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 Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!

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vhrocks323
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PostSubject: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:30 pm

My name is Kelsey and i currently live in an apartment with my boyfriend in Texas. We both attend Texas State. So obviously by joining this forum, you know that i have an interest in Huskies. My boyfriend and i really want a dog- my favorite is the german shepherd, his is the siberian husky. We've pretty much already decided that the GS would be a bad move because when it comes time for us to move to another apartment we're gonna have to do some CRAZY searching for an apartment that accepts them. I've noticed most apartments, however, accept siberian huskies. I've only ran into one that didn't.

I've done my researching on these dogs and i get 2 very mixed reviews- 1.) Huskies are just awful dogs for apartments and 2.) It really doesn't matter what the size of the apartment is because it's the EXERCISE that matters. If you regularly take them to the dog park, walk them, etc, then it will be fine. I wanted to get some personal opinions from you all so i can actually get a GOOD idea of what the truth is. Another thing, the trainer at Petsmart suggested that we rescue an older husky instead of getting a puppy. My bf and i are worried that if we get an adult dog he\she could react badly to our cats. If we got a puppy then it could be raised with the cats, which would most likely turn out great. What would you all suggest?? Puppy or adult? By the way, most rescues really don't know if they'll react well to cats. I volunteered at the humane society for a year and it's just obvious that it's pretty unknown how the dog is going to react. They don't hang around cats at all, so your only hope is that maybe they were raised with one before they came to the shelter.

My bf and i are very good pet parents, we have 2 cats. One of them we raised from 6 wks old and he turned out to be an excellent cat. The other we adopted from the Humane Society of Austin. She's really skiddish and my bf doesn't like her much lol but our boy, Spartacus, is in love with her, and that was the intention. We wanted to get him a play mate. Also, i work at Petsmart so i get discounts on everything and i get 1 free dog training class, so i plan on enrolling our dog in one. We're going to be in apartments for a long time (because of college), and i really don't intend on waiting 8 years to get a dog. I've been raised with dogs my whole life, and it's already killing me not to own one! And we both understand that this is a LONG term commitment and we're planning on saving money so that we can comfortably afford the dog.


I'm excited to hear what yall have to say Smile
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MelissaI
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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:46 pm

Hi and welcome!!! I was raised with German Shepards all my life and I love them, but I don't think it would be the right dog for you when you do decide to move. Unfortunately, they do have a bad rep and I can see why. They're not "mean" they're just very territorial and protect their humans and home till the end! Now from my personal experience with my huskies. I don't live in a huge house. It's a duplex and quite small, but we do have a yard. If you're committed to walking/running your husky at least 2 times a day and giving him/her LOTS of love and attention then I don't see why not. They are great, loving, SMART dogs, but once again require a lot of attention! Most of them won't just lay there and relax...they need a lot activity! Not to mention that they can be reckless!!! My 5yr old female completely destroyed our leather couch when she was about 1yr old....plus many other things as well...LOL! It's so worth it though! I love my babies to death!

As far as the kitties....well I don't have any, but i know that my dogs aren't too fond of them, but lots of other members have cats and their dogs do great with them. Rescuing is always a wonderful option since there are so many huskies in shelters =( but you always run the risk of them not liking the kitties. I would say go with a puppy, but if you do decide to rescue...THAT'S AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome and good luck =)
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Koda
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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:48 pm

Hi Kelsey! Major kudos to you and your boyfriend for doing your research! That's the first important step.

I will say that I do not think that apartments make a difference. The owners make the difference. We lived with Koda in an apartment for 2 years before we rented a house and now own one. He went on daily walks and we ran around regularly with him in the apartment. We also took him to a large fenced-in baseball field to run and play in on a regular basis. This all worked well for him. As long as you can commit to a solid 1-2 hours of GOOD exercise a day, you should be fine in an apartment.

Normally, I would always suggest rescue, and in your case, I likely still do. However, there are pros and cons to it. First of all, don't be fooled.... NO DOG is ever 100% safe around cats unsupervised, especially a husky: raised with them or not. So please keep that in mind. Secondly, I would sit down to seriously consider what you both have the time and the money for. Puppies generally cost a lot more than rescues, but they also are a LOT of time and work. Will you be able to take him out every couple of hours with your school schedules? A puppy can only hold it in as many hours as he is months old (2 months old= 2 hours). A puppy takes a LOT of time, patience, and training. Will he be okay with cats? Most likely since he is socialized early, but his prey drive still makes him unpredictable. In general, I don't normally recommend puppies for students because of time, but there are always exceptions for those dedicated owners Smile

A rescue is a bit more unpredictable with what you get, but you can CERTAINLY find rescues that are good with cats. They might come with some other issues, but you shouldn't have to deal as much with potty training or the "joys" of puppyhood. However, the right rescue can take months to find. There's a lot to consider. It really depends on what fits into your lifestyle best.

The last thing that I have to mention, and please don't take this the wrong way as it was asked of me as well and I would ask it to anyone... who will take the dog if you and your boyfriend split? Make sure that you both discuss and consider this beforehand. I know you have cats that have likely forced you to have this conversation already with, but so many animals are re-homed in "divorces" that it's really something worth talking about beforehand. Nothing is a guarantee.

