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Hello there, and thanks for taking the time to read this. My family and I just recently adopted a Siberian Husky. He's already about 1yr old, even tempered, and so far I've only encountered the typical S. Husky challenges ( i.e digging, Escape Artist stunts etc.) Unfortunately, his previous owners were content with letting her run the show and so I'm essentially starting from scratch at 9 months. However, but, there's no way I'm going to let that stop me from training my new dog to the fullest extent possible, establishing ALPHA dominance and building a good relationship.

So, to the point...
Other than body blocks and not allowing your dog to push its way out of the door ahead of you, demonstrating you control its toys, food, and etc what are some prime training methods to further establish pack hierarchy? She seems to know how to sit, and how to shake but with that over-sized brain of hers doesn't do so unless I coax her with goodies.

She chases after tennis balls but doesn't retrieve or fetch.. any hints on that one?
She's totally comfortable around everyone that I've seen thus far but sometimes she shys away from initial contact like petting. But we are able to groom her, pet her, walk her, and everything else without problem.

Last issue I'll mentioned for now, she grow up with a few other siblings and completely spoiled by her owners who I guess thought indulging her every whim was healthy and beneficial ( or maybe they just said the hell with it n raised the white flag ) so every time I have to isolate her, say round bedtime she goes completely, absolutely berserk doing everything from throwing herself at the door, to defecating, to flashing S.O.S light messages out the back window. I had hoped my other dog would calm her nerves but no luck thus far.
I know it's most likely counter-productive to tolerate that behavior by doing things like checking up on her ( no re-assuring, affection, or anything like that, just sticking my head in the room ) but my neighbors aren't quite as understanding of the manic yelping and screaming. Should I move her sleeping quarters to a bedroom with one of us?

Oops, sorry for the novel, but any help, guidance, advice would be invaluable and most appreciated. I read up and knew what to expect before I got her so the thought of giving up or re-homing isn't even a slight possibility. I'm in it to win it!
 

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blah blah alpha blah!!! That's what I hear when someone starts talking about alpha dominance body blocking, alpha rolling, pack hierarchy! Sorry! It's just a subject that is misunderstood, and has no factual evidence that it actually exists. I'm not blaming you for thinking that you need to be alpha, you've obviously picked up the idea and think it's right, but there's a few things that you should know...

First off, dogs do not live in packs. Dogs are not wolves. Dogs do not think like wolves. Dog know that we are not dogs, so they do not see us as dogs. Your dog does not want to be your alpha the second he wakes up. Your dog does not think he can dominate you by going out the door first, he just has not been taught any other way. Dogs do not want to control your world, dogs do not live every day thinking up new ways to dominate you.

It has been studied extensively that feral dogs who form "packs" have no hierarchy structure and are just running around together causing mischief. There is no alpha female and male DOG. They do not have a structured group.

Start N.I.L.I.F, it's a sticky in the training section. Basically making the dog work for what he wants. Sit before meal time, sit before walk, sit before leash goes on, sit before he gets a toy, etc...It helps a lot!!

I would think crating in your bedroom for now would help her feel not so alone. If she's defecating and being very very destructive, she may have slight Separation anxiety. Does it happen every time she is alone? Will she calm down?

How much exercise does she get?

You should also do short training sessions a few times a day to work her mentally.

Huskies are working dogs, give her a job. You can buy a doggy back pack and have her carry water on walks.

Is the dog male or female? I'm confused haha.
 

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First, welcome to DF! Would love to see some photos of your pup.

Ditto what Pepper said. Just a warning: with a word like "Alpha" in your thread title, you might get a lot of blow-back from some people on this forum. Don't be put off by it or think this is an unfriendly place - it's not. There are just passionate people here who feel strongly about things like dominance theory.

Sounds like you have a sweet dog with just a few issues.

- not into fetching - not all dogs are. Mine isn't unless she gets treats to bring it back, which I'm happy to indulge on rainy days when she needs some indoor exercise. She loves tennis balls but only to destroy them. So we use racquetballs for fetching and nice little chunks of venison. You have to try different things until you find the stuff she really goes for. In the end, though, fetching may not be her thing. There are tons of other games you can play, though (flirt pole, chase, interactive puzzles, etc.), in addition to basic obedience and tricks.

