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 Newbie with a few questions

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vilgent
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2012-02-12

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PostSubject: Newbie with a few questions   Newbie with a few questions EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 1:50 am

Hey everyone,

I'm new with a few questions for you all. I've always wanted a Siberian Husky, and I'm in my last semester of college before I start working, so it's the first chance I have to actually have my own. That being said, I'm still several months away from the possibility, but I'm starting to do my research.

I've read a good amount already, but I have personal experience with forums and there's always invaluable insight provided by direct owners of something (I'm on a car forum, for example), so I figured the members here could help.

1) I've read that their coats can handle cold and warm weather, but to what degree? I live in Chicago, for instance, and I wouldn't want to hurt a Husky by taking him/her out on a hot day.

2) Can they live in enclosed places? I've read in multiple locations how they're highly active and like to dig. On the subject of indoors living, though, the answers have been mixed. Would a Husky be okay in a moderately sized apartment if he/she got walked in the morning (before work) and in the afternoon?

3) What is their interaction with other pets like? For instance, I like cats a lot too, and I've read that Huskies can get along with other animals, but on the shelter pages the majority of the ones I've read have specified that the particular dog isn't good with other animals (aside from other dogs).

4) Are there particular attributes associated with males/females (in terms of behavior, life expectancy, etc.)?

5) If I were to get one, I was looking at shelters/groups that are for rescuing Huskies. There are several in Illinois that I've seen, but does anyone have a particular recommendation(s)?

6) Most of these dogs are at least a year old, if not older. That's fine to me, but is there anything I should look for in particular, or know going into it? I'm picking up a previous owner's dog, so if there's anything particular to the breed I should know given the age, I just wanted to be sure.

7) I've read that hip issues are common for breeds of this size, but that Siberian Huskies aren't affected as much. Is this true? Are there any common diseases/illnesses I should watch out for?

Thanks for your help in advance, everyone.
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blueeyedghost
Maverick
blueeyedghost

Female Join date : 2011-07-01
Location : Denver, CO

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with a few questions   Newbie with a few questions EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 2:06 am

Welcome! It's nice to see another person from IL joining up. I grew up in Urbana and my parents live in Plainfield now. Where are you in school?

I'll go ahead and answer your questions to the best of my ability, and other members with more experience will chime in as well. Good on you for doing your research as well... Too many people get Huskies for their looks and then quickly find out they're in over their heads.

Huskies are very versatile and can handle a pretty broad range of temperatures. I live in the FL panhandle now, and there are loads of other members from the south as well. The trick is to exercise early in the morning and late in the evening when it's not as hot out, and keep them indoors during the hottest part of the day. Huskies will also be more sluggish in the heat. Be sure to have plenty of water on hand, and NEVER SHAVE YOUR HUSKY!!!!!! A lot of people in warmer climates think they need to shave their dogs, and it's horrible for them (and should be considered abusive).

We are lucky and have a nice yard, but there are several members who live in apartments or don't have a fenced yard. Exercise is key on this, and so is crate training. If you do both of those, you should have no issue in an apartment. Be sure though, that Huskies are allowed under the complex rules, and then get everything in writing so you're protected in the event that management changes or something else happens and suddenly your dog might not be as welcome. Always give yourself some sort of out. You'll see all the freakin time people giving up their dogs because of their living situation.

Huskies are great with all kinds of animals as long as they are properly socialized. We have 2 cats in the house, and made sure that Ghost knew the ground rules with them from day one. It also helped to get her at 10 weeks old, but there are Huskies out there in rescues who are cat friendly. You just have to look around a little.

The only rescue that I know of in the area is Northern Lights in Northern Indiana, but there are a couple of members here from your area who have done fairly extensive research with rescues. They'll be able to give you much more information.

I'll let some of our more knowledgeable members answer the last couple, but I do know the biggest worries with Huskies are hips and eyes. Aside from that, a lot of Huskies are grain intolerant, so you may have to go for a grain free kibble or raw diet. Regardless, you want your dog on as high a quality food as you can afford, and there are several out there that are reasonably priced. There are several threads on here with TONS of information on food, and you'd be well served to read through those as well.

