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Siberian Husky

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skuzy   

Hi

i'd very much like to hear from other owners how they deal with the Sibes 'alpha male'/dominance issue - ie how do you control this or maintain your dominance over the Sibe. is this something that has to be done from a pup? What if someone adopts a rescue husky, how do they maintain or establish their leadership role over the sibe?

Cheers.

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Rules rules and rules...

These are not dogs that you can allow to run wild and do whatever they want.

They thrive on rules and structure. They need their boundaries.

If you have these in place, you should be right with them.

The more dominant they are the more rules in place :eek:

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huski   
Hi

i'd very much like to hear from other owners how they deal with the Sibes 'alpha male'/dominance issue - ie how do you control this or maintain your dominance over the Sibe. is this something that has to be done from a pup? What if someone adopts a rescue husky, how do they maintain or establish their leadership role over the sibe?

Cheers.

I agree with Silverhaze.

Sibes will take advantage if you let them. They are opportunistic and know when they can get away with something. Consistency is the key, you want to be a consistent leader so the dog knows and understands what the boundaries and rules are.

I raise all my dogs with the NILIF principle, that is they learn that nothing in life is free. This article may be a good starting point for you :eek:

http://k9deb.com/nilif.htm

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I third what SilverHaze and Huski have said. I got my sibe later on in his life (he was 2.5) and he had never had boundaries before. It has taken me more than 2 years to correct the problems he's had and a lot of that have come from the fact that he has never had a strong leader.

Something to note would be that sibes will try the same things on with every person they meet and they will remember who lets them get away with what. For example - i have never tolerated Zero begging for food while we're eating. He knows this but if I am sitting at the table on one side and someone who has not told Zero he's not allowed to do it is sitting on the other, he will beg them and will try to do it so that I don't see him doing it. Once I have told him to back off he will stay away but if I was to get up and leave the table, he will go back to begging that person. The more people who are there who do not know his rules, the more he will try on.

I've found the ebst way to deal with Zero is to have a family meeting to decide the rules and have everyone stick to them - he will not try anything on with people in my family (except my mother who can't walk him because he pulls her) but with anyone else, he will try to see what he can get away with.

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skuzy   

Thanks for the replies everyone. I really enjoyed reading everyones post in this thread, because its given me assurance that its not just my dog doing this... but its just nature of sibes.. :laugh:

Ive owned my sibe for abit more than 3 years now, and have learned ALOT about dogs during that time. However i still struggle with this alphamale/dominance issue. Iam thinking its because sibes are a more independant breed than the ones ive previously owned.

eg. we all know how they love to run... well the other day somehow the front gate swung open, and guess who happened to be there at the time.. lol :eek:

First instinct for me was to grab his collar so he wouldnt bolt. After grabbing his collar, and holding him (he didnt try to bolt but sat there) he started a low growl at me. I yell "NO" and he stops.. he starts again abit later. Yelled "NO" again... he stops again.. and i figure he's stressing out about something so i try to ease this by patting him (still holding the collar)..

Not sure what it is about holding his collar that stresses him to the point where he has to growl at me... but this leads me to believe i havent asserted myself properly as leader in his eyes.

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huski   
Thanks for the replies everyone. I really enjoyed reading everyones post in this thread, because its given me assurance that its not just my dog doing this... but its just nature of sibes.. :laugh:

Ive owned my sibe for abit more than 3 years now, and have learned ALOT about dogs during that time. However i still struggle with this alphamale/dominance issue. Iam thinking its because sibes are a more independant breed than the ones ive previously owned.

eg. we all know how they love to run... well the other day somehow the front gate swung open, and guess who happened to be there at the time.. lol :eek:

First instinct for me was to grab his collar so he wouldnt bolt. After grabbing his collar, and holding him (he didnt try to bolt but sat there) he started a low growl at me. I yell "NO" and he stops.. he starts again abit later. Yelled "NO" again... he stops again.. and i figure he's stressing out about something so i try to ease this by patting him (still holding the collar)..

Not sure what it is about holding his collar that stresses him to the point where he has to growl at me... but this leads me to believe i havent asserted myself properly as leader in his eyes.

Skuzy... if it's been an ongoing problem, have you considered consulting a trainer/behaviourist?

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An easy way to enforce your leadership, especially with a dominant dog who likes "push the boundaries" every now and then is to do short obedience exercises. Simple things like heeling, sit stays, recall etc, all require the dog to obey you.

This in turn enforces your leadership of the dog in a manner that is not threatening, and does not force a "stand off" where if you do things wrong, the dog may actually get the upper paw for a while. I have to do this with my old girl, who is still the most dominant dog when it comes to people i have met to date. Other dogs she couldn't give a shit about - power is with the people, and she knows it!

