Siberian Husky at Dog Park
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Thread: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

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    Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    I adopted a 2 1/2 year old Siberian Husky. I took him to the dog park, he appeared to be ok with other dogs, just running around and smelling. However someone brought over their Lab and wanted to play fetch with it in the dog park.

    When dogs go running he appears to go chasing, then wrestles them and nips at the neck. It does not appear to be any serious biting or aggression, and the other dog doesn't yelp or anything.

    The other dog's owner went up to mine without permission and grabbed him in the mouth. He did that a few times. I was annoyed by the whole thing. He also brought his lab in on a leash.

    I'm wondering if it's wrong that he nipped at the neck. I always was under the impression it was normal dog behavior. It does not appear to be aggression because I see him get aggressive whenever his prey drive kicks in towards small squirrels marmots etc.

    I don't know who is at fault. What should I do? He listens to me and considers me the leader and does not bite when playing rough.

    Thanks

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    Senior Member Dakota Spirit's Avatar
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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    Sorry, but I would not be happy if another dog was nipping at mine either. Sure that can be normal behavior among dogs, but at a park you have no idea what the other dogs' histories are nor can you be sure if they are playing or showing aggressive tendencies.

    What were you doing while your Sibe was with the other dogs? Did the man only grab your dog's mouth while he was around the lab? He could have thought he was protecting his dog. Were that the case I could see touching the dog without permission. If he was just taking it upon himself to reprimand the dog, then no - that’s not ok. Still, if it’s apparent the lab's owner doesn't want his dog playing rough, then that should be respected as well.
    Last edited by Dakota Spirit; 09-09-2007 at 10:59 PM.



    Dakota - 12 year old female Rat Terrier l Tristan - 2 year old male Border Collie/McNab

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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    The man did it while my Siberian followed his Lab back after playing fetch. You have nothing to apologize for, I'm looking for honest opinions. I can understand not liking it when other dogs nip and such, that's why I'm asking. Thanks for your input.

    It bothers me he tried to grab it but I'm more annoyed because when I went up to get my dog, he said "You can train a dog but you obviously can't train a human" to insult me.

    It upset me a bit and everyone was staring daggers at me even before when he was just running around and smelling. I felt so out of place. I was somewhat close to him (as close as I can get to a siberian that runs like lighting) but since he was chasing the lab he was closer to the other guy.

    As soon as I called his name he came to me and I left the park.

    EDIT: What should I do in these cases? I understanding respecting what they want, but it doesn't seem reasonable to never be able to go to a dog park just because of a little bit of nipping that he doesn't like. This doesnt appear to be the type of thing I can train a dog to not do, but rather, other dogs train him to not do it, or am I mistaken?
    Last edited by stalk; 09-09-2007 at 11:06 PM.

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    Senior Member Dogstar's Avatar
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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    Actually, you *can* train him not to do this. As long as he's just running with other dogs, praise him, and let him keep playing. As SOON as he starts nipping, go catch him (don't call him to you) and keep him with you (snap the leash on or hang onto his collar) for a minute or two (if he is bratty and struggles, hang onto him until he calms down), and then let him go play again. He'll figure out that nipping = play stops.

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    Senior Member Dakota Spirit's Avatar
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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    Ah, well you might have stumbled upon a bad dog park. There are some that are friendly and welcome new people with open arms and others that stare down their nose at you. Are there any other parks in your area you could try out?

    Mm, that’s a bit different. I thought he was grabbing your dog in the act, not just...reaching out and doing it whenever. That’s a good way to get bit . The lab owner sounds like a bit of a jerk.

    Hrm, it’s possible to train the nipping out but it would take some time. One way to possibly deture it would be to take your dog on play dates or possibly to the park. Work with another dog owner (who knows of your Sibes nipping) and whenever he starts to play rough get him back. Make him sit and stay for a few minutes. Then start the play again. Just keep repeating that process. It might deture him from nipping. Usually the dogs will teach him when it’s enough, but that’s not to say when the other owners might become unhappy with your Sibe's behavior. That’s the main thing you have to worry about .



    Dakota - 12 year old female Rat Terrier l Tristan - 2 year old male Border Collie/McNab

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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    Thank you guys for your tips. I will have him socialize with my mother's dogs (one of which runs in circles, he'll love chasing THAT!) and try to train him there by the methods you guys suggest. I am still learning and am very new to owning a dog (only one week) so I'm all ears for advice.

