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Talk to me about dogs...

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Hass, Dec 30, 2011.

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  1. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

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    So after 2 years, my house will be done very soon. Which means, I can finally get a dog! =)
    I've been waiting for what seems like forever to get one. I only had one when I was little... before I can even remember.

    Now I have to figure out what I would like. The fiance also has quite a bit of say in this, but she'll go along with just about anything as long as it's not a small breed :) She's lived with dogs her whole life, except for now. :|

    I have plenty of land, and will border train ASAP. The farmers near me are offering to help out if I run in to trouble with it.
    I have 2 cats...
    The dog MAY be alone for up to 8 hours once or twice a week, depending on when the fiance works. But usually 4 hours at the most.
    My preferred dog was a Malamute, but because of their prey drive and how unruly they can seem to be I'm not sure if they'd be the best choice for me as a first time dog owner. I thought of Huskies as well, but same deal.
    Golden Retrievers, Labs, and German Shepards are acceptable as well.

    I don't have a problem going to formal training with it, and hope to train it myself in between. I'm just not sure what route to go with my cats... I wanted a 1-4 year old dog or so, just because there's so many dogs available and I really am not sure if we're home enough to take care of a puppy.

    Do breeds really matter as far as how they act/behave? Or is it more so how they were brought up and what they were exposed to as a pup?
    I'm just really confused... Basically I'm just wondering, what large/medium-large breed is good for a first time owner that I won't have to worry about it eating my cats for a snack when I'm not looking?

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  2. Dix

    Dix Minister of Fire

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    LOL !! So many questions, so little time.

    Def stay away from the terrier group, they're demons :)

    I think any of the goofy breeds you mentioned will do fine. Cats and dogs can usually "work things out", I've found. Older cats have a "unique" ability to train a dog real fast, I have discovered ;-)

    A younger dog gets cat trained easier than an older dog [​IMG]
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Had dogs my whole life until just about a year ago...now at age 63 I'm dogless, but thinking about maybe getting another. All my dogs were adopted mutts...the best dog I ever had was 1/4 Coyote, 1/4 Basenji & 1/2 fence-jumping Terrier. Worst dog I ever had was a Husky/Shepherd mix (both big breeds high on the list of susceptibility to Epilepsy...yup, my dog had it and it was a long, slow nightmare...sometimes an emergency). Some dogs are by nature really eager to please their master/owner...others aren't. Some are naturally easy-going and gentle...others aren't. There's more information available online about dog breeds and their characteristics than you could read in a lifetime...get started. I think maybe a Lab or a Golden, maybe, if you want a large dog with a good disposition...but that's not something you can take to the bank, because I've never had either, just an observation. Your local Humane Society likely has a website where they show & describe the dogs available for adoption...as will any rescue orgs in your area. Good luck, it's a ginormous subject. Rick

    ETA: Also pretty much always had at least one cat (more often two cats) during all those decades. Just me and one cat left now...our herd has dwindled considerably.
  4. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

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    I've been reading... for a long, long time. :p
    Protection is also on the list of things I'd like from a dog... But I don't really want to put that on a dog.
    However I don't think too many burglars would be too interested in coming in to a house if they saw this waiting inside.
    http://youtu.be/D07rb5KsiSE

    Mainly just worried about cats, or a dog that can't be controlled and turns in to a horror.
  5. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    A dog can be gentle with its owners/family/friends and very protective/territorial at the same time. Depends on the dog and the owner(s) and how the dog is trained. Rick
  6. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    The best dogs IMHO are herding dogs. They are super easy to train, extremely loyal, protective. They have energy when you want them to, and chill out when you don't. Right now I have a colliexaussie shepherd cross and a red heeler. Super, super dogs. I've loved hunting dogs also, but the sheepdogs are more easily civilized and bred for service over generations.
  7. potter

    potter Feeling the Heat

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    Your concerns about huskies is right on. Sweetest, most beautiful dogs who are bred to run 100 miles a day in a straight line away from you. Still mourn the loss of ours at 16 yrs old, but will not get another.
  8. loon

    loon Minister of Fire

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    Once ya own a Pyrenees Hass you will never go to a different breed... BUT!! they have a mind of their own..and alot of work if they aint doing their job on a farm ;-)

    and wouldnt trade Emma for anything. :cheese:

    loon




    [​IMG]
  9. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

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    haha loon, I always enjoy looking at your thread about her :) She's absolutely gorgeous.
    I thought about a Pyrenees too... But figured they'd be a bit too much to handle.

    Why did you decide not to get another one if you don't mind me asking?

    I've also been thinking about if I get laid up in bed for a couple of weeks for whatever reason (stuff happens, ya know?), I'm sure an active dog would get pretty anxious being stuck inside every day.
    If I have a husky/mal, I can always keep a mattress on a sled for emergencies and hook the dog up to it... and let it run around for a while. Just an option ;)
  10. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

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    Labs are sweet dogs in my opinion!! Here's mine with the outside cat.

