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 New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.

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Dazie
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PostSubject: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:23 pm

Hi,

I recently rescued a husky/aussie shep mix from the pound, shes around one year old they say, and has been spay.

She bites a lot and hard, i have bruises and marks all over my body.

Throughout the day, I have boundries, like she can't come in the kitchen unless i say so, so she lies outside the kitchen watching me, the same is for the bedroom and bathroom.

I have started teaching her little tricks, but she bores quickly, so i can get her to learn a couple of times, then i stop until the next time i try.
I just got her a doggy backpack, its so cute, trying to teach her to help me bring the food shopping in, trying to give her a job so to speak, she is understanding things,

but sometimes she will listen when i correct her for bad behaviour, but other times she will jump, growl and bit the hell outta me, i now have the leash on her at all times, so when she does start i can try and put my foot on the leash to grab it and try and control her. nothing seems to work, i have held her down on her side in submission, ive held her mouth closed and said no, i have tried ignoring her that only makes her bite harder, and i have tried yelping in pain, she also bits harder.

its weird cos we came back from a good two hour walk and play she was fine, i asked her to stay and i walked to picked something up, and she jumped and bit my arm hard, and it took me five mins to grab her and calm her down.

Same happened the other day another walk, came home, she was lying quietly, i was cooking, then she jumped up and ran around the apartment and came in the kitchen and bit me and barked.

she has huge potential i feel, but my husband either wants a shock collar or sending her back because he doesn't want me to get seriously hurt.

she used to bark and go crazy when i vaccumed, all dogs hate that i guess, but with some treats on the vaccum, and then getting her to lie down with a larger treat i now can vaccum in peace, she still is unsure of it, but it has shown me that with some training she may be the family dog we want/

any help or advice, i have never owned a dog before, she is my first so i am watching a lot of ceasar millan and researching I don't want the behaviour to get worse.

thanks!


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Dazie
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:51 pm

Just to add, my vet has recommended sit means sit, a training company thats used e collars and charge outragious prices. I really want to avoid them if i can, unless people have had other experiences with them.
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smurfzzz
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:55 pm

Judging from your description, it seems like your dog is "play-biting" without knowing how to control the strength. When she bites, does it draw blood or only bruise?

I used to foster an aggressive dog which puncture deep hole and draw blood from each bite whenever you tried to discipline her or take her things. She SNARLS very often.
whereas my adopted boy is a hyper kid, who loves to play bite, and gives me bruise from all the rough knocking , which is quite painful too but never once draw blood. He only does that when he's excited and thought you are playing with him.

You see, there is a difference between this 2 dogs, one is real aggressive, the other is play.

Growling might not be aggressive, esp for vocal dogs like husky. But snarling are definitely a form of warning. You may needs to identify the root of the problem, like what triggers a certain reaction? Bites due to excitement or wanting attention? Guarding their toys? Getting repreminded? And describe the body language of the dog. Does the dog just growl follow by snarl? Or just pounce and bite? The head is upright or lower down?

There are various trainings to each individual dog. Some dog have to use alpha method while some are not advisable. Have you tried muzzle?
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Dazie
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:18 am

it can happen when she is playing to roughly with her toys, and then starts running in the house and when you try to correct her to calm her, she comes for you. We now have a better grasp on this, i try to correct it before it happens, she can roll around on the floor, and lie down playing, but standing up and running is not acceptable in the house because it sets her off.

when you correct her she will short bark and jump back on the floor, in her ready to pounce on you, then she will just bite you then you stand up she will go for your feet and legs, and the more you resist she will bark, the bite gets harder and she then goes for your arm, i guess mostly head down, i am not sure.

Then it happens with discipline her, sometimes just a 'sch' or point at her, and she will submit, but when she doesn't want to, she will go straight for your feet, then work her way up and its jump bite jump bite, bark, growl, until i get her to calm down, or i grab the leash and put her in time out.

I only have just started doing time outs, ill put her in the bathroom for a couple mins, until she is calm.

then sometimes it is just scary, like after we got home from her walk/run/play, she was fine, i was in the kitchen she can see me, so its not like we are in different rooms, then she just freaked out and started going crazy, then came in the kitchen and cornered me, and jumped up.

if i dont have shoes on, its harder to bend down to grab her leash or put my foot on the leash to stop her, cos she will bite my feet, and bare feet hurts like hell. and i yell, she will bite harder.

she has not drawn blood yet, heavy bruises, and scratches from her paws, i try to wear long sleeved and slippers or sneakers around her at the moment though.

i am gonna get my partner to video her when he can being the way she is, so i can more in depth advice.

she def doesn't understand not to play bite, she will smell other people, and when she likes them jumps up on them sometimes leading with her mouth.

then other times she listens, my sister in law came over, and met the dog for the first time, and when dazie started playing too rough, jumping up or biting on her, she yelled no, no biting, and she backed down, still the dog was excited and unsure, but i guess cos my sister in law was a new person. I have no doubt the more comfortable she gets she would have continued.

its funny cos where i expect agreesion or problems she doesn't do it, like she sits when i make her food, then i put the food next to her, and until i say its ok for her to eat it, she will look at me, and i will look at her, then i say ok, and she eats. no problem.

at night a few treats in her crate, she goes in, i switch off the lights and go to my bedroom, we all sleep, no whining or barking.

