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Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

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Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby Ash » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:17 pm

This weekend I am dog-sitting my uncle's beagle. She's middle-aged and well-behaved. Also fat, lol, but they've put her on a good diet and are exercising her more.

So... they dropped off Minerva yesterday, and it's seriously been... a walk in the park. At first, I was paranoid, like she was going to start jumping on the counters, taking all of our things, pottying with excitement--and then I remembered: dog's aren't foxes, lol.

She sheds a lot. So as soon as my uncle left, I gave her a major bath and brushed out a LOT of her undercoat. I thought she was going to put up a fight, but all I did was put her in the sink and she just... sat there, watching me with doleful eyes as I bathed her for about 30-40 minutes and brushed her.

I keep letting her out into the backyard so that she gets the idea that's where to go when she needs to potty. Well, that was easy. And I can actually call her name, and she will come to me (not just look at me like, "Yes?" like a fox does).

The only downside to her is that she sheds (though not even close to the amount she did after I brushed and bathed her). But we've already taught her not to jump on the couches--a firm "no" and pushing her off has worked great.

She's fat, but you can get her wound up to play, or if she sees her leash, she gets super excited for a walk. She can't make it too far, but I think it's good for her when we push her limits a bit.

I know there are lots of breeds that are higher energy and are more destructive. But this is easier than I ever imagined it to be. I know our family had our shih-tzu for a while, but he never made it past his puppy stage, so he was still... unruly. And since he had medical issues, it was impossible to train him to go outside to potty and he HAD to use a puppy pad since he'd "go" so often.

In all honesty, my sister wants a dog now, so we may be adding one soon after this, lol. We would get a dog that was in its golden years, that maybe had a few years left, and we'd get one that was already house-broken (and goes outside to potty, not on a puppy pad/newspapers). It would be a non-shedder so we would let it be up on the couches with us.

Minerva has just been so... I don't even know how to describe it. She just FITS in here and hardly takes any extra time at all... She's just content to be with you and sit beside you, and if you play with her, she's happy.

What are your thoughts? The breeds my sister has been considering are lhasa apsos, shih tzus, and maltese--but leaning mostly toward the lhasa apsos. I'm pushing for her to also consider yorkies and chinese cresteds, but she's not a big fan of those, and it will be her dog, so, probably won't push it.

She'll own it, pay for it, but I'll take care of it is the plan. It's the best of both worlds for us, lol. We both have an animal we'd love having around--I wouldn't pay for it, but I'd take care of it--and she can pay for it, but wouldn't take care of it.

I'd ideally like a breed that is a good size to play with a fox, or that could "stand its own" against a fox. So that would mean yorkies and cresteds are out--probably as well as the maltese. Lhasa apsos and shih-tzus seem the biggest out of the others though, and a mix of the two would be fine too.

Anyway, thoughts? Is this beagle just... too good to be true? Or is this just what a lot of dogs are like? Or have I maybe just been around foxes too long, lol? Maybe being around Fable and Ifrit for years has made me paranoid about indoor pets and I can't really imagine owning something that can actually be unsupervised indoors....

All Minerva does is... eat, drink, sleep, sit by you, play, and goes potty outside. It's very... relaxing.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby Juska » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:44 pm

I think it's probably the dog's age and lifestyle, and just her personality as an individual dog. Emo is like that too. Doesn't have a care in the world. She doesn't really enjoy bath time but she doesn't actively try to escape when I put her in the tub. Honestly, I think bigger dogs are more relaxed than smaller breeds...Conte is an emotional mess sometimes, compared to Emo who only gets upset when something is actually wrong. We don't crate them or lock them outside or anything like that when we go away. On rare occasion we'll return and Conte will have not been able to "hold it", but he's 10, it happens. No destroyed furniture, heirlooms or important documents, haha.

You just have to raise them to be relaxed and not jumpy or timid...though some breeds are more prone to these instincts/personalities than others. Case in point, I raised both of our dogs, and one is more relaxed while the other is high-strung. Every dog is different.

