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Vlad76

Top 5 things to do/avoid for 8-week old Husky

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In 10 hours, I should be picking up an 8-week-old Husky puppy. I've done a lot of research (as this is a major life commitment), so I think I got the broad strokes covered, but as with all things in life, the theory and practice are two different things, and I don't want to bang my head against wall for doing a stupid mistake that could have been easily avoided (especially if all I need to do is ask here).

 

Here's what I basically want for the puppy:

- on one hand : make sure I don't traumatize the poor creature unintentionally (due to my ignorance)

- on another hand: make sure the dog is properly trained (primarily for his own good, but also mine)

 

Short-term questions: (next 8 weeks):

- 1. Can you properly teach husky obedience just from reading a book ? I haven't found a local neighbourhood class yet, but time's running out so I think I just gotta start doing some training by myself, or I'll run out of time when it was still easy.

- 2. Is crating really necessary ? Is it bad for the puppy, if it just runs around the apartment ? I don't really care if it breaks my 60" TV or crunches through the furniture. They're just easily replaceable non-living things.

- 3. I have a 7-minute commute to work currently, and presume I can step out (say, for an hour - to walk him) at least once, but I believe I could arrange to be able to do it twice during 8 hrs (e.g. be home every 2.5 hrs) during next few weeks. How long should this period be ? 4-6 weeks ?

- 4. How soon can I start cooking for the puppy ?

- 5. Why is it a bad idea to let puppy sleep in bed with me (so it feels connected and safe) during its first few weeks at new home ? I mean, if it wants to go find a different spot (say, a cooler kitchen tile floor), I'll let it. I might be wrong, but I don't believe that this negates puppy's notion of me as a master (assuming I'll be consistent and firm in training and rewarding, which is easier said than done obviously, with cute puppies)

 

Long-term questions (~1-2+ yrs from now when it grows up sufficiently):

1. Ultimately, starting with very short hikes (and slowly progressing to longer ones),  I want this dog to accompany me on my multi-day hikes through frozen mountains and wilderness - how soon can I subject it to, say, 16-20+ hour hike up snow-covered hills/mountains (total distance ~25-40 kms). I've read very conflicting experiences, so it's hard to say, if it's just those particular individual dogs, or it's a breed-specific feature. How soon will Husky's stamina build up to be able to keep up with me ?

2. Will it be able to handle **safely** temperatures of around -25 Celsius, if 99% of its life is spent indoors at +25 Celsius ? That's 50 degrees of a difference. Yes, I understand their origin and heritage very well, but humans have the very same problem. For example, I don't have issue outside until it drops below those -25 C, but 99% of people I met, bitches around +5C how 'cold' it is, as they haven't been exposed to it during early childhood. I have to presume the same holds for dogs, as their body behaves extremely similarly to human body (in so many ways), and they cannot layer up (unlike us). When I was a kid, in our village, the neighbour's dog (not a husky, though), who was outside his whole life from birth, froze to death the night it dropped to -28C. We were always arguing with the neighbours, but they didn't listen. Unfortunately, at that time&place, there was no such thing as animal police.

3. I'm having a problem finding some hard data on their thermoregulation. I understand the signs of human hypothermia very well, but have zero idea on how husky internally experience cold and most importantly - hypothermia (as it's fundamentally dangerous, especially out there, when you're 10-50 km from civilization). I don't have a problem walking for hours through brutal blizzard (in fact, I love it and drive long distances for every single experience) - but can a domesticated indoor husky survive one ? I am absolutely NOT willing to find out by risking his life/health. One one hand, this is what they were born for, on another - it's got zero experience and exposure to cold because it's kept indoors - so the common sense dictates that its genes don't really matter that much anymore at these, relatively extreme, temperatures (since they were born to and acclimated to the +20C indoors). On yet another hand, wolves must obviously be able to survive multiple blizzards in their lifetime (and in my childhood area they indeed did), so theoretically, a blizzard should not kill a healthy Husky either. Now, if you never saw a documentary on how [incredibly quickly] a strong cold wind drains the human body of heat, you might think this question is absurd, but I assure you it's actually not (plus, check my question 2 on that poor frozen dog).

