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Hi I've been thinking of buying a puppy for myself on my 20th birthday which is soon, and I have just a few questions. The breeds I'm thinking of are the following: Labrador, Australian shepherd or a Golden retriever.

1.) I live on the beach, I want a dog that'll actually enter the water, our family (pommeranian) dog is scared of water and I hate it. How are these breeds with water, or is it a training thing?

2.) How do these breeds get along with pommeranians? We have a family one so they'll be living together.

3.) I'm able to exercise the dog 3-5 times a week, is this sufficient?

4.) What else should I know?
 

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Ok, I see one MAJOR issue with that list, so I will deal with that first.

3-5 times a WEEK???? Have you done any breed research at all? Even the smallest, laziest dogs should be exercised at least once a day - and the breeds that you are mentioning are bigger, medium-high energy dogs...getting them as a puppy will mean that you are exercising them 3-5 times a DAY. Unless you mean that you will be able to do 2-3 shorter walks a day, and then do a BIG romp to the beach/dog park/hiking etc 3-5 times a week on top of that, in which case, that's ok.

As for the rest:

1. These three breeds should be fine with water, although the first few times with any breed you will probably be best off going in there with them until they get the idea! Labs and Retrievers can often be seen down at my beach playing fetch with a ball thrown into the ocean. However, some dogs just don't like it. Its not a breed thing, it is a personality thing - and that isn't something you can guarantee.

2. It depends on the pomeranian!! How does he/she get along with big dogs is really the question. None of these breeds are really known for a prey drive, but no dog will get along with a bratty or aggressive dog. Is the pom well socialized? How old is he/she? There are rarely issues with bringing a new puppy into a home where there is a balanced adult dog, but the resident dog can have problems, especially if they are not the mellow type to begin with. And how old is the Pom? You don't want to be bringing a puppy into a home where there is another dog that is not fully trained.

4. Ooooh lordy that is a HUGE question. Here are the things that I think are very, very important.
- Puppies are HARD WORK. Especially large and high energy breeds. Expect to have your life revolve around the pup for the next few months.
- You will get very little sleep for a while. Puppies need housebreaking, and can't be expected to hold their bladder all through the night for the first little while. So you'll be getting up throughout the night to go pee.
- Dogs are a big commitment - living at home, you have a bit of an advantage if others are willing to help with puppy-sitting, but it makes it incredibly difficult to just go out at night (who will take care of the pup? Has it been walked? Can it go in its crate for that long yet? When will I be back? Is that too long a separation?), or go on a spontaneous vacation, or travelling....and this is for a long time - if you get a puppy now, you will have it until you are 30-40 years old. Really think about that.
- If you do mean that you can only exercise a dog 3-5 times a week - YOU CANNOT GET A DOG. Simple as that. Here is a little breakdown of our original schedule with our puppy when she was 8 weeks:
5am - get up to pee. 8am - get up to pee. Feed pup. 10am - pee and a half hour walk. Playtime for 20 mins after. Noon - pee and lunch. Training time for 15 minutes. 2:30pm - pee. 5pm - pee. 7pm - dinner and an evening walk - 30mins. 10pm - pee. midnight - before bed pee. Sometimes there was a 3 am pee in there too!!
Now that she is housetrained, the schedule gets a little easier. But she is just over 3 months, and gets 4 walks/pees a day. Only one of those is a pee-only situation (right before bed). The other three are walks of 45mins - 2 hours, depending on our schedules and how she is feeling. We do most of our training on walks, but there is also a lot of housetraining, and extra training. She is basically a full-time job. If you don't have the time to commit like this, don't get a puppy or a big, energetic dog. Get a grown, trained, low-energy rescue dog. Puppies are insane, especially if you are a first-time owner - they are a LOT to handle.
 

