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Discussion Starter #1
Two years ago we adopted a husky mix dog who had several behavioral issues. At the time we were living in an apartment. We took her to her Petsmart Obedience lessons, worked with her constantly, took her out 6x a day and made weekly trips to the dog park. Still, she had severe separation anxiety to the point where she tore up carpet, walls, and furniture if we were gone for more than 30 min. To make matters worse, she had a huge fear of crates and kennels such that she would hurt herself in trying to escape.

Not willing to give up on her, I agreed with my boyfriend that we should move. We moved in together into a house with a back yard where she we thought she would be happier. My boyfriend has an older German shepherd and they got along well. We continued trying to train her, but she would "perform" in class and then ignore at home. We installed a10'x10'x10' wire fence kennel in the back yard, but she tore the wires apart to get free. Now when she gets out, you should see her face. She's grinning almost laughing. When we go out after, all that training gets tossed aside and she bolts. She plays a game of it. She'll run laps around the block (but only the route we take on walls) and if you leave her new she gives up and comes back but not inside. She sits in the front yard taunting you. She then started jumping the 6' fence. When I added another 2'of chicken wire to the top she changed to straight chewing up the wood panels. It took double layering the wire on top of the wood to get her to stop.

Next thing we knew she started randomly snapping and biting at the older dog. She wouldn't let him eat even out of separate dishes at opposite ends of the yard. She would get jealous of any attention he got. I have to bring him inside to eat and just live in peace but when he has to go out she would bear teeth and snap.

Oddly enough she has never shown aggression to our cat or kids or jugs or anyone else... just this older dog.

After trying every trick in the book and every you tube video, I'm at my wits end with her. Either she improves her attitude and behavior or she's out. I just can't continue trying to give her love, time, attention, and money when she obviously doesn't want to be part of this family.

This is my last ditch effort to find someone who can get through to get her. I hope you can help.

And yes, she jumped the 8' fence this morning, and yes I went after her and yes, she is sitting in the front yard now. Grrrr

6,658 Posts
To me it sounds like she is under-exercised and bored.

1. Was she crate trained? A lot of dogs don't inherently love their kennel/crate and need to be taught to love it. There are lots of crate training threads on this forum, and from what I read before we got our dog can be quite quick (a weekend to several weeks), depending on the dog and how consistent you are with it. I appologize if you did crate train her, it's just not mentioned.

2. What Amaryllis said. When you do put her outside, tie her up on a tie-out long enough for her to explore, but not long enough to reach the fence, and on a harness which she can't slip out of as easily as a collar. Even then, huskies are notorious for being escape artists, so why give her the option? Crate train her (if you haven't) so you can crate during the day and only allow her outside when you can supervise. If you have tried to crate train her, then the tie out may be your only option.

3. How much exercise is she getting? You mentioned you used to take her out 6 times a day, but what does "taking her out" mean (walk, run, potty break?) and have you continued with it since moving into the house?

4. Additionally, huskies tend to be pretty smart, which means they can get bored easily. To combat this, exercise her mind with puzzle toys and/or daily training sessions. They don't have to be long - 5 or 10 minutes at a time is all most dogs can handle anyway. If she likes her kibble (if she's on kibble), you can use that as a reward which may also help with the "listening" issue, and this will also distract her while the other dog eats. Its also good bonding time!

5,407 Posts
Hey, look, we have the same dog!

If she wants to get out, she will. Face that fact. My kennel was buried with mining belts under it, extra wire around it, bricks, cement blocks, wire over the top and two tarps. She still escaped daily. She used to destroy the house when I left. I've got hole sin my walls, missing door frames. It's insane.

Firstly, what she's doing with the snapping is called resource guarding. Read up on it. For now, feed your dogs separately. Put them in different rooms if you have to. Having peace in the house is worth that.

Secondly, put her on a good, strong, properly fitted harness with a tie out attached. And do not leave her unsupervised.
As for the running around the neighborhood, at one time I was doing that daily. Do not chase her. That is engaging in her game. Find a way to lure her to you. I have had to yell 'ALEU GO SWIMMING?!' or 'ALEU, LETS RACE/CHASE/RUN' and run from her, I've had to lure her with food, squeakies. A couple of times, I've had to collapse onto the ground and start flopping and making squeaky sounds so she would come over. And never her punish her in any way when you catch her.

Also, she does not have an attitude. That is something you've imagined through your frustration. She is being what she is; a dog, and a husky mix.

