Buying A Siberian

Where do I get a Siberian---at a pet shop?
Although seeing a Siberian puppy at a pet shop can melt the heart of the sternest person, please don't buy from a pet shop. Most reputable breeders (including members of NCSHC, Inc., and SHCA, Inc.) have signed a Code of Ethics stating that they will not deal with pet shops or other wholesalers. Generally, most dogs in pet shops are sold in litter lots from breeders referred to as "puppy mills." These unfortunate puppies are frequently not properly socialized, are generally very expensive, and frequently are ill. To give you the best chance at a healthy, well-adjusted puppy, buy from a breeder.

So, how can I find a breeder?
You've made a good first step by finding the Northern California Siberian Husky Club's web site. On this site, you will find a list of breeder/referral people throughout Northern California and into Nevada. One of these individuals is a good place to start. Or, you can go to the Referral Directory of the Siberian Husky Club of America, Inc.
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What should I look for in a breeder?
The easiest answer is to find someone who will be your friend and telephone "support" for an average of 12 years. A more serious response is that you want to find someone who you feel has adequate knowledge and experience to produce good, healthy dogs. You also want someone who will be available to give you support and advice about your dog throughout his or her lifetime. You want someone who is familiar with genetic problems and is trying to eliminate the from his or her breeding program. You want someone who will treat you honestly and ethically. Also, if you are particularly interested in a specific aspect of the breed, such as racing, you might want to find a breeder with experience in this area, who can be a source of help as you pursue your new hobby. Let common sense be your guide. For more information about what to look for in a breeder, refer to the SHCA web site:
SHCA Code of Ethics
SHCA Guidelines for Ethical Breeding Practices
SHCA Guidelines for Sale of Puppies & Adult Dogs
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What should I look for in selecting a dog?
There are a lot of experts who have theories about which dog in a litter you should choose. There are even puppy "tests" you can give. The selection you make is one you will live with for a long time. Choose a healthy, happy, well-socialized dog or puppy--he or she will bring you its lifetime of joy.
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Are there any hereditary problems in the breed?
Unfortunately, as every breed or species, Siberians are prone to some hereditary problems. Like all canids, Siberians can develop epilepsy, hyperthyroid, hip dysplasia, and diabetes, to name a few problems. Siberians also have some familial tendencies toward some specific eye defects. To help eliminate or reduce the prevalence of such problems, Siberian breeders do not breed dogs prior to two years of age. At that time, they have breeding stock's hips certified clear of hip dysplasia. And, all breeding stock should be cleared of hereditary eye defects with in a year prior to the breeding. For more information about hereditary defects, refer to Your Siberian: Its Hips and Its Eyes
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How do I prepare to bring that puppy home?
There are a couple of things that are important when bringing a puppy (or even adult) into your home. First of all, get a crate. This is a wire cage or plastic, airline-approved "house" for your dog. A crate will become a house-breaking tool for your puppy (who will try to avoid soiling his or her bed); a "den" for your dog; a way to save your home from puppy teeth; something like "dog seat belts" when your dog is in the car; and a safe place for him to feel comfortable when you need to restrict his movement. Most first-time Siberian owners initially think that a "cage" is cruel. However, both dog and owner soon learn the value of a crate. Next, make sure that your yard and house are "dog proof." Make sure that all of those fence boards are secure. Take those breakables off the low shelves in your house. Remove temptingly chewable things from out of the dog's way. Check your yard for poisonous plants. Have some of the dog's food on-hand. Regardless of which food you plan to feed your new puppy/dog. Make the change gradually from his or her current food to the new food, this will reduce digestive disturbances. Establish routine for your new dog or puppy. When will you feed the dog? When will you go for a walk? Be prepared for a few nights with little sleep.
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This page last updated: 01/2002