- a little shy of strangers. Check out the fearful dog thread on this forum – you’ll find lots of suggestions for dealing with cautious canines. For getting used to strangers, probably the best advice I ever got was to instruct all new people to completely ignore the dog – no eye contact, no looming over, no reaching towards, no talking to her – nothing that would seem like a threat to the dog. Have new people casually drop treats on the ground around the dog (should be her favorite thing – a very high value treat like cooked chicken, steak, cheese, etc). You want the dog to associate nothing but good things with strangers. This will take lots of repetition in lots of different places but it really works, so don’t give up.

- possible separation anxiety. I think we need to know more about this one to understand what’s happening. Does she act like this every time the humans leave her alone? How are you containing her? What do you do just before you leave her alone? How do you handle greetings when you come back? What’s the other dog doing while all this is going on? SA is tough to deal with but it can be helped. Like socialization, it takes moving in tiny increments to get the dog used to being alone. I’ve found lots of good advice in Patricia McConnell’s book “I’ll be Home Soon,” available on her web site or Amazon. She offers a whole step-by-step program in a short easy read.

I’m sure others will have lots more to say. Good luck and let us know how it’s going!
 

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This is a good read about the common misconceptions about Dominance Theory. Basically, true alphas do not constantly physically push around other dogs. Doing so just shows your dog that you are not confident in your status, which actually makes you a middle-rank or lower-rank dog, not an alpha.

In the wild, the 'alphas' are simply the parents of the rest of the pack. A pack is a family, not a cut-throat constant dominance struggle. The pups defer to the alpha willingly because they know they are the children, and that the alphas are the adults who are running the show. This interview with one of the most respected wolf researchers in the world helps explain that fact.

But it is true, just because wolves and dogs shared an ancestor a hundred thousand years ago does not make them the same. Even wild dogs (Dingoes, Pariahs, etc) do not live like wild wolves. They are about as similar biologically and socially as a chimp is to a human. =P
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
:: GULP :: Looks like I'm surrounded...

My sincerest apologies for the poorly conveyed and misunderstood notion of what I thought meant to be a good way of demonstrating proper leadership and guidance to my beloved little pupsters. Let us pretend instead of 'ALPHA' I more wisely had said ' Leader of the Family Pack '. The concept of body blocking ( I don't recall mentioning alpha rolling ) but the other 'blah blah blah' I have a few questions about. For instance if after several attempts to provide NR ( or whatever the correct jargon might be for calmly and firmly saying 'No' to convey the dog might be misbehaving ) for something like the dog climbing up into areas he's been taught not to go what is the most effective practical remedy for teaching your dog some areas are off limits and having him adhere to that? Another reason I mistakenly bought into the ALPHA dominance controversy was because, even if the dogs aren't thinking they'll put me in my place by shooting out the door and knocking people over and are just in a hurry to get outside is this not an issue of ( i say very tentatively ) respect to what is or is not acceptable since the fam. has vehemently tried to correct that particular idiosyncrasy. Which some might think implies the existence of people the animal respects and people it openly disregards since he does very politely wait, or calmly exit for some but def. not all. Or maybe just a lapse in training that we need to work on?

At any rate I apologize again for the uninformed ALPHA Dominance post, I was just trying to convey my wishes to be able to successfully train, educate and when necessary correct negative behavior. ( In the same manner an adult parent would attempt to correct and educate their own children ) That being said, and Siberian Huskies being infamous for their tendency to gently remonstrate with obedience training and the like what is the best position to assume if she doesn't acknowledge or obey commands by certain members of the family but then does respond to others?

Actually the Separation Anxiety issue seems to be slowly resolving itself. I've taken to placing the crate in the room adjacent to my bedroom ( picture a joint living room and bedroom minus the wall ) and just staying nearby until she drifts off to sleep. I'm not sure if it's a very good idea or not to exercise them prior to settling down in the evening? My thought process was that if I'm able to fatigue their bodies with some exercise and than challenge the mind with some training it may help her sleep better. It does appear to be working.

Thank you for the N.I.L.F recommendation and I've only started employing it minutes after reading this post and it already seems to have a higher degree of success than my previous methods. When I was making my errant statement about dominance theory what I was envisioning was something very similar to N.I.L.F.

Uhh, again please excuse me for what might come off as a uninformed question promoting merciless dominance but I noticed at first my younger brother would try to exit the door first the dog would fight to make it out at the same time but when I or my father was handling him he'd wait patiently next to the door. Is this simply the brilliant Husky mind applying different circumstances to variant handlers or was my brother doing something incorrectly?

