I have quite a few things I need some advice with. I have been put off of forums for a while due to people being out of order, judgmental and haven't given me any advice and just shame me - so would appreciate helpful advice
I have searched google but I find it'll be better actually speaking to people!
(sorry this post is so long just want to make sure I can start working on this- heres some background)
Maximus is 3 years old husky X GSD. He is from a rescue and he is my world & more. We've had him 2 years and no problems up untill recently with changes in his behavior.
**He is looked after very well and loved very much & gets a great variety of walks**
He is always fine with me.. ALWAYS. I have a very strong bond with him but lately he seems to be having issues with everyone else. He came from a bad background, abused by the man of the household, separated from his brother and I was told he had a bad experience with his castration (not sure exactly what though)
He used to be cuddling with everyone.. getting on laps..playing with his toys more..wouldn't grumble very much atall..
I'll whack the things i need advice with in numbers:
1. He snaps & growls at my partner over almost everything. This occurs only in the daytime. (rarely in evenings) He is also fine with my partner on walks - always wants to play with him. Admittedly my partner did try and wind him up by tickling him in his personal space etc which I stopped as Max was showing signs of fear aggressive traits. My partner used to wind him up with his food by reaching by his bowl and making aeroplane noises. Now Max only lets me near him near his food when before anyone could stroke him as he was eating. I have stopped my partner from doing this also as obviously these things are big no-no's. I encouraged my partner to feed him evenings - this helped lots for a while. My partner hasn't done any winding up for months.. Max was starting to be fine and everything was rosy & perfect for a few weeks.. but max has slipped a little and has began getting irritated with him eventhough my partner isn't doing anything like that anymore.
**would like tips to tell my partner please**
2. When company is over, Max is fine most of the time. But sometimes he goes over for fuss, and sits under legs etc, puppy dog eyes and all..but then when stroked sometimes he gets grumpy and starts growling. This is only a recent thing.
3. I'd also like Max to learn to listen better. Being a typical stubborn husky at times it can be hard to get through to him. He is treat-orientated so would like some recommendations on some healthy tit bits I can give him too that isn't going to be harmful for his health and full of additives (cheap)
4. Big question;; is it possible to train an adult dog to be off of the lead when it's never been an off lead dog before? he has escaped a few times but he never goes far and surprisingly isn't hard to catch. Also, we take him to this paddock where dogs can go off lead in a secure acre area, he stays close to us even without any treats. He could go gallivanting away but he likes to remain close & loves playing catch and running with us.
My previous dog was off lead and nice to see them have freedom, but if its too dangerous and high risk I certainly wouldn't attempt it with Max. I'd never have him off lead by roads or on paths- only in open areas / on the beach - would love him to be free at the beach! He needs his listening skills to improve before considering this seriously if it is possible like through practice recall in the paddock.
5. How to keep him calm around sheep & horses... With his high prey drive he's so excitable around sheep and horses in particular. We went on holiday and there were sheep EVERYWHERE. He was very hard to control and I worry about his back. I think again, his listening skills need improving.
6. On dog walks many dogs see him as a threat, he is 100% fine with other dogs and has put up with alot including dogs off lead bounding over and trying to bite his face.. i even nearly got bit myself once.
(owners have even laughed at us when we got surrounded by 6 dogs at once
and couldn't move anywhere and the small ones were trying to bite him) This affected Max for a little bit and he became suspicious and anxious. He's O.K now but im scared that one day hes gonna have enough of it, retaliate and he'll be put to sleep as many judge the breed as it is. I know some of the people to avoid and have tried saying to them to put there dogs on lead if its going to be aggressive to another but they wont listen to me. Iv'e even hidden in someones front garden with Max so the dalmatian doesn't see us.
We had a house fire 7 months ago which was traumatizing for us all. Our house changed alot and he started to change his behavior a little around that time which is totally understandable.
Think this is all.. I love my dog to pieces.. and want to ensure he's happy. His happiness = my happiness. I have all the patience in the world for Max and will put my all in for training him and getting him better. I'll take all advice on board and try different things to see what suits him best. (unless I dont agree with it like choke chains/biting his ear hard/pinning him down etc which some people have previously recommended on other forums & Facebook sites - vile is an understatement, its cruelty)
I have also spoken to the vets dog trainer and he just said that people just shouldn't have huskies.
Thank you so much in advance.