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 Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting

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keira_bmm
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PostSubject: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:06 pm

Good Evening Everyone. My name is Brandon, I have a 9 week old female husky named Keira. I have a few questions and thought it might be best to ask them all in one place rather than create multiple postings for each. For background knowledge, I will be enrolling Keira in puppy preschool in about 3 weeks to assist with shaping her well.


  1. As I had mentioned, Keira is 9 weeks old. I have been crate training her and working on house training as well. This has been going on for 3 1/2 weeks. She is catching on but there are still improvements to be made. I must travel during the holidays to visit family, an 11 hour drive there and back. I plan on bringing her crate and all of her things so that she is very comfortable. Since she will be in my parent's home and "out of place", do you feel that this would negatively impact her progress that she's made so far and her ability to pick things back up to how they were prior to traveling? Also, are there a number of days that I should try to make sure not to exceed having her away from home? I'm looking at a flexible range between 5-8 days.

  2. I have a very nice and comfortable crate all set up for Keira with a plush blanket and safe toys for her to play with inside of it. I have lured her into it with treats and often leave some hidden ones in there for her. Her door is always open for her to go into when she feels so, but it is shut when she is in it at night. She will voluntarily go in it to retrieve a toy, but she will simply pull it out and lay on the floor to play with it or sleep. She never stays in her crate unless the door is shut. She has come accustomed to sleeping on the hardwood floor by the door during the day rather than her soft blanket in the crate. Is this normal behavior? How can I get her to see the crate as a place for her to relax? At nighttime, she cries for about 5 minutes then gets the hint and sleeps if that makes any difference.

  3. I mentioned that I will be enrolling Keira in puppy preschool in a few weeks. There is one issue that I am determined to work on with her. As you can probably expect, she is a hyper puppy and loves to play. Sometimes when I'm down at her level gently playing, she'll try to get rough and will lunge at my face and bite down until her teeth click. I have previously been attacked in the face by a dog and required surgery so it is definitely a behavior that I want to address. She is mouthing but is this related? When she does it, I firmly tell her "No" and often get up as if "if you can't play nice, I won't play at all." Any ideas on this?


Thank You,

Brandon
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:06 am

I suspect puppy will handle your trip beautifully. She will propably be very curious and excited with all the new people, places etc. You should continue your training on your trip - as sort of just part of life. Also, since you will be in new territory with her, you need to be really observant about what she could possibly get into (on one of our early trips with Ami, we got out at the gas tanks, Wayne to get gas, me to give Ami a pee break - as we were chatting about where to meet, Ami started drinking out of the window wash bin, which, given the possible substances, could have been fatal).

As for length of trip - make it depend on what your needs are - I doubt the difference between 5 and 8 days will matter to puppy as long as she is with you.

One hint - feed her only half as much, or nothing before your ride if she is not experienced in riding in the car. Also, try to drive smoothly, no abrupt deceleration, sharp corners etc (son doesn't understand why Archer throws up with him, not with us or his wife driving. I've ridden with him, he drives like a race car driver pale )

And - contain her in the car - either with a crate or with a seatbelt harness. Opening car door to enter, exit puppy can escape in a high traffic situation with disastrous consequences. I do remember one eventful weekend when son went camping, stopped to pick up wine/beer and ended up chasing a 6 month old pup up and down some very busy streets, through peoples' lawns and businesses...I told him to use a harness and seatbelt

And be very wary of people accidentally letting her outside - leaving doors open, not paying attention when saying hellos/goodbyes and having a "worm" squirm through the opening (what son called his pup who was infamous for getting out of the house when he thought he had him corraled Rolling Eyes )

I'm not much help in the crate training dept, other that to think about what it is that you want, than be consistent in demanding it. As for sleeping on the floor rather than the soft blanket in the crate - I've tried all sorts of beds for Ami, only Ami and the spirits know what/where he will sleep at any one time. Our bed, his bed, the rug in front of the stairs, the carpet in front of our bedroom door, under the piano...we suspect it has to to with heat/cooling but aren't sure.

As for lunging at your face when down on all fours...that sounds reminiscent of how Ami and son's dog play together - puppy probably thinks you are a doggy-like playmate. As for extinquishing the behavior - I think you've got the right approach. If you don't like a behavior, disengage, walk away - from my experience, what these dogs want most is engagement. Walking away removes the reward, ie, your interaction.

