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 Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?

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KatieR
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2014-05-15

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PostSubject: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 3:04 pm

Hello all,

New member here! First of all, I'm very thankful for all the knowledge that everyone has shared on this forum. I have scoured this site and have gotten so much helpful info -- thank you all!

I would like to share my situation here in order to get your honest opinions before my husband and I fully commit to a husky. I want to make the best and most responsible decision for us and a dog. When my husband was younger and lived with his mom and stepfather, his stepfather had a beautiful female red husky names Tasha. He fell in love with her, as did I when I met her. She was absolutely hilarious and had the most distinct personality. She was older when we were both around her, so neither of us knew her when she was a puppy, although I have heard she was quite the terror Smile

Ever since Tasha, my husband and I have always talked about getting a husky together. I have an 11 year old Pomeranian that my husband inherited when we got married. I recently have gone through some major life changes -- my dad passed away, and I left my full-time job to settle his affairs and handle his estate. During this time, I've also developed a serious case of "new dog" fever. I have gotten serious about searching for huskies and doing my research on the breed, which has brought me here! Initially I was set on adopting a rescue husky, and last week I went to visit a female (estimated to be between 1-3 years old -- wide range, I know) at a shelter about 2.5 hours away. I took my Pomeranian with me, and they seemed to get along great. I thought we were all set! My husband was excited, I was excited... I made the drive again the next day, again with my Pomeranian, thinking I was going to be bringing her home. This time, the husky's hackles stood up on the back of her neck, and she grabbed dog around the neck and had to be pulled off of him. I thought we were doing a good job as far as introducing them in a neutral area, but it wasn't a pleasant experience. I may have overreacted (perhaps her behavior could have been corrected), but it really worried me, considering their high prey drive. My Pomeranian is large for a Pom, weighing in at around 15 pounds, but that's still small compared to a husky. I can't take the chance of something happening to my boy -- he's been my faithful companion for 11 years now.

So then I started reading more and more about huskies, thinking it may be wiser to get a younger puppy so that she can grow up with my Pomeranian. And I had truly done a lot of research before considering a husky puppy, but now I'm really starting to second guess myself. I've always prided myself on being a responsible pet owner, and I see having dogs as a lifelong commitment that needs to be taken very, very seriously. That's why I'm second guessing myself Smile I'd like to share the details of our lifestyle and living situation with you to get your opinions as to if we could provide a husky with a great home.

-- We live in a small house (just under 1,000 square feet) with no fenced-in yard. We will be fencing in a section of our yard very soon, but it's a relatively small space. Our yard is, well, interesting. It's a wooded lot on a slope with lots of big boulders in the yard, so it's a bit tricky to find an area to fence in, but we've decided to fence in a nice little section of the yard to the side of our house.

-- We also live on a fairly busy road with no sidewalks. When I go for a run or take my Pomeranian for a walk, I have to get in the car and drive about 5 minutes to a local park/quiet neighborhood with sidewalks.

-- While I am not working at the time and have a very flexible schedule, I'll be looking for either a full-time job or part-time job and going to graduate school in the next few months. My husband works full-time, 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday. His daily commute is too far to come home on his lunch break, and based on the location of my previous jobs, neither will I once I get another job (again, we're in the suburbs -- not a lot of job opportunities) and/or start graduate school.

-- We live in the suburbs, about 20-30 minutes away from any fenced-in dog park or doggie daycare.

-- Summary of my thoughts: My husband and I would do everything we could in order to provide a husky with a happy, healthy home. We would be committed to exercising daily with the dog -- taking the dog for long walks, not just letting her out in a small fenced-in area for run around for a little bit. However, I'm concerned that what we could offer wouldn't be enough. If we're both working 8:00-5:00, Monday-Friday, and are too far away to come home for lunch, based on the majority of info I've read about huskies being destructive when left alone, the dog would have to be crated during that time. My mom has offered to help out some, so I'm thinking the dog could either go to doggie daycare 2-3 times a week, or we could have a dog walker come to our house and take the dog to the local park during the day 2-3 times a week, and my mom could do the same during the other weekdays. While my Pomeranian does beautifully left alone all day in his crate, I realize a young husky is a completely different story! I guess while I'm incredibly grateful for the information I've found here and via other online sources, a lot of what I've read about husky ownership makes me worry that being responsible husky parents may be nearly impossible given our current living situation -- but then again, maybe I'm just second guessing myself way too much and expecting perfection! Bottom line, I just want to make sure we can give a husky the type of home she needs before taking the plunge Smile

Thank you in advance for your honest opinions.
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Kellyb
Canadian Sunrise
Kellyb

Female Join date : 2012-10-29
Location : Montreal, Canada

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 3:27 pm

To me this sounds like you have done your research, and after you fence in the yard, I think you should be good to go. We work full time and have two at home, if you have a dog walker once a day I dont think you will have too much trouble. Also getting a puppy and training him to be with your Pom (so long as the POM is well socialised) would be ideal.
I don't see why you couldnt give a deserving pup a great home, just do your research on any breeder that you plan to use, and beware if possible of backyard breeders and puppy mills.