Honestly though, I think larger breeds (as in, larger than a lhasa or other similar breed, not a huge one) are more "dog-like" than the breeds you're considering. I'm not a huge fan of small breeds, mostly, because in my experience they're more stubborn with training and other factors. But that's just me, I like big dogs, lol.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby Nìmwey » Sat Mar 14, 2015 5:34 pm

That is definitely not what owning dogs for me is like. It seems you got a rare "gem", but it's also a lot about who raised the dog. So whatever dog you get might not be as easy.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:17 pm

Well Ash said she is planning on adopting a senior dog. None of my seniors have been hyper jumping on the counters and into things, even if they were when young. And I think adopting a senor on purpose is great as they are usually shunned no one wants a dog that wont live long(few years maybe depending on age) and will likely have health problems soon if not already.

My old dog Goldie became obsessed with going for walks. She'd take 8 plus walks a day if we let her but she otherwise was happy to lay around with me all the time. Quasi still played and liked to take walks but slowed down a lot and never was hyper though. Hyzzie was a young terror, definitely slowed down with age. She likes her walks, spends a lot more time laying by herself but loves her pets and attention and occasionally plays with Beaker.

Small dog that's confirmed 8+ should be fine. Hyzzie was around 8 months but the shelter worker told the family in front of me she could be as old as 8 cuz you can't tell with small dogs. I kept my mouth shut because I had my heart firmly set on her since I'd seen her a week before and waited for her holding period to be up. Good thing too, she'd have ripped their toddler's face of or something, I'm sure.

Beaker is young and been an angel. Aside from chewing when young and Hyzzie till tamed, all my chihuahuas and chi mixes have been but yeah older dogs mellow down, normally anyway.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby Ash » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:16 pm

So many people think this is horrible for me to say, but I really like the idea of owning a senior dog. I like the thought that you don't have 15-20 years of commitment there, that you get to enjoy it for the remainder of its short life, and that it gets to be in a happy place with you.

Everybody always assumes that means I'm not going to be committed to the animal. But obviously we would be. We'd be committed to its needs, its care, but we wouldn't have to worry about the TIME commitment, if that makes sense.

In all honesty, if we always adopted the older dogs, chances are we'd get a lot more dog experience over the years because we'd be able to own more breeds than most people. Yeah, there are going to be vet costs due to the age they are, but we would also not be keeping them the full 15-20 years. So the vet cost for keeping a senior dog for 3 years would probably be less than the overall cost of owning a puppy up until it passes away vet cost-wise. Or maybe the same, maybe more. Depends on the animal and what issues it develops in its later years.

I do believe in putting an animal down "when it's time," whereas some people want their animals to live forever--even if they're suffering or hardly capable of doing much of anything without discomfort.

That doesn't mean the moment it needs some help up the stairs or needs a pill or two I'm going to put it down, obviously. But I'd be... I guess, practical about it. Choosing to euthanize an animal is never easy, and there are a lot of things to consider.

There are SO many senior dogs that get overlooked, and it makes me sad to see that. I would want one that was house-broken and healthy of course, but even if it doesn't turn out to be the "perfect fit," the TIME commitment isn't as long--not like if I got a brand new puppy. I hope that makes sense and doesn't sound mean or lazy.

My sister and I have always said that if we got a dog, we'd get an old one for all those reasons. We're still young, and even though neither of us foresee anything "life-changing" in the near future--moving, getting married, death in the family, job opportunities far away--that doesn't mean they can't happen. And if something "unexpected" and "life-changing" did happen, the dog would only be around for a few more years, and you could work your life around a year or two to accommodate that.

The dog I'm dog-sitting is a piece of cake. I feel like I don't need to do much of anything, but maybe that's because I'm used to being "attacked" constantly by foxes, regardless of what I'm doing. Like, I can ACTUALLY let this dog out of my sight and KNOW I'm not going to come across a war zone next I look. She goes up and down the stairs--the first time she "left us" and went upstairs, we were like, "Ugh... What do we do? Do we go bring her back? Why did she leave?" And then we realized she was probably just going up there to check stuff out and sniff at things, and sure enough, she came right back to be with us.

Not saying all dogs are easy, obviously--and I know it varies substantially by breed. I would hate to own a German shepherd, for example, even though they're gorgeous dogs. I know the smaller breeds tend to be a bit more... stubborn, but we could work with that.