Welcome to the forum and have a great trip and a wonderful holiday!
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:06 am

I suspect puppy will handle your trip beautifully. She will propably be very curious and excited with all the new people, places etc. You should continue your training on your trip - as sort of just part of life. Also, since you will be in new territory with her, you need to be really observant about what she could possibly get into (on one of our early trips with Ami, we got out at the gas tanks, Wayne to get gas, me to give Ami a pee break - as we were chatting about where to meet, Ami started drinking out of the window wash bin, which, given the possible substances, could have been fatal).

As for length of trip - make it depend on what your needs are - I doubt the difference between 5 and 8 days will matter to puppy as long as she is with you.

One hint - feed her only half as much, or nothing before your ride if she is not experienced in riding in the car. Also, try to drive smoothly, no abrupt deceleration, sharp corners etc (son doesn't understand why Archer throws up with him, not with us or his wife driving. I've ridden with him, he drives like a race car driver pale )

And - contain her in the car - either with a crate or with a seatbelt harness. Opening car door to enter, exit puppy can escape in a high traffic situation with disastrous consequences. I do remember one eventful weekend when son went camping, stopped to pick up wine/beer and ended up chasing a 6 month old pup up and down some very busy streets, through peoples' lawns and businesses...I told him to use a harness and seatbelt

And be very wary of people accidentally letting her outside - leaving doors open, not paying attention when saying hellos/goodbyes and having a "worm" squirm through the opening (what son called his pup who was infamous for getting out of the house when he thought he had him corraled Rolling Eyes )

I'm not much help in the crate training dept, other that to think about what it is that you want, than be consistent in demanding it. As for sleeping on the floor rather than the soft blanket in the crate - I've tried all sorts of beds for Ami, only Ami and the spirits know what/where he will sleep at any one time. Our bed, his bed, the rug in front of the stairs, the carpet in front of our bedroom door, under the piano...we suspect it has to to with heat/cooling but aren't sure.

As for lunging at your face when down on all fours...that sounds reminiscent of how Ami and son's dog play together - puppy probably thinks you are a doggy-like playmate. As for extinquishing the behavior - I think you've got the right approach. If you don't like a behavior, disengage, walk away - from my experience, what these dogs want most is engagement. Walking away removes the reward, ie, your interaction.

Welcome to the forum and have a great trip and a wonderful holiday!
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 12:25 pm

Hi Brandon, welcome to the forum and it sounds like you're getting yourself prepared for a lifetime of puppy fun.


  • I don't crate so I'm no help on that.  But I do have a couple of comments on non-crated traveling in general.  Since it's going to be a longish trip, I understand you wanting to bring things for the pup to have to play with - but I'd only bring one or two.  I'd bet that puppy is going to be more interested in what's going on around her than on her toys.  Actually, for just that reason, I'd limit what I bring *because* I want my dogs looking around outside.  Husky's aren't watchdogs but they can help you be aware of your surroundings when people are moving around you.
  • See item 1, I don't crate ... Smile but again ... my two will sleep where it's comfortable for them.  One is invariably beside my bed but during the night he'll move around the room.  The other will head for one of two corners - the bare floor when it's warm and the corner with the bed they seldom use when it's cooler.  
  • I agree with Amy on this.  When you put yourself at dog level you're giving the dog permission to play "doggy style" which, as you're finding, may not be what you really want to do.  Once the pup learns just how much playful nipping you'll tolerate, she'll gradually adjust her play.  And you're doing the right thing by disengaging, as Amy says - twice, even.


Now for a couple of comments that are less directly related to your post.

  • I've traveled all over the country with my various dogs and only had the occasional problem.  I'm of the mind set that says I know I need to stop more often with them, for potty breaks and to stretch their legs, than if I were traveling on my own so I use that to my advantage to go places / see things I might not otherwise.  
  • My pup are always on 15ft leashes when we're traveling.  In the jeep because if they slip out when I've got a door open, it's easy enough to step on the leash and stop them cold!  Outside on potty stops so they have enough length to roam a bit without getting too far away.
  • Even though I've never had a dog who gets carsick, I limit feeding to after the days travels are over.  That means I have a very small chance of a dog getting sick and less to pick up during the day.  On that same note, I let them drink, oh say about an hour before we get on the road, wait for nature to take its course and then no more water till days end. Excuse me here for a aside to my aside, they do have a water bowl for when we make pit stops but they seldom want more than a 'sip' or two.  Living where I do [in the desert] I have to be aware of the heat and humidity, most places in the US you'll want to be aware of the relative humidity, the lower it is, the more water they'll need.


Last comment, worry less, enjoy more - it'll be more fun for all of you.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:19 pm

Welcome to the forum Brandon....Love your avatar pic, she's so cute.

