Dog Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
To add to the title: And no I'm not prepared at all in any way shape or form.

On Wednesday night my dog died. I thought that was going to be the end of me having dogs but according to my family the first opportunity for a dog that's a good fit and that I like is the one that I'm taking. I want to eventually get a dog but they're doing it all wrong. They're LOOKING FOR and SEEKING OUT dogs online and in the newspaper and seeing what the pet of the week in the dogs catagory is at the local humane society. So I guess what I want/have to make myself want is to get breed suggestions (Including/especially mixes. They're cheaper and at this time the year money is definitely an object.) and advice on training him/her/it (Not including they, that's for sure not happening.

Things I need advice on:

Crates

Potty training

Other training (sports and everything else.)

Breed(s) -- Something active, about knee highish (A.K.A. Medium.), trainable, not likely to be aggressive to much of anything. Not designer and not expensive/exotic. I want to be able to find it and I'm on a budget (And, unlike the name would suggest/have you think, my budget CAN'T actually budge. It's more of a stay-in-one-place-and-still-buy-everythinget.)

Food

Walks

Fixing

Socializing.

Shots.

Act like I know nothing and like (This next thing is going to be true for now.) I know nothing about the dog getting. Nothing. At all. I know it'll have for legs and a tail and bark and blink and breathe and not go above my knees. That's it. Basic dog stuff. I don't care if it's in the form of checklists, instruction manuals, whatever. I know I'll forget something on my own.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,746 Posts
Molly,

I'm so sorry about the loss of your dog. It doesn't sound like you've even had a chance to grieve.

Now, why is your family going overboard in bringing home the very first dog they can find? Is this supposed to be your personal dog? The family's dog? I'm guessing that you are a teenager. Is that the case? Who has the decision-making power in when and which dog the family brings home?

Honestly speaking, rushing out to bringing home the first dog a family finds is crazy-making. If you can't put apply the brakes because of your age, then I'd strongly suggest that you start looking at dogs being advertised by rescue groups in your area. You can do a search at www.petfinder.com or Pet Adoption - Search dogs or cats near you. Adopt a Pet Today. Pictures of dogs and cats who need a home. Search by breed, age, size and color. Adopt a dog, Adopt a cat.. Look for a rescue group that requires the potential adopter to fill out a thorough application form and that fosters dogs in home setting.

In that way, you can stack the odds in favor of getting a dog more suited for your home and lifestyle than an unknown dog available at the humane society or being advertised on CL.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,746 Posts
Hi Molly,

I see by your profile that you're located in southwestern Pennsylvania. Here's a rescue group located in Washington, PA. Maybe it's close to you.

Adoptable Pets | Pet Search - Animal Rescue and Placement

They have lots of dogs, and I like that they foster their dogs in homes. Maybe you can show this site to your family. They have an adoption event this Saturday at PetCo from 11 to 4.

Really - get your family to head out to the adoption event. This group has a lot of adoptable dogs, and I hope that they help you choose the right one for your family. This would be a lot easier, and safer, than calling up CL ads or going to a public shelter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
Um, I have to say I don't think you should get a dog now. It doesn't sound like you want one, or can afford one. And with such an impulsive family (what's the make up of this family/your place in it exactly?) it sounds like they're going to end up choosing a dog that's just really cute or fun on first meeting and then picking a dog that's not appropriate for your home. It's also so quick that sometimes you need to wait a bit. It's sort of like you need to wait a bit after a break up, you don't want to just pick a dog on the rebound.

But if you do actually want one...

I'd say go the rescue route. If you don't want to do a lot of work, get an adult dog, probably 2-5 years old. Puppies are loads of work, and teen dogs (6-23 months) can be just as much. You sound a bit frazzled so I think you'd probably like a more mellow dog, unless there's something you want to do with the dog as I see you mentioned sports. In terms of breeds, I think the breed itself is less important as just a dog that clicks. You'll find lots of bully breeds in shelters but lots of the are friendly, trainable, and medium sized like you want. You can also find a huge array of mixes and even purebreds at shelters. Your best bet would be to go to a shelter or rescue and give the people there the description of the sort of dog you want. It really isn't a bad idea to look on petfinder or similar sites, but you need to actually talk to the counselors not just go by internet profiles. Since you mention money is tight I would recommend not getting a breed like shih tzu, poodle, or cocker spaniel that requires regular grooming.