Speaking honestly, how much exercise is she getting righ tnow?

2,837 Posts
Huskies need a TON of exercise. They are bred to run for miles and miles and miles...all day...in the snow...pulling things. You get the picture. These dogs are serious athletes and if they don't get that exercise they will turn into monsters. In the off season, mushers up here exercise their sled dogs (usually mixes, not purebred huskies, but you get the idea) by having them pull 4 wheelers in neutral around.

Huskies also were bred to be pretty self-sufficient. When not being used to mush, they would frequently be expected to go out and hunt for food. It's in her blood to escape the fence and go out looking for fun and/or prey. She's not doing all these things to bother you, annoy you, or even because she doesn't want to be a part of the family. She's doing them because she's likely bored, under-exercised, and because these are things she was bred to do. Even if a husky dearly loves their family, they still may try to get loose to chase down prey...the instinct is THAT strong. So, please, don't worry it means she doesn't care.

That grin on her face is most likely her thrilled that you've come out to run with her and now you can run around the neighborhood playing chase together, not a grin of victory that she's gotten away from the humans. She wants to run with you and other dogs...it is what she was bred to do.

So...first thing I'd do is figure out some way to wear this dog out. If you can find a place to do it on a long lead or a pool, swimming is GREAT. Running is also great, if you can either run with her or maybe train her to run with a bicycle on one of those leash attachments. A tired dog is a good dog! I'd also up the mental stimulation. Puzzle toys, training sessions, or maybe even look into taking up a dog sport with her. That will help you bond with the dog as well as wear her out mentally. If you only exercise her physically, you'll end up with a very fit bored dog...which can sometimes be almost worse! Wear her out both mentally and physically and she won't have the energy to houdini her way out or be destructive.

I'd also work on containment. I'd have that dog on a leash even in the backyard. I'd invest in longer leashes, a tie out, and other ways to contain her and I'd work on making coming to me on recalls the most awesome thing ever. Keep her on a long line and when she does come, throw a party with treats and praise and play. If she doesn't, reel her in and then throw the party when she gets to you. Making coming to you = awesomeness.

You'll need to work on commands in all kinds of different places. Dogs don't generalize well, so even just because they know sit = butt on the floor at obedience class, if you don't practice that everywhere you want them to sit, they won't know that sit = butt on the floor EVERYWHERE and on every kind of surface. Ditto on all other commands.

1,625 Posts
Roman while don't have husky blood is an all pyr... Known to disapyr.
(Again.. Though, I think most all dogs have a tendency to "run away", puppy or adult.)
He still override his urges to wander will "stay" with us.
But... He also do not have "past" issues and is basically a blank canvas when we got him as a puppy.

No past issues = no circumstances ever happened where he has needs to run away to "prove a point" to his owners.
I observed like my friend's dog from a shelter that changed hands almost 10x...
When she first got that dog... She the dog refuses car rides (associated with being given up) and keeps running away in the beginning (till around a few years after... Start to ride the car (after a longer time being with this friend than other owner) and starts staying around (not running away as she starts to trust this friend).

But trust takes time.
And patience... Alot of it.
Takes training... Some dogs may take more than others training wise.

Since you know your dog will "stay around"...
You should not make a habit of a chase game out of it.
(GPS collars a good idea)
If your dog likes to play games on its terms... It probably is like others says..
Dog is bored. Thus wants to play.

Training your dog to sit for everything will probably be good exercise to curb " bolting" behaviours.

As for chewing out of crates and kennels...
Exercise more is key. Tire the dog out...
Swimming is great to tire out the dog...
Playing fetch throwing toys down "shallow" steps (careful of Roman's fragile bones) are good ways to make dog tired too...
Maybe chew toys and freezes (ice, Kong etc.) can help chew habits???

Dunno much of eradication of that chew out of kennel behaviours...
As Roman never did that... We only use crate for house breaking, after he starts to want more freedom & trust.
We basically starts an open crate door policy for him to go as he pleases.
And we left the gate ajar at one point about half a foot space...
Roman chose to stay (guard tuff duty taken seriously).

Also right now we are using the "heat factor" to show Roman the "comforts" of home (besides getting great food in the house etc.)...
So when outside (guarding tuff while parents are out) Roman will practically beg to come inside (where all the best stuff are and that cool constant 70 degree cool). Works for my dog as he actually do know that difference.

Good luck!!!
You and your dog just need that time to understand what each others' needs are from one another.
Establish that trust and bond will come after.
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