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 Growling Husky.

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hrennie
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PostSubject: Growling Husky.    Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:50 pm

Hi My husky is 4 and a half months old, the past week or so she has become very stubborn, not doing as she is told and when i shout at her she growls at me. she has never been allowed on my furniture but has now decided she wants to sit with me on the furniture. When i tell her 'DOWN' she growls at me which seems to be aggressive, i will then get her collar to pull her down she will then try to bite my hand. I know she is only a puppy still but i want to try and stop this now before she gets older then it will become a bigger problem. Has anyone please got any useful advice on what to do?
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VTHokieHusky
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:15 pm

Yeah, not good. Have you taken the dog to obedience training yet? This is a must.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:52 pm

Doug is right on obedience class is pretty important. For the time being I would have your pup on leash in the house, sit on the leash so your pup does not have enough leash to get up on the furniture and has to lay down on the floor, this also makes it easier if a leash correction is needed vs trying to grab the collar. Do you use the crate? If so it is to be used as a good positive thing, give a treat and tell pup to go to the crate, whatever command you use. If you are not using a crate there are a few reasons for this behavior, first is the pup is probably starting to teeth and needs some things to chew on, pups growling and biting is indicative to communication since they can not talk, they are telling you something. Secondly, too much freedom, huskies in general need to have strict guidelines as to what you expect from them, allowing free roam for a husky puppy spells disaster, in they will potty when you are not looking they will chew something or destroy something or they will give you the puppy grrs and bite. I do not in general believe a puppy under 8-12 months old biting or growling as aggressive, to me 9 out of 10 times it is a form of communicating, such as hey my teeth hurt, I want to play, I have to pee, I am hungry, etc.
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hrennie
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:21 pm

Thanks for your reply.. She has been going to puppy classes and is quite the same with the other puppies. Growling at them and jumping on them im not sure if shes being playful or she is being nasty. Ive had her since being 8 week old. I havnt crate trained her shes been perfectly fine when she needs to toilet she will walk to the door where i let her out.. Shes always nipped a little like puppies do but never growled and bit my hand in a nasty way. I will try to limit her space like you say and maybe keep her out of the living area.. Apart from this issue she is very good and does as she is told. Thank you for your advice
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:43 pm

Ahhhh yes, welcome to the wonderful world of huskies. They sound horribly aggressive, but are really communicating. They look vicious while playing with other dogs, just their play style. Huskies are extremely intelligent, they get a bad rep because of their stubborn independent nature, and more of a bad rep because they are talkers and can be pretty mouthy. With all of that in mind, it could be as simple as not enough mental stimulation. I found the best way to curb the husky mouth was to play and train at the same time. This will solve many issues, them wanting to play, working their mind, and give some exercise to blow off some of that extra husky puppy madness, lol. An easy game of tugs (not much pulling don't want to hurt the teeth) go at the pups pace, play tugs if pup drops the tug give a command like sit, the reward is continuing the game, next time there is a drop ask another command. This is an easy way to train drop it and leave it, which besides there name and recall can potentially save your pups life. Try that and see if the issue has lessened some. You can't do much about the teething it will continue until about 8 months old, and around that time they understand bite inhibition. Until then something that is safe to chew on will also help, when you need some down time give a long lasting chew, like a cow ear, pizzle(bully stick) or even a moose or elk split antler.
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GenaG
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:52 pm

I would also recommend crate training. It isn't always about potty training, it's also about keeping the pup safe when you're not around to monitor. My guy started to become aggressive with us, thinking he was above us. I had enough of it, from then on he was only allowed on couches, beds, chairs, etc. if he was given permission and he was in his crate for night and whenever I left the house or had to leave the room (shower, clean, etc) he smartened up real quick and has come a long way with being respectful and no longer showing his aggression. If he does, it's a quick "Hey", or "No", in a stern voice and he instantly stops and shows his submission, then we continue on with play. Another thing is if you're nervous or unsure in yourself, the pup can also sense that. So be confident in yourself and out stubborn your pup. You got this! Smile
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lepp1892
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:58 am

With Gabby - I have found there is a fine line between her different types of growls and at this point I have learned that line. She really has 3 types.

The Playful Growl - One she does when she is playing tug or wrestling
The Annoyed Growl - One she does when she is annoyed or doesn't want to do something
The Aggressive Growl - One she does during her resource guarding issues

The only one I would ever been afraid of her biting me is the Aggressive growl. During these times she gets extremely stiff and starts to slightly show teeth.

