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 We might adopt a husky - advice please!

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Blaise
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Join date : 2017-01-26

PostSubject: We might adopt a husky - advice please!   Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:05 am

I am trying to do as much research as possible fairly quickly and I came across this forum. I plan to browse a bunch of the topics and I realize I'll probably find some of my answers, but I still want to post Smile

We are actually on the waiting list with a breeder for a puppy (a golden retriever). However, we came across a 7 month old husky who needs a new home. Her owners say they just don't have the time to give her the attention and exercise she needs.

We've always loved the look of huskies. DH had one when he was a kid. So we are kind of torn! We've had a puppy before. We got her at 8 weeks old. She lived until just over 1 year. She ate a sock, had surgery to get it out, but didn't survive the surgery. It's been 2 years and we are ready for another dog. Our kids really want one too!

Little puppies are the cutest, but as we learned with our previous one, they are SO much work. This husky is already 7 months. Still a lot of work but she has some training under her belt. She knows some commands and is mostly potty trained. Her owners say that she SOMETIMES has accidents in her crate and that concerns me. I know they have her in there for long stretches but I'd think she'd be old enough to hold it by now...? In any case, I stay home with my kids and so she would not be in the crate for super long stretches so hopefully there would be no accidents in the crate.

Apparently she will potty outside but only poops on a potty pad in the house. We would want her to start pooping outside. How can we train her to do this?

We met her last night and she seemed a little shy. By the end she did warm up to us. We took her to the backyard to play and she ran and ran, but never really came to us to interact. I really want her to play with the kids... do huskies play with people a lot or do they just want to zoom around?

They say she can't have soy and her stomach is sensitive. Is this normal with huskies?

We are not ones to jump into a situation and not be prepared so we're really trying to inform ourselves quickly. I have always loved dogs and learning about different breeds, so I know a little about huskies... I know they're independent, smart... but I don't really know to what extent... What else can you guys tell me? Obviously any dog can have accidents in the house, chew up a couch, swallow socks... what are huskies particularly known for? Good and bad!

Thanks so much for any advice. Bottom line - we want a family dog that our kids can play with.
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MiyasMomma
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Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: We might adopt a husky - advice please!   Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:27 am

Welcome to the forum Blaise! Well once you get a husky you will not stop,lol. They are an infectious breed Smile

With some real solid training, and consistent training huskies in general are fantastic family pets. they are known to be escape artists, can be known for breaking out of a crate and can jump fences as high as 6 feet. many do not have a good recall, erp really mean they have selective hearing. They are very stubborn, independent and super smart, funny, loving, goof balls that like to have zoomies. they love to run, they can have separation anxiety, can tear up your home if bored, some may have resource guarding issues, some may have a good amount of prey drive. With all of that said, a well exercised physically and mentally husky that has a fulfilled life with boundaries can be awesome. Owners must be dedicated, they can be challenging and to be honest just about any breed can be all of those things I mentioned. The kids can play with a husky, I have a friend who has a husky mix and has 6 kids ages 3-16, they now have a second husky, and she never had a dog before, so very doable, and the kids adore their 2 buddies. With that said, she did set boundaries for both pups, and since she too is a stay at home mom had more time to work with them, that imho is a huge plus! I have a husky mix and a gsd and my girls adore children. They romp and play and lick their faces, we have no kids, but my friends love to bring theirs to enjoy and play with my girls, so my girls have been around 3-16 year olds as well.

Question number 1 about potty............you will need to go back to basic puppy potty training, rewards are a must have strict schedules on potty, and retrain her the way you want it done. Any of us here are happy to help with that. Huskies are notorious for getting distracted and leash up take out do potty come back in wait and then take back out to play, and other potty training strategies should be used. At 7 months old and without consistent training I don't see there being an issue, it was total failure on the original owner, and allowing puppy pads that is not the way to train a husky.

Question number 2 about the zooming.........well they are huskies and if y'all are out doorsy type of people she will fit right in. I suspect that this puppy hasn't had a lot of exercise and that would explain the zoomies. they love to play, the breed itself is quite playful, my girl plays fetch, tugs, loves games.

