I want a dog, really, for one reason: an excersise pal and companion.
I also wanted a bird, but I couldn't get one (even after I read all the books, bought all the food, toys, cages, and went to about 5 bird shows) because of my brothers asthma.
Same thing with fishes, except, I can't get one until Christmas :D
What are the signs that you are ready for a dog, because I really want a companion, but I would hate for, like 5 days later, for me to to say that I am soo bored and too lazy to get up. Do you think a shelter or a breeder would let me babysit their dog over a week or two, to make SURE that I want one?? Which I do, I am just worried that it will be to much reponsibility for me.
I'm not sure that I can answer your queston, but I do have a suggestion. Maybe you can do volunteer work at one of the local shelters in your area. Yould get to be around many different kinds of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens, and you wouldn't have to go through the housebreaking routine and getting up in the middle of the night. I know several of the members here have volunteered at shelters and loved doing i :-)
Puppy-- I'd suggest to find a local breeder(doesn't matter what breed) and tell them that you'd like to get a dog, but want to get some experience in dog care. Ask them if you could help in someway. I'm sure they'd be willing to help. :-)
Volunteering at a shelter is a good idea. Unfortunately, in my are you have to be 18 or older to volunteer or work there so I cannot do that.
puppy cuddles, I kew i was ready when i made a descion to do it. That is it you have to be honest with yourself and make the descion to take car of an animal no matter what. getting involved with a sport was the thing that keeps it fun and not boring, but even when it is dull, boring or hard, i still take car of them, because that was my decsion and there is no turning back on descion like that.
I thought you already had one, didn't you have a breeder already and you asked about spaying? Sounds like you have read up on puppies and what it takes to take care of one and it is my opinion that if you are still asking questions as to how do you know if you are ready then I think maybe you are not ready. I applaud you for thinking alot about this because being a pet owner isn't easy, it is alot of responsibility and shouldn't be taken lightly. Perhaps at this time in your life you just are not ready for all that and maybe waiting a few months or years would be better. Good luck in making this decision.
your local shelter may let you be a foster home and that would aloow you to see if a dog fits well into your life. and believe me a dog is not the best motivation for exercise. mine have as little gumption as me to go running ;)
but, you want ot be sure, because a dog is (should be) a commitment for life. i know i have at least 12-14 years of not being motivated (by them) to exercise :)
***Edited By: eskiegirl on 9/4/2005 9:37:30 PM*** Reason: .
See if your family is willing to foster a dog for a while. You can contact any local shelter about that.
Remember, if you are getting a puppy you are going to be getting up a few times every night to take it potty. Try setting your alarm a few times during the night and see if you can handle it. Puppies take so much patience, and you've probably heard this speech before so I'll spare you :P
I will look at some local breeders, and contact shelters.
Yes, I have found out everything I need to know (food, breeder) and I just want to be certain.
Hoping to get a puppy Early June/Next May 2006, so I am just making sure I really want to do this, because although I am in school, this summer has been super lonely, and I want a little companion that will love me.
That is a very good question and only one you can answer with soul searching. Dogs are not always fun and games. Its often tiering and hard work. There are days you don't want to get up, but with puppies you don't have the choice.
A dog means giving up little things you didn't relaize you had, litk free time. It means you ahve to come home and sometimes that you can't go out. It means who is going to watch them and walk them in the snow. Who is going to scrub dirreah out of the carpet at 7am.
I have a lot of dogs, and it dosent phase me. However, that is ebcause I have molded my life around the dogs. I have made changes and sacrifices that some would not think sane because in the end it makes my day easier.
Simple example, I don't have carpet in my house, runners, or rugs. It means I can take a shop vac and vacume my entire house in 15 minutes. That saves time and energy. It means every accident can be mopped up in no time at all. But for some, losing their carpet would not be accpetable.
I have to walk dogs in the rain, I have to get up at six am when they ask to go out and I have to come home, let them out, feed them, let them out again, before I can tend to myself. But I don't MIND these things, its simply a choice I had to make in my life and one that you have to be honest with yourself about making.
