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I'm engaged to a lovely Englishman who is not sure he still wants to move to America when we're married, and is now wanting the dog and I to move to the UK with him. I love adventure and would love to live there for a while, but I don't know how I feel about flying my little Noodle over the Atlantic for 9+/- hours. The idea of her being in the luggage area where I can't see her or get to her freaks me out - mainly because there's been a lot of talk about airlines killing pets. Also, I don't want to have to leave her in quarantine for months. Have any of you flown your huskies on long international flights? I just want some reassurance that if I take her to England, she'll get there ok - otherwise I'm gonna have to convince him that America isn't so bad lol
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.