Earlier today, I was bitten very, very hard by my girlfriend's Husky. The wound won't stop seeping blood, and it's been over 6 hours. I did clean it with hydrogen peroxide and alcohol, and it bled well over a pint of blood, so hopefully it is cleaned out well enough. The wound went very deep into my thumb pad, probably to the bone, so I'm a little worried about infection. I did put prescription strength antibiotic jelly on it, as well as a bandage. This has been the 3rd bandage I've changed due to seepage.

This dog has issues with food, toys, and also dominance issues. He treats me basically the same way as the owner (my gf), but she seems to get more attention and respect. When I walk him, he is always pulling me, won't give me eye contact when I give him a command on the leash, and he always walks in and out the door first. If I ask him to sit before a walk, he just paces around and whine/howls, but won't sit no matter how long I wait there.

I've never gotten any aggression from him, except when I've tried to touch him when he is eating (he gets perfectly still and locks up, at which point, I don't push him any further), or when I try to take one of his bones or toys while he's using it. I have worked on this, and I'm now able to take some things away sometimes, but he tends to get more aggressive when my GF is around. I'm pretty sure he thinks she's HIS GF.

He does do some submissive things to me, like wag his tail and roll over on his back sometimes, and come to greet me when I come downstairs, but he also does some things that seem like he's trying to show me who's boss, but I'm not 100% sure. For example, during the day, or in the night, he'll lie down on the floor, usually in the middle of a passageway. If I shuffle my feet at him, he will move, but usually if I just say move, or try to nudge him, he just sits there.

Also, when I take him for walks, like I mentioned earlier, he doesn't pay attention to my commands, and no matter how long I sit there and wait for him to acknowledge me or sit, he won't. He'll just pace around, and busy himself with something else.

When he bit me today, he was on a long leash in the front yard, and my GF was out there. He was laying down, and I went up to play with him. I grabbed his front and back leg, and went to roll him over, and he immediately clamped down hard on my hand, and before I knew it, it was over. Blood was everywhere, and I just went inside to try to clean it up.

I told my girlfriend to put him out back (he jumps at the window if you leave him outside for longer than he wants to be). After I got cleaned up, he was jumping at the door, and I was mad, so I took a rolled up towel and smacked him in the mouth when he tried to barge past me as I opened the door. I yelled BACK, and smacked him a couple more times, probably just out of anger and trying to establish some dominance in fear that he would try to bite me again at that moment. (I realize this is probably really dumb, but it was a heat of the moment thing I think).

I slammed the door in his face, and went back inside to collect my thoughts. A little later he started brushing up against the door again, and I figured it was useless at this point to leave him out there. I picked up a treat and opened the door to face him.

He immediately cowered down, and took a couple steps back. I showed him the treat and asked him to sit, and he did. I said 'good boy', then made him lie down before giving it to him.

I then invited him back inside.

Later I was coming down the stairs, and I saw him cower down and hide behind my GF. A little later he walked over to me with his head down, wagging his tail as if to make amends. I told him good boy and petted him.

By trying to make him sit for his food, working with him on his food and toy aggression, taking him for long walks, and being upbeat and positive with him, I felt like I was making a little progress, but I think everything that happened today threw everything in reverse.

I'm pretty sure he was just being defensive and I made the wrong move at the wrong time, but I think I am bothered the most by the way he gives my GF more respect than me, won't move out of my way, and won't listen to me on walks.

I know I'm doing it way wrong, but I'm torn between how I feel about this whole mess and where to go from here.

The husky is a male, 5 years old, and usually very friendly towards people, except in the instances I have mentioned.

He has bit my GF's sister (very bad bite) when she tried to take something from him, he bit her daughter's boyfriend (supposedly from just petting, but who knows), and now me for being a total dumbass.

Any help or guidance would be appreciated, I really cannot seem to earn the respect or affection of this damn dog. I'm used to golden retrievers Emotion: smile
Hi,

I'm very sorry to read about what has happened.

From what I've understood you know the basic steps to take to become a pack leader but apparently there's something that didn't let it work as you expected. It's difficult to say what exactly but I have a few thoughts.

How long have you been working on establishing your leadership? Patience and persistence are crucial when you deal with dogs with behavior problems. There may be no improvements for weeks, especially if the dog has been thinking he's the leader for his whole life, but it doesn't mean you should give up. On the contrary, you should be more patient and more persistent than the dog, only then he'll start respecting you eventually.

Does the dog have ANY limitations in the house? Is there anything he knows he's NOT allowed to do? Like jumping on the bed for example? If not you should start setting limitations. Without this, he'll know he can do whatever he wants in the house and this will undermine your other efforts.

Do BOTH you and your girlfriend have been trying to establish leadership, or it's only been you? Like with limitations, it's very important that both you and she follow the same 'rules' when you communicate with the dog. It's all about a complex approach, so every person in the house should agree on how you behave. Your efforts won't have much effect if you're the only one who they come from. That means, no matter who takes him for a walk, he should always be commanded to sit first, and be taken out only when he's in a calm state of mind (and you should be the first one to go through the door). This applies to other exercises as well.

Does he receive a sufficient amount of exercise on a daily basis? Huskies were bred to work hard, to pull loads, and this instinct is in their blood. In winter, if it is possible, get a sleigh let him pull you on the snow. If this is not possible, take him for jogging every day (if you don't want to jog yourself, get a bike or roller skates). Huskies love to run but don't let him run in front of you, he should be running beside or slightly behind. If you think he doesn't drain all of his energy, get a packback for him.

