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Old 09-22-2016, 09:07 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,436 posts, read 11,937,287 times
Reputation: 10542

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Hey guys, just popping in for some perspective.

I'll say with full disclosure I'm not a dog person. I've had tons of experience with other pets. I grew up with cats in the house, although I also have a crippling cat allergy, which means I have no desire to own any as an adult. At various times in childhood and my 20s, I had fish, lizards, frogs, newts, gerbils, and rats. I love animals in general.

But I just don't get dogs. I grew up in a house where my mother was literally speaking ill of them all the time. Then at around age 13 I was attacked by one. I only had minor cuts, but as a result I was deathly afraid of all dogs up until I was around 18 or so. I've gotten over this of course by now, but I really don't get anything out of dogs. I don't think puppies are cute. I really don't like playing with other people's dogs, but I'll humor them sometimes. I really dislike it when dogs lick my hands, or when I have to touch anything covered in slobber.

My wife, however, is a dog person, although she hasn't had one since childhood. As it was very, very hard to get her to consent to move to a new larger home due to indecisiveness, I made a deal with her that we could eventually get dog when our son was older (he's three now). Our daughter is seven, and she talks about getting a dog on a daily basis, including looking up dog breeds herself online.

I have committed to this, even though I'm not crazy about the idea. But at the same time I'm troubled. I'm actually not horribly upset about the idea of having to feed it or clean up after it - walking it in the winter is another matter. Still, the big issue is the way dogs fawn all over their owners drives me up the wall. After the kids are in bed I just want to chill out and read a book alone - I don't want anyone bothering me, human or otherwise. I'm really worried that if I don't form any emotional bond with the dog (which seems likely, given my feelings) that the dog will just get on my nerves and I'll end up being mad at it all the time. And I really don't want a pet to suffer on account of me.

Are there any type of dogs that are more standoffish? My ideal would be a dog which mostly ignored me except when it needed to be fed. Thanks.
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:15 AM
 
1,148 posts, read 634,469 times
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Dogs are domesticated animals and look for a bond and trust. They provide a ton of affection and are a great animal for me to tell my problems to. Until you have an interest in dogs, you will not be a good dog owner. Your wife might because she likes them. Dogs want to be pet, taken on walks and played with. I enjoy every minute with my dogs and I train owners in how to lead dogs. I have never found a single dog I didn't like. Owners can give dogs bad behaviors but when I'm present, I'm the calm assertive leader and dogs understand this within minutes.

I would not look for a 'standoffish' dog, but you might start with a small Chihuahua to make it manageable. My dogs don't fawn over me. I tell them how to behave and they do it. Best dogs ever. I would not get a dog unless you are able to line up with having a new best friend that will make you cry like a baby when he passes. The way you get over the fear of dogs is by learning to lead them.

Go to the library and get all the Cesar Milan DVDs on dogs and watch them over and over to learn how dogs think.
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:25 AM
 
5,449 posts, read 2,836,728 times
Reputation: 10215
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
Hey guys, just popping in for some perspective.

I'll say with full disclosure I'm not a dog person. I've had tons of experience with other pets. I grew up with cats in the house, although I also have a crippling cat allergy, which means I have no desire to own any as an adult. At various times in childhood and my 20s, I had fish, lizards, frogs, newts, gerbils, and rats. I love animals in general.

But I just don't get dogs. I grew up in a house where my mother was literally speaking ill of them all the time. Then at around age 13 I was attacked by one. I only had minor cuts, but as a result I was deathly afraid of all dogs up until I was around 18 or so. I've gotten over this of course by now, but I really don't get anything out of dogs. I don't think puppies are cute. I really don't like playing with other people's dogs, but I'll humor them sometimes. I really dislike it when dogs lick my hands, or when I have to touch anything covered in slobber.

My wife, however, is a dog person, although she hasn't had one since childhood. As it was very, very hard to get her to consent to move to a new larger home due to indecisiveness, I made a deal with her that we could eventually get dog when our son was older (he's three now). Our daughter is seven, and she talks about getting a dog on a daily basis, including looking up dog breeds herself online.

I have committed to this, even though I'm not crazy about the idea. But at the same time I'm troubled. I'm actually not horribly upset about the idea of having to feed it or clean up after it - walking it in the winter is another matter. Still, the big issue is the way dogs fawn all over their owners drives me up the wall. After the kids are in bed I just want to chill out and read a book alone - I don't want anyone bothering me, human or otherwise. I'm really worried that if I don't form any emotional bond with the dog (which seems likely, given my feelings) that the dog will just get on my nerves and I'll end up being mad at it all the time. And I really don't want a pet to suffer on account of me.

Are there any type of dogs that are more standoffish? My ideal would be a dog which mostly ignored me except when it needed to be fed. Thanks.
First, there are breeds that tend to be more independent than others. Remember that if it is less emotionally needy on humans, it also might be less easy to train. It does not live to please people, but it sounds like that is what you prefer (me, too).

Second, any type of dog can be crate-trained. After your family has their play-with-the-dog time and everybody is done with feeding and cleaning, put it in a crate that is not in your room. In other words, the dog goes to bed, alone. There is nothing bad or strange about this. Just start off with that as the routine and stick to it. That means your wife and kids must stick to it, too.
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:35 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
22,708 posts, read 28,757,635 times
Reputation: 43832
There are a few breeds that are stand-offish, but that is not what your wife and kids want. Stand-offish dogs are more likely to snap when they are annoyed and that is not what you need with young children in the house.

