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 New husky owner/dog

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LukeStapleton
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2014-10-22

PostSubject: New husky owner/dog   Wed Oct 22, 2014 4:56 am

Let me preface this post by saying I am not entirely new to Huskies. I had a roommate for several years that had a Husky in my younger days, a couple of my good friends have always had Huskies, so I am familiar with the breed and know what they are capable of, their personalities, etc.. HOWEVER, I have never had a husky of my own, until today.

I have had a dog of some breed since I was 12. I am a few years older than that now (let's leave it at I am more than 20 years older than that now). Today, I met a husky that I took home with me, in what is currently a foster situation. I won't bore you or try to write tear-jerker stories about why I have been without a dog for just over a month.

At first it looked like this kiddo (I will post a picture of him, good-looking guy), was heartworm positive, but on re-testing came up negative. So we're still not quite sure what came up positive on the pound's test, but something did. Could be something else, as he was picked up as a stray and nobody knows anything about him, we're going to put him on antibiotics to treat any infection/issues that could be going on in a few days after he has acclimated to my home and starts eating a little bit more. He's been in the pound, then the rescue, and now my house all in just over a month. He is about 3-5 years old as best can be estimated, so I'm going with 4 years old. Additionally, nobody now knows what his name is/was, so I am going with Thane, which means in old English, warrior or lord.

I can use some advice/suggestions/input on how to best acclimate him and settle him in. I have a large crate that I will keep him in whenever I am gone (I am a single guy, nobody else but me and Thane), but obviously need to get some additional toys. Very quickly after getting him here I started picking up on signs that he may have been abused before. It could be that he is still adjusting to me, but he gets scared if I move too quickly or stand up over him, things like that lead me to think, based on my past experiences with an abused dog, that he may have been mistreated also. Once this evening I just reached over (a little quickly, admittedly), to pet on his back and he immediately turned his head around to see what I was doing and kind of nipped at me.

Your thoughts, suggestions, ideas, will be welcomed. During this initial acclimation period I am planning to keep him in a crate when I leave the house, or sleep, but otherwise let him out when I am home and watching him while we figure each other out. Anything you have to help me get him to come out of his shell would be appreciated. He's obviously adjusting fairly well, he's already showing me his belly and asking for rubs, smiling a little bit when I do rub him, but hasn't really made much of a sound otherwise than a little bit of howling when my next-door neighbor's dog started barking when he realized that there was a dog on my side of the fence again.

I realize this is a different breed entirely, and understand they have their quirks and can be destructive at times. I don't need horror stories or "Oh, you better get ready for xyz". If it doesn't work out, fine, it doesn't, I'll take him back to the rescue to be placed in a better forever home than I can do. But, I want to provide that for him and don't WANT to do that, I've wanted a husky of my own for a long time, and could use some suggestions from all of you that have more experience than I have to help me be a more effective "parent" with a dog of this breed.

Sincerely,

Luke Stapleton
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Ericobeasto
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Male Join date : 2012-11-20
Location : Ohio

PostSubject: Re: New husky owner/dog   Wed Oct 22, 2014 9:00 am

Does he always do the pull away and nip when you try and touch him or is it just sometimes? It could be very very possible that he was abused before, but sometimes koda does this and ive had him sincce he was 8 weeks and i never ever touched him like that. But i do notice when koda is hyper or just in one his moods he just doesnt like to be pet. And he does something similar to that in those situations. If you have a good local dog training place I would look into taking classes with him and ask tr trainer their opinion. Training with him will help you build trust with him and i also think that will help a lot. And he is new to you, over time i think he will get more comfy.
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TwisterII
Senior
Senior
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: New husky owner/dog   Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:46 am

My girl has been with me around a year and a half and will always turn and try to smash my hand with her head if I pet her back when she was initially looking away. Some dogs for whatever reason, she was a rescue too, would just rather you pet elsewhere. She prefers her belly or her neck scratched to her back. I second training together. It makes a world of difference in your bonding. Huskies are a quirky breed but a great one. You're going to make a great owner and it sounds like you are already on the right track. Welcome to the forum. Can't wait to see pictures!

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blueeyedghost
Maverick
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Female Join date : 2011-07-01
Location : Denver, CO

PostSubject: Re: New husky owner/dog   Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:16 am

Glad you hopped on, Luke Smile

Brian knows of some good training companies around there, I definitely think that's something to look into. I think with the petting thing it's a combination of him not being used to you yet and possibly some place that he may not like to be pet. Ghost will do that to us sometimes to tell us she doesn't like whatever we're doing. She'll sort of yip and snap at us, but won't actually make contact. Take that as a sign to just go ahead and back off, and you'll gain his trust.