4. When we'll go for a hike, there's obviously not going to be a leash. Is Husky ballsy and crazy enough to wander far alone and try to attack bear or wolf pack ? I'm asking, as I actually survived encounter with a hungry wolf-pack, in the middle of a cold January night (yes, I know now it was a stupid idea to take a short walk at 2am, knowing very well that a wolf-pack operates in the area, but I was very -ehm- young at that time). While I somehow stared the alpha male down, and he eventually slowly pulled back (I was too big for him and not worth the risk apparently, despite the pack aggressively barking at him), not sure what a Husky would do at such situation, as he could probably just escalate the situation and make things life-threatening for both of us.

5. How soon can he fly on a plane without being traumatized ? While I am currently in U.S., and can drive to Canada/Newfoundland from Jersey easily (usually within 20 hrs, but try to keep driving to a minimum - e.g. not more than 30-50 hours during a week), some great places (e.g. Iceland, where I'd just love to take him) you have to fly and I heard horror stories about dogs that flew. Considering Husky's temperament, I am of the opinion that it suffers tremendously during the flight, but don't really know.

 

I honestly believe I can provide my Husky with some great adventuring experiences, that he was born for,  throughout his life, despite him having to be indoors majority of time. But I must be 100% sure his safety is not compromised by me overlooking something or pushing over the realistic (for the breed) boundaries.

 

Please feel free to answer any question, even if it's just one. Thank you.

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1. Yes you can teach obedience from reading a book, but make sure the pup is well socialised with other dogs by taking them to a park etc
2. I think crating is useful, yes things are replaceable however the dogs safety could be at risk if they eat something harmful/smash something. Mine love their crates and often go in and curl up even when I'm at home!
3. Rule of thumb is 5 mins walk for every month of age until adulthood as long walks affect their joints when their growing. So 8 weeks = 10 mins walk. However you can do this a few times throughout the day. An adult in my opinion should have at least 2 hours walk a day
4. What exactly would you be cooking? Dogs shouldn't really have 'human food' unless you put them on a raw diet, or if they are poorly (boiled chicken and rice)
5. I let mine sleep on the bed and have no problems with it

1. I would say you would have to wait until they were at least 18 months old. Huskies stamina is incredible however once they reach adulthood you would have to gradually increase the distance you go to prepare them. My best friends brother does canicross with his husky and once she damaged her paw and he had to carry her for the last 2 miles of the race! You can get boots for them which protect paws, or a good paw pad balm would be recommended
2. I can't answer that one but Jos (blue wolf) might be able to!
3. Again I can't answer this one
4. I don't think a husky should ever be off lead, their prey drive is too high and they can have selective hearing. I honestly don't know how a husky would react in that situation
5. I've got no experience with my dogs being on a plane so can't answer that one either sorry!


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Can't say much other then what Rachael has said , I trained my 2 myself as there are no classes local to me , crating is very useful ,if the pup has to stay at the vets for any reason he'll be placed in crate , and even though you don't mind if it chews what if he chews something that could potentially harm him , my girl had a thing for electrical cables , she could have electrocuted herself so we crated her for her own safety , she did eventually grow out of the chewing so no longer needs it but it was valuable at the time , also my boy as a puppy hurt his leg n needed to stay calm and rested so a crate helped with that too
Not sure why you would cook for a dog it just makes them fussy trust me ;) a raw diet is great for them
Mine have the freedom to sleep where they want they tend to choose cold floors no problems with letting your dog sleep with you but at a young age you'd have to be careful about him jumping off the bed and damaging his bones as they're still soft and growing , I'd have his bed in your room for now but not on your bed until at least a year old
Can't answer much in regards to the traveling/hiking but huskies are not good dogs to have off the lead , they are very prey driven so given the chance yes I think they would run after a wolf or bear or even just run off n not come back . It's not worth the risk

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I can't fully answer the remaining questions but I can throw in a few little bits.

