Author Topic: Training my Husky to not run away...  (Read 61780 times)

SeraphWolf79

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2005, 08:56:43 am »
Oh wow, it's been a looooong time since I've posted on here!  So many responses to this thread since I left lol

I don't give Nanook any chances to take off anymore...I got a neat little halter thingy that goes around his chest and under his arms so he's not pulling me 80 miles an hour down the road  ;D  Plus, it's so much more comfortable for him (walking him with just a collar and leash felt like I was choking him to death, so I really needed something easier for him). 

I think he's given up on trying to get out of the yard...or maybe he's started to enjoy my company, one or the other lol.  That and the squirrels keeping him occupied.   

Offline lilysmom

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2005, 12:25:08 pm »
Raven is a master escape artist.  She will jump up on the screen door and push the handle down to get out.  She will slip behind me when I come in the door.  She'll lean on a fence board day after day until she weakens it enough to get out.  I can't count the amount of times she has run away.  Just today she went on a 1 hour romp around the neighborhood.  She drives me crazy sometimes.  I've tried every training method with her.  She won't even come back for a treat.  She is stubborn to the extreme.  If anyone wants to volunteer to come out and train Raven to not run away, be my guest.  I give up.  I just know that about once a week, if not more I'll have to run around after her.  Oh well.  I love her anyway. :)
When I rescued Lily, she rescued me right back!

Offline siberescuegirl

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #32 on: November 26, 2005, 05:01:37 pm »
It has nothing to do with the dog not loving you - it is in the Siberian Husky's nature to run, wander and chase. Intact males (not neutered) have an even stronger urge to wander to search for females, and if there is a female in heat nearby, he will do anything to get out and get to her.

I work with a Husky rescue organization - even with the best of training and discipline and the closest relationship, you cannot trust your Husky not to take off, especially in an area where there are small animals  they can chase (rabbits, squirrels), or traffic.  A little over a year ago, a Husky was adopted out to a home where the adopters were, as usual, educated on the necessity of being careful with doors, making sure the dog didn't get out of the house or yard off leash. The next day one of the doors to the house wasn't securely closed, he got out, and was hit and killed on the main road near the house. Even the most well-trained Husky will give in to their instincts to run at some point and just take off, so it's up to the owner to guard against this with caution and leashes. Obedience training will help, but it's never a 100% guaruntee.

Here is a quote from the Siberian Husky Club of America site (http://www.shca.org/shcahp2b.htm): "Of all the shortcomings to be found in Siberians, the most dangerous to the pet owner is their tremendous desire to RUN. But the very first dash that a puppy makes across the road could be his last run, anywhere. A Siberian, for his own protection, should be kept confined or under control at all times. If you are one of those people who think it is cruel to kennel a dog, or keep him confined in his own backyard . . . don't buy a Siberian. "

Offline siberescuegirl

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #33 on: November 26, 2005, 05:04:55 pm »
Clicker training is like any other type of training - it's as good as the trainer, which is you, the owner. If you really dedicate yourself to it and you are consistent with training, then yes, it can help, but Huskies by nature are not trustworthy off leash, and for their own safety, should not be let off leash outside of a fenced area.

Karen Pryor pioneered the use of clicker training for dogs, clicker training has been used with dolphins for years. Karen wrote the book "Don't Shoot the Dog" about clicker training and she has a site: http://www.clickertraining.com/training/clicker_basics/ .

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #34 on: November 26, 2005, 05:12:19 pm »
"brave enough" to have their Husky off leash while walking? NO, not brave. Stupid and irresponsible. If their dog sees a squirrel, rabbit, or even just another dog he wants to go say hi to, he could take off, through traffice, and who knows how far the dog will get, or if it will get hurt or killed.

It makes me so angry that people don't do the research before they get a dog, don't learn about the breed and their characteristic s.  Then the dog is in a situation with an owner who is not prepared to property take care of them, and many Huskies are found as strays, or returned to shelters becuase the owners had no idea what they were getting into with a Husky. It's not the dog's fault.

