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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 1 year and 3 months old husky puppy and he is a good dog in general with a few exceptions, however he does three things that worries me. He growls at me in those 3 situation:
  • When he is sleepy and a I try to pet him, he growls and I leave him alone to sleep.
  • After I give a bone for him to chew, he is very scared that I take the bone back and growls
  • He often chews the table's legs and I lecture him and drag him by the collar away from the table he growls
And overall when I'm walking the dog and it is time to return home, he knows when we are on the way back to home and when we are close to the block he just sits and simply refuses to walk anymore and in some cases I had to carry the dog like a baby because I couldn't make him enter the building.
 

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A few thoughts.

When a dog growls it is not an aggressive act. It is a warning that you are doing something he doesn't like. Never discourage the growl or he will learn to skip the warning and go straight to biting.

When he is sleeping, leave him alone, If I am sleeping, and someone wakes me unnecessarily, I will growl.

If you give him a bone, leave him alone. If that's impossible, don't give him a bone.

If he's chewing on a table leg, don't just drag him away. That's teaches him nothing except that you are the Stopper of Fun. Give him an alternative, maybe a better thing to chew on.

I've had no experience with that walking problem. I usually have the opposite problem. Wherever we are going, the dog wants to get there a lot faster than I do.
 

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I'll add a few thoughts as well.

It absolutely is time to work on your interactions/approach with this dog! Dogs, and it seems especially males, from around 18-24 months, tend to step up their objections to what they have seen as unfair or confusing, or even just uncomfortable, interactions that they have previously tolerated. So, you're getting a heads up on what's to come if things don't change a bit!

The first thing I thought when you said petting when he's sleepy or sleeping (which for most dogs is very nearly the same thing), is about as self-centered and disrespectful you could ever be to a dog - unless you have ever given and then taken away a bone.

And honestly, it doesn't matter whether you ever have or not, what matters is that the dog "believes" you might! As ronE said, give a bone and leave him alone!

On his chewing of table legs, it's not okay so tell him to knock it off. Personally I don't believe that everytime you tell your dog to stop an unacceptable behavior you have to follow that with something to do so you can praise it. Sometimes it's appropriate to let that negative response sink in for a minute lol!

But, after that absolutely let it go and move on. Dogs think in the here and now. Grudges are not well received, and don't convey what you think they might...

Finally, teach wanted behavior enough so that grabbing at your dog is never needed! Dogs, once they mature, tend to respond to that as a threat. If you can explain/control the dog verbally it's so much safer and I think better for your relationship.

Promote teamwork, that's the key!
 

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1. Some dogs just don't like being bothered when they are sleeping. He is one of those. So just don't bother him.

2. Yes, dogs can get very possessive with high value treats - like bones. You can work on building his trust by practicing "let me see it" with lower value treats. For this, when he has a toy, you toss a treat on the ground a bit away from him and say "let me see it", when he drops the toy to get the treat, pick up the toy and make a fuss over it. When he tries to take it back, have him sit. As soon as he sits, give the toy to him. Because he is already growling when you try to take the bone, it is important not to reach for the toy until he lets go (with a young puppy, I normally hold the toy while I say "let me see it"). What this does is it shows him that are not taking his treasures, instead you are appreciating them. All my dogs have taken so well to this that they routinely bring me their toys to "be in awe of".

You should also be working on "leave it" and "drop it".

3. While I agree with @BigBlackDog that you shouldn't always have to provide a praisable alternative, I do believe it is very important in the beginning. This teaches the dog an acceptable alternative to what is, for him, a natural behavior. Once he is easily redirected with an alternative and isn't doing the unwanted behavior as often, you can simply use the "leave it" cue when he starts on the table leg.

As for grabbing his collar and dragging him away - this is seriously undermining your relationship with the dog. It is a very aggressive behavior and when you act aggressively, the dog will do one of two things: be fearful of you or become aggressive back. Both are terrible outcomes. You know he likes his bones a lot. So, when he starts for the table leg, get a bone, say "leave it" and offer him the bone. As he gets the idea, move away from the table before saying leave it offering the bone - increasing the distance after several successful redirects. This will teach him to listen to you even if you aren't standing right there with him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for replies. I forgot one thing. The dog starts crying when I brush him with the de-shedding tool. I have to groom because he is shedding like a monster, however he starts crying, he really sounds like his life was endangered. If I wouldn't know that he is just groomed and I would hear these sounds from neighbor's yard, I would think they are torturing dogs. The fact that the dog cries instead of growling means he is more scared than annoyed of the grooming process. I really try to be gentile when brushing the dog and even give him treats, he really thinks I'm going to kill him when brushing.
 

