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Thread: Dog-Aggressive Siberian Husky

  1. #1
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    May 2008
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    Dog-Aggressive Siberian Husky

    Hi PTers,

    I am pretty new to this forum, and I was wondering if someone could give me an insight on my sibe behavior.

    I have a 1.5 year old female Siberian Husky. Her name is Xena and we got her from a Husky rescue group about a month ago. She is absolutely adorable around people, she just loves everyone!

    However, she hates other dogs so much. We went to dog park and let her see other dogs playing from the other side of the fence, while giving her treats to associate other dogs with good stuff (I watched Ian Dunbar's video for that). That training seemed to help her overcome her aggressiveness a little bit, as she is not snappy anymore when other dogs approached her.

    We went to a groomer/boarding/daycare yesterday to get a wash/brush, and she seemed to enjoyed it. We picked her up an hour later, and we went inside as the receptionist showed us the facility.

    Under the receptionist's desk, there was 10 weeks old male Chihuahua sleeping in his bed. Xena came to sniffed him for a bit, before she bit him out of nowhere without growling or anything (the bite did not look like a play-bite). I was so surprised and yelled NO at her, she stopped and the Chihuahua was crying for like a minute. Thankfully, the Chihuahua did not bleed or anything.

    I heard that Huskies have strong prey-drive, is there any way that she mistook the puppy as her prey? Xena is not food-aggressive and willing to share her treats with other dogs. She is okay if other dogs approached her calmly, but aggressive and defensive if the other dogs run towards her.

    Please let me know if you can give me insights of her behavior.

    Here are couple pics of her:



    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Chihuahua, Mexico
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    why... first of all... WELCOME!!!....

    you have a real cutie there!!....

    and yes you are right about prey drive.... ANY and I mean ANY small creature is considered prey..even the lil Chihuahua....

    in this case they would´ve have been introduced so she knew tis was not a prey it´s was just a tiny lil dog... if she´s beyond the snappy point and shares treats with dogs... that´s a HUGE step for her.. as well as not being food aggresive...

    you might wanna check if it´s only small dogs that trigger her drive or is she agressive too to bigger dogs... perhaps she only considers "dogs" to those who are equal to her size... and anything smaller is fair game (typical husky )

    this is very har if not impossible to correct as it´s been there since the start of time.. some dogs have it more on the surface and some almost never show it, but there´s a point when it gets triggered by something and you just can´t help it...

    offereing treats for her to associate dogs to food and good stuff is great... you can try doing this with small dogs so she sees them as "friends" also and that if she leaves them alone she ´ll get treats...

    sorry for the loooong post... hope to see more of you and Xena
    Corinna´s Christmas Card Swap ´06
    dedicated to a lovely woman who won many hearts along her life...........
    she will be deeply missed.......Thank you for letting us be a part of your life, you will surely remain in ours FOREVER........R.I.P. Dear Corinna

    Best Fireman in da House´10
    dedicated to the kindest,loveliest and always helpful dude that one would be honored and proud to know........R.I.P. Dear Phred



    notes-to-my-husband blog

    http://365project.org/isabelle/365

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Yup, prey drive. A 10 week old Chi is a snack to a husky. A full grown Chi would be viewed as prey by most huskies. For my own huskies, anything under 20 pounds is likely to be seen as prey. They are never allowed near small dogs and don't get a second unsupervised around my cats.

    Prey drive and aggression are two completely different things. A husky is not dog aggressive because it wants to chase smaller critters....it's a husky with an instinctual drive to hunt. Prey drive can in general be controlled, but not eliminated. Most of my dogs have learned the difference between indoor and outdoor cats...indoor cats are off-limits, outdoor cats are dead. Some can't make that distinction as their prey drive is way too strong. If it's small and moves, it's prey. I simply never give them the opportunity to inappropriately exercise their prey drive. They can hunt all the squirrels they want, but are tightly controlled indoors, at the vet, on walks ect.

    Huskies generally are not dog aggressive, although many have issues with same sex dogs. Being approached as you described(running at her) is rude dog behavior and Xena's reaction sounds pretty normal. I don't like it when someone charges into my personal space, why would a dog like it?

    Huskies often have their own version of dog language. My dogs react very differently to other breeds. There is often an instant connection with other huskies, not so much with other breeds. I'd be curious to know how your girl reacts to another husky, especially a male.

    Given that she's a rescue and you haven't had her long, some of her behavior may just be from not having a clue what is going on in her world! Once she's settled and secure, you may well see a more relaxed dog emerge. The prey drive is likely permanent! Most of my dogs are rescues and I've found for many of them that it took a full year for them to feel fully secure and let their true personalities shine! After a month, you are about to hit the end of her honeymoon period. Xena may start to test you for a while. She needs to figure out her limits and learn that you aren't going to hurt or dump her.

    Xena is a beauty! Have fun with her!
    If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you must find the courage to live it.
    --John Irving

  4. #4
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    Wow! Thank you for the super fast responses.

    Xena was aggressive with other dogs as well (not just the smaller ones). Before, she would lunge at other dogs in any opportunities. I guess the training helped her a bit. Now, she would only lunge at those dogs that are rude (running towards her and barking) to her.