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hi all, im so glad i found this site; i currently have 2 x 6month old sibes, sisters yet complete oppisites.

they are my first dogs; beside the odd family pet and i bought them from a breeder in Inverall.

gorgeous, well behaved girls but i was dismayed to find out today that one of them has a deformed RH front leg; seems one side of the "plates" in the wrist stopped growing were as the other continued; causing her leg to twist out and for her to become lame.....

im absolutly devestated for my sibe, as i was hoping to train them up to race / mush and now have to pay $$$ thousands for an operation they may not fully resolve it.

im just wondering if this is a common issue with sibes? or just an unlucky genetic hiccup :laugh:

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hi all, im so glad i found this site; i currently have 2 x 6month old sibes, sisters yet complete oppisites.

they are my first dogs; beside the odd family pet and i bought them from a breeder in Inverall.

gorgeous, well behaved girls but i was dismayed to find out today that one of them has a deformed RH front leg; seems one side of the "plates" in the wrist stopped growing were as the other continued; causing her leg to twist out and for her to become lame.....

im absolutly devestated for my sibe, as i was hoping to train them up to race / mush and now have to pay $$$ thousands for an operation they may not fully resolve it.

im just wondering if this is a common issue with sibes? or just an unlucky genetic hiccup :laugh:

I'm not a Sibe person but your answer may not lie in the breed or breeding. Growth plate damage can be caused by trauma. Too much exercise or an injury are two causes.

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Not known in the breed.

Sounds like either an injury, or as you say, an unfortuante "genetic hiccup"

I recommend seeing a vet who specialises in these types of problems.

If my dog had something like this my first port of call would be my dogs chrio who specialises in sports medicine.

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Ref all the off lead questions. I love my 5yo girl but I will not trust her off lead and and in an unfenced area. She has gotten away a couple of times and geez I have had to run a few km's to catch her. When she takes off she usually looks back over her shoulder and has a very very smug and excited look on her face, like she's thinking "I'M FFFFRRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE". Actually I found the best way to catch her is just to sneak up and get within 5m of her. If she spots you outside of this range the little bugger is off again. So wait til she is sniffing something really really smelly then pounce, she freezes, gets the oh bugger look on her face then I have to carry her home....

Fences. Tina is scared of heights so she doesn't jump but if she can lean on a fence or dig under it just once that is it, she'll keep doing it. If she tries and has no luck at all she never tries again. Its a bit weird but thats what happens. Wire netting on the ground worked wonders.

I wouldn't have any other dog but. Huskies IMO are the best breed to have.

BJ

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Hi I am really wondering why anyone would want a siberian husky. I am caring for a male dog while it's family is overseas and I cannot imagine why anyone would want this sort of dog. Apart from all the faults which are well documented, this dog has only three things going for him, he is very handsome he has a cute "singing voice' and he is playful at times ( which too often turns into aggression) Otherwise how is he any different to any other clever dog? Why not get a dog which DOESN'T have to completely contained at all times.

This clever superenergetic creature must always be confined - is that any life for a dog - never to go for a lovely long run, always being penned, chained, cooped up? I feel so sorry for him and yet he is such a nightmare I have no choice. I can understand anyone owning a labrador, a cattle dog, even a bichon frise but a husky? I am not trying to be contentious or rude. I am serious.

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idigadog   

You mean instead of letting him wander free all over the neighbourhood wherever he pleases?

I do not agree with chaining dogs nor do I agree with dogs being aggressive. If this is the life of the Sibe you are looking after, then his owners shouldn't have him either!

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You mean instead of letting him wander free all over the neighbourhood wherever he pleases?

I do not agree with chaining dogs nor do I agree with dogs being aggressive. If this is the life of the Sibe you are looking after, then his owners shouldn't have him either!

I absolutely agree! He is completely the wrong sort of dog.I live on very large acreage so would like be able to take him for a run with my other dogs but I am too scared to as I know it will take me two hours to catch him. It is a vicious cycle, he is penned up so he need to run and he probably runs because he is penned up.It is a very large pen with trees and shade but still I hate leaving him in it. It is either that or the house where I have to watch his every move.

He is completely obedient when he choses to be but you have heard that one before, I know.

I have one more month of the most stressful five months of my life trying to keep this much loved dog ( by his owners) alive until they return!

