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Thread: Thinking of getting a dog

  1. #11
    Roundy-Round Racer tigeraid's Avatar
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    Agreed, please don't be "one of those people" who get a dog just to satisfy their child, and end up giving that dog a terrible life, and then just foisting it upon someone else later down the road.

    Give it 100% or don't give it at all. Once a dog is housebroken, it can be left alone for long periods and generally do okay--but depending on the breed, it may need a LOT of exercise and excitement.

    But during the first 6-12 months, it's CRUCIAL that it has almost constant contact with at least one of its owners, to be house-broken, food trained, and walked and disciplined as necessary. Otherwise the dog'll end up either running your life forever, or you'll end up being that dick that just leaves it in a cage its whole life. I was lucky enough to get Charlie when I was night shift and Tara was day shift, so we could cover him the entire time we were house training him. After that, no need to crate him during the day, boom, he's basically a cat that needs a walk now and then.

    Having said that, if you choose to do so, there are breeds, like him, that can make things a little easier. They are usually dogs that insecure, overly-masculine males make fun of and say are not "real dogs." My shih-tzu is a perfect example, and other than some difficulties with consistent potty training in the first 6 months, he has been absolutely devoted, loving, and well-behaved. And also super chilled out. And you can just cut their damn hair short if you don't like the foo-foo dog show-looking hairstyle.

    In my experience the big badass scary dogs that most men like to own need the most care and discipline--and they never get it, which is why we have all the problems we do in this society.

  2. #12
    Senior Member sandydandy's Avatar
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    So it looks like Cam is the man. Like almost everyone else I will agree with him too. I want to thank everyone for their opinions. Helped to set my head straight. I am still undecided, but am leaning toward the yes side. I absolutely understand I have to be all in before I make a final decision. Donít want to be just part of the process, I want to lead it.

    One thing thatís certain is that thereís no hurry. We have to consider our schedules. No sense getting a dog when the house is empty for half the day. Around the summer is probably a better time so someone is home during the day. Also, personally I have to reconcile the idea of picking up shit and training the dog, and all the real work that goes with it. It has to be a full commitment from all of us for it to work.

    I think coming to terms with the extra responsibility is whatís really standing in my way.

    My brother-in-law got his daughters a Pug a couple of years ago, and they pretty much treat him like shit. It breaks my heart. They named him DJ, and Iíve seen the way he gravitates toward us when we visit. Itís almost like heís begging us ďtake me with youĒ. Classic example of a guy buying a dog just for the kids. They donít abuse or neglect him or anything, but donít exactly give him much real love either. Heís just a toy for the girls and they donít exactly handle him with loving hands. Watching their family has provided great contrast for us, in our many discussions about how we would treat DJ if he was ours. The worst is they cage him every night, and also when theyíre out. Just seems so unnatural to me. Dogs are meant to be free spirits, not locked in cages like hamsters. The fact that they canít take the time or spend a little bit of money to train him properly shows how really unloving they are, and undeserving of having such a treasure in their lives. But itís their house, theyíre family, their rules. Canít do much except cringe from a distance.

    I mentioned earlier that I grew up hating dogs. I was actually deathly afraid of them as a kid. When I was four-years-old I was traumatized by a big dog, which triggered stuttering. Been a stutterer ever since, and held a lot of resentment toward dogs over the years. The resentment ended many years ago, and was replaced with apprehension. But getting close with DJ over the past couple of years has pretty much changed that.

    Getting a big dog has always been my preference, but we live in a relatively small house, so that wouldnít be suitable for us. So no Husky or German Shepherd, but not something as small as a Pug either. We were thinking a Jack Russell Terrier, but I saw those things are tiny. Feisty but really small, smaller than Pugs. There are so many breeds that itís going to take time and research to figure out whatís right for us.

  3. #13
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    Yeah, I get the feeling that camís advice would be good for your wife and kids. You OTOH needed a nudge!

    There are lots of folks who claim to love pets and wouldnít think twice about getting a pet, but then treat them like crap or abandon them. Anyone who would put i this much effort into preparing himself whether mentally or logistically most likely will be a great owner.

    One final warning I have for you is that someday, this dog will probably be yours exclusively as wife got bored and kids out of the house. The day this doggie goes to heaven will totally break your heart. Hope youíll be prepared for that. Anyway, trust me, itís better to love and lost then never ever had to love a pet at all!

  4. #14
    Crime Fighter Cam's Avatar
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    Dogs can be really amazing with the right discipline, obviously. Levi was nearly uncontrollable when we first got him. After taking dog training classes, he was transformed!

