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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: phillamb168 on December 06, 2010, 10:12:11 am

Title: Getting a dog
Post by: phillamb168 on December 06, 2010, 10:12:11 am
I want a Golden Retriever. My wife used to be super scared of dogs (she was bitten, once, by a pekingese, when she was 10) but I've slowly gotten her feeling better around them. But she says no dog until we have at least one child over the age of 10. I would prefer not to wait a decade to get a pooch, so I'm looking for help convincing her. We have a decent sized yard and a huuuge park across the street, so exercise is not a problem (although I'm sure I'll be a bit winded for the first few walkies). Anybody ever had to convince a wife before? Did you succeed? How'd you do it?
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: euge on December 06, 2010, 10:22:55 am
Getting a weaned puppy will appeal to her maternal side.

I'm hoping my colleague's Chihuahua actually got knocked up as she's fearing. I already told her I want one!
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: svejk on December 06, 2010, 10:28:32 am
I agree - just go to "look" at an available puppy and it's a done deal.  My wife and I went to look at puppies and the conversation was never "do we want one?", but "which one?".
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: phillamb168 on December 06, 2010, 10:57:59 am
The problem with puppies is that (so I've heard) they're super difficult to manage for about two years. I suppose I could hire a trainer/take a training class but my wife would be stuck dealing with him/her during the day while I'm at work, and I feel like that wouldn't be fair. I've been trying to find a breed shelter like they have in the states - I was thinking that an older dog (4 years +) would be much easier for everybody. Not sure though - I wouldn't want to get one and then it not work out and the poor guy has to go to yet -another- home.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: 1vertical on December 06, 2010, 11:07:20 am
The problem with puppies is that (so I've heard) they're super difficult to manage for about two years. I suppose I could hire a trainer/take a training class but my wife would be stuck dealing with him/her during the day while I'm at work, and I feel like that wouldn't be fair. I've been trying to find a breed shelter like they have in the states - I was thinking that an older dog (4 years +) would be much easier for everybody. Not sure though - I wouldn't want to get one and then it not work out and the poor guy has to go to yet -another- home.
Now yer thinking...that is the drawback ...they can tie you down....but then it is a wonderful journey...until the end of the journey
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: Mikey on December 06, 2010, 11:20:01 am
One of the most gentle dogs is a lab, but they are pure hell for the first 2-3 years. Very mischievous.

Whatever you do, please rescue one from the shelter, rather than buy from a store which gets them from puppy mills.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: blatz on December 06, 2010, 12:13:26 pm
One of the most gentle dogs is a lab, but they are pure hell for the first 2-3 years. Very mischievous.

Whatever you do, please rescue one from the shelter, rather than buy from a store which gets them from puppy mills.

+1 all the way.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: majorvices on December 06, 2010, 12:14:04 pm
Have had dogs all my life and kids for the last 13 years. Never had a problem. Latest dog is a great dane that I got 5 years ago when my youngest one was about 3. Dogs are actually really, really good with kids - especially younger dogs. If a dog tends to bite it is usually going to be an older dog. As long as you get a puppy and raise it with a gentle hand it will not bite your child.

Your wife has a logical fear of dogs, due to her having been bitten, but it would be incorrect to think that a family dog is "dangerous" to a child under the age of 10. An older dog from the pound or a neighborhood stray you don't know? In that case I would be concerned. But a dog will almost always reflect the owner who raises it. If you teach it properly it won't bite.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: akr71 on December 06, 2010, 12:34:42 pm
One of the most gentle dogs is a lab, but they are pure hell for the first 2-3 years. Very mischievous.

Whatever you do, please rescue one from the shelter, rather than buy from a store which gets them from puppy mills.

Another +++

We have a chocolate lab.  He's almost 5 now and finally slowing down.  As a puppy I'd have to run him for at least an hour, every day - the days he didn't get his run (notice I say run, not walk  ;) ), he could be a real handfull.  We knew a lab puppy was high energy, but we had no idea how much energy!  IME Golden Retrievers are very similar to Labradors.

It was my wife's first dog (and she'd wanted one since she was 5), but 3 weeks in, she was in tears.  Luckily, we found a great trainer, worked hard with the trainer and dog and we have a great family pet - absolutely FANTASTIC with our kids (7 & 2).

Give a loving home to an older (trained) dog.  Puppies are cute, but if you want to turn your wife into a dog lover, resue a dog form a shelter.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: Hokerer on December 06, 2010, 12:41:20 pm
And name him Hosehead...

