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I fell in love with a puppy, and to make matters worse, so has my husband who is very insistent to go through with bringing her home this weekend. We have placed a deposit to hold her, but now... I am having second thoughts. We live in a two bedroom apartment, and have a one and a half year old son.

However, while my husband works full time, I am home most of the time. I am finishing up classes, and only have a few so I am only gone an hour or two at a time. I have LOTS of time until this summer. We also have a fenced in dog park in the apartment complex. It is equivalent to a decent sized yard with obstacles for the dogs. While I cannot open the door to let the puppy out, the fenced area for dogs is only across the parking lot. Plus, we have an additional designated area for dogs (on a leash) right out back.

I am experienced with an array of different animals. I have lived with Siberian Huskies, German Shepherds, American Pitbull Terrier, Italian Greyhounds, and Australian Shepherds. They were all family dogs, but I pretty much took care of the last two breeds by myself. I also used to work at a vet clinic. So, I am not a newbie when it comes to taking care of a puppy, including housebreaking, and training.

Unfortunately, because of my job I will be moving around a lot. Most likely we will be moving into a house in 5 to 6 months. Owning or renting depending on where I end up. Of course possibly another apartment. Once I finish these last classes, I will be working tech jobs to get my certification as a wildlife biologist (Yeah, I am really into animals). Tech jobs only last a year at most, or even a few months. So, my husband pretty much told me there will never be a good time. While I am in an apartment now, I have time for training a puppy. Or wait until we move into a house (who really knows when) and working full time which then I won't really have the proper time for house training.

I do have problems with anxiety and depression. My cat helps tremendously, but I am looking forward to a dog getting me up and moving. I have a lot of pressure coming from my family to not get a puppy until I move somewhere with a yard. That does present the problem of time as I mentioned above. I have a lot of pressure with raising a child from them, and how selfish this is. I am made to feel guilty that a dog would help get me outside, where as my son doesn't as much. I can get away with playing with him inside, plus I worry about him a lot. So- more anxiety. I have yet to find anyone who understands that, so maybe it is just me.

Anyway, I am seeking outside opinions who may think of something that I have not. The breed we are selecting is a Dalmatian. I know they are active, but they have all the qualities we want in a dog. I have never had one before. From past experiences as long as the dog is well exercised, in this case dark parks and hiking trails, and trained then there shouldn't be a problem.
 

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I did it. It's not easy - house training will be a nightmare. But it's worth it if you love it. There will be moments where your neighbours will hate you. Bake them cookies. Moving in 6 months isn't a huge deal either esp to a house - the puppy will struggle and it will be hard (worst case) but you're teaching the skill of flexibility and if you keep a set routine through it all you might enjoy the results.

Enjoy your new puppy :) We'll be here when you need to scream. And post photos!!
 

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Lots of dogs live with their people in apartments and condos. Success depends on the dog and the apartment. If it were me, I would go for a smaller dog, Dalmatians are very active and need lots of exercise. That's just me, though, lots of large dogs live happily in confined environments, it just presents additional challenges. It would be advantageous to have even a small attached enclosed patio, that you could let him out, even if just for early morning and late night outside needs.
 

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I have a family friend that always had dalmatians. I grew up around them- I've never been afraid of dogs and I always loved the Dals, but they are not for the faint of heart. They definitely barreled over some of us kids growing up and even with spectacular training (the mom of the family is notorious for having perfectly trained dogs) their were issues with dog and food aggression. Definitely do your homework on the breeder (Dals are notorious for poor bloodlines b/c of overbreeding in the 90's).

Definitely be prepared for your house to be turned upside down for a year or two while training and socialization gets cemented and the puppy years die down. Living in a two bedroom apartment with a young Dal and a baby is going to be hard, but if its the dog you want then IMO it can work.

From the sound of it you do basically have access to a yard- the dog park sounds like it is essentially a yard and it isn't far away.

More concerning to me than the lack of a yard is the size of the apartment- how will you handle rough indoor play? Will you go for a walk every time the dog starts getting rowdy? Just visualize a young Dal playing in a two bedroom apartment- how will you handle that and a baby?

Honestly, it sounds like you and your husband want the puppy, you're just having a normal amount of buyers remorse. They're an intense breed and puppies are a lot of work, but put in the hours training and in two years you'll have a great dog.
 

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A few questions, first, where exactly are you putting down a deposit on a dog you can take home this weekend? Most breeders don't work like that and if you are looking to get this pup because you saw her in an ad or a store, you should not do it, and I say that regardless of your ability to care for a puppy. That's just a terrible place to get a dog because they fuel puppy mills.

Now...Dalmatians. They can be great--very smart, can do a lot of sports and activities, but they can also be an absolute nightmare. I really would not recommend them as a breed to bring home with a toddler. Even if raised with a child from puppyhood, they're not the most tolerant of breeds. Another important thing to consider is where the dog came from. Dalmatians are a breed that has been, well, seriously screwed up, due to the 101 Dalmatians craze mentioned earlier. Almost a third are born deaf, and another horrible affect of some is instability to the point if insanity. And I don't mean "hyper and needs lots of exercise" insanity, I mean some can be mentally unstable. And this is a breed that isn't always dog friendly, tolerant, and can be prone to resource guarding.

Also, how stable do you feel since you said you had anxiety and depression? Puppies can make you feel wonderful and happy...for a bit. They can also make you feel trapped and sad and overwhelmed. It's also difficult and can hurt if the dog you get isn't the kind that wants to go out and meet lots of people or other dogs. I also really caution anyone who wants to get a dog because they want to "Get out more/get more exercise". It's like...have you ever gotten a gym membership and went religiously the first month but after that you just sort of forgot to go and didn't have the energy to? That can happen with a dog too, only the results are a lot worse.

In my opinion this isn't a good idea. I think that it's fine to raise a puppy--even an active breed like a Dal in an apartment with proper training, but right now your lifestyle doesn't sound like it would go well. I think if you brought a new puppy home you would be happy for a few days but soon be overwhelmed with both puppy and childcare, as well as other pressures from your family and mental health struggles. The fact you are looking at a challenging breed makes it even harder. So honestly I would not recommend getting this puppy. I think you might regret it afterwards, and you seem like someone who needs a break, not more hard work.
 
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