    As someone else said, adopt a dog and avoid getting a puppy. There are so many wonderful dogs in shelters and the people there can tell you about the dogs' personalities. They can recommend a "dog for noobs."

    Sandy, if you really want to go all-in, McCann's Professional Dog Trainers is in Hamilton. Their dogs have won national competitions. We did the first two grades with them and it was totally worth it. When we went (2011-2012), first grade was one evening a week for eight weeks. It was fun, the people are nice, and Levi really liked getting in the car to go on Thursday evenings.

  5. #15
    Crime Fighter Cam's Avatar
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    We got a dog because Lori wanted a dog. I was apprehensive at first, as I never owned a dog and did not want the responsibility. I am embarrassed to admit it, but Levi was not the first dog we tried adopting. We got a dog from the SPCA several months before Levi. We only could stand 24 hours with him because he was really high-energy and had anxiety issues. He was tearing our place up. We returned him. We were ill-prepared for that dog. Later, we timed getting Levi with starting McCann's. Plus, Levi was a bit more chill.

    Because I went all-in, I became the primary handler for the dog. Lori and I doubled-up the at-home training. Levi went from being the worst dog in the class to being the best dog in the class because we did the work. You can't do it half-assed or it won't work. Now, I have basic verbal control with him. Most of the time, he'll do as I ask, unless there is an extreme distraction. We can walk him off-leash because I trust him to do as I ask. Dogs can be amazing. You just have to have the discipline.

  6. #16
    Crime Fighter Cam's Avatar
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    Our next-door neighbours have a dog, Max. Their yard is completely enclosed in a chain-link fence, except between us and them, where it is a six-foot wooden privacy fence. Max barks at anything and everything incessantly, especially when we walk by with Levi. Max has separation anxiety and freaks when the owners leave. Max never gets outside of the fence ever. No walks or anything like that. I only ever saw Max out of the yard once. One of the owners took him somewhere in the car. Max looked as happy as anything hanging out of the car window as they drove by. He did not even look at us let alone bark at Levi and I. Dogs are smart enough to know if they are in a prison. I think when Max barks at us, he's begging us for a jail break.

  7. #17
    Dead Brand Ambassador dodint's Avatar
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    Our dog lives kind of like that. When Ash mentioned that we buy houses for the dog that is what she meant. We have a dog door built into the back wall of our house. She has the ability to go outside any time and investigate the back yard and up into the portion of the woods that is fenced in. She enjoys sunning herself and barking at the packs of deer that run through the woods. That said we still make it a point to take her to walks in fun places on Sundays and she goes with us when we have to go stay the night at our other property. She doesn't like it much there because she only leaves the house on leash. We took her to the beach last year in NC because that's where she was born and lived most her life and she's probably getting too old to make the trip again.

    Our arrangement is handy, though. When we leave to go to SC next week a dog sitter will come by and play with her daily. The dog gets to stay in her familiar surroundings while we're gone and there are no messes to clean up. We enjoy that because we planned well in advance.

  8. #18
    Junior Potato
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    All this dog talk makes me want to get one

    A common thing here in Australia is people buying dogs that go to work with them. Worksite dogs, like if you were a tradie or in construction. I know a few people who have a dog that goes everywhere with them on the back of the Ute. It’s cool!

  9. #19
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    Don't. If your hearts not in it why are you even considering it? Do you trust your kids follow through on this? Your wifes? Do they start projects and abandon them? Then no. OTOH this could teach them to follow through. I'm still no though.

    That's like me getting a snowboard. Except a snowboard doesn't need constant attention, care, food, grooming, vet visits, exercise, training and doesn't have a mind of it's own. That's why I ride a motorcycle, not a horse.

    And a lot of people get dogs based on the look of the dog, not the type of dog it is. Working dogs (herders, German Shepherds, sled dogs, etc) need lots of interaction and to be and exercised vigorously. A friend wanted a sled dog. Wasn't prepared for all the shedding. Turned out his allergies were exacerbated by the dog. Another wanted a terrier, living in an apartment in LA. Barked all the time. Wasn't prepared for that. They had to move constantly because of the barking dog. They wanted the dog but weren't prepared for the work in keeping a dog.
    Last edited by neanderthal; May 20th, 2019 at 05:53 PM.

  10. #20
    Bubbles :D M4FFU's Avatar
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    Vote Cam.

    You gotta go all in. We did. Our lives evolve around the dog. He's the centre of everything; but I love that. And so does he. But don't be someone who doesn't do that. Bec works part-time, we don't go abroad for holidays, the weekends largely evolve around the dog - because we want to. Makes me sad dogs that are left alone for the day, put in kennels for holidays, stuff like that.

    I love Tanks routine more than he does.

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