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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there,

First, I'll give some information about myself. I'm turning 17 in a few weeks. I currently attend high school as a grade 11. I have quite a few extra curricular activities and it's mostly every day after school.

My mom and I usually don't get home till around 5:00 pm. We leave the house at around 7:00 am every day.

My step-dad leaves for work at around 8:00 to 8:30 am and he sometimes comes home at lunch time. He's usually home around 5:30 pm.

I've been snooping around the forum and I've noticed that people have recommended adopting an older dog as a young puppy can't be left alone for approximately 8 hours at a time.

With that said, we're looking at a breed that would be fine to be confined in a playpen during the day.

I would be able to take it for a walk, and I'm sure my step brother and myself would enjoy at least an hour at the park with the dog. It would get adequate exercise. Also, I would like to be able to train it fairly easily with basic commands and perhaps maybe even do agility.

Shedding isn't that much of a problem as long as it's not like newfie.

We were considering getting a labrador puppy, but I think we wouldn't be able to make accommodations for it being left alone during work hours.

Is there any other breed that you guys would recommend? Also, what age would be ideal for our situation?

Thank you for taking the time to read :)

EDIT: step dad doesn't like small dogs because they are yappy. oh yea, preferably a dog that is not prone to barking is another criteria
 

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my suggestion is google "cell dogs + (your state)"

You're probably wondering what a "cell dog" is, well, lucky you cause I'm gonna tell you!

Zoey, in profile pic, is a "cell dog" we adopted in 2004, she was in the 1 or 2 year old range. Zoey is a Rott/Lab Mix, she weighed 92lbs, b/c of breed and size, she was considered "unadoptable," and was set to be euthanized. Then some nice people from and Ohio rescue found her, took her to the Chillicothe men's prison for 6 weeks. While she was there, she had a team of 3 inmates training her. She learned basic obedience, housetraining, manners, and how to be still for grooming. We still have Zoey, she's awesomesauce, best dog either of us have ever had!

Here's a few links for a few programs, nationwide. Different programs/prisons do different things (breed specific or service dog training). The best thing about these programs is they are taking dogs that are statistically unadoptable and making them the pick of the Pound! Big dogs, little dogs, fat dogs, deaf dogs, old dogs, you name it! And yeah, people end up in prison b/c they did something bad, but it doesn't make them all bad. Training these dogs gives the inmates a chance to do something good... and here's the clincher, these dogs are a great deal! The rescue we got Zoey from has their fee set at $150. That's a dog that is fixed, has all it's shots, and is trained! It's just an all around great thing!

http://www.coloradoci.com/serviceproviders/puppy/index.html?intro

http://prisondogs.blogspot.com/2009/05/state-of-ohio-prison-dog-program.html

http://kindhands4paws.com/ < these guys are nearest and dearest to my heart... they also transport trained dogs to other states...
 

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You might want to consider a retired racing greyhound! They're really wonderful dogs, and so many need homes!

Jen
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I probably should have said we're in Canada. The cell dogs don't exist here :(

I don't think we'd want a greyhound as we would like to sometimes let the dog loose when we're playing in the park
 

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Take a look at your local shelter. Often they have good labs, shepherds, etc. mixes that are easy to train and with said training can be very reliable off leash. Something 6months+ would be ideal since after 6 months they have bladder control. Keep in mind that at 4 mths puppies can usually hold it for up to five hours and the bigger the dog the bigger the bladder.
It can be harder to train basics if after a year old, but very doable with some work.

Make sure the dog/puppy you choose also chooses you. If it is fearful (tail between legs, hiding) of you or too hyper (jumping on you, barking, running in circles) about you, don't do it unless you are really into training and are capable of rehabilitating. If you're choosing a puppy from a group, the one that keeps coming back to you is the one you want.

Larger breeds that tend to be very noisy are hounds, border collies, huskys, etc. (also hounds and huskies are not reliable off-leash) All dogs can be noisy - a lot of it comes down to training, but those are the ones that come to mind for the most noisiness.
 

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From the shelter, probably. You can also talk to the people there before you decide for sure, tell them what you're looking for and they should be able to help you out more. They *should* be very knowledgable and able to match you with a suitable dog since they deal with the dogs and again *should* know the personalities and requirements for each individual.
If there's a certain mixed dog or puppy that strikes your fancy, do the research on the breeds mixed in so you know the breed traits that you're likely to run into before you bring him/her home.
 

