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Would we be daft to take on this dog - siberian husky?!

(16 Posts)
dougaldoordougaldont Wed 26-Sep-12 20:01:54

A couple of months ago my sister rescued a beautiful 10 month old siberian husky from a home where he was being kept in a small enclosure in the garden 24/7, where he'd been since he was just a few months old sad.

We initially said we'd consider taking him but after doing a bit of research on the breed realised that we probably couldn't give him all he needs (we have a 6 and 4 year old the youngest of which isn't a great walker and are both working 4 days a week). On top of this, whilst dh has owned dogs before, I haven't and was quite intimidated when he jumped up and barked (just once) as he's pretty big and I'm quite wee!

My sister hoped to keep him herself but despite being completely lovely he's just not getting on with her other 2 dogs and terrorising her cat!

Now she's having to look at rehoming him again, probably a rescue centre and I'm wondering if perhaps we should take him on after all or realistically would he eventually end up in a rescue centre anyway? I really want to try and do my best for this gorgeous animal but don't want to risk making us all miserable.

Does anyone have any advise please? Or have any idea how quickly a dog like this might be adopted from a rescue (hate hate hate the idea of him languishing at a centre for months or even years)?

Sorry for such a long post!!

toboldlygo Wed 26-Sep-12 20:14:17

Please contact SHWA - they do not kennel dogs, there is a network of experienced foster carers who look after them like their own until they find their forever home. They are usually homed within weeks rather than months and a young male will be placed quickly. smile

A single sibe in a working household with small children is a recipe for disaster and if you have the slightest apprehension now I beg you not to consider it. They are becoming so popular but so many end up in rescue centres at 12-18 months of age for a reason, they are a pain in the backside and need very specific care.

What area of the country are you in? I volunteer for SHWA, if you fill in the relinquish form on the website it'll be sent to the nearest co-ordinator but that may well be me. smile

toboldlygo Wed 26-Sep-12 20:15:00

He WILL kill the cat if given the opportunity, by the way. sad

dougaldoordougaldont Wed 26-Sep-12 20:26:04

Thanks toboldlygo I'll pass on the details of SHWA to my sister (she's in Herts), it's very reassuring to know that he should be rehomed quickly.

You've confirmed what I thought really, whilst my heart says yes, yes, yes, my head is screaming Noooo!

Bubblemoon Thu 27-Sep-12 15:14:08

Our neighbours took on a husky cross from a rescue centre. They started at training classes immediately where the trainer told them they were lucky they'd got the dog to her aged 5 months, as after 6 month huskies are untrainable. All of this is third hand news, but might be worth researching before committing.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 27-Sep-12 16:36:24

No dog is untrainable, but Huskies are hard work at any age. They are not like other dogs. They are independent thinkers and while a lab would merrily come back to you for a bit of sausage a husky will weigh up his options before considering whether what you have to offer is worth it.

I would love a husky but I am in no position to dedicate the time needed to one. Huskies are a way of life not a family pet. They are generally not suited to the average family home.

He will be better of in a rescue if you are even the tiniest bit unsure, these are dogs that need a good three hours a day exercise, whatever the weather. They can never be let off lead and will destroy your house in seconds if they are left to get bored.

DH showed me one in our local pound sad. I am not sure why he showed me. He knows they are a breed I covet muchly. I think he wanted me to adopt it confused He asked me lots of questions about how pounds work and what "day due out" means. As much as I would have loved to take this dog in my heart of hearts I know he would have been miserable with us and unmanagable with the dogs we already have. Luckily our pound is quite good when it comes to working with rescues and I know this dog will be picked up by a rescue before his time is up. I just pray it's a decent one.

I will have a husky one day. When the children are older and I have less existing dogs, but not for a long, long time yet.

RedwingWinter Thu 27-Sep-12 19:03:53

It's not true that huskies become untrainable. All dogs are trainable.

And they aren't hard work at any age. Most huskies calm down a lot once they are past the teenage stage, provided someone's bothered to train them. But they do like lots of company and if you are going to be out at work, then it's not the dog for you. And there's a reason most husky owners have more than one since they can be destructive if left alone.

