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Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 12:39 AM

$#&^%!@# Dog holder
Another hardly counts as a mod suggestion... My dog is half husky. Near as I can tell that gives her the genetic programming to ignore 99% of what I say to her. She behaves beautifully most of the time out of sheer good nature, but I have never managed to break her of her most annoying habit. When she gets the chance she bolts and heads for the hills. I have tried ignoring her, bribing her with poultry, yelling at her, chasing her, she basically comes back when she is good and ready no matter what I do. This has lead to many frantic chases as I try to catch her before her favorite game of street "chicken" gets her killed. She does this once or twice a year, often in the middle of a road trip she has decided is too long. One memorable chase took place after midnight in Burlington, CO, on a freezing cold, snowy night in late December - when she got bored she headed back to the motel and I caught her just 100 yards from the door. Another began at a gas station in Wilmington, NC, when she dodged out the car door and romped through traffic several times before exploring a junk yard.

Well, I quickly realized that she had every intention of slipping out the Trill door and exploring the green hills of Tennessee during our return trip. I installed a U-bolt in the side of the closet so I can thread her leash through it at moments when she seems likely to initiate a chase (such as when I am distracted moving bird cages into the trailer). With a long leash she has freedom to move about the Trill, but can't get more than a few feet past the door if she escapes.

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 12:54 AM

JR -I'd take a guess that your dog needs more exercise - your dog needs to run -more than you let her. :)

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 01:44 AM

She gets exercise. She just can't have freedom. Ask any Husky owner and they'll tell you that is the ultimate goal of every Husky.

Her lack of freedom is complicated by her history of abuse, neglect and attacks by other dogs. She has been seriously injured by two different dogs. Her feeling is that no dog will ever get the chance to do it again. She fights any dog that gets close to her. This seriously limits where she can run free. She won't chase balls or play with toys. After 6 years with me she no longer cowers at the sight of a broom handle. She no longer fears that I will starve her. She no longer jumps at every noise. It has been years since she hid under the table mistaking happy excitement for anger.

This sweet dog means the world to me and I do all I can to make sure she gets what she needs, including exercise. But she wants to run and run and run. I understand her desire, but I can't give her the unleashed freedom she wants.

At least with a tie down I can know that she will never again streak across a parking lot headed for a freeway.

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 03:24 AM

Sounds like a lot of work - she's lucky to have you. :sunny

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 04:03 AM

Dog holder
Ah yes, another Husky owner. I've had mine for 7 years now, a f/m that we rescued on the way to the vet to be put down. These dogs are smart, clever, and hard-headed. In 7 years I've managed to get mine to "sit" on command, if she can't think of anything she would rather do. Gave up on trying to get her to fetch. I would throw a tennis ball and she would watch it bounce into the horizon, then "sit" and look at me as if to say, "All right Stupid, you threw it, you go get it." And yes, they are escape-artists, can dig, climb, open doors, could probably un-hitch the Casita if she decided to. My dog has NEVER been off-lead in seven years, unless she is indoors, in my house. We even keep her on-lead (20ft 11mm climbing rope) in the backyard, which is enclosed by a 7-foot cypress fence. However, my girl is a great traveler, and loves the casita. My solution: LOTS of exercise. These dogs are built to do one thing very well, and that is run run run. That means that I have had to run run run as well. I'm now in my mid-fifties, and the two of us do several miles every morning, both of us harnessed up, with a 12-ft 9mm climbing line between us. My vet promises that she will someday slow down and be a lapdog, but I have my doubts. Needless to say, these are very high-maintenance animals. But wonderful additions to the family, if you are prepared to compromise!

JD Thornton

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 06:49 AM

That closet story turned out way better then I expected. I was seeing the closet wedged in the trailer doorway, having been ripped out. glad that didn't happen.
being an avid APL (pet channel) watcher, I saw someone with a pull thing on wheels hooked to a husky. maybe a little of that? at least you could keep up. :) me, I'd break my neck.

