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Old 12-31-2009, 09:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Owning a mutt

I sometimes consider having a dog come live with me. Ive read books about owning a dog and have looked at different sorts. What I want to know is what is it really like day-to-day to live with and care for a dog by yourself?
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Dogs are permanent 3-year-olds....that you can leave home alone for 8+ hours at a time.

Seriously. Dogs are dependent creatures. They bond to you. You become their pack leader.

A failure to create an environment of healthy pack mentality creates a problem dog.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well,

this isn't an easy question to answer. It all depends on the breed mixture, the temperament of the dog, the history of the dog, the medical needs of the dog etc etc etc.

It also depends on what you mean by caring for a dog. It's one thing to give it food, water and shelter, but (this is where the breed temperament comes in) you have to give the dog exercise, regular vet visits, flea treatments and odd things can pop up that you aren't ready for. Allergies to food, grass etc can lead to expensive diets. Aggressive or possessive behaviors can lead to you becoming aggressive and active (every day..no skipping) in your training routines. Some dogs may become bored or anxious and destroy your house when you're gone, so you'll have to up the exercise (and training- always always always training) regime to satisfy your dog.

Dogs are wonderful if they are balanced. When I say balanced I mean having a good mixture of being under control by an alpha (you) and just being a dog. I have 2 and am considering getting another one. It takes a lot of time depending on the breed.

What type breed are you considering? If you're considering getting one from the pound or shelter, see if you can get any background information on the dog. Take the dog out for a walk and see how the dog responds to basic things like leash tugs and traffic and birds. The people at the shelter should allow you to do this before you make a commitment. Don't just fall for puppy eyes.. those puppy eyes could lead to nightmares if you don't really do your homework and spend some time with the dog first.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Oh, and it's interesting you should use the word mutt. Mixed breeds tend to have more balanced/well-rounded temperaments/characters. There are many exceptions though. It depends on the breeds. Terriers will always be terrors. Hounds will always be hounds.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm going to disagree with Baraka.

Mixed breeds often have lower temperament rates than a good pure bred dog.

I don't have stats, but I have hands on experience...
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It's highly breed-dependent. Some crosses are disasters, I'll give you that. But if you get a good mix, it's because the outcome takes on a blend of characteristics that work, while knowing the possible negatives and addressing them.

A Jack Russell cross will always be a disaster.

Mixed breeds allow you to take on a greater number of positive characteristics than pure breeds can offer. Just think of the hypoallergenic qualities of a poodle cross.

Our family growing up had a cockapoo, which I declare is a good mix for a family dog for a number of reasons. Pure-bred cocker spaniel or poodle? Not as much.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i have a purebred yellow Lab.........dumb as a mud fence........lovely dog but,not all there.

and i have a half breed (mom was a purebreed black lab-dad was a purebreed springer spaniel).......smartest fucking dog i've ever had.


Labs are awesome dogs......so to agree with Baraka,mutts IMO are much better than purebreds.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That's what I'm getting at, Fly. A lab isn't all that smart, but they're damned attentive and loyal. They're one of the top choices for guiding the blind, for god's sake. I'm sure that your lab/spaniel mix is a more manageable dog than a pure springer spaniel would be. And I'm obsessed with the Welsh springer spaniel, though I've never owned one. We have a chocolate/yellow lab.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Not all dogs are terribly dependent. Our little black mutt Duchess (rest her soul) seemed to like it when we were away - she liked it when it was quiet. She would doze for hours, or romp in the backyard chasing endless squirrels. She was a cocker/black lab mix, incredible personality, loyal and beautiful with her wavy black hair. The most she ever asked of us was breakfast and a morning run.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:03 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Owning my dog, Duke, was the best thing ever. After they leave their high energy puppy stage, they calm down and are pure affection. Duke would sleep with me on the bed, watch tv with me, and come nudge at me when he knew I was upset, which always made me feel better knowing he cared. Mutt's are awesome, they live longer, generally have better health and behavioural benifits. They do add a bit of work to your day, but it's more than worth it.
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Old 12-31-2009, 11:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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don't get me wrong........i love my purebred Lab (May) too,more than anything........i'm just glad she had an hell of a teacher in the half breed dog (Shadow)

Shadow made training May a lot easier......she sorta just followed suit..........and is a great dog.

damn i love my pups.


