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  • nmrfox
    replied
    There are a few mobile vets that you could consider. One of our neighbours uses one and is really happy with the service they provide as their dog absolutely hates going in a car.

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  • Balderdasha
    replied
    Something I've just considered. Do we need to get a car before we get a dog? If a human in the house needs to access medical care quickly, we just get a taxi, but I'm not sure if all taxi companies will happily transport a dog. What happens if a dog is too ill to walk to the vets and you don't have a car?

    Getting a car is in the works as well, so maybe we need to sort that step first.

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  • Balderdasha
    replied
    I think that might be slightly less true with puppies, which they seem to get a few of, but all the ones they've got at the moment are reserved. I suspect a lot of people get them ahead of Christmas so we might have more luck after that.

    Thanks for all your thoughts. Lots to consider.

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  • Balderdasha
    replied
    I've started looking at rescue centres. The closest one seems to be a blue cross centre about ten miles away which is feasible for us to visit at some point. Looking through the website though, virtually all the dogs say that they are looking for "a quiet home with no children" which is certainly not what we're offering.

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  • scratchmonkey
    replied

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  • Sits
    replied
    Good old Teddy.

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  • Femme Folle
    replied

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  • Femme Folle
    replied
    Originally posted by Auntie Beryl View Post
    [Disclaimer: I have only had a dog living with me for the last 18 months and know nothing of dachshunds]

    In the context of your husband's allergy to cats, and in terms of housework, it might be worth looking at breeds that don't tend to shed hair (hypoallergenic) - the trade-off is increased grooming/care time (mostly brushing), which may or may not be an issue if you want to involve your kids in daily care for/of the dog.

    My little feller is mostly miniature poodle with a little Welsh collie in there as well. Like many I had preconceptions about poodles, assuming they had to have those hybrid fluffy/shaved show cuts, which is not the case at all. Poodles are relatively intelligent, tend to be kindly and have good temperaments (with training - we were both new to ownership when we carried this puppy into our house for the first time and am very grateful for the local dog school) and now, at 21 months, he's a very settled, grounded adult who we wouldn't be without.

    He's 15kg, so liftable, and knee-high on all four paws.

    The only other breed I've any experience is of King Charles Cavalier spaniels, of whom my in-laws have had a succession. I wouldn't recommend those for your situation as they tend to have weak hearts and although the latest one has reached 10 years of age, he's been a grumpy old sod for at least the last half decade.
    I second everything AB said about miniature poodles. They get a bad rap sometimes but they are the best. Easy to train and although they do need regular grooming (the price one must pay for any non-shedding breed), they make excellent companions for kids and adults. They’re just happy to be with their people.

    My late dog Teddy was a miniature poodle and a certified therapy dog. His jobs included having kids read to him at the library and visiting seniors at a home for people with dementia and other memory problems. He was the happiest dog all the time.

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  • Nocturnal Submission
    replied
    Originally posted by Sits View Post


    As an aside, I don't think I shared our recent (and her third) trip to Bunnings.

    I'm going with "questioning" and slightly "resentful" as my adjectives of choice for the subject of that photo.

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  • Sits
    replied


    As an aside, I don't think I shared our recent (and her third) trip to Bunnings.

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  • Moonlight Shadow
    replied
    We got ours to be better behaved with a lead connected to his collar, he has quickly learned it was not pleasant to him if pulling like a train. I still use harness meself as I am less reactive to his pulling (or he gets yanked back sharpish when I am in trainer mode)

    His recall is good when focused on us and we got something he wants but if there is a creature to be chased, all bets are off. Based on his parentage, it will be very hard to train him out of this and might require heavy stuff we are not confortable with. We have had a couple of incidents in the Yorkshire Dales involving sheep that taught us a good lesson (no harm done to said sheep btw)

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  • Third rate Leszno
    replied
    As a first time dog owner who's had just 18 months' experience, I can't tell you much Balderdasha but I can tell you that owning a dog is genuinely life changing - in a good way.

    That said, everything we do is now centred around the dog and we have to consider him before we make firm plans to do anything. Very occasionally, this can be limiting, but usually just means a bit of additional planning. Not having kids, this is new for us. For example, leaving him home alone is fine for short periods, but if we want to go out for 3-4 hours (i.e. to an evening football match) then we make time earlier in the day to give him a really good walk or run, which means he's tired and happy to just curl up and sleep while we're out. Because he's a house dog we have sworn never to leave him in kennels (no matter how plush) so we're very fortunate that we've found three different people locally who can look after him overnight, although they also need to be booked well in advance which means trips away have to be planned and not spontaneous.