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 07:02 AM

Traveling with dogs
Your Husky tales remind me of my trip to Illinois a few weeks ago.

My Malinois mix, is a very good dog and an exceptional traveler. He's smart and knows all of the commands. For the most part, he obligues me and responds. Occasionally, when others are present, his 'move over old lady, I'm in charge' attitude requires determination and extreme firmness on my part to let him know that I am the big dog in charge, rather than he.

Our general routine while traveling involves many long walks and even swims when possible. His hard romping in the waters edge usually expends the energy that a regular walk cannot. He requires one intense run everyday. Not long, mind you, but one very, very intense run. By instinct, he's a herding dog. So, even though our back yard is small, he needs to run, circle, and play the herding game very intensely. When traveling, this just can't be done because of the leash. Short trips are okay. However, around the ninth day on my trip to Illinois (which required more traveling than camping) he decided enough was enough. As usual, we went for our morning walk. I got ready and we went for another short walk. I then put him in the front seat and prepared to break camp and hitch up. He always patiently watches and waits. As usual, I had the rear hatch open. I was putting on the safety chains when all of a sudden, he came leaping over the entire cargo stash in a shear determination to bolt out the back.

Since he had never done this before, I assumed he needed to go one more time, so we headed out for another walk to no avail. Then he refused to get back in the car.

Fortuantely, we only had one more day and we made it fine. Believe it or not, he even jumped back in the car with me when I had to go to the store shortly after we got home.

I think the root to that problem was that he handles 6 hour days fine. That gives us ample time to romp and play when stopped. The day before, we had a few more miles than normal and road construction slowed us down to the point that we were in the car for nine hours.

He stayed home the last trip, so we'll see how the next one goes.

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 07:25 AM

more dogs
your posts sound very familiar. i travel with a sheltie and a husky/lab mix (the perfect combination because the husky runs away and the lab comes back). the sheltie is also a herder and attempts to herd the other dog, which accounts for much entertainment. travelling with dogs is always an adventure.


Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 07:33 AM

Suggestion for bolting dogs
A friend's white shepherd search dog had a nasty habit of losing her focus when she encountered a herd of deer and disappearing for an hour or so. She would have had to wash a good search dog if she couldn't get the behavior stopped. She found a good trainer who worked with the newer e-collars and, using a positive sound cue, trained the dog to return to her. Huskies, like pit bulls, would probably just run right through a lot of signals so you'd have to try to find the right one but the dog's life is at risk. The newer e-collars and good trainers might help you feel like your dog was safer without hurting the dog. I only use positive reinforcement on my lab who runs 4 to 6 mile a day and I would consider one of those collars if I had trouble controlling him at a distance. So far, he's pretty good thank heavens!:wave

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 08:37 AM

e-collars for training and correction
My wife and I were working with one of our German Shorthaired Pointers and the dog got a scent of deer and took off. We could hear a busy road through the woods and, when there was the sound of braking and horn-blowing, my wife almost went nuts. Fortunately, the braking and horn-blowing were unrelated to our dog and she came back after a few minutes. That night I ordered our first e-collar from Cabellas. It only took one hit to get the GSP to get leery of deer scent. She weakened a few weeks later and started off, but after another hit and some voice reinforcement, she gave up deer forever.

Some folks feel e-collars are cruel. I don't agree. Used correctly and humanely they can be wonderful, life-saving tools. How cruel is it, by the way, to let your dog expose himself to danger through stubbornness? One good correction is worth a thousand feeble efforts. People who stand around and try to cajole the dog with "Come, Spot! Come! Come! Come!" are just teaching the dog that he doesn't have to pay attention to "Come!"

The best life-saving tool you have as a dog owner is to teach your dog to come right away every time. An intelligently used e-collar is a MUCH better alternative than watching your beloved dog run down on a busy highway. If you've know the sound that is made when a car hits a dog at high speed you know exactly what I mean.

