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Old 10-30-2007, 07:35 PM
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Default Serious Siberian Question

We have just put a deposit on a two week old female Siberian pup. While I am without a doubt she will be a wonderful sister to our 17 month old Bernese Mountain Dog and an incredible addition to our family, I have some serious reservations about the breed.

My husband, who had Sibes growing up, strongly requested that if we got another pup, could it be a Siberian. Here are my concerns: we live in a rural area of PA in a large home with a two acre fenced in yard. Our house is on a corner of a small, but busy country road. Our fencing (about 4 3/4 feet high) consists of posts and rails with strong chicken wire surrounding it and it's dug into the ground about 2 inches.

Our BMD has no interest in getting out either by jumping or digging - Sibes on the other hand are master houdini's. Our BMD uses a doggie door to enter the yard as he pleases, and I am very confident that if I run a few errands or am gone a few hours that he'll be there when I return. I don't think this setup will work with a Siberian, will it?????????
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Old 10-30-2007, 07:39 PM
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I wouldn't leave one outside unattended personally.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:12 PM
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Does the breeder approve of this type of fencing? I know most responsible breeders of 'houdini' breeds won't sell puppies to homes without proper fencing. Check to see if it is OK with your breeder.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:39 PM
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I personally think - since living WITH Alaskan Huskies.. that you need to build up your fencing roughly another 3 feet. I'd also want to put your fencing into the ground maybe another foot +.
Our youngest Husky can scale a 5 foot wall no problem by RUNNING UP IT.. as he proved quite well while chasing down a pigeon in the horse arena..

Dont expect a Husky to stay entertained by itself. They CAN be very good dogs - but they take a LOT of work. They need consistant mental training to keep their working minds sharp and - not thinking of ways to entertain themselves.

Our backyard is now like a mine field.. they LOVE to dig AND.. they also tried to dig straight under to the neighbours yard when they were left unattended in the backyard for maybe 15min.(never again.. lol)

I'd seriously consider taking your puppy to Obedience classes. They are a bred working/sledding dog and therefore are usually born with those instincts. Because they were bred to be independant thinkers(lead dog in a sled team.. making quite decisions that may save their lives etc) They dont really look to you for guidance. Instead they take their own little route.

Now I have met a handful of awesome Huskys and some very well trained ones. But they take A LOT of work. They are seriously, nothing compared to a Berner.

THey are awesome dogs - but if it was up to me I'd never own one lol I'm too used to my herding type dogs who WANt to please instead of you urging them to do something as simple as a sit with treats dangling infront of them lol

Edited to add in - since you have an older Berner - he WAY be a training influence to your husky addition as well. So if you have a well trained Berner. hopefully the young husky will pick up his/her behaviourlisms.
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:25 PM
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e-fence or hot wire...and you better do top AND bottom with hot wire if you go that route.
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Old 10-31-2007, 02:24 AM
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I second the idea of a hot wire!!! I have one set up (although its not currently turned on) and my fence is 6ft high! You might be able to get away with your current fence holding in the pup so long as you give him enough physical and mental excercise. My mentor has a fence that is 5.5-7ft depending on which section of it you are looking at. They have roughly 20 huskies on any given day, all working line. The only dog that has ever escaped their yard by going over the fence has long passed away from old age. granted the dogs are never in the turn-out yard by themselves. But the main reason is that the dogs are very stimulated both mentally and physically so they really have no urge to leave. They get to run all the time by pulling the cart or sled plus the turn out yard is HUGE anyways so lots of room for them to stretch their legs.

If you are getting a dog from show lines rather than working lines then you are less likely to be getting a "devilish dog", as in, one who is constantly getting into stuff and trying to escape. Show line tends to be more laid back, also making them easier to train.
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Old 10-31-2007, 10:45 AM
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I personally wouldn't hotwire, just build it up a good few feet, plus you have another dog, if you keep it weel enough entertained it should do just fine, as it has another dog to play with.Its when siberians are completley on thier own and bored when they get up to mischief.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:10 AM
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Thanks everyone - The breeder who we are getting the pup from does breed primarily show dogs (she owns the #4 and #5 top Siberians in the country)and we are getting one of the females that is not show quality. The breeder owns 8 Siberians who all stay put in a yard with fencing similar to ours only it is 5 feet tall and the chicken wire is dug into the ground about 12 inches. Not one of her dogs ever tried jumping to get out, but they do try to dig. She recommends we re-do our chicken wire and dig it into the ground at least 12 inches. She also believes that Bodi's good behavior will rub off on the pup. Even with that I am still very concerned the dog will get out.

As for giving the pup proper stimulation, I am very involved with training -Bodi has had 29 weeks from puppy to advanced and is in the process of getting his C.G.C. I am also in the process of cart training him now that he is old enough. I am VERY involved with my dogs and their instinctive needs and will do the same for our Sibe pup. Every dog I have ever owned has always been a family member as well as had a job of some sorts.

I too have always owned breeds that are people pleasers. Since Siberians are very independent by nature this will be a challenge for me.
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Old 10-31-2007, 11:49 AM
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Yeah the sibe personality is going to be significantly different... although as OC pointed out, show line are more subdued, partly because they'd had to be to be able to step into a show ring.
But she won't look to you the same way a BMD would...
An example would be coming to a fork in a trail... a BMD and other people pleaser would look to you, and if they could talk likely ask which way do I go now?
The sibe on the other hand, is much more likely to say I'm going this way.

At some point you'll find that the sibe will run from you... not because she's trying to do anything bad or is disobedient or hates living there... they just love to run. It is helpful though that you have two acres fenced as that provides a fair bit of running space and removes some of the temptation to leave the property.

The last thing... they have deceptively cute faces... make no mistake your sibe is plotting something even when she looks at you with that goofy "grin".
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:37 PM
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Tawny sees a fence and automatically wants to tackle it. We have split rail fence with the top rail at my chin and she can jump that like its nothing(we brilliantly used to have her jump things to burn her out for a little-now its like a sport to her) . I put her in a run once at my cousins to go look at something there cuz I thought she would be safe and not a minute later I saw her running around the back yard She squeezed through the top!

Luckily most huskies are not as crazy as my girl. with her I never let her loose in any fence. It sucks but she has to be tied to something at all times to be safe. I miss boarding my horse at a place with an indoor arena cuz I used to let her play there.
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