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Hello all,

I am considering getting a dog in the near future, and the breed I'm looking at most is the Siberian Husky. I'm saving a small amount from each paycheck and will be able to afford one by the end of this year. It won't technically be my first dog, but it will be the first that I'm 100% responsible for. I've been researching huskies and how to raise them, and one thing I come across frequently is the time and attention they require.

This concerns me because I'm a single male on active duty military and sometimes work as long as 18 hour days. What are some good ways to handle these cases? I'm considering a dog sitter or even a surrogate family for when I deploy, but I'm also wondering if a breed like this is even possible given my situation.

What are your thoughts on this? Any good resources for situations like mine? Similar breeds to look at?

Thank you
 

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If you tell us what qualities you like in a dog (basically, why you're drawn to the husky), we can definitely suggest breeds that might fit. :) How much time will you have each day to exercise the dog? How do you feel about shedding? Do you want a dog that you can walk off-leash (with training), or is that not important to you?

I will suggest that whatever breed you go with, you get an adult. No puppy should be left alone for 18 hours (neither should an adult, really, although it could be okay if someone will come and let it out to pee at least once).
 

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This concerns me because I'm a single male on active duty military and sometimes work as long as 18 hour days. What are some good ways to handle these cases? I'm considering a dog sitter or even a surrogate family for when I deploy, but I'm also wondering if a breed like this is even possible given my situation.
I don't think a husky is a great choice for your situation.
First, you should check if there are any breed restrictions at your post and check to see if the typical post for your branch of the service has breed restrictions.
ANY dog, even an adult, will need a dog walker or someone to let it out during the day if you're going more than about 10 hours. If the 18 hour days are common (say, more than once per week), that can really add up in terms of cost. Most dogs are going to need at a least 2-3 hours a day of exercise, training and play- if you are coming back home exhausted after a typical day, that's going to be tough to do.

As for the "what to do on deployment"-- this is a big one. It is NOT all that easy to find a family to take on a dog for 12-18 months! I live near a major military base and there is a constant stream of dogs on craigslist, facebook etc with desperate pleas of "must find new home, being deployed" and "must find new home, next base doesn't allow _____ (pits, dobes, GSDs, huskies etc)" and in the end, an unfortunate number of those dogs end up at the high-kill city shelter as owner surrenders or cycled back onto craigslist etc when their new families can't handle them (high energy breeds and large breeds are the toughest to rehome it seems)
Unless you have a family or caretaker lined up NOW that you trust 100% will be both willing and able to take care of your dog AND will give your dog back!, then you should think seriously about whether a dog is right for you in your current circumstances.
 

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To be honest if you know you are going to be deploying I don't think you should get a dog. You may be able to find a sitter ($$) or family member to take care of it while you are gone, but that is not good for the dog to switch owners back and forth.
 

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The 18 hour days aren't common, maybe once per month if that. My job is a 'typical' desk job that has 9 hour workdays, which is the driving factor in opening up to the possibility of a pet. I've already cleared the idea with some family members in case I can't find a surrogate for deployments, so I'm not too worried about that side.

As for why I want a husky--all of my favorite breeds are spitz-types, and the Siberian Husky is my favorite by far, with the white/black coat and blue eyes most appealing. I like medium-large sized dogs that I can easily run with, which is important because I run a lot.

LilasMom does make a good point about changing families too often.
 

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Are you prepared to do a lot of training?

I have future owners read these all the time. I help rescue sibes/malamutes. I have gotten similar situations like yours.

Just a few things to consider before you rush off to get that cute puppy.


They Can and WILL if allowed to become bored or lonely, destroy a sofa, carpet or cupboard in minutes. they will strip paper and plaster off your walls and make short work of skirting boards. They might also do it because your back is turned. This habit is not restricted to puppies as grown dogs will also do this. they may even do it just because you are 'not looking'. This can be combated by providing tough toys, chews, bones etc. We have found bitters spray and vicks vaporub to be good chew deterrents.

They have no respect for flora and fauna and will happily turn your garden into a mudbath, which will then extend into your house. They can also make themselves very ill by eating unsuitable items such as toxic plants, slugs etc. Block paving is a wonderful thing!

They will jump a fence lower than 6ft high and attempt to jump one higher than that. they will climb wire, push through hedges and dig under anything they cannot jump over. They really are the Houdini of the dog world.*A garden resembling alcatraz is essential.
They will run away if given the opportunity. We recommend you NEVER let your husky off the lead unless you are in a confined area like a tennis court etc. There is a common misconception among new husky owners that they will be able to train their dog to come back, this is very rarely true. The prey drive is too strong and the huskies hearing very selective. For your dogs safety, ALWAYS use a long lead/extending lead/lunge reign etc.

