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#1 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 01:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! My Sister wants a dog, and she's not sure what breed to get. She is a single mum to a 14month old girl and will be having a lil baby boy in July. She lives out in the country currently but hopes to move into a cheaper apt. in the city soon. She wants a dog that she doesn't have to worry about hurting her babes, but BIG, and scary looking...I asked her how big and she said somewhere between German shepherd and Horse :LOL She works a lot, so it would need to be a Dog that doesn't need a lot of extra care and is fairly laid back except if they need protection from an intruder or out for a walk. I told her I would help her look for something. any of you dog lovers have suggestions for her?
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#2 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 01:52 AM
 
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Anybody who wants a dog to have around kids I suggest a Samoyed. We grew up with one and they're beyond great. That said, on the work end, they do blow their coat twice a year and so twice a year for a few weeks they need to be brushed regularly. But beyond that they are really low-effort. Sams are VERY gentle and laid back. They are not guard dogs at all, but most people are afraid of them (they think they're white chows... chows don't come in white though...) They are very smart (have been trained to do every working-dog job there is - EXCEPT guard, because they're everyone's friend.) They're not huge but on the large side of medium.

hope that helps!

-Antela
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#3 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 02:04 AM
 
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As a professional groomer who has seen her fair share of Samoyeds, I'd NOT suggest them as dogs for children. I am so glad Alegna that you had a great one growing up but it has been my experience that they are not the best tempered dogs.

Honestly, I'd say your sister is a bad candidate for being a dog owner as a dog takes a lot of time. Getting a puppy is like having another baby. They are demanding and require a lot of guidance to become good canine citizens ie, a dog that has manners and is good with children.

Getting an older dog is an option but there are often "issues" with getting a second hand dog. Often they become available due to problems they had integrating with the family they came from. Alot of people want to get a puppy to raise with their kids so they grow up together but a puppy is so much work! And you can't really leave a puppy alone for long work days. They need to go out and be housetrained, they get bored and chew, or they develop seperation anxiety about being left alone.

Just some negative aspects of having a dog that often get overlooked until a person gets the dog and finds out how hard it is having one and developing it into the "wonderful dog" they want for their family. That is how alot of the dogs you see in shelters get there.

To be honest, I wouldn't suggest a dog to any family with children under 4 or 5 years of age. Children don't grasp the concept of empathy - having feelings for others and knowing that their actions cause feelings in others - til they are in the range of 3-5 years. Young children do what we perceive as mean things to animals all the time because they simply don't understand (on a rational level) that it hurts them....and this is a major contributing cause to kids getting bitten...and often when a small child is bitten by a dog, it is in the face. Little kids are face level for dogs and kids don't heed all the body language that dogs communicate with.

I don't want to be all negative and heavy on the subject but I do want to pass on the lessons of over 20 years as a professional groomer and trainer.

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#4 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 02:14 AM
 
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Hmm, good info PuppyFluffer. I wonder if it has to do with different lines in different parts of the country? We got ours from a good small show breeder and all I've ever heard about them around here is wonderful. Good info to know though.

-Angela
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#5 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 02:15 AM
 
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#6 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 03:10 AM
 
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I agree with Karen and Elphaba. Angela, it doesn't seem to have much to do with lines in different areas, sams one of the spitz breeds and frankly there's not a lot of them I'd turn my back on when a child is in the room. They've been bred to work and compete within their own pack (eg, lead dog wins) I never recomend sams, huskeys, american eskimo spitz, etc to anyone with young children. Sure you can get nice ones and there are nice ones out there--but there's nice chows out there too IYKWIM.

I also agree with Karen that it's a lot of work to do it properly, and if she doesn't do it properly, she's in for a nightmare. To give you an idea, dh and I were just talking tonight because Havoc's invisible fence collar is eating batteries like mad, it's a 12 yr old collar and it's just nearing the end of it's life, I was going to buy him a new one (they're $300 bucks) but I said tonight "I just know that if I get him a new one, he'll die soon" Honestly, I've always had 2 dogs, dealing with a dog or a pup is second nature to me, but I don't want another until dd is at least 5, because I don't feel I have time to "do it right" So even though I'm a trainer and Bedlam is useless as a working dog, I know it will be too much to add a pup into the mix when dd is young--and I have a dh who not only pooperscoops, but also does most of the diaper laundry.

