Dog Talk

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December 23rd, 2014 at 11:33:38 AM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3157
I feel it brewing. I think I'm getting ready to own a dog again.

I've owned one, a Husky/Lab mutt mix. Got her when I was about 5 and she lasted until shorty after college. She was a beaut, too. Intelligent, obedient, clean, pretty much completely without fault. Didn't run away, didn't attack children, barked as an announcement only. She would fetch, stay, come; I even taught her to play hide and seek. She picked it up within the day and remembered it to her end. She wasn't a shedder, was not rife with ailment, she literally was the perfect dog.

I'm not entirely sure why I never had another. Maybe part was not wanting to be vulnerable, as all dogs must end, and the end sucks. And part was surely responsibility; I wasn't in the position to keep one the way it should be kept. But things are stabilizing, I'm back in the home I had my first dog, and my kid just turned 6. It's just starting to feel more "right".

I guess I'm here for input. First thing's first, you can gtfo with "designer dogs", those rat-like things being toted around in handbags. Whatever dog I get has to be big enough that I can step on it without it breaking. I'm thinking border collie or a mid sized terrier as my base line minimum. Say 30lbs to give a number.

I do fancy big dogs, but I have my limits. Sheriff has a mutant St Bernard, just a giant amongst giants, big cro-magnon pronounced brow and all. Must be 7 and a half feet standing on its hinders. The thing is a monster. But I cannot tolerate a slobbery mess. Bernards, Mastiffs, they drive me nuts. I just want to pet it, not get a soupy bath.

I also don't want something manic. Wolfdogs, German shorthairs, Huskies, they're too neurotic, require too much exercise. I surely plan on walks and play, but not 2 hours of strenuous activity 7 days a week. It's too much, and I'm too lazy.

Lastly, I'd like to avoid the common breeds for unscrupulous breeding practices. Labs, while fantastic all the way around, are rife with problems from hip displasia to spleen tumors because of poor breeding. Bulldogs are a genetic mess, there's a bunch that are just screwed from the jump. I'd like to steer clear of these, if possible.

So far I've a few I'm leaning towards, but realize my experience is limited. A German Shepard is high on the list, both for their obedience and protective nature. But the shedding gives me pause, and they're along the lines of a Lab when considering genetic issues. I love the Fed's German Shorthair Pointer, but that thing is a lightning bolt 24/7. I'd be wore out within the week. And perhaps it's my own genetics showing, but another one I'm heavily leaning towards is a Weimaraner. This seems to be a perfect fit. It's the right size, not a shed issue, not a drool issue, no genetic disasters, is very close knit / loving to its "pack", and are great gun dogs. About the only issue, its prey instinct, I can cull using the neighbor's dogs. Plus, I can yell at it in German, unless he's ein braver hund =)

Just throwing this out there. Talk dogs, I need some input!
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
December 23rd, 2014 at 12:26:38 PM permalink
rxwine
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 119
Posts: 5239

No one has ever proven I am not God.
December 23rd, 2014 at 12:35:57 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 6765
I would love to have a dog, but I am gone from home far too much to be fair to the dog so good for you.

Second, I second the no-designer-dogs thing. I agree on wanting something you can rough-around with and not worry about hurting the dog during normal play.

My input will be a few questions to you some based on knowing you. The first is are you going to use the dog to hunt? If you are, that should be some of your qualifications as you will need a more purpose-breed dog. My mother's lab would have possibly been a great duck retriever. I would have this dog at the river and hunters I saw them look and could hear them think, "I gotta get a closer look at this!" One guy was trying to train his hunting dog for the water, dog would hardly get wet, then he sees us with this dog making a flying leap into the drink for every fetch. So if hunting is on the agenda, do not skimp on the breed same as if you are towing you do not skimp on the truck.

That being said, I say just go to the dog pound. Make your list of attributes which you already started with 30lbs and such. Look at a few. Then, and this is the important part, let the dog choose you. Same as the smart man picks a woman who seems to like him, find the dog that bonds with you from the get-go. It will come right up to you and it will just feel right.