(http://www.brinkleys.org/users/tsl/Files/sbr_075Hosehead.jpg)
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: bluesman on December 06, 2010, 12:51:13 pm
We have a chocolate lab.  He's almost 5 now and finally slowing down.  As a puppy I'd have to run him for at least an hour, every day - the days he didn't get his run (notice I say run, not walk  ;) ), he could be a real handfull.  We knew a lab puppy was high energy, but we had no idea how much energy!  IME Golden Retrievers are very similar to Labradors.

+1

Me too.

I have a five year old Chocolate Lab that is gentle, loyal and extremely freindly.  He's my pal. He loves children to death.
Anytime he sees children he gets a charge because he wants to play with them.  IMO, labs are the best dogs around children.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: Mikey on December 06, 2010, 01:36:39 pm
I should also mention that if you happen to live close to water, your lab will always be wet.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: Kaiser on December 06, 2010, 02:32:44 pm
We adopted a hound mix a few month ago. It was my wife's idea and she thought it would be good for the kids. I didn't stand in the way since we have the space for a dog and I love dogs.

Charlie, our dog, is very active. I have to take him running at least every other day otherwise he becomes difficult to handle. He is fine with the kids but sees my 4 year old as his puppy play-mate. This means he oftentimes chases his which my son doesn't always like.

Now that the dog is about 9 month old he has become easier to manage. Partly because of the exercise and partly because he seems to have learned what he can chew and what he can't. We also have become better at keeping toys and other stuff off the floor and out of his reach.

I finally started putting in an in-ground fence (don't hate me for this) which means we will be able to let the dog roam in the yard. That will also allow him to release his energy.

I'm just saying that getting a puppy is rewarding, especially if you like dogs, but its a lot of work. Especially the training.

Kai

Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: Kit B on December 06, 2010, 02:49:30 pm
A couple years ago, I rescued a 1 year old pointer mix from a shelter.
She had severe behavior problems due to a life of roaming the Kentucky countryside, but my wife & I were against giving her back to the shelter.
We went to several obedience classes & found that she just couldn't be around most other dogs, without a total meltdown.
I don't know what it is, but she just dislikes most other dogs.
Since we were having such a hard time with her, I decided to get a DNA test done by a reputable lab.
Well...My pointer mix turned out to be an American Foxhound/Neopolitan Mastiff/Shar Pei mix.
Now, I see that her listening problems come from being an independent foxhound, her aggression comes from the shar pei & her sleep habits/laziness come from the mastiff.
This is the long way around to answering, but my dog has turned out great.
She's now over 3 years old & has matured, drastically.
I have a 8 month-old son & she loves him, dearly...I couldn't ask for a better buddy, for him.
If you have children, a shelter dog may not be the right fit...Just choose wisely & think very, very hard on it, before you decide what dog to get & where to adopt from.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: majorvices on December 06, 2010, 02:52:28 pm
One thing I would highly recommend, if you get a puppy, is to crate train it. This just means you get a small cage to keep the dog in when it is not being supervised. This help to keep damage down to a minimum from chewing and and it also really helps aid in house breaking.

You want to get a crate big enough and comfortable enough for the dog to lay down in. And when you are not in the house the dog stays in the cage. Then, to house break the dog you take the dog outside directly from the crate. After it takes care of it business you bring it in and let it have some supervised free time in the house. If it does not take care of business you put it back in the crate and try again after a while. The only time it is allowed free time out of the crate is after it has taken care of its business. If it has an accident you immediately put it in the crate.

This saves lots of damage from the puppy phase. Dogs, especially large breed dogs, can quickly destroy a sofa, wall, pick nick table, pool table, you name it!

As the dog matures you will be able to start weaning it from the crate. Some dogs enjoy having the crate as a "safe place" and you may always keep it around. Other dogs may not want to stay in the crate at all you in those cases you can just put the crate up and save it for the next puppy. Be sure to keep the crate somewhere near a main family gathering area.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: tumarkin on December 06, 2010, 03:30:09 pm
Big +1 on the crate.
I've had dogs all my life, but the first time I used a crate was with my current dog (now 6 years) old. It has been a life saver. She adapted to it very quickly, and it made house training very easily. More importantly, she's had a couple of surgeries, torn front leg, blown out back knee joint. Keeping her quiet would have been a nightmare without the crate, easy with it. It's a safe, secure place for her and she likes going in it. Good for travel, etc.

Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: andrew on December 06, 2010, 05:09:11 pm
I have a Siberian Husky (almost 2) and a 3 year old son. They play like brothers. He's crate trained, but still very mischievous. I have had a Black Lab too, and think that the labs are more obedient, but still just as hyper, and at times I think the dog listens more than the kid, and it was definitely easier to potty/house train. Me and the wife try to take the dog out every day for a long walk, but what he really likes to do is to run. Sometimes I just put on the harness and let him pull me on the bike which is sometimes dangerous to say the least.


