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 Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner

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li_izumi
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PostSubject: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:41 am

Hi, my name is Li and I've wanted a husky since I was six years old on a family trip to Alaska. Many years have now passed, I have my own lake-side cabin in semi-rural New England and my life has settled down. And so my thoughts have turned towards finding a dog companion--and that means a husky!

I would rather to adopt a shelter/rescue dog than buy a puppy from a breeder, but I'm starting to feel a bit discouraged as I've been turned down a few times now.

I have three "negatives" as far as the shelters are concerned:
1, I don't have a fenced in yard. This requirement makes me grumpy. Huskies are known escape artists, even with a fenced in yard I wouldn't want the dog off leash anyway! I've had a family dog that is leash-only before so that's something I'm used to.

2, I haven't had a husky before. I've grown up with dogs, though mostly of the lab variety. I have been reading up and doing my research (including a lot of reading on this forum!) so I know what I'm getting into (mostly--from what i can tell you can never be fully ready for a husky in your life).

and 3, I have cats. Which crosses off a lot of the shelter dogs right off my list, and the ones that are ok around cats get scooped up pretty much immediately from my experience so far.

One of the shelter guys even said to me that I should look at a different breed instead. So yeah, really discouraging.

But I'm not giving up. While the "so you're thinking of getting a husky" horror story sticky thread here made me anxious, I love huskies and I still want one. Most of their problems seems like things that with some preparation, patience, and training I can deal with. And exercising them a lot so they're less likely to find trouble. I'm moderately active and want a companion that will push me to be more active. (My cats encourage me to be a lazy couch potato by sitting on my lap and purring)

I'm glad I stumbled on this forum...there is so much great advice and encouragement. Please wish me luck in finding the right husky (be it an adult rescue or a new puppy) and any advice you can give for finding this dog would be greatly appreciated.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:51 am

Hi and welcome! I had a similar experience looking for my dog as well. I live in an apartment in nyc, have no yard, and have cats. The primary rescue in our area that understands apartment life is doable for huskies, didn't like that I have cats. Anyway, I ended up going to a breeder to purchase a puppy and I have been extremely happy with my choice. Smile She is in the New England area (Uxbridge, MA) and I recommend her highly if you aren't able to find a rescue dog. I know she just bred this month so pups will be due around oct/nov. She may also have a puppy available now, but I haven't talked to her in a couple weeks so I'm not sure. Anyway, if you decide to go the puppy route and want to check her out, her kennel is called Nando Siberians, nandosibes.com. I'm not affiliated with her in any way, just a happy puppy owner.
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ccurran07
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:47 am

Welcome Very Happy I live in New England as well (Maine) and was pretty much in the same boat. Add in two small children and it's pretty much impossible. I'm actually on a waiting list right now for a litter who was born Monday (eek!!!) Your pup will come to you when the time is right, but good luck in the meantime on your search! What state are you in?
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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:02 pm

Don't get discouraged. Have you been dealing with actual shelters or rescues? I have always had a hard time dealing with rescues, they are so strict that I've actually never been approved to adopt from one. I have always found shelters to be far more relaxed, especially overcrowded kill shelters, with their adoption restrictions.

6 yrs ago I couldn't adopt a sibe from rescue because we didn't have a fenced yard. This summer I couldn't adopt a Chihuahua from rescue because we have young children. My sister in FL couldn't adopt a dog from rescue because her husband was military. I do get fed up with the strictness of rescues. We adopted our sibe from an overcrowded kill shelter, he didn't much time left when we found him. My first 2 Chihuahuas (retired breeding dogs) we rescued directly from a BYB who had no use for them. Our most recent Chi we ended up purchasing from a reputable breeder because we needed to be absolutely sure that we'd have a dog good with children and no rescue would give us the time of day. My sister adopted her dog by having my mom adopt the dog for her since they wouldn't adopt dogs out to military families. I know it's kind of a lie having someone else adopt the dog and then giving it to you but maybe someone could help you out in that regard if all else fails. Just a thought, my sister gave a dog in need a good home by doing that.

Don't give up, where there's a will there's a way! I got discouraged too but if you persevere you'll find the dog for you. Also, a lot of people rehome their dogs on craigslist. Lots of people here have gotten craigslist rehomes.

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techigirl78
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:55 pm

Welcome.  Rescues are awesome!

I have cats and got Loki from a general rescue (not husky specific) from a group in Minnestoa (5 hours away) I found on petfinder.com.  They seemed very understanding of things and did not make breed assumptions.  For instance, Loki needed fence as he enjoyed to run so much.  However, they did not shutter at the fact I owned cats.