The Shyness or Fearful Dog thing is rather strange because it happens often enough to raise an eyebrow but it's inconsistent. We had an amazing time at the dog park today and he was completely congenial and devoid of any negative anxiety yet at other times he'll shy away from someone trying to pet him ( after being properly introduced, no look, no touch, no eye contact ) ( thats not another incorrect ALPHA dog misconception thing is it because the same person told me about that )

Anyways, thanks again and sorry for the misunderstanding. I love my darlin little pup and never meant to say that I was going to correct its bad behavior by trying to Dominate em but rather stay calm, confident and assertive which I thought was the meaning behind having ALPHA characteristics.
 

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Okay. Alpha theory been's covered. Phew.

Some questions: Did you know the previous owners? How much ACTUAL history do you have on this pup (yes she's still a pup)?

If she was let to "do her own thing" that means she hasn't been TAUGHT to sit, down, fetch, come etc. That is why you are still on the "luring with a treat" stage. Many people assume their dog "knows" a cue when really the dog doesn't. Really. Don't worry about using treats too much, keep em small and tasty and use them every opportunity you have to reinforce behaviors you like. Weaning off food is for LATER. A cue and behaviour has to practiced hundreds of times, proofed under distractions and then practiced some more. You do want to get off the "lure" aspect as soon as possible, but NOT the reward. Dogs dont' learn to speak english overnight ya know and if you make it worth her while to obey your cues then it will be a much faster process.

I don't know what sort of exercise you are giving her, whether it's just walks at this point or not so here are some ideas for burning some of that husky energy. Do you have a yard? If so, build yourself a flirt pole and use it to keep the toy moving and stimulate her prey drive (this is why the ball is only interesting when it's MOVING), use a backpack (mentioned earlier) but make sure it is not TOO heavy, she's still young and too much weight is detrimental to her bones and muscle development. Do several short "training" sessions a day to burn some mental fuel, always being sure to end on a success.

For the separation anxiety (and yes, being she defecates and urinates when you isolate her sounds like SA) the book mentioned earlier is a good one. You have to build up to longer times and yes, the crate should be in one of the bedrooms for now. You can also try a DAP spray or diffuser for calming while in her crate.

For the not wanting petting...how do the people try to pet her? Most dogs don't like 'head petting"..so going for her head is going to cause her to duck away. Chin, chest, shoulders, bum scritches are all good. The face and muzzle and eyes are all VERY sensitive areas and the dog needs to trust the human first before they will allow petting near those areas. I wouldn't want any unknown person near my eyeballs either....and sometimes dogs just dont' trust other people because they are (pick one) tall, short, different ethnicity, have a beard, a hat, a stick, a cane, an umbrella, are too loud, are cautious are whatever. My dog is shy around really tall, white guys or "goth" women. She LOVES big black men and children. A lot of this goes to who the dog was socialized with as a pup and also whether they had a bad or good experience with people of that "type". There most likely is a pattern that you are just not picking up on yet.

By the way, dogs do not need YOU to go through the door first. Dogs in the wild don't have doors...lol. What dogs need is to be trained to have door 'manners' so that entry and exits from the house are SAFE. Nothing to do with being alpha. Sitting before the door is open and then practicing (onleash) the "sit and wait" until a "let's go" is given go a long way here. The outdoors is an exciting place, they simply want to go out side, tis no disrespect.

Good luck and keep us updated.

Oops we posted at the same time.

You are not WRONG for wanting to be the leader. Not at all. And yes it is harder for some folks in the family than others. More often than not that is a case of not having that particular family member involved enough in the training and not understanding the need for consistency. For your little bro for example, if he is not involved in training sessions (even if it's just having the dog sit before HE feeds him occasionally) the dog is likely to look at him more as a playmate than as a person who "is the giver of good things" (my idea of leader..lol..I control the fun, the food and the access to things my dog wants). Your brother needs to practice the "sit and wait" at the door, you all need to use the same cues etc.

