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 New husky is weird

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SluaghMom
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Join date : 2017-05-28

PostSubject: New husky is weird   Sun May 28, 2017 4:23 pm

Hello! First post.

I am the mom of a 16 week old Isabella husky. He's gorgeous, but I'm pretty sure he hates me sometimes. I've had him since he was 8 weeks old and 10 lbs. Now he's 25lbs.

So, Sluagh is a psychiatric service dog in training. Is he smart? Very! But he's not a rule follower. For instance: he's insisted on a full size crate since the day I brought him home. I tried to divide his crate so he had enough room to sleep and turn around only, and he repeatedly soiled it (and himself). Decided that I'd rather clean up poop only, and gave him the whole crate (48"!) and he hasn't had an accident in the crate since. Yep, at 8 weeks old, he'd hold it through the night rather than soil his full sized den, not that I wasn't getting up twice a night to take him out. The first two weeks, I cried every day because of his death screams at being crated. So loud they could be heard across the street inside my neighbor's house!
Now he loves his crate.

Huskies hate water you say? Says who? He swims in the koi pond daily.

Huskies are prey driven? He hasn't met a cat he didn't want to be friends with!

Huskies talk a lot? He's pretty much silent, but occasionally he'll howl with me as long as I start the howl. In fact, he will only whine *softly* if he needs to go outside. Yesterday, he didn't even whine while he were walking and pooped while walking. No signal, just a squat and poop.

Oh, he refuses to eat if it's just him! If I take him next door with a bowl of his food, he'll start scarfing it down like no tomorrow because he then has competition for his meal (3 Chihuahuas. I take two bowls so they don't fight).

Admittedly I screwed up a couple times and he got a light smack for going in the trash and peeing inside, but we've used a lot of positive reinforcement since (though, he doesn't dare even look at the trash, or pee inside now). A sharp "no" when he's doing something bad is all it takes to get him to stop immediately and sit for 5 seconds before redirecting to the nearest chew toy.

He's well trained. Responds well to dog cookies and clickers. Comes when called 9/10 times. Sits, stays, etc. Struggles with not pulling, but a head harness is helping him learn in addition to extra cookies.

He's very submissive. Took him to the big dog park. He spent most of the time crying and running away with his tail between his legs. Eventually he worked up the courage to interact with them, but if they started to play chase, he would just run back to me. Plays fine with small dogs though (his best friend is a Chihuahua).

Anyway, I'm worried about his ability to work in public when he's so submissive. I take him everywhere with me on the weekends, but with him being so scared of "big" dogs (anyone bigger than him, except for curiously, a 300 lb Newfoundland we ran into at PetSmart) he can't learn to work. And I'm worried about whether he actually likes me. When I get home or get him up in the morning, it's like "whatever" but as soon as he sees a person, it's nothing but sheer joy. Thank goodness he's learned to stop jumping on people but he'll pull my arm clean off to get to them. I feel like I'm chopped liver compared to others.

He does follow me around for the most part and as long as I have human food, he's my best friend.

I'm worried that his socialization window is closed and he'll always be scared though. He's never had a bad experience with a big dog. Is it just the normal fear stage? He wasn't like this 4 weeks ago with the big dogs!
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aljones
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Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: New husky is weird   Sun May 28, 2017 5:35 pm

Well, I'll admit that I had to go looking because I'd never heard of an "Isabella Husky" - a decent link for those others who aren't knowing.

In a lot of ways you've got a typical Husky.  I have two Sibes and one Alaskan and silence is the rule of the day.  Like yours I have one who will whine when she wants something and if my Alaskan barks I'm going to see why he's barking - most often it's a rabbit and he wants to go play.  I did have one who would hunt - she'd bring it home to eat but I think as many of her meals came from the desert as came from me.  My newest addition will woo a bit but even after a year with me it's still a guess as to what she wants.

Ah, yes water ... my Alaskan wants nothing to do with water except to drink; my new sibe is reluctant but the older one likes to go wading ... if you look around, we have plenty of dogs here who are water dogs and plenty who wnat nothing to do with the water ... you'd figure that a dog who, in Siberia, supposedly spent their summers on the coast that they'd be more water aware - but then, maybe they are and just don't like it because it could have frozen them ... Huskies, as you're finding are weird.

My three live with cats - and it's funny to see one chase a cat and then set down with it and "watch the sunset". I don't think any of my dogs have been scratched and my cats aren't afraid of being mauled - they just handily co-exist.

I had to laugh about "the trash". My Alaskan (Avalanche) decided he was going to go "dumpster diving" shortly after I brought him home. I brought him into the kitchen with me and for every piece I picked up he got a light tap with it and a "No!" Maybe that wasn't the "proper" way to correct him but he hasn't been in the trash since. I think most of us will agree that Huskies respond to positive correction best and I was very positive "You are not to get in the trash again!" (( okay, sorry ))

As far as him being submissive ... again, I think it's going to be a matter of "some Huskies are outgoing and some aren't" I'd think that as you're training him to be a psych therapy dog, you'd want him to be quieter - less apt to scare someone who's sensitive. In the dog park though, it may have just been the confusion of so many dogs at one time since you say that he gets on well with a chihuahua and a Newfy. I think I'd work more one-on-one and let him build his confidence, gradually adding other "safe" dogs as he becomes comfortable.

Enough ... welcome to our madness, you're finding that Huskies can be a real charm - and a different as night and day from other dogs and from each other!
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TwisterII
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: New husky is weird   Mon May 29, 2017 12:46 am

Sounds pretty normal to me. All of mine are very quiet. My red will wade in water. My white loves to swim. He's still very young with a lot of time to build up confidence. As he grows and the size difference isn't so large that will help to. Maybe try some play dates with a couple big dogs you know and trust in a smaller environment. At 16 weeks it's a little early for going to the big park. I'm not sure if pups even have all their shots by that age (it's been a long time since I had a puppy). He will go through a lot of waves of odd fears that are completely normal as he ages. Just gotta take them in stride. Welcome to the forum!

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RedFlashFire05
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Join date : 2015-05-19
Location : manteca, ca

PostSubject: Re: New husky is weird   Mon May 29, 2017 7:12 pm

hi, welcome to the forums.
my boy is also very quite only an a occasional "woo" or complaint and every once in a wail an exited growling wail playing with a treat or toy.
i agree with Al you should build his confidence around other dogs slowly.
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