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 Adopted year old Husky from shelter - Dog to Dog socializing problems - Help

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Jake Bradford
Jake Bradford

Join date : 2017-07-27

PostSubject: Adopted year old Husky from shelter - Dog to Dog socializing problems - Help   Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:44 pm

Hey everyone,

This is my first post! I've done a ton of searching online, been reading forums, anything and everything trying to find a way to approach the problem I'm facing. I figured whats better than connecting with the people that really understand Huskies. So, here we go, my issue is:

My girlfriend and I recently adopted a year old Husky from the Kent County Animal Shelter (Grand Rapids, MI). Her name is Yeti, she wasn't in the shelter very long so they didn't know much about her behavior with other dogs. She is a very sweet, playful, and energetic dog. Which is why we became so attached to her upon first meeting her. I walked past her "cell" and we instantly made a connection. She was the only dog in the shelter that wasn't freaking out and barking, she was sitting calm, we made eye contact, and the rest was history, she was ours. We thought, how could we be so lucky to get a dog so well behaved from the shelter. Well, upon meeting my parent's dog (6 year old choc lab) we found out quickly that Yeti is not the most sociable dog. She becomes very excited and tries to play rough with other dogs. My parents lab is a very well behaved dog with no history of fighting with other dogs. When meeting Yeti she felt threatened and it ultimately led to them fighting. This became more apparent when meeting other dogs we came across while walking her. She seems to get way too excited upon getting close to other dogs and it turns into a snapping match between dogs. I've been trying to work on her not getting so excited when seeing dogs from afar, she is starting to ignore them and keep her attention on me. But when getting close (within 20 feet) to other dogs its the same aggressive story, she just doesn't understand how to introduce herself and communicate with other dogs without resulting in aggressive behavior from both dogs. It's much worse when the other dogs we come across seem to have the same issue her. It's double the trouble.

She couldn't be a better dog alone. She seems happy and responsive when she is the only dog around. She listens, lays/cuddles with us, plays and we really couldn't be more happy with her personality and demeanor when other dogs aren't around. My girlfriend and I are two people that like to always be doing things (traveling/being outside/hanging with others/ etc..) and we thought we would be able to bring this dog everywhere we went. We are scared at the moment with the pattern we've been observing. We are worried that it will eventually result in injury to another dog or Yeti while we are out with her. She's been introduced to many friends and family and every person that has met her loves her, thinks she's the coolest dog. She's never been aggressive with us or any person she's met, just seems to be other dogs. I'm posting this hoping someone can give me some guidance on how I should approach getting this dog to socialize with other dogs and get along. Would love to hear others that have gone through something similar with their pup. Any help with this situation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Adopted year old Husky from shelter - Dog to Dog socializing problems - Help   Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:18 pm

Hi.Jake and welcome to the forum and the wonderful world of Huskies!!

I'm going to ask a couple of questions and then we can go from there.

How recent was recently?  Of course rehoming a dogs has it's challenges and some of those are going to take time.  If you brought her home last week then she really hasn't had a chance to adjust to much of anything.

This next is something that many first time Husky owners aren't aware of and it's something they learn in a hurry ... Huskies play rough!!!  When you see two Huskies playing together you often have to wonder if that is play or are they really trying to kil each other ... yep, it's really that rough.  Then you realize that they set down together, go get a drink together ... and the poor owner is standing there with a great big "HUH!!!" written all over their face(s).

Having come from the Lab world and now having three Huskies, I'm actually surprised that your folks lab and Yeti don't play.  Let me ask, you say it's a snapping match between dogs.  Has there ever been any blood??  If there hasn't been then I'd suggest that they're just "feeling each other out" ... Yeti wants to play and your folks dog may not be too sure about this "newbie".

While you said that you're outside folks, is she getting enough exercise?  If she's not then she's naturally going to want to play.  The next time you go over to your folks house, take her on a nice walk/jog/run - like an hour and at least 5 miles;  see how she reacts then.
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Jake Bradford
Jake Bradford

Join date : 2017-07-27

PostSubject: Re: Adopted year old Husky from shelter - Dog to Dog socializing problems - Help   Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:59 pm

I appreciate the quick response and thank you for the warm welcome!

It is pretty recent, we brought her home about 2 weeks ago. Which is originally why I thought she may be acting this way. Being the first time that I’ve adopted I knew there would be some acclimating to her new environment and owners. I definitely didn’t expect her to be completely normal right away. The first week we had her she wandered quite a bit in our place checking out everything and didn’t understand yet who we were to her. That unknowing has seemed to vanish and she understands that we are her owners and the bond between us is growing greatly, which is awesome. Never once did she show aggression to us during that period, then passing a dog on a walk she would tug the leash, leap in the air, cry like crazy, be extremely hard to control. Every time it seems to bring out the worst in other dogs.

As for the Huskies playing rough, I had a few friends growing up that had huskies for the family dog. So, I’m well aware of them playing rough and play biting and whatnot. What yeti is experiencing seems to be more like a full on intro to a dog fight, my parents lab did show a little blood behind the ear that they found after the fact. I have been stepping in and breaking it up when I feel like they are in danger of each other. I grew up with three brothers, I know all too well what playing rough is lol, in comparison if a husky playing rough is like brothers throwing fists, this is more like throwing fists and adding brass knuckles to the mix. If you catch my drift. I suppose it is possible that she is just playing but, we’ve yet come across a dog that is on the same page as her.

We did go up to our cabin last weekend and wanted to try the dogs out again. When we arrived with Yeti they did the same thing as before, both lunging at each other showing teeth and growling fiercely. My whole family is like we just need to let them duke it out, it didn’t work ha. So we had read that walking the dogs together is a good way to introduce them. We tried it as a last resort, and boom it was like magic, they walked side by side with no problems and seemed to figure out their problems. The rest of the weekend we didn’t run into any more big problems, they did get into it a little bit when treats or food were involved but I think thats just my parents chocolate being protective over food. 

This week she has been pretty good, we haven’t come in close quarters with any other dogs so all is great. This morning I walked by our neighbors place and they were outside with their year old husky (male). She asked about our pup and asked if we wanted to introduce the dogs, so I was like sure lets give it a try. You can guess how that ended up. What can I do to make her more calm when first meeting other dogs? After that first initial meet then they can go buck wild if they want.

My girlfriend and I both live active lifestyles, I will try walking/jogging for longer to tire her out more than we already do. I thought this also could be an age thing too as most dogs calm down as they get older. Year old’s from my experience are all full of energy and ready play 24 seven.
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Adopted year old Husky from shelter - Dog to Dog socializing problems - Help   Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:10 pm

My female is mean about meeting dogs on leash. She has been since the day I brought her home and she tried to eat, literally eat, my husband's dog a couple hours after getting her. That said, when she meets a dog you know what her intent is and it's not just excitement. You seem to recognize that it's excitement and that she has no manners which is great. You want her to calm down and work. you may try letting her meet other dogs through a fence first where she can't play and has to smell a bit and nothing else. This is how I have to introduce my girl to keep her from eating other dogs. It makes for a slower introduction and causes her to think a little about smelling and getting to know the dog and letting that dog know her a bit before diving right into play that the other dog might not be used to. You can also try using high value treats to have her do commands while the other dog is around to draw her attention away and just start working them closer together. My female to this day can't meet a dog on leash. We believe she was tied out while someone went to work and the leash makes her nervous because she has no control over how the meeting will go so she takes it upon herself to control what she can by attacking. It's a slow battle of desensitizing her to other dogs and rewarding her for good behavior around other dogs.

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