husky puppy bites mostly only owner

Posted by Sherrie
Apr 28, 2008
We have an 8 month old husky puppy named Apache. He was purchased from a pet store when he was about 12wks old. He was a long awaited gift for my 14 year old daughter--the dog that she always wanted. She had been enjoying his love and affection until about two months ago, when he started biting her. He seems to almost "turn" on her, she could be playing with him or ignoring him, but his behavior is still the same once he has started. He has not broken the skin, but she gets quite bruised. He knows exactly what he is doing, because when my husband is around, Apache will wait until he leaves the room to do it. He has even changed on a dime from biting to licking, the minute my husband appears in the doorway. He has recently been neutered, and we have tried several things suggested by several different trainers. All seem to work for a very short time, but within a matter of a very short time he is right back to behaving in the same manner. We have not finished reading all of Daniel's books, but we will certainly be using some of the things that we have not used yet. I could use any feedback that anyone could give. He has, on a few occasions, used the same behavior with a few other family members. We do not want to have to get rid of him. My daughter turns 15 tomorrow, and she would like nothing better than having that lovable pet that she has always wanted.
Posted by Todd
May 2, 2008
Hi there and thanks for the post.

I have a few ideas that may help but you may have been given them before.
I think the first starting point should be some alpha training. In aggressive dogs this is very very important to help reduce the problem.

If he knows that he is at the bottom of the pack then there is less of a chance of him causing trouble with other pack members.

So here are the few points i usually give to help out -

1) If you come across your dogs while they are sleeping or lying on the floor then you can reinforce your position as alpha dog by making him move so that you can pass by.

2) Make sure that you always go through doorways first. A good method to reinforce your position as alpha dog is to walk your dog around the house on the leash, making your dog wait while you walk through doorways first.

3) At mealtimes make sure that your dogs eat after all of the humans have.

4) Do not feed your dogs tidbits or let it pester you at the table. Save the morsels and tidbits for training sessions instead.

5) Do not greet your dogs straightaway when you arrive home. Make it wait until you are ready and then call it to you.

6) Whenever your dogs want attention or anything wait till they are sitting and being well behaved.

It is really important that you, your husband, your daughter and anyone else in the house practice these things as trust me they will help a lot.

To follow that up obedience is the second most important thing to think about. It is important that your daughter does most of this trainng as she is the one the dog is having trouble with. But you may find it comforting for one of you to be near her to make sure things don't go bad. As the training goes on move further and further away from her and the dog.

I would work on sit, stay and down as these are the most important commands for control and also to diffuse situations. A nice secluded area with few distractions is perfect......and keep practice sessions short but frequent eg 10 minutes twice a day.

Now there are some people out there that will claim that Huskies have a tendency to do this but any breed can be aggressive and it is an individual thing so it isn't just this breed.

Does the aggression happen around certain times or when something specific is going on?

It is really important that your daughter reprimands him in a firm way when he gets out of hand. he needs to know that it is bad. It may be a good idea to get him a muzzle for a start to make sure there are no problems.

When he does turn to bite she needs to give him a loud and forceful GRRRRRR or AHHHHHHh and at the same time either throw a blanket over him or squirt him with a water pistol to help reinforce the reprimand.
She needs to be quick and consistent. Any form of aggression no matter how mild or severe needs to be told off.

The second he stops she needs to give him a sit command and to praise him when he responds. This mix of reprimand and reinforce is really important.

It will take time for him to start getting the idea and at some stage he may need some time out in a boarding kennels. This will help calm things down and reset the whole household.

Good luck with him. Please let me know how things are going and i will endeavour to help more.