shadow

Spirit Huskador: Notes on a foster dog

This playful, spirited  boy is just a pup and has not had much if any training, but we’ll get him settled down and teach him to be a Good Boy.

Last Updated: May 25, 2020

Base Info:

  • Arrival date: Apr. 30, 2020
  • Breed: Husky / Black Lab mix
  • Sex: Male
  • Age: Puppy, Young Adult, Mature, Senior
    Birthdate: November 2019
  • Weight: 24.3 Pounds
  • Neutered: May 14, 2020
  • General Health: Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
  • Temperament: Playful, vigorous, affectionate
  • PetFinder Listing
  • Available for adoption?  YES   Rescue?  YES
  • Get the Adoption Application (PDF form, print, complete, return)
  • Departure date: Undetermined

History

Spirit was one of four dogs surrendered by a family claiming they were moving and they could not afford to support the dogs.  Spirit spent only a few hours at the Friends Animal Shelter of Cocke County before we happened by and agreed to take him.  The shelter manager knew he, being a Husky, would degrade quickly  in close confinement.  She also wants him adopted to someone experienced in handling Huskies, which she is not likely to find locally.  We are able to give him more comfortable accommodations and cast a wider net for a proper permanent home, so we took him with us.

Spirit’s Progress Summary:

Detailed notes on this foster dog’s progress are posted below the summary.

Relational Behavior

  • Relates well to other dogs: Gets along with 4 of his 6 companions here.
  • Can eat food/treats near other dogs: No
  • Preferred style of play: RUNNING!
  • Is affectionate: Yes
  • Is good with:
    . Men: Yes
    . Women: Yes
    . Children: Yes (Too rowdy for toddlers)
    . Cats: Unknown but probably not (Husky)
  • Jumps up on people: Likes to give hugs
  • Mouths: Yes, but doing better.
  • Walks well on a leash: No.  Working on that.

House Dog Training

  • Willingly enters his crate: No Yes
  • Is calm/quiet while in crate: No Yes
  • Understands going outside to potty: Yes
  • Alerts me of need to go outside: Yes
  • Is destructive of bedding and/or toys: Yes
  • Refrains from kitchen counter cruising: No Yes
  • Stays off people furniture: No Yes

Terms of Adoption:

  • Contact information for your veterinarian is required and we will do a reference check.
  • We prefer Spirit goes to a Husky experienced home.
  • Adopter arranges transport.  We have worked with PETS LLC and HEARTS LLC (fees are paid to the transport service) or we will join a relay run: we will transport up to first 50 miles for free.
  • Adoption fee is $200.00  This does NOT cover what we have already invested in Spirit’s medical care and room & board.  But it will help.
  • Get the Adoption Application (PDF form, print, complete, return).

Commands:

  • Comes when called: Yes
  • Sits on command: Yes
  • Down / Off: Yes
  • Shake / Paw: Not yet
  • Kennels on command: Not reliably, almost

Medical

  • DA2PP: 04/30/2020 Friends Animal Shelter
    . Booster: 05/14/2020 (Cedarwood)
  • Bordatella: 04/30/2020 FAS
  • Wormed: Dates | Product | Dose | By
    .   04/30 – 05/02  Panacur  5ml  PMFC
  • Rabies: May 14 Cedarwood Veterinary
  • Neuter: May 14 Cedarwood Veterinary
  • Heartworm Test:
    .  May 14 Cedarwood Veterinary: NEGATIVE
  • Flea/Tick preventative:
    .  05/03/2020 Fipronil 9.70% 23-45 pounds
    .
  • Heartworm preventative:
    . 05/15/2020, Ivermectin, .25 ml
    .
  • Microchipped? YES (PetKey)
  • NOTES:
    .  Thin and bony under his fur, working on that
    .  Carprophen (75 mg) given for 5 days after neuter.

Diet

4health Puppy kibble, 1½ cups AM, 1½ cups PM.  Retriever Beef Stick mid-day, PMFC Peanut Butter Cookies for compliance.

Gallery

In chronological order, newest at the bottom.

Progress Updates

Progress notes are listed below, in chronological order, newest at the bottom.

May 3

Spirit has been with us a few days now and we’ve had a chance to evaluate his behavior.

He is a rowdy boy and tends to get wild when we interact with him.  But, when we catch a moment when he settles to pet him, he calms down immediately and will happily stand, leaning against our legs, enjoying his petting.  When he’s had enough petting he wanders off into the yard to play.  If we stop too soon he gets rowdy again.

Being a Husky he is vocal, but he is quiet at night.  He is playful, but a bit assertive with the other dogs.  I’m working on helping him learn his place in the pack.  Getting him neutered will help.

He does guard-food.  As skinny as he is that’s not surprising.  I would not feed him with other dogs yet.

He appears to be in good health.  He’s been wormed and saw no worms being ejected.  We’ll get his rabies, microchip, and a health screening as soon as we can schedule the neuter.

May 5

Being just a puppy, Spirit has an energetic, playful side. But he also has a sweet, attentive side. But, it would seem, no middle ground at all!

