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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I'm new here but I'd been reading the threads for awhile before I joined.

I'm 24 and my family have had dogs all my life. My boyfriend and I feel now that we are at the stage in our lives where we're ready for our own! We have done TONS of research and have prepared as much as possible. We are going to pick her up this Friday, she'll be 7 weeks and 1 day old. I know there is controversy over the age at which to bring the puppy home. I've done lots of reading on this topic as well and feel comfortable with it.

She is a husky/lab mix (dad is a siberian husky, mom is a black labrador), and she is absolutely beautiful!

Dog Mammal Vertebrate Dog breed Canidae

We have decided to go with Blue Buffalo puppy food, and I've read that you should mix it 1/4 with the dog's old food to transition them to it. Does the same apply with puppies? Should I get a bag of whatever the previous owner is feeding her and do the mixing? Or will she not have been on solid food long enough for it to matter?

I'm also curious as to what leash everyone would recommend for a puppy this age. I've used a haltee/gentle leader with a friend's dog who responds very well to it, and I've seen lots of success with training/slip leashes, but I imagine these are for older pups. Should we start with a regular leash attached to her buckle collar? What are everyone's feelings toward slip leashes/martingale collars/gentle leaders, and at what age should one begin to use these training aids?

I don't want to jump the gun and bring a collar/leash in too soon, but I also want to help the pup develop good habits early. Growing up with my family's dogs, we've always just used a regular leash and collar, so I want to get some more opinions before we try any of the other types.

I want to be the best puppy parent and pack leader possible. I appreciate any input!

Thanks!
 

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I would personally do a regular leash/ collar at this point. To me, the gentle leader is for a dog that has training holes--you may or may not ever need one with her, but my personal opinion is she is still a baby and should be more than fine on the regular one.

On the food, definitely switch very slowly--at least over a 2 week period, if not longer.

Good luck with her!
 

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The Blue Buffalo food itself recommends you make the transition from food to food over 2 weeks. Even though she hasn't been eating solids for too long, it's still been a significant portion of her life! See if you can get some of her old food from the breeder so you don't have to go buy a big bag. Otherwise, buy a big bag and donate the left overs to a shelter :)

We started our lab out on a regular collar and leash. He didn't try to go very far when he was brand new so the leash was more for my peace of mind than controlling his whereabouts, and it helped him get used to having something on him. We put a collar on him the first day we got him at 8 weeks. We got him an easy walk harness for training at about 14 weeks or so.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't switch foods for a couple weeks. Then do the gradual switch. The transition to a new home is stressful enough; switching foods right away can just be too much. Unless she's at a shelter that uses whatever they have donated so she's not on any particular food. . .then I guess you kind of have to switch right away.

Is it a breeder you're buying this puppy from? Or a shelter? Did you meet the parent dogs? I have to say that pup doesn't look like a Husky/Lab mix to me. She looks to have longish hair and neither of those breeds carries the longhair gene. And the markings don't seem right for that mix either. She's adorable no matter what breed mix she is!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the replies :)

I'm getting the puppy from the owner of the mother dog. Her black lab had her first litter and she plans to have her spayed now, so I guess she's not really a breeder.

I met the mother dog when we met the pups. The pups are living in the home with the mother dog and the family. I didn't meet the father dog. Some of the other pups look much more "husky" than this one, she looks more lab to me (having raised a black lab from a puppy when I was living at home).

Here is a picture of the litter to get a better idea:

Dog Canidae Puppy Dog breed Carnivore
 

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I transitioned both of my puppies the day I brought them home and both did fine with it. Lola had been eating Ol Roy at the breeders and she sent a small bag home with us. I just could not bear to feed my puppy that crap even to transition so I changed her over to Simply Nourish that day. She did fine and has always been easy to transition from one food to the next.

Buster was eating Pedigree Little Champions and I transitioned him to raw the day he came home with us. He did great with it and had no tummy issues at all. I know that my experiences may not be the norm but I think that puppies have just been started on solid food anyway and are easier to change than an older dog would be.
 

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Hmm, some of the pups do look more Husky-ish, but the black and white ones just don't. They seem to have wavy fur. Puppies in the same litter can have different fathers, maybe that's what happened. But it is so hard to tell when they're small. I'm sure you'll have some idea as she gets older, LOL. Huskies have a way of making themselves known :p.
 

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I just wanted to throw out that the long hair gene most certainly does exist in Huskies, they are out of standard but "woolys" most certainly do exist.
 

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I just wanted to throw out that the long hair gene most certainly does exist in Huskies, they are out of standard but "woolys" most certainly do exist.
Yeah, but they're more "poofy" than wavy, right? Like a Samoyed? That pup looks like she's mixed with a Golden or a Spaniel or (she looks big) a Newfie. But like I said, hard to tell in a pup that age.
 

