How did you get your start with your breed or breeds of choice? Different species always should count too. Whether or not its a purebreed dog, a mix, a Ball Python, our feathered friends or tropical saltwater fish I'm just curious how you began.
I never "owned" a dog until I was almost out of high school, my folks adopted an Akita right before I took off for college. Suppose that really doesn't count..lol. Adopted a great Rottweiler just as I was finishing up school. This was a challenge, since I had little ownership experience but we both wound up learning alot about each other and life. To this day I have owned nothing but larger breeds of canines, some non-pet poultry, a cool cat and reptiles previously. Don't get me wrong..I was always around pets but just was ultimately responsible for one fairly late in life.
I suppose I started by reading numerous publications, visiting some breeds and their associated rescue groups plus some shelters here and there. Wish the internet was around during my formative days.
When I started out I had only a couple of wants..regarding dog ownership. I want it to be big, pretty quiet and handsome. Only narrowed that down to about 50 breeds..lol. Learned much in the past years, and few great months here...
Lets see.. I wanted a dog. I begged constantly for a dog, and my dad gave in and got a yorkie when I was 7 becuase he figured it'd be easy to take care of when I got bored with it.
19 years later, I'm still obsessed. After the yorkie died at 16 I decided no more tiny dogs, I wanted big dogs and mom wanted pyrs, so when I was 14 we got pyrs. Last pyr died in 2001 when I got *my* dream dogs the afghans.
And I've had other breeds along the way, some I will have again, some I wont.
i was always brought up with a huge amount of pets living in a rural area we could easily accomadate them. I took part in all aspects of their care and have a great fondness for all of our animals. The dogs which we had though took all of my time and they were such a huge part of the family and i looked at them as if they were brothers and sisters! we were inseperable.
well i left to go to college and trained as a childcare worker although my heart wanted to work with animals but the opputunity wasnt there for me. I met a man moved in with him but it was rented accomadation and no pets were allowed and it llet so empty with out a dog running around and i really missed it. It was for 6 years i was in rented accomadation but then me an my old boyf went seperate ways and i moved back home.
After a year I then met my current partner and we have a private home together. It was the perfect oppurtunity to get a dog which is what we discussed over and over again.
Michael had never had a pet only a hamster so it was very new to him and i think it scared him alittle as he wasnt sure what to do with a dog!
I have always loved Dobermans so we got a rescue and we named him Harvey. We cried for he first week as it broke our hearts to see a dog acting not like a dog~ he was depressed , scared and didnt know how to walk, eat, play and didnt know what it was like to be loved and scared of a friendly hand touching him.
I think Michael thought he would be like a happy normal puppy and didnt quiet understand what it was gonna be like to take on a rescue even though i warned him in Harveys case it would be alot of hard work and time.
Well we got there in the end with alot of patience and training and love and he is an amazing pet and we both cant imagine life without him.
I wanted a doberman as i love a dog that forms a close bond and wanted a dog that really wanted to go very where with you as i love the closeness. he is like my shadow. As i said i also live rural and spend alot of time on my own because michael works long hours as a farmer so i wanted a dog that looked alittle intimidating to people that passed and may make the not so nice people think twice! he is not human aggresive but his bark is enough to put people off from snooping around on my property.
I have always been in love with dogs for as long as I can remember. When I was five we got a beagle. She ended up having puppies by the neighbors beagle so we had some really cute purebred pups by accident. I remember I cried so hard when the pups went to there new homes. My favorite pup was one of the last to go. I had named him Christopher. I begged to keep him and was so heart broken when I couldn't.
Our next dog was a little black toy poodle. He was the cutest little thing. We always had to have a small dog because mom didn't want a big dog. Well, by the time I was 12 I finally got to have my "big" dog. My mom's friend had border collie puppies and she brought her favorite from the litter to me one day and surprised me. I don't think I've had much else top that surprise in my life. She was the cutest little ball of fluff and I was the happiest kid on earth.
I bought a book on training dogs and I trained her to do so many things; basic obedience. heel off lead, play dead, shake paws, roll over, sick 'em...she could do about everything. I worked a paper route and she went with me every morning and the neighbor's white German Shepherd would join us too. I used my money from my paper route and baby sitting to pay for her vet bills. She was the best dog I ever had.
After she passed away at the ripe old age of 15 I got my second border collie. Unfortunately I only had her for four years because at one year she developed severe epilepsy and even though she was on phenobarbitol, which was continually increased, she still had them. Sadly we decided to put her to sleep as she had no quality of life.
We then got a Gordon Setter puppy from my cousin who breeds them. My husband wanted a dog to hunt grouse with him. She was with us for 10 years and she was a nice dog but I missed my border collie.
