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Two things:
Dogs do what works. Always. Whatever they are doing is working for them...if you don't like the behaviour you need to figure out WHY it works for them, remove the "reward" and replace the behaviour with something that works for both of you.

Dogs don't speak english (we have to teach them "words") but they DO speak. Their body language is speaking to us all the time, it is up to US to learn it and respect what they have to say. Bites do not come without a warning, though it may be subtle. Fear and discomfort should be heeded..they have no voice but WE do.
 

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My three things:

i) When you think dogs think NOSE. It is by far their dominant sense.

ii) Dogs are remarkably good at picking up on your body language. Its more important than the words you say. Be calm / confident.

iii) Dogs are animals. They are connected to nature. Try to get them out of the city and into real nature when you can. Letting a dog loose in the fields or forest and just watching it 'be a dog' .....Priceless.
 

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That just because a certain breed was featured in a popular movie, that breed may not always be ideal for certain families and their situations.

I hate it when popular books or movies come out that mainly have to do with dogs. People run out to get it because it's "cute" without fully understanding the breed or doing their homework.

So many dogs go into shelters for this reason :[
 

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I wish some people new that Having a dog is a big responsibility. some people just get them because they are cute but don't know how to properly care for them.
 

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Me too. I volunteered at an animal shelter for a long while and people relinquish dogs for the most terrible reasons. I once overheard a man trading in his dog because the dog got fat. Whose fault is that? It was a beautiful black lab and the worst part was that he brought his son with him. Teaching the next generation that you can throw dogs away like broken toys for no reason at all.
 

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do not get a rottie/pit/dobbie or any other breed just because you think they're cool. Do your research and make sure you have the time, energy, and knowledge to train and exercise these breeds. Just because you raise it from a puppy does not mean it will fit into your family and lifestyle.
 

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There isn't much I could add to the list. The list seems complete. I would rather emphasize the need of training. I love animals and I think they deserve proper care and TRAINING. I always get annoyed and feel sorry for dogs (and the owners) that are not trained. They seem to cause various problems to people and other animals around them but it's actually the dogs that suffer the most, as they don't know what is expected from them. So please, train your puppy and train yourself ! :)
 

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If you are not sure a puppy or dog is right for you, volunteer at your local humane society. Never buy a dog for your kids to take care of. A lot of those dogs end up in shelters because the kids don't take care of them or they are too young and not knowledgeable to train the dog properly. If your kids are begging for a dog, tell them to grow up and get their own house. A dog is an adult responsibility. You don't want your children raising kids at a young age. Having a puppy is about the same thing. Getting up every two hours at night to take the puppy out. Keeping the puppy on a feeding and walking schedule. Training and playing with the puppy. Those are things that is generally not ok for a child to do that has school, plays sports, goes to their friend's house. Do not get your kids a dog unless you yourself are planning on taking care of it.
 

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This is a "sticky" which means it's intended as a reference.

Off-topic posts will be deleted, even if they are cute. And if you have a question, please start a new thread.
 

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- A trained dog is a happy dog (and a happy owner). Don't blame lack of training on "dominance issues".

- Shelter dogs make great pets. They are looking for a second chance and you won't believe the instant bond that comes with rescuing a dog.

- Spay or neuter your pet. Please. Unless you are an experienced, responsible breeder, you have no business allowing puppies to be brought into the world.

- Don't be afraid of microchipping. Issues are extremely rare and your dog cannot lose their microchip like they can a collar tag.

- Puppies/dogs don't care if you like to sleep in on Saturdays. They still need to be fed and let out. And they will let you know it.

- If you're not willing to clean up poop, pee, vomit and drool regularly, don't get a dog.
 

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(I'm pretty sure this isn't a repeat, but if it is, I apologize.) Be prepared to get harassed by your neighbors. Your neighbors will (and probably have had) bad experiences with dogs, whether it's a dog getting loose, a dog biting someone, or a dog pooping on or near their property, and it never being picked up. Even if you're a very responsible dog owner, people will target you just because you have a dog. (I'm not kidding...)The best thing you can do to avoid this is make sure your dog is always on a leash outside (unless you have a fenced in yard or in a fenced in area), make sure you have an idea of your dog's temperament so you know how it'll react to possibly kids running up to it, or people on bikes riding by. Unless you have trained your dog to poop on your property only, make sure you ALWAYS have bags with you to pick up your dog's poop on a walk, even if it has already pooped and you're sure he/she won't poop again. That one time your dog poops and you don't have a bag, and someone sees you, they will never forget it, and they will probably harass you and/or report you.

(I made this mistake today, and when I went to ask for some help and get a bag, I just got yelled at and told that I'll get a fifty dollar fine. Neighbors are not always neighborly...)

