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Discussion Starter #1
I have been thinking of getting a dog. Never owned a pet except for a goldfish when I was a little kid.
I am a person who isn't home over 1/2 the day, with a small house, leaving the dog inside.

I was thinking of a small to medium dog. One that doesn't shed much and isn't real hyper.

I have been real lazy, so I think one that likes to walk, could help me start on my road back to shape, and get healthier.

What suggestions do you guys have.
 

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Retired Greyhound

I would suggest a Greyhound. For one thing you can save a life, but contrary to what many people think Greyhounds are very laid back and will sleep most of the time. A Greyhound will be glad to go for a walk with you, but just as happy to curl up on the couch. They are extremely loving animals and would make friends with a burglar so they're not the best choice if you are looking for protection. However this means that they will get along with anyone. My greyhound has only barked twice in the seven years that I've had her and that was only because we were playing and she was really wound up (which lasts a few minutes then it's nap time again). They shed very little, come house trained, and they are guaranteed to outrun any other dog in the neighborhood. They can go from 0 to 45mph in three strides. The only thing faster is a Cheetah
 

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First of all, bear in mind that owning a dog carries a ton of responsibilities and sometimes a lot of expense. I am a "shelter dog" type of person, so whatever dog I end up with is kind of a crap shoot. However, I have never ever had a dog I couldn't train and didn't love to pieces. I love my little beagle mix. He is a little lazybones, but when I say, 'wanna go for a walk' he's right up and excited and could plug along forever as we walk the neighborhood. Two times I got dogs from shelters, and both times I sat with them for awhile alone so I could see what the personality was like, but it really never mattered because as soon as I am petting a pup, it is mineminemine. :) The first guy was the most hyper dog I ever saw (lab/border collie mix) and I knew it from the beginning. The one I have now was quiet and sedate -- even when I met him -- and that is his personality. You can tell a lot about a dog just from being with it for a short while.....but both of mine were past 6 months of age when I met them....not sure you could really tell with a little baby. I guess the thing to remember is that dogs are not returnable/disposable items. They are living souls and in need of structure and love. I always use a crate for training at first, and then the crate becomes their little "den" when they want it but no longer need it. I also invest in dog training classes with my dogs. It helps you bond with the dog and seems to show the dog that he is worth your time. Our dogs are members of the family. I hope yours will be too.
 

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Future Dog owner

Ok I'm going to give some tough love here.... if you've never owned a pet in your life really, and you admitted to being lazy (lately).You stated that you think getting a dog will help you with going on walks? It might do just that... but what I find is that people do not expect the work that goes into proper dog ownership. Soon that wishing of motivation to get off the couch can become i'm tired and scruffy always sits and barks at the door. you may be gone all day at work and come home to relax... well your dog by nature loves to run and walk with its pack not lounge around!!! so don't think of relaxing when you get home and taking it on a walk 1-3 nights a week... your dog will need exercise! and in walking with it your dog will learn obedience. The only way to train it and break a dog of habits you don't like is time and effort! don't get a dog if your not willing to look at it like that!

Kind of like you wouldn't raise a child by leaving them home alone all day then coming home and getting mad cause they drew on the walls making them go to bed for the rest of the night and the next morning leaving them again at home alone without any direct brain stimulation/play time.
 

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Future Dog owner

Oh and did I mention I have mastiffs... for the first dog go with somthing easy to handle. most dogs are cuddlers but you need to find one that requires less exercise if your gone a lot... bulldogs are good for that... but lots of skin problems.
 

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dog buddies

First of all, consider a shelter dog- why support puppy mills?

Consider a mix- a labradoodle or a goldendoodle- non shed buddies!

There may also be a rescue group around that has these kind of dogs.

jay the dog lover
 

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OK,

You have been told some of what you need to know. Shelter dogs are great and preferred but there are also Rescue agencies that rescue breeds so if you know a breed you like you might look into a rescue dog.

For a dog I would recommend a "Westie" West-Highland White Terrier. Good dogs with awesome personalities.



