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After a bit of basic advice re dog ownership

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by urbantigers, May 26, 2017.

  1. urbantigers

    urbantigers PetForums VIP

    Apr 13, 2014
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    Hello dog people. I normally hang out in cat chat but I'm after a few words of wisdom about dogs.

    I'm rather dog broody at the moment but the reality is that I'm unlikely to become a dog owner any time soon for several reasons (possibly not ever). However, you never know what's around the corner and sometimes once a desire is there, a way is eventually found. Thinking about dogs has made me realise that I know a fair bit about cat behaviour, health and nutrition but very little about dogs. I had a dog as a child (we're talking 70s and 80s here) and family members have had dogs over the years but I don't have any family members or close friends with dogs now. So I'd really like to educate myself a bit.

    Can anyone point me towards information (websites, books, magazines) about dogs that might help me become a bit more knowledgeable? In addition to hanging out here. I'm not sure I'd even know what to feed a dog. My cats are raw fed. Is raw good for dogs? When we had our family dog, Barbara Woodhouse was a household name and we had to buy a dog licence (37p iirc). I'm guessing things have moved on since then :confused: (I do know that you no longer buy a dog licence!).

    It's way too early in the day to be seriously thinking about what sort of dog would suit me, but it is fun looking at dogs and I would appreciate some input. There are 2 important considerations. 1 is my 2 cats - they are largely unproven around dogs although 1 was raised alongside a dog. This could be a deal breaker as it wouldn't be fair to make them put up with a dog they hated as they were here first. Would it be easiest to get a rescue dog that was proven around cats or a puppy? The 2nd big thing is that I'm disabled and use a wheelchair or mobility scooter at all times outside so I would want to be able to train a dog to walk alongside. Is that doable? I love being outside and love going for "walks" in the park or nearby woods and would anticipate being able to spend a reasonable amount of time walking a dog. I'd aim to spend some time training or participating in sports/games/fun activities on an ongoing basis as I think that would be fun to do.

    Obviously as a first time dog owner I'd be looking at breeds suitable for beginners. My childhood dog was a cocker spaniel and I do love spaniels. Does it sound as though a cocker spaniel would be a good fit, given the limited information I've provided?
  2. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

    Dec 10, 2012
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    The thing with cats is that how well they get on with a dog (or not as may be the case) depends on them 100%. Regardless of whether we are talking about a puppy or an adult dog, if a cat decides it wants nothing to do with the dog, they will want nothing to do with the dog. If you have very laid back easy going cats then they may with time accept a dog, even like them, but at the very least tolerate them. If you have cats that are what I would describe as more 'traditionally' cat in temperament, more aloof and highly strung, then they may not ever accept a dog. So you do need to be prepared for the fact that your relationship and household harmony with the cats WILL change, and not necessarily in the way you want it.

    Cocker Spaniels come in two different main varieties, working line and show line, and then you have pet bred which is anything and everything. Working lines are probably a no go for most first time dog owners. A well bred show line may suit, but you'd have to seek out a good breeder as nerves and resource guarding can be an issue. What I will say is that these are very bouncy 'busy' dogs and while I don't know the extent of your mobility problems, you may be better with the security of an older more stable dog with an assessed temperament. Puppies can be a bit if an unknown entity, plus they are bloody hard work.
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Jan 5, 2013
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    Some dogs do well on raw and as you already feed your cats raw, you shouldn't have any problems. Nutrition requirements are different, of course, but easy to find out about.

    Barbara Woodhouse/Cesar Milan, etc. are swear words on this forum! ;) and positive, reward based training is very much the way to go.

    Many dogs are good walking alongside a mobility scooter, and they can be trained to, so no real worries there.

    As for getting a dog the cats tolerated (hopefully liked ;)) a pup will be fast and furious for a while, but can be taught how to behave from an early age whereas a rescue could be fully assessed, even had on a trial basis. Hopefully too, being older they will be calmer. Obviously, there are no guarantees!

    As for breed, growing up we had 2 bitches, one a cocker x collie and the other a Corgi cross who were fantastic family dogs. My Grey x Saluki rescue Jack is a delight!

    Maybe, if you went along to a rescue you could see which dogs appeal and you might cluck with one, or get an idea if the breed you want if you think a pup would be better for you (although a lot of work).

    There are some Sticky threads in the Dog section with advice on various areas of dog ownership which you might find helpful.
    Firefly13 likes this.
  4. Firefly13

    Firefly13 Slave to the promgrels & the doofus =D

    May 12, 2013
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    All about dog food is a great website for researching dog nutrition.
    Champdogs/kennel club website is a good place to start researching breeds if you're looking for a pedigree.
    Volunteering as a dog walker for a local dog rescue is a really good way to learn a lot a basic skills but also a great place to meet and chat to dog people who may prove to be great contacts when it comes to getting your new dog :)
    I know I haven't provided much but hopefully these will help get you started x
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  5. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

    Jan 19, 2014
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    Hi @urbantigers

    I am in a similar situation as you - would love a dog but my current circumstances aren't right at the moment.

    I have learnt so much just hanging about on the dog section of the forum and suggest if you want to learn more then you do the same. There are some very knowledgeable people here.

    I have spent a lot of time watching videos of some very knowledgeable trainers and reading their blogs. People like kikopup, turid rugaas, Karen Pryor, Jean Donaldson, positively (Victoria still wells more recent stuff), there are lots more whose names fail to spring to mind at the moment.

    The other thing that helped me was to actually get some experience interacting with dogs and seeing behaviour, calming signals and trying out training on an actual dog. In my case I was able to spend slot of time with my neighbours dog as well as some others but helping at a rescue or at a training club all helps. You get to see the good and the bad. Just watching dogs in the park can teach you how dogs interact with their owners and the environment.

    Have a read too of the sticky about so you want to get a dog or a puppy. This is full of excellent advice and horror stories. If you survive reading that and aren't put off you are on to a good start :)

    I am a cat owner too. Whilst I won't be getting a dog with my current kitty I would like another cat in future. As others have said whether it will work depends on the cat though even if they are not buddies it is possible to have both as long as things are managed correctly. You need to figure out whether you could put things in place so that both species can be managed and are happy regardless of how much the end up getting g along.

    Consider getting an adult rescue that has been fostered in a similar environment to your own so that you have a good idea of their requirements and reaction to cats to start with. With a fostered adult you have a clearer idea of what you are getting.
    #5 kittih, May 26, 2017
    Last edited: May 27, 2017
    Babyshoes, Lurcherlad and Firefly13 like this.
  6. urbantigers

    urbantigers PetForums VIP

    Apr 13, 2014
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    Thanks for replies. I'm keen to learn a lot more about what makes a dog tick before I seriously consider whether a dog or puppy will fit into my life (or rather whether I can fit my life around a dog).
    kittih likes this.
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