Question number 3 about food............huskies were originally from Siberia, where grains are not grown. Today's breed lacks the amylase enzyme which means many have grain sensitivities. A grain free food is normally recommended. Do you know what they currently feed her? There are many on the market fitting most budgets, so don't worry over that so much.

I love huskies, they are a great breed, a tired husky is a good husky, Smile At 7 months old she is still at an age where you can undue any bad habits. They are incredibly smart, you just need to be one step ahead of them. Did she interact with your kids, and how old are your kids?

there are a ton of threads here to read and a great bunch of people who are supportive and helpful and incredibly smart with this breed, so ask more questions. I hope I helped some and look forward to hearing if you have more questions.

Renee
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TwisterII
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Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: We might adopt a husky - advice please!   Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:16 pm

As long as you are up to walking the dog as well as having your kids play with it you should be alright. Sometimes people will get these dogs and think that all they need is play time in the back yard and that is not the case. You will have to go on structured walks. Every dog needs this but huskies will be especially difficult if they don't get this, so that is something to be aware of depending on the age of your kids and how easy it is for you to take them on the walks with you. Huskies make great family pets. They are friendly. As Renee said, boundaries and retrain as if you had gotten this dog as a puppy with no training. You will do great.

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VTHokieHusky
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Male Join date : 2017-01-06
Location : VA

PostSubject: Re: We might adopt a husky - advice please!   Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:49 pm

Welcome to the forum, I'm glad you found this great site! I can't add much more to the great advice already given. I am surprised the Husky is having an accident in the crate though for starters, that should NEVER happen with an older puppy, dogs NEVER should go in their crate. Maybe they just crate her too long all day while at work?

Anyway, just a little bit about my story might help you since I was in the exact situation you are in June of last year 2016. I'd always loved Huskies and was fascinated by the breed from a young age. We bought "Lucy" from a pet store when she was about 4 months old. When I saw her for the first time that was it! I had to bring her home, somehow my wife agreed lol. So she was still a very young pup at only 4 months, but also not a baby pup, 8-12 weeks etc. We had done all the research and talked to other Husky owners as well, so we kind of knew what we were getting into. The first we did was sign her up for basic obedience training at PetSmart which was great, she was the class A+ student! Again, Huskies are crazy smart. Potty training was a challenge, but again they're smart, they will learn where it is appropriate to go 1 and 2. I think the biggest challenge we've found with a Husky is keeping them mentally, not just physically, stimulated. We do this by giving commands and working on obedience skills, this seems to actually wear her out alot! It also helps it you have at least 1 other dog, Huskies love to be in a "pack". We take her on walks and I take her on a job occasionally. Huskies are CRAZY smart and will always try to assert themselves and out smart you. They truly do like to dig, so hopefully you're OK with some holes in the backyard, and they will try to escape by any means necessary! All is all I would get a Husky again, once you get obedience training and potty training down it's really just enjoying their playful and fun energy level. Good luck!
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Blaise
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Join date : 2017-01-26

PostSubject: Re: We might adopt a husky - advice please!   Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:25 pm

Thanks for the replies! My kids are 10 (triplets) so old enough to be good helpers, but not strong enough to walk a strong dog with run-away or chasing instincts. We do like going on walks and playing outside... I worry about leash pulling though.

The owners say this dog is mouthy but not bitey. Should we allow mouthing since it doesn't hurt or discourage it?

The owners have three kids from ages 5-13.

We would definitely have crates and gates in the house....

What do you guys feed your huskies, and what are the best training treats? They told us what they fed her but I don't remember...

About this selective hearing/being so smart but choosing to do what they want - do you discourage this (and how?) or do you just tell yourself that it's going to happen sometimes and roll with it?


I really appreciate the advice and the personal stories!
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MiyasMomma
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Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: We might adopt a husky - advice please!   Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:25 pm

the mouthing issue, most grow out of it around a year, and tugs is good way of encouraging biting a toy vs hands. So no I wouldn't encourage, but I also don't believe for the most part it would be a significant issue either.