I am so confused.

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Dazie
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:27 am

oh and we do have a muzzle, we only use it sometimes throughout the day, if she bites then i will put it on her for a short time, then when she seems good and ignoring the fact she has it on, i will take it off.

i don't want her to be muzzled all day long, she can't really play with her toys properly with it on, and she hates it on, i hate seeing her with it on all the time, it is used when she has been bad, or i may need to do sometime and not be biting in the process like cleaning. haha which is getting better, now i give her treats so she looks forward to the broom and the vacume!

it is also hard to know when to use the muzzle, when she acts up, do i muzzle her, or put her in time out? sometimes i do both.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:50 am

Hi Dazie and welcome to the forum. Aussies are great dogs, and a husky/aussie mix sounds like a very intelligent and very exciteable dog to me! Aussies like to please but huskies like to think for themselves, so I wonder which applies most to your dog?! You will find lots of useful information in the training forum so you might like to have a browse of that.

I am going to suggest a different approach to the one that you have been using, which is based on positive reinforcement rather than compulsive training methods like those often used by Cesar Millan. I don't advise putting your dog on her side or holding her down like cesar does, because the risk is that you will get bitten, and/or the dog will become afraid of you. Someone else you might like to watch is Victoria Stillwell. She uses a positive training approach with her dogs, which involves trying (as far as possible) to set them up for success in the first place, and rewarding positive behaviours and ignoring the negative. There is an episode out there with a husky and I will see if I can find a link later. Similarly, don't go with the trainer that the vet has recommended, but try and find one that uses positive reinforcement.

It sounds like you have rules and boundaries already which is good. You'll see from the training forums that lots of people here use NILIF (nothing in life is free) which means that the dog is asked to do something (e.g. come, sit, lie down) before getting things like food. You should have lots of positive training sessions with her, using a reward when she does what you ask. The reward is whatever works for her, such as food, affection, a game with a toy, or simply a 'good dog'. It sounds like she hasn't been taught how to behave before, so you have your work cut out, but it can be very rewarding to see a dog get better and better. Start with things that she will find easy and then gradually make it harder (for example, a five minute stay is really difficult so start with something very short that she can manage). She will soon learn that good things come when she does what you ask, and will be more attentive.

The biting is obviously more serious. I'm wondering if it's the case that she didn't learn bite inhibition as a puppy, and needs you to teach her? (See here for something on that). Try to avoid the things that are triggers for her biting, because you don't want it to become a habit. I think you are going to have to be very consistent with her on a daily basis in order for her to learn the rules of the house. She's cute, good luck and thank you for rescuing her!!
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Ghost
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:59 am

I posted on your other thread, but having read this I take back what I said about bite inhibition. She hasn't drawn blood, so she obviously has bite inhibition, but she needs to learn not to mouth you.

The first scenario you describe sounds like play. Not all growls are aggression - some dogs (including aussies) have a play growl. I have an aussie, and there is a different tone to his play growl compared to his aggressive growl; the play growl has a higher pitch. You'll come to recognize it over time. Also a short bark is excitement or greeting (if accompanied by a play bow then it means 'play with me!'). There's a useful article by Stanley Coren here which explains what different barks mean.

She sounds completely over-excited. Some time-outs for her to calm down sound like a good idea! She is doing a lot of it for attention, so if you completely ignore her when she is doing something you don't like, but make a big fuss of her when she is calm and well-behaved, she will learn how to behave.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:42 am

Victoria Stillwell with Diesel
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:46 am

what kind of toys do you have for her to chew?
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:34 am

It does indeed sound like play... If it was full out aggression you would know it...

Head low, bearing teeth, hackle's up (Depending on if this carried over from the husky side). It's a very different form of bite and a very different reaction. But you are correct, this is all just speculation without a video of her doing it. If you can provide that it would help us all for sure.

Quote :
then other times she listens, my sister in law came over, and met the dog for the first time, and when dazie started playing too rough, jumping up or biting on her, she yelled no, no biting, and she backed down, still the dog was excited and unsure, but i guess cos my sister in law was a new person. I have no doubt the more comfortable she gets she would have continued

I'm not so sure, It sounded like your sister in law was just very confident and commanding. If she was able to get that kind of response so fast there is something to be said about that. maybe try and mimic her tone, stance, and behavior. It obviously made an impact.


Quote :
then she just freaked out and started going crazy

Taken out of context, but this sounds like zoomies to me. it's an excited response that seems to happen when they are extremely playful, or excited. In my experience it can also happen after a very good walk. They conformed to heeling beside you and walking with manners so long they just lose it and overly enjoy the freedom of being off lead and home.