OP, this dog doesn't sound like a good fit for your circumstances. I'm glad Toboldlygo suggested the rescue.

Dooin, shame you couldn't take the one from your pound. I had a similar dilemma with a mal recently but luckily they found him a home.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 27-Sep-12 19:15:14

I would have loved to take him. I would have, in instant if was not for puppy, but I am having a hard enough time dealing with him.

Two fecking hours he was out for this morning, plus 30 minutes playing fetch up and down the alley at 3ish. guess where he is now? Pacing the hallway and mauling me every time I stand up. He brought me his lead a while ago.

I have never met a dog with so much energy.

DH wants rid. I am sure that is why he showed me the husky, he knows showing me any dog in the pound is risky grin I think he wanted me to send the pup back to the rescue to rescue the husky instead. He doesn't like him because he eats our house and anything that is not nailed down and his exercise needs are inordinate. DH, clearly, has never met a Husky grin

RedwingWinter Thu 27-Sep-12 19:40:05

Blimey that's energetic! See, you could handle a husky no problem! But I think your DH might have unrealistic expectations wink

toboldlygo Thu 27-Sep-12 20:51:03

Oh yes, a post-adolescent husky can be a joy. My three year old bitch is wonderful, calm, attentive, polite in company and competes at agility to a level that has surprised both myself and our trainer. In the agility ring I can stop, turn, send away and recall her with single words or gestures.

I got her at five and a half months and the period between then and 18 months was an absolute trainwreck - separation anxiety, destructive behaviour, pulling (and I mean pulling) on lead to the extent that walks left me in tears, fixation on other dogs to the point of of howling shrieking lunging hysterics if a dog was even 200m away, no recall, no focus, nothing.

I was at university at the time and therefore able to put in 4-5 hours a day of training - we walked and walked and walked and nothing seemed to sink in. When she hit 18 months it was like a switch had been flipped and she became A Good Dog. I think some of it can be attributed to her complete lack of socialisation and training before five months but I hear similar from many other sibe owners, they just seem to have a bloody awful adolescence.

She isn't let off the lead unless in a fully enclosed area, even now, and never will be. That's an irrefutable sibe requirement, no matter how many eejits think otherwise.

RedwingWinter Thu 27-Sep-12 21:04:29

Well done, boldly. I hope you're very proud - lots of people would have given up, even though that's no way to treat a dog. I know what you mean about the pulling! Mine doesn't any more but there was a time when it seemed like every walk was going to end with me being pulled into the ditch.

Fraggle78 Thu 27-Sep-12 21:32:50

I am more convinced than ever that our husky is broken. He doesn't wreck things and he goes off lead (but only in areas we know well). However, every command is met with a long hard stare whilst he weighs up the pros and cons of obeying and he thinks that all small furry creatures are fair game. Oh, and he can pull like a train if he feels like it and sheds like a bugger. Not a dog for the house proud or anyone with neighbours who don't appreciate canine singing either. Having said that, I would love a mal..

Rhinestone Thu 27-Sep-12 21:58:43

I have a husky and echo very word toboldlygo has said.

They are indeed a lifestyle. I wouldn't be without her though but am lucky that our home set up means it works.

dougaldoordougaldont Thu 27-Sep-12 22:04:21

So lovely to hear your stories, thank you. I think he is possibly the right dog but at the wrong time for us.

Dsis has decided to give him a reprieve for now if DN, who adores him, keeps her promise to walk him. It's been a nightmare for Dsis trying to walk him with her malamute, who she had trained to have good recall but he's been a bad influence! But how can you have one off-lead and one on?!

I so hope they can work things out. And we've said we'd love to have him for holidays!

RedwingWinter Fri 28-Sep-12 02:18:26

I manage fine with one off-lead and one on. They get used to it.

RedwingWinter Fri 28-Sep-12 02:18:44

And I hope it all works out for your DSis!

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