In short, I welcome you to the joys of husky ownership! I think you're off to a great start and yes, I do think a husky could fit into your lifestyle with the proper amount of time and dedication! Smile

Welcome to the forum Smile

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Last edited by Koda on Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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vhrocks323
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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:53 pm

Thanks Melissa Smile

Yeah i hate how GS have that reputation! One of my family friend's owned one and she was so sweet. I played with her every time we went to their house and she actually started to get protective of me! It was pretty sweet, she followed me everywhere in their house lol. But yes, i know all puppies have a tendency to be destructive...luckily none of our furniture is new! Haha. I plan on crate training the dog though, so they won't be able to run around the apartment while i'm gone and tear everything up. And yes, my boyfriend and i are getting back into working out, and i'd really like to have a husky companion to go with me. I plan on shaving their coat down quite a bit in the summer time though so they don't over heat. It gets pretty warm in TX!
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arooroomom
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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:53 pm

I lived in a smallish 1 bedroom apartment with my ex, our 4 cats, and 2 Huskies. Before that we lived in a 5th wheel with just Mickey and 2 of the cats. It can be done. We took them to the dog park daily and walked them 3-5 times a day. Our walks were short, just around the block. It was the dog park that made it very do-able.

With an adult rescue Husky, you aren't guaranteed anything. Huskies have a high prey drive which is why if they aren't socialized with cats young, the will chase. And they chase to kill. Even an adult rescue who lived with cats is not guaranteed to like YOUR cats. Your best bet is to go the puppy route.

Be sure you do your homework on this breed because they're unlike any other. In both good and bad ways Smile They aren't off leash dogs and you need to only let them off when the area is fully enclosed. They have their own mind and like to do things their way. If you give them an inch they WILL take a mile Wink


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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:56 pm

@vhrocks323 wrote:
I plan on shaving their coat down quite a bit in the summer time though so they don't over heat. It gets pretty warm in TX!
PLEASE DON'T do that! Huskies coats are not meant to be shaved and it can cause major damage to their skin and the coat may never grow back properly. A husky's coat insulates him in the heat just as much as in the cold weather. In a warm climate like TX, I would just make sure you only do heavy exercise early in the morning or late in the evening but PLEASE don't shave a husky Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:02 pm

Even though you may think it makes it easier for them in the summer... Shaving them down only makes it worse. Odin was shaved when I got him and it wasn't even the middle of summer and he suffered SO much! He couldn't be out for very long without becoming way too hot and seeking shelter. He was screaming at the door to come in after only being outside for 5 minutes! This was in 80 degree weather! They adapt to the warmer weather and as long as you adapt your exercise too... it makes it easier on them. When it began to get cold here (we're talking 60's) he'd be freezing within 5 minutes! I know it seems like we're getting crazy about it but it really just makes things worse and totally destroys their coat.

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vhrocks323
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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:09 pm

Ha, oh yes, the conversation of "what if we split up" has come up. It was actually really hard with the cats because we both love Spartacus more than the one we rescued (i know that sounds SO horrid, but it's true because she is very skiddish and not near as social as Spartacus) I still love her though, she just has her own unique personality. I told him that i should take Spartacus because when we first got him i put more money into him (the shots, vet exams, etc) and my bf didn't take too kindly to that lol. BUT! As far as the husky goes, i would definitely say that my boyfriend would keep him\her. I actually thought about this already, and because he wanted the husky and i wanted the german sheperd, i'd let him keep the husky. We definitely wouldn't be giving our animals away if we split if that's what you're mostly worried about.


WOW! i definitely did not know huskies had issues with their fur being shaved down. Geez, glad i know that now. i was just concerned that they'd get too hot! I'll take your advice and just do it in the morning or evening. That was my plan anyways.

Okay, so it sounds like the best idea so far is to get a puppy. But what do i say to the breeder? They usually have a bunch of questions and some of them even require you to have a yard! I really don't want to be "disqualified" of owning a husky just because i don't have a yard Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:13 pm

You gotta just be honest with the breeder.. we can't tell you what to say!
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MelissaI
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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:13 pm

You're welcome and yep GS's can be so sweet! One of ours as kid got protective of my best friend also...it was funny. Crate training is definitely a must! Mya did that in matter of an hour when we "thought" it would be ok to leave her loose. We were totally proven wrong there!!!!

I agree with Kristina on the high prey drive. It's INSANE! Mya has almost taken me down several times to chase a cat or a squirrel! =(

And yes PLEASE don't think about shaving your husky!! Their coats are beautiful and even though you might think it doing them good...it's not. Kristina and I are both in South Florida and TRUST ME when I say that it gets HOT in the summer!!! They do fine though as long as you walk them in the mornings and evenings and obviously he/she would be inside with the AC. Mya even sunbathes in 85 degree weather so they don't hate it too much =0)
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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:16 pm

@vhrocks323 wrote:
Okay, so it sounds like the best idea so far is to get a puppy. But what do i say to the breeder? They usually have a bunch of questions and some of them even require you to have a yard! I really don't want to be "disqualified" of owning a husky just because i don't have a yard Sad
Check out this thread: How to find a reputable breeder. Then, do your research and ask questions. A proper breeder should be able to weed out the good homes from the bad and those that are willing to put the time and energy into a pup. The split up question WILL happen, so be prepared, but it sounds like you already are Smile Make sure both your boyfriend and you are present at any meetings and emails. You'll find the right dog.

