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Dog advice


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  #1  
November 22nd, 2010, 11:06 AM
LisaB's Avatar Mom to twins + 1
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We're thinking of getting a dog because we're moving to an area that's sort of out in the country. We're not too worried about human intruders, since we have lots of neighbors who say there is no/little crime, but there is a large wildland park directly across the street, and there are cougars and coyotes. We have twin 2-year-olds and a 5-month-old. We're looking for a dog who:

is great with children
doesn't roam
doesn't dig
will be big enough to scare off deer/coyotes (& cougars?)

Thanks for any advice!
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Me: Lisa, Mommy to twins +1
8/5/08 Beautiful twin girls Leigh and Lucy born after 4-year struggle with RPL & 6 losses
12/10/09 Surprise! Baby #3 is on the way, EDD 6/22/10

12/29/09 2nd ultrasound - joining team blue

6/16/10 Baby Ben is born!


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  #2  
November 22nd, 2010, 01:02 PM
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Deer aren't a huge concern it's not hard to scare deer but NO domesticated dog is going to scare off Coyotes or Cougars as they are pray to those types of animals. Getting a domesticated dog for that purpose is basically giving it a death sentence to be very honest with you. Cougars and Coyotes are not scared off by size they know what they can take down and there's no dog large enough that either couldn't take down. We have Coyotes in our area and many domesticated dogs from chihuahuas to Mastiffs have been killed by them. I'd highly recommend not leaving your dog outside unattended for this reason.

I would think about how much time you can devote to exercise, are you going to let the dog in the house, do you have issues with shedding, do you want to groom the dog yourself if not can you afford a groomer, these types of questions can help. If you're not going to let the dog in the house something like a Boxer would be a bad idea they are not equipped to handle the outdoor elements well, if you have issues with shedding your long haired thick coat dogs like labs, huskies, shepherds would not be a good idea because they shed...A LOT, how often you can provide structured walks (playing in the yard isn't enough) will depend as well becauase again then something like a lab or GSD and a few of the other higher energy dogs probably wouldn't be a good idea.

roaming, digging, and good with kids really depends on the individual dog, not the breed.

I would more right now think about how much time you can devote to structured exercise, do you mind shedding, where will the dog spend the majority of it's time (indoors or outdoors). how large of a dog do you want (the bigger the dog the bigger the vet bills and food bills), once you've narrowed that down then you can either look at individual breeds and I'd recommend a breed specific rescue in that case with a dog that's 2-3 years old as the personality is already formed and they can tell you if the dog digs, will bolt out the door, is protective, etc or you can try a local animal shelter and get a mixed breed that fits your criteria and see if any of their personalities mesh with you and your family.

Good luck!
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  #3  
November 22nd, 2010, 02:31 PM
LisaB's Avatar Mom to twins + 1
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I was not planning on letting the dog fend for itself outside with coyotes and cougars. lol Basically, we wanted a dog to help scare off cougars or coyotes that we might run into when walking on the trails through the park. We were told by locals that it's NEVER a good idea to walk those trails alone, or with little children in tow, so to go in groups or bring a dog. So while I don't expect Rover to fight off a pack of coyotes for us, I am hoping his being there will cause a cougar to think twice at the very least.

As for indoor/outdoor, I'm not sure yet. There is an enormous finished garage where we're moving - 4 cars, which is weird for a 3 bedroom house - but we have 4 cats, so we're thinking of making it a 4-cat garage instead, since they won't be able to go outdoors in the country. The cats would freak out with a new dog living there, too. That means the dog would probably live in a house outside, and we'd build him a big run or let him have the run of the entire acre in back. We're in California, the weather is very mild here. For the record, I would let ALL the furbabies live indoors, but my mother (who comes over 3x/week to help with our kids) is allergic.

I've had dogs before, when I was a kid - a German shepherd and a border collie - they were great dogs. But it's been awhile, I forget if they roamed or were diggers. I don't remember them being either. And I'd personally rather adopt a doggie from the pound, since that's how I get all my pets usually (or they are rescues) but on this point my DH and I disagree. I say, get an older dog who has an established personality & isn't too high-energy for our kids. He says, get a puppy so it can grow up with our family. I don't know which of us will win
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Me: Lisa, Mommy to twins +1
8/5/08 Beautiful twin girls Leigh and Lucy born after 4-year struggle with RPL & 6 losses
12/10/09 Surprise! Baby #3 is on the way, EDD 6/22/10

12/29/09 2nd ultrasound - joining team blue

6/16/10 Baby Ben is born!


