Now that you have your Siberian, what do you do next?

How do I learn to live with this dog?
Bringing a new dog into your home means there will be some period of adjustment. This is the perfect time to consider dog training. Whether or not you will ever show your dog or work him or her in obedience, basic dog training is a good idea. Not only does the dog learn, but so do you. To find a class in your area, contact Kennel Clubs, Dog Training Clubs, or the Park and Recreation Department.

I hate the idea of spaying or neutering a dog, why should I have it done?
There are three main reasons for neutering and spaying: the dog's health, to avoid unwanted puppies, and for the owner's sanity. Dogs that have been spayed and neutered are less prone to various health problems, including a few types of cancer. Just take a trip to the local pound to see how many unwanted animals there are in your community-no more are needed. Without spaying and neutering, you must be ever vigilant so no more unwanted puppies are born. Finally, a neutered male is less likely to "mark" his territory, and a spayed female will not "spot" on your clean carpet.
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Should I breed my dog?
Perhaps a more important question is: why do you think you should breed your dog? First of all, look at some of the reasons you might want to breed your dog.
A female that never has puppies does not feel unfulfilled. In fact, your female has a better chance to live a longer, healthier life if she is spayed. Just as childbirth is dangerous for women, whelping a litter is dangerous for a dog-you don't want to lose her in the process! If you have an intact male, you are aware of the marking and other "macho" behavior, or even his "singing" when a neighborhood female is in season. If that dog is used at stud, all of those behaviors will be exacerbated.
We know that your dog is gorgeous (all Siberians are), and everyone has told you that they want a puppy. Your dog is who he or she is thanks to the carefully planned litters from breeders. Breeders are selective about the dogs they breed, always trying to breed to the Standard and to improve the breed. If you have any question about whether or not your dog should be bred, go back to your breeder for advice.
We know it would be nice for your family to experience the miracle of birth, but is it important enough to risk the health and safety of your dog, and possibly to bring more unwanted dogs onto the earth. Each year thousands of dogs are euthanized because of over-population-please don't add to the problem.
We all know it would be nice to have one son or daughter of your dog, but what about the other 4+ in the litter? Could you keep all of them if you could not find any homes? What happens if you sell one, but the new owners need to return it? Most reputable breeders realize that a puppy they produce is their responsibility for its entire life. Don't breed a litter unless you are able to keep all of the puppies.
We could all use a way to supplement our income. However, breeding dogs is NOT the way to do it. If you are a responsible and reputable breeder, you will soon find that those puppies you sell at the going rate, actually cost you over double that to produce. There are eye checks, hip x-rays, vet bills, stud fees, whelping supplies, additional food supplements-the list and the expense goes on and on. Dogs and puppies are also subject to some states' "lemon" laws, which make a breeder financially responsible for defects-which could be quite costly!

Remember, that for advice on breeding, and any other dog-related topic, go back to your breeder or other fanciers in your area-you will find a wealth of experience and knowledge.
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How do I get into showing my dog?
Dog showing, you will find, is a rewarding and frustrating hobby. One of the best places to learn about dog shows is from your local Siberian Husky Club (such as NCSHC, Inc.) and local all-breed Kennel Clubs. Many dog clubs offer training classes. Once trained, you can try a "match" show, which is really intended for practice. As you begin to gather experience, the next step is a point show. The NCSHC hosts a Siberian Specialty Show (a dog show only for Siberians) in April of odd-numbered years, and a Siberian Specialty Match Show (more for fun and practice) in even-numbered years. In the Northern California area, there are dog shows most weekend. For more information about dog shows and to view upcoming events, go to the AKC web site.
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I think I'd like to try sledding, how do I go about it?
There are many books on the subject. One in particular, Mush! by the Sierra Nevada Dog Drivers, is a great getting started book. Also, the NCSHC generally sponsors a yearly carting (sleds on wheels) event each year, with club members providing carts, lines, and harnesses. This gives you and your dog an opportunity to try working. And, the Club also sponsors a day or weekend in the snow, again with members providing sleds and tack, so you and your dog can try what he was bred to do.
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What about Obedience and Agility, how do I get started with those activities?
Your best source for these activities would be a local dog training club or agility association. Siberians, who are very intelligent and get bored easily, can be a challenge in the obedience ring. But, they are very able workers.
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Copyright 1998, 1999,
2000, 2001, 2002,
Northern California
Siberian Husky Club, Inc.
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This page last updated: 01/2002