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Urgent help needed :(

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Member Since
10/17/2011
 
 
Barked: Mon Oct 17, '11 8:01pm PST 
Hi, I'm wanting some advice on my 9 month old husky. At present we have been doing puppy classes for socialisation and also personal dog training sessions with a trainer. In the last month or so however, our pup has been attacking birds, lambs, rabbits, cats etc, At that time he is completely unresponsive and will not return to us when calling his name. This obviously is a huge issue as we can not let him off his lead anywhere. He is completely fine at home, but we just can't trust him. Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Sakari

Divas can get- dirty too !
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 18, '11 9:19am PST 
Sibes have a high prey drive. They can be worked with, some have a higher drive than others and have to be continuously watched.
Never trust a Sibe off leash, no matter how extensively trained he or she may be. Sibes were born to run, and that is what they will do.
Sakari has a wonderful recall but I would NEVER trust her off leash unless I knew for sure that she was in a secure area where she couldn't escape.

It's not always easy being a Sibe owner but they are well worth it in my opinion.
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Fritz

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 18, '11 7:42pm PST 
Yes, good advice. Many of us have high prey drive and although you can work with it, it won't go away. Never trust me with a cat, I have learned not to spring toward them dragging my person in the mud, but.....Cats ARE fun when they run.

Never go off leash outside a fenced area. We were bred to run, throw in the prey drive and we can be miles away and totally lost when we decide to stop running. dog walk



Siberian's Rule

way to go
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Member Since
10/17/2011
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 19, '11 6:59pm PST 
Thank you for your response smile
We live in the city, so were a bit worried about neighbors cats...we definitely don't want them to go missing...
We also have a farm, which we go up to in the weekends, with lambs, cows, etc and in that time Max will not settle and really resembles his 'wolf' side.
We were wondering if maybe getting a cat, would help the situation, or are we being dreamers thinking that we could get him 'used' to cats?? (then we would need to get, a duck, a lamb, a chicken...)

I agree that they are the most unique dogs, and he really is our family, so its disheartening that he wont ever be able to be off the lead at the beach, or reserves. THis is our first husky, as we have always had Border Collies, so its a big change, but a challenge is always part of love!
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Thu Oct 20, '11 10:16am PST 
Getting a cat will not help. Most Huskies can not be around cats, or anything else remotely resembling a prey animal. When I first rescued Ember, she couldn't even be with dogs under 30 lbs - and it took a lot of work to teach her that dogs came in all sizes. It was a full year before we let her meet a Chihuahua off leash, and it only worked because her personality is such that she adores other dogs. Everything else is fair game, including the hedgehog I used to live with. She didn't kill her, but she never gave up trying.

What you can do is work a "leave it" command around the animals that are an issue. This is how I'm able to walk at a local park - I taught my guys to "leave it" when horses came by. Otherwise they would hunt them.

Are you using a positive trainer? I have some concern about his methods, if he's letting your dog get out of control to a point of completely ignoring you. There's no learning happening in that situation. It sounds like a set up for negative training (let the bad thing happen then punish) which does not work, at least any more than speeding tickets work on us - everyone slows down in front of a cop, then speeds back up to 80 when they get around the corner.

You need to teach base behaviors at home (like attention and leave it), where there are few or no distractions. Then transfer those behaviors outdoors, and then to the park, and then to the park when there is a cat around, and so forth. Slowly build up, don't set up the worst possible scenario and hope for the best or your dog will fail.
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Fritz

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
 
 
Barked: Fri Oct 21, '11 4:01am PST 
Getting a pet cat, probably not a good idea, but seeing cats and being redirected/rewarded can go a long way to curbing the prey drive. (If you know someone who has a large lazy cat to practice being around, it could help but never let him get close enough to grab the cat and always be on leash during training)

Fritz is a lot better then when he came here a few years ago. We have a bunch of barn cats, so Fritz has had an opportunity to see them almost daily. He has learned not to bother the horses and the electric horse fence keeps him in so he can have nice runs on the property.

No negative training, huskies are too smart and it doesn't work well. Look into clicker training it works well with all animals, but especially huskies.
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Sage

Hanta Yo, in a- playful manner I- come
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 23, '11 6:41am PST 
This is a very typical Siberian behavior. Sage loves to watch the chickens on our property.Try this: While your Sibe is on a leash, do some "leave it" training. While leashed, throw a treat on the groung in front of your pup. Tell him/her to leave it and give a correction with the leash. When it sits down, pick up the treat and give a different treat.(You never allow them to eat the treat they were told to "leave it".)Your pup will learn to associate "leave it" with getting a treat. Though it may not be as much fun in getting, it is a sure thing, to eat.

