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 Sudden lack of trust

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Join date : 2017-11-15

PostSubject: Sudden lack of trust   Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:05 pm

I have a 14-month-old husky girl and I am not sure what to do about our relationship at the moment. We have had wonderful 12 months together; we live in the country and we regularly go hiking, but we spend most of our afternoons/evenings in a huge park where there’s a lot of other people and dogs. We didn’t go through much training because she learned to trust me early on and she has had perfect recall whenever off leash. The other day there were some kids training soccer in a fenced area and she could not ignore their shouting and wanted to join so much. So she kept looking for a way in and would not come back to me when I called. When I came near, she started running away from me which really made me mad. So when I finally caught her, I hit her with the leash. We went to another park the next day, and she would not come back again. I assume that this is due to her loss of trust, she probably thinks that I would hit her again if she comes to me. Now we’re running in circles because I don’t trust her off leash and she doesn’t trust me enough to come back. I know now that I should be patient and not let her off leash for some time until we build our trust again, but I am so upset and I don’t like her at all now. I can’t find it in me to train her, I am so pissed at her. I am particularly upset because I’ve read so many stories saying huskies should not to be trusted off leash that I am afraid that this might not be a temporary issue. Any ideas on how to deal with this further?
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Male Join date : 2017-03-30
Location : Toronto, Ontario, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Sudden lack of trust   Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:15 pm

Hi musky!

Your disappointment and anger is understandable, but you must also know what breed of dog you have. You can have the best trained dog, but there will always be setbacks, like that incident you described above. It just is what it is. The other week Echo ran away from the non-fenced offleash dog park where we always go, up the hill and bolted down a side street. I had to chase him around the farm until I could get his attention and he followed me back to the park. Was I annoyed? Yes. Was I angry with him? Yes. Was it expected? Yes. I think you put too much faith in your dog. Remember, no dog is perfect. You need to come to terms with that because I can tell you this won't be the first or the last time this will happen.

As for your dog holding a grudge. She'll get over it. In the meantime, go back to the basics. I don't think you need to specifically set out a specific training regimen if you don't want to (though it would help). Just, if you're with the park with her, recall with treats at hand and use a leash more often when you walk/play with her. She'll get it soon enough and go back to her old self in no time. If your dog is as food motivated as mine is, she'll quickly know that she can't stay angry with you for long since you do feed her daily =P.

Good luck with re-training! And don't be angry it's neither of yours fault.

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

PostSubject: Re: Sudden lack of trust   Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:40 am

Frankly, you have had 14 months of luck letting your dog off leash. Huskies are notorious for running and never coming home, and that is usually how it goes. One day they seem fine and then one day they just aren't anymore and you may never see your dog again. Nothing is ever a given in training with huskies. It's on going forever. As was stated above, go back to basics. She will trust you again but you have to really be careful how much you trust her. Some of us have had success with off-leash and their husky but it didn't come without a lot of work.

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Join date : 2017-11-13

PostSubject: Re: Sudden lack of trust   Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:29 pm

I think it goes without saying that you should never hit your husky or any dog. Negative reinforcement will break trust. Positive reinforcement will get you the results you desire.

Huskies are free spirits and will run. It is recommended that they are never let off leash outside. If they do get away, in my experience, running after them gives them the confidence to run further. Staying put or moving in the opposite direction can often cause them to come back to you. This tactic always worked with my sweet girl.

Trust will be regained as you move to only positive reinforcement of desired behaviors.

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Male Join date : 2016-09-01
Location : Pierre, SD

PostSubject: Re: Sudden lack of trust   Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:15 pm

First off, off leash huskies are a timebomb. It may work out, maybe for a long time, but unless you won the Husky lottery, your husky will take off from time to time. They are a, strong willed, long distance, high energy, large territory breed. Their basic drive to run free is bad enough, but when combined with their very independent attitude means they can just sort of turn off their loyalty and obedience training without a moments notice.

Most husky owners never do off leash time unless they are in a fully enclosed area. And those that do off leash time tend to do a LOT of training. It doesn't sound like you've done much training as your pup just always listened. This is a recipe for problems. Even a fully trained dog needs to have behaviors reinforced and refreshed training from time to time.

Next up, trust issues. Have you had dogs before? Kids? Significant others? A boss? Coworkers? All living beings are capable of disappointing us from time to time. My 5 year old tries my patience on a daily basis. My wife can do some master class passive aggressive stuff from time to time. Anger, frustration, disappointment, and annoyance are all perfectly normal, but we need to keep our cool and deal with them in the best way possible. This rarely includes physical violence. That tends to break down trust. Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair (luckily dogs tend to get over a single incident faster than people).
On top of that, you now have an ongoing frustration. Your dog can sense that, and this will make him nervous around you.
If you go into a situation with lingering anger and frustration from the last time, he'll notice and his behavior will change.
If you go into a situation with lingering guilt and trepidation from the last time, he'll notice and his behavior will change.
You need to rebuild the trust from the ground up before either of you will be ready to test boundaries in public again.

Stay away from the public parks where there are lots of distractions for awhile. Do more 1 on 1 bonding stuff for awhile. Walks on the leash. Lots of training with treats and rewards. Start some serious recall training. Only after all that would I even consider going back to the park. But don't just go and think things will be great. Bring treats and call him back at regular intervals with rewards. Don't wait until a problem arises to recall. As the responsible member of your relationship, you need to anticipate problems and deal with them preemptively.

And last, but not least, keep in mind that you are caring for a husky. Their nature is to run long and far away to explore. You are fighting against that urge basically every minute of every day. The dog is just that, a dog. It's guided by instinct. You can try to subvert that instinct with training, but it will never be 100%, and your dog is likely to run off again, or refuse to listen to you again. If you are going to let him go off-leash, you need to live with the consequences. Whatever happens is YOUR fault however, not his, so please don't take your anger and frustration out on him. That will only undermine your relationship with him all over again.
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Join date : 2017-11-15

PostSubject: Re: Sudden lack of trust   Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:57 am

Thank you all for your input. What may have been misunderstood from my post was that I did not train her. We did A LOT of training, but not on recall as I haven’t had much trouble with it, that’s all. I have a husband and a 10-year-old daughter and I know a thing or two about disappointment. But not that much from dogs as my previous two were Scotch Collies. I guess I was just worried about the hitting part because I could see that she lost her trust in me and I was unsure how to go on with it. We went only to a fenced dog part this weekend and we worked hard on recall. I did not let her off leash for a second outside the dog park. She seems content for now and I plan to go to the woods in a day or two to see her recall there. I plan to avoid the park where the incident happened for a week or two. I think I got her trust back, but we are now working on my trust. Back to square one, but it’s well worth it because I sometimes do feel like I won the Husky lottery with her.
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Male Join date : 2014-02-18
Location : Hoschton. GA

PostSubject: Re: Sudden lack of trust   Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:37 am

I don't think this was said but at 14 months, this is in the range of the pup being in their teenage defiance years. They will do a lot to test you and see what they can get away with. Our girl went through this "phase" from about 8 months to almost 2 years old. You really have to reinforce your training now more than ever. Also, younger dogs are more likely to stay around their owners because that is the safe place to be but once they are more confident they will be more likely to go off and explore.
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