Dog Forum banner

1 - 20 of 41 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! Hope you all are doing well.
I'm new here, and this is my first post... Okay, so I've been considering getting a dog. I've owned cats all my life, and I have no prior experience in raising a dog. I'm researching that and asking my vet about it (so I currently have an idea on the matter), but I'd like to have some input from dog owners in this forum. I'm taking this very seriously so that I'll be fully ready and won't make the wrong decision and act rashly before having the dog...
I'm looking for a dog breed that would be suitable for my calm temperament in that it won't be extremely hyperactive and noisy. I have two cats, so it's preferable that it can tolerate them (I don't need them to become friends, I just want them not to fight all day). I don't expect it to be easy to train, but I prefer that it won't be too stubborn, but I'm willing to put in the time and effort for training and exercising/walking. I currently live in a relatively large house with a front-yard and a large backyard, so the dog would have plenty of room to run around and play. (Of course I'll walk the dog outside of my house). I also might live in an apartment from time to time so it needs to be adaptable to such a small environment. I'm leaning toward a small size because I think it would be too much to own a large sized dog as a first time dog owner. The major issue is that I won't be able to be physically with the dog all day when I'm living in the apartment (I'll be away for the amount of time of a work day and will be with it during the rest of day including the nights and weekends). Maybe this will severely limit the chances of my ability to have a dog, but if something works I'm very willing to go for it. I'm studying my situation carefully, and I will not get a dog if I decide that it's not what's best for it.
I'm really interested in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed because I hear they don't mind living in an apartment and are cuddly and only bark when necessary. I've also been suggested to look into French Bulldog, Miniature Schnauzer, and Shih Tzu. (In the order of my preference).
I think you dog owners are great people, and hopefully I'll join this community soon.
Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
The walking would be an issue, would you be able to get a dog walker to call in during the day and take your dog out? Otherwise I'd have to say think again.

To anyone asking like this I also suggest that for the next month, go for two hour-long walks a day - without fail and regardless of the weather. Do one in the morning before work and one in the afternoon after work. And straight home after work, no socialising, shopping, gym etc. This will give you a better appreciation of the commitment you would be making.

Of the breeds you mention, Cavaliers can have a lot of health problems with their hearts and a nasty, painful condition called Syringomyelia. So getting a puppy from parents who were both tested and shown to be clear of these things would be important. Lovely as they are, I'd never get a cav because I couldn't bear the pain of having one that got unwell at a young age.

French bulldogs also can have a lot of health problems resulting from the shortened snouts, not just related to breathing but also related to their mouth and dentition. The corkscrew tail can also cause spinal problems. And, as they are so popular they are targeted by puppy farmers so you need to be extremely careful if you are trying to find one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you @JoanneF for your helpful response.
At this point in time, I can't guarantee that I'll be able find a dog walker, however people hire dog walkers around the area where my apartment would be, so I may have a chance to find one.
The health issues that may be present with the CKCS and FB are making me hesitant to get either, but their temperaments and tolerance to apartments are making me consider them still.
I don't know if Miniature Schnauzer and Shih Tzu have less health problems in which case they could be a better fit?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
I'd say not as much so as your first two breeds (which is why I didn't add anything). But honestly, behavioural problems would be a concern with any dog left alone all day. Dogs are social creatures, it isn't just about the exercise; it's about the company and mental stimulation too. If you can't get a dog walker, don't get a dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Is it possible to leave the dog with many toys while I'm away so that it can get some sort of stimulation and not feel bored? In case I couldn't find a dog walker, I'm thinking that I could keep the dog at my house where my family lives. I'll be able to visit frequently and be all day with it during the weekends, but I'm not sure if the dog would like my absence... (unless he gets too attached to one of my family members)?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
It's not just about toys though. Some dogs are not toy focussed and even those that are won't stay occupied with toys all day every day.

I may be wrong but I'm starting to wonder if you are quite young. If I am right, it's probably fair to say your life is likely to change massively over the next 15 years - so honestly, not a great time to get a dog. But if your family wants a dog (and it has to be a family decision if it is going to live in the family home) then that's a whole other set of circumstances.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Could you describe what a normal week would look like for the dog? How much would you walk it? What other activities? How much alone time?

Don’t you have any solution to the alone time during the day? Getting a dog mainly for the weekends and “forgetting” about it during the week surely isn’t fair to the dog. So that’s the number one priority. To figure it our how you will solve the alone-time on the weekdays.

Regarding the breeds you’ve mentioned I say the same as Joanne about Cavalier and French bulldog. The cavalier unfortunately have tremendous health problems with their heart and the syrongymeli. My grandparents loved this breed and have had three of their own, sadly all of them passed away before the age of 6-7. Even though the parents had the correct health tests made. If you will get this breed you need to be be very careful and make lots of research to find good lines.

The Frenchie is very overbred, have a lot of trouble due to their unhealthy exterior. There are some healthier looking frenchies but in general I would redirect you from them since most of that breeding is straight up cruel.

It’s quite similar with the shih tzu, too short snout, too large eyes etc gives them a lot of problems. There’s a lot of breeds that are very similar to the shih tzu but are much healthier so I would strongly recommend you to look into them instead.

