Things to Consider BEFORE you Get a Dog

What will I do with the dog?
Before trying to locate a Siberian, it is a good idea to decide what you want to do with the dog. Are you interested in having your Siberian pull a sled? Are you thinking about showing and possibly later breeding the dog? Or, are you mostly interested in having a Siberian as a pet? These questions, perhaps difficult to answer right now, may affect your selection of breeder, bloodlines, and dog. Breeders from whom you may purchase a dog or puppy will want to know your plans for the dog-this information will help the breeder select the best dog for you. Remember, you are making an average of a 12-year commitment to your dog--it's better for both of you that you get what you want.

Is it better to get a puppy or an adult dog?
This is always a difficult decision. Nothing is more adorable than a Siberian puppy! But, nothing is more work than a puppy! Siberian puppies, like other puppies need a great deal of supervision, attention, care, and training. An adult Siberian, on the other hand, may not be quite so cute, but may come with his or her manners. The decision between an adult and a puppy really should be made based on your situation. If you have ample time and patience, a puppy might be in order. But, if you work, are busy with young children, or otherwise occupied, perhaps an adult might be better.
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Which makes a better pet, a male or a female?
Each gender has its positives and negatives. Males are larger than females, and if left intact tend to mark their territory. Females, on the other hand, are smaller and if left unspayed will come into season twice a year. Both can make wonderful pets. The relative size may help you make your decision. If you already have a dog, its gender might help you make a decision about your Siberian. However, for the health of the dog, and for your peace of mind, if you are not going to show or breed your Siberian, have it spayed or neutered.
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What is the difference between "pet" and "show" quality?
If you have no intention of showing or breeding your Siberian, a breeder may recommend a "pet" quality dog rather than a "show" or "breeding" quality dog. Generally, at the time of selling a dog, a breeder will evaluate it based on the Siberian Husky Breed Standard. This is a word description of what the perfect Siberian should be. Unfortunately no dog is perfect, so a breeder may evaluate the faults of a dog, and that some dogs with few faults demonstrate "show" potential while others with more or more serious faults do not. Many of these faults are not even noticeable by others, and should not keep the dog from being a wonderful pet. Should the breeder feel the faults are significant enough that the dog should not be bred, he or she may sell the dog on a contract requiring spaying or neutering, or on an AKC "limited registration" which makes offspring from the dog ineligible for registration. However, even if a dog has such a fault to keep it from being bred, it can still make a good pet.
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Why do some Siberians look so different from others-some are much "huskier" than others?
Although all breeders try to breed a dog that conforms most closely to the Standard of the Breed, the Standard, itself, allows for a range of what is acceptable for the Siberian. For example, there is an acceptable range of height and weight. Also, there are vast differences in color, markings, and eye color-all of which are equally acceptable within the Standard. To know if a dog fits within the acceptability of the Standard takes time and study. Familiarize yourself with the Breed Standard and discuss it with potential breeders and other breed fanciers. Additionally the SHCA Education Committee has some other opportunities for education on the SHCA web site.
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This page last updated: 01/2002