I will address the crate training and puppy biting, since I have never traveled more than an hour with my girls. My oldest Miya was never crate trained and Sofie is part time crate trained. She usually sleeps just about anywhere when I am home. She does go to her crate to eat her treats and to do a self imposed time out, lol. I think as long as you keep it a positive experience she will just go in. At night Sofie sleeps with me, she just preferred being with me, and I didn't get the 5 minutes of freak out, I got more like forever, haha. when my husband goes to work I do tell her in your crate and she will go in with door closed and sleep and is fine, so I imagine it has more to do with age. Crating for me is used more for her safety when i can't watch her.

Puppy biting.....If I read your post correctly you got Keira at 5.5 weeks old? If so you will have to work diligently with the no biting. She was taken away from her mom and litter mates at too young of an age, and didn't have the experience of learning bite inhibition. Example of what I mean....I got Miya at 5.5 weeks old and she was a biting machine, playing with tugs and doing the walking away was the only real way to control her biting until she was about a year old, when they naturally learn bite inhibition on their own. Sofie i got at 10 weeks old and has no desire to eat my hand off. A few times she tried nibbling a little harder than i wanted and said Sofie no bite, twice I did that and she still has no desire to nip and bite. I agree that getting down to her level will induce the play bite, but it has more to do to the fact she never learned not to with her siblings. Playing with a tugs so she chews on the tugs and not you should help, that way she still gets to use her mouth but not on you. getting up and walking away when she becomes too much should give her the idea that you are not willing to play in that manner. I am not gonna lie, being so young is going to make it much more difficult on you. To fulfill her need to rough play, and chew i used a game with the tugs. I played tugs, if Miya drops it I made her do a command, resume play, do this type of train/play until you are done, you need to be the one who stops not her, this will teach her respect of you, and forms the bond. By using the commands it slows her frenzy down a notch, makes you the unpredictable one. Also get some long lasting chews, if you are not in the mood to play redirect her need for biting to something she can eat or pay with. She will also be going into the teething stage soon, and this will up her need to bite. I hope that approach helps you as much as it did for me. They can be challenging, especially when so young. Good luck and keep us updated on her progress. Can't wait to see more pics of the lovely Keira.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:26 pm

Quote :
Puppy biting.....If I read your post correctly you got Keira at 5.5 weeks old?
Oh, good catch there Renee, I missed that entirely!!!
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:36 pm

Haha, Thanks Al, it does play a huge factor in why Keira is a biter. Can't even tell you what a difference between Miya and Sofie in that department. Everything else seems to be quite equal between the two. Miya was unforgiving, just a constant shark, haha, Sofie loves to suck on my thumb, lol but rarely uses her teeth and when she does, she knows to use slight pressure. I have always used Miya as an example of getting a pup too early, but now with Sofie, I can show the distinguishing differences between getting a 5.5 week old pup and a 10 week old pup.
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keira_bmm
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:44 pm

Thank you everyone for your valuable advice.

Amy, I see that your profile says Finger Lakes. When I bring Keira up to NY, our destination is Seneca County - That is where I am from.



@amymeme wrote:
I suspect puppy will handle your trip beautifully.  She will propably be very curious and excited with all the new people, places etc.  You should continue your training on your trip - as sort of just part of life.  Also, since you will be in new territory with her, you need to be really observant about what she could possibly get into (on one of our early trips with Ami, we got out at the gas tanks, Wayne to get gas, me to give Ami a pee break - as we were chatting about where to meet, Ami started drinking out of the window wash bin, which, given the possible substances, could have been fatal).

As for length of trip - make it depend on what your needs are - I doubt the difference between 5 and 8 days will matter to puppy as long as she is with you.  

One hint - feed her only half as much, or nothing before your ride if she is not experienced in riding in the car.  Also, try to drive smoothly, no abrupt deceleration, sharp corners etc (son doesn't understand why Archer throws up with him, not with us or his wife driving. I've ridden with him, he drives like a race car driver pale )

And - contain her in the car - either with a crate or with a seatbelt harness.  Opening car door to enter, exit puppy can escape in a high traffic situation with disastrous consequences.  I do remember one eventful weekend when son went camping, stopped to pick up wine/beer and ended up chasing a 6 month old pup up and down some very busy streets, through peoples' lawns and businesses...I told him to use a harness and seatbelt

And be very wary of people accidentally letting her outside - leaving doors open, not paying attention when saying hellos/goodbyes and having a "worm" squirm through the opening (what son called his pup who was infamous for getting out of the house when he thought he had him corraled Rolling Eyes  )

I'm not much help in the crate training dept, other that to think about what it is that you want, than be consistent in demanding it.  As for sleeping on the floor rather than the soft blanket in the crate - I've tried all sorts of beds for Ami, only Ami and the spirits know what/where he will sleep at any one time.  Our bed, his bed, the rug in front of the stairs, the carpet in front of our bedroom door, under the piano...we suspect it has to to with heat/cooling but aren't sure.

