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Husky Puppy - Any Advice In General??

(17 Posts)
Twinklefuck Fri 18-Dec-15 16:26:27

Hi, sorry it's long!

I've just been told (tbf I've cooed, ahhed and been in love with dogs since I can remember) that dh has bought a husky from our breeder/trainer friend (totally above board) and he'll be available to bring home next week if we are ready. We've talked in length his year and agreed our new addition is much wanted and will have a forever home with us but it's come so fast.

I had a dog growing up (we shared the same birthday, he was the love of my life and best friend, the most loyal, protective and gentle dog I've ever known!) so my experience is completely based on him and he unfortunately died when I was 13, 20 years ago. So it's been a while.

Anyway, we need to make a decision soon and I'm just feeling a little overwhelmed as I don't know the breed, my dog was a mix of Lord knows what. That and we have a 1&3 year old, I don't know how to bring up a dog who will be as gentle around them as Ben was with me, the work of toilet training, settling in and everything else. Breed isn't important, it just seems a bit fated with the situation of him needing a home and she's refused 12 families already for the poor little guy, and we've been vetted previously and are in general dog ready. I want him so bad already but there's this niggle that I feel so unprepared!

tabulahrasa Fri 18-Dec-15 17:02:19

Hmm, the good news is that huskies tend to be fairly good natured and sociable...but they're not an easy breed to own, less of a family pet and more of a full time hobby really.

They're very very high energy dogs needing huge amounts of exercise, but they also have a really high prey drive and are not easy to train (intelligent, but strong willed and hard to motivate to do things if it's not obvious what's in it for them) which combines so most experienced owners do not advise letting them offlead...which means even more exercise for the owner. Because of that most people do activities with them, running, bike-joring, that type of thing...an hour round the park just doesn't cut it.

The high prey drive means you need to watch out for things like cats in your garden...also huskies are renowned escape artists, even sometimes with a 6 foot fence they'll get out.

They're very bouncy, especially when young, so not ideal if you want a gentle dog with young children...though as I said, sociable, just a bit full on.

They're also noisy and destructive if they're under exercised, under stimulated and sometimes just whenever they're left alone - they have a tendency for developing seperation anxiety as they like to be with their people and will howl even just if they're alone in the garden, or even just because they feel like howling tbh.

And they shed, heavily and constantly...then moult on top of that.

Hoppinggreen Fri 18-Dec-15 18:58:01

Really beautiful dogs but not one I would choose with small children.
They are very very high energy( friends who have them are both runners) and they need a lot of exercise. They can also be dangerous to small furry animals. Escape artists too I believe. My friend has two and the older one attacked the puppy quite seriously.
It was a breed I considered and so researched - came to the conclusion that they are not ideal family pets unfortunately. I think they are lovely and I have met a few but not what I would pick for a family with young children.

cuntycowfacemonkey Fri 18-Dec-15 19:03:11

You only have to see how many huskies there are in rescue centers to see how people have bought them on a whim without understanding just how much hard work they are.

I really don't think this is the right breed for you unless you have hours a day spare for exercising and training.

My neighbour has one, gorgeous animal but not a chance in hell I'd want one. Oh and the hair shedding, serious hair shedding. They're a lifestyle choice for an experienced dog owner, please think very carefully

Heatherplant Fri 18-Dec-15 19:17:46

They are beautiful animals but I wouldn't purchase one in your position. They require a massive amount of training and exercise that is best left to experienced owners. The exercise they need is almost a job in itself. They are intelligent so can figure out how to escape from almost anywhere, they can be destructive and you need to be bloody firm with them i.e pack leader 24/7 or they will literally over run your life.

Branleuse Fri 18-Dec-15 19:24:20

id go for a more family friendly breed. Huskies are working dogs

Miloarmadillo1 Fri 18-Dec-15 19:32:24

breed isn't important

It really is, not because there is anything wrong with a crossbreed or mongrel, but because breeds have been selected for characteristics that make them more, or less, suitable as pets or for various types of work. Huskies are bred to pull sleds all day in freezing temperatures, this does not make them good candidates to be a family pet, for all the reasons listed above.

