1. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    In honor of National Puppy Day, Boston.com Pets talked to Marianne Gasbarro, the Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center manager at the Animal Rescue League of Boston. She offered tips and advice to families considering adopting a puppy.

    Q: Is every puppy right for every family?

    A: No way (laughs). That's an easy one. Every animal is an individual. Every individual person has their family life and what they are looking for. You have to think about it as match making. It's absolutely match making. You have to think about what you want to do not just with your puppy at the beginning of his life but what you want to do throughout the course of his life.

    Q: What is the most popular mistake families make when adopting a puppy?

    A: Really, the match. Because some people will come later after the animal is not as cute. It's still a puppy but it's now a big puppy and (they'll) say, "This animal is too much for me." Every animal is going to get bigger. You are looking for the animal you want as an adult.

    Q: What puppy is great with kids?

    A: It's hard to recommend a set animal that's great with kids because still there are variations in the breed. If you are going to go out and look for a particular breed and you're someone who wants to go to a breeder, then just be diligent on doing your homework. Do they breed for the personality of the dog or do they just breed indiscriminately? There are certainly some breeds that are considered to be family friendly, but you have to do your homework, you have to do your homework on where the animal comes from.

    Q: Where should people go to adopt?

    A: Certainly people can find puppies in shelters and rescue groups. And purebreds come into shelters. Puppies obviously get scooped up quickly. So if you are looking to adopt a puppy, patience is required. If you start your search today and you want a puppy this weekend, you may not make the best decision.

    Q: Everyone says having a puppy is like having a baby in the house because they are so demanding. Is this true?

    A: Having had both babies and puppies, I would say it's pretty accurate. There's a lot of work to be done. There's that quick exponential growth...they change really rapidly...You cannot expect a very young puppy to sleep through the night with you as you wouldn't expect a young child to.

    Q:What do you want people to know most about puppies?

    A:I think the idea of really looking at what you want for your lifestyle. What are you looking for in your life? Because some older dogs can slide in pretty easily and you don't have too much change to your routine. A puppy is going to change your routine, period. There is no getting around that. Just know that a puppy really needs you to put forth an effort so that it develops into a really nice dog.

    By Kristi Palma Boston.com Staff                   

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    I got Amber, my shih tzu because of my schedule.  I knew I needed a house dog that wasn't high energy.  My DD wanted a lab in the worse way but I knew that wasn't realistic.  Sadly, some people don't think ahead.  She is 14 now and I am blessed to have her this long.  If I was to get another dog, it would def be a shelter dog, not a puppy.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    I, too, would strongly consider not ever having to housebreak a pup, again.  That was a long 3 months (intense) and 3 more months (still wary).  For anyone unfamiliar with the process, this is guidance I find to be exactly how it was for us:  housebreaking a puppy
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    I hope that everyone that loves dogs gets to have the puppy experience at least once.  That puppy smell, puppy kisses!  Pure joy! 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ambergirl. Show ambergirl's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    I am happy I had that experience. Nothing cuter in the world than a puppy and the breath actually smells good! 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    http://www.mspca.org/programs/humane-education/adult-education/considerations-before-pets.html
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from shiplesp. Show shiplesp's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    Personally, I would want a puppy at eight or nine weeks old.  The socialization window is so short, and I'm such a control freak, that I wouldn't want to leave that important job to shelter staff or a breeder.  I would recommend that you set aside at least two weeks of vacation (a couple can split the time) to spend with your new puppy to get him/her acclimated and to begin potty training and socialization.  You really don't want to be leaving a puppy alone for the amount of time you'd need to if you were working right away.  And when you go back to work you will need to make arrangements to have your pup taken out at least once mid-day for almost a year before you can reliably leave him/her home for a full day.  Don't forget to factor in that expense into the decision.  It can easily run you $200 a month.

    For a good beginner book, check out Jolanta Benal's new book "The Dog Trainer's Complete Guide to a Happy, Well Behaved Pet."  She lives in Manhattan, so her advice considers the realities of having a dog in a city.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    And, by the way, having a puppy wasn't pure joy for me.  DH would come home and ask if I had fun with the puppy while he was at work and more often than not I burst into tears at the idea he thought I was home having fun all day when what I was really doing was diligently keeping her eat, drink, pee, p00 journal and teaching her the basics of life as a well-behaved part of our family.  There were a lot of joyful moments, but the whole puppy experience wasn't so.  My DH remembers it otherwise, by the way, and thinks it "went by too fast," but he wasn't responsible for her training.  I was.  Many people do get in over their heads because everyone tells them what a perfectly wonderful experience having a puppy is.  They end up returning the puppy...and, how purely joyful would that be?