Quote :
if i dont have shoes on, its harder to bend down to grab her leash or put my foot on the leash to stop her, cos she will bite my feet, and bare feet hurts like hell. and i yell, she will bite harder.

Biting or nipping feet is a common trait in young herding dogs. They fixate on the small area that makes you move. It sounds to me like her aussie is coming out a lot here. this is something I would focus on right away. This can get out of hand, and you never want to feel like your being herded in your own home.


My advice is to find her tiring point first. Dazie has the potential to be a very active dog.

+1 on buying a pack and it looks like you have been doing decent walks, however it might not be enough. If she is really excited and like that all day long you may need to invest more time in exercise and wearing her down. Treadmill maybe?

In terms of the biting/niping that just takes time. It's not something that will change over night. There are alot of posts here about teething / nipping / biting. Al should give you an idea on what you can do and how to do it. Just keep at it and try and preserve your sanity Smile

Best of luck to you and keep us updated if you can! Smile

~Chris~
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:44 am

Merged topics to avoid duplicates Smile

Looks like some great advice here already!

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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:22 pm

yes thanks so much for all your advice, i am making more of a stance with her, i stand with my hands on my hips so she is starting to know when she is doing something i don't like.

exercise excercise exercise, haha shes kinda driving me mad, we are looking into a tredmill there just out of our price range right now, but i have been looking, i would like to add 30 min tredmill run to her daily exercise.

i take her to a field, with no one around, and let her off the leash, trying to train her off leash too, she seems to come back if i have something more interesting going on, or i walk away, she might let me walk far, then i see her running after me, if i see anyone around ill get her attention to re direct it, or put her on the leash. she is curious about other people, but until she behaves i try and make sure no one is around. until i get a bicycle or skates, letting her run around is best i can do right now, she doesnt even run much, just investigating, sniffing and rolling around on the grass, she may play fetch, most times she will catch the ball, and play with it herself, sometimes she will bring it back for more.


the zoomies? never heard of that before, that could explain her sudden outbursts sometimes, the time she did it though, we walked on leash (gentle leader - stops hard pulling ) for about 25mins to the park, then off leash for 45 mins, then walk home! pretty good i thought, and i cant do that sort of walk every day, but she still lashed out when we got back. hopefully she will learn with the time outs.

I am also looking into dog daycare, i took her to the dog park once, and she loved it, for three hours she just played with these three dogs she made friends with, she ignored everyone else, and just rolled around with them. but i have heard dog parks are not too good, cos you never know what dogs are gonna be there, and if they are healthy or not, so maybe indoor dog daycare she can go too once a week can be good.

I will keep you posted, and i will try and video some of her behaviour over the weekend.

one thing i have noticed, the less i shout or get angry when she is acting up, the easier it is to manage her to calm down. now i try and remain calm, even if she has hurt me, i take the leash and just say 'enough' and put her in time out.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:47 am

Your baby sounds very much like my rescued boy with no proper guidance of controlling their "play bite" and forever in the "puppy crazy" stage. The good news is, your dog is definitely not under the "aggressive" criteria.

Does she knows basic obedience? My boy used to pounce and bite on me whenever he's excited for wanting to play, and he dash around the house like mad. The more you try to catch or discipline him, the more excited he is, a typical rebellious kid.

This is what I do. Whenever play gets out of hand, try to put a leash on the dog, and get it on a down and STAY position and leash on by my side with no room to escape. It means, time out for playing as a punishment for going overboard (it's like grounding a kid at home). In this case, your rules can be cage confinement.

And if it attempts to bite, I will use muzzzle. Do note muzzle is not to stay on for the whole day, neither a short while. I will usually have the muzzle on the dog for 30 mins (or at least till it calms down).

When the correcting the dog, it's also important to take note of the pitch. Always use a low pitch to say "NO", not a screaming high pitch. Look straight in the eyes. Low pitch is used for correction and training (just like dogs will growl in a low tone to give warning), and a high pitch is generally used for praising when the dog did something right.
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PostSubject: Re: New Member, help with biting agressive husky/aussie shep mix please.   Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:03 pm

Thanks for your advice, I tried to video her this weekend when she acted up but can't get to a camera when trying to control her.

We put her in time out in the bathroom, seems to calm her down after a while of her barking and jumping in there.

She has the leash on her at all times, when she's acting up its the only way to try and discipline her, I don't trust her yet without a leash on in the house.

she was good all day yesterday, went out in the car, took her for trail walk and free run in the park. and tried to teach her a little game called hide and seek, worked out great. got home. then later in the evening for no reason she got out of hand, low growling and jumping and biting my husband, even when i had her leash she was still trying to jump up at him, we put her in time out until she calmed down.

she did the same with me today, i said no when she decided to chew the sofa, so then she decided to put her mouth around my arm and hold down, until i could pull her away, then the muzzle went on.

I am starting to see improvements, people are starting to think my husband beats me up, my arms and legs have huge dark bruises haha.

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