But these past two days with my uncle's dog have been very reassuring. My younger sisters (they don't live with us) would also really enjoy being with a dog whenever they came over--especially my autistic sister who loves animals.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby Ash » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:26 pm

Thanks for the comments. :) I really appreciate them, and I'll pass them along to my sister. I'm gonna go let Minerva out and then give her dinner. Poor thing acts like she's starving every second since she's on a diet. :roll:

My uncle's family must feed her table scraps, or maybe she just doesn't get enough exercise. They want me to dog-sit her in August for about two weeks, so I'd be up for that too. It's a nice way to get some money on the side--especially since I bought Scarborough Fair out of the blue, lol, and need to "make up for" that impulse purchase, ha.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby Juska » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:23 pm

Our dogs get "table scraps" every single day and they aren't overweight. Heck, Emo isn't really even that active (she doesn't "play" as in fetching the ball and stuff). Some breeds are subject to gaining weight easier than others, beagles are a prime example of that. She probably just needs exercise.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby Ash » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:34 pm

She is alone the whole day since both my aunt and uncle work, and their kids are at school and then daycare until around 5:00. So it's no wonder she's the size she is--she just... sleeps all day. She would be SO much cuter if she were her regular size and looked like "Shiloh" the beagle other than a sausage beagle, lol. She has an endearing personality, but it's difficult to appreciate when you feel like it's a sausage staring back at you. :lol:

Our hypothetical senior dog won't get table scraps, but there's a reason for that, lol. Our shih-tzu Zip only ate his regular dogfood--day in, day out--and craved other foods (but he couldn't have them since he had a liver shunt). We got him addicted to celery though, which was hilarious. We used celery for trick-training, and he learned SO many tricks because he'd want the celery so bad.

It got to the point he'd hear us start chopping ANY vegetables up and he'd come racing to the kitchen, expecting to be fed celery, lol.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby pat » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:35 pm

ash,

We used celery for trick-training, and he learned SO many tricks because he'd want the celery so bad.
:lol:
at least she knew what foods were good for her.

all I can do is offer my experience with dogs. I have had many in the past (at one point had 6 dogs at one time)

I had a shitsue, sheppards, huskys, mixed breeds, coonhounds and beagles (that all I can remember)
my favorite is the coonhounds and beagles

the beagle I have now is super great. love my other two coonhounds too. never really had much problem with any of them.
housebreaking was short and easy. with a pup, they need to go outdoors for potty more.

however, from my experience, I believe if a dog has free run(fenced in of course) they do much better.
an example, where I use to live, I had to keep my male coonhound on a chain. when I moved to where I am now,
this was a such a big change in him. he was very calm and listened much better.(some male coonhounds can be hard headed)

depending on the type of dog, most dogs will do much better if they have lots of exercise. they need to burn off their excess energy.

another reason I generally get pups, so they learn quick that the foxes and raccoons are their friends. never have to to worry about them
hurting or killing them.

on another note, I think it is a good idea to get a senior dog, you will be giving a dog a better chance at a good life.
I think when you go to the dog pound, you will see one that stands out and you probably will know which one
better suits you. also, some places let you take them for walks prior to getting them, and even a home trial.
in your case, I think a senior would be good, you can always get a puppy later if you decide.

as for vet bills, sometimes, a senior dog could require more vet visits. not always, but sometimes.
I shouldn't speak too soon, but, my dogs go the vet only for their shots. except for my oldest, she has a thyroid issue. she goes about about every 6 months...

let me know what you end up getting..
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby Ash » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:38 pm

Thanks for all the tips and information, Pat. :) I really appreciate hearing your experiences with your dogs.

Our backyard is completely fenced in now and should be "dig-proof" in April when I buy the pavers to go along the bottom of the fence. But the small breeds with smooshed faces like shih-tzu and lhasa apsos don't do well outside, especially when its hot. They can also get hotspots on them. But if we had a doggy-door installed, ours would be able to go out and potty/romp whenever he/she wanted. I will keep you updated and let you know how our search goes. :)

My sister came with me to the vet's today. I told them she was my "emotional support animal"--was bringing in a snake for euthanasia initially... But while we were there, an elderly couple had brought in a shih-tzu to be groomed. It was very sweet, and it reminded us of how much we loved Zip for the short time we had him, and now we are undecided between the two breeds. Should we get a shih-tzu again? Or a lhasa apso? They are both very similar, and even sometimes professionals have a hard time telling them apart, lol. But shih-tzu are very cuddly.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby pat » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:30 am

