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 Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)

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Cannuck
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Join date : 2019-02-12

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PostSubject: Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)   Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!) EmptyTue Feb 12, 2019 9:02 pm

Hello,

Meet Mishka, an 18 month old female husky. We're in the Bay Area.

She is the sweetest, most gentle soul. She loves to cuddle up beside you. Not a shred of aggression in her (I had to pry a chicken bone that she found on the ground out of her mouth--I knew there was a chance she's bite me, but I'm not going to let her insides get torn up, but she was lovely. Not a shred of aggression).  

I'm a new dog owner, and I have so many questions. The first two days have been very long and tiring and I thought about returning her but now I've left her in a crate for a few hours (she chewed my husband's expensive curtains, oops) and I can keep her in my truck while I have lunch with friends so I don't feel so trapped anymore. I picked her up from a shelter four days ago. I have no idea what I'm doing and I've been spending every second of free time researching this to bring myself up to speed.  She is a stray that was in two shelters, a foster home, another home, back to the foster home and now is with us--so I would feel so bad returning her simply because I am overwhelmed--but I'm willing to keep trying and hope that the learning curve will eventually flatten out.  

These are the questions I'm trying to figure out at the moment. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I'm not expecting anyone to answer all of them, as much or as little advice would be greatly appreciated:

1. I'm wondering about exercise: How much exercise does she really need? If I let her run, do I need to let her hike as well? How much do I have to run her given that she's a husky? How do you guys exercise your huskies? Is it really necessary to do a death march, every single day?

We've worked up to rollerjoring in empty parking lots that we find in industrial areas. She does about .6-.8 miles of back and forth then begins to loose interest and sniff the surroundings. It's about 10 minutes of sprinting at max capacity. I want to be in control of her so I tie a friction bag on a harness that I drag behind me. That provides enough friction that she can't yank me away but not a lot of resistance to her because I pull the weight kinda. I wonder though, is that enough or do we need to do that multiple times a day? What brand of harnesses do you recommend for pulling (I haven't let her pull yet because we have a chest harness not a work harness)?

The first two days we did 5 mile hikes up into the hills so about 3000 feet of elevation gain, and it wore me out.  

2. Which chew toys are safe? She has a cow horn that she loves to chew but I worry about it splintering. What do you guys use?

3. What to do about flea control? I found a flea on her. I don't want anything too toxic because I may want to get pregnant (and it will cost me a lot of money to try...). Does the vinegar bath work--or apple cider vinegar in water?

4.Is the two week shutdown applicable to huskies? For many dogs they recommend slowly over two weeks getting them acquainted with the whole house and neighborhood. I need to take a 3 day class 9-5 next week, is doggie daycare a bad idea at this stage?

5. Can huskies be off leash at dog parks? The fence is maybe 4 or 5 feet high. I know that huskies should be on leash at all times when walking, but what about at the dog park?

Any advice on any of these issues would be helpful: as much or as little as you can offer

Christine


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aljones
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aljones

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Location : Terlingua, Texas

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PostSubject: Re: Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)   Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!) EmptyTue Feb 12, 2019 9:22 pm

I'll chime in with a couple of comments since you might be just a bit overwhelmed ... and that's understandable.

1)  Even though my pups are pretty layed back - they're all in the 8 year old range - they still want as much exercise as they can get and since I'm 73 years old, they don't get all they want (or need.)  Your rollerjoring sounds like great exercise for her.

2)  My guys don't do chew toys, I've gotten several different varieties and either they disappear in seconds or they don't bother with them at all.  That said, if your dog does lay there and chew, it's a great release for her ... (( okay, no help ))

3)  I live in the desert where we have almost no insects do I can't comment on flea protection.  In 8 years here I've never seen a flea or a tick ... (( knock on wood!! ))

4)  Acclimatization - all the way round - can take a few minutes or it can take years.  I can leave food on the counter and my dogs know that unless I give it to them it's mine - leave it alone; they also know that just because the door is open doesn't mean they can get out - they wait for me.  But this isn't a state that was reached overnight, I've had my fair share of things eaten (two pair of blue jeans to one dog!)
   You'll find that she'll adapt to your needs in pretty short order but it'll take a lot of patience on your part.

5)  A 4 or 5 foot fence, the best thing that I can suggest if to take her to the park and see if she's going to try to jump in to play.  Most fences for Huskies are recommended to be in the 6 foot range.  Two of my dogs can jump from the ground up onto my porch - 4 feet off the ground - without even thinking about it, I figure they could clear a 5 foot fence.  
The other alternative is to take to to the dog park with a long lead - in the 30 foot range - if she does jump the fence then you've still got a handle on her.  Might want to do that when there aren't a lot of other dogs around - you might have some unhappy owners if she gets too tangled with them (dogs or owners!)

