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Are Siberian Huskies The Most Untrainable Dogs?


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Siberian Husky are they like most view as being untrainable and disobedient? :laugh:

A trainer from my obedience school commented that I hadn't chosen the right breed for a novice or first time dog owner, making out as if she would never be fully as obedient or trained like other breeds there. Might I add she is only 9 months and gets extremely excited to be around other dogs because that is the only time she gets to see them. She is very friendly, non-aggressive approach and submissive but at the end of the day only wants to play with someone other than me all the time.

Was the trainer correct, had I chosen a breed that is extremely difficult and would find it more difficult than other owners and will never be 100% obedient?

Sibe owners much appreciated on your insight on how you trained yours or their training approach and the sibe's participation behaviour attitude.

(Also non-sibe, owners of different breeds more than welcomed to add their 2 cents in.) :laugh:

Thank you everyone. :laugh:

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Siberian Husky are they like most view as being untrainable and disobedient? :laugh:

A trainer from my obedience school commented that I hadn't chosen the right breed for a novice or first time dog owner, making out as if she would never be fully as obedient or trained like other breeds there. Might I add she is only 9 months and gets extremely excited to be around other dogs because that is the only time she gets to see them. She is very friendly, non-aggressive approach and submissive but at the end of the day only wants to play with someone other than me all the time.

Was the trainer correct, had I chosen a breed that is extremely difficult and would find it more difficult than other owners and will never be 100% obedient?

Sibe owners much appreciated on your insight on how you trained yours or their training approach and the sibe's participation behaviour attitude.

(Also non-sibe, owners of different breeds more than welcomed to add their 2 cents in.) :laugh:

Thank you everyone. :laugh:

You've chosen a terrible breed for a first time owner :cool:

I used to think recalls in sibes was impossible. I've changed my mind, however, positive only methods will NOT work.

I can confidently say that in 99% of sibes you will never obtain 100% compliance without using punishments.

Huskies by nature are incredibly independent. Luckily Gizmo and Lily are about 1000 times easier than Axle was. Axle was an incredibly tough dog.

Of course, all sibes are different. This is just going by the dozen or so I've met.

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Siberian Husky are they like most view as being untrainable and disobedient? :laugh:

A trainer from my obedience school commented that I hadn't chosen the right breed for a novice or first time dog owner, making out as if she would never be fully as obedient or trained like other breeds there. Might I add she is only 9 months and gets extremely excited to be around other dogs because that is the only time she gets to see them. She is very friendly, non-aggressive approach and submissive but at the end of the day only wants to play with someone other than me all the time.

Was the trainer correct, had I chosen a breed that is extremely difficult and would find it more difficult than other owners and will never be 100% obedient?

Sibe owners much appreciated on your insight on how you trained yours or their training approach and the sibe's participation behaviour attitude.

(Also non-sibe, owners of different breeds more than welcomed to add their 2 cents in.) :laugh:

Thank you everyone. :cool:

You've chosen a terrible breed for a first time owner :p

I used to think recalls in sibes was impossible. I've changed my mind, however, positive only methods will NOT work.

I can confidently say that in 99% of sibes you will never obtain 100% compliance without using punishments.

Huskies by nature are incredibly independent. Luckily Gizmo and Lily are about 1000 times easier than Axle was. Axle was an incredibly tough dog.

Of course, all sibes are different. This is just going by the dozen or so I've met.

Yes I can thank my husband for the wonderful birthday present last christmas. :laugh: I'm sure as they get older they will mellow out and seeing another dog would be no major excitement.

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Doubt it, Axle never mellowed out :laugh:

I got a Sibe for my "first" dog, and my second, and a working GSD for my third. It'll just be a steep learning curve but you'll survive. I'm not into easy dogs.

Edited by Lord Midol
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Think about what Sibes were originally bred for. To pull sleds over distances. They had to take command from their master, but they had to be independent enough to be able to refuse to do it if it was unsafe, eg if the ice was too thin etc. They had to have initiative and think for themselves.

This means that they will not be as biddable as breeds that have been bred to work for people (eg gundogs or herding dogs). Not untrainable, but not the easiest breed to train either :laugh:

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They were also sent out by themselves for periods of time to fend for themselves which is why they have a pretty strong pack instinct/drive (unsure what the correct term is here) and pretty intense prey drive... but it's weird, I can't get mine interested in prey items (tugs/balls/rags) but any moving animal is game on time.

