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 Questions about getting a husky

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Cam074
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PostSubject: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:50 pm

Hello, this is my first post on this forum and its because I'm looking at getting a husky puppy however I have a few questions first.

Before I state my questions I would just like to say that I have researched Huskies and understand the patience and commitment that is required for this high energy and demanding dog, and yes this would be my first dog.

I'm currently 17 and live with my brother and two parents in the UK. We have a relatively big house with 5 bedrooms and 18 rooms in total. The garden is average sized however we do have several parks within a 5 minute walk from our house.

It would predominantly be my dog, so I would clean, walk, food and water him. However we're all open to the idea of a Siberian Husky and would all be willing to help out.

So here are my questions:

1) All of my family work, I still go to school and will be for two years. I leave the house (I can drive) at 8:20 and get home usually around 3:30. I don't know if puppies can be alone this long in terms of boredom, however ive been told adults can tolerate it if trained correctly. I was also thinking during the day I could release the dog into the back garden so letting it out to use the toilet wouldn't be an issue. I know huskies are escaped artists however all of our garden is fenced with cinder cement blocks around the base so they wouldn't be able to dig under. There would be a kennel outside so they could hide from rain and wind. I do have an hour lunch where i can leave school usually 1-2pm so i could come home if necessary. What are your thoughts on this?

2) I am ever so slightly allergic to dogs, my brother has dogs (doesn't live with me), and whenever i stay with him i get either a blocked or runny nose for the duration of my stay. I've been told some people use benadryl to combat this until they build up a tolerance with the dog. Would this work? If I got a dog they wouldn't be allowed up stairs so that I could have a place to get away from the dander/fur if necessary.

3) I've heard they shed a lot. Any one who knows about allergies knows that people are allergic to a dogs dander and not the fur so that isnt the issue. However my mom is kinda of a neat freak and she is worried the amount of fur would be an issue for her. How much on an issue is it and is it something hovering/vacuuming twice a day would solve?

Thank you for reading and thanks in advance for any answers.

Cam
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:23 pm

Hi Cam and welcome to our forum ... you ask some really good questions and assuming you've done your homework I think you're asking for confirmation of your thoughts. yes??

My first comment - and don't be offended - but there is nothing "relatively" about a house with 18 rooms, that's a big house!  Of course, from your viewpoint it might be relative but I think most of us here in the US would consider that BIG!

So with that out of the way, my answers to your questions:
1) Any puppy, Husky or not, is going to have a problem staying alone for that long.  You can expect that a new puppy (8-10) weeks is going to *need* to go out every hour or so.  If you don't get him housetrained during the first few months, you may end up with what I have - a female who is 5 years old and *still* not housetrained (I'm roughly her 5th owner so it's not all my fault)
From several points of view, leaving him (her/it) outside with no one around is a *very* bad idea.  Depending on how deep your wall goes, it's quite possible that a Husky could dig their way under it - given enough time.  Again, depending on high your wall is, my male Husky can clear 5 feet without a problem, given any help at all - like a trash bin beside the wall - you're looking at him being able to clear 7 feet.  My last comment here is that people like Huskies and Huskies like people - most Huskies don't know anything but friends and will willingly go with anyone - if someone knows you have a Husky and they want it, a dog alone outside is a prime target.
Let me add the comment that Sibes are notorious for wanting to be with their pack (that's you) and if they're left alone outside can be very destructive and LOUD! I had a girl who I could literally hear two miles away - think about your next door neighbors. Left alone they also tend to suffer from separation anxiety. These dogs were initially bred to live with their families and it's really built into the breed. You suggest that he won't be allowed upstairs --- wanna bet? Even if he's not allowed upstairs, if that's where you are, that's where he'll be.

2) Ah, the good news, Siberian Husky are one of the hypo-allergenic breeds.  If you are, in fact, only slightly allergic then you probably won't have a problem.

3) And now the bad news.... yep, Huskies shed! Let me emphasize that Huskies shed!!! Most Huskies, twice a year will lose their undercoat (that's called blowing their coat, look it up), when they do, I don't think any amount of hoovering will help!  You'll have hair everywhere unless *you're* responsible for keeping her brushed on a daily basis until she's stopped blowing.  If your mom's any kind of a neat freak - she'll freak!

