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 Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance

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pseud
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Male Join date : 2015-04-10
Location : Newcastle, England (United Kingdom)

PostSubject: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:28 pm

Hey guys! I've been away for a while, but it's nice to be back here Smile

Quick question for you all!

Our husky has been with us for a while, but we got her at the age of 4 years old and she's still struggling when it comes to being lead as opposed to leading, when walking outside.

We're currently trying to enforce a structure when we are outside walking, whereby we keep her on a very short lead, walking slightly behind us, only getting to do her business and sniff around when we stop and give her a little bit of lead. We make sure she lets us go through doorways before her, she doesn't go down the stairs to the door for her walk until she's called down etc. (she's amazing indoors, just not outdoors).

The problem is, every time we take her out, she seems to have forgotten the previous walk and thinks she's in charge again. She pulls like crazy, keeps jumping on to her back legs to try and pull us so that she's in charge; she simply doesn't seem to be getting the point.

My question is this: What else should I be doing to "establish dominance" over our husky when we're out walking? Would a "choke chain" be worth trying to stop her from pulling?

Thanks!
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Playing with the Big Dogs
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:45 pm

This doesn't sound like it has anything to do with dominance or her thinking she is in charge to me.

It sounds like you have a husky who is excited to explore the world. Like a little kid wanting to race to the park because he is excited to play.

Now you can train a husky to walk on a lose leash. The key is more clear expectations and consistent training.
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capellalayla
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:34 pm

There is no need to "dominate" your Husky. With the proper tools and guidance and structure to your dog's routine, you can teach her to walk with a loose leash and respect you when you give commands. This isn't dominance; it's respect. Dogs are not out to dominate their humans. They need structure and guidance from you to learn what you want them to do and to learn "their job" and place in the family. I agree with Elise -- it sounds like your Husky is young and just wants to explore her world. By giving her the freedom to do some of that while still enforcing your rules, you will give her what she needs to become a well-behaved companion.
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Rumflower
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:39 pm

Try walking faster while you're training her. Making it so that she has to keep up with you can help make it less of a struggle. I wouldn't do a choke chain. Walmart has some no pull harnesses, so maybe try that first. It's made of some type of fabric and keeps the pressure off their neck, so it's a lot more humane. Huskies have a natural inclination to pull, so it takes a lot of time and patience to overcome that.

Here's an article with different methods for this: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/teaching-your-dog-not-pull-leash

Wait, do ya'll have Walmart there? If not, I'm sure there are other places to get no-pulls.


Last edited by Rumflower on Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Because I'm dumb)
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RedFlashFire05
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Join date : 2015-05-19
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Sun Aug 02, 2015 1:19 am

I resonantly got a PetSafe Easy Walk Dog Harness for Leo , cause i need more help with loos leash walking. used it yesterday, it took a few tries but he picked it up quick, we walked for 30ish minutes and he did amazing i was so happy Very Happy . he didn't drag me forward to go smell things. Leo still got to sniff up a storm every so often Laughing . he  got a brain workout; almost got hormonal  Shocked (jump and nip) towards the end of the walk, but composed himself quickly and he got a treat for that. very useful tool.
http://www.amazon.com/PetSafe-Harness-Large-Black-Silver/dp/B0009ZBKG4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438488204&sr=8-1&keywords=eazy+walk

walking faster also helps, and changing direction when they pull, and when they are going well you can reward them by letting them smell things.
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pseud
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Male Join date : 2015-04-10
Location : Newcastle, England (United Kingdom)

PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:42 am

Thanks guys! I think I had a bit too much "dominance" info in my head from reading around online without actually thinking about what applies to huskies as a specific breed.

This is very helpful, I'll look in to the harness and give that a go if I can find one over here! The key, from what I understand, is giving her more mental stimulation to calm her down quicker and then she'll reward me by being more "obedient" once she's getting that stimulation.

I'll look at loose leash walking and see if I can get a proper routine for her.

How long would you suggest I make the walks last initially, and how frequent? At the moment we are doing 15-20 min walks every couple of hours to keep them nice and frequent but also make sure that they're "training sessions" as opposed to long walks. Again though, we appear to have the wrong information when it comes to our husky so I assume we should change this a bit.

Thank you all <3
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RedFlashFire05
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Sun Aug 02, 2015 11:40 am

oh, i also forgot if they start jumping and nipping like Leo like to do every so often; you can step on the leash so they cant jump at you and give them abut 5-10 minutes to compose themselves. then continue the walk. i still do that with Leo every once in a wail, much less then i used to Laughing. i found the harness on amazon was much cheaper then the local pet store. Cool
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:13 pm

I use a Herm Sprenger prong collar and find it most useful for walking.  You can search this forum for "prong collar".  While some people find the collar offensive and abusive, even though my initial reaction was "its a medieval torture device," it really is benign when properly used.  It was recommended and provided to me by the shelter where we got Ami.