What area are you from? We have a few H2M2 groups all over the US that you may be able to join when the pup gets big enough.

Look up on the forum for food choices for this breed too as some are very particular.

Crate training just takes patience, we have any number of members here that have plenty of success, training and exercise is key.
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KatieR
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2014-05-15

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 3:46 pm

Thanks for the feedback, Kelly! I really appreciate it. Yes, I'm definitely researching breeders after being a novice and looking on Craigslist, then coming here and realizing that's NOT the route to go to get a healthy, well-bred pup. It pains me to admit mistakes like that, but hey, you gotta learn somehow -- and I'm definitely learning.

We live in Alabama. I've found one group here that is working on organizing husky/malamute meet-ups, so I'll check into that once we get our pup.

Yes, I've also read lots about choosing a high-quality food for their sensitive stomachs. And I'm reading up on crate training suggestions as well to prepare for what's to come Smile

Thanks again!
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wpskier222
Senior
Senior
wpskier222

Female Join date : 2013-02-11
Location : NYC

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 3:57 pm

I think you sound prepared, especially since you are willing to find a dog walker and/or daycare option. :)There is a pretty good breeder in GA, Trillium Blue Siberians. I don't have personal experience with them, but they have been recommended to me by others.

Edit - also, if she doesn't have puppies, she might be able to recommend someone in your area that does. Smile
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wpskier222
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Senior
wpskier222

Female Join date : 2013-02-11
Location : NYC

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 4:06 pm

Here is another breeder in GA, https://www.facebook.com/lisa.l.hall she actually currently has a couple puppies available.
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KatieR
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2014-05-15

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 4:15 pm

Thank you so much, wpskier222! These positive responses really do boost my confidence -- so glad I worked up the nerve to post here. I checked out the Trillium Blue Siberians website -- wow, what gorgeous dogs. No available litters at the moment, but I've got them bookmarked to contact about future pups and/or breeder recommendations. I'll be sure to check out Lisa Hall as well. Thanks again!
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paleobones
Teenager
Teenager
paleobones

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

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 4:20 pm

Hello! We have a very similar living situation here. Small home with a large unfenced yard that backs up to a busy street. I think a fenced yard is definitely easier and more convenient but not necessary. Our dogs are always on leash when outside.

Both my husband and I were working full time and the dogs were crated during the day. I would walk them in the morning before work and in the evening when I got home. Yep hubby is a lazy butt! Unfortunately, I was laid off in Jan so now I am home with the dogs during the day. They are used to the work schedule now and sleep most of the day anyways.

Since you aren't working right now this would be the best time to get a puppy and start working on crate training, potty training and all the fun stuff that comes with puppies. We got Raven as a puppy and she was so much fun and so rotten all at the same time.

I'd say with the research you have put in you'd make an excellent home for a Husky.
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TwisterII
Senior
Senior
TwisterII

Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 4:24 pm

I had a similar issue with my rescue wanting to suddenly attack other dogs after we thought she was okay with dogs, unfortunately I had already brought her home before we realized it. With rescues that's the risk you take. If you did want to try the adoption route I would go through a rescue instead of a shelter. Rescues tend to find more out about dogs before they put them up for adoptions than shelters do. I got mine from a shelter and not a rescue and they hadn't tested her with anything before putting her out to adopt. I think you will do good with any route you choose though. I too live on a busy road with no shoulder. I drive home every night after work, pick her up, drive 10 minutes to the park, walk/run for a few hours, then go home and make supper. It's kind of a pain driving somewhere else to walk but you wouldn't be alone in having to do it that way.

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wpskier222
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wpskier222

Female Join date : 2013-02-11
Location : NYC

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 4:27 pm

@KatieR wrote:
Thank you so much, wpskier222! These positive responses really do boost my confidence -- so glad I worked up the nerve to post here. I checked out the Trillium Blue Siberians website -- wow, what gorgeous dogs. No available litters at the moment, but I've got them bookmarked to contact about future pups and/or breeder recommendations. I'll be sure to check out Lisa Hall as well. Thanks again!

They don't always post puppies on the websites, so if you do decide you're interested fill out her puppy app and send her an email or call. Smile She will also be able to tell you about her upcoming litter plans if you decide she's the right breeder for you. An awesome way to meet breeders is to go to a dog show. infodog.com allows you to search shows in your area so you could go and talk to breeders, and other siberian owners and get a lot of advice that way too. Smile
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blueeyedghost
Maverick
blueeyedghost

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

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 6:27 pm

Welcome! As Jen said, Trillium is a good breeder. Be really careful with breeders down there, I haven't come across any in Alabama or Florida that I'd go to and there's one in particular near Mobile that I actually called animal control on. He's unfortunately still in business as far as I know, and I'm happy to tell you privately the name of the kennel. I lived in Pensacola for a while and he was part of our H2M2 group. There's a pretty active H2M2 group down that way, Husky Huddle and Malamute Mingle ~ Alabama

Good luck!

