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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. I'm a uni student currently living at home and I have been pondering getting a dog for a while now. I've narrowed my search to either a German shepherd or husky as I do a lot of running so a nice athletic dog would be perfect. However, being a student, I am forced to be studying a lot and everything I've read about huskies say that they are very easily bored. Now I can't foresee us getting a second dog any time soon so would getting a husky be a mistake as I probably wouldn't be able to give it the attention that it deserves?

Are German shepherds a little better in that they don't require as much attention? How long can I leave a German shepherd alone before it starts getting bored/anxious? I read that huskies get bored after even 2 hours alone - is this accurate?

Any insight would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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I'd say that neither a German Shepherd nor a Husky is right for your situation right now. Both breeds require an exceptional amount of training, attention and exercise. They are high-drive dogs and need to work for a good portion of the day in order to stay balanced, well-behaved and non-destructive.

A well-stimulated Husky can probably sleep happily for two hours. However, bear in mind I said "well-stimulated" -- that probably means a good workout and lots of training to tire the mind. There are several owners here who run their huskies for up to 10 miles, hike with them, do bikejoring, sledding, etc. Huskies are active dogs -- not the kind of pet that will happily sleep in its crate for hours in the day while waiting for you to give it some attention. The same can be said of the GSD.

How far do you run and how often?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well I'm a boxer so I do my running every morning for 30mins except Sundays. Additionally I would take it out for walks every night for 30mins at least.
 

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If I were you, I would go to a shelter and have a look at some of the large-breed dogs. There are tons of Pit-mixes, Lab-mixes and Shepherd-mixes that would be perfect for you, and there are purebred options in rescue too. I'm not just pushing rescue for "ethical" reasons...there's also the age factor. I think it makes more sense for you to get a dog that is about 1-3 years old. Puppies are a LOT of work -- they cry through the night, they need constant training and supervision, they have to be taken out to pee every few hours, etc -- and I don't think your schedule can handle one right now. Plus, puppies can't go jogging with you till they are about a year old, because their bones don't fully calcify till then. Look for a slightly older dog, one that is already housetrained, and who is old enough to go on runs with you.

What kind of grooming are you willing to do? How much shedding can you put up with?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well I've had a German Shepherd before when I was very young and I don't remember my mum getting upset at all about the shedding from him. Unfortunately we had to give him away when we moved houses as the land lord did not allow pets. As I've read, huskies shed twice a year which is nothing too dramatic.

This is probably a stupid thought but would dogs from shelters have any problems intergrating into a new household at all? Would either of the two breeds intergrate better than the other? Thanks for all your help so far!
 

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I don't think that sounds like NEARLY enough for most active breeds of dog.

Additionally, as a university student, you're going to be heading out into rental housing within the next few years. (And yes, yes, I know, you're going to rent/buy a house as soon as you move out - everyone says that. Realistically, it usually doesn't happen, and if you're renting, rentals that allow dogs - especially large breed dogs, especially large breed dogs that are frequently banned- are more expensive than comparable ones that don't- and leaving the dog with your parents isn't fair.)

I would suggest three options:

First, pick a medium-sized but moderately active dog from shelter or rescue. Look for a 30ish pound lab-looking mix (the actual breed isn't terribly important, but I'd avoid beagle and beagle mixes, JRTs and other high octane terriers, and anything that resembles a pit bull or a shepherd, since again, you probably WILL be renting). and you'll fit into most rental housing with them. A 30 pound dog is PLENTY capable of keeping up with the type of schedule you're suggesting. Look for a dog that's at least a year old, and 4-5 would be perfect.

Second, if you really have your heart set on a GSD or a Sibe, what about fostering for breed rescue? I tihnk one of the things that attracts folks to those two breeds (particularly when they're mentioned in conjunction, since personality-wise they couldn't be more different) is the 'wolfy' appearance. See about fostering for rescue and get a feel for what they're really like to live with. I adored Siberians and I still like them, but I'm SO glad I spent the year I did volunteering for Sibe rescue- they really AREN'T the right breed for me. But there's smaller 'wolfy' looking breeds that range from the quite easy to live with (American Eskimos and Keeshonden- yes, there's hair, but they're otherwise these are generally easy dogs) to the maddeningly complex (Shiba Inu :p).

2 30 minute runs per day plus some play or training is bare adequate for just about any dog, and I would suggest looking at moderate energy breeds rather than high energy ones. Almost any dog but an extreme bulldog type will be able to keep up with that sort of routine with ease, and it's just enough to take the edge off for most of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ah I see Dogstar. I've just finished checking up the dog shelters in my state and there are a lot of labradors and kelpies that need homes. How are those dogs in terms of exercise needs? On the site it just says "high" but I have no idea what that means in real life terms. Thanks!
 

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2 x 30 minutes a day will not be enough for the average adult Kelpie or Lab. Both of those are go go go dogs.

Huskies blow coat twice a year... other than those two times they still shed like WHOA. It's more like they shed tons all the time, but twice a year it gets extra bad. Dog hair is a condiment in most Husky household. As well as a fashion accessory. Same goes for GSD and Labs, I'd imagine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
2 x 30 minutes a day will not be enough for the average adult Kelpie or Lab. Both of those are go go go dogs.