Icy - it's too bad not everyone molds their life around their dogs. And it's too bad people don't ask questions like PuppyCuddles is, because that's when the dogs end up outside in a pen or tied to a chain 24/7.....
When you're ready to devote your life to a dog as you would a child, then you're ready for one. People don't get rid of their children, and their dog should be no different. To get rid of a dog because you're tired of it or it's too much trouble shouldn't even be an option. You get a dog, you get it for life - end of story. I applaud you, though, for thinking before buying - a very mature decision. Let us know if you get one!!
I don't mean to sound as if I'm meserable Riley, but most of us do mold our lives around them. From vacations, to going out and coming home, because they are a responsibility. We make decisions, and we may decide that we can't get that color couch or throw rug for a reason.
I also don't think I'm berating them or anything, its that its so easy to only see the positive side of dog ownership, and its not all super easy and super fun. I went to bed at 4am and had to get up at 8 when my guys came to ask me to go out. I don't mind, bu thats a hard decision.
I've seen many dogs given up because people realize that they are a responsibility when it comes to going home in the evening. One lady (who I never liked anyway) placed her mini schnauzer becuase she was tired of having to go home after work and couldn't party like she wanted.
A girl at petsmart was whining that her puppy wasen't housebreaking (she had a beagle) but she also said she was NOT going to get up at 5 or 6am to let the dog out!
I'm in no way suggesting that PuppyCuddles is like this, what I am trying to do is bring to light all the little things that we are used to and do every single day that affect us in the arena of dog ownership.
I don't even think PuppyCuddles will have a problem with any of this because she is looking to see if she will, but since she asked I figure its time to bring some negitives to light... like waking up with dog hair in your mouth in the mornings (chuckle).
But then there are the positives, like my GSD snoring on my foot at the end of the bed.
If you decide to get a dog, prepare to make all sorts of changes to your life. Remember, we not only influence the dog's behavior by training it, but it influences our behavior by training us. In fact, I think I have changed my behavior in the 13 years I've owned a dog more than the dog has changed its behavior.
Always remember that having a pet will force you to change many of your routines, but if you are like me and really, really want to have a dog, making these changes shouldn't be a problem. In fact, most of the changes I've made have been for the better.
I reread your post and the replies. Will a dog affect your brother and if so how? Is he willing to put up with the dog and the problems it may cause him? I take it you have never owned a dog before and again I am very pleased in how you are handling this with all your research and questions. There were a lot of great suggestions in the other posts and maybe by the time you are hoping to get the dog all your questions and concerns will have been answered. What type of dog are your looking for? There are some that shed less and maybe for your brother's sake one of those would be better. A few examples, a Bichone Frise, a Poodle, a West Hightland Terrier and I am sure there are a lot more out there. These also seem to be pretty sturdy dogs and love to be with people and love to go for walks or to the dog park.
Just a thought to add to what cody's mom said, you might consider a standard poodle, hypoallergenic, yet sturdy enough to be a running partner.
Having a dog is like having a child in so many ways. And in a sense its like having a small child around for on average 15 years or so, because they are dependant on you for everything for life. Unlike children they don't grow up and leave home. They don't ever learn to open the food container and fill their bowl on their own. They don't grow up and start providing for themselves, you will always have to walk them, play with them, and give them mental stimulation, otherwise they will do it on their own and many times this displays itself in unwanted behavior. Think about where you may live in the near future. Will you be going to college? Where will the dog live then? Lots of college students have dogs, will you be one of those with that dedication to the dog? Just some things to think about. You're obivously taking this very seriously. Whether or not to own a dog is a question only you can answer. Be very honest with yourself and I'm sure you'll make the right choice.
I think it's wonderful and very mature that you are asking these questions NOW and not after getting a puppy. I wanted to say that first...
