Advice on getting a puppy or dog?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Goldenlight, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. Goldenlight

    Goldenlight New Member

    Rescue puppies/dogs? 03/16/07 01:15 PM

    Have any of you had luck with rescue/shelter puppies or dogs? They are less expensive than going to a breeder or to a pet store but I wonder about, especially with dogs, if there would be behavioral problems that would be hard to deal with -- especially not feeling well enough or having the energy to deal with. I live alone. A dog -- out of the puppy stage -- that would be a good companion sounds heavenly. I've thought of it for a long time.

    Also -- I don't know how to train a dog for crates, pads, etc. Is it hard?

    I used to have a cockapoo that was dumped off on a country road. That was years and years ago. She was my favorite dog. We lived on a farm then and I wasn't sick (have CFS/FM) so it didn't seem hard dealing with a puppy then.

    Thanks, everyone!


  2. sunrisegirl

    sunrisegirl New Member

    Our teenagers hand picked two puppies (sisters) from our local animal shelter. We now have two beautiful border collies (2 years old this weekend) and their temperments are great! They were crate trained and only had ONE accident in the house. Only because we moved to a new house and the first day they didn't know which door to go sit by to be let out! Although border collies are high maintenance so you might want to stick to a smaller, less demanding breed if you want the dog to be an inside dog. My dogs spend half day outside and half day inside.
  3. sisland

    sisland New Member

    It pays to watch your local paper for free Dogs! just make sure it's the right one for you ! Small House trained and preferably spayed or Neutered,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Sometimes people adopt dogs and they don't Have time to spend with them or they find out they are allergic to them etc,,,,,,,I just adopted a Springer Spaniel pup in Janurary and it's been alot more work than i figured with FM,,,, But now he's finaly house trained so that makes it Better !,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Goodluck to you!,,,,S
  4. Goldenlight

    Goldenlight New Member

    Thank you, Sunrisegirl and Sisland, for your advice. I'll keep checking around and maybe just the right puppy or dog will show up for me. :)

  5. Goldenlight

    Goldenlight New Member

    Good thoughts, 4everkid. Its been a long time since I've had a puppy. Its probably too easy to think about all the positives rather than REALLY take into consideration the "puppy stage." Think I will look for a younger dog.

  6. SleepyMama

    SleepyMama New Member

    at how wonderful a "mutt" can be! My family dog (adopted when I was 4) was about one year old, had been mistreated and had already had a litter. She was fun and energetic, but very people pleasing. She came to us nearly trained and was very gentle and loyal. She was a "wirehaired terrier X". When she was about 12 years old she ran headlong into our front steps, injured her spine and was paralyzed for some time. The vet reccommended putting her down, but we decided to give her a chance to fight. First she learned to roll over. That was the one trick she always refused. We would take her outside and hold her up to pee, within about two days (after having been in the vet for a week) she was starting to walk again. She lived an other three or four years, quite happily.
    Dogs are wonderful companions I reccommend getting a "mutt" anyday.
    Please do consider though that many larger breeds are actually much calmer and easier to train than small dogs. I heard somewhere tha one of the best city dogs is a great dane!!! (I don't know how true that is, I only heard it from one source) I do know that bulldogs are awsome apartment dogs, but big lazy brutes that a person with FM would have a hard time muscling around.
    I would probably go for a standard poodle myself. They're big, allergy friendly and they're #1 on the list of most trainable dogs!
    Also, if you want a dog that's pre-trained and/or calmer try to get one around age2..females are usually a bit calmer, especially if they've had a litter, IMHO.
  7. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    In a moment of total brain oxygen depletion, I purchased my son a 9 week old minature German Schnauzer. He is going to law school and lives with us at the moment.

    WELL, guess who gets to take care of the puppy because my son IS IN SCHOOL ALL DAY!

    I have RA and FM. This was waaaaaaaaaaaay more work than I ever bargained for.

    I'd get a dog 1 or 2 years old instead of going through having to keep an eye on the puppy every second that they aren't in their crate. Pee, poop, eating straight pins, getting into garbage, chewing on furniture and kitchen base cabinets, chewing up socks, eating plants, etc.

    I could have done without this stage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Well, she turned 1 year old just 2 weeks ago. She has calmed down about 10%. She is very high maintenance.

