Tag: Siberian Husky

Martingale Collar Review, Choosing The Best Collar for Your Husky

If It Barks Blue Martingale Collar

A collar is a necessity when it comes to bringing home any dog, especially a husky. They are a high energy breed and tend to wander too far by themselves so they should be leashed at all times when outside for their own good.

There are many collar variations on the market though and this can be overwhelming for new dog owners especially with everything else on a new puppy or dog checklist.

We have a martingale collar for our husky Aura and it has worked wonderfully for us. In this Martingale Collar Review we’ll cover what exactly a martingale collar is, its advantages, some disadvantages, how to fit your dog’s new collar, and finally where the best place to buy one is.

What is a Martingale Collar?

A martingale collar is a collar that has two loops, one smaller than the other, that tighten around a dog’s neck just enough Martingale Collar Small Chain Loopto be uncomfortable without causing any real damage.

They are typically made of a flat strip of nylon or other material with a smaller loop at the end where you can attach a leash. When your dog pulls on the leash pressure is evenly distributed around their neck.

The martingale collar was originally designed for sight hounds like Whippets or Greyhounds because these dogs have a head shape that allows them to easily slip out of a regular collar.

Advantages of a Martingale Collar

One of the biggest advantages of a martingale collar is that they are designed to prevent dogs from backing out and escaping which often happens with a standard collar. Another advantage is that the slight tightening of the collar when the dog pulls too far provides gentle and immediate feedback, helping to curb unwanted behavior.

The martingale collar provides all the benefits of a slip chain (aka choke collar) but is much safer for your husky. Unlike with a choke collar, a properly fitted martingale collar will not harm your dog. This type of collar is especially effective for loose leash training because it tends to help inhibit pulling behavior.

Martingale collars come in varying widths, 3/4″, 1″, or 1.5″, to accommodate small to extra large dogs. Huskies are medium to large size so we got a 1-inch collar for Aura.

Disadvantages of a Martingale Collar

As with most things, if used improperly a martingale collar can have its disadvantages. If the collar is not fit correctly to your dog it can apply too much pressure and choke them. Martingale collars may not be a good choice for smaller breeds. Martingale Collar With Buckle and Chain RingBecause of their size smaller dogs are more likely to hurt themselves even with an appropriate fit.

Some experts warn to not leave a martingale collar on your dog for extended periods or to only use it during training. Their rationale is that the smaller loop, especially the metal chain kind, could potentially get caught on something and end up choking your dog. If you fit the martingale collar properly the choking hazard is greatly reduced even if the collar were to catch on something.

We leave Aura’s collar on 24/7 but she usually follows us around the house and isn’t left unsupervised for very long. The particular collar we have for her doesn’t have a quick release buckle so it’s a hassle to be taking it off and putting it back on all the time. If you’re worried about the choking hazard we recommend buying a harness or regular collar and just using the martingale for training.

How to Fit Your Husky’s Martingale Collar

Fitting your dog’s martingale collar is a simple but very important process. You will first slide the collar (if there is no buckle) over your dog’s head and adjust it so that you’re able to fit your hand under the collar.

When the smaller loop is pulled tight you should only be able to fit a finger under the collar. For further reading check out If It Bark’s guide to finding the perfect fit.

Where to Buy a Martingale Collar for your Husky

Amazon provides a large array of different martingale collars at competitive prices. I’ve compiled some of the top sellers below for easy selection.

Is a Martingale Collar Right For Your Dog?

By now you should have a basic understanding of what a martingale collar is, the pros and cons of this type of collar, how to fit your dog with one, and the best place to buy them at. With this information you should be able to decide whether a martingale collar is right for your dog.

I highly recommend martingale collars because they have worked wonderfully with our husky Aura. She is a slight puller and I call her a bunny because she likes to jump a lot when she gets excited. She has lunged out quite a few times and I was worried she would hurt herself but because the collar is fit properly it’s just a little uncomfortable to her without causing any damage to the throat.

Do you have any experience with martingale collars? If so feel free to share in the comments below! I’d also be more than happy to answer any questions or concerns you have.

 

 

 

 

How to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash – Easy Loose Leash Training

Walking in the Woods with Husky

In my opinion one of the best things about having a husky is they’re a great excuse to get out of the house and go for a walk! Our husky Aura is much calmer than most but she still enjoys the adventure of new sights and smells that come with exploring our neighborhood and nearby parks.

At the time of this writing it’s the middle of summer here in Phoenix, Arizona so it’s usually too hot to go outside for long stretches of time, but when fall rolls around the weather will be more accommodating. This gives us plenty of time to teach Aura some good leash manners. Enjoying walks with your best friend is much more enjoyable when they’re not constantly trying to pull you to the ground in pursuit of the countless distractions of the world.

We’re currently going through a six-week training course through Petsmart and this week we’re learning about loose leash training. This is essentially getting your dog to walk next to or slightly in front of you while keeping slack on the leash. As usual I’ve done the research and assembled the best tips for how to train your dog to walk on a leash.

First we’ll cover the necessary things you’ll need to purchase before getting started, then we’ll go over loose leash training, troubleshooting some typical challenges that might arise, and finish with some additional parting tips.

Loose Leash Training Supplies

If you used our new dog checklist you should have everything you need already but if not don’t worry because I’ll cover that information here as well.

The first thing you’ll need is a suitable collar for your husky. I recommend a martingale collar as this is what we have for Aura and it works wonderfully. Martingale collars have an extra loop in them that tightens just enough to be uncomfortable if the dog pulls on it but can’t tighten so much that it damages their throat like a choke chain collar can. This functionality also keeps your dog from slipping out of the collar.

