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Old 09-27-2009, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default Choosing the right dog

Hi everyone! I am new to the forum and to dog ownership as well.
I am a 50 years old female, our family live in a split level home in small midwest town. My husband is often out of town for 3-4 days a week, and I stay home with two children age 15 and 8. I can't help myself but I don't feel comfortable being along with kids at nights. Last year we had two people being killed at their homes at night, the crimes are still not solved, they say drugs were involved. Anyways, I am thinking to get a dog for protection.
The worst part of all this, (please don't judge me too hard) I am not a dog person. Only once I had a dog, a black lab puppy who we found a new home after only 4 months with us; he was too active for me and wanted my CONSTANT attention, our energies didn't click.
However I realize somewhere there is a dog that is right for me, but I don't know how to choose t, how to find it, how to recognise that the one. The dog that is serious and intelligent, not goofy and silly playful barker.
A friend of mine alowed me to have her 13 years old beagel to live with me for a week to see if age had something to do with qualities I was looking for - nope, we didn't click at all. Maybe because I new he was not mine and he didn't see me as his person either.
At another friends house their relative was visiting with a pittbull, I loved that dog, I loved the energy, she was absolutely amazing; but I have heard so many bad thing about pittbuls that I would fear for kids safety all the time.
Any suggestions?
Thanks Ivanna

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Old 09-27-2009, 08:42 PM   #2
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You can likely find "your dog" in a shelter. You can also try looking into foster-based rescues - as the dogs are in homes they often know more about them than ones who are in shelters/kennels. I definitely suggest an adult - you can often find ones who have lived with kids that were owner surrenders (through no fault of their own). We just had a 7 y/o Golden Ret/Lab X who lived with kids ranging from 2 years & up - he got adopted the day after he came in to a home with 5 kids.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:01 PM   #3
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I think White Cat Lover's suggestion about finding an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue is an excellent idea. If you are not a dog lover, usually older surrendered dogs from families will provide fewer challenges than teaching and training a puppy.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:01 PM   #4
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No doubt your visitiors had put a lot of time and energy into their dog long before you met her. A dog of any breed or age requires a huge committment and a lot of patience.

I agree with white cat lover that you'd most likely do better with an adopted dog than starting from scratch with a puppy. Also if it doesn't work out the rescue or shelter will take the dog back.

As far as protection goes; the right dog might be a deterrent to some criminals but that really isn't the best reason to adopt a dog. Have you considered having an alarm system installed instead? Just having the sign up in your yard will deter most bad guys quicker than a barking dog. And an alarm system wouldn't cost any more than a bag of dog food a month, plus they don't have to be fed, walked, trained, petted, groomed or run up high vet bills.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:03 PM   #5
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White Cat lover (something tells me you are a white DOG lover also), thank you for your kind response. Foster rescue might be a good option. We've been to shelters many many times, all dogs I loved were pittbuls, I liked their personality, but husband said No way, and myself i am not sure of this choice.
"Cute" dogs are not my choise, toy and lap dogs either. Hmm, a lot of homework to do.
I wonder what do people think here abour guard dogs, which ones are good with kids?

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Old 09-27-2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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Honestly - if an intruder wants in your house bad enough, they'll go through a dog. I've had one go through 2 Labs, a Bichon, & a Pit/Rott - all four barking/growling/baring teeth/snarling.

I'd also like to say that I've known MANY Pits to be wonderful family dogs. I'm surprised you like them (generally speaking) - as they are terriers.....and terriers generally speaking can be *very* energetic. (Nothing against Pits, it's just that they are generally speaking energetic dogs)

I volunteer at the local shelter, I'm the one helping people pick out "the right" dog - so I've seen many mistakes. The biggest mistake is that people do not consider the breed, or do not listen when I'm telling them about the dog (any issues, like "this dog never seems to get tired" - we had a Lab go for a 3 mile walk & come back still wired LOL).

I'd go for a dog around 5ish years of age - and do your research into dog breeds. Think carefully before making any decisions - think about cost of feeding, vet care, what size you'd like, grooming costs/what you can handle, etc.
www.akc.org
www.dogbreedinfo.com

I'd start browsing www.petfinder.com. See what you can find in your area. I know here Labs are very common - in other areas all you see are Pits - some areas all you see around Hounds. Look at what's available, then read up on the breeds.
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Old 09-27-2009, 09:14 PM   #7
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Thank you for the inputs, everyone!
We do have an alarm system in our home, but it programmed the way we can turn it on only in case if no one inside.
Regarding having a dog - well I have a cat who I love and groom and feed and wash and take for the shots and treat if he gets fleas (once) or sick...He is my baby, I love him, and it took time to find HIM, not any other cat. I looked for many before chosen this one. The same with the dogs, I know somewhere is a dog I will be in connection, but not sure how to find one. How do you choose your dogs guys?

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Old 09-27-2009, 09:22 PM   #8
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White cat Lover - chilling story about an intruder, sorry you had that terrible experience. He must was drunk to go through all those noises!
Thank you on all you suggestions, every little bit helps.
I have no idea why i am so attracted to pittbulls, however I am not going to go for one, DH will divorce me.
5 years old of age sounds good.

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Old 09-27-2009, 09:32 PM   #9
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This is, in my mind, how it works.

You aren't choosing a dog. You are choosing a family member. When the right one comes along - you will know as they will choose you.

I have Labs, as other members of the family were looking for hunting dogs. They aren't too high energy, and are "hardy" enough to spend time outside during both summer & winter months with us. I got Izzy because she was going to be euthanized otherwise, or dumped in a shelter.

More things to consider:
Will the dog be an indoor housedog?
How much time can you devote to exercise?
Do you have a fenced in yard?
Can you deal with a dog who sheds a lot?
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:03 PM   #10
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This isn't meant to sound rude by any means but ..... if you're not a dog person - I simply wouldn't get a dog. But if you do, I would definitely go with a dog from a shelter who is about 5 or 6 years old.

They are soooooo much work and you really gotta love dogs to be able to handle it. The first night I brought Roxy home - I almost had a breakdown! You really have to be prepared to combat all sorts of things like separation anxiety (whining and crying), diarrhea (when you change his/her diet from the shelter), staying home more frequently, etc etc.

It really is a tough choice but good luck with whatever you decide to do! Be sure to post pictures if you do get a new addition to the family!!!!
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