Many Huskies very rarely bark. Instead they may make "talking" sounds, some more than others. Yes, Huskies are known for being escapte artists, so you need to make your fences and gates Husky proof. This site http://www.siberianhusky.8m.com/sibeinfo.htm#Not%20so provides some very clear facts about the Siberian Husky - escape artists, runner, digger, etc.

If you want to discuss tips for containment and Husky proofing your fence and  gates, go to www.everything husky.com and go to the forum. There is a section on Fencing and Containment where many Husky owners have submitted excellent ideas.

Offline WhiteShepherdDog

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...myth busting
« Reply #35 on: November 27, 2005, 01:49:56 pm »
 He will now sit and stay while the door is open, but if he gets out of his collar while I'm running with him

You are right on target with the training....yo u are establishing your leadership by controlling the resources: the door! Higher rank dogs go first!
I suggest a martingale collar that prevents the dog from slipping out--if that is the problem---it is just a nylon flat collar that snugs to prevent 'dog-on-the-loose -it is the least restrictive training aid> less restrictive than a halter---
(See sitstay.com)
no, I don't do clicker training, per se, because I actually use a smile as my marker for correct behavior!
Really, don't laugh---I train using emotion as the marker (smile) and reward is emotion in my voice (good boy!)
I actually have seen a Husky on the agility field with me who are trained using John Rogerson emotional training.... under complete off -leash control.

Yes, Huskies are distractable.. ...but you can train them...don't fall for the myth that Huskies run off anymore than Pitbulls have to be dog aggressive biters!!!!
These are behavior issues that can be addressed if you understand canine psychology.... .
A Siberian, for his own protection, should be kept confined or under control at all times.
It is difficult to train off-leash control, but not impossible even for Huskies. I would wager that a regular "Obedience" class would not be a good fit. Somebody already said the training method is only as good as the teacher and the owner implementing the program.

The key issue is: does your dog want to be with you more than anything else.....under any circumstance.
It is really just training.
Step 1- Perfect the recall. (I posted somewhere else on tips for this- can one search --I think so)
oh, I guess that is the only step.... ;)
The idea is that you are the most interesting thing to your dog---under all distractions.
It really seems to work. My 2 yr old intact male is always  sniffing everything else....his favorite pasttime, really.
But after about 9 mos training where I set him up for success on Come! and trained with tasty treats (chicken to liver to cheese, lamb, etc) in many situations... it works.
He comes even if I don't have food- cuz I always "praise my heart out" when he comes!
I smile and wave my arms and excitely tell him GOOD BOY.

In a way, it is that the dog doesn't like you! Let's face it---you are not as interesting as the distraction... ..
there is an indication of a relationship issue if your dog does not come after training it properly.
I am only sharing this since this is what my behaviorist told me---and sure enough, the better my relationship developed (me as benevolent top dog and cueing him to positive behavior)
the better off leash control developed.
It does take a good training program (immediate positive attention/reward to desired behavior) and practice, but your husky doesn't have to fulfill the breed myth any more than the myths that rotties are mean and dobies are aggressive---or german shepherds are fear biters.
The day my dog stopped his squirrel chase in mid -run when I whistled, I knew my hours of training and investment in classes had paid off.
The last day of our agility class, we were on the field -with about 20 dogs and people watching--near the end of the course, he jumped up on the table/off the other side and ran directly towards a very interesting dog in the audience.....
I really didn't think he'd come back to me---we had run the course 3 times and he was getting a little bored with it.
So I just sat down on the table and gave my finger whistle...he stopped-looked at the inticing dog- looked at me and turned towards me and returned to me full speed!
He got some chicken for that to be sure.
I would never let my dog off-lead in a dangerous situation that I did not have 100% recall success.
When I first trained him on agility field and he did run off a few times, he was put in "timeout"-- he was tied to a tree and watched me work with other dogs. He watched that and was very eager to rejoin me in the fun stuff going on.
A dog that looks to you as the leader of the pack---because you are fun and always excited to see him, and gets surprised at unexpected special treats when he complies with your cues....will be your best friend and return to you regardless of the breed. You may need to work at it longer and practice harder, but the results can be the same.
I purposely am training an intact GSD in agility to dispell the myths associated with intact dogs....
-they roam (not if you keep them in a fence or on leash! :D)
-they are aggressive (not if they are desensitized, socialized, trained etc)
------
I know I am working against nature and bred in traits, but that is teaching me so much about behaviorial training.....
My point is that although breeds have certain inbred traits, the way you treat your dog by rewarding behaviors is by far more important.
Most people fail to teach recall because they repeat the command; yell at the dog; or commit equally dumb mistakes.
If you use a negative tone to say COME to your dog or use their name in a tone that is angry--you are not going to get your dog near you....
but what do most people do when their dog finally returns to them? BAD dog...or they use an angry tone to say the dog's name when it doesn't come immediately.
It is really funny how people usually train their dogs to run away! ???
« Last Edit: November 27, 2005, 02:23:24 pm by WhiteShepherdDog »
Regards,
Martha in Texas