    My neighbor across the street went to a minature schnauzer rescue to get a schnauzer after I got mine. her kids fell in love with my puppy and wanted a minature schnauzer too. Guess what??? Her schnauzer minds!!!! So I've got the very expensive, spoiled brat, bull-headed, barker------and she has the inexpensive, well behaved doggie who minds so well.

    personally, i wouldn't get a large dog because they could inadvertently pull you very hard while you are walking them on a leash. It doesn't take much to get our bodies in a flare. I'd get a smaller dog so if they take off after a squirrel while they are on the leash, you won't get your shoulder almost dislocated when they lunge through the air at the retreating squirrel.

    Just my opinion. Puppies are waaay toooo much work. It is exhausting. If you go grocery shopping or something, you have to run home to let them out of the crate because they can't hold their potty for extended periods of time.
  8. SleepyMama

    SleepyMama New Member

    Not trying to hijack the thread or start a long drawn out debate. Just a quick IMHO and I'll shut up ;)
    I've owned both large and small dogs and I've found that large dogs (for the mostpart) learn very quickly not to lunge at the end of the leash. While small dogs are harder to train not to, because it's ABSOLUTELY neccessary for large dogs to control themselves....somehow they 'get it' better. My Mom has two miniature schnauzers and before that a ....crap....brainfart lol.....white n' black little terrier thing. Which of the three none has learned not to pull HARD at the end of the leash. (Some of these small dogs can be surprisingly muscular).
    Whether large or small, by around age two, within a couple of visits you should be able to tell whether 'your dog' has an appropriate demeanor and if you can handle it. Try to find a dog that already has "sit" down even when tempted by circumstance (an other dog, a fat steak lying in it's bowl, etc..) That goes a long way as far as figuring out how much muscle you'll need to control it.
    Again this is all, respectfully, my opinion/experience and I am NOT a professional dog trainer/breeder anything like that, so take it at whatever value you choose.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/16/2007]
  9. Goldenlight

    Goldenlight New Member

    Lots to consider and think over. I really appreciate all the info and your personal experiences. It probably comes down to the individual dog -- the luck of the draw -- whether they are a good, calm companion or whether they are a yappy, high maintenance pooch.

  10. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    Thanks for the info. I've never owned a large dog. I assumed
    large = able to pull even HARDER because of more mass.

    My little schnauzer doesn't pull constantly, but when she takes off after a squirrel, a leaf, a butterfly, etc. ----she has the power of a Mack Truck! I've actually had internal bleeding on the finger joints because of the force created when she lunged after a toad jumping into a bush.

    But then what should I expect, they were used as "ratters" in days gone by----

    she is as fast as lightening, but doesn't shed. Yin, yang.

    Don't get me wrong, I love her---but she is NOTHING like the breeder assured me that I was getting. The breeder offered to take her back, but my son had already bonded with the mischievous munchkin.

    [This Message was Edited on 03/17/2007]
  11. mollystwin

    mollystwin New Member

    Get a cute one! LOL

    Seriously: I have heard good stories about people who got their dogs from a rescue/shelter. I'm guessing they will let you play with them a little to get to know their personality a bit.

    My other ideas are:

    Little dogs make little poop
    Hypo-Allergenic, non shedding dogs are better for people like us.

    I have a Shitzu/Maltese who is actually 22 lbs. We call her "giant dog" now because we "dog sat" for two little Yorkies for a week recently. Those dogs were so cute and little (although their poop was as big as my dogs so forget about what I said above - and the little one is only about 5 lbs!)

    I love my dog - she is very lovable and cuddly. When we went to get the dog we were actually looking at a Yorkie/Maltese but he was a little stinker. He kept jumping right out of my arms. I thought he was going to kill himself on the cement garage floor. My husband was holding our dog and she cuddled up in his arms and he kept saying "What about this dog? She's so nice" She has the black and white coloring and looks more like a Shitzu. I am glad we chose her as she ended up being a very nice dog.

