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New to Sib Huskies - Info Please

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I just found this site while looking for info on my new puppy.  On Thurs, I rescued a siberian husky from a shelter here, and I was hoping to get some info.

The minute she saw me, she headed straight for me.  I had a leash in my hand, as I had already been told I could have her, sight unseen.  She saw the leash and just got so excited, prancing around and nudging me eagerly.  Once on the leash, she was ready to go and dragged me out of the kennel with childish enthuisiasm.

She's about 6 months old, I'd guess, full of energy and seems to be happy all the time.  She made herself at home with my Samoyed and two cats with no problem at all.  She sleeps by my bed at night, as if she'd always been there.  In the morning, as soon as I begin to stir, she pounces on the bed and smothers me with smelly, sloppy kisses.  But she's good-natured and stops when I firmly say no.  She follows me everywhere.  And unlike my Samoyed, she readily submitted to a bath.  Her nails are clipped and the hair around her feet is neatly trimmed, so she is obviously used to grooming.

She has been well taken care of and has had some sort of training.  She knows "sit", "get down", "go out", "go in", "go pee".  She'll jump up eagerly to get treats, but when I tell her to sit, she'll sit and wait impatiently for me to hand her the treat.  I've decided to name her Angelina because I think she's an angel.  And also her silvery blue eyes remind me of Angelina Jolie's.  They're just almost spooky because they're so silvery.

My question is, what kind of training do people do with these kinds of dogs?  When I let out a certain kind of shrill whistle, like you hear people do with a horse or in movies with sled dogs, she immediately stops and pays attention to me, as if she is waiting on some sort of command.  I'd like to know how to continue her training.  She's so smart and so willing to please.  I'd like to take advantage of her willing participation and continue to work with her.  If you know of some good sites on training, please let me know.

Another question is what kind of food do y'all give your huskies?  She begs for people food, of course, but the vet doesn't recommend it and I don't want to get her started on a lifetime of health problems.  My Samoyed loves the Purina Prime Cuts (dry food), but Angelina doesn't seem to like it.  She does love milk bones and other chewies.  But she's rather skinny and I'd like to put a little weight on her.  What do you recommend?

She's been a delight so far, friendly with kids, adults and critters.  Today I had to leave her home alone with Sam (my Samoyed) for several hours and that made me nervous.  She chewed up her leash yesterday so I feared the couch would be in pieces when I got home today.  But only a silk plant in a window was knocked over.  She didn't even turn over the trash.  I was pretty impressed.

I'm looking forward to hanging out here and learning more about this new precious puppy I've been blessed with.  Thank you guys for any info you can share.  And thank you, administrators, for this site.  I'm glad I found it.


Here are some pics for ya.  The first, of course, is Angelina.  Already she knows her name and comes when I call her.  I've just started calling her that last night.  I've been just saying "HEY" and she'd come running. 

The second is my Samoyed, Sam.  When I got him, I hadn't ever even heard of a Samoyed so I had no idea what he was.  My guess was some sort of collie mix.  I named him Sam after Sam Elliott the movie star who used to be the voice for Chevy trucks.  Oooooh, that voice!  Later I learned Sam was a Samoyed and I can't help but wonder if he somehow told me he was Sam.  Many people name their Samoyeds Sam, so I find it intriguing that I chose that name for him.

Sam is a little jealous of Angelina, so I took him for a walk just the two of us, without his new little sister getting in the way.  He was thrilled to be alone with me.  In time, I hope he'll adjust and that the two of them will be great companions.  We went thru this adjustment period  with the cats too.

Thanks for the suggestions on the food.  I didn't know that about the filler.  Sam is now very overweight.  The picture posted is of his "younger days".  I was sick for a couple of years and we had to give up our walks completely.  We both got pretty fat. 

Now that I'm beginning to feel better, we're getting back into our routine and hope to shed the pounds.  I wonder if switching Sam to the Innova might help with his weight as well.  I know the activity will.  Like Huskies, he NEEDS to be active.  And while I've been sick, we've both been pretty much stuck inside and not athletic like we once were.  He needs to shed 15 or so pounds, according to the vet.  I think I'll see if he'll eat it.  He is kinda picky and doesn't eat the usual things other dogs will.  He doesn't eat chewy bones, jerky or milk bones, which I think is strange.  If I switch dog foods, he pouts.  But it may be that I just haven't found the right ones.