Also, unless someone has had an experience/experience with dogs, had an interest in dogs, or owns/owned a dog, they have NO IDEA how they work. Make sure you tell people HOW to meet and how to act around your dog. Tell them how to properly greet your dog, tell them to let your dog sniff them, tell them to crouch down to their level so your dog can get a good look and smell of them. Sometimes it's just better for a stranger to completely ignore the dog. You don't always have to "say hi" to a dog. Little kids will probably come up to you and ask you to pet your dog, so you need to tell them how to greet your dog. Do not let them chase your dog around just because they want to pet them. Your dog shouldn't have to be pet by a stranger if it doesn't want to be. (I'm sorry if this seems like a stupid common sense thing, but I thought it'd help.)
 

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How about these. Dogs are not your babies to dress up, dye, and push around in strollers. They are not a fashion accessory. And also don't get a dog as a status symbol or because of the way it looks. (typical example is people who get huskies/akitas/boxers/various hunting type dogs who don't understant the concept of exercise but like the idea of having a 'cool' dog)
Not just large hunting dogs need exercise. ALL dogs need exercise. Just thought I'd point that out :)
 

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All dogs need exercise of course. Gun dogs will need more than other groups though (in general) it's extremely important to research the breed thoroughly before considering to get a pup. Get books out on dogs in general and the specific breed (if you can) and read read and read some more.

I have been thinking about getting a weimaraner for about one year now. I can recommend some websites for good dog breed information:

dogbreed info

Adflyer
dogs.info

I do know more, so reply if you need them.

Thanks,

Sam
 

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Not only do dogs cost money (mentioned before), but they need a place to live. If you might not be staying where you live due to the economy, keep in mind that VERY few landlords are excited about having dogs as tenants.

Also related to the economy: If you have a stable home and economic situation, this could be a good time to adopt a dog, or another dog, as so many people are having to give up beloved companions.
 

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I agree with almost everything posted here! Here are my additions:

Just because you have a small dog does not mean its ok for it to bark or run off leash. Also if you pick up your small dog every time it barks at a larger dog or human you are positively rewarding your dog and it will continue to bark

Dogs need exercise outside the house - running around in a large back yard does not count

Dogs are a LOT of work
 

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Taking care of a dog is a commitment for the lifetime of the dog.

Training is a big part of taking care of your dog, and a very well trained dog means a commitment to a lifetime of training.
 

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Yeah it's cute, tiny, and innocent now but it sure won't be later! No dogs can't stay in the crate while you work your 12 hour shifts so stop asking, dogs have to pee just like us. That beagle puppy you got won't act like Shiloh...he won't have a problem crossing the bridge and running away! Caesar Millan's show/books are not dog manuels. Puppies will not potty train themselves and yes, when given the chance most dogs will dive head first for cat food, shoes, remotes, cell phones, iPods, computer cords, garbage, small animals, and sometimes children (;)). Dogs won't train themselves and the nice people on Dogforums won't either. A trainer might though. Yes dogs will have a hard time going from adored inside dogs to ignored outside dogs when you get tired of them so yes, they will dig, bark, and do other things because they are deprived of interaction. No your puppy that you just got doesn't need another puppy as a 'friend'. Female dogs hump too.Most dogs won't kill a baby...so why are there 3,000 ads on CL stating 'we can no longer keep fido, we just had a baby' And the one I think is the most important Some dogs have anal gland issues, no they don't go away.
 

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Older dogs are just as good as puppies, they love you just as much, they're just as eager to please and they need a home just as much.
 

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Exercise is important, but mental exercise is critical for certain breeds. You can't expect to own a Border Collie or an Aussie without giving them an outlet for their problem solving abilities.

Never assume that a dog's age stands in the way of training, and don't assume that a handicapped dog can't survive well as a companion. My adopted Yorkie went to class at age 15 just to prove she could learn as well as any other dog, and she did! (She's 20 now, deaf and blind, but still a great, happy dog.)

When your dog is wrong, assume that the fault lies with the trainer (you), and instead of being angry, figure out where your training regimen went wrong.

Don't send your dog to "boot camp" - learn to communicate with him yourself. Your relationship will be far more rewarding, and you won't have risked some "trainer" employing tactics you would not use on a kid, never mind a dog. Always be present when someone else handles your dog!!!!

Learn about proper canine nutrition. Dogs don't do well on junk food any more than we do. Great site for those of you would like the skinny on food:
http://www.dogfoodproject.com/
 

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Puppy days are HARD! Personally and Im a mom-- i think its sometimes worse than having a newborn. No book, show, or person told me about worms, getting up day AND night to let the dog out, all of the accidents AKA need for a carpet cleaner, and how frustrated one person can get.

Also, leaving your dog outside is not cool no matter what. You decided to get a dog now act like a grown up and treat your dog right. How would you like it if someone left you outside 24/7?
 
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