They pulled him from high kill shelter in Indiana.  I talked on the phone to them and they said he had been around their farm cat with no signs of aggression (just interest).  They asked about young kids (we have 13 yr old) and fence (have 6' fence).  They like I had volunteered at humane society and experience with dogs.  They liked that I had a epileptic dog and had kept cats that had issues marking the house for over a year while I worked on the problem.  I think that was enough for them to show that I likely would not return him and give him a good home.  The adoption process was quick and no home visit.  I talked to her about 30 minutes on phone, drove to MN, met him, and we left with him.

After being told by someone my new husky/husky mix would eat my cat, I freaked out.  I contacted humane society I volunteered at and they said they put no restrictions on breeds with cats.  Past is more important and nearly every breed of dog has killed cats - raising them from puppy on is best option assuming your puppy does not have a non-stop prey drive (some do).  They gave me some tips on socializing and said if it wasn't going well a behavioralist could come to my house for fee.  So, if they had husky puppy, I think they would adopt to you too.

My best recommendation is petfinder!  I love it.  It lets you easily find shelters which are more leniant and search by breed, gender, and age.  I found 3 pets on it (2 purebred bengals and Loki).  Most shelters are involved in petfinder.  I put in Maine (not sure where you live), husky, and baby and a bunch of options came up - many mixes, but some more pure looking huskies.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:10 pm

My husband found Kenzi on Petfinder.com and we ended up picking her up at an adopt-a-thon at a Petsmart. She came straight from animal control. They didn't ask any questions but they had observed her enough to get a general sense of what her personality was so I took her home and she's been great. She hates cats but I have looked at some other one's on Petfinder that have been listed as cat-friendly so I recommend petfinder. It's worked great for us and gets you a lot more avenues to find dogs, whether it's a shelter, rescue, and sometimes private rehome.

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ccurran07
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:16 pm

Uncle Henry's is a good one for Maine too there's quite a few listed right now claiming to be AKC registerable purebreds.
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li_izumi
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:27 pm

Jen-san; Thank you for the breeder recommendation. Nando's Siberians was on the list of 4 or so breeders I had found in my area already, so it's really nice to hear someone who has adopted a dog from them. I need to call the breeders (and Nando's in particular now!) and find a time to visit a few of them in person to get a feeling on them and their dogs.

Cortnie-san; I live in New Hampshire in the Concord area. I don't have young kids myself though my sister is trying to have a baby so hopefully there will be a little one in the not too distant future. However, that will be young child visiting which isn't quite the same as young child living all the time with the dog, though I do need a dog that can be tolerant with a little one as well as the cats. I haven't heard of Uncle Henry's. What's that?

Valerie-san, Jessica-san; Jenn-san; I'm been looking at both the New England Siberian rescue group as well as the immediate local shelters. I've also been looking a lot on Petfinder, Adopt a Pet, Puppy Finder and a few others. But there aren't a lot of huskies that are Huskies and look like Huskies (a lot of mix-breeds which would be fine but I really want the classic husky-look. That's what started my love for the dogs.) So that takes off a bunch from the list.

Then there are the ones that say "not good with cats" and that crosses off a lot more from the list. Then there are the ones that say some dog-aggression. I've had a dog-aggressive dog in the family before (and had her at my house an entire summer while my sister was traveling) and I'd rather not deal with it with my first husky if possible. Huskies are plenty of work as is! My family all have dogs and I want to be able to visit and have them visit and be able to let the dogs have fun together and not have to keep them separated. So the dog aggression crossed off a bunch more dogs from the list.

Oh, and while I have a rather broad definition of "in my area" (basically pretty much anywhere in New England), I am looking for something in my area--there were a number of nice sounding dogs on Petfinder, but New Jersey is just that bit too far away for me, for example.

There really haven't been any left. There was one that sounded great and I got turned down; she's currently in a solid foster situation so they're looking for the perfect candidate for her, and my 3 strikes (not fenced-yard, no previous husky ownership, and cats) means I'm not the perfect candidate. That was the guy actually who told me to get a different breed. Boo.

There's a place in Connecticut that had some husky puppies and I sent in an application. They got a LOT of applications for those 4 pups though, so I'm not feeling hopeful that mine will be approved.

So basically, for now, I check in with Petfinder, the rescue organizations, and the other sites regularly for any new listings. I've got a few breeders that I need to contact and set up a time to visit (even if they don't currently have puppies). And hopefully something will work out soon. I've spent the day reading up on various threads and I'm really excited to have a puppy-dog before long!
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:15 pm

Here is the link to Dizzy's photostream on flickr if you're curious. His dob is 3/1.
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bran
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:59 pm

It's difficult to imagine huskies without a fenced in yard. When Tito was a bit over a year old I fenced in a 75' x 100' area with a 4' polypropylene deer fence on agricultural steel posts. When I let Tito and Maya out in the back they literally jump for joy. There is nothing like running free (almost). The fence was inexpensive but not escape proof. I've chased them through the neighborhood several times (once in bare feet in the snow). However, now with close supervision they respect the fence.