I also allow Ami lots of sniffing, wandering and "being a dog" on leash. For me, the purpose of a walk is to allow the dog to not only get exercise and relieve himself, but to exercise is mind as well.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:19 am

I agree with Amy on using the prong. Take a look at this video (and browse youtube for others) on how to do a structured walk. If you can achieve this, the mental focus will drain a lot of energy and also make your walk times more pleasant. I would start working on training the structured walk, and then mix in some 'dog' time as Amy suggested.

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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:21 am

Oh, and I'd also recommend making your walks longer and more varied in terms of where you walk (if possible). Or just take a different route, walk on the opposite side of the street. An hour structured walk with the dog focused on you will result in a really, really tired pup. Smile
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slipfox
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Tue Aug 04, 2015 3:28 am

Not trying to hijack the thread, but I watched that video and I'm interested. Hux has zero interest in structured walking with me. Is this a puppy thing? When he is in his buckle collar he just pulls and wanders around, and I tend to let him do just that because he is so young, and he is only out there for 5-15 minutes at a time before he finds a place to lay and hang out...

Should I try a harnes first for structed walks or go for the prong? I really don't have the same hang up many people seem to have, I'd rather have a relaxed dog on a prong collar that enjoys structured walking than not.

Thoughts? Is he just too little? Will a harness give me the same results? Should I just try both?

Ryan
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MiyasMomma
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Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:37 am

Ryan, I think Hux is too young for a prong. The op's dog is 4 years old. Leash training is a long process since, you can only walk(structured or otherwise) 5 minutes for every month old. Being a puppy will mean a lot of patience on your end. They are curious and want to explore. I personally think that most dogs can be properly leashed trained. However, if you feel it is not working, then yes a harness may be in order. I also don't really recommend one right now, simply because most are fitted, and Hux is going to grow out of many harness between now and a year old. What I found to be more enjoyable for me, and at the time for Miya to be good on leash, was to try command training along with leash training, this way neither of you become bored. It is a simple way to start, start with a walk and in the middle of it throw out a command such as sit, it disrupts the dogs focus and puts the dogs focus back to you, which is what you want anyways. Placing focus on you, should bring about a better leash walking dog. Hope that helps.
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pseud
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:48 am

Thanks again all, I just opened our package with the new harness in it, got one from Amazon and it arrived already! Will be trying it out momentarily, with a leash attached to her collar just in-case it slips off somehow (never confident with new things really). I'll try a quick one to begin, and then will start taking her for much longer walks; I'll try to keep the walks new too.
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pseud
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:23 pm

Quick question re. the no-pull harness:

How does it compare to regular harnesses in terms of them being able to escape? With our current harness, if she pulls backwards enough, she'll slip out of it, so we obviously don't let her pull back, but it seems with this one she'll be able to a lot easier as the clip is on the front.
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RedFlashFire05
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Location : manteca, ca

PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:48 pm

if its snug it shouldn't move, but since they don't have short hair i think it will move even though its snug. but i don't think they should be able to back out of it. Leo has tried a few times wail i was adjusting it but had no luck.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:53 pm

Chris I am not at all familiar with the harness. The no pull harness has been recommended by our humane society(local) and a friend of mine swear by it as well. I assume since the clip is in the front, where the chest is at, the dog is to be led by you or walking side by side vs your dog going ahead of you, hence the pulling. I am hoping that those who actually use it can be of more assistance than myself. Just my thought that since you will be leading her, she shouldn't slip out, again though, just my reasoning.
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caseysteffans
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:19 pm

I have the same easy walk harness. I have had great success with it. Loki went from dragging me down the sidewalk, to walking just in front of me. This helped me greatly with being able to correct him if he pulls to hard. Loki nor Banner have ever been able to back out of it. Loki has long hair, and it stays in place well.
Even if she pulls backwards, I don't think she will be able to slip out of it because it will tighten across her chest.
Just make sure you have it fitted correctly. I haven't had any issues with it rubbing, although I have heard of it rubbing if you let your dog swim in it. I have found that it works because the strap across the chest will tighten if they pull, which they don't like and can set them off balance, and it will turn the dog around back facing towards you. The first time I put in on Loki, he lunged forward, excited for his walk, and ended up turned around facing me. I think it confused him a little bit.
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Rumflower
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:49 pm

If she tries to slip out it should tighten on her legs and chest. I haven't had Loki slip out of them on me, but he has slipped out of his collar. That said, try it around your house or in your backyard for a few minutes before you go out onto the streets. On a side note, mine doesn't clip in the front. Could you link it? I'm curious about it, lol.
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pseud
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:15 am

Here you go Rumflower: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B005HNPCY4?&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

Thanks everyone!