Offline ZooCrew

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #36 on: November 27, 2005, 04:32:25 pm »
I'm afraid I have to disagree with you that a husky running away is a behavior issue.  It's not, it's an instinct issue.

I have seen the occasional off leash husky at the beach, but it is a rare occurence.  It has nothing to do with how well you train your dog.  Huskies, as has been previously stated, are born to run.  They love to run, and don't want to stop.  Rewarding them for coming back isn't as great as running, and for most, it never will be.

I don't think it has anything to do with myths or what people percieve the breed to be.  You wouldn't think of letting a greyhound or any other sighthound off leash, would you?  It's the same concept.  Most huskies have a very high prey drive.  They see a rabbit or squirrel and they are off........... .........no recall training will get them back.  They don't think like other breeds, and you can't train them like other breeds.  Even mushers, who train their dogs very well, have had problems with the dogs going off course after an animal.

Even though huskies are very pack oriented and want to be with their "pack", at the same time, alot of them are very aloof, which is why they have the reputation for being difficult to train.  I dont' think they're difficult, you just have to have a different mindset when training them.  You are working with a breed that for the most part could care less what you want them to do.  They'll do it for the treat, and then forget all about the training the next time you want them to do it.  They are independent thinkers, which is a constant challenge in the training department.

Like I said, I have seen huskies off leash before, but they are a very small percentage of the breed as a whole.  Even Keiko, who I've mentioned is only 1/2 husky, cannot be off leash most of the time, and she is extremely obediant and well trained.  If there is a squirrel or rabbit around, and I don't tell her to "leave it" in the split second she stops before lunging....... .........forge t it, she's gone. Unlike some huskies though, she will eventually come back.  I just don't like to take that risk, so she is only allowed off leash in places I can completely control.  Even then I have to be very watchful, b/c she likes to wander, sometimes up to 50 ft away.  Again its in her nature, same with liking to pull.  It's been a year now since working on leash manners, and she is almost at a heel.  And I wouldn't have even worked on that had I not wanted to get her into therapy work.

Gunther, my great dane, is the complete opposite.  I don't have to worry about him going anywhere, as he's glued to my side whether on or off leash.

I just don't want anyone to get their hopes up on off leash training for huskies.  It would be a very rare thing for one to be good off leash all the time.  And unless they're good off leash all the time, why take the risk?

Offline Anky

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #37 on: November 27, 2005, 04:45:52 pm »
I agree with Zoo Crew.  Husky nature is to be aloof and independant.  I'm not saying that huskies don't make great pets.  Please don't think that.  But what she said about their running is totally right.  A Husky is bred to work.  It's born into them, drives them wild if they can't.  Why do you think so many Huskies end up in rescue?  Someone wants a cool looking dog, leaves them to suffer to boredom all day, dog gets destructive or runs off.  They're a roaming dog.  They don't need human companionship.  

