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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my question to all the dog pros. We have 2 dd (3 and 8), live in a house in the city, and have a small fenced backyard (but we could not leave the dog free to go from inside to outside the house when we're not home).

I leave home at 6h15 and dh and kiddoes leave at 7h45. I come back at 3 about 2 days a week, at 4h00 2 other, and between noon and 1 the remaining day.

We are very active (go to the park daily for looooong periods) and I am a big walker (at least 1 hour a day) and dh runs (I jog a little too). We have a dog park nearby too. So the dog would get plenty of exercice. The problem is mainly the time he'd have to spend alone during the day. If he gets plenty of exercice, will he be ok being home alone for all those hours? I'd really like to get a dog, but I don't want it to be completely miserable, and dh wouldn't like to come home to a partially destroyed house because of an unhappy dog.

Also, we have a cat. Could she be considered company for the dog, or would he just eat it out of boredom... (we are thinking of getting a golden retriever). Also, we have many neighbours who have dogs and I *think* some of them walk other peoples dogs, so if I got someone to walk my dog once a day when I get home late (4h), would it help? (well I know it would help, but would it be enough?)

Also, dh never had a dog, but I had one (a husky and lab mix that I trained myself and that behaved quite well, unfortunately, I lost custody when I split with my ex...) as a young adult, and I've had dogs all my childhood, so although not an experienced dog owner, I am not totaly new to dogs.

So, can we have one? Please
 

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There was a time not so very long ago that my dogs were home crated from 6:15 am until around 3:00 pm. They went for an hour long run before and always after. It may not be the ideal but provided you make the extra effort when you are home, LOTS of dogs live just like that with no problems at all. I think having the dog walked is a great idea, as is doggie daycare for the days you'll be gone 8 hours. I'd consider an adult because of your schedule, if you go puppy you'll need a dog walker for every day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Shannon, thanks for your input. Is there a book you would suggest for the basics of puppy training?

When I had my last dog, I was a student, and so was my bf, so we never had to crate her, and housetraining wasn't too hard since we were never gone for long periods. I surfed the web, and there seems to be a lot of contradictory info concerning crate training, crating, housetraining,...

Thanks a lot!

(BTW, I need to tell you that I've always admired you
 

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Aww, thanks!
Crate training is always a plus, especially when children are involved, it provides the dog a safe place to escape if she feels she needs to. Sometimes when adopting an adult dog, crating is hard to establish.
Are you thinking puppy or adult?
I'm a big fan of the Monks of New Skete book "How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend", regardless of puppy or adult. They don't speak much on crating but they do tether to the bed at night (I figure...they're monks, they have nothing else to tether to their bed at night
)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by shannon0218
Aww, thanks!
Crate training is always a plus, especially when children are involved, it provides the dog a safe place to escape if she feels she needs to. Sometimes when adopting an adult dog, crating is hard to establish.
Are you thinking puppy or adult?
I'm a big fan of the Monks of New Skete book "How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend", regardless of puppy or adult. They don't speak much on crating but they do tether to the bed at night (I figure...they're monks, they have nothing else to tether to their bed at night
)
We're thinking puppy because I have a cat, and I figure it's easier to get the dog used to cat if he is young, and maybe the cat will feel less invaded by a small pup than by a 70 pounds dog. Also, dh doesn't want an adult dog because he is scared of inheriting other people's problems...

Also, dh doesn't want a mix (ok, he's a snob!), and adult purebred golden are hard to come by. (And the golden is the only breed we could agree on: I looooooove weimareiners, Irish setters and irish woolfhounds, but I don't think they're a good idea right now, especially with young kids, I was almost convinced to get a standard poodle, but dh hates how they look...)
 

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My worry with Goldens right now is health--I was just talking with my vet about this, and she says that the breed is so riddled with cancers that the actual lifespan is a lot shorter than the "book" average. It's a huge tragedy.

With your exercise regimen, I think you probably could handle a sporting breed--why don't you list your likes and dislikes, and your picture of what your ideal dog is (temperament, training, etc.) and maybe we can come up with a list. English Setters, for example, come to mind--gentler than Irish, healthier than Goldens (but with the same feathery look), very very tolerant of kids, would fit right in with your exercise habits.