    In terms of breed, our little fella is a cocker spaniel - pluses are size (15kg) and temperament, he has been very easy to house train with no unwanted chewing of furniture. Negatives are that he's a scent hound and even after 18 months working on his recall it can be sketchy if he gets his nose down and starts running, which makes off-lead walks a bit nerve wracking at times. He pulls like a bastard when he knows he's on his way home too, we've tried different lead, collar and harness styles and various methods of getting him to walk to heel (or at least not act like he's pulling a sled) with no real improvement so far.

    We did consider a dachshund but had heard that they can be strong-willed and therefore harder to train, which put us off a bit, especially when considered together with the potential for spinal problems if you let them jump around a lot as pups. They can be a bit yappy too (or maybe that's just the ones I encounter). Beagles are quite good family dogs, very good natured in my (childhood) experience, possible downside is that they would literally eat until their feet didn't touch the ground if you let them. Long-lived too, my Grandparents' beagle lived until it was 16.

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  • Sits
    replied
    Originally posted by Moonlight Shadow View Post
    Incidentally, what is it with people letting their dog off lead when they have no recall...My lad is on lead when I walk him and becomes very aggressive when approached by dogs that are left to roam by idiots who are not obeyed by their dogs and as a result have at best no manners, at worse are outright dangerous...
    Happened to me this morning. I had just managed to get Annabelle through the lead-pulling phase of our walk when in the opposite direction comes a woman with two kelpie crosses. Well at first I thought she had one, next to her on the lead. Then as we passed (separated by a grass verge and a kerb) she starts shouting "Lucky, breakfast!" She proceeded to repeat this about twenty times at Lucky, who was about 100 metres behind and clearly not the slightest bit interested in breakfast. Fortunately seemed placid but our dog is a lot more reactive to off-lead dogs, when she is leashed herself.

    Oh and "oodles" are $8k-$9k here (Aussie dollars) which is high pedigree price.

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  • scratchmonkey
    replied
    It probably differs greatly regionally and I couldn't begin to guess what it's like in the UK, around here, you can regularly find hypoallergenic rescue dogs for the same adoption fee as any other type of dog (we've gotten two). There just may be a lot more poodle mixes available here for whatever reason though.

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  • Moonlight Shadow
    replied
    Incidentally, what is it with people letting their dog off lead when they have no recall...My lad is on lead when I walk him and becomes very aggressive when approached by dogs that are left to roam by idiots who are not obeyed by their dogs and as a result have at best no manners, at worse are outright dangerous...

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  • caja-dglh
    replied
    hypoallergenic dogs are now extraordinarily expensive. Particularly the fashion-mutts that end "-doodle" - they run about as much as a pure-bred dog.

    With your son, I would just involve him in the process. My son has bonded with both our old rescue (since passed) and the puppy - in fact both, but especially the new one as he looks like a baby version of the rescue. Remarkably in his case the death was an hour of pure screaming and crying and then he was done - which is to say that it is very hard to predict how they will cope.

    Obviously you should get a dog. You can probably quickly find teenagers that will take dog-sitting duties at short notice and even stay at your house to avoid their parents.

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  • Moonlight Shadow
    replied
    Avoid flat-faced breeds for longevity and health...I have a terrier mix, whilst size wise and fitness wise, he is a great dog, he can be quite demanding and too clever for his own good. He is very nice with kids, our daycare lady was telling us how gentle he is with her two years old daughter.

    Greyhounds are very docile dogs, lots of them available at rescue centers. They are also incredibly lazy, surprisingly but do enjoy a good run. Just don't take them where small furry creatures roam and let them off lead...

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  • scratchmonkey
    replied
    TBH Balders, I wish we could clone you one of our dogs as he ticks all the boxes -- hypoallergenic, is the gentlest, kindest dog I've ever met (never so much as growled at the kids let alone snapped even if they've done ridiculous things to him), really wants two short walks a day and will sleep/toddle around the backyard otherwise, is fairly small, no obvious health problems, etc. Only real issue we've had is he has absolutely no fear of going after local wildlife, so he's been skunked once and I've had to physically separate him from racoons and possums (luckily with no damage to any parties). He's a former Tijuana street dog, mixture being 25% small poodle, 20% chihuahua, 15% cocker spaniel, 12% schnauzer.

