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Thread: OK, should we get a dog???

  1. #1
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    OK, should we get a dog???

    Kathie, i know your answer already but I need opinions -- my son is an only child and absolutely adores animals of all kinds. My husband suggested we look into getting a small one for him for Christmas.

    SO. Can anyone suggest a (very) small dog breed that doesn't shed much and is good with kids? Oh. And a breed that doesn't have problems holding its bladder (my sister has a cocker that tends to urinate when excited). Ooo. And one that doesn't typically "yip" a lot. Tall order, right?

    I really appreciate any input. Thanks, girls!
    De Anna
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  2. De Anna, we've had two dogs in our married life, and I had two as a child. All were some combination of a poodle or schnauzer. Neither breed sheds or has dander. Now, the yipping/urinating thing . . . that has a lot to do with personality. Schnauzers tend to bark a lot more than poodles in my experience. If you are going to pay for one from a breeder, I would HIGHLY recommend a schnoodle. (it's a cross breed). The best dog we EVER had was a schnoodle and I desperately want another one day.

    I'll find a pic and be back
    Cassie



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  3. I'd look into an airedale (http://www.canismajor.com/dog/airedale.html), even though it's a medium dog and not a small. they're wonderful with kids!

    whatever you get, if you get a purebred, please be sure to read up on the breed characteristics and normal behavior, to see if they will fit your family. for example, some breeds need lots of exercise, and if you don't have time to give it the exercise it needs it's not fair to the dog, and could result in behavioral problems.

    Janice

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  4. Here are some schnoodle pics. There are variations in size (just like there are toy, miniature, and standard poodles/schnauzers).



    Another breed I would LOVE to have if I lived in a cooler climate is the Tibetan terrier, but they are more expensive and have a long coat that I would have to keep cut in a "teddy bear" cut. Otherwise, they're just not cute to me. (and it's all about looking cute, right?)

    Cassie



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  5. We've had our puppy for a month. He's smart. He's sweet. and he also should have came with a warning label.

    Your son sounds like he would love a dog, but in our case at least, having a dog (especially a puppy) has been a big adjustment. Maybe "babysit" a friend's dog for a few nights and see how he fits into your family.

    Terri

  6. #6
    We are all about the stuffed variety in our house Urinating is not an issue at all!

  7. #7
    hahaha katrina.... de anna the answer to your question is yes yes yes....... it will make your life so full. yes they are hard work but boy you can't give yourslef any more joy than an animal like this can give you really.

    You do have to train the dog not to pee inside and the exitement thing is often in puppies and goes away. best thing to do is to NOT to make ANY big deal when visitors come. ask vistors not to make a fuss - cos then the dogs think visitors are for them .... and get carried away,

    Now can I listen to my own advice ?

    good luck --- and do it !

  8. I have decided against pets for now, but my sister has an Italian Greyhound (I believe Trudem has one too, perhaps she will be along to comment). Anyway, they are a great small breed because they have hair (not fur) & they are I believe the only small dog with a real bark & not a yip/yap. But I have never even heard him bark, come to think of it! They can be difficult about peeing I think, but can be litter-box trained if you want! They like to always be with (on) their person. HTH!
    Lisa
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  9. #9
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    Wow! Thanks everyone!

    Cassie, those pix make me want to run out and buy one right now. I especially like the terriers...i'm a bit partial to terriers in the first place -- haven't ever heard of a Tibetan. I'll look into it.

    And Lisa -- I'll check out the Italian Greyhound...I'm not familiar with it but it sounds delightful!

    Terri/Katrina -- I so hear you. It's definitely a big decision. And we have lots of the stuffed variety too!

    Janice -- The survey says i need a toy poodle. Notsomuch a poodle person I dont think But it was actually very helpful -- the second choice it gave me was a Border Terrier which interests me. Thanks for the link.

    Sam -- thanks for the advice. The visitor thing sounds right-on. I have a friend whose dog freaks out every time i go over there, but she (my friend) does tend to make a fuss over visitors so what you said totally makes sense.