As for the park, it can be less intimidating to be petted by strangers when you are not on a leash. Able to get away if needed..a lot of this is perspective. And the dog shouldn't HAVE to be petted by people, as long as he is safe to be around and is happily doing his own thing than that is fine. I like hugs, but not all the time and I like them on MY terms. Hey, anyone want a hug??? LOL

As for teaching not to do something (say, not getting on the furniture) that takes time and it takes a change of mindset. If you don't want the dog on the couch, what would you prefer? That he go to his mat and lay down? Then teach him that behaviour, using rewards for laying on his mat. Eventually the laying on the mat becomes a cue that he is happy to respond to and will spend more time on the mat. You also need to try to prevent the couch sitting from happening, correcting him for already being on the furniture is too late. If my dog is LOOKING like she's going to go somewhere, eat something unsafe or jump on someone (which she no longer does) then a simple "uh huh" verbal correction, or a non reward marker, stops/distracts her and I ask her to do the thing I do want...like lie down where she is or to come to me..for which she is rewarded.

So, the basis of the training is on teaching the dog what you WANT, not what you don't want and preventing the unwanted thing from happening until it is no longer a rewarding option for the dog. Dogs do what works, make what works for YOU what works for the dog and you will be pleasantly surprised.
 

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:: GULP :: Looks like I'm surrounded...
And you have a sense of humor about it. :) That's even better. I personally use the word alpha and I mean the same thing you do. So, the word doesn't offend me. It's just a word. Clearly, it has different meanings to different people.

I was just trying to convey my wishes to be able to successfully train, educate and when necessary correct negative behavior.
Which is what we all want, no matter what you call it. :)

I'm not sure if it's a very good idea or not to exercise them prior to settling down in the evening? My thought process was that if I'm able to fatigue their bodies with some exercise and than challenge the mind with some training it may help her sleep better. It does appear to be working.
That is perfect. Just what I would suggest. A tired dog is a good dog.

NILIF is a lifesaver.

no look, no touch, no eye contact ) ( thats not another incorrect ALPHA dog misconception thing is it because the same person told me about that )
What I do is listen to everyone out there and take what makes sense to me and my dogs and apply it to my training program and disregard the rest. Don't let the few people here who have jumped on you for using the words Alpha and Dominance make you throw EVERYTHING you ever learned from others out the window. :) The above is an important and very effective concept to have in the "tool box" when you need it. Just a suggestion.

I love my darlin little pup and never meant to say that I was going to correct its bad behavior by trying to Dominate em but rather stay calm, confident and assertive which I thought was the meaning behind having ALPHA characteristics.
Don't throw that away, for example. Being calm, confident and assertive (not aggressive) is the best way to be a good leader (or "benevolent guide", if one prefers) of your pack (or "family of dogs" if one prefers)... ;)

Cracker has given great advice, as usual.
 

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I've never actually met a husky that would fetch. The ones I've known would watch my hound frantically chasing and retrieving tennis balls with a look of combined confusion and disdain.

My notion of alpha dominance is that you earn a dog's respect - not by bullying him but by caring for him, protecting him, spending time with him and respecting him back.
 

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I'm proud of you also as you did not get into Alpha snit. Now you just got dog so you have all kinds of time for changes. The dog is also in a teen-ager time of life, no more explanation needed there. Your pup is a year old and you are at least the 3rd home. I know people that if they had to move 3 times in a year would be all upset and agitated with life. Down the road if possible get him into an obedience class but even that is not necessary right now. You are starting him fine with the crate move and walking/exercise program and it may just take time for dog to relax and accept the 3rd home. If you're in for the long haul there is no hurry.
 

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Alright excellent. Seriously I truly appreciate this stream of advice you guys are kind enough to give out. As a fellow dog enthusiast I'm definitely grateful for being pointed in the right direction.

Unfortunately I dont know too much about Iris, the husky in question. The couple I adopted her from was on the verge of taking her to the pound if they couldn't find a good for her. She was found tied to a fence in the backyard of a foreclosed home according to them but she did stay with the couple for quite a while. In retrospect I feel kind of silly for not connecting the dots between her awful abandonment and her separation anxiety.

Exercise! I'm heading out today to buy a backpack to help increase her exercise intensity but I do believe I'm keeping her fairly engaged. Since Iris has a formidable amount of energy and stamina I take her for bike rides when I really want her to burn off some steam. Like most Sibe she loves running and she seems surprisingly adept at keeping the right distance and pace alongside the bicycle so that works out great.

We frequently visited the dog parks around us even before acquiring Iris so we're keeping with the tradition but increasing the frequency of visits. She swims like a champ and is usually exhausted after playing with the other dogs and fetching balls from the middle of the lake.

