How to Buy a Siberian Husky Puppy
Siberian huskies are affectionate, fun loving, high-energy, social dogs that need owners who are committed to giving them the exercise and companionship they require. They make wonderful pets for active families who intend to include the dog in their activities. Purchasing a Siberian Husky puppy is a long process and involves preparation, careful selection, and adequate knowledge of the breed.
Preparing for the Commitment
1. Learn about the breed.
Before you make the decision to purchase a Siberian Husky puppy you should make sure the breed is right for you. Siberian Huskies are fun but changeling dogs. You should make sure your lifestyle matches up with the needs of a husky.
- Siberians love people and tend to make loyal family dogs. They're intelligent and highly trainable breeds and love walking, hiking, and other athletic activities.
- Siberians are notoriously poor watchdogs as they tend to like everyone, even potential intruders. This can be a good thing, however, if you're looking for a people friendly dog.
- Siberians do tend to have predatory drives, which means they may chase cats or other small animals in your home. If you have cats, you might want to consider a different breed or discuss your concerns with a dog trainer.
- Siberians have some downsides. They tend to have issues with digging and running and sometimes do not come when called. They also shed a lot, in great amounts at least once a year.
- Siberians need a lot of physical activity to remain happy and healthy. If you're not committed to daily exercise, like running and walking, you should consider a different breed.
2. Make sure you want a puppy.
A new puppy is can be an exciting addition to your home, but also a big time commitment. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons of adopting a puppy before the beginning the process.
- A new puppy will probably not be housebroken and while she might have learned a few basic commands from her former caregiver, she'll need a lot of training. It takes awhile for a puppy to learn boundaries and you need to be able to make time to train your new pet. If you have a very busy schedule, an adult dog might be a better option.
- Another issue regarding adopting a puppy is that purebred Siberian Husky puppies usually much be purchased from a breeder. If you have reservations about buying from a breeder over a rescue, know you're unlikely to find a puppy through the many Siberian Husky rescues that operate throughout the country. Rescues usually house older dogs who have been abandon by previous owners. If your heart is set on buying from a rescue, you will likely have to adopt an older dog.
3. Understand the dangers of buying from pet stores.
If you want to buy a Siberian Husky puppy, you should avoid doing so at a pet store. Only buy from reputable breeders who practice good ethics in regards to caring for and raising their puppies.
- Pet stores keep puppies in conditions many find unethical. Puppies are generally kept in cramped cages. While many pet store owners claim they only buy from responsible breeders, ethical breeders would never sell to a pet store.
- Reputable breeders do genetic testing on their dogs to make sure they're not passing down detrimental health conditions. The breeders who do business with pet shops usually do not perform genetic testing and a puppy you would get from a pet store might have serious health and costly conditions later in life.
- Buying from a pet shop means you will not get to meet a puppy's parents. You will also not get to see a puppy interact with her litter. This makes it difficult to get a gauge of a dog's personality and know whether or not a puppy is right for you and your home.
- Pet shop puppies frequently have behavioral issues due to being confined to a cage for a long period. They might nip and tend to be hyperactive and difficult to train and control.
4. Decide if AKC papers are important to you.
Many breeders boast their puppies come with an AKC registration. This may or may not matter to you depending on why you are purchasing a dog.
- AKC stands for American Kennel Association. AKC registration papers are granted to any puppy as long as both their parents were also AKC registered. It does not say anything about the health or personality of the puppy. In other words, an AKC registration does not guarantee a higher quality puppy.
- If you don't plan on breeding or showing your Husky at a professional level, you probably don't need AKC registration papers. A puppy that's just intended to be a pet probably does not need papers. There's nothing inherently wrong with a breeder offering AKC papers, but if you're not planning on showing or breeding you don't need to limit your search to breeders offering AKC papers.
- You might want to ask to see the puppy's pedigree, however. In terms of gauging behavior and potential health problems, a pedigree is probably more important. You can see if there's been a lot inbreeding in your puppy's family history. Puppies prone to inbreeding tend to have more health and behavioral problems.
Finding a Breeder
1. Know how to recognize a good breeder.
You want to make sure you find a solid breeder. Know how to identify a good breeder before you agree to purchase a puppy.
- Good breeders want to meet with potential buyers before making a sale. This is because responsible and ethical dog breeders want to make sure their puppies go to good homes. If a breeder asks a lot of questions, don't be alarmed. This is a positive thing. It means the breeder cares about the health and safety of her puppies.
- A good breeder will also be respectful of you and allow you to ask questions. The breeder you buy from should have no reservations about allowing you to meet and interact with both the mother and the father of the puppies.