The one thing of concern I would state is try not to yell/correct your pup when they growl. Only correct the biting. If you teach them growling is bad, it will remove warning signs they may bite in the future.

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hrennie
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:34 am

Thanks Gena, the reason i did not get a crate in the first place is because i didn't want her to be stuck in such a small space whilst i was not home. it seems to have worked for you so i will try anything. it seems she is trying to test me.

Thanks Kyle, i have recognized the different types of growls also. when she greets me she growls but i know this is a happy, playful manner. When i tell her 'no' or 'down' her growl changes and it makes me panic i try not to express this but she is already very intelligent and can probably sense it. I don't yell too much i just continue to tell her 'down' she continues to growl and ignores my instruction, i then get her collar to pull her down this is when she will go to bite me.
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:10 pm

I understand that. I always feel guilty putting my guy in the crate, especially when I will be gone for a while, but I know that it is safer for him to be in there and he has come to love his crate. I bought the big wired one and gave him full roam of it, he is now bigger but still has a lot of room to stand up and turn around and he also has mind stimulating toys and a kong with frozen peanut butter for when I leave.

I would say it's definitely worth a try. Also, keeping working with her at home what you are learning in obedience classes. The more you apply them the better they respond. Also ask the instructor at the puppy classes proper ways to respond to your puppy when she does things that you're unsure of. If how that instructors suggestion doesn't work, ask another, it's like getting a second opinion. Remember that dogs thrive off of structure and leadership. Set a routine, don't stray from it and don't let your dog stray from it either. Work on the commands that you know that your dog is good at and build your confidence. Some people might disagree with me, but my pup was very aggressive towards me in the beginning and i got bit, A LOT. So I started biting back. I bit him on the ear enough for him to yelp, then I would stop. He would step back as if confused, I would ask for a kiss and once he gave the kiss I would praise and we would continue playing. It did not take long for him to understand that it hurts when you bite. I had to be very stern with him and there was no leeway. He has gotten so much better that I have more confidence in myself and I trust him more. I also know what makes him upset and I will do what I have to do to make sure that we do not get to that point without loosing my structure for him.

I know that you will be able to do this. Just have confidence in yourself and don't be afraid to get bit in the beginning, if you do, set her straight. Let her know you are in charge. She will get it. And ask people in your area for advice. There is no shame in learning more about how to train dogs. Some might apply to you, others might not, but you might get information that if you just tweek it a bit it will also work for you.

I also read something very interesting the other day, it was that Siberian Huskies are not really "pets", they are more companions. They are stubborn and generally don't respond like a german shepherd or retriever would to commands. Obviously it was way better worded than how I said it, but I looked at my huskies and I completely agree. My guys are companions way more than pets.
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:25 pm

Thanks Gena, i will purchase a crate over the weekend and give that a try see how she gets on. she is in a very strict routine and we spend lots of time working and training with her. I explained the situation to the instructor, she has seen how she is with other puppies.. tends to growl at them and i think if she was not on her lead she would fight with them. My instructor advised me to take her of a raw food diet as it can make her aggressive, i have never heard this before, have you?

Thank you for your advice much appreciated.

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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:35 pm

I personally have never heard of the raw food being the direct cause of aggression. I have heard of food aggression though but more along the lines of resource guarding. Has the instructor ever talking about socializing her? I feel like that might help with some aggression as well.
Do you know exactly what causes her to be aggressive? Like if you take a certain toy away, or when she is cornered, when there is a man around, when she is on a leash, when she is around other dogs, etc. If you can kind of pin point the reason and cause for the aggression then that would be a start. So try taking her off the raw food diet and see if that makes a difference.
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:11 pm

Me neither which is why i dont want to take her of the raw diet but i may have to try it.. It is a puppy class i take her to so there are lots of other puppies around but she just growls and doesnt play very nice with them. Also its when i tell her no.. For example she starts chewing one of my sons toys ill tell her to 'drop it' she will growl nastily or if she jumps up on to the sofa i say 'down' she will growl and as i get her down she will try to bite me. I just dont know where im going wrong
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:34 pm

Hayley (or at least I hope this is the human part of this duet) Personal opinion here - you have a puppy who is getting old enough that she's started pushing her limits -she's a bit young for what we consider "ten age years" but from your description that's what it sounds like,

It wasn't that long ago, do you remember your teen age years?  Your dad said something like "You probably shouldn't do that." (or maybe it came out as "I FORBID you to do that!")  and you went ahead and did it anyway?  It was you pushing your boundaries because you were "growing up".