My Hobo is a Chinook.  It's a sledding dog that was created because the founder of the breed wanted a dog that not only was his transportation, but a friend and companion as well.  The Nordic breeds didn't offer that, and so the Chinook was born.

It's nothing against the dog.  It's in their genes that they can't be trusted off lead.  The owner of my training facility was a breeder of top Bloodhounds.  All her bloodhounds had multiple titles including agility and obedience.  Her one dog had an OTCH (Second highest title in obedience competition)  However she can't trust him off lead in certain situations.  Has nothing to do with his training.  Just in his blood.  
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Offline WhiteShepherdDog

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #38 on: November 27, 2005, 04:46:58 pm »
Most people believe myths like pitbulls are dog aggressive... and huskies run away.
Pit bulls are bred to kill other dogs. It's in their genes.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks kill cats (Bred to hunt lions)

Get it?
These are genetic traits- but of course these traits are modified by your actions/environment.

The point that I am making is that as humans, we can use our knowledge to modify behavior that is instinctual. Many people do.
Let me use this other analogy of training versus instinct.
A dog's instinct is to pee where it smells pee.
Yet, amazingly we can housetrain dogs after they have pee'd on our carpet.
(oh, no- is pee a verboten word?)
Does it make it harder to teach your dog to pee outside when they smell it in the carpet?
Yes.

I've had this discussion with leading behaviorists---- so that is my background.

I'm not trying to change what anyone believes---I am trying to point out that breed myths are not accurate.
What are some breed myths you would dispute?

Believe what you want.

I want Santa to bring me good cheer.

Check this link out.
http://www.thepetcenter.com/gen/training1.htm

BTW- just because a dog earns titles does not mean it has a relationship with the owner like I define it!
I have worked with handlers that can get dogs to perform in a ring, but that dog has no relationship with that human like I mean.
Any dog owner should examine- Why doesn't my dog want to be with me?
All breeds are pack animals and have the instinct to follow the lead dog.
(Especially huskies!!!)
Dog social structure is very clear.
If your dog does not pay attention to you, you are not the pack leader.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2005, 05:07:54 pm by WhiteShepherdDog »
Regards,
Martha in Texas

Offline ZooCrew

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #39 on: November 27, 2005, 05:24:26 pm »
Quote
Most people believe myths like pitbulls are dog aggressive... and huskies run away.
Pit bulls are bred to kill other dogs. It's in their genes.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks kill cats (Bred to hunt lions)

Pit bulls were never bred to kill other dogs.  They were bred to bait bulls.  It has never been in their genes to do so.  I cannot speak for RR as I have never owned one, but a lion is a big difference from a house cat, and they have not been bred to hunt lions in a very long time.

Huskies, on the other hand, are still bred to run.  They continue to be used for what they were originally bred to do.  They are also one of the closest breeds genetically to the wolf.  Have you ever tried training a wolf?  Believe it or not, I have worked somewhat with wolves (not timber or gray wolves, but red wolves) and they are a huge challenge.  Your dog as a husky won't respect you until you've earned it's respect.  That is just how it is.  And even if it respects you, that does not mean it will listen to you 100% of the time.  Like I said before, they are independent thinkers, they will do what suits them.  If it is what you wanted them to do, then great.  If not, they don't really care.

Again, I come back to the sighthounds.  It would be incredibly stupid to let one off leash in an open field.  You would never see it again.  It is not so different than the husky.

You used an example of teaching them not to pee in the house.  It is not the same concept behind it.  Peeing is behavioral, not instinctual.  What would be similar would be to train an intact male not to copulate with an in heat female.  If you can do that, then maybe you can teach a husky not to run off.  That is the same kind of instinct that drives them to run.

The only way you could get most huskies not to run off would be to start selectively breeding the ones that can be trained to be off leash.  Maybe in 20 yrs, you would have a breed that looks like a husky, but will be completely obediant.

