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Ziggy

To dog or not to dog... agonising question

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As many people here have other animals as well as chooks, I thought to ask for advice... I want a dog, always did, ever since I was a young child, and never got one so far... first my dad wouldn't let me have one (which always infuriated me cause he grew up with dogs and spent most evening meals recounting endless stories about his 'wonderful dogs'), now my DH is taking over. Apart from DH's opinion, the reasons I haven't had a dog so far are that we like to travel a little, and have had enough work so far with our kids and menagerie, without adding to it... My girls all would love a dog too (my second daughter has loved dogs since she was a baby... she was the most difficult, crying baby, but the sight of a dog would make her beam from about 4 months old), so the kids are on my side.

 

Now what I'd like, is for anyone here to throw me anything they know, or any advice they have... it can be pro or con, I really don't mind. Our house is big, so no room issue, the dog would have his own room plus access to some of the living areas. We have a large garden too (well fairly large for a town garden). I was thinking that, should we get a dog, we'd have to hire dog-friendly pet/house sitters when we go on holidays or trips (with the number of pets we have, that'd make sense anyway). Vet bills are no issue. I would want a big dog, not a small one. Thinking Irish Setter or Collie (funly enough that's hubby's choice... 'no dog... a collie if we must get a dog... but no dog!!!'). We have five cats and thought we'd have to get a puppy to ensure cats are tolerated. I know dogs need walking and exercise, question is do they need walking first thing in morning, or can they have a toilet place at home and be walked later on when kids are at school?

 

Is there anything I should be considering, thinking about, in trying to make the decision??

 

Please throw any word of experience and wisdom at me, I am not planning to make the decision straight away, want to make time to be as well informed as possible...

 

Thanks :D

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Out of all breeds of dogs, I think Collies probably need THE most exercise :lol:

As a working dog breed, they have endless energy. :D

As far as walking goes - its what they get used to.

By that I mean my neighbours for instance walk their dogs at 7am every morning because they both work - they get no respite on Sundays because the dogs want their walk! :D

My two Springers get walked at irregular times through the day as we work for ourselves so have that flexibility - its how I have always done it and they don't seem to mind, in fact Barney hates walking in the dark and Dylan hates rain - yet will throw himself into a pond or the sea without a thought :roll:

 

Helen

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Milo (our collie x springer) is rarely walked earlier then mid day. It really is a case of what they are used to...

 

Sounds like you have the perfect home situation/set up for a dog - you need to chose the right breed carefully though - and if you go for a puppy and a lively, larger dog socialization classes and training classes are a must if you're not experienced with training.

 

Dogs are great. They add so much to your life - i wouldn't be without one. Keep nagging the husband down (if he's saying 'if we got one we would get a collie' it shows that he has thought a little about it and its not a total non starter with him!)

 

I don't have much experience with collies - as i said Milo is half collie but we had him when he was 8 and he doesn't need/want loads of exercise - maybe cos he's an old gimmer now!

 

Springer spaniels are great dogs (slightly smaller) and i want an Irish setter next! They're lovely! Both are lively breeds though. Am sure there are other large breeds that don't need as much exercise as the 3 mentioned above - though not as nice! :wink:

 

*waits for Chelsea to come along and stick up for german shepherds!

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As people have said above, it sounds like you have the ideal set up Ziggy. If you are looking at getting one from puppy age, puppy crates seem to be the done thing at the moment. My brother had one when he got his lab puppy. Gives the dog it's own space away from children, and helps with toilet training.

 

What about a golden retriever? They are my favourites - wonderful temperaments, especially with children. I had one for 13 years and I miss him so much :( We have a westie now who is also lovely, but obviously not big :lol:

 

We use a housesitter for our dog when we go away (well, one of the teenagers from church usually :lol: )

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We have 2 rescue dogs, and love them both to bits :D Holly looks like a small GSD but browner :? Alfie really is a complete mix of lurcher ish type dogs :lol:

 

They poo too much, moult every where, eat chicken poo :vom: shake the rain off on the newly painted kitchen walls, and leave lots of muddy foot prints on the floor :roll: ....but I wouldn't be with out them :lol:

 

They eat at regular intervals, but get walked usually at the end of the day, and run around in the garden during the day, they fit in with what ever we do really :D

 

Go for it :D

 

Karen x

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We have 6 cats along with the GPs a Rabbit and of course the five girls. So we recently got a CKC puppy, just to add to the mix! He gets walked daily, by me at weekends amd on my day off and by DS when he gets home from school on other days. As he is a small dog he is OK with 30 mins a day and he gets plenty of exercise in the house and garden. Larger dogs do need more exercise on a regular basis. We had a rescued Springer for 2 weeks last year ( didnt work as he hated the cats and he had to go back) and he needed a MINIMUM of 1 1/2 hours every day!! ( he was 9 already - would have been more if he was younger!) So you need to choose your breeds carefully. Having said that - we wouldnt be without Jack and it has given DS a new focus away from his PC with the walking and dog training classes :roll:

Puppies do settle better with cats but they do need more work - training, toilet training and they also need company, unlike cats who like to be a bit aloof.