Easy dogs are boring :laugh:

Edited by Lord Midol
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Zero is very very trainable! Sibes are extremely intelligent! Getting him to listen to me when there's something more interesting around is a completely different story though! Zero is "my" first dog - i was too young to have a hand in the only other dog i've had - and he certainly has been a learning curve!

This week he's learnt the proper "heel" position (and to sit and drop in heel), "wave", "touch" and "up" - still trying to teach him "roll over". And that's only this week (since monday!). I use a lot of treats to get him to do it though. He works for kibble at home, but at training he got sick of store bought treats last week so i'm going to have to up it to something a little more worthwhile this week (cabanossi and bbq chicken!) to hold his attention with other dogs around!

Edited by ~*Shell*~
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Zero is very very trainable! Sibes are extremely intelligent! Getting him to listen to me when there's something more interesting around is a completely different story though! Zero is "my" first dog - i was too young to have a hand in the only other dog i've had - and he certainly has been a learning curve!

This week he's learnt the proper "heel" position (and to sit and drop in heel), "wave", "touch" and "up" - still trying to teach him "roll over". And that's only this week (since monday!). I use a lot of treats to get him to do it though. He works for kibble at home, but at training he got sick of store bought treats last week so i'm going to have to up it to something a little more worthwhile this week (cabanossi and bbq chicken!) to hold his attention with other dogs around!

Do you have problems when they see, meet and interact with other dogs, as in do they bounce and turn deaf?

Congrats and good job on the training. :D I only just got her 2 days ago one of those raised flea proof Snooza beds and taught her 'bed' or 'on your bed' and she's caught on very well obeying the command first time asked always and stays on her bed.

I'm not complaining about the level of difficulty training a husky but one trainer likes to make comments any chance she has referring to sibe's reaction towards being in close proximity to other dogs. I think the trainer has it in for me but she's not even my instructor.

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They were also sent out by themselves for periods of time to fend for themselves which is why they have a pretty strong pack instinct/drive (unsure what the correct term is here) and pretty intense prey drive... but it's weird, I can't get mine interested in prey items (tugs/balls/rags) but any moving animal is game on time.

Easy dogs are boring :D

Yes easy dogs are a lil boring.

Edited by husky princess
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Siberian Husky are they like most view as being untrainable and disobedient? :D

A trainer from my obedience school commented that I hadn't chosen the right breed for a novice or first time dog owner, making out as if she would never be fully as obedient or trained like other breeds there. Might I add she is only 9 months and gets extremely excited to be around other dogs because that is the only time she gets to see them. She is very friendly, non-aggressive approach and submissive but at the end of the day only wants to play with someone other than me all the time.

Was the trainer correct, had I chosen a breed that is extremely difficult and would find it more difficult than other owners and will never be 100% obedient?

Sibe owners much appreciated on your insight on how you trained yours or their training approach and the sibe's participation behaviour attitude.

(Also non-sibe, owners of different breeds more than welcomed to add their 2 cents in.) :D

Thank you everyone. :(

No such thing as untrainable. Your instructor sounds like a bit of dill and not really experienced with dogs in general. All dogs can be trained to one level or another.

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They were also sent out by themselves for periods of time to fend for themselves which is why they have a pretty strong pack instinct/drive (unsure what the correct term is here) and pretty intense prey drive... but it's weird, I can't get mine interested in prey items (tugs/balls/rags) but any moving animal is game on time.

Easy dogs are boring :D

Yes easy dogs are a lil boring.

*sigh* I want an easy dog! :D

How does one find one of those?

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Siberian Husky are they like most view as being untrainable and disobedient? :D

A trainer from my obedience school commented that I hadn't chosen the right breed for a novice or first time dog owner, making out as if she would never be fully as obedient or trained like other breeds there. Might I add she is only 9 months and gets extremely excited to be around other dogs because that is the only time she gets to see them. She is very friendly, non-aggressive approach and submissive but at the end of the day only wants to play with someone other than me all the time.

Was the trainer correct, had I chosen a breed that is extremely difficult and would find it more difficult than other owners and will never be 100% obedient?

Sibe owners much appreciated on your insight on how you trained yours or their training approach and the sibe's participation behaviour attitude.

(Also non-sibe, owners of different breeds more than welcomed to add their 2 cents in.) :D

Thank you everyone. :laugh:

No such thing as untrainable. Your instructor sounds like a bit of dill and not really experienced with dogs in general. All dogs can be trained to one level or another.