In terms of being neutered and shots, any rescue worth anything will give the dogs shots and neuter them before they're released. That being said, it's really not a good idea to get a dog if you have a "budget that won't budge". Getting a new dog, even at a rescue will probably incur the initial cost of at least $300-$1000. I mean you will need a crate, leash, collar, bowls, food, maybe some toys and probably a vet check up, just to start. Add in more if you want to get him any treats, training classes, or if there are any medical issues that require treatment. It just sounds like getting a dog now might be you padding yourself into a corner financially and possibly emotionally.

I think it would also be helpful if you were less generalized about all this. It would literally take a few books' worth of information to say everything you asked for. But give us some more exact info about you, your family, how much time you have, what else you want in a dog, and actually how much of your budget can be dedicated to the dog.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,595 Posts
Sounds like this is being pushed on you before you're ready. The biggest thing you want to focus on is making sure you like this dog too, and that you actually do want to work with the dog. If you're still interested in training, it'll be rough but you'll get through. The hard days only get harder, though, if you're not 100% invested-so that will be your main challenge.

I'll add comments on the rest below, but also check out the behaviour stickies for more information. This is like cliff notes.

To add to the title: And no I'm not prepared at all in any way shape or form.

On Wednesday night my dog died. I thought that was going to be the end of me having dogs but according to my family the first opportunity for a dog that's a good fit and that I like is the one that I'm taking. I want to eventually get a dog but they're doing it all wrong. They're LOOKING FOR and SEEKING OUT dogs online and in the newspaper and seeing what the pet of the week in the dogs catagory is at the local humane society. So I guess what I want/have to make myself want is to get breed suggestions (Including/especially mixes. They're cheaper and at this time the year money is definitely an object.) and advice on training him/her/it (Not including they, that's for sure not happening.

Things I need advice on:

Crates

Great idea, usually. You want the dog to adapt slowly and comfortably. The crate is a safe place to relax, not a punishment. Make it comfy.

Potty training

This can be a pain in the butt, or go really smoothly. Sometimes it just depends on the dog-age is a big factor, and some dogs are used to being able to hold their bladders-or not-even at an older age. you go out as frequently as the dog requires, which can be every 30 minutes to start if necessary. The dog I'm currently house training needs about 5 outs a day or he has accidents and I'm in an apartment, so it's a pain. This is probably a huge thing to focus on for you in case something goes wrong and just to simplify life, so doing the outs frequently will benefit you hugely later. It's also a good time to start teaching loose leash walking-or just hanging out peeing on a loose leash in the yard (if you have one). The frequent outs means lots of practice not pulling (or pulling...I recommend looking at some basic training for this, 'be a tree' method is a good place to start.

Other training (sports and everything else.)

Focus on this later. Start with a basic obedience class (it's also good for your dog to focus in this setting, so taking an actual class is best even if you teach the behaviours on your own). Other things to teach would be 'leave it' and 'touch'/targeting, as fun places to start doing things that will be useful.

Breed(s) -- Something active, about knee highish (A.K.A. Medium.), trainable, not likely to be aggressive to much of anything. Not designer and not expensive/exotic. I want to be able to find it and I'm on a budget (And, unlike the name would suggest/have you think, my budget CAN'T actually budge. It's more of a stay-in-one-place-and-still-buy-everythinget.)

Get an adult rescue, that you know the temperament and energy level of. Find one that fosters for best results. If your budget is this firm, maybe look at pet insurance for emergency vet fees in the future. Energy level matters the most, focus on that first and the rest can follow afterwards. Mismatched energy is the worst. I have a feeling you're looking for a beagle.

Food

Cheap kibble is a bad idea. Expensive kibble, homemade, raw are fine. You'll need to see a nutritionist for the last two, which is a one time upfront cost but gets easier with time. The cheapest kibble I've used which isn't too bad is from costco (kirkland, nature's domain). Do your own research, it's hard to say what to get your own dog-cheap kibble tends to have lots of filler and makes the dog poop more but has less nutrients and isn't as filling. So the cost does even out at a certain point-I feed Go! and my dog is eating about 2 cups a day instead of 3 on a different brand.

