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 I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice

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Tasha Banana
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Tasha Banana

Female Join date : 2019-07-30
Location : Southern California

I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Empty
PostSubject: I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice   I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice EmptyTue Jul 30, 2019 10:58 pm

Hello!

My family adopted a white Husky from a local animal shelter 5 days ago. Tasha is exactly the dog I was looking for. I just didn't know it at the time!

My kids and I went to the Los Angeles County "Clear the Shelters" free adoption event two weeks ago, looking for a calm Lab! We were armed with the names, numbers and pictures of five Labs from the LA County website and my solemn vow to my husband to not bring home a Pitt Bull. With the exception of strays we've put in the yard until we can find their owner, we've never had a dog. None of the animals from our search were available that day, we put ourselves down as 2nd interested parties for two of the Labs (one who was a probably a Pitt/Lab mix -- shhh!) that we had found online, and this "white shepherd" that had wowed my kids in being really sweet and calm. She had pressed herself against the cage wall to be petted. When we got home, I noticed the paperwork for the "white shepherd" said she was a Husky!

We had bi-eyed copper Husky for a week 7 years ago, my son found her roaming the hills near our house and after a week of posting signs and getting no calls and the fact that she wasn't chipped, I decided she was MINE! We found her owner the next day. Roxy was a great dog, very calm and one hell of a strong puller when we'd try to walk her. Her owner lived only a street away from us -- miles from where he'd found her. She was smart and strong and we found out, 7 years old! My son walked her for free for about 6 mo and the started middle school and with homework and extra-curriculars, they drifted apart.

I was excited when I found out the sweet dog who my kids had taken a liking to was a Husky. We got a call that the 1st IP had dropped out and she was now available. We went to see her on Wednesday & they said we could take her home Friday after they spayed her. Unfortunately, they seem to have only washed the incision site. She came to the shelter as a stray and I am looking forward to being able to wash her at the end of 10 days! She is dirty & stinky but her incision site is not infected so far!
We took her to the vet yesterday and she has kennel cough! I think she was exposed in the shelter's medical ward while they were spaying her! She was healthy on Wednesday during our interaction time and drugged but healthy when we brought her home Friday. Sunday she started coughing and sneezing and refused to eat in the morning. At the vet's she got 3 shots and came home with four different prescriptions. I have learned a lot about pill pockets in the last day!

I have been lurking on your "It's A Husky Thing" pages for a few days and have learned a lot! Other than knowing Huskies were very clever and super strong (first-hand from walking Roxy), I didn't know that much about Huskies. Your stories have been very helpful! Especially the phrase "Huskies are not really pets, they're companions." It has helped me with a few situations. The shelter estimated Tasha to be 2 years old. I'm not sure if she was abused. She flinches when we move too quickly, she became upset when we picked up the garden hose to wash out her bowl and also when I walked into the room to swat a fly with the flyswatter. She also does not want anyone touching her hind quarters. If you are scratching her all over, starting at her head, she'll let you scratch her back &  bum. If you reach for her hind quarters, she chuffs and grazes you with her teeth.
She's usually very obedient but she has been giving me attitude about returning to her crate after going outside to pee & poop. She plants her feet and refuses to move about 4 feet from our back door. I tried pulling her the first time and then remembered what another member posted about his or her dog refusing to climb the stairs to their home after a walk. After tugging her leash didn't work, I just stood there and talked to her: "We have to go in Tasha. We can wait here until you're ready." She's done this three or four times to me in the last two days.  She usually stands a minute and then enters the door and goes into the crate. i have been using a hand sign for treat, like a single hand "store" in ASL. I don't know if the sign is working or she just gives up. I give her a treat once she is inside the crate. This is the only defiance she's shown me, but I can wait her out everytime. Laughing

When the shelter suggested that Tasha would have to be in a crate for 10 days until her sutures healed, it seemed like it was going to be very hard -- I've only known high energy Huskies. But she's been really good. We take her out to use the yard every two hours during the day (but not from 11 pm to 7 am). We haven't had any accidents so far. I raised Shetland Sheepdogs growing up. My mom was a breeder of pedigreed Shelties, they were never in a cage, they had dog houses that they'd be put in at night but they had free range of an acre and a half yard -- huge for the suburbs! They were a clever, hearty, gorgeous little dog pack. Anyhow, I haven't owned a dog in 30 years and didn't think create training was going to be easy, especially with a dog that was both large and clever. Maybe 10 days in a shelter made it a lot easier!

Once her sutures are healed and she is healthy again she's going to be primarily and outdoor dog who comes inside at night. Two walks a day with hikes & runs with my son. i hope that that is enough exercise to keep her from escaping!