Offline Anky

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #40 on: November 27, 2005, 05:55:57 pm »
BTW- just because a dog earns titles does not mean it has a relationship with the owner like I define it!
I have worked with handlers that can get dogs to perform in a ring, but that dog has no relationship with that human like I mean.
Any dog owner should examine- Why doesn't my dog want to be with me?
All breeds are pack animals and have the instinct to follow the lead dog.
(Especially huskies!!!)
Dog social structure is very clear.
If your dog does not pay attention to you, you are not the pack leader.


I feel that with you not knowing the relationship of the owner handler and dog you have no right to make such statements (For the record this woman bottle fed the puppy from 3 days old due to his mother's death from C Section complications).  One of the instructors at my training center is world renowned herding trainer Maurice MacGregor, and he admire's Celete's dogs and her relationship with them.  Obedience isn't "performed".  I don't even understand that coorelation.

Personally I feel that the whole "Dogs follow the pack" thing is antiquated thinking.  What people need to take into consideration is that all dogs are individuals.  You ever heard of the lone wolf?  He's not a pack animal.  The statement "Why doesn't my dog want to be with me?" is simple.  Dogs are like children.  Even the most obedient are curious and driven by their senses that are more in tuned with their surroundings then we could ever dream to be.  Plus like Zoo Crew said, unlike most of today's working dogs, Huskies are still used for the purpose they were created for.  My Dane once upon a time was a boar hunting dog.  If he saw a wild pig now he'd probably pee his invisible pants.  Huskies are still consistently bred to be tireless, self sufficient, working dogs.  The self sufficient is often what keeps them alive and why they don't strive for human contact.  Why they're such "Flight Risks". 
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Offline WhiteShepherdDog

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Fact or Fiction?
« Reply #41 on: November 28, 2005, 09:47:07 am »
The fun thing about discussion boards is that we can share opinions, vent, rant and rave, and feel like part of the pack.
What I offer to the discussion is science or facts.
I know that there are some people who would like to learn from a diverse perspective and facts.
For over 30 years I have taught my students to distinguish between fact and opinion.
Behaviorism is based on years of scientific research.
Not that many people are interested in reading that research- but Karen Overall is very accessible to most people:
http://www.vin.com/VINDBPub/SearchPB/Proceedings/PR05000/PR00370.htm

I have implemented behaviorist principles to modify human and canine behaviors for many years.
“Instinctual” behaviors can be modified through application of a behavior modification program that is based on positive reward or operant conditioning….there is more to it than that.
I would not expect anyone would be able to apply a successful behavior modification (training) program based on postings from a bulletin board!
I do suggest you find a behaviorist- not just a competition “obedience” instructor --or at least look for another trainer who has got experience in ethology.


I  reread my postings and I sure don’t see that I claimed a novice Husky owner would be able to train a 100% recall based on postings on a discussion board.
What I did do is reiterate what Karen Overall and other animal behaviorists have found in the science----myths about breeds are not productive to perpetuate.
I did give suggestions for first steps in basic training.
What canine behavior research has stated that dogs don't have a social structure based on rank?
If you can cite that research---please do-it must be very new. Ranking in canine social structure has been confirmed by the research.
What we understand is that leadership roles fluctuate and are flexible...but ranking still exists.

For to have any dog without spending the time and effort on establishing yourself as leader (training) is selling yourself short to having a lifelong companion.
I don’t know what you mean by training, but I mean developing a relationship so my dog seeks me out- not in a clingy, fearful way- but in a “Hey, let’s go have some fun” way.

A dog who is secure in its rank--is playful; thinks on its own, will engage with you in play;

To have a dog gaze in your eyes and ask, “What’s next?” is an  attainable for anyone who can devote the time to learn with the right teacher.

I have participated in this discussion to help educate one more dog lover…not based on a personal opinion or myth, but based on a body of knowledge that has been successful by many professionals and dog owners.
I don’t think the average dog owner will be able to modify many instinctual behaviors with out the help of a professional behaviorist!
Too many dog lovers fail to housebreak their dogs and leave them in the backyard their entire lives!

