I have two dogs, ones a 4 year old male Siberian husky with double hip dysplasia and the other is a 1 year and 8 month old female husky malamute mix of some sort. We just got our girl dog and she is one of the sweetest and well behaved dogs I have ever met. But when our boy thought her how to grab legs because she doesn't pay attention to him in the house and just wants to be a fluffy potato, but now she grabs his back legs when they play outside and we can't have that because his hips are really bad.

He will just get her so excited while playing, and we worry for his health because she is bigger then he is, and stronger. I usually give her a sign that I don't like what she is doing and she stops but sometimes in the heat of playing she will just forget everything.

What can I do so she doesn't grab his legs?

2 Answers 2


There's a spray called Grannicks Bitter Apple that is safe to spray on your dogs skin. It's a bitter tasting chewing deterrent spray. I would try this and see if it works. There are recipes online if you don't want to buy it and want to DIY made with white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water, and lemons.

Another spray option is called Fooey. It's also safe for skin, but is a little more bitter IF your dog likes the taste of vinegar or lemons. It's a little stronger but WATCH OUT- if you get this on your fingers wash off with soap immediately; rubbing your mouth or eyes after getting on your hands will leave you with burning eyes or a nasty taste that's not easy to rinse off with just water flushing. I'd use Fooey as a last go-to option because it's not as easy to wash off.

Also everytime you are around and see the play biting kick it into training mode: separate them and immediately pop a chew toy (Kong, or nylabone, etc) into your youngest pup's mouth, to encourage that chewing should be done on the toy, not on your other pup. If he goes back to the legs, repeat. Any length of time he chews the toys and not your older dog (1 min, 3 mins, 5 mins, etc), tell him he's being a "good boy" and slip a treat (something super tasty to him that makes him drool or beg for) either in the toy or in front of his legs where he's holding the toy. You can start by treating short lengths of time, and increase the amount of time gradually before giving him more treats. In training consistency and routine is what programs correct behavior. Unfortunately he's just being a puppy and hasn't learned it's not good doggie play etiquette to chew on his elders legs, n that you're oldest is boss. Try to keep it as positive as possible. Good luck!


Huskies/Malamute are a very specific breed of dogs with very specific behaviours and I am not an expert in these breeds.

However, I know the following:

These breeds are the closest domestic dog to a wolf which means you need to think wolf more than dog.

Wolf facts

I will not go into too many details but hierarchy is very important for them, even if they are extremely independent.

Generally, in a wolf pack, you’ll have a pack leader(male) but also a top female. They work together to keep the pack fed, safe and basically alive. Other wolves within the pack have different roles as well.

When there’s a weaker member of the pack, wolves(contrary to some beliefs) will try to help and solve the problem because they can smell it, feel it, see it.

Your young female there is looking at the older male as a leader but can also smell/feel his problem. She clearly wants to play and communicate with him to learn the ways of her breed.

That would explain her targeting his legs(think of cancer dogs who can smell and point towards a tumour).

What can you do:

Be the pack leader, top dog or you can also take a role of mediator which we also find in wolf packs.

You need to see the behaviour before the legs get touched. A dog will go through several stages before it gets to the final behaviour you’re describing which is the last stage.

Look for her licking lips, sniffing around his face then moving towards the top of his back. These are some the signs but they all have their own ways.

Basically, it’s easier to correct a behaviour when it’s at level 1 rather than level 10.

How to correct?

Well there’s lots of ways: because your dogs are closest to wolves, I would do a wolf thing.... don’t laugh!

Going up in levels: growling, then touch the underside of a back leg or do both.

“No” works too but you have to mean it! Without anger or any emotions... just “no!”

Huskies/Malamute facts

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