Author Topic: Friends Husky going after baby..  (Read 8275 times)

mama23+pyrs2

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Friends Husky going after baby..
« on: March 20, 2007, 04:08:02 am »
Hi, I just joined this group yesterday for my Pyrs but I have a long distance friend who has a problem with her Husky and I told her I'd see if I could find anything out.  He will be 2 in May, neutered. She has 4 children, the youngest being 10 months old and the dog will grab his legs when he tries to crawl away. Today it was the worst though when the baby crawled off very fast to the bathroom, excited like- the dog growled and grabbed his legs. Then the next time he went to crawl off, sqealing and excited the dog jumped on top of him growling and trying to bite his legs. Naturally my friend is very shaken up and doesn't know what to do with him. She told me that he also nipped her 4 yr olds arm the other day while she was playing with her bear.

To me, it sounds like its a prey drive behavior and from what she was reading online she thought so too. They are considering finding him a new home but she feels terrible about it. It sounds like he is having a world of troubles. She said he only wants to be in his crate all the time, he poops in the house almost every day now, eventhough he goes outside when they take him. He's impossible to walk on a leash so they can't take him on walks...

Any advice for her? I don't know anything about Huskies and feel for her, I know she loves him and wants to keep him but she's at a loss. :'(

Offline schelmischekitty

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007, 04:21:02 am »
what she can do to help assert the baby as being "higher" is create a boundary around the baby.  do NOT let the dog in the babies room, do NOT let the dog within 5 or so foot of the baby.  do NOT let the dog play with the kids' toys, and do NOT let the dog play with the children's clothes.  this way the dog learns that the baby is off limits, not matter what it's doing and that it's in no situation allowed to touch the baby.  this way the dog learns boundaries and then eventually it may be allowed to touch the baby.  cesar millan just had an episode on this, he also has a great book that discusses it, it's called "cesar's way"

http://www.wikifido.com/page/Cesar's+Way:+Bringing+Home+Baby
« Last Edit: March 20, 2007, 04:38:58 am by schelmischekitty »
steffanie in atlanta

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Anakalia

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2007, 06:22:18 am »
This is a very scarey thing to deal with.  I've had a dog bite my child and it's just the worst thing to see as a parent, things like that happen so fast and sometimes the damage can be horrible!  My daughter just had a cut lip, but I know it could have been much worse.  The thing is with huskys, they are very smart but also very stubborn!  I've been around quite a few husky's and I've also owned one, they tend to be more dominant than some other breeds.  She'll need to spend LOTS of time training and making sure he knows his boundaries before he'll "get it", she needs to show him she's the alpha.  The best thing for her to do is contact a trainer/behaviorist.  Hopefully they would be able to help her get his behavior under control.

k2campbell

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2007, 06:48:00 am »
I don't have any advice to give your friend, however I do have a question...did something else change just recently within the household? If there are 4 children and the youngest is 10 months, is this the 1st time that the dog has displayed this type of behaviour with the children?

Maybe it was just the way your email was written, but I'm just concerned that the behaviour sprung out "all of a sudden", so maybe it can be attributed to something else that's going on within the household?

Best of luck to your friend - I couldn't imagine how hard that would be  ;)

Offline Nina

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2007, 07:30:55 am »
I've just began reading Cesar Millan's book and I think that it is a must read. I think that the dog doesn't know where it belongs in the pack. And it is not balanced. Husky's need major exercise and need a job to do. I think that he has so much energy and he just doesn't know what to do with himself and that is why he is acting out.

Nina
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Offline happiday

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2007, 07:35:35 am »
I have to agree w/ gr8dame.  The children come first.  
I have had a male and a female husky over the last 20 years.
They are wonderful dogs, but need to be trained and supervised and also to know for certain who is alpha (you). Because of their more independent nature, this is a big task.  They are very social and want to be with their 'pack' (your family), but the males, especially, seem to be more aloof and harder to train.  You can't watch them 24/7, and any dog should not be around children if it show any signs of agression.  (IMNSHO)
Has your friend had the dog since puppyhood?  Has she been unable to exercise him frequently and get his energy out?
It may be due to pent up frustrations if he's not exercised enough.  Siberians need LOTS of exercise time!
Just my 'two cents'.  Hope all goes well for them.
Salli, Annie's mama!

