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honest opinions about experiences with dogs

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Re: honest opinions about experiences with dogs

  • We have a 5 month old English Bulldog...he is perfect for us.  He is low-key and mellow and after we enrolled him in dog training, VERY well behaved.  He is an exception to every other bully we have been around, he is so eager to please us.  He was a great addition and I don't regret getting him at all.  Its great to come home from a long day at work and see his cute face and his energy defiently portrays to us, no matter how bad our day may have been.

     The downside as others have said, he is much like having a baby.  Or tougher.  We are up early on the weekends and can no longer sleep in or just get on our bike and go ride for a long weekend somewhere.  We also have experienced bouts of upset tummys and they aren't quite so "containable".  I travel for work and so does my husband so we are always need to make sure one or the other will be home or make appropriate arrangements for him.  Also, I am a clean freak like no other and its been a very big adjustment to have dog hair on me, in the carpet, and footprints on the tile.  If hair or cleanliness bothers you, I would rethink something with short hair. 

  • Congratulations :)

    I have an old dog and a young one. We adopted the old guy Napoelon first and he is my heart. I love this old guy more than I ever thought possible. He changed our entire house. We then adopted a young puppy Max about 6 months later and he also changed our house. Napoleon is the laid back good old boy that does nothing wrong. Max is the high maintance puppy that does everything wrong!

    There are so many likes. Way more than dislikes. I knew it would be expensive, but it really did not sink on just how expensive. The vet bills, the food, flea treatment, etc. Also, the time and work. I knew a puppy took a lot of work, but did not really know how much work until I was in it. I remember being so sleep deprived for months. With just the old guy this was not an issue and a big adjustment.

    I am so happy you are here and asking questions. We have a great group in your area that can help you. I am also a big fan of rescues and a dog that has been in foster care. They will be able to tell you much more about the dog.

  • being lazy and not reading everyone's responses....so humor me if i repeat what's already been said.

    know what you want as far as grooming, activity level, and general personality (smart, dumb, lazy, active, working, etc, etc.)

    some rescues are more than people can handle.  some rescues aren't.  when we adopted coral, we were first time dog owners.  we adopted from a rescue, and we ended up with a 1 year old dog who was housebroken, crate trained, knew basic obedience, knew manners, didn't counter surf, was good with other dogs, and good with kids.  easiest dog ever.  she was young and loved to play...but was also part great dane and lazy enough that she was content without being exercised.  she was the perfect, idiot-proof dog.

    on getting 2 dogs....hell to the f no.  don't do it.  just don't.  please.  promise me you won't.  one dog is a lot of work and a lot of adjustment.  2 dogs will get into SO much more trouble, and somehow be 4 times as much work to train.

    i know working from home sounds great...but honestly, unless you get an older, very lazy dog who just wants to snooze all day, you will get far less work done than you think. 

    i applaud you for realizing how important training was.  our rescue required we sign up for training classes for coral (even though she knew everything already).  classes were to teach US how to work with her.  she knew what to do already.  it was the doofuses holding the leash that needed work.  one thing i'm very glad we did from the beginning was figure out what house rules were.  (no jumping on people.  EVER.  no bolting through doors.  dogs wait until given permission to go in and out of the house.  no dogs on furniture.  no giving dogs attention at the dinner table.)  we also train like crazy initially.  we tether the dog to us so they aren't given the opportunity to get into trouble.  i had treat bags in every room in the house for spur of the moment training. 

    we are personally lazyass people, so we chose a lazyass dog.  so honestly, getting a dog didn't seem like a whole lot of work for us (also remember though, we adopted the perfect dog).  i did have to take her on 2 30 minute walks every day.  but playing with her and spending time with her was a joy, and something i'd rather do than go out.

