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 Getting first husky.

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Vagenius
Newborn
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Join date : 2015-02-23

PostSubject: Getting first husky.   Mon Feb 23, 2015 3:45 pm

Hello my husband and I are getting our first husky and I just wanted to know a few things from some of you veteran husky owners. The first thing we are going to do with our puppy is puppy preschool( we will let her adjust for a week first of course.) I am going to buy her a crate to start crate training immediately because even though I am a stay at home mom I do go places with my kids during the day and I don't want my house torn up(plus I believe she should have a place to have some alone time.) I researched the breed for about a month before I decided on it(the good and the bad.) I am a small dog person but my husband really wanted a bigger dog to take on his runs with him(that of course isn't the only reason, we did want a new dog for the family as well) so after all my research I decided it would be ok. My husband and I have agreed on an exercise schedule for her, I will walk her in the mornings, about a mile or two and my husband will take her on his run with him in the evenings. We have a huge back yard but she will most likely only be out there for the potty and to play with the family, we only have about a 5 ft fence so I cannot leave her unsupervised(I read all about their escape artist routines as well.) Now with all the exercise, obedience training, crate training and fur control out of the way there are a few things I'd like to know about the breed that you can only know by owning them. I'd also like to know if the plans I've listed above seem appropriate. Here's some stuff I'd like to know before I completely commit.

1. I have 2 kids, a 3 year old and a 1 year old. I am an extremely cautious person and I have read about attacks etc. I will never leave the dog unsupervised with my children, it is a condition I have with my husband and if anyone is babysitting I will not allow the dog to be out without me home with my kids. I don't want to make the dog feel punished or uninvited though so how can I keep her happy even though I can't have her around my kids when I'm not here?(keep in mind I'm home most of the time.)

2. I have 3 small dogs, all of them are under 10 pounds, 2 chihuahua mixes(rescued as pups) and a pomeranian(birthday present from my husband.) I don't feel I'll have much to worry about I mean it will be a puppy so it will grow with the dogs and my dogs are really pretty laid back and social. I did read about the prey drive in a husky though so how much should I worry about my small dogs? Also will keeping the husky crated and not the other dogs cause any type of tension in the house or jealousy? My older dogs are also confined to an area when I'm not home, it's just not a crate, I put gates up to keep them in the laundry room by my back door(should I keep the crate in the same area or will this just frustrate her not being with the other dogs and make her feel left out.)

3. Introduction phase. I've never really had to introduce a large dog to my dogs, my oldest 10 year old chihuahua has had a ton of experience with other dogs(him and my sisters german shepherd and cattle dog were best friends and he loved my brothers keeshond and labs.) My other 2 dogs although get along so well may have a bit of a hard time adjusting. My chihuahua welcomed both dogs with open arms when we brought them home, he loves other dogs. My pom was really weary of the last puppy for about a week and would jump on the couch and spend her time where the puppy could not reach. How should I go about introducing her? Should I keep her with us the first day and maybe let her interact with the other dogs through a gate?

4. Food aggression, how are huskies with food? I can only read so much and I know experience is the key. My dogs have none whatsoever. I have had them all eating together since day one. Of course the puppy food situation is always there but I do want a new puppy to be able to eat with the other dogs without fear of there being a fight. My dogs care nothing about people being around their food, don't fight over scraps my kids may drop during snacks or meal time, they are all easy going. Same with their toys, they all play together. I only feed my dogs twice a day and never after 6pm, food goes up but they have some water they can drink until 7pm. Just to add, my kids don't go around my dogs food, like I'm not just letting them hang out around their food or anything, it's in their closed off area but when they have been around it, going outside etc the dogs don't care at all. Also my dogs now are very well trained, my husband and I are both very diligent in obedience, consistency and scheduling(gotta be with kids.)

Those are really my only concerns about the breed but I feel they are pretty big ones, the welfare of my kids and pets I already have are my responsibility and I just want to make sure I do everything right for the new puppy while keeping everything right for my family. I'd just love some input from some people that know more then I do. I will also learn a lot in puppy preschool and the continued obedience training we have decided on. I've talked to our breeder over the past week like 20 times about the breed and she has given me a lot of information. I'd just really like to hear from some outside sources. Thanks for any advice, tips and answers to my questions, I know it's a long read but I appreciate anyone that takes the time.
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MGoBlue
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Join date : 2012-06-13
Location : Denver, CO

PostSubject: Re: Getting first husky.   Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:27 pm

I'm going to give input on a couple of your questions.

First, I think it's a little excessive to not allow the dog around the kids if you're not there. As long as there's an adult that you trust (and is preferably comfortable with dogs) I would think it's fine. But I have never had dogs around babies, so take that with a grain of salt.

Hopefully, getting a puppy will be just fine around your small dogs. Our boy is great with little dogs, he was raised with a cat and our next door neighbor had a French bulldog that he just adored. That being said, huskies do have a high prey drive and even if the pup is ok with your small dogs doesn't necessarily mean he will be ok with all small dogs.

Introductions should usually be done on neutral territory (ie. taking for a walk together), but that is less critical with a puppy being introduced as there is a smaller chance for both personalities to conflict. I'd say, you know your own dogs best and use your judgment of them to gauge the situation.