Here is a rescue http://www.westierescue.com/ to get started. I think a pet is an awesome idea as long as you are ready for the commitment.
 

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First of all, bear in mind that owning a dog carries a ton of responsibilities and sometimes a lot of expense. I am a "shelter dog" type of person, so whatever dog I end up with is kind of a crap shoot. However, I have never ever had a dog I couldn't train and didn't love. I guess the thing to remember is that dogs are not returnable/disposable items. They are living souls and in need of structure and love. I always use a crate for training at first, and then the crate becomes their little "den" when they want it but no longer need it. I also invest in dog training classes with my dogs. It helps you bond with the dog and seems to show the dog that he is worth your time. Our dogs are members of the family. I hope yours will be too.
The wife and I discussed it----if there is anything to reincarnation and we come back as dogs, expect us at your doorstep. :D
 

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I know it's a girly dog but the Shih-tzu is definitely a lap dog and will walk on a leach (just not very long distances :rolleyes:). They are very loyal and really not big sheders. You will however have to maintain their hair by either keeping it cut short or you will be combing hair and mats daily!
 

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Great advice from everyone!

I finally got a dog a year and a half ago-a Basset Hound. Great dog-real attitude and stubborn! When I worked in an office, he was in his crate most of the day and didn't seem to mind. Now that I work at home, he sleeps most of the day. He can go for 4 hours or more without having to go out. I live in a condo and don't really have a yard so I take him out for walks. He's not much of a walker, so we don't usually go very far, or very fast. He does shed in spring-you wouldn't think a short-haired dog would shed, but he puts on a heavier coat in winter. Not that much to do to take care of, except Bassets can have ear problems, so you need to clean their ears on a regular basis.

I agree with getting a shelter or rescue dog. A former co-worker's husband rescued Tucker from a couple who were divorcing. Then I came along and took him. So, I had some work to do with him, but he's been a terrific dog!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I want to thank all the responses so far.

If I get one it will be from the local pound. Definetly not a "pet store"

I know a dog is a lot of responsibilities. Probably take it to a obedience school which would help me as well in taking care of the dog.

Before I used to work 2 jobs, leaving at 6:30 in the morning and getting home many nights at 11pm, so I knew no way for a pet.
But now I leave at 6:30 and get home about 5:30, and no longer work weekends. I still feel that being away that long still might be too much for a pet.

So keep the suggestions coming. Pointers also, from when to take for shots, which type of dogs love taking trips, etc. Other than being around my ex girlfriends 130 lb pitbull, I really have no experience.
 

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OK,

You have been told some of what you need to know. Shelter dogs are great and preferred but there are also Rescue agencies that rescue breeds so if you know a breed you like you might look into a rescue dog.

For a dog I would recommend a "Westie" West-Highland White Terrier. Good dogs with awesome personalities.



Here is a rescue http://www.westierescue.com/ to get started. I think a pet is an awesome idea as long as you are ready for the commitment.
Yep. Westies are great dogs. Just so you don't think they always look like the show dog pictured above, however, these are our Westies as they usually look!
 

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I have been thinking of getting a dog. Never owned a pet except for a goldfish when I was a little kid.
I am a person who isn't home over 1/2 the day, with a small house, leaving the dog inside.
Get a cat instead. They won't care whether you're home or not.



:D
 

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Check out the older dogs when you visit a shelter as they'll be more likely to snooze during the day vs. a young, rambunctious type who will get bored. An older, calmer dog will really appreciate a quiet home. Maybe take a friend who is more dog-knowledgeable than you to help you along.

WHile you work, perhaps you could find a trusty neighborhood kid who can come and let the dog out, supervised, for like $4 a visit or something.

If you 're going to leave the dog indoors, it would be good if you have air conditioning. Get ready for annual vet exams, heartworm pills, vacinnations, dog license, toenail trimming, cost of food. My two cost me average about $700/yr just in vet bills.