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Cam074
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:41 pm

Hello Aljones

Thank you for your response, its really help me understand what's good and not so good for them. In regards to question one, what would you recommend I do? As I'm guessing there are people that own huskies who do 9-5 jobs. Huskies really are the only dog that interest me so I am willing to look in to anything. Also when I saw they wont be allowed up stairs I was thinking of installing one of those baby gate things, that obviously wouldn't stop a determined husky however I was hoping would act as enough of a deterrent. Another reason I wouldn't like the dog upstairs is due to the fact i have a reptile room, so the scent of the reptiles and for the reptiles, the dog wouldn't be good or either party. And i especially wouldn't like the dog going in there.

Question 2 - Brilliant, and Question 3, I'd be more that willing to groom and hoover, i was just wondering is it as bad as people say or is it slightly blown out of proportion. Because its the only thing that's keeping my mom apprehensive and I'd like to put her mind at rest.

Thank you.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:53 pm

ummm...hypoallergenic dogs? There are those that dispute the claim that ANY dog is truly hypoallergenic. Usually it is the dander and the salive that carry the allergen. Weekly baths and wiping the dog down daily with a damp cloth can reduce SOME of the allergan. However, the allergens quickly become airborne and can inhabit your whole house, even if the dog does not go in every room. You can lessen things a good deal by not allowing the dog in your bedroom and keeping the door closed at all times. You would also have to keep any clothing you wear while tending to the dog in a separate room.

Benedryl will make you sleepy. Not for driving. Or flying a plane.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer...
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:56 pm

Hi again, Cam, weekends are kinda slow here with younger people out with their dogs and such, so you get stuck with me.

If you're really set on a puppy, you're going to have to make the time / arrangements somehow so that it's taken out several times a day and night until it's several months old. That strictly depends on the dog - some take longer, some take no time at all.  Consider the size of a puppies bladder and you'll understand why it needs out so often as it grows up.

The alternative to a puppy is to try an adult from one of the rescues.  Siberian Husky Welfare Assoc for example. The benefits are that you have the information from the foster family, how does he behave, is he housetrained, etc. And, like the US, the UK has a slew of dogs that people don't know how to handle once they're grown so they turn them in to rescues or pounds (don't know the Brit term, the community animal control people). All three of my dogs are rescues in one fashion or other and I think they realize that they've been given another chance.

Baby gate, yep, it'd probably keep the dog on the ground floor - but you'd probably end up getting serenaded.  Rule one, Huskies want to be with their people, if you're there and he can't be with you, he'll let you know he's unhappy.

Is the shedding as bad as people say it is? Well, that's a definite maybe. My male has a very short coat and sheds very little when he's blowing his coat. I could probably knit a coat from my female and this year she stopped blowing her winter coat just in time to start blowing her summer coat. I have hair all over the place - but I live alone so it doesn't bother me all that much.

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Cam074
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:04 pm

Okay thank you very much both of you, It's become clear I still have some things to work out before I can get my dog, things that i'm going to find very difficult. So it might end up I don't get a dog at all. Crying or Very sad

However its probably best if I cant do everything how it needs to be, thank you for answering my questions.

Cam
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:05 pm

@aljones wrote:


Is the shedding as bad as people say it is?  Well, that's a definite maybe.  My male has a very short coat and sheds very little when he's blowing his coat.  I could probably knit a coat from my female and this year she stopped blowing her winter coat just in time to start blowing her summer coat.  I have hair all over the place - but I live alone so it doesn't bother me all that much.  

I don't live alone, have a wooly and it does bother hubby immensely. During coat blow season (april to sept, it seems like) I mop/swiffer/sweep up a wad that, compacted, is about the size of a baseball. THe doggie car is coated. And very difficult to get out of the upholstery - and I use coverings for the seats. When my son had a room mate who owned a husky, the dog was never in son's car. Yet interior was coated with husky hair - it floats in the air, lands on your clothes, gets transferred to the car. Or anywhere else you touch.