Huskies blow coat twice a year... other than those two times they still shed like WHOA. It's more like they shed tons all the time, but twice a year it gets extra bad. Dog hair is a condiment in most Husky household. As well as a fashion accessory. Same goes for GSD and Labs, I'd imagine.
Could you kindly suggest some breeds that would perhaps fit better into my situation? The only thing I'm looking for in a dog is loyalty.
 

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Are there any moderate energy dogs in your local shelter?

I think a quick 30-minute run in the morning and about an hour of walking in the evening would be enough for a Lab mix. You might consider sending him to doggy daycare while you're at school; this would help burn off some energy as well, and keep him from becoming bored at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nope. A guy at my boxing club trains dogs for competitions though so I'll be able to get some good info off him on that sort of stuff.
 

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Talk to him, then. :) That's actually probably a great place to start.

From the fact that you mention kelpies being common, I"m betting you're not in the US?

Given that, I'd talk to someone local or check some Aussie-specific boards- you've got some breeds that are fairly common there that aren't available here. If you weren't dead set on a rescue, I'd actually recommend you look at a German Spitz (Mittel) - they're on the small end of medium, the amount of exercise would be good, and they're small but athletic dogs (and I can refer you to any number of good breeders in Australia ;P)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok I'll definetly have a good chat with the trainer at the club. I might take you up on those breeder references at a later date. Thank you very much for your input - and also rosemaryninja.
 

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Second, if you really have your heart set on a GSD or a Sibe, what about fostering for breed rescue? I tihnk one of the things that attracts folks to those two breeds (particularly when they're mentioned in conjunction, since personality-wise they couldn't be more different) is the 'wolfy' appearance.
Eh, this is kinda off topic to the thread, but I am curious as to why you say personaity wise they couldn't be more different? I realize that I like both breeds partially cause of the wolfy appearance (and I don't really know many GSDs but I've been fascinated with them since being a kid).

And there are things I love about Siberians that would almsot make them my ideal dog (except I am a couch potato and they'd get bored with me. My dog is 75% Husky and I'm really lucky with her while she does get easily bored she is also content with chewing on a bone or lieing around as long as I haven't let her go without being at a dog park for too long. I'm sure she'd be happier though if I was a very active person out doing stuff with her a lot). I mean my dog has all the traits I read about that I think are great about SIbes (loves other dogs, loves other people, total social goofball, pretty dog, still does prefer me though I hear that's not a Sibe trait, I hear they are so social forget having them have a favorite).

That being said, I don't think Huskies are the right dog for me (the destructive potential alone freaks me out not to mention high prey drive). And I've met a few that despite all the websites saying they love everyone, seemed not all that interested in meeting people (I like social dogs. Even though I wanted a GSD, I kidna wanted one that was more outgoing than the standard claimed. I know that not all dogs perfectly fit standard and I met some friendly GSDs so I didn't think that was being all that silly).
 

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On exercise, I can't speak about Huskies, but as long as my GSDs get to this point by exercising at LEAST once a day (most times 2 and sometimes 3 or 4) they're perfectly fine. The rest of the day, they lie around and hang out and occasionally play with each other. This was after a 20 minute exercise session.

Dog Tired

And they shed! If you brush them once a day, it's no problem, but if not, you'll think you have another pet as the hair coalesces and floats across the kitchen floor in the breeze... :D
 

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If want a gsd or a husky, you can adopt an older one. Or foster one.
As loyalty siberian husky aren't the right breed. Please don't get a husky just because of their looks.
 

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Well I'm a boxer so I do my running every morning for 30mins except Sundays. Additionally I would take it out for walks every night for 30mins at least.
I gotta warn you. I have an Elkhound who isn't old, but isn't exactly a spring chicken (we think about 6, maybe older) and he runs 3-4 miles with me a day, and will still act antsy if in the house for too long.

That's not to rule out all dogs of a certain breed though. If you go to shelters and meet the huskies or shepherds you could find an older one, or a much calmer one. But they aren't the best bet if you're looking for a pup.
 

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Eh, this is kinda off topic to the thread, but I am curious as to why you say personaity wise they couldn't be more different? I realize that I like both breeds partially cause of the wolfy appearance (and I don't really know many GSDs but I've been fascinated with them since being a kid).
In terms of temperament, GSDs and Huskies are almost ENTIRELY different dogs.

This thread might shed some light on the issue...a total GSD lover describing why she doesn't want to own a Husky.
http://www.dogforums.com/2-general-dog-forum/41504-calling-all-husky-people.html

Mike778, I would definitely talk to the dog trainer at your boxing club. He will probably have lots of useful tips for you.

I would also go look at some of those kelpie mixes... Talk to your shelter about the possibility of fostering one. When you foster a dog, you take it into your home and keep it for some time until it gets adopted by somebody. That way you can get a feel of what it's like to own a dog, and a feel of that particular dog, and if you decide that both fit well you can adopt it.
 
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