I've started the training tips as you suggested and with a little patience and several reps I think we'll get it down in adequate time. My question though is what is the best way to get her to recognize her own name? Even sitting or standing next to her and calling out her name seems to be ineffective as though she doesn't know we're trying to talk to her or we haven't taken the steps to invoke a successful response yet thru training. Will this be particularly difficult since she was most likely already familiar with a different name with her previous owners and we're starting anew?

Once again your help is HUGELY appreciated and I'm grateful for the free words of wisdom. I know Huskies are a lot of work and require both patience and dedication but I'm determined to do my best so she never has to worry about where her owners went again.

Ah, also for the summer season... wise to trim her hair down a little bit or what?
 

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I'm heading out today to buy a backpack to help increase her exercise intensity but I do believe I'm keeping her fairly engaged.
A word of advice on this. Make sure to get a pack that fits more over her shoulders, not over her back. And start with light objects, moving up to heavier objects over a period of time. Larger breeds take longer to mature and their bones and ligaments need to be fully developed to carry a heavier load. My GSDs take on an air of importance and "having a job" with even an empty pack. :) So start light.

My question though is what is the best way to get her to recognize her own name?
I would train this while sitting around in the evening or otherwise taking it easy. You'll probably always want to have some healthy treats on you. While you're watching TV, call her name. If she looks at you, praise her and toss her a treat. Go back to the TV. Repeat.

Find other ways to incorporate this training during other parts of your day together.

I'm determined to do my best so she never has to worry about where her owners went again.
That's really great. She's lucky to have joined up with you.

Ah, also for the summer season... wise to trim her hair down a little bit or what?
I'm going to ask my husky friend to step in here, as I really don't know too much about the breed. But I doubt it. A good brushing is usually the best thing to do.
 

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Iris. What a nice name.
I have found that a new name takes some time..and of course, some treats. You can do as part of your training sessions a "name game". It is similar to charging a clicker. Say the name, treat, repeat. If you do this at the beginning of each training session you will start to see whenever you say her name she will LOOK at you. Then you switch to rewarding the eye contact/response..this will hold you in good stead when she is out and about and not looking at you, but you want her to come or do something else. We call this "Starting your dog" at the beginning of class.

As for the biking etc..do be careful about too much stress on her bones and joints. Most vets recommend not starting exercise of this type until the dogs are fully grown (1 year). If you keep to softer surfaces (trails as opposed to sidewalks or roads) this will lessen the impact some...

Mental exercise CAN be a great way to tire out the dog as well. Puzzle toys, training sessions, search for the toy/treat etc are good.

And no, I wouldn't trim your husky for the summer. Just be aware of the signs of hyperthermia, allow her to swim and cool off a lot and have lots of fresh water for her. Their coats provide a certain amount of insulation..but if she's hot INSIDE her coat holds the heat and vice versa. Just groom/brush her well to remove the undercoat, take her to a groomer if necessary and have them SHOW you the right tools and method for doing so...many people think they are brushing their dogs right but aren't.

Good luck, sounds like you are going to do GREAT.
 

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The Shyness or Fearful Dog thing is rather strange because it happens often enough to raise an eyebrow but it's inconsistent. We had an amazing time at the dog park today and he was completely congenial and devoid of any negative anxiety yet at other times he'll shy away from someone trying to pet him ( after being properly introduced, no look, no touch, no eye contact ) ( thats not another incorrect ALPHA dog misconception thing is it because the same person told me about that )
I'm pretty well versed in dealing with a dog who shies away from someone's hand due to fear.

But, before I get to fear as the possible root of this behavior, could it possibly be that Iris is playing? Some dogs get great joy out of a hand moving toward them while they move back. If it's inconsistent or only happens in one place (for example, you mentioned the dog park) that could be the case. Does Iris act this way towards you, ever?

If it truly is fear, then you must, to some degree, identify what the trigger to the fear is before trying to resolve it. My dog, for example, is afraid of most men, many grey/short-haired women and almost anyone wearing a hood or hat over their hands. Try to look for consistencies in the people's appearance when Iris shies away.

The key to eliminating fearful behaviors is using lots of treats and changing the association, just like winniec said.