With regards to the temperature. A healthy adult has a thick double coat which is like insulation. It traps the air between the undercoat and guard hairs kind of like the way double glazing works on houses I think. So they are able to cope with temps down into the minus figures. Think someone said down to minus 30?? But I'm not too sure tbh. I also don't know how long they can reasonably cope with it either.
I would also think it was important to acclimatise them too but again we would need clarification from those who've experienced such extreme temps as I certainly never have.

I've not been on flights with my dogs but I have looked into it a little bit. Crate training would suit you very well as if it's the same for you as it would be for me then they'll be in a separate area of the plane and crated. How well they'll cope will depend on a few things and not being used to crates will likely be a big hurdle to overcome there.


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I cannot say more as what already has been said...apart from crate training would be good as if you do want to fly with your dog it would need to be in a transit cage as far as I know only assistance dogs are allowed to travel with it's owner...

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We just came home. The two-hour drive was a bit stressful, but she broke in the car properly (she puked, peed and had diarrhea in the back seat), so next driving should be easier.

 

She recovered within 10 minutes and started howling and marking her territory in the living room. I was initially worried about peeing on the carpet, but within 10 minutes she started chewing the carpet, so I don't have to worry about peeing on it anymore :) Once my lease is up in 3 months, I'm just going to replace the whole carpet and be done with it  :)

There was some incorrect information on the website and it turns out it's not a boy, but a girl. Oh, well. Also, the seller warned me yesterday on the phone she has a heart murmur and offered me to choose a different puppy, but I just couldn't, once I saw her. I instantly recognized her in the pack today. She's a shy gal, hiding in the back, not the alpha male. Well, at least for first two hours. During first walk outside, she was quite stubborn and not the shy gal anymore :)

She also constantly chews the recliner and howls at it a lot.  So much for all the chewing toys I bought for her :)

 

I am incredibly happy :)

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I couldn't bear the idea of her electrocuting herself on chewing the electric plug while I was asleep, so I did put her in crate. Hopefully, someone may find this process useful:

1. I let her tire out in the courtyard

2. She fell asleep at home under the recliner within 10 minutes

3. I waited 5-10 minutes till she started running in her dreams, shaking her legs

4. Placed the crate (the big one used to move them in the car - about 4 puppies would fit in fine) next to the recliner, and put her in

5. She woke up, started howling, running around, bouncing against walls

6. I comforted her by putting my fingers through the metal net, she started licking them and gently biting them, while growling less and less

7. I put my pillow on the floor, pressed my face against the crate so that our noses touched through the metal grating and we breathed at each other

8. She made a happy sigh/howl and within few seconds fell asleep

 

Looks like she's bonding with me. I sure as hell love her to death already.  Hopefully the heart murmur is not a terminal condition, I'll see a vet next week and do some research in the meantime...

 

If there's anything wrong with the process above, and you think it might hurt her in the long run, please let me know - she's my first dog  (yeah, I know:husky and 1st) but that's the best I could come up with on a short notice.

 

Thanks a lot for the earlier replies, I will get to them tmrw, as I slept less than 10 hrs together last 3 nights...

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With a heart murmur you might have to be even more careful with walking her as you won't want to put any strain on it , the sooner u can get that checked out the better , my staffy had a mild murmur when when we got him at 3 years old but it never stopped him from doing anything so hopefully your pups is just mild too , you might need to find you'll have to wake up during the night to take her out to toilet , at 8 weeks old she won't be able to hold it in

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On 2/4/2017 at 2:38 AM, Rachael_Astro said:

1. Yes you can teach obedience from reading a book, but make sure the pup is well socialised with other dogs by taking them to a park etc
2. I think crating is useful, yes things are replaceable however the dogs safety could be at risk if they eat something harmful/smash something. Mine love their crates and often go in and curl up even when I'm at home!
3. Rule of thumb is 5 mins walk for every month of age until adulthood as long walks affect their joints when their growing. So 8 weeks = 10 mins walk. However you can do this a few times throughout the day. An adult in my opinion should have at least 2 hours walk a day
4. What exactly would you be cooking? Dogs shouldn't really have 'human food' unless you put them on a raw diet, or if they are poorly (boiled chicken and rice)
5. I let mine sleep on the bed and have no problems with it

