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Advice on dogs.


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24 replies to this topic

#1 of 25 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted March 08 2004 - 11:21 AM

My wife and I want to become dog owners. We've been doing research and asking questions, we've been reading books. We both work and have a busy life, so we have some requirements: * We can't have a dog that requires a lot of all day attention. A dog that can hang around all day while we're at work is required. * The less shedding the better. We are looking to adopt an adult dog, small-medium sized. We're favoring Dachshunds. We would be happy with a pound mutt. Please give us advice. I haven't owned a dog since I was a kid, but I've got brothers who have them, and I've been known to "dog-sit" them for a week or so while they are on vacation.
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#2 of 25 OFFLINE   Jon.M

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Posted March 08 2004 - 11:41 AM

I have two Labs and they are alone all day, but boy do they have a ton of energy when I get home. They do shed their coats twice a year, but because of that, they've never had to be groomed. A good frequent brushing during shedding season and an occasional bath does the trick for them. The best thing I can say about Labs is they have the best temperament. I never, ever worry about them in the presence of guests I have over or when they are around young kids. Neither one of them tries to take a piece of my hand off if I ever need to take their food or a bone away from them, unlike some other dogs I had growing up.

That said, if I wasn't able to find a Lab (I always have gotten my dogs from shelters or rescue organizations), I'd be happy with a good ol' mutt. They sure are lovable and loyal. I've never had a Dachsund myself, but I know two people that have had them. Three of their five dogs had serious back problems later in life. I'm not a veterinarian (actually, an HTF member IS), but I think the breed might be genetically predisposed to that sort of problem. Good luck in your search. There's nothing like bringing a good dog into the family. Posted Image

#3 of 25 OFFLINE   Greg_R

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Posted March 08 2004 - 12:47 PM

You will want a dog that is self sufficient. I do know that Beagles are horrible at being alone (my neighbor's barks for 3-4 hrs. straight after they leave). Their previous dog (a small poodle) was very well behaved and self sufficient. Plan on going home frequently during the first few weeks to bond with the dog and get him/her/it comfortable with you being out of the house. Crate training is essential...

#4 of 25 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted March 08 2004 - 12:50 PM

They're not alone, they are with each other. We're going to start with one dog. I'm favoring the poodle hybrids, labradoodle and goldendoodle.
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#5 of 25 OFFLINE   James T

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Posted March 08 2004 - 04:33 PM

I have a Cockapoo-Bischon mix and the first few weeks, he barked out of loniliness when we were leaving for the day. He was a puppy at the time, though. Now, the dog just sleeps the whole day. He also seems to have an internal clock because every time at 9:00(give or take 15 minutes), he'll sit in front of you and bark until you walk him(and no, for some reason, daylight savings time doesn't screw up his schedule). The dog doesn't shed, but it's a breed that can get sick easily if you don't take good care of him/her.

#6 of 25 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted March 08 2004 - 05:05 PM

How about a Bulldog? They supposedly get along with kids and other dogs really well.

#7 of 25 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted March 08 2004 - 05:11 PM

Doberman Pinscher... Never sheds (Has hair not fur) they
don't require constant grooming.. They are loveable, devoted
and pretty self sufficient. I can leave my Dobie out by
herself all day (as long as I don't leave any pillows around).

She has this weird notion that all pillows should be round
and therfore chews the corners off LOL Posted Image

The best advice though would be to visit the AKC web site
and read up on all the breeds that interest you. And then
get in touch with a respected local pedigree breeder. They
are generally very helpful and you can visit and see what
the dogs are like first hand.
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#8 of 25 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted March 08 2004 - 07:49 PM

IIRC, poodles don't shed, which is why poodle hybrids have been developed (read it in an article somewhere). And poodles are supposed to be amongst the most intelligent of dogs, which is nice -- there just seems to be something about having an intelligent dog to play with, rather than a lovable dumb-ass who stands there with a blur look on his face.

#9 of 25 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted March 08 2004 - 10:15 PM

Poodles are the most intelligent breed of dog?

Wow that's a new one on me Posted Image
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#10 of 25 OFFLINE   Kevin Thompson

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Posted March 08 2004 - 10:53 PM

I'm a happy Golden Retriever owner, but I don't necessarily recommend a Golden in your situation. They shed--some of them shed quite a lot. What you might want to consider is one of the wire-haired breeds. Like the poodle, they tend not to shed. I would also strongly recommend not getting a puppy, as it any puppy will need far more attention than an adult dog. Shelters or breed rescue groups can be good sources for excellent pets. Good luck!
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#11 of 25 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted March 09 2004 - 01:07 AM

Good suggestion, I'll talk to my wife about that one. I had a friend who had a Doberman (aside - it suffered a severe ear infection early in it's life and had one floppy ear, which made it incredibly cute) and it was a real loveable friendly dog. He loved guests and was a very good dog. From what I've read, you really take a change with rescue dogs that are "guard dog" breeds like Dobermans and Rottweilers, often they are abused. Brett, yes, Poodles are generally considered the most intelligent breed of dog, one specific thing the poodle hybrids were designed for is as work dogs, like seeing eye dogs. We love Goldens but they need too much excersize and shed too much. Bulldogs are on our list, if there happens to be one at a shelter we'll probably fall for it. I've heard some negative things about them though, they drool a lot and fart a lot, and have lots of skin problems.
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#12 of 25 OFFLINE   Scott Dautel

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Posted March 09 2004 - 02:30 AM

Phil ... I'll really be interested to follow your decision on this. We have a near-perfect, adorable loveable yellow lab, now coming up on 11 years old. Our family has grown & we're now gone sometimes for 10 hours per day. Being alone for her has never been an issue, no accidents, no chewing, nothing ... she's had "run of the house" since she was 1.
The only downside is the shedding, it's continuous and drives my wife nuts. We vacuum the downstairs almost daily. Our next one will be a "doodle" or very shorthaired shedder, like a Visla or beagle.