Pink 5 Foot Leash

Next you’ll need an appropriate leash for your pet. For loose leash training purposes a length of less than 6 feet is ideal. Any longer and it’s possible for your dog to get enough force running that they can hurt themselves. We have a pink leash that matches Aura’s collar and is just about 5 feet long.

The last thing you’ll need is something to help you hold your dog’s attention. In most cases dog treats are great but you can also use a favorite toy if your husky responds well enough to it. If you’re planning on purchasing treats from a store check out our top recommendations or if you’d rather make your own look into our recommended homemade recipes.

How to Train Your Dog to Walk on a Leash

Here is a step-by-step process for loose leash training your husky.

  1. Put the collar and leash on your dog. If your dog knows how to sit make them sit calmly before you put their leash on. If your pup isn’t used to wearing a collar or leash just let them hangout inside with both on, leash trailing behind, to get used to the sensation. Giving them treats and praise at this time will associate positive emotions with the leash and collar.
  2. Decide which side of you, left or right, your dog will walk on. It doesn’t really matter which side you choose, just that you’re consistent with it. Traditionally working dogs such as police and guide dogs are taught to walk on the left.
  3. With the dog on your preferred walking side, give the command ‘let’s go’ and begin walking forward. You can also use ‘follow me’ or any other string of words you’d like but again, remain consistent.
  4. As soon as your dog gets too far ahead and pulls on the leash, immediately turn around and take two steps backward. Careful not to yank on the leash, pull gently. You can also give an audible ‘uh-uh’ as soon as they pull on the leash to help them know what they’re doing wrong.
  5. Lure your dog back to your preferred walking side with a treat or toy. Anytime your dog looks up at you give them a treat or toy. This will teach your dog that they are rewarded for staying near you and for keeping slack in the leash.
  6. Again give the command ‘let’s go’ and begin walking in your original direction. From here you’ll simply repeat the last three steps until you reach your destination. This can take a long time depending on how persistent your dog is on pulling at the leash. Stay even more persistent with it though and your dog will learn that they need to pay attention to you to know where to go.
  7. Give your dog treats every few seconds if they are walking near you to reinforce the good behavior. As your pup gets the idea of what’s expected of them you can give treats out less and less frequently.

Some Typical Challenges And What To Do

Walking Husky in the Woods Short LeashFor some people their dog may trail behind or stop altogether during a training session. If this is the case try to lure them into catching up with a high value treat. If that doesn’t work bend down to your dog’s level and many times they will naturally want to come closer to you.

Some dogs love to bark and huskies especially tend to have a unique howl language they speak in. We’re lucky that Aura doesn’t howl too much, she does just enough for it to be ridiculously adorable. Some dogs are more talkative than others though and if you find your dog likes to howl or bark a lot simply stop where you’re at and don’t move until they stop. You can also give them a treat as soon as they do stop to reinforce the good behavior of not barking.

Often you’re not in a position to control outside distractions while walking your dog. They may become infatuated with something or someone outside of your control and in this case you will want to walk in the opposite direction of whatever the distraction is. Walking at a brisk pace will often help prevent your pup from getting distracted in the first place.

Final Tips

  • Before you begin your training session try to get your dog tired by playing with them or letting them run around in the Man walking red huskybackyard. A tired dog is less likely to pull and also less likely to bark.
  • Keep the leash short at first, forcing your dog to your preferred side. If your dog is progressing well and not pulling, gradually let out more slack.
  • Try a short walk that lasts about 5 minutes at first and then gradually work your way up to 15 minute sessions.
  • As you anticipate your dog about to pull on the leash, give an audible ‘easy’ to let them know they’re about to do something you don’t want.
  • If your husky is especially difficult to work with consider getting a chest-led (aka no-pull) harness or head halter which are more restrictive on the dog, inhibiting pulling behavior. If you go this route you should also consider enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer.
  • I mentioned it before but it’s worth repeating; be consistent and reward good behavior.

Further Reading

Hopefully by now you have basic knowledge on what it takes to loose leash train a dog, everything from the necessary training supplies to dealing with some typical challenges. For more information on training your dog to walk on a leash check out these resources from WebMD and The American Kennel Club.

 

 

Alaskan Husky VS Siberian Husky – What’s the Difference?

Siberian Husky VS Alaskan Husky

While learning about huskies I discovered that there are two major breeds, Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies. At first, I thought the obvious difference is that one breed hails from Alaska and the other Siberia. This is true, however there are a few other things that differentiate these two.

Husky History

Siberian Huskies, like our husky Aura, are a purebred dog that was domesticated by the Chukchi people and developed as working dogs to help them survive the unforgiving climate of Siberia. The Siberian husky is part of the ‘spitz‘ family and has been officially recognized by The American Kennel Club since 1932.

Alaskan Huskies started popping up in 1909 when the first Siberian huskies were brought to Alaska as racing dogs. To make the Siberian husky more effective at pulling sleds they were bred with other working dogs like German Shepards and Border Collies. This resulted in the birth of Alaskan Huskies which are basically mixed dogs and are not recognized by The American Kennel Club as a breed.

Physical Attributes of Alaskan VS Siberian Huskies

Because Alaskan Huskies are mixes they can vary quite greatly in appearance from dog to dog. That being said generally Black Husky with Heterochromiamales will be around 40 to 60 lbs and females around 35 to 55 lbs. They are medium, sometimes large, sized dogs and can get up to 26 inches tall. They tend to have lean bodies with long, slender legs. Their fur coats come in a variety of different colors based on what they’re mixed with and predominantly have brown eyes. They are usually taller and faster than Siberian huskies, making them even better sled dogs.