What characteristics are you looking for in a dog? Coat? Grooming requirements? Barking? Alert/guard? reserved or friendly to strangers? People focused?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I'll have an hour in the morning for the dog when it's possible to walk it (30-40 min) then I'll give it all the afternoon and night (starting from 3-4 p.m.) when I can walk it again (1 hr) and play etc... There will be around 7-8 hours of alone time.
I'm looking for a laid-back cuddly dog that doesn't bark a lot. I don't really have a coat/grooming preference as I am okay with anything. I'm not interested in a guard dog. I prefer a dog that's mostly focused on its single owner, but it doesn't have to be shy when it meets people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
775 Posts
Writing from a dogs point of view..

I want someone to love me.
Someone to take me to the woods, to the beach, to the park. Throw a ball or a frisbee. Not when you have time or when its sunny but every day rain or shine.
I want someone to brush me, feed me, take care of me.
I want a warm bed..
I will be there although BFF's might come and go, partners might come along even children but I will still be there and still need that dedication.. that pact we made from day one..
I need my human to be there for as long as I live, not just for the good times, for the instagram photo or cute time but when Im sick, when I have accidents, when I need care and most of all when its time for me to say goodbye.

I will put my heart and soul into you will you do that for me?

if the answer to any of these is no then a dog is not for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Someone to take me to the woods, to the beach, to the park. Throw a ball or a frisbee. Not when you have time or when its sunny but every day rain or shine.
Of course I can do that when time allows me to do so, and I will make time whenever possible. Do dog owners never go to work?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
Of course I can do that when time allows me to do so, and I will make time whenever possible. Do dog owners never go to work?
The parts I have bolded are the problem though. Yes, dog owners work - but we hire dog walkers for at least once, often twice a day; or we are shift workers with partners or family at home during the times we are not.

Dog ownership isn't about what you want from a dog, it's about what you can provide for a dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Of course dog owners work as well, but often you have to make some rearrangement so that the dog isn’t left alone for too long. Some will go home during lunch, some will get a dogwalker etc.

8 hours every day is a long time, and even though some dogs could be fine with that, during some circumstances, that’s not something I would recommend. Don’t you have some friend or family member that would want to help you out and spend some time with a lovely dog during the day? If you just could get someone to take the dog out during the day you’d be fine.

Some breeds tend to be more prone to separation anxiety so make sure to look that up. If you don’t want a dog that barks much, scratch the schnauzer. A lot of the smaller breeds have been bred to alert so they might be more likely to bark when someones at the door for example. But otherwise I think these breeds could be suitable(If you can solve the alone time somehow), Bichon frise, Bichon havanais, lhasa apso, maltese, poodle and Italian greyhound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Also, have you been thinking of some sort of mental stimulation you’d like to do with the dog? It could be tricks, agility dog parkour, obedience, scent work/nosework, searching games etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
The parts I have bolded are the problem though. Yes, dog owners work - but we hire dog walkers for at least once, often twice a day; or we are shift workers with partners or family at home during the times we are not.

Dog ownership isn't about what you want from a dog, it's about what you can provide for a dog.
My response was tackling what I, alone, can do. I didn't factor in family or dog walkers. I'm being realistic. Dog ownership is mostly about what you can provide for a dog, but some if it is about what you want from it. Let's be honest with ourselves, if we want nothing from a dog, they would have never been domesticated, and there wouldn't be many people owning dogs. As for me, I know I want to provide attention and care for my dog when I'm not working and I'm thinking about the possible options that will benefit it when I'm away. I'm in no way insisting that I want to get dog no matter the circumstances just because I feel like it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Of course dog owners work as well, but often you have to make some rearrangement so that the dog isn’t left alone for too long. Some will go home during lunch, some will get a dogwalker etc.

8 hours every day is a long time, and even though some dogs could be fine with that, during some circumstances, that’s not something I would recommend. Don’t you have some friend or family member that would want to help you out and spend some time with a lovely dog during the day? If you just could get someone to take the dog out during the day you’d be fine.

Some breeds tend to be more prone to separation anxiety so make sure to look that up. If you don’t want a dog that barks much, scratch the schnauzer. A lot of the smaller breeds have been bred to alert so they might be more likely to bark when someones at the door for example. But otherwise I think these breeds could be suitable(If you can solve the alone time somehow), Bichon frise, Bichon havanais, lhasa apso, maltese, poodle and Italian greyhound.
Going home for lunch is very doable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Also, have you been thinking of some sort of mental stimulation you’d like to do with the dog? It could be tricks, agility dog parkour, obedience, scent work/nosework, searching games etc.
I've been mostly thinking about tricks and searching games, and I'm really open to anything that works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
592 Posts
Going home for lunch is very doable.
Okay that sounds good. How are you planning on solving alone time during puppyhood? Up until 4 months the puppy shouldn’t be left alone for longer than short periods of time and after that it takes time to get a dog used to being alone. Don’t plan on leaving the dog for several hours before the age of 1. Have you got that figured out?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Okay that sounds good. How are you planning on solving alone time during puppyhood? Up until 4 months the puppy shouldn’t be left alone for longer than short periods of time and after that it takes time to get a dog used to being alone. Don’t plan on leaving the dog for several hours before the age of 1. Have you got that figured out?
My plan is to get the puppy before I live in an apartment, that way it will be raised with me at the family home. After that, I'm planning to have it moved with me long after I have potty trained and taught it some tricks. I didn't have an age cutoff for the move in mind, but after your post, it seems that it's better if that happens once the puppy reaches 1 year.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,444 Posts
If your family are all on board with the idea of getting a dog while you are still in the family home, and you are going home daily at lunchtime, it could work. Are your family agreeable to it?

I still suggest you follow that routine for a month without a dog, as I suggested earlier, to give you a good idea of the commitment.
 
1 - 20 of 41 Posts
Top