ETA: Thanks for rescuing her, a dog who's been in as many homes as she has really needs a lot of patience.
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Cannuck
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PostSubject: Re: Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)   Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!) EmptyTue Feb 12, 2019 11:56 pm

"ETA: Thanks for rescuing her, a dog who's been in as many homes as she has really needs a lot of patience."

She's been very good that way--she's very, very timid and deserves to feel secure. When we got her, she waited 24 hours before going pee in the back yard. Her foster mom, said that when they first got her as well, she didn't go pee for 24 hours. Now she's going regularly, which is good because its not healthy to hold it in that long. But I think about that. This dog is so nervous that she will hold in her pee.
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dvflyer
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Join date : 2018-04-07
Location : San Diego

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PostSubject: Re: Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)   Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!) EmptyWed Feb 13, 2019 2:06 am

I'll try:

First things first- thanks for adopting her.  Smile

1) Exercise:  I hear people talking about taking their dogs for multiple walks of multiple miles multiple times a day... (where is the rolleyes emoji?).  Not sure that's really accurate, unless they don't have jobs, and have a lot of energy, I suppose.  But walks are not really going to wear a dog out.

We walk ours a few times... per week... but they do have the run of the yard. It's not especially large, but enough for them to stretch their legs and play.

I also hike with ours quite a bit.  Worked up to 8-15 miles per hike.  Up hills, down hills etc.  They sleep well on the way home, but honestly, I don't think they are fazed one bit.  They are still young (just over a year), though, so I'm always careful about doing too much with them right now.

In other words, they'll take much more than most people could give them.  But that doesn't mean they need that to be happy.  I'm sure there are many husky owners who walk their dogs once a day at the most and have happy, healthy dogs.

Rollerjoring sounds great, but I've heard that running on hard surfaces- concrete, asphalt etc- is bad for their joints.

2) Chew toys- I refer to them as expensive disposable toys...  We've tried, ears, horns, trachea, himalayan chews, kongs, filled bones and antlers.  The antlers, kongs and filled bones have lasted the longest.  We avoid anything rawhide due to a bad experience with our other dog.

3) We had a huge issue with ticks (and I'd guess fleas) on one hike.  Went straight to Costco and got whatever flea/ tick medicine they had.  We could see the ticks trying to crawl safety shortly after we gave them medicine.  When we ran out of that, we got Comfortis from the Vet.  It's a chewable so, perhaps, safer for someone not wanting to be exposed to chemicals.

We also bought some natural spray from Amazon.  I spritz them with it now (well, in the summer) before we hike into any area with scrub brush etc.

4) I had always heard it was a 30 day lock down when bringing a new dog home.  For the first 30 days, the dog stays in a crate except to go to the bathroom, etc.  I think in the end if you're consistent with your training, it probably doesn't really matter.

5) Only dog park we go to (and only when there are no other dogs.... but that's just a personal preference) has a 6' fence- maybe a bit higher.  I can't imagine letting them run free with a 4ft fence.  5ft.... maybe, but I'd thing they could jump over it easily.  

Off-leash in an enclosed area is normal.  Let them run.  It's also a great place to practice recall training because there will be a lot of distractions.

Good luck with everything.
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RAHUSKY
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PostSubject: Re: Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)   Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!) EmptyWed Feb 13, 2019 8:32 pm

What a beautiful pup! Yep, sure you are super overwhelmed, but it is a good overwhelmed isn't it?? congrats and enjoy the ride for sure. I walk with my pups (5 and Cool probably 3-5 miles a day. Rollerjoring sounds great - and you could do bike or ski jorning to switch it up.

Honestly 95% of the problems I see in groups like these are caused by lack of exercise. And you will learn - if she collapses at the end of the day and is blissfully snoring by 9:15 you did good.

Of all the huskerboos I have owned over 50 years only 1 was trustworthy off-leash. Remember that too, cheers and good luck!
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Cannuck
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PostSubject: Re: Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)   Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!) EmptyFri Feb 15, 2019 9:49 pm

"Of all the huskerboos I have owned over 50 years only 1 was trustworthy off-leash. Remember that too, cheers and good luck!"

Yeah, she's not going off leash! Lol, nope!


"Rollerjoring sounds great, but I've heard that running on hard surfaces- concrete, asphalt etc- is bad for their joints."