Good luck with your last semester of college, and I can't wait to see the start of your Husky journey Very Happy


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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

Newbie with a few questions 85ced801-eef9-49ab-a499-d82fe0067cd7_zps64d8039a
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HuskyCowgirl08
Newborn
Newborn
HuskyCowgirl08

Female Join date : 2012-02-02
Location : Texas

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with a few questions   Newbie with a few questions EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 2:12 am

Welcome!! I am fairly new as well, but your post caught my eye because I was/am in the same position as you - it is my last semester of college (and a relatively easy semester for me, at that), and I wanted to devote it to the core training of a pup, before I had a full time job. I wasn't set on a husky when I began looking, but it was a wonderful decision Smile I'm sure that others will be able to answer your questions much better than I could, but just wanted to send some encouragement your way about the timing! It has worked wonderfully for me, with all of the down time I have this semester, and since a lot of my friends have dogs, Sky has been really socialized with other dogs of all sizes and breeds, as well as a lot of people. I was concerned about the weather things at first because I live in south Texas where it can get really hot, but it turns out that huskies' coats protect them from extreme temperatures on both ends of the spectrum. Also, I live in a condo with a fairly small backyard, and I chose to crate train my pup from the start so she is accustomed to staying in her kennel for the times I am in class, and it has worked out really great. It only took a few days for her to get used to sleeping in there, too. It just gives me a lot of peace of mind as a property renter that my dog isn't tearing up the house or escaping from the backyard when I am not home, and since I play with her all day/night when I am home, she still gets plenty of exercise. She has so far gotten along with any animal she has come in contact with, although she is teething pretty hardcore, so I have to warn my friends that she might chew on their hands when they pet her. But she hasn't tried to bite any other dogs (outside of being playful), and they usually grow out of that.

Best of luck in the husky search!
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vilgent
Newborn
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Join date : 2012-02-12

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with a few questions   Newbie with a few questions EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 2:25 am

Thank you both for the feedback so far, and I look forward to any additional information other members can provide.

Blue, in regards to your question, I'm actually at UIUC right now. Talk about ironic, lol.

And thanks for your experience, rforsyth. Pretty similar to mine.

I grew up with some fantastic cats and an assortment of other animals. I had 3 rabbits, one being my first pet (when I was young). She was such a sweetheart; when I'd lie down on my bed to watch something she'd come up and lie right next to me. My brother actually had a rat at one time, lol. Amazingly enough, those are actually very good pets (despite my mother's more than vocal opposition originally). Ultimately, though, I think I'd want a cat or two if possible, so that's why I asked about Huskies cooperating.

That being said, my mom only got Schnauzers when I was growing up. To their credit they were incredibly loyal, but only to her. None of them were ever playful or energetic, and all of them were exceptionally good at barking at a leaf blowing by the window.

But I've always enjoyed myself around friendlier and more energetic breeds, and I'm not going to let my limited and somewhat lukewarm dog experiences deter me. I will admit, most breeds' looks don't do much for me, but something about Siberians has always enamored me.

That being said, I don't want to buy a dog without knowing what I'm getting into, and I certainly don't want to make him/her suffer because of my lack of knowledge or living conditions.
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blueeyedghost
Maverick
blueeyedghost

Female Join date : 2011-07-01
Location : Denver, CO

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with a few questions   Newbie with a few questions EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 2:37 am

@vilgent wrote:

Blue, in regards to your question, I'm actually at UIUC right now. Talk about ironic, lol.

Nice. Go Illini!

I'd love to make my way back to C-U once I'm out of the Navy, it's such a great place to live. We have one member on this forum who lives in Farmer City (and comes to the Urbana dog park every once in a while). She has done quite a bit of research recently on all the rescues in the area, and she could point you in the right direction. Her name is Mindy and her username is 26nikita.

Your mom's Schnauzers sound a lot like my fiance's Cocker Spaniel. She's really loyal and protective to a fault of him, and doesn't like other dogs at all. Finally, after 7 months, she and Ghost live in some semblance of peace for the most part.

Keep up the research, and you will be well prepared to adopt your Husky Cool

_________________
Shadow's Blog

Canine Hydrocephalus Support on Facebook

"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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SabakaMom
Senior
Senior
SabakaMom

Female Join date : 2011-02-10
Location : Virginia

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with a few questions   Newbie with a few questions EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 2:49 am

Welcome!

Meredith did a great job answering many of your questions.

I had just finished my last semester of college when I got my first husky YEARS ago. She was a beautiful, petite little girl that lived for 17 years. She began her life with us in an apartment and ultimately lived in quite a variety of living situations over the years. I cannot think that any place was better than the other. Huskies love their people, they prefer to be inside with you and will live happily in a small apartment (if they are exercised regularly) or in a mansion (disclaimer: I have never actually lived in a mansion). Like I said we have lived in the apartment, in small houses without much yards, in the country on 5.5 acres and finally in our current house with a fenced yard.

Since I have had both a female and a male husky, I would say the biggest difference I notice is perhaps the "clingy" nature of the male. I read that males tend to be more clingy and needy, but thought maybe it was just an "old wives tale", but I do think it might be so. Others with huskies of both sexes might have more to say on this. Of course, males are a little bigger. Our male is about 15 pounds more than our little female was.