 

Do your research and then go for it :D:D

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Go for it M'Dear

 

We always had dogs when we were young, and I had a lurcher until 3.5 years ago. I miss her very much, but being a single, working parent now, I'm not home enough to have another. :(

 

She was a real nutty stinker with a penchant for rolling in fox poo, weapons grade halitosis and the ability to eat absolutely anything :shock: . But loyal and loving to the end, she adored Rosie and would guard her pram and let Rosie walk along holding on to her fur.

 

They love you far more unconditionally than cats ever do.

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They poo too much, moult every where, eat chicken poo :vom: shake the rain off on the newly painted kitchen walls, and leave lots of muddy foot prints on the floor :roll: ....but I wouldn't be with out them :lol:

 

 

my GSD is like that too Karen!! :lol:

 

Ziggy have you thought about a greyhound? They are very placid dogs and are couch potatoes and dont need as much exercise as you'd think they would. Phil on here has one (revnev) im not sure what they are like with his chooks. :think:

 

I would think also something like a retriever would suit as a family pet, or even a mongrel.

 

I wouldnt recommend any breed of terrier (I dont like terriers :evil: ) in my opinion they yap too much, and are very stubborn dogs

 

My sister has a cocker spaniel - he's lovely but very lively.

 

I absolutely adore newfoundlands - big giant balls of fluff, they love water and they slobber eveywhere but they are gorgeous! :D

 

Some people say dogs are a tie (with holidays etc) but we wouldnt be without a dog. We both grew up with dogs and will continue to have them in our family.

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Have you considered having a Guide Dog breeding dog to live with you. 8)

{depending which part of Oxfordshire you are in} it's a really good scheme. :wink:

 

ETA - It deleted the word *female dog* so I changed it to dog. :roll:

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i don't have a dog but several of our neighbours do, they turf them out into the garden when they go to work and there's frequent barking from about 8am to 6pm from various directions. It does annoy me but not enough to complain to them or the council, live and let live, after all I wouldn't want anyone to complain about my chooks (not that there is anything to complain about anyway!).

 

Anyway, if you're getting a big dog and it's going to be in the garden all day, spare a thought for the neighbours. You did ask for cons as well as pros ;)

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...having said that, i do like dogs and always fancied getting one but we can't afford one right now. If I did get one, I'd go for something small like a King Charles spaniel or a miniature daschund so I could have it on my knee and cuddle it but it's the poo and the dirty bums on my carpets that put me off! :lol:

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I am home all day... otherwise I wouldn't consider getting a dog on top of kids, cats, rats, fish, chooks, especially a puppy, who'd need lots of presence and company and attention.

Barking obviously would be a concern, and something I'll look into when making a definite decision, but I definitely wouldn't get a dog to leave it alone in the garden all day long.

Most things seem to be in favour of 'yes let's get a dog'... but somehow it seems like such a huge responsibility compared to cats and so on, it's a bit like having another child (not quite, ok, but you know what I mean), and I really don't want to take the decision lightly. My youngest daughter is 18 months right now, and I am thinking of getting a dog once she is at nursery for a few mornings a week, as I will have more time then...

Golden retriever is also a choice in my mind, we are going on holiday at Easter, will be staying on a small boat and the couple who run it have a retriever on board, which my daughters are delighted about... I thought it will be nice to live with a big dog for a week and see what we feel...

I don't know anything about the guide dog breeding dog scheme... will have to look into that...

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I've had 3 retrievers - none of them were noisy dogs, just the occasional woof if startled! :lol: I can't praise them highly enough - I'd love another. :D

 

Our next door but one neighbours have a couple of newfoundlands - they do bark, and it is such a deep bark that it goes right through you and is intensely irritating when it does it constantly :? We have had to tell him about it a couple of times - he takes it well (no choice, he's a policeman :twisted: ) and it goes quiet for a while. Again, I think it's because he gets into the habit of putting the dogs outside and leaving them all day. They are much better when he walks them regularly.

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weapons grade halitosis

 

:lol::lol::lol: Another glorious Claretism! :lol::lol::lol:

 

I liked that one too :lol: .

 

We have a rescue dog and it was the best decision we ever made. He's so much a part of the family that we can't imagine life without him. He's no trouble at all and is happy to get walks whatever time of day it suits us. My kids adore him and the chickens have got him well trained (he's scared of them :lol: ).

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Most people on here will know I am an anti-dog person........... :roll:

 

I've never felt the need to keep pets - chickens were OK as they were outside. I knew that as soon as we had plenty of garden room for a dog and we were working more from home that Carl would have the dog he's always wanted :roll:

 

I still don't feel the need to keep pets and wouldn't have anything else in the house........ but I wouldn't be without Jazz. She's a black lab and we had her at 8 weeks old. Because I am at home more than Carl she had to have a routine that I could cope with. She was crate trained from the beginning - very helpful when animals escape or disasters happen :roll: and she was taught to toilet in one area on command, the same as guide dogs.

