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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone!

I'm on the forum because my husband and I just adopted our first dog yesterday, so I'm sure we'll have loads of questions!

We've both had dogs growing up, but this is our first as independent adults. It took about a year of begging and searching, but finally I got my husband to agree to getting a dog. While we were looking for a "medium-sized, hypoallergenic" mix breed between 1 and two years old, when I saw our little coconut I just fell in love.

She's around 4 months (they're not sure) and 6-7 lbs. Some kind of mutt--she looks like a pug with scruffy hair. They said pug schnauzer, so I was hopeful that she'd have a lower level of allergens. I'm not allergic to all dogs--really not most dogs, but some, like Rottweilers really do me in.

We adopted from Tracy's Dogs. I've dealt with about a dozen shelters, and they were the best!

So, we brought coconut home and within a few hours it was clear I was having a reaction to her (itchy eyes, sneezing). Some might think it's irresponsible to get a dog when you know you might be allergic, but I just love them so much I knew I'd be willing to go to great lengths to live with one. I bought allergen reducing shampoo (used it that night) and a brush that supposedly helps with shedding and dander. I also have an appointment with an allergist on the 19th and I'm prepared to go through immunotherapy (shots) if that's what it takes.

Anyway, coconut is just the sweetest little girl. She loves to play and lick. In just 24 hours she's already learned to sit pretty much. She and her siblings spent the first 2 months of their lives together in an outdoor cage with a concrete floor, so she's very very into human attention, hates to be alone, and has absolutely no house-training.

I've been putting her in her playpen every half hour to hour. Leaving her in for a half hour at a time. If I'm within eyesight, she seems okay. She plays with her kong toy and lays down with her face on the cage. But if I leave the room she howls for a while and eventually settles.

She's peed in the house twice, once on a doormat before I could stop her and a second on a pee-pee patch (fake grass patch in her playpen). She's only defecated outside, which I take as a win!

There's a few things I'm concerned about. She's been furiously biting near the base of her tail a lot. And there's a very tiny pea-sized lump on her side. I plan to bring all of this up at the vet when we go next week.

The other thing is, I bought her a bob-a-lot feeding toy. Despite showing her how to use it--using her paw to knock it over and spill food--she hasn't seemed to figure it out yet. I know it's only been one day, but I'm not sure how long most dogs take to learn this sort of thing.

Anyway, I look forward to talking to everyone!
 

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Congratulations and welcome to the world of dog ownership!

Firstly, I just wanted to mention that there is no such thing as a "hypoallergenic" dog. It's all hype and misinformation. Breeds with certain hair type (such as Poodles, Portuguese Water Dogs, etc.) were thought to stimulate allergic reactions less because they don't shed as much as other breeds (like double-coated dogs who blow coat like no tomorrow). Allergens relating to dogs can be caused by anything from dander (most commonly reported) to saliva to the actual hair (in reality, not that common). However, there have been studies where dust samples from homes with dogs were collected and tested for a common allergen in dog saliva (from 60 different breeds) and there was no statistical difference between "hypoallergenic" and non-hypoallergenic breeds. It's honestly just a ploy for designer BYBs to extort money from people who unfortunately don't know any better.

She is young, but still old enough to be able to hold her bladder and bowels. She also sounds like she has some separation anxiety. One of my go-to trainers for help is the Youtuber Kikopup. She is entirely force-free and a great resource. The itching could be multiple things, but one thing that is entirely manageable is food allergies. What is she eating? Grains and poultry are two of the most common food-related allergens for dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Larkspur, thanks for the response! I'll definitely check out Kikopup (I've been going off Ian Dunbar's stuff so far).

I'm feeding her Call of the Wild Salmon (grain free) and she's getting Kong treats and the Kong liver whiz.

I'm sure it's separation anxiety. Over the last 3 days I've been putting her in her playpen for an hour at a time with a stuffed kong (or three), trying to get her used to entertaining herself. She is getting a little better about how quickly she stops whimpering. Unfortunately, today I had to come into work (9:30am and I'll be home by 1pm). I'm just hoping she's not too lonely. I know she'll have to go to the bathroom--but she's gone once or twice on her little pee patch so, I'm hoping that's where she goes.

A word about the hypoallergenic thing. I know there's no such thing--that's why I put hypoallergenic in quotes. But there are (from my own experience) breeds that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction (bichons, shih tzus, lhasa apsos, etc). Unfortunately, our little coconut is not blessed with that quality, although my allergies to her seem to be a lot less severe a few days in. Hopefully, my body just needed some time, but I'm still going to the allergist next week.
 

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Well that's all hypoallergenic means- it literally means "less allergenic." So you are correct in saying there are a lot of hypoallergenic dogs out there. People often get confused and think it means "non allergenic" but that's not the case.

A friend of mine gets shots because she's allergic to her cat and they've worked well for her so good luck!

Also, both Ian Dunbar and kikopup are great resources- you're on the right track!
 
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