You should still consider a puppy ....

What you do in the 1st year is critical ... when we were puppy shopping, we looked at a few litters. We watched how the puppies interacted. In the end, we noticed one that was very mellow and chose to sniff around the room by herself rather than romp with the others ... kind of a loner. We knew instantly she was the one & it worked pretty much as we planned.
Get a new dog in the summertime ... you'll be outside quite a bit in the first month and it's not pleasant if it's freezing or wet out. Also plan on crate-training. The dogs are perfectly content and you wont have to deal with accidents. Our dog continued to sleep in her crate (with the door always open) for years after the "training phase" was complete.
If you get a puppy, take 5-10 days off initially (4th of July?), then for the 1st few months, we never crated for more than 5 hrs without a break. In the summertime, it's not too hard to pay a neighbor kid to come in daily and let the dog out ... maybe a little playtime.
At 6 months, do basic obedience, it's critical to having a great lifetime dog experience.

I would strongly recommend a "Labradoodle" or "Portugese Water Dog". They look similar, but the "Porties" are a little smaller (only get to about 50 lbs). Both are 100% non-shedders, but have the big sporting dog mentality & disposition. The problem is cost (approaching $2000) and waiting list. You'll not likely find an older dog of these breeds due to the demand. Based on my 2003 info, there were only a handful of breeders of these 2 breeds in the eastern USA & all typically have waiting lists. "Doodles" got lots of press last year and have (unfortunately) become the "fad" dog of 2004. I believe the 2 top breeders of labradoodles are in VA. I also have info on 2 great breeders of Portugese Water Dogs.

I'll never forget what our obedience instructor told us in 1993. paraphrasing ... "For every new dog buyer, < 50% keep the dog for life and <15% say they would do it again. It's a big commitment. I'm happy to say we are in the <15% category.

If you're lucky, you'll have one "unforgettable" dog in your lifetime will truly be your best friend ... our Taffeta makes me smile every single day, I dont know what I'll do when she's gone, but I'll never put the pictures away.

good luck ......

Scott

#13 of 25 OFFLINE   DaveF

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Posted March 09 2004 - 02:35 AM

My understanding from talking to dog owners is that smart dogs require more attention and effort. They are smarter, and so require more attention, get bored more easily and have the capacity to cause more trouble when left alone. Of course, a smart dog will likely be housebroken quicker. An amusing example, my sister's Huskie once got into the trash, pulled out discarded pizza wrapped in foil, opened the foil, ate the pizza, and then put the foil back in the trash to hide the evidence. My other sister's Swissies are just not bright enough to pull off a scheme like that. Long-hair miniature daschunds are considered to be easy going, "loving" dogs. They like to cuddle up with their owners. (Rescue) Greyhounds I believe are also considered to be good "easy" pets. They need a good walk once or twice a day. But then are content to lie around most of the time. They are very short hair, so they may not shed much.

#14 of 25 OFFLINE   Philip_T

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Posted March 09 2004 - 04:05 AM

Philip,
As mentioned earlier, the AKC website has some fairly useful info on breeds that can be used to get an idea of tempermant, shedding, activity, etc. www.akc.org
We just purchased an 8wk. old Boston Terrier. Our requirements were very similar to yours. Espcially the no shedding, and Bostons are non-shedders, as well as fairly intelligent and very freindly. Good luck in your quest with whichever breed you decide on.

Phil

#15 of 25 OFFLINE   James T

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Posted March 09 2004 - 04:42 AM

I guess my dog's genes didn't come from the poodle side of his family, as my dog is as dumb as a fruit.

#16 of 25 OFFLINE   Scott L

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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:44 AM

Ditto, my friend's poodle is a big, rambunctious, and extremely clumsy animal. One of the dumbest dogs I've ever seen. However another friend's poodle is very smart and well behaved. Funny thing is they act just like their owners.

#17 of 25 OFFLINE   Joe Szott

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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:54 AM

I'll second that. Also, you can talk to your local vet about what breeds he/she thinks are appropriate for you if you want some face-to-face input. Most vets would love to help someone get the right dog before they get one, as it really cuts down on the chance of that dog ending up at the pound.

#18 of 25 OFFLINE   Seth--L

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Posted March 09 2004 - 07:58 AM

That's a really bad attitude to have concerning a dog. If time is really this much of an issue, then perhaps now is not the right time to get a one.
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#19 of 25 OFFLINE   Kevin Thompson

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Posted March 09 2004 - 08:49 AM

At the least, it's a good indication that a puppy might be a bad idea right now. There are hundreds (thousands?) of great dogs needing homes in your area, many of which are already housetrained and who won't chew everything in sight out of boredom or simply teething. Good luck!
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#20 of 25 OFFLINE   Alex Prosak

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Posted March 09 2004 - 01:07 PM

I definitely agree that intelligent dogs can lead to trouble when they're bored. We have a mutt but she's quite smart. At our last house, she managed to flood the crawl space. She decided that she didn't like the water I put out for her in a bowl every morning and figured out how to turn on the outside spigot so she could have fresh water anytime she wanted. Well the water ran all day long, down the side of the foundation and into the crawl space. Of course this happened the day before our potential buyer was going to be doing the home inspection. Needless to say, it was a long, uncomfortable night cleaning up the mess. I wasn't sure if I should be mad at her or give her props.




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