Don't get me wrong - I love my boy, wouldn't trade him for the world. BUt, he IS a fur factory and knowing what you're getting into before you get a dog is a good thing. For you. And for a puppy that might end up in a shelter because you don't know what you are getting into. For you, I think you need to seriously consider your allergies. As one who has multiple, debilitating allergies (not dogs, thank you, thank you) you really need to consider this carefully.
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Cam074
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:16 pm

You're right, at this moment in time I don't know what i'm getting into... that's why i'm asking. And trust me when I say before I even consider getting a dog I'm going to ensure there's a way for everything. Which is why I made this post, and its mainly helped me realise that its probably not going to be possible. But thank you for your time.
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:20 pm

Cam, you're quite welcome. And particularly Thank you for realistically looking at all the problems and opportunities you're getting into. Having a canine friend can be ( IS ) a real joy, but it's not for everyone at any given time.

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Cam074
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:26 pm

I've always wanted a dog, however I've always wanted it to be my dog, and not just a dog that's in our house but my dad waters, walks, feeds which it would have been when I was younger. And its only now i'm older that I see all the implications that stand in-between getting a dog, which is a real shame as I can honestly say i've wanted a dog for 95% of my life.

And it really hurts knowing you actually cant get something that you want so much as its not fair on the animal. So i'm now kinda sad Crying or Very sad

Thank you for your help though and have fun with your huskies Smile
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:27 pm

Hey Cam....I do have a great suggestion....is there any place in your local area where you can volunteer, or hang out to be in contact with the breed, a husky rescue, and SPCA type place, a breeder, any place that you could go and see if your allergies are bad with a husky? Maybe it is maybe it's not the right time to get a husky, but that doesn't mean you can't search out a way to go enjoy one and see how your allergies are. I ain't lying my short coat husky sheds a lot, but you can clean up, I think the allergies are what you need to determine first, before you can figure out if you can deal with the fur storm or containment. Smile
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Cam074
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:32 pm

I genuinely don't think my allergies would be an issue, none of my family are allergic and I just get a runny nose, or blocked nose. Something, which im sure i'd get a tolerance to, im not even sure allergic is the right word as its simply nothing all that serious.

My main issue is the fact that no-one would be in from 8:30 until 3:30. And even if i could come back from school between 1-2pm that wouldn't be often enough for a puppy.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:37 pm

Cam, try looking for an older puppy from either a breeder or rescue, that way the potty training wouldn't be such an issue. Many times breeders keep the first pick of the litter to determine if it would do well in the show ring, and hang on until they are older. A member here got herself an older pup from a breeder, and it was a much easier time with the older pup vs an 8 week old. Just a thought. have to admit, you pulled on my heart strings when I read your disappointment.
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Cam074
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:40 pm

If there was any way at all, that would be it. I'd have to get an older puppy that was already potty trained. What age would you say is good? 6 months?

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:47 pm

Yep, 4-8 months is a good age, still young enough to train and bond with, correct any bad habits, but old enough to be partially to completely potty trained. You'd still wanna come home at lunch time, but much more doable than an 8 week old. Something to explore and think about. Smile
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Cam074
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:20 pm

Okay so i've discussed it with my mom and after reading this thread she feels she would be able to be ok with it, i've read that a daily brushing (outside) would help reduce the amount of air coming off naturally, with a full groom every two weeks. And therefore should reduce the amount of hair on the floor. The allergies I feel im comfortable with and will get through with: Determination, benadryl and sucking it up; until I build up a tolerance which should come in at around 4 months.

The only reamining stumbling block now is the fact im out 7 hours a day, 4 days a week and have no one to release a dog out, presuming we leave the dog inside. So if anyone has any ideas or tips feel free to help me out.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:30 pm

Cam, look up something called "crate training".  We have people here who work the regular 9 hour day so their dogs are "crated" while they're at work.  This is definitely not "get the crate, stuff dog in crate, leave" scenario; the dog has to know that the crate is his den and be comfortable with being in it till mom / dad get home.  Don't even go the "but a crate is cruel" route.  When a dog can't be supervised for hours at a time and the dog is comfortable in his crate, it's the best thing going.  He can't get into anything he shouldn't (picture coming home to a dog who's chewed on an electric cord or maybe that new couch) and since it is *his* home he's really okay with it.  That does mean though that you have to get out and get him the exercise he missed during the day - oro you're going to have one bored *noisy* dog.  And as I said earlier, Huskies can be *loud*!!!

