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 New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice

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Madison Clary
Newborn
Newborn
Madison Clary

Join date : 2016-07-08
Location : Texas

New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice Empty
PostSubject: New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice   New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice EmptySat Jul 09, 2016 5:15 pm

Hello all! I'm a newborn to both this website and to owning a Husky! I have a lot of questions, as I have severe anxiety and depression and have bought this Husky as an Emotional Support Animal - I am very nervous. No, he has not been certified yet, but he will be once I receive the paper work from my health care provider to send off for the certifications.

First, let me tell you about my situation and my Husky's! I am a 21 year old working college student currently living with two of my sisters (not sorority, both work, one is still in college with me) and a 6 year old, 6 pound neutered male Maltese named Caspian. I've been desperate to get a dog for about 7 years now as I know having a larger dog with me always helps with my anxiety and depression. Due to me wanting to locate a dog to help me out of a slump, I purposely wanted to adopt a shelter dog because I knew we both needed one another. About 4 days ago, I walked into my local shelter and fell in love with a beautiful 45 pound 1-2 year old neutered male Siberian Husky. We decided this baby needed a name that match his powerful beauty, and decided on Lancelot.

Before I have it thrown at me that I should not buy a dog based on looks - I didn't. I just did less research than I had originally assumed. I'm a lover of camping, hiking, and jogging/walking, and I have plans to relocate to Colorado in the next 5 years. An active dog breed for an active lady.

Lancelot was found as a stray, was in the shelter for only four days, and neutered the day before we took him home. To make matters worse, we found out yesterday he had come down with Kennel Cough and had to attain antibiotics as well as cough medicine. To prevent Caspian from being further exposed, I took him to my parent's home for a week.

Here are my concerns:
AGGRESSIVENESS & POSSESSIVENESS:
Lance is VERY possessive and aggressive over food, rawhides, certain toys (i.e. tug-of-war ropes, balls), and today he attempted to legitimately bite my sister for moving her own food. This has happened before. I separate the Maltese and Husky for feeding, but Lance seems to be territorial every chance he gets. If he buries the balls in the crack of the couch - it is his couch. If he hasn't finished all the food in his bowl - the surrounding area (i.e. the kitchen) is his territory.

I've been purposely making all the humans in the house eat before him and in front of him, then having him watch me prepare his bowl, have him do a few tricks (sit, shake, lay down) then he is rewarded with food, but he still seems to think he is the Alpha.

I'm nervous with all of his growling and snapping because I don't know him well enough to know how is bite will be. When fed out of hand he will only lick the treat out because he seems scared to bite the hand.

It is obvious his past owner was a male, as Lance tends to listen better to my boyfriend and my sisters boyfriend, also being a problem.

Here's a weird things: he seems to be more aggressive towards people than other animals, event when being possessive and territorial.

OTHER ANIMALS:
At the shelter, they brought out one of their smaller, more aggressive dogs for me to have an idea of how he would behave with Caspian. The two dogs ignored each other. In Petco, he ran into at least five dogs, ranging from x-small size to x-large, and he doesn't seem to care about them. They sniff each other then mind their own business. Now, the Maltese has barked and snapped at the Husky, but the Husky just walks away. Regardless, I am TERRIFIED to leave the two alone together. I considered the muzzle that allows him to eat, drink, and pant, but a trainer told me that the muzzle actually turns dogs more aggressive.

KENNEL TRAINING:
I'm scared of leaving them both out, so I should kennel train, right? Well, the Maltese belongs to my sister who refuses to accommodate the new dog. Lance is the only dog that can be locked up - no there isn't any reason other than she doesn't want her dog locked up. That, and Huskies cannot be left outside during this Texas heat.

He normally sleeps in the crate and has done fine, but yesterday I left him for ONE HOUR. ONE. and I came home the plastic kennel tray completely annihilated, plastic food and water bowls ripped to shreds, his rawhides and pig ear completely untouched, the blanket over the kennel had been pulled inside, along with some of my clothing (idk how he got it, they were no where near his kennel).

I need this dog to be kennel trained, but I cannot even leave for an hour without him ripping it to shreds. I can't let him release pent up energy due to his surgery, and he is too aggressive to get to have toys until he learns household boundaries.  

CASPIAN:
I am also very concerned that when Caspian gets back in a week, Lance will think he is alpha dog of the house and hurt Caspian. Again, this is only my fourth day with him.

TRAINING:
I've listed training things I've done above, but I'm also realizing I'm writing a novel. Sorry guys. I have a white vinegar/water solution I have (never used it on him) in case he does get TOO aggressive with me (when I'm alone) or Caspian when he returns.




My concern is we do not have the time for him to have to have a 6 week dog training course, and most of them in my area require kennel training. I love Lance so much, but if the aggressiveness doesn't cease, both my father and landlord and going to make me return him, which is the last thing I want. I did not adopt to shop, I adopted him to be his FUREVER HOME. I read that it is important to give newly adopted shelter dogs alone time, but he gets very anxious when I leave. I haven't left the house for more than one hour in FOUR DAYS.