Exercise is essential! As we have already stated, this must be ON LEAD, so be prepared for nice brisk walks to provide your husky with adequate exercise.

Regular weekly grooming is required to keep that thick double coat in top condition. In addition, huskies 'blow' their coat twice-yearly, meaning large clumps of their hair will fall out and turn your carpet into a snowstorm for several weelks. If you don't mind dog hair as an added extra to your furniture, clothes and food, fine! If you hate the thought of dog hair on anything other than the dog, consider another pet.

They will NOT guard your house. Though their look says they mean business, strangers will be welcomed into your house in just the same way as your friends, Including the uninvited burgler or dog-thief.

They can be prone to digestive upsets. find a food that suits (we would recommend a complete working diet or the B.A.R.F diet) then stick to it. Any changes in diet must be done gradually.
They can be very sensitive to anaesthetics. Should your husky require treatment needing an aneasthetic, your husky MUST be weighed to give an accurate weight and your vet may recommend a different type of aneasthesia, this may incur an extra cost.

They must NEVER be trusted with small animals. The husky has a very primative Prey drive lurking just beneath that domestic dog exterior. You may think its cute when He watches, plays with and licks your cat/rabbit/bird etc. he is thinking one thing: LUNCH!

BUT: It's not all bad!

he husky has little body fat and is very lean and muscular in build with an effective metabolism. A common comment that we hear is that one expected a husky to be bigger, heavier or fatter. this should not be the case and care should be taken not to allow your husky to become overweight.

They are reletively healthy breed, with few inherited problems. The main problem that can occur is with the huskies eyes: gloucoma and congenital cateracts. The risk of these can be minimised by only choosing a dog bred from Kennel club registered parents, who have both been tested for these disorders and certified clear of them. The breeder should also provide WRITTEN PROOF of this from their vet or the kennel club. Hips are of a lesser concern, but always get your dog from parents who have been hip scored and attained an acceptable result (current breed average is 7).

They age very well!. A 12 year old husky going on 2 is not uncommon.

They are very loving and affectionate towards everyone, though will not become a loyal 'one-man dog' they love everyone equally!

They do very well in packs. a single husky often does not remain so for long and we find people coming back for a second, third, or more. There are many many multi-dog Husky owners out there!
Finally! lets not forget the BEST thing about the husky: those stunning looks! In no other breed is such a vast range of coat colours, markings and eye colours found. No coat or eye colour is considered 'rare' and all are permissable for showing. He truly is an eyecatching dog.

Though strong-willed, if raised and trained correctly, a Husky can excel at racing, Showing, agility (confined area only remember!) obedience etc. Training must commence at puppy stage and continue lifelong to ensure a well-balanced pet. Too many huskies are given up by their owners between the ages of 6 months and two years, due to lack of training, meaning the dog has become a 'problem dog'. so work hard, he really is worth the effort.
 

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I don't think a husky is a great choice for your situation.
First, you should check if there are any breed restrictions at your post and check to see if the typical post for your branch of the service has breed restrictions.
ANY dog, even an adult, will need a dog walker or someone to let it out during the day if you're going more than about 10 hours. If the 18 hour days are common (say, more than once per week), that can really add up in terms of cost. Most dogs are going to need at a least 2-3 hours a day of exercise, training and play- if you are coming back home exhausted after a typical day, that's going to be tough to do.

As for the "what to do on deployment"-- this is a big one. It is NOT all that easy to find a family to take on a dog for 12-18 months! I live near a major military base and there is a constant stream of dogs on craigslist, facebook etc with desperate pleas of "must find new home, being deployed" and "must find new home, next base doesn't allow _____ (pits, dobes, GSDs, huskies etc)" and in the end, an unfortunate number of those dogs end up at the high-kill city shelter as owner surrenders or cycled back onto craigslist etc when their new families can't handle them (high energy breeds and large breeds are the toughest to rehome it seems)
Unless you have a family or caretaker lined up NOW that you trust 100% will be both willing and able to take care of your dog AND will give your dog back!, then you should think seriously about whether a dog is right for you in your current circumstances
.
I think you should consider the dogs living situation before finding a breed. It doesn't matter if a husky is right for you if you can't provide a permanent home for it. Very, very few people can keep a dog for months and then give it back, much less a year. They would get attached, and it is a LOT of time, money, and effort to put into a dog just to give it back. This is also not good for the dog. If you need to have someone take care of it for a long time, I don't think it would be okay to take the dog away. They need stability.
 

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Oh god, huskies are the one dog I know that has more energy than mine, and I can barely keep up with my chocolate lab.
 
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