Icy kind of hits the nail on the head. Are you ready to put your own needs 2nd to a dogs? What will happen to the dog when/if you decide to go to college? You need to 100% understand that a puppy is a 10-15 year commitment. That commitment has ups and downs.
I think it's good that you are looking at getting a puppy when you are on summer break from school. The more time you put into training and housebreaking right away, the better your dog will be later in life.
What breed are you looking at getting? You need to make sure that the breed is not prone to anxiety attacks when seperated from it's owner for lengthy periods. Some breeds do better when left unsupervised.
My advice for you would also be to volenteer at your local shelter for part of the school year. It will help you A.) understand the work that goes into dog care. B.) if you can interact with a dog of the breed you want to get you can see if they mesh with your personality. Don't base your choice of breed on how cute they are. Look at whether they match you as a person (their learning style for instance - some breeds need a heavier hand with training and some breeds don't handle scolding well. Some are stubborn, some eager to please and learn).
When Icy asked if you were ready to sacrifice your free time it was a good question. Like Icy, my life kind of revolves around my dogs. 6 AM potty breaks are normal (with as many as I have, usually someone has to go in the wee hours of the morning). I can't go out for the evening unless I find a "babysitter" (someone in my family willing to make sure the dogs go out to potty and get fed and have their toys...). Even if I'm hungry, or tired, or sick, I still have to make sure the dogs are taken care of - or I have to find someone who will take care of them for me. You always have to remember that the dog depends on you for almost everything.
But they are wonderful, joyful additions to your life if they are well bred, well socialized, well cared for, and well loved. They will love you with only a couple of basic conditions - you feed them, give them water, take them potty, keep them well groomed and clean, give them toys, and give them love. :) They never care if you've said something stupid, or smell bad, or are having a bad day. My 18 year old sister has had 3 shelties of her own that she is responsible for since she was 15 and she does a great job with them. So I know that younger people can 100% handle the responsibility.
Well, I can't get a poodle (too much trimming, but I think I can change my parents mind about that) but most of the time, if my brother is around cats, he starts to wheeze, and since we moved, it has been less, but before, sometimes he had to go to the Emergency Room.
So, I think that before we get a dog (our friends had a schnoodle, and our family slept over, my brother had 0 wheezing) it will have to stay for a night or two at our house.
I have thought about : Havanese, Bichons, Yorkies ( my sister thinks that they are cute, but she couldn't take care of a goldfish), and Wesites (my mom loves them!) and Poodles ( I have met 4 standards)
College: I am worried about that, but I am going to check at a few colleges I have been considering (5 years isn't too far away) and if they do not allow dogs, I think I may have to rent an apartment near campus, one that allows dogs.
I just wanted to mention that Westies have to be professionally groomed, too. If that is the breed your mother favors, I would go with that.
Your mom will probably go through some periods of having to care for your dog while you are away and if she is fond of it, that makes it easier for everyone. A Westie is a good family dog and if it is kept clean and groomed, probably won't cause your brother any problems.
You might want to wait to get a Standard Poodle until after you have finished school and have your own place. They are so smart that they end up having stimulation and socialization needs that might be hard for you right now. I've had two and I love them to death, but they would have been a disaster in the house where I grew up.
Whatever you decide to do, good luck. See if you can chat with Shadowdog, she is a young person raising and training a demanding breed (pit bull) and seems to be doing well. It's been a long time since I was a teenager and sometimes I forget what it was like.
Well thats a pretty responsible question to ask yourself, how old are you? I guess the question you want to ask yourself is how can I make this dog life happy and exciting. How can I keep him healthy, What does he need? As an owner of any animal you have to be concerned about the well being of the animal. Are his daily needs going to be met, or is he going to end up out in the back yard tied to a pole.
Are you generally a responsible person, do you keep your room clean or do you tend to let things go. Do you like to spend lots of time with your friends or do you like to spend alot of time alone.
When I was younger I had friends, but I prefered to spend my time alone (just with the dog)
If your brother has asthma, this should be a concern because some dogs will bother an asthma sufferer.