I was thinking of getting another border collie but then I thought the Aussies were pretty cool looking dogs and I had been told that Aussies were less intense than border collies and I was getting up there in years, late 30's, lol, so I gave it a shot. Well, I have learned that Aussies are not the breed for me. They are much more hyper than border collies and far more difficult to train than a bc. To me, once you have a bc you are spoiled by how smart and easy they are.
Aussies are much more difficult to train. I was pretty spoiled by my border collies. I was so infatuated with the look of the Aussie and figured I'd get two. Big mistake...two was too much. I rehomed the more difficult Aussie and I've decided to keep the smaller calmer one but...even thought she is "calmer" she is still more hyper than the bc's I had. She is also very stubborn and does not want to do the tricks I try to teach her. I will never have another Aussie again. I will most definitely go back to my border collies. So, that's how I got into my breed of dog....just a lucky day with the best and most life changing surprise ever from my mom's friend.
OK......long list so I will try to shorten it if I can and hope it makes sense. As a child I had: 1 chihuahua (Bootsie), 2 Beagles (Scruffy and Jody), 1 German Shepherd (Wendy), a black cat named Midnight, a bunny named Thumper, 2 cats named Shianne and Sheba, 3 hamsters (Chip, LaDeta, and Perry), 1 parakeet (Pretty Boy Floyd), and countless outside kittens that never made it to cathood (found out later what happend to them, you DON'T want to know). As a teenager into adulthood, I had a GS/Husky mix(Bear, who my mom said ran away), a toy poodle(Fifi), a Guinea pig (Chiffon), a GS/Husky mix(Koniak), a German Shepherd(Shane), and a black cat named Peeps. When I went into the Army, my mom gave them all to the pound and told me they ran away. I have no words for my mother since I was sending home money to feed my animals and was going to get them as soon as I could take them with me. As an adult, I had a white German Shepherd (Nala) who became dog aggressive so we had to turn her over to a GS Rescue for her safety (I was afraid my neighbor was either going to shoot her or poison her). We now have a tan cat named Blue, 2 black cats named Kayla and Peyote, a cream kitten(Yama), a Chow mix (Alex), 2 American Eskimos (Kai & Kirra, "K squared") and a bunny named Angel.
Since I was tiny I wanted a dog. I think that my first sentence was 'Can I have a puppy'. And my seccond 'Can I pet your dog' cause that is what I would ask anyone with a dog. When I was 7 they gave in and we got Dalia the Dalmatian. I really love the breed and would always like to have one. I have never had a German Shepherd although I would like too. My grandfather used to breed them so they have always been in the family. We got Mazel a Yorkshire Terrier as a rescue and she was supposed to be a companion for my grandmother- that didn't work out so I got her. She is really good little girl, she is VERY different from Dalia... well, duh. I love her to bits but she serves a different purpose, Dalia is my at home dog, she is with me around the house and she runs with me, and does big dog things. Mazel is very portable, she comes almost everywhere else with me. I like having the two, big and small, but if I could only have one it would be without a doubt a big dog!
My other love is for horses. That passion is really just in my blood. My parents were not horse people but when I was only months old we were at a ranch and I screamed and cried untill they would put me on a horse, from that point on there was no getting me off. I had been at summer camp every summer since I was born (my mom was the camp doctor) so I would spend all day with the horses. When I was 5 I fell of a horse and broke my arm so my mom decided to get me proper lessons so that I would be safe. That is how I came to find my coah and his family- sometimes I think that I was born to them and seperated at birth, our passion for horses and for riding, training and competing is identical.
I have loved all animals since I was a baby but my parents always noticed that I really liked dogs. They would buy me stuffed animal dogs but I always wanted a real dog.
When I was 2-years-old they got me a cat but I kept pulling her by her tail so they sold her. Then when I was 3-years-old I had a black lab but he kept running away, then we would find him but one day we never did.
When I was 5-years-old we rescued an adult Golden Retriever named Kylee. She was the sweetest dog in the world and she was very gentle too. My little brother was only 1-year-old at the time and of course, he would pull on her ears, tail, fur and he would sit on her. Kylee never growled or acted mean or annoyed at all. She was the dog that made me fall in love with Golden Retrievers. So...Golden Retrievers are definitely my breed.
I have owned many different purebreds and mixes during my lifetime some I may want to own again and others I wouldn't. But...I always want a Golden Retriever in my life.
I have owned Golden Retrievers on and off for over a decade. I've decided that I'm ready to start breeding them, I've already begun breeding. But I have the time, money, knowledge, and love so that is why I've started breeding them. I own a 2-year-old female named Kelsey, I'm going to keep a female out of Kelsey's litter coming up this fall (I'm naming her Abigail but call her Abby for short), and I'm on a waiting list for first show pick of the males from a different breeder...he'll be ready to come home with me March/April 2006 (I'm naming him Hayden).