Thanks for the suggestions and the link to siriuspup.  You've been a big help Holly.

Hi and welcome to BPO! First off Angelina is very pretty and lucky to have you! She is what we call a "splash coat" meaning that she doesn't fit the normal Irish coat pattern in siberians, but rather has the large collar, and uneven break in the pattern along her chest. Welcome to the world of Siberians!! They are great dogs, but very challenging. Here's a couple of hints for you:

Don't EVER EVER let a siberian husky off leash. They were born to run and will take off and happily frolic several miles before realizing they have no idea where they are. They do not having the "homing" instinct that other dogs have and will NOT return home on their own. They also do not normally have a fear of strangers and so will go to the first one that calls them and happily follow them home.

Training is VERY VERY important with a sibe, they are an incredibly intelligent breed and require stimulation; but different then say, a golden retriever, GSD or border collie. Siberians have a catlike intelligent, they prefer to do everything to their own schedule. They quickly learn that if you throw a ball you WANT them to go and get it, but their philosophy is "You threw it... you go get it." So, while intellegent they are not the most "obedient" breed. Repetition on training is the key, and I HIGHLY recommend clicker training with sibes. Also, start now and work on recall training (teaching her to come to you when you call her, as well as an emergency word- I use "FISH!!!" which means if my dogs are out and heading down the road and about to get hit by a car I can yell that out (I ONLY ONLY use it in emergencies) and they know that IF they come RIGHT back they get a big big hunk of salmon. ) lead work, and make sure that you sibe-proof your backyard!! If you have a fenced in yard, make sure there are no small holes, places where she can climb or get under the fence, or areas low enough to jump; siberians are EXCELLENT escape artists and love the challenge of getting out of whatever you put them in!

As for food, Sibes love fishy foods, and the oil is very healthy and good for their coat. A high quality kibble is excellent, and if you can not find one that has fish in it (For instance, Innova, Solid Gold, Flint River etc) Pro Plan large breed puppy, Nutro foods (max and Ultra) and other similar foods are great choices, but add fish oil. I also like to give my dogs canned salmon as treats (but avoid fresh wild caught salmon because of the mercury)
If you are looking for something to help add weight, try Bil-jac moist (Find a dealer at their website) or Nutri-Cal paste to add to her food. Siberians are notoriously picky eaters. One of my girls eats one peice of kibble at a time, by lazily dragging it up the side of the bowl, flicking it in the air and catching it. Its a hoot, but super annoying on the morning before a show!! Now I mostly feed B.A.R.F (Biologically appropriate raw food) which consits of raw meat and bones suitable for their breed.

Siberians eagerly respond to high pitched noises- which helps in training because rarely are they exceptionally food motivated. But excited voice tones and high squeeks and squeels always get mine going; and on the trail it's how I keep my team motivated if someone starts lagging in the traces.

If someone hasn't mentioned this to you; be mindful of her around small pets. Even siberians raised with cats and small creatures can sometimes forget themselves and hurt a cat or something similar out of exhuberance. They have a VERY VERY high prey drive and love to chase anything that moves. I have two cat killers and I have to keep my eyes on them all the time, and NEVER are they around cats or small animals- and they were RAISED with cats. Also- my yard is perfectly squirrel, bird, rabbit and opposum free.

Anyway, I've probably "talked" your eyes out of your skull, good luck with her, and keep us posted with lots of pics!!!! And thanks for rescuing :O)

have you considered agility training?  it sounds like she'd do really great at it!  also, on food, i'd try the innova adult dog food.  it really helps with weight, has salmon oil already in the food and helps keep a great coat also.  a lot of people on here use it, and everybody says great stuff about it.  we pay $40 USD for a 33lb bag, but with our 120lb dane puppy we only go through a bag a month.  it also helps keep good poops coming!  congrads on your new baby, BOY is she pretty!