    I think my advice to give you would be to look at poodle mixes, as they tend to be fairly intelligent without being neurotic (this is not entirely true for poodle purebreds, from what I've seen), obviously the hair thing is a big bonus, and if you're getting a small one (IIRC poodles come in 'standard', 'small', and 'toy', my experiences have been best with the small ones), they don't tend to be overly energetic. I'm also a big proponent of crossbreeds/mutts as they tend to have less health problems and if you're not planning to breed the animal, them being purebred is of dubious provenance.

    ETA: Oh, I wanted to add that we also got the dog because we felt that it was important for the children to get used to sharing space with another creature that wasn't us, and that it would be helpful for their emotional development and for just getting used to an entity with some mutable agency and behaviors that they might not like, yet could learn to deal with. In this regard, it's been an unqualified success -- we've also brought him over to my sister's multiple times (and that's where he stays when we go on trips) as one of her daughters was absolutely terrified of dogs, he very quickly won her over and when she was informed a few weeks ago that our mother would not be visiting for the holidays this year, she responded with "But will Harley be there?"
    Last edited by scratchmonkey; 06-12-2022, 20:45.

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  • S. aureus
    replied
    I have a dachshund, which we got from a shelter when he was about 5 years old.
    When we first got him he was potty trained (and, as we later found out, had been trained to do a few simple tricks). He was not at all good with other dogs at the time, but improved with a fair bit of work. He was always fine with my son (who's pretty mellow), but took quite a while to get used to my 1 year old rather boisterous daughter - indeed he bit her once, and would not tolerate her getting anywhere near his food. He was never much for playing (fetch or whatever). He's a short hair, doesn't shed and doesn't need much in the way of grooming. He's now about 16. He has had some spinal issues, having had to have surgery on his neck once last year, where the x-rays also showed him to have other areas of concern so he is no longer allowed to climb stairs or jump up and down onto furniture or whatever, which so far has kept him from having to have another surgery. He has slowed down a lot in the last couple of years, walks are now excruciatingly slow and he doesn't want to go very far anymore. These days he mostly wants to just snuggle up and snooze next to me. Dachshunds are a breed that aren't good at limiting their food intake - you have to make sure that you do that for them, otherwise they will get fat, which aggravates their spine issues. Ours (at least when younger) was also surprisingly good, considering his tiny legs, at getting onto raised surfaces and eating what might be up there. Our dachshund also has had Cushing's for a few years, I don't know if this is more common in the breed than dogs in general, which we've managed by giving him pills twice a day. In general he's always preferred people to other dogs, even after he stopped barking at and trying to fight the other dogs. He was never a big digger, but did like to poke around under our deck when younger.
    Even though he has short hair, I'd still view him as plenty furry enough, except right before we started treating his Cushing's when he lost a bunch.

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  • ursus arctos
    replied
    I come from a dachshund family, having had one as a child and having a number of other extended family members with them. There was another across the street from my parents' house.

    Ours was not at all difficult to train and would have ticked all of the other boxes (other then being furry, as she was a short hair). The one issue I would highlight is that they are extremely susceptible to back problems that have been exacerbated by breeding, and which can result in paralysis and/or shorten their lives They also (unsurprisingly) love to dig, so one should be able to tolerate hopes in the yard.

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  • Sean of the Shed
    replied
    San Bernardhinault well done on finding a lovely tranquil home for your distressed cat, it sounds like the perfect solution for everyone, even if you will miss having her around.

    Balderdasha I would get in touch with your local Dogs Trust or animal shelter now and tell them your plan for the future and your family situation. They should be able to advise you on what you need and be able to find the right dog that would match your criteria.
    Regarding longevity I would imagine there are plenty of 2-3 year old dogs in shelters at the moment from people who got a lock down puppy and have now decided it's too much hassle.
    ​​

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  • Shades & Shadows
    replied
    One of my colleagues owned dachshunds and bred them occasionally and he said they are quite stubborn and difficult to train. They can also have spinal problems and/or bad legs and they're quite popular at the moment so you need to be wary of unscrupulous breeders.

    One of my friends has had shelties (Shetland sheepdogs) for decades and they are good with children, small without being tiny and fairly easy to train. However, they do require regular grooming and shed a fair bit in warmer months.

    You may be better off with a crossbreed, as health problems tend to be less common than in pedigrees, but temperaments and such may be harder to determine. A crossbreed will generally be cheaper too, if getting the dog from a breeder.

    What I would say is to be extremely careful of the breeder you go to if you go that route. Many puppy farmers will hire people to show you dogs in a house so it looks legit, so make sure to do your research on how to avoid falling into the trap of accidentally buying a puppy farmed dog. If you go to a breeder, it's not unusual to have to wait several months to get a puppy, so you'll need to plan in advance and register your interest early. Check out charities such as Blue Cross and Dogs Trust for advice on getting a healthy dog, what kind of dog is suited to your family etc.