- A good breeder should be able to provide you with health certificates for all the puppies in a litter. These certificates will assure you your puppy is not prone to any breed-specific health concerns.
2. Search for a breeder in your area.
Once you know how to recognize the markings of a quality breeder, you can begin your search.
- The internet is a wonderful resource to find breeders. The AKC has a website that allows you to search for breeders by breed and locations.
- The Siberian Husky Club of America also has a breeder referral list on their website.
- It's not always possible to find a refutable breeder within a reasonable distance. You might have to make a few overnight trips to meet with a breeder, so be prepared for that if you're committed to getting a Siberian Husky.
3. Contact the breeder and arrange a meeting.
Once you've selected a breeder, contact them and inquire about meeting the puppies.
- Choose a breeder who has a current or upcoming litter. Many breeders only breed their dogs once every 2 to 3 years, so you want to pick someone who has puppies available now or will soon.
- Be prepared to answer questions about who lives in your family, whether all your family members want the puppy, and whether the puppy will be properly confined at your home. Good breeders do not sell puppies to anyone.
- If you have any questions about the breed, the breeder is a good person to ask. She should be able to clear up any questions you have.
- See when you can come by the meet the puppies. Remember, you will probably not leave with a puppy on the same day you meet the litter. Good breeders will want you to take time to think about your decision.
Choosing A Puppy
1. Watch the litter as a group.
Observe the puppies as a group first. You can learn a lot about a puppy's temperament by watching how they behave during group interactions.
- Puppies who are timid are a bad sign. Even if only a few puppies seem shy, bark, and avoid contact, there's a good chance such behaviors are part of their genes. This means that even if certain puppies are friendly now, the tendencies towards skittishness might come out later.
- Normal puppies will be friendly and trusting of strangers. They should greet you by jumping and nibbling on your clothes or shoelaces. Many people bulk at such behaviors as they worry the puppies are disobedient or hyperactive. This is probably not the case. They simply have not learned boundaries yet, which is a good thing. They're naturally trusting.
- Watch for the puppies that seem neither too timid nor too bossy. You don't want to end up with a skittish puppy but you also do not want an alpha who might be hard to train.
2. Interact with available puppies one by one.
After you've observed the puppies as a group, ask to see the ones you're interested in individually.
- You need to get a sense of how a puppy behaves when separated from her littermates. Ideally, the puppy will continue to be calm and friendly even away from the pack.
- While interacting with the puppies one on one, take the opportunity to ask questions. Your breeder should have insights on each puppy's personality that you might miss in a short visit.
3. Ask to see health certificates of the the puppy and her parents.
Once you've selected a puppy, you should request to see the health certificates of that puppy as well as her parents.
- Siberian huskies are generally pretty healthy, but certain genetic health issues should be a warning sign. Siberian huskies are prone to chronic conditions that require longterm, costly treatment.
- Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the thigh bone fits improperly into the hip socket. Severe cases require surgery and can cause other problems, such as arthritis. Hip dysplasia can be devastating for dogs who love to run and pull. If you see a history of hip dysplasia, be wary. Seriously consider the possibility your puppy may eventually develop the condition and whether or not you could financially and emotionally handle the situation.
- Eye problems, like juvenile cataracts and corneal dystrophy, can also be a problem in Siberian Huskies. These tend to start early, sometimes before the age of 2, and cannot usually be corrected by surgery. Blindness is a potential result and while most Siberians can get around all right blind, if you're nervous about raising a blind dog you might want to go to another breeder if eye problems run in your puppy's family.
- Remember, most dogs will have some kind of health problem documented on their medical records. If it's not a chronic condition of the joints or eyes, your puppy is unlikely to inherit it. However, even if your puppy's parents do not have a history of certain health conditions, this is not necessarily a guarantee your puppy will be free of longterm health problems. Even without a genetic predisposition hip and eye problems can develop, but having healthy parents does reduce their likelihood.
4. Take time to think it over.
After visiting the puppies, you should take some time to consider which puppy you want.
- Even if you have your heart set on a particular puppy, give it at least a day. You want to be completely sure of your decision when you purchase a new puppy. Having to return a pet is an emotionally difficult experience.
- If possible, see if you can visit the puppies again if you're unsure which one you want. A good breeder is unlikely to pressure you into a fast decision. They're invested in making sure their puppies have happy, healthy longterm homes.
- Never buy a puppy if the breeder refuses to show you around their kennels, will not let you meet the puppy's parents, or provide health certificates.