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 Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy

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TJ Jones
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Join date : 2020-02-19

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PostSubject: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptyWed Feb 19, 2020 7:03 pm

Hi everyone!

So my 12 year old daughter got a 12 week old husky puppy (female).  We are a dog house and have 2 adult Labs.  Josea is 13 and ignores her. Jaxon is 7 and is coming around and starting to play "Take the toy - give the toy", so socially things are good.

We got her from a family that said they are "Relocating".  I asked where, and she just said 'Texas' after she thought about it for a minute.  I think that story may be true, but I think the puppy was too much for her and her husband with a 5 year old and and 2 year old children.

So we have had her 3 days and it's pretty apparent they did nothing to house break her.  I've just started doing this, watching for the signs of sniffing for a spot, go out after a nap, etc.  However this is my first go with a Husky which I can already tell is going to be very different from a lab.  Some years ago, I did have 2 German Sheppards, so I've dealt with alpha dominant dogs before, but this one seems unusually intelligent... Like she has already learned a bit about our house, our behavior, the other dogs, and how to integrate.  So I want to make sure I have a handle on training her so we don't pick up bad habits.  

I do have a concern, I don't know that my daughter is strong willed enough to take the assertive position as Alpha, so I am prepared to do so.  My thought is the way this might end up is Kara (my daughter) will be her buddy, but I'm going to have to be the sheriff.  I also believe I'm going to have to train my daughter as well to enforce rules for good behavior.

I've been looking around on the interwebs for information on training and I have stumbled across a few sites with Husky specific info, but most of them have pay gates, and my experience with sites like this in the past is you spend $$$ but the information you gain access to is not the greatest.  So first off I am looking for advice for training resources for the puppy for the typical needs - house breaking, basic commands for stay, come/recall, etc.  I do work from home, so while the kids are at school, I can find time in between my software coding cycles to do some work with her, provided I have something that is specifically effective for the breed.

Secondly, I am an avid mountain biker and race. Aside from the recent bad weather, I am usually out on the trails 3-4 times a week.  I am wondering about training her as a 'trail dog' being one that can run just in front or follow behind.  Probably from what I read about the breed, behind might be the better choice.  Other options would be a mushing leash system (I forgot the name) that tethers the dog out front up to about 20 feet or so.  I'd prefer to train off-leash, but I really don't have any idea where to begin with this.  I have a friend who trained his vizsla to do this, but he said the dog took to it pretty naturally.  Anyway, getting her out with me a few times a week on the trails would keep her activity up and probably happy as a result.  

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and I look forward to any information/advice anyone can send me in helping me train her.

TJ

Angel at 12 weeks:
Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy 2020-010
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aljones
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aljones

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

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptyWed Feb 19, 2020 11:04 pm

Hi TJ!  (( Another Jones boy here ))

Personal comment here - up until they reach a few of months old, most puppies behave like, well, puppies.  They'll follow you around, get underfoot, chew on things and just be a puppy nuisance.

As I was writing I forgot whether she was a male or female so I switched around a bit ... sorry.

There'll come time though when you'll realize that you have a Husky.  Most likely it'll come when you say "Come here, spike" and she'll look at you and you'll know she's saying "Why should I? What's in it for me?"  You'll find that it's not safe to let them run off lead, they're generally very prey driven and will happily follow a rabbit - till they get lost (and beyond)!  So, as far as running her with you on the bike, off lead is very dangerous territory.  On that note though, you'll have a couple of years to decide if she can be trusted off lead - some very few are - in the meantime, be careful running her on hard surfaces or running her more than a fe minutes at a time - puppy bones are sensitive and you can harm their development by running them too early.

I've had, over my years, GSD's, Labs and Huskies - they are entirely different breeds once they begin to develop.  GSD's are generally very protective of their masters, I'm not sure a Husky knows who their master is (except for the guy who holds the food bowl!)  Huskies are generally one of the friendliest breeds you'll ever see - everyone is a friend!  A GSD and a Lab will set and wait for a command - a Husky is gonna get bored and start doing things on his own.  Remember, the original Husky was way out in front of the guy with the sled, if the lead Husky felt the territory the guide wanted them to go was unsafe they didn't go there - no matter how much the guy cussed!  Because of heritage, they are - as you noted - thinking dogs.

It's going to take a lot of training to get him anywhere close to where you want him to be - and if you get your daughter involved, he'll probably take commands from here as well as he does for you (written with a smile!)