    Off to Google schnoodles, Tibetan terriers, and Itallian greyhounds!
    De Anna
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  10. De Anna - we got Rover five month ago and I have to say: it is A LOT of work. Even Lena said she's tired of having a dog because you have to walk him, you can't just go on a sponatenous trip, stay out when you're having fun because he's at home in his crate and he can't stay in there forever... He chewed her American Girl Doll, my Laptop cord, my Wacom Tablet...
    People told me that it is a big Commitment - and it really is. It's fun, too - just don't underestimate what you getting yourself into. Lena wanted the dog, too - but *I* am the one taking him for walks and things like that. He seems to get never tired (I know he's a puppy, but I was hoping that two 3/4 hour walks AND plent of Playtime would wipe him out - lol. Here he is, he's a Mix from the Shelter:
    ~Dagmar

  11. #11
    We just got a Miniature Schnauzer (they are from the terrier family). They do not shed and are very smart. My SIL has one and it is wonderful with kids and was very easy to train. You can see photos of our new puppy here... www.sherellechristensen.typepad.com
    Sherelle Christensen
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  12. #12
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    Can a cat person chime in here?? They don't have to be walked, they are very loyal and snuggly, and they pretty much litter-box-train themselves. Barking is never an issue, and they couldn't care less when a visitor comes over! lol

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Scrapbird View Post
    Can a cat person chime in here?? They don't have to be walked, they are very loyal and snuggly, and they pretty much litter-box-train themselves. Barking is never an issue, and they couldn't care less when a visitor comes over! lol
    Unfortunately . . . there's that whole "shedding" part.
    Cassie



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  14. #14
    Well, from the person who has had a dog just about her whole life, and has been dog free for 2 1/2 years, my answer would be NO! LOL! I've LOVED having dogs and our last one was the baby we couldn't have, and he was the BEST dog ever and we loved him and spoiled him like crazy, but... Having not had a dog for two years I have to admit that I love the freedom of just being able to get up and go whenever we want without having to worry whether or not we'll be back sometime in the next 9 hours to let the dog out...i.e. vacations, a day trip to the city, etc.

    I also love not having the mess of dog poop in the backyard to deal with every time my kids play outside, which is often. No dog hair on the tile floor that needs swept an hour after I've just done it, nor drool each and every time they get a drink. Again, all of this was somewhat breed specific, so if you pick the right small breed, these won't be issues for you.

    Ok, so this is probably a very negative post, but really...I love not being tied down by a dog. My family is going to have to pray for amnesia on my behalf before I'll be willing to get a dog again. I loved them all to death, but really, they are a lot of work and a huge commitment, but the rewards ARE there. They are completely forgiving (except of course out last beloved dog who was completely house trained, yet would leave us a nice wet spot on the floor to punish us anytime he had a 'dogsitter'), and very devoted, and are just about like having a kid. So, if you're wanting another child, I say GO FOR IT!
    Jodi
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  15. #15
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    The best dog I ever have seen with kids is a golden retriever, but they have long hair! And the second best, that we recently heard of, is a boxer. They are larger, have really short hair, and are very loving. As a mail carrier, I will get out of the car for ANY large dog, but NEVER for an ankle biter... no matter what the owner says, as I am always getting nipped. They always seem to get that "acting like they are bigger than they are" syndrom. Labs are the best--but if there is a child present, I will not get out of the car with a lab--they are very loyal to those kids!!! Their hair is shorter, less mess, but amazingly enough they do shed. Good luck in your decision--think you have gotten a lot of help with it!! Let us know what you decide!!

  16. #16
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    As a "not-so-seasoned" dog owner with a 2-year-old Golden Retriever... the answer is yes and no! I love our dog, but as has been said: Do not take this lightly. YOU will be the main caregiver no matter what hubby or your son say... it's that mommy thing, I think! So be prepared!

    And, like Jodi and Lena said... there is waaaaaay less flexibility and spontaneity... you HAVE to go back home and let the dog out or feed him/her or whatever. You have to board the dog or find a sitter to take a vacation. And, if you work and/or your kids are in school all day, remember the dog may/will be ALONE for extended periods of time.

    And, nope... even after nearly two years, our dog is STILL a puppy and STILL LOVES LONG WALKS and barking and socks! But, she does not poop or pee in the house at all and is sweet and beautiful and we all love her! Even though she's cost us an arm and leg... and maybe a hand or two! (Just like kids... animals get sick or injured and sometimes there are internal problems that you have no idea about until they are yours. Buyer beware... whether it's from a reputable kennel or not!)

    Don't know if that helps or not, but good luck, DeAnna... I know you'll make the right decision for your family!
    Debi

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  17. #17
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    Ack, I totally feel torn in 2! i've been doing some research and your input has really been helpful. I really appreciate everyone's input -- especially those who said it's not as easy as it seems. That's something I always forget when i look at their cute fuzzy faces. Thanks everyone. I"ll be sure to let u know what we end up with.