Walks

Assuming you aren't getting a puppy, walks depend on the dog/energy level. At least enough to potty 3 times a day, but these can be short. You can make up for not being able to walk by training indoors, but this is less stimulating and the dog is more likely to naturally enjoy a walk. Walks are not great at exercising your dog-make sure you play fetch/tug/whatever as well.

Fixing

I'd say necessary in your case, though there's lots of debate right now. Keeping an intact dog means more responsibility. most rescues will spay/neuter so if you go that route this won't be an issue.

Socializing.

Probably the most important thing on your list. Socializing is about making the dog comfortable in a variety of situations and building confidence. It is NOT about just exposing your dog to things and hoping for the best and that nothing bad will happen. Some dogs are genetically disposed to be more nervous around new things/people/places/etc., so look at this when getting an older dog as a must have given your tight budget and inability to afford a trainer. If this wasn't done, you WILL need to hire a professional. It will not be easy, and it's a lifetime commitment to a difficult dog.

Shots.

Ask your vet. There's lots of changes being made and locally different things are popping up so they will know best. It can be hard to trust them but the rescues should have this done as well and just basic checkups will be needed.

Act like I know nothing and like (This next thing is going to be true for now.) I know nothing about the dog getting. Nothing. At all. I know it'll have for legs and a tail and bark and blink and breathe and not go above my knees. That's it. Basic dog stuff. I don't care if it's in the form of checklists, instruction manuals, whatever. I know I'll forget something on my own.
So essentially: Get a rescue, older dog (at least a year, that's still very young!). Match energy level before any other criteria. Socialization and house training should be your first focus of training. keep in mind dogs in shelters are unwanted for a reason, even if it's a stupid one sometimes, and you may end up paying for it in vet bills/cost of necessary training/lifestyle or all of the above and more. Something will go wrong, murphy's law holds always. And enjoy your dog :) There's no point in getting one if you don't want one! Make every moment count and have fun. You might get lucky and the rest might follow.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,595 Posts
Money things to worry about:

Cost of shelter dog: 400$ in my area. This doesn't cover all the medical care that they've put in guaranteed for any good shelter. Worth it over kijiji (puppy mills can be very damaging psychologically on the dogs).

Typical toys: You'll need to find a ball or some basics regardless of what you think you need. Hockey balls are 1$ each, ish, and they last a few months in my house. The more expensive toys that never get destroyed have more than made up for the cost of most cheaper ones in general. West paw, treat dispensing toys, kongs, are pretty typical staples. You cna find some good to-be-destroyed=fast toys at the dollar store normally.

Typical gear: You'll likely end up needing a leash and collar. Harnesses are also a big help (no pull, safety for smaller dogs, etc) and head halters, etc will cost a bit that can't always be re-used between dogs because of fit. Find them on kijiji or wherever used if you'd like as long as it fits. Again, nicer gear lasts a lot longer and is usually more effective but is not always necessary. Practical over appearance matters most.

Vet bills are a checkup annually, and minimum rabies every 3 years. Expect minimum of 200$ a year in vet costs, more for accidents. my dog chipped her tooth and it cost me around 800$ on the cheap side. Make sure you have a plan for this. Euthanasia costs about 2-300$ and should not be your first choice in an emergency. You should have this money as a minimum in case something goes wrong. Everyone's finances are different and that is okay, but these are fairly basic expected costs.

Microchip: Typically 60$, but can be more or less. This is super important. Lowers cost of registration with the city.

Spay/neuter: Spays cost more (females). Anticipate that the shelter will do this, but estimate 4-600$ easily.

Registration: Ranges from 15-200$ here depending on bite record, spay/neuter, microchip, age, and species. It is unlikely you will get caught if you don't do this, but if your dog has an incident and you don't have them registered your fines just went way up.

Surrendering to a shelter costs money. Dumping your dog on them later in life is how they end up there in the first place sometimes, and is one of the most depressing things to see. Don't do this to anybody. If you need to re-home, there's lots of ways to go about it other than a box at a shelter.

Food: cheapest I've done is 30$ a month on costco brand. More average is 70$ a month for decent kibble/homemade/etc. in my area (and a few others I think). My dog is ~ 50 lbs, so comparable to what you're looking for. Beagles are a bit smaller (since I mentioned them earlier) which means less food typically. High energy dogs will require more, as well.