I'd honestly look for an older puppy if I were you. Even a five-month-old could get through an 8-3 day if he or she can go out and go for a run afterward. And there ARE older puppies available from good breeders--they just don't tend to get advertised. Lots of people (myself included) will keep a puppy or two from a litter to "run them on" to see if they grow up to meet the potential they had as a baby. If they don't, or if we decide that their temperament isn't good for showing (which often means that they're ideal family dogs, because if they're too easygoing/submissive they won't show as well), we'll make them available between four months and a year old--but since there's only one or two puppies they get placed without advertising. But usually the other breeders in the area DO know that the puppy exists, so if you make your desires known and wait a few months you can often be matched with an older puppy very nicely. Of course, you can also do an infant puppy, but you'll have to hire a dogwalker until it's about four or five months old.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thekimballs said:
With your exercise regimen, I think you probably could handle a sporting breed--why don't you list your likes and dislikes, and your picture of what your ideal dog is (temperament, training, etc.) and maybe we can come up with a list. English Setters, for example, come to mind--gentler than Irish, healthier than Goldens (but with the same feathery look), very very tolerant of kids, would fit right in with your exercise habits.
QUOTE]

I like medium to big dogs. I'd like the dog to be very good with kids, because dd2 (3yo) is quite fearless, and although she just means to cuddle, sometimes she falls on the cat (and will do the same on the dog for sure).

I don't especially like big dogs (like "bouviers bernois" and newfoundland dogs), but I wouldn't mind having one like that if it meant it was the best choice for my family. I prefer "slim" dogs (weimareiners, setters,...) I don't like squished faces.

I'd like the dog to be able to run, to be able to stay with us in the cold during winter time (I'm in Montreal, so it get really cold), but I wouldn't mind having to put mittens or a coat on my dog if necessary.

I'd like a dog that is friendly, but that doesn't fall into depression because I am not home during the day and don't share my bed with him.

If the dog didn't shed like mad, I'd be happy, but I know I may be asking for too much... (poodles are out because of dh)
 

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As long as the dog would get enough exercise (which it sounds like it would), it should work fine; the one worry about a pup is that they need much more frequent potty breaks. I know your DH isn't real interested in an older dog, but what about some of the older puppy/dog options, like contacting breeders who might have a show prospect that isn't panning out or something? You can sometimes find really nice, trained, mannerly young dogs that way - just w/minor cosmetic faults.
 

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If you're willing to travel at all, I know an excellent breeder in Ontario that frequently keeps back show prospects to see how they turn out. If it's a special breeding she tends to hold back 2 or 3 and then pick her favorite later (golden retreivers)
Joanna, apparently Goldens here aren't *quite* where they are yet in the states, it's coming for sure, but I know a lot of Golden breeders here are no longer going to the states for breeding because of how bad it's gotten there. The breeder I know well says temperment is more of a concern here than health


This is her webpage: http://www.bramvista.com/
She used to be local to us and then moved to Peterborough to retire. She used to have one of our Shepherds that was her husbands dog to travel with (he was a long distance trucker)
I know a LOT of Janice's dogs and have for the past 15 yrs. I can always pick out a Bramvista face on a dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by shannon0218
If you're willing to travel at all, I know an excellent breeder in Ontario that frequently keeps back show prospects to see how they turn out. If it's a special breeding she tends to hold back 2 or 3 and then pick her favorite later (golden retreivers)
Joanna, apparently Goldens here aren't *quite* where they are yet in the states, it's coming for sure, but I know a lot of Golden breeders here are no longer going to the states for breeding because of how bad it's gotten there. The breeder I know well says temperment is more of a concern here than health


This is her webpage: http://www.bramvista.com/
She used to be local to us and then moved to Peterborough to retire. She used to have one of our Shepherds that was her husbands dog to travel with (he was a long distance trucker)
I know a LOT of Janice's dogs and have for the past 15 yrs. I can always pick out a Bramvista face on a dog.
Unfortunately, that's a little too far for me: I don't drive and I'm pretty sure dh wouldn't drive that far to get a dog...