But hang on.. I'm confused.. is this dog male or female? You've switched pronouns every other post! :confused:
 

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lol !! my apologies with the pro-noun confusing. We've been trying to find the optimal amount of exercise for Iris ( it usually has to be in the morning or the evening since i imagine with her coat its too hot to exercise diligently in the sun ) so during the day she's a little bit more active to the point where I fear she may become bored and start her mining expedition into the yard with the digging. Overall I'm pretty much in love with this pup and just want the best for her obedience wise, training, spirit and health and the works so I'm trying to establish some ground rules and help her acclimate to her new forever home with exercise, mental puzzles and healthy treats as Cracker very wisely told me to start doing.

The only concern I have now is that after re-reading some of the post and checking out a few others I fear that Iris may indeed have Separation Anxiety or at least the beginnings of it. I had thought it was some sort of disorder propagated by neglect and abandonment by cruel and undeserving owners but now it is beginning to sound alot more serious. She is fierecly resistant to her crate, which is def. large enough to support her comfortably, and sometimes will fight against one of the fam members if they to get her in. As soon as the distance between her and them grow she begins howling, barking and yelping like it might be her last chance. I raised a german shephard mix who was a little bit younger but his problems discontinued after a few weeks of not acknowledging his negative outburst and trying to make the whole crate thing seem casual. He seems to be at ease with it now but Iris absolutely detest it and I don't think ( although once again this is just my observation I have no factual evidence to support this ) her radical, and deleterious habits in the kennel are helping her progress in the right direction. She often defecates and urinates inside of the kennel ( is this related to fight or flight response by chance ?) and I fear she may hurt herself if this continues. N it doesnt look like it will end.

Perhaps not the most progressive move but I've taken to allowing her to sleep inside of her cradle with her door open at the foot of my bed. As long as she is aware of my presence she seems ok but after than chaos takes the stage.

Despite the time consuming dedication, high levels of patient and love for Siberian Huskies that's required I'm resolutely set in my ways that I'll do everything I possibly can to help her through this. And even if I can't find a way to alienate her ailment altogether or at least reduce it to an accpetable stage - well - then - I'll keep her anyway.

Sorry for the noun confusion earlier. Iris is the dog mentioned in the aforementioned text above, ( estimated 8 to 10 months old, female, ) and than I have Champ ( 7 months, German Shephard Mix, great overall dog ) One other thing is that not since her arrival but just the past few days ol Champ is followin her round like he's trying to put the moves on her but they are both spayed and neutered. Is this normal ? He kind of fixates on her at times and I can feel the grip of tension tugging at my elbow. Hopefully it's nothing.

oops and how often should i be doing somewhat strenuous exercises with Iris since we are riding bikes at a decent base in the early morning or evening to calm him down n help him to rest during the hot day. The mental puzzles and mind work on him seems to be pretty good as they are both actually impressively intelligent. But as far as tough anaerobic exercise from a young Husky running on soft surfaces like grass or dirt any estimates onto the duration and frequency?

You guys are my heroes! Thank you again for the continued advice that is directly helping pups to live the best lives they can! Any tips, suggestions, orders, advice, please let me know at your earliest convenience as I'm def in this for the long haul.

Thank You Dearly
S. Yourell. Joyous Owner of German/Shephard Mix and Siberian Husky.
Thanks again!
 

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I think my dog wants to come live at your house! Your dedication is impressive.

Just a quick note re crate training: members on the forum have mentioned a book/dvd that could help you get your dog to enjoy the crate or at least not to resist it so much. It's called "Crate Games" by Susan Garrett.
 

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Separation anxiety can be overcome with small steps. If that is what it really is. Many dogs are not crate trained and get stuffed into crates, then when the dogs act up the verdict is separation anxiety.
Try little exercises by putting the dog in and returing shortly after and do this over and over with more time elapsing in between. Make it fun with putting her in the crate....favorite toys...stuffed kongs and things of that nature. Eventually, the dog will realize he is not left behind and that the owner/handler will be back soon without a problem.
The reason I question separation anxiety is that you mentioned you brought the crate in to your room and once the dog is crated she starts soon after the gate is locked. With you in the room I assume. That is not separation anxiety.
 

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Oh, another husky! Aren't they wonderful? I love, love, love mine.... though I nicknamed him 'troubles' sometimes.

ditto to what everyone has said so far. I had about a month off to train mine when I adopted him at 2 yrs old. The NIFL really works and for my husky, he was 24/7 near me at all times for a month. I did not allow him to touch anything in the house unless I gave him permission.