    image
    Have you seen my monkey?
  • I'll be 100% honest with you and say that the dogs were WAY more work that I had ever expected. If you are open to getting a slightly older dog there will hopefully be less of the puppy destruction and potty training and biting and initial socializing and basic manners training, etc. It all takes a lot of time and a lot of energy. And when you work a lot day and just want to come home and watch TV, puppy wants to PLAY and jump and walk or run and interact, etc. Picking up poop, letting out to potty, sometimes in the middle of the night or super early in the morning, grooming, vet visits, chewing on anything she can get her little teeth on, (and sometimes swallowing something she shouldn't and needed to go to the vet) are some of the things I did not fully think about. They are much more expensive than their food. ;) 

    The control your life in a way you may not anticipate. It sounds like your work schedule is flexible. But you have to keep in mind not going directly to happy hour after work, because someone needs to go home and feed pup and her let out to potty. It's harder to go out with friends and decide to crash at their place, because someone will need to let pup out. Planning a dog sitter for a long weekend or vacation or paying for boarding. It takes a lot of communication about what both you and H expect and that you are both willing to put in the time and effort of raising your pup for the next 10-15 years. It's like a toddler who never really grows up.

    If you made it through the ugly truth, you get to the good stuff. I LOVE my dogs. They make me laugh. The encourage me (force me?) to get out and be active every day, including running, hiking, finding dog beaches, etc. Because of them, I know all of my neighbors and end up talking to tons of people every day- so many people love to stop and chat about your pup.  You will meet other dogs lovers. You will knows the names of every dog at the park, whether or not you know the pet parent's name. They helped me stay sane during my divorce. They are ridiculously excited to see me when I come home every day. They are curled up on my feet right now :) 

    As long as you two are realistic that a dog is not just around when convenient, but all the time, including the most inconvenient times, that they are expensive and will require a commitment from both of you, you can make it through and really appreciate having such a great companion. 

    [IMG]http://i40.tinypic.com/ab19id.jpg[/IMG]
  • I love our dog. So very much. And I can't imagine ever NOT having a dog now. That being said, it is work, and it does change your lifestyle, but it's so worth it.

    We took in a middle-to-older-age dog, he was 6 when he came to live with us which is on the older side for a large-breed dog. Honestly, he adjusted to life with us so easily. We were warned that there's a transition time when a dog moves into a new home, especially one who was a little bit older like ours, so we expected some accidents in the house, nervousness, naughty behavior, etc. That's likely why some rescues/shelters are hesitant to adopt older dogs to 1st-time owners, although we had none of those issues.

    I wouldn't recommend getting a dog for people who aren't home very much. That's been the biggest adjustment for us. We used to be out & about more on week nights, but now we feel guilty leaving the dog home alone in the evenings when he's also been home alone during the day while we're at work. So, we stick around the house a lot more on week nights now, or go on outings that can include the dog. That allows us to give him the time, attention and exercise he needs.

    I'm glad to hear you're considering the financial obligations of being a pet owner. It totally depends on the dog, but it can be expensive. I love our dog to pieces, but he's not cheap.

    As previously suggested, I would suggest looking on petfinder.com for options in your area. There are probably rescue groups you don't even know about.

    image
    Mr. Sammy Dog
  • Our dog makes us ridiculously happy, and we are so glad that we adopted her 4 years ago!

    The dog we chose has major anxiety issues thus, we have the following problems:

    She is too scared to be left with friends, so she needs expensive pet boarding (about $1000/yr for our travel schedule) and we always feel guilty leaving her so we often drive places vs. fly to include her (fortunately, she loves car rides, even across the country), she is not comfortable with anyone else being in our home and must be crated when we have visitors, she is afraid of children and attempts to run when she sees them in public (our first baby is on the way and we will be enlisting professional help very soon), she pees/poos from fear at the vet, and she's afraid of most household noises and objects.  

     Shedding is also an issue, as she's a shepherd mix with a thick undercoat.  I vacuum daily and had to give up wearing most black clothing because her blonde fur is unstoppable.

    This all sounds terrible, but we've learned to adapt and it's given us the opportunity to practice compassion and patience.  She brings us soooo much joy and love.  I would adopt her again in a heartbeat.


     

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