    Make sure you update us on what you decided.
  12. SleepyMama

    SleepyMama New Member

    For responding with an open mind! It made me feel good for posting honestly...even though I knew I was contracticting you kwim?
    Anyways, YES, Goldenlight! It comes down to the individual dog/owner together!!
    I LOVE all dogs (even though I don't think I'd own jusy ANY dog) You will be HAPPY with whatever dog you chose as long as you chose to love them! Loving a dog will be physically easier on you if you chose a dog that's BEST for you...but either way, if you love a dog, you'll love a dog...that's just the way we/they are. So, chose carefully, but no matter what, the dog you chose will become a member of your family and you'll have a hard time regretting your decision if you try to!
  13. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    This is a puppy temperment test, but I don't know why you couldn't get some ideas off of it for a dog temperment test too.

  14. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    The very best dog i had, was quite, good mannered and gentle, was my Great Dane!

    Yup, i would trade the little yapping 6lb puddle maker i have now for my Dane any day!! She passed away from old age.

    Work with a shelter that puts there dogs in foster homes, and tell them your limitations. They will know already what habits that dog has, and since they want these dogs to go to forever homes, they will be concerned about finding the right dog for you.

    Good luck!
  15. shar6710

    shar6710 New Member

    You've gotten a lot of good advice. I think you know your limitations best and so you should talk about them with the shelter staff. They should have a good idea about the exercise requirments and temperment of the dogs there.

    My thoughts are that an adult dog would be easier to manage you can probably find one that is already housebroken or if it is a small dog papertrained and sometimes crate trained.

    I also think a small dog would be easier, a short walk is a lot of exercise for a small dog but does nothing for a big dog.

    If you do bring a little dog home consider leaving a leash on it for a few days (not with a choke collar though) this will make the dog much easier to catch and discipline if it does something wrong.

    Small dogs are cheaper: less food, smaller bowls, beds and heartworm and flea treatments are less expensive.

    Hope you find the perfect friend,


  16. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I have always got my dogs from the shelter. I look for one who is calm and looks at me. Not too excited. Preferably, a older dog. The older dogs really appreciate you rescuing them.

    If you don't have the time and energy to walk a dog to run off their energy, the older dog is better. Juvenile dogs want to play alot and need exercise. Older dogs are past the stage of tearing up things.

    Hopefully your dog will be a member of the house and be inside most of the time, unless out to exercise.

    Have you ever watched the TV program "Dog Whisperer". I learned alot about dog behavior.

    From what I have seen, most of the problems with dogs are really the owners not knowing how to handle them. Dog are like kids and need direction, love, exercise, etc. Also structure.

  17. Greenbean7

    Greenbean7 New Member

    I almost didn't reply because you all know how strongly I feel about my dogs! But here goes anyway!

    First of all DO YOUR HOMEWORK!! Make sure the breed or hybred you get will work with your life, house, etc. In other words if you fall in love with a St. Bernard and live in a one bedroom apartment, well, you might want to rethink that one!

    I highly recommend shelter dogs. Most "problem" dogs have simply been mishandled, not trained, and possibly not socialized as pups. Pups NEED to be with their mother and siblings for at least 8 weeks, preferably 10. They learn where their place is in the pack and how to control such things as bite response. You bite Mom too hard and she bites back! These things CAN be corrected. Patience, patience, patience!

    Remember that every puppy is cute! Too cute to walk away from in most cases. That is what causes so many impulse buys and ends up with more shelter cases. Once again, that cute St. Bernard puppy may not be the dog for you.

    I hate to see a cute little puppy that got big and ended up chained to a tree or doghouse in the back of the house. That is abuse. Your dog is part of the family, you are his pack, and you should be the pack leader so the dog knows where it's place is in the pack. You wouldn't chain a child up when they are bad (the neighbors really complain!) and that new pup is your new child.

    So, make sure you have a very good idea of what you are looking for, make sure you can walk away from that cute puppy with the big eyes and the happy tail, and be prepared to wait and find the right dog.

    I highly recommend older dogs. Most are just so happy to have someone who won't leave them that they are content to lay on your feet, or in your lap if it isn't that St. Bernard.

    Don't fall into the myth that "you can't teach an old dog new tricks". It may take longer and more patience, but it can be done. Although you should be prepared for some possible early on puppy behaviors. In other words, they might forget the house training at first until they figure out where to go and how to tell you when!

    So I wish you happy puppy or old puppy (they're all puppies to me!) parenting!


    Stop and smell the puppies!