Bringing home a Siberian Husky
Before you decide to take a puppy home, bear in mind the responsibility that comes in adopting a dog. You are responsible for that dog until he/she passes on. They are not there until you get bored, find a girlfriend or boyfriend, get old, move, or get a new puppy. If you cannot care for a dog up until the point that he/she passes on, then do not get a dog.
Few other dog breeds are so stunning in appearance than the Siberian Husky. Their gentle temperament and playful nature make them great family pets, providing you can give them the exercise and the companionship they need. They are a truly unique breed with their stamina and weather proof double coats, protecting their skin from extremes of temperature in the coldest or hottest conditions. Whilst known for their striking blue eyes, not all dogs have this colour, some are brown or bi-eyed, one blue, one brown.
- Research on the breed. Don’t buy this just because it looks like a wolf and it is scary. This breed isn’t for everyone.
- Use common sense. If it’s bad for you, then it is probably bad for your puppy. If it’s expensive, don’t leave it down to be a chew toy. Seriously.
- Listen to your breeder. Your breeder should be a valuable resource for information and advice on how to best take care of your puppy.
- Make sure everyone in the household agrees that you are adopting a puppy. A little common sense goes a long way! If you have children, make sure they understand their duties and your expectations involved in bringing home a new puppy. Agree on how you are going to train your new family member. If everyone is on the same page, then the transition of your new family member will go much smoother. A puppy should be a lifetime commitment, and should never ever be considered a toy to be discarded after a couple of weeks.
- Be consistent. Siberian Huskies need structure and consistency in all training; behavioral as well as housebreaking. If you try something for one week, and then switch because the puppy is looking at you like you’re crazy, and then switch again to something else after another week; your puppy is going to be confused, and you’re going to be frustrated. Siberians are highly trainable, you just have to make them see the point. If you are trying to get your point across 6 different ways, it isn’t going to work, and will only cause you and your puppy more headache. A Siberian will decide quickly that you are an idiot and will treat you accordingly.
- Love your puppy. Pet and praise him or her often, and make sure you play. It helps them bond with you and become your new best buddy.
- Puppy proof your house. Everything to hip level is now within their reach. Little puppies can climb up onto the couch, and use the throw pillows to reach whatever goodies you have stashed on the back of it. If you don’t want them to have it, don’t leave it within reach… especially electrical cords! A bored puppy will wreak total chaos on your home.
- Provide an area for your puppy to go potty. Provide potty breaks often. Puppies usually have to go potty when they first wake up, and after they eat. If you stick to a schedule, it will make house breaking a lot easier.
- Let sleeping puppies lay. They are babies, and sleep is necessary for proper growth and development. During the first few nights home, they get homesick for siblings and their mother. Providing them with something that mimics a heartbeat like a clock and a warm water bottle wrapped in a fuzzy towel will help them relax. During the first few weeks, they twitch a lot in their sleep. Sometimes their legs will twitch like they are running. They will also whimper and whine, and even wake themselves doing it. This is normal. Their brains are still establishing nerve connections and the twitching you see is due to their brains sending electrical pulses to their bodies. It’s almost like REM (rapid eye movement) sleep for humans. Don’t panic, just sit back and smile at how cute and funny it is! Puppies sleep 15 – 18 hours per day because they are babies.
- Stick to the worming and vaccination schedule for your new companion. Ensuring that your puppy has the necessary shots will help your puppy grow into a happy, healthy adult.
- Put your puppy on a good heartworm preventative year round when they are old enough. It will eliminate the need to worm your husky with other medicines.
- Put your puppy on proper flea and tick preventative. Although they have a double coat, it is still possible for your husky to contract these pesky little critters – especially puppies.
- Begin basic behavior training as soon as you get him or her home. It is important that your new puppy understands the rules of his or her new home, and accept that you are pack leader. Huskies who don’t have rules to follow will usually take over their new home and run it as they see fit.
- Associate the crate (if kept inside) with something positive like a treat. Otherwise they will see it as punishment and grow to resent it. Try freezing peanut butter in a toy Kong and giving it to them when you put them up for the night. It takes them a long time to get it out, and when they do, they normally fall asleep.
- Understand that your puppy is intelligent and will use his or her intelligence for their own free will if not properly exercised and entertained.
- Strive to get your dog used to a schedule. Dogs thrive on routine and have the uncanny ability to know when it is meal time without looking at the clock.
- Remember to leave a light on in case you won’t be home before sunset. You don’t want your Siberian Husky to be afraid in the dark while they wait for you to return home.
- Do not change the diet of your puppy from one food to another without gradually transitioning it. It will cause diahrrea and will take time to correct. Siberians have finicky appetites and sensitive tummies.
- Do not stress out over every little thing your puppy does or doesn’t do. Be patient with him or her. If you are stressed and unhappy, your puppy will pick up on it and react accordingly. They can sense when their owners are uncertain. Remember to relax and have fun. If you can’t relax, neither can your puppy. Your dog will grow up to be nervous and over-hesitant.
- Do not take your brand new puppy to doggie parks, rest areas along the interstate, or any other place where you are unsure of who’s dog has what. You don’t know how other animals that pass through these areas are treated and cared for. Even vaccinated puppies can catch something. If you have gotten your puppy and done this on the way home, your health guarantee automatically becomes null and void.
- Do not give your puppy a bath every other day. Their skin is sensitive, and can get dry and flaky. The oils on their skin help keep their fur (and skin) healthy. If you must bathe your puppy once a week (we usually give ours once a month), get a gentle puppy shampoo with oatmeal in it. All dogs have an odor whether clean or not.
- Do not leave them home alone for more than 8 hours a day in a crate. They can get bored and self-destructive, or worse, run rampant through your house destroying things when you finally let them out. If you are gone from home that long and leave your puppy in a crate, then you really don’t need a one. Siberians have too big of an exercise requirement to be cooped up like that all day. Try a smaller breed that can adapt better. Can we go out and play?Can we go out and play?
- Do not hit or smack your puppy on the nose when you are training a Siberian puppy. They do not respond well to this treatment as a labrador might, and will cease to view you with respect. We understand that sometimes people will react before they think, but puppies do not understand this. It can be difficult to re-establish this trust if you slip up.
- Do not shave your Siberian Husky. Yes, they are double coated. Yes, summer is hot. However, if you shave your dog, you they will be even more likely to get heatstroke. Their fur serves a purpose!
- Do not under any circumstances leave a choke collar on your dog and use it when you are punishing your puppy/dog.
- Do not chase your puppy to his/her crate or “safe area” to continue punishment if they have done something to upset you. You are asking for trouble…seriously. Their “fight or flight” response can kick in and result in some bad consequences. Do not corner any animal, not just a Siberian.
- Do not leave your Siberian Husky in a confined, hot area such as closed car. This can lead to heat stroke and can be fatal.
- Don’t leave any items in your dog’s environment that could be poisonous. Poison items include medicines, cleaners, plants, human food, etc. A curious dog can become a sick dog faster than you can say “Siberian Husky”.
- Don’t leave your dog in a poorly ventilated area. You want the area to have some ventilation, but it shouldn’t be drafty. Allow them to have access to direct sunlight as well.
Invest time and affection in caring for your husky and they will reward you with their friendly, gentle and cheerful nature. They are loyal, intelligent dogs, good with children, affectionate to everyone and rarely bark.