May Be Getting a Puppy

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May Be Getting a Puppy

This is a discussion on May Be Getting a Puppy within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Well...as the title says, we may be getting a new family member but I have a few concerns. Although I believe myself to be pretty ...

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Old 10-20-2012, 06:02 PM
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May Be Getting a Puppy

Well...as the title says, we may be getting a new family member but I have a few concerns. Although I believe myself to be pretty responsible, I'm still young (13, but when we get the puppy, 14), and therefore, I have to go to school 5 out of 7 days. My mom does her work from home, but every 3 months or so, she goes on a business trip for about 2 weeks. I plan to getting the puppy as soon as summer starts, but we have a family trip planned, so we might not be able to get back until August, not to mention the breeder/shelter's puppies may not be old enough to come home. I know that the one month before school starts isn't going to be enough to get a puppy fully house-trained, and that we can't leave a puppy alone in the house for 8 hours. Would I have to train it to go both outside and on puppy pads in this situation? Also, by 3-4 months, how long will the puppy be able to hold it?

I have considered getting an older dog, as they...well, aren't puppies, but I'm quite hesitant about it, because dogs in shelters generally had owners who didn't properly train it (bite inhibition, socialization) and thus, landed them in the shelters. Normally, I'd be fine with that, but I read that habits are so much harder to break once a dog is an adult. Is this true, or am I being paranoid? Also, I tend to be scared of dogs when I don't know how well the owner trained it.

Sorry, one more question...if we get a puppy, I'm supposed to take care of it. For now, I decided on keeping the puppy in my room confined in baby gates for about a month or two, but there's one problem: my room is upstairs, and if the puppy needs to go, he needs to go. Should I temporarily switch rooms with a family member who sleeps downstairs until the puppy can hold it?

Incidentally, the breed we plan on getting is a shih tzu (preferably from a breeder), as my brother has some SEVERE dog allergies, and for some reason, although he's allergic to malteses and minature poodles, he doesn't get any allergic reaction to shih tzus.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:54 PM
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I don't think shih tzu's are hypoallergenic...I don't think it works that way (immune to one breed) but I could be wrong.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayuminji View Post
I have considered getting an older dog, as they...well, aren't puppies, but I'm quite hesitant about it, because dogs in shelters generally had owners who didn't properly train it (bite inhibition, socialization) and thus, landed them in the shelters. Normally, I'd be fine with that, but I read that habits are so much harder to break once a dog is an adult. Is this true, or am I being paranoid? Also, I tend to be scared of dogs when I don't know how well the owner trained it.
.
Welcome to DF! I just want to say that the above statement is untrue! Dogs are dumped at shelters for many, many reasons besides owners "not training them properly". Situations such as a new baby, a move, a new job and getting laid off are all very common reasons dogs are in shelters.

I don't intend to be blunt or mean, but are you sure you want a dog? Dogs, and especially puppies, are a lot of work. What happens when you want to go out with friends or you have projects ect after school? What happens when you're older and dating? When you move out? Will you be willing to take the dog with you, and if so, is that fair to the dog?
I'm not saying it can't be done (I got my first dog at 15, with my own money and took her with me when I moved out), but it is very hard and to be honest it's not something most teens are truly dedicated to doing. Sorry if that's a bit harsh Didn't mean for it to come out that way
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:16 PM
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^Don't worry about coming off as harsh, I see your point, and I've actually seen some cases of that happening. Several of my friends got dogs, and after about a month or two, they got tired of the responsibility, time, and effort it took to take care of the puppy and left the parent to do the work, which was obviously not fair to both the puppy and parent. Although time is an issue, I believe commitment is more of an issue for me, as I don't spend much time out of the house. For better or worse, I rarely left the house last summer.

Once I begin to get more into dating, school-life, studies, etc. realistically, the dog will probably not be my first priority. I will, of course, try to do so, but let's face it: no matter how hard I try, it'll be hard to do. However, I'll sure I'll still have time to play and love the dog, although not as much as before.

As I said before, commitment is more of an issue for me. I don't think we'll be able to find out how committed to the puppy/dog I'll be until we actually get it, though.

As for getting an adult or puppy...I'm still unsure. I know this is a huge drawback, but I'm really scared of dogs that I don't know about, particularly about biting. I know puppy's teeth are sharper and more painful, but it reassures me know that none of their bites can kill me.
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Old 10-21-2012, 09:21 PM
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I personally don't think that's fair to bring a dog into somewhere where there's already commitment issues. Dogs are living, breathing creatures and not something you can just "grow" or "faze" out of.
If this dog will be yours, I seriously advise against getting one. If it'll be a family dog, that's different. IMO
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:35 PM
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Sorry, the way I put it was a bit different from how I intended it to be. I meant, IF there's an issue I'm going to have, it's probably going to be commitment, not time, space, or financial issues.

About getting keeping it as a family pet, it'll most likely be so, but I'm going to have to do the majority of it. For example, if I'm out, then my brother will feed/walk the dog, but I have to take care of the dog's needs whenever possible. I know it might be wiser to wait until I'm out of college to get a puppy/dog, but although this sounds counter-intuitive, I want to get it sooner, because once I get out of college, I'll have to spend a lot of time working to financially support myself and the dog. Even in high school, I'll have to spend a lot of time studying to get into college, so I want to get one when I have time to devote to the dog. I'm still not 100% sure about this decision, which is why I came here. I know I'm still young, so that's also a reason I have to consider. But I'm pretty determined about getting one.

By the way, sorry if I seem kind of stubborn, a lot of my friends tell me that... -___-

Last edited by Ayuminji; 10-22-2012 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:39 PM
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At this stage of life, I wouldn't get a personal pet. We had dogs growing up but I don't remember having one past pre-teen years and I certainly didn't miss having one. Once I was driving I didn't want to be held down to anything or anyone. I went off to college- my dorm was paid for by scholarship and of course no dogs allowed...so I would have had to give up the dog or pay rent when I had a free room. There are so many circumstances life can throw YOUR way which would make the dog a burden. There are also things that can happen to the dog which are SERIOUSLY expensive. My previous dog had to have surgery which was $700. That's just the tip of the iceberg in costs: Food, yearly vet shots, sickness, grooming costs, toys, crate, heartworm preventative, flea/tick preventative. So if you can't say "yes, I'd be willing to spend $500+ if this dog needed emergency surgery" it's a no go for getting a new dog. They are a huge financial hardship. You have to be 100% on board. Honestly I'd love to get a second dog but one is enough for us financially right now as our dog is having health issues needing to be sorted out...and we have plenty in savings and good income. It's just not wanting to shell out hundreds every month right now with this allergy situation (which, btw, we didn't know about but now are forced to deal with as costly as it is...b/c we committed to this dog's health and well being).
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:47 PM
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I see...although I've thought about it, I didn't think that far into financial issues. Generally, with a family pet, nobody is shouldering the fees alone, so I thought I'd be fine there, but maybe not? Anyhow, I'll think about it some more before getting one. Thanks for all the comments!
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:26 PM
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I think it would be better for the dog to be a family dog. That way, you arn't solely responsable and you can still do the 'teen' things as you get a little older. If you do decide to get a dog, I urge you to make it be a family dog which means you need to make sure your parents will be okay with helping you out.
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