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kannie

I'd love a dog but...

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Now we've moved to the country I'd really love a dog, but I'm still working out the practicalities of it. We have a tiny terraced cottage with a completely open plan downstairs, a long (not huge) garden with a field at the end, and free ranging hens. OH thinks our home isn't suitable. I'm determined to find a way around: having a dog has been a dream of mine since childhood (and frankly I could do with some company).

 

My questions: are some breeds of dog more likely to get on with hens (and visiting cats)? There's a five foot drop down to the field, which contains 2 cows, lots of ducks, and a small river: would I have to fence this off? I've read about giving dogs cages so you can contain them at night: is this less cruel than it sounds? When you scoop up poos, what do you do with them? You can't flush them if they're in plastic bags and our rubbish is only collected fortnightly! Oh and how do you stop the whole house smelling of dog? That'll do for starters!

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Ha!! we got a pup in July, and she's a love, but is getting a lot bigger than we'd planned!(dodgy parentage!! :lol: )

You will need to secure the garden.

they chew their teeth through. one of my dining room chairs is a casualty.This does pass :lol:

Dont get a dog if you're houseproud!

Training will take about 6 weeks, and you'll be through the "chase the"whatever stage. I have three cats, chickens, a tortoise, and next doors' cats are always here, and now we have a truce!.

She's (the dog)4 months now, will walk to heel, sit, and lie down on command. Her recall(coming back when she's called) is pants . we dont hit her, but I have to admit to shouting at her a bit.

Pups are like toddllers, expect to have to get up for a few weeks, to let them out to pee, 10.30, 2am, 6am. This does pass. apparently, they can hold on for 1 hr per month of age, plus an hr, so 3 months = 4 hrs before an accident!

We did pay £35 for a morning with a trainer, and it was really useful, for the dog and for us!

Dont forget the vets bills. and the cost of food/toys/collars/leads tennis balls(we seem to be always buying more!)

I love her to bits, but she eats away at the time like no ones business; so if you're short on time, dont get a dog!

I haven't read a book, or done a stitch of sewing for weeks!

The poo is a problem for us too, even as the bin men come once a week. My friend down the road takes all her bags to the doggie poo bin every day(the red one the councils put around) and gets around it that way!

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Thanks Freddie! What breed(s) is she? I imagine some are less likely to go for things like hens? The weeing timetable is interesting. I've never noticed any red bins around here: just threatening dog poo notices!

 

I'm thinking I could put a gate across the steps to our sunken terrace to make a secure area. Would a pup be able to jump about 3 feet high? The dogs I've seen recently at agility competitions don't look as if they would! Great idea to get a 1:1 with a trainer. I was thinking I'd look for a class.

 

Good point about the time consumption. I was planning to wait till the New Year, when my work is quieter and I can be at home. Chewing furniture is not such good news...

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It all depends on what sort of dog you have Kannie, so start with some breed research first to see what sort would suit you. You can skip the puppy stage by adopting a rescue dog 8)

 

I have two lurchers, Ruby was a pup when I got her and was crated at night as it helped her to feel more secure. Now I have two and they are restricted to the kitchen (using stairgates) when I am out and at night. They are emphatically not allowed on furniture, nor upstairs. They are pretty clean and virtually odour-free too.

 

You will need to think about exercising and holidays too.

 

Being hunting dogs, mine will chase things, they are OK (to a point) with our cats but I don't let them out in the garden when the chickens are free ranging.

 

Perhaps see if you have a Dogs for the Disabled centre (or similar) near you; they are often looking for walkers and weekend boarders, this might help you to decide if it's what you want.

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I would second the idea of a rescue dog, and avoiding the puppy stage! (unless you actually WANT to do the house-training etc...)

rescue dog doesnt equal old/bad, many many dogs are in rescue now for so many different reasons, and the rescue will help you find the right dog for your circumstances.

when we got our rescue lab he was 10 months old; the kids and I really wanted a dog but mr beach chick was not that keen ("it's YOUR dog") - he loves him now tho!

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We got Riley as a rescue dog (aged about 1-2) and it was the best thing we ever did 8) .

 

Any training will depend on who had your dog before you, but you can always go to training classes - we did but more for us than Riley :lol: . He was pretty well trained already and such a good dog (which begs the question why he was in the Cat and Dog Home :( ).

 

It might be wise to fence off access to the cows and ducks. You could probably wait till you got the dog though and see how it goes.

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Hmm. I'd quite like to have the dog from puppy stage really! Though I have looked at lots of rescue dog sites.

 

I hadn't thought about the Dogs for the Disabled thing though Dogmother. We're not close enough to be a boarder, but maybe we could be puppy socialisers and have a puppy for a year pre-training! I could fancy that. It'd even tick an extra box in terms of 'giving something back', rather than being just for me. Yes I like that idea.

 

Will other OH though? Won't deal with his issues, except that if he doesn't end up loving it, it's a one year commitment rather than for life!

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Hmm. I'd quite like to have the dog from puppy stage really!

 

I know what you mean! We always feel a bit sad that we didn't know Riley when he was a pup :( .

 

I think we would probably get a puppy next time :wink: . Hopefully not for a long time though, can't imagine life without Riley :( .

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Puppy walking is a good one, a couple of my friends do it - one bonus is that you get all the back-up you need, vet bills and feed paid for, a crate and bedding. It gets you out as you need to expose them to as many different situations as possible. :D

 

If I was at home full time I'd do it too, but I think my two reprobates would lead it astray :roll:

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Could be just the thing! Going through an assessment sounds a bit nerve wracking though! :anxious: Was it tough when your friends did it? Maybe they'd had dogs before, which we haven't. I guess we're pretty unprepared really...