The "leave it" command is perhaps the most important command a Sibe owner can teach their dogs. It is very easy to teach and works very well. Sage can be chasing any kind of critter and when the command is given he will break off the chase immediately.

When working on the recall command, always use some kind of tasty treat for a reward. I used freeze dried liver treats for our training. Recall training with a Siberian can and will be very frustrating, but it is a very doable command to teach.

One thing that will make the training a little easier is to take your pup for a long run before training. Also, do training on an empty stomach. Your Sibe will be more inclined to respond to treats if he/she is hungry.

Some people will say that Siberians should never be allowed off leash because they can not be trusted. I do dispute this statement. I have had 2 different Siberians over the past 13 years that I have complete trust in. It is very important to learn to read yor dogs body language, so you can predict what they will do. This way you can be proactive and stop any chase before it starts. You can tell be the way the earl stand, and they way they move, to tell if they are on a stalk, or if they see something and are getting ready to stalk or bolt after the critter.

Most people do not give their full trust to another person without that trust being earned. It is the same with a Siberian. Trust is also a 2 way street. Not only does your dog need to learn to trust you, but you also have to be open to trusting your dog. Do not rush this, but work with your dogs instincts. Only then can you allow yourself to trust your Sibe. This does not happen over night.

One critical aspect of training your is to become the alpha in your pack. If your dog does not reconize you as the pack leader, you will never have your dogs respect or trust. Just being the dogs owner does not make you the pack leader. This is where most people go wron in trying to train their Sibes. In the pack, the alpha makes the decision on what animals to chase/hunt. If you are alpha, that decision will fall upon you. If your dog is the leader, the decision is his. Since Siberians have such strong pack instincts, failure to place yourself at the bottom of the totem pole, will result in your not being to recall your dog, and other major issues in obedience.

Yes, i may make it sound easy, and at times it is, but it takes daily work and lots of patience. There will be times you will want to strangle your pup, but persistance will pay off for you.

I am putting together a few videos to show what I am talking about. I know people think I am talking crap when I say Sage is 100% trustworth off leash. If picture says a thousand words, then a video or two will speak volums.

Work on the "leave it" command. It is perhaps the most valuable command any Siberian can know.
good luck
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Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 25, '11 11:42am PST 
This is an excellent method for teaching "leave it."

Using leash corrections for any training teaches your dog to follow physicality over actually listening to you. This is why you see so many people with dogs who "know" how to walk at side jerking the leash every other step. The dog has learned to listen to the leash, not the "heel" cue. In the case of "leave it," the dog learns that the cue only applies when on leash, because if he's not on leash, well, what are you going to do about it? Additionally, jerking the leash of a dog lunging for a treat is a good way to cause tracheal damage (true of any leash correction, actually).

Note that in the video, the leash is purely to prevent the dog from consuming the treat. The dog is never jerked or dragged away from the treat.

Corrections and Alpha Theory are antiquated ways of training. Again, make sure the trainer you've hired is using safe, positive methods.
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Fritz

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
 
 
Barked: Tue Oct 25, '11 8:31pm PST 
Ember is 100% correct. Alpha theory is antiquated and disproved.

It describes a horse heard really well, but not dogs or wolves. Stick to positive reinforcement, redirection and train a leave it command.
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Sage

Hanta Yo, in a- playful manner I- come
 
 
Barked: Wed Oct 26, '11 3:34pm PST 
The key to using a leash correction is to correct right when the dog is thinking about going after the treat not when the dog goes after the treat. You never give a leash correction by pulling backwards, you give the correction to the side. I use a soft leash with only a metal clasp, it makes no noise. Where I live, we have cats and chickens. Horses and goats and sheep are next door, and we have no issues with any of hte critters, and Sage is never on a leash. The "leave it" command works very well.

If you ever watch a documentary on wolves, you will see there is a leadership structure. The alpha male and female always eat first, then the rest of the pack. The alpha pair always leads, always eats first, always sleeps at a higher elevation. Say it is obsolete if you want to, but you must be a leader and it works. This is pretty simple.

About 9 months old is when i began off leash training. At 2 years of age, Sage walks down the street off leash at a heel. Off leash training is a challenge but it is very rewarding when it is accomplished, especially when people who say it is nearly impossible to train a Siberian off leash have to eat their words.

My mentor, as far as training goes, is a very skilled and accomplished trainer with walls of titles. She did not train either of my dogs, but she gave me tips as far as training goes. With her insight, I have modified a few of my commands, Sage knows 16 and counting. I am no rookie. I am going on my 14th year being owned by Siberian Huskies
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