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 Does my puppy need professional training?

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Chey9
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Female Join date : 2016-03-06

PostSubject: Does my puppy need professional training?   Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:16 pm

I just took my boy Mako to the vet today and while I was there, the vet told me that Mako needed training. What prompted him to say that was when he gave him medicine orally, Mako was snatching away from him and trying to hide his face. The vet also went on to say that huskies in general were "anti-social" and that Mako with his attitude was really likely to bite someone and I'd face litigation. He then recommended a dog trainer who would make home training sessions. He told told me that I should start training him as soon as possible because his behavior would just get worse.

I know Mako doesn't like being around strange humans, and he will usually either stay clear or hide or either cautiously investigate them while being skittish.

I've never heard of huskies being described as anti social, but quite friendly in general, so I was wondering if this behavior is anything to be worried about? I didn't think his behavior was particularly alarming, I figured he was just in an unfamiliar place and scared. The only aggressive thing I've seen him do is when someone tries to touch near his head when he's eating something he really likes. Do I need to look into getting him a trainer?
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Does my puppy need professional training?   Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:33 pm

How old is Mako now?

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Chey9
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PostSubject: Re: Does my puppy need professional training?   Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:08 pm

@Artic_Wind , sorry, he's 11 weeks tomorrow.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Does my puppy need professional training?   Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:25 pm

8 weeks on April 2nd so that would make him about 11 weeks old now.

Tell you vet to go soak his head!  Now, I won't disagree that Mako needs training - *any* puppy needs, at least, some training, but if someone I didn't know were trying to shove something down my throat, I'd have done more than pull away!!

I have two vets that I use.  One is close and is my emergency vet ... the other is 80 miles up the road but she's my normal vet.  I also have two dogs; one's an Alaskan Husky (which means he's a mix of who knows what) and the other is a Sibe.  Both are rescues.  Both of my dogs are pretty tolerant of kids (no surprise) but one is very uncomfortable around adults she doesn't know.  Avalanche "bit" the local vet - which is why I don't use him much.  Avalanche doesn't like anything around his snout ... he'll play with me but anyone else he'll back off.  This vet like the nasal form of bordatella vaccine - he was trying to give this to Avalanche, grabbed him by the scruff and Avalanche grabbed him back - when the vet pulled his hand back he had a scratch and said that Avalanche had bit him.  

Sasha has bitten people (me!!) and both vets muzzle her and I don't have a problem with that.  (( I'm getting side tracked ))

Some vets are unnecessarily rough when they're dealing with a dog; some try to treat a puppy as if it were a full grown dog (well, puppy teeth *are* sharp!)  There are at least a few dozen ways to get a dog to take a pill.  He had several of them available in his office.  If he found your pup disagreeable then I find him disagreeable.

Summing up here since I'm getting too long winded.  Yes, your pup needs training; but at this stage it's all training that you can do (and should be doing)  Having someones hands near his head when he's eating is something that needs to be worked on since there may be a day when someone needs to take whatever he's eating away from him - work on it!

and I'm sorry, I read his name as Mako, like the shark - glad we're not talking or I'd be in trouble!
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Does my puppy need professional training?   Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:33 pm

Ok, knowing he's only 11 weeks makes me feel more confident in saying the vet is being a bit ridiculous. Of course this is only my opinion but much of what you describe where the vet visit is concerned, to me, is kinda normal in a pup so young. You have a pup, who has experienced very little in his short time here, having a stranger trying to shove something in his mouth. Much of what you describe will get better through socialization and that's not super easy when your pup is limited on where he can go and who he can come in contact with before he has all his vaccinations. Of course you want your pup to have some training, early on is all the better, but to say he's going to bite people and you will have litigation against you and things like that is just ridiculous to me.

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CoraTheHusky
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PostSubject: Re: Does my puppy need professional training?   Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:01 am

Your vet sounds a bit like a wanker mine kinda is too so it's okay, what he is saying is a bit extreme but the base of what he is saying is true, training is something all pups need. Consider taking him to a puppy class. Also get him use to the annoying human touch, pull his tail a little and give him a treat when he let's you, rub his ears, brush him and lastly when you put your hand near his mouth reward him with a treat when he lick or does anthing that isn't biting as you move forward in training try pulling his lips back so you can see his gum ect. Doing all of this will make the vet experience a lot easier on him, you and the vet!
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fuchstraumer
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PostSubject: Re: Does my puppy need professional training?   Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:53 am

As Zoe suggested, associate those normally scary experiences with positive experiences. If you've not read Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy, you should do so! They're a brilliant pair of books and I believe the former covers this stuff in particular. I had inserted links, but I'm a gosh-darn new member being viciously oppressed with link restrictions - give them a google and they'll be the first results. They're pretty quick reads.

In general though, your dog is still a puppy. They're experiencing many new things, learning new things, and also flying on a lot of instinct. Time and directed training now will help the most, but this is nothing urgent or pressing.