mama23+pyrs2

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2007, 08:48:28 am »
what she can do to help assert the baby as being "higher" is create a boundary around the baby.  do NOT let the dog in the babies room, do NOT let the dog within 5 or so foot of the baby.  do NOT let the dog play with the kids' toys, and do NOT let the dog play with the children's clothes.  this way the dog learns that the baby is off limits, not matter what it's doing and that it's in no situation allowed to touch the baby.  this way the dog learns boundaries and then eventually it may be allowed to touch the baby.  cesar millan just had an episode on this, he also has a great book that discusses it, it's called "cesar's way"

http://www.wikifido.com/page/Cesar's+Way:+Bringing+Home+Baby

well i've passed all this info along. she is reading up on that site and is going to try again to take him for walks, he drags her down the strt. they are going to put some effort into him before throwing in the towel. he definitely isn't excercised enough. they don't have a fenced yard and when they've tied him, he breaks all the ties. She knows that that is a major issue now.

He has been doing the nipping for a long time so it didn't just spring up overnight but it was the worst today she said.

mama23+pyrs2

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2007, 08:51:21 am »
oh and she talked to a friend of hers that used to train dogs and she told her to do the take downs everytime he acts up at all, so that is what she is going to try also. she nipped at her this afternoon so she took him down, it calmed him for a couple seconds she said and he was back to his normal wild self..but i know that takes a few times before they get it.

she knows to be careful, i told her you can't just do that with any dog but i know some trainers/breeders push it.

Offline schelmischekitty

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2007, 09:13:07 am »
if that's the case it's probably just that he sees the crawling baby as "excitement" or something to put some of that energy towards.  she really ought to do more obedience and exercise, even if she MUST get a treadmill (very controversial topic i know) it would be better for everyone. it would be a shame to "give up" on a dog when it's the owners fault for not taking the dogs needs into consideration.  the obedience will help everyone be happier, too.  it's always so nice when a dog is mentally as well as physically happy.
steffanie in atlanta

aiden (4), tristan (2), & maya (born sept. 17th)
axle-140ish-lb akita (4)
peanut-5lb, 11 months chihuahua
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Offline Nina

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2007, 09:20:57 am »
It sounds like he is not getting enough exercise. One of our fosters with agression issues, has been behaving so much better since we have really been exercising him. He goes for runs, in the house we play fetch with him for a good 30-40 minutes. After that he just sleeps, he is too tired to do anything else!

Nina
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Offline NoDogNow

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2007, 11:41:22 am »
Huskies will get all KINDS of unstable if they're not getting enough exercise--and some of them need a LOT. Like, MILES of exercise. He should also have some kind of pack to carry water or something else in. Huskies were bred to be the 18 wheeler of the 19th century North, remember.

For example, when my brother was distance running, our friend Gavin's sibe used to be entirely happy to run 5-7 miles with my brother at 5 am, another 6 miles to work with Gavin at 7 am, and then run 10 or more miles after Gavin got off work, followed by a late night run with another runner friend. Jack's favorite TREAT was to run marathons, and he wouldn't bat an eye at a 50 mile bike ride, from Provo all the way north to Bountiful and back south home again. Gavin kept running 5 years longer than he probably should have because Jack HAD to run, or he got very depressed and would become frustrated-aggressive. They ran a 5 K just a couple of days before Jack went to the Bridge, and even at 13 (maybe it was 14), Jack was NOT happy to stop.

That's the kind of breeding and mindset your friend is likely dealing with. She's going to have to work on training him to run with a bike, and she might want to look around to see if there's someone who can help with the exercise, because one person may not be able to tire him out.

Until the dog's getting enough exercise, it's likely your friend's going to have issues training him with boundaries, too. He'll be too frustrated to be willing to work at it. Get him running, though, and the toxic behavior will resolve much, much easier.
Sheryl, Dogless and sad

Offline ZooCrew

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2007, 01:51:48 pm »
I guess maybe I'm reading the post differently than the others, but to me it sounds more like he's trying to correct the infant as an adult dog would do.  The other nipping he's done sounds like it is in play.  But b/c of when he grabbed a leg........... ..when the baby tried to crawl away........to me at least it sounds like he was thinking the baby wasn't supposed to leave.  Of course I wasn't there so I don't know exactly how he grabbed the baby, only that he did.

It is probably a combination of things.  For sure huskies need a ton of exercise.  I have a husky/shep mix and when young she was horribly destructive if not given something to entertain herself with and keep her busy.  And I would tire out long before she would.

