I am a breeder of Siberian Huskies (that is to say my bitch has had 2 litters and we have decided to stop because of other commitments). My mother bought one of my pups last yr (now 12 months old). She has 6 cats and I made it clear to her that the sibe prey drive is v high and that therefore he MUST be supervised around them at all times, (we have a cat and although the dogs get on fine with him, we’d never leave them alone, because of the prey drive), this was a condition of the sale -my mum bred Danes years ago so I was confident she would be responsible.
All reports and check-up visits indicated the pup (Nuka) was doing just fine and that he got along with the cats just fine, and that when unsupervised the dogs were kept in a separate part of the house or were crated. However, when unsupervised on the odd occasion, there had been no incidents at all.
Earlier this week I received a phone call from my mum to say she was on her way over to me with Nuka because he had killed one of their cats…
Apparently my step father had shut both dogs away quickly whilst he paid a workman for his work at the door, and rather than shut him in his crate he shut them in the conservatory (without checking for cats). In this short time, Nuka killed one of their cats. He did not cause major trauma – from examining the cat it appeared to be a swift kill-bite to the neck causing instant death. It appears he then just left the cat alone -when the discovery was made he was laid down calmly next to the cat. My mother believes that cat must have run triggering his predatory instincts.
My mother although upset was happy to keep Nuka in the home but my stepfather was extremely distressed and decided he didn’t want Nuka back (despite being ‘his’ dog). However, he is now coming round to realising it was his fault the situation arose in the first place…Nuka merely acted on his instincts after all.
Never-the-less, as a breeder I am feeling bad about whether I took the right decision in allowing them to have Nuka in the first place, given that they have 6 cats (as opposed to our 1 cat – easier to keep an eye on).
Nuka has only been with us a few days but seems they may well end up collecting him and bringing him back home.
Is this likely to happen again? or was this a fluke chance which is unlikely to arise again given that hard lesson learned?
Should I consider advising them otherwise and rehome Nuka?
Or do I let them go ahead and risk a repeat of the situation?
I’m not sure which. I have to put Nuka’s interests first… so do I advise them against it and put him through the trauma of rehoming (he misses them dearly).
Or do I allow him to go home to the family he loves dearly and risk a repeat? Is it a risk? How high? Will he actively seek to kill another cat? (I believe not -as this was an instinct kill but I’ve only have huskies for 9 years and I know his prey drive remains high -especially as an adolescent).
I’ve spoken to a few fellow breeders (including my breed mentor) and my vet and they are of mixed opinion – what do you think I should do?
Experienced POLITE answers only -please state experience honestly
p.s. for those about to post unhelpful accusations of me being a BYB…I have had them fixed and was a reputable breeder, hence, my decision to only have 2 litters.
I’d let my parents have him back — they now thoroughly know how very important it is not to leave him alone with a cat.
Even if you re-homed him there is no guarantee he won’t kill another cat … and there is no guarantee that the home will be as good a home as your parents.