Since they are purebred, there is usually more consistency in the physical appearance of Siberian huskies. Males tend to be around 45 to 60 lbs with the females coming in between 35 and 50 lbs. They are generally a medium-sized dog, about 18 to 24 inches tall. Most Siberian huskies have a black and white coat but there are also white, gray, and red huskies as well. Usually they will have brown or blue eyes but some have heterochromia which means that one eye is a different color than the other. Our husky Aura has a matching set of beautiful blue eyes.

Both dogs sport a two layer coat that keeps warmth in during frigid weather and reflects heat when it is sunny. It’s hard to believe but Aura loves to go out sunbathing in the backyard here in Phoenix Arizona where temperatures often break 100 degrees Fahrenheit!

Behavior of Alaskan VS Siberian Huskies

In terms of behavior Alaskan and Siberian huskies are both very similar. They’re generally very friendly dogs and love belonging to a pack. Since Alaskan huskies are mixed with other breeds they tend to be slightly less hyper than Siberian huskies. Our husky Aura is full Siberian but lacks the relentless energy of most dogs her breed. White Alaskan Husky Standing

Huskies are known to love exploring and will easily get lost if you don’t keep them on a leash. Digging is another favorite hobby of theirs and they will dig up your yard for fun or to escape the confines of their enclosure. They are very intelligent creatures so it’s important to train them from a young age to reinforce good behavior.

Huskies tend not to bark but instead howl in unique and often amusing ways. These dogs are known for being very loud and talkative and there are plenty videos on the web that showcase this trait of theirs. One thing of important note with these dogs is that they have a predator’s instinct and will chase down and kill small animals without thinking twice. It’s important to introduce them to smaller pets in a safe and controlled environment.

The Simplest Explanation of Alaskan VS Siberian Huskies

Hopefully by now you understand a little more about the minor differences between Alaskan and Siberian huskies. The simplest explanation is that Siberian Huskies are a purebred breed recognized by the American Kennel Club and Alaskan Huskies are husky mixes that were bred to make more efficient sled dogs.

There is also a breed of dog called the Alaskan Malamute that are often mistaken as huskies and vice versa. While Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies are basically the same breed they are separate from malamutes despite the resemblance. For more information check out this article by siberianhusky.com.

Between the Alaskan Husky, Siberian Husky, and Alaskan Malamute do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

Siberian Husky Life Expectancy, The Siberian Husky Life Cycle

Siberian Husky Life Expectancy

It’s a depressing topic but knowing the siberian husky life expectancy is an important thing to take into consideration when thinking about adopting one of these majestic creatures. They aren’t puppies forever and you should be aiming to provide a forever home, not just a home until they outgrow you! Luckily we got Aura when she was about one and a half years old and should have many years to come with her in our lives.

Once again I’ve done some research and have assembled the best information on the siberian husky life cycle.

How Long Does a Husky Typically Live?

You can usually count on a healthy Siberian Husky to live approximately 12 to 15 years. Keep in mind this is under ideal conditions where the dog gets plenty of How long does a husky typically live?exercise and a nutritious diet. Additionally, female dogs tend to outlive males by a small margin.

Siberian Husky Life Cycle

Typically from 0 to 12 months of age a husky is considered to be a puppy. When they reach about 1 year old most huskies are about as big as they are going to get and are considered an adult dog. This adult stage lasts until the dog is about 7 years old at which point they are considered to be a senior dog. As a senior you can expect your dog’s energy level to decline and they could potentially develop health issues that shorten the life span.

Common Health Issues in Huskies

Here is a list of common health issues that huskies are susceptible to.

  • Hip Dysplasia – an orthopedic condition found in medium to large size dogs where the top of the thighbone doesn’t fit properly into the dog’s hip socket. Common Health Issues in Huskies
  • Follicular Dysplasia – a condition that results in abnormal hair growth, hair loss, or even patchy and infectious skin.
  • Juvenile Cataracts – a condition where an opacity develops within the dog’s eye, specifically the lense, and potentially causing blindness. This usually develops before the dog is 2 years old and as young as 3 months.
  • Corneal Dystrophy – similar to cataracts this condition affects the dog’s eye again, this time the cornea, potentially causing blindness.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – once again another condition that affects the eyes, this time when the retina begins to deteriorate, and can yet again lead to blindness.
  • Zinc Deficiency or Dermatosis – huskies require more zinc in their diet when compared to other breeds of dog or they can develop infectious crusty patches of fur, or dermatosis, and other symptoms.
  • Gastric Disease – more common in working or sled dogs, gastric diseases can cause pain and other symptoms to the dog’s stomach and intestines.

Tips to Keep Your Husky Healthy Longer

Luckily there are some preventative measures you can take to ensure your husky lives a full and healthy life.

First, when adopting a husky, if through a breeder make sure they are reputable and do not shy away from questions regarding the health of their dogs.

You should take your husky to the vet once or twice a year for checkups to make sure they are growing well. This will ensure that any big health issues are identified as early as possible and can be taken care of quickly.

Make sure your husky gets plenty of exercise and be sure not to feed them too much or they may put on additional weight leading to other health issues.You Can Never Love a Husky Too Much

A balanced and nutritious diet will help avoid gastric diseases and obesity in your husky. If you feed your dog ‘human food’ don’t do it too often and be aware of certain things that your dog should never have such as chocolate.

You Can Never Love a Husky Too Much

Adopting a husky is a huge commitment to make but before you know it a decade will have come and gone and your now senior husky will start to slow down and come to the end of their life cycle.

It’s important to be patient with your dog and know that you can never give them too much love.

We’re only here for a speck of time in the grand scheme of things and our dogs get even less so cherish every day with your beloved pet!