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  • Sits
    replied
    Balders, none of the three dogs we’ve had would be ideal for your situation so I don’t feel qualified to give advice. However the “Temperament” section of the Wikipedia article on Dachshunds suggests they can be hard work to get trained.

    But once you have your plans in order I hope it’s a wonderful experience for you all.

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  • Auntie Beryl
    replied
    [Disclaimer: I have only had a dog living with me for the last 18 months and know nothing of dachshunds]

    In the context of your husband's allergy to cats, and in terms of housework, it might be worth looking at breeds that don't tend to shed hair (hypoallergenic) - the trade-off is increased grooming/care time (mostly brushing), which may or may not be an issue if you want to involve your kids in daily care for/of the dog.

    My little feller is mostly miniature poodle with a little Welsh collie in there as well. Like many I had preconceptions about poodles, assuming they had to have those hybrid fluffy/shaved show cuts, which is not the case at all. Poodles are relatively intelligent, tend to be kindly and have good temperaments (with training - we were both new to ownership when we carried this puppy into our house for the first time and am very grateful for the local dog school) and now, at 21 months, he's a very settled, grounded adult who we wouldn't be without.

    He's 15kg, so liftable, and knee-high on all four paws.

    The only other breed I've any experience is of King Charles Cavalier spaniels, of whom my in-laws have had a succession. I wouldn't recommend those for your situation as they tend to have weak hearts and although the latest one has reached 10 years of age, he's been a grumpy old sod for at least the last half decade.
    Last edited by Auntie Beryl; 06-12-2022, 10:53.

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  • Balderdasha
    replied
    Advice needed.

    It seems that we are gradually talking ourselves into getting a dog for the family, potentially around end-March/early April time to make any housetraining a bit easier on everyone with the opportunity for lots of spring/summer walks outside and time in the garden.

    Reasons for doing this:
    1) we think it might be good for son with his sensory issues.
    2) daughter has been leaving drawings of puppies in gift boxes around the house as subtle Christmas hints for months. She's not getting one for Christmas but we are thinking about it seriously long term.
    3) good fitness and mental health boosts for me and husband taking the dog for walks.
    4) we'd really like a furry pet and we can't have a cat because husband is allergic.
    5) we're actually in our own house now so this is possible. Previously we were in rented accommodation that didn't allow pets.

    Our situation / the complications:
    1) we're in a three bedroom, semi-detached house with garden / land around three sides of the house. The back garden is pretty self-contained with high fences. The previous owners had a labrador that seemed relatively happy out there. There's even a dog flap in the kitchen door which is currently just letting heat escape. The front garden is not a bad size either though it has lower fences that a bigger dog could probably jump. The downstairs of the house is all tiled/wooden flooring so if we can keep a dog downstairs clean-up shouldn't be too horrendous.

    2) we have a lovely big park at the bottom of the hill so plenty of access to space for walks. It's popular with dog walkers, has trees to explore and a big open grassy space where you can let a well-trained dog off a lead to run about.

    3) given mine and my husband's work schedules we can often, but not always, arrange for there to be one adult at home during the day. There's an adult in the house for 60+% of the time during weekdays 9-5pm, 100% of the time in the evenings and the majority of the time at weekends.

    4) we do, however, go away on holidays, sometimes at quite short notice, which could be difficult for arranging kennels or dog sitters.

    5) none of us have ever owned a dog so we are wary about what we don't know about looking after one.

    Requirements:
    1) must be a dog that is extremely good with children. Son is quite cautious round dogs so we need one that is very gentle and has no chance of biting him. He in turn, is very gentle with animals (much less gentle with his sister).

    2) a smaller dog is preferable. While the previous owners kept a labrador, I don't think the house is actually really big enough for one. The previous owner was South African and seemed to think that dogs mostly live outside, whereas we'd want the dog to be part of the family, allowed to have a bed inside the house downstairs.

    3) preferably a dog that is going to live for at least 10-15 years or so. I want this to be a source of stability for my son, not something that's going to lead to immense and overwhelming grief in the near future.

    Husband has been doing some research and suggests a dachshund. Does anyone have experience with these? We haven't decided yet whether to get a rescue or a new dog. I'd favour a rescue but I'm wary of the possibility of a dog that has been poorly treated in the past lashing out at the children.

    Any advice or suggestions gratefully received.
    Last edited by Balderdasha; 07-12-2022, 08:25.

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