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Husky and ducklings

 
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Hi all I'm new.. my Siberian husky will be a year old this month. He's never liked our cats so I figured he would be the same way towards the ducklings we bought today.. instead he is guarding them like they are his pups... He won't let any of our other dogs near them without growling. He lays curled up around their box. I'm just confused and need answers please help.
 
master pollinator
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Sounds like instinctive LGD tendencies are coming out. This could be a very good thing.

I had a flatmate many years ago whose heeler Max was obsessed with the chickens and ducks. When I hatched a brood indoors, he wouldn't leave their room. When they were about two weeks old I let them our of their box to explore the room and they went over to Max, who was laying down and watching intently. Next they were climbing on him and trying to get under his belly.
 
Autumn McCann
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He has started growling at myself and my husband when we go near them as well but when we have them out of their box he's afraid of them so I'm confused on how to handle this situation
 
Phil Stevens
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I'd say give it a few days to let the novelty wear off. Try not to make a big deal out of it with the dog, since huskies really are drama queens at heart.
 
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I agree with Phil,  Let him adopt them if he likes.
As long as his growling remains just a warning and does not progress further.
The ducks will grow up and start doing duck things and he will grow out of it.
 
pollinator
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Without being there to witness the interactions, it's really difficult to assess the situation. But having had decades of experience showing, breeding, working Siberian Hudkies, I'd say that your dog has claimed the ducklings as his personal property. You see, huskies are born with the word "mine" on their lips. My toy. My food. My chewy. I've often seen my own dogs try to lay claim to my rabbits, "protecting" them from the other huskies. But that doesn't mean that the dog is truly protecting them. Rather, it's a claim of ownership. Dead rabbits is the most likely their future intent.

That your dog is growling at you and your husband is a serious sign. With your dog being just about a year old, he is a serious full-fledged teenager. Teenage huskies can be a total handful if they don't have an established place in the social pecking order, and just a just pain in the neck if they do. He's already established bad habits, so it's going to take some extra work to get him back in line. Huskies are very, very aware of social ranking. And strong personalities like to be near the top of the pack. But humans must be at the top, otherwise you have a potentially dangerous dog living in the family.

I'd suggest neutering him ASAP if he is not neutered already. This is real important with a growling husky. Then he needs formal obedience in order for him the accept that there are rules in life that he has to follow.

Letting your dog "adopt" them may not be a good message to send to a husky. I strongly suspect he sees them as scary animated squeaky toys, but because he is still immature, doesn't know exactly what to do next with them. The ducklings must be owned by you, and you only. He doesn't need to be away from the ducklings, but he only gets supervised visitation rights. Having said that, now that he has already claimed them without challenge, you may have difficulty getting him to unclaimed them and acknowledge your superior position. Since his growling at you worked, from his point of view, you may have some issues regaining control. He is already getting the feedback that he ranks above you, thus giving him say in what to do about the ducklings.

By the way, huskies aren't LGDs. While there might be the dog here and there that lacks the kill instinct when it comes to livestock, by nature they are small animal killers. Not with anger, hatred, bloodlust, or hunger......its just a centuries old survival instinct.
 
Autumn McCann
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Thank you. He knows better that he isn't in charge he growled at us and he was discipline. We have a kennel he goes into when he gets in trouble and let me tell you he hates it. He's very hard headed. But he knows my husband and I are in charge. We plan on having him neutered soon.
 
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