    But then again, the other day there was an off-leash pitbull approaching us slowly. They sniffed around for a bit, before Xena bit his genital . Nonetheless, the pitbull ran away. The only challenge with her now is that she doesn't give out any warnings before biting (no growling, barking, showing teeth or whatever).

    We wanted her to be able to go to the Dog park and run around with other dogs. But until she is not snappy with smaller dogs, it's not going to happen.

  5. #5
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    Oh MY! She's BEAUTIFUL!!!!

    Welcome to Pet Talk, we have quite a few husky owners here on the board, 2 of them have given you great information already that I can only echo.

    I hope you continue to work with her and I hope you stick around here too!
    ~Angie, Sierra & Buddy
    **Don't breed or buy while shelter dogs die!**

    I suffer from multiple Shepherd syndrome



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitc9 View Post
    Oh MY! She's BEAUTIFUL!!!!

    Welcome to Pet Talk, we have quite a few husky owners here on the board, 2 of them have given you great information already that I can only echo.

    I hope you continue to work with her and I hope you stick around here too!
    Thank you for the welcome everyone!!!

    We will continue to work with her, we loved her too much already

    I have been enjoying this forum so much, you all have the greatest tips and resources. I will be sticking around for a long long time for sure

    Are there anyone here from Salt Lake City, Utah???

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Chihuahua, Mexico
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    glad to hear you like it here... and yes we have a few people from Utah.. even a couple huskies I might add...Nebo and Keva....

    we´d love to see more pics of Xena the cutie...

    I have two husky girls Ninja and China
    Corinna´s Christmas Card Swap ´06
    dedicated to a lovely woman who won many hearts along her life...........
    she will be deeply missed.......Thank you for letting us be a part of your life, you will surely remain in ours FOREVER........R.I.P. Dear Corinna

    Best Fireman in da House´10
    dedicated to the kindest,loveliest and always helpful dude that one would be honored and proud to know........R.I.P. Dear Phred



    notes-to-my-husband blog

    http://365project.org/isabelle/365

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Nice!

    Here are couple of pics that the rescue group took before putting her on Petfinder two months ago. I don't think they bathed her yet






  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    CA
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    Wow! She is gorgeous! Welcome to Pet Talk!

    I have the same problem with my 2 year old yellow Lab, Rita. Loves people to death, HATES other dogs, (except Sadie, my other labby). I wish you the best of luck to you with her!

    Kaitlyn (the human)
    Sadie & Rita (Forever in Our Hearts) (the Labbies)

  10. #10
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    Welcome! Xena is a very pretty girl. Do you know anything about her past? It's possible she was never socialized with other dogs.

    Have you enrolled in obedience training classes? It would be a really good idea. Be sure the teacher knows about her behaviors so there won't be any incidents. It's important to establish yourself as the pack leader with any dog but especially so with siberians.

    I've also noticed that huskies seem to get along better with other huskies. We've met a few on our walks whose owners said they were a real handful around other dogs, but our huskies will be playing with each other just fine while we talk. (I should mention that when huskies play, it can seem very un-playful & aggressive. They love getting physical and vocal.)

    I have one who adores small dogs (Star) and one who sees trapping them as great fun (Jack). They all have their own personalities. Life with siberians is always interesting.

    There are a lot of husky owners here on PT, so don't hesitate to ask any questions you have.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
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    Hi & welcome!

    My husky:



    Is also dog aggressive, but, she is only happy and content with my other dog, only her. No one else.

    She's always been this way. We adopted her in 1998, and she is about 11 years old now.

    BUT, around another husky, she is fine.
    You're the one sure thing I've found so you better stick around...
    Best Fireman in da House´10
    dedicated to the kindest,loveliest and always helpful man that one would be honored and proud to know........R.I.P. Dear Phred

  12. #12
    Beautiful sibe, my sibe mishka sounds just like yours, when she meets other dogs she says hello but then always snaps at them as if to tell them she is the boss. After she does this she is fine with the other dog & will play or stand happily next to them, so strange. I do reprimand her for snapping but she is still doing it.

  13. #13
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    May 2008
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    Salt Lake City
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    Hi Everyone!


    We socialized her with other Huskies last weekend (The other Huskies were owned by the lady that runs the rescue group).

    Xena seemed to be doing great inside the dog park (we were hesitant to bring her inside at first, but the rescue lady gave us an example of what to do and reassured us that it will be okay).

    Xena got along very well with other Huskies and dogs her size. The rescue lady even gave us a few pointers on training (she is also a dog trainer).

    Everything was nice until we saw a Chihuahua being carried inside the dog park (it is a shame there is no separation between big and small dogs). Xena did not see the Chi at first, until we decided to give her a drink in the fountain. Xena drank, and then she saw the Chi and started running really fast (almost like she is zeroing in the poor dog).

    We screamed and ran, but it was too late... Xena bit on the Chi until he bled his leg

    Thank goodness everyone is okay, and the Chi is fine as well. Xena actually stopped when we got there, and started to act innocent

    I guess we can conclude that Xena is not dog-aggressive, but rather has high prey-drive.

    We are currently training her to suppress her prey drive. Wish us luck!

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