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OT: Dog Questions

GoonSlapperGoonSlapper Posts: 106
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Sorry to post this OT thread, but I really didn't feel like signing up for another forum. I know there is a lot of great posters on this site, with a lot of valuable information, so I wanted to ask your opinions on dogs.

I've been going back and forth about getting a dog for the past 2 - 3 years. Every time I think I want to get a dog, I felt the timing wasn't right. But, now I'm starting to feel that the time is right to get one in the near future.

A little background. I'm 29, and I live by myself in a 2,200 sq ft patio home, w/ a small fenced in yard. I recently took out all the grass in the yard and put in flag stones and small pebbles, so I wouldn't have to cut the grass. There are a few areas where the dog would be able to use the bathroom, but its not an ideal backyard for a dog. I work an 8 hr job, and would be away from the house about 9 - 10 hrs a day, so the dog would be inside while I'm gone...either in a crate or fenced in a certain part of the house. I'm active, I like running, biking, hiking and swimming. I know I could take a dog on walk or run in the mornings and evenings, and there are great parks and trails near my house that I could let it run w/o a leash. I've also started to tent camp recently, as well as started to go on hike's and backpacking trips. So, it would be nice to have a companion on those trips.

I feel like I've done a lot of research on a breed of dog I would like to have, as well as to what I would need to do to care for it, but I feel like there is also a lot of unknowns. If I get a dog, it'll definitely be a rescue dog from either the SPCA or Humane Society. I don't need a pure bred, but I would like a dog that would be okay to run with me while I run and/or bike, so it would need to be a breed that can run long distances. The two breeds that have caught my attention has been the Australian Shepherd and a Blue Heeler.

I guess I'm wondering if anyone has experience with any of these two dogs, and what your thoughts are on them. I'm not going to rush in and get the first dog I meet just because it meets the breed I want. I'll make sure I go back a couple of times to make sure we connect.

For dog owners, what do you do if you go on vacation or are gone for an extended period? do you have someone pet-sit, or would you have them go to a place that will board a dog?

I have a lot more questions, but I want to keep this post relatively short.

Thank you for any responses. I have family in town for another week or two, and after that, I'll submit my adoption survey to the SPCA and start looking for a new best friend and gather all the necessities before bringing him/her home.


  • Lawn RangerLawn Ranger Posts: 5,466
    I sure like the rescue option. That being said, the best dogs I've ever had have been mixed breed whatevers. We currently have three and all are of dubious origin that have been adopted in one way or another. When we are away for extended periods, I feel it's better on the pet to be able to stay in their home. It's safer for the house and our property, also. We are fortunate to both work at a university where I have little trouble finding co-workers or students who are interested in making a few bucks to stay with the house and pets. However, they must be dog friendly, or it's a no go.

    Don't know what we'd do without them.

    Good luck on your search.

  • I just put my 17 year old springer down Jan 2, 2010. If you can not make it home for lunch to walk the dog, and if you travel often, then get a cat. I am taking a sabbatical from careing for pets. They require a huge commitment. Don't jump if you can't make it. I am a 64 yr old widower, so I might just welcome the free time I now have. Good luck on your decision.
  • vidalia1vidalia1 Posts: 7,083
    Both of those dogs require a lot of outdoor space which you said you don't have. They are very loyal but need lots of room to run and a lot of attention.

    You may want to rethink your short list...just my 2cents..

    and this may be better suited for the OT does not require any further sign up...
  • Lawn RangerLawn Ranger Posts: 5,466
    What GatorEgg said is true. They do need attention. And, I never thought I'd say it, but I'll never own less than two again. They are pack animals and need company. When we are away at work I know mine are OK. And, Man! are they happy to see us when we come home. It's a family reunion each evening.
  • Ken,

    This is only my opinion. Somebody else will have the exact opposite of mine, and be completely valid.

    First, a dog breed that would satisfy your running requirement would suffer being penned up all day. They are built such that they need a lot more exercise than your scenario offers. I had a blue tick heeler when I lived on a farm. Wonderful dog, but she would have been miserable penned up.

    Here's what we have now and I think would work well in your situation. We have 2 long haired miniature dachshunds. They have a doggie door that they can use to go out during the day .. not only for nature calls, but for playing and fighting. I personally think that every dog needs to own his own dog. It keeps them occupied when you're away. Dogs are social animals and need companionship.

    That doesn't satisfy your running partnership, but gives you what you are really wanting --- a buddy or two that love you and will do anything for you. Although my backyard is big enough, I take mine to the park sometimes and throw the ball for a game of fetch. Lots of fun.