If she's intent, you may want to look into a greyhound rescue (although for tiny kids they aren't really recomended either)

Try to get her to wait, if she really wants one, she'll still want one a year or two from now.
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#7 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 04:01 AM
 
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Well, I sort of overall disagree with few comments.
I'm passionate about the horrible situation of pet overpopulation, so anytime I see someone willing to open their home to a dog I feel happy.
We have four dogs, each of whom were rescued as adult/grown pets from animal shelters. We also have three young dds. Two of our dogs we adopted prior to starting a family, and the other two were adopted after our dds were born.
Each of our dogs are absolute saints with our children.
And I hate the myth that dogs who are in shelters have issues----most of the time it's the people who owned them who had issues...most people treat pets like disposable toys. There are millions of amazing and loving dogs awaiting homes in shelters/rescue groups!!
I would highly suggest your sister work directly with a rescue group since she has a young child. These groups will be very familiar with the personality and specifics of dogs. They're dedicated to making a good match with families for their dogs.
Also, very importantly she should expect to get a grown adult dog!!!
And shedding is an issue to be considered. None of our four dogs shed, thank goodness! It can be a real pain to deal with, but not necessarily a deal breaker if she falls in love with one who does happen to shed.
Whether she wants a certain breed or a mixed breed (my favorite!) there are a bazillion dogs out there who desperately need homes.....with the right personality match it can be a wonderful thing for both your sister, her child and the dog. Good luck to her!!
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#8 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 04:19 AM
 
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Sorry Sparklemom, I've worked extensively in rescue and unfortunately, it's homes exactly like the OP describes that are the starting point to many a dog who finds himself in the pound. Every single time a dog is adopted out and brought back for whatever reason, his chances of ever finding a suitable home are drastically diminished. I too love to see someone open their home to a dog, but opening your home to a dog that you aren't prepared for/don't know what you're getting into is simply a recipe for disaster--that is why shelters and adoption agencies interview extensively, it's also why many shelters will not adopt out to families where there is no adult home most of the day. I only have one baby and I feel guilty that my dogs are not getting the attention they need--and they're adults.
Also, most dogs in shelters do indeed have issues--you're right, their issues started out with the person who used to own them--but you can't honestly believe being raised in an environment where little attention is paid and where foundation training has never taken place has no lasting effects on an animal. I will say I don't believe that most dog's are outright abused--I've had plenty owners say to me "we rescued him and we're pretty sure he's been beaten because he runs away from the broom" or whatever other object they've decided Fido is afraid of. Fact is, my big tough German Shepherd is terrified of fly swatters, if he sees one come out, he goes and hides in his crate--I can assure he's never been hit with one.
I understand that many families can manage kids and a dog, but this is a single mama we're talking about, to be fair to whatever dog she may adopt, she will need to spend a considerable amount of time with him--just where will she find that time between working full time and parenting a toddler and an infant ALONE? An infant and toddler can be overwelming to many, many couples, take away an adult and add a dog, I'm sorry but it's not fair to the dog--and yes, I know, better in a not perfect home than dead, but thoughts and views like this are exactly why our shelters are overrun--people simply don't think through completely what they're getting into. Like I said, I've been training dogs for 15 yrs and I KNOW I can't handle a puppy and a baby--not and actually do things right and properly raise a dog to be a good K-9 citizen, and the training aspects for me, come naturally.
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#9 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 04:37 AM
 
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#10 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 10:21 AM
 
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Ahhhh, excellent points indeed. I think you are both very right. I wish I were more right though...it just absolutely sucks how many dogs are killed for lack of a loving home. But you gotta think with your head AND your heart...and in this case I can see where the head would certainly say this is not a good potential situation for a dog.
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#11 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 10:25 AM
 
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She should NOT get a dog. Period. Not a puppy. Not an adult. Not a rescue (especially, as she won't have the time to devote to the extra love that a rescue dog needs). No dog.

Hi! My Sister wants a dog, and she's not sure what breed to get. She is a single mum to a 14month old girl and will be having a lil baby boy in July.

Two "babies" under the age of two and the responsibility of a third "child" needing her love, attention and training? No, she simply will not have the time or energy. The dog will be the biggest loser in the scenario.

She lives out in the country currently but hopes to move into a cheaper apt. in the city soon. She wants a dog that she doesn't have to worry about hurting her babes, but BIG, and scary looking

Big dog in an apartment? Forget it. It isn't fair to the dog, in my opinion. ALL dogs need their own space in a home, and an apartment shared with two small children will not allow the dog its own private area.

She works a lot, so it would need to be a Dog that doesn't need a lot of extra care and is fairly laid back except if they need protection from an intruder or out for a walk.