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From the shelter, probably. You can also talk to the people there before you decide for sure, tell them what you're looking for and they should be able to help you out more. They *should* be very knowledgable and able to match you with a suitable dog since they deal with the dogs and again *should* know the personalities and requirements for each individual.
If there's a certain mixed dog or puppy that strikes your fancy, do the research on the breeds mixed in so you know the breed traits that you're likely to run into before you bring him/her home.
Ditto this :)
 

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You can also look on Facebook for rescue groups in your area that keep the dogs in foster homes. A starting point is to search "No Kill" and your city or district's name. The shelter is great, and there are tons of great dogs in most shelters, but if you are worried about knowing a little more about the dog's personality and training, then a fostered dog usually will have a lot more info available. In this case, breed will matter less than the individual dog's traits. As an example, pit bulls are usually high energy dogs, but the rescue I foster for adopted out one that at only a few months old was already laid back and calm. At 8-9 months, he is very relaxed and doing well in his training and focus.

I would say that you want to start looking for a dog between 1 and 3 years old. Maybe 4-5 years old for a medium breed dog. A dog less than 1 year is still a puppy in many ways and will have the attention span of a puppy for training purposes. A dog under 5 years old (in general) will still be a lively, energetic but mentally mature adult.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My step dad's pretty stubborn.

I suggested we just adopt a dog that is already trained and he argues that it isn't trained in our home, it's not trained around the people we have.

He also doesn't believe that a puppy can't be left alone in a crate by himself for 8 hours during work. His idea of potty training is shoving the puppy's nose in its poop.

I'm quite frustrated...
 

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My step dad's pretty stubborn.

I suggested we just adopt a dog that is already trained and he argues that it isn't trained in our home, it's not trained around the people we have.

He also doesn't believe that a puppy can't be left alone in a crate by himself for 8 hours during work. His idea of potty training is shoving the puppy's nose in its poop.

I'm quite frustrated...
And you are frustrated for a very good reason; your step-dad is basically setting things up for failure.

There are ways to deal with having to leave a puppy alone for the day, such as dog walkers and "puppy palaces" (a crate+pen set-up that a poster here used with success) but those involve plenty of work and/or expense also.

Maybe putting it in human terms would help? A puppy under about 4 months is an infant, he has no real control over his bladder because he doesn't get the signals that he has to pee until he is actually more or less peeing. So potty training is all about taking them outside very often so they don't have the chance to make a mistake. Between about 4-8 months, the dog is a physical toddler. They are getting the idea of asking for the potty, but they still need to "wear their pull-ups" (as in, you have to take them out often). After 8 months or so, the dog is a kindergartner and probably fairly reliable but the occasional accident has to be forgiven; accidents are more common when the dog is very excited and playing and forgets to listen to his body's signals.

If you start with a 1+ year old dog, the dog has both the ability and very likely the training to hold it for the day. You (anyone) will have less clean-up to do, less frustration, life will simply be smoother and easier. Having a puppy is like having a toddler around, it is very tiring. Having a young adult dog allows more time and focus on the fun stuff.
You can still go to training with a dog you get at age 1+ years or train yourself from books, a dog will bond with its owner very well regardless of age. the adjustment period for a reasonably trained adult dog coming into a new home is around 2-3 months to completely relax and settle in- this is much shorter than the time it takes to raise a puppy up to some form of maturity.

You also cannot jog or run with a dog that isn't physically mature as you risk damaging their growing joints (so, about 16-18 months for a medium/medium-large breed) and you can't do things like flyball, frisbee or agility that involves jumps for the same reason. So once again, a slightly older dog gets you right to the good stuff.
 

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I would wait until you are living on your own, with a stable income and future plans. I'd just be too worried to bring a dog into an environment with someone like that. But I'm super paranoid. Just something to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
@Shell do you remember where that post is? I tried to do a search but I couldn't find it. My own topic came up on the top of the list haha. Furthermore, my step dad's views isn't probably going to get swayed :/ I'm just really worried about the puppy. My mom suggested we wait until summer vacation so that way, I can be home every day with the puppy.

@Brittany I actually have plans on having pets when I'm on my own. I would love a st. bernard and a newfie and an african grey parrot :) that's my dream life! :) of course along with a big house with a big yard and a pool, but that's a whole other story :)
 

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My step dad's pretty stubborn.

I suggested we just adopt a dog that is already trained and he argues that it isn't trained in our home, it's not trained around the people we have.

He also doesn't believe that a puppy can't be left alone in a crate by himself for 8 hours during work. His idea of potty training is shoving the puppy's nose in its poop.

I'm quite frustrated...
oy vey!

my husband and FIL tend to be that way too... of course, I don't take any of that lip off my husband. He isn't allowed to touch the dog if he's going to be ignorant and deny irrefutable science tested by people with doctorate degrees. BUT, I'm talking to my husband that way... not cool to talk to your step dad like that.

are you sure he really believes those things? or could he just be "sparring?" Hubby's family LOVES to spar with each other, arguing is a family pass time for them.

