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AKICILJ

The Kid has expressed interest in getting a dog, and wants something husky-like. I know that a husky would need lots of exercise, but here I have a bored 16 year old ready and willing to provide just that.

The shelters I contacted require us to have a fenced in yard as a condition of adopting, so I've spent the last couple of months reading up on the topic and getting quotes.
Invisible Fence would run about $2,000 and works for most but not all dogs.
Extending our current scrap of fence all the way around the yard, with something that looks really good is almost $8,000.

My question to LJ: how necessary is a fence really (aside from the fact that the shelters require it)?
If I go minimal, what's a reasonable size for a fenced area for a mid-size dog?

Comments

mbcrui
Feb. 16th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
We found no fence could keep our husky-sized dog in, if he wanted to go visiting. A 1/2 inch steel cable won't keep him in, if he wants to go.

My sister has had good luck with her Wheaton Terrier (mid-sized dog) and the invisible fence. drsulak's lost one of their airedales when he realized that it was just a short jolt and then he'd be free (he was hit by a car). I would say from this evidence, they work well with dogs about 50 lbs or below but not well with those over 70 lbs.

Something you should be very aware of with huskys is they're VERY territorial and don't like to share their food. If you have cats, you probably shouldn't get a husky or a husky mix. They also require an alpha, talk to Ron and Liana Winsauer who have 2 of them.

A reasonable size fence for a mid-sized dog depends a lot on the dog and the amount of outside exercise s/he gets. If you're going to walk the dog 45 minutes a day or so, or play fetch, ball, etc every day or take it running then a smaller fenced yard is fine (just something to run out and go potty). If it's not going to get exercised regularly, you need a bigger area. We had an urban backyard and it was enough (usually) for our 70 lb mutt... Now we have a clothes line which runs from the house to the back of the yard, and a steel cable from which he can access the entire back yard as well as about 30 feet into the field behind the house. It's more than enough, he's an old dog. He doesn't need much exercise anymore... the run and the daily lunchtime mile walk are enough.

Good luck. Make sure you like the dog, too, as the kiddling will be heading off to college in a couple of years (gods, how did THAT happen?) and you'll have the dog.
alicebentley
Feb. 16th, 2009 09:14 pm (UTC)
We do have cats, but I'm hoping that by having half the house and the vast majority of outside be dog-free the cats will be at least tolerant of the change.

The two feeding areas would be entirely separate and not visible to each other. From what I know of dogs, their food won't be around long enough for the cats to show any interest in it.

A dog's need for exercise is one of the motivating factors in saying yes to getting one. The kid has plenty and too much energy, which even starting in Crew has not bled off. And I would benefit from some forced marches myself.
mbcrui
Feb. 16th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
The problem isn't the cats tolerance of dogs, with Huskys, but the dogs tolerance of other animals around his food. Huskies and Malamutes are notoriously bad about having other animals around when they're eating.

I know that huskies have attacked cats they've been raised with when the cat wandered by a food dish. I've seen a Malamute kill another dog who was just passing by over a food dish. They're pack animals and food is a big deal. I've also heard about sled dogs -- husky mixes-- attacking their humans who were trying to take the food dish away for whatever reason, a musher I know had 45 stitches in her arm for "not thinking" and grabbing a dish to add a scoop of something or other after she'd put the dish down.

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Alice Bentley

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