Is a Siberian Husky Right For You?
So you think you want a Siberian Husky? Well, there are some things you should know before making that decision. Many people choose a Siberian because they have beautiful markings and frequently have captivating ice blue eyes. They also have an amazing disposition. They are very friendly and loving and enjoy attention. They are part of the working breed of dogs. They are very energetic and will be a willing companion on all kinds of recreational activities; if you four wheel, they will want to run alongside. The same is true of biking, jogging, or even walking. They are great for recreational dog sledding or more serious sledding competitions, if YOU are up to it! They are better than a stair master if you are working to get fit! They run for the sheer joy of it!
Huskies seem to have very little dog odor. They are very clean about themselves. They are not considered to be hypo-allergenic but many people who have dog allergies, are not allergic to Siberians. They have a double coat, so the dander doesn't get to the surface as easily as some other breeds and the dander is what people are allergic to. The above are some of the qualities that endear this breed to people. There are also qualities that could be considered drawbacks by some people.
Siberians are an extremely high energy breed. they need LOTS of exercise. If you are a couch potato, this is not the dog for you. If you work all day and expect to leave them home alone, kenneled or confined, this is not the dog for you. Get a goldfish! Siberians need attention, like every breed of dog, but unlike some breeds, they thrive on a great deal of exercise. They should be walked or have some form of exercise for at least an hour each day. Does this fit your lifestyle?
Siberians are very social and want to be with you or another dog all the time. They are a pack animal and can do better with another dog their size. Their joy of running, can be a drawback if they are let out in a non-fenced area or simply off leash. Very few Siberians can totally be trusted off leash. Many can be escape artists. They are very intelligent and can easily figure out latches, crate doors, etc. They dig, climb over or go under just about any fencing. So plan on having fence kennel repairs to do. The words, "escape proof" are not in the Siberian's vocabulary!
They love to dig and to chew. If not kept in a house, they need to have a LARGE kennel and be out of it for long periods of time, every day. If kept in your house alone for long periods and uncrated, they will find ways to amuse themselves, like doing a very messy remodeling job while waiting for your return. They will be miserable (like most dogs) tied to a chain all day. Please do not buy one if that is your plan. Have a crate, and a run area ready before bringing them home, so that you will both be happy.
Siberians have a high prey drive. Many are not good with cats, chickens, or rabbits. Some of you will be saying, "Well my Siberian gets along with our cat."
Yes, there are Siberians that do get along with cats, but many do not, so you need to consider that possibility. They shed twice a year and when they do, it's A LOT! They have a very thick undercoat and it can take weeks to shed it all out if you don't help them along with a de-shedding comb. Patches of hair and undercoat come out and they will have a bad hair month! Being an artic breed, they also shed after whelping (having puppies).
While they love snow and are well-suited for the cold, they need some help in warm weather. Cold is easy for them to survive in, but heat is harder on them. They need A LOT of shade or air conditioning. They also need a lot of water. A small kiddy pool that is filled with water, can be helpful. They can splash their feet in it and the pads of their feet are one way that they cool themselves.
Many Siberians do not like swimming in water and when
it’s very hot, it may even be harmful to them since the outer coat
dries, but the undercoat may still be wet and then heat up and can
cause them to get even more overheated. So, if they do swim, which a
couple people who have bought pets from me say their Siberians are
swimmers, help them dry off or see they have a shaded spot to go to.
In many ways, Siberians are very hardy. However, they can have more sensitive digestive systems than many breeds. They do not do well with foods containing corn, corn meal, etc., although these ingredients are believed to help bind loose stools at times. They need at least a 26% protein dog food (higher when they are puppies, or in whelp, nursing, or working), ideally with a single source protein and no bi-products. If you change from one dog food to another, they may get the runs. You should mix your old dog food with the new kind so there is a more gradual transition. Stress can cause them to get diarrhea also. Normally, as an adult, their immune system will keep any bug in their intestines in check. But, when stressed, they may get a loose stool. One last thing. Siberians are not good watch dogs. They are much too friendly. Their sometimes mysterious wolf look may intimidate some people, but if they got past the appearance they would have nothing to fear.
I strongly recommend that you enroll your new puppy in a puppy “kindergarten” class and then go on to an obedience class. This will go a long way to helping you enjoy your new family member.
This is a breed that we have absolutely fallen in love with, but it is not (like any breed) a breed for everyone. Please carefully evaluate whether the personality and needs of a Siberian Husky will fit with your lifestyle, living situation and personality. If you feel it will, then we hope to hear from you and help you select just the right puppy for your family.
Also, do not be offended when we ask you questions about your experience with dogs, particularly Siberians, the housing and environment you are planning to provide, etc. We do our best to match a puppy with a suitable home so that is it a great experience for both the puppy and his/her new family. If you go into this uninformed about this breed or not equipped to deal with the particular traits of this breed, it could be a miserable experience both for you and your puppy. That is NOT what we hope you have, so we will do our best to educate you and help you determine if this is a good choice for you and your family. If you DO decide that there is a Siberian in your future, we hope to hear from you.
