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Struggling to teach my dog basic manners!

  1. #1

    Struggling to teach my dog basic manners!

    Hey guys,


    So I got a really sweet Husky during a hectic time of my life (bad idea, I know) so regrettably Iíve slacked in training him as much as I should. But now that things have finally started calming down, Iíve been trying to dedicate more time to training him...but things arenít going great, and I donít know where to go from here.

    As I said, heís a really sweet doggo except for two things: He jumps/humps a lot, and practically drags me down the street during walks.
    I feel weíve been making decent progress on walks. Iíll start in our backyard and just walk back and forth. When he starts pulling, Iíll tug-release the leash or just turn around and start walking the other direction until he walks calmly...then Iíll give him treats. Once we get to the road though, heíll get excited and start pulling again and the above method doesnít work as well.

    The humping is the worst part, though...which Iím at a total loss for. Weíll just be hanging out as Iíll be petting him and giving him cuddles and heíll look like the picture of pampered, until he suddenly snaps and starts humping me relentlessly (I have to leave the room to make him stop). Iíve tried diverting his attention with toys, commands, treats, but he doesnít care. Iíve tried putting him on a leash and stepping on it so he canít jump up, but he somehow managed to wrap the leash around my legs that it made quite the comical sight...but frustrating nonetheless. Itís definitely embarassing when heíll start doing it in the middle of a walk. He is fixed, so I donít really know what this behavior is about? It seems to happen so randomly, but heíll get this look in his eye when I know heís about to do it.

    Heís quite a determined pooch with a strong will, and I know itís my lack of training experience thatís making this all the more difficult, but Iím dedicated to making this work. Pleeaase help me!

  2. #2
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    neutering won't stop the humping, its not a sexual thing, its dominance. He wants to dominate you. You have to MAKE him do what you want. Start by teaching him the word NO, When he humps you say NO and force him down and keep there until he stops struggling. Huskies are a very head strong breed. They don't take to training easily. Everything with a husky is a battle. They are not good with cats or small animals, they have a high prey drive and see the cat as lunch. You can't let them off leash or they'll run away. He needs some serious training and you may need a professional trainer to work with you and him. They are beautiful dogs but personally I want a dog that's more aggreable.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by linda2147 View Post
    neutering won't stop the humping, its not a sexual thing, its dominance. He wants to dominate you. You have to MAKE him do what you want. Start by teaching him the word NO, When he humps you say NO and force him down and keep there until he stops struggling. Huskies are a very head strong breed. They don't take to training easily. Everything with a husky is a battle. They are not good with cats or small animals, they have a high prey drive and see the cat as lunch.
    Do you mean a ďdominance downĒ sort of thing? Any time I say ďNOĒ and push him off, he thinks itís a game and gets even more excited...do I have to tackle him down? In the heat of the moment after Iíve tried everything, I then tried ďnippingĒ (pinching his neck) as I say ďNOĒ, but that didnít really work either. TBH I havenít really tried dominance down with him, disciplining always seems counterproductive and...wrong...but maybe itís what must be done?

    Luckily his prey drive isnít too bad. Squirrels, cats, etc will get his attention but he wonít charge for them, thankfully.

  4. #4
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    Hi and welcome! I see lots of Huskies at the dog park that are very well trained and socialized, so don't give up. How old is he? Neutering may not stop the humping, but it may help. You really need to stay calm, firm and assertive with him.

    Pushing him away like that is like a game to him, if you want to make a physical move when he humps you, firmly tell him "NO!", and swipe him away off to the side with your arm as you say it. Rather than trying to muscle him, which will not work, you're putting him off balance. Never shout No in a nervous or excited manner, always stay calm and confident. Dogs definitely sense what we're feeling and react accordingly.

    Dogs, even dominant ones, respect and want a leader. Someone who directs them what they need to do, and in a positive loving way. One who doesn't overreact, speak too much to them when they are acting up, just lets them know they need to listen and behave.

    Make sure he knows the Sit command, then use it to your advantage. If he doesn't obey Sit already, you can start there. Then, you can anticipate when he's about to jump or hump, you can always know before he actually does it if you pay attention to his body posture. Before he jumps up on you, make him Sit. Keep some tiny treats in your pocket for easy access for all training. When he Sits, give him a treat and calmly tell him 'good boy' or something like that. It's just a habit, and you need to help him break it.

    Never give him a treat if he has not done what you requested. Make him sit for everything, when you go to give him a bowl of food, make him sit for it first, he'll gain more respect for you.

    It may seem overwhelming, but trust me, take it one step at a time. When you see progress with him sitting before a jump or hump, you'll see it's working. There are special no-pull harnesses or leashes that fit over their snout that may help with pulling. I've never used one on my dogs, but I do see people using them.

    First think about what you're doing wrong, work on yourself, your confidence, your self-esteem, if you don't convince yourself you can train him and act as leader, then you'll never convince him. Once you have the right attitude, and it may take a little time to catch yourself sliding back into a bowl of jelly....just stop it there mentally and learn from your mistakes.

    I learned how to do 'the walk' from the show The Dog Whisperer, I used it on one of my male Standard Schnauzers who always wanted to walk ahead of me, sometimes pulling. I used a regular choke collar, no prongs or anything like that, put on facing him shaped like a P (for puppy). I used a normal length leash for the training walk, and the choke collar came off as soon as we got back home, it was only used for the training session.

    I took him on a long walk with not many people or dogs around at first, when he started to walk ahead of me, I'll give a short tug off to the side. If I walked him on my left side, I would correct him by pulling to the right. That put him off balance and he corrected his pace. When I did the correction, I chose to just say one word, 'Here', nothing else. No other conversation, he walked with me and I was in charge, when he messed up I gave the correction. Within a couple of days, he was walking at heel and not rushing ahead or pulling. It takes time and effort to go through the training, but in the end it's well worth it.