    Edit: Well, as usual, there were no replies to your post when I started mine, and by the time I hit [Submit], there were 4 or 5. :laugh:

    It's interesting that most are saying the same thing. Your running dog would not do well penned up. And, two dogs are a good idea.

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • MickeyMickey Posts: 14,200
    Ken I have had Standard Poodles for the past 15 years and they do all you said in your post.
    She is a pure house dog going out for exercise and potty only. Hell of a water dog.
    She is in the house on work days for 9 hours min each day and no problems. Not caged or contained.
    Note: you must cage/contain if the animal is in the 1 to 2 years as most any dog will chew the house down at that age.
    Ken, standard poodles are babe magnets on a walk!
    Also the breed is so good if around children, NO PROBLEMS.
    We did get our last poodle from Poodle Rescue in Dallas.
    If you are not man enough to handle a poodle I suggest looking at the WHATEVER BREED RESCUE in your area.
    As for vacations: We pay a lady $10. per day to come by at 7:30am, 2:00 or so pm, and 8:00pm to let her out to do business.
    All my dogs always were sick when I would pick them up at the vets after a vacation. I gave up on that.
    Salado TX Egg Family: 2 Large and a very well used Mini.... 5th Salado EggFest is March 14, 2015

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,965
    my experience with the australian sheepdogs is that they need constant activity, not sure how they would do being penned up all day. my brothers is extremely active and vocal. theres a book called choosing a dog, usually found in petstores that has full writeups on the breeds, their overall health, what to expect from each breed, and the type of owner they fair well with. my old german shepard would do the 8 to 10 hours home all day no problem, would carry a big pack, pull the sled, and would gaurd the camp. was a good dog and free from health issues. my currant brittany spanial works well in my current situation living on a lake, looks like a puppy for life, no one is scared of him which was different than my old shepard, the bird dog is self motivated, easy to keep occupied, loves the woods etc. unless you have a sheep, those australian dogs from what ive seen need constant attention, love to play fetch, for hours dropping the ball at your feet and barkeing til you pick it up to throw again over and over again all day, my brother needs a sheep. they are also more at home in open feilds, my britt can antagonize the australian if theres trees to run behind, the australian takes advantage of the britt in the open. i know its nice to get a rescued dog, but for me i dont want someones bad training on the dog in the early years, done that before with my fist german shepard and had to put him down in the end, when i got him he was really beaten down and a few years later on he snapped
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 461
    Both of those breeds are working dogs of the herding variety and as such need to be busy. If they are left alone for 10 hours a day while you are working they will find their own entertainment and it likely won't be a kind you would like.

    Oh as for vacations, my sister pet sits if we don't take them with us.
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 461
    Standard poodles are wonderful dogs.
  • There are 2 standard poodles that live across the street from me. My dogs think they are members of some sort of strange cult. :evil:

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • AngelaAngela Posts: 461
    We have had a couple red bones, a walker and a blue tick hound. Great dogs but freaking escape artists and always following their nose somewhere.

    We are currently satisfied with our german shorthair pointer and pug but I don't work so someone is usually home with them.
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 461
    ya, but what kinda dogs ya got :laugh:

    nevermind I scrolled up, well your dachshunds probably seem funny to the poodle too. I do love dachshunds though. :laugh:
  • i agree with what others said about the breeds you are looking at. have an ambiguity on your hands. ..8 hours a day alone vs. wanting to run with them . ..the 8 hours alone 'wins' in my what you really need is a 'couch potato' dog .. ..funny thing is that really lends itself to a larger breed dog/mutt, they make the better couch potatos. ...for instance i have a 135 pound lab/mastiff ...wants nothing more than to lie around the house sleeping all day. ..doesn't require a lot of activity. . .a good walk, but certainly not a jogger (just like her owner)...

    lots of dogs at the kennels/pounds to fit your needs, good for you for going in that direction ... i'm sure you can find a mutt for you . . .and they will certainly be loyal to you for 'saving' them!!
  • BENTEBENTE Posts: 8,337
    well now that everyone has said that your dog may be a little too big for your circumstances. and you may be looking for something else a boston terrior is a great dog. we had a big dog someone threw over our fence (two days after we moved in) it was a pit that had been bread to fight. well we took care of that one as long as we could but the mistreatment had been there for so long the dog would have never become the type of dog we needed to have. we have had phoebe for 2 years now and she is a wonderful dog that loves the eggs


    she used to like them too much


    but a little pam and some cajun seasoning solved that problem. plus a little help from a pal of mine in texas


    happy eggin


    Anderson S.C.

