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hi all,
i am sixteen years old and plan to get a puppy at the very start of the summer holidays-end of june, but i am confused as to what breed i should be looking for. Last year, when i nearly took up the opportunity to have a chocolate cocker spaniel, the breeder felt that it maybe was not the right breed for me. My mum is adamant that she does not want a big dog, though this may be negotiable, but we would need a puppy that is reasonable to train, and would be ok on its on. I am able to give him/her frequent walks throughout the day,- before school-(during school I am hiring a local dog walker to walk them for an hr)-after school, evening and night. i would greatly appreciate any advice or opinions that may help me in making this important decision :)
 

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There are a lot of things for you to consider. Do you have very young brothers and sisters? If you do, you might not want a very large, nor a very small dog. A medium-sized dog might be best for you in that situation. Also, you would want to consider how much grooming you are willing to do. Dogs with a lot of coat are a lot of work, and dogs with double coats (a coat underneath another coat) are even harder! So maybe a dog with short hair? That might mean you just have to run a brush over him a couple times a week to keep him clean and nice. The other important thing is whether or not you live.

Now I'm going to speak as a mom ... as a teenager, you are going to want to maintain your social life, and the responsibility of a dog is a BIG one. It's totally great that you want that responsibility. But hey, during the summer there's work, partying, beach, friends, etc. During the school year there is school, friends, weekends, and then when you hit your senior year, you have so many things to do! Lots of projects, etc, and then you might even go off to college, or move away from home. Will the dog go with you or stay with mom? Something to consider.

Good luck.
 

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hi, thanks for your reply, i appreciate it!
Firstly, i have no young brothers or sisters- though i have a bossy 18year old sister, and i also live with my mum-my dad tragically passed away three years ago. I sincerely realise the level of responsibility involved in bringing a puppy into your life, afterall "a dog's for life, not just for christmas", and i believe, mentally, i am fully prepared. When i was unable to bring a puppy into my household last year, i was so desperate to have the joy of walking/being with a dog, that i sent out 80+ letters asking local residents if they needed any help with their dog-sadly i recieved no replies :mad:. I have been desperate for a dog ever since i was a toddler, and even more so since the my dads death, and i realise that when you bring a puppy into your life, a lot of things will change, for instance, i will be losing a couple of hours extra sleep because i'll be getting up to walk him/her; that i have to be conscious of where i go in that i will need to be back for the dog him/her to taker them out; i realise that i may have to skip time with friends, but i believe if the reward is that rewarding, you should find a way to overcome the barrier, however big it is. -sorry if that sounds really cringeworthy!
once again i would greatly appreciate any reply
 

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If I were you, I'd probably go to the local shelter and look at their puppies. If nothing "jumps out at you", visit again the following week. The shelter workers can usually give you a pretty good idea of what mix the pup is and sometimes they even have seen one of the parents. The'll be able to tell you approximately how big the dog will be. Nearly any puppy can be easily trained as long as you work with it.

I got my first 2 puppies at the shelter and they are GREAT dogs!

It sounds to me like you're pretty ready. :) Realize that the first couple weeks are probably going to be the hardest, but if you put in hard work then (by getting up in the middle of the night to take him outside to potty) it will pay off later. And you did really good by coming here and asking about it.

So, are you set on a purebred dog? Why?
What kind of traits are you looking for?
What kind of coat?
What energy level? A couch potato or a biking partner?

Those are just some of the questions I have. :)
 

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I think you should get an older dog.
Is your mom okay with the dog staying her ?
Or your going to take the dog after high school ?
Who is going to pay for dog and dog's food,things, and vet ?
Have you ever had a dog ?
Can you example why the breeder thought it was right for you ?
When you say okay on its own ?
How many hours are you talking about ?
Maybe try some volunteer at shelters or something.
Or foster a dog ?

What are you looking in a dog ?
Besides reasonable training ?
 