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I am biased to goldens, because I have one. Most like to swim, but some don't. If they are out there young enough then they will probably like water. Mine loves it. I do put a life vest on him when we are on a boat. Generally Goldens are happy go lucky and love everybody and everything. I can bring anything into my house with no problems. I've also had a lab too, he liked water, but I think labs are higher strung then Goldens. With any dog obedience school helps with training and socialization, I think it helps calm them down to some degree too. I have 3 dogs, 2 are technically considered high energy(the golden(2.5 years) and a German Shepherd(9 months). Both have had extensive training and got their CGC's. The golden was potty trained and out of his crate at 12 weeks, the GSD was out of crate at night at 4 months and done with cage by 6 monthish(I got her when she was 3 months). I live in an apartment, so the dogs are walked very briefly 4-5 times a day, they play with each other all the time, and I take them on hikes on the weekend(and not every weekend) They are fit and healthy, calm in the house, and ready to go whenever I am. I do some obedience training with them almost everyday...mine require more mental then physical exercise. Some dogs will require more physical and mental exercise. If they don't get that they can become destructive. You will be able to find a balance after a while. A pup, any pup, will require lots of dedication, patience, and time, but if you are willing to put that into them early on...you will end up with a wonderful dog!! Good Luck!
 

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I'm going to point out that if you run out and buy a puppy on your birthday, you're almost certainly not getting it from a good breeder. Good breeders have waiting lists and don't encourage impulse buys. You would be supporting puppymills and the abuse they inflict on their breeding dogs, and getting a puppy with a higher chance of suffering from genetic illnesses and temperment issues. Do everyone a favor and put tthe effort into finding a GOOD breeder!

And, yeah, if you really mean you can't exercise the dog daily, you would probably end up getting rid of the puppy because it destroys your things. An underexercised retriever is a disaster!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I'm not planning on keeping the dog inside, only after it's, I guess, safe, for it to be outside. Where can I find a good breeder in QLD Australia? Would it still destroy my things if it was an 'outside' dog?

I am able to exercise it for 30-60 minutes a day but that's the most I can give, so is this not a good idea? I guess I should mention the reason I want to raise a puppy - I want a companion, someone to go to the beach with and go to the park with, a pet to 'grow up' with.
 

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Here's a pretty good directory of registered breeders in Australia. You can search by state.

http://www.dogzonline.com.au/breeds/puppies.asp

Just because a breeder is registered doesn't mean they're good though, you still need to check that they do all the health testing and socialise the puppies etc. And yes, a dog can destroy stuff outside, especially if it gets bored. If all you can spare ia 30-60 minutes I'd be looking at toy sized lap dogs. And not terriers. I'm thinking chi or maltese or something along those lines. Even then you have to spend a LOT of time socialising and training and basically just raising it if you decide to get a puppy. If you get an adult dog there is slightly less work involved. For an adult dog I'd be looking here: http://www.petrescue.com.au/
 

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I am able to exercise it for 30-60 minutes a day but that's the most I can give, so is this not a good idea? I guess I should mention the reason I want to raise a puppy - I want a companion, someone to go to the beach with and go to the park with, a pet to 'grow up' with.
No, not a good idea. I have a "low energy" puppy - it's a dachshund/terrier mix (we think), so the energy thing is just his temperament moreso than a breed characteristic. He probably gets 30-60 minutes of running around every day (just because he won't do more!), and then gets multiple more HOURS of my undivided attention playing quieter games, training, going to classes and play groups, sitting at the park, going to the pet store, snuggling. If he was more into exercising, then more of that time would be spend exercising, but 30-60 minutes of time a day being the most you can give is absolutely not enough time for a dog. (Unless I'm misunderstanding and you have a limitation wherein you can only spend an hour a day in physical activity, but have several more hours a day for mental stimulation and companionship time) Perhaps a cat would be nice?
 

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I'm not planning on keeping the dog inside, only after it's, I guess, safe, for it to be outside. Where can I find a good breeder in QLD Australia? Would it still destroy my things if it was an 'outside' dog?

I am able to exercise it for 30-60 minutes a day but that's the most I can give, so is this not a good idea? I guess I should mention the reason I want to raise a puppy - I want a companion, someone to go to the beach with and go to the park with, a pet to 'grow up' with.
I say this with kindness, please grow up first and then get a dog. Wait until you're really, really ready to make the full commitment. From what I've read here, you're not there yet. Keeping a dog outside is a terrible idea. Dogs are social animals that NEED to be with their people. It's also quite dangerous for the dog. You say you want a companion but what it sounds like you want is a dog to play with at the beach occasionally. Start off more slowly. Try volunteering with a local rescue group and offer to walk dogs for them. You'd get some experience with dogs & get to see what breeds suit you so that when you're really ready, you'll have a lot of experience.
 

