Kind of, sort of considering a dog.... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Kind of, sort of considering a dog....

About a week ago I went to the pet store for some more fish supplies and saw one of cutest puppies. It's a Cocker Spaniel/Shetland Sheepdog cross. She is sooooo adorable.

When I was little my folks had a Cocker Spaniel so I know their temperment is good. The Shelties are a little bit more hyper but yet so adorable. The little one at the store has the cutest ears! They sit directly on the top of her head flopped forward, not off to the side a little like they typically should.

Anyway, at first I came back home telling Ken that the kids need a dog, not really expecting much of a response out of him. We've talk about it a little more throughout the week and may get her tomorrow.

She'd be the perfect-sized dog full grown; not too big for what I would feel comfortable with an in-town dog. I am leery of a couple things though; the big one being that I've never had to potty train a dog. All the dogs I've ever had were out on a farm so we never had to worry about training them to tell us when they had to go potty. Any pointers on tackling this issue? Also, there's the thing with leaving for a weekend or longer vacation. I really wouldn't want to take a dog with as there may be many places we'd go that a dog wouldn't be allowed and I wouldn't want it to have to sit in a car during those times. I know we could board it somewhere but I'm afraid of finding "the right one." How do you know if a boarding establishment is good or not?

I can't believe what's happening to this household in the last couple of months! We just got a couple of fish tanks decently established and now we're serious thinking about adding a puppy to the mix. I have to admit I'm in love with the idea of having a dog that the kids can grow up with.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 12:35 AM
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No pointers on the potty training seeing as I've only ever been around or owned older dogs, never puppies.

But do really consider where they got this puppy from. Pet shops are no places for puppies. There is a very good chance they got it from a BYB or a puppy mill and it could have a landslide of health problems due to this. Some pet stores help the local SPCA's by adopting dogs from their store as well. I'd find this out first and get health records for the puppy. I've worked in pet stores that have sold puppies and much of the time it has never turned out good for the puppy. Either the family was able to deal with a puppy and brought it back demanding a refund (which of course the pet shop wouldn't) and then I can only imagine where the poor puppy ended up or they came back horridly sick or on death's door because they came from a BYB or a puppy mill. There was on time a St. Bernard puppy was sold and within two days it was brought back horridly ill, the owner put the puppy in the bathroom, told everyone to stay out of the bathroom and then went on with her day like it was nothing, never called the "breeder" nor a vet and when asked said, nevermind it doesn't concern you. Within several hours the puppy was dead and it was then that she called the "breeder" and screamed at her that she gave her a sick puppy and that she wanted her money back, the rest of the puppies out and a new load of puppies brought in for free.

Also Cockers and Shelties tend to have various tempers and are known to be snappy at times, get horrid ear infections(this is towards the cockers), matts, eye issues, hip issues, bleeding disorders, deafness, and skin problems. If bred without a care as most BYB and puppy mills do.

Shelters will usually look into this sort of thing and give a health check and records of the health check etc when adoption occurs where as pet shops won't most of the time as the puppies have never seen a vet and probably neither have their parents.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 01:13 AM
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Please please please please please for the love of god do not buy a puppy from a pet store!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The only way to go is to buy from either a registered breeder who has done all the appropriate health checks etc. or go for a rescue. Depends on your price range, purebred dogs are between $300 - $1000 rescue dogs from $0 - $200. As has been said above buying from a pet store is only supporting a discusting industry that causes countless dogs to suffer and many more being pts because of pet overpopulation.

One thing you'll need to realise is that having a puppy is just like having a baby in the house... that doesnt wear nappies and has needle like teeth! Be prepared to have your patience tested. Thats the great thing about rescues is you dont necessarily have to get a puppy, you can find a dog that fits all your requirements (good with cats, kids etc.) and has already passed all those annoying puppy stages. I mean when i got Tyson he was 16 weeks old so already passed the no brainer puppy stage where they dont seem to think before they act, his toilet and lead training was pretty much already done for me and he already knew how to sit etc. but at the same time he's still a baby and i can still get to watch him grow.