Food aggression is really a case by case thing, not a "husky thing". There are many training techniques that can be used to minimize the chance of aggression. Again, having the puppy come in to an already established well-trained pack should help to mitigate that risk, but you can use the search tool on here to read any of the many past threads about food aggression.

Good luck!
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Vagenius
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Join date : 2015-02-23

PostSubject: Re: Getting first husky.   Mon Feb 23, 2015 4:55 pm

Thanks for the reply, I know it was a long read. You know you could be right about the kids, I'm really gonna play it by ear. My sister and brother have owned nothing but large dogs and I know if properly socialized and trained they are really wonderful with children. I've always had small pets though so I just don't know about owning a big dog myself. I'm definitely ready and willing to take it on though. I think a husky seems like a really wonderful breed of dog and I think it will be great to have a dog to do different types of activities with my family. My small dogs are great with cuddles and playing games in the yard and sneaking into my bed at night but there are things that they just don't like to do(like going on long walks or jogs, minus my pom she's full of energy.) Anyways thanks and it seems like or feels like I'm heading in the right direction and I've got a great book to read and help me along with training. I appreciate it.
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amymeme
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Female Join date : 2013-12-20

PostSubject: Re: Getting first husky.   Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:59 pm

Your kids should be fine around your husky Though there will be a period when your pup with very, very pointy puppy teeth will want to mouth everything (think 8 mo old human crawler putting anything and everything in their mouth!)

My first husky was a puppy before I had kids, my first child was born a year later. She was great around the kids. Ami was a big, untrained bouncy boy when we got him - was never aggressive towards the grandkids but has knocked them down in his exuberance. He's learned his manners now, and that is no longer an issue. Archer, the grand-puppy, was a 4 mo old when son got him, he's also great with the kids. Likes the food they drop, likes to cuddle up next to them.

The only caution I have with your little dogs, which may not be a problem since you are getting your husky as a pup, is they play rough. I would monitor that, Ami sometimes just swipes his paw and it is powerful. But, he is very gentle with the miniature dachshund when we run into them down the street.
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Vagenius
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Join date : 2015-02-23

PostSubject: Re: Getting first husky.   Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:30 am

Thanks for your reply amy. I think with the right training the puppy will end up being a well rounded dog. She is already a very happy puppy, both parents have a good friendly temperament, they were very inviting when I met them. I guess I was just worried cause my brother got a chocolate lab a while back and it ended up going crazy, attacked their keeshond, bit my sister in law and when it went to animal control for the 48 hour evaluation it attacked 3 people there and had to be put down. I'm probably just overly anxious about a bigger dog because of this dog. My brother was training this dog too, he hunts so he uses his retrievers and trains them for hunting.

I think my husband and I have found the right pup. We have visited her twice and she is cheerful, not fearful at all and not a bully amongst her litter mates. Her breeder says she hasn't shown any signs of aggression or food aggression and she's just a bouncy little playful girl. She does feed the pups separately though to gauge how much they are eating and making sure they are each getting enough food. Breeder says she is good with her food though, doesn't mind hand feeding or anyone messing with the bowl. She has already been socialized with kids as well, my breeder has a big farm with other dogs and livestock and grandkids there all the time playing with the pups. I'm pretty hopeful at this point, just wanted to know a little more from outside sources.

My husband hastily put down our deposit already so I guess we are committed at this point($400 isn't something I want to just throw away.) I feel pretty positive about her though and I'm very excited about my first husky. I'm worried that I may become addicted and end up with another one in a year.

One last thing, my back yard now has about a 4-5 ft fence, when do I need to start worrying about escapes? Should I think about adding some height on the fence? How are huskies with a dog run in case I want to let her out for some energy release and don't have the time to sit out with her?
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Getting first husky.   Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:54 am

A 4-5 ft fence MAY be sufficient depending on the temperament of your pup. Certainly for the several months. We use an invisible fence (Petsmart Yard Max) and it is fine to contain Ami and my son's husky mix when we are home (I use a trolley tie out when we are not home.) Before we put in the invisible fence, both dogs were well contained with our 4' chain link (the invisible fence gives them about 4 acres of wooded area and lawn and allows them to keep the deer away from my gardens.)

If you only use your fence with you in it, I'll bet you will never have a problem, if only loose in your fence when you are home, again, I'll bet you won't have a problem. If you want to contain your husky while you are away from home for long periods of time and he is alone over and over and over again, then he may go looking for for fun.

We also use a Pebble Smart doggie doorbell - it has a wireless transmitter with a big yellow circle that we mounted to the brick mold by the back door. We left the receiver loose so we can move it to whatever room we are in - prevents Ami from scratching the back door, allows the dogs to come and go as the wish (though son's dog, Archer is a pain in the butt - he comes and goes...a lot Laughing And he stands there with his nose on the bell: ding dong, ding dong, ding dong ad infinitum Ami uses it to get me to come out - he prefers outside to in until well after dark.

I understand your concerns - my Mom showed and bred Old English Sheepdogs. The brought one adult home that turned out to be viscious. My parents were really upset that the breeder did not disclose (we were 7 kids), He had to go back since he could not be trusted.

I think you will find your siberian a wonderful source of amusement, challenge and engagement. THe antics will keep you forever not bored! As beautiful as these dogs are, it is their personalities that really make them special. And, as a plus, they do not tend to sit and bark, bark, bark. Talk back, yes. Howl, mine once in a blue moon, others more so I have heard.

Smart idea, crating.
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