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I also think that keeping a dog outside is a terrible idea.....why do you REALLY want a dog? If something to play with in the water, buy a water toy. I don't mean to be condensending, but you are by no means sounding like a responsible dog owner....Most people buy dogs for companionship, and spending a great deal of time with them.

I have 4 dogs, 2 schnauzers, and 2 poodles. I am fortunate to have a back yard that is 1 acre fenced in, and 20 acres of fenced pasture. And I am retired, so I spend a good deal of time with them....even walking dogs is a source of companionship for the dog.....Please re think your reasons for wanting a dog....your reasons are not right...
 

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My one year old current foster is a lab/golden cross.

today we worked on training for about 30 mins. went on a one mile hike. did dock diving and retrieving for about an hour. he rode around in the boat with me for another hour.

this is considered an average/ lower exercise day. i do this much EVERY day, as the MINIMUM amount of exercise.

both you and your dog will be miserable with that little exercise, if you choose a lab or a golden. An older dog or a completely different breed would be a much better fit. without exercise, your dog WILL find ways to entertain itself, and you will not be pleased with the results.
 

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The dogs you have listed, apparently just for size/water readiness are not for someone who has 30-60 minutes a day and otherwise wants to keep it outside so they don't have to train it or deal with it. That is a terrible life for a dog. My low energy dog gets an hour plus of walks a day, plus a half hour training, plus 30-60 minutes of play PLUS all day of just being around people.

An outside only, rarely exercised, untrained, energetic dog is a nightmare and likely to be killed at a shelter. Please don't do this to an innocent animal.
 

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Guys, I've got this covered!

OP, the perfect dog for you.



Edit: I have two dogs, am a full time student, and have two jobs. My dogs get all of my attention when it's not on work or school. Yes, they're energetic breeds (like labs and aussies, dunno about goldens) but they are pretty laid back. That being said my doberman used to go to doggie daycare with me for 6-8 hours of almost continuous play a day, then to the dog park for 1-3 more hours of almost continuous play, and then when we got home he'd be ready for more. Dogs are creatures that are full of energy and need to be physically and/or mentally stimulated or your life is going to be hell. Also, you want a companion but you don't want to keep it inside? Do you have a boyfriend that you get companionship from? If so why not tell him that he has to live outside from now on because that's what you expect from your "companions." Many dogs, especially the breeds you're considering, THRIVE on human companionship. None of those dogs are going to be happy as outside dogs and keeping them that way would most likely lead to a miserable pup.
 

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Guys, I've got this covered!

OP, the perfect dog for you.



Edit: I have two dogs, am a full time student, and have two jobs. My dogs get all of my attention when it's not on work or school. Yes, they're energetic breeds (like labs and aussies, dunno about goldens) but they are pretty laid back. That being said my doberman used to go to doggie daycare with me for 6-8 hours of almost continuous play a day, then to the dog park for 1-3 more hours of almost continuous play, and then when we got home he'd be ready for more. Dogs are creatures that are full of energy and need to be physically and/or mentally stimulated or your life is going to be hell. Also, you want a companion but you don't want to keep it inside? Do you have a boyfriend that you get companionship from? If so why not tell him that he has to live outside from now on because that's what you expect from your "companions." Many dogs, especially the breeds you're considering, THRIVE on human companionship. None of those dogs are going to be happy as outside dogs and keeping them that way would most likely lead to a miserable pup.
Yep. This is what OP needs. A real dog would require actual work and would not be a toy.
 

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I also think that keeping a dog outside is a terrible idea.....why do you REALLY want a dog? If something to play with in the water, buy a water toy. I don't mean to be condensending, but you are by no means sounding like a responsible dog owner....Most people buy dogs for companionship, and spending a great deal of time with them.

I have 4 dogs, 2 schnauzers, and 2 poodles. I am fortunate to have a back yard that is 1 acre fenced in, and 20 acres of fenced pasture. And I am retired, so I spend a good deal of time with them....even walking dogs is a source of companionship for the dog.....Please re think your reasons for wanting a dog....your reasons are not right...
Why is it such a terrible idea? Most people I know don't have their dogs inside except for one person; not sure on the breed but it's a mid-sized dog. I have a medium sized backyard and I expected a dog to enjoy that, but if it really is THAT much of a priority to keep a fully grown dog inside then it definitely isn't for me.
 