My questions are:
1)  Are their probiotics for dogs? She is now on a lot of meds for the kennel cough. She hasn't had diarrhea yet, but I'm worried that all these meds are going to wreak havoc on her digestive system. Has anyone given your Huskies plain yogurt? I bought a Kong today and am thinking that I will mix in plain yogurt.

2) Do you have any experience with these meds & your dogs? Four twice a day seems like a lot for her to be one at once. The nurse's handwriting is hard to read, but I think she's taking:
Doxy 100 mg
Chlormaleate 4 mg
Guafenesin 100 mg
Pred (nisone?) 5 mg
I think she is a really good dog, but I wonder if I'm seeing her personality or if she's just so mellow because of pain pills and then getting so sick. This is an antibiotic, a decongestant, a cough medicine and a steroid. Prednisone can also make people pretty bold and aggressive. Has anyone else's dog gotten kennel cough and had so many meds? Any thoughts?


3) My second to last question is about aggression. Tasha really hadn't shown any so far, not even when we move her food bowl while she is eating... but I gave her a ball for the first time today (she's been very sick and I didn't want to make it worse) and asked her if she'd play a game of rolling catch with me, tugging on the ball a bit.  Both of us were sitting on the ground. She surprised me when she dropped the ball and growled at me and grazed my hand with her teeth. I think that is the game to her, ferociously guard the ball. I'm not playing it. I told her that I am not playing that game with her. I kept my hands to myself and didn't reach for the ball again. I don't think I'll try to play catch with her again until I have two balls, one to throw and one for her to have until she goes after the other one. Any other suggestions?

4) My last question is about the benefits of collars over harnesses when walking a Husky? We have limited her walks to up and down the street, getting her to take 4 pills in 4 different Greenies pill pockets. She pulls so hard! What is the thinking regarding collars? We just have a regular cloth (leash material) collar with her name & license. She gets very excited when dogs are on the street & she's on the street. She wants to meet them, not fight with them, but they might not know that when she is running at them. 30 years ago we used the choke chains. She pulls so hard it seems like she would choke herself to death.

Thanks for listening & for sharing your advice!

Donna


Last edited by Tasha Banana on Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tasha Banana
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Newborn
Tasha Banana

Female Join date : 2019-07-30
Location : Southern California

I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Empty
PostSubject: This is Tasha at the Downey, CA Shelter   I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice EmptyWed Jul 31, 2019 12:34 am

I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Tasha_11
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TwisterII
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Senior
TwisterII

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

I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice   I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice EmptyWed Jul 31, 2019 10:43 am

A mostly full-time outside dog in southern california could be rough. It gets hot and our dogs aren't really setup for heat. They are also prime picking for dog thieves who would snatch them out of backyards while you are gone to work. With two good walks a day and play time she should be fine to be crated while at work. Many of us here crate for a full work day or just leave them loose in a dog proofed room while away.

I lean toward collars for walking most dogs. Harnesses can be slipped unless you buy a harness with a belly band. Dogs that become so excited that they choke themselves may have to go on a harness but for the most part collars give you more control. Harnesses can promote harder pulling too for some dogs. Mostly you will need to see what works best for your particular dog. It usually takes a month or two before you really get to see who they really are.

Plain greek yogurt or goats milk is fine for a probiotic. If you see actual upset and want to jump up to something stronger Fortiflora is a good option.

You may try getting a rope to play tugs with. She may enjoy tugging but the ball just isn't conducive. Some dogs haven't been taught manners. It sounds a bit too like your dog came from a house that had small children. Flinchy and tail shy are common with households that have young kids that someone doesn't keep good enough track of. Too many people think it's cute when kids smack and tug at dogs. My female is this way with her tail. Just doesn't want you to mess with it even after having her for over 6 years now. Little kids pull tails and dogs don't like that. My big male has to have two balls to fetch. He brings it back but likes to play keep-away.

Your vet did give you a lot of meds for kennel cough. Especially since it's a basic cold that often doesn't need meds at all. I assume she had a severe case. It is common for dogs to get kennel cough in a shelter situation. Anytime several dogs of less than good health are housed near each other kennel cough will happen. It has a somewhat slow incubation time so she could have picked it up anywhere, but more likely at the shelter and not the vet's office. If she was having severe symptoms from kennel cough they will give the other meds to help make her comfortable. I'm not sure why the gave you Prednisone. It is not necessary for kennel cough. Only thing I can think of is if the vet thought there might be some allergies at play but he should have explained to you about it. And the fact that you need to ween the dog off of it and not stop it cold turkey at the end of the bottle depending on how many pills a day you are giving.