A good portion of the group here feeds taste of the Wild, Fromm, Acana, as well as Costco's Nature's Domain, Tractor Supply's 4 health and Diamond Naturals, there are others but gave a fairly good list of varying price ranges.

You can give dehydrated (can make yourself) jerky treats, liver treats, and various other treats plenty to choose from that come grain free.

Training..........well i am a kinda roll with it person for somethings and other things I am not Smile. My experience is, using their name prior to a command seems to work better than just the command, otherwise they do believe you are talking to the mysterious husky that is behind them, hahaha. A basic obedience class will do wonders for you and the pup. if you can find a class with a trainer experienced in northern breeds that is a huge plus. There are various tools that you can use if done properly and if you don't know how to use thru guidance of a trainer for some tools you can teach not to pull.

To be honest your questions and concerns are very much workable, they may be a challenging breed, but goodness they do make up for it with their overall personality. Your children's ages do not seem to be an issue for me, old enough to help like you said. he leash pulling, like I said is also workable, plenty of tools out there to help you. At 7 months old she may be a much easier puppy to train how you want her to be compared to a puppy puppy. The older the puppy gets, and with the little training she gets, may be an issue, but at this age I personally believe she is a great and workable age for a family. She will require attention and exercise, but those are things that a family can do together, and like i said an obedience class to help you will make the transition much easier.
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Blaise
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Join date : 2017-01-26

PostSubject: Re: We might adopt a husky - advice please!   Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:37 pm

OH I completely forgot to mention another very important thing (especially as I am reading more about Huskies and their prey instinct).
We have a tiny Maltese (very laid back) and we also have three rats. Obviously the rats are kept in a cage but will the husky try to get to them??
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: We might adopt a husky - advice please!   Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:53 pm

Blaise, the rats are definitely on the lunch menu.  Getting a Husky would almost certainly - in my book - preclude any free time for the rats if he's in the house.

Small dogs are an entirely different matter, sometimes the combination is "Oh, you're a dog, okay!" and sometimes it's "Well, you're not a Husky!" ... the best way to determine how things are going to go is to take the two dogs - separately - to some neutral location, a city park for example, with two people walking them both and "accidentally" run across each other.  Greet each other from a distance and gradually decrease the distance until the dogs indicate an awareness of the other dog.  Let them gradually come together and see how the fur lies.  (or is that "How the fur flies?")

A cordial meeting doesn't mean that all is copacetic, it just means that they aren't going to try to tear each other apart immediately.  My three dogs are good with smaller pups - as long as the smaller dogs know "doggie manners"...

Good luck

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“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”
Corey Ford
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: We might adopt a husky - advice please!   Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:55 pm

probably. And, possibly the Maltese - I have a great big oaf of a sweetheart who loves little dogs but, do to his size and rough play, I limit contact for the most part.

I have a new foster, tiny for a male husky, who treats little dogs like prey. We're working on that. I believe its fear and not true prey drive, but that's not written in stone, yet.
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VTHokieHusky
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Location : VA

PostSubject: Re: We might adopt a husky - advice please!   Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:59 am

Yeah, one time Lucy somehow broke into the guinea pig's cage and I had to rescue said guinea pig right out of Lucy's mouth!
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Blaise
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PostSubject: Re: We might adopt a husky - advice please!   Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:38 pm

Her owners were kind enough to give us a trial run this weekend so we've had her all day today. She is a total sweetheart. So GOOD!
She is very interested in playing with our 5 lbs Maltese but the Maltese wants nothing to do with her. She growls and snaps at her (and she never bites or snaps at humans). The Husky doesn't back off too easily but she will... I'm kind of letting the two of them work it out with my supervision and I'd say it's probably something that we'd be able to work with. As I'm typing, they're in the same room and just leaving each other alone.
She was also really curious about the rats but I think we'll be able to keep her out of the room that their cage is in pretty easily. And of course, we'd never have the rats out of the cage with the dog in the same room at all.
She's playful but not too rough with us or the kids. A little mouthy but not horrible at all.
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