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 Hello from Los Angeles

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keah310
Newborn
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Female Join date : 2018-05-30
Location : Los Angeles, CA

PostSubject: Hello from Los Angeles   Wed May 30, 2018 6:57 pm

Hi Everyone

My husband Jason and I were found by a husky in the Joshua Tree Desert -- she wandered out of the brush and sat down next to us and stayed around for the next three days. We helped get her to a shelter and checked in for her family to get her but no one came, no chip and no collar. She was known in the area as an escape artist and had been rehomed before but the shelter felt that recently, her homes hadn't tried very hard to understand or care for her. After several weeks of reading everything we could about huskies and feeling alternately like we are crazy to consider this and how could we not?, we drove out to the desert and picked her up on May 9.

Lula is, we think , between a 3 to 5 yr old -- closer to 3 year old, beautiful sable colored female Siberian husky mix or possibly an Alaskan husky (sickle tail, very lean and shorter coat, pretty chill - but what do we know?). She is unbelievably sweet, easy tempered, seemingly well trained and just LOVES people , especially my husband Jason. She is a total sweetheart. And she is very much her own being.

We are dealing with some separation anxiety with Jason -- mild to moderate. and we are sure , isolation anxiety. Met with a trainer who said absolutely no to trying to leave her on her own even for a short time in a crate. She goes to doggie daycare, which is ok for now, but we hope not a permanent solution.

She gets lots of walks , has access to a yard (with fence and extra securing but still makes us nervous), and gets to stay at home with Jason who works from home 2 days a week. Our life has kind of revolved around her for the last 3 weeks and we love her already. But we are also serious about being good husky leaders and giving her both the structure and love she deserves. Would welcome any and all suggestions and especially from folks in the LA area!

Will post a picture once I figure out how. And thank you all for being here!

kauser and jason



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aljones
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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Hello from Los Angeles   Wed May 30, 2018 11:44 pm

Hi K&J and welcome to our Husky madness!!  

Pictures:  I put together a tutorial (of sorts) which should help with posting pictures.  Most of us, I think, upload them to ServImg (a partner company to Forumotion which is convenient)  This link will take you to a walk through while this link will take you to a YouTube video of how to do the same thing.

Crate training is a whole 'nother can of worms.  If one of her previous owners shoved her in a crate and said 'Lump it!!' then you've got a lot of work ahead of you.  I have three rescues one of whom was obviously crated and doesn't seem to mind it at all; the other one I crate does okay over night but she's definitely my alarm clock come sunrise (about 7:30); the third one I don't crate because, as far as I know, he's been ''perfect" without it (no messes, no getting into things, etc)
The best way I've hear of to crate train is to leave the crate open, feed her in it, make it HER domain and hopefully, she'll eventually accept being shut in for short times and then gradually longer.

Separation anxiety:  good luck, I hope you don't live in an apartment building (naw, they have a back yard, it's a house)  some pups get really vocal when they get left.  Again it's a matter of starting small (short times [30 seconds?] away and reward if she waits patiently.  A combination of crate training and separation on those day where Jason is home might be a start.
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keah310
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Female Join date : 2018-05-30
Location : Los Angeles, CA

PostSubject: Re: Hello from Los Angeles   Thu May 31, 2018 2:45 am

Hi Aljones . Thank you for the excellent suggestions. I had no idea about the world of husky madness, but we can’t think of a better reason to be in it than Lula. I’m just going to let J figure out the picture uploading thing— there have to be some benefits to being married to an engineer. And as for crate training, we need to be more active around that. She’s suddenly started avoiding it altogether and is favoring her dog bed which is in another room. Getting a 3 year old female husky is very much like having an emo 13 year girl in the house. So sensitive and temperamental! Jason is on board that he’s got to do more most of the training around the SA so I hope we can make some headway. She’s so resilient and steady in so many ways ; I’m hopeful. Btw anyone else have an Alaskan husky?
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aljones
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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Hello from Los Angeles   Thu May 31, 2018 10:02 am

I she's started avoiding it then you're doing it wrong (if she didn't avoid it before) It's really difficult to help them make the connection of "home" (my empire) and the crate. That's why I suggested feeding her in it.

Alaskan Husky - yep one of my three is an Alaskan. I've been thinking about running a DNA test on him to see what he really is. You know that the definition of an Alaskan Husky is anything that a racer could put together that they thought would make a good running dog, right?
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TwisterII
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Hello from Los Angeles   Thu May 31, 2018 10:44 am

Welcome to the forum!

Most of mine took to the crate alright but it does take time. If she likes the bed then put the bed inside the crate and just leave the door open. Take bed out and sit on top of crate to feed inside the crate and leave door open. If it's a large crate with two doors leave both doors open so she doesn't feel so trapped at first. As she gets used to the crate you can close her in for short periods of time with you in the room. Give her something to chew on in the crate and close her in but don't leave the room. Let her work on her chew inside the closed crate if she will settle down for it. When she's done open the crate and let her out. As time goes on you can work up to leaving her in the crate as you leave the room or go outside for short stints. It's all about how she is reacting to the crate. If she just makes noise and you are in a position where the noise won't bother a close neighbor you can more fairly fast through the steps. If she is destructive about it where she tries to destroy the crate then it will take longer because you don't want her to hurt herself.

Can't wait to see pictures!

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keah310
Newborn
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Female Join date : 2018-05-30
Location : Los Angeles, CA

PostSubject: Re: Hello from Los Angeles   Thu May 31, 2018 11:12 am

Hi Twisterll ! We’ve had her 3 weeks today and started with the crate and dog bed . Hadn’t decided that we would definitely crate train especially bc the trainer we saw was so against it and freaked us out about how bad things could get. We were also told to just get a sense of her and let her adjust to new house, daycare etc. my husband I think really thought he could build a kennel for her outside but I just don’t see her as a dog who would be happy outside for most of the time ( despite the fact that she was clearly living wild in the desert and is a runner — she’s too much of a people and domestic dog). He agrees now that our work is indoors.