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I don't think so, they are looking for sensible folk who are responsible and get out a lot. I gather that you get a lot of prep and back-up, just be prepared for some sleepless nights at first with a pup while it learns to settle and needs a wee in the night. They need to be taken out regularly (more or less every hour during the daytime) for a piddle at first, but just think of those snuggly puppy ears.

Edited by Guest

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Ooops! :wink: Actually I already have! Tempting isn't it? Some of them sound like quite a challenge though. And lots need another dog in the home to learn from. I don't think it'd be right to take on a dog that's known to have big challenges when we're novices. They're refreshingly open and honest about it though.

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Why not consider fostering for your local rescue? It eliminates a massive "commitment" issue as the dog can stay for as long as you like. Sometimes it's nice to let kennel dogs out for a weekend or for longer term i.e. until they get rehomed.

It will mean you'll get a taster of whether a dog is for you and you might even fall in love with one and decide to adopt it.

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Sarah should know, she's had no end of fosters and has been massively successful in getting them rehomed :clap:

 

I used to love fostering; it gives you a real sense of achievement when they go to their forever homes.

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Hmm: yes, reading about dogs up for rehoming, they often seem to have problems, and i've enough of a job already convincing OH that a dog would be a good thing. Those links look fantastic - many thanks - I'll have a good read tomorrow. Have mentioned the puppy walking idea to OH this evening and it just might be a go-er! :pray:

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To be honest with you the vast majority of dogs in rescue and healthy, happy and well adjusted. Due to people's finances a lot have had to be surrendered to rescues.

I do think a puppy is a lot of hard work if you've never done it before.

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we were like you in wanting a dog but not being sure if it was for us...

 

we became puppy socialisers for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. We got lots of training, all costs covered and lots of 24/7 support from our socialising mentor. We even got a babysitter if we wanted to go out for a very long day or overnight. Bearing in mind you would get none of this support having your own pup, the work involved made us think hard before taking on another trainee puppy... The amount of work in raising a really well behaved, well socialised, pup is phenomenal.

 

Kodi didn't pass her training assessment at 9 months and was rehomed as a 'Fallen Angel' to a family on the waiting list. They got a very lovely dog to bring home and we suffered from sheer exhaustion and broken hearts.

 

We were about to take on another pup when I was made redundant and had to take on another job with full time hours. If we had a pup we would have had to give it to another socialiser, if we'd had our own i don't know how we would have coped.

 

I finish my full time hours in April and having discussed socialising but we don't think we'll do it again. We want our own and don't want to take on another puppy - it's just toooooo much work!

 

good luck with your decision!

 

btw - yes you'll need a fence; crate training is essential - not cruel, puppy classes are essential and not a waste of money; plan your life around the puppy - do not try to live a normal life or you'll get frustrated; read Gwen Bailey's books and follow her advice religiously; use lots and lots and LOTS of treats for training; and work on recall until it's perfect - it could save your dog serious damage if it knows the when you call, it comes!

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Having done both pups and older dogs myself I'd go for an older dog myself; they can be just as cute and have so much to give in the way of love. My latest dog was going to be a foster but I caved in and took him as a forever dog - he was an owner surrender in heart breaking circumstances. He was underweight and had no commands but is coming on nicely and a total love-bug.

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Wow - lots of food for thought - many thanks! I loved those puppy walking threads: read them both right through and I'd really love to do it! And thanks laurmurf: 'sheer exhaustion and broken hearts' sounds tough. In fact it sounds as if you've had a tough time altogether. Seems a shame that your fallen angel had to go to a different home rather than staying with you, though I can see that in retrospect this may have been a good thing.

 

I'm sure socialising an assistance puppy is a lot of work, but at the moment I really need a new challenge, and to be frank, living in an entirely new community at the moment, I need to be needed! I feel rather superfluous. Also I don't think I'd want my forever dog to be any less well behaved than an assistance dog. I don't need the special training that'd come later, but good behaviour would be essential. OH hates dogs that jump up, lick etc, having been bitten by a badly behaved dog as a child. So I know that getting any dog we have will have to be well trained and that will be a lot of work. And I think OH will be more forgiving with a puppy than a mature dog, so that's the other reason for not rescuing. Gosh - really getting to firm up my thoughts here! Thanks folks! :-)

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a lot of rescue pups are born into the rescue centres, as people throw out the mother dog rather than feed her up, and the pups. They deserve a look too

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I have had different breeds of dogs including a german shepherd but we are on our second chihuahua and would recommend them to you. We have had the long haired ones which aren't 'rat like' as some people would say :roll::roll:

 

They are not a trendy fashion accessory and it upsets me to see them treated this way. They are real dogs with big personalities but in a tiny body. They get enough exercise running round the house and garden (your home would be perfect) but will love a walk with you. They are small so do less damage (mine have never damaged or chewed anything even as puppies and they have been left while we are out at work). They are small so shed less hairs, don't smell and their poos are tiny too :lol: They are playful but love a cuddle more than anything. Oh and they are cheap to feed. All good!!

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A quick update: I've now been through my puppy parent training and am waiting to take on an assistance puppy for Canine Partners. There's a litter due any day now, so the day is getting closer! In the meantime I've a foster puppy arriving for a holiday in a week's time, so it's all very exciting! Thanks for all your support and helpful suggestions!

 

By the way, what's with Omlet stocking dog products: is this part of a grand plan do you think?

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