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Husky training

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Husky novice, Apr 9, 2017.


  1. Husky novice

    Husky novice PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, we are thinking about getting a husky pup but don't really know anything about the breed. From what I've read, they are quite challenging to train, especially with recall. Any advice from husky owners would be most welcome we already have a German shepherd and I've had dogs all my life, just never huskys. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    What appeals to you about a husky?
    They're a very different dog than a GSD :)
     
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  3. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    Very very different to GSD's, not particularly biddable, not handler dependant. Play mate wise I would think they would be suitable companion for a GSD, but do not expect them to be candidates for being off lead. Depends whether you want a dog that may prove a challenge if you are used to biddable breeds.
     
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  4. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    The only thing similar about these breeds are their looks, behaviour wise at two opposite ends of the spectrum. Huskies are great if you like running, biking or sledding as they have to be kept on the lead.
     
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  5. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    Tagging some of the forum sibe people: @ellenlouisepascoe @Sled dog hotel @noushka05

    Be prepared to do a lot of research- they are hard work & nothing like GSDs, a lot of them end up in rescue because people like their looks & do no research into the breed.

    We considered them years ago but decided although they are great dogs in the right homes they aren't compatible with our lifestyle as we have small furries, & I also like having dogs I can let offlead.

    Some people will tell you their husky is unique & they let them offlead, but they are putting their dogs at risk as that one time they go selectively deaf may well be their last.

    The general consensus is that this is inadvisable to do so unless in a very secure area, even dogs who have a sound recall.
     
  6. Husky novice

    Husky novice PetForums Newbie

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    I've done alot of reading up about the breed as when I bring a dog into my family it's here to stay so it has to fit. I have always liked the look of husky's but am not willing to get one based on that alone. I need to know that we can give any dog we have everything that it needs. I think a husky would be a great playmate for Ralph, our shepherd. But again we cannot get one just for that reason. I am willing to put the time and effort into training any dog we get, I am a stay at home mum at the moment so am home all day every day. I'm just after a rough idea of what to expect before I decide one way or another. As I said it has to be the right dog for us and the dog because I don't like the idea of giving up on animals. I would prefer to have a dog that has good recall and not sure I could risk letting a husky off lead at all after what I've read, so that's definitely a big factor.
     
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  7. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    Then a husky is not the best choice...
     
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  8. simplysardonic

    simplysardonic Moderator
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    It's good that you're doing thorough research, definitely if one of your requirements is sound recall a more handler focused breed might be more suitable.
     
  9. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    The Siberian Husky Cub of Great Britain sums up all the positive and negative points of the breed and owning one.

    The Minus Points

    1. Not a one-man dog- any human will do- this may be seen as a lack of loyalty.
    2. He will not guard your home or property.
    3. Strong desire to run. If he gets free he will run so far he will be lost, if not hit by a car or train, or shot by a farmer.
    4. Cannot be relied on to return to you on command. He will decide whether or not to return for himself, knowing that you cannot catch him.
    5. Too independent and strong willed generally to be a candidate for obedience training.
    6. Keen and efficient hunter and killer. Cannot be trusted with non-canine pets or livestock of any sort. On occasion been known to accept into the pack a cat that he is brought up with, but all others will be regarded as fair game. Please note – huskies have been known to kill cats, that they have lived happily with for many years, for no obvious reason.
    7. Like any dog- needs a lot of exercise to keep him fit and contented, but this must be done ON lead.
    8. Can be very destructive, especially when young and/or if left alone for a long time.
    9. Needs company, either human or canine, and is miserable without it.
    10. Needs a safely enclosed exercise area. Your garden must be fully fenced and secure. Six foot high fencing is USUALLY enough. Check neighbours will not object to high fences. Take care he cannot dig his way out beneath it, and do not leave dustbins etc near the fence or he may use them to get over the top. Keep the garden gate securely locked, otherwise there is a risk that visitors, window cleaners etc may leave them open.
    11. Your garden is unlikely to remain neat and tidy with a Sibe rampaging happily within.
    12. He needs correct feeding- breeders will be able to tell you which foods suit Sibes and which can cause problems. Generally avoid foods with high levels of cereal, which they find hard to digest.
    13. Moults twice a year. The quantity of fur shed can surprise you, especially in spring when the winter coat is replaced by a shorter, thinner summer coat.
    You need an understanding and experienced veterinary surgeon. Sibes are sensitive to some drugs, particularly anaesthetics, sedatives and tranquillisers. This is due to their relatively low metabolic rate and lack of body fat. Also the bulk of their fur can lead vets to overestimate their weight and so overdose them. Sibes should always be weighed accurately beforehand to avoid this.

