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Old 10-20-2011, 01:31 PM
 
131 posts, read 229,425 times
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Question puppy or dog?

I've been looking at my options and I'm not sure what would be best for our family. We are wanting to add another doggie to the family this spring. I'm not sure if we should go with a puppy or a dog. We have 3 girls (3, 6 and 7.5) and 1 dog now (Earl, the 9.5 yo Pom who still has the energy of a puppy).
Getting a puppy is like having a newborn. We got Earl when he was a puppy, and I am aware of the chewing, housebreaking, getting up in the middle of the night and such. It is a big hassle. They are expensive to purchase (if we got another Pom) and you have to take them to the vet so much in the beginning, pay to get them fixed, etc. But there's really nothing cuter I want to get another dog so he can have a friend, and not be lonely when we are gone (I am a SAHM and home most of the time, but I do errands, and sometimes we go out on weekends and such). He has seperation anxiety and barks when we are gone. And Earl is a very submissive dog. I'm thinking that if we got ANY dog over a few months old, the new dog would be the boss and then I would feel badly for Earl. I think Earl would have a much easier time getting along with a puppy, and have a chance at being the alpha male
I know getting a dog would probably be easier on the wallet, and I could save an unwanted dog, which is so awesome. Plus they would come with all their shots and most likely already be fixed. But then I'm worried that rescues may have issues, and again that Earl might not be so happy.
Help!
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:41 PM
 
Location: zone 5
5,993 posts, read 4,881,034 times
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Since you know all the issues that come with a puppy, you know better than anyone whether you're up to it or not.
As far as adult rescues having issues, yes some do. Others are victims of a bad economy, an owner who passed away, a baby on the way, or people who suddenly decided they didn't have time for a dog anymore (Really. Shelter workers see people every day with totally cavalier attitudes toward their longtime companions). The rescue should be very honest with you about any behavior issues they're aware of. As for your dog, many places will require you bring him along for a meet and greet with the dog you're interested in, and I'd highly recommend you do. He can help you make the choice.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:36 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,192 posts, read 6,534,288 times
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I agree with the above, and I'll add....when looking through petfinder, look for dogs that are being currently fostered in someone's home. The foster "parent" will be able to give you a really good idea of how the dog behaves in real life, day to day. And you'll be able to arrange a meeting between your family Iincluding, of course, Earl ) and the prospective new doggie. Any good foster parent is going to be attatched to their foster dog, and will make an effort to ensure that their foster go someplece where it will really work out well for everyone.

The problem with a puppy is that feisty, rambunctious puppies might stress Earl out, and if he's rather submissive, might end up bulling him. How is he with other dogs and puppies in general?

Very generally speaking, an opposite-sex dog might be the better choice; less chance of dominance issues.

**Anecdote: early this year, I fostered a puppy...well, nobody could figure out what in heck mix he was. Possibly some sort of hound mix. Anyway, he was a baby when I got him, had him a month, he was feisty but wonderful with my three dogs and with my cats. I really saw no signs of impending attitude (and I am quite experienced with dogs.) Adopted him out at about 12-13 weeks old to a very nice couple who had a 7-year-old Pug. The dogs met twice, everything seemed great.

And it was great, for a while. They had the pup neutered at 5 months old, did at least one puppy obedience course, then at about seven months old he decided that his mission in life was to pester the Pug constantly. Not only that, he started to get attitude with other dogs, and bit a relative's dog bad enough to draw blood. At that point the couple called me and we all felt terrible about how it turned out, but they were no longer comfortable keeping the pup, now 45 lbs. Plus they were about to start a family and were concerned about this dog and a baby. Luckily I knew someone else who could foster him and he now has a good home.

I felt really guilty, thinking that surely I'd missed some signs that he was an overly dominant puppy. I wouldn't have let him go to these people and their well-mannered, older Pug if I'd had any clue! But all in all, a dog that's matured a bit is more of a known entity and a safer bet, even if it's an older puppy.
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Old 10-20-2011, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Santa Barbara CA
3,470 posts, read 4,752,139 times
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I would say that yes you do know what a puppy involves and yes it is like a newborn baby and as for being cute , that they are but they do grow fast so that cute factor is short lived.Though I think all my dogs are cute!

I would say take Earl with you and let him help choose. The adult dogs I have adopted over the year never had issues that were not easy to fix. A lot of people give up dogs because they are too lazy to train them but with a little training they are great dogs. Jazz had to be queen so when I was looking for a buddy for her I picked out a couple at the human society. Dash being my first choice and then she went to meet them but only ended up meeting him as he was such a submissive boy to her I knew they woud do great together and they remained best buddies until their deaths. He did have a few issues but with training using his favorite reward Food, he was soon past his issues and what a great dog he was.

I think often the adult dogs you adopt bond to you even more then a puppy as maybe they understand that yes nothing in life is forever having already lost an owner. They just seem thankful for being given a second chance.

I have adopted both adults and puppies and to me it has been more of a who I see that for some unknown reason calls out and says " yes I am your dog" in other words I just know when I see them, even a photo of them as with my latest Chaos. The minute I saw her photo I knew she was mine despite my saying I did not want to raise a puppy again and despite the fact she was in a shelter in Texas and I am in Calif. There was just that feeling and months later I know that I was right she was meant to be mine. So go see what the rescues and shelters have available then take Earl to meet the ones you liked and maybe you will have an instant connection.

Getting a puppy does not guarantee that Earl will be top dog as you could end up with a puppy that feels that is his spot as he grows up. It is a risk either way and if the new dog becomes top dog respect that instead of feeling bad for Earl as most submissive dogs do not want to be top dog they are more comfortable having the other dog be boss just as most dogs are more then happy to let the humans be the boss.
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