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  • Need advice on getting a dog.....

    Hi, I've always loved dogs, but have never had one. Right now we have two cats, but we want a dog to go for walks and to the park, etc. We're thinking about getting a lab from the shelter. We'd just rather have a bigger dog. We also have a toddler in the house and maybe I'm wrong, but I think she'd do better around a bigger dog. Need opinions though...would keeping a dog outside be okay until winter? If so, what things do we need to buy in preparation for a new dog living outside? Then in winter or maybe even nights we'd bring the dog in and let it stay downstairs. Right now our basement isn't finished and it's mostly used for storage. What would we need to buy to keep a dog in our basement? What things in general do we need to know before getting a dog or what supplies will we need? Any help is appreciated!!! And we haven't made our final decision on this either. I'd rather have the dog in the house full-time, but not sure if it'd get along with the two cats. Maybe eventually everyone could be friends, but these are my thoughts as of right now!

  • #2
    Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

    Our bes dogs have been labs or lab mixes. Our last one just died 2 wks ago. 15 yrs old, black lab/golden retreiver mix. They are very smart. Great with kids, and protective of their own, but not overly so that others can't be around.
    Young labs love to chew, but we've found if you give him/her several play toys they can chew on, they will leave other things alone, and they've been real easy to house break. If/when we get another, it will be a lab/retriever of some kind, DH wants a chesapeak bay retriever.

    Outside will need: Dog house (of course), water and food bowls, make them big/strong enough he/she can't dump them our too easy. We used a "muck bucket" thick plastic found in garden areas to carry the "muck" out, for water, and got a pig feeder from the farm and ranch store, square, hard plastic that won't dump over. Summer time, a small kids pool to play in, and several diff. toys, balls, ropes, what ever.
    Inside: different toys to play with, food and water. dog bed, may even use old sheets/blankets, doesn't have to be anything fancy. leash/collar, dog shampoo,


    Sounds like alot, but once you have it, you don't have to keep buying the stuff. just the dog food, and replace toys as you need to.

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    • #3
      Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

      I'll say my piece then shut up.

      Dogs are pack animals. YOU are their pack. Dogs need socialization, a place with the pack and a feeling of being a part of the pecking order (you or your DH being the Alpha dog). Dogs live IN the pack, not separated from the pack.

      Labrador Retrievers are working dogs. They hunt with the hunter. They need a job. Being left outside for most of its life, by itself, is not what they're meant to do.

      If you want an animal that is kept outside and only used when you feel like being accompanied to the park, get a bicycle. If you want to feel safe, get an alarm system and take karate lessons. Anything else, in my humblest of opinions, is never, ever fair to the dog.
      Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.

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      • #4
        Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

        Okay, jodilyns, you posted two very similar things. As I said in reply to your other post, if you do not want to raise another child for 10-15 years (and then watch it die) do not get a dog. A dog is literally, a child with fur. It has the same needs as a 3-5 year old child. Think short attention span, lots of attention, bad behaviour when ignored, routine, routine, routine, early mornings, walks/play even when the 'parents' don't want to. My very solomn advice would be to wait until your child is older ( like 5 or 6) and then share the work, training, and enjoyment of a dog, with your child.
        Communicate. It can't make things any worse!

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        • #5
          Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

          Originally posted by Sweet Pea View Post
          I'll say my piece then shut up.

          Dogs are pack animals. YOU are their pack. Dogs need socialization, a place with the pack and a feeling of being a part of the pecking order (you or your DH being the Alpha dog). Dogs live IN the pack, not separated from the pack.

          Labrador Retrievers are working dogs. They hunt with the hunter. They need a job. Being left outside for most of its life, by itself, is not what they're meant to do.

          If you want an animal that is kept outside and only used when you feel like being accompanied to the park, get a bicycle. If you want to feel safe, get an alarm system and take karate lessons. Anything else, in my humblest of opinions, is never, ever fair to the dog.


          Dam Hunny!
          I agree with MOST of this, but I included my little friend in MY pack and treated him like my family. We were both happy.
          What are your opinions on child rearing? Just curious and not in a snide way by any means...
          Have you made time to listen to the birds today........

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          • #6
            Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

            TexAnn I totally agree with Sweet Pea. If you are going to get a medium to large dog and expect it to be happy outside or in the basement, waiting for you to pay a little attention to it, then you will creat a 'bad dog'. Try watching Dog Whisperer sometime. He has some very good info on the role of a dog in a family unit.
            Communicate. It can't make things any worse!