We ordered a smaller harness because the one we got was too large, it should be here within the hour. We tried the large one regardless of it being loose (just with an extra lead on the collar in-case it slipped off) and it worked wonders; she barely pulled at all and it wasn't even tight enough to work properly, so I can't wait to see how a properly fitted one works.

I'll let you all know how it goes Smile
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kwdrysdale
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:54 am

For anyone using a no-pull harness - do you skijor/bikejor/etc with a pull harness? Do they get more confused? Just asking cause Akira is starting to get a little bigger and is WANTING to pull more and with much patience we can stop her still. I use similar methods as described above. She is really good at sitting so as she gets pulling too much I distract her by having her sit. Then when I start walking I go at HER normal pace and praise her for doing good and staying close. After a few steps its back to sit. She is super young still but I will even walk really slow sometimes just to be sure she is watching me and staying with me.
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joemamma474
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:29 pm

It may seem difficult to train a husky to walk with you, but it is very possible. Dominance within dogs as it is explained within popular culture does not actually exist. "Dominance" within dogs is about access to resources, not resisting directions (google Ian Dunbar, he researched social hierarchies within canine populations and also has TONS of useful dog training tips - and he raises one excellent point, which is working off-leash with the dog around your house and fenced yard - "If your dog doesn't want to be near you off-leash, why would anything change when you put the leash on?").

I never thought mine would walk appropriately on leash, and while it is still far from perfect, using a couple of simple strategies I would say it has improved ten-fold. I started using mealtime as a time for walks. Any time he is walking on a loose-leash he gets some food. If there is tension on the leash I stop moving and shorten the leash up so he can't wander in a wide range. If he moves back toward me and looks at me then we start walking again. If he is walking NEXT to me, he would get a jackpot of food. If you don't want to stand still, you can change directions suddenly - it will require him to keep his focus on you. When he turns and follows you without having tension on the leash that is another great opportunity for a jackpot. If your dog pulls toward something it wants to sniff, shorten up the leash and make him/her sit prior to being allowed to sniff. Don't let him/her reach anything they want by pulling or the pulling will be reinforced. Now whenever he wants to sniff something I tell my dog to sit, we wait a moment, and I say "Go sniff" and he is free to go check it out for a minute or two before we move on. He gets rewarded any time he comes back to me from something he was just investigating so he knows it is always good to be near me.

Doing this repeatedly for just a few weeks really changed our walks. Now if he is getting too far ahead I can just say his name and he turns around and looks at me and lets me touch his neck to make sure he is close enough, and we move on. Being absolutely consistent is key (he only walks nicely for me, not as nicely for my wife, or others, because they won't follow my instruction on how to do this). Good luck!
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capellalayla
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:47 pm

^^ WONDERFUL advice. This is exactly how it should be done, IMO. Great points from Ian Dunbar, too.
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RedFlashFire05
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:43 pm

so far, i use an urban trail harness for when we go biking, hiking, carrying his pack or when i let him be up in front. which i got at http://www.alpineoutfitters.net/scripts/prodView.asp?idproduct=189

he's slowly learning that the no-pull harness is for walking next to me, and the urban trail harness lets him be in the front and when we go biking i use a different collar which i call his "safety" looks like ishttp://www.amazon.com/Lupine-1-Inch-Martingale-Collar-27-Inch/dp/B00REOGDYW/ref=sr_1_9?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1438795957&sr=1-9&keywords=lupine+combo+collar
and a 4 ft leash and he usually knows that we're going biking when i pull all them out and tell him to put on his "safety". Cool
they will eventually click and they will know what each thing is for, it takes a wail.

agree very good advice, good points form ian dunbar Like a Star @ heaven . that how i have been doing it with Leo with the new harness but i have been using treats do to him getting distracted. makes it some much more fun for him and me.


Last edited by RedFlashFire05 on Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:55 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : typos, adding more)
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Dimka Petlin
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PostSubject: Re: Becoming the "pack leader" and establishing dominance   Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:24 pm

ohhhh those pulling problems....I actually also have them,but I think the only thing that's would help me with a dog pulling,is bikejoring and canikross,rnning with a husky....if we do 15 km bikejoring,my dog wont be pulling for a few days for sure
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