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If you've never had a dog before, it is REALLY hard to fully grasp the amount of time and energy they take. Before deciding to adopt my foster guide dog puppy 5 years ago, I asked myself if I was ready for the commitment. We have a family dog, and while my dad is her primary caretaker, I knew what was required of me to properly take care of my dog. I thought I could handle coming home right after school to take him for walks, I thought I could handle getting up earlier to take him out, I thought my love for my dog would keep me happy when I had to skip out on going to a sleepover or going out with friends after school. It didn't work that way, and I was really lucky to have my parents pick up my slack. I resented my dog for taking up all my social time, and I "took it out" on him by giving him short walks or just letting him run around the back yard. I got him when I was 15, I had spent that whole summer volunteering at the dog guide center in the kennels just to prove to my parents I could handle the committment. As much as I wanted him, I wasn't willing to give up all my time for him, and he was/is a needy dog. I have since smartened up. It took two years for me to realize that I was failing my dog, and that his behavioural problems were all because of me. It was a terrible realization, but I couldn't be more thankful that I grew up and finally fulfilled my committment.
You are not me, and only you will know if you're truly ready for a dog, but until you experience owning a dog first hand, it is EXTREMELY difficult to fully realize the dedication it takes to raise a dog.

I strongly suggest getting more experience with dogs before getting your own.
 

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I've been in your position before. I wanted a dog ever since I knew what they were, and begged and cried and whined. Finally, at 14, my parents allowed me to get my own puppy. I wanted to pick up a newspaper and find the nearest GSD "breeder" with puppies for sale, but did my research and waited for over a year before taking a pup home.

It's a big commitment, but if your dedicated and if you really, and I mean really, do your research and plan ahead, you can probably do it. It depends a lot on how much you're willing to give up. Already, I have to refuse party invites, I virtually stopped hanging out with friends, I wake up at 5:00 am each morning to play with my puppy, and go to sleep at 12:00-2:00 am because of homework, and stopped hanging out with a lot of my friends.

I definitely second the recommendation for an adult dog.
 

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I've been in your position before. I wanted a dog ever since I knew what they were, and begged and cried and whined. Finally, at 14, my parents allowed me to get my own puppy. I wanted to pick up a newspaper and find the nearest GSD "breeder" with puppies for sale, but did my research and waited for over a year before taking a pup home.

It's a big commitment, but if your dedicated and if you really, and I mean really, do your research and plan ahead, you can probably do it. It depends a lot on how much you're willing to give up. Already, I have to refuse party invites, I virtually stopped hanging out with friends, I wake up at 5:00 am each morning to play with my puppy, and go to sleep at 12:00-2:00 am because of homework, and stopped hanging out with a lot of my friends.

I definitely second the recommendation for an adult dog.
hi and thanks for your reply!
i have posted this thread on four other forums, and the vast majority of replies seem to be pointing in the direction of bringing in a dog from a shelter, and so i will be researching that topic. the other minority of replies seem to be suggesting a cocker.
personally, if my mum would allow it, i would be over the moon with a german sheperd, but do you think there would be problems if i brought a older gsd from a shelter into my home?
 

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If you are truly set on a specific breed, you could look into breed rescues. Otherwise, I'd definitely look into your local shelter.

Looking after a puppy is a big commitment. We were not looking for a puppy or a dog for that matter when we found our puppy hungry, cold, and crying. While we were not exactly looking for a dog, I think it took us a total of 2 seconds to decide we had to take in this poor puppy that was carelessly abandoned at our doorstep. I had never raised a puppy before, and I learned quickly how much responsibility was involved. He needed to be dewormed, he was full of fleas, he needed all of his puppy shots and boosters... He needed a crate, he needed food, he needed a leash and a collar... and I'm just getting started! We do not stay out late anymore, and we both come right home after school/work to let him out/take him for walks/ect. We used to stay out late a few nights a week, now we have cut that down to one night a week with a "doggie babysitter". I don't have any children, but I would go so far to say a puppy is as much of a responsibility as a baby. If I had it all to do over again I would not change a thing, but my next dog will probably be an adult. It is possible to bond with an adult dog just as much as a puppy, trust me!

Good luck on whatever you decide! We want updates! :)
 

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Hi all,
i have just been researching some dog shelters in scotland, including scottish spca, and to me, 75% of the adds say "only to a experienced owners " and "to adult homes". some say that the reasons the dog had to leave a previous family was because they got too attached to their owners and hated being on their own, so obviously that wouldn't suit my situation. and finally, 90% of the dogs in shelter i have looked at are either rottweilers, staffies or bulldogs, and because i dont think they would suit a first time owner like me-and i'm not too keen on them either. there are a few gsd that i have seen, which is arguably my favourite breed, however the majority of their adds saying only to experienced homes aswell, or not to be left on their own - so im a bit stuck again :confused:
 

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hi
i understand your problem. i am of the opinion that a medium size dog is just what you need.

should you require additonal training visiting :)ydogtraining.com
 

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I brought my first official dog home when I was sixteen. (The fluffy dog in my siggy, Chloe.) I knew what I was getting in to, however, and know my way around dogs.