My big male is on pred full-time. He has a lung disease and pred is the only way he can breathe. He isn't any more aggressive on it than he is off of it. All of mine are rescues so their issues stem from past trauma and not medication. Pred will make the dog hungry and thirsty, so you will see a lot of drinking and peeing usually. The hunger could cause a little more food aggression than normal just because they want to eat even when they don't need to eat. Long term pred usage is hard on the liver so if your vet continues to prescribe it after a short bout you need to have a deep conversation as to why. From the looks of your list though this vet is just prescribing things to help every little symptom she might have from anything.

Keep the incision clean and don't let her lick at it, but mine were never crated after a spay. We limited exercise for about 3 days and then we were back to normal routine. My dogs would have held a mutiny if I had not let them do anything for the time the vet suggested.

_________________
I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Egwab0VI'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Egwam5I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice N37SqqdI'm a new Husky owner looking for advice N37Sm5I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice XcwxC0CI'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Xcwxm5
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dvflyer
Adult
Adult


Join date : 2018-04-07
Location : San Diego

I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice   I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice EmptyWed Jul 31, 2019 11:11 am

We don't give ours any probiotics, but I believe there is some in their food.

I would do whatever the vet told me.   While they could be wrong, I've always trusted our vet to give us correct advice.  Seems like a lot of meds, but they all have their purpose.  If the dog wasn't getting better on them, I would start to second guess the vet's advice, of course.

Aggression- I don't put up with it.  Our dogs did that a bit at first.  I called it resource guarding.  Mika is still a protective freak when it comes to certain things and the other dogs.  For me/ us, she is fine.

Honestly, I wasn't very consistent with how I dealt with it.  Sometimes I'd redirect with something else.  Sometimes I'd get aggressive with the dog with a very stern NO! if they growled etc at me when I went to take their toy or whatever they had.  I've even grabbed them by the scruff to act extra "Angry".  My thought was that, in the wild, a mama or daddy dog would put them in their place and not "trade them for something".  Who knows...

I had heard, though, that growling was a good thing.  It was their warning (v.s. just snapping or biting you) so I started to use a redirect more.  Even today, I still go up to them with a happy voice- giving them lots of warning "Hey Max... you got your bone?  Can I look at it?"  Stuff like that.  Then I take it.  Sometimes I pretend to chew on it or smell it.  Then, if I want, I give it back.  In the case of chew toys I don't want destroyed, I take them and put them away.

Our dogs pull like mad in harnesses.  We use prong collars.  I'm sure with enough work, I could get them to walk nicer with harness, but they turn into tried-and-true sled dogs every time we put them on. Smile

We live in Southern California.  Our dogs are outside dogs- although they do have the garage to sleep in at night (unless it's especially hot, then we leave the man-door open and the garage door open a crack to get cross-air-flow ).  They are usually in my office (just an insulated shed we built) during the day, but also roam around the yard.

We have a fan in the garage and my office has a small AC that helps a bit.

They move from shady part of the house to shady part of the house.  We also have a kiddie pool for them and toss out an ice bucket full of ice cubes now and then.

This is a picture of Mika sleeping in the sun on the fake grass in 90+ degree heat.  Max won't do this, but Mika does.  Crazy, but true. Smile

I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice 33784350788_ef50c13747_zUntitled by Mike H, on Flickr
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dvflyer
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Join date : 2018-04-07
Location : San Diego

I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice   I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice EmptyWed Jul 31, 2019 11:19 am

Oh- regarding the petting issues.  I'd give that LOTS of time.... maybe MONTHS of love and gentle affection... and time.

Everything is new.  Environment, people, smells, food etc.  I'd use "kid gloves" when dealing with a shy/ fearful/ timid dog.  Lots of treats... and time.

If I haven't mentioned it yet.... give her lots of time... to get used to her new surroundings.

*Disclaimer- I'm just a dog-owner.  Not a professional trainer or behaviorist etc.  These two are our first huskies.  While I've gone through obedience lessons with multiple instructors, I'm mostly just parroting what I've read or seen.
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aljones
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aljones

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

I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice   I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice EmptyWed Jul 31, 2019 12:09 pm

Ma'am , you ask a lot of questions and I'll try to give you my answer for some of them.