Puppies do exactly the same thing, they reach a point of going from the little fur ball who's my shadow to a four legged being who's going to push every button you have - and then find some more!  

If you haven't already, keep a house leash on her.  Two reasons, it let's you correct bad behaviour immediately and it keeps you from being nibbled.  If she doesn't have a leash on, she should be in her crate.  It's the safest place for her when she's acting up and the sanest place for you.  And, before someone else says it - you don't use the crate for punishment, it's her crate and her safe place - there's a fine line between punishment and time out!

The last thing I'd suggest, if you haven't already, go look at something called "NILIF" (variously "NILF" and "Nothing in life is free")  Basically it says that the pup gets nothing --- NOTHING --- without working for it.  You want to go out, then set nicely by the door.  You're hungry, then (good training time) "set", "Lay down" whatever you want to stress at the moment.  When it comes to food, the pup doesn't eat until she's setting nicely and waiting for your "release word" ("okay", "get it", etc)  You keep a hand on the bowl and if she blinks wrong, you pick it up until she's calm and waiting for you!  When you verbally release her to eat, step back and let her eat - it's hers now!

As for the raw diet being a problem ... in my mind, not in the way your trainer is saying it is.  Because it's "tastier" than kibble, she's going to push to get it - NILIF!

The object of all this is one thing - she behaves - - - or ... nothing!

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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:15 pm

Hayley...........I mentioned similar things to what Al mentioned. Leash on at all times or in crate. Working for everything. Again, I will reiterate a  puppy at this age is NOT aggressive. Inexperienced husky companionship is the biggest reason why people misinterpret the growling and biting as aggression. Your puppy has too much freedom and is teething, the combination of the two will appear as aggression, it is NOT. Raw food is NOT going to create aggression. What type or where do you go to train? If you are going to a place like Petsmart or Petco then I would finish up my class and then seek out an actual positive or balanced trainer to help you. Look for a trainer that understands high drive dogs like huskies or even gsds. Although a german shepherd wants to please their owner and the husky is more of a whats in it for me, they are both high drive dogs. Structure and making them work for everything will produce a well balanced adult dog. I also suggest hand feeding. Sit with the pup, talk to your pup and hand feed, yep even raw, tell her to sit and wait have the food laying on an open palmed hand and say be gentle take. If the pup is gentle have her take the piece. Next piece lay down palm open be gentle take, and so on. If she doesn't take nicely, close your hand over the food and say eheh be gentle and try again. Same goes with playing as I mentioned above, the tug game in my OP. Coming to this forum is a huge plus for you, since many of us have battled this issue. But I am placing emphasis on something: Clear your head as to this being aggression, and know it is a husky puppy communicating. Never allow free roam ever, always have leash on so there is no opportunity for the nips. Most dogs, let alone puppies do not understand the playing of a husky, huskies have a hard time communicating with other breeds. Lastly, I truly had the demon puppy from hell, I can write up a piece and you will be horrified of the antics I went thru, so what I am saying is coming from someone who was totally prepared for a husky, had solid training down for a puppy, and yet broke down so many times because of my girl. Building a relationship, a bond, trust with your puppy  is what you need to do. Hand feeding is one of the best ways in doing this. Training must go beyond a puppy class, in the house as well, continuously. What type of exercise is the pup getting?
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:30 pm

If there is any way you could get this behaviour on video and upload it to the site (I think you are able to do that) that would also help all of us here to understand exactly what you're dealing with.  
If not, just keep communicating with all of us with all of the things that you have been trying and what is and is not working.  Everyone here is full of knowledge and always willing to help.
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:48 pm

Gena, good idea on the video.
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:53 pm

Thank you Al i understand completley what you are saying i will definitly take this on board.. I do already make her sit and wait for food, to go for walks etc and she does this perectly fine. I will try with the leash and crate training see how i get on. Thank you

Renee, we had the last paid up class on monday and i have decided to not go back as i feel the instructor is not very knowledgable with huskies. I will try the hand feeding see how she is with that. I felt i was really prepared i researched so much and assumed i had this! i just want to trust her and be comfortable at home and not worried she is going to nibble me or my son. She has 3 big walks a day at least 45 minutes per walk.. Do you think this is enough?
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:54 pm

