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Iris

First Time Dog Owner

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Hi all,

I know this question was asked a couple of years ago and that thread was helpful but I have a couple of other questions. I'm going to be a first time dog owner and I'm very interested in getting a husky despite the fact that everyone suggests a retriever for a first dog. I've done weeks of research so I think I've got a grip on all the drawbacks but I wanted to dig deeper into a few of them. 

The first one has to do with space. I know having a backyard is ideal for owning a husky but I'm a city dweller. My apartment is two stories and pretty well sized for an apartment but it's still an apartment. There's a dog park less than ten minutes away that I'd be more than happy to take him to twice a day. But at the end of the day, is it cruel/overly-difficult to have a husky in an apartment? Reason enough to abandon the idea?

The second thing is I have a 2 year old cat who is more curious than afraid of dogs. I know sibes have high prey drives but since I'm looking to get a puppy, I'm hoping I could have some success raising him up alongside her. Separating them when I'm not around is something I intend to do for the first few months but don't particularly want to do for the next ten years. I've read a few success stories and some tragic ending stories. Can anyone with both a husky/cat weigh on if it was worth it/tips for making it work in the beginning? I know some owners with both have spaces in their homes that only the cat can access. I don't have this - is that reason enough to abandon the idea?

People talk about huskies being hard to train and not doing things they don't want to do. I intend to start out with crate training and some work with professional trainers just to get my new pup house-trained and walking well on a leash. But beyond that, can I get a little more insight on this 'hard to train' badge? I don't plan on teaching my dog to shake hands or stand up, but I also don't want him ignoring basic commands like stop when he's nipping at someone's heels. 

And then my last question has to do with being off leash. I'm not trying to trigger the debate because I've accepted what the majority of experienced owners say about it being a solid no-no. My question is aimed more at dog owners who also have/had other breeds of dogs. Do you find not being able to go off leash is a big drawback? I live in the city but also have a place upstate with an unfenced backyard where I pictured exercising/playing with my dog. Do you feel there's a notable difference while exercising/playing with your dogs who are able to go off leash vs the husky who can't? Not sure how couth it is to talk about mixed breeds on here, but any aussie-husky owners on here find any luck training their dog off leash? I know personality traits of mixed breeds can't be accurately predicted, but in general do aussie-husky owners find their dogs less eager to bolt, more eager to please their owners than purebred huskies? 

Anyway, thanks in advance for any and all help!

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Welcome to the pack, I'll help best I can if you can get up and take a puppy outside every hour or so including during the night and straight after eating drinking, sleeping etc then being in an apartment shouldn't make much difference especially if they get good exercise (5 mins per month of age per walk until a year old), if you don't plan on keeping them separate when you're not around I wouldn't advise a husky as being the right dog for u , some can be good for years even growing up with a cat as a puppy but there's always a risk that instinct will take over , with training it really depends on the dog , one of mine is pretty obedient and will do most things for a treat including sit up and give paw/hug ;) I find trick training for fun helps bond with a dog , however if they don't wanna do something they won't do it .
Never ever offlead , again some can be good for years then one day they'll just bolt , they're bred to run far and fast, I had a staffy with my 2 huskies n being on lead has never effected them badly , you can get long leads/ horse lunge lines to let them have a run around and keep them safe , with cross breeds again not worth the risk , they might have breed traits of both dogs you'll have a herding dog with the Aussie and a dog with a high prey drive with the husky n that's just asking for disaster imo
Also in my experience they're not cuddly dogs n prefer their own space unless they want attention
They can be great dogs tho despite all the 'negatives' and fur loss lol

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Hello and welcome! 

I can share some of my experiences that are similar with your situation.  I was also a first time dog owner when I got Nikko as a puppy. I read everything I could and I will say it was rough in the beginning, but everything worked out.  They are a difficult breed to train, and it takes a lot of patience.  That's awesome that you are already considering training classes as I feel that it is the best way to bond with your puppy.  Not only that, the training sessions will give you the tools you need to train your dog.   Not all dogs are the same, but the "hard to train" part is because huskies are a very independent breed.   While retrievers and labs work for praise and to please their owners, huskies do not.  Mine are very food motivated, and demand to be rewarded for whatever they do.  Also, some days during training it felt like he was not having any of it!

As for your apartment, I live in a 2 story attached townhouse with a very small courtyard in back.  It's just big enough for them to do their business but no room for running.  I walk mine 3 miles a day (not that long as a puppy though), and also have a dog park nearby they can go to run off some steam.   With regards to off leash, I am very careful to watch mine, even when opening the front door cause they would bolt. 

I am not sure about the cat situation.  Like you said, I have heard of people having huskies and cats and they were fine, and i have also heard horror stories. 

 

Good luck!

 

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My very first dog was a Siberian husky. Her name is Maliki and I had a cat named Cinnie. Cinnie is just like your cat which will be perfect. The horror stories I always hear are about cats that run and I have one that does that also almost been food twice.
They can be a pain in the butt to change but they are also super smart it's all about getting in their heads.
The leash thing I have almost all of mine trained off leash using them for agility you don't use a leash and the arena is open. It can be done it's a lot of work and constantly making sure they are tired so it's not impossible. They have I can do whatever I want attitude but they are breed to think for themeselves on long ice covered trail rides. If you want a husky as your first dog just see how much time you have in your schedule and make a schedule for them to follow to the T. It's not impossible it's just a royal pain.

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I have two cats who have both lived with my dogs, dogs who were added so they’ve both had to adjust. The Maine Coon is apprehensive to start with and will absent herself but if she isn’t chased she begins to accept the dog and although never likely to curl up with one, just settles and does her own thing, she doesn’t run so Luna doesn’t chase her. Kipling the Bengal is initially a scaredy cat, any new dog causes him to stay out, coming in only to eat and at night when it’s quiet. Luna was very excited by him to start with because he’s very vocal too. It’s taken six months for him to settle down, a little bit at a time, he is still wary but he now behaves as he did, coming into the lounge, sitting on knees and furniture, antagonising the Maine Coon if he’s bored or wants something and is able to walk calmly past Luna although he is watchful. Luna pretty much always ignores him. Luna is outside a lot by choice, he won’t go out if she’s on the step but he will come in via the dog flap lol. Any cat off the premises though Luna would chase in a blink if she was off lead.

 

As for off leash, I’d got to the point of letting her run free until the day she ran off and wouldn’t come back until she wanted too, not long but enough to worry me so she’s back on the leash again as we have sheep and lambs in the next field along now so better safe than sorry.

 

 

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OFF LEAD ~ If anyone lets their dog(s) off leash in an unsecure area, please know that you are "gambling with your dog's life." It just takes "one" second, and... *BOOM* ...they are gone. And, it was not their fault. It's our duty to ensure they have a long and beautiful life.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Husky Owners mobile app

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Hello.

 

I think you will do absolutely great as a first dog owner the tips these people have gave you are spot on. I also have just bought a new pup since my last husky girl died 1 year ago at the age of only 2 due to a cluster of seizures bless her. but now I'm raising a new pup and he is amazing never had a husky male before so I'm kind of in the same boat as you. but your apart of a brilliant community here I've only just became a member but to see how helpful people are on here its really good to see. best of luck with your new pooch there an amazing breed

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