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Chas,

Like you, I had dogs growing up.  When MB and I were married our first year, we decided to get a dog.  We had a good reference to a northern PA breeder (friend of the family) and that's where we found Lucia.

1. We do not have an electric fence for Lucia, neither do we have a regular fence.  Maybe we've been lucky, but Lucia knows her boundaries and stops when I tell her to.  I did not fully trust her until she was about 1.5 so she was on a leash whenever we went outside.  Do huskies tend to wander?  I was under the impression they did not.  Anyway, I imagine you won't let your dog out without watching her.  I get the impression that you want an inside dog, a member of the family, right?  Huskies, as I understand it, tend to associate with one member of the house.  I'm not trying to talk you out of it, just relaying my impressions.  My lab is really loyal to me, and doesn't have much to do with MB or Luke (yet).

2.  Take the time to train your puppy.  If you have the option, take her to puppy kindergarten.  I know it sounds stupid and the old guys on here will make fun of me for it, but it was night and day with Lucia after that.  We also used a device called a Gentle Leader to train her to walk on a leash.  This looks like a muzzle, but does nothing to constrict her mouth.  Instead, it has a strap that went over her nose and another strap across the back of her head.  These connected where her head meets her neck.  There is a small piece you hook the leash to.  When the dog is walking properly, not pulling, the portion across the nose is slack.  When the dog starts to pull, it puts pressure on the back of the neck, which the puppy associates with her mother's way  of telling her "no".  This will teach the puppy that you are the boss.  We haven't used her gentle leader in almost a year (becasue it got lost).  She walks OK with a regular leash now, but its not the same, and she lapses in to the pulling routine from time to time.

3. get a crate big enough for the full size husky.  Put her in it from day one.  Put in a blanket or old towel so she gets your scent.  

4. remember the first night you had your girls home from the hospital?  This will be as bad, but probably not worse since you won't be so tired and sleep deprived. 

5. don't skimp on cheap dog food.  Make sure the first ingredient is Chicken or meat.  Corn is no good, same as for us.  Not much nutrition, and really just filler.  We've used Eukanuba for Lucia, and she seems to like it.  I've followed the feeding instructions and she's not a big ol porker like a lot of labs.  Try not to feed her table scraps. This'll cause you more headaches as she gets older.  I met a 18 month old black lab that had to be 20lbs overweight because "he likes ice cream".  Wow.  Poor dog could hardly walk.

6. Try to be as consistent as possible.  You already know this from raising kids.  If the dog isn't supposed to be on the couch, don't let her up ever. 

7. In general, females tend to be less aggressive. However, I have found my small lab to be a dominant type, humping other dogs to prove it.  I liken this to a Napolean complex, only I call it "Little Lab disease".  Someone at the dog park thought it was a real disease.  I had her going for close to 10 minutes about it. 

8.  DON'T go to the breeder planning to take one home.  You really want to take a look around and see where the puppies live, what the condition of the mother and father are, etc.. All puppies are cute. 

9. Be patient!  Puppies are work, not as much as children, since you don't need to hold them all the time, and they can sleep on the floor.  make sure she knows she is part of the family, but that the humans are in charge.  It is a learning experience for everyone, so be patient with everyone. 

Good luck!

Mark
 

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I love those big dogs.  We have friends who have a Mastiff rescue.  Love that 'little' Gracie! Lucia is barly 58 lbs.  Here she is at a 'doodle' romp two years ago.  She's the one under the Liamburger-doodle.  The rest are labradoodles and golden doodles.  I was the dog park rep that day, and so that's why she was there.  She had a good time putting the doodles in their place!! 



By the way- she's digging to get to the water at the bottom of the pool.  No one ever said that dogs were that smart.
 

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Chas,

CONGRATULATIONS!!  We need
That first night was tough for us, too!! I had to drive 3 hours to Danville to meet the breeder who came down from Canton, PA.  I stayed with friends that night (with the dog), and then the two of us drove back the next day.  She did OK that first night, but only because I let her sleep on my chest. MB and her family came home from the beach later that day, and it was a "surprise" for them!! 

This topic is not entirely off for this board.  I picked up a Bachmann 4-4-0 and am planning to name her 'Estelle'.  (Lucia Estelle is the full name of my dog!)  I started a builder's log on this site about the repaint of that engine.  I have to post a poll about the paint scheme and another poll for something that "G. R" could stand for...

Mark
 

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Great pics!!

Looks like the girls are enjoying having a puppy!! Either that or they were full pitch screaming!! LOL!

I like the last shot.  Looks like Casper has had enough of the flash.

Mark
 

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Chip,

I guess there's a happy medium where the big dogs start to think they are small dogs.  Lucia, a 55lb lab, thinks she is a lap dog (when I let her up on the couch or bed.).  Like your dog, Lucia can usually be found at my feet, or not very far away. 

We go to Strasburg quite a bit.  Probably a half dozen times a year.  RR Museum not so much. We do get down to the B&O museum more.  

Mark
 

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Chas,

Sounds like fun...right...

Lucia used to do that, too.  At night, if I woke up to take her out, that was it.  None of the 'fun stuff' like walks or tracking dogs.  (Not that you intended to do that).  It will eventually get better.  

My personal favorite was when Lucia would get the cha-cha-cha's in the middle of the night and I'd have to do a quick clean out of her crate.  In fact, I have an 'awesome' picture of me the day after one of those early mornings:



Luckily, I was at Shippenburg U's homecoming and there was beer.

This is how I wanted her to sleep:


There's one thing I just remembered about the second pic.  We had to put a sheet over Lucia's crate to keep her from crying at night.  See how the crate is stuck between the bed and the wall? The cover made her feel like she was in her 'cave' and safe.  Are you still doing the crate?  Is it a big wire one like I've got?  try putting a sheet over it to make it more like a confined space.
 

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Yeah,

What's the latest? I was wreslting Lucia last night. Well, more of the game "I got your leg", but with my long limbs, and lightning fast moves, its becomes a game of grabbing her back legs before she gets her mouth on my arm! Luke didn't like me messing with 'his' dog, however, so I had to stop.

Mark
 
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