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Old 25-11-2010, 12:32 PM
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Thinking of getting a dog/puppy ?? The realities.

This is a time of year when lots of people think about getting a dog/puppy so i was thinking a thread with the realities in it for those "browsers" out there might be a good idea.

Feel free to add your own "realities". This is not meant to put people off as such but this thread should contain the nitty gritty sometimes a bit grim reality of owning a dog for life rather than the cute fluffy "it will all be wonderful" view we all have when we decide to get a pup !!

My Own Thoughts -

A) Walking - Most dogs need a decent walk EVERY day. If you are thinking about getting a dog for the next 2 weeks do just that. Go out every day whatever the weather for the amount of time you have "allowed" for exercising your proposed dog. If you have researched a breed then you should have a fair idea what they will need but many people underestimate the amount of time they can honestly give EVERY day to walking.

A dog that is under exercised will easily become bored and destructive/over boisterous in the house.

B) Houseproud ?? - Again depending on your breed look around your home and kiss goodbye to clean floors and that lovely sparkly look it has. Dogs pee and poo on the floor, moult, de mud, can chew, jump on furniture etc. Think about where you will put a wet muddy dog after a walk. Also ensure you research the grooming commitment of your chosen breed (again something people overlook or underestimate)

C) Kids - If you are thinking that a dog "for" your kids is a great idea think again. The bond can take time and it can be a bumpy ride getting there. Puppies (especially certain breeds) will spend their first few weeks terrorising the kids with mouthing, ragging, bowling over if you have little ones while you flap about in a useless fashion attempting damage limitation. My kids couldn't wear dressing gowns because Oscar would go bonkers for them. With very young kids it will be extremely hard work. Much harder than you tell yourself it will be but forwarned is forarmed

D) Training - So you saw that "perfect" Cocker spaniel in the park walking beautifully next to his owner gazing up at her hanging on her every word behaving impeccably with the children etc etc. Please be aware they don't come like that It has taken 2 years of determination, hard work and alot of grey hair to achieve that level and even then you probably just caught him on a good day. People often coo over Oscar and say how "well behaved" he is OMG they never saw the "teenage stage" where i tramped round the park for an hour in the rain because he got a whiff of a deer dragging 2 wingeing kids with me or the embarrasment of him cornering and barking at a man because he didn't like his hat or the time he killed a rabbit and wouldn't drop it

Wouldn't change it for the world and it is very rewarding and there are lots of positives too and if you are still considering it after reading the above you just might make it through
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:35 PM
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Re: Thinking of getting a dog/puppy ?? The realities.

Very good thread, especially the training bit. I often think some people see a nicely behaved dog and think "that's the sort I want". It never even enters their head that the dog didn't come like that.
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:41 PM
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Re: Thinking of getting a dog/puppy ?? The realities.

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Originally Posted by newfiesmum View Post
Very good thread, especially the training bit. I often think some people see a nicely behaved dog and think "that's the sort I want". It never even enters their head that the dog didn't come like that.
I get it alot with Oscar and people with kids. He looks like "the perfect family dog" and he is NOW(ish ) but it's taken alot to achieve and if i hadn't had the commitment to him and the time to give it would have been very different. Also training is constant, you don't just train them once and then thats it for life, its an ongoing process and very much 2 steps forward 3 back for a fair while.

Did you see my post about what the guy at discover dogs said on the Newfie stand Someone approached him and asked if it was a Newfoundland he had. Then said "oh wow i didnt realise they were THAT big" The guy then sais he has just put a deposit down on one but had clearly never seen an adult one in the flesh Incredible !!!!!
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:44 PM
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Re: Thinking of getting a dog/puppy ?? The realities.

My realities
  • Walking in the rain/snow/frost/dark
  • Standard human - clothing, trackies, waterproofs, wellies or walking boots. Rarely seen dressed in "normal" clothes
  • Having a house that stank of dettol for the first few weeks whilst dog underwent housetraining. I was lucky, Arnie was all sorted within a few weeks, some dogs take months.
  • Dog hair everywhere, sometimes hoover twice a day
  • Mud everywhere - Floors mopped everyday
  • Washable paints and wallpapers throughout the house.
  • If you can't cope with the mess kids make on occasion then you'd not cope with the mess of a dog, especially when they decide that they've had the bone outside long enough and want to continue to eat it in the lounge
  • Digging up buried bones/chews (see above)

But I wouldnt change a thing.
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:45 PM
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Re: Thinking of getting a dog/puppy ?? The realities.

really good thread!! agree with every point!! people look at my doby and think ... wow he is lovely and so well behaved!! but they (like you said) dont realised that in the wrong hands that dog has the genetic potential to be a compleate bastard!! AS WITH ANY DOG... people need to reserch their breed more!!
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:46 PM
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Re: Thinking of getting a dog/puppy ?? The realities.