I have another question though: I know big breeds are at risk for hip dysplasia, but if I bought a mix (say lab and bernese bouvier, or lab and golden), would the risk be as high because both breeds are at risk, or would the risk be lower because it's a mutt? Dh (in control of our debt
) doesn't want to spend more than 500$ for a dog, so I think it'll be difficult, for that price, to find a pure golden that comes from a good breeder, with elbows and joints certification (The only dogs I have found for that price come from backyard breeders, they do have the dogs checked by a vet, and I am sure they are raised with love, but they don't come with any certification). What do you think?

BTW Shannon, I bought the book "How to be your dog's best friend" over ebay. Can't wait to receive it!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamangazelle
I have another question though: I know big breeds are at risk for hip dysplasia, but if I bought a mix (say lab and bernese bouvier, or lab and golden), would the risk be as high because both breeds are at risk, or would the risk be lower because it's a mutt? Dh (in control of our debt
) doesn't want to spend more than 500$ for a dog, so I think it'll be difficult, for that price, to find a pure golden that comes from a good breeder, with elbows and joints certification (The only dogs I have found for that price come from backyard breeders, they do have the dogs checked by a vet, and I am sure they are raised with love, but they don't come with any certification). What do you think?

BTW Shannon, I bought the book "How to be your dog's best friend" over ebay. Can't wait to receive it!
Unfortunately, there is no lowered risk of dysplasia or any other health problem when breeds are crossed. If you have two parents who carry the gene for epilepsy, it doesn't matter if it's a Bedlington and a Briard, the puppies will be at risk for epilepsy.

When backyard breeders say "vet checked," it means "hey, is this dog healthy?" The vet looks the dog over quickly, maybe listens to the heart for a minute, and says "yup." When a responsible breeder does it, it means loading the dog in the car and going to a university for hip x-rays, heart echocardiogram/ultrasound, thyroid tests, etc. That's one of the (many) reasons that BYBs can charge so little for their puppies and still make way more profit than a good breeder.

If you have five hundred to spend, put two hundred into a crate and get a screened rescue dog. Good breeders just simply can't afford to sell puppies that low, not with what they put into them. This may be an education need, though--five hundred sounds like a huge amount, but good puppies are just simply expensive. You have to ratchet your expectations up, both in terms of what you'll get and what you will pay.

I also think it's very true that the purchase price of the dog is going to seem small compared to the lifetime cost of caring for the dog. Vet bills are extraordinary. If your dog gets pancreatitis and has to be in on fluids, you're looking at a thousand bucks easy. Bloat surgery will be fifteen hundred or more. Even a spay is getting incredibly high--I paid $500 for my last one. If you end up with a dog with heart problems or hip dysplasia, you'll pay many times the original cost of the dog keeping it alive and healthy.

If you could pay $500 now, why not put it off another year and save up some more money? Buying a $1500 puppy a year from now is a lot better than lining the pockets of bad breeders. Or, like I said, if it's $500 and it's now, go to rescue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by thekimballs
Unfortunately, there is no lowered risk of dysplasia or any other health problem when breeds are crossed. If you have two parents who carry the gene for epilepsy, it doesn't matter if it's a Bedlington and a Briard, the puppies will be at risk for epilepsy.

When backyard breeders say "vet checked," it means "hey, is this dog healthy?" The vet looks the dog over quickly, maybe listens to the heart for a minute, and says "yup." When a responsible breeder does it, it means loading the dog in the car and going to a university for hip x-rays, heart echocardiogram/ultrasound, thyroid tests, etc. That's one of the (many) reasons that BYBs can charge so little for their puppies and still make way more profit than a good breeder.

If you have five hundred to spend, put two hundred into a crate and get a screened rescue dog. Good breeders just simply can't afford to sell puppies that low, not with what they put into them. This may be an education need, though--five hundred sounds like a huge amount, but good puppies are just simply expensive. You have to ratchet your expectations up, both in terms of what you'll get and what you will pay.