Yea Gena much easier than trying to explain.. I will try to get her on video
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:49 pm

Hayley, yes and no.......it has more to do with what you are doing on the walks. A structured walk, where you are practicing loose leash walking, is fine, for some exercise. But tiring the mind and body is very important to this breed. Many huskies get bored with the same walk day after day. How is her focus on walks, does she get distracted? Will she listen to you? At this age it isn't so much about the mileage you get in it's about structure, as in teaching calmness with distractions, teaching focus on you and reinforcing commands, and adding any commands. They are scary smart.

Since I have both breeds, I do tend to make comparisons and differences, and one thing I will say with either a husky or gsd some people get the quiet, pretty decently mannered puppy and others get these crazy raving lunatics. I got one of each, and so many people in this forum as well as the gsd group I belong to encounter the same issues. They call them landsharks in the gsd world, and they are called malligators in the malinois world, and huskies, hmmm, not sure what we call them, but it is a phase, I want you to understand that many of us have been where you are now. And one of the best advice I can give to someone is that any of the breeds I mentioned, they are all working dogs, they need to have their super smart minds focused on something or they will act like a raving lunatic puppy that has rabies. You need to work their mind and body until they just want to nap, hahahaha.

Get a video. And in the meantime, try the suggestions that seem to be the most commonly suggested, always leash up. crate train, work body and mind. They are capable of learning more things than many of the common breeds out there, you have to be one step ahead of them always. A fulfilled husky puppy will have walks, playtime, training time, and a job to do at the moment the job is to learn focus and to stay calm when it's appropriate, which means crate time and leash time. This will eventually pass, somewhere around 8-12 months old, commonly after teething has stopped. They can be terrors as puppies, but become wonderful companions when they mature.
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Fri Feb 17, 2017 7:14 pm

Renee.. In the morning she has a 30 minute run, at midday we walk and play, she fetches sticks and is let of from her leash to have a wander around. Most of the time she will come back to me when i call her. However when she sees another dog she will not listen to me i shout her to stay but she will run of . so she is good until a distraction is there and its like i am invisible! In the evening she will have a long walk too and will sleep from 8pm till 6pm. I think she is really calm for a puppy its just this stubborn side which is worrying.

Ok so before she jumps on to the sofa ..i say 'down'! she ignores me, i say 'down' she jumps down walks away and goes to lay in her bed. This is so typical! its like she knows ive been talking about her haha. It made me laugh. She had lots of cuddles and kisses for doing as i say.




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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:57 pm

Another suggestion is when giving a cue, only say the cue once. If you constantly say a cue 3 or 4 times (or more) the dog will only start responding once you've said is the 3 or 4 times every single time. Also, say your cue with authority, don't scream it or ask. Tell her, tell her once, if she doesn't move, grab that leash and correct it. She needs to know that she has to respond when you say the cue once, not once you've said it 3 times and are starting to yell now. Thats where the stubborn part of the husky comes out. I tell my boy a cue, he sits there and stares at me for a few seconds, I stare back, if he doesn't respond within my 5 seconds, I say his name and he is usually giving in by then. Doesn't take them long to figure out that you mean business and what I say goes.
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:04 pm

Hayley, this is one of those cases where having her on a house leash comes in real handy. As Gena says, you only want to give a command once - oh, I don't always expect an immediate response, but I also don't expect to be ignored - once you've told her "down" and she sets there looking at you, the next action should be to bring her off the couch with the leash. Emotions come into play here and you have to be certain that you're not responding out of anger - in other words, don't jerk on the leash. Take the leash and give a solid constant pressure in the direction you want her to go - if she can't back up then she has no other option except to get off the couch. Again, as Gena says, it doesn't take them long to figure out.

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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Sun Feb 19, 2017 5:35 pm

Thanks guys.. Over the weekend ive had her on the leash whilst in the living area and doing as you advised.. Its making the situation so much easier im not having to pull her down by her collar i just give the command 'down' if she does not listen i just tug on her leash. She is still growling at me when i tell her down but she isnt biting me as im not having to put my hand near her. I feel so much better already. Thank you all.
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:19 pm

That is so wonderful to hear!! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Growling Husky.    Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:22 pm

Haley, Awesome great job!
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