The thing you also need to be careful of with cross breeds is as much as people like to claim it, you have no idea how big they will get or what exactly they are REALY crossed with. My dog Pixie was apparently a maltese x cavalier she ended up growing up to be 100% jack russel. No exactly the best breed of dog to have in a house full of small animals as pets.

Okay as for toilet training. I realy recommend you research into 'crate training' that makes things sooo much easier. The key is to not allow the puppy a chance to make a mistake. He's going to have to be taken outside every hour (especially after eating and sleeping) and at night time you should either crate him and take him outside whenever he cries so he can go toilet or have him sleep in a puppy play pen set up next to your bed where the ground is covered in news paper and he has his bed and food. (I can post a pic if you like)

The best thing to do would be to reasearch into the breed of dog you are getting, that gives you the best heads up on what to expect and whether the dog will suit your family. If you want you can list your expectaions and wants in a dog and i can tell you what breeds would suit? Of course shelter dogs are realy the easiest way to find a dog will suit your home since their temperment has already been assesed and you know exactly what you're getting (especially if they're already fully grown).

Sincerely, Krystle.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 01:34 AM
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Re: Kind of, sort of considering a dog....

Before you get a puppy please know that is very time consuming, LOTS of patience and time is required, the affection part is very easy as puppies are so cute!

Maria
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 05:03 AM
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Puppies are very time consuming and dogs will always be higher maintenance than a cat. But its worth it in my view as they are the best animals EVER!

Do you want a purebred? If you do I'm assuming you know registered breeders are the way to go. If not, nip down to your local shelter or see whats on craigslist. Benji we got from a 'free to a good home' ad in front of a pet shop (I never see puppies bring sold in a pet shop in the UK - I'm not sure but I don't think its allowed) - but of course that was 17 years ago. I'd consider a shelter if I was going to get a dog now.

I don't remember how my Mum toilet trained Benji but I knew a couple who got a puppy a year or two ago. They brought puppy pads from the supermarket and got the little one to understand thats the place to go and then - once the little one was allowed out of the house (after his vacs) - he was taken out in the garden once an hour and praised whenever he did the deed. He got the message pretty quickly.

Dogs tend to be highly intelligent animals and figure things out quickly - particularly if there is something yummy to be had if they are good

I don't know if you have ever had a dog but they are nothing like cats. I got Toby as a 'dog replacement' but theres no way that Toby is anything like a dog (and nor would I want him to be now - its via Toby I've learned just how wonderful cats are) and you will find dog ownership is rather different to cat ownership.

Just out of interest. Are you are home a fair bit? They are very socialable animals and love company. I'd have a dog in a flash but not at the moment because I work full time during the week. Leaving a dog on its own for long periods (more than 4 hours) is not a good idea - you will end up with a very unhappy hound. They are nothing like as independent as cats.

"FIV != PTS"
"SENIOR KITTIZENS ROCK! (between naps)"

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 10:04 AM
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I have 2 cockers and they are wonderful dogs. Yes, they have a higher incidence of health issues than some other breeds, but it sounds like this puppy doesn't have the ear flaps that hang down which can foster ear infections.

Potty training can be difficult. The biggest thing is crate training and a schedule. You can also train the dog to hit a bell that you hang by the door to alert you when it needs to go out.

If you get the puppy, we will need lots of pictures of this cutie.


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 11:17 AM
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I believe the best way to house train a puppy is with crate training. Dogs are natural den creatures and like having a "home." I used an open crate, not a carrier type, and just put some blankets in it that she couldn't chew (no fringe, etc.), and a few toys of course (no ropes or real bones). They will not pee in their "den" - at least not once they realize that's what it is. Then take them out on a schedule or teach them the bell thing (I didn't do that). I didn't want my dog to have to be in a crate for life, so I started leaving her out for 5 min (run to get the mail), then 10 minutes (quick trip to grocery), then longer and longer each time to see how she would react. Once I knew she wasn't destroying anything, I starting leaving the crate door open as an option and letting her have the run of the house while I was gone. The whole process only took a month or two, but I would think it would be much harder to train a pet store dog to NOT pee in a crate when that's what he's been used to.