I hadn't considered agility training, but I think you're right.  It might be something she'd excel at, and I could definitely use the exercise.  My niece has several dogs that she enters into agility competitions.  I think I'll ask her advice.  I think she'd love having her old aunt ask her for info on something she is so passionate about.  Her dogs are always winning ribbons and awards at the competitions.  She might very well get me started in the right direction and may even have some books to pass along.  Thanks for the idea!

I keep reading that Innova has a lot of protein in it.  For some reason, my vet didn't want Sam, my Samoyed, to have food that was high in protein.  Thus he told me not to let him eat any of the cats' foods because of the protein level.  I think I'll ask him about the Innova before I buy it.  I've been reading about the natural ingredients and how the Innova foods imitate what animals would eat naturally if humans didn't get in their way.  So it seems like a logical choice to me.  They would mostly eat meats, high in protein.  I discuss it with the vet.  I'm sure he has a reason for not wanting Sam to get more protein.  So the Innova might be fine for Angelina but maybe not for Sam.

You make me laugh with "it helps keep good poops coming."  I don't know why, but I laughed out loud when I read that and nearly spit Mtn Dew all over my computer!

Aren't her eyes spectacular?  I've always wanted a blue-eyed dog.  And the minute I saw her eyes, I knew she was coming home with me.  Her eyes are so silvery that they're spooky!

A "splash coat"?  I'll have to read up on that.  I'm not sure, from your description, that she fits the pattern.  But I could be misunderstandi ng.  She is completely white on the bottom (legs, belly, chest, throat and most of her face).  And she's completely black on top (most of her tail, back, and head.  She does have a white band that goes almost completely around her neck and some white inside her ears and on the tip of her foxy tail.  So is that the "splash coat" you refer to, Whiskey?  I can see there's a lot to learn about my new Angel.

I have a feeling that she is purebred.  She has been very well groomed and taken care of before she escaped and ended up in the shelter.  I find it odd that no one claimed her, but perhaps they didn't have a clue where to look.  Is there some way to find out if she's pure bred?  Not that it really matters.  I don't intend to breed her, just love her.  In fact I plan to get her fixed soon.  I wouldn't want to risk losing her in childbirth or something.

I will be putting up a 6 ft high privacy fence so Angelina can run free in a small area.  She loves our walks but she really wants to be off the leash.  And I can't blame her.  I have a bunch of large crystaline rocks brought home from the Ozarks and I can line the fence bottom with them if she begins digging.  Right now I work at home so I can watch her and see what her tendencies are and try to rectify them.

Have any of you used a radio fence and shock collar?  I never have but I'm giving it some thought with her.  I don't like the idea of shocking, but I live near a highway and in a split second, she could be hit by a big truck.  That's worse than a little shock I think.  Any ideas on the subject?

I just took her to petco to see if she'd pick out the dogfood she is accustomed to, but instead, she picked out a hoof.  Another lady there recommended so I bought it and she loves it.  Is it good or bad?  My vet said absolutely no real bones (rawhides are fine), but this hoof seems bone-like to me.  What do y'all think?

She also picked out a tennis ball and some bacon jerky strips which I'll use as treats.  I did buy a clicker too and the sound seems to intrigue her.  I can't tell if she is familiar with it or not.  But I'll begin some training with it and see what happens.

Angelina behaves a lot like Sam does.  They have very similar personalities and intelligence I think.  People are amazed that Sam seems to understand just about everything I say.  But I've always talked to him, expecting him to understand, and he rarely lets me down.  We can put on quite a show for company.  Sam even sighs heavily when I "tell" on him or mention "diet".  People always get a kick out of that.

Well, Angelina just proved that she knows how to fetch.  She grabbed a tennis ball and brought it to me to throw for her.  When I threw it, she raced after it on the slippery linoleum floor, struggling to get traction.  She retrieved it and brought back for me to throw again.  When I ask "Where's your ball?" she hunts for it.  Someone is definitely missing this little girl.  They put a lot of effort into her care and training.  I feel just a bit guilty for having her when I know someone out there is missing her.  Is there a missing pets service somewhere?  I would hate to lose her, but if I found her rightful owner, I might hand her over.



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