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Old 12-31-2009, 12:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm still going to disagree on principle about mutts living longer, being smarter, and having better positive characteristics.
When you get a mutt, often times you don't know the history of the dog or it's parents. You have no idea what mix the parents were and what their temperament was. When you get a pure bred (from a reputable breeder) you can see the parents, and interact with the parents. You can see the history of the dog and you can find out what problems were present. On top of that, a pure bred dog makes it easier to identify breed specific issues that could arise in the future. When you have a mutt, you don't know which issue is present because you don't know what breed it stems from.

I will grant you that there are smart mutts and stupid pure breds, but for me, the pros of a pure bred far outweigh the pros of a mutt.

And for the record, poodles and cocker spaniels are both horrid dogs. A mixture of both? No fucking thanks.

Good breeders of pure bred dogs have spent many generations breeding out negative aspects of the breed. So while a mutt could be cheaper on the front end, I wouldn't risk having a mutt merely for all of the unknowns that exist. When you start messing with gene crossing to get designer dogs, you're asking for trouble.

But back to the OP, take your time and find out as much as you can about the dog and spent good alone time with the animal before you make a choice.. mutt or purebred.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Poodles are ranked second, right behind Border Collies in the intelligence arena.
Pehaps your speaking from anecdotal experience, Gucci.

What about a Poodle is horrid?

Bad breeders/puppy mills/ and clueless dog owners are to blame for the most part.
I adopted a resue that was a cross between a Min-Pin/Rottweiler.
(which might have worked out, if the breeders would have considered the temperaments
of both breeds and the parents, which they did not.)

Reckless breeding for designer dogs to turn a quick profit is now all the rage.
There are Amish puppy mills in our area that we are trying to shut down.

Adopting from a shelter has its risks, but if I would still recommend doing so,
especially if the dog is beyond puppyhood, and you can spend some considerable
time observing its behavior.


To the OP:
What Gucci said in his last paragraph.
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Be prepared for it to be your best friend and vice versa. If you can't handle everything that goes with that, don't get a dog.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:08 PM   #15 (permalink)
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not trying to rain on anybody's parade, and i had a cocker spaniel when i was growing up (in the country, of course), but i find something inherently wrong about following around a little dog or two in the city or suburbs with a plastic grocery bag full of doggy do-do...
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:10 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by guccilvr View Post
You have no idea what mix the parents were and what their temperament was. When you get a pure bred (from a reputable breeder) you can see the parents, and interact with the parents. You can see the history of the dog and you can find out what problems were present. On top of that, a pure bred dog makes it easier to identify breed specific issues that could arise in the future. When you have a mutt, you don't know which issue is present because you don't know what breed it stems from.



this is where I did my homework on the half breed of mine...........many days talking and inter-acting with the owners and the parent dogs too......

as well as the purebreed........information is good.

that's what needs to be done........check the bowzer........and owners...... out in all aspects......








and phil..........that's why i bought property baby........still gotta clean the shit but.........no plastic bag to deal with eh.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
It's highly breed-dependent. Some crosses are disasters, I'll give you that. But if you get a good mix, it's because the outcome takes on a blend of characteristics that work, while knowing the possible negatives and addressing them.

A Jack Russell cross will always be a disaster.

Mixed breeds allow you to take on a greater number of positive characteristics than pure breeds can offer. Just think of the hypoallergenic qualities of a poodle cross.