I would hope that what is important at BPO is education--- to protect all breeds and to help new dog owners to be successful in raising a dog that can keep for its entire life.
My point is that myths are counter productive to that end.
I don't care to argue each of the points that I feel are opinions - based on anecdotal evidence--
But I will continue to share what is fact.
 :o
Just trying to get my point across without diddling with details.

My point is that myths are counter productive to that end.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2005, 10:07:28 am by WhiteShepherdDog »
Regards,
Martha in Texas

Offline Anky

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #42 on: November 28, 2005, 12:19:33 pm »
There is so much I want to say to this thread but to do so I would be disrespecting BPO.

All I will say is that your opinions aren't fact anymore than anyone else's is.  Just because it's worked for you for 30 years doesn't make it fact.  I look at what I've witnessed, what I've read and what I have gleaned from research from multiple sources.  THAT fact is what I base my "opinions" on. 

Also, I would appreciate you abstaining from downing a trainer you know nothing about.  It isn't wise to do.  There is much more I want to say to this as well but it wouldn't be polite.
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Offline ZooCrew

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Re: Training my Husky to not run away...
« Reply #43 on: November 28, 2005, 12:26:31 pm »
Well, I feel we are going round and round in circles, so I will make it brief.

What I have stated is personal opinion, but it is also fact.  I tend to believe the multitudes of trainers and behaviorists rather than the lone one.  I have worked and trained many different breeds and species, from dogs and cats, to horses, monkeys and the more exotic.

I dont' think I claimed one would get all their info off a discussion board for 100% recall training, either.

One should always research each avenue of training, for what works for one individual, will not work for all.  For what works for one breed or species, it cannot be said the same will work for all others.

I do agree that the human has to be the alpha above the dog.  I don't dispute that.  But pack dynamics are different for each breed, and you have to treat them differently.   Being alpha will in most breeds gain you the respect and devotion you need, but not in all breeds.

I guess maybe you should own a northern breed before deciding that all of them can be trained to recall.  I'm not saying none of them can recall, but it will be a very small percentage, and not a representation of the whole.

Offline WhiteShepherdDog

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« Reply #44 on: November 28, 2005, 05:45:35 pm »
Taken from an agility board from those who successfully train off- leash control:

As one competitor who runs a Northern breed cross, I can attest
first hand to what happens with these comments. "Not the breed for
agility" type. So people with a hard to motivate dogs go to an over-
the-top dog, and have just as many problems, but in the opposite
direction. Now the instructor tells them to start learning to catch
up with their dog - again demotivating to the handler.
Have fun with your first agility dog - no matter what it may be.
Learn, learn, learn, what works for your dog.

---------
- Laura wrote...
I run Siberians in Agility, as a student my biggest issue was
having a challenging dog that was not food motivated, toy motivated and did
not care to be touched or petted and being told by 3 instructors to place, get
rid of or retire this dog because she would never do well in agility. Rather than
get a new dog I got a new instructor, and new methods to deal with my
personal challenge.
She, the dog, made me a better trainer and a better instructor by
forcing me to develop a larger, varied training "tool chest."
----
 I bred and showed Siberians for 18 years (Obedience -- titled 8 Sibes!),
Breed, tracking, sledding, weight pull), and at the end of that time
purchased a BC to do obedience with. Never made it to obedience, but stumbled
into agility.
 There are certainly instructors who get tunnel vision -- and seem
to focus on BCs, Corgis, Shelties... but sometimes the less seen breeds are
the most fun!
 And you are absolutely right, a Siberian will FORCE you to develop
lots of alternate training methods, and keep you on your toes.
As a student with an "off" breed it is my job to know what my dogs can or can't take-a Siberian will run for hours forward, but ask them to repeat the same sequence over and over again and you can forget it. I have to bewilling to tell an instructor that may be as good as I can get and I would like to stop while we are ahead, thanks.
Regards,
Martha in Texas