 

 

 

Crate Training Huskies The Easiest Way – Free Dog Crate Training Tips

Crate Training Huskies Sleeping Husky

Dogs are den animals which means they naturally seek out small places that are easily defendable, giving them peace of mind, a feeling of safety. Purchasing a crate for your husky is a great way to satisfy this instinctive behavior and doubles as a great training tool. Our husky Aura suffers from separation anxiety so it was necessary for us to crate train her very quickly after we brought her home. After doing some research on the topic I have assembled some of the best tips for crate training huskies.

It’s Not a Jail!

There are many people that have an aversion to crates because they are reminded of jail cells looking at one. You should never use the crate as a punishment device though and if trained correctly your pup will see the crate as a safe home base and not a prison sentence. A crate is much more like a playpen is to a child than a prisoner in a jail cell.

Benefits of Crate Training Huskies

Here are a few of the benefits that come with crate training your husky.

  • Creates a sanctuary for your beloved pet to retreat to in times of stress.
  • Keeps your dog from making messes or chewing things while you’re away from home.
  • Greatly accelerates potty training because most dogs will avoid going potty where they sleep.
  • Traveling with your dog is much easier as many establishments require that dogs be confined in a crate.

Crate Training Supplies

Here is a list of supplies you’ll need to most effectively crate train your husky.

  • An appropriately sized crate for your husky that allows them to turn around and get comfortable. We have a 42 in L x 28 in W x 30 ‘fold and carry dog crate’ by Grreat Choice and it’s the perfect fit for her.
  • Towels and training pads for any accidents.Crate Training Huskies Aura's Kong Toy
  • Water bottle with a water and vinegar mixture to clean the crate.
  • Dog toys, a KONG is a great option.
  • Dog treats to help your dog associate training as a positive experience.
  • A sheet or some sort of cover to put over the crate.
  • Some sort of bedding or soft material to make the crate comfortable.

Crate Training Huskies

Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to crate train your husky.

  1. Put the crate in a room where you will spend most of your time. Dogs are social creatures and want to be near you so this will make training much easier. We have Aura’s crate in our bedroom.
  2. Prepare the crate by putting a soft material down inside. For puppies if possible getting a blanket that smells like the mother is very helpful. You can also put a sheet over the crate which will make it feel safer and cozier to your dog.
  3. Decide on a command to give your dog when they enter the crate. We tell Aura to ‘go to your room’ when we put her in her crate. Whatever you choose, be consistent with it.
  4. Entice your pup into entering the crate by putting a toy or snack inside. If your dog tries to take the treat out of the crate then take it from them and put it back in. This will teach them that they only get the treat if they’re inside the crate.
  5. Reinforce this behavior by giving your dog a treat every time they completely enter the crate when giving the command. This can take a long time or not much at all depending on your dog. Just remember to be patient with them while they’re learning.
  6. At first sit in front of the crate with the door open to help your pet get comfortable with it. Pet them while speaking in a calm voice to help them acclimate easier.
  7. When your pet has become more comfortable with the crate, then close the door and wait a few minutes.
  8. Repeat this process and each time leave your dog in the crate a little longer. Start with five minutes and work up to half an hour, an hour, etc.
  9. Begin to leave the room once your dog can stand to wait more than five minutes in the crate. This will teach them to be more independent and that you’ll always come back.
  10. Slowly your husky will come to associate their crate with good things and will start to enter of their own accord. This is a good sign and you should further reinforce this behavior by praising them.

Additional Crate Training Tips

Here is a list of additional crate training tips to take into consideration.Crate Training Huskies Aura in her Crate

  • If your dog whines or howls do not let them out of their crate. Huskies especially are known to be very vocal and I know it can be hard but do your best to wait for a lapse in the whining before letting them out. If you don’t you then you will teach them that bad behavior will get them out of the crate.
  • Consider feeding your dog their meals while they’re in the crate. This will further associate good things with the crate.
  • Always be calm and assertive when your dog enters and exits the crate. Acting too excited will encourage them to see the crate as a punishment which we want to avoid.
  • Praise your dog when they show good behavior and ignore them when they behave badly.
  • If your dog has a collar be sure to take it off before putting them in their crate as this can be a choking hazard.
  • Some crates come with a ‘divider panel’ so that you can buy one crate that accommodates a puppy into adulthood. As the puppy gets bigger you simply push the divider back until it is no longer needed because your dog now fits into the crate appropriately.
  • Dogs should not be left in their crate for too long. Puppies are only able to hold the contents of their bladder in for short periods of time and require frequent potty breaks.
  • Tiring your dog out with playtime or by going on a walk before trying to crate train can be helpful as your dog will be tired and more likely to calm down.
  • For faster training have your dog sleep in their crate. If you go this route you’ll want to put the crate in your room and expect some crying. Be sure to let the dog out if you think it needs to use the restroom though.
  • You’ll periodically want to clean the liner to your dog’s crate. A water and vinegar mixture will do just fine.

Last Notes on Crate Training Huskies

Crate training huskies is a fairly straight forward process and its benefits far outweigh any perceived negative emotions associated with it. Be Always very patient with your pet through the learning process and try not to get too frustrated if things aren’t working right away. It can take weeks to months to crate train your dog depending on a variety of different factors.

For further reading check out what the ASPCA and the Humane Society have to say about crate training huskies. Midwest Homes 4 Pets has a great video on YouTube about the basics of crate training.

If you had success or are struggling with crate training your dog please leave a comment below with your story! What was crate training your pet like?

 

 

 

 

 

New Puppy Checklist – New Dog Checklist

New Puppy Checklist

Bringing home a new dog of any age is a big decision that should be made together as a family. Even before we met Aura my partner and I knew that bringing home a dog would be a huge responsibility to share and had many open and honest conversations about it.