Our family growing up had a cockapoo, which I declare is a good mix for a family dog for a number of reasons. Pure-bred cocker spaniel or poodle? Not as much.
I have to disagree about the Jack Russell remark(and the poodle one).
I have a JR, adopted from his original owner. He is 7, neutered and the smartest damn dog I have ever owned. Hyper? Not half as much as I was warned he'd be but he does LOVE to play. But he also loves to cuddle and sleep in our laps.
I had a miniature poodle growing up-she too was extremely smart, sweet and cuddly.
When getting a purebred, you have to think about why they were bred; in the JR's case, it ws to hunt small game, so Spacey loves to go after any critter in the yard. He also "burrows" due to their breeding of chasing game into holes-he buries himself into blankets and sleeps under ours nestled up against our legs or chest.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:39 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Im tall, blonde, drive a convert. I could not have a small or even medium sized mutt. I am not of the Hilton heritage.
Im partial to largish dogs anyway.

Im worried about taking care of the dude/tte alone. Ive never really taken care of any living thing by myself except a bird.
Im also worried about what the unk said.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:44 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by girldetective View Post
Im worried about taking care of the dude/tte alone. Ive never really taken care of any living thing by myself except a bird.
Im also worried about what the unk said.
This is partly what I was referring to by "permanent 3-year-old." Urban dog owners cannot just let a dog shit or piss anywhere. It's not the same or as involved as changing diapers, but the principle is the same. You have to constantly manage a dog's "potty schedule" even if you have a fenced backyard (i.e. you don't want them to go in the house), and you will need to clean up after them.

But humans have been domesticating dogs for centuries. We have learned how to prevent them from defecating where we eat and sleep.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:50 AM   #21 (permalink)
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If you live in an apartment, don't get a large breed dog. It's just simply not fair on the dog. They need room to roam and room to exercise.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:00 PM   #22 (permalink)
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If you live in an apartment, don't get a large breed dog. It's just simply not fair on the dog. They need room to roam and room to exercise.
There are exceptions to this. Some large breeds need way more exercise than others, and some small breeds need an insane amount of exercise.

Terriers, for example, don't make great apartment dogs. Most need a ton of exercise and lots of socialization.

However, if you have the right approach, you can make things work. Toronto, for example, has many dog parks with many dogs. You can have daily runs with "the pack" here pretty easily and year round.

Any breed should have daily exercise, but some breeds are high strung and don't do well in small spaces.

Greyhounds and Great Danes make great apartment dogs despite misconceptions about each breed. They are quite docile and low-activity in "the den," and don't need a huge amount of exercise.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:29 PM   #23 (permalink)
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So while a mutt could be cheaper on the front end, I wouldn't risk having a mutt merely for all of the unknowns that exist. When you start messing with gene crossing to get designer dogs, you're asking for trouble.
So what do you think should be done with all the mixes in shelters and those on death row who deserve to be in clean, loving homes just as equally as purebreds? Folks with preferences like yours that gets them nowhere but dead.

Yes, I have an AKC registered purebred, but I didn't buy him. I took him in when his shithole owners decided they didn't want him anymore. So I suppose he's a 'rescue.'

And all dogs have the potential to have problems. Doesn't matter if the parents are show dogs or inbreeds, you never know what you're 'buying' in to.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ring View Post
I adopted a resue that was a cross between a Min-Pin/Rottweiler.
oh dear God!

---------- Post added at 03:29 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:20 PM ----------

gd, I highly recommend a dog, period. While you can count on accidents on the carpet, knocked over garbage cans and torn up shoes, etc., I wouldn't be as happy as I am if I didn't have my Michael. If you go through an adoption organization, you stand the chance of getting a dog that's already crate trained, house trained and obedient. I work with Mostly Mutts - Animal Rescue and Adoption in Kennesaw, GA every so often and it's amazing what sorts of dogs come available. Now Mostly Mutts is in GA, but I was just giving you an example of someplace you might want to look for in your area. They'll come out and assess your home. And the spay/neuter, microchip and all vaccinations are included in the final adoption fee. Hope you can find an organization like this near you if you do decide to become a dog Mom. Good luck.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:35 PM   #24 (permalink)
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So what do you think should be done with all the mixes in shelters and those on death row who deserve to be in clean, loving homes just as equally as purebreds?
We have the same philosophy here. I'm not sure we'd ever go to a registered breeder to get a purebred pup. All the animals we have are "rescues": two were unwanted, neglected animals and one was an adoption of an actual rescue pet.