    The guy was a jerk, though. I just noticed that his gums are bleeding, I think it's from his pinching. He reacted poorly (yelped and backed up) when the guy grabbed his mouth. Fortunately he is very very very very human friendly I would have been furious if he ended up biting the guy.

    I live in a rich area where everyone looks down on each other. Everyone hear thinks they know how to raise their dog better than the other guy. I don't really care if they raise their dogs better I am doing the best I can and am trying to learn. I think I am doing a good job because in the week I had him I trained him to not open doors, jump on furniture unless I invite him, to sit, lay down, shake hands, to not pull on the leash and a few other tricks. I'm doing my best. But I guess these people just want to jump to conclusions to feel better about themselves.

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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    I'm sorry he did that! A dog park is everyone's park in my eyes and he was being a jerk! I probably would've bitten back with something about why he grabbed my dogs mouth. He obviously didn't like your dog bugging his so why should he mess with yours... he wasn't being a problem at that point in time. That would've made me furious!!! I agree that you should keep looking for another park that would greet you with open arms and minds. Every dog is different and that's a risk you run when you go to a dog park. Sophie is great at the dog park, but I haven't taken Maycie yet so we'll see.

    Keep us updated on how he's doing though! He sounds like a very smart witty guy!!!!

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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    It's pretty hard to place blame without seeing the whole thing.

    If Esther is chasing a ball at the dog park and another dog chases her and does the little play nip thing, she will knock the dog down. Whose fault is that? Some owners have been offended when I've suggested that chasing Esther and nipping at her is a really bad idea. They're not a lot happier when their dog is pinned to the ground.

    Honestly, as much as I have supported dog parks here on this forum, I tend to go at quiet times with Esther.

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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    I have two Siberian Huskies and that behavior you described is very very common with huskies. As the old saying goes with northern breeds, if there is no blood it's all play. My dogs do that constantly but they've never ever showed any aggression or got into a fight.

    It sounds like that guy doesn't know how to read dog language. I had someone throw a cooler at my dog at the dog park once when he chased another dog and tackled it. I was far from happy, especially when the person's dog was having fun with mine. I used to go to dog parks all the time but it got to the point where half the dogs there hadn't seen other dogs for the first 6 years of their life so half the dogs were antisocial with overprotective parents. It's a tough place to bring dogs especially dogs like huskies.

    One thing that worked for us was finding a local professional dog camp that is run by a company where you pay for your dogs to play with others. The owners can't sit there and get upset about any little thing and there's actually someone who knows how to read dog behavior running the groups. The funny thing is, when I bring my dogs they have literally told me on multiple occasions that my dogs play better than the other dogs in the room.

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    Senior Member Dogstar's Avatar
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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    Here's the thing though- even if the dog doing the nipping is having a blast, the other dog may not be- and a lot of labs, especially, are too passive to tell them off for it until they're REALLY pissed. And I think he DOES have a right to stand up for his dog who won't stand up for himself, although I think he shouldn't have manhandled your dog (it's hard to tell from your description exactly what he did. Bleeding gums is more likely to be nutritional or gingivitis, anyway, unless you actually see cracked teeth or something.)

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    Senior Member crazydays's Avatar
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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    I think many dog owners come to the park with a negative energy. If you aren't comfortable with normal canine play then maybe the park isn't right for you. STALK- I think you sound very responsible. A incident occurred and another dog owner was obviously upset. This is where communication breaks down. If you are angry at another owners dog- talk about what happened. Stalk- I am sure if he said "did you see what your dog did?? I don't like him doing that with my dog." You could have spoken to him in a civil way and received some suggestion from him. I draw the line with someone else grabbing my dogs mouth---very idiotic and cocky and some of these people need to develop life skills.
    You know your dogs behaviour. Now its time to do some correctional stuff which it sounds like you are willing to do. You will want to be confident in the change before he goes back to the dog-park.
    The hardest part is, you could have been with another group of 10 dogs and every dog in that group is ok with dog rough play. No issue. These are dogs people -they chase, bark and try to knock each other down! Please- common sense should prevail- My view is that your dog did not hurt this dog in anyway. This isn't a life catastrophe whereby you should be scorned by another dog owner. People need to step up to the plate and say what they mean-not shoot insults and not assault your dog for playing!!!!!!!