To help make sure you’re prepared to bring home your new pet use this new puppy checklist which doubles as a new dog checklist to make sure you have all the necessary essentials and then some.

Collar

There are many different types of collars for a new dog owner to choose from and each has its advantages and disadvantages. It might be a good idea to buy a variety to see what works best with your husky. Aura's blue martingale collar

For Aura we bought her a pink martingale collar that really brings our her eyes. Martingale collars are much gentler than a choke collar and much safer on the dog making them great for training purposes. To the right is a picture of the blue martingale collar that she came with.

ID Tag

In case your dog ever gets lost or escapes it’s a good idea to have an ID tag on them at all times. Huskies are especially adept at getting away so you may also want to get your pup microchipped as an added precaution.

We had a custom ID tag made at Petsmart and it was a very simple and easy process. We put Aura’s name and our address engraved on the front of her tag. On the back we had our names and phone numbers engraved. She is also microchipped so if and when she gets away from us anyone who finds her will be able to locate her home easily.

Leash

A leash is a very important essential for any dog owner to have. In Arizona a leash no longer than 6 feet is required by law if you have your dog out in public.

Like collars leashes come in a variety of styles but they’re all essentially just a rope you can attach to your dog’s collar to help keep control over them. We have two standard nylon leashes, one is about 3 feet and the other one is closer to 5 feet in length.

Dog Food

You’ll need something for your dog to eat when you bring them home and human food is unfortunately not going to cut it. Awhile ago I watched a documentary on Netflix called ‘Pet Fooled’ and it left me feeling like I don’t even want a dog because I’m going to end up killing it by choosing the wrong or contaminated food.

Our best advice is to do your own research and feed your pooch what you think is best, and stay consistent. If you elect to make any changes to your pet’s diet do it slowly so their stomach can acclimate to the new food.

Water and Food Dishes

At least one set of food and water bowls should be purchased before you bring your new pup home. Feeding them in the same place with the same bowls will teach them good eating manners and provide a perfect time for training.

Weighted stainless steel or chrome dishes are the best as they can’t be pushed around as easily or develop crevices from the dog chewing on it. If your dog is an outdoor dog and you live somewhere where it gets cold enough use a ceramic or plastic bowl as this will prevent your dog’s tongue from getting stuck to it in colder temperatures.

Treats

For many dogs treats are key for good training. In most cases nothing can hold the attention of a husky better than a delicious treat can.

Give treats to your dog to reinforce good behavior and to connect a good action to reward, or even just out of the blue every once in awhile to show you love them.

Chew Toys

Chew toys are a great thing to have around when you need your dog to entertain itself for a little while. These can also make good training treats if your dog responds well enough to them. Be sure to purchase new toys on a continuous basis to keep your pup interested and expose them to new experiences.

Aura absolutely loves toys that squeak and she can tear them to shreds within a day so we will definitely be buying her a variety of new chew toys on a regular basis.

Crate

Some people have an aversion to crates because they remind us of little jail cells but it doesn’t have to be that way. A crate Fold and Carry Dog Crate Box from Grreat Choiceshould be a safe sanctuary for your dog to run to when they are feeling anxious or afraid. If your dog is ever injured or you need to transport them somewhere it is much easier with a crate. Plus if you’re traveling with your pet many hotels will only allow crate trained dogs in their establishment.

We have a ‘Fold and Carry Dog Crate’ from Grreat Choice and it’s plenty big for our husky Aura. Its dimensions are 42 in L x 28 in W x 30 in giving her plenty of room to turn around and get comfortable in. We plan on eventually converting one of our closets into a custom space that can be used like a den for her.

Outdoor Kennel

Especially if your dog is an outdoor pet you should purchase an outdoor kennel which, similar to a crate, gives the dog somewhere they can retreat to the feeling of safety. If you don’t have a yard for your outdoor pup the kennel should be at least 6 x 12 feet and 6 feet high. Huskies are known to be good diggers and climbers when they want to get somewhere so putting it on a concrete slab is most ideal if possible.

We bought our house with adopting a dog in mind so our backyard is plenty big and has very high walls.

Grooming Tools

Here are a few grooming supplies to pick up before you bring your husky home.

  • Rake Brush – Huskies have two coats of fur and a rake brush can help get knots out and untangle hair.Rake Brush, Wide-toothed Metal Comb, Slicker Brush
  • Wide-toothed Metal Comb – Like the rake a wide-toothed metal comb or ‘collie comb’ can be used to further untangle matted fur and is a little gentler.
  • Slicker Brush – Once you have raked your husky’s undercoat out you’ll want to use a slicker brush to smooth the fur over and keep it fluffy and soft.
  • Spray Bottle – Filling this with water and using it when brushing matted fur out with a rake or collie comb can be very helpful. Depending on how your dog reacts to it and spray bottle can be used as a deterrent for bad behavior.
  • Dog Nail Clippers – Husk nails should be trimmed three to four times a year but be careful not to cut too deep or you’ll cut the quick and cause a lot of pain for your friend. You can always have a professional dog grooming service take care of this step if you’re concerned about messing up.
  • Dog Shampoo – Try not to bathe your husky too much or you will dry out their skin and fur. A few times a year is more than enough or whenever your pup gets into something nasty and makes a mess.
  • Small Tooth Brush with Dog Toothpaste – Toothpaste made for humans sometimes contain toxic ingredients to dogs so be sure to get tooth paste specifically made for dogs or just use water.
  • Grooming Table – It’s really nice to have a space dedicated to your pets grooming needs.

