|Barked: Fri Mar 29, '13 7:10pm PST |
|Your instincts are correct - the "training" you've been reading is dramatically out dated, and dangerous for you and your dog.
Along with the risk of being bitten and further shattering her confidence, you also risk shutting down her signals of discomfort. A dog who offers no signals is a dog who literally bites without warning. It's counter-intuitive... Most people feel they need to do "something" about growling. But the best thing you can do is teach your dog you respect their discomfort, and manage the situation without force.
There are many books that address resource guarding - Mine! by Jean Donaldson comes highly recommended - but given that this case involves children in a huge way, I would enlist the help of a certified behaviorist, or a reputable positive trainer specializing in behavioral modification.
Confidence building will be vital, which even basic positive training can help with. It gets your dog thinking, and rewards them for making good choices. Simple, but it works.
Finding a job for her can help as well, on two levels: It builds more confidence as she learns to navigate new challenges with you, and it could very well lessen her drive to guard your son as an improve job. Agility, rally-o, nosework, treiball, sledding or -joring... There are limitless possibilities. Huskies are ultimately a working breed, and while many lines have been bred down for show or pet life, it's not uncommon to find one who needs to work the same way Border Collies and the like are known to need a job.
Getting back to management - until you have a plan in place (I really highly recommend finding professional help) limit her access to your son. If she starts guarding him, he should get up and leave immediately without saying anything or even looking back at her. Since the bedroom door is a specific problem, crate or gate her in a safe room at night so she can't continue practicing this behavior.
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