    De Anna
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  18. #18
    We've had our puppy a month as well (she's a Catahoula/American Bulldog mix). The boys love her and are still doing their share to take care of her, but man, she requires constant, 100% supervision. She's doing good with housetraining and stuff, but only because I/we watch her constantly. We went to the movies last weekend, and the whole outing was planned around the puppy. Making sure she was fed, walked and had gone potty before we left and put her in the crate. Then, straight to the movies and straight back because she can't be left alone too long. It will definitely change your lifestyle. Not that it's a bad thing, just be prepared for major upheaval!
    ~Stacy

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  19. I can't believe I missed this thread. I will just say: Lots of work....but sooo worth it!! I think Cassie listed a great breed for what you are looking for...gosh they are cute!!
    Kathie

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  20. I should have mentioned that Italian Greyhounds live for easily 18 years, so it is a commitment!
    Lisa
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  21. I just bought my 16 daughter a puppy for Christmas. I spent alot of time researching what I wanted to get her.

    dog.com/breed

    this site was alot of help... tells about the breed.
    I ended up with a Shih Tzu... very friendly... easy going... shedding not sure it it will or not. Have fun.

    I had a border collie growing up and I am an only child. Made a great companion!

  22. Our youngest daughter always wanted a puppy, it was the only thing she ever asked for...but we didn't feel quite ready for that major commitment...so we got her sister and her a kitten each (that made 4 cats) then they both got baby flop eared rabbits not to mention the numerous goldfish. Even so she positively lit up every time we visited anyone with a dog. Our friends pointed out that if we were going get a puppy then we should do so before she grew up too much... So, we bought her a beautiful Golden Retriever puppy for her 10th birthday. I agree with the above posts, this is a major decision, don't underestimate the toilet training stage or the muddy paws, or the fact that dogs can get stomach bugs (kwim) the fact that you can't just take off for the weekend. That said, I wouldn't have missed the 11 years we had with her for anything...Sure, she was a big dog, but she was great to cuddle. Admittedly she did shed an awful lot of hair, but my friend bought me a book of dog hair knitting patterns (seriously...) Not that I took that up as a hobby...take too much time to spin the wool Lol!!
    Anyway, I quess I'm just saying that dogs can make a wonderful addition to a family, choose wisely a dog with a great temperament for family life and you will be sorted!

  23. #23
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    My son was an only child and his dog was his best friend....We have had dogs all ours lives and cannot imagine life without at least 2. However with that being said we also live where our dogs can run free...on hundreds of acres...we can leave for a weekend and they have food and shelter and do just fine. (after the puppy stage-we never leave a young dog unattneded) My son had a boxer...great child dog..they do shed tho. Just know the breed and what their needs are. They do require exercise so if you live in a city that is a problem. But if by chance you live in the country it solves a lot of problems!

  24. #24
    So De Anna... what did you decide???
    ~Stacy

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  25. We have always had a dog - large ones - and my 3 kids just loved them. They are companions, playmates, protectors and become one of your family. They are also like adding on a child to the family. I could never imagine life without a dog they bring so much joy, but there is training, chewing on things, immunizations, adjustments, etc. We have "invisible fence" to keep him in even though we have over an acre. I wouldn't want him running into the street, or a neighbor's yard. I really love "IF" because I don't have to walk him on a leash when he has to "go." Good luck with your decision

  26. #26
    I'm glad Stacy asked because I've been wondering, too! Is a dog in your immediate future??
    Jodi
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  27. #27
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    Ack, after all this, we've decided not to get one...at least not now. This thread really helped me to decide. We have so much going on in our lives right now, and those who gently warned me that it's a lot of work were really helpful -- I think it's one of those things that to me sound like such a great thing but the reality of it -- while rewarding -- would be more challenging than we're ready for

    Thank you all though for your input. It really did help.
    De Anna
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  28. At the risk of being shot I have to say I think you made a good choice!
    Lisa
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  29. #29
    Aww I wish I had seen this thread sooner! Totally understand your decision though - I love my Italian Greyhound and would highly recommend the breed for those who want minimal mess/destruction/dirt, but it did take a lot of patience from me in the beginning to get him potty trained. But he caught on real quick! For us it was totally worth it for a number of reasons, but I didn't have the distraction of caring for a child too (although I'm sure it was easier than potty training!). If you ever change your mind feel free to PM me for details!
    ~Trude

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