Secondly, have they ever taught him bite inhibition?  Nipping, even in play, shouldn't be tolerated and should be started as soon as one brings a puppy home.  At almost 2 yrs old it will take alot longer to teach him the rules as he's been doing it awhile.  I will assume no damage has occurred from his nipping or he probably would no longer be in the household.

Thirdly, he does need to learn who is in charge in the household, with himself being on the low end of the totem pole.  I don't really agree with takedowns once they are past 4 mo of age and it really depends on the dog as to whether it will work.......... .or make it worse.  Instead, I would work on NILF with him.  Involve the children and work with some basic obedience.  Enroll him in a class.  Teach him phrases like "nice" or "gentle" so he understands that behavior like that is not acceptable.  If they have to, remove the baby entirely, then gradually start reintroducing them again once the dog has learned some basics.

I don't see what the dog is doing as aggressive.  Huskies are a very mouthy breed and unless taught otherwise, will use their mouths to communicate.  Since he is still young, hopefully he will catch on quickly.  Being a male, and a husky it will bring some challenges, but if they follow thru I'm sure he will soon understand what is expected of him.

Offline schelmischekitty

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2007, 02:40:02 am »
personally, i wouldn't do the biting thing.  for more than one reason.  first off, the dog doesn't stop doing it because he learns, he will stop doing it out of fear.  second off, it can cause a reaction where he will bite you back out of a pain response.  finally, third off, eventually during his "re-training" he will try to take control again and if you bite he may try to bite you to challenge you.  maybe she should also try the NILIF program.  when he comes back after she corrects him, he's trying to see if he can get away with it "now."  she has to be persistent.  the first week or two are going to be tough, but after that it usually starts to work out.  there aren't any miracle cures, just like kids, teaching them takes time.  i know how hard working around hubby can be.  mine is the same way when it comes to misbehaving dogs, but once he starts seeing a difference in their behavior he always relaxes about it.  we've fostered several behaviorally challenged dogs over the years, and i've found hubby "hates" them all at first. 
steffanie in atlanta

aiden (4), tristan (2), & maya (born sept. 17th)
axle-140ish-lb akita (4)
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Offline ButterflyChaser

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Re: Friends Husky going after baby..
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2007, 01:32:26 pm »
Hi, I'm new here and new to huskies.  Just rescued my first one two days ago.  But I've been doing a lot of reading, and from what I gather, they're not too much different from Samoyeds.  And I've had my Samoyed now for 9 years.

I also didn't see the husky's nipping as aggression, but maybe rather playful.  Huskies are very mouthy.  Mine uses her mouth to grab and she growls anytime she wants attention.  It's not a hostile growl, but rather a "notice me, play with me" growl.  Perhaps your friend's husky likes the baby and wanted to play.

It could also be that the husky was "herding" the baby.  My husky is trying to herd or roundup my two cats.  She doesn't hurt them.  She just corners them somewhere, as if that's her job, to corral.  Then she's happy and walks off.  In the two days I've had her, my two cats have already learned that my new husky is not a threat.

Another thing I would like to mention is that no child should ever be left unsupervised with any animal EVER.  There should always be close supervision.  Both children and animals are unpredictable.  And even the sweetest, gentlest animal can get vicious if a child hurts them in some way.  Children often pull tails or get careless, and injured animals just react without thinking.  My Samoyed will snap at me if I accidentally step on his tail.  He loves me and would otherwise never hurt me.  But he does snap if hurt.  I don't consider it aggression really, just a shout of OWWWWWWWW, DON"T DO THAT, YOU BIG CLUMSY GALLOOT!

One last thing, if the dog's owner doesn't feel she can walk the dog, she needs a fenced in yard so the dog can just run free.  They're easily bored and need entertainment, much like children do.  They need physical activity to work off their energy and keep them from getting bored and irritable.  If she doesn't have a fenced in yard, maybe she can set up "play dates" with another friend who has a dog and a fenced in yard.  I do this with one of my friends.  Her little Scotty just loves my Sam and they have a nice fenced yard.  So the two dogs lope around the yard together chasing squirrels while my friend and I work on a project.  When I get Sam home, he crashes on the couch for hours.  LOL

Huskies, like my Samoyed, are powerful, energetic, ambitious animals and thrive on activity.  Your friend's husky would probably quickly learn some of the rules of football if her older kids wanted to play. They seem to be intelligent and easily trained.  So spending some more time with the husky might be a solution.

NancyAnn
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