Ilya (my husky) does not like his crate too much. I have to train him to appreciate it and right now, he still prefers the door off. It kinda defeats the purpose however, I'm trying to find one of those metal dog boxes because he likes the cold metal flooring and it tends to be more den like. If I leave him locked inside his crate too long, he will get too upset. He'll pant and pace like crazy and then get the runs. That is kinda what he does when he's very upset.

I also had to train mine to be home alone. I started with short time periods and then increased it. So far so good. I've had him for about 2 years and he has not jumped on furniture or tore anything up (except the toys we give him).

Be careful about the temperature outside when you are exercising. Ilya gets very labored like breathing if the temperature outside 90F or above. If you're exercising in a little cooler weather, look out for heavy panting. That is another sign I've learned to look for and may mean he's overheated.

As for intelligence, I don't think I've ever owned another dog before who could figure out how to make me laugh and shows his affection sometimes by sharing the stuffing out of his toys with me. :D
 

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o during the day she's a little bit more active to the point where I fear she may become bored and start her mining expedition into the yard with the digging.
Some people give their dogs a sand box to dig in, that way they take out their energy on the sand, not the yard. Well, that's for problem diggers.

Work up to strenuous exercise. Start slow, and then work up, so that way the dog doesn't get injured(pull muscles, etc..) Start walking first, to loosen up the muscles, then you can run for 30 minutes, and work up to an hour, etc..
 

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Re:

I use a large crate so she has plenty of room to move around. Prior to putting her into the crate we play a few games and go on a brisk walk in the hopes that if she's winding down then the whole crate experience will be less of a strain on her.
So far she's shot that theory down. But after reading the plethora of wonderful post on here I'm starting to leave her in the crate for very small increments and then return to her. I'm assuming the idea is that she's afraid I won't come back for her but then I realized that this problem might be multi-faceted and not just limited to the crate.
We were playing around in the backyard and I ran inside to fetch the leashes for the dogs ( the one we're talking about Iris, Husky approx. 8 months ) and the other is my box Champ who is about 6 months and seems to be to be a paragon of dog-human relations. He's fun, affectionate, even helpful sometimes and smart enough to often take me by surprise with his tactics. The two of them get along great! Anyway as I was grabbing the leashes I stopped at my comp to read an email and realized that Iris was regressing to the paniced, anxious, manic state I've only known her to do during crate training.

Usually if Champ is with her she's just fine, but if she notices me leaving even for a moment the anxiety starts again. I'm not well versed in the intricate differences between just being anxious and separation anxiety but she was abandoned before by her 1st set of owners so.... She also deficiates and urinates all over the place once she really gets going. It really tears me up... I would like to think I'm disciplined enough to under most anxiety will go away if you ignore it long enough and the behavior goes extinct but this different... She howls, and screams and yelps as though as is just absolutely horrified. She hurt her foot today trying to escape the crate.

I've taken to moving the crate into my room so I can slowly build up her confidence and trust in my return so I hope that works out effectively as I'm slowly beginning to realize that I love this dog waayyy to much to even think about re-homing if there's even a slight or remote possbility the problem can be remedied.

Two other things I found weird, when she shies away from touch it doesn't really seem like shes playing, ( her ears are pulled back, tail tucked and she moves away ) it only last for two seconds but I can still get decipher the pattern or the trigger. So far it's not location based, she doesn't seem to have a particular aversion to any group of people, and it's a very arbritary move. Sometimes she loves to be pet (( not really on the head tho )) and other times she's not having it.

One inquiry about my other beloved pooch. Even though they get along great, play with each other, don't seem to have problems eating or sharing toys, more often than I would like Champ lets his inner MALE dog take the reigns. It looks like this behavior is more annoying to Iris than anything eles but both dogs have been altered!!

Is it typical for altered dogs to go through the motions regardless or is Champ trying to live the dream or something?

Thanks again, you guys are like a Dog Info treasure trove.
 

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A lot of neutered male dogs hump and a lot of spayed females hump. Most of the time, I allow the humpee to reprimand the humper. But if the humper is relentless, I start supervising play with treats and a clicker. When play is going the way I like, I click and treat. When it's not, I make a loud noise to distract them, wait for desired behavior, and click/treat. Strengthening the desired behavior with good things(i.e. treats, toys, praise) will weaken the humping or what have you.
 
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