I think that huskies are the "social butterflies" of the dog kind! Both of my huskies have loved interacting with other dogs. Neither have ever shown any aggression or timidity with their dog friends. Dog training classes can be fun with these social huskies! I hope you are willing to laugh at yourself and your crazy dog because sometimes it is impossible to do anything else but laugh. Visiting other dogs in the class is just SO much better than sitting in "stay" position... Small animals are prey and, therefore, all of us have a "my husky just caught a squirrel/bird/possum/neighbor's cat" story.

I second Meredith's warning about grain allergies or intolerances. Twenty-some years ago before we had things like the internet with instant info at our finger tips, we were having a horrible time with our first husky and her diarrhea and vomitting. After much trial and error, we found the offending ingredients and got her on a dog food that worked for her.

Kudos to you for being proactive and doing all this research! You have definitely come to the right place to get some valuable information and meet some fellow husky-lovers!
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Here4thePics
Comedic Relief


Male Join date : 2009-07-15

Newbie with a few questions Empty
PostSubject: Re: Newbie with a few questions   Newbie with a few questions EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 11:20 am

@SabakaMom wrote:
Welcome!

Since I have had both a female and a male husky, I would say the biggest difference I notice is perhaps the "clingy" nature of the male. I read that males tend to be more clingy and needy, but thought maybe it was just an "old wives tale", but I do think it might be so. Others with huskies of both sexes might have more to say on this. Of course, males are a little bigger. Our male is about 15 pounds more than our little female was.

I think that huskies are the "social butterflies" of the dog kind! Both of my huskies have loved interacting with other dogs. Neither have ever shown any aggression or timidity with their dog friends. Dog training classes can be fun with these social huskies! I hope you are willing to laugh at yourself and your crazy dog because sometimes it is impossible to do anything else but laugh. Visiting other dogs in the class is just SO much better than sitting in "stay" position... Small animals are prey and, therefore, all of us have a "my husky just caught a squirrel/bird/possum/neighbor's cat" story.!

Wow learn something new everyday. I never thought about it that way but yeah both Mylo and Biko(both males) have been very clingy towards me and rarely had/have me out of sight for more then 10 minutes at a time. Adobo (female) well she's I'll let you know when I need your assistance.

Plus I'm a strong advocate of the various schooling available for Huskies the socialization is immensely important.
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cmanding
Nutrition Subject Moderator
cmanding

Female Join date : 2010-10-12
Location : Denver, CO

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with a few questions   Newbie with a few questions EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 11:34 am

I have the opposite with my 2. Ginger is more clingy. In fact, maybe she was sensing something off, but she was especially clingy that she had to be touching me for about a period of an hour. Storm is more independent. At the dog parks, I have to 'go catch' Storm when we have to leave. Ginger will sniff and explore for the first 15 minutes, but will keep me in sight. After about 15-20 minutes, she never wanders too far, or she's walking around with me.

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SaraB
Rescue Subject Moderator
SaraB

Female Join date : 2010-09-09
Location : Deltona, FL

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with a few questions   Newbie with a few questions EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 12:40 pm

For me Elara is clingy and Siku isn't. I think it just depends on the dog.

Your main worry will be the cat issue. You can get a husky, even a rescue, to leave a cat alone if you really lay down the law at the beginning, but I'd never leave the two alone together. I have two cats also and I never leave them with my sibes without me there watching. I don't think my girls would try to grab them, but you never know.

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paleobones
Teenager
Teenager
paleobones

Female Join date : 2012-01-11
Location : Illinois

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PostSubject: Re: Newbie with a few questions   Newbie with a few questions EmptySun Feb 12, 2012 4:00 pm

Hello and welcome,

I'm from IL as well, near Gurnee. This forum is an excellent resource and everyone is really friendly and helpful.

I can't really offer much in advice I'm a new husky owner. However, speaking of my pup Raven, she is wonderful dog. Very dog and people friendly. Affectionate with everyone in the family. She can be noisy, but not barking, she chats, and its not all the time. Raven's so funny, the neighbor's dogs bark like crazy when they're outside and Raven will sit on our balcony and look down at them without a peep.

I agree that socialization is really important. I found a puppy play class nearby that she goes to on Sat.They also have a adult dog play group that's supervised which I feel would be a good place to test the waters with your dog before going to a off leash park.

As for rescues, there's Free Spirit Siberian Rescue in Harvard, Homes for Huskies in Lockport, and Adopt A Husky in Carol Stream. those are the ones I know of. Save a pet in Grayslake has an older female, I think she's special needs. I can't really recommend one over another but I will say that I started looking at huskies and researching about the breed last spring/summer and Free Spirit has had the same exact dogs since that time which for me is kinda a red flag. I would think that at least some of them would have been adopted out, but that could just be me.
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