And just between us:
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Lostmaniac
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Lostmaniac

Female Join date : 2018-10-22
Location : Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptyThu Feb 20, 2020 1:08 am

So without going into major training differences based of a model that was made by observing unrelated wolves that were basically thrown into a display together, and a very large number of people feel its a false model way way later. When i think of the alpha its the one that gets away with the most. Remember a good husky is a tired husky.

Your daughter maybe should get enrolled in puppy classes that way they can both learn together

So people always want to know husky specific training and really there is a solid training method that works for every animal i have tried it on. The method is this very short training sessions multiple times per day. Be very very consistant. Be realistic as to your puppys attention span in relation to training because no matter what youbwant to end on a positive. Repeat on each command. Have anyone involved in your household participate in training. Huskies are stubborn and once they master something then its not a game but conversation that goes "and what do i get out of this". They are super smart but without CONSISTENCY none of it will matter. Because really all animals will respond to that method. Its not a cesar milan instant fix it takes time and different breeds and or species have different timelines on what is to be expected.

When i take squirt hiking or swimming i have 4 25ft sections that link together. Some towns have leash length restrictions and sometimes a long leash is dangerous near roads
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TJ Jones
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Newborn


Join date : 2020-02-19

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptyThu Feb 20, 2020 1:52 am

Thanks Al Jones and Emily for your responses!

Yes, I have been doing more reading and research and I have seen that running her, at least with the bike won't be happening anytime before the close of 2020 which is fine.  Seems that getting to the bike is a graduation process from me running with her.  Looks like I'm gonna be investing in some good shoes this summer just for this, which is fine because I've been procrastinating about cross training for my racing.  

We live in a neighborhood that borders a park with almost 40 miles of single-track trails.  It's just under 1/10 of a mile from my door to the trail head and the 2nd loop in Mason's Bluff is just under a mile.  I think once we get into the late summer/fall, I'll take a stab at running her while I run which won't stress her too much.  Once she is a little older, I may try Bikejoring with her as it seems to be a good alternative to off-leash in the event we can't trust her.  I get that, Josea has been an off leash dog since a puppy with no issues.  Jaxon is extremely prey driven to the point that he can't even find his way home.  We have had a few scares when he escaped!  Fortunately, I think we resolved that issue with a malfunctioning latch on the fence.

Also, I heard something about "Gee" and "Haar" commands (Left and right) for mushing watching a joring video.  I assume the distinct vowel sounds help with the command, but how do you train a dog to know Gee is left and Haar is right, or left from right for that matter?  I'm quite curious.

Right now, the house breaking is my primary concern. She seems to pee quite a lot, and tonight, she came in my bedroom and spotted on the floor.  That pissed off Jaxon and he walked to the door and marked on the door jam!  Yes, the labs sleep with us on the bed and this is their den so to speak.  So I need to get her potty accidents under control asap, especially anywhere near the master bedroom.  Also, I'm not a fan of crate training, at least not with Labs, but I am wondering if this might be a better route for Husky's?  

I read an article about "No Free Lunch" for Husky's, meaning when she want's something (primarily affection at this point), she needs to follow a command and basically earn it.  She does know sit, so I have told everyone to make her sit before you pet her.  Hopefully we can get everyone in the house on the same mindset.

If you have any other tips for the puppy phase, that would be great, especially with potty training and recall. However I think recall is gonna be challenge, I took her out front today when she messed in the house and placed her in the potty spot.  She saw a finch in the bushes and chased that bird through the shrubs for 3 houses!  Seriously, super FAST and AGILE at 12 weeks, and I'm in really excellent athletic shape!  It was a task just trying to catch her!

Thanks again for your responses.  I know we have some challenges ahead, but I do know the rewards of having a 4 legged family member. :-)

TJ
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Lostmaniac
Adult
Adult
Lostmaniac

Female Join date : 2018-10-22
Location : Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptyThu Feb 20, 2020 8:02 am

I would try a schedule for house training, it worked on 3 of my 4 dogs or keep the pup leashed and tie the leash to you.

3 of mine have the option to sleep in bed but usually its just splinter in the bed. Squirt used to sleep in bed before she was exiled to the spare bedroom, and she has her own queen sized bed in there and 2 blankets and several pillows.
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aljones
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aljones

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

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptyThu Feb 20, 2020 3:03 pm

I'll second @LostManiac's comment about a schedule, every 15 minutes for a while, then up it to every half hour, well, you get the idea. If you keep it up long enough she'll get the idea that outside is the place - of course reward her for a "job well done."

I only have one dog who even begins to know what "Gee"and "Haw" are - I was teaching her to see if the idea would connect when she was off leash (at something like 13 she's okay off leash) I'd take her out on lead and every time I'd turn I'd announce it just before the turn - like second before I'd turn. When she's off leash she'll (sometimes) respond to Gee and Haw to change direction.