Some, like us, are open to the challenges of dealing with unknown mixes and psychological issues. Our lab has separation anxiety and is high-strung (for a lab) because of how she was essentially removed from "the pack" when a second child was born. Solitary confinement in the basement is no place for a dog.

But, at the same time, we didn't have to deal with her puppy stage. It's a bit of a trade-off. A first-time dog owner should be prepared for anything, but getting a rescue dog is often best left with experienced owners who understand canine mentality. Either way, you should do what you can to know what you're getting into and how to succeed in making a positive environment for an animal.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:49 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Props to you for rescuing.

Were you cautioned before adopting on what was going on with the dog specifically? Some adoption dogs aren't fostered in homes but in kennels so the organizations may not have a good grip on the dog's behavior. Hopefully you didn't learn his / her specs after the fact lol.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:55 PM   #26 (permalink)
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The adoption was actually a cat. She was a stray kitten found eating out of a garbage can. I don't think she has any issues from that experience. She's actually quite affectionate for a cat.

As for the lab, we knew the situation in advance. We didn't want the dog to continue living like that, so we agreed to take her. It's been nearly 8 years now, and she's a healthy senior with the mind of a pup. Her anxiety isn't really that bad. It may have been different if she weren't a lab.
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:35 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Baraka_Guru View Post
we didn't have to deal with her puppy stage.
i think getting a bowzer at puppy stage is beneficial to both dog and owner.

both my dogs i ended up getting right at 8 weeks each......and we went to the dog training,where "I" was the one trained how to teach my dogs what I wanted them to do,and they are both awesome in that regard so.....i recommend the doggie training.it helps both you and your dog..........


and to anyone who rescues an animal.........you are good people with good hearts........i commend you.
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:07 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Baraka: there are exceptions to every rule, which is why it's important to do your homework first.

Woods: spare me the sob story of animals in shelters and that they are equal to purebreds blah blah blah. I haven't once in this thread said that mutts aren't equal or deserve to be in good homes. I was very active in a GSD rescue organization and have seen the horrors of bad dog ownership first hand.

All I'm saying is that when someone is considering mutts, there are a lot of unknowns that exist and one needs to do a lot of homework and spend time with the animals first. Falling for puppy eyes and then taking it back when you realize it's the wrong breed type for you isn't a worthy cause at all. People need to make smart decisions on the animals they take in , not only in breed choice but purebreed or mutt choice. Purebreed was the better choice for me and my family, but I have owned rescues in the past and if rescues are the right choice for someone, then they have my support.

So do me a favor next time, read what I've written before you try to label me as some purebreed elitist who "gets dogs killed".
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:58 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Yes, bguru has it right on the money with greyhounds and danes. I think a newfie might do alright, too. my first thought was a grey, but in reading about them you really cannot ever have them off leash and there is something about the way they look that makes me sort of anxious. Besides, Im not that queenly. Living close to the water i thought a newf might love it, but then realized I might be spending most of my money on towels for clean up of his drool and probable random dips. I dont know if I would love this, or resent it. All this said, my eyes are on a dane (or maybe, if it pans out with research a couple of others).

If I were to get a pooch it would be from the Pixie Project or some similar organization that rescues. Purebread, mutt, whatever. As usual, its probably the chemistry and forethought of the person as to becoming the owner of the dog that matter.

