Having a hard time with training

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Barked: Wed Nov 2, '11 10:02pm PST 
A little background... A month ago we adopted a male Siberian husky. He is 4 1/2 months old and a little over 40 pounds. We have been taking Atari to the same vet as the previous owners and found out today that we are the 3rd family he has lived with since leaving the breeder. The vet said the first owner could not handle him and we were told by the person we got him from that he was having problems with his old dog and Atari.

He is very energetic as to be expectedsmile I try to make sure he is getting plenty of excersice and attention daily. He can sit and lie when commanded but otherwise very unruly. He will potty on the floor but clearly knows the exact spot to go to and Potties the moment I take him out. He bites all the time sometimes quite painful. He jumps on us, digging his nails in. He doesn't seem to understand no. He can not be left alone for 5 minutes or he will destroy everything in sight. I love Atari very much and am completely dedicated to training him. The biggest thing for me is the biting and jumping on the kids and myself. He sleeps in a crate at night because he can not be trusted. I know Huskies can be a handful and dominating, energetic and mischievous. I knew what I was doing when I adopted him and I am still thankful for my guy! I guess I'm just looking for tips or experiences from other Husky owners.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Fri Nov 4, '11 4:01am PST 
Your puppy sounds like a normal Sibe to me. They are an ancient breed and not as easy to train as say a golden retriever.

A Sibe needs to know why he should do what you want and decide it is a good idea. Make going potty outside very rewarding. (just because he knows where to go outside, doesn't mean he knows not to go inside.)

Clicker training works well for Sibes.Punitive training, punishment, leash pops don't.

When he starts trying to be mouthy, give him a toy to chew/play with, even if you have to do it a hundred times in ten minutes.

He will get the idea,once you win his trust,(it may take a while, Sibes don't just trust whomever feeds them. It took Fritz 6 months to decide to be my dog, of course he was an adult when he came to live with me) you will see just how special a this breed truly is.

that's Mr Rico- to you
Barked: Thu Nov 10, '11 10:49am PST 
I find that using rewards to train my two worked the best. The breed has a higher intelligence than most, they are stubborn and if they don't feel like there is a point to the activity forget it. When i was potty positive reinforcement worked best i looked like an idiot getting overly excited that we made it outside to do our business. I also made my little ones go out every three hours and then longer in between just to get them in a schedule of we eat we relax in our crate we potty we play in that order. As for the biting try Nyla bones and freezer toys sounds like he is teething.


Barked: Wed Nov 23, '11 4:38pm PST 
Having so many homes when you're only 4.5 months old is more a reflection of the humans involved than the dog. A puppy that young is just a baby, just doing things that babies do.

So, addressing things as posted:

"He can sit and lie when commanded but otherwise very unruly."

"He can not be left alone for 5 minutes or he will destroy everything in sight."

"He bites all the time sometimes quite painful. He jumps on us, digging his nails in."

"The biggest thing for me is the biting and jumping on the kids and myself."

This just goes with being a baby. If you tell a 2-year-old human to sit down and stay there for 20 minutes while you leave the room and do not touch that pile of crayons you left on the coffee table... Do you expect him to do it?

He's also teething. Make sure he has plenty of appropriate things to chew on. Typically Huskies love to chew all their life - My guys enjoy deer antlers and bully sticks.

Since he's still so small, you can easily discourage "abusive" play by simply getting up and ignoring him until he settles down. If it isn't fun, he has no motivation to keep doing it.

I do NOT advise letting children romp and wrestle with puppies, ever. This opens the door to inappropriate jumping and mouthing. Children's interactions with dogs should be limited to training, petting while the dog is calm, and low-contact games like fetch.

For that matter, I don't recommend adults romp and wrestle with puppies either - let them learn self control and bite inhibition first, then, when they're older, they may be able to learn to wrestle with people.

"He will potty on the floor but clearly knows the exact spot to go to and Potties the moment I take him out."

Knowing where to go outside is not the same as knowing not to go inside. He may need more trips outside, if he's going immediately every time you go out - it's possible he's trying to hold it but can't. It also sounds like he needs more supervision in the house. This is where crate training comes in. Since he already has one for sleeping, it won't be hard for him to spend time in there when you aren't watching him.

This will also give him downtime, alone, which is important. He is a baby. Huskies may be high energy, but they need to relax also... Especially when they're growing.

"He doesn't seem to understand no."

Of course he doesn't. Dogs do not speak English. And I have never, ever met a person who has actually trained "no" to a consistent command - Everyone wants to use it for everything, and expects their dog to automatically understand what it means.

No what?
No jumping on counter?
No chewing on shoes?
No sleeping on the couch?
No running in the living room?

Instead of yelling what is, to your puppy, nonsense, when he's doing something you don't want, show him what you do want him to do.

"I know Huskies can be a handful and dominating, energetic and mischievous."

2/3 correct. Huskies are energetic and mischievous, but dogs are not out to take over our lives. He just needs to be show what TO do.

That's Princess- Leia to you!
Barked: Tue Nov 29, '11 10:33am PST 
I have had five Siberians over my life, but Leia is the first that I have trained on my own. Please please keep in mind, at 4.5 months, this is still just a baby. They do jump, it's in the breed and even with professional training they still have their moments. The best thing to do for jumping is to give them an outlet to jump. Training takes work, several times a day in short increments. If your Sibe knows a command for jump, and you allow them to do it as a rewarded trick, it will settle some. They love kids, I have never had a Siberian that wouldn't run to the first kid they saw. Jumping is worse with kids because when jumping they are their height and they feel closer to them. I have found it helpful for my niece to turn her back and to clearly know to tell the pup to sit. Leia still jumps, but my niece knows to turn her back and ignore the behavior she doesn't want it to do. Now as for the potty, such a crucial crucial time at 4.5 months. At this age, they should have already been into the habit, however being in so many homes has probably stunted that habit. Yes potty training is a habit, not a learned behavior. I bought Leia at almost 5 months old. It was a nightmare for a while. I felt like she was peeing in the house to punish me for something, and it can appear that way. You need to have patience and consistency. If your dog doesn't know how to hold it's pee it needs to learn. Crate training is not mean, nor should it be used as a punishment. Take your dog out first thing of the morning, after meals, big drinks, and right before bed. Also periodically, I'd say every 2 hours at first. Crate at night, and take out every 4 hours at night. The more you do this, the better they can hold it. At almost 5 months your dog should be able to hold it's pee for 5 hours. However, don't put this on it at first. So 2 hours during day, 4 at night. It will learn. I promise. Leia now loves her crate, it's her place, her den, her home. She goes in when she needs to get away from it all and at night when she is ready for bed, usually before we are actually. It will work out, I promise, siberians are a handful and need patience. At this age, it's just a baby, it needs training, rewards, positive reinforcement and lots of love and guidance. I wish you the best!