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Honeybear huskies have many wonderful qualities, it's hard to describe but they are so very different to those other breeds you mention it's impossible to compare. They don't always have to be cooped up you if you have access to a large well fenced area they can have a great run, if you like running they will run for ages if they (and you!) are fit enough, and you can always do what they were bred for - sledding! There are sledding clubs in Australia where the dogs can get out and run and they absolutely love it. :flame:

ETA when I first got my husky I read all the stories and thought "oh no I will train mine well and it will go everywhere with me and wont be penned up so therefore wont be so excitable when let off the lead" I was sooo wrong I let him wander around and when he saw something he would take off just as excited and full of beans as if he had been locked up all day - and he would nick off over the hills and far away chasing roos till I finally learned that I was doing him no favours whatsoever - I just take him for nice runs now.

Edited by WoofnHoof

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You mean instead of letting him wander free all over the neighbourhood wherever he pleases?

I do not agree with chaining dogs nor do I agree with dogs being aggressive. If this is the life of the Sibe you are looking after, then his owners shouldn't have him either!

I absolutely agree! He is completely the wrong sort of dog.I live on very large acreage so would like be able to take him for a run with my other dogs but I am too scared to as I know it will take me two hours to catch him. It is a vicious cycle, he is penned up so he need to run and he probably runs because he is penned up.It is a very large pen with trees and shade but still I hate leaving him in it. It is either that or the house where I have to watch his every move.

He is completely obedient when he choses to be but you have heard that one before, I know.

I have one more month of the most stressful five months of my life trying to keep this much loved dog ( by his owners) alive until they return!

Why can't you take the dog for a run on lead?

Or as suggest above, put the dog in harness. and try your hand at sledding.

You need to take the dog out of the pen and take him on walks. It's not fair to leave the dog penned for a month without adequate exercise and stimulation.

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You mean instead of letting him wander free all over the neighbourhood wherever he pleases?

I do not agree with chaining dogs nor do I agree with dogs being aggressive. If this is the life of the Sibe you are looking after, then his owners shouldn't have him either!

I absolutely agree! He is completely the wrong sort of dog.I live on very large acreage so would like be able to take him for a run with my other dogs but I am too scared to as I know it will take me two hours to catch him. It is a vicious cycle, he is penned up so he need to run and he probably runs because he is penned up.It is a very large pen with trees and shade but still I hate leaving him in it. It is either that or the house where I have to watch his every move.

He is completely obedient when he choses to be but you have heard that one before, I know.

I have one more month of the most stressful five months of my life trying to keep this much loved dog ( by his owners) alive until they return!

Why can't you take the dog for a run on lead?

Or as suggest above, put the dog in harness. and try your hand at sledding.

You need to take the dog out of the pen and take him on walks. It's not fair to leave the dog penned for a month without adequate exercise and stimulation.

I assure you my husband and I take him for walks on lead take him down the river allow him to swim in our swimming pool play constantly with him we do not leave him alone, my husband takes him on the tractor, in the truck we do our very best to entertain and stimulate him, he is always in our house it is the fact that we can never relax with him, never just walk out the door without checking where he is. It is like having the worst delinquent child to look after.

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I guess what you find as a hardship, i find as normal, and part of being a responsible owner. It's unfortuante that you obviously don't have a fenced in house yard, and there fore have to watch that doors are shut at all times etc...

I'm glad he's getting to go on big long walks - he shuld be enjoying that. The dog isn't suffering from the sounds of it, it's just that your having a hard time dealing with his special requirements.

There are many many breeds in this world that can't be trusted to just "hang around". Siberian Huskies just happen to be one of them.

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idigadog   

Honeybear, some people just aren't cut out to own a Sibe! Obviously they're not your dog of choice and that's cool, but don't go dishing the breed to those who love and adore them. It only gets people's backs up!

I have owned Mals for nearly 14 years and Sibes for 6. What you are finding frustrating to deal with is a normal day in the park for me. No, I can't free-run my dogs but they do run in harness, what they were bred to do. We have massive running yards on our property so they can play and run around safely without fear of them escaping. When they are walked out of these areas, they are on-lead, it's just the way it is.

I can understand when people are only used to having a 'normal' dog such as a labrador why they find it difficult to adjust to a Sibe. It is a completely different world and a Sibe is not a 'normal' dog but that is why they appeal to me :rainbowbridge:

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Honeybear, some people just aren't cut out to own a Sibe! Obviously they're not your dog of choice and that's cool, but don't go dishing the breed to those who love and adore them. It only gets people's backs up!

I can understand when people are only used to having a 'normal' dog such as a labrador why they find it difficult to adjust to a Sibe. It is a completely different world and a Sibe is not a 'normal' dog but that is why they appeal to me :cry:

:rainbowbridge:

I wouldn't own any other breed. :hug:

I have also seen some very headstrong Labs. :hug:

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