Heres the thing though. Do you like having a dog? With full and total responsibility at all times?
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:14 PM   #30 (permalink)
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All this said, my eyes are on a dane (or maybe, if it pans out with research a couple of others).
Danes are great animals (in both senses of the word), but know this: they don't have very long lifespans, and the following might be a dealbreaker for you:

Quote:
What Is Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus?

"Gastric Dilatation" is the technical name for an abnormal accumulation of air, fluid, and/or foam in the stomach; we usually call this BLOAT. "Volvulus" refers to a dangerous twisting, rotation, or torsion of the stomach. As the stomach swells with fluid and/or air, it can twist between its two fixed anchors points, the esophagus and the duodenum. When this happens, a devastating sequence of events starts to unfold. Once the esophagus has been clamped off, everything is trapped inside the stomach. An afflicted dog cannot vomit or belch to relieve the internal pressure, so the problem intensifies. As pressure continues to build within the torsioned stomach, it enlarges and compresses the veins in the abdomen. This restricts blood flow back to the heart and leads to low blood pressure, followed by dangerous cardiac problems and, often, shock. Meanwhile, the stomach's lining starts to break down (die) due to the loss of circulation, creating toxic by-products. In some cases, the stomach will actually rupture. Not only that, but the dog's spleen, bowels, liver or pancreas may also be severely damaged by this grisly cascade of events.

Obviously, GDV is a dangerous condition that constitutes an extreme medical emergency. If left untreated, or if treatment comes too late, your dog will die a very painful death. The speed with which you provide your dog with competent medical attention can mean the difference between life and death.

Is Your Dane at Risk?

GDV occurs most often in large breed dogs with deep chests. As a breed, the Great Dane is at high risk for bloat. According to a 1998 study by Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, Great Danes are 40 times more likely to develop GDV than a mixed breed dog. Danes topped the list of vulnerable breeds with the highest incidence of GDV – nearly double the risk compared to the second most vulnerable breed, the Akita. In fact, the Purdue report states: "Assuming that these Great Danes live to be 10 years of age, we conservatively estimate that more than 50% will eventually suffer an episode of GDV!! This is quite alarming given that nearly 25% of dogs can be expected to die during or shortly after an episode of GDV and it is consistent with previous findings that GDV is one of the leading causes of death in many giant and large breeds of dogs." While I find these high numbers a bit questionable, the fact remains that bloat is one of the leading causes of death in the Great Dane. You should know the symptoms and develop your own plan for handling this life-threatening emergency.
Great Dane Links: BLOAT

However, the Dane owners I know of keep getting Danes despite the short time they're in your life. It's almost like brand loyalty. Once a Dane owner, always a Dane owner. If you get 10 years out of a Dane pup, you're quite fortunate. I think even 8 is a good run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by girldetective
Heres the thing though. Do you like having a dog? With full and total responsibility at all times?
It's about balance. New dog owners can have a tough time adjusting: it's a lifestyle change. Just read as much as you can about the amount of involvement required in caring for a dog. Maybe go to a shelter and volunteer to take a few dogs out for walks if you don't have that much experience one on one with them. Get accustomed to how they respond to humans, even before they've adjusted to you.

Also seriously consider obedience school. It's more for training the owners than it is for the dogs.

As a dog owner, I sometimes think of how much easier things would be not owning a dog. But then I think of my "Puppy Face," and I can't imagine not having her around. She's a part of the family. And she knows it.

It's work, but the rewards are great. Just be sure to pick the breed that suits your personality.
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Last edited by Baraka_Guru; 01-01-2010 at 03:19 PM..
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:18 PM   #31 (permalink)
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You said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by guccilvr
I wouldn't risk having a mutt merely for all of the unknowns that exist. When you start messing with gene crossing to get designer dogs, you're asking for trouble.
You bought designer dogs. And like designer jeans, just because you paid $1500 for them instead of the Levi's that were on sale, it doesn't mean they're of any better quality. You have probably dropped thousands on your canines for your vanity. Yet my rescue probably does more tricks than yours and he didn't cost me a dime. ALL dogs are susceptible to trouble whether they're pure or mixed - it doesn't fucking matter.

