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our November HOTM Winners!
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Thanks to all for this month's entries!
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 First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:

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Join date : 2017-08-10

First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:  Empty
PostSubject: First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:    First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:  EmptyThu Aug 10, 2017 4:19 pm

Backstory: (scroll down if you don't want to read all this for the summary) Hello my name is Brittany and I own a 2 year old Female Husky named Luna. I got Luna from some people I knew in high school who were giving her away. They had another dog as well, a little older and not sure of the breed, and 3 kids. She was a year and 4 months old when I got her. She was kept in a cage or outside most of her life because they did not know how to handle her once she got bigger and all the energy huskies tend to have (typical). They had originally named her Bella, she did not know her name so I did change it, she learned Luna quickly and listens to it well. One time a few months after I had her I tried calling her with the name Bella just to see and she did not even look up but I said Luna and her heat shot straight up. When I first got her she also didn't know any basic commands, or how to even walk on a leash. She was wild, the car ride home from the first night picking her up was insane. After having her for almost a year now (I got her last year at the end of Aug.) She sits, and lays down. She walks on a leash. She went through a chewing everything up phase but is much better now, still has some hiccups but for the most part its only when I forget to put something up before I leave. I do not own a cage and feel because of how she was raised it would only be a negative thing to her. I take her to dog parks and she does fine. I even walk her off lease sometimes at a park. She does have an issue with running off into the woods when off lease though which is something I would like advice on...

I want to be able to have her off lease and walk trails and go hiking without her running off and not coming back when I call. I would be fine with her exploring but I want to teach her boundaries, like staying where I can see, waiting for me to catch up, coming back to me when I call. I know she doesn't come back because she thinks i'm just gonna put her back on lease, but I don't know how to teach her that I just need to see she will listen and she can stay loose.

The other problem I have with her is she doesn't really play well with other dogs. As soon as she goes up to another dog, or one comes up to her, her hair stands up. She's also very vocal, growling and barking when playing. It seems like she likes to overpower other dogs, tries pouncing on them. She hasn't gotten into a fight or tried biting another dog at all, no snapping or showing teeth. But, other owners tend to get nervous of how she acts. Another weird thing is, a lot of times when Luna is approaching another dog it will lay down, in a submissive way. Other dogs don't really play with her because of her being vocal and pouncy and it makes me sad. She'll try playing with them but they just go the other way.

Last but not least, I also have 2 Female cats, both older than Luna and I've had them for years. They've been around and lived with a dog before and were fine. They hate Luna, it's her own fault. Anytime they move in the apartment Luna chases after them, she barks at them and tried pouncing on them like she does with other dogs. She wants to play but is way too rough.

Any advice, training techniques, tips, would be much appreciated, thank you! Very Happy
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Female Join date : 2013-12-20

First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:  Empty
PostSubject: Re: First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:    First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:  EmptyFri Aug 11, 2017 10:34 am

The rough play...normal for husky.  I always say husky play is not for the faint of heart!  Maybe find a husky group near you ?  H2M2?

As for off leash... Most here do not recommend it.  Huskies are notoriously independent, bred to  run and once let loose, that is what they do.

Cats.  Huskies have a high prey drive.  I don't  blame b the  for hating here at all.  Give the cats s safe Haven and don't let Luna chase them. Teach her "no"
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:  Empty
PostSubject: Re: First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:    First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:  EmptyFri Aug 11, 2017 10:54 am

Educate the nervous owners that her play style is normal. However, if it looks like she is getting too rough with a dog that can't handle it or the excitement is getting to the point you think something could break out remove her from the play and make her wait for a bit to calm down before letting her go back. Same with the cats. Don't let her chase them, as Amy said, give them a place they can go that she cannot, and if she starts to chase or get rough with them, remove her and make her wait to calm down. Leashing her in the house so you have quick access to grab her and correct the bad behavior helps.

Some huskies just aren't meant to be off leash. Do recall work in a fenced area always like a dog park. Make sure she gets exposed to things like squirrels and other dogs and people when working in the fenced area so you know what to expect out of her if she sees one of these things and you try to call her back. Long line is recommended so that she can get distance to feel like she is far enough away she doesn't have to listen but you have the line to step on and force her back to you. These are training techniques. It can take some huskies years to be halfway reliable off leash and even then meeting something out of the average like a deer can throw it all out the window.

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

First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:  Empty
PostSubject: Re: First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:    First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:  EmptyFri Aug 11, 2017 11:18 am

Huskies and cats can mix, but it's typically not suggested. Heck, some huskies don't even do well with smaller dogs. That's not to say it can't work out, but it takes work or a special husky. You need to train hard to make sure the cats are safe. Any sort of aggressive movements towards the cats need to be trained out of her asap, otherwise you may find a dead cat some day (it's not hard to find stories of huskies that have lived with cats for years before killing one). Also, you need to provide the cats with safe places to escape the dog. High shelves that the cats can get to. Perhaps a closed off area that you can install a small pet door in, such as a laundry room with a door to keep the husky out.

Off leash is VERY dangerous for Huskies. They get the zoomies and just take off. The see a rabbit and chase it. They see another dog and take off. They smell something yummy and go to find it. They are natural roamers and they can run for miles at a time. This leads to them getting lost, or picked up by the pound, or hit by a car.
Again though, with a lot of time and effort put into training, you can possibly safely achieve this. We use remote shock collars. The shock setting is ONLY used for the safety of the dog however (running towards a road with traffic for instance). We only do this in certain areas also that we know are relatively safe (hiking trails far away from roads) and we take leashes with us to use if the collars aren't getting their attention. Our husky is barely over a year, so still a very energetic puppy. But he knows that if there is another dog on the path, he needs to return to us and sit to let them pass. But this has taken considerable time and effort.

As for her interactions with other dogs. Your dog lacks any doggy socialization skills. Due to her poor living arrangement, and her lack of contact with other dogs, she likely doesn't have a clue how to interact with other dogs. The other dogs get scared because your dog is sending the wrong signals. Honestly, I see this a lot. Few of the dogs in my area are properly socialized and they turn into very angry animals because of it.
Experience is the best solution. Do you have friends with dogs? Do you, or do they have a fenced in back yard? Introduce the dogs in neutral territory a couple times. Go on walks together or something. Then set up a play date in a safe fenced in area. Let them interact, or not. They'll both benefit from the experience. Continue doing play dates, and expand the number of friends your dog meets with. Over time she'll learn the proper doggy signals and be more social with the other dogs.
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Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:  Empty
PostSubject: Re: First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:    First Time Husky Owner! Need advice and tips :heart:  EmptyFri Aug 11, 2017 1:49 pm

Everyone gave great responses, my only addition is, take her to an obedience class. That way you can practice focus on you, which will help you with the other issues. The class will teach her to be used to other dogs. A class will also help you build a bond, since you want to teach her to focus on you and ignore distractions. Finding a good trainer with a class may also help you in knowing how to correct her, and to help you in teaching her to socialize with other dogs. Huskies have a different language than most other dogs, and even the most socialized husky will run into another dog that will not understand their play style or language, so a class will also help you to understand her style and know the difference between her playing or is nervous. The hair standing is not always an indication of aggression, more so it is her being unsure, so confidence building will help as well. Thank you for rescuing her and giving her a happy home. Smile
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