As for lunging at your face when down on all fours...that sounds reminiscent of how Ami and son's dog play together - puppy probably thinks you are a doggy-like playmate.  As for extinquishing the behavior - I think you've got the right approach.  If you don't like a behavior, disengage, walk away - from my experience, what these dogs want most is engagement.  Walking away removes the reward, ie, your interaction.

Welcome to the forum and have a great trip and a wonderful holiday!




Renee, has Miya seemed to get any better as she has aged with the biting? Even if I work very hard on it and she does not 100% stop, do you think that she will improve at all or is it a lost cause? And again, I will be taking her to puppy preschool so I'm hoping she can learn a thing or two there. I just don't want it to get to the point where she playfully breaks skin as she's older.



@MiyasMomma wrote:
Haha, Thanks Al, it does play a huge factor in why Keira is a biter. Can't even tell you what a difference between Miya and Sofie in that department. Everything else seems to be quite equal between the two. Miya was unforgiving, just a constant shark, haha, Sofie loves to suck on my thumb, lol but rarely uses her teeth and when she does, she knows to use slight pressure. I have always used Miya as an example of getting a pup too early, but now with Sofie, I can show the distinguishing differences between getting a 5.5 week old pup and a 10 week old pup.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:57 pm

Absolutely, you will have success!! You just have to really control the play aspect, she will need much more playtime, she will need to be taught. Miya at about a year old, understood bite inhibition. It just takes a lot of patience on your part. With the tugs game, I found it to be rewarding for both of us. Plus added benefit of training her, she will tire more quickly. Trust me when I say at first I cried a lot over Miya, she was just crazy with the teeth. Once we fond a game we could play, train her at the same time, it was like night and day. When she started in on the nibbling, and the crazies, I told Miya to get her tugs and then we would play. She is still hooked on tugs, lol, but yea, totally normal dog now. Smile
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:08 pm

Also, Brandon, I want to mention, many trainers will tell you not to play tugs, and I will totally disagree. It gives a young pup the much needed biting type play that they would normally and naturally do with their siblings. As Al and Amy mention, you are Keira's puppy substitution. So you do have to teach what is appropriate (playing tugs) and what is not (chewing/biting on human). Miya hasn't broken my skin since she was under 8 months or so, the few times she has, it was because I was knowingly rough housing with her and a simple ouch Miya, and she will back off. Patience, and consistency are key, along with finding a game where you can interact, train and she can use her teeth.
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:10 pm

I'm glad to hear that! Is there a specific tugs toy or just anything rope-like that she can tug on with me? I've never owned a husky before, only dachshunds & beagles. I did a lot of research and little Keira means everything to me. She has grown so quickly but she's such a doll. I'm glad I've found this pleasant group online for husky-related discussions Very Happy
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:52 pm

Any tugs will do, I would opt for something slightly long, cotton in the fiber type( stay away from nylon, polyester, etc.) so you both can hang onto it together, and you being able to avoid teeth, so a couple feet long? Also, hand feeding is also something I did with Miya, she got used to my hands, and taught her to wait and be gentle. I felt having my hands near her face, and controlling her food helped in being more gentle to me. I am also doing this with Sofie, for a different reason, she inhales her food, and will grab food from me, by controlling each bite and telling Sofie to wait and be gentle and then being positive "good girl", she is chewing her food. so for me hand feeding has gone a long way for both my girls. Building bonds and respect is very important in dog to human relationships. Especially medium to large sized dogs, and specifically to dogs that can be very independent, like huskies.

I love this community as well, there is a wealth of knowledge, and personal experience is so much more reassuring than some online search engine. Very Happy
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Traveling, Sleeping, and Biting   Thu Dec 17, 2015 8:39 pm

I make my tuggies out of old sweatpants - cut the pants in two along the "rise" then cut each leg along the inseam and what would be the side seam if it had one. You will have 4 long pieces - tie each of these into 3 or 4 knots spaced apart - easy on your hands, easy on doggies mouth and if you are taller - long enough to keep teeth away from fingers Laughing
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