Thank you my thoughts exactly, the instructor for my group which is the medium to large size dogs of all breeds says the thing as you no such thing as untrainable and combined with all the excitement of leaving the house and meeting socialising with others is understandable. Others have also said she's a dill. LOL :( thank you again.

They were also sent out by themselves for periods of time to fend for themselves which is why they have a pretty strong pack instinct/drive (unsure what the correct term is here) and pretty intense prey drive... but it's weird, I can't get mine interested in prey items (tugs/balls/rags) but any moving animal is game on time.

Easy dogs are boring :laugh:

Yes easy dogs are a lil boring.

*sigh* I want an easy dog! :rofl:

How does one find one of those?

LOL. :mad Mine was a joke but maybe they have a sign on their foreheads with "EAZY".

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The only easily trainable dogs I've come across are borders, they are just tuned into their person the whole time!

When I got my sibe I had lovely dreams of training him to follow the horse out riding, and spent a lot of time taking him for walks with the aim of off-lead obedience, or at least recall. Didn't work. After chasing him over two hills after he took off after some roos I gave up, and he did two levels of puppy school and was the standout best of them all! I haven't had a chance to get back to dog obedience after his big op but I can pretty safely say that I would never get any real reliable recall with him. When he goes it's like he can't hear you, he is just so focussed on anything, sometimes if you can get him before his attention is fully on whatever it is then you can get him to come back but miss that moment and he will be gone. I will never risk him in an unfenced area these days. He's pretty good onlead apart from some lunging and carrying on when he first meets new dogs :D

My take on it is that sibes were bred to be obedient ON-LEAD and therefore off-lead obedience was never a requirement because when not in runners they are staked out generally. I dare say in the early days when they were let off to fend for themselves the ones that came back and allowed themselves to be harnessed back up were the ones that continued the breed. They are extremely intelligent dogs but also extremely independent.

Would be nice to have an obedient off lead sibe but you can't have everything :D

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I call sibes the border collies of northern breeds, they are very smart. Then again it depends on your interpretation of canine intelligence :D Training a northern breed is a challenge, relax, have fun and make it fun and interesting for them, make your sibe think.

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Do you have problems when they see, meet and interact with other dogs, as in do they bounce and turn deaf?

Congrats and good job on the training. :laugh: I only just got her 2 days ago one of those raised flea proof Snooza beds and taught her 'bed' or 'on your bed' and she's caught on very well obeying the command first time asked always and stays on her bed.

I'm not complaining about the level of difficulty training a husky but one trainer likes to make comments any chance she has referring to sibe's reaction towards being in close proximity to other dogs. I think the trainer has it in for me but she's not even my instructor.

Zero used to be dog aggressive so he was always focused on the other dogs and never on me. Now he wants to play with them so he's focused on the other dogs and never on me (unless i have food - in which case it's hard to get him to leave me alone). Ignore the trainer - work out what works for you and your dog and stick to it. Make sure that your commands are big and loud and have a visual command with it (that's helped Zero out so much!) and make your dog aware (once they've learnt the command) that there are consequences for not obeying. For example, if we're on a walk and stop at the curb, i give Zero the sit command. If he doesn't do it, he gets a small correction with his leash (a little tug to let him know i'm serious) and if he doesn't do it, he gets a bigger one (he wears a prong collar though atm, but i've found it now translates to a flat collar and he never needs a first correction anymore, let alone a second one). Usually it just takes an "arrrrrgh" sound to get him to listen to me when we're on a walk. I also use "leave it" if he's lagging behind and distracted.

Find a club that works for you! I was going to go to one club and a friend told me that they worked under the idea that spitz breeds in general were untrainable so didn't bother to try with them. Our new club has a couple of spitzes and some DOLers too so i'm very happy.

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When I have difficulty with Saki at our dog obedience place I always get the "what do you expect - you have an akita! At least you don't have a huskie!" line, heh :laugh:

I don't think this means they're untrainable though - just that they're very smart and not interested in doing what they're told unless you use something really awesome to motivate them - which can be tricky sometimes when even extra yummy foods aren't more appealing to them than going and jumping on another dog in the class hehe :eek:

Our training class can help any dog owner with any breed get through basic obedience, but they do encourage huskie, malamute and akita owners to get into agility or sledding rather than advanced obedience - they are just better suited to other things. Again, not untrainable, just different strengths.