NILIF or "Nothing In Life Is Free" is a great way to train a dog. It's a running dialogue with your dog. If you want out you go to the door, set and stay; if you want food you back up, set and stay; if you want attention you come set in front of / beside me. Many of us feed twice (or three times as day with puppies) so that's a built in 'training time' but it's important that your entire family adopt the same technique. You've probably experienced the "If daddy normally says 'No', then I'll just ask momma." then picture that with all the members of your family and one spoiled puppy.

I had to laugh at "three yards away!" Now you begin to understand why "No Off Leash Husky" is so important. Just imagine what that'll be like when she's older, faster and more elusive.
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TJ Jones
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Join date : 2020-02-19

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptyThu Feb 20, 2020 5:14 pm

@aljones wrote:

I had to laugh at "three yards away!" Now you begin to understand why "No Off Leash Husky" is so important.  Just imagine what that'll be like when she's older, faster and more elusive.

It's quite interesting. There is a lady I see on the trails jogging quite often and she has a beautiful Husky that runs with her off leash. I'm in Acworth, GA and it's Allatoona park where the trails are setup so that bikers and runners always travel in opposite directions. Anyway, he dog always moves over with her and we pass each other. I'm thinking I'm gonna stop and chat with her the next time I see her out and ask her how she pulled it off.

Yeah, I know all dogs are different and it could be just a particular personality, but it's quite impressive to see that Husky off-leash and running the trails right with her.
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Lostmaniac
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Adult
Lostmaniac

Female Join date : 2018-10-22
Location : Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptyThu Feb 20, 2020 7:50 pm

I let squirt off leash in certain situations. I am not worried about her taking off but i do worry about her getting hit by a car. Also she cant be around other dogs off leash or she will go after them and not in a playing way. But i do have areas that i can let her go run when tourist season is over, and she goes rabbit hunting during the season when i can legally let her kill them.

And we have people here that walk huskies off leash but then you also see it posted that they took off after a deer and got lost. Its a calculated risk. When im 2 miles from a road in a box canyon there is little chance of squirt getting lost or hit by a car.

2 years ago squirt got attacked by a rocky mountain big horn sheep. Its one of the few times i was glad she was off leash but its just so much safer to keep a leash on the dog or inside a fence
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TJ Jones
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Newborn


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Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy Empty
PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptyFri Feb 21, 2020 2:46 pm

OK, so something new. I think it might be because there are other dogs in the house. She is food aggressive. I can get her to sit while holding her bowl, but when I try to put it down, she charges at it. My wife held her collar and we tried to get her to follow the sit command, but the was extremely vocal. Once she got to the food, she knocked a bunch out on the floor. When I started to pick it up and put the kibbles back in, she make a growl and vocal calls. As a response to her behavior, I stuck my hand in her bowl and left it there as she was eating. She eventually stopped. She never tried to bite, but definitely was aggressive/protective and eating as fast as she possibly could. I'm thinking I will just continue to invade her space and bowl until she no longer growls at me for doing it. My thought with this breed is to not react and let her get the response she was after. Let me know your thoughts on if I should continue this way or do something else.
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Lostmaniac
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Lostmaniac

Female Join date : 2018-10-22
Location : Colorado

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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptyFri Feb 21, 2020 5:49 pm

Take the bowl away and feed her slowly by hand. Its not HER food its YOUR food that you are being nice enough to share with her. She is trying to figure out her place in the house and that actually a really good place to start with boundaries.

My shepherd will resource guard but spider and splinter know he is just grumpy. Like carrying his bowl to where spider is just so he can growl at her. Then she starts rolling around and pawing shadow in the face and in his mouth. Spider and splinter know hes all talk. He acts like he hates the other dogs but really he likes being grumpy at them.

He wont growl at me or my hubby over anything but when i first got him he would be a little possessive of food and hand feeding stopped that
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aljones
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aljones

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

Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy Empty
PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptyFri Feb 21, 2020 6:08 pm

TJ, there's a couple of things you don't mention that ma make a difference.  Are your other dogs being fed at the same time as she is? In the same place?

As a puppy with her mother and peers, it was eat quick or be left behind ... so ti'll take her time to understand that the others aren't going to "charge for her food" if she stops to take a breath (they're not, are they?)

The charging the food bowl when you go to set it down - there's one solution for that:  repeat ad nasium until she gets the idea that she won't get it till she behaves.  You're good that you caught this when you did, breaking a dog who's food aggressive is a lot different from breaking a puppy who's hungry.