Very true. I would add. Dont buy a pup for your kids as an xmas present or any other present if your not prepared to walk it, feed it, groom it, train it, etc.etc.etc. in spite of promises I will walk it groom it etc etc. the kids probably wont and it will be left to you that especially includes de pooping the garden!!

Talking of which gardens. If your proud of your garden, lush green lawn and specimin plants consider before you get a dog. A lot are expert gardners trouble is they dont know the difference between a weed and your prize expensives shrubs and trees. They will be reduced to the odd twig or two. Your lush lawn will end up full of bomb size craters and be nice and brown and patchy where they wee. Or your plants will die where males wee up them.
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:48 PM
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Re: Thinking of getting a dog/puppy ?? The realities.

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Originally Posted by Sled dog hotel View Post
Talking of which gardens. If your proud of your garden, lush green lawn and specimin plants consider before you get a dog. A lot are expert gardners trouble is they dont know the difference between a weed and your prize expensives shrubs and trees. They will be reduced to the odd twig or two. Your lush lawn will end up full of bomb size craters and be nice and brown and patchy where they wee. Or your plants will die where males wee up them.
Have you been spying on me, you've just described my garden. The herbs were the first things to go.
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:53 PM
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Re: Thinking of getting a dog/puppy ?? The realities.

All so true

I always look like ive been walking a muddy spaniel round the park for the day even when i haven't

On the plus you will save yourself a fortune in high heels and designer jeans

Oscar got hold of my brand new wooly hat the other day and chewed a hole in it, could have killed him but instead kicked MYSELF for not putting it out the way So i look even more gorgeous now in my wooly hat with a hole in it
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:54 PM
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Re: Thinking of getting a dog/puppy ?? The realities.

What a good idea for a thread! I think with so many of us having such a romantic image of what our puppy is going to be the reality of the situation quite often gets overlooked.

Just to add to the posts above, these two down-sides have certainly hit us recently. (Even more so when this morning the other half left the house at five in the morning- Pixel decided that five am was clearly morning and that the whole household should be up. )

Sleep- kiss goodbye to your late morning lie ins. If you are getting a puppy- kiss goodbye to sleep altogether for the first few weeks! Your puppy will (sod's law) want to go to the loo in the middle of the night, he will whimper because he's lonely on his first few nights and in general will make sure you're up with the sun.

If you enjoy a late lie in on a weekend, just remember that the ball of fur at the end of your bed needs a morning walk and his breakfast. He doesn't care if it's Christmas day or a Monday morning, whether it's pouring with rain or if it's snowing- you still need to get outside early in the morning to walk him/her.

Your household items- If you get a puppy/dog, no matter how careful, sooner or later he or she will ruin something precious. Be it your sofa, a wall, or even just a jumper: be prepared to smile sweetly as you find your precious bundle has just torn a hole in your grandmother's hand-knitted blanket, or has decided that your sofa needs a hole right in the middle of it or even perhaps he has even forgotten his toilet-manners for a moment and decided that your favourite armchair looked JUST ripe for pee'ing on.

Despite being extremely careful, I can still easily count on my fingers the amount of things our dogs have ruined over their lifetime!
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Old 25-11-2010, 12:55 PM
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Re: Thinking of getting a dog/puppy ?? The realities.

DOG POO!

Picking it up I can deal with.
Finger going through the bag whilst picking it up I'm not keen on. Especially while its pouring rain, and I'm trying to carry shopping etc, and hold kids hands!

It was a bit of a surprise to me that dogs dont use toilet paper! It never occurred to me that I may have to wash dog poo from his backside every so often.

The sense of responsibility was also a bit of a shock to me. Kids grow up and are not so dependent on you, but not dogs. They are fully dependant on you for the rest of their lives.

Love him to bits tho!
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