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 Adopted 2yr old with bite issues

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sibhus
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Join date : 2013-10-02

PostSubject: Adopted 2yr old with bite issues   Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:54 pm

Hi All, I've actually owned 4 huskies over the last 30 years and recently lost one but subsequently adopted a 2yr old male whom was at end stage euthanasia at a shelter. He was a stray but i suspect he may have been abused or neglected with his prior owners. I decided to adopt him (ironically i found out a husky league decided not to rescue him). What I'm experiencing is that he uses his mouth and constantly opens and closes his mouth in a snapping action at you when he wants attention. Also he is constantly nipping at my hands and uses him mouth quite a lot in a snappy manner. Its very hard to place your hand near his face without him nipping you. Also he seems to have bad dog to dog aggression and constantly growls and wants to go after other dogs.

I have tried over the last month just saying no, holding his muzzle shut with my hands and saying no, trying to ignore him, and just flat out scolding him in a stern manner but none of this is working as to his biting/nipping.

The dog to dog aggression concerns me as well as I'm fearful of him and trying to socialize him with other dogs without fear of him fighting..for now i scold him anytime he tries to get unruly when he sees another dog, and i keep him moving along through the course of the walk..


Im really bummed out and don't know what to do, hoping for some advice..

Thanks Kal

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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Adopted 2yr old with bite issues   Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:04 pm

Hi Sibhus,  I've just done a quick scan of your other posts and it sounds as if you and Sierra have had a time of it - I really hope things get better on that front.

As far as the nippy two year old goes, I tend to agree with you that he sounds as if he's been abused, probably by getting his head swatted when he "doesn't behave".  Since you have husky's then you know that they're mouthy to begin with, right?  While my personal training style is to "take it easy" with some occasional stern corrections, I have a dog who's more than just mouthy - so far she's bitten me five times (food possessive) and the last time took 4 stitches.  Your pup doesn't sound as if he's that bad but I do have a few questions, if you don't mind.

How is he around you and food?  In either case, I think I'd do some hand feeding for a couple of weeks to make sure that he understands that hands around his head are okay, that he's not going to get hit 'just because'.
How is he at playing, both with you and your other dog(s)?  I think I'd try is some tug of war style games.  Again you're putting your hands into his "scared" zone but it should be fun time, something that is a positive not a negative.

What I would not do, since you're dealing with a probably abused dog, is anything that brings out a bad response.  Scolding, especially in a raised voice, is going to "remind" him of bad times.  I think I'd keep it real calm "No, don't bite" and remove yourself from anything that resembles play or gives him an excuse to nip.  BTW, I'm assuming that the nips aren't hard or break the skin, just his way of saying that he's not comfortable.  Of course, it may be him trying to instigate play ... you have to decide that for yourself but it sounds more like a "don't do that" reaction.

Over a month, you said, if he was hit repeatedly by a previous owner, it may take a few months for him to feel comfortable that your hands are an okay thing.  I had a rescue black Lab who, apparently, been kicked - often and badly - it was well over a year before I could move my feet around her without her heading for a safe place and over two years before I could step over her.  Abuse is a horrible thing in either humans or dogs - it takes such a long time to "work it out" and sometimes it seems like nothing works.  Just take your time and let the trust level build, it will eventually.
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sibhus
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PostSubject: Re: Adopted 2yr old with bite issues   Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:54 pm

Aljones, thanks very much for the response. You gave me some good insight as i this is my first time dealing with an abused dog..

As to food, i have actually been able to remove food while he is eating and he doesn't bite or get aggressive with me He is however very pushy when we are eating dinner and will stand in your face. Fortunately for me, he has gotten better but with me but with my wife he stands right next to her just eagerly waiting but i suppose this is common with many siberians. He was very demanding during the first week but i would put him in a crate for 15 minutes as a form of timeout.

As to the nips, yes they are very controlled, in that he doesn't bite hard but rather just grabs and it seems more attention seeking. I actually did not experience this with my last 4 huskies so i found it odd as he nips quite regularly for all forms of attention and nothing has been working. I suppose ill give this some time and take your advice.

