questionshow to help the new puppy get over issues?


"No snap" and he gets it, I know it will take time - that's fine. It's just that he uses his teeth like most dogs use their nose, has anyone run into that?
Submissive urination - I only saw this once, previous owner told me about it, when he misbehaves/eliminates in the house - he did it once when he eliminated and I leashed him too quickly.
He hides and pouts when he makes mistakes. It's difficult to decide which issue to deal with at the moment when this happens. Do I correct the mistake? Or deal with the fear? For now, it's a balancing act, sometimes I can correct the mistake while calming him, but most of the time I'm just trying to let him see that he's safe.
-Health - his build is stocky, but his ribs show. Vet said to keep a close eye on his weight, we've managed to put about 10lbs on him in a short time. I think he was dehydrated. We got him altered and checked.

Overall, he's coming along. I'm just looking for pointers from someone who's seen some of this before. Thanks!


I have a Husky/Shepherd mix and his name is Loki, and he was from the pound. We got him as a baby, he had terrible Kennel cough. After that he developed a severe case of Demodectic mange because of his impaired immune system. He had health problems, which caused his behavior problems. He chewed everything!! We went through several comforters, shoes, rugs, if he could get his mouth on it he would chew it. The vet said that it was because he was so uncomfortable he was taking it out on other things. Since his mange was cured we have had some chewing, but nothing that would be considered abnormal. Sorry this isn't much help to your situation, but I know your pain! Congratulations on your new addition and thank you for giving a shelter dog a chance. I have three rescues and they are like my children!
BTW...You do know that Loki was the God of mischief? That's how my husband came up with our Loki's name!! Sounds like they were both well named =)


First off, thank you so much for adopting a dog! Especially a difficult breed & one with such an unstable history.

I volunteer at a shelter, and have fostered many dogs over the last year or so. When you have a case where there have been multiple homes in a short time, the dog is going to have a lot of behavior issues. He's going to have a lot of anxiety, displacement issues (which are difficult for pack animals), difficulty understanding where he fits in the new pack, lack of trust that he is in a stable environment. Etc. Since you don't know what the former homes he was in were like, you're facing a lot of unanswerable questions to the source of each behavior.

A lot of his bad behavior is just going to take a lot of time, and a lot of patience on your part to overcome. I highly recommend consulting a dog trainer near you. I know they are pricey, but it is going to save you so much frustration & stress in the long run. Someone to work with you 1:1 will be the best bet.



I'd ask your local animal rescue/shelters for their recommendations on a person or company. Dog groomers might also have trainers they refer their clients to.

Personally, we rescued a Husky about 10 years ago, and were never able to resolve her need to breakout! She does it less now that she's older, but they are a very pig-headed breed and do exactly what they want, when they want. They need a LOT of exercise, especially in the first 5 years.

I'd say while you're looking for a trainer to start with structured walks with Loki. If he knows he's getting out at 6pm for an hour, and that is HIS time with the pack leader, it may help him settle into his new pack. Plus, he'll get an hour's worth of energy out, and probably pee on every bush, stump, lightpost along the way. Not much left in the bladder when he gets back inside! :)

Good luck!


Oh, one last thought: His repeated pooping might be stress-related. It's pretty common in the shelter kennels for the dogs to poop up a storm. Dunno if it is a leftover survival instinct thing, or what, but it happens to most of the dogs there.


Not much to add here except it does seem like most of his behaviors are stress related. Give him his own space (I assume you have a crate) in a quiet place where he can retreat and be left alone. Lots of "legal" chewies and exercise, the rest is just time.

My Aussie was terrible with her teeth as a pup and even at 18 months she still brings out the teeth when she is overly excited or tired. But we make our correction noise and she runs for a toy. We have trained her that she only gets to play with people with a toy in her mouth.

Congrats on the new member of your family!


i just think you're awesome for caring enough to work with him and not give up - i have a puppy and am going through some similar issues, but that's a different story - my mom's dog has the submissive urination, which is the first i've known of too - i think that might change with stability - her dog is a chihauha so anything big coming at her (person) causes her to wet but she hasn't been worked with either - anyhow, good luck to you and your pup and will send happy thoughts your way -


I have a friend who used to be a professional dog trainer who still keeps her website I'm not sure how actively she maintains the site now, but it's free and filled with lots of really useful training tips geared for those of us who aren't professional.

Shirley is one of the most dog-loving people I know, and she gives unstintingly to her dogs, but she's also very grounded in doing what works to keep them happy and in their proper place in their family pack. A google search on her name will turn up a lot of her hints and tips that have been picked up on many other websites and blogs, such as

I am particularly fond of her section on "mind games"

Good luck with the new kid!


@jandk113: What a coincidence! When we got him his name was Schultz and it just didn't fit! He started answering to Loki within a day.

Thank you all very much for the encouragement and feedback!

I can't take credit for adopting - my dogs have ALWAYS chosen me. Seriously, there were a few over the years that I tried to find homes for - but they kept coming back. Now, when I get that vibe, I just take them home. They're family.

Thor is our other pup - Husky/Shep mix as well. He's helping with Loki's training and settling in. Now they both have a stable schedule and someone to hang out with - makes it easier.

Pictures!! (Thor is on the left, Loki on the right)

(Loki left, Thor right)


Simba was dumped at the pound to be euthanized because he was "uncontrollable and dangerous". I was unlucky enough to have just lost my previous rescue to cancer, but lucky enough to have just filled out the adoption request when he was handed over the Great Dane Rescue. We went through many obedience courses and did a lot of home training, but the best thing I did was join an active Great Dane Yahoo group with several skilled trainers who were very generous with their advice. Simba:

He also came to me with tummy problems, he couldn't hold down anything. I went through every dog food available in my community and finally came to Taste of the Wild, which works great for him. (cont'd)


Once a dog has urinated in the house it's difficult to prevent repeats as their elimination tends to be scent driven. Clean thoroughly with scent eliminating products. If he tend to do it in the same place every time, move his food dish there, few animals will urinate near their food, you may want to try a grain free food or consider a raw diet of he is defecating excessively. Dogs on a grain free or raw diet eat less volume and have greatly reduced stool size, firmer stools, and less gas. I use Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream for my Great Dane (5.5cups a day for 135lb active 5yo). While it is important to listen to your vet, vets are often not well trained in appropriate foods-- otherwise they wouldn't recommend corn based kibble. Do some research on your own, and visit websites like to earn about canine nutrition


Thor and Loki are cuties, Thumperchick!


@thumperchick: Your babies are beautiful!!

Now I just have to show off mine =)
Loki usually only holds his right ear up, but he doesn't like pictures so usually both ears are down when he gets photographed...poor fella!