So, I took her to the vet today. It seemed like every question I asked her she hand-waved and said "I don't know". I asked her specifically about running on hard-surfaces and she shrugged and said, "meh". I wasn't very impressed. I asked about harnesses, and what kind of a harness is good for her if she is to be pulling, and after some hand-waving the answer was "meh". I asked about dog food, and how to know what is quality vs garbage, and again, lots of talking but no actual answer. I wasn't going to get angry at the vet because it was a free consult because she was a rescue, but frankly, this veterinarian knew nothing about the breed. Do you folks use breed specific vets? Can you find vets in the Bay Area that are sled-dog specific.

On a happy note, I looked for a doggie daycare for her. After much hoop jumping with the regular day cares in the area I found another husky owner on Rover and Mishka loved this guy's puppy! She was so happy to have another husky to play with. It really is a husky thing!
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Cannuck
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PostSubject: Re: Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)   Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!) EmptyFri Feb 15, 2019 9:53 pm

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Mishka with her new friend!
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aljones
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aljones

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PostSubject: Re: Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)   Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!) EmptyFri Feb 15, 2019 10:01 pm

Love that picture 'cause it's so typically Husky!!  They do play rougher than most other dogs, I think and that gets scary to someone whose dog just doesn't know how they play.  It may sound like they're gonna tear each other apart (or if like mine, it's an absolutely quiet tussle!) but then they lay down together to take a break.

You ran into the bane of a lot of Husky owners - at least your vet didn't try to snow you with how much she knows!  That irritates the blazes out of me.  Some vets know dogs in general and some really do know how the breeds differ.  Try to find yourself one who knows what a Husky is like ... and good luck!
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dvflyer
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PostSubject: Re: Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)   Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!) EmptySat Feb 16, 2019 2:04 am

Harnesses specifically for pulling are different than general walking harnesses from what I hear.  Go to www.alpineoutfitters.com for all things "pulling".  Never bought from them, but have seen that site referenced many times regarding quality pulling harnesses.

I'm sure there are dogs that run on hard surfaces ever day, but if you have the choice to have them run on something softer, I would imagine that would be better.  Really just guessing though... is a dirt path really any softer than a sidewalk?

Re: dog food- I've read that Huskies eat less than other similar-sized breeds and I find that accurate.  If I were to feed our dogs what the bag says, they'd be FAT.  They eat 2 cups per day currently, plus a treat/ snack or two throughout the day.

Here is a link to all the 5 Star reviewed foods on Dog Food Advisor.  There is quite a choice.  FWIW- we buy Nature's Domain from Costco- which is a 4 star food at DFA.

https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/dry/5-star/

Raw feeding is also an option, but takes a bit of research to get right.
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Shepsky13
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PostSubject: Re: Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)   Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!) EmptyMon Feb 18, 2019 1:16 am

She is pretty!

We adopted a rescue as well, his age estimated around 5 which makes him 6.5 now?

Rollerjoring sounds like great exercise! We run and walk with our guy, he is logging about 5-6 miles per day. Hard surfaces impact hard on joints...We try to go on the trails as much as we can...on trails we will be mostly at a jog, and on asphalt we will be mostly at a walk.

Dog parks: leaving leash on can make your dog tense, get other dogs tangled, etc. so recommended that every dog just be “free” in fenced dog park. If she is having fun with other dogs, I think unlikely she would jump fence and run away? A higher fence certainly nicer though, less to worry about.

For flea/tick we use Nexgard. Need vet prescription. Chewable pill once a month.

2 week shutdown good for all rescue dogs. We did not know!! Lots of people came to pet and meet him. We had a few episodes of growling. It was stupid of me, but I just did not know.


For dog food, yep, I like website “dog food advisor” too. But the main thing is to check first five ingredients. Like with human food, if big list of funny long names...it probably is not healthy for your dog.

She sounds like a sweet dog! Always puzzling why nobody kept her. I always wonder why somebody dumped my guy...he is such a good easy dog...Every night he puts himself to bed...
Around 9pm...turns around 3 times on his dogbed, settles, carefully cleans his face and paws, then stretches out on side and falls sound asleep :-)
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Cannuck
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PostSubject: Re: Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!)   Meet Mishka who loves rollerjoring (first time dog owner, help!) EmptyMon Feb 25, 2019 10:08 pm

Thank you so much for all the advice. I give her pizzle for chew toys, we got some oral flea medication and dog parks have been a blessing from above! Oh have they ever! She LOVES playing with other dogs.


(I moved the rest of this post into it's own thread and made it easier to understand)
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