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Does the husky have things to chew on instead of the table leg? Chewing is a very natural dog behavior, and they do need some safe and appropriate way to exercise those instincts. Dogs also have preferences for different kinds of materials to chew on. I'm not sure what's available in your country, but my younger dog likes wood as well, and getting him chews that are wood-flavored, like the Petstages Dogwood sticks (https://www.amazon.com/Petstages-219-Dogwood-Stick-Large/dp/B007R1BN56?th=1) or buying real wood dog chews that are specifically wood types that do NOT splinter dangerously (usually java wood) really helped give him a satisfying option other than our furniture. But again, do not just give him random chunks of wood, as many types will splinter and could injure his mouth or throat, look instead for dog-safe hardwood marketed as chew toys.

Deshedding tools can be pretty harsh on the skin if they're used too often or too roughly. I'm not sure which style you're using, so it's hard to say for sure, but it's absolutely possible that grooming is uncomfortable or painful for him. Could you explain a little more about what tool you use and how you use it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Does the husky have things to chew on instead of the table leg? Chewing is a very natural dog behavior, and they do need some safe and appropriate way to exercise those instincts. Dogs also have preferences for different kinds of materials to chew on. I'm not sure what's available in your country, but my younger dog likes wood as well, and getting him chews that are wood-flavored, like the Petstages Dogwood sticks (https://www.amazon.com/Petstages-219-Dogwood-Stick-Large/dp/B007R1BN56?th=1) or buying real wood dog chews that are specifically wood types that do NOT splinter dangerously (usually java wood) really helped give him a satisfying option other than our furniture. But again, do not just give him random chunks of wood, as many types will splinter and could injure his mouth or throat, look instead for dog-safe hardwood marketed as chew toys.

Deshedding tools can be pretty harsh on the skin if they're used too often or too roughly. I'm not sure which style you're using, so it's hard to say for sure, but it's absolutely possible that grooming is uncomfortable or painful for him. Could you explain a little more about what tool you use and how you use it?
I bought a tool called "FURminator". It has good recommendations. It isn't painful at all. The dog is just exaggerating.
 

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I bought a tool called "FURminator". It has good recommendations. It isn't painful at all. The dog is just exaggerating.
How do you know it "isn't painful at all"? Truth is, you don't.

Per the company:

Avoid using on pets with particularly sensitive skin.

Deep or rough brushing can cause your pet’s skin to become red and irritated, so do not apply too much weight or downward pressure. If you notice any redness or irritation, discontinue use.


So even the company ackowledges it can cause pain to the dog.

You may want to ease up on the pressure used when you do. Shorten the grooming sessions. Instead of an hour long session once a day, try doing three or four 5-10 minutes sessions. And once done, do an activity that he loves.
 

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All the above advice is good about the behaviors you need to change, which include your own. (don't feel bad, this is almost always the case.)
About table legs - yes, train a leave it and distract with other things and all of the above. Also, wrap the legs with bubble wrap. that makes it pretty unappealing to the dog. :)

The furminator is absolutely not appropriate for all dog coats. If he has an undercoat you need to pull out, use an undercoat rake (easily found online or pet store). Or, just use a regular pin brush. Never continue using something that makes the dog cry, as it may be hurting him and you do not know that it is not. He may have sensitive skin. And, in any case, if he simply really doesn't like it, why not use something else. there are lots of grooming tools available. Use one that doesn't make him cry.
 

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I bought a tool called "FURminator". It has good recommendations. It isn't painful at all. The dog is just exaggerating.
The FURminator can be irritating. You might find that an Undercoat Rake is just as effective, less damaging, and more comfortable for your dog. I switched from a FURminator to an undercoat rake because a) I wasn't impressed with it, and b) my dog hated it. I use an Oster Undercoat Rake. It has rounded teeth ends, so it's less likely to be irritating, and it doesn't seem to cut at the hair like the FURminator.

I also liberally use peanut butter and smear it on an easily cleanable surface or "lick mat" when I have to intensely groom the dog. Keeps him distracted while I clip nails, de-shed, give a bath, whatever needs to be done. Easier for everyone.
 

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The bubble wraps works unless you have a dog obsessed with the stuff like certain Tornado-dogs - no bubble wrap is allowed to be left unpopped.

You could try aluminum foil.
 

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The bubble wraps works unless you have a dog obsessed with the stuff like certain Tornado-dogs - no bubble wrap is allowed to be left unpopped.

You could try aluminum foil.
I was thinking the same thing! Lol Same in our household.

My pup has a double coat, I tried a furminator ONCE, about 2 strokes if that, it was NOT made for my dog's coat at all. We use the andis deshedding tool, curved blades that cut through the hair, mats and all. It pulls out the undercoat as mentioned which is what you want to do unless you are clippering and the whole coat is soft undercoat. Even so, it's great for getting mats out of soft undercoat.
 