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  #4  
November 22nd, 2010, 02:47 PM
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Well if it makes any difference I have a kid who is 9 have had dogs since he was a newborn (got our first dog 4 weeks before I had our son) and I've had a couple of rescues, one was 2 years old when we got him the other was 4 when we got her the other was a year when we got him (first 2 were Boxers last was a German Shepherd), and I have had a puppy. I will NEVER EVER EVER get a puppy EVER EVER EVER again. Talk about work! Potty training, crate training, teaching them not to dig, whine, wander off, teaching basic commands, teaching bite inhibition, seriously it's like having a newborn baby only worse.

Now the rescues we got that were older and past all that puppy garbage have been FABULOUS. Now we did get them from breed specific rescues that fostered so we knew the personality before we adopted them and they were able to tell us that they got along with cats, kids, other dogs, had some basic training, etc. Never had any issues with them and my son or his friends whatsoever. In fact they are better dogs than the one I got as a puppy. His personality is just not one I would have picked for our household had we looked at him as an adult with that personality established already.

Just realize that with a puppy it's a crap shoot you won't know what you're getting and there's some things that can't be taught with a dog (like protectiveness) some things just are with their personalities. Some dogs just have a high prey drive and want to kill squirels and no matter what you do that's what they're going to do. Some are very submissive and don't care who comes onto your property and that's just the way they are. Unfortunately when you get a dog under a year old you're not going to know this so it's a gamble.

Personally given that you have a specific criteria and you have kids already (which take up time) I'd personally recommend a dog 2-3 years old for your family. JMO having been there done that more than once.

On roaming and digging like I said it depends on the dog versus the breed mostly. STay away from beagles if you don't want a roamer and other "hunting" dogs, but for the most part it's going to be an individual thing. I have a German Shepherd who's great until he sees another dog then he'd take off. My first Boxer you could take outside and he'd never go anywhere but my 2nd one will take off if she's out and not on leash. It's something you can train if you take the time to do but a lot of it is just individual dogs and age.
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  #5  
December 2nd, 2010, 12:03 AM
The Lesha's Avatar Avada Kedavra
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I agree Puppies are VERY HARD to deal with. My Boxer/pointer mix was adopted at 5 mths old and he was a hand ful. I had to stop DH from taking him back to the humane socieity several times....

But he is 5 now and the best dog we have every had. He alerts us when someone is outside (anyone even if its the neighbor geting into their own car in their own yard lol)

And he's very good with the kids, lets them crawl all over him.

One time one of DH's friends came over and Casper kept barking at him and growling anytime he moved. The guy had come over to change for a wedding. When he took his coat off, he had a gun underneath it and Casper continued to bark. Once that gun was taken off and put up, Casper calmed down. I wouldnt have known the guy carried a gun if it wasnt for Casper. But he was a good friend and I knew he only carried it for hunting purposes, but now I know Casper can spot danger.

I would recommend a boxer, golden retrieveer or a german sheopard, and if you dont have the time to train a puppy, get a rescue that is older, but make sure they have been around children.
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  #6  
December 3rd, 2010, 08:55 PM
angelsailor288's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Kingston, NY
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I would agree not to get a puppy and go to a rescue group. Find an all breed rescue and tell them what you are looking for, they will be able to best match you with a dog. Although, there are a lot of rescues that will not adopt to you if the dog doesnt live in the house.

You could also try breeders and see if they have any adults for adoption.
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  #7  
December 4th, 2010, 08:45 AM
LisaB's Avatar Mom to twins + 1
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Thanks for the advice everyone, it's much appreciated!
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Me: Lisa, Mommy to twins +1
8/5/08 Beautiful twin girls Leigh and Lucy born after 4-year struggle with RPL & 6 losses
12/10/09 Surprise! Baby #3 is on the way, EDD 6/22/10

12/29/09 2nd ultrasound - joining team blue

6/16/10 Baby Ben is born!


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