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Dogs......... dogs..............

jmd
Grafter
Posts: 2,933
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Dogs......... dogs..............

I am considering getting a dog [I need some exercise as I spend too much time reading the Forum! Grin] and have looked at  various rescue homes/organisations.  They all seem to have lots of German Shepherds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Lurchers.  I want a little dog. Smiley
The organisations that have dogs all say that the dogs they get need experienced dog owners.  I have not had a dog.  But have decided I could cope with a little dog [Yorkshire Terrier, Cairn, etc] but how does one become experienced unless you get a dog!  I do not want a puppy!
So, all right, I understand that they need people who are committed to having a dog but can't you be committed without experience?
I just had to post this as I am getting fed up of the response from these organisations. 
121 REPLIES
pierre_pierre
Grafter
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

Josie of the two I would say Cairn, a bit more friendly even if they have oblong eyes
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

Both our dogs are rescue dogs. One came from the RSPCA and the other via it. When we got our first dog we had not had dogs before and this issue came up. A lot of experienced handlers thought we were mad taking on a rescue dog first off. The main criteria seems to be is that you build up a rapport with the dog in question by visiting it a few times and so let the organisation see how you are with the dog. The RSPCA even let us take the dog off site for a walk, because they and us wanted to be absolutely shaw we had made the right decision.
Now 3 years on I can say that a rescue dog is hard work. Also you never know how they might react in any given situation because a lot is dependent on what happened to them as a pup. To give an example of this, our second dog came from a home which had a lot of building work being done while it was a pup and in a cage. Gunshots, fireworks, etc do not bother it (Springer Spaniel), but splitting firewood with an axe, hammering, etc makes him go all a quiver and if he gets chance he will run off to a safe distance (i.e. 50'+ away).
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

Josie, I know they're bigger than you really want, but you could do worse than a retired Greyhound. In spite of their obvious racing qualities, they are very loyal, easy to exercise and look after and, complete couch potatoes at home, highly recommended, check out Greyhound organisations, they're always looking for new homes for their dogs.
The problem with small dogs is often their own sense of smallness, and often try to prove they are actually bigger than they really are, aggression (to other dogs) often seems a way of life for them.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

you could always get a pair of cats
jmd
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Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

a] am allergic to cats Sad

b] you don't really get companionship from a cat - they tolerate you Wink
c] you do not take cats for walkies Tongue
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

Quote from: jmdlp
....
c] you do not take cats for walkies Tongue

Not quite true. I have taken a cat for a walk on a lead. It also would come to a whistle. This caused much amusement in the local walking area as everyone expected a dog to appear. By the way it was not my cat but  a friends.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

Is it in Hollywood that cats must be walked on a lead when out of the home? Or some other US city maybe.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
jmd
Grafter
Posts: 2,933
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

Well I am certainly not walking a Cat on a lead in the fields by my home!  And all the dogs with their humans that pass my house would bark with laughter I am sure!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

I really think that depends how big your cat is....  Cheesy Wink
Emma
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Registered: 10-09-2007

Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

My cat sits on command!! Seriously he learnt at the same time the dog did!!
We've had two resuce dogs so far, both with their own problems and both have turned out to be loving, caring and brilliant pets. Our most recent dog had been rehomed 4 times before we got him "terrible with children". Our Neice (3 years) and Nephew (9 months) stayed with us for 3 months on a long holiday and he was nothing but perfect. He got poked, squashed played with and never even moved. He just looked at us saying "I'm going to let them play and then i'm going to bed!"
I would say have a look around a few places and take them for a walk/drag!
Show a picture when you've taken one to a forever home
Emma
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

We have had rescue dogs most of our lives and they all have been German Shepard's or Pyranian mountain dogs. Resuce dogs are very faithful but it takes a few months for them to settle in if they have been mistreated. You do have to be aware what has happened to them in the past  as they may react to something they remember.
We had a GS puppy once and a man kick hell out of it one day when we took it a walk he was only 3 month sold. 12 months later he suddenly saw a man on the field and went for him it was the same man so they do remember.
I wouldnt have a little dogs as they are often snappy Grey hounds are great my friend has 2 and they go for a walk run like a bat out of hell for 3 mins then walk like old men they are very gentle and love affection.
A lot of these rescue centers go OTT about home inspection etc the GS we have now want a vet reference and everything but the dog jumped in the back of our car and wasnt getting out so they said it was ok  the dog had made his mind up
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Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

I second the idea about the Cairn terrier as I have four!  They are super little dogs and IMO would be just right for jmdlp - particularly as they don't moult so the allergy problem is lessened.
http://www.cairn-rescue.co.uk/ is the website for rescue Cairns.
(Please check your PMs for further info).
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Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

Depending how close your local rescue centre is, it might be an option to volunteer as a walker for the dogs.
Its an idea that works well for many reasons - It gives you a chance to prove to yourself that you are happy to go out for a walk in the pouring down rain etc. It allows you to get to know lots of the dogs they have, and you can choose the one you get along with best. You get a good support network for all the questions you might have about dog ownership (if the rescue centre staff can't answer your questions - who else can!?!?)
And you get to do your bit to help out the charity (and its cheaper than a gym membership).
I have a friend who works from home who did this. He eventually settled on a blind Staffs called Austin.
He still visits the centre and takes dogs for walks, and best of all if he goes away - they look after Austin for free rather than him having to use a kennels.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Dogs......... dogs..............

I would be doing myself a dis-service if I didn't mention my own personal favorites...Golden Retrievers (bitches tend to be smaller than dogs) But you have to be careful these days. The last one we had turned out to be the only vicious GR we've ever encountered, at about 8 to 10 months old she started to show signs of guarding (which GRs are not supposed to do) by 1 year old my wife was afraid to be home with her alone, so she had to go. We donated her to the RAF as a guard/sniffer dog. Absolutely beautiful dog to look at.
Later investigation (when we tried -unsuccessfully- to get a refund) found she probably started life on a Welsh puppy farm and we were conned. Apparently, this is becoming more common, and giving the breed something of a poor reputation, as opposed to their usually almost perfect temperament. She actually came from a (at the time) reputable dealer (not now!!)
We were devastated...
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.