My sister's cane corso pup was snapping at faces yesterday and just being a brat but today he was an angel. Whenever someone called him, he'd walk up to them and sit before being petted, didn't jump, didn't bite (hard, lol), and didn't snap. Sometimes, off days happen!
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Does my puppy need professional training?   Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:45 am

Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy are both available FREE as PDF's from Sirius Trainers
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Sarah20
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PostSubject: Re: Does my puppy need professional training?   Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:37 pm

I would have to agree with the others here: your vet sounds a little wacko! Maybe he was having a bad day the day you brought your husky puppy in. No dog likes getting shots, especially orally. As far as being anti-social, I highly disagree with that. Huskies are pack animals and generally love people (all the more reason they don't make great guard dogs unless threatened). Every puppy regardless of breed needs training and it should start the moment you bring them home. Puppies need rules, structure and obedience and huskies are no different. they do require more training and boundaries but if you train them right from the start, you have a loyal dog for life.
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Chey9
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PostSubject: Re: Does my puppy need professional training?   Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:09 pm

Thanks for the responses everyone! It makes me feel less anxious about his behavior.

@fuchstraumer , thanks for the references! I'll check them out! And thanks @aljones for the links!

Also, I am training him on basic things like sit, down, come, and also leash training. How would I go about training him to not be food aggressive? I've tried just putting my hand near his mouth when he's being food aggressive but I admit I'm afraid of him biting me, but I know I have to do something. Is there a better way to handle this? Also, how would I start making him less fearful around strange people?
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Does my puppy need professional training?   Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:05 pm

I have (had?) a full grown Sibe who was food aggressive / possessive.   A search for my various threads about Sasha are well documented here.  My girl, who I still have, has bitten me 5 times (sometimes *I'm* just a bit slow) - each time with increased severity.  The last time required a visit to the ER and four stitches.

After having been bitten I have to admit that I was afraid of her.  But it was a case of work with her or put her down and with the exception of her 'thing' with food she is an exceptional dog.

First, let me note that this isn't a one day, one week, or even a one month fix - it's something you need to start working on and then carry it on.

What I did with Sasha was to literally start hand feeding her.  It seems that if you have it in your hand, it's *your* food, when you put it in his bowl, it magically becomes his.  I'd take a few kibble, hold them in my hand (open palm) and encourage her to take them "gently!"  If she wasn't gentle, the bowl went back on the counter and I walked off.  It took her less than a day to figure out that I wasn't going to starve her and that she could have all her normal food on my terms!

After a few days of this - and in retrospect progression would have been easier if I'd hand fed her for a couple of weeks - I'd hold her bowl with a few kibble in it, let her eat them, have her go back into set / wait while I put some more food into her bowl.  Even with the cup with her food in it setting right beside me, she never indicated that she was going for the cup.  She accepted that she'd eat what I gave her from her bowl.

After a while of holding the bowl and having her set while I put more in, I started adding food to her bowl while she was eating.  The first couple of times were scary - for both of us - but, again, eventually she came to accept that my being around her and her food was a good thing.

That was something like two years ago ... and probably took me the better part of six months to reach the point that she'll accept me around her food, even to move away from her bowl when I tell her to (most of the time Smile ).  In effect it was MY food and she could have it on my terms.

Now we play. Sometimes she gets all her meal in her bowl and I walk off ... no big deal. Sometimes she gets part of it and has to wait for the rest - and sometimes I get a "is this all?" look from her. Sometimes I'll still hand feed her all or a part of her meal - I want to make sure we understand that it's my food! Sometimes I'll start tossing kibble at/to her, sometimes she'll (try to) grab each one out of the air and sometimes she'll let them fall all around her until I tell her to get them ... I'm not sure about the logic in the two different reactions but either is acceptable, so it doesn't matter.

With a young puppy you should see better progress than I did with a 3 year old but I'd still take it slowly ... if everything works right, and I see no reason that it shouldn't, you should be able to literally pick up his food bowl eventually while he's eating and get nothing more than a "Huh??" look from him.
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whitehusky3
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PostSubject: Re: Does my puppy need professional training?   Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:58 pm

Personally, I'd be looking for a new vet, but I know that's not always something people can do depending on where they live and their financial situation. I hate to say your vet is wrong, but he is. Huskies are not antisocial. They're well known for being friendly. That isn't to say a Husky can't be antisocial. Each dog is an individual, after all.

Displaying the behavior your Husky did at his appointment is typical for a dog of his age. It doesn't mean he's going to be aggressive or bite people as he grows up. It doesn't mean you have to rush out and pay hundreds of dollars for professional training ASAP. He's just being a typical puppy. I wouldn't want things shoved into my mouth either. And I'm guessing the vet wasn't exactly gentle. Most of them aren't, which is unfortunate. Not being gentle would also cause the behavior your puppy showed.

I say keep up what you're doing, and if you decide you want to get professional training for your puppy later on, group classes would be just fine (and they're a lot more affordable than a trainer who makes house calls).
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