My parents raised Malamute Huskies before they had kids and discontinued after my older brother, who is handicapped was born, but kept the dogs (spayed/neutered) and I was 5 before the last Husky passed away from old age, so I grew up in a home where dogs were always a focus. After the last Husky passed away my Mom started looking for a dog that would be a better inside dog with 5 small children (My Mom had 4 kids under the age of 6 and a handicapped 10 year old) and ran across the Sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog). She did a lot of research before we adopted one and she spent a lot of time looking for the breeder to get him from. Dusty was the highlight of my childhood and even when we added a couple of other dogs to the house he was still my favorite (Dad got a Springer Spaniel intending to use her for hunting - until he learned she was afraid of loud noises... we rescued a couple of mixed breeds...). After I got out of school I started looking into getting my own dog (with 4 siblings I never learned to share :) and after doing my own research into breeds I learned that the sheltie really was the best breed for me. They are highly intelligent, intensely loyal, very affectionate, and they don't require a heavy hand to train.
The best way to figure out what breed of dog is best for you is to evaluate yourself first. You want a dog that matches how you would describe yourself. For me, I am a bit of an introvert (shelties really only light up for their families and aren't usually big fans of strangers or huge crowds), I am emotional, sensitive, and affectionate (shelties are intuitive to their people's emotions, they don't do well if yelled at, and thrive when they are with their people so that can love them), I am a bookworm and someone who is constantly trying to learn something new and above average intelligence (shelties are easily trained, and what I call an intellectual dog. They like to be trained and to do activities that involve the using their intelligence), and I am a person that avoids confrontation, and dislikes drama, yelling, ect... (shelties can tell when they have done something wrong and all you need for scolding is a firm voice and a dirty look).
You also want the dog to fit your life style. If you are gone from home a lot, you don't want a dog prone to seperation anxiety. If you are active and like to do outdoors things you want a dog that follows suit. If you live in an apartment, then a dog that will mature to 100 lbs isn't ideal.
I also looked at the number of health problems a breed has, whether it has a history of being over bred (which often means more likelyhood of problems), How common the health problems are... As I mentioned, I also grew up with a Springer Spaniel. Maggy had Cherry Eye as a puppy and as an adult has terrible teeth (most are falling out because her gums are receding), has had several benign cysts that have had to be removed, has chronic ear infections and her life span is predicted for her breed to be shorter.
Another thing to consider is the occurance of allergies in the breed, grooming (if you don't want to groom regularly a long haired or long eared breed isn't a good idea), and the activity level and stubborness of a puppy of that breed.
As a child, we always had dogs. Wirehaired fox terrier, a beagle, labs. One of best dogs was a lab/gsp cross, named Tar. He once saved my younger brother from a rattlesnake.
As an adult, we had Golden retrievers when our two boys were young, Then we had a Rott/Lab cross. A couple of Pit bulls and a Pit/Beagle cross.
Then a GSD. I got a Pom from a rescue for my disabled husband to keep him company while I was at work, as he could not handle the GSD. She got out and was run over and we were devestated. We moved to NE and the GSD died from a botched spay job. We now have 4 Poms and I just got a new GSD last week.
I always said I would never have "hairy yip yips", now we have 4! I do love the Poms, I just wish they came in shorthair! There is an idea for a "designer breed!" HA HA
I also love horses. Got my first one at 12. I am no longer able to have one, sometimes I drive over to where there are some pastured just to get a smell fix!
When I was a child up until I was 18, I was petrified of all animals especially dogs. When I was 18, an old boyfriend bought me a mixed breed puppy, that conquered my fear instantly. He was very hard to handle & needed room to run, so he found a home on a farm. We later got a darling blonde cocker spaniel female & she was with us for 10 yrs until she passed away. By then I couldn't live without a dog in my life & that's when we found my favorite breed, Westie. We soon got a Westie puppy & had that little angel for almost 12 yrs. No other breed will do now. Will be picking up our new Westie female next week.
Hmmmm....well, I begged for 8 years, then, when I was 12, my guinea pig, Tako, had a heart attack in my arms and died. I was so upset my dad gave in, and let me get my doggie. From the second he told me, I was right into trying to find the right breed for me/my family. I had my heart set on a bernese moutain dog by the end of the weeks. I spent hours looking in the newspaper and such, and even found some breeders. But one day I just decided to look at the shelter I volunteered at for one. I had seen so many I wanted before. But I came out with none.
The next week, I looked at the nasty Pennsulken shelter, and came out with Shadow. I fell in love with her the second I saw her little face.