Helps if you starting watching the DOg Whisperer with Cesar Milan so you can learn to be a good pack leader. There are no bad dogs, only bad owners.
And finally, it IS a HUGE COMMITMENT. Dogs are people too.
 

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Prior to inheriting my first Samoyed from an irresponsible friend years ago, I would never have considered myself to be in a position to responsibly own a dog. Let alone a long-haired dog that I'd have to comb-out frequently, bathe and blowdry. Worked long hours, rarely at home, live smack in the middle of a big city where tiny yards rule.

But that Samoyed changed my life. And because I was willing to change my life, I was able to change hers, for the better. I became responsible, for her, and caring for her became my priority.

I started spending less time at the office and more time at home (often working, but still at home). I went out less and for less time. And if I went out I made sure she got a walk and dinner first. I took her to work with me if I had to go in on weekends. Started camping because I was looking for a dog-friendly vacation option. She lived to age 14. I've never been remotely lazy.

Here are my questions for anyone considering getting a dog:

1) can you afford $2000 for a vet emergency?

2) if unable to walk your dog for at least half an hour, at least twice a day, can you afford a dog walker?

3) do you have a fenced yard that a dog could not escape from?

4) if you have a fenced yard, will you still walk the dog everyday?

5) if you have to leave town without your dog, do you have someone who will take care of them for you? Can you afford a kennel or dog-sitter?

6) why should a dog want you?

7) when you have the flu and it's 20 degrees and miserable outside, will you still walk the dog?

8] if your dog wakes you up at 2:00a, clearly ailing, will you take them to the emergency vet even though it's going to cost an extra $100 and it means you'll be exhausted the next day?

9) Will you be disciplined enough, and can you afford, to administer heartworm pills and an anti-flea & tick topical every month? (extremely important in the mid-Atlantic).

10) are you aware that just about any visit to the vet could cost you at least $100? (cost me $100 two weeks ago to have her anal glands "expressed" - $60 for the office visit + $39 for the procedure).


Rude as it is, I'm frequently asked how much Gidget cost. I routinely respond, verbatim: "Buying her was the least of it -- she cost $2000 in vet bills her first year." (because of recurring bladder infections caused by a recessed vulva). She got a stick lodged in the roof of her mouth on a Sunday = $200. A cyst I didn't know she had ruptured in her paw, on a Sunday = $200. She woke me up at 2:00a -- emergency visit for what turns out to be an ear infection = $200 ($100 extra for the emergency visit). I have lost count of the vet visits and she's only seven years old. We rarely get from one annual physical (and vaccinations) to the next without vet visits in between.

What you pay for a dog is just a down payment on what they're going to cost your bank account.

11) Do you rent or do you own your home?

Having a dog will severely impact your rental options in the future.

12) If you rent, is your landlord okay with the dog?

13) Have you researched what kind of dog food is healthy?

14) Have you researched how to train a dog properly?

15) Are you aware of the difference between punishment-based training and rewarding good behavior?

16) Your dog will love you no matter what. Will you love your dog no matter what?

17) Will you be willing to be responsible for them for 15 years, or more? (some dogs live that long, if you're lucky).

18] What will you do if the dog chews up your favorite shoes? Or your sunglasses? Your sofa? (I speak from experience)


It's to your credit to post this query and invite all us experienced dog peops to chime in. That speaks well of you.

As you can well see from this thread, we are not lacking for opinions. ;-)

Best wishes in your decision-making. It could well be, that the best decision is not getting a dog. It could be that the decision to get a dog will be the best you ever make for yourself. My concern is that whatever decision you make, it's the best decision for the dog.

:)







 

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Discussion Starter #19
you have given me a lot to think.
 

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Yep. Westies are great dogs. Just so you don't think they always look like the show dog pictured above, however, these are our Westies as they usually look!
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Yup thats how our Cricket looks too. But when you are trying to "sell" a breed you always put the pretty pictures up!

Westies are COOL!:cool::cool:

Hiker Chick is right on, she may be blunt but when your pet needs you there are NO other options....That all said the reward can be two fold to the responsibilities!
 
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