Best part about the pound is you will feel so much better than if you drive halfway to Albany in the night or to Horseheads in a snowstorm because you wanted some special breed. All those good dogs stuck in pounds and I know people who go through I will not say what to get some designer dog. So what if it is a mutt, so am I, It will love you just as much, it will be less a target for thieves, and it will probably be of better health in the long term.

A word of warning, though, find one that has been at the pound a short time and do not take the hard-case nobody will adopt for behavior problems. Your name is not Ceaser and you are not out to save the world. Shelters that keep dogs for life for years going crazy mean too well and should learn when the end is the end.

Do keep us updated.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
December 23rd, 2014 at 12:47:05 PM permalink
DRich
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 18
Posts: 759
My last two dogs are both lab mixes that I got from the rescue shelters as puppies. I have no regrets and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I would love to have a sheep dog or St. Bernard, but my wife doesn't want anything quite that big.
December 23rd, 2014 at 12:59:20 PM permalink
Face
Administrator
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3157
Re the actual purchase, I can't imagine I'd be traveling across state to pick up some $1,000 prize. Not my style (nor could I afford it). I don't care about bloodlines or AKC endorsement or any other stupid attributes to show other people that it has "value". In reality, I'd probably actively avoid it, as I mostly believe that "pure" = "problems".

As for hunting, not entirely. Training a dog to hunt is a huge effort, even for those bred for it. And I'm just not that into hunting, or the types of hunting that would require a dog. The "hunting" aspects I would like is simply the drive to chase. I am still actively engaged in the War Against the Canada Goose, but I can't imagine ever being in a situation where I would be justified in blasting one (no matter how bad I really, really want to). I pretty much just have to get chased and dive bombed with no recourse, so I would love to be able to just set some teeth loose and be able to fish in peace. Concerning hunting attributes, that's about the only aspect I'd be looking for, coupled with an ability to tolerate gun fire.

I mostly agree with your idea about the pound, but I can't say I've ever found something I'd be interested in. Remembering my trips to pounds or rescue shelters and I remember a bunch of what I consider "lap dogs", like EB's bichon. Long haired, playful, short, small. Good dogs, but they're house dogs. Nothing I could traipse through a swamp with, or take into bear country. Bigger dogs are almost always Rotts and Pits, neither of which I have any interest in. I'm not (racist? breedist?) against them, I just don't like them.

I guess I'll keep my eyes open and see what's out there.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
December 23rd, 2014 at 1:09:06 PM permalink
Evenbob
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 110
Posts: 11582
I had a couple of bigger dogs over the years,
50 pound range. I loved them dearly, they
shed, they drooled on the dashboard. 10
years ago my last big dog died and I saw
a pic of some pups on the board at Chow
Hound. I fell in love immediately. Bichon
Frise's they were, never even heard of them
before. Went to see the lady and bought
the biggest male in the litter.

It changed my life, this dog is the love of my
life. We do everything and go everywhere
together. He sleeps on my bed, something
none of the big dogs could do. He brings
me joy a dozen times a day. Actual joy. He's
so smart and so cute and so personable and
so affectionate, I cannot imagine life without
one of these dogs.

He hypoallergenic, doesn't shed, doesn't drool.
He's 25 pounds, an average male is around 20.
He constantly entertains me, is my best friend
and constant companion. I'll never get another
big dog. I know a guy from the pet food store
who had a Bichon for 12 years and when we
talk about him, he gets teary eyed. People see
my dog, especially women, and they say 'Oh,
you have a Bichon!' and they squat down and
pet and kiss him. If I was single, this dog would
get me all kinds of women.

If everybody in the world had a Bichon, there
would never be another war, too many happy
people. He's not a foofoo dog, he's very sturdy
and strong. Great watchdog, has a loud bark.

