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Any Husky/Skid Experts

steptwins's picture

SS 14 years old wants to bite husky's ear to teach him that he's the leader the pack. He constantly teases the pup and the pup barks, bites & jumps all over him, never does this to me or DH. So he said, I'm going to teach him a lesson & bite his ear. I was apalled. DH said No! But again this morning, SS repeated his plan & I know he's going to do it. Isn't this horrible or is this the way to train a husky?

j-dog's picture

Actually, a few PetSmart trainers ARE worthwhile. My FSD put herself through college, working at PetSmart. She's an incredible trainer, and communicates clearly with her students/their dogs. She uses operant conditioning, with great sensitivity toward what will motivate each individual animal.

Yes, I realize she's the exception, not the rule.

j-dog's picture

It's a damn fine way to end up getting bitten in the face!
ALL of the "dog trainers" who advocate physical punishment/dominance are wrong!
Many of them claim their methods are based on "how wolves behave in the wild." This is also incorrect, on several levels.
Dogs are not wolves, plain and simple, any more than we are chimpanzees.
Also, wolf pack hierarchy, even if we assume that's a reasonable model for dog behavior, is NOT based on one animal dominating another. It's actually the other way around, and is based on many animals making elaborate submissive displays to the presumed leader.
For accurate dog behavior/training advice, I strongly recommend Jean Donaldson's The Culture Clash, and Karen Pryor's Don't Shoot the Dog.
Neither of them advocate biting your dog. Ever. For any reason. At all. Because it is one of the worst ideas EVER.

stormabruin's picture

I've gone through obedience training with every one of my dogs & have had success with every one of them. I have yet to ever put a dog's ear in my mouth. I'm with j-dog. When SS14 gets bitten, it's his own fault. Most dogs, by nature, WANT to do the right thing. If it isn't doing the right thing, it's the fault of the owner/trainer for not teaching effectively.

Elizabeth's picture

Our husky mix responds best to gentle control. You MUST show them who is boss, but it doesn't need to be done solely with discipline. Our dog LOVES to "perform" for you. And she is VERY motivated by food treats (actually was a little food aggressive but we worked through this).

I think the most important thing is to establish from the start that the dog is at the very bottom of the pecking order, below ALL the people. We got our husky when BD was only 2, and I needed the dog to understand that BD was more important and more dominant than it. It worked out well for us, and the dog LOVES all kids and treats them very well and respectfully. Rarely jumps up on them unless she is VERY excited.

Our husky does a series of commands, and I work with her to expand her repertoire: Sit, lay down, shake, high five, double high five, roll over, play dead, stay, jump up, sit up, climb a ladder, slide down a slide (playground), fetch. Both of my BDs can give her these commands and have her follow them, and my youngest BD is now just 4.

I think the most important thing is to teach the dog its place in the family, and then it should fall in line with ALL your family members. And I don't think biting the dog on the ear is going to do that. In fact, our husky is very "mouthy" and I would worry she would respond by wanting to bite back (not hard enough to hurt but still a bad habit/instinct).

stormabruin's picture

Perhaps to make it clear to your SS, when he doesn't respond the way he's expected to you & your DH should bite him on the ear & see if that encourages the expected behavior...

stormabruin's picture

I considered having our guy just go ahead & train our dogs himself, but he pointed out that it is hardly effective to have someone outside do the training & then send the dog home to a family who hasn't participated. The dog will have learned to obey the trainer but will likely still have issues with obedience because they see the trainer as the master rather than the family.

steptwins's picture

Thanks thoughts exactly. I told the kid, "I am sure you can find another way to gain his respect". He just looked at me blankly and then repeated how he knows about huskies and I don't. It is possible for him have been right as I don't know it all, but this seemed very odd/abusive to me.

Not-the-mom's picture

It sounds like the kid is treating the dog like one of his "litter mates" and the dog might be getting confused.
The poor dog can't tell if he is supposed to be his play buddy or subordinate to him.

Just a thought.