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 09:12 AM

My old dog Sebastian was a Husky/Lab mix and was into the gotta run gotta run gotta run routine too... usually to water. He understood and followed all of my commands, except when he saw a lake, pond, stream, or for that matter a mud puddle.

I have a PitBull mix named Kyra now, and though she is the most affectionate, loving dog I have ever known, she is as dumb as a pail of rocks. I have had her for 4 years since she was 6 weeks old and tried to train her, but to this day when I give her a command she just looks at me with a big blank stare. Obviously she goes no where without a leash.

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 09:18 AM

I've never met a dog that was too dumb to be treat-trained. Try it on Kyra with "Sit!" I bet she'll be responding to commands within five minutes.

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 09:41 AM

JR ... good tip on securely attaching your dog on his leash inside the trailer while loading/unloading your rig.

We're fortunate. Maggie mutt is a registered assist dog and behaves better than I do.

But I think given the right circumstances, and the right smells, any dog can get distracted.

I also agree with Susan. Your dog's life could depend on it's ability to respond ... You might look into the e collars they are recommending.

Susan! Can you post some reference sites for e collar training?

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 01:45 PM

I want to know more about those collars too. after spending a week with a poodle guest that had been play chased by the owner who couldn't understand why the dog didn't come when called. I want my dog to come when I say come. right then. not next week, or after the hunt. but NOW.

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 03:24 PM

I'll contact my friend and post something tomorrow.

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 06:17 PM


Orginally posted by Robert Brummett

I've never met a dog that was too dumb to be treat-trained. Try it on Kyra with "Sit!" I bet she'll be responding to commands within five minutes.

Our Bichon, Missie, learned come, sit, stay, dance, lie down - all by treat-training. Sounds great, doesn't it? What she REALLY learned was not to respond at all until she SEES the treat!:r

Dina (& Jim)

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 06:34 PM

training vs negotiations
I once had a keeper of Rhodesian Ridgebacks that said that you don't train them, you negotiate with them!

No thank you!

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 06:48 PM

Pet stories
Somehow this thread went from 'Modifications' to pet stories, but the're interesting. Heres a favorite.......

Along the Cassier.....a story

Legacy Posts 07-20-2003 11:55 PM

This pup is 12, half white shepherd and half husky. She herds and she runs! When I see some one with a lab or a retrivever trotting along at heel without a leash, I point and say, WHY can't you do that? She is very loyal though, in the house she is never more than a few feet away.

Thanks Rick, I think I'm the lucky one. She is really an angel. She is high maintenance, but I feel blessed to have had the chance to see her learn to trust again. When I look at her, or at my birds (all rescued) it makes me wonder how they can have such forgiving hearts.

I tried treat training. She will refuse food if she thinks the strings attached aren't worth it.

Next mod is probably going to be a ramp to get her into the car and a step for the bed (yeah, I know training goes out the window if you let the dog on the bed, I gave in after I realized she'd trained me). On this trip she stopped jumping in and waited to have her hind legs lifted in.

Jana, I think the Trill closets are more ssecurely attached than most. I think I recall you taking yours out. This one is molded in.

Legacy Posts 07-21-2003 08:28 AM

The collar thing reminded me of what happens when we go camping. We have a 2 year old male human (just shy of 2 actually) and he likes to run but doesn't understand to watch for cars or trucks yet. So when we get to the campsite, I take out a spool of poly rope and run it liberally around the campsite, at approximately shin-height, wrapping it around the occasional tree to secure it. Then Shari and I can sit under the awning and Jakob can run around the site all he wants and the rope serves as a mental barrier. Of course, Humans are generally smarter than most dogs so this probably wouldn't work with dogs, especially not pitbulls and rottweilers.

The funny part is as people go for a walk past our site, they look at the rope and if Jakob isn't around, they ask what the rope is for and whether it's one of those electric fences for dogs. I generally don't correct them but tell them it's a fence for our little boy. I let them decide whether it's electric or not.

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