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Grad school is not a great time to be getting a puppy IMO. Unless you're one of those lucky, lucky people who don't have to work while you're going through school. And even THEN you're still going to be quite busy. I like the idea of an older, rescue dog who is already house broken. But whether you get a puppy or an adult, and no matter what breed or what size, a dog is an incredible commitment and takes a LOT of work: daily training AND exercise (even if you have a smaller breed and even if you did have a huge back yard), not to mention that they are more expensive than just the initial cost of purchase. In other words, i think if you're finding yourself having second thoughts, it probably isn't the right time.
Had to throw in my two cents here:

I got my pup in grad school. Not really a pup, though - 7 months and already mostly housetrained. I think it depends on what kind of grad program it is; if school is your work, then I think it's ok. If you're working additional hours elsewhere outside of your program requirements, it could get tough IMO.

I agree completely regarding the rescue dog. Save yourself the hassle of a little puppy, particularly if this is your first. Housetraining is a big part of puppyhood, but there are plenty of other challenges to think about too.

The backyard isn't a huge deal IMO. I have a nice sized fully fenced backyard that the dog rarely uses, because it's still too small for out-and-out running. That's what parks, bikes, and sneakers are for.

Last point: If you're scared now, wait till you get the dog! In my experience, the first week or so is an utter nightmare. You are constantly asking yourself whether you can pull this off - again, probably a new-dog-owner syndrome. I pretty much couldn't eat for a week because of the pit in the bottom of my stomach. If you're scared, keep reading a lot (this forum is great! - the stickys alone will go a long ways) and you'll find out if this is really a good time for you to get a dog or not. Plus, if you decide to go for it, you'll already know all the tricks!

Good luck!
 

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Had to throw in my two cents here:

I got my pup in grad school. Not really a pup, though - 7 months and already mostly housetrained. I think it depends on what kind of grad program it is; if school is your work, then I think it's ok. If you're working additional hours elsewhere outside of your program requirements, it could get tough IMO.

I agree completely regarding the rescue dog. Save yourself the hassle of a little puppy, particularly if this is your first. Housetraining is a big part of puppyhood, but there are plenty of other challenges to think about too.

The backyard isn't a huge deal IMO. I have a nice sized fully fenced backyard that the dog rarely uses, because it's still too small for out-and-out running. That's what parks, bikes, and sneakers are for.

Last point: If you're scared now, wait till you get the dog! In my experience, the first week or so is an utter nightmare. You are constantly asking yourself whether you can pull this off - again, probably a new-dog-owner syndrome. I pretty much couldn't eat for a week because of the pit in the bottom of my stomach. If you're scared, keep reading a lot (this forum is great! - the stickys alone will go a long ways) and you'll find out if this is really a good time for you to get a dog or not. Plus, if you decide to go for it, you'll already know all the tricks!

Good luck!
Wow, this is exactly my thoughts :D.

Puppies are like babies, they need a lot of attention.

I think many of the adult rescue dogs are mostly housetrained even if the shelter isn't sure. And even if you still want a puppy, why not rescue one from the shelter.

My dog could care less about our backyard. It's a fenced area outdoors where you can play with your dog sure but a local park would be just as good. You'll need to walk your dog everyday regardless.

And yeah, once you look into it, you'd be surprised just how much you don't know about dogs, from food and beds to behaviors to grooming techniques :).
 

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I don't know if toilet-training is supposed to be that difficult or if my lack of training and his young age made things more complicated.
You had a puppy that wasn't even 8 wks old. It takes some dogs months to be reliably housetrained, and size is a factor as well, as Toy breeds have tiny bladders, and must go out more often.

Right now, I would like to get a toy poodle.
It is small (I live in an apartment) and supposedly, poodles are smart and easy to train but, I have read that this depends.
Poodles are very smart, and they're very social beings, requiring an owner who spends time working with, and just hanging out with them, and you'd better have a good sense of humor. They do not do well left alone. A Toy Poodle puppy would require you, or someone else, to let him/her out to potty every 2 hours. Leaving a puppy alone for 8+ hours is bad news for that puppy. Get an adult who is already potty trained.

I don't want to sound as lazy but I do want to give the best to a dog and I don't know if living in an apartment and working 8-5 pm is good for a puppy. I would only be able to toilet train him on the weekends...so...

I either took my puppies to work with me, or had someone come in to spend time with the puppy, and to let her out to potty. Puppies require a lot from you, meaning MUCH more than simply taking them outside to potty. It's very scary for a tiny puppy to be left alone for hours, without mom and siblings.

Why not try fostering a small breed dog for awhile, and see first hand if you're ready to have a dog. It's like having a perpetual 2 yr. old child at home that you must be responsible for 24/7. They have needs - physical, emotional, social. Ask yourself if you're really up for this just entering grad school. Are you really ready to be a single parent? Because that's what it is like in reality.

I vote WAIT.
 

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Just because you get a bigger breed of dog, won't make it any more smarter, and you'd still have to take time to house-train it as a puppy... You probably know that though, right?

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also bigger dogs leave bigger pee's and poos!
 
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