Thanks Kal

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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Adopted 2yr old with bite issues   Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:41 am

@sibhus wrote:

As to the nips, yes they are very controlled, in that he doesn't bite hard but rather just grabs and it seems more attention seeking.  I actually did not experience this with my last 4 huskies so i found it odd as he nips quite regularly for all forms of attention and nothing has been working.   I suppose ill give this some time and take your advice.

Thanks Kal

 

Kal - this sounds less like "bite issues" and more like the typical mouthing behavior of many huskies. Ami, my 3 yr old was terribly mouthy when we first got him at 1 yr old. And it HURT. I was forever covered in bruises on my forearms - he would leap at me to play and grab at my clothing, hands and forearms. My part-time husky mix (son's dog who stays with us frequently when son is out of town) is very nippy/mouthy too. He was not abused, my son got him at 4 mos old. I've done everything I can think of but Archer's mouth is the just the way he communicates...at least now, at 20 mos old, the nips don't hurt, it's just his mouth around my hand...my ankles...a "hello" on the butt...a pantleg. Or the worst - when he sees us in work gloves Rolling Eyes

Since the mouthing had one common impetus - an invitation to play, I used the following procedure to modify the behavior: When they come running up and are about to grab, I would turn sideways, bring my arms up to my chest, cross them with my hands under my chin, lower my head and make no eye contact - if they then settled down, I would praise and rub ears or throw a toy and engage with them...if they cont'd I would terminate the contact - go in the house, tether them or otherwise go about my business.

This worked great with Ami almost immediately, with Archer it has been a longer process and I've modified it a bit. The motivation for Archer and the mouthing behavior is really to get my undivided attention - and he loves to be touched, rubbed, patted, "ruffled" - so to make that more controllable, I make him sit first, then I kneel down and give him his attention. Even now, though, if I'm busy and only give a quick pat, he will wrap his front paws around my leg and pull at my pant leg so this is only a partial "fix".

I tried the loud "ouch" that some have had success with - for me that just seemed to excite the dogs more - like a human squeeky toy.

As for the pushy at the dinner table with your wife - either you never, ever, either of you, give in and give Mr. Dog a tidbit and train him to "place" while you eat or, as we have done, train him to sit, wait for his turn and give him his bit in a controlled manner - no begging or pawing allowed. My DIL does not allow any feeding at the table (she really enjoys her food and NO ONE is going to interrupt that, not even the cutest doggie lol! ) and both dogs know not to even try with her - with my husband? When he sits down to the table - actually, now, when I start serving up the meal...both dogs come running, one on either side of his chair and sit, oh so pretty, with alacrity and wait until hubby sits down. And they are excellent at waiting their turn. With me, they always try, if I'm sharing, they hang around, if not, they go lie down.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Adopted 2yr old with bite issues   Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:28 am

Bumped across this article and there are some links in this that may be helpful in your situation:

 http://www.snowdog.guru/understanding-husky-body-language/

 http://www.snowdog.guru/spot-the-triggers-and-fix-anti-social-behaviour/

EDIT:

And here is a good article for dog-to-dog aggression:

http://www.snowdog.guru/teaching-your-husky-to-greet-other-dogs-politely/
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sibhus
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PostSubject: Re: Adopted 2yr old with bite issues   Mon Oct 19, 2015 12:48 am

Thanks Amy for the great insight and links!

Kal

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grrawrrrofff
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PostSubject: Re: Adopted 2yr old with bite issues   Mon Oct 19, 2015 2:48 am

My rescue husky did that when we first got her. They are like children and explore with their mouths. Never once tried to bite me. Our main problem was that she would nip other dogs in the nose. We took her off the leash at the dog park and she was like a completely different dog. She made friends with every dog in the park in about a minute. She came from a bad area and I believe someone taught her to get aggressive when approaching others, possibly even fight other dogs. You may have a rescued "bait" dog that when "tethered" instinctually gears up to fight for their life around other dogs.

Ours would also get so excited about playing that she would pee.

She continues to progress every day but what I figured out was that her snapping was less aggression and more fear and anxiety which eased with time. Also she got tons of hugs, kisses and praise for everything she was doing right which helped her build confidence and fell safe.

Note:
We started her off with a muzzle around our own dog until she stopped showing aggression. The dog park really does the trick though. Seeing everyone else play and have fun really motivated her.
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