    Re getting an 8 week old puppy to socialize it "asap," - we didn't start socializing our puppy until she was about 16 weeks old, anyway, because it was too difficult to transport her by car and deal with her in a dog-friendly store, for instance, with a completely un-potty-trained pup.  Not to mention between 8 and 12 weeks they need to sleep a lot.   She flopped down and took at least 4 considerable naps a day and slept all night on top of that for quite awhile.  Taking her out during that first month we had her would have exhausted her.  

    The socialization window isn't that small, honestly, and the benefit you get from having a dog that's old enough (12 weeks) to have that mind/body connection to housebreak them is better, aka LESS STRESSFUL, for you AND the pup.  Unless you intend to bring people to your house specifically to start the socialization process immediately, you can't do much between 8 and 12 weeks with respect to socialization, and having been there with an 8 week old puppy I can assure you I'd never do it, again, and socialization was TOP on our list of must-dos.  And, she's extremely well socialized.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    Sure, some people shouldn't have pets! 
    That's why the evaluation process at one of the shelters with caring knowledgeable staff/volunteers is so valuable!  

    For the longest time I wanted to have fish, start a small aquarium...but when I spoke to people here at this forum and another, plus at a reputable small pet store, I realized, no way!  The expense and all that work is not for me! 

    Dogs, that's another story!    

    "To each his own"
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    People can be dog people and not puppy people.  To say it's all pure joy misleads people who get a puppy not knowing how much more up front work it is than getting a year old housebroken DOG, for instance.

    And, I thought/hoped you had me on ignore.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    No adopted adult dog is really housebroken, no matter what people tell you, they have to adjust to their new environment first.
     
    A mature dog comes with a hx and its own set of potential problems.
      
    I have found that dogs are instinctively clean and prefer to go to the bathroom away from where they eat and sleep if possible.   

    Puppy care, adult dog care etc it's all a labour of love, you're either in it for the long haul or not!  
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from shiplesp. Show shiplesp's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    I LOVED having my dog as a puppy.  I'm single, so it was all on me, but that also meant I could be 100% consistent with training.  It was a lot of work, but it was - to me - worth every minute.  It was also so much fun.  I'd do it again in a heartbeat.  (I'm a training junkie.)

    I think the thing to remember is that adding a creature to a household is necessarily going to change everything for the lifetime of that creature.  It's something to consider seriously before making the decision.  It's a relatively shorter term commitment than that of children, but it is similar in its responsibility for care.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    I never for a millisecond regretted getting Gracie or considered returning her - I fell in love with her the moment I saw her, and every day since (even the difficult ones) I've loved her even more.  To imply that I shouldn't have ever had a dog because I didn't find the training phase fun is offensive to me. ("Sure, some people shouldn't have pets!" dog-lady, in response to my saying that not everyone finds the puppy phase fun)  No one loves their dog more than I do, and no dog is taken better care of than Gracie.

    But, for anyone who's never had a puppy, both the "wow, those puppy months were the best" and "um, puppyhood wasn't so much fun for me," experiences should be put forth.  Presenting the fact that a loving, responsible, happy dog owner might not necessarily enjoy the puppy phase puts realistic expectations out there and might prevent someone from unnecessarily giving a puppy back because they'll know that they aren't the only ones who find it more difficult than fun and that it pays off, they should stay the course.

    ETA:  The bottom line is that the OP needs to know that while puppyhood might be a giggle a minute for six happy months for some people, other people find it to be the phase you have to get through to have a good dog.  To hear only one type of experience or the other would be misleading.