If you take a risk, you may lose. If you never take a risk, you will always lose.
December 23rd, 2014 at 1:24:03 PM permalink
FrGamble
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 45
Posts: 5182
Man what a great post, I'm tempted to run out and get a Bichon. I seriously love dogs, but I tried having a pet once, a cat, and it wasn't good for either of us.
December 23rd, 2014 at 1:29:57 PM permalink
AZDuffman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 103
Posts: 6765
Quote: Face
Re the actual purchase, I can't imagine I'd be traveling across state to pick up some $1,000 prize. Not my style (nor could I afford it).


State? My example was for you. I've known people to go states away. And there was a scam where people were paying to import hard cases from Africa. Of course the dogs never came as the prince owners were busy wiring funds to people who could get the money out of their country. But that people would actually pay all that money with perfectly similar good dogs at a local pound reinforces how sad our society has become IMHO.

Quote:
As for hunting, not entirely.

Concerning hunting attributes, that's about the only aspect I'd be looking for, coupled with an ability to tolerate gun fire.


Just brought up hunting because I know you are into some of the country lifestyle. As to the gunfire, shot in the dark when it comes to dogs. I have seen them go nuts or not even notice.

Quote:
I mostly agree with your idea about the pound, but I can't say I've ever found something I'd be interested in. Remembering my trips to pounds or rescue shelters and I remember a bunch of what I consider "lap dogs", like EB's bichon. Long haired, playful, short, small. Good dogs, but they're house dogs. Nothing I could traipse through a swamp with, or take into bear country. Bigger dogs are almost always Rotts and Pits, neither of which I have any interest in. I'm not (racist? breedist?) against them, I just don't like them.

I guess I'll keep my eyes open and see what's out there.


As a guess I might suggest you have to either hit a pound more in the country or just ask at a pound where else they know of that has some bigger breeds. The county may have a farm or something somewhere.
The man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it
December 23rd, 2014 at 2:23:48 PM permalink
petroglyph
Member since: Aug 3, 2014
Threads: 12
Posts: 2112
It's obvious to me what you want. It's a healer, blue tick or other. Hundreds of years of breeding but not inbreeding. Medium hair, big enough to take care of themselves. Mostly not veterinarian prone like high octane dogs. That is definitely an issue. Easy enough to train, they will serve you in the swamps or anywhere you care to go.

The higher the octane the shorter the lifespan and more vet prone they are. A decent healer will be around until the boy is old enough to get on with his life as well.

They will tell the geese who is boss, stand up for you and your son, they are a service animal. I went through several shepherds years ago and it was even then hard to find one that hadn't been inbred so much it was difficult to get one that didn't want to attack everything. Lord help you if they have testicles.

There are either cat people or dog people, and dogs know. They can spot a cat lover a mile away. Like az said, let the dog pick you. I am sure you want to do right by the dog as well.

If you wanted a bird dog I would have said yellow lab [female], but you want an all around family member on four legs, I vote for the Queensland healer. I do think any way you go about it, they cost a lot more than they used to. You want one that can eat like a coyote, and can heal up like a bear, smart as an owl, the memory of an elephant that also would rather do what you say then eat. If you find a litter of dogs like that get two and send me one. After you potty train them of course.
Everyone gets thrown from the plane to maintain altitude
December 23rd, 2014 at 2:32:29 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 328
Posts: 11319
Quote: FrGamble
I seriously love dogs, but I tried having a pet once, a cat, and it wasn't good for either of us.


And then there's that whole Jealous God thing... ;)

I do like cats, but you have to keep them around people since very early on.

Face, all my experience is with small dogs. The largest I ever owned was a Toy Poodle. The biggest dog I ever saw often was my brother's cocker Spaniel. She was an overly friendly, scared to be alone dog (poor thing). Its a lot easier to clean up after a small dog, let me tell you.

As to pure breeds, it's all true. My two Poodles were healthy most of their lives, but had a lot of problems later on. In particular they were both nearly blind in their last years. On the upside they both lived over 14 years, which is not bad at all.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
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