***Please refrain from any negative comments. I rushed the typing of this post because unfortunately I am better at answering direct questions. My sisters and I want to do every thing we can to better my emotional health, better his life, and have a happy & healthy family of people and furbabies***
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MiyasMomma
Senior
Senior
MiyasMomma

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

New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice   New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice EmptySat Jul 09, 2016 5:38 pm

Welcome to the forum Madison.....hmmm lot of stuff going on....firstly what did the shelter say about lance and his behavior and personality? Most do test the dog to see if they are aggressive/possessive, and most will not sell to someone with 0 experience if was determined to have this issue. Secondly he had to have been crated at the shelter, did they say he was crate trained? As far as the training classes, hmmm, did you mean a board and train? I do not recommend that. What I do recommend is looking into a basic obedience class, so a trainer can observe you and lance and help you to properly train him. I do not know where you are located, another Texan yay....so more difficult to suggest where to go for training. But my suggestion is this....look for a local gsd group, ipo group, gsd specific, imo, they are much more in tuned with high drive animals then the common petco petsmart trainers. My gsd breeder is also a trainer and he has trained huskies and other high drive animals, because they can be difficult to assess from just basic trainers. Do you mind sharing your general location, doesn't have to be exact? Huskies are wonderful companions, but they can be more problematic for inexperienced owners especially when they are a rescue dog.
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MiyasMomma
Senior
Senior
MiyasMomma

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

New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice   New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice EmptySat Jul 09, 2016 5:54 pm

Btw....I do not believe this guy to be in the 2 year old range, he looks young, and although many male huskies are and can be in the 45 pound range, breed standard is 50-55 pounds, and his ears are on the larger side of standard, I will guess he is much closer to a year than 2 years, which means much better chance at correcting negative behavior. Smile
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aljones
Senior
Senior
aljones

Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice   New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice EmptySat Jul 09, 2016 7:21 pm

Hi Madison and we're welcoming two new Texans in one day!  I'd love to have a Texas Husky get together but the state's just to blasted big for that to be reasonable. Of course, like Renee, I have to be curious about where you are, if you don't mind.

Let's tackle one problem at a time:  if you look around here there are some good pointers about introducing two dogs.  To help you along, here's my "short course" and here's a better, longer post that says much the same thing but better.  I *do* like some of the comments harrise makes - like 'cleaning the house' of anything that might present the opportunity for initial possessiveness.

Food possessiveness: This is not a good topic, take it from one who knows all too well.  My Sasha came off the streets of San Antonio and was extremely food possessive.  Five years later she'll let me handle her and her food as she's eaten but it's not been without its literal scars (last round was four stitches in me!)
For human / dog aggression, the simplest solution is to hand feed - and there are several threads here that go into this in agonizing detail.  For dog / dog aggression the simplest solution is to feed them separately and not let them into an area where the other is eating.
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Madison Clary
Newborn
Newborn
Madison Clary

Join date : 2016-07-08
Location : Texas

New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice   New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice EmptySat Jul 09, 2016 7:52 pm

Hi all! Thank you so much for replying so quickly. I live in Denton, Texas.
@MiyasMomma, the shelter had ZERO info on him. He was found as a stray and kept in a large pen in the Denton shelter. They didn't even know he was house trained and knows how to sit when I got him. He really is a sweet boy.

More info for everyone is now he won't eat unless I'm near him, maybe 5-7 feet. Any closer, he growls, any further, he follows me and won't eat.
@aljones, my father is one of those that will not allow me to keep him once he actually bites. That is my main concern.

I don't want to abandon him like his previous owner.
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TwisterII
Senior
Senior
TwisterII

Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice   New to the Husky owning world, please offer advice EmptySat Jul 09, 2016 10:44 pm

At less than a week he doesn't know you or what's expected of him yet. It's very common for shelter dogs to be possessive for a while after getting a new home. Many have to compete for food either before they get to the shelter or while they are at the shelter and it will take a couple weeks for him to get used to the idea that he no longer has to. Hand feeding and talking to him while he eats will help him transition. Just have a calm chipper conversation with him and move around him at varying distances he is comfortable with. The longer you have him the closer he should be comfortable with.

Huskies are notorious for separation anxiety, so a strong crate and nothing in or near it he can tear up is important. Try being gone a couple minutes at first, then return without talking to him. Go in and out of the house several times. Let him get used to seeing you leave but return fast and work up to longer time. He has a lot of changes to take in all at once.

Lots of short walks should be fine for him. I assume he's recovering from neuter surgery. Usually light walking is fine. I've never known as husky that could go the ridiculous amount of time they say to rest. Two days and mine was like new and back on the trails.

Welcome to the forum! It takes a lot of work to train as a service dog, even an emotional support dog because ultimately his actions in public will be held to the same standards as a long trained service animal. Getting into a basic obedience class will help you both a lot, not only with finding trust in each other, but with keeping him socialized with other dogs in a controlled environment. With you wanting to use him as a support animal you should look into getting his cgc (canine good citizen certificate). It's a great learning experience.

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