    The less information people have the worse their assumptions are about how their experience could be.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    Different things work for different people! 
    I have seen people bring a pet in to a vets office to be put down because it had a seizure and they were concerned with quality of life issues, but I have also observed  people who spent thousands of dollars to keep their pets comfortable.
      There is no right or wrong answer, as the "pet parent" you make those decisions and decide what is best.  
    Some people enjoy puppies, some don't...again   "To each his own"
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from Shortylicious. Show Shortylicious's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    Kar & DogLady....Here's a tip: Why don't you BOTH put each other on ignore? Maybe then you won't turn every discussion into a bickering contest between the two of you. It's gotten really really old.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    In Response to Re: Questions about adopting a dog:
    [QUOTE]No adopted adult dog is really housebroken, no matter what people tell you, they have to adjust to their new environment first. A mature dog comes with a hx and its own set of potential problems.   I have found that dogs are instinctively clean and prefer to go to the bathroom away from where they eat and sleep if possible.    Puppy care, adult dog care etc it's all a labour of love, you're either in it for the long haul or not!  
    Posted by dog-lady[/QUOTE]

    If an adopted adult dog doesn't go the bathroom inside the house, ever, then yes, it IS housebroken.  My sister's Rottweiler who was adopted at age 3 or 5 [the shelter told her one thing, the vet another based on his teeth], NEVER went to the bathroom in the house.  That to me means he's housebroken.  Of course he had issues b/c he was an adult and had been abused and neglected for several years, but he never once went the bathroom in the house.  I think when most people talk about a pet being housebroken, they are talking about not going the bathroom in the house, not that the dog is 100% an angel and obeys every single commmand. 
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    Agreed, dog-lady.  I hope you really do know how much I love Gracie.  Her puppyhood that I admittedly didn't enjoy that much is just a small fraction of her beautiful life, and since becoming an adult dog she's been nothing but pure joy.  And, everything I do for her is aimed at giving her the best life a dog can have - she enriches our lives that much so it's only fair.

    Peace.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    Also, whether a dog is hard to train depends on the dog. As a child of the ripe old age of 7, I trained my first dog to obey the usual commands, sit, stay, come, paw, lie down, wait, etc just using a pamphlet called something like 'how to train your dog'.  He was a mutt [lab/shep mix] and was pretty easygoing.  It is not rocket science to train a dog.  He largely housetrained himself - my mom did the rest. 

    We treated that dog like a dog [albeit a pampered one], so there was really no 'socialization' necessary.  You don't need to bring your dog everywhere, so he doesn't need to learn how to interact w/ all kinds of people.  We left him at home when we went out, rather than taking him along for the ride.  He got along fine w/ other dogs and other people when he encountered them.  I don't understand the need for a pet to 'socialize' with other dogs at the dog park or to be behaved in crowds.  My dog lived practically forever, dying at the ripe old age of 16.5, which is ancient considering his size and breed mix. 
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    If something should happen to you and the dog ends up at a shelter and/or needs to adjust to a new home, its chances of survival are maximized if it is comfortable around other people, pets "socialized".

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    In Response to Re: Questions about adopting a dog:
    [QUOTE]Kar & DogLady....Here's a tip: Why don't you BOTH put each other on ignore? Maybe then you won't turn every discussion into a bickering contest between the two of you. It's gotten really really old.
    Posted by Shortylicious[/QUOTE]

    Yes, it's old to have every single one of my posts be totally indiscriminately disputed year in year out.  My advice might not apply to or be right for everyone, but it doesn't deserve to be disputed every single time.

    If people randomly or even tend to disagree with me that's totally natural and makes for honest discussion that benefits everyone.  100% dissent?  That's not honestly possible and shouldn't stand as if it's innocent discussion.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    The dog was happy and well adjusted around other people and animals. It depends on the dog.  My point was that there is no need for the dog to 'socialize' with other animals on a regular basis, along the lines of play dates.  Your dog can be well behaved and tolerant of other people and animals but not need to be treated like a human and brought anywhere and everywhere.

    Also, I was 7.  If something were to have "happened to me" my parents, 2 siblings, aunts uncles or grandparents would have taken the animal.  As it is now, my parents, siblings or friends would take in my cat.  