Yep, a daily brushing would be great, both for the dogs hair and building up the mutual trust (bonding).

I'll follow this with two quick notes.
1) I like the fact that you're looking at options and that you've talked it over with your mother. You're displaying a good deal of maturity - that speaks well of you.
2) Now, go sleep on it (shoot, guy, it's midnight your time) and talk it over with mom again in the morning when you've both had a chance to think on it.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:37 pm

I would definitely invest in a crate, Although the problem still remains with allowing the dog to go to the toilet. With crate training how would that work? See, even though im open to getting a slightly older puppy, I don't want to miss out on too much so the younger the better (obviously older than 8 weeks) as it would be my only dog.

In an ideal world, i was hoping i could have my puppy sleep inside in a crate and then i could let him out at 6am, then 8am just before I leave and he could stay out all day in a pen with a kennel and chew toys etc and i could return at 3:30 again.
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:02 pm

<< Laughing >> No, it would be *your* first dog. Once you've had one in your life, life's a bore to not have one around.

You're old enough to know that there's no ideal world - we all "make do" and so do our pups. We all do the best we can and most of the time it works.

When your pup has accepted the idea that his crate is *his* den, he'll do everything he can to not mess in it. So as long as he knows that you'll be home and as soon as you get home, he'll get to run he'll probably do fine with it. What most people do is get the largest crate they can see their adult dog in and then partition it so that the pup only has enough room to lay down - no room to make "this corner for sleeping and that corner for 'other' stuff". As he grows, you just increase the amount of space he has available.

I'm going to go off on a bit of a tangent here. A roofed kennel with a concrete floor (so pup cannot get out) is quite doable, obviously you want it so the pup isn't roasted during the summer (and he'll manage during the winter!) This isn't really good for a puppy who doesn't have the ability to control their body temperature well, but for an adult it's quite workable.
When you said how big your house is, you suggested a degree of affluence, if I'm mistaken then this might not be workable.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:25 pm

Haha, want I meant by that was it would be my only dog at this time, I wouldn't get another dog in 3-4 years. So yeah I get what you're saying. I don't want to come across as better than anyone or egotistical at all but money really isn't an issue no, so vet bills, equipment could all be easily affordable.

I'm very much liking this crate idea. So when the dog knows the crate is his, and he feels safe there. He won't mind extended periods in there? And I'm really not against cleaning up accidents, I know they're going to happen.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:46 am

Crating a dog 7 hours a day should not be an issue toileting, if you get an older pup, closer to a year. An outside secure kennel is also doable. My boy much prefers to be outside most of the time. As a matter of fact, i have to go drag him in so we č go to bed!
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:19 am

Thank you Amy, I would much prefer an outside kennel and pen however there's always the risk of the dog getting stolen due to huskies loving nature. Which is a worry, however I'd like to think i live in a good area where that wouldn't be a risk.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:43 am

Cam, going by your definition of your fence - depending on its upper style (solid wood / brick -vs- chain link - you say the base is cinder block which infers the upper portion might not be) that might not be a real problem. Also if you have a completely enclosed kennel (bottom / sides / top) that you can lock when you're away then you limit the possibility of theft.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:46 pm

Also - if you keep the kennel out of view. Our backyard is fairly private - woods on 2 sides chain link covered with vines, hedges, trees and then the house. Dogs cannot be seen from the street
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a husky   Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:00 pm

Well I live in a cul-de-sac, I don't know what they're called in America, but it's a road that leads no where. So it wouldn't be some where the public just pass by. The back of our garden leads onto a field with huge bushes behind it. So there is very little access to our garden unless you come through the house, so I really don't think people taking the dog will be an issue.

Our fences are 7'6" tall with a 1 foot cement hold for the panels along the bottom. So a dog wouldn't be able to dig under. There is one small bit, but that just leads into next doors garden so that shouldn't be an issue.

Thank you both for your input; I'm really hoping this works (will work). This is making me super happy
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