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            • #7
              Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

              Originally posted by TexAnn View Post
              Dam Hunny!
              I agree with MOST of this, but I included my little friend in MY pack and treated him like my family. We were both happy.
              What are your opinions on child rearing? Just curious and not in a snide way by any means...
              Well, I don't think children should be left outside in a doghouse, either.
              Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

                I understand and totally agree...love the Dog Whisperer. I cannot handle a large dog anymore and live on a tight budget that will not allow me the luxuries of grooming, so I opted for a smaller friend, that I could take care of. Yes, larger dogs are a whole different story, still need lots of love, and they need the same attention and deserve the same attention. You should choose a dog that fits your lifestyle and one that you can comfortably take care of properly..
                Last edited by TexAnn; 08-20-2008, 10:34 PM.
                Have you made time to listen to the birds today........

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                • #9
                  Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

                  Originally posted by Sweet Pea View Post
                  Well, I don't think children should be left outside in a doghouse, either.
                  Well we agree on that one Friend! LOL!!!
                  Have you made time to listen to the birds today........

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                  • #10
                    Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

                    Someday I'll get a dog, but not until I retire. Then I'll have time for it. And NO MORE BIG DOGS. I want something smaller, more catlike.
                    Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

                      You will appreciate it all the more when you have the time to REALLY enjoy one another!(((HUGS))) I cannot groom a large dog anymore and I like to keep them clean. a smaller dog is just right for me and I can spoil them properly too...lol!
                      Last edited by TexAnn; 08-20-2008, 10:36 PM.
                      Have you made time to listen to the birds today........

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

                        Just re-read your initial post. Firstly, if you get a dog from the shelter, it would probably not be a puppy and would come with its own set of problems (from it's previous life). That in itself could be a significant problem because you could not be sure if the dog had exhibited any agression to adults or children.

                        Secondly, still with the idea of a shelter dog, would you be willing to take the time and money to go into remedial training with your dog. This animal and,especially, you (since you state that you have never had a dog) need to learn how to communicate and relate to each other. Sweet Pea made a very salient point. You, your husband, your child must all be alpha to this dog. That takes training for your family and lots of dedicated time and effort.

                        Don't get me wrong. I think every child should have the experience of loving and being loved by a dog. I just do not think that dogs belong in every family.

                        If you do not have the room for a 50 lb dog (and believe me that is NOT a large dog) to be comfortable in a yard--fenced, with a dog house, picking up the 'do-do' every day--especially if the child is also in the area.

                        If you do not have the time, energy or dedication to spend significant time every day with this animal, training, playing, interacting, and grooming.

                        If you do not have the money to make sure this animal has its annual minimum vet bill covered every year (for me that is about $350) especially for its innoculations every year.

                        If you are thinking of this animal as a reason to take a walk in the park, a playmate for your child, anything other than a long-term addition to your family, DO NOT GET A DOG.
                        Communicate. It can't make things any worse!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

                          I will tell you what I told my daughter a while back...dogs are not cats. She had a cat, and REALLY wanted a dog. I tried to tell her that cats are so easy to take care of, and dogs, compared to cats, are high maintenance. She didn't listen, got the dog, and then had to find a home for it when the roommates gave her grief about the barking and the chewing and the hyperactivity, etc., etc. I'm still a little pissed at her about the whole thing. However, if you do decide that you have the time to devote to the dog, please, please consider a shelter dog. I volunteer with a group called SNAP (spay neuter assistance program), we act as a liason between low income families and local vets to help get pets "fixed" at a reduced rate, so that hopefully we can reduce the number of animals that end up in shelters. All of my dogs have come from a shelter, with the exception of the current one, who came with the husband. I've never had any problems, just lots of love and devotion!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

                            Originally posted by Sweet Pea View Post
                            I'll say my piece then shut up.

                            Dogs are pack animals. YOU are their pack. Dogs need socialization, a place with the pack and a feeling of being a part of the pecking order (you or your DH being the Alpha dog). Dogs live IN the pack, not separated from the pack.

                            Labrador Retrievers are working dogs. They hunt with the hunter. They need a job. Being left outside for most of its life, by itself, is not what they're meant to do.

                            If you want an animal that is kept outside and only used when you feel like being accompanied to the park, get a bicycle. If you want to feel safe, get an alarm system and take karate lessons. Anything else, in my humblest of opinions, is never, ever fair to the dog.
                            I never said we wanted to keep a dog outside to ignore it. I was seeking advice on how well it would work, but I was hoping it would be a temporary situation since we have indoor cats and I thought it would work best to acclimate them to each other gradually. Our backyard could be its playground alone and with us and during the day we would go out there to entertain and be entertained. I really don't think keeping a dog outside is much worse than keeping a dog in a crate, like a lot of people do, while at work for 8 hours plus. However, I don't mean that it should be out in adverse elements like a blizzard or thunderstorm, etc. Please just know that I am an animal lover and I go out of my way for my pets.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Need advice on getting a dog.....

                              Wonderful! And that means it'll be inside with all of you at night? Very cool.
                              Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.

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