    [​IMG]
  11. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    A Husky breed will run pulling that mattress all day everyday except when it's hot. They're bred to pull & run, & it seems almost impossible to "train" out of them ime. Like trying to teach a fish not to swim. I've had the best luck with mixed breed mongrels/mutts. Twice I've come across adult non tagged strays that I think got dumped or ran off due to lack of care or attention. They seemed to appreciate the simple things like food & heat. Both were quite timid at first, & not aggressive, also very loyal. I think most any dog will due defense duty once they've bonded, & feel a member of the "pack" / family. I'm fortunate to have been found by both these mutts & loved them both. Worst habit the last one had was she liked my chair as much as I did, & would only give it up grudgingly. We came to an agreement that she would get out of the chair after I gave her a displeased look for a minute, she would take her time getting out, then sit & stare till I petted her. To this day I still look for that old dog in my chair, & she's been gone for nearly a year. The requirements for my dogs are, 1. I like em kinda homely looking, 2. non aggressive, 3. They gotta go anywhere I go, & be good in the shop @ work, 4. They gotta be fairly intelligent. I don't care for the dumb ones with the vacant look in their eyes.

    I'm sure this doesn't help you any, it just made me realize how much I miss my old dog. Gonna be headed to the pound after the 1'st to start interviewing new dogs.
    A C
  12. Blue Vomit

    Blue Vomit Minister of Fire

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    If a malamute or husky is what you want then go for it. Breed characteristics are not absolute. Breed characteristics can give you a general blueprint of what tendencies are generally associated with that breed, BUT that does not mean every dog in that breed is that way.
    If the malamute is what you really like, surf the web, contact breeders, maybe you find a breeder who has cats as well. If that's what you like, it's worth a try.
    If it's not that important to you, do your research and find a breed that will get along with the cats better. I think purina has an online breed selector that you can fool around with. It might be a place to start.
    Im sure everyone will tell you how great their dogs are (mine is the best), you just have to find out what dog is going to be the best for YOU and YOUR situation.
    Good luck.
  13. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    Can't go wrong with Labs. Of course My opinion is mildly biased :)
  14. Adabiviak

    Adabiviak Feeling the Heat

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    Get a mutt from the local animal rescue shelter - good for the soul. Our current dog is (from the shelter), and she's awesome.
  15. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    +1
  16. jeromehdmc

    jeromehdmc Member

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    I can't say enough about shelter dogs. I have a lab mix and an aussie mix. Both are the best dogs you could ask for, they seem to know you did some thing special by adopting them.
  17. schlot

    schlot Minister of Fire

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    I like the idea of a pound dog myself.

    My wife got an abused lab mix from the shelter just before we were married. Got it to keep away an old boyfriend. LOL. It's been a challenge to train him. Very gun shy, timid, hated new things, even water. 2 years later he's a really good dog. Goes out and cuts with me and has no problems now with the sound of the chainsaw and finally likes water. It's been hard work but it's been worth it.
  18. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    X2

    Our little Abby is a rescue.

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  19. potter

    potter Feeling the Heat

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    Our husky would take off at the first opportunity, and run for miles. It's ok if you're the kind of person who can "lose" a few until you get the right one. I think they have huge ranges, naturally. Ours wasn't dependble off leash until she was 10. But very attached to their people. I agree dogs can vary greatly within breed, but I've met many husky owners with similar experience. The high energy I could deal with, keeping her on the property and not chasing her around to avoid an early death, not.
    I have been severely tempted as they are the most beautiful, high personality dogs. My 3 yr old who never met the dog has developed a husky fascination- asked from Santa and got a toy husky. So we aren't out of the woods, yet......
  20. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    If kids are in the equation now, or will be while the dog is still alive, make sure you plan for that. Some breeds are better with kids than others. When I was growing up we had a german shepherd that would herd me around the yard...anytime I got too close to something dangerous it would gently bump me out of the way or put itself in between me and the danger. I was too little to remember it but my mom swears it did.

    I have a yellow lab right now and he's great with kids. Once you get a lab out of it's puppy stage they are darned good dogs...Smart, obedient, and usually not overly energetic. Lab puppies have an unlimited supply of raw energy, which usually gets dissipated by chewing on stuff. Labs (and lots of pure-breds) tend to have some health problems though...mine has skin/ear issues from seasonal allergies. Nothing a quick trip to the vet doesn't fix, but he's not just a food and water dog like a mutt usually is.

