Seven months to go, tons of questions to answer

Um, I have a question. Or, a ton of them. Source: Wootube!

We still have seven months to go until we can get a dog (but who’s counting??), and so I still have a lot of time to research, read books, meet dogs, and gather advice from seasoned dog people (like yourself). I go back and forth a lot about what breed/breed mix we should get, where we should get him/her from, and what our priorities are for a canine companion.

As with many major decisions, I keep vacillating about what kind of dog we should get. At the end of the day, I don’t really care if we get a purebred anything. I just want a dog (with a few qualities as a starting point for how to sift through all the overwhelming options).

There are still so many questions that tumble through my mind at this point…

  • Is it wrong to want a purebred sometimes? Is it wrong to get really jealous when a friend announces that she and her new husband are looking for an Aussie puppy?
  • Will I be emotionally strong enough to turn down a potential rescue if it’s really not the right dog for us?
  • Is it unwise for us to adopt an adult GSD if it’s our first dog?
  • Will we be able to handle various behavior problems?
  • Am I even mentally prepared for the amount of dog hair that will coat our house?
  • How hard will it be to train my husband all of these things that I have learned?
  • Which vet should we go to in town? How do we know if we have a good vet?
  • What if our dog doesn’t like other dogs? Or worse, hates kids? Can I help him/her with that?

Are these questions out of control, or are some of them worth thinking long and hard about? If you have any of the answers, do share! I’m all ears.

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6 thoughts on “Seven months to go, tons of questions to answer

  1. 1)It’s not wrong. I’m jealous of most puppies, of the Aussies, BCs, and tons of other dogs I see at the dog park. But a puppy, or an Aussie, is not the right choice for us right now. Doesn’t stop me from wanting to take them home, though.
    2)This is hard. Really hard. Before Larry, C and I took home the first dog we met, so we always had to be careful about which dog we agreed to meet. But this time, Larry was the 3rd dog we met. There was a lot of guilt, but we had to trust our instincts, to make the right choice for us and our family.
    3)Not unwise if you do your homework. In that case, I’d go through breed or private rescue, or talk to the breeders and see if they have adult dogs that need homes. Work with people who have had time to work with the dog and can give you support.
    4)There are some problems you might never be able to handle. Know which ones are your sticking points going in. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS. Every dog deserves a happy home, and it won’t be happy if you’re constantly freaked out by your dog’s behavior
    5)There is no way to prepare for this. I used to have lint rollers in the car and in my desk. Now, I just accept it. However, make sure you clean out the roller on your vaccuum frequently and don’t let the bags get too full.
    6)I don’t know your husband, but you might want to start training him now. The dog you get should be a joint decision, so he needs as much information as you do to make the right choice for your family
    7)Talk to friends who live in your area. Talk to rescue groups and find out who they use. And know your needs. Our Aussie was an emergency dog, so now, I always choose vet clinics that have 24 hour emergency care. That’s for me. When we changed clinics recently (for reasons that had nothing to do with care) I contacted a friend who lives in the area who does rescue and asked who she worked with.
    8)Yes, you can help a dog with that, but you might also need to work with a trainer or behaviorist. If those things are really important to you, I recommend again going through a private rescue where they have the time and staff to test the dogs and can tell you these things in advance. Petfinder.com is also a great resource because you can limit your search to dogs that do well with other dogs and children.

    No dog is perfect; no owner is perfect. What you hope for is that a relationship can be developed where you are perfect for each other.

    read about my pets at http://lifebypets.blogspot.com

  2. I love your blog. It’s like the canine version of The Love Connection!

    All of your excellent questions make me think that whatever choice you make will be the right one.

    In my experience with menagerie of dogs, horses and cats, adopted at various ages with a range of behavioral issues here’s my humble suggestion. If you have access to R+ puppy socialization class, go with a Shepadoodle or Aussiedoodle pup. (Brains, minimal odor and shedding, agile, completely adorable) This way you can imprint and shape your pups history and you’ll never have to wonder “what happened” in the dogs past.

    That being said, I’ve adopted two adult terriers complete with terrier temperaments and issues. I would not trade a moments worth of all that they are teaching me, except for a few envious thoughts towards my friends that have herding breeds that make off lead work a breeze.
    For example, even though I sometimes have Aussie shepherd envy, here is video of what one of my terriers has learned: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=trixie+the+painting+dog&aq=f

    I’m finding that all dogs (even my crazy terriers) have amazing capabilities, it’s just a matter of what traits you enjoy.

    I know I’ve found my canine match when my heart leaps with joy, I get a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. It’s like I know that I know this is the dog. Usually the dog will show me some type of endearing behavior that seals the deal and I feel the dog saying “Pick me!” However, I’m starting to wonder if that “Pick me!” voice is not altogether accurate, but instead it’s the dog saying “I pick you!”. Perhaps we don’t have to make the decision at all, they make it for us.

    Such an exciting journey you are on! I can’t wait to see what happens next.

    Cheryl

  3. With my latest dog, I chose a pure breed (Golden Retriever) and experienced all kinds of guilt about not adopting a rescue dog like I did previously. But I love Honey and have benefited so much from having her in my life.

    I find that once you take a step, that ends up being the path you’re on. You’ll have blessings and sorrows no matter what choice you make. So make it wholeheartedly and embrace whatever comes your way. You won’t regret it.

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