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    Senior Member FriendsOfZoe's Avatar
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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    Well, first of all, if something like this ever happens again, you NEED to tell the man to grab the dog's collar or put his body between the two dogs, not to grab his mouth. Explain that he WILL be bitten if he keeps doing this, and you don't really feel like paying medical bills when your dog bites the hand which is hurting him in the mouth. **What an idiot that guy is.**

    I don't know...you got lots of good advice. I would just be careful to watch your dog and stop his play if the other dog's owner seems uncomfortable with it. Most people bring their dogs to the park to get exercise, and love it when dogs chase each other--they burn off a lot of energy, the owner doesn't (and for those of us with high energy dogs, that is a nice thing). Beyond that, you really need to watch body language, both of the dogs and the other owners. Puppies, for instance, just LOVE to roll around and chew each other. I've had puppy owners freak out when their dog and Zoe start chewing each other, and pull them away yelling at their dog. Sometimes I try to explain how puppies play, sometimes I can tell that that won't matter. However, if Zoe's being completely dominated (it's never the other way around, haha), I will sometimes step in, not necessarily to stop the play, but at least to let Zoe get up off her back and have a fair chance again.

    That said, any time she goes to puppy nip a dog who doesn't want to chew back, she's very good about reading that and she will stop chewing. If the lab wasn't giving any real indication that he didn't like the play (growling, yelping), then he probably didn't mind, at least for a minute. However, you also need to watch the owner. If the owner's uncomfortable, you should probably step in and redirect your dog, as a courtesy.

    I don't know what to tell you about the guy's stupid comments. I HATE people like that, and I run into them all the time. My best advice is to simply get your dog, walk away, and ignore them. Unless you have a really great comeback (which I never do).

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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    If Esther is chasing a ball at the dog park and another dog chases her and does the little play nip thing, she will knock the dog down. Whose fault is that? Some owners have been offended when I've suggested that chasing Esther and nipping at her is a really bad idea. They're not a lot happier when their dog is pinned to the ground.
    I get that. It's just that it doesn't bother me when my dog gets his butt kicked. It happens! If your dog had pinned my dog down trying to chase her, I'd laugh that he bit off more than he could chew. But I understand that's just me! I intend to respect people's personal boundaries.

    I have two Siberian Huskies and that behavior you described is very very common with huskies. As the old saying goes with northern breeds, if there is no blood it's all play. My dogs do that constantly but they've never ever showed any aggression or got into a fight.

    It sounds like that guy doesn't know how to read dog language. I had someone throw a cooler at my dog at the dog park once when he chased another dog and tackled it. I was far from happy, especially when the person's dog was having fun with mine. I used to go to dog parks all the time but it got to the point where half the dogs there hadn't seen other dogs for the first 6 years of their life so half the dogs were antisocial with overprotective parents. It's a tough place to bring dogs especially dogs like huskies.

    One thing that worked for us was finding a local professional dog camp that is run by a company where you pay for your dogs to play with others. The owners can't sit there and get upset about any little thing and there's actually someone who knows how to read dog behavior running the groups. The funny thing is, when I bring my dogs they have literally told me on multiple occasions that my dogs play better than the other dogs in the room.
    Yes that's why I was confused. I know it's normal for Siberians. But when I'm as new as I am to owning a dog I don't want to sound like I know better than everyone. That's why I did not talk to the guy about it and just left. I figured talking to people online would be a better idea to get a balanced view of the situation (and I'd be less emotional about it, too).

    I'll find the professional dog camps and see about them. But it's not really a big deal, he walks 8 miles a day with me in addition to a lot of play so it's not like he needs more exercise, I just thought he'd be happy playing with other dogs.

    Here's the thing though- even if the dog doing the nipping is having a blast, the other dog may not be- and a lot of labs, especially, are too passive to tell them off for it until they're REALLY pissed. And I think he DOES have a right to stand up for his dog who won't stand up for himself, although I think he shouldn't have manhandled your dog
    Yeah I understand that. If I go back to a dog park I will make sure to watch if other people don't like what my dog is doing. It's just hard, I am deaf and the only way I knew what happened last time was because I asked my brother to come with me. I'd be so uncomfortable going there by myself when I don't know and cant hear what people are thinking.

