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The taming of the husky

July 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Daria is an absolutely wonderful dog.  She is dominant, but not towards me.  She is very calm submissive towards me; she just shows dominance towards other dogs.  She is basically an easier dog to deal with than Loki in every way.

Loki is, perhaps, the most hard headed dog I have ever dealt with, as you all know.  He has tested me every day of every minute for the past year, and I really love him for that, but it has limited our progress.  In the past year I have been unable to progress past very basic obedience with him.  Admittedly, this is most certainly my fault for not knowing what I was doing with training dominant dogs, and I knew Shiba Inus were a nightmare to train.  Don’t mistake me, he is a wonderful dog, he’s just not going to always do what you say; he has a mind of his own.

Daria, on the other hand, lives to please.  She wants to do everything you want, you just have to teach her how.  In the past week she has learned sit, down, sit-stay, down-stay, on-by, gee, haw, and the basics for heel.  She also has a rudimentary understanding of  ‘come’.  In one week she has made it further in training than Loki has in a year.  This is not to say she’s smarter than Loki.  I think Loki is actually the smarter dog, she’s just not as hard headed as him.  Its like I told my mom when she commented that Daria was more intelligent.  If trainability correlated with intelligence, I would be one of the dumbest people on earth.  Meeting Loki for the first time was like unstoppable force meets immovable object.  Which one of us was which is left as an exercise for the reader.

Overall, I think Daria has been good for Loki.  He’s more confident, in general.  I think he feeds on her confidence; she shows him how to be a more stable dog.  He sees her having fun, getting petted, and having her tummy rubbed, and he wants in on the action.  So he starts to approach people, cautiously at first, and when he sees that they just want to pet him, he is that much more confident the next time he meets someone new.  I really think Daria was the right dog for us, and I am really happy I got her.

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Categories: Daria, Life, Loki

Loki vs the Yellowjackets

July 15, 2012 1 comment


Me: Some guard dog you turned out to be, running from a puny little yellow jacket.
Loki: ‘A’ yellow-jacket?
Loki: More like 100 yellow-jackets.
Loki: Lets see you take on 100 yellow jackets with your teeth.
Me: I thought you liked killing tiny things.
Loki: I like killing *tiny* *thing*
Loki: IE: one at a time, not nests at a time.
Me: You could have gotten dari to help.
Dari: Hey, dont drag me into this; you guys are the pack leaders, its your job to protect the pack.
Dari: Call me when you need something pulled.
Me: Actually, I do need something pulled.
Dari: Call me this winter, i’m closed until then.
Dari: Also, bring lots of food, cats are preferred, but I can work for cheese.
Dari: I also aerate lawns.

Categories: Daria, Life, Loki

Loki and Daria: The Never Ending Play Session

July 9, 2012 2 comments

Everyone welcome the newest member of my quadrupedal family, Daria.   This young Siberian Husky comes from the Alabama Siberian Husky Rescue.  I was honestly not entirely prepared for how hard she can pull; she is an extremely strong animal.  I can see why people used them as draft animals; she was born for it.   Maybe I can foster her love of pulling come winter and train her in bikejouring or something similar.

Loki Giving Daria a Bath

Loki Giving Daria a Bath

It was really a rough day for Loki.  I got him a new car harness from amazon mostly because I did not have room for two crates in my car.  He spent the first half-hour of the car ride sulking because he had some new torture device firmly attached to his body.  Eventually something snapped in his brain and he realized how awesome this was; he can now move around and look out of windows.  This new found freedom instantly caused his tail to go from the down position to firmly up.  Loki, being the curious dog he is decided to explore the limits of his newfound freedom; he tried to climb into the back window.  Since the tether was much too short for that, he promptly got pulled backwards, falling on his rump.

Loki and Daria Taking a Break

Loki and Daria Taking a Break

We all know how well Loki handles new experiences, and this one was no different.  Once we arrived at the rescue to meet the two dogs the rescue thought were a good fit, Loki decided he was scared again.  He goes into panic mode.   We met the first dog, Darling Darla, and no reaction.  The two were essentially oblivious to each other.  I think it was mostly Darla’s lack of energy; she just wanted to relax.  Who can blame her, it was bloody hot outside.  The next dog was a different story.  When Daria arrived, it was a miraculous change in Loki.  He instantly went from being scared crapless, to being confident and happy.  He started to explore; he tried to play (despite the scorching Alabama heat).  I knew at that moment, that Daria was the one for us.  She was friendly, happy, and confident, and these are the exact qualities I needed to help rehabilitate Loki.

Loki and Daria Napping after an 8 Hour Play Session

Loki and Daria Napping after an 8 Hour Play Session

She is very submissive for a Siberian Husky, and Loki is so obviously the dominant one.  She submits to him fast when he gets testy.   I honestly expected to have to keep her crated for most of this week, but it was completely unnecessary.  I do crate her to give them a break, and to let her chew on a bone.  I do not trust them around each other with precious resources; that is the recipe for disaster.   But just to tell you how well they get along, they played *all* day yesterday, and *all* afternoon Saturday.   Daria, being twice Loki’s size, took it easy on him.  I think she did not really want to hurt him, even tho it was well within her power to crush him.

Loki in Full Play Mode

Loki in Full Play Mode

Thus far, she has three major issues that I need to correct before I go into obedience training.   The first one is that she does not know her name.  This is easily remedied, however, and not a big deal.  The second is she is not leash trained.  This is a big deal, and will be a challenge to correct.  She lives to pull; she is alive when she is pulling something.   This is different than Loki.  He pulled because he thought he could get where he wanted by doing so.   She, on the other hand, does it because she loves doing it.  Its like me trying to tell Loki not to stop and sniff dead animals; good luck.   The third is really minor, and expected.  She is having house training issues.  I honestly expected this.  Any time you put a dog in a new house expect them to have accidents.  They were also all my fault.  Once I get used to her cues, this will be better, really.  Its obvious she *was* house trained.  Its just she’s not used to me, and my house.  So it will probably take a week to get this fixed.

Play Play Play

Play Play Play

Categories: Daria, Life, Loki