Dog Bed

Even if your dog sleeps in your bed it is important to get them a spot reserved especially for them. Feel free to put your dog bed in your dog’s crate or leave it somewhere else around the house that your dog is likely to nap.

Dog Door

A dog door isn’t necessarily a necessity but they are a nice thing to have for convenience. A good dog door will allow your pet in and out at will and certain models can do more than others such as letting your pup in but not back out or vice versa.

Gates

Baby or doggie gates can be used to restrict your dog’s access to certain parts of the house. We plan on purchasing one to teach Aura to stay out of the kitchen when dinner is being made.

Cleaning Supplies

Especially if you’re bringing a puppy home expect there to be mishaps and spills so here is a list of some cleaning supplies that will come in handy.

  • Paper towels – for when you inevitably need to clean a mess up.
  • Baby wipes – an easy way to wipe your dog down without a full on bath if they get into something icky.
  • Stain remover – if you have carpet anywhere in your house this will come in handy if there are any accidents.
  • Training pads – especially for puppies you may want to line the area they’ll be in with training pads while potty training.

Miscellaneous Extras

These items aren’t absolutely necessary to have but are very convenient to have!

  • Bag Dispenser – Having a place to keep all your doggie bags neat comes in handy. You can purchase the bags separately or like us just save and use plastic grocery bags.
  • Pooper Scooper – Especially if your yard is your dog’s main restroom one of these will make picking up after your pet much easier on your back. I try to go out and clear our yard of dog droppings once a week or so.
  • Food Scooper – If you monitor your dog’s diet a dedicated scoop that measures out the perfect amount of food is awesome to have.
  • Dog Literature – If you’re going to own a husky, or any dog for that matter, it’s good to do a little research on the breed. We recommend Siberian Huskies for Dummies by Diane Morgan as a good start.

A Whole Bunch of Love

The most important thing on this checklist is love. Dogs are very intelligent creatures that pickup on whatever energy you’re putting out there. If you’re stressed or angry they will know it. They’ll give you unconditional love and will know if you’re giving it back.

Bringing home a puppy or new dog is an amazing experience but can also be a stressful one. I hope this new puppy and new dog checklist helps prepare you a little better if you’re thinking about adopting a dog.

Leave a comment below with your new puppy checklist and let me know if there’s something I missed!

Dog Separation Anxiety Solutions – How to Cure Dog Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety Sad Husky

We adopted our husky Aura through the Lucky Dog Rescue organization a few weeks ago and she has really made our home complete. She is so well-behaved, housebroken, rarely barks, and sometimes even comes the first time you call her name! However, there is one problematic behavior she has been displaying.

My partner and I work opposite schedules so most of the time someone is home with her, but when we do have to both be away she will take seemingly random items and chew them to pieces. Sometimes she even gets up onto tables to find things, something she wouldn’t dare do in front of one of us. I’ve done some research and this behavior appears to be a classic case of separation anxiety. Here are some dog separation anxiety solutions that you can use if your pup suffers from this condition.

To start off with I am going to explain what separation anxiety is, its symptoms, and what causes it. With that understanding we will then delve into treatments for the condition and ways to prevent your dog from developing it in the first place.

What is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is a condition where a pet experiences extreme negative emotions when left alone for even short periods of time. It can vary in severity from dog to dog and can sometimes be very easy to misidentify as bad behavior or miss altogether, especially in dogs with mild cases.

Our husky Aura has a mild case of separation anxiety which can be a common condition for a rescue dog that has experienced abandonment in the past. Aura’s separation anxiety makes life a little more difficult because someone always has to be with her or she will get herself worked up and cause destruction. I’m sure her experience is just as bad if not worse than our experience of coming home to shredded belongings.

It’s very important to understand that separation anxiety is not your dog trying to get back at you for leaving him or her alone. Your pet is truly terrified and being left alone is a traumatic experience for them so punishment will potentially make the condition worse.

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety

There are a number of different symptoms that could indicate a case of separation anxiety in a dog. These include but aren’t limited to;

  • Ignoring food and treats when left alone.Separation Anxiety Nervous Huskies with Owner
  • Attempts to escape their enclosure when left alone.
  • Constant barking, whining, and howling when left alone.
  • Urination, defecation, and even eating of feces when left alone.
  • Tendency to follow owners around the house when they are home.
  • Clawing and chewing at furniture and objects within the home when left alone.
  • Upon arriving home dog may act extremely over-excited, as if owner had been gone for ages.
  • Salivation and exhibiting other signs of stress (panting, pacing, trembling, dilation of pupils) when owner is preparing to leave.

A dog with separation anxiety may exhibit all or only a few of the symptoms listed above.

Causes of Separation Anxiety

It’s important to keep in mind that every dog is a unique individual with his or her own past but here are a few possible causes that might lead a dog to develop separation anxiety.

  • Dog has been neglected.
  • Dog is moved to a new environment.
  • Dog is abandoned or has a change of ownership.
  • Death of a dog’s companion, human or another pet.
  • Dog has been coddled and relies too heavily on its owner.
  • Adopting a dog before it’s old enough to be away from its mother.
  • Change in schedule where dog is suddenly left alone for extended periods of time, often for the first time.

Dogs are complex creatures and while a few typical causes are listed above, other factors can potentially contribute to the development of separation anxiety in a pet.

Treatments for Separation Anxiety

If your pet is affected by separation anxiety the good news is that there are a number of dog separation anxiety solutions to try.

