Agressive Husky

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Agressive Husky

This is a discussion on Agressive Husky within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Maya is my 3 going on 4 years old Siberian husky. She has been making me more and more afraid of her over the past ...

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Old 09-13-2018, 03:11 PM
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Agressive Husky

Maya is my 3 going on 4 years old Siberian husky. She has been making me more and more afraid of her over the past year. If someone pets her at certain times she will growl. My family members have a tendency to hug her, I stopped because I could tell a lot of aggression was stemming from it. But people do hug her (I can't control this) and she will growl, then lash out and snap. She had bitten me and other people, not enough to break the skin but enough where it was scary. And she is food aggressive with people and dogs. If a dog goes up to her while she has any kind of food she will growl and eventually go after them. When people go to take something away she growls but she hasn't bitten or snapped. I can't afford a trainer so please don't even mention it. I don't know if I have done something wrong. But I need some kind of help or advice.
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Old 09-13-2018, 03:55 PM
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Ask if whoever you got her from can help with free or low cost training. I adopted my dog who was the problem dog from the SPCA and when he had issues a couple of times I told the shelter that I really loved him and wanted to keep him and had pet insurance for him, but it didn't cover expensive consults so the behaviorist waived the cost of the consult to keep him from being returned again. His pet insurance pays most of his medicine. One consult was free for each problem and then there were free follow up calls and emails and lots of handouts and websites.
Many dogs feel threatened by hugs. You have to keep her separate from people who continue to hug her or she'll keep escalating. She's trying to warn you and your family that your hugs are scaring her and they keep doing it. If you won't protect her from people who scare her she has no choice but to defend herself, by biting.
Keep her alone in a room or crate and pull her away on a leash so no one can hug her she's telling you she's afraid and hates it. What would you do if you told someone not to hug or touch you and they kept doing it anyway? Defend yourself.
Put her alone in a room or crate to eat and don't let any dogs or people near her when she has food by her.
You really need a way to find a good affordable trainer or behaviorist.

Last edited by Shadowmom; 09-13-2018 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 09-13-2018, 05:15 PM
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The person I had got her from was a friend whos husky had puppies. I don't have contact with them and they couldn't afford it even if i did... I try to keep her away from people who hug her, and i tell them over and over and over again not to but they say "shes growling because shes happy" which i know is definitely not the case. Ive been looking for trainers. But everyone near me is very expensive. I am only 17 and i cant drive nor can I get a job. So im taking care of 2 dogs completely on my own
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:15 PM
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So, your dog Maya sounds like she is very uncomfortable around people. Some dogs do not like strangers touching them. Some dogs were not socialized properly when they were young. There can be a myriad of reasons why Maya is uncomfortable with being touched or hugged.

But----now that Maya has clearly told you in no uncertain terms that she is uncomfortable about being touched, it is your job to keep her from being anxious about people touching her, otherwise you are risking a very serious bite to a person, which you do not want I am quite sure.

In some cities, if a dog bites three times, the city can put the dog to sleep, even if they are minor bites. Dog bites are serious. And a dog who has escalated to biting is a serious issue that needs attention. I am very glad you are seeking help now.

So if I were you, for now, just to be safe, I would not allow people to pet her-- and certainly NOT allow any hugs from anyone!!! Maybe after you get help for her, but for now it is better to be safe than sorry. Your dog will not die from not getting pet from strangers or your friends, but dire consequences can happen to dogs that make a habit of biting from stress.

If you take her out in public for walks, etc, you must always have her on a leash so no one will be able to pet her without your consent. So I personally would never have her loose in a park, etc-- esp if kids are around.

If walking her on leash, and someone comes towards you guys, pull her closer to you in a gentle way and say nicely "Maya stay with me. Good girl" If you say it loud enough for the other person to hear you, that sends them the message that you are working/training with your dog--- and usually they will not proceed to pet your dog.

Also, I would teach Maya that she can only greet people that you give her permission to. Again, if you see people on a path coming near you, pull her to the side and say "stay with me, Maya" and only allow her to greet--- if you think you want to deal with telling the person NOT to pet Maya. It gets old and tiresome to do this everytime, but it is necessary if you are going to take a dog out in public that has fear of being touched.

Another thing that works for me is to tell people my dog loves to say hi to people, but is "hand shy" so NO PETTING at all. No touching from strangers. Not worth the risk. Tell them to please leave their hands relaxed at their sides, don't even make it look like they are going to pet her. So no extended hands to sniff, because that can freak a dog out. Or if the dog seems ok, the person can decide to pet the dog after all...and then the dog freaks out that the person touched them.

If they ask why no petting... you can say your dog is hand shy and you NEVER want to put her past her comfort level. That usually gets people to understand and not try to sneak a petting in on the dog.

Very hard. I am sorry Maya is having these issues. You can help her, but it is not easy and there is no fast fix. So all you can do for now is preventative measures.

The more you protect your dog by you controlling who touches her, her stress will be lessened as she thinks, "Oh, good, a stranger coming to us, now they will NOT pet me if I meet them. Whew! Thanks Mom!"
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:30 PM
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As for you saying you cannot control who hugs your dog...I am confused by this.

Of course you can control who hugs or touches your dog. She's your dog after all, right?

With my hand shy Gracie I never allow anyone to touch her unless I decide I want them to touch her. And she came to work with me everyday for three years and was in public everyday and goes with me everywhere. But---I only allow her to greet people on a very regimented protocol. And only with certain people. And no random kidlets who can't listen to our special protocol. So Gracie looooves meeting people, and many times we do tricks and treats with strangers, but still I don't let random people stick their hands on her. No way!

If it is your friends who insist on hugging her after you say no to them, then simply get a baby gate and put her in another room with an awesome dog safe chewy while you have friends over your place.

If I allowed my dog to be hugged by strangers, she would probably not be with us anymore as surely she would have gotten fed up with the discomfort and bitten someone. And then put to sleep. I won't allow her to bite anyone...but mostly I won't subject my dog to that stress!

While you are figuring out how to help Maya I would strongly suggest you protect her from being put in stressful situations.

Remember most dog aggression (growling, biting, lunging, etc) come from stress/fear/anxiety.

Thank you again for seeking help for Miss Maya. She needs and wants your help. She is telling you that now. It is not too late to help her.
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:45 PM
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Look up Resource Guarding

Another thing to help Miss Maya, is for you to study up on Resource Guarding. It is a common thing for a dog to resource guard (RG) but can be dangerous and certainly is not good. You can definitely help her with this, but it takes time and patience (and lots of yummy treats)and an understanding of why she is being aggressive with resource guarding. (Fear of losing her valuable resource or prize or food or toy)

I totally agree with you--most trainers and behaviorists are very expensive. And many people can't afford that or do not have schedules that permit that. I totally understand where you are coming from. That is actually why I started writing here on this forum, trying to offer help for free since we all can't just go hire a trainer like we may want to do.

So, maybe go online and read about resource guarding. There are tons of great free articles online that can help you with this. Only look at ones that use positive reinforcement otherwise you risk making her RG aggression worse!!

I am actually working on this with my Puma pup since she came to me with RG issues as a young pup. It is getting so much better, but not completely gone. Especially when she RG's my stinky socks Takes time and patience...and yummy food!!
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