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Yeah, but they're more "poofy" than wavy, right? Like a Samoyed? That pup looks like she's mixed with a Golden or a Spaniel or (she looks big) a Newfie. But like I said, hard to tell in a pup that age.
This is a long haired or "wooly" Siberian Husky - He's a purebred Sibe - I see him every week as he is owned by a truck driver my father works with.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Miss Bugs and Niraya, thank you for your comments. Many of the huskies in this area (east coast Newfoundland) are the type in your picture, Niraya, with the longer hair. The owners of the mother dog know the dog who she mated with and I trust them. I very much see the husky in my pup, with the markings on her face/belly/paws and her body structure.

That being said, we didn't set out to find a husky/lab mix, and aren't breed snobs. We would love her no matter who her father was!

Thanks again to everyone who answered my questions. I invite more responses if anyone else would like to share their thoughts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I thought I'd provide an update on how we're doing now that we have Belle. I mixed her Blue Buffalo with the Puppy Chow she was being fed for the first meal, and then gave her all Blue for the next meal to see how she did. If it upset her stomach I would have continued to mix, but I didn't want to keep giving her the old food if I didn't have to. She's eating all Blue now at each meal and seems to be doing great. Her poops are remaining formed.

She's slowly getting used to the collar and leash. I have a plain buckle collar and a plain leash. Because she hasn't been vaccinated yet I haven't bought her outside the property to walk, but we have been walking around the back yard. She LOVES the snow.

Dog breed Dog Canidae Snow Sporting Group

One question - I've heard mixed opinions on this. Can she be introduced to my friend's vaccinated dog for socialization yet? Or should I wait until she's had all her vaccinations? Or just the first set, etc? My friend's dog is a 2 year old Jack Russell Terrier who's been neutered and has all his vaccinations.

Nighttimes have been a bit of a drama. We're crate-training her. She shrieked for hours the first night. She puts her head back and tries to howl like a little husky, but the noise is SO high-pitched! She also tries to frantically dig her way out of the crate. After each potty trip she'd cry for 30-60 minutes when she was back in the crate before she fell asleep. I tried to not respond to the crying so as not to reinforce the behaviour. The second night she did better, only crying about 20 minutes at first, then 10 minutes after each potty trip. She has a blanket, a ticking clock, a stuffed toy, and a peanut butter kong in with her.

I have the crate in whichever room we are in during the day with the door open so she can wander in and out and get used to it. I sometimes put her in there when she's sleeping and she'll relax and go back to sleep with the door open, but still cries when the door is closed. Should I try closing the door during the day to get her used to the idea? If so, should I wait for her to stop crying before I open it again?

Thanks again for the answers and support!

Mammal Vertebrate Dog Canidae Dog breed
 

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That wasn't one question :)
1. Socialize: The normal worry is Parvo and Distemper, which can be picked up from an infected dog or from the ground where infected matter was tracked. So another dog that is up to date on all three sets of shop is OK... on your property, possibly on the property of the dog... but Not in a dog park or in PetsMart, or other high traffic areas.
2. Vax - A pup is up to date only after having all 3 sets of shots about a month apart, typically after 16 weeks or so. Or on the advice of your Vet... This varies by location, so Vet's advice is best. (For example, we had a dog flu scare in Texas. I called my Vet about shots for my dog, and the Vet recommended against getting them, b/c my area has no cases of dog flu ... and my Vet knows my habits.)
3. It typically takes about 3 -4 nights for a pup to calm down in the crate at night. Given the choice, the pup would sleep on the pillow with you... even a 100 lb Husky!
4. Try never to respond or change situations when a pup is crying, b/c the pup will train you to respond by crying!!! The simple answer is to let the pup out only when quiet. The better answer is to teach the pup to LOVE the crate.
A. Show the pup a treat or a stuffed Kong, get her interested in it.
B. Put the Kong in the crate and close the door, without letting the pup in!
C. She will whine and chew to get into that crate. Sit back and enjoy the frustration - there's a purpose. At some point, she will give up, sit down and look at you (she may not sit down).
D. Praise her, Open the crate, let her in, then close the crate.
E. Ideally, she will lie down, chew on the Kong, then go to sleep.
F. When she wakes up, she may whine or bark a little. For this instance, take her out, put on the leash, and take her out to potty.
G. The idea is to repeat this process, so that she learns that whining/barking gets a response, which is potty... not play!
H. Ideally, she goes potty, you play with her (Or Not, if it is night time), then return her to the crate for quiet time.
It is a learning process.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You're right that it wasn't one question. Thank you for not holding it against me... :)
I appreciate the advice!
 
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