Well, I'm 13, been begging for ten years, and I still am. Every time it's the same "NO! Dana you are not getting a dog!" I keep trying. But it's unfortunate for me. I'm an animal lover, but my whole family HATES animals, especially my brother. I still cant believe they let me get a cat. I cant wait until I have my own house and can finally get my first dog....
As soon as I could speak I was asking for my parents to get a dog for me. Well when we got a nice house in the 'burbs', I was in first grade and my parents drove us out to a shelter in Afton Minnesota where they suposedly had "Cock-a-poos!" Well we arrived there and the litter of cocka poos, looked much more like a litter of multicolored, straight haired total Heinz 57s! Straight haired, and nothing resembled a CAPoo, except for there sizes! But even though my parents had there mind set on a nonshedding dog, we ended up with a very sheddy, very mutty, little black mutt because my parents couldnt say no to there crying little girl-who instantly fell in love with the black little pup! We named her Afton, because we got her in Afton MN> She lived until 16 years of age, and she was a great dog through all my years!! Very smart! I even trained her how to climb ladders! I love dogs, and since I have lived out of the parents home I had a beagle/shep. mix. Now I have a Pug Holly, and an OEB Mia! She is cool, and I fostered her before I adopted her! Which put me out of fostering business. I loved fostering but I guess I love Mia more!!
Having been blessed by birth into a family of animals lovers, I've had a dog in my life since I was 6 months old. Mickey was the first I can remember, border collie mix and a better frind a child couldn't wish for.
I've had cats, frogs, turtles, and Iguana, fish (fresh & marine aquarium), gerbils, birds and the fun experience of a rescued Artic fox!
I didn't have a dog until I was on my own. My mother never liked animals inside the house. As a matter of fact, all of my sisters and I now have dogs in our homes.
One of my oldest sisters is who intruduced me to Poodles. She was one of my first sisters to own dogs when she got her own place and she has owned several breeds throughout her lifetime. I would visit her and her dogs rieally didn't call my attention. I thought they were cute dogs but that was it. She's had GSD's, Cocker Spaniels, Bichon Frise, and other breeds. When she got her Poodle that she still has today(she's had her for over 7 years), I immediately knew that was the kind of dog I really wanted to own.
I think they are the most dignified, gorgeous looking, smart, sensitive, cudly, bonding, trainable and elegant dogs.
***Edited By: alldogslover on 6/13/2005 4:44:01 PM*** Reason: .
I was born and raised in Hong Kong (in the city) and the first dog I remember ever seeing was an Old English Sheepdog who was always being walked outside this petshop next to this resturant my parents frequented- I remember wanting to pet it so bad but I knew I couldn't because it just looked so beautiful like it would be wrong to touch it. haha.. silly I would look for it everytime we went to the resturant, and when we moved to the US, I begged and begged my parents for a dog (because we finally had a house rather than a condo) but my mom didn't want one because she's the anally clean type- I just finished college and still get a little jealous to see kids who have dogs because I know I can never get that childhood experience back- and no one should have to live their life without the love and joy of a dog. My next dog is going to be an OES, I've already been preparing a toy box full of toys, clothes, brushes, doing research- its really stupid- everyone tells me I'm obsessed. haha- some kids wish to become president, a fireman, or fly to the moon- my childhood dream was to have an Old English Sheepdog. Right now I live with my boyfriend's pitbull. I absolutely adore him. When I first met him I completely ignored him because he wasn't fluffy or friendly but we've been together almost 2 years now and I love that dog like my own. I can't stop spending money on him!! haha- he follows me everywhere and waits for me by the door its like hes mine :-) So OES is my breed of choice but I love Pitbulls too now!
***Edited By: Teloulou420 on 6/13/2005 3:46:11 PM*** Reason: forgot part
Aawww, Dana, I know it's hard to be kids that love animals. Before I had Shadow, it was just had my guinea piggies (I loved them to bits, though!) it was always "No! Your not allowed to get a dog! They are too much work, and our house is too small! Absolutely not!" or "Don't you love your guinea pigs?!" or "No! Your not getting a dog, stop asking!" (my mom sort of helped me in the end, she loves animals, it's my dad that always needs to be convinced.) LOL!!! I'm so happy I finally got to get Shadow, and now I'm working for another one. ;) Parents come up with the lamest excusses!
***Edited By: ShadowDog on 6/13/2005 6:33:25 PM*** Reason: add
Alldogs, I'm sitting here chuckling. It seems to me you must find the Poodle the breed for you! You sound like Donna, one of the pups' owners. She can't seem to find enough superlatives to describe her girl, Cali.
Did I mention that my mother was NOT please when I brought the Iguana home? Oh well!