 

I still find having a dog a tie - if I go out in the morning, I have to remember to come home at lunchtime. We go out even less in the evenings than we used to ( :shock: ) and I miss my holidays (a bit, I'm getting used to it) We don't have the problem of finding dog sitters as Carl takes his 'baby' everywhere :roll:

 

Jazz has a loose sort of routine - she's used to a good long walk in the morning and then will go in her crate as she's usually wet from being hosed down to get the mud off. She will stay in there all morning if I need to work in the office. She then gets long walks whenever Carl is working from home or in the evening... or late at night. In between, I do short walks and ball throwing which wear her out but I can stand still.

 

I found it easier than I thought I would - but I'm still struggling to cope with dog hair everywhere - even in the rooms where she's not allowed :shock:

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I don't know anything about the guide dog breeding dog scheme... will have to look into that...

 

Basically the dog comes to live with you at about 12 - 14 months old & lives with you as a family pet would, she becomes part of the fmily to fit in with you & your lifestyle. She will then be bred from & she would need to have her puppies at home with you (full support & supervision is provided) and all expenses are covered. Boarding facilities are provided at no cost to you, all food & vet bills are paid for. & you have a choice of breed. A pet dog to live with you, with your expenses taken care of. Perfect! {You need to live within a certain distance from the breeding centre, most parts of Oxford would be, but it depends where you are) Also there is a waiting list, so it wouldn't be straight away if you did consider it.

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Most people on here will know I am an anti-dog person........... :roll:

 

An anti-dog person with a dog... who wouldn't be without the dog... :D

I am hoping that's what DH will be...

 

Thanks everyone... it's lovely to hear from people with dog experience... I never hesitated about getting cats and more cats cause I've had them in the past, so I knew exactly what I was letting myself in for, but I have absolutely no experience of dogs, so a lot of research, talking and reading to do...

The guide dog breeding scheme sounds nice, but to be honest I'm not sure it'd be really right for us... I think breeding dogs might be better off in a quieter family, some of my kids are still young and I fear they might not give a pregnant dog the peace and quiet that might be needed at times. On top of that, although it'd be lovely to help care for young puppies, my second daughter gets very easily and deeply attached, as I do, and I fear endless heartache when the puppies have to go... it seems a lovely worthwhile thing to do, but not sure we're the right people for it...

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weapons grade halitosis

 

:lol::lol::lol: Another glorious Claretism! :lol::lol::lol:

 

*bows*

 

Thankee kindly - I aim to amuse! :wink:

 

She was a rescue dog (long story there) and was totally devoted to me and Rosie, which was lovely.

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Jezebel was very well behaved (I won't have animals or children that aren't..... or men :wink: ). She knew that her bed was her haven when she felt overwhelmed or tired and would go there when told. She had loads of longs walks and bunny chasing sessions :roll: but was equally happy if I was very busy and just had to let her out in the garden. I had trained her to bark when the doorbell went, but not otherwise. i had a job near home for a while and she often came into the office with me (at their request) and sat curled up under the desk unless someone wanted to take her for a walk.

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I've ordered books about the breeds I'm most tempted to go for, so will do bit of reading.... I'll most likely be back with 1001 questions at some point or other...

I've told my girls (human ones, not chook ones) that we'd probably go ahead and get a dog, but in one or two years when little one is not so little, and when I have bit more time to take the said dog on exercise sessions while they are at school/nursery, and mostly more time to train a puppy to be as we'd want it to be... can't expect the little thing to train itself!!

In the meantime I will research all other aspects, like puppy training in the area, how to get reliable dog/housesitters and so on, and will then present the whole case neatly to my husband for his final approval (he has actually said I could have one, with a number of conditions... )

It's a very exciting thought... having wanted something for so, so many years, and finally getting to a time when I can consider it for the not too distant future...

Sometimes I think my husband didn't want to consider a dog cause he wonders what i'll want next...

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Sometimes I think my husband didn't want to consider a dog cause he wonders what i'll want next...

 

Aaaah! - in that case you should have started by telling him you'd like sheep/pigs/ elephants etc.......... then just ask if you could have a dog! :wink:

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How about a rescue dog. Most are crosses or mongrels but they can be lovely dogs. Both ours have been rescue dogs and both are/were crosses. I wouldn't be without them. I still miss our last dog terribly, he was my best friend.

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I would echo the rescue dog idea. Ours is a rescue (Heinz 57) dog and he's the most obedient, gentle, easy-going, lovely dog. We got him when the kids were 5 and 7 and he was fantastic with them and any other kids (I childminded at that time).

 

The cat and dog home will know which dogs are suitable around kids so it might be worth having a look if you have one near you.

 

Just wanted to show you this picture because I think it's so good (YS took it):

 

2218479116_15deb3a07b.jpg

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