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Thread: Any Dog Trainers/Handlers here?

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    Any Dog Trainers/Handlers here?

    Finally ran into an issue with the dog that just has me stumped. In the last week one of my dogs has become super aggressive towards me "the handler". Two attacks in a week is a bit overboard. While I manage to take him down we each do some damage, but this is really not normal for him. I've identified the trigger as the wife. The first time we were play fighting and luckily my elbow met his teeth, while I was able to wrap around him with the other arm. Talking about like trying to catch a flailing shark with teeth bristling everywhere. The second time I was making my other dog lay because he was playing to rough, walk around the corner and the wife and dog where there and instantly attack mode. We made I contact and saw he was getting ready to lunge, so I guess we both lunged at the same time. He gets one good bite in, but once again I had him by the neck so he couldn't bite. Anyways, something has just gotten into him in the last week, like night and day.

    He is a husky/wolf hybrid at about 70-80lbs. He has normally been the dominant dog when around other dogs. We have two other dogs, Alaskan Malamute and Eastern Red Wolf. Their temperments are excellent, never aggressive with people, will not even mouth someone when playing rough. The Malamute is somewhat food aggressive, but only with other dogs, she will let people do as they please. The wolf is not aggressive towards dogs or people, he is usually very shy at first, but not fearful. The husky is very food aggressive, but will submit to verbal commands to leave his food. He growls, but he will back away when told. He is usually not aggressive to people, more so men if at all, though its only if they approach in a menacing way towards the wife. Seems to be the common theme as he is very visibly protective over her which is a good thing and bad thing all in one I guess.

    I've had dogs of various breeds for over 20 years now and 3 wolves or hybrids to date, but none that have been a pain like the husky hybrid. He is an indoor dog, and we do our best to train him. He listens well to most common commands. Come, Sit, Stay, Go Away, Shake, High Five, etc. After a lot of effort he walks and runs well on leash, and off leash I use an electronic collar, which I rarely ever have to use at all. Toys he plays with come from me and get taken away by me most of the time. He eats last, after all the people eat, and now that he is being aggressive he eats after the other dogs have eaten. He has a corner that he lays in a stays until told to get up and eat. So I think we have the dominance thing down so he doesn't think he is the pack leader as far as that goes. The only negative thing is we let him sleep in the bedroom on the floor, but I'm thinking that I'm going to crate him in the garage out of the area where the handlers/pack leaders sleep.

    Anyways, looking for some professional training tips from anyone that might have experiance in this area. He almost jumped me again today when I was hugging the wife, but fortunately he is wearing the electronic collar a lot more now, and is rewarded by a shock when he shows aggression. I really hate having to use it in that manner outside of specific training sessions, but he has become outright dangerous towards me in the last few days.

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    You must be assertive and show your dominance. /Cesar Millan

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    Dogs yes, for the most part. He does submit, but it is his sneak attacks that get me. He knows the command down, modification of lay where he lays with his belly up. If I catch him quick enough he will submit, growling all the way and tense as hell. Not sure what is up or even if its dominance aggression. Its almost like fear aggression, but towards the handler, I don't know. I'm never rough with him, other than the times he goes after me when I wrap around his neck, go the ground, and hold him until he calms down. So he does not win and gives ups eventually, though reluctantly. Maybe he is just a little opportunist and wants pack leadership and my wife, but thats not going to happen. Anyways, the atmosphere is tense with him these last few days. Unfortunately, I do not think Cesar Millan makes house calls to Washington or Florida where I am heading.

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    Wolf not = to dog. As you know. Cesar did just have an episode with a wolf and wolf expert. The expert said they have to be dealt with differently. She was observing its mannerism and growling at it to gain respect and dominance. Not sure it would be something i would do without the proper education though. IMO and just MO I don't think they should be "house" pets. Too much wild what ifs to deal with. Our neighbors as a kid breed them, and they scared the shit outa me.

    Good luck, I hope you find a solution.

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    I think its the husky in him to be honest. He for sure is anxious like most huskies I've seen. The wolf I have is so much easier to train and no issues at all with him. He is an escape artist though. True I would like to keep them outside more often, but since moving to Washington I had to adapt them to indoors, which went well enough. Moving to Florida soon where I actually will have a kennel and some sturdy fencing. I won't give up on the little guy because every animal is trainable with effort. However, the minute he attacks somone else or shows un-provoked hostility to others then I'll have to look for other options, just trying to figure his behavior out this last week before it manifests to something worse.
    Last edited by Patryn; 11-17-2010 at 08:44 PM.

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    Wow. What a tough situation. It sounds like you are doing everything you should. I do not have a great deal of experience with wolves or wolf hybrids, though. My only suggestions would be to exercise him more and perhaps kennel/crate him more while you spend time with your wife (not sex, but physically touching her where he can see but can't move against). If someone else has more wolf/hybrid experience along with better suggestions, then by all means, take my comments with a grain of salt. I've always 'exercised' any of my dog's behavior issues out of them. If they are exhausted, they won't feel up to any bad behaviors (mostly!).
    HTH!!!

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    Yes, he is not getting the amount of excercise he needs, but can't do anything about that for the next few weeks. I've transitioning out of the Army so working long days and the wife stays busy to with getting everything ready to move. I've thought about the crating thing and might actually give that a try when I get to Florida. If I can't figure it out by that time I'll be looking for professional help because obviously I'm not doing something right and missing something that an adept trainer could more easily spot. Had him since 2007 without any major issues.

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    Is he neutered? I have and have owned huskies for almost five years. I have done extensive research on them and their behavior. If he is aggressive towards you, you are NOT the pack leader. You need to be firm with him. Also I would lean more towards the wolf in him than the huskie. Huskies may have a dominant nature, but only towards other dogs, not humans.

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    Yes, he is nuetered. He won't be aggressive unless the wife is around. Those are the only times he will try to attack and its just this past week that he went berserk. I did come back from a year deployment in late September, but the behavior did not manifest itself until this past week. Just odd, cause I can't figure what changed in the last week.

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    You probably need to spend more time with him one on one. I know it may be hard with time constraints, but take him for walks, even if it just short 15 minute walk. Make sure he is either walking right beside you or ideally a little behind you, don't let him lead.

    Since I know how stubborn huskies are, we bought an electric fence with remote collar (Innotek 5100). Our breeder swore it wouldn't work, but it has. We have to shave his neck where the collar receiver sits (you know how thick they are), and we use the remote shocker. It is set to low. It didn't take long for him to correlate that the beeps mean he better sit down and shut-up. If he continuous with whatever behavior warranted the beeps, he gets a settle shock. Usually the first little shock is enough to make him stop. And he doesn't wander off. Our last huskie was a wanderer and was killed by our neighbor (hit and run).

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