  • Desensitize your dog to signals indicating your departure. Do this by picking up your keys or putting on your shoes but don’t leave the house, just hang out for awhile. Doing this a couple times of day for a few weeks will teach your pup that these signals don’t necessarily mean you are going to leave soon.Separation Anxiety Nervous Husky
  • Exercise or play with your dog before you leave. A tired dog is less likely to get worked up so if possible try to get up a little earlier for work and go on a walk or run with your dog. Not only is this a great bonding experience but your pup will most likely be too tired to focus on their anxiety.

 

  • Train your dog to be alone in a different part of the house. You can do this by teaching them to stay and then walking into another room. Gradually increase the time you make your dog stay in the other part of the house from seconds to minutes, maybe even an hour if necessary.
  • Crate train your dog. By creating a space that is reserved for your pup where you can pet and give him or her treats you are creating a safe space that encourages independence from you.
  • When arriving back home ignore your dog until they greet you calmly. You want to project calm and assertive energy when leaving and when arriving home. Dogs are very intuitive creatures and will pick up on your emotions. If you make a big deal out of leaving by giving a grand goodbye this can exacerbate your dog’s separation anxiety.
  • Leave the house for short periods of time, gradually increasing the time you’re gone. The severity of your dog’s condition will dictate how long these short periods of time are. For some dogs you can quickly extend the time by minutes but other dogs need a little more work and these periods of time should be increased by seconds when starting out. Start with an initial goal of being able to leave for 5 minutes, then 20 minutes, then an hour and be sure to approach these goals with plenty of patience and love.
  • Leave background noise on when you leave. This can be as simple as a television or you can even leave an audiobook or YouTube playlist of relaxing music playing when you leave. Recent discoveries indicate that dogs can understand quite a bit of human language and love being read to.
  • Give your dog a special toy or treat reserved only for when you leave. This toy or treat should be durable enough to keep your dog’s attention for at least half an hour. This will also teach your dog to associate you leaving with something positive. A KONG® filled with something tasty is a great choice for most dogs.
  • Consider the use of medication for your dog. Some dogs have such severe separation anxiety that they need anti-anxiety medication like xanax or trazodone coupled with professional training to help get over their condition. In these cases it’s best to contact a veterinarian and a professional trainer for help.
  • Take your dog to a sitter or doggy daycare. Maybe there is a trusted neighbor you could leave your dog with during the day. There are many affordable doggy daycare options located in the Phoenix area.

How to Prevent Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety can be a lifelong condition for dogs so the best ‘cure’ is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Luckily, many of the same treatments for separation anxiety can be used to prevent separation anxiety! Separation Anxiety White Happy Husky

  • Crate train your dog. It’s very important that your dog has a safe place and that they enjoy their time in it.
  • Get plenty of exercise. A tired dog is less likely to be destructive and get into trouble.
  • Reserve a special treat or toy for when you leave your dog alone. Take the toy or treat and put it away as soon as you arrive home. This will teach your pup to associate something good with you being gone.
  • Don’t make a big deal over arrivals and departures. When leaving don’t give a long-drawn-out goodbye as this can be a trigger for separation anxiety. When you get back don’t greet your dog until he or she is calm.

Can We ‘Cure’ Dog Separation Anxiety?

Unfortunately there is no sure-fire way to cure a dog of separation anxiety and some dogs will develop it despite our best preventive efforts. At least now you are equipped with the knowledge on what dog separation anxiety is, its symptoms, potential causes, and possible treatments for dealing with the condition.

For more information on dog separation anxiety check out these articles from the Animal Humane Society and the American Kennel Club.

Do you think your pet suffers from separation anxiety? Leave a comment below with their symptoms or what worked for you in curing it!

 

How to Show Your Dog You Love Them – Best Tips for Dog Lovers

Show Your Dog You Love Them

As humans I don’t know what we did to deserve dogs but I’m so happy they’re here. They are beautiful creatures that shower us in unconditional love and affection. I know Aura loves me, but how do I show her that I love her right back just as much? I did some research and found some of the best ways on how to show your dog you love them.

Dogs are just as unique as people and each one has a unique and distinct personality. While these are a few tips on how to show your dog you love them, keep in mind your own critter may take to some of these tips better than others or not at all. Most importantly to show your dog you love them you should spend time with and get to know what they like and don’t like.

Talk to Your Husky

Recent evidence has been uncovered that dogs actually understand human speech better than previously thought. So saying derogatory words in a happy voice, as fun as it can be, should be avoided. We tell Aura we love her every day in a loving tone to match. Telling your dog you love them, telling them about your day, or even reading them a book is a great way to show them your love. If you need something to brighten your day be sure to read about the Shelter Buddies Reading Program where kids in Missouri are learning to read stories to shelter dogs.

Let Your Husky Hang Out With You

This may seem like an obvious one but let your dog hang out with you. Dogs are social creatures like us and crave being around you. If your dog is an outside dog be sure to go outside and spend time with them! For your next vacation think about looking at pet friendly destinations because a dog can make a great vacation exponentially better. We let Aura hang out with us whether we’re hanging out watching television or out working in the backyard.

Raise Your Eyebrows

Dogs have an amazing ability to pick up on human emotions through body language and facial expressions. In 2013 a group of Japanese researchers discovered that dogs raised their eyebrows, especially the left one, when reuniting with their owner. Smiling and raising your eyebrows while talking in a calm or uplifting voice is a great way to show your dog you love them.

Socialize Your Husky

It’s extremely important to socialize your dog starting at a young age to avoid the Two Huskies Socializingdevelopment of aggressive or overprotective behavior. Going on walks, maybe to a dog park, is an excellent way to get your pooch some exercise and maybe meet some friendly neighbors. Better yet, plan a play date with a friend’s dog or enroll your pup in a class to pass the American Kennel Club’s ‘Canine Good Citizen‘ test.

