Unpredictable jumping and biting when walking

Posted by christina
Dec 6, 2009
I have an 18 month old Siberian Husky. He is a neutered male. We purchased him from a breeder at 8 wks. He was one of a litter of seven. He has always had biting issues, at the leash, when being touched(groomed, feet). We have worked with him a great deal and in general he is much better. We have done 3 training courses and he responds to commands fairly well. He is very stubborn and I can never let him get away with anything. I have walked him on a "Gentle Leader" until recently, when I switched to a choke chain. He walks like a pro, beside me, not pulling etc. This has taken a great deal of time and continual effort. My main issue is that sometimes when we are walking he will jump at me and bite. He may go for days without doing this and I can never be quite sure when it is coming, although I have noticed that it mainly occurs when he would prefer to do something other than my request. Any thoughts anyone, should I just tread on his leash?
He has at least 60 min exercise each day plus playtime in the yard.
Posted by KOPsRobyn
Dec 15, 2009
Hi Christina

Keep up the good work! It sounds like you are on the right track with your dog. Huskies are very smart and well known for having a mind of their own so it is good that you always make sure you get your way. Being patient and consistent, constantly repeating the training sessions is definitely the way to go.

It appears as though your dog may be testing the waters a bit as he goes through the adolescence stage, challenging your authority as the alpha dog. Therefore it is very important, especially at this time, that you establish yourself as the leader of the pack. Biting is often a early warning sign that they may not be respecting your authority, as the dominant dog in the pack will often nip the subordinate ones if they feel they are challenging their place as the alpha dog. As he seems to be doing this more when asked to do something he doesn't want to do, this suggests that he is either trying to or is dominating you. Something must be done about this right away, before it is allowed to escalate and he feels he is in complete control.

There are a few things you can do to demonstrate to your dog you are the leader of the pack and the uncontested alpha dog. These include insisting that he allows you to go through doorways in front of him, feeding him after you have eaten and only acknowledging or playing with him on your terms. If he comes after you and asks for attention just turn away and ignore him completely. Lastly, don't forget to reward him when he is behaving himself, as this gives him something to strive towards, instead of just avoiding undesirable behavior.

It is a good idea to keep reinforcing the commands that he knows, and perhaps teaching him some new ones too. Even just incorporating a few commands on your daily walk will indicate to him that you are in charge, further establishing your alpha status. Once he knows his place in the pack and is comfortable with it, the biting should stop as subordinate never bite the dominant ones. In the meantime, if he does this on a walk, do not respond to him at all, instead ignore him completely and head home straightway.

I hope this helps and all the best with the training! I look forward to hearing how it goes.