(http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs584.snc3/30825_405693432718_500077718_4160937_1957315_n.)
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: Kaiser on December 06, 2010, 07:06:54 pm
I decided to get a DNA test done by a reputable lab.

What lab did you use?

We are also thinking about getting a DNA test, but I read a lot of bad reviews about the economy DNA tests which is why we haven't bought any of those yet.

A crate is definitely a very useful tool. Our dog doesn't mind the crate at all and we try to limit the time he spends in there. But he's still not behaved enough to roam the house unsupervised.

Kai
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: bluesman on December 06, 2010, 07:14:52 pm
I'm a firm believer in the use of crate training as well.  My dog trainer convinced me to use one and it was the best thing I could have ever done for my dog along with alot of love. 

My lab absolutely loves his crate. It gives him a sense of security. Once he was potty trained we decided to leave it up for him since he liked it so much. We just leave the door open and he comes and goes as he pleases.

Even our Yorkiepoo likes it. It's an X-large crate so both dogs will fit in it, and from time to time I find them both napping in it.
They are a riot.

My dogs also love to hang out with me in the garage while I brew. They are trained to stay away from the burners.
True brew dogs at heart.  8)
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: Tim McManus on December 06, 2010, 08:37:17 pm
I have two rescues, both were puppies from different shelters about a year apart in age.

Here are some suggestions:

If you are looking for a trainer, find one that trains you how to handle the dog, not one that trains and handles the dog.  When the trainer leaves, you want to make sure the dog is trained to your voice and knows you are in charge.  All too often I see people hiring trainers who come to the house, train the dog, and then leaves the owners with a dog that still misbehaves.  YOU need to be trained how to train your dog.  I have never trained a dog with food and don't recommend it.  The dog's reward for behaving should be praise, not food.  Otherwise, the dog may not respond to training without food.

Crate training works very well, and I will do it again.  However, one of our rescues didn't respond well to crate training.  It wasn't until I let him roam around a room did he start feeling comfortable.  You need to build up trust with your dog, this is critically important.  You need to trust him and he needs to trust you.

Buy Nylabones if you are getting a puppy.  Puppies and adolescent dogs chew everything.  Nylabones are artificial bones made from nylon that dogs can chew on.  Leave them around where your dog can find them.  If you see you dog chewing on something they shouldn't be, reprimand them and give them a Nylabone with praise once they start chewing it.  Eventually they'll learn what's theirs to chew and what isn't.

And most importantly:  CONSISTENCY!  Dogs are creatures of structure, order, and routine.  They need to know where they rank in your pack (at the bottom, below the humans).  They need to know the rules and what peoples' actions mean.  Everyone needs to praise the dog in the same manner and reprimand the same way too.  They dog needs to be called the same name by everyone also.  After you establish these routines, your dog will become relaxed and grow into being a good dog.

We had our dogs before we had kids.  They have been a dream to everyone!

See as many dogs as possible before choosing one.  Best of luck with your search, but like some of the other folks have recommended, adopt from a local shelter.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: akr71 on December 07, 2010, 07:00:36 am
I should also mention that if you happen to live close to water, your lab will always be wet.

 LOL!  Yes, definitely.  We have a bird sanctuary near our house that we take ours to - if there's any game he loves more than fetch, its fetch in water.

Yes, I realize the irony of taking a retriever to a wetlands "bird sanctuary."
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: weithman5 on December 07, 2010, 07:11:09 am
I have two standard poodles (and no, they are not shaved and prissy),  one now has three legs due to bone cancer.  they are great dogs.  one was about 6 months old when we got him from a shelter and was nearly potty trained.  the other a little more work since we got her younger.  remember as puppies they like to bite and nip to get you to play. my wife hated that and thought the dog was being aggressive.  they also teethe like human babies.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: dean on December 07, 2010, 07:17:50 am
One of the most gentle dogs is a lab, but they are pure hell for the first 2-3 years. Very mischievous.

Whatever you do, please rescue one from the shelter, rather than buy from a store which gets them from puppy mills.

Both Labs and Retrievers are this way.  I'm too impatient and won't wait for a dog that long to get over its "teen years".  I bought a 9 week old pup for my wife because she always wanted one.... never again will such a dog grace our property.  He tore out the bottoms of our privacy fence, dug holes... always into something.  I finally ended up giving the dog to a family near Lake Michigan having more property than us as well as kids... they loved him the first few months... haven't heard back from them since so maybe he did well with them.

Get a mutt, there a plenty of them around and most are smarter than any purebred.  Show your wife a pug puppy and its a done deal... she'll be putting bows and sweaters on it in no time.   ::)
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: dbarber on December 07, 2010, 07:23:26 am
I have 3 goldens now and they are wonderful with children.  If you want to get an older dog and have your heart set on a golden i would check with state golden retriever rescues, just about every state has one.  