I agree with PP, no dogs from a pet store! But we did have an "upscale" petstore in our mall (not a chain) that got purebreds from local breeders. I went and checked the breeder out and actually bought a MinPin there. He was the best looking MinPin I've ever seen. It was legit and not a puppy mill, but MOST ARE!! So please do your research and be careful!! Also, I know people that have gotten a puppy and then not trained it sufficiently in behavior and/or house breaking, so they gave it away. They do take lots of time and attention! Good luck!
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 11:30 AM
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Good advice about not buying a dog from a pet store. The pups don't have freedom and have probably come froom a puppy mill.

I used to breed and show Collies. These pups were raised with love and attention. That's the usual with a small breeder. Don't support the puppy mills, please. They should be put out of business. Please spread the word! People don't realize the those people use dogs as puppy machines.




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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-29-2008, 07:09 PM
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*agrees with everyone about puppy mills and pet stores*

::My 2 cents::

As a former vet tech., I used to ask people this question when they said they wanted their kids to "grow up with a puppy":

How old are your kids, and are you ABSOLUTELY SURE you can devote nearly all day, everyday for the next 2 months on training the puppy?

Most people that have young children and other pets really don't have the necessary patience and time to devote to properly training a puppy. I'd say (and all this is just my opinion), take a week or so off work if you're really serious about getting a puppy to potty train.
It can be done in a week (with very few accidents afterword) if it's done right. Then you can start enjoying time with the whole family in earnest. Those first few weeks are hard, especially with children and other pets to worry about.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-30-2008, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Well, we got a dog last night; she's a Cocker/Sheltie cross. She was consigned through the pet store by a registered breeder.

I'll get pictures post this evening hopefully. The kids love her to pieces of course and the cats definitely don't but they're not mean to her or anything; just letting her know they got here first. They're definitely nicer to her than to other strange cats they've seen.

I'll admit, I let my heart make most of the decisions in this because of the adorableness of the puppy but we wanted one for our kids that could grow up with them and, thus, learn to adapt to kids easily.

My dad thinks I've completely flipped my lid! I grew up on a farm so we weren't allowed to have animals in the house. He does not like inside animals. My mom thinks she's cute but she does think I'm a bit crazy for wanting a dog because of the responsibility involved.

She's 3/4 Sheltie and 1/4 Cocker Spaniel. She does have the floppy ears of a Cocker Spaniel but I think she might end up being more petite, closer to the Sheltie size, just judging by how big her paws are and such.

I was totally amazed that last night she only whimpered a few seconds once! We went to bed about 12:30 so Ken took her out to go potty at about Midnight and she did then. He got up again about 3:00 with her but that time she did nothing. Then again about 5:30 and still nothing. She's gone #2 twice for us and peed once.

She has tinkled in 2 spots in the house. We didn't catch her immediately when it happened so there wasn't a scolding. In between trying to get her to potty we're keeping her in a kennel right beside me as I work. We'll be taking her outside about every 2 hours to see if she does anything. Tonight after supper we'll take her outside to run and play.

At least we can go on short little jaunts with a dog as they do car rides much better than cats and we know of quite a few hotels that are pet friendly. I also do know of pet sitters around here who watch animals in the event we couldn't take her with us. I've spoken with our neighbor who has a gal come over to her house to care for the dog twice a day while she has to be away for a few days at a time. She really likes her.

Well, I'd better get back to work. Please know that I DO NOT support puppy milling either. This is a local pet store who only takes pets from registered breeders. We were given the breeders names and contact info.
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