In your thoughts, do you believe you and your girlfriend are pack leaders, or you're unspokenly sure he won't obey? Dogs can catch our feelings and thoughts much better than we think, so if in your mind you're expecting something bad to happen, or if you're unsure about your leadership, the dog will know it and as a consequence he will not accept you as a pack leader. Pack leaders have determined minds and strong will.

Have a look at this article:

Things every dog owner should know

Perhaps you've heard most of the things written there but more information can never harm.

Last but not least, if you cannot overcome the fear that has probably appeared after this bite, or if he becomes more aggressive, it would be wise to seek a professional dog behaviorist's help. Moreover, some people believe professional help is a must if a dog has bitten anyone at least once.

Good luck! Keep us posted if possible.

R
Take him to a trainer and have the trainer work with you to train this dog to respect you. Hitting him is not the answer and it may make him worse. However, a dog biting a human is dangerous. My current dog respects me more than my husband, mostly because I train her more. I make her work for food, take her for walks, she has to walk by my side and sit every time I stop. She has her eyes on me all the time. My husband does not want to put in the time so he does not get the respect. I never hit my dogs, never. I did take my dog who was being aggressive to a small dog, picked her up by the scruff of her neck and yelled at her. I was with a dog psychologist at the time and we were dealing with her dog aggression. I had that dog 13 years years she got very good with dogs but would bite strangers. I had to be very careful with her. By the way, my husband has never been a pack leader, and we have had 4 german shepherds. These dogs are very smart and figure out who the leader is. My dogs always come to me first. he is more of a cat guy.
Hi,

I have 2 siberian husky's and quite a bit of history with them. Both are settled and have a loving and friendly nature.
In my experience, and my approach to them is as follows :

First ... I would never grab them by the leg and force them to the ground etc to show dominance. I actually expect they would bare teeth and may well snap at me if I did so. I would. This is protective instinct. Some experts may say thats how alphas treat them in nature ... but then those alphas are huskies, not humans. And if you think the husky won't bite back at the new alpha trying that then you are mistaken ... it'll normally be quite a fight. My one won't even let me hold his feet, while the other loves it. That just means they are different. When I play I will not grab legs etc ... typically might get on the ground at their level, growl and wrestle a bit, they get rougher and rougher, so at some point teething will start (play biting) which can get heavy. I don't mind light, but tell them NO when getting heavy. But the thing is ... don't expect them to stop (they are huskies remember, ad play rough) ... they probably would stop but won't remember long ... so you need to do something different to change their focus. We have the superior intelligence, so use it.

They are very strong-willed, and that defines their character.
We can break that with force, but there's nothing sadder than a broken husky. And thats not going to happen overnight ... they will become more aggressive first.
As for disciplining .. well a telling off works well - they don't like disappointing someone they respect. No phys punishment will work, it can only break their spirit.

As I'm sure you are aware, they are totally unlike any other dogs. That's due to the way they are bred and is "in their dna".

The first problem most people have (and why there are so many rescue-huskies ... i'm adopting one atm) is they are so cute as pups and people take them without fully understanding the breed. I say fully as most people thankfully do enquire, but few take that seriously. If you think you will bring a husky into your life you've got it wrong ... its like a marriage, both your lives will change, and yours most.

They also think different - to any other species (including "clever" humans)

This is one of the biggest causes for problems, because as much as one would like to understand them and work out a way to become alpha of the pack etc, you cannot. I'm not saying you cannot be alpha, I'm saying you cannot dominate or whatever to become it. Many think they will exert some form of superiority and the husky will then understand they are the alpha. It doesn't work like that, no matter what the experts tell you. Now an expert in husky behaviour may well be able to do that, but 99.9% of us owners are not. In a pack (of husky's), one of them can become the alpha pretty fast (like a newly formed pack), but we are not huskies and its silly to think we can imitate it by flexing muscle. There's a lot of other senses going on in a pack we cannot imitate.

The way to become a leader (of anything in life), and its biblical too (If you are into that), is to serve. By serving and protecting their interests you become respected - over time. After all ... you will probably find thats how you won over your GF too ... and if so you may well be her alpha! That's the first step, and it takes a while. Without respect you cannot be alpha, you can only think you are, beat you chest and announce to the world. At this point they will be more interactive with you and you grow from that, and (possibly) will become alpha. I'm not entirely sure why everyone wants to be alpha anyway, and how we can assume we can decide who will be the alpha.

So I suggest to back off and to just work at becoming friendly, and get over that hurdle. Don't expect anything back ... if you think they will sit or lie down for a treat etc, then ask them to, but if they don't ... thats just because they are husky. Don't try punish them.Sure - hold the treat back if you like to try get them to do it, but you're fooling yourself if you think that makes much difference.

Note a husky is not a party-trick animal. They are too strong-willed and intelligent for that. A clever dog like (say a sheepdog) will run around and do amazing tricks, a husky can do the trick much better. But the (sheepdog) will keep doing the trick until it drops dead to please its owner. A husky will do it once, not see the benefit to itself, and not do it again. So which is clever? But what I'm saying is yes you can teach them to sit / roll over etc, but don't put money on it. The day they decide not too, they won't. Until you beat them into it - and break their spirit.

Good luck. Just enjoy them and look after them - thats what they are there for.