If you do decide to go the puppy route then get one from either a shelter or a reputable breeder.  There are a lot of backyard breeders who may have AKC registered dogs, but have not done many of the health clearances, particularly some of the genetic diseases.  Also, if you get a pup you should definitely crate train them, I crate trained all of mine and it didn't take long, just a lot of patience.  Be sure to read this book by the Monks of New Scete http://www.amazon.com/Art-Raising-Puppy-Monks-Skete/dp/0316578398/ref=pd_sim_b_1 (http://www.amazon.com/Art-Raising-Puppy-Monks-Skete/dp/0316578398/ref=pd_sim_b_1) and do as they suggest.

Yes, puppies are a handful, particularly for the first year or two, but with a lot of exercies and patience it is worth it.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: dean on December 07, 2010, 07:29:55 am
Also, you've got to remember... most dog breeds were created for a specific purpose and even though you may get a pup which is several generations removed from that purpose... the pup may still carry some of those traits.   True it most in all likelyhood it won't be a natural for that purpose but it will most likely exhibit something specific to the breed and it may be something of a nuisance depending on your situation.

So if its just a companion type housepet... look at something appropriate and both you and your wife will be much happier.  Pugs are great, I'd strongly recommend you and your wife spend a little time with someone that raises them.  I think you'll go home with one if they have any pups.   I've never heard of one biting... though they do put on a good show sometimes.   :D   ;)
 
jmo....
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: phillamb168 on December 07, 2010, 07:38:49 am
Also, you've got to remember... most dog breeds were created for a specific purpose and even though you may get a pup which is several generations removed from that purpose... the pup may still carry some of those traits.   True it most in all likelyhood it won't be a natural for that purpose but it will most likely exhibit something specific to the breed and it may be something of a nuisance depending on your situation.


Yup, that's part of my reasoning for a Golden. I want a buddy for my duck blind on the Normandy marshes.

For crating, I'm definitely going to do that, as every single Golden owner I've ever talked to has said that a crate is invaluable.

I've asked SWMBO to write up a list of reasons why she likes the idea of getting a dog and why she dislikes the idea of getting a dog. I'll post those as soon as I get them and we'll see where we go from there I guess.

Re mutts, the problem is, my wife really only likes the way Goldens look. Any other dogs and she gets grossed out. This may be a matter of training, of course.... We'll see.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: phillamb168 on December 07, 2010, 07:39:11 am
Also, no sig change at post #200? Lame!
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: bluesman on December 07, 2010, 07:39:54 am
I have two rescues, both were puppies from different shelters about a year apart in age.

Here are some suggestions:

If you are looking for a trainer, find one that trains you how to handle the dog, not one that trains and handles the dog.  When the trainer leaves, you want to make sure the dog is trained to your voice and knows you are in charge.  All too often I see people hiring trainers who come to the house, train the dog, and then leaves the owners with a dog that still misbehaves.  YOU need to be trained how to train your dog. 

And most importantly:  CONSISTENCY!  Dogs are creatures of structure, order, and routine.  They need to know where they rank in your pack (at the bottom, below the humans). 

Two very good points.

The training is only as good as the trainer.  You must be trained before the dog can be trained.  I've seen dogs go to doggie boot camp to be trained only to come back home and be totally confused as the dog owner wasn't properly trained and all that time, effort and money goes down the drain.

...and consistenct, consistency and consistency. Oh and did I forget to mention consistency.
Dogs respond well to regimen...just like humans do.  8)

Good Luck!
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: jeffy on December 07, 2010, 08:14:04 am
Also, no sig change at post #200? Lame!
It's 250.  bouef
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: Tim McManus on December 07, 2010, 04:22:13 pm
Re mutts, the problem is, my wife really only likes the way Goldens look. Any other dogs and she gets grossed out. This may be a matter of training, of course.... We'll see.

You should look around.  There are many dog faces to be seen.  Here's a picture of one of my mutts (my wife "scarfed" the dog at Thanksgiving, but chicks dig this sort of thing).  This b!tch is hot!


(http://www.bacon-n-beer.com/barley.jpg)
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: dano14041 on December 07, 2010, 08:36:05 pm
All this talk about getting a dog, makes me want another.

I agree with the training and the consistency! Had a girlfriend once that had the most neurotic dogs; I believe it was because she wasn't consistent in her treatment or training.
Title: Re: Getting a dog
Post by: myh3adhur7s on December 08, 2010, 10:58:24 am
I have a dog which we rescued. Awesome choice. They may be difficult at first but once they calm down they are great. And if you rescue they may have some issues cause alot of them come from broken homes but once they get over the initial move they will be loyal to the very end . And plus resceing a dog is a great feeling.