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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm a dog lover, but not a former owner. My mother had dog allergies growing up, so we never had one.

For the past year I got used to living around dogs at my ex-girlfriend's place - she had 2. Now that I have my own place, I'm thinking about getting a rescue dog, but I don't know where to start as far as what I should read to prepare, what channels I should go through, etc.

Any tips?

--Alex
 

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Welcome Alex :)

I'm so glad you are considering adopting!! Giving a dog who needs it, a home-very rewarding :) for both of you!

I would say, even though your rescuing, that you will want to do some breed research. Even if you adopt a 'mutt', you will want to know at least a little about the dominant breeds in that mutt. For instance, a lab or a jack russel terrier are NOT for couch potatoes. Basset hounds are terrible apartment dogs because they are LOUD. There are a few species of dogs who are considered 'barkless' or seldom bark-like the basenji hound. Some dogs shed more, some are prone to different health problems-so it's a good ideal all around to have a little bit of understanding of basic breeds.


A good place to start is to look at the 'groups' -herding, working, toy etc. To get a feel for what breeds will have what tendancies, energy levels etc.
Here's the American Kennel Club website, list of breeds. You could start here-perhaps look for some that catch your eye, then check google or wikipedia (or ask here of course!!) for breed characteristics American Kennel Club - List of Breeds A-B

To prepare for dog ownership-I'd kick around this site for sure. You can read what health probs, behavior probs we are all having, as well as see how wonderful owning a dog is. :)
 

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What is your life like? Are you working full time? going to school? are you active daily? sometimes active? handicap? etc etc. Also I agree with Mikey, you want to get a basis for what type of dog goes with what type of life style. Do you plan on doing lots of training? basic training? etc. Finally, do you want to spend money on grooming or not? :) welcome to the forum as well!
 

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I usually adopt one "notch" down than what I "want"....especially energy wise...

what you think you want.... might not be what you will want to deal with on a daily basis...when you are busy...when you are sick...

Try to think hard about how much dog you really want to handle daily...I thought I was "into" the long hair on dogs...and I was...for like a year...now its a chore...so try to think what traits you want that aren't just novelty...but what you really deeply want in a dog. :)

hope that helps



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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the responses so far, guys.

I'm a college student with a decent amount of free time daily. I'm big on the outdoors - hiking, birding, jogging, state parks, etc. I currently live in a house with a roommate and a backyard (about 900 sq ft). I may be moving into a suburban apartment (Towson, MD) within the next year or so, but as I said, I'm big on the outdoors, so I get out a lot. My thoughts are on a medium-sized, short-haired dog - my experience is with pit mixes, and in Baltimore I'm sure that's the description of many rescue dogs. I've also always found Beagles to be exceptionally cute. I'm not looking for high maintenance, just a cute, fun, friend to run around with. Training-wise, I guess basic obedience training - "sit", housebroken, comfortable around people if I have guests, running alongside me during a run (not tugging on the leash), and not snatching food off my plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To give a sense of what I like in a dog, I looked at your guys' dogs.

10s on my adorablometer:
Mikey's Mikey
Pawzaddict's Harvick and Peyton
Criosphynx's Emma
 

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Awwww *blushes* urm...Mikey is blushing ;)

I was thinking a dog like him may be good for you-he's short haired, high energy BUT not loud and no stamima (1/2 hour of running and he's done) and he's vocal but quiet if that makes sense.

We think he's a Heeler Corgi-and a Heeler may be perfect for you? Aka Australian cattle dog.



"
Like many working dogs, Cattle Dogs have high energy levels and active minds. They need plenty of exercise and a job to do, so non-working dogs need to participate in dog sports, learning tricks, or other activities that engage their body and mind. Some individuals find repetitive training frustrating and dull, so owners should aim to make training sessions varied and more exciting in order to keep their dog interested. Cattle Dogs who do not receive the appropriate exercise and entertainment will invent their own, often destructive, activities. These dogs are, by nature, wary. They are naturally cautious, and grow more so as they age. Their cautious nature towards strangers makes them perfect guard dogs, when trained for this task.
The Australian Cattle Dog ranks 10th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, being one of the brightest dogs ranked by obedience command trainability.
Cattle Dogs drive cattle by nipping at their heels or tails, but they have also been known to round up other animals.
To relieve the urge to nip, the Australian Cattle Dog can be encouraged to pick up and chew a toy or stick that is thrown for them. Any toy left with the Australian Cattle Dog needs to be extremely robust if it is to last.
The Australian Cattle Dog enjoys living with other dogs with whom it is familiar, working well in combination with other Cattle Dogs, Australian Kelpies, and Border Collies. Because of their plucky nature, the establishing of a pecking order can result in a few scuffles and bites.
It is important for an owner to quickly establish a hierarchy in which they are the dog's pack leader, otherwise the young Australian Cattle Dog may bond to a senior dog, rather than to its owner. Once this hierarchy is established however, the dog will bond very closely to its owner[1], or leader. The bond that this breed can create with its owner is very strong and will leave the dog feeling very protective towards the owner; typically resulting in the dog never being too far from the owner's side. If put in any situation where the dog feels threatened, and/or uncomfortable, it will usually resort to aggressiveness towards other, unknown dogs."

