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So I grew up with a chihuahua.. love that lil guy, hes still around at 17 years of age! However, my mom did most of the taking care of him, since I was a kid I never had the responsibility of buying food/giving him food/walks etc..

Now im 24, living on my own and hoping to adopt a dog.. theres already one I have in mind.. hes a 6 month old lab/mutt mix.. hes still got the puppy energy/spirit..

I have a few concerns though..

Sleep is very important to me and I dunno if I could deal with a dog waking me up in the night. Is this a common thing to happen? I know when we first brought home our chihuahua, we put him in the bathroom at night and he yelped all night, but once we let him out he chilled out.. and he only rarely woke me up as he got older if someone came home late at night or something he would growl.

Are all dogs likely to be waking me up at night? How can I prevent this? Like I said, if getting a dog means sacrificing my sleep quality I dunno if I should get one.

The other concern is.. from my research neutering dogs can lead to health problems.. especially if neutered at a young age before they are fully mature. This lil guy is neutered already and hes only 6 months so I need to find out when they snipped him.. but im worried if hes so young and they already chopped them off that it will effect his bone/muscle development and also ive heard it can/could cause urinary issues?

If it were up to me I would not neuter a dog, I would just do a vasectomy if possible.. a lot of people seem to think its not healthy to have a fully intact dog? That seems crazy to me.. people dont understand, when you chop off the testicles, your not just stopping the dog from reproducing, you are cutting off two organs which produce hormones needed for muscle/bone/mental function. It can definitely cause health problems.

Thoughts?
 

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I was thinking about getting a puppy (4-12 months) old.. but now im starting to think a young adult dog would be a better choice.. im thinking a dog thats 1 1/2 - 4 years old.. that way, I will have a better sense of its mature personality and hopefully it would already come potty trained / obedient.. this would make everything much easier. Im a young single guy, I dont know if I could handle taking care of a puppy.. its like having a baby which im definitely not ready for.. But an older dog would be more calm, less likely to pee/poo in the house etc..
 

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The best thing I can say from reading both of your posts, is that you sound like you're saying you basically want to take on a dog withut any of the responsibility. That's just the "vibe" you give off.

Adults, puppies, senior dogs.. they all require a strong commitment. As a young single guy, do you go out and do a lot of partying? Is your poor dog just going to sit at home alone all the time while you go out and live up the single life? This is not the environment you want to bring a dog into. Even older dogs require lots of love and attention and consideration. What are you going to do if you ever stay out all night? Spend days at someone else's place? Your dog needs to be taken care of, fed, walked, played with..

Bringing home an adult dog would be better for you, but no one can "guarantee" they won't wake you up at night. What will you do if the dog DOES wake you up at night, after all? Give it back? If your answer is "Give it back," then please.. don't get a dog to begin with.

Fact is, there is nothing I can think of that I wouldn't sacrifice for my dog.. and the fact that anyone would say they are just not able to sacrifice x-thing or y-thing makes me immediately think a dog might not be the right pet for you. If sacrifice isn't really your thing, why would you want to bring a dog into your life to begin with?

You mentioned having a puppy is a bit like having a baby.. absolutely true. But that doesn't mean having an adult dog is like having another adult human around.. at best an adult dog is more like having a perpetual 5-year-old, with that being somewhat optimistic (many dogs are more like having a 2-year-old around, I think this is far more realistic, haha). So even though you won't get "stuck" with a baby, you're definitely going to have something you must provide for for the rest of your life.. something you have to put first, before yourself.

As per sleep... My pup is 5 months old and only just learned to sleep through an 8 hour night, but even then she sometimes gets me up at 5am instead of 6am and there's not much I can do about it. Prior to that I could be up anywhere from once to 5 or 6 times a night to make sure all of her needs were met. It's just the nature of the job.

In all seriousness though, you sound like you want a dog without having to do any of the work. But like I said, even bringing home an adult dog comes with tons of responsibility and tons of work. It may come potty-trained and obedience-trained if you're lucky, but you'll have to keep up with that for the rest of it's life, continuing the training, setting and enforcing appropriate boundaries, cleaning up after accidents (which even adult dogs can have, especially when adjusting to a new home), and providing for all the emotional needs as well as the physical needs.. that "emotional/mental" part is often overlooked by new dog owners and I think that right there is the part I worry about you in particular adopting a dog. Are you ready to provide the appropriate mental stimulation for this dog? Otherwise even an adult dog could end up destroying everything you own due to sheer boredom one day, and regardless of how tiny a dog ;)

I think you need to reconsider your reasons behind getting a dog. You're bringing a companion into your life and it is no small feat.
 

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My thought is that I like your second idea better than the first. But....any dog still needs attention, exercise, food, toys, training even if it is already trained it will always need reinforcing.....and then there are the vet bills. Money for all these things are important. They need to go out potty more than just once a day. Keeping you from your sleep is not a sure thing with any animal. Mine still wake me up at night just fussing around and sometimes if they have to go potty really badly......even though it is rare.....yes.....they will paw at me until I get up and take them out They need exercise and different breeds need different amounts. I would do some homework on what breed would suit your life style first. Then I would go for an older dog. A puppy is a LOT of work and takes a LOT of time. Good luck in whatever you choose. This is all just my opinion based on my own experience.....and I am no spring chicken....LOL! :)

I like what Sendiulino wrote.....well written in my books! :)
 

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Here's the deal with the sleep issue: puppies will usually need a potty trip in the middle of the night til they can hold it. BUT, even some adult dogs need a middle of the night bathroom trip. It depends on a lot of things, including their feeding schedule and how long they can physically hold it.

