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If you had the money a lease of a horse at a reputable riding facility would be more sensible than a dog. Physical activity, other people doing that, lessons and the horse is not "yours" and there are stable hands or barn owner to deal with poop.. and the horse can be turned back at any time.
This is a good idea, although pricey depending on the area and the arrangement you can work out. Sometimes people with elderly horses look for beginner riders just to get their horse some attenion and a little exercise. I know plenty of people who would let someone (willing to learn) do this for free or a small monhly fee.

If you are in an area with a good number of barns around you, you could call around asking if they would exchange riding time/lessons for help around the barn. Then she could spend time with horses doing chores (great form of exercise around animals) and even get some lessons for her work.

I second the idea of getting rats. They are basically like little mini dogs, and she could keep them in her room so you'd never really have to see them. I had them for several years and they are fantastic pets. There are even rat rescues and you can adopt/foster adult rats for a much shorter time commitment.

I don't recommend you get a dog.
 

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I would go with a reputable breeder. I may be biased, but I give all my puppies basic housebreaking and crate training before they go home. I have a whole litter that is 7 months old and totally reliable in the house and I know other breeders do this as well. The smaller the dog the longer they take to housebreak, so I would recommend a medium sized dog or even large if you can tolerate that. Stay away from animal shelter dogs, 95% are there because of potty problems (I worked in one years ago). Good luck with your new dog, whatever breed you choose!
I think the whole "not wanting the dog after teen leaves" is a pretty big issue that getting a purebred can't fix.

Most breeders let puppies to new homes between 8-10 weeks, 12 weeks of age for very small ones. Few puppies are anywhere near housetrained at 12 weeks and definitely not at 8 weeks.
Personally, I'd be more concerned abou temperament problems in a dog from a litter that was still kept together at 7 months of age.

YMMV, but I have rarely seen potty training problems as the major reason dogs end up in shelters. Excluding to a degree those cases where the owner never bothers to even try or outside only dogs that just need some basic instruction to transition to outside. Potty problems can be an issue with dogs kennelled for a long time like from puppy mill or hoarding busts but on the whole, I have not seen any major issue with housetraining shelter dogs as opposed to just any dog of similar age and size.

OP should not (IMO) get a dog at all, but for others reading I wanted to provide additional perspective on house training
 

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I agree, not the best but, if a dog is going to be it, then an older dog that is housetrained and, knows basic commands. One that probably won't live long after the teen goes to college.
 

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YMMV, but I have rarely seen potty training problems as the major reason dogs end up in shelters.
Same. I'd say the most common reasons in my area are owner's financial issues, moving and can't or won't take the animal, and/or had a baby, none of which reflect much, if at all, on the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
***Update***

This is so unbelievable. So I had read through all of your posts several times and continued to pray and research. I finally accepted that although there would be benefits, it would be best for all (parents, daughter, dog) if we didn't get a pet at this time. I put away all my notes and focused on other things.

A few days ago, my daughter and I had to return an item to a friend that we hadn't seen in a few months. As we walk in, three adorable little dogs greet us. I was surprised as I thought she only had a small terrier. One in particular just looked right at me and I was so drawn to this little Shih Tzu. Through the course of the conversation my friend explained her terrier is nearing the end of her life and a customer (she's a part-time dog groomer) gave her their dog as they were moving. She said that was fine, until another customer had to go into the nursing home and gave her dog to my friend, too! (the Shih Tzu). Then my friend said that she's looking for a permanent home because she just can't have three dogs to care for at this point in her life. Also, she said the Shih Tzu is so companionable that she stays right next to my friend's husband all the time. He has health issues resulting in balance issues so they're concerned he's going to trip over the dog and get seriously injured.

My friend then asked if I knew of anyone looking for a dog, she has been praying for a forever family for the Shih Tzu. Because my daughter was there, I was limited in what I could say. Daughter said "Mom, I can't believe you're even petting the dog. You don't like animals!". So here are the facts:
-female dog, about 10 years old
-extremely well-trained, not a barker
-friend said she'd be happy in any family...she loves going on walks, but loves to be a coach potato
-friend said (of course having no idea of what I'm thinking) "I've already told my husband I'll provide free grooming for the first several months and watch the dog for free if the new owners have to go out of town. I just can't have her here long-term. Let me know if you know of anybody that's interested, but I'm super picky on who I'd let her go to."

When we got home, daughter told my husband all about it and said Mom even thought she was cute! (I fully realize pet ownership is waaaaaay more than just thinking they're cute!)

The next day I texted my friend and explained what was going on behind the scenes. Next week, when my daughter is at work, I'm going to go over and spend time with the dog and ask a thousand questions. This really feels like it fell into my lap and an answer to prayer, but I keep going back and forth. It's somewhat of a relief to have my friend, so knowledgeable and available, if I have issues or questions as we move forward with this. So that's what's happening!

Again ~ I have appreciated each and every response. I appreciate your honesty and advice.
 

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Wow this sounds like a great situation for you! I think you're going about the whole thing in the right ways, including not telling your daughter anything about it yet. Do have the dog over and spend some time with it. I would strongly recommend if you decide to go ahead that you only agree to a trial period (a month) to start. By the end of the month you will know exactly what is involved in dog ownership, but will also have overcome some of the initial shock/troubles of having a new living creature in your lives.
 

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UPDATE ON PAGE 2! Considering a dog---first time owners!

Update on page two!
Hello! I need your help and advice.

Our (teenage) daughter has asked for years for a dog. Begged. For years. She loves animals of all kinds, but especially dogs. She dogsits for neighbors as needed and absolutely loves them, big, small, and in-between. We have said No because:
1-Neither my husband or I are animal lovers. Usually, dogs make us nervous and startled. (Go ahead, roll your eyes :) )
2-I'm very squeamish and the thought of cleaning up dog poo, the shedding hair, etc. is too much for me.
3-Logistics- We both work full-time. Every six weeks or so we go out of town for the weekend. We live in a 1200sq foot house in town.
4-One of our other children is severley allergic to both cats and dogs.

But because of some recent life circumstances, it has been recommended that our daughter have a dog as 'pet therapy'. She does not know this (yet). We are not sure what to do, but here are my responses to #1-4 above.
1-We would get over our dislike for our daughter's sake. Absolutely.
2-As a teenager with dog sitting experience, she would be comfortable and old enough to do a lot of the care needed.
3-?
4-The allergic child will soon be moving across the country to college and only coming home for holidays and special occasions.

I've done tons of research so far, but need to hear from people who have been there/done that. According to my research and multiply "What breed is for you?" quizzes, it appears the following breeds are the direction we should be thinking:
Bichon Frise
Halvanese
Boston terriers
Shih Tzu
Poodle

I've checked online to see what's available at local shelters. I also googled area breeders and found that they are waaaaay out of our budget. :( We want to have a specific plan in place if we move forward with this before telling our daughter.

Here are some current concerns:
1-I absolutely can't deal with shedding and poop. At my job I deal with some difficult situations on an ongoing basis, but this I just can't do. I'm sorry!
2-What happens when daughter moves to college in a few years? We will not want to keep the dog, but chances are she won't be able to take him to college, nor would she want to part with him (nor should she). :(
3-We would prefer a low-maintenance, low energy dog that doesn't bark very much (neighbors).

I'm probably not the typical poster here. Thank you in advance for your patience. I am so interested in your thoughts and opinions.

Slardyb
Boxer or lab would be my choice something kind of big for security reasons you never know.
 

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2 year old thread.

BTW, a lab is probably the 2nd worst large dog for "security" because they pretty much love everybody. A newfoundland is probably the worst.
 
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