For the first week and a half she went back and forth between the bed and crate on her own. Then she got sick , had diarrhea for a few days and seemed to not go back to the crate , no accidents in there. We’ve still been giving her treats in crate but she takes them and moves to dog bed. We will try the feeding incrate and opening the back gate on it. Maybe remove dog bed? It is too fluffy and won’t fit in there. Or would be jammed in. I feel like she looks at us like “I know what you are trying to do- good luck with that”. Still, she listens, is easy in most ways so I am hopeful.

Aljones, I do know that’s the definition of an Alaska n Husky lol. I pretend it means she’s got all the beauty and smarts of a Husky tempered with other stuff that will make her less hard headed! We’ll see— she sure can run though! Are your Alaskans any different than your Siberians? Are they known to be different in any significant way? Thank you all! We’ll keep you updated and I’ll ask J to get some pictures of our beautiful girl up today!
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TwisterII
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Hello from Los Angeles   Thu May 31, 2018 11:40 am

You've got to really watch your trainers when it comes to huskies. Many have never actually worked with them and don't like to because they are stubborn and tend to really put them through their paces. Crating is the only real way to ensure that they don't hurt themselves on something depending on the personality of your dog and a trainer that says to absolutely not crate without really knowing the dog thoroughly isn't one that I would go back to. Crating keeps them from getting into stuff when they are bored and you are gone. In the blink of an eye your couch could become a chew toy, wires could be stripped, baseboards a thing of the past and any of those things could lead to death of your dog. Not all dogs NEED to be crated but until she's settled in and you really know her it's usually safer to crate when you are away. It usually takes a couple months for the true personality of a new dog to come out. Once they get comfortable, truly comfortable, in their surroundings is when they usually start getting bravest and testing what they can get away with or see and taste around the home. I always start mine in the crate and then they have to earn their way out of it after a time of learning and knowing what is a toy and what isn't. She may always be a dream and never chew anything, or you might come home one day and your coffee table will look like it was attacked by a beaver. All things in time.

Glad he's leaned away from being outside. They really do love being with their pack. She may have been an outside dog at her other homes and that lead to her being the extreme escape artist that she is. They don't like being alone and will go looking for adventure and friends.

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aljones
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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Hello from Los Angeles   Thu May 31, 2018 12:21 pm

Well, let's see - is Avalanche any different than Sky or Sasha - most pronounced difference is that he's a male while they're females!

I will say that he's smarter than the other two - for example, when he's on lead on the front porch if he gets the chain wrapped around something, he'll follow it back and "unwind" himself - Sasha just keeps going the same way till she's got her lead all wrapped up and she's on a 2 foot lead!

On the other hand he can be just as stubborn as the other two!!  If he's gotten off lead "Come here!" just doesn't make it.  I do live in the middle of nowhere (where's Al live?) so I can let him run until he decides to come back.  One saving grace with my three is that they don't go far - a couple of miles at most - Sasha tends to stay in sight, while Sky heads to a neighbors to play and Avalanche is just simply gone!!

I wasn't trying to impugn your knowledge but soooo many people think that an Alaskan is a breed and they're definitely not (cross breed, yeh!!!)

Since J is home some days and I presume you're both home a couple of days a week I'd let the crate training develop.  Feed her in it, give her treats but just see if she'll use it as a "cave" with the door open.   I tend to think your comment about removing the bed might be beneficial - I'm presuming there's a mat / bed of some kind in the crate?

While I haven't used a trainer, from some of the stories I read here and from what I've read on the web the 'normal' trainer doesn't have any idea how to approach a Sibe.  Anyone whose premise is that "they're just a dog" is in for a rude awakening!

There's a picture here from someone who left their dog loose and came home to a destroyed couch - separation anxiety / boredom?? I don't think the dog was saying ...

If I didn't say it before thank you!!!!! for taking this girl in and giving her a home.  While I live in the desert, the desert is no place for a dog to be loose!
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keah310
Newborn
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Female Join date : 2018-05-30
Location : Los Angeles, CA

PostSubject: Re: Hello from Los Angeles   Thu May 31, 2018 3:34 pm

Al,

your place is beautiful!  I love the desert and would happily live there.  Agree it is no place for a dog on her own.

and don't worry about impugning my dog knowledge :  this is my first dog (apart from time spent with my brothers' corgies)  and  b) everything i know i learned in the last month so acres of room for stuff to learn.  Jason has had  dogs before but because I was so naïve to the whole thing, I think I believed sooner that a husky is not "just a dog".

Twister, totally agree about trainers.  the next one we have scouted has had a husky herself and teaches  many huskies in our area. the first one was a personal recommendation and we realized soon that we would not see her again. I think she was coming from a good place of not wanting a dog with SA to get hurt and probably was right to caution  to be careful with crate.  But we are going to try.  Jason just sent me a picture of Lula contentedly in her crate with a hoof/kong.

Thanks for the thanks! We knew it was a big commitment but really, we did just keep coming back to "how could we not?" about giving her a home. She chose us.  The shelter she was at figured out quickly that we were middle aged hyper responsible folks and just waited for us,  probably thinking that they were not going to get anyone who was going in with more preparation and desire to make it work. At least, we were not choosing her just because she's so pretty or we watched too much Game of Thrones.  So basically,  Lula and the shelter pegged us for the suckers we are Smile

ok, allegedly, I work so I will sign off for now !  So happy to have found this forum.
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