Give Your Husky Physical Affection

Most pets, not just dogs, crave physical affection just as much as they do attention and food. Aura absolutely loves being pet and will transform into a puddle right before your eyes if you give her enough of it. Plus petting your dog is a great way to release helpful neurochemicals like oxytocin into your brain.

You may have heard that dogs actually don’t appreciate hugs as much as humans do. There is some debate behind whether this information is concretely backed with scientific data so it’s best to get to know your dog to see if he or she likes hugs or not. Aura loves to be cuddled and pet but is not a fan of hugs.

If you don’t want to risk hugging you can always go for ear scratching. The spot behind your dog’s ear is a nerve center that sends ‘feel good’ endorphins all throughout their body when you give it a good massaging. This is a very sensitive area so it’s important to be gentle with these precious parts by rubbing softly.

Take Your Husky on Walks

Dogs, especially huskies, crave structure and need something to do. Going on recurring walks at the same time every day is a great way to provide your dog with something to look forward to as well as ensuring they get adequate exercise. Plus they will love spending this precious time with you.

Physically Lean on Your Husky

Sometimes a dog will brush its coat against or lean on a person. The cute little critter isn’t trying to move the person out of the way or anything malicious, it’s actually a sign of love and trust from dogs.

When Aura leans up against me it’s the equivalent of a dog hug and is one of the ways that she communicates her trust in me. If you want to show your dog you love them feel free to lean right back into them (but not so much that you squish them) when this happens.

Let Your Husky Sleep With You

Letting your dog sleep in your bed can be a divisive issue amongst couples and Husky Sleeping on Floortruthfully we don’t allow Aura in bed simply because it’s too small for all three of us. However, letting your pup sleep with you is one of the highest forms of trust a dog can show and receive. While asleep dogs are in a very vulnerable state and so need to put quite a bit of trust in you before cuddling up for some ‘Z’s.

Letting your dog sleep with you is a great way to show your love and reap some positive health benefits as well. If you don’t want your dog up on your bed you can always join them on their dog bed or catch an afternoon nap on the sofa with them!

Gaze Lovingly Into Your Husky’s Eyes

Most people know you shouldn’t lock eyes with an aggressive dog because it can be perceived as a challenge from the dog and even instigate aggression.

However, as with most words context is extremely important. A recent study found that when a dog and owner share a calm, longing gaze, much like with petting oxytocin is produced in both the dog and the human. For best effect speak in a soft voice while petting and looking calmly into your pet’s eyes!

Groom Your Husky

Having your dog groomed on a regular basis, or better yet doing it yourself, is a great way to bond with and show your love for your dog. Huskies especially can develop very thick overcoats that need to be brushed often or it can become tangled and matted.

Baths are also a great bonding experience to have with your dog. Some dogs take to bath time with fun and pleasure immediately while others may have to be coaxed into letting you wash them. A good rule of thumb is to brush your husky at least once a week and bath at least once a month.

Heart Your Husky

Love Your Husky

Once again I just want to reiterate that every dog has a unique personality special just to them so it’s extremely important for a dog owner to get to know their dog to find out what kinds of thing he or she likes or dislikes.

Some dogs love being pet while others prefer not to be touched. Some like games of fetch while others refuse to be interested in any toys. The most surefire way on how to show your dog you love them is to spend time with and get to know his or her personality.

In what unique ways do you show your dog you love them? Let us know in the comments below!

About I Heart My Husky

Hello everyone! My name is Jon and welcome to my website, I Heart My Husky! Growing up my family always had dogs (and a few cats too) and it was a great way for my parents to teach us kids about responsibility starting from a young age.

After seeing the movie Balto as a child I developed a fascination with wolves and really enjoy how closely huskies resemble them in physical appearance. While I’ve taken care of many different pets over the years I’ve always wanted a Siberian Husky. I just find them so cute and cuddly looking.

Guess what? I finally got my wish!

Adopting Aura

Fast forward a few years from childhood and I find myself and my partner living in Phoenix, AZ. I haven’t had a pet since college (most dorms, and university life in general, is not very pet friendly) and we have both been wanting to adopt a dog. However we wanted to make sure whatever dog we end up adopting has plenty of space so our apartment just wouldn’t do.

After three long years of trying to purchase a house we finally qualified and got ourselves a wonderful home here in Phoenix with a yard big enough for three dogs! We might get there someday but for now we have just started with one.

It seems like the stars finally aligned because just as we were getting our house an adorable husky named Aura was living in a foster home and needed a forever home. We adopted her through the Lucky Dog Rescue organization based here in Phoenix. She is the perfect dog for us and we love her so very much.

Aura on the Kitchen Floor

 

Doing Things Differently

In preparation for adopting a husky I have purchased quite a few books, including the ‘Siberian Huskies for Dummies‘ book by Diane Morgan. In researching these animals more in depth I’ve realized that growing up I wasn’t the greatest pet owner of all time. I was never abusive or negligent but I definitely made my fair share of mistakes in raising them.

Adopting a dog in many ways is very much like adopting a child. Especially at first, they need constant supervision, plenty of attention, and lots of love. I’m sure I will make plenty of more mistakes but I want to do my best to be the best pet owner possible.

The Goal of ‘I Heart My Husky’

The goal of this website is to document our life with Aura and share what I’ve learned about these magnificent creatures we call man’s best friend. Along the way I’ll be sure to document my mistakes and my accomplishments to share what works and what doesn’t for us. Hopefully this will help other dog lovers out there also wanting to adopt a husky!

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out. If you’ve recently or have ever adopted a husky I want to hear all about them in the comments!

Take care,

Jon
iheartmyhusky.com

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