    The Good Points

    1. Friendly with people of all ages.
    2. An honest dog- his body language and voice can be taken at face value- he says what he means.
    3. He has no guarding instinct and will greet and kiss an intruder the same as any other visitor.
    4. Gregarious- he likes company.
    5. Youthful in outlook, he often reaches 14 years of age, sometimes 16 or more.
    6. Robust athletic constitution.
    7. Good travellers, new sights and sounds do not upset them.
    8. Intelligent and mischievous.
    9. Easygoing and forgiving.
    10. Clean, little or no doggy smell.
    11. Straightforward to groom.
    12. Quiet. They do not often bark, but they do howl like a wolf- often just for the joy of it. This may be a disadvantage in some neighbourhoods.
    13. They do not require as much food for their size as many other breeds.
    14. Not fussy eaters (but see minus point 13).
    15. Get on well with other well adjusted canines. However they will take up a challenge if offered.
    NOTE: The above assumes a normal puppyhood and socialisation

    http://siberianhuskyclub.org.uk/

    The Siberian Husky welfare Association also has very good information about all aspects of the breed too.

    http://www.shwauk.org.uk/about_siberians.htm
     
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  10. Husky novice

    Husky novice PetForums Newbie

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    That's why I'm asking, I can live with not being able to let her off lead but need to know whether it's the right breed for me.
     
  11. Husky novice

    Husky novice PetForums Newbie

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    Agreed. I really like the cheeky chatty husky temperament that I've read and heard about but need to know more about them before potentially ruining one! I know they're not an easy breed to deal with, but want to gather as much info as possible
     
  12. Husky novice

    Husky novice PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you! This is what I was looking for! After reading this I'm gonna give it some serious thought but think my mind is made up and I will be looking at other breeds! Thanks so much!
     
  13. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    If you prefer a good recall as you stated, then no, I would not go with a husky.

    It's not that huskies can't be trained, they can and many are, it's just that training doesn't undo breed traits.

    Very unlike GSDs who are extremely handler oriented, and look to you for direction, a husky is not the kind of breed you get with the expectation of trotting nicely next to you and checking back in after a quick sniff off the trail. That's just not the type of dog they are.
     
  14. Husky novice

    Husky novice PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you, very helpful
     
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  15. Moobli

    Moobli PetForums VIP

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    Personally I think unless you want to work a husky in sledding, canicross, biking etc then you should not consider one as a pet.
     
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  16. Moobli

    Moobli PetForums VIP

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    PS. Just get another shepherd ... they are the best breed anyway ;):D:D:D
     
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  17. noushka05

    noushka05 Unicorn denier. Snowflake. Activist ;)

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    Huskies can be trained but they can never be trusted to respond so for that reason responsible owners of Siberians don't risk them off lead unless its in a secure area. Siberian huskies are a primitive breed & extremely keen hunters. The Chukchi people would release their dogs each summer to hunt for themselves and the breed still posses this innate hunting instinct, prey drive is hardwired in them. They were bred to run and often had to think for themselves so they are independent and very determined in nature, these traits added together make them very untrustworthy off lead. I know of many Siberians that have ignored recall sometimes years down the line and ended up lost, injured or killed.

    I taught all mine their recall just in case they ever got loose & the rare occasions they did get loose I had mixed results. Once 2 of my huskies got loose & ran off two miles up a beach, recall went right out of the window:eek: It was my hubbys fault, I threatened him with divorce if we didn't get them back safely lol They did eventually turn round & come back but when they decided they were ready to!

    They are a lovely breed & have many positives but if letting a dog run off lead is important issue then I would agree with other posters & don't get a husky.
     
  18. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    I'm with @Moobli - if you like that kind of look then just get another Shepherd. They are the best :Kiss
     
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  19. Husky novice

    Husky novice PetForums Newbie

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    They are brilliant dogs, but I want something different. By the way, any advice on stopping my shepherd being aggressive towards other dogs when he's on the lead? He's a bit stroppy off lead when he's first greeting new dogs but a nightmare when he's on the lead!
     
  20. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Distance. He likely feels anxious but being on lead, he can't get away so has to put on an even bigger display of 'I'm big and scary, don't mess with me'.

    He will have an invisible radius of space around him where he feels secure . Find out what that is and keep him far enough away from other dogs that he is relaxed. Reward his calm behaviour. Gradually, over weeks and months, not days, work on reducing the distance. But - be aware that if your dog has had a stressful episode the stress hormone can stay in the body for up to 48 hours so a distance he was comfortable with the day before might be too close that day. So the safe distance can change, watch his body language.
     
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