay
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Location : New Zealand

PostSubject: Re: Would appreciate some help on building a stronger bond with my husky pup and training.   Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:26 am

I agree with Jeff, I think you are dealing with a teenage husky and have some slightly premature expectations regarding the bond that will form between you and your girl.
Orion is slightly younger than Link and slightly older than Dizzy and I followed Jeff and Jen's thread regarding developmental stages and the 11-13 month approximation was right on the money for Orion as well.

Kona will come around, at the moment she is finding herself just as much as she is learning her place with you. The best you can do is stay consistent, keep up interaction with her - long walks, training classes, plenty of handling and grooming (some teenagers decide they want their personal space back at this age) games like hide & seek etc
You will start to see a gradual change in her focus as she matures mentally. The next stage will be the velcro stage... this one I did not enjoy at all, Orion went from aloof to ridiculously clingy in a matter of weeks. Initially it was very suspicious after dealing with months of teenage jerk behavior then it just got annoying. A fully grown male Husky trying to climb into your lap whenever you sit down gets old pretty quick. Luckily it didn't last long.

I have always considered my bond with Orion to be reasonable but I can honestly say it has been the last 3 months for us that I have seen the most progress and development so don't panic about you and Kona Smile

By the way nice to see you posting again Jeff Smile
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wpskier222
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Location : NYC

PostSubject: Re: Would appreciate some help on building a stronger bond with my husky pup and training.   Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:46 am

Ha ha. I found the thread they were talking about in terms of the developmental phases...

http://www.itsahuskything.com/t11577-to-all-of-you-with-teenage-huskies-i-sympathize?highlight=Teenage

Reading that makes me *really* appreciate the dog Dizzy has grown into over the summer. I swear, for a while I had just accepted the fact that my dog was kind of an asshole. Wow, have things changed!
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GeorginaMay
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PostSubject: Re: Would appreciate some help on building a stronger bond with my husky pup and training.   Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:34 am

Ha I knew the tread was terribly familiar but I totally forgot it was mine! Lol that was a bad day I started that one...

I am absolutely in the same boat Jen, I am soooo grateful Orion has matured somewhat because wow I must have been without my sanity during a fair part of his puppyhood. I can't say he has lost any tenacity but at least now he has a level of decorum about him.


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