Both huskies have been around our cat since they were puppies. After 2 years, the cat still hates them. We just block off part of the house from the huskies and the cat stays in that area. Their prey drive appears to be stronger this year so I would never trust them alone. So the huskies go in their crates when not supervised.

As for all the rules from the rescue organizations, I'm sure that they mean well. It would be tragic for a cat to be killed in your home. I have heard of it happening. They want to make sure that you have the level of commitment to take on a husky so it doesn't end up back in the shelter.

Good luck to you.
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Sheba&Kennedy
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:42 pm

@bran wrote:
It's difficult to imagine huskies without a fenced in yard.
This isn't exactly true. I live in a one bedroom apartment with 2 purebreds and one husky mutt. They do not have a fenced in yard and are happy little clams. They get 3-4 walks a day and tire each other out. Dogs do not need yards to be happy Smile.
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NovasHuman
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:00 am

Sheba&Kennedy wrote:

@bran wrote:
It's difficult to imagine huskies without a fenced in yard.
This isn't exactly true. I live in a one bedroom apartment with 2 purebreds and one husky mutt. They do not have a fenced in yard and are happy little clams. They get 3-4 walks a day and tire each other out. Dogs do not need yards to be happy Smile.
I agree, we are in a one bedroom apartment as well and we have lots of puppy play dates and dog park time and Nova does just fine in the apartment. Its just about letting them get their energy out.
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:08 am

Ditto for us.
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eddycaaa
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:12 am

Same here! We're in a one bedroom apartment with a 5 month old husky. Play dates and the dog park along with some wresting with us wears her out pretty good
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li_izumi
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:55 am

My sister has a fenced in yard with a happy chocolate lab and I visit her regularly. It won't be everyday though. Mostly I'll be relying on a walk in the morning and mixing it up in the evening with long, long walks, biking/running, and swimming. I'm not so worried about my cats; Genji in particular will beat the snot out of anything that tries to bother him. I'm more worried about the dog in that case--cat bites and scratches can get nasty infections!

Excitement! I made it past round one of application reviews for shelter dog Cora's husky puppies! Not a confirmation yet but certainly a hopeful sign.

And if that doesn't work out, I've got a couple breeders I'm going to visit. Moonlight Kennels in upstate Vermont and Nando's Siberians in Mass. as recommended by Jen-san above. And I've got PetFinder and several rescue groups to keep a regular eye on.

Thank you everyone for your encouragement.
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:50 am

I would recommend staying away from Moonlight. They don't health test their dogs (for congenital illnesses like hip dysplasia or cataracts), nor do they show or work their dogs. I would suggest checking out this stickie on how to find and what to look for in a reputable breeder. I would categorize Moonlight as a backyard breeder.
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:03 am

I agree with Jen about Moonlight. The amount of dogs they have breeding alone is scary. I emailed her and she all but offered to drive a dog to me on her way to vacation without knowing anything about me besides if I could pay the deposit right away. Red flags everywhere
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:10 am

I don't mind the not showing or working so much, but the not-health testing and not caring who gets the dogs is a concern. Thanks for the warning!
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:18 am

The reason I say they don't show or work the dogs is a concern is not because you necessarily want a show or working dog, its because the breeding program has no goal or purpose, which would lead them to breed any dogs to each other without knowledge of consequences or possible structural defects that could result from that. Just looking at the photos of her dogs, she is blatantly breeding out of standard dogs. The goal is to produce and sell as many puppies as possible. Read through that stickie I posted, it has a lot of info on what a reputable breeder is, and why supporting an byb or puppy mill is a bad idea. Smile Either way, the right puppy will come along for you at the right time.
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:18 pm

Well, the breeders are a moot point at the moment...

I've gotten approved for a puppy from a shelter down in CT! I'm getting one of the boys!!
Cora, the mother and a pic of her 4 babies

I'm taking tomorrow off work to finish puppy-proofing the house and pick up some supplies from the store, but then tomorrow afternoon I'm driving down to pick up my new little boy.

I'm not quite sure how I'm going to get through the rest of today at work...I'm so excited!
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:24 pm

Congrats! Can't wait to see more pictures.

A suggestion is to get pet insurance, especially since you don't know the health background of the pups. It can be extremely helpful if something does happen. There's a few threads on here about Pet Insurance if you want to search for them.


Last edited by MGoBlue on Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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wpskier222
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:26 pm

Congrats! That's so exciting!
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:26 pm

How exciting! Yes definitely get pet insurance right away. I use Trupanion. It's about $35 a month for 90% coverage and a $200 deducible. I haven't had to use it yet, thank goodness.
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:41 pm

Omg!!!! Congrats! They are freakin adorable. So happy for you
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PostSubject: Re: Greetings from a hopeful future husky owner   Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:59 pm

Congrats! Can't wait to see pics of him/her!
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