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why is my husky like this (behavior/ playing with other dog question)?

asked 2016-03-10 13:31:37 -0500

so i have a husky and a shitzhu, my shitzu is not the problem lol, it's my husky. she likes playing with my shitzu all the time. but when i take her to the dog park to be around other dogs she is very "bi-polar" with dogs. she cries because she wants to go into the dog park, but she is very shy and scared when it comes to play with dogs. she stays in one side of the dog park barking and like whining at the other dogs (im guessing she wants them to come to her) but she doesnt go to them. also, when dogs get close to her, she shows her teeth and semi- tries to bite the dog that gets close to her. she wants dogs to play with her but gets defensive i guess when dogs get close to her. i dont want her biting or trying to bite other dogs, i want her to play and get use to being with other dogs. but to get her to play with dogs, i need to have her around dogs. so what do i do? and i tried taking her to the dog park with my shitzu that she plays with, but she gets all protective and defensive when other dogs try to play with him like if only she could play with my other dog.

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answered 2016-03-11 20:56:01 -0500

Dog parks are really overwhelming! Taking your husky on a leashed walk with one or two other dogs (not your shitzu) for a while, and then letting them off leash together might have her reacting better. A slower pace might help get her out of her shell. My very boisterous and friendly pit bull often overwhelms more defensive dogs when he first meets them, I can imagine what the other side is like.

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Lindsey, my answer would have been pretty much word for word just as your was.....including that I too have a boisterous and friendly pittie! :) I would only add that reinforcing even baby steps of better behavior on leashed walks might be crucial! ie, high value treats and lots of happy talk!! But yes.....a slower pace, leashed walks in company....all good!! Dogs parks put LOTS of pups on overload. :)

Jackie R.'s profile image Jackie R.  ( 2016-03-13 05:31:10 -0500 ) edit
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answered 2016-04-17 15:23:03 -0500

This has nothing to do with dogs, but I teach Junior high and I was struck by how similar your husky's behavior is to that of some of my students. Being confused about what one really wants, concerned about who is a friend and who is not, and having a mercurial personality comes with the territory! :)

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answered 2016-04-17 02:03:22 -0500

Huskies are very different in the way they communicate, compared to other dogs. They use their sounds, teeth and body much more if allowed and sometimes even if you don't too! Your husky's behavior might be a way to display her dislike of the way they play/act. If you feel that there isn't anything wrong with the way the other dogs are interacting then you need to take charge and help your husky to engage with the other dogs.

Maybe take her out of the park and walk around the outside of the fence to get your dog to use her nose and ears more and become more of a dog and less of a husky.

A technique that is very effective is to use a longer leash (two leashes) to connect your dog to another to get your dog to mimic their body language, if you have a dog of equal strength as yours that you trust. Then remove the leash once they show improvement or discontinue the exercise if its not effective. Don't try this at the park if there are other dogs you don't know.

Anything that keeps her from displaying that behavior is good as the more she repeats a good habit she is more likely to have that become her new normal.

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answered 2016-03-11 21:12:03 -0500

If your Shitzu is the only dog she is used to being around, it may be a socialization issue. As Lindsey said, dog parks can be very overwhelming. I would try socializing her with friends, or family members dogs and see how she acts. Do this on neutral territory at first, to ensure there aren't any territorial issues.

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