There's a lot of good info here and lots of people who've dealt with rescue dogs of unknown pasts. You guys will learn each other soon, and hopefully Thane will settle in nicely.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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LukeStapleton
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2014-10-22

PostSubject: Re: New husky owner/dog   Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:31 pm

Thanks to all of you for your posts so far. Thane has adjusted SO much in just one night. The transformation overnight is almost astounding. Today he is running around, wanting to play, begging for attention and seems far less skittish than he did yesterday.

I agree with all of your posts suggesting some training, as that will obviously need to happen soon, and in a way that helps develop, not hinder, the trust between us. He does not shy away from my hand like he did yesterday, though when I saw him about to finish eating a pillow he had gotten ahold of yesterday and said "no" he tried to hide under the bed. Therefore, I'm not convinced yet that there isn't something abusive in his history. He's obviously going around and systematically testing his boundaries, sooner than I thought he would (which is a good sign of settling in I think). Thankfully I have a job I can work from home to do, so I am working at home today and keeping one ear open to what sounds are coming from another room.

I'll put some pictures up later today when I get them moved from my phone to the computer. Again, thanks for the advice and suggestions. Keep them coming!
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MiyasMomma
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Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: New husky owner/dog   Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:27 pm

I can not add anything more than what the others have said. I just wanted to thank you for giving Thane a chance for a loving forever home. The only thing I will add is the husky is a very communicative breed, he will tell you what he needs, and belly rubs are the best. Very Happy
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LukeStapleton
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2014-10-22

PostSubject: Re: New husky owner/dog   Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:56 pm

@MiyasMomma wrote:
I can not add anything more than what the others have said. I just wanted to thank you for giving Thane a chance for a loving forever home. The only thing I will add is the husky is a very communicative breed, he will tell you what he needs, and belly rubs are the best. Very Happy

Thank you MiyasMomma. For the moment he is chilling out and napping, but all morning was, as you said, very communicative and clear about what he wanted and how he wanted it. Another sign of the settling in I believe, as yesterday he was very quiet and withdrawn, but today has been playful and running around, wagging his tail, and appears to have decided at some point that "This strange guy just might be ok."

Thanks again for the encouragement!
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LukeStapleton
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2014-10-22

PostSubject: Re: New husky owner/dog   Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:18 pm







Here's the pics as promised!  A few days later than I had hoped to get them up, but finally did!
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blueeyedghost
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Female Join date : 2011-07-01
Location : Denver, CO

PostSubject: Re: New husky owner/dog   Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:53 pm

That's a good sign that he's sleeping on his back already Smile

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Canine Hydrocephalus Support on Facebook

"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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GeorginaMay
Teenager
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Female Join date : 2013-04-08
Location : New Zealand

PostSubject: Re: New husky owner/dog   Fri Oct 24, 2014 7:31 pm

Hi Luke,

Just wanted to say a big welcome and thanks for giving Thane a good chance Smile
I have a wee suggestion for the nippy behavior when you go to pat him. There way be a chance that he has been roughly handled by the collar and that is what is making him wary and nippy when you approach the back of his neck. Easiest way I have found to work around it is play the collar game or a variation of it.
Find his favorite treat and have a few pieces in one hand. with your other hand reach out and make contact with the back of his neck (if he is collar reactive touch the collar) treat and mark him accepting your touch, be really enthusiastic so he knows he did awesome. The first few times approach from the front so he sees what you are doing then gradually work up to being able to handle him at random approaching from behind with no reaction from him. It might take weeks but it is a great trust building exercise. It is basically teaching him that nothing but good things come from you patting him there or touching his collar so he doesn't have to react to it.
Its a exercise I get all people to do with their dogs in my classes and even though it takes time to build the trust it has always had positive results Smile
Good luck he really is a good looking boy
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HuskyLovers
Teenager
Teenager
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Female Join date : 2014-10-01
Location : Central Coast of California

PostSubject: Re: New husky owner/dog   Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:47 am

I just wanted to say welcome, Luke! I think it's great that you have rescued Thane. That is an awesome name, BTW! Anyway, I think you have made some excellent observations. It definitely gives you something to work with. I haven't read the other replies yet, but I'm sure you will get some good advice here. I am new here and still waiting for our first Siberian, but the first thing that comes to mind is to talk to a trainer and see if they have any advice for you, or maybe some classes you could take, to help ease this transition. I hope everything works out well for you and Thane. And if you ever want to share that tear jerking story, I am more than willing to listen, as I'm sure many people here would be, as well. Can't wait to see some pics! Smile
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HuskyLovers
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Female Join date : 2014-10-01
Location : Central Coast of California

PostSubject: Re: New husky owner/dog   Sat Oct 25, 2014 2:00 am

Aww, just scrolled through and saw the pics Thane is a handsome boy! Smile
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