    "Life is too short to be diplomatic. A man's friends shouldn't mind what he does or says- and those who are not his friends, well, the hell with them. They don't count."

    Tyrus Raymond Cobb

  • My dogs demand respect !!!


    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • AngelaAngela Posts: 461
    :laugh: too cute. Are they mini's?
  • Yes. And the one in the picture sings with me. It's hilarious. I'll start singing, and she jumps in my lap and starts howling. :laugh: :laugh:

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • I second what Fishless and Vidalia said about the Aussies. My son. whose situation sounds very similar to yours has one and loves him to death. However, I just don't feel that it's fair to keep such a dog, who is bred to herd, in such a restrictive environment. I think he would be miserable.
    Please do, however, go the rescue route with whatever you get.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,965
    yep, get the wrong breed and neither the dog or you will be happy. theres alot more to each breed than just looks, my german shepard was the watcher, the brit is the hunter, neither liked to play much and each had their job to do and looked forward to it
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 461
    Here are pics of mine

    This one is the brains of the operation

    and this one is the brawn :laugh:
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,965
    heres the champian fish hunting dog, he has actually caught his own bass out of the lake B)

  • Ahhhh, a German Shorthair. The dog before my current dogs was a GSP. Probably, the sweetest dog I ever owned. I had to put her down at 13 from a stroke.

    When she was a yearling, we sent her off to hunting school for 6 weeks. We weren't allowed to visit. When we picked her up, she was skin and bones. She did everything the trainer commanded her to do, but she was obviously terrified. I took her out with my shotgun shortly thereafter, and when she saw it, she started trembling uncontrollably. I never put her through that again.

    Until the day she died, I could pick up a yardstick and shoulder it like a gun, and she would tremble. I will never forgive me or the trainer for the trauma we put her through.

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • IMHO rescue is the way to go. You can find some really good dogs and they will appreciate being in a loving home.

    We rescued our dog about 3 1/2 years ago. Not sure what breeds she is, but we think there might be some border collie and / or terrier in there. We got her from a border collie rescue.

    She likes to herd people and animals that are moving. She barks and barks but does not get too aggressive. She is on the small side for a border weighing in at about 40lbs.

    She is great with our two boys who torment her when Mom or Dad are not around. Since we live in So. Cal., we do not worry about weather and keep a door open so she can come and go in the house as she wishes. However, she has gone long periods in the house without any problems.

    Our dog is a part of the family and it is clear that we are her pack. I hope any future dogs we have are as loving and well behaved as this one.
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 461
    oh that is horrible, I hope that guy is out of business. They are great dogs. I love my scent hounds but we had a horrible time trying to keep our red bones and blue tick hound at home they were always following scent somewhere at least the GSP isn't a slave to her nose like them.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,965
    i wonder how many dogs get screwed up that way, i dont hunt but my brit is a natural for it, freezes on point, not gun shy, and brings back game to my hand if he catches it. i remember the first time i shot off a shotgun over his head, gave me a look for a second to see if the noise was wrong, then he was on the box i shot in seconds, amazes me how much natural instincts a dog can have thats been bred for it. we hunt mice, frogs, ducks, rabbits and fish, all on foot, :laugh: no guns
  • Well, considering this is a forum about BGE cooking I'd say 375 degrees for about 2 hrs ought to give you medium-rare. :woohoo:
  • Ausy shepards and blue healers are herding dogs.They need lots of room to roam.
    How about a Greyhound rescue dog,very laid back.Or A Corgy( herding dog) but doesn't need to be on the go all the time.Very nice family dog.
    We have agolden retriever and Labrador.The golden is great The lab only thinks about food.He is blind.A disease that is common in labs and Blue healers.You can test for progressive retna atrophy with a blood test at early age.
    My next dog will be a female corgy.I think females are better than males.
  • Serial Griller wrote:
    I think females are better than males.

    I do too, but that has nothing to do with dogs. :laugh: :laugh:

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Gateway to the Hill Country

  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Max, Joe has a hundred pounds on Duffy, he hardly ever gets up. He can easily go 8-10 hours alone in the house without incident but he can't go for more than a half mile walk. -RP
  • Thanks everyone for you suggestion and input. I'll re-think my decision. I have been researching different dog breeds the past 2 - 3 years, so I understand the nature of the herding dogs compared to other breeds. If I decide that a herding dog isn't right for me, I'll hold off on a dog. I love dogs, but I'm not sure a small dog or a large couch dog would suit me. But as I said, I'll rethink my decision.

    Thank you again.
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