    I'm not saying lock the animal in a cage and throw it a few hunks of raw meat every now and again.  I'm saying that it is not a long and involved process to train a dog to obey general commands and to be tolerant of other animals and people. We don't need to worry about the pet's psyche, and make sure it has 'friends' at the dog park or maximize the dog's ability to play w/ his friends by arranging play dates for the dog.  It does largely depend on the particular animal, but training a dog, in the sense of obedience training, is not difficult.  Housebreaking is another story entirely.   
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucyl. Show lucyl's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    In Response to Questions about adopting a dog:
    [QUOTE]My DH and I have been thinking about getting a dog lately, and I was wondering if anyone wanted to share insight on a few questions. -Growing up, my family had 4 dogs (not all at once!) and they were all rescued from the animal shelter.  However, as much as I love the idea of rescuing a dog, I'm not sure that is the right choice for us right now.  We want a puppy so we can maximize training opportunities, and I'm not sure we can handle a high energy pit bull mix. I understand that other breeds of puppies are in short supply at shelters. So, any recommendations on how to search for a responsible, humane breeder in the Boston area?  Or, am I wrong about the short supply of shelter puppies? -Does anyone want to chime in on the question of breeds?  I know there are a lot of options and opinions here, but I'd be happy to hear your thoughts.  We live in an urban area, in a townhouse, with no yard.  So we need a small or medium sized dog that is okay with limited outdoor time and little off-leash freedom.  We already have a cat.  We don't currently have kids, but the dog should be friendly with children.  We both work during the day, so dog would also need to tolerate some alone time (probably 8-9 hrs/day).   -citydwellers with dogs: what's your schedule for dog care?  Is it sufficient to take a dog out on leash 3-4 times per day to use the bathroom, with one of those times being an extended walk (say 10-20 minutes long on a typical day)?  or does that schedule sound insufficient? ...writing this all out has made me wonder if it this a crazy proposition and I am asking too much from a dog.  I've never had a dog without a fenced yard before, so it's intimidating to say the least.  anyway, we probably wouldn't adopt for a few more months, but I have just begun researching the process and would love any input. 
    Posted by siena09[/QUOTE]
    Animal shelters in Mass primarily import dogs and puppies from oput of state as Mass. residents tend to take care of their dogs. Imported shelter dogs can come from anywhere and disease  issues are always a question. There are good responsible hobby dog breeders in New England. Getting a purebred has a lot of advantages. You know how big it will be, also coat, temperament, and general characteristics. Small dogs are probably best for city dwellers but any dog will take commitment. A good source of good breeders is the AKC. You can find the parent club listing for each of the breeds there and each parent club generally has a contact for member breeders. The AKC breeder of Merit program is also a point to know about. AKC breeders that have multiple titled dogs that have been judged to earn those titles and who have done all health testing that might be suggested can become Breeders of Merit. If you check the Boston Globe classified section, there is also the Purebred Dog Breeders Referral Service. You can get the names of good local breeders there too. I think being able to see the dog and one or both parents is very helpful as then you have a better idea of what the breed is like. Just like you should not get a shelter dog meeting someone at the side of the road, neither should you get a purebred at the side of the road! My neighbor just went on the internet to get a dog. I was kind of horrified. She has no idea what she is getting. Obviously the person selling is commercial. Her puppy is being trucked across the country. Any dog bought off the internet unseen is not a good idea. Hope this helps.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    In Response to Re: Questions about adopting a dog:
    [QUOTE]http://www.necn.com/05/08/12/Jake-the-Vet-Adopting-a-Puppy-/landing.html?blockID=704094&feedID=8500
    Posted by dog-lady[/QUOTE]      
    http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/you-get-your-puppy-0
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    Our trainer told us 8 week old puppies generally lack the mind/body connection to be housebroken.  While it has some good points, this article says, "Eight-week-old puppies should be well socialized, housetrainedchewtoy trained and have a good understanding of basic manners." which will set new puppy owners up for disillusionment and frustration like I had before I learned that puppies really have a sense of when they need to eliminate somewhere around 12 weeks of age.  It's too high expectations like this that lead to disappointment and frustration.  Puppies shouldn't even be taken from their mothers before 8 - 12 weeks so how they should be "well socialized" by then is a complete mystery to me, too, as well as chewtoy trained.  8 weeks is far too early to expect all that.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from dog-lady. Show dog-lady's posts

    Re: Questions about adopting a dog

    http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/raising-puppy   Many facets of the articles provided at that link and others can be helpful when read carefully, in my opinion.                                                                                                              ETA: Obviously a typo!  
    Those things start at 8 weeks. 

    Articles are only meant to be a guide anyway, I'm sure the pup's vet will offer suggestions.  
    Most people know how to lighten up and just use common sense!   

    Getting a puppy is not rocket science!   
    Most people enjoy the experience immensely,  especially if it is a well thought out decision and the whole family is involved.  

    Geesh, if I never had a dog before and didn't know better... I would never get one after reading some of the gnarly comments on this thread!
     

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