Where will the dog be while she is working, doggie day care? I would hope so because that is cruel to get a dog and then leave it alone all day, especially if it is a large dog, as she desires. She certainly doesn't sound like she'll be able to do proper training with the animal, and she's going to have a dog that is lonely and will probably do some things in that apartment out of loneliness (maybe as simple as chewing one of the kids' toys or her couch or using every place possible as a toilet).

Tell her to install an alarm system for some home security, buy a can of mace for those walks, and save the dog idea for a time when it would work for everyone, especially the dog.

It's a great idea in a dream situation, bad in the one you describe.
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#12 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 10:45 AM
 
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Speaking as someone with a 5.5 year old dog, an almost 4 year old dog, a cat, and a 19 month old DD, I would have to say that your sister should wait to get a dog. We purposely got our two dogs before we started having kids so that we could get them trained and more or less out of puppyhood by the time a baby came along. I am ashamed to admit it, but when our DD was born, the dogs didn't get much more than the basic necessities for a long time. DH and I worked opposite schedules so most of the time it was one adult at home in charge of a refluxing, nap-hating baby and three pets. It was hard, especially around dinnertime when all 5 of us needed to eat! We are just now to the point, 19 months later, that I feel we have a good handle on how to balance everyone's needs and be fair to the dogs. We have no plans to TTC for another year - and even then I know it will be another adjustment that will affect the dogs and we will have to figure out how to make it work, again.

A dog is also pretty costly. Ours are Labs, and we spend about $80 every 5 weeks or so just for food. You also never know what you will get healthwise... one of our dogs has needed lots of visits to the vet + meds while the other one pretty much only goes for his regular "well-dog" checkups.

IMO, it's not fair to get a dog thinking only of the things it will provide for you (i.e. protection). You must also think of what you are able to provide for the dog. It really is, or should be, a two-way street.

Katherine, mama to Emma Kate (7) and Griffin (3)

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#13 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 10:58 AM
 
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Does she really want a dog (and she certainly doesn't want a puppy! That sounds like it would be a huge mistake for her)? Or does she just want an extra lock on her apartment door? Sounds like maybe she shouldn't get a dog... a dog requires lots of time and energy and love...
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#14 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 11:01 AM
 
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hmmm, i'm not really with the naysayers on this one, though they are obviously well intentioned and educated on doggies. provided, naturally, that your sister is a responsible, dog loving adult.

i'd suggest a lab, or a lab mix. great with kids, great guard dogs, really smart. i wouldn't, in her situation, get a brand new puppy. i'd get a slightly older, around 6-8 months, already housebroken one, which is all too easy to do through lab rescue organizations. my black lab mix, bobo, was 8 months when we got him, and totally issue free.

oh, and i totally disagree with the pp who said you shouldn't have a large dog in an apartment. dogs could care less how large their home is, provided they get the lvoe and exercise they need. i've seen many wonderfully loved urban dogs.
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#15 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 11:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
Anybody who wants a dog to have around kids I suggest a Samoyed. We grew up with one and they're beyond great. That said, on the work end, they do blow their coat twice a year and so twice a year for a few weeks they need to be brushed regularly. But beyond that they are really low-effort. Sams are VERY gentle and laid back. They are not guard dogs at all, but most people are afraid of them (they think they're white chows... chows don't come in white though...) They are very smart (have been trained to do every working-dog job there is - EXCEPT guard, because they're everyone's friend.) They're not huge but on the large side of medium.

hope that helps!

-Antela
Yep, gentle giants for sure. BUT this lady doesn't need a sammy. Samoyed need lots of good outside time. I know my sam would lose his freakin' mind in a city... in an apartment.
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#16 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 11:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mama ganoush
oh, and i totally disagree with the pp who said you shouldn't have a large dog in an apartment. dogs could care less how large their home is, provided they get the lvoe and exercise they need. i've seen many wonderfully loved urban dogs.
are you kidding? Do you know any samoyeds? I know many... and they're not made for apartment or condo living. They seriously get a bit insane in sucha small area. And labs... if she's getting a lab (which can live happily inthe city) she needs to do a lot of training (chewing, etc.) to keep them inside for the majority of the day.

