Adopting a dog. Maybe.

(11 Posts)
Smilesandpiles Wed 04-Jun-14 16:44:31

A friend of mine can't handle her dog and is asking me to take it on. I've had large dogs before and can handle and train them. I'm confident in my abilities as a handler and won't let any dog walk all over me.

Anyway, as I've not had experience with this particular breed (Husky), I've read up on as much as possible over the last few months. Looked at costs, food and insurance and have a list of questions.

I wondered if anyone can think of anything else I may need to ask before I make my mind up.

So far I have:

Age
Pre existing conditions
Behavioural problems
biting - any reports
has he been castrated (if not he will be)
are his jabs up to date? When were the last set?
how has he been trained, methods, commands used etc
what rewards have been used
longest he's been left
temperament
What's he like with children (I have an 11 and a 13 year old so they are old enough to take this seriously)
Average walking distance
games
is he a pedigree
Family history
Food/amount/type/brand/allergies
socialisation (I know he's ok with this and is good with other dogs)
Re call if off the lead (I'll only try this myself when I have absolute faith that he will come back)
Toys/leads
house training
has he used a cage (transport or home)
His preferences when sleeping
What they do when they leave the house for longish periods (kept in one room, or used to roam)

The long walks needed are not a problem at all as I run, DD loves walking and DS has adhd and asd and walking is part of his managing his conditions and getting him to sleep for longer at night.

I'm going to keep him on a short strong lead for a long while again until I have absolute faith in him and possibly for longer.

I've had various dogs throughout my life from pedegree German Shepards, lurchers, labs, strays and one or two very lively dogs. He's 4 so I have a good 10 years to think about for 6 of those I'll be studying, mostly from home. I'm never out all day due to ds's needs, at the most 4 maybe 5 hours at a time.
There is vet close by in emergencies and I'm on the edge of a city but walking distance to the countryside where you can walk for miles and miles and never see another soul (it's bliss!). I have a large green which is used by dog walkers on a regular basis so that's his social aspect sorted (as well as the other dog that's leaving my friend will be living down the road). With a short car ride, I'm in the middle or the peak district so there's even more space for him to explore with us and a stream to keep him cool in the warmer months.

The house is normally on the colder side anyway as the heating is barely on so he'll be comfortable. The kids will be on strict instructions to do exactly as I say when I say it when it comes to the dog so the dog will learn that he is at the bottom of the pack as it were. I'm alpha dog, followed by the kids, then him.

Have I forgotten about anything else that I need to ask or think about?

Smilesandpiles Wed 04-Jun-14 16:45:09

Sorry about the essay, I got carried away.

Smilesandpiles Wed 04-Jun-14 16:48:08

There will be two things, maybe 3 that I'll need to do before I say yes for definate, that is reinstall a door to the livingroom (my own peace of mind if anything). A gate at the bottom of the stairs to the garden and a gate outside the backdoor so I can have it open but he won't be able to go far but he has shade and fresh air when he wants to just be on his own for a few minutes out of the house.

Booboostoo Wed 04-Jun-14 17:33:04

There are dogs and then there are huskies! I would strongly urge you to read up on breed specific information. Huskies cannot be let off the lead, they will run off and also chase livestock and wildlife, they need a super reinforced garden as they can dig under fences as well as climb over them, long walks won't cut it with Huskies they need to run for miles every day and ideally benefit from having a job like pulling slays, they also howl a lot which can be quite antisocial in residential areas.

Alpha dog mentality is pretty outdated anyway but it won't get you anywhere with a Husky.

I would suggest you are very cautious before taking on this dog and you speak to other Husky owners.

Smilesandpiles Wed 04-Jun-14 17:34:42

Hmmm, I thought as much.

Lilcamper Wed 04-Jun-14 17:45:18

Huskies can be let off in areas where it is safe to do so if they have been taught a recall, like any other breed it can never be 100% because they are dogs not robots.

They don't NEED to pull sleighs and run for miles. They need plenty of mental stimulation to stop them becoming bored.

Provided they have mental stimulation and physical exercise and are not left to amuse themselves on their own in a garden for hours on end they are as about as likely to look for an escape route as any other dog.

They are a dog and just as trainable as the next breed as long as their motivation is found and they are kept interested in learning.

Smilesandpiles Wed 04-Jun-14 17:48:48

I've read that they don't recall (I'd thought I'd ask anyway to see what the owner has tried to do and what things I may have to deal with.

I already have fences dug in (from previous dogs) and the gates will be high for my own security reasons and previous experience with other dogs.

I know mental sitmulation is a massive part which the owner hasn't been doing a lot of.
She has let slip that she took him off the lead before with disasterous consequenses. I'm asking some of these to guage what mistakes may have already been made before.

He's lived in residential areas since a puppy and howling hasn't been a problem, that she is aware of anyway.

I'm not going into this with my eyes closed believe me. I've been reading for months about them but I'm still very cautious. I'm not stupid.

I've met him a few times, and although boystrous and energetic, those seem to be his only problems, but then, this is just on the outside so not a clear indication at all.

wfrances Wed 04-Jun-14 17:49:58

i have a husky ,shes 5.
if you have any questions i could help with.

Smilesandpiles Wed 04-Jun-14 17:51:35

Thanks. This board is a bit scary and advice can sometimes contradict and passions flare up. Everything is being taken on board though.

Smilesandpiles Wed 04-Jun-14 20:02:21

OK.

I still have too many doubts and fears and I'm really concerned about the last owner and the way she's been training/dealing with the dog.

It's one thing having a Husky, it's another one altogether when there are too many bad habits or questions left unanswered (she couldn't even tell me what breed, any jabs (or if he's had any at all) so god knows what else she's been doing/not doing). I'm going to turn her down tonight (I said I'll call her back later tonight).

I'd love another dog but I don't think this is either the right dog or the right time to be honest. I want to make a start on the garden anyway which means digging up the old fences (not a good idea with a husky, even if they will "help")

It will be my only dog too which I don't think is fair on it. Maybe another time.

Thank you everyone.

Booboostoo Thu 05-Jun-14 05:47:04

A difficult but very sensible decision especially with DCs in the house. If you wanted a rescue dog a reputable rescue would give you a better option. They should have a proper assessment of the dog's character done by a behaviourist which should help match your family with the right dog. There are also a very large number of Huskies in rescue if you decide on the breed but they are a lifestyle choice more than a pet!!

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