Twinklefuck Fri 18-Dec-15 19:33:59

Thank you so much for your responses, I think it's clear that we wouldn't be able to give him the home, attention and lifestyle a husky would need. Although I'm a sahm I can't see any way to make it work that would be fair to us all. What a shame though! X

toboldlygo Fri 18-Dec-15 19:36:34

Siberian huskies are working dogs and, broadly speaking, are not suited to pet homes. Their exercise needs are so high as to be incompatible with normal family life. As a sibe owner involved in sled dog racing I can confirm that tabulah's summary is very accurate. smile

Booboostwo Fri 18-Dec-15 19:48:28

You are very sensible to say no to this OP.

Breed matters very much and Huskies are a lifestyle not just a dog. They require enormous amounts of energy, my friends who have huskies compete them in sleigh races which takes up all of their time. They cannot be let off the lead, they are serious escape artists and can dig under fences of climb up fences, they howl and can suffer from separation anxiety.

Twinklefuck Fri 18-Dec-15 21:32:35

Boo, sorry I meant breed didn't matter to me, I'm not bothered what they look like, my aunt has a staff and he's the most gentle and loving thing, other has a basset hound and he's a beast and my mum has a boxer dog who drools everywhere but just wants to be cuddled, I grew up with a mongrel and I'd take him ten times over any other but I'm not sure it's the breed that determines the temperament if you know what I mean? I just want a good natured, affectionate dog that I can eventually trust with the kids to complete our family.

My side all have dogs with a preferred breed but I've held off as it's such a huge responsibility, I want it to be the right time for us all I guess. This didn't sit right at all with me, and as much as I've googled and asked for opinions I'm gutted that I can't see a way to make it work but we aren't at a stage with our family where we can really give the best.

Spoke to dh and we've agreed it'll be another year or two before we can be sure that the kids can be more aware of boundaries and we'll head to a rescue centre and hope to bring our new family member home around then. He's looking at all the dogs online in our local rescue and it's heartbreaking!

Thank you so much for the replies!

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Fri 18-Dec-15 21:48:06

I think you're very sensible, your attitude is brilliant and you'll eventually make a fantastic dog owner. smile

Twinklefuck Sat 19-Dec-15 11:21:44

Thank you, I hope so!

UnGoogleable Sat 19-Dec-15 11:36:24

When I read your thread title, my heart sank. The number of husky types that have been abandoned in rescue centers is testament to the fact that people fall for the look of the breed (and because they're 'trendy' at the moment) with no idea of the temperament.

So glad to read your responses OP - well done. You sound like you'll be wonderful dog owners and I'd highly recommend keeping an eye on the local rescue centers for the perfect placid family dog.

Your DCs are young enough that I would imagine they wouldn't care whether it's a puppy or an adult dog since I imagine the desire for a puppy comes later in life when kids want something 'cute' to play with. In fact, getting an adult rescue dog would probably be way easier for you than a puppy anyway.

Good luck with finding your perfect dog. He / she will be very lucky to have you.

Branleuse Sat 19-Dec-15 11:38:19

A staff would be a great choice of family pet. You mention your aunt has one and hes lovely. Theres lots of those needing homes. We have two and they dont deserve their bad reputation at all. Fabulous people-centred dogs, highly trainable.

Booboostwo Sat 19-Dec-15 19:04:58

Again I think you are making the tough but sensible choice.

I had 4 dogs when DD was born and I am down to one. DD is a very sensible 4.5yo who could probably cope with a puppy, but DS is a horror 15mo. I have to watch him constantly with the cat and dog as he does all the stupidities you'd expect from a toddler. I am desperate for a puppy but daren't add one to the mix until DS becomes a bit more reliable.

HakunaFritatta Sat 19-Dec-15 19:49:45

This thread is a great example of how mumsnet can help with such important decisions.

A friend and her bf got a husky puppy. They completely underestimated how much care and attention this breed needs and re-homed it a year later. Poor thing.

It stayed at mine for a couple of days. I feel confident looking after dogs but looking after this one was not fun (to be fair, a large part was due to lack of training).

Twinkle, you sound like someone who wants a joyful and easy-going member of the family who will naturally return the unconditional love you'll give. Can't go wrong with a Labrador! (Am biased but it's true).

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