Siberian Husky Owners Share your experiences please...
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  1. #1
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    Siberian Husky Owners Share your experiences please...

    My family has been in search of a new family member for a while and we recently kind of fell into this one.

    Akela (not pictured but very similar, two blue eyes, just under 1 yo) came from an over-populated home and in the beginning had a few issue due to neglect and malnutrition.

    A few weeks ago the vet finally cleared him for a new home and as a county employee and an over populated animal shelter, we became his new family.

    Akela is very smart and a quick learner. He will sit, high five and "sing" on command. He loves to run and work, very affectionate and great with our old man Miles, a 12+ yo Aussie.

    All is great except....he will not stay with you. We have worked with him over the past couple weeks in a fenced in yard area. I am trying to train him to come to me on command but simply will not.

    I have read a few places that these dogs must be on-leash or they will simply wander off. My goal is to be able to take him for long runs/rides without the leash.

    With treats in hand, I took him to a secluded trail where we run twice a week on leash. He has been great, happily running along side of me with occasional stops to sniff around.

    I took him off leash at our turn around spot and began our 3 mile return trip. As soon as we started, he bolted off trail. I called for him, had dog treats in hand....nothing. Well, after 4 hours, he finally returned to the trail...

    In your experience, you think I will be able to train him to stay with me while off leash? As mentioned, everything indicates he is a leash dog....

    I know I may be expecting much in a short amount of time, just hoping someone has some real life experience with this breed to give me something to look forward to.

    Any training ideas will be appreciated.
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  2. #2
    LWP
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    I don't have any help to give you or any experience with a pure husky but I had a husky/wolf hybrid years ago. (I know the breeder and the animals they own so I know for sure I wasn't being ripped off but based on her size and temperament, we guessed she was fairly light on the wolf side. Apparently only first generation pups from a wolf bred to another breed can accurately be placed by percentage. That would be a 50/50 mix. Following generations are more random and can be anywhere from 75/25 - 25/75 wolf/dog with no easily accessible accurate way of really knowing.) Regardless of all that, she could be a handful. She was friendly and loyal but constantly battled to be the alpha. It was never ending. She would do the submissive gestures they do if you didn't let her get away with it but that just meant she'd try again later. I was never able to let her run off leash and feel completely comfortable she would do what I wanted her to do when I wanted her to do it. But she was worth the extra work, I still miss having her around.
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  3. #3
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    I worked in a Husky kennel when I was in high school. At any given time, there were probably 10-30 dogs there.

    No two were alike.

    There are some traits associated with the breed that are somewhat common, but even with that, there are exceptions. They can be aloof, and indifferent, especially as they get older. They are fairly gentle, tolerant, and considered to be good with children (again, there are exceptions). They don't always respond to verbal or signaled commands (sometimes they do). Some people interpret this as a lack of intelligence, but I would tend to disagree. If anything, it's more like an OCD type of trait, where they just don't focus or show interest (easily distracted by a shiny thing) as well as some other breeds (I would guess your Aussie is probably intensely focused?).

    Unfortunately, I don't really have much to offer you in terms of training tips. It's kind of like raising children I suppose. Each one is an individual, and you'll just have to keep working at it until you figure out how to keep his attention where it should be.

    Edit: I guess one thing to consider with husky's is that they are very strongly tied to their pack instinct. Meaning that hierarchy is important, and it's important that your dog knows where they are on the hierarchy. They have a strong 'leadership drive' and If you treat them as equals or just 'let them be themselves', they will think of themselves as superior. It will make commanding them nearly impossible. I'm not suggesting any kind of abusive physical enforcement of your 'pack leadership'. Just make sure he knows who the boss is.

    Edit2: That is a beautiful dog!
    Last edited by Migen21; 12-22-2016 at 04:59 PM.

  4. #4
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    You may wan to take him to a professional trainer and get thier opinion.

  5. #5
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    do you like to chase? because many of them love to run away!
    I've known 2 owners...their dogs constantly got out and started running around the neighborhood.
    I would know your neighbors...warn them if they have any livestock....you may be buying new chickens for them in the future.
    I never let a new dog off leash for at least 6 months if they're not trained...training can take well over a year for dog that doesn't respond well. Our pointer/lab cross is 7 and still doesn't do everything we ask her. Since he's male, he'll do better than most females...
    I would only say take him to a professional to get some guidance...
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  6. #6
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    We had a husky a long time ago and he was a really good dog. Took a long time to train though. He was very protective of our child which was a blessing and a curse. He would be somewhat aggressive if a stranger got too close. That took a professional trainer to fix, out of my skill set.

  7. #7
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    I would also recommend a professional trainer if you really want the dog to stick around. I don't know that it is the husky in general but to generalize in a different sense, I've found that many alpha type dogs are more prone to running off or simply not listening as well when they don't want to. They tend to be head strong. I always say they're too smart for their own good because they could probably survive just fine without me which kind of gets you away from the power you have over the dog.

    My current dog, a pitbull, can be a pain but she's only runs so far as to the point she can't see me and then freaks out because she is uber dependent and an attention *****. I would not have her off-leash though as she's too friendly and will great every person and dog she sees which is just too much hassle. She was also raised in a condo type semi-urban environment where a leash was required at all times so it's just what she was used to. She won't even go outside and go potty unless I'm standing there within leash distance (I keep her off leash at my father's place out in the sticks).

    All that to say that my parents have had similar or same breeds, pitbulls and the like, and it's generally down to the individual dog though certain breeds do favor certain traits. For husky's specifically, I don't know a single one that isn't high energy which some people hate.

  8. #8
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    Beautiful dog!! My God parents had a Husky when they lived in Cleveland. She'd jump the fence and take off pretty often, especially when it snowed, which is pretty often in NE Ohio. They never had any luck with training it out, including with professional help. They had animal control called on them more than a few times. I'm not an off leash lover, I ride in the woods and on the beaches and get harassed by dogs that bolt away from the owners feebly screaming at the dog to stop or come back. It never has any effect. I've actually been menaced and had them make contact on 2 occasions in the past 2 years. I wish people would keep their dogs on leashes, and I purposely only ride where there are leash laws.
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  9. #9
    LWP
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBL450 View Post
    She'd jump the fence and take off pretty often
    I had that problem as well. Had a very large area of back yard fenced in with 6' chain link. She'd jump, hook her front legs over the top and scramble over. So I ran an electric wire all the way around about 6" above the top of the fence. Worked for a while, then she figured out she could dig under. So I ran another electric wire around the entire inside of the fence about a foot off the ground. Felt bad the first time she discovered what it was but it worked. She stayed in after all of that was in place.
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