One thing you need to think about is if you are planning on going to college. If so, will that require you to live in a dorm on campus? If so, what will you do with the dog?
I'm fortunate enough to live 25 minutes away from my university of choice, and I also have family members that will take care of the dogs while I'm at school or work. If I didn't have that, it wouldn't work. I'm also not a "party animal"...I actually prefer to not go out for long periods of time. If I was like my brother constantly crashing at other people's houses or staying out all evening/night and not coming home till four in the morning, then a dog wouldn't work.

As long as your mom is on board about the dog, I'm not sure how much you will be taking care of your dog financially. I pay for everything for my three dogs except for food. For Blackie and Rose, since they are the "family dogs", I also may not pay the vet bills, but recentally with Blackie I have been as they are too expensive for my parents to cover totally. If you will be the one paying for the dog, please realize that they are NOT cheap. Even a small dog can rack up the vet bills! (On that note, that is why going to a reputable breeder would be your best bet. The purchase price may be high, but they do health testing so you will know your dog will be healthy.)

Check out www.yourpurebredpuppy.com for a list of pros and cons for many different breeds. If it is availible to you, I'd also recomend the book that website is based off of - it will walk you through choosing a breed and a breeder.

As for narrowing down a breed? Answer these questions and let us know what the answers are and we should be able to help you out!
1. How active do you want the dog to be?
2. Do you want a dog that is easy to train?
3. Does shedding bother you?
4. Do you want the dog to get along with other animals? How sociable do you want it to be?
5. How much grooming can you provide? (Please be aware that, at least here in the states, having a groomer groom your dog costs around $60 a month.)

German Shepherds require a LOT of exercise and mental stimulation - even the older ones. They are also heavy shedders. So make sure you are up to that. If you are, then an older shepherd might be an okay idea. If you don't see one in shelters now, wait a bit. Sadly, new dogs are surrended every day.
 

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I brought my first official dog home when I was sixteen. (The fluffy dog in my siggy, Chloe.) I knew what I was getting in to, however, and know my way around dogs.

One thing you need to think about is if you are planning on going to college. If so, will that require you to live in a dorm on campus? If so, what will you do with the dog?
I'm fortunate enough to live 25 minutes away from my university of choice, and I also have family members that will take care of the dogs while I'm at school or work. If I didn't have that, it wouldn't work. I'm also not a "party animal"...I actually prefer to not go out for long periods of time. If I was like my brother constantly crashing at other people's houses or staying out all evening/night and not coming home till four in the morning, then a dog wouldn't work.

As long as your mom is on board about the dog, I'm not sure how much you will be taking care of your dog financially. I pay for everything for my three dogs except for food. For Blackie and Rose, since they are the "family dogs", I also may not pay the vet bills, but recentally with Blackie I have been as they are too expensive for my parents to cover totally. If you will be the one paying for the dog, please realize that they are NOT cheap. Even a small dog can rack up the vet bills! (On that note, that is why going to a reputable breeder would be your best bet. The purchase price may be high, but they do health testing so you will know your dog will be healthy.)

Check out www.yourpurebredpuppy.com for a list of pros and cons for many different breeds. If it is availible to you, I'd also recomend the book that website is based off of - it will walk you through choosing a breed and a breeder.

As for narrowing down a breed? Answer these questions and let us know what the answers are and we should be able to help you out!
1. How active do you want the dog to be?
2. Do you want a dog that is easy to train?
3. Does shedding bother you?
4. Do you want the dog to get along with other animals? How sociable do you want it to be?
5. How much grooming can you provide? (Please be aware that, at least here in the states, having a groomer groom your dog costs around $60 a month.)

German Shepherds require a LOT of exercise and mental stimulation - even the older ones. They are also heavy shedders. So make sure you are up to that. If you are, then an older shepherd might be an okay idea. If you don't see one in shelters now, wait a bit. Sadly, new dogs are surrended every day.
thanks for the website, i have just spent time on it, and appears to be every dog i am interested in, is not right for me-spaniels, beagles, labradors all say the 2nd biggest problem is being left on their own, and because apart from being taken out by a dog walker for an hour, they will be alone whilst i am at school,
so goodness knows where that leaves me now.:confused:
 

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aww..dont let it get you down. most people who have dogs do work away from home for 8-9 hours and their pets do quite well..provided they are willing to spend extra time and money caring for their pets (as you say you are). plus if you get a puppy during summer vacation you can be there for the first few weeks of house training etc..

