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 Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies?

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tanyamontana
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2020-01-13

Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? Empty
PostSubject: Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies?   Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? EmptyMon Jan 13, 2020 6:32 pm

Well hello folks,

My name is Tanya and I'm a 34 year old nurse and husky owner. I love my 13 year old mischievous Huskrat to bits. She has been challenging but I wouldn't trade her for the world. I am very much partial to challenging and intelligent breeds.

Recently, several dozen huskies that were more or less entirely feral were captured and are now in the care of the Humane Society. I volunteered to work with them. The lion's share of the adults are distressed and distrustful. They are in kennels in pair and spend much of their time crouching/pacing/barking (but not lunging, snarling, or snapping). A handful of them will warily sniff my hand and occasionally take a treat. I feel terrible for them. So I'd like some feedback from any folks that have experience with dogs that are essentially totally unsocialized.

-What suggestions would you offer for working with unsocialized dogs that are now in captivity?
-Are there any resources or other threads that might be helpful?
-Does anybody know of any rescue operations/sanctuaries/reserves that are well equipped to handle feral adult huskies? [Disclaimer, some of them may also be part wolf, although I doubt it after seeing them. (Or it would be a relatively small percentage). The DNA tests are pending.]

Also, if any folks are wanting to donate for their care, they are at the Bitterroot Humane Society in MT.
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Lostmaniac
Adult
Adult
Lostmaniac

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

Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies?   Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? EmptyMon Jan 13, 2020 7:49 pm

Arc can handle it. Its a wolfdog and northern breed sanctuary i dont know if they have room and someone would have to get them to Colorado https://m.facebook.com/coloradoarc/

There are several rescues around colorado that take huskies and several wolfdog rescues. Contact arc they may have resources in mt or be able to take them
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Lostmaniac
Adult
Adult
Lostmaniac

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

Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies?   Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? EmptyTue Jan 14, 2020 9:11 am

Hope they are huskies because then the answer is time. If they are wolfdogs you have missed the imprinting window and they may never come around. Also if they are wolfdogs breaking up the pack was a really bad idea. If you wernt the enemy before you are now. Just hope and i mean really hope they are not wolf/Siberian crosses because that mix is a disaster
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TwisterII
Senior
Senior
TwisterII

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

Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies?   Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? EmptyTue Jan 14, 2020 3:35 pm

Once you have identified if any do in fact have wolf in them (I remember reading this story in the news and none of the pictures of the dogs looked wolfish to me) then if any do come back positive let us know and the wolfdog community can put the information out from there regarding places for the potential level of WD you may have. Some places won't take over a certain content percentage. What DNA test are you using on them? Embark has the best wolf database, but mostly I would just throw out the idea of dealing with wolfdogs and move forward as if they are just abused and forgotten dogs who need exercise, good food, and people to earn their trust.

Hand feeding as often as possible will assist in building trust. If they seem noise sensitive you can run radios to help them get used to people's voices and just changing noises. Don't push at first. Just walk around mostly ignoring them and they will desensitize to your presence. Then start talking to them softly. Don't do the higher octave baby voice some people tend toward doing for some reason. They will be fine, it's just going to be time consuming. A lot is assessing what you are working with on an individual animal level just as you should be doing with every dog that comes in regardless of background. Note how each dog does alone and try to make one-on-one time with each. There could be some more timid dogs that are lower down in the pack order that will come around easy once separated. Break up the pack and you can break up the pack mentality for a lot of those dogs.

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Lostmaniac
Adult
Adult
Lostmaniac

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

Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies?   Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? EmptyTue Jan 14, 2020 7:18 pm

I cant remember if it was wisdom or embark or the one my vet sent out that was able to give me the breakdown on the wolf dna. Turns out spider was a total mutt on the wolf side. Uc davis has a test but all it does is give probability based off certain alleles. Spider is 78% grey/arctic and 22 % sibe. Shes still a low content on the phenotype. But really really hope they are just feral dogs.

Does the shelter they are at rehab dogs or is it one where if they arnt adopted quickly they are put to sleep. What twisterll said about hand feeding can also give you a feel for if there is any wolf in there. A full wolf or a high content usually will not let food override thier fear and if you can get them to eat out of your hand they are probably dogs. If you know what to look for its not that hard to tell a dog from a wolfdog in person but ive had a few wolfdogs and i mess with the ones that end up at the animal shelter to see if they can be placed in a home or need to find a rescue or sanctuary.
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Shepsky13
Teenager
Teenager
Shepsky13

Male Join date : 2017-11-03
Location : North Carolina, USA

Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies?   Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? EmptyWed Jan 15, 2020 1:59 am

@Lostmaniac
You are very knowledgeable about wolfdogs! It's pretty fascinating to me, the differences.
Dogs are NOT just "tamed wolves" then.

Yes if they are just huskies, tasty bits of food always seems to be a key to their heart and their trust!

That, and being a nonthreatening, nonscary presence. I brought a pretty scary Doberman around in a few hours by sitting in the far corner holding a piece of bologna, glancing at him only occasionally. I let him approach me, eventually (after an hour) he ate bologna from the floor around me, and then from my hand. But of course if he seemed to be getting agitated or aggressive, I would have just left...I have no desire to get attacked or bitten! But in his case, he was just fearful.
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tanyamontana
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2020-01-13

Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies?   Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? EmptySun Mar 01, 2020 10:08 pm

Hi folks,

Thanks for the input. The DNA results are back and they are not part wolf. They are still struggling with substantial distrust and are exposed to pretty minimal human interaction (maybe a couple of hours per day, if that). The facility they are at is the Bitterroot Value Humane Society in Montana. It isn't really set up as an "animal reserve" type facility at all, and I would bet that they would be happiest in something different. I will reach out to ARC and try to touch base w/ the staff at the Humane Society to see if they are still working on a more permanent arrangement. In they meanwhile, are there any additional rescues/reserves that should be contacted? Thanks for the help guys!
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Lostmaniac
Adult
Adult
Lostmaniac

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

Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies?   Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? EmptyMon Mar 02, 2020 10:27 am

So here is an idea ive used on countless horses, find a very confident and outgoing animal, put said animal with skittish animal. Proceed with giving the confident animal lots of attention and treats while in the presence of skittish animal. Animals that stay in packs/herds can be trained by the watch and learn method. Just dont expect miracles overnight, things like this take time.
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amymeme
Senior
Senior
amymeme

Female Join date : 2013-12-20

Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies?   Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? EmptyMon Mar 02, 2020 1:52 pm

@Lostmaniac wrote:
So here is an idea ive used on countless horses, find a very confident and outgoing animal, put said animal with skittish animal. Proceed with giving the confident animal lots of attention and treats while in the presence of skittish animal.  Animals that stay in packs/herds can be trained by the watch and learn method. Just dont expect miracles overnight, things like this take time.

I believe this is the heart of Z'ev's transformation. Ami showed him how to be a dog. I remember when I started walking them together, the first time Ami jumped down into a ditch to dig in the water (that was while I was still walking with long lines, before they tried to use me for parasailing Rolling Eyes ) Z'ev watched Ami jump down, looked at me sort of confused than epiphany - "Ya mean, we can DO that?!!?" Of course, when he jumped down to join him, he landed on Ami's back and proceeded to freak out that he was touching him, all the while Ami was like "Dude, chill, its just me!"
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Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? Empty
PostSubject: Re: Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies?   Anybody have any suggestions for working with "feral" huskies? Empty

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