It really really sounds like this lady doesn't need a dog and i hope the info gets passed on to her....
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#17 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 11:10 AM
 
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Originally Posted by edamommy
are you kidding? Do you know any samoyeds? I know many... and they're not made for apartment or condo living. They seriously get a bit insane in sucha small area. And labs... if she's getting a lab (which can live happily inthe city) she needs to do a lot of training (chewing, etc.) to keep them inside for the majority of the day.
no, i'm not kidding. nor did i suggest she get a samoyed. i had a big (80 pound) lab mix in a studio apartment for years before i left dc. couldn't find a happier, more well loved dog. i'm sure he would actually prefer to live there rather the house in the burbs we have now, if we could also go back to being pre-kid--back in the days when we had block parties for his birthday.
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#18 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 11:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mama ganoush
no, i'm not kidding. nor did i suggest she get a samoyed. i had a big (80 pound) lab mix in a studio apartment for years before i left dc. couldn't find a happier, more well loved dog. i'm sure he would actually prefer to live there rather the house in the burbs we have now, if we could also go back to being pre-kid--back in the days when we had block parties for his birthday.
Yes, actually, I'm sure our oldest Lab Hannah would gladly live in a 1-2 BR apartment again if it meant Friday nights at the pet supply store and ice cream socials for dogs in August. I miss those days too sometimes!

Katherine, mama to Emma Kate (7) and Griffin (3)

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#19 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 11:41 AM
 
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I agree, size of house means nothing, I had 2 German Shepherds in a bachelor appt while I was in University. As for big dog's in small places, as a general rule, the larger the dog, the less active he is indoors, yes he needs lots of outside time, but it's not fair to assume that just because someone lives in an appt they will not take the dog to a park a couple times a day. Honestly, my dogs were FAR better excercised back when I lived in a tiny apartment than they are here with 15 acres to run on. I NEVER let my dogs run and play inside, so if a dog is just walking around or chewing on his bone, it really doesn't matter if you have 300 square feet or 3000 square feet.
In my not so humble opinion, where she lives has very little to do with anything, what concerns me more is the addition of a dog during some HUGE life changes--new baby, new residence. Mainly, I think it's not right to get the dog before the baby comes and the mother is aware of how much work 2 under 2 will be--maybe her new baby is a super easy babe to care for and she'll decide then that it's ok to get a dog, but what if that new babe is born and has health issues, what if her 14 mos old has MAJOR issues with his new sibling, what if, what if, what if. I just think it's a whole lot smarter to wait on a dog rather than add one more life change to what is I'm sure an already hectic life.
I'm glad your sister is researching things first, far too many people just go to the pound and take home whatever cute dog looks at them the right way. Have her continue to research large breeds, that way when she is ready, she'll know exactly what she's looking for.
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#20 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great information...our family is in the dog breeding business...cocker spaniels so we know all about how much time a dog takes. she was looking into rescue dogs and retired breeders (which might as well be rescue dogs in some cases) I was looking more for informatin or suggestions of specific breeds. by a lot of extra care I meant like grooming issues growing up with cockers kind of turned her off from coats that need a lot of attention hour spent combing skirts is not fun :LOL
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#21 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 12:09 PM
 
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I agree that now is not the best time for her to get a dog. If she wants a pet, a nice adult cat would be nice. Or perhaps a bird. Dog? No way.
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#22 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 01:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MPJJJ
I agree that now is not the best time for her to get a dog. If she wants a pet, a nice adult cat would be nice. Or perhaps a bird. Dog? No way.

Agreed! A cat would be nice maybe a mid aged cat who has lived in a home with children before. A dog NO WAY!!!!! Please do not encourage her to pursue this idea of a dog any longer. You said you are into breeding this means I know you have more sense then to think she needs a dog. I'm in rescue and I can tell you after reading your description of her situation my group would not adopt to her because she simply does not have the time to devote to a dog. We know that because we see it all the time new babies and toddlers and working all the time ends up resluting in a return for us.
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#23 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MPJJJ
I agree that now is not the best time for her to get a dog. If she wants a pet, a nice adult cat would be nice. Or perhaps a bird. Dog? No way.
ITA

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#24 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I talked to my sister today, she decided to just take on of the bitches that was retiring this year. Lovely 8yr old cocker named Gigi no training required and loves kids, so after Gigi comes home from the vet she is moving in with sis I think she'll like it, My sis is going to keep her shaved down so she doesn't have to deal with keeping the skirt up.
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#25 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 10:20 PM
 
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yay! noone that wants it and understand the responsibility should be deprived of doggy lovin'.
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#26 of 27 Old 05-17-2005, 11:15 PM
 
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Sounds like a good choice for her, in a few years she can get her big protective dog
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#27 of 27 Old 05-18-2005, 12:25 AM
 
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it does sound good, after all no training required and its an older dog raised by people she knows. congrats to her for her new furbaby. i hope it works out!

momma to 8 yr old ddjoy.gif.  Furmom to our menagerie:   2dog2.gif , 1cat.gif, 2 goldfish.gif,  2 hamster.jpg,  and 1 silly rabbit. 

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