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 Rescued Husky Training

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P_Charvat
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Male Join date : 2016-02-24
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PostSubject: Rescued Husky Training    Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:30 pm

So I am new to this site but I have read lots of the forums before I joined. I rescued Zeus from an abusive home 6 months ago tomorrow. He has made great strides since September but now that he's gotten more comfortable he is starting to act up. He chews everything no matter how much exercise he gets and a dog bed doesn't last a week. I have taught him to sit when he approaches a door but he doesn't really do it unless it is at a door. Treats don't work with him because he is still too timid to come close to get a treat and he also gets bored with treats. Can anyone give me suggestions or point me to forums I can relate to. I am ordering him a new crate today and I'm going to make it like a den. I'd like to be able to have him know basic commands but my biggest problem is chewing and not coming back at an off leash dog bark.

Thanks
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Husky Training    Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:51 pm

FIrst - welcome to the forum and congratulations on your rescue!

As for dog beds...I've given up.  Ami will go for weeks, leaving it intact and then...something.  Either bored, or playing with Archer, or a lump in the wrong place.  Who knows but it gets shredded.  So now, he gets a thick moving blanket folded into quarters.  The irony is, he doesn't touch it, sleeps on it, leaves it prisiting.  Go figure.

As for making the crate like a den - a good idea in theory, and one I tried as well.  But, then again, he destroyed any bedding I put in there and the quilt over the crate?  I have no idea how but he managed to drag most of it throught he wires of the crate and...well, shredded that, too.  I no longer crate him - when we are not home, he has a dog house and a 100 ft over head trolley between 2 trees in the backyard.

As for chewing, I buy frozen beef bones left over from butchering.  Usually they are mostly neck bones, a few blade bones and rib bones from boneless short ribs.  Ami gets 1 bone a day (and shows up at 2PM every day, eying the freezer lol!  )

And training - we do have a training thread here.  Some people have results with clicker training, some with praise, some very high value treats (think cheese, hot dogs, liver, chicken), some with ecollars (but if your boy is timid with an abuse history, personally, I would be reluctant to us an ecollar without careful professional guidance - I use one with my dog, I'm not anti-ecollar, I just worry about the effect on a timid dog.

As for off-leash?  Realistically, that is probably not going to happen soon, if ever, though several people here have been successful. At the dog park, maybe you can run in the opposite direction get him to chase you? My first suggestion would be to carry something like raw chicken or cheese BUT usually, dog parks forbid treats to lessen the chance of fights. Hopefully some others will chime in with ideas.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Husky Training    Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:04 pm

How old is Zeus and how much exercise are we talking as the max you have taken him? If he is over a year you might start biking with him to work him harder, but if he is under a year you should stick with long walks. Some dogs require more than others to become settled. Keeping him in your sight at all times so that you can correct him when he starts chewing something he shouldn't and also redirecting him with something that he can chew on. Crating is a good thing. I wouldn't crate him with anything but something acceptable to chew on and cover the crate with a strong fabric like canvas or secure it in a fashion that he can't pull it through the bars. Elk antlers are good for strong chewers. As for being too scared to come to treats, you might look into clicker training. It has had better results than just high praise for many who have used it.

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P_Charvat
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Husky Training    Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:56 am

Thank you both for the response! The moving blanket is a good idea but there is no telling with zeus. For the den i was going to put a thin peice of plywood on two sides and the top so it would feel more homey and he wouldnt be able to chew the wires or blinds that are near where his new crate will be. I am a college student so I don't have a backyard in my apartment but zeus and I travel all of campus at least once or twice a day depending on the weather. He has become more sociable and a lot of professor look forward to our daily walks because they love Zeus's eyes. I don't ever plan on letting him off the leash unless we are at the dog park but he wont ever come close to me when it is time to leave the park. I usually have to walk away and he will walk up to my girlfriend if she is with me but then after he is on the leash he only wants me to hold the leash....weird right? I don't have a bike or anywhere really to bike that would be safe for the two of us and im scared since he is timid he would be scared of a bike. When I got him back in September they said he was 3 and when I took him to the vet my parents use he asked me how old he was and then just agreed with that estimate without really looking. I am going to take him this weekend to a vet next to my apartment since I have officially moved away from home.
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whitehusky3
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Husky Training    Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:16 am

It sounds like you would benefit a great deal from signing up for obedience classes. Not only would they help you teach your dog basic obedience in a way that works for your dog, but you can ask questions about problems you're having. If you have a Petco in your area, they're a good choice, but I think they're a bit on the expensive side.

Another option is to find a local kennel club and see what classes they're offering. Their prices tend to be a lot more reasonable. Petco in my area charges $120 for obedience classes but the kennel club only charges $70. I trust the kennel club trainers because they're required to have a dog with a CD title before they can lead the training classes whereas the Petco trainers take a Petco-sponsored dog training course. Both are qualified to teach a class, so it's a personal preference which one you'd like to work with.

Also, as far as your dog being too timid to approach for a treat, try tossing it on the floor in front of him instead.
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P_Charvat
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Husky Training    Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:19 pm

Do you think it will be smarter to do a group class or a one on one class? He gets along with other dogs very well I'm just afraid with other people being around he it would be a waste of money with how timid he is.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Husky Training    Sat Feb 27, 2016 7:15 pm

Oh Pat, are there all sorts of answers for that part of the question.  Mine would look something like this.

Without going into to dominance or 'alpha' - you want your dog to look to you for guidance.  In a guided setting, such as a group class, he should naturally look to you to see what you want - if he decides what he's going to do on his own then you have a chance to correct him.

If you're training him in a place / way where there are no distractions then most of the time he'll do what you want.  It isn't until you start adding in the distractions that you and he will build the bond where he looks to you for guidance.

I rescued a dog who was VERY independent and had food possession issues.  I still have the dog but she's nowhere near as independent and food aggression has virtually become a thing of the past.  She knows that if I'm cooking and drop something that she's to leave it ... it's mine.  When I tell her "Okay, get it!" she knows that it's hers.  Now, when she looks like she's going to go for something that I don't want her to have I can say "uh-uh!", she looks at me, "leave it" and we're done.  

While I've never had a serious chewing issue, there have been a few times where one of the other of my dogs will pick up a sandal .. "no, mine, leave it" and that's the end of it.  Because I give them food and love and attention - - and because they know that I expect them to behave and have spent the time to teach them what "behave" means, we really don't have many of these types of issues now.  They know that digging in the couch is a no-no, chewing on things that they haven't been given is not acceptable.  

Training that teaches him to look to you for guidance and direction, especially where things might be a little (or a lot) confusing, is going to be beneficial.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Husky Training    Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:43 pm

Do the group classes. Not only will you be getting obedience training, you will be getting desensitization work and helping bust the boundaries of nervousness all for one price. Much of your training is actually done as homework so if he is a bit of a pain in class doesn't mean he won't learn from it. You learn how to teach it in the class then do the brunt of the work at home between classes.

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PostSubject: Re: Rescued Husky Training    Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:58 am

Thank you guys so much for the responses. I just took him to a new vet in the town I am living in now and they told me that he is barley over a year old and is in great shape. I am moving again this summer into a place with more space and a dog park on site. We are both pretty excited.
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