My suggestion: The internet is a valuable tool but no substitute for real life advice and interaction. (ahem..and im a net junkie and saying this). so meet some experienced dog owner or the people at your local shelter in person; ask your questions, get advice and then make your decision. (i know you wrote somewhere that they advertise for experienced owners only..but often meeting people directly changes minds.)

and if you want a GSD v badly then see if there is anyway it can happen..rather than compromise for another breed. the GSD rescue which someone suggested is an excellent idea.
 

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thanks for the website, i have just spent time on it, and appears to be every dog i am interested in, is not right for me-spaniels, beagles, labradors all say the 2nd biggest problem is being left on their own, and because apart from being taken out by a dog walker for an hour, they will be alone whilst i am at school,
so goodness knows where that leaves me now.:confused:
I'm not sure where it says that they don't do well left alone. Those breeds thrive on human ineraction and shouldn't be chained up in the backyard all day and night, but leaving them alone while you are at school is no problem.

My dogs are left alone while everyone is at work or school. When I was in highschool, Chloe was left alone for eight hours at a time. She was fine. If you are planning on having a puppy alone for that period of time, you neeed to have a dog walker stop by for exercise/potty breaks, but you are going to do that.

When we are all gone, Chloe just sleeps. She doesn't care.

The only time leaving a full grown dog alone might be a problem is if the dog has seperation anxiety and while some breeds might be more prone to this than others, don't let that discourage you. More often than not, it can be taken care of by more exercise.

Sadie, a Labrador we fostered, was left alone for eight-ten hour days at the house with a brief potty break in the middle of that time. She was content, as long as we exercised her well before leaving and when we got home.
 

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We both go to college full-time and work part-time, and usually our schedules don't mesh up, but when both of us work, Enzo is home anywhere from 8-10 hours alone (I'd say at the MOST this only happens 2x a week, our schedules hardly ever match up) He sleeps most of that time, and when he isn't, he is content with a safe toy or some form of entertainment. Crating a dog is a great form of training and will come in handy in the future!
 

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thanks for the website, i have just spent time on it, and appears to be every dog i am interested in, is not right for me-spaniels, beagles, labradors all say the 2nd biggest problem is being left on their own, and because apart from being taken out by a dog walker for an hour, they will be alone whilst i am at school,
so goodness knows where that leaves me now.:confused:
The fact that a site makes you think a breed is not for you shouldn't stop you at all.

My father bought my first OWN dog when i was 8 years old, a tan boxer puppy, i was in charge of educating him, playing with him, training, feeding, grooming, etc..etc.. he would only put the money for me, there wasn't a need to walk the dog alot since we had a HUGE enclosed yard were our 5 dogs lived in, and of course their shelters.

Now, the dog i really wanted (and i reinforce, i got the pup because i wanted THAT kind of breed, and not because it suited my lifestyle) was a Siberian Husky who has been living 7 months with me (i got him as a 2 month old pup).
The breed is not suited for my life style, BUT how do you fight that? with research of course, what makes the breed tick, what training methods are very succesfull with the breed, etc..etc..

Dogs can be very different from what you read once you start living with one, i can tell you that!
Don't trust what you read on the internet, the best way to know a dog, is to be with one, before i got my husky, i spent months of research, and being with them to understand them.

If you can't get a shelter dog because they are only for experienced users, then i would recommend you buy a pup from a breeder instead, NO PET SHOPS, talk to your family, tell them what you think, maybe they will all agree to share and pay for the pup, train, groom, take care of the pup
 

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. Already, I have to refuse party invites, I virtually stopped hanging out with friends, I wake up at 5:00 am each morning to play with my puppy, and go to sleep at 12:00-2:00 am because of homework, and stopped hanging out with a lot of my friends.
x2. OP, your social life WILL change with a dog. I'm in college and honestly I'd rather spend my free time training my dog than hanging out a lot of times. Of course, it's important to be a balanced person either way, especially since you're still in high school. Just make sure you think about this, though.
 
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