ASH,

that is super great with the fenced in yard.
the only problem I had with my beagle, is she use to find holes at the bottom of the fence and get out, but would never stray. she mostly went in the corn fields. I fixed all the holes, and so far, she has not got out.... since you have the bottom secure, you will be fine with whatever dog you decide on.

shihtsues are nice dogs. mine got along fine with my large dogs. the only thing I didn't like about the shihtzu was he had to be groomed about once a month. at that time, it was about 30.00 a month... I love my dogs, they are always dedicated to me.

a shihsue might be a good dog for you to start out with. if you decide later you want another type, what the heck, get another, then another :lol:
what I like about my coonhounds is they keep predators away. they have a very keen sense of smell.
all my dogs are pretty well behaved. if someone visits, they just want to be petted, then they go lay down and stay that way without bothering anyone.
many people have told me how calm they are.

my shihsue use to go outside alot, but, he was able to come and go as he pleased. he did hang out with my other dogs.
but, your right, they would do better inside more than outside, especially on hot days. but, if they are groomed, their fur is alot shorter.
if they are not groomed, their fur gets pretty shabby and tangled.
Should we get a shih-tzu again? Or a lhasa apso?
I think both are about the same, so it would be your preference.
are you still looking in the pound for a dog?

sorry to hear about the snake icon-sad

anxious to hear what you decide on.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby Ash » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:26 pm

Yeah, we'll go on to petfinder.com and find one that's relatively close by. :) Obviously it's not a for sure yet, but the fact that we're talking about it so much makes me hopeful.

The ones on petfinder are animals that were taken from the pound or from abusive households and placed with a foster home. The foster home takes care of the animal, pays for the animal's vet bills. And once it's healthy, then then evaluates them and write up a review on the animal and post it on petfinder. It's a nice way to find pre-owned dogs, especially if you're searching for something specific like a senior shih-tzu.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby pat » Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:50 am

good idea. I forgot about petfinder. usually lots of different animals but, as you said, located all of the place.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby Ash » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:45 pm

So, darn. There was a pekingese mix my sisters and I were planning to go adopt from a rescue in Colorado this weekend. She's old--15--so only has a couple years left on her. I have NO CLUE how I overlooked this in my research, but who'd have thought pekes were heavy shedders!? They look like lhasa apsos, shih-tzus, and havanese--none of which shed. That was a huge deciding factor in which breed to get.

They gave me the number of the lady fostering her so that I could ask more specific questions. For example, what if she's mixed with a shih-tzu and actually has minimal shedding? Then maybe we could still go get her.

She has thyroid issues, so is on medication for that. Also recovering from something spinal, but I don't know much about it, nor did the people who ran the rescue (they said I'd need to talk to the foster). Overall, very nice people. I don't usually see so many caring dog rescue people who aren't crazy about home-checks and all that weird stuff. So it was nice to see that change.

Would have been an all-day trip, but we were excited for it. The shedding was a huge turn-off for my sister, which is such a shame, because she fell in love with this dog. She just doesn't think she could handle a shedder, and it's best we "learned" now than after.

I'm still hoping when we talk to the foster that maybe she doesn't shed... She's super spunky and healthy otherwise, even if she does have to take some meds.

Here's the one we were wanting: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/30952891/ Her name is Violet, but we'd gradually change her name. The pictures don't make her look super cute, but if you watch the video, you might fall in love with her too.
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Re: Considering Dog/Are dogs supposed to be... THIS easy??

Postby BlueBaby1023 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 6:40 pm

A bit late to the conversation, but I know our dogs are super easy. I've never been one to adopt puppies, I just don't like the house-training phase. So ours have never had the puppy hyper phase. Even though our dogs are large, they were very easy to train to leave things on surfaces (counters, tables, the couch) alone. A simple no will make them go away. They do not jump, but that's due in part to our slick floors. However, even when I lived in Oregon with a carpeted apartment, we never had jumping issues.

I think the most important part of owning a dog is knowing that dog's personality. I wouldn't trust ours farther than I could throw them, which is why we use crates. That has kept our furniture, walls, and dog toys intact. But others don't mind the damage or have dogs that are just well behaved enough to not need supervision.

It's funny how most conversations about animals really do boil down to the individual. :)
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