I also think it's very true that the purchase price of the dog is going to seem small compared to the lifetime cost of caring for the dog. Vet bills are extraordinary. If your dog gets pancreatitis and has to be in on fluids, you're looking at a thousand bucks easy. Bloat surgery will be fifteen hundred or more. Even a spay is getting incredibly high--I paid $500 for my last one. If you end up with a dog with heart problems or hip dysplasia, you'll pay many times the original cost of the dog keeping it alive and healthy.

If you could pay $500 now, why not put it off another year and save up some more money? Buying a $1500 puppy a year from now is a lot better than lining the pockets of bad breeders. Or, like I said, if it's $500 and it's now, go to rescue.
I wish I could spend the amount I want. Unfortunately, it's a family decision, and I have to respect what dh thinks. Maybe I'll get lucky and find an older puppy that still comes from a good breeder: like right now, I saw a golden that comes from a breeder who certifies all her dogs for hips, and they are registered and tatooed. The dog was bought 2 months ago as a gift (
: ), and the woman who received it doesn't want to take care of her. If only dh gave me the OK!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamangazelle
I wish I could spend the amount I want. Unfortunately, it's a family decision, and I have to respect what dh thinks. Maybe I'll get lucky and find an older puppy that still comes from a good breeder: like right now, I saw a golden that comes from a breeder who certifies all her dogs for hips, and they are registered and tatooed. The dog was bought 2 months ago as a gift (
: ), and the woman who received it doesn't want to take care of her. If only dh gave me the OK!
Unfortunately, that's a red flag for me as well. If the breeder sold the dog with the knowledge that it went as a gift (problem number one) and then didn't insist that the dog come back to her (problem number two), it's not a "good breeder" even if she did do the hip check.

CKC makes you tatoo dogs anyway, so don't use that as a criteria for excellence.
 

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Yes, what Joanna said. Really for your circumstances, I think going the rescue route is the best. For $500 you can get a crate, a training class and a dog. Look at a young adult. I wouldn't worry about your cat--nothing drives a cat nuts more than a puppy, many young adult rescues have already had their noses given a good hard swat by a cat and are therefore already proven with cats--most fosters have cats and dogs. Also with a young adult you don't need to be so concerned about your hours.
Like Joanna said though, I would sit down and speak with dh about what will happen if the dog becomes sick. Your purchase price for a good dog ends up being a very small percentage of what that dog actually costs. If it's just a case of I'm not spending $500 for a dog when there are perfectly good dogs out there for less, then go for a rescue. If it's we can't afford to spend more than $500 because mroe than that will break us, reconsider a dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It's a case of "why spend more when you can find a good dog for less". I think he gets that opinion because we have a great cat that we got from the shelter as a foster home 2 hours before she and her 3 brothers were to be put down, whereas my sis bought 600$+ cats that are absolutely unfriendly.

I'll look into rescued animals. I found those cuties, not too far from Montreal http://search.petfinder.com/petnote/...?petid=6789477
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by shannon0218
So, basically tell him he's gonna need to choose between being snobby and cheap

Look into Golden Retreiver Rescue as well.
That's a great description of my dh: snob and cheap!


I showed him pics of mutts, but he tells me he prefers purebreds. He says he wants to be proud of his dog... That's soooooo like him: with our dds, they have to be dressed in designer clothes, but I have to find them at salvation army prices...

Oh well. Maybe I'll just save from paycheck to paycheck, and buy my dream dog next year with my own money.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mamangazelle
I showed him pics of mutts, but he tells me he prefers purebreds. He says he wants to be proud of his dog...
That really bums me out. IMO, the pride in dog ownership should come from working with your pet, creating a well-trained member of the family. A dog that looks purebred is nothing to be proud of in and of itself without a strong family bond and good behavior. Sounds like he may be better off with beautiful artwork, not a pet.
:
 

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Well, tell him that it's disrespectful of good breeders to expect them to supply a $1500 puppy for $500. It's like going to a Porsche dealer and telling them that you can get a hatchback for $15,000, so why should you spend $50,000 on their car. They'll say sure, you can get one, but it won't be a Porsche.

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting a dog with a certain look (as I've said, we are dog consumers)--but he has to be prepared to do the work and pay the money. If he thinks he can get the look without the investment--well, he may get the Porsche nameplate on the back, but the car will be all Suzuki.
 
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