Good luck :laugh: x

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Minook (our 5 month-old Sibe) is pretty switched on, but everything is done on her terms :laugh:

She knows sit, drop, stay, and is learning 'stand' (for the show ring). She also climbs into her crate for the night when we tell her "bed". As a youngster she was very easy to toilet-train and responded to the command "potty time". She was the smartest pup in her class at Puppy Preschool when it came to basic obedience commands.

Having said all that though, her recall is non-existent :D and we will never trust her off-lead.

I would say they are a very intelligent breed, but also very independent. Minook will do as she's told (well, most of the time) but does not seem desperate to please as some dogs do. In fact when responding to commands she seems to do so fairly begrudgingly :laugh::eek: She's very food orientated. No food, no tricks.

We are using the "Nothing In Life Is Free" method and have found it to be pretty effective thus far. Particularly as she is a fairly headstrong dog who seems to think that she rules the roost... it has taught her to really respect us.

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I think they are considered challenging, but they're certainly not impossible. And ANY dog at 9 months is annoying, Sibes aren't alone in the corner there. Labs at 9 months are often like a frog in a sock and they are supposed to be "easy".

I think it's pointless to tell people after they have a dog that they shouldn't have got the breed. It may be true that another breed would have been easier but the dog is there now and they've bonded with it. And people love what they love. So the instructor just has to suck it up and come up with solutions. Sometimes you are better off finding an instructor that works successfully with your breed or other arctic breeds (or failing that, hounds or terriers).

In the meantime just be patient and learn everything you can. It's actually not important to be as precise as a high in trial border collie anyway, particularly when you're starting out. You work out what you want your dog to do, and at what standard, then you just work your way there slowly but surely. If something doesn't work, move on and try something else. The good thing about an independent breed is that what you learn, you usually learn properly because they usually demand a higher level of precision from the handler. If it takes longer to get there, it's no big deal - the most important thing is spending time working with your dog.

Personally I don't give a rats if there is a Border Collie somewhere doing someone's taxes while serving cocktails, the fact that my dogs challenge me is part of their charm.

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... the fact that my dogs challenge me is part of their charm.

I honestly believe that the two dogs that we own, particularly our first, Stormy, have made me a much better trainer than I would ever have been if I had owned "easy" dogs. They have both taught me soooo much about training - consistency, short training sessions, and working out how to teach and motivate them - that I am grateful for them... though they do frustrate me sometimes :laugh:

"My" first dog. Stormy, is a deerhound cross (think large scruffy greyhound) - being a sighthound, she is fairly independent. I was very fortunate with the first obedience instructor that I had. I ended up in a class with german shepherds, labs and golden retrievers who had been training for some time. I felt totally useless when I couldn't even get Stormy to walk beside me, let alone heel - she would forge ahead and pull me, or otherwise put the brakes on dead, 6 ft behind me, and I couldn't mover her or she decided that jumping all over me and mouthing was the best fun. I was almost in tears, feeling like I was absolutely useless and all these other dogs were behaving perfectly. He quietly pulled me aside and explained that she would always be a challenge (she is a sighthound and we got her when she was 12 mths old), but he assured me that if I was consistent and committed, that she could be trained - it just meant that I had to work hard. It took me six months to teach her to sit :laugh: (sighthounds are not designed to sit!). We have owned her for 2 years now and she is a brilliant dog - slow to learn things, but that's okay, that's how she is. We have made it to Class 3 at dog school, and won a 1st and 2nd ribbon at gradings, so I think that is pretty cool She can heel, sit, drop, wave, speak, hi five and am now teaching her the beginnings of crawl and tugging a cupboard door open. This is from a dog who an instructor has since told me that when we first started at training, he didn't hold any hope for either one of us!!! Thankfully he kept his thoughts to himself and only revealed this 18 mths after we'd been there and just passed a gradinig. Interestingly, he was probably one of the instructors who tried hardest to find a way to teach us.

I guess what I am trying to say is, you are not alone. Instructors are used to "easy" breeds and it means they don't have to work very hard. They get a more difficult breed, and some of them don't know where to start, and their usual training methods don't work, or they fail to realise that some dogs take longer to learn. Your dog is NOT stupid, stubborn or dumb. I WILL take hard work and consistency and probably a heap load more time to train than a border collie - who cares?! YOU will be a better trainer for it, if you can get past the frustration of trying to compare your dog with others (I know how hard that is!). Best piece of advice that I have received about training is "to be so consistent that you are boring" - we cannot get away with a much as owners with "easy" dogs - but that's okay.

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