Buy or Rescue?

puppy-mill-huskies

Am I an expert? Probably not, but I have hours and hours of observing my dogs like a scientist would. I want to understand what makes them tick. I also have 3 huskies I’ve raised from puppies. Now at 2, 3, and 10 years old.

Let’s talk about buying a husky puppy first. If you want to buy a puppy there are many options. Most of them should be avoided. You can use the internet to look for a breeder, but you better have your scam detector set to full power.

Avoid Craigslist and some of the lesser known “Sale” pages. They are a den of crooks and scammers.

Puppy mills and dog thief’s make a living on these places…just say no. In this case you are better off by word of mouth from a person who has actually used a breeder and has a dog from them. I found Cooper by asking my vet if he had any clients who raised huskies.

Puppy mill dogs come with many genetic problems like Epilepsy. Take your time and find a real breeder not a mill dog. Huskies are being bred on looks not health.

The vet was a good source because my vet knew the people and how well they provided health care for their dogs. I was not disappointed in my choice with him.

Some things to consider about breeders. Most people don’t even think of these things.

The first conclusion I’ve come to is how important your puppy’s environment is where he was born. Cooper grew up in a family that believed in making the pup’s part of the family. When I first saw this, I thought that was so cool.

But let me tell you that after getting Nikki, I’m not sure that is the best way to raise a pup for sale. Puppies bond to their immediate humans. Cooper was bonded to his human mom long before I came along.

She told me she thought of them as her children. I understand that, but it may not be the best way for a puppy to bond with a new owner. Cooper is still a little bit aloof, and I think that had something to do with it. That might be partly because he is a male, and partly because he bonded with his first human mom instead of me. I don’t know for sure but it’s worth thinking about.

Nikki is so much different from Coop. Is it because she is a female or how she was raised? All I can tell you is that Nikki was raised on an Amish farm in Pennsylvania. The Amish farm was the real deal.

The owner was named Jonathan Fisher. He had the funny hat and a full beard along with an accent. His wife was decked out in the full garb looking almost like a nun. Both of them were completely decent human beings! Simple folks that think of animals much differently than most people do.

His sons were the politest young men I’ve ever met. They all refused technology, but they showed me something pure. They live like our ancestors did…one with the land and the animals they rely on to make life easier. A simpler life, and maybe we all should go back to that if we could. Anyway, the point of all of this is to understand the difference in a puppies first environment.

The Amish treat animals as tools to a certain extent. They are their transportation, and have no qualms about raising them for food. With that we come to how Nikki was raised. They took care of her, and the litter, but they did not bond with these dogs by having them in the house.

Nikki grew up in the barn with her mom and siblings. The Amish did not lack in taking care of them, but they did not get so close as to bond with them. When I picked up Nikki and followed the horse and cart back to the main road she howled.

I’m a rock drummer and I can tell you that this girl had some pipes! She cried for her siblings, and the life she had known. I stopped the car and put her in my lap. She stopped crying, and put her snout inside my coat and hid her face.

She stayed in my lap for the three-hour drive back home, never making a sound. It was a bonding experience that made us one. If the Amish had kept her in the house I would have been the second human she had bonded with. As it was, I was the first human she bonded with, and it makes so much difference it’s hard for me to put into words.

Huskies are not like normal dogs. They are high energy and I can’t claim that this is true for all dogs. I can only relate my own experiences, and you must make up your own mind when you look for a puppy.

Huskies are special in lots of ways. So much so that it takes years of experience to even begin to understand them. You need to decide what you want out of your husky as well. Do you want a sled dog or a couch potato? Both kinds are available even though they are all Siberian Huskies by paper.

I’ve been told that it only takes 3 generations for the desire to pull a sled or bike begins to fade. So, if you want a less driven pet you should find a breeder who either shows dogs, or only has pets. If you want a pulling husky you want to look for a kennel that works their dogs.

They don’t have to run the Iditarod but they do work pulling sleds and/or Urban mushing. There is a huge difference in how each live. Working dogs are not so much pets. They grow up used to a chain and house. This doesn’t mean they are not loved, and they hate their lives. Quite the opposite as this is all they know and it seems quite natural for them. They are working dogs…who work.

Then there are some of us like me, who do both. My dogs are pets that spend some time in my house but they also urban mush. They can do this, but they still have the pulling instincts intact. Living in the house is easy to teach. Making a dog want to pull if they don’t is not.

So, figure out what you want this husky for? Then find the right breeding line that has a history of dogs doing that exact thing…pets or worker?

About Rescue:

At the risks of being burned at the stake I will tell you my honest opinion on this topic.

First, I think that anyone who does rescue work is truly a saint. It is a lot of work that involves lots of hours and they deal with limited resources and damaged dogs. My heart goes out to them, but huskies are a special case.

If your heart wants to rescue a dog I’m all for it. But you must know the difficulties and baggage you may have to deal with. The husky is a special kind of dog. They can be easily damaged and learn bad behaviors that might never be fixed.

That is why rescue organizations are so picky about finding a new owner for them. You have to really know what you are doing and if not, things will not go well for you or the dog. You could potentially be getting some baggage with that husky rescue you won’t know how to handle. Even if you do know, the damage might be so ingrained that it might be impossible to fix.

“Rescue don’t Buy” …is a good idea in theory for most dogs. I don’t think so when it comes to huskies.

It’s like buying a used car. You might get lucky and have no problems…but then you might not. It all depends on what that dog has gone through.

If you do rescue a husky… know what you potentially are getting into before you just run down and pick one up. You better be prepared to deal with it, or you will be giving that dog right back. And that hurts the dog even more. Nobody wants that. It is not for the novice, especially with a husky.

And if you buy a puppy, do your homework and raise them the right way. If not, they will be nothing but trouble for you. You might just end up giving one to the shelter, and that is why so many of them are in shelters now.

If you want a husky, you have a lot to consider and think about. Whether you buy or rescue.

Forget how they look, think about how they will fit into your life. Can you do what they need to be happy? Can you mold your life around them, because that is really what it takes? It takes a strong constitution, and the willingness to learn. It takes a lot more than most people can imagine. It takes some experience and a boat load of patience.

If you don’t have that, pick another breed to rescue. You and that dog will have a much better chance at success. And that is really what it’s all about. Saving a life, not creating more problems for you and that dog.

Choose wisely.

TJ

One Comment on “Buy or Rescue?

  1. Wise post. Great observations.
    Huskies are different. We’ve had an assortment of rescue dogs from West Highland White, to Bouviers, to German Shepherds
    Now we’ve a rescue Malamute/Husky mix – and it was a challenge. We’re her 4th home – too much a handful for the others (abused in the first one) and was pretty crazy at first. But have to say, wouldn’t trade her for the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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