However, you may want to check into rescues in the meantime (when you're ready). Because you're young and not "stable" (as many breeders will see it), you may simply have better luck with rescues.

It's a long process, but worth it in the end to find the right dog Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:17 pm

+1 on not shaving a husky. I have two in FL and am in a husky group. There are a lot of people with huskies here in FL and they do just fine with a full coat. Just take them out in the morning or evening if it's really hot out.

You can find rescue huskies that do fine with cats or will do fine with them after a bit of training. One couple up the road from me have two. One is a rescue and after getting after him about the cats, he's now good with their cats. They even have outside cats. But huskies are notorious cat killers, so there's always a risk even with one who's grown up with cats. I still will not leave my huskies alone with my cats. I'm pretty darn sure they'd do nothing, but I still won't chance it. When someone's around, I do let them in together, but the huskies go back into their crates if we have to go anywhere.

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vhrocks323
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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:29 pm

Lol, yeah i suppose so. I'm always honest with people, but still. I hope they don't look at me like i'm crazy for wanting to own a husky without a yard.

i've noticed most of you are brining up the high prey drive of huskies. I was thinking that if the puppy gets raised with my cats they won't have near as much of a need to "hunt" my cats. I would be completely crushed if the husky killed my cats though. Ugh, i love huskies, but this is really concerning me. And as i said, i really want a German Shepherd too. From what i've read they seem to be better at adapting to apartment life, but i am still worried about finding an apartment that accepts them. Geez, maybe i should just go with a "sweet" breed like a golden retriever lol.
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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:37 pm

lol. Yeah, prey drive is a big thing. My older one Siku is good around our cats, but she was running around with a dead squirrel the other night (still not sure if she killed it or if it was already dead. I mean what squirrel in its right mind is out and about when it's pitch black out.). And she will chase cats she sees in the backyard. She hasn't caught one yet, but if she did I don't think it would be pretty. Though she did pick up a possom when she was about 6 months old and just gave me this look like "look what I found mom! Now what do I do with it????" Thankfully the thing just played dead the whole time and I got her to drop it. The squirrel not so much. Took me about 10 minutes to pin her in a corner and get the thing away from her. Evil or Very Mad

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vhrocks323
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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:48 pm

Hmm, yeah, idk. The prey drive thing is going to worry me to death, so i probably shouldn't go with a husky. But i'm really glad i'm getting some honest, great views from you guys! That was definitely what i was looking for.
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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:04 am

We have lived peacefully with the 4 cats and the Huskies for about 4 years now. As long as you're willing to crate your Husky while you're away (which you should really do anyway) there isn't an issue.

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PostSubject: Re: Hi all! I'm new here and have a very important question for you!   Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:59 pm

Hi, I know I'm a bit late here but thought I'd chime in. You've received a lot of excellent advise so I'll try not to repeat what others have said too much. If I do repeat others' comments it is more to reiterate/validate them than anything else.

When we first adopted our husky we lived in an apartment, and with proper exercise it was fine. Now we live in a huge house and things are no different, all their exercise they get outside anyway so their inside living quarters be they a large house or 2 bedroom apartment do not matter as much.

As has been said, there is no guarantee that raising a puppy with cats versus adopting an adult will make them more likely to get along. And even if they do get along there is always a chance that the prey drive will kick in and you will always have to be extra vigilant for the health and safety of all the pets in the household.

If you are going to go the puppy route, do you have the time necessary for a puppy since they take so much more time and attention than an adult that first year. Are you both going to school and working? How much time will that leave for a puppy and so on? These questions are not meant to dissuade you, just asking to be sure you're considering all aspects.

We adopted our sibe from a shelter with no history on him, with a fair amount of training we are able to somewhat safely house him with cats and small animals. We lived with our sibe and cats for a couple years and he did well with the cats for the most part, he knew he was not allowed to harm them inside the house but outside was a whole different ball game. If he and the cats were outside they were fair game as far as he was concerned. Our sibe is an excellent hunter and will hunt down and kill small animals. Yet we live with 2 chihuahuas and we also have guinea pigs that he knows to leave alone. Can I ever trust him unsupervised with the chihuahuas, cats or guinea pigs? Absolutely not which is why when we are not able to supervise the guinea pigs and chihuahuas are crated and our husky is gated in a bedroom. Better safe than sorry. On a positive note, I did accidentally leave the guinea pig cage open one day and didn't realize it until I heard my husky in the room with the guinea pigs (completely unprotected). I raced up the stairs to the room fearing the worst and to my complete amazement he didn't touch the guinea pigs and all was fine. That was a good outcome but I would never do something like that on purpose, the risk is too great.

Enough rambling from me though. And again, welcome!

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