Chews: edible chews make your life easier. factor in some special costs for this. It doesn't need to be much, but depending on your dog it can end up being a lot. Typical chew toys are 10$ a toy. Some last longer than others. This prevents damage to more expensive items and isn't really negotiable with some dogs.

Replacement of things destroyed: unknown cost. Expect to lose a phone and wallet at some point for safety's sake in budgeting.

Cleaning supplies: Super important to get an enzyme cleaner, and factor in the cost of paper towels and rags if you're house training.

Grooming: Nail trims are 10-20$ at a vet/groomers. A nail cutter is 10$. Doing it yourself is way cheaper. Likewise with baths, dogs with hair that need to be clipped, brushes, toothpaste/toothbrushes. These aren't really negotiable costs but depending on the breed can be pricey.

Crates: You can usually find one used if you plan a bit from 50-60$ in my area. New they range from 100-300$. Look around, you can probably find something.

There's more I'm missing but that should help with some basic estimates. My dog estimate for the first year was 2000$ and I got her from kijiji free from a responsible owner. I blew that budget out of the water because she had so many extra needs that first year. You can probably afford to do this with 900-1200$ on the extremely low end of things, not buying unnecessary items, etc. That doesn't count in any emergencies, though. Just a realistic number for you to look at. I think first year was about 3k$, and proceeding years have been closer to my estimated 1500$ (first year *can* be the worst, until end of life care).

You can also typically call a vet and ask if the dog needs to go in before spending the money if they get sick-your vet might be able to give you instructions over the phone if they don't see a major emergency arising. Calls are way cheaper than visits, so I recommend this if you're unsure on some items.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
880 Posts
Sounds like this is being pushed on you before you're ready. The biggest thing you want to focus on is making sure you like this dog too, and that you actually do want to work with the dog. If you're still interested in training, it'll be rough but you'll get through. The hard days only get harder, though, if you're not 100% invested-so that will be your main challenge.

I'll add comments on the rest below, but also check out the behaviour stickies for more information. This is like cliff notes.



So essentially: Get a rescue, older dog (at least a year, that's still very young!). Match energy level before any other criteria. Socialization and house training should be your first focus of training. keep in mind dogs in shelters are unwanted for a reason, even if it's a stupid one sometimes, and you may end up paying for it in vet bills/cost of necessary training/lifestyle or all of the above and more. Something will go wrong, murphy's law holds always. And enjoy your dog :) There's no point in getting one if you don't want one! Make every moment count and have fun. You might get lucky and the rest might follow.
I thought Beagle immediately but this whole situation makes my heart hurt for you because you aren't being given the chance to grieve :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kwenami

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,746 Posts
The rescue group I posted a link to has several beagles, plus some other possible dogs. The adult dogs might be a better option for you than the puppies. See if you can interest your family in going to the adoption event. If Washington, PA, is too far away, we can find a closer rescue group. You can do a search of rescue groups by zip code on www.adoptapet.com.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
880 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,820 Posts
I'm so sorry for your loss. I know you were fighting to get Bella to lose some weight and be healthier.

Before you even think about getting another dog you and your family need to sit down and have a very long talk about proper feeding of a dog, how obesity leads to all sorts of health problems, and be on the same page on training.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tuckersmom

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
For now how about volunteering at a local shelter? You can help make a difference in shelter dogs lives while learning. Your heart is in the right place but, you need time to grieve. I lost my agility partner to an accident about 1.5 years ago. So I understand how you feel. It changes your life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
I was devastated when Joe, my Beagle for thirteen years passed away. I was thinking I would never be able to find another dog without having to wait for months and driving hundreds of miles. The first thing I did was check the internet for Beagles for sale or adoption. I had gotten Joe at age eight weeks but I was getting along on years so wanted an adult dog. A picture of Pikey, a seven year old Beagle was listed and was at a local shelter. It was a surprise that the shelter was bringing him to a nearby pet store among some other dogs up for adoption. As things worked out I had adopted Pikey within a month after Joe died. Joe's ashes are here with me in a beautiful small chect and he will never be forgotten. But I'm so grateful to have Pikey, a great companion and I'm very happy to have been able to adopt a dog soon after I lost Joe.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top