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Most people I know don't have their dogs inside except for one person...
Keeping dogs outside is common in many places. However, that doesn't mean that it is what's best for the dog.
Some people are fine with it because it's what they know to be correct or, frankly, they just don't care.
I could never keep my dogs outside. I love them and they crave to be near their people. It would be cruel, in my opinion, to keep your dog/pet/companion outside.
Plus it can also be unsafe. Dogs get stolen, they get attacked by wild animals or other stray dogs, and there are incidents of neighbors provoking the dogs and/or poising them because it's easy.

It's not for me; I could never feel right about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Keeping dogs outside is common in many places. However, that doesn't mean that it is what's best for the dog.
Some people are fine with it because it's what they know to be correct or, frankly, they just don't care.
I could never keep my dogs outside. I love them and they crave to be near their people. It would be cruel, in my opinion, to keep your dog/pet/companion outside.
Plus it can also be unsafe. Dogs get stolen, they get attacked by wild animals or other stray dogs, and there are incidents of neighbors provoking the dogs and/or poising them because it's easy.

It's not for me; I could never feel right about it.
Apart from the moral conflict that people will have, will having a dog outside count towards exercise? What I mean by that is, it will have another dog to play with and I'll be out there a few times a day. I, of course, would be keeping a puppy inside until I'm 100% sure it's safe for it to be outside.
 

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Apart from the moral conflict that people will have, will having a dog outside count towards exercise? What I mean by that is, it will have another dog to play with and I'll be out there a few times a day. I, of course, would be keeping a puppy inside until I'm 100% sure it's safe for it to be outside.
No. Dogs don't exercise on their own, or in backyards - too familiar. They need to be gotten out and exercised.

That said: Some dogs do, I believe, do okay outside. These are dogs where they don't give a rat's behind about their owner, because they're busy protecting a flock. Or in a pack of other dogs (still don't give a rat's behind about you), used to hunt (hounds). Or where their owners are outside with them 16+ hours a day working on a farm, or pulling a sled. Ie: they are not family pets.

There are multiple problems with outside dogs, and it's not just moral.

You don't know if your dog is eating or if its stool has changed consistency or if it's throwing up until far, far too late. They're bait for predators, stray dogs, and theft. They destroy your yard. Training is much harder because the time together isn't there. If the dogs fight (you have a Pom outside?) you're going to find out when you come home to a bloody disaster. Literally.

You can not just get a dog, put it in the back yard, and take it out 2-3 times a week to play with it. It will be undersocialized, over excited, and a MESS. That's not the 'moral issue' of a dog outside. I firmly believe dogs sleeping outside isn't the worst thing ever - but ONLY IF YOU ARE OUT THERE WITH IT ALL THE TIME EXCEPT FOR WHEN YOU ARE ASLEEP or it is WORKING and getting its social needs met by other animals.
 

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Apart from the moral conflict that people will have, will having a dog outside count towards exercise? What I mean by that is, it will have another dog to play with and I'll be out there a few times a day. I, of course, would be keeping a puppy inside until I'm 100% sure it's safe for it to be outside.
I'm gonna second CptJack's response with another no.
 

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Making my dog live outside would be like making my husband live outside. Your dog is meant to be your friend. As for shepherd, and the others you listed they need a lot of enrichment and exercise to be the dog you want them to be. If not given that then its pretty much a disaster. Say goodbye to your stuff. And you and the dog will be unhappy. And your dog only wants To please you. It's a reciprocal relationship. You need to make sure you can pay for vet bills emergencies etc and know that a dog is a commitment. You can expect it to be with you for the next 10 years. I just moved countries and I paid $2500 to bring my pets with me. I wouldnt have moved otherwise.
 

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Making my dog live outside would be like making my husband live outside. Your dog is meant to be your friend. As for shepherd, and the others you listed they need a lot of enrichment and exercise to be the dog you want them to be. If not given that then its pretty much a disaster. Say goodbye to your stuff. And you and the dog will be unhappy. And your dog only wants To please you. It's a reciprocal relationship. You need to make sure you can pay for vet bills emergencies etc and know that a dog is a commitment. You can expect it to be with you for the next 10 years. I just moved countries and I paid $2500 to bring my pets with me. I wouldnt have moved otherwise.
What type of dog would be more fitting for me do you think?
 
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