>>Here is the problem -- she is normally very friendly around people, but
> To begin with, aggressive problems whether fear based or otherwise are
>not uncommon with this breed. The males can be even worse. When an Eskimo
>owner calls me regarding a problem aggression or barking is usually the
>issue. Just like if someone calls me with a Yorkie it's housebreaking,
>Husky not coming,and so on.(Breed people please don't flame. These are
>typical problems that occur with such breeds only when there are

Your advice to this owner is basically sound. However, my experience is that Eskies, though protective are NOT by nature aggressive. Also, if you knew the breed better, you would know that Jim's greatest "ally" is that Eskies have a very strong desire to please. Your advice on withholding "gratuitous" affection is good provided it is coupled with the understanding that this will only be required during this dog's "reorientation" or "grounding" period. I agree, however, praise must be earned. The goal is to get the Eskie in a self perpetuating cycle of praise/good behavior. In reality, for a well trained Eskie, there is probably no such thing as too much love. Jim must get into his Eskies' mind and make her understand that nipping is NEVER an acceptable behavior and that he is the alpha, AT ALL TIMES. He must focus her considerable mental energies on that. Every command must be obeyed instantly. Even barking must be controlled, instantly. Frequent "downs" and "stays" are useful. Burning off this dogs energy with exercise and teaching her to retrieve are essential (come, sit, etc.).

An Eskie will learn more from play, in many cases, then structured training. For an Eskie, it is better to make training a "play period". Of course this requires owner creativity and love. Actually, instead of prey drive, as Jim terms it, I would prefer the term "play" drive. For example, I have taught my Eskie (and vice versa) from our retrieving games far more than she learned from the sit/stay, off, etc combos. Those she learned almost instantly. The challenge was to focus her attention and make obeying consistent. During play, I made retrieving a game similar to baseball or football. I invented, with her, multiple "play" formations, receiving patterns, transitions and combinations (at least 50). On the beach, I throw her ball way out and make her concentrate on its shifting location, sometimes for as long as 10-15 minutes until the ball is close enough to shore for her to run out and get it. The ball must be returned to my hand, perfectly or the retrieve is unacceptable and I will make her do it right. I have even taught her to retrieve sea gull feathers. One of her great joys is to spontaneously bring me that perfect feather which she has a great knack of finding. Finally, she has taught me more than I have taught her, almost correcting me if I use the wrong training style with a look that can only say, "you know that won't work...try this..."


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