1. I would say you would have to wait until they were at least 18 months old. Huskies stamina is incredible however once they reach adulthood you would have to gradually increase the distance you go to prepare them. My best friends brother does canicross with his husky and once she damaged her paw and he had to carry her for the last 2 miles of the race! You can get boots for them which protect paws, or a good paw pad balm would be recommended
2. I can't answer that one but Jos (blue wolf) might be able to!
3. Again I can't answer this one
4. I don't think a husky should ever be off lead, their prey drive is too high and they can have selective hearing. I honestly don't know how a husky would react in that situation
5. I've got no experience with my dogs being on a plane so can't answer that one either sorry!


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Thanks for the tips. This is my current take:

1. I kinda expected that, but not the actual magnitude. Within each 10-15 minute "walk", we meet 3-5 new people with dogs, so socialization is happening literally on our doorstep. Everybody wants to pet a husky puppy with blue eyes.

2. The compromise of putting her to crate and putting the crate on the bed next to me worked wonders. As this was her first night in new environment, out of her pack, it was surprisingly uneventful. I sticked my fingers through the metal crate, so she actually kinda slept on my hand - that calmed her down tremendously, once she stopped chewing on it, that is. She didn't howl single time during night.

3. 10 minutes is problematic, as she's just discovering the courtyard, so it's not exactly constant walking, as she lies and chews on branches and grass, but I try to keep it under 15 minutes - she's doing same exercise as at home basically. We don't go further than 20 meters from the entrance yet.

4. Cooking - well I cook for myself each day anyway, so why not cook something for her at the same time, you know ? Some nice meat. Not yet, when her stomach is ready for it. But, that's still on my research-to-do list.

 

4. Off leash: On many hikes, I've seen other people with dogs going up and down the mountains, without any leash whatsoever - they ran a mile ahead and came back all the time. They weren't Huskies, though. On that particular mountain, there's a lot of small prey, but bears are there too, so distraction risk is high.

6 hours ago, BingBlaze n Skyla said:

With a heart murmur you might have to be even more careful with walking her as you won't want to put any strain on it , the sooner u can get that checked out the better , my staffy had a mild murmur when when we got him at 3 years old but it never stopped him from doing anything so hopefully your pups is just mild too

Yeah, the heart murmur might put a complete halt to our mutual hiking trips, but I'll do some research and let doctors have final say.  Technically, with heart murmur, you don't want to go on 100% on all cylinders, as their cardiovascular system is basically same as ours (roughly), so one wouldn't subject a person with heart murmur to, say, marathons. We'll see. Can't say I didn't have a choice to choose a different puppy, but alas - couldn't, really...

you might need to find you'll have to wake up during the night to take her out to toilet , at 8 weeks old she won't be able to hold it in

I guess I just got lucky again, as we slept 4-5 hrs, went out and bam. Not gonna be so lucky after every night. But at least, the crate should contain it (theoretically). Any ideas there ?

What kind of sleeping padding do you guys put into the crate ? I put there those water-absorbant pads, but she just rolled it within like half an hour.

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Thanks for the tips. This is my current take:
1. I kinda expected that, but not the actual magnitude. Within each 10-15 minute "walk", we meet 3-5 new people with dogs, so socialization is happening literally on our doorstep. Everybody wants to pet a husky puppy with blue eyes.
2. The compromise of putting her to crate and putting the crate on the bed next to me worked wonders. As this was her first night in new environment, out of her pack, it was surprisingly uneventful. I sticked my fingers through the metal crate, so she actually kinda slept on my hand - that calmed her down tremendously, once she stopped chewing on it, that is. She didn't howl single time during night.
3. 10 minutes is problematic, as she's just discovering the courtyard, so it's not exactly constant walking, as she lies and chews on branches and grass, but I try to keep it under 15 minutes - she's doing same exercise as at home basically. We don't go further than 20 meters from the entrance yet.
4. Cooking - well I cook for myself each day anyway, so why not cook something for her at the same time, you know ? Some nice meat. Not yet, when her stomach is ready for it. But, that's still on my research-to-do list.
 