    s I think many dog owners come to the park with a negative energy. If you aren't comfortable with normal canine play then maybe the park isn't right for you. STALK- I think you sound very responsible. A incident occurred and another dog owner was obviously upset. This is where communication breaks down. If you are angry at another owners dog- talk about what happened. Stalk- I am sure if he said "did you see what your dog did?? I don't like him doing that with my dog." You could have spoken to him in a civil way and received some suggestion from him. I draw the line with someone else grabbing my dogs mouth---very idiotic and cocky and some of these people need to develop life skills.
    You know your dogs behaviour. Now its time to do some correctional stuff which it sounds like you are willing to do. You will want to be confident in the change before he goes back to the dog-park.
    The hardest part is, you could have been with another group of 10 dogs and every dog in that group is ok with dog rough play. No issue. These are dogs people -they chase, bark and try to knock each other down! Please- common sense should prevail- My view is that your dog did not hurt this dog in anyway. This isn't a life catastrophe whereby you should be scorned by another dog owner. People need to step up to the plate and say what they mean-not shoot insults and not assault your dog for playing!!!!!!!
    Thanks for your input. I did not talk to the guy for reasons above, I'm deaf and I'm not confident enough yet to presume I know better. So instead of losing my cool or you know the saying, "better to stay silent and look a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt."

    Thanks everyone for your input, I feel a lot better that I'm not just making everyone miserable. But I'll try to watch out more for these types of things.

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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    I don't mean to sound like a pessimist but I really would be awe-inspired if you could train these characteristics out of a husky. I've been to multiple dog trainers about this subject and all of them told me the best I could do is restrict it, not train it away.

    Huskies are extremely prey driven and it's similar to trying to train a wolf not to go after a rabbit. It's just not gonna happen. When other dogs run, huskies instinctively chase.

    They are also extremely intelligent and stubborn. Training in general can be difficult unless they see an actual benefit other than just making you happy. That's why behavioral corrections can be difficult. In almost the same way, digging is difficult to train out of huskies and the vast majority of trainers who have experience with huskies will tell you not to waste your time trying to stop the digging but give them a spot in the yard to dig.

    They're just so much more instinct driven than the vast majority of breeds that things like chasing, nipping, and wrestling while playing are just something you can't train out of a husky effectively.

    Quote Originally Posted by stalk View Post
    I'll find the professional dog camps and see about them. But it's not really a big deal, he walks 8 miles a day with me in addition to a lot of play so it's not like he needs more exercise, I just thought he'd be happy playing with other dogs.
    Oh I completely agree. Huskies are absolutely pack dogs and are SO social, especially with other huskies. That's why I love the day camps. In the dog parks, typically it's one big area where a large proportion of the population is unsocialized dogs with owners watching them like a hawk and they don't understand how dogs really play. In the day camps they typically have several groups of dogs, one of them being rough players while the rest is for more passive dogs who just want to sniff. Also they don't have as much room for the dogs to get to a full speed run, so huskies aren't as inclined to chase and tackle dogs.
    Last edited by Niccali; 09-10-2007 at 09:17 AM.

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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Niccali View Post
    I don't mean to sound like a pessimist but I really would be awe-inspired if you could train these characteristics out of a husky. I've been to multiple dog trainers about this subject and all of them told me the best I could do is restrict it, not train it away.

    Huskies are extremely prey driven and it's similar to trying to train a wolf not to go after a rabbit. It's just not gonna happen. When other dogs run, huskies instinctively chase.

    They are also extremely intelligent and stubborn. Training in general can be difficult unless they see an actual benefit other than just making you happy. That's why behavioral corrections can be difficult. In almost the same way, digging is difficult to train out of huskies and the vast majority of trainers who have experience with huskies will tell you not to waste your time trying to stop the digging but give them a spot in the yard to dig.

    They're just so much more instinct driven than the vast majority of breeds that things like chasing, nipping, and wrestling while playing are just something you can't train out of a husky effectively.



    Oh I completely agree. Huskies are absolutely pack dogs and are SO social, especially with other huskies. That's why I love the day camps. In the dog parks, typically it's one big area where a large proportion of the population is unsocialized dogs with owners watching them like a hawk and they don't understand how dogs really play. In the day camps they typically have several groups of dogs, one of them being rough players while the rest is for more passive dogs who just want to sniff. Also they don't have as much room for the dogs to get to a full speed run, so huskies aren't as inclined to chase and tackle dogs.
    Thanks for your input. I did plan to get a second husky for the social reason, I leave him alone 8 hours a day. I'd like him to have a companion but I wanted a few months or so to get used to having a dog and such.

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    Senior Member Equestiana's Avatar
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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    I think everyone here has given you pretty sound advice. How old is your husky?