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Count me among the proponents of positive and negative reinforcement. And by negative, I don't mean yelling, screaming, shock collars, etc; it must be understood that negative reinforcement and negative punishment are two different things. For example, you are out walking your dog and he starts pulling you along. He's anxious to see the world, smell new things ... when you stop, that's negative reinforcement ... he's no longer getting what he wants. When he sits he gets a reward, when he walks w/o pulling he gets reward... he pulls, you stop and that's no fun. Dogs, generally want to please their Owners....get a treat, get a belly rub. They quickly learn that when you're not happy, they don't get what they want.

It can be simple as a glance and body language. When taking dogs out, 1st one that sits down at door goes out. I jut use a pointing gesture to the other one and he leaves. Same for bed and crate. When particularly distracted at door, say If the deer are outside (she can see through 2nd floor window) then we have a 1 syllable word we use that basically says "I'm not happy, and you not getting what you want till I'm happy."

... won't leave door, "Eh" Im not happy" we all just gonna stand here and no one goes out,1st dog is latched on the zip line, 8 seconds later,2nd dog is outside on walking leash
... chewing a shoe, "Eh" Im not happy, I'm taking the shoe, leave it alone and I'll give you this
... jumping on me while, I bring the food "Eh" I'm not happy, you will get your food when you sit down
... pulling on leash, Eh" I'm not happy", sit down ... . oooh new smells, new sights, lots a fun

Easily learned, quick response, especially when used in tandem with immediate positive reward when ceasing. ... The verbal cue can be anything "Drop" works" "Stop works.

Huskies have some notable traits .... while some call it "independence" most Husky owners call it "stubbornness" (google it). Doesn't matter what label you put on it, what it means is they tend to be more resistant to distractions and a verbal cue is highly effective in breaking their focus. "I' don't care how many treats you have, chasing squirrels is fun ! " The dog will also look at you when hearing the verbal cue. Had it this morning... I'm freezing, she sees a squirrel and no potty action going on ... "Eh", she looks at me, turns back lost sight of squirrel and she has this puzzled look like "what was I just doing, why am I here, Ohh look, my sister just did potty... Oh yeah, I gotta go potty"

a) I have the opposite problem ... they wake me up to get petted. b) Dogs are weird ... I feed the dogs every day at the same time ... new dog will sniff her bowl and old dog will sniff her bowl. Neither will eat until they walk over and sniff the others bowl and it's a toss who eats outta whose bowl. This concerned me for a while ... now if it's fine for me I don't care ... as I pass by the bowls during the day, I see them finishing one and then when that's empty they start other. c) You can try discouraging them with sprays (see link below) .... old dog not a chewer, new dog ate a carpet 3rd day here, sprayed it and she did it again next day. On 5th day,gave her an "Eh", she looked up, gave her a chew stick and no repeats since. Honestly I don't think the training had any effect .... now they just alternate sleeping and doing Doggie MMA sparring all day long. But new dog has been here almost a month and she's heard "Eh" maybe 3 times ... Old dog, 2 years and she gets to hear "Eh" 2 - 3 times a week. d) As for walking, try walking a loop instead of there and back walks. When ya get to the final destination, have a treat ready for the doorway .... next day the foyer or vestibule ... eventually in your home.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00028ZMEO.
 

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I forgot to mention, my pup used to want to keep going upon our return back home, he gets a 'jackpot' of treats, a handful thrown on the floor and I say the word 'home' to drive that word into his head so I have a special recall word when/if he gets out the front without his leash and harness.
 

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You could also try sticky tape with the sticky side out, having wrapped the table leg first in paper to protect it from the tape. And, there's something you can buy called "YUCK" that you can spray on. It does taste absolutely wretched, and works for some dogs although not for all of them. Maybe a double approach would work: tin foil or tape sprayed with YUCK.....?
sometimes we have to make our homes look downright weird for a while when we have dogs......:rolleyes:
 

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The treats ?... is that after you get inside ? Try varying the routine... Is there an outside step you can sit on.... maybe take out a treat in the final few steps, sit and hand out a few treats over the course of 2-3 minutes. Any neighbors ? People in the same building that dog might be "friends with. For a period that I lived in NYC, had a 2nd floor apartment and the 1st floor family had a dog .... I'd come home from school, I'd exit building, make a left and walk around the block; my neighbor would exit building, make a right and walk around the block. They'd play a bit b4 going inside. This wasn't a plan we "hatched", just that if we walked together, they'd both be distracted and not so interested in going potty. It's just a matter of figuring out what he's interested in

I forgot to mention... in case this table gnawing thing goes on, instead of buying the commercial versions, you can make it yourself. There's various recipes you can find with a web search... Fill up a spray bottle and you're set.

2 cups of apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 cup of white vinegar

2 cups of apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1 cup of regular white vinegar.

Experiment if need be
 
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