As for potty training: When people adopt a dog, I always recommend doing a "review" on potty training, no matter what age the dog is. When a dog goes to a new home, there will be new sights, smells, sounds, people, as well as new rules and procedures. So, it helps a dog if you give them some extra help as far as potty training is concerned. For the first few weeks, make sure you watch them, supervise them closely, so if they show signs of needing to go out, you can take them out. And, make sure you take them out on a schedule, even every 2-3 hours to begin with, so that they get the idea of going outside to potty.
Not all shelters have $ and people to make sure dogs are always walked and taken out when they need to potty, so shelter dogs often get used to pottying in their kennel, and you need to remind them not to, when you get them home.

I'd also recommend doing lots of searches for training and behavior issues, so that you give your dog, if you chose to get one, the best start possible in a new home.
 

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.... On the other hand .... Getting a rescued Lab can be a good thing. The rescue can match you to the dog. But, Consider:
1. A Lab is very different from a Chihuahua. Labs love cold weather, they love to eat, love to play roughly, love to eat :) , and need a minimum of a 30 min. walk every day. They can easily be conditioned to jog with you.
2. A Lab wants training... and will train you.
3. A Chi can live 17 - 21 years. A Lab lives 12 - 17 years. Seven - eight years is a senior dog.
4. Labs love to be around people and easily adapt to your life style. There is not reason why a happy, healthy, well-exercised, and well-trained Lab will wake you up at night. But, you'll have to learn how to train him.

My Lab mix is 11 yo and acts like he's 3 yo, and I give him lots of exercise. He has no trouble sleeping through the night. However, he may wake me up in the morning on the weekend, because he wants his breakfast at the same time that I feed him before work. (Older dogs should be fed twice a day, young adults are fine with one feeding per day.) Sometimes I chose to roll over and go back to sleep.... He won't starve because a few more hours of sleep. .... But, I've spent 11 years training him.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the advice guys..

Yes I am taking this decision seriously.. Im not rushing into adopting a dog, ive been thinking about it for a long time now.. ive known people in the past whove rushed into adopting a dog and it wasnt fair on the dog.

Im just being realisitc about what I want / what behaviors would be hard for me to deal with. The sleep thing is the main concern of mine.. but other then that, I am financially stable, I love dogs, I grew up with a dog, and im a bit lonely right now and could do with a companion. I also go hiking every weekend and would love to take a pooch with me. I also have a lot of free time compared to most people - and there is a great cage free daycare place near my house I could take him if I was going to be gone longer then normal.

and yea.. the idea of an older dog appeals to me now.. I know there will still be issues to deal with, but im sure - if I picked the right dog, there would be less behavioral issues to deal with like peeing all over the house, ripping up shoes, whining all night etc. I can deal with some poo/pee in the house, but I would rather adopt an older mature dog who can hold it in longer then a pup.

Its a hard decision to make.. when you go to shelters/rescues theres only so much time you can spend with the dog and in that environment its not always easy to really get a sense of the dogs personality and how it will act at home.
 

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Also -yea im a young single guy - but I dont really party at all .. no drinking/drugs and I very rarely go out at night... but like I said im a little lonely at the moment without a girlfriend.. I could do with a furry companion :)
 

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Its a hard decision to make.. when you go to shelters/rescues theres only so much time you can spend with the dog and in that environment its not always easy to really get a sense of the dogs personality and how it will act at home.
Sounds like you're being serious about the process - great!! :)

For an adult dog, you might look at rescues that place dogs in foster homes until they're adopted (as opposed to shelters that keep dogs in kennels). The rescue folks should have a fairly good understanding of the dog's temperament and if he'd be a good choice for you. I'm not sure about the protocol, but you may even be able to meet with the dog's foster family.
 

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Hey Cookie,

Yea that is a good idea.. I was at the public shelter the other day but the dogs come with no information really.. but at a rescue with fosters I could definitely get a good sense of the dogs bahavior at home. Hmm.. yea I just want to make sure I pick a dog that will blend with my lifestyle well so we can both be happy.

Probably going to look at a few pups today at a rescue near my house.. will see what info they have on the guys.

What im looking for...
2-5 year old male
Short hair
Spunky personality but calm and relatively quiet
Very friendly with people and other animals
Loyal / obedient
Likes walks and hiking
Also likes to chill at home n lounge around eating treats and watching TV
 

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Also -yea im a young single guy - but I dont really party at all .. no drinking/drugs and I very rarely go out at night... but like I said im a little lonely at the moment without a girlfriend.. I could do with a furry companion :)
This concerned me just a bit :(.

Say you adopt a dog and you've had him/her for awhile, suddenly you have a girlfriend again! What happens to the dog? You only got the dog because you were lonely/wanted a companion but now you have a girlfriend.

I think first and foremost you should re-evaluate the reason you want the dog. I think that getting a dog simply because you are lonely from not having a girlfriend isn't the best reason. I think that getting a dog because you want a companion is.

But when you get a girlfriend;
-You can't just up and decide to spend a night at her place.
-You can't just up and spend a few nights at her place.
-You can't decide that Rufus doesn't need his walk today because your girlfriend wants to spend the entire day shopping and then have you spend the night.

Would you be willing to tell your girlfriend that you can't immediately go out with her because your dog needs to be walked, fed and/or taken out? If your girlfriend decided she didn't like your dog would you just dump him/her back in the shelter? Or if you get into a fight over your dog and she said "it's me or the dog" what would you do?
 
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