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KatieR
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2014-05-15

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 6:38 pm

paleobones -- Thanks for sharing your situation. It's great to know that others with similar arrangements have made this work! I've thought about that, too -- that with my current flexible schedule, it may actually be a great time to get a puppy because I'll have so much time to spend with her while she adjusts.

TwisterII -- Yes, thanks for the rescue suggestion versus a shelter. We have a group close by called the Alabama Siberian Husky Rescue that we can contact about potential dogs. And your routine sounds pretty much exactly like what ours will be like, so it's great to know that it can indeed work if you're committed.

wpskier222 -- Great! Thank you so much for all of your helpful tips!
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KatieR
Newborn
Newborn


Join date : 2014-05-15

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyThu May 15, 2014 6:41 pm

blueeyedghost -- Very good to know. The group the you mentioned, the Husky Huddle & Malamute Mingle, is the same one I heard of! Thanks so much!
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TheBadGuppy
Teenager
Teenager
TheBadGuppy

Female Join date : 2013-06-20
Location : Toronto, Ontario

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyFri May 16, 2014 11:51 am

It is possible to get young huskies from a rescue too. It might take a little longer as they don't show up very often, and are usually adopted out pretty quickly. But we got ours at 4mths old. He was fostered in a home with other dogs and children too so he was already pretty socialized when we brought him home. Of course, there are always risks when bringing home a rescue, but I think that if you are looking for a young pup, then that isn't anything you can't work on.

We found our rescue pup on www.petfinder.com. We live in Canada, but this works for the US too. i agree with TwisterII that rescues typically have done behavioural assessments on the dogs first. And they generally try to fit the dog and person together so that it's a good match.

Good luck with your search! And you sound like you are pretty prepared for the fun and challenge of this breed! Smile
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djannitto
Teenager
Teenager
djannitto

Male Join date : 2012-04-18
Location : New England

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyFri May 16, 2014 12:34 pm

My husband and I have very similar living conditions. We live in a very small house, not bigger than yours, without a fenced in yard and on a main road. Our puppy, Qannick, has a 30 foot lead in our back yard which is fully secured, and he is always on a leash whereever we go. We both work full time as well. For the first 18 - 24 months, you will be in constant transition. Sounds like now, though, is really the ideal time for you to raise a puppy. I wish one of us had the opportunity to be home for that initial 6 month period, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. For that reason, we relied on family and friends for the first 9 months. In the beginning we had someone come mid morning, and then again mid-afternoon for potty breaks. Then by 6 months or so, that was changed to 1 visit per day. We crate trained as well, which worked great. You've done all your research and you sound like a completely responsible and loving pet parent. Best of luck!
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KibaHope
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Teenager
KibaHope

Female Join date : 2012-11-05

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptyFri May 16, 2014 3:53 pm

We were worried about the high prey drive that many huskies have because we have a cat but it's worked out really well. I think the chances of having your husky get along well with your pom are good if you get a puppy or a rescue whos proved themselves to be small dog/cat friendly. I think many rescue organizations try and carefully place their dogs with the right family including pets they already own so that they won't have to bring the dogs back and they can have a forever home.

if you do decide on a puppy, i would just say try to make it very clear that your pom is the boss out of the two dogs. We were very careful to make sure our pup knew the cat was in charge and it worked. I have seen my cat attack my huskies ears while she was lying on the floor and she just lets him.

sounds like you have the time for a husky and have done your research well. The best thing we did was really get to know the breed before bringing one home so there wasnt any surprises when our puppy was bouncing off walls and digging holes in my yard. Good luck!
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blackshears
Newborn
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Join date : 2014-05-09

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptySat May 17, 2014 12:30 am

My dog I'm law is a pom too. We got our old husky as a pup and they worked out their own hierarchy. They were very good together and rarely had issues. Same with our cat. I think that is the best advantage of a pup. Best of luck
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KatieR
Newborn
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Join date : 2014-05-15

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PostSubject: Re: Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family?   Honest Opinions About a Husky for Our Family? EmptySat May 17, 2014 8:06 pm

Good to know, TheBadGuppy! Yes, I'm searching Petfinder on pretty much a daily basis Smile

Thank you for sharing the details of your schedule with me, djannito! Very helpful info.

KibaHope -- thanks so much for the tips! My Pomeranian is a pretty dominant little guy, so I feel like he won't have any problem asserting his leadership. We went to Do Dah Day today (an annual event our local humane society hosts -- the city is filled with doggies and dog people on this day!), and we met about 4 different huskies -- he got along very well with all of them Smile

That's great, blackshears! Hearing success stories about huskies with smaller dogs and even cats is so encouraging.
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