Im looking for opions on what to do with our 12 year old husky, we got our husky when i was 12 years old, she was mostly my dad’s dog, 2 years ago my father passed away so obv she stayed with me (i was still living with my father when he passed), about a year ago we moved and she did fine with the move, she treated our new house just like our old house, never sat at the door like she was ready to leave like i thought that she would, within the last 6 months she has gone down hill, we have two other dogs and they listen great, we always make sure that she has her alone time with us so that she isnt getting agravited with them, and she has the upstairs to herself away from the other dogs, within the last 6 months she hasnt been listening to hardly anything that my fiance and I say, she listens more to me than she does him, but she hasnt been listening to me either. When we eat she not only begs but will come right up to your plate to take food off the table, we feed her excellent dog food and she gets more than what she needs everyday, she will grab trash right out of the trash can and start ripping it up right in front of you, and the major thing that we are having the most problems with is that we will take her outside for a good amount of time and she will come inside and once you leave the room she will go the bathroom in the room after being outside for such a long time. Another thing i notice now is that you have to keep telling her to go the bathroom when she is outside, if you just let her outside she will pee only a little and then come right inside and then go the bathroom inside.
she is now starting to wake us up in the middle of the night just for random things, we will get up take her the bathroom she doesnt have to go, alot of times she wants to just roam and rip up things, but we keep her in our bedroom because for some reason even after going the bathroom right before bed if she isnt in our bedroom she will go the bathroom on the dining room floor.
We are really getting frustated and dont know what to do anymore, she always has enough food and water, she always has bones, and we always take her out, i dont know if anyone has any experience with dogs with older age doing things like this?
If anyone could help we would really appreciate it, thanks
rachelmichelle– I have had her since I was 12 so we are both very use to eachother, and she never had a issue before with listening, She gets as much exercise as she can have she torn her ACL a few years ago so she cant go for long walks, also she doesnt have great hips because of age, she i take her out for a long as she can handle, she doesnt play with toys at all never has, she has ropes and toys she can play with but she never does, and with the upstairs she goes up there by herself when she wants too, when we do go to work she is upstairs so that she isnt getting into stuff that she shouldnt and doesnt go the bathroom on the dininig room floor but she has the whole upstairs to roam which is a big area
Huskys are a breed that aren’t for the faint of heart. They need firm training constantly and continous physical activities or else they get bored and try to proclaim dominence. Regardless of how long you’ve lived with her or known her if she is taking food right off the plate she is showing dominance which needs to be nipped in the bud.
Have you ever used NILF (nothing in life is free)? You can google it for more info, but basically you make them work for everything. A sit before going outside, shake before getting a treat, down before throwing a ball, etc. I think you’ll find it more effective than yelling at her. When you’re eating I would keep a leash on her so any food stealing can be immediately corrected.
Has she had a vet checkup lately? 12 years old is getting up there, it’s possible some of her issues could be health related too. Deafness, a UTI, maybe pain from arthritis etc could all be contributing factors.
@Kellylovesanthony: Oh that isn’t good. If she shows her teeth at you when you discipline her, she isn’t realizing you are the “leader” or “alpha”. I really don’t have any other advice other than to get it through the dog that you are the leader. I’ve heard huskies can be very tough dogs to have because they are so dang stubborn!
The first thing I would do is a vet visit. Dogs can’t tell us when they are in pain, so changes in behavior are the biggest clues to something being wrong. A lot of what you described could be restlessness due to pain – maybe from her hips, arthritis etc. A vet can figure out if thats whats going on, and what can be done to manage it.
If the vet says nothings wrong, I would look at a training refresher. NILIF that a PP recommended is a great program, but really any training program that you are comfortable with would be a help. It may be that as she has “settled in” to your home, she has started to feel like its hers and she is in charge. Even a few basic obediance classes may help her back into the mindset that you are in charge and she follows your rules.
I would also look at how permissive you are being- I know we tend to spoil our dogs as they got older. (We had a pomeranian who though he was king of the world when he passed away at 17 years old). Are you spoiling her without realizing it and then getting upset when she assumes she should get something?
This is what I was sort of getting at in my original post.
Even if you’re ‘familiar’ with the dog, with breeds like husky, you need to CONSTANTLY maintain your position as the alpha in the family. They are naturally headstrong dogs that need a firm and CONSISTENT owner. Consistency is key.
If you are afraid of the dog when she bares her teeth at you, that’s not good. She’ll pick up on this, and it simply reinforces that she really is the Alpha.
After a vet visit, I would perhaps seek the help of a professional dog behavioralist if you are uncertain of how you should best assert yourself as the dominant person in the relationship. Trying to maintain its ‘alpha’ position in the pack can actually be quite mentally stressful for your dog.
@Kellylovesanthony: Well you shouldnt yell at her to begin with, and unless her hackles are up and you can hear audible snarling noises, its more likely that its a submissive grin, not a snarl. A submissive grin is used when they are trying to passify or calm down another dog/you.
I would take her to the vet ASAP. My husky did the same thing right about the same age. He had a crate that I left open and had his bed in it and he liked going there for peace and quiet away from his grumpy, blind cocker spaniel (got them at the same time so that wasn’t an issue). He started snapping at me when I went to pet him, would show his teeth when I yelled, would snarl when I went to put his lead on. He died about 4-6 months after starting this. Never found out from what, but I suspect he was sick that whole time and I ignore the symptoms as him getting old. He did still love his cuddle time and was super affectionate, but would get snappy real quick.
I’d contact your vet. I have a malamute puppy and this doesn’t sound like an Alfa Beta problem to me it sounds like physical or maybe even mental health issues- Sorry to call your dog mental :S I don’t mean it to come across like that but deaths – moving- all that on top of age could really have had its affects. When I moved away my dog almost died but my parents took him to a vet and got him stable and adjusted – and now he’s better then he’s been in years he is going on 17 years this upcoming april.