May 11

In the past I have allowed Spirit to play in the yard with some of the other dogs.  He did fine with Buddy: he intimidates lil Josephine, but she hunkers down and waits for him to lose interest.  Blondie will play with him sometimes and when he gets too rowdy she tells him off.  Generally he listens and runs off to play in the yard.  I don’t trust him around Callie.  Callie has been getting … reactive, to pushy dogs.  Best to keep them separate for now.

Spirit has started being hateful toward other dogs when they are in the yard and he is kenneled, especially Callie and Buddy.  I assumed it was because they were free and he confined.  The other day I let Spirit out of his kennel with Buddy in the yard.  Spirit was on a long lead.  He took off toward Buddy and I clamped down on that lead.  I burned my hand, but stopped him a couple feet short of Buddy while Spirit snapped and snarled at Buddy.  Buddy just stood there looking at him like, “What’s YOUR problem?”  I reeled Spirit in and put him back in his kennel.

Blondie is big enough to intimidate him when he gets too rowdy, I’m keeping him away from the Beagles for now.  He’s scheduled to be neutered later this week, maybe that will take the spit and vinegar out of him.

May 14

Spirit was neutered today.  He passed his Heartworm test, so I can put him on a preventative.  He was clear of intestinal parasites.  And he did well in his surgery.  He rebounded quickly and has been quite active and HUNGRY since he got home.  I am having trouble keeping a cone on him, being a Husky he is quite clever in finding ways to get it off (and chew it up).  This will likely be this cone’s last tour of duty!

May 19

Spirit has done exceptionally well in his surgery recovery and in his efforts to destroy the cone he wears to keep him from licking at his incision.

May 22

Spirit finds the cone he’s wearing frustrating and entertaining at the same time.  It impedes his free movement, limits his vision, and interferes with feeding and drinking.  He learned quickly to hold his head up while running so the cone does not dig in and send him into a somersault.  Eating and drinking are still a comically messy process because the cone tends to flip his dish over.

When bored, he does his best to eat the cone.  He has gotten out of it a couple of times, but he did not go straight to licking his incision.  That is still looking fine, and I will remove (and dispose of) his cone Sunday evening.  That will reduce his frustration level and make him more compliant again.

Housebreaking

We have had inquiries about adopting him.  As to “Is he housebroken?”, I have to answer: probably.

He was living with a family and three other dogs.  I do not know what their living arrangements were, but Spirit definitely knows what the door to the house is and wants in there.  When he needs to potty he does yell for me and if I’m quick he will hold it until released into the yard.

He plays hard and is destructive of blankets and toys.  Not in an aggressive way, just being playful.  I would crate him when left alone in a home for an extended time, at least until he learns the routine and rules of your home.

Why Limited to a Husky-Experienced Home?

Huskies are a unique breed in the dog world.  They are exceptionally smart, and as is typical of the smarter breeds, they tend to be … opinionated.  If you let them, they will dominate your home.  Heading that off is not difficult, it just takes consistency in making it clear that you are the pack leader.  Most Huskies also shed like crazy — this has not been the case with Spirit, but as a rule, they do.  Huskies tend to be vocal and like to converse with their owners, sometimes loudly.  Huskies are strong, energetic dogs with tons of stamina (sled dogs, duh!).  If any of this will grate on your nerves, you do not want a Husky.

Not long ago shelters worked through a glut of Huskies because people saw them on Game of Thrones and wanted one, only to find they were not prepared for Husky ownership and dumped them.  I know, I worked in a shelter then and saw it first hand.  It was heart breaking seeing these gorgeous, personality filled dogs being adopted because they were Huskies and then returned days later because they were … Huskies.

But, for those who will set and maintain boundaries; have the time, space, and energy to work with the dog; and own a good vacuum; Huskies are highly rewarding and entertaining companions.

On the Up Side

For a Husky, Spirit is not as vocal as most (usually), he hardly sheds at all, he likes to play in water, and he is quite a lover (all traits he gets from his Lab side).  And he is a gorgeous dog.  He’s really smart.  Small for a Husky, he’s easier to leash walk.  He will make a great companion … for someone who isn’t expecting him to be a lazy Labrador.

Questions?  Comment below, or e-mail me at Doug@PineyMountainFoster.org.

Want to help
save lives?

Please

PMFC is a 501(c)(3) Charity

If you enjoy our pupdates, Doggy Tales, and educational articles consider subscribing for notices when new pieces are posted. It’s painless and you can unsubscribe any time you want. Your e-mail address is used ONLY to deliver these notices. That’s a promise!

You can also support us at no cost to you
with Amazon Smile.

2 comments on “Spirit Huskador: Notes on a foster dog

  1. Michael Wegner

    I need a sled to pull, human! Can’t you hear the call of the wild? That’s WILD calling!

    • DougB

      He needs SOMETHING to do, that’s for sure. SO far his main job has been to destroy that cone he’s wearing. And doing a right fine job of it too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

New Product to feed rescue dogs during lock-down