And you can spare me your feeble attempt at sounding superior, Smokey.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:39 PM   #32 (permalink)
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calm down, children...
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:51 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I agree. My piss stream will always go further anyways.

The girl just wants to know about dog parenting!!!
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:26 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Sorry I'm not going to calm down on this one, especially when someone is talking out of their ass.

I didn't buy designer dogs. I bought German Shepherds. Yeah I spent a lot of money on them, yeah your mutt didn't cost a dime, but no, sorry, your mutt doesn't do more tricks than mine. Well not unless you got a Beagle to do French rings and Schutzhund drills to perfection. Did I buy these dogs for my vanity? Not one bit. I bought from a breeder that is devoted to the breed, one who isn't concerned with money. I bought a bloodline that would make it easier to achieve what I wanted and that was to have guard dogs for my family who are loyal but stable. THAT'S why I bought "designer dogs". If making sure I have great dogs that can protect my kids as well as be normal dogs is vain, then call me conceited. I'm sure though, that your beagle that didn't cost anything is just as capable of doing what Shepherds can do.. Right? So again, read what I read before you assume things and talk out of your ass.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:39 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:12 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by girldetective View Post

Heres the thing though. Do you like having a dog? With full and total responsibility at all times?



without a doubt.........
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Old 01-02-2010, 05:59 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Woods this is the last time I'm going to address you in this thread.

GG tepped in because of the tone of both of our posts. Yours was reported by another member and I said it was fine to show some emotion. My post is addressing your false accusations of me and my dog handling as well as well as my thoughts on mutts. You did nothing but twist my words and turned them into something so baseless and false that I had no choice but to set my side of the story right. So again, before you go on one of your patented rants that are false in principle, read what I or anyone else wrote and make sure you understand what they are writing. Staff are members first and we are dealt with accordingly behind the scenes if necessary. So if you feel I'm singling you out or not following the rules, report the post.

As far as the OP goes, I wouldn't trade any of the dogs I've owned for anything (owned both mutts and purebreed btw). I spent a lot of time with them and they give a lot in return. If you do your homework you'll be happy with whatever you go with. I say go for it!

---------- Post added at 08:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:56 AM ----------

Stupid mobile vb.. I can't edit my typos. Grr.
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:09 AM   #38 (permalink)
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I love my dog! She's a five year old mix of an Akita and German Shepherd. Such a good girl, and so well behaved. She hates being alone, which I can understand.
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Old 01-02-2010, 10:38 AM   #39 (permalink)
Eat your vegetables
 
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I've never had a dog outside of a family setting. There's considerably less responsibility involved when everyone can share a little. I was in charge of feeding and walking her in the morning, my sister was in charge of feeding her at night, we both needed to clean up the mess in the backyard. Since we had a backyard, Duchess would do all of her business there. She rarely relieved herself when out on a walk, so there was little of that chasing your dog around with a little baggie of their poo scenario that Uncle Phil mentioned. I would also take her on trails.

That is one thing that I would consider getting a dog for again - companionship on trails. Our rabbit isn't very good company on a hike, just another thing to carry most of the time.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:08 AM   #40 (permalink)
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I've volunteered for years for the humane society. Part of what I did was pick up a dog at about 6am to take to the local NBC affiliate for their pet spots. I was always amazed when I'd walk through the kennels and see a purebred.

But we ended up with mutts. Our first had heartworm. So after $1400 we declared her a purebred. She's living a long life.

We take both of our dogs hiking, but only on the low rated trails. The hardest was a summit hike to about 3k feet. A baby deer became very interested in our dogs, and our auxiliary mutt wanted to play. Mama deer, not so much. That was scary for a few minutes. Mama escorted us off the summit.
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