Of course you have to make sure that she knows the commands you're using.  You can't use "set" if she doesn't know what it means, ditto for "stay." But teaching her, with the help of your missus, both of those commands while teaching her that she doesn't have to gobble her food is quite workable.

If you do as @LostManiac suggests, and hand feed then you want her to be setting and calm between each few kibbles of food. I used hand feeding for my food aggressive girl and it worked well - at least she stopped trying to eat me! Hand feeding, by definition is taking a few kibble (I hope you're feeding kibble Smile) and holding it in your hand, when she's calm, open your hand. If she lunges for it, close your hand. As @Lostmaniac says, you want her understand that it's *your* food. Once you've gotten to the "a few kibbles, calm" then up it to a handful or so; then a few in her bowl - set and wait - then a few more -- okay you've got the idea.

Expect vocal, I'm lucky that two of mine are unusually quiet - when Avalanche barks, I look to see why he's barking, he barks that seldom.  My third (my 13 year old mess, who was food aggressive) is my alarm clock in the morning - from her crate she let's me know it's time to get up 'cause she wants out.  Some Huskies don't talk, and with others you'd swear you're holding a conversation.

Parting comment - Huskies are interesting to train.  Mine are all rescues so not only have I had to unteach them old habits I've had to teach them what I *do* want.  Since they are thinkers - what's in it for me? - you have to use that against them.  Patience and repetition are your strongest tools.

I have a notorious habit of sounding condescending when I write ... feel free to tell me "I know that!" and I'll back off a little. So many of the people who come here are not only first time Husky owners, they're first time dog owners so we have to go to basic basics.
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TJ Jones
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptySat Feb 22, 2020 9:15 pm

Thanks Al.  Yes, I there are other dogs around, but on the other side of the room.  Jaxon will sit and watch because he is food obsessed as well, but not aggressive at all.  

I've done the hand feeding thing the past 2 feedings and this has really helped.  I'm able to get her to sit and if she get over excited and goes for the food before I give her a release command, I close my hand.  She get's a little frustrated makes some husky noises and then sits on her own.  I tell her good and then give her the OK release command (which is what I use with my other dogs) and then let her have the food.  Yes, it's kibble.  I thought a t-bone pork chop might be a little early at this age... (Just kidding!).

Very food driven creature.  Got a feeling I will really be able to use this to my advantage later.  Anyway, socializing is pretty much all good now.  Just need to get the potty thing worked out, but I think she is starting to get it.  Accidents now seem to be at the door about 50% of the time, so I'm gonna get a bell.

Baby gate is useless... She climbs it, LOL!  I mean seriously, the dog is a problem solver.  Very interesting to watch her as she examines things in her surroundings.  She's already running up and down a huge flight of outdoor stairs from our deck to the back yard. My other 2 dogs had a bit of an issue with this at first.  Maybe it was because the were older and never been in a multi story house.

This week, I need to pen her in a room with me while I work so I can stay on top of potty breaks every half hour.  However as I said, the gates are useless.  I don't want to put her in her crate while I am coding, so if you guys have any suggestions for pinning her in, I am all ears.
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TJ Jones
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PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptySat Feb 22, 2020 10:40 pm

Yes Emily, I am starting to understand. With Husky's its all mine. My food, my house, my toys, etc... Since I've started to adopt this idea in my thinking, I am seeing rapid improvements in her behavior. Still have a long way to go, but at least I'm starting to really dial into it now.
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Lostmaniac
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Lostmaniac

Female Join date : 2018-10-22
Location : Colorado

Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy Empty
PostSubject: Re: Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy   Looking for Husky Specific training info - New Puppy EmptySat Feb 22, 2020 11:53 pm

You could add something to the top of the gate that leans inward. When they get to the top and hit where its leaning they usually fall off or get down.

You could tie the leash to your chair, or use a play pen type thing. When she climbs out you say no and put her back in. Give treats when she does what she should, it establishes some boundries.

Mine are not allowed upstairs. Its a loft so its open... well it was i have partical board up. It intentionally wobbles to keep them from climbing on it. Its also 4ft tall. I had to wolfdog proof my house, its like husky home makeover extreme edition. Spider turned 5 on the 17th so most of her issues we are over and well squirt is just squirt

Huskies are strange creatures. I just wish you all the luck in the world you dont have a refrigerator problem. We had a rottie that would open the fridge and eat everything in it, then he trained squirt to do it. I was like doggy einstein the first 2 times then we ended up having to padlock the fridge.
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