4. Off leash: On many hikes, I've seen other people with dogs going up and down the mountains, without any leash whatsoever - they ran a mile ahead and came back all the time. They weren't Huskies, though. On that particular mountain, there's a lot of small prey, but bears are there too, so distraction risk is high.


Would you cook her food alongside her normal food? A raw diet is good for dogs however they cannot eat meat alone - raw fed dogs have to have vitamins etc added to their food. If you were going to give her meat alongside her food, you would have to adjust her diet accordingly but it probably will upset her tummy, a good quality kibble or a good raw diet will give her all the nutrients she needs

And huskies aren't normal dogs when it comes to being off lead unfortunately! Their recall is very poor and they obviously have an instinct to run, not a good off lead combination

Exercise in the garden/running around the house etc doesn't count towards her 10 mins walks :)


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You'll find she probably won't want to go to the toilet in her crate I'd say 4-5 hours is the longest you'd want to wait without taking her , so she doesn't soil her crate it could stress her out , they are very clean dogs in that sense
We didn't bother with a bed in the crate , they had a dog cushion they decided to rip it up lol , a blanket or something with your scent on tho could help with her sleeping during the night as she'll feel comforted by your smell with her

Yeah huskies are crazily bad when it comes to distractions I'd get a long lead n let her have a bit of freedom that way but still keeping her safe at the same time


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On 2/4/2017 at 4:11 AM, Emma said:

With regards to the temperature. A healthy adult has a thick double coat which is like insulation. It traps the air between the undercoat and guard hairs kind of like the way double glazing works on houses I think. So they are able to cope with temps down into the minus figures. Think someone said down to minus 30?? But I'm not too sure tbh. I also don't know how long they can reasonably cope with it either.
I would also think it was important to acclimatise them too but again we would need clarification from those who've experienced such extreme temps as I certainly never have.

While this is something that is not going to be extremely important during next 1-2 years, I'll keep it in the bottom list of my to-research things.

 

The thing is, Husky is the only dog on the planet who was bred to survive in similar conditions, as far as I know. I reckon he's not going to have problems at -30C for an hour or two, especially if it's hauling sleds. It's the same thing as when I'm climbing up, I open up all layers. But stop moving for 5 minutes, and you could freeze.

The question is prolonged exposure at lower exercise loads, as you simply cannot guarantee the temperature once you get there.

 

Also, the calorie intake at that temperature and load must be enormous. I'll see if I can find some info about Iditarod, or that Greenland sled unit that circles the whole island (quite hell-of-a crazy). Right now, I got other things of higher priority for her :)

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10 hours ago, BingBlaze n Skyla said:

You'll find she probably won't want to go to the toilet in her crate I'd say 4-5 hours is the longest you'd want to wait without taking her , so she doesn't soil her crate it could stress her out , they are very clean dogs in that sense

That would explain the crazy low probability of her having constant diarrhea since yesterday, but never soiling the house. However, every single time (we've been out exactly 7 times since yesterday's afternoon arrival), within 20 seconds of going out of the house, she relieves herself. I might have been that lucky,perhaps, once, but certainly not 7!

The only explanation, however crazy, is that she somehow must be internally 'toilet-trained' or something, as I certainly didn't start with that process (rewards and such) yet. Right now, I'm only making sure we go out every 3.5-4 hrs.

10 hours ago, BingBlaze n Skyla said:

 a blanket or something with your scent on tho could help with her sleeping during the night as she'll feel comforted by your smell with her

I forgot to mention, but yesterday I threw two of my socks inside the crate, and she instantly grabbed them and put them over herself (kinda like a blanket or something). I think this is where I'll draw the line on the clothing and let her rip just the socks freely.

 

EDIT: For 10 posts that recommend throwing a sock in, I just found one that mentioned that their poor dog actually ate the sock, and died during surgery!

But even if you remove socks from the equation, there are 10 other cloth items in household within its reach. He could eat the cloth from the couch he is chewing.

 

Also, new behavior : Today she only howled when I closed myself in the bathroom. It's like she needs to be constantly 'observing' or something ? She couldn't possibly feel lonely in 5 minutes, or could she ?

Edited by Vlad76

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