Maybe slow things down a bit, get him to watch some Cesar Milan shows just to get him talking about different methods of training.... (not advocating Cesar Milan, but "know it alls" seem to really like the guy; at minimum, he's a good way to get good conversation going!)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yes he does, whenever I try to tell him things about the things that I've read, or about Cesar Millan, he says, "You read too much" or "What makes him so special" or some other crap like that.

It's highly unlikely I'm ever going to win an argument with him....He's completely serious nothing like "sparring" as you said
 

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Yes he does, whenever I try to tell him things about the things that I've read, or about Cesar Millan, he says, "You read too much" or "What makes him so special" or some other crap like that.

It's highly unlikely I'm ever going to win an argument with him....He's completely serious nothing like "sparring" as you said
he does have you on the Cesar Milan point, there is little that is logically special about him. If he actually needs special, as in doctoral degrees, I would suggest Dr Ian Dunbar and Patricia McConnell. Dunbar has a LOT of videos on his site.

You seem like a good kid, and if your step dad's logic is this ridiculous, I don't think you'd get to enjoy your pup at all. Personally, I'd be nervous to leave the dog alone with him, I'd also be afraid he'd punish as opposed to correct behavior, and then the punishment would get more severe as the dog doesn't learn what step dad is trying to teach him the wrong way. Dogs that are punished as opposed to corrected are very sad and scared all the time. People that think in circles like this just can't grasp the idea that they are being so unclear!
 

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We have a crate+pen set-up for our now 16 week old puppy who we adopted at 8 weeks (small [not toy/mini!] breed mix, btw, and not yappy!). Since the fourth day we had him he's been in his crate/pen for two 3.5-4 hr blocks a day, and 8 hrs overnight and he's done great! He had a pad at first in his pen, but he stopped using it on his own and just started waiting until we brought him out. However, once we're home in the evening or get up in the morning we have to exercise him a bunch!

I'd make really sure everyone in the household is on the same page about how a dog would be raised and who would be doing what. Trainers here will do pre-adoption counseling before people bring dogs/puppies home. That might be something you check into in your area. It could help everyone in your household figure out what would be best before you bring the dog home. Maybe having a "professional" tell your step father that negative training is bad would help him believe it.
 

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he does have you on the Cesar Milan point, there is little that is logically special about him. If he actually needs special, as in doctoral degrees, I would suggest Dr Ian Dunbar and Patricia McConnell. Dunbar has a LOT of videos on his site.

You seem like a good kid, and if your step dad's logic is this ridiculous, I don't think you'd get to enjoy your pup at all. Personally, I'd be nervous to leave the dog alone with him, I'd also be afraid he'd punish as opposed to correct behavior, and then the punishment would get more severe as the dog doesn't learn what step dad is trying to teach him the wrong way. Dogs that are punished as opposed to corrected are very sad and scared all the time. People that think in circles like this just can't grasp the idea that they are being so unclear!
Are you looking at this as a dog for YOU? In which case, I agree that it might be better to wait until you are living on your own- even if that means waiting 2-3 years. Training methods like your step-dad's lead to nervous dogs or snappy, unpredictable dogs. If the dog doesn't know what to expect from its owners and cannot trust that the owner won't be hurting it or using punishment then the dog tends to either become very nervous and cowering or become proactive about protecting his space/self and starts biting, resource guarding and other dangerous behaviors.

You've only got a year of high school left and then your life will change a lot. Maybe college, maybe moving to a new city to find work. But different no matter what happens. If you go away to college, many schools either require or encourage freshmen to live in the dorms (and it is shown to improve both academic and social progress the first year) and you can't have a dog in the dorms. Even in an apartment, the first year of school is time consuming and it is important to be able to focus on getting the hang of college classes and expectations and making good friends. If you look to maybe getting a dog of your own (say, that 1-3 year old shelter dog with some training) in sophomore or junior year, then you will be able to train that dog YOUR way, socialize the dog YOUR way and the dog will trust you and be loyal to you and really enjoy life with YOU.

I know it seems like a long time away, I waited about 2 years from when I thought about getting a dog until I got one because I was working shift work and long shifts at the time. I knew it wasn't fair to a dog and I wouldn't be able to enjoy dog ownership the same. Once I had a steady daytime job and a house with a yard (beneficial but in no way required to own a dog) then I adopted a 1.5 year old dog from the local humane society that has turned into a wonderful companion and I have the TIME to do all kinds of fun stuff with him (hiking, visiting friends, training classes etc)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
@Hambonez that is what i wanted to do, set up an enclosure where the dog would have its crate, food dishes, toys, and some pads. thanks for sharing :)

@Shell the dog isn't for ME, it's a family dog, I have a younger step brother who adores dogs just as well except all he wants to do is play :p I on the other hand actually want to train the dog.

Thanks for all the advice yet again :)
 
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