    I own a bunch of aussie shepherds and because of their herding instinct they play in a similiar way. Chasing, nipping, etc. Difference between an aussie and a husky is that people are more likely to be afraid of a husky then an aussie.. Their bigger. lol.
    Anyways, I just watch how the owners react to their playing, if I can tell they aren't comfy with it that i'll simply call my dog to me. No big deal. If someone physically grabbed my dog for no reason you bet I would be ticked off... Unless my dog is actually attacking there is no reason to remove the dog. I also try not to let my dog play with small dogs. Some small dogs are really tough and love playing with her but the thing with my dog is that she is soooo fast and gets soooo excited that she has a tendancy to accidently run small dogs over.

    Anyways, as you go to the dog park more and more you will learn which owners/dogs to avoid and which ones are safe to play with. Socialization is crucial for dogs and a dog park is the perfect place to go. Dont let one bad experience ruin it for you. I've met some great people and dogs at the park and my dog has developed many friends. There is a certain dog that attacks that attends the dog park so we just dont go in on those days.

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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    My cocker got rolled at a dog park when he was a younger pup and was running at full speed - and he was very upset about it (yelping and crying) - and I have never gone back. I didn't blame the owners for it at all - I just realized that at dog parks - it is exactly as many have said - you simply can't control a lot of things. I like the idea of scheduling play dates in a more controlled environment. Personally I don't like the idea of just letting dogs loose in that kind of situation where anything can happen, especially if you don't know the background of the other dogs. That is just my opinion though and there are many folks (and dogs who I know of that enjoy the parks.

    I do think that guy sounded like quite the jerk though!

    Good luck to you.

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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    I have a 4 1/2 month old siberian. Already starting to have the same issues that were described here - huskies like to play rough and most other breeds don't. It was explained to me by the trainer at my vet's office that this is the way huskies play (I came to the "puppy play group" a couple of times and most of the other puppies won't play with mine because of his rough play). He's still a pup but is already a size of a medium dog and can jump over and start nipping at the face or neck of larger dogs, which pisses off older dogs most of the time. Usually I never have a problem with owners. I do try to keep him away from small breeds, because they tend to get all nervous and pissed off right away.
    I do think this is a normal behavior for huskies and don't intend on changing that. I do intend to always keep an eye on my dog at dog parks and redirect his attention when the play becomes too rough as much as possible.
    On a side note - if some one grabs a dog that is not his/hers by its mouth.. well they deserve to get bitten just to learn the lesson... This is common sense to me...
    By the way, there are usually several other huskies at the dog park where I go, and they play the same exact way as mine does, and they have a blast running around nipping at each other! I suggest you get in touch with other husky owners in your area to see if you can go to the dog park together.
    Last edited by russiarulez; 09-11-2007 at 03:08 PM.

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    Senior Member Durbkat's Avatar
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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    If someone did that to my dog I would have been up in there face yelling at them for touching my dog in such a way. Then I'd tell them if he does it again he will have me to deal with. Then I would have said that if you were uncomfortable with how the dogs were playing you should have said something and I would have called my dog back. I hope I don't encounter sissy dog owners when I start taking Snoopy to the dog park.


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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Siberian Husky at Dog Park

    The best-trained dog I've ever known personally is a husky named Leya.

    I used to think her owner, Mike, was too strict with her. He wouldn't let her rough-house with the other dogs and kept her close, though off-lead, on our walks around the dog park.

    Then Mike got married and I looked after Leya while he went on his honeymoon. I absolutely fell in love with his dog and I came to understand why he worked so hard to keep her under control.

    The most vicious dog-on-dog attack I've ever seen came from a husky. The dog came flying out of nowhere, no owner in sight, picked up a dachshund pup that was walking with us and started shaking it like a rag doll. The owner was clueless and blamed the dachshund owner for the attack.

    I wasn't too keen on huskies after seeing that and I called a dog trainer friend of mine for some insight. She told me about the husky's high prey drive and the need for a very special owner/handler to keep that from becoming a serious problem. Mike is such an owner. The nameless idiot who had the other husky is not.

    Sorry for the long story but my point is that, yes, husky's can be trained to do what you want and not do what you don't want. It often seems that the most challenging dogs are also the most rewarding and, when I think back about my favorite dogs (that I did not own) it happens that two of them are huskies.

    BTW, when I was watching after Leya, I learned why Mike would never, ever rough-house with her. My lab was a big, powerful dog, but husky teeth are nothing at all like lab teeth. I was nearly shredded by that beautiful dog and I never rough-housed with anybody else's dog again.

    Except my own, and then I feel guilty about it.
    Last edited by RonE; 09-11-2007 at 04:20 PM.

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