I'll let Pawz and Crio speak to their breeds for you :) :)

Oh-and to find adoptables- www.petfinder.com is a wonderful resource, enter your postal code and as little or as much info about the pet you want, and it finds 'em, starting with the closest shelters.
 

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Emma says thank you! :)


Ems a bonafide.."I dunno dog"...probably JRT and Sheltie...

shes built like a JRT and has all the good traits...but honestly none of the bad...I got very lucky...

unfortunately shes not a replicable breed...lol...imagine little Emmas....



are you planning on going to a shelter or thru a rescue?


a rescue can guide you a bit...but they are harder to get a dog from....

at a shelter, I look for certain things...a dog that is interested in me, but not excited jumping on the cage....either indifferent to the sounds ofthe kennel, or only showing mild interest.

My big thing is I wont adopt a dog that is known to be dog/cat/people agressive....but most other things can be trained. :)



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I'm going to put in two cents here. I wouldn't recommend any of the really drivey, drivey herding dogs as a first dog-- they are high maintenance, even if you are an active person, and you won't be a student forever. Sooner or later you may have to get a full time job. I have seen way too many border collies and aussies and heelers who turn into biters or develop OCD problems out of frustration, because they were not WORKING. I am a sheltie person myself, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend them as a first dog either. They're generally easier than border collies or aussies, but can be bossy and manipulative.

If you could manage to volunteer at a shelter or maybe with a rescue group (I know it's a big time committment), that would give you serious exposure to many different dogs and give you a better idea about what might fit you, what you can tolerate, what might drive you crazy.

I just went through a long, two month soul-searching process for my shelter adoption. I have always been big on the herding breeds, but realized that at this particular point in my life, I need something smaller, quieter, with perhaps less coat than I've been accustomed to. I also met and evaluated about 8 dogs in different shelters before reaching a decision, but I do have the advantage of having a lifetime of working with dogs to help me in the decision. Good luck, and thanks for asking questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Alrighty guys, after doing reading and preparing myself, I arranged with the local shelter to meet with some dogs over the course of the next week or two - wish me luck!
 

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oops, hope I'm not too late, I found this link helpful:
Dog Tip: Assessing Shelter Dogs and Temperament Testing

In the long run, I did a lot of observation, and trusted my intuition. I visited the dog I adopted 3 times, over a period of a couple weeks, to observe him in different environments (adoption events and shelter). Of course, I was working with a no-kill shelter, so I had no worries about him being terminated.

Good luck!!!! Have you settled on a breed/type/size?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
oops, hope I'm not too late, I found this link helpful:
Dog Tip: Assessing Shelter Dogs and Temperament Testing

In the long run, I did a lot of observation, and trusted my intuition. I visited the dog I adopted 3 times, over a period of a couple weeks, to observe him in different environments (adoption events and shelter). Of course, I was working with a no-kill shelter, so I had no worries about him being terminated.

Good luck!!!! Have you settled on a breed/type/size?
Always was after a medium-sized dog. There are a few shelters in the Baltimore area, and I used petfinder.com to find the various ones and look at available dogs. The ones I settled on to meet are through "Recycled Love" - they're retriever mixes and they're in foster homes right now. I'm also planning on attending "BARCStoberfest" - like an open house dog event where BARCS (Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter) will have some of their dogs out.

In the end, taking into account energy levels of different types of dogs, for me it comes down to the way the dog interacts with me, its personality, and temperament. And with rescue dogs I don't really want to pigeonhole myself into one specific breed.
 

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To give a sense of what I like in a dog, I looked at your guys' dogs.

10s on my adorablometer:
Mikey's Mikey
Pawzaddict's Harvick and Peyton
Criosphynx's Emma
Why thank you! They are both rescues :)

When you go to look at dogs keep this in mind... you CAN bond heavily with a dog right away or within minutes! I hear people all the time say "you can't bond with dogs until you spend lots of time with them" this is not true...Peyton was 10 weeks old when we got him, the second I got up and left (I was sitting on the floor with him and other puppies up for adoption) he sat and stared at me, watching me and started to whine, some man and his child tried playing with him and he took it for less than a minute then ran back and was looking for me...I picked him :)

GL!!!
 

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I picked Scotty from a picture that the rescue group had on their website. It was instant love. He was my dog from the minute I saw his picture. :)
 

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just wanted to say welcome and good luck on your search :) no ideas for you really, everyone has given you some great ideas so far. let us know how things go.

~MSE
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well guys, today was the day! After going through the process of meeting some dogs and all, I decided on one, and he came home today!

I renamed him "Bosphorus," Bos (pronounced Boss) for short. He's absolutely adorable! Goofy, fun, pretty energetic, but I tired him out going on a run this afternoon. He's about a year old (probably a bit younger).

Attached are his first few pictures! Thanks for the support guys!

P.S. If anyone wants to take a stab at what breeds he is, go for it - the adoption agency had him as "Retriever mix."
 

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