Siberians Are Mischievous
Sorry, I haven't touched base in a while. We wanted to share a Story with you.
Here is the Story of Jax and the Shiskabob Skewer.
Kevin and I drove out to California for his Sister, Chris O.'s Birthday and it was there that the whole thing started. At Chris O.'s Birthday Party on November 29th, 2009.
OK, I will try to do a Looooong Story short(er).....
Kevin made Teriyaki Shiskabobs and Jax stole one and started to eat it. Carol and Sean(Kevin's Brother) saw and Carol caught him, Don (Kevin's Brother n law) pryied his mouth open and I stuck my hand down his throat and tried to grab it. To say the least, I only got part of it. Carol and Sean kept saying we needed to take him to emergency. Kevin thought he would digest it and it would come out his behind like bones in the past.
Jax had made a little cry a few hours later at Colleen's (Kevin's Sister) and Don's and we thought it was his shock collar. Then again at Kathy's (Kevin's Sister), but a lot louder and a lot longer, acting as though he was uncomfortable. Kevin(we) thought it was his shock collar again. To be honest, I was a little suspicious and when he started yelping yet again a couple days later on December 1st, before we left California, I was so sure it was the stick(skewer) from the shiskabob. Kevin thought maybe it was too.
Kevin said we would have him seen as soon as we got home. However, on the way Home, Jax seemed a little better, just a little under the weather, like he had gotten congested or maybe had a doggie cold/flu. We got home Saturday and Sunday he went to throw up and started yelping again. The worst sound ever!!! - Especially when you can't do anything to help him and he looks like he is in so much pain. So....
Kevin brought him to the Vet on Monday the 7th of December and told them the situation. The Vet took an X-ray and examined Jax and said it didn't show up in the X-ray, that it wasn't the stick. She said there was a small mass in his stomach and he was dehydrated and seemed as though he had a touch of a bug. Gave him a shot, gave us some pain killers for him to hopefully pass what was in his stomach and said to make sure he got plenty of water, that he ate and drank and went potty OK and we would do another X-ray in a few days. He seemed to be getting better and we had another x-ray done - No Mass.
Brought Jax home doing better and then Yipe..Yipe..Yipe.. All over again. Kevin brought him back to the Vet on Friday the 18th of December, and had the Vet check him out again, this time and every time after is Dr. Ebert, a man. Kevin explains the situation to him and he takes an x-ray, pushes on his stomach area and says no, not the stick, there are bone particals in his stomach, he will need to poop them out. He gives Kevin some more pain killers and suggests/gives him some mineral oil. We wait a few more days and he is going potty just fine, but still in a lot of pain. Mind you, he only Yelps here and there, but trust me, that's enough.
Kevin brings him back into the doctor and for another x-ray. The doctor says No, it's not worth x-raying it, it has to be something else????? You Think?
He does another exam - Poor Jax - and Jax yelps and then he does a fecal test. Jax has more bacteria than he is supposed to, So, he sends him home with some antibiotics and says this should clear it up. If not, we were going to have to consider Exploratory Surgery. Kevin asks again about the stick and the doctor says he can't imagine that it is the stick. Jax is doing way better than if he had a stick in him and look at the time that has passed and it is not showing up on the x-ray. However, he also says, that even though he doesn't believe it is, there is that possibility.
Well, once again a little better, or so it seems and .......Jax is not doing well. As before when he moves a certain way or tries to stretch, he Yelps in Pain. Kevin calls the doctor on Monday, December 28th and Jax is set for Exploratory Surgery on Tuesday Afternoon, December 29th, 2009.
The Doctor is Amazed at what an Extraordinary Dog Jax is! It is the Shiskabob Stick - about 6 inches long, piercing through his Large Intestine (See Graphic Photo Here). He doesn't know how Jax handled it for so long, a month mind you? He does very well in surgery, has quite the stitches (See Attached Photo Here Too), and we are told to come pick him up on Wednesday, after work.
The staff at Lakeland Love him, and he Loves the Vet, Crazy Dog! They say they can not believe it, he was eating about 2 hours after surgery. They also say, he is not acting like a Dog that just had major surgery - .....they don't know our Jax :)
It's been a week and 2 days today, He is still doing well. He is eating, drinking, no problems going potty and he wants Kevin to chase him! However, He takes an Antibiotic once a day, another Antibiotic every 8 hours, cannot go outside by himself, cannot Run, Jump and needs to take it easy for 5 more days.
He is going Crazy, Has Waaaay to much Energy, Talks...Talks....Talks... and is a total Love Bug as Always! We Adore Our Jax!
OK, It was still Long, but there is the Story.