    As for the cats, a cat will put a puppy in it's place pretty quick...then they'll be buds. You usually don't have to worry about the cat and dog unless there are multiple dogs than gang up on the cat.
  21. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

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    Haha, People always tell me this but I have a hard time believing a 10lb fur ball can teach a 90lb blob of meat how it's going to be. But I also had a hard time believing cats wouldn't jump on top of a hot stove ;)

    Of course I will. I have a ton of shelters near me... There's even Husky/Malamute only shelters, etc.... Especially since it's after Christmas a lot of little buddies will be getting "returned" after people find out what taking care of a pet really entails!

    ALSO:
    A lot of the shelters near me will ONLY adopt out larger breeds with a fenced in yard. Some actually do home inspections to make sure your house/yard is right for them. Since I don't have a fenced in yard, it may make it tricky. Do you think it would be unusual if I fenced in my yard? haha. I haven't ever found someone with a fence in my part of the country so I think I'd look a little out of place with one. I have no problem paying/doing the labor to get it done... I could probably fence in a 100'x80' part of my backyard. No doubt it will be fairly expensive whatever material route I go... But I'm not concerned about that.
  22. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    I'd also recommend a cross (mutt). They're healthier physically and emotionally. Put the word out to your friends and neighbors and watch
    your local ads. I don't buy into the "rescue" stuff.
    Get him as a pup, get him fixed and get his shots.
    Socialize him well with the kids, cats, and other people. Walk his borders more than you ever want to.
    He will form his own sense of protection for you and yours (especially the kids for some reason).
    Always be calm and cool with him and you'll be amazed at what he'll do for you.
    Cheeze I love good dawgs.
    Kenny
  23. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    <>Our husky would take off at the first opportunity, and run for miles. It's ok if you're the kind of person who can "lose" a few until you get the right one. I think they have huge ranges, naturally. Ours wasn't dependble off leash until she was 10. But very attached to their people. I agree dogs can vary greatly within breed, but I've met many husky owners with similar experience. The high energy I could deal with, keeping her on the property and not chasing her around to avoid an early death, not.
    I have been severely tempted as they are the most beautiful, high personality dogs. My 3 yr old who never met the dog has developed a husky fascination- asked from Santa and got a toy husky. So we aren't out of the woods, yet......<>

    One more statement on Huskies or Husky & whatever's mixed in,
    & this is by no means disrespecting the breed...
    They tend to have "Alpha" type personalities & for the most part
    will only act as a "Beta" or defer to one person, at least when
    they are younger. I mentioned this to our local vet at one
    of her early check-ups & he agreed wholeheartedly
    My last was a Husky/Yellow Lab mix & a great dog when
    I was around, but she flat out wouldn't listen to anyone else,
    at least when she was really young.
    As she aged, she seemed to decide that she could defer to my
    daughters, maybe because she & the two of them were together
    for over a decade. She never DID obey my EX-wife...
    Maybe that's why the dog & I got along so well!
  24. drewboy

    drewboy New Member

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    Another thing to consider may be life expectancy, some of the larger breeds have issues after about 6 or 7 years. I have 3 australian sheperds, all over 10 years old- my oldest is 14 and still going relatively strong. My wife and I say we we are going to throw a keg party for his 15th birthday and invite all of his friends (and ours). My two younger (relative term) dogs know their yard boundaries very well but I suggest training ASAP when the dog is young, my oldest never was an off-leash dog- he will take off in a second.
    My other suggestion for a healthy dog, besides the obvious vet visits, is not to skimp on the quality of their food.
  25. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

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    I read about this quite a bit. I guess you have to "show them who's boss" around a couple of months (4-5 months if i recall) since that's when they start trying to take alpha status. But if I get an older dog, it will be a bit more tricky if they weren't shown the way...

    Never! I'd gladly miss out on a night at the movies or a dinner out if it meant having happy pets. My kitties always get science diet... A bit more expensive than the rest, but each shelter I got my cats from said it's all they feed their cats because it's the best... and the vet we go to agrees. Happy kitties give much more enjoyment than a night at the movies honestly. lol :)
    Hopefully the same can be said about a happy dog!

    I'm really thinking about fencing in a good part of my back yard... That way I don't have to worry about it if I get or hurt. I know my fiance would take care of it, and my family would fill in the gaps if there are any... But I don't want it to come to that. I kind of like the idea of being able to let him/her out the back door, do whatever it wants out there and not be afraid.

    I just measured the space I would use for the fence... It's 160 deep, and 40ft wide at the back, and 70ft wide towards the house.
    So it'll be about $1500 for the fence if I use prebuilt wood 6' tall sections from HD. Plus 4x4s and concrete. I'd probably build the fencing myself depending on how much cheaper it is versus prebuilt sections...
    Malamute puppies from a breeder are ~$2100 for females and $2400 for males.
    This fella will cost me as as much as any car I've bought, and that's before all the food and such ;)

    What about pet insurance? Scam? Crap? Garbage?
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