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Help - Newly Adopted Husky Really Anxious


MaddiesMama
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I've had several dogs in my life time and worked with a great many more. I've been around more than my fair share of huskies and had a hand in the raising and early training of several litters of husky pups. I'm really at a loss here. I don't know if maybe I'm just overwhelmed because I'm disapointed but I could really use some outside advice.

 

Today we adopted a 2 year old female husky. At her previous owner's home she was very vocal at us and very hesitant but after a few minutes warmed right up and by the time we went to get her into the van she was laying her head in my hands and enjoying full on cheek and neck fluffs. She rode in the van beautifully without a sound, relaxed and calm. Outside our home she was inquisitive and friendly. Inside? Not so much. She sat in front of the door and wouldn't move until we got her crate set up, now she's laying in the crate and growls at my husband every time he comes near it. I know it'll take her a while to get used to her new surroundings but I'm also worried. She won't take either food or water. I'm a little heartbroken that she won't have anything to do with me at the moment but I am absolutely prepared to be as patient as she needs for as long as she needs.

 

No other dog I've had has been this way. Do you suppose this is just a normal transition or a red flag? Any advice welcome!

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I'd be real inclined to say that she's just feeling lost.  She's been uprooted from the home that she knew and is now in a strange home with strange people and isn't too sure of what's happening.

Her crate is, which I presume came from the previous owners, the one thing that she's familiar with and it's safe.  That she growls at the stranger when he walks past isn't too big a surprise, that she doesn't also growl at you is.  I wouldn't let the growling scare you, she's just telling you that she's real uncomfortable with the move and she doesn't know what's going on.

Don't rush her, put food and water out - and I'd leave them out.  Then back off entirely and let her come to you.  If you keep feeding her, she'll adapt but it may take a day or six.

Don't push yourself into her space; since she's uncomfortable, she may snap at you because she's uncomfortable, you have been warned that she's nervous (her growl), don't push her.

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Thats what I figured and hoped but it never hurts to ask right? Took her out to use the restroom before bed and she came out of her crate for the lead with very little hesitation and as soon as we were out in the grass was back to laying her head on my hip and wagging her tail. I'm guessing she's just really confused as to why she's not "home" and is now here with us. For now I'm just letting her have her space. Thanks for the help. Sometimes you just need to hear someone else say it to make it "true" lol 

 

Maybe its naiive and a little silly but I guess I am just a little sad that she isn't already up on the couch for cuddles but I know we'll get there with some patience and love.

 

Thanks!

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Why was she being rehomed? A CAS a friend of my had been working with was severely crate aggressive. The wife of the owner had beat the crate and kicked it because she was afraid of him and that was one place she felt comfortable enough to outright abuse him. Sometimes a bad experience like that can create the feeling that anything coming near the crate is bad.

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Responding to your comment about how you want her to come up to the couch asking for cuddles: the Siberian Husky is truly a one-of-a-kind breed. Each of them is a unique individual. Some are very cuddly, some others not so much. Like my boy Diamond. I can leave for two whole weeks he'd still be too lazy to get up and greet me. BUT, the independent ones do show their love in a certain special way. Diamond for example makes trouble when I've been away far too long. He'd pee in my room, pull on walks and a thousand other crazy stuffs he has stopped doing three years ago. But once I return home he'd be that perfect furry angel he has always been  :lol:

 

So conclusion is: your husky could either be a cuddly one or an independent one. If by any chance your girl is more of an independent one, don't expect her to roll over asking for belly rubs or jump up on the couch for cuddles. Instead, expect her to have her own special, unique way of saying "mommy I love you"  :)

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Jamie - I wouldn't think the issue with the crate was an abuse issue since Ala indicates that she went in willingly and apparently feels safe there.

 

Liv - I'll follow your lead on this.  I've had three Husky's, one would literally crawl up into my recliner with me, put her head on my shoulder and just lay there.  The other Sibe I have is about as independent as they come, after a year and a half she'll come to get petted but mostly she just wants to be left alone - but stays where she can see me.  She's not intolerant of affection, she's just ambivalent.  The Alaskan I have is an idiot, he's perfectly happy to be outside playing with his jolly ball; is normally around until I go to bed and then is on the floor beside the bed.

 

Three Husky's and three completely different personalities.  The fact that you say she was loving at the other house makes me think that it's just going to be a matter of time till she relaxes and opens up again.

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Her previous owner worked full time and had a lot of out of work obligations that left her without a lot of time to spend with Maddie. I'm a stay at home mom with an over abundance of time for her. I really very much so doubt any abuse occurred. She had a very loving home that unfortunately wasn't a good fit anymore. As for the crate, she's content in there. After I last posted she came out a bit more and wandered around. She wasn't up to coming up on the couch (I actually think she's been trained off the furniture) and wasn't overly eager for love but she did come over purposefully to be petted. She put her chin on my knee for a few minutes, went and snuffled both the kids,took a few pieces of chicken nugget from both myself and my son then took a few sips of water and went back in her kennel.

 

Right now she's asleep in her kennel. I have a lot to learn about my new little furbaby but I'm optimistic and I'm really happy I found this forum. :)

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Like the others have said she needs time to settle in.

If she seems to be nervous or aggressive.

Approach her from low down, sit on the floor and let her come to you.

Try not to touch her from above or behind until she has accepted you.

Also, make sure you keep your windows shut and she's away from the outside doors when you open them.

The first few weeks they will still feel like they want to go "home" and may make every effort to get out.

Well done on rescuing her, good luck :)

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I am so glad that you found this forum. Maddie sounds like she is a bit un settled. I think Al's first post was excellent advice and counsel. Could not have said it any better. It takes time, but she will adjust. Just be patient with her, talk to her, and let her make the first move. Best of luck.

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Had opposite problem with Solo, he was very hyper when we bought him own, everything at full speed and now. With patience and calm he settled to the pace of the house. He now a delight 80per cent of the time. (Other 20 is the husky hounies that happen around 10 at night, if you don't know what they are, you will and have been warned lol). She will settle xxxxx.

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From what you have described, I totally agree with Al's advice - she is just finding her feet with you & her new home. She may take a little while to come round & realise "this" is now "home". But it sounds as if she has calmed enough to start to be interested in her new surroundings & the humans in it. It's just a case of softly, softly for the next few weeks, let her take things at her pace, follow her lead & she will soon feel like she's always been there.

 

Good luck with her, please keep us updated as to how she is settling in with you

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Welcome to the forum , I'd give her time to settle down , she's been moved from everything and everyone she knows to a house she doesn't with new people and new scents it can be scary for people moving somewhere they aren't familiar with imagine how a dog who won't understand what's going on is feeling , she'll soon come around

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She's doing much MUCH better today. I'm starting to think she just might be a calmer dog than what I was expected/braced for lol She loads in the car like a dream, walks on the leash pretty well, and actually laid across my feet for about 20 minutes earlier until I got up to go get a drink. I think if I'd sat there and let her she'd have laid on my feet for a good while, she liked me wiggling my toys in her belly fur lol. Shes taking a while to warm up to all us adults but she's already madly in love with my kids and is a shamless flirt with the neighbor children.

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