    Bond with him by training as his leader, he will follow your directions as soon as he drops his old habits one by one. Good luck!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Alpha1 View Post
    Hi and welcome! I see lots of Huskies at the dog park that are very well trained and socialized, so don't give up. How old is he? Neutering may not stop the humping, but it may help. You really need to stay calm, firm and assertive with him.

    [...]
    Hi! Suuuper helpful, thank you!!
    Heís only 1, so still a bit of a puppy and definitely trainable (although I know much older dogs can be trained as well, so I know itís always worth it).
    Could you send me a link to the type of choke collar you used? What made you choose the type you did?

    I suppose I havenít been consistent with my tones that I use when giving commands. I was doing a lot of reading last night about how they understand tones better than specific words, so asking him to sit in a cheery tone and then in a stern tone is probably confusing to him, or at least comes across as inconsistent...so Iíll have to try working on that. There have been a few rare times that I was able to make him stop humping when I stayed calm and told him to sit, so I know thereís potential, lol. Iíll definitely try the swipe thing, and then diverting his attention. This is my first dog (aside from family pets when growing up), and Iíve never known a dog to be so sensitive to subtle changes like tone or posture, so this is all rather new to me.
    He already automatically sits for meals and waits patiently by his bowl, and wonít even touch it until I tell him itís okay. His jumping and pulling can make him seem a bit wild, but heís a sweetie at heart, I just gotta nurture that some more.

    Obviously I donít expect instant results, but progress would be nice to see. I know he can do it! Iíll let you know how dealing with humpty dumpty goes today.

  6. #6
    Update:
    Yay! Progress!!
    So our morning session started off a bit rough, but Iím so glad I stuck with it despite my growing doubt and frustration when it seemed he still wouldnít stop jumping on me. Luckily Iím at least a tad more stubborn than my dog, as I kept swiping him down and saying ďNo! Sit!Ē For as long as it took until heíd stop or sit, at which point Iíd smother him with goopy praise, and treats. This worked pretty well and eventually Iíd only have to tell him No once or twice to get him to stop, and was even able to prevent him from jumping at all by telling him No or commanding him to sit when I saw that humpy look in his eye.
    Once he stopped jumping on me, we left the yard to go on a walk. While he still pulled, it was much much better than yesterday or even the day before when heíd drag me around. He was very responsive when Iíd say ďNopeĒ whenever heíd try to pull too hard. Anytime heíd walk with a slack in the leash, Iíd praise him and often give him cuddlesóitís clear to me now that cuddles are his biggest motivator, even above treats. Iím not sure if he was learning, or just getting tired..or perhaps a mix of both, but by the end of the walk he was hardly pulling. I do think the training collar may still be handy, but he may end up improving this way before I even manage to get one...hereís to positive thinking, lol.

    Anyway, yíalls advice has been so soo helpful and encouraging. By the end of the walk I finally felt more in control of him, and like weíve bonded on a new level. Now weíll have to see whether he remembers his manners for our afternoon session, but Iím hopeful

    Thanks again, yíall. Anymore tips and advice is welcome!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Great! Glad he's doing better!
    I love my chicks and they love me!

  8. #8
    Great!
    I do a podcast about pets with my sister called: FurBalls & DogBones - A great resource for all things pets!
    Help all the pets you can!

  9. #9
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    A husky is a very strong willed dog. You have to not let him get away with anything. If you give in even once he'll take control and you'll have to start all over again
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiram View Post
    Hi! Suuuper helpful, thank you!!
    He’s only 1, so still a bit of a puppy and definitely trainable (although I know much older dogs can be trained as well, so I know it’s always worth it).
    Could you send me a link to the type of choke collar you used? What made you choose the type you did?

    I suppose I haven’t been consistent with my tones that I use when giving commands. I was doing a lot of reading last night about how they understand tones better than specific words, so asking him to sit in a cheery tone and then in a stern tone is probably confusing to him, or at least comes across as inconsistent...so I’ll have to try working on that. There have been a few rare times that I was able to make him stop humping when I stayed calm and told him to sit, so I know there’s potential, lol. I’ll definitely try the swipe thing, and then diverting his attention. This is my first dog (aside from family pets when growing up), and I’ve never known a dog to be so sensitive to subtle changes like tone or posture, so this is all rather new to me.
    He already automatically sits for meals and waits patiently by his bowl, and won’t even touch it until I tell him it’s okay. His jumping and pulling can make him seem a bit wild, but he’s a sweetie at heart, I just gotta nurture that some more.

    Obviously I don’t expect instant results, but progress would be nice to see. I know he can do it! I’ll let you know how dealing with humpty dumpty goes today.
    Sounds good. When you swipe him to the side when he jumps up on you, tell him Off, that way you don't say no for everything. Off works too if he's on the couch and you need him to get down. Once they know it, the off command is very useful.

    This is the kind of collar I meant, mine was bought decades ago though, and the chain links are a bit smaller. The collar is not to choke your dog, just to make the correction, just the sound seem to have an effect.

    The collar should never take the place of a regular collar and should be removed immediately once you get home, as it can get hung up on something like a tree limb and it will choke the dog, you have to be sure there's no threat of any accidents with it. Also, place it over the dog's head in a "P" formation, that way it works the way it should. I learned about this many, many years ago when I brought one of my pups to an obedience class, they taught us how to use it, put it on and all the safety aspects of removing it after the lesson. Great if you don't even need to use it, maybe just the pull harness around the muzzle will be enough.

    But they do need exercise daily, brisk walks, even runs are good as long as it's not a hot summer day. If he can run loose and a friendly enclosed dog park that would be ideal. Seems like he's a good egg, and he is still very young, good luck to both of you.


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