The first thing that caught my attention was the 'grazing with her teeth', we can see this in two different lights:
1) she's saying 'I don't like this.'  As an example, I have an Alaskan Husky, Avalanche, who will whip around and grab my hand with his teeth if I'm doing something he doesn't like - grabbing his tail as he goes past is a game with us.  He's never bitten anyone, but I laugh at people who grab his tail - surprise!
2) she's been taught to not growl - which is potentially a VERY dangerous situation.   I have a hard time seeing that in your situation with the ball, but I think I'd keep the games to a minimum until she really knows she's home and safe (and you know she's safe, too)
As I wrote those, I realized that they are very similar and could probably be viewed as the same thing with one difference - what comes after you ignore the teeth.  Like you, if it's a game, it's not one I'd be wiling to play with a new dog.

As a footnote to this, most Huskies don't play fetch.  It tends to be "You threw it, you want it, you go get it!"

Probiotics for dogs - I'll get myself in trouble for this, but "Google is your friend" - I'm an Amazon Prime member and buy from them, here's a link to the Probiotics, in general,  on Amazon
and here's a link to what I use when my kids have stomach problems.  It's a granular powder in a small sachet that you sprinkle on their food, one packet-one serving and appears to be attractive to the dogs but there's no obvious odor - to me.

Medicines - I'll bow to one of our other residents  @amymeme, your comments, please.  I will make one comment, if she's an avid eater, you might try putting one or more of the pills in with her food.  I have a food aggressive dog who doesn't like pills, but in her food - no problem.  If she doesn't eat it with her food, then you can resort to the pill pockets (and I use cut up hot dogs, BTW)

Collars vs harnesses - I can hear it now.  I use 3/4 inch collars on all my dogs but they don't try to get out of them.  Others use harnesses since they're harder to slip.  Some, who work their dogs will use collars for everyday wear and harnesses for work time - and the dogs, I'm told, quickly learn what activity is planned depending on which 'suit of clothes' they wear.

Aggression:  Sorta commented on earlier but I'll make note also here.  Typically Huskies are among the least aggressive breeds, I think.  If they are aggressive at all it tends to be over one particular thing.  I have a food aggressive female (Sasha) who helped me get four stitches in my arm as we were discussing her food bowl.  That was long ago and while I'm still careful about her food, it's pretty well worked out.  Being a medium sized dog, when they are aggressive over anything the effects can be more than a little extreme.

I see as I was writing my tome that others have chimed in ...

_________________
I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice GY3Hm5 I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice REEum5 I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice 2zERm5

“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”

Corey Ford
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Shepsky13
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Shepsky13

Male Join date : 2017-11-03
Location : North Carolina, USA

I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice   I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice EmptyWed Jul 31, 2019 1:31 pm

Yes, the most concerning thing that stood out to me too, was the "tooth-grazing" and "growling". I'd back off on things that trigger that behavior, until you get to know her a little better and she's had time to settle in. She may be still having a little aching or discomfort after the spay, so maybe that's why she doesn't want anybody touching near her hind end?

Crating: You could try "luring" your dog into the crate by giving a command (such as "Go Home!" or "Go to bed!", tossing few chunks of chicken or cheese in, and letting your dog go in on her own. I trained my dog to go in that way (because dragging him in by his collar, got me growled at on the first night). Then I gently close the door, praise him and give him few more treats through the wire, then I would sit by him for a while (not leaving immediately). In this way he became trained to go in on command and settle down.

Yogurt/probiotics: My dog sometimes eats plain greek yogurt, he likes it...no bad effects from it...

Leashes, collars and pulling: Mine wears a martingale. He was trained not to pull hard by the "We stop if you pull" or "I turn if you pull" method, along with verbal commands like "Stay Close" if something is passing close by. ** disclaimer: He took to this training easily, but is half-GSD so does not have as strong of a pulling instinct, I think **

Mine is not crazy for the ball & will retrieve it a maximum of five times. After that, he takes the ball and goes and lays down! He does love tug and chasing a stuffed animal on a string. If tug, it's best to teach your dog to "Out" (release the tug) on command. I found that commanding/training the behaviors you want, is usually better than physical dominance/force (better than confronting a 76 lb dog with large teeth).

Great that you took in a rescue!  Very Happy
Thanks for sharing her pictures!
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Tasha Banana
Newborn
Newborn
Tasha Banana

Female Join date : 2019-07-30
Location : Southern California

I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice Empty
PostSubject: Re: I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice   I'm a new Husky owner looking for advice EmptyWed Jul 31, 2019 1:55 pm

Thank you Aljones, dvflyer, Shepsky13 and TwisterII!  For answering my questions, your advice & suggestions!  I will check out those probiotics and kitty pool full of water is  also our way to help her weather the Southern California summer!   We are counting down the four days left post-spay sutures till we can get her wet!
I will try the ball on a rope with her.
Thanks!
Donna
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