If you don't want the dog to bother you in the evening, have the dog sleep in the children's bedroom. Your kids will be protected and the dog will be shut away from you

Do not get a chihuahua. They are too fragile to be toys for young children and they can be difficult to house train. I suspect that you can't be bothered to train a dog if you don't even want it in teh same room as you.

Makes sure your wife understands that she is going to be the sole care giver for this dog.

What you need with young kids is a very tolerant, sturdy, kind natured dog who doesn't get upset and won't be injured if the kids fall on him. The gun dog group is a good place to find tolerant breeds. I recommend the short haired spaniels: Welsh Springer, Boykin, Field, Clumber, Something that does not require a lot of grooming. Then stay away from field bred lines because they are very high energy. Golden Retrievers are also good with small children.

If you can afford it, the number one best dog to get for young children is a Leonberger. That is a dog with excellent judgement, that never bites without provocation, won't bite the neighborhood kids, but that will lay down his life to protect your children if it becomes necessary. The Leonberger is very sturdy and won't be injured if the kids fall on him. He is so gorgeous that he gets a lot of admiration out in public (which apparently, you can't tolerate, but your wife and kids will enjoy it). If you get a Leonberger, be sure to tell the breeder that you do not want a "turbo-berger"
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Derby, CT
3,584 posts, read 2,504,684 times
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You and I have these feelings in common. I try my best to be friendly to my friend's dogs and what not. If you're not friendly with other people's dogs, they will take issue with that as I've found lol.

Anyways, do you consider 3 years old to be "older"?
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,436 posts, read 11,937,287 times
Reputation: 10542
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf39us View Post
You and I have these feelings in common. I try my best to be friendly to my friend's dogs and what not. If you're not friendly with other people's dogs, they will take issue with that as I've found lol.

Anyways, do you consider 3 years old to be "older"?
Our son has some health issues right now which mean the decision won't be made immediately. We're probably talking more about a 6-12 month horizon, so there is still time to strategize.
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Old 09-22-2016, 09:56 AM
 
5,449 posts, read 2,836,728 times
Reputation: 10215
Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonwoodsmoke View Post
There are a few breeds that are stand-offish, but that is not what your wife and kids want. Stand-offish dogs are more likely to snap when they are annoyed and that is not what you need with young children in the house.

If you don't want the dog to bother you in the evening, have the dog sleep in the children's bedroom. Your kids will be protected and the dog will be shut away from you

Do not get a chihuahua. They are too fragile to be toys for young children and they can be difficult to house train. I suspect that you can't be bothered to train a dog if you don't even want it in teh same room as you.

Makes sure your wife understands that she is going to be the sole care giver for this dog.

What you need with young kids is a very tolerant, sturdy, kind natured dog who doesn't get upset and won't be injured if the kids fall on him. The gun dog group is a good place to find tolerant breeds. I recommend the short haired spaniels: Welsh Springer, Boykin, Field, Clumber, Something that does not require a lot of grooming. Then stay away from field bred lines because they are very high energy. Golden Retrievers are also good with small children.

If you can afford it, the number one best dog to get for young children is a Leonberger. That is a dog with excellent judgement, that never bites without provocation, won't bite the neighborhood kids, but that will lay down his life to protect your children if it becomes necessary. The Leonberger is very sturdy and won't be injured if the kids fall on him. He is so gorgeous that he gets a lot of admiration out in public (which apparently, you can't tolerate, but your wife and kids will enjoy it). If you get a Leonberger, be sure to tell the breeder that you do not want a "turbo-berger"
Golden retrievers are some of the most fawning, emotionally needy dogs I have ever encountered. Great for people who want that, bad match for OP, who would do better to look at more independent dogs. They don't necessarily snap at people who pester them; a really independent dog will just walk away.

BTW, it is entirely possible that an individual dog just happens to appeal to the OP regardless of breed. But that is like finding a needle in a haystack for someone who isn't crazy about dogs. Lots of dogs are nice enough...in small doses. Actually owning one is a big dose.
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Southeast Idaho
4,661 posts, read 15,786,094 times
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My best advice is to be all in or not at all. I know that sounds crass, but your kids and wife are going to want the dog to be a part of the family. As dogs are packs animals, the family is their pack and they'll want to be included.

You need to address many things before making the final decision, as a family. What if the wife and kids take off for a short trip to her friend or family members and you're unable to go? Are you willing to look after the dog for a few days and interact with it? Do you want one that does not shed, but will need regular grooming appointments? Large or medium sized dogs are best, especially with young children. The smaller the dog, toys breeds, are high strung as are young children which can be a recipe for disaster.

My suggestion if you are leaning towards getting is to start volunteering with a local rescue or shelter. By doing so you can learn first hand about different breeds and their quirks. Perhaps sign on to be a temporary foster home, kids and wife can interact and the kids will learn what's involved. Bonus, is your volenteering so at any point you can say "no" and take a break.
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:14 AM
 
4,054 posts, read 2,623,940 times
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I agree either be in all the way or don't get a dog. What if for whatever reason (trip, school project etc) the wife and kids aren't around and you will have to take care of the dog. Also if they're all out of the house, the dog is going to want to hang out with your because you are the only one there.

Having said that most dogs don't fawn all over you all the time. If I'm watching TV or reading mine are usually just hanging out in the same room with me.

If I were you I'd spend some time volunteering at a shelter or with a rescue. It seems like (understandably) your whole impression of dogs is based on what your mother said and your bad experience. You may be surprised that if you spend some time around them your whole attitude toward them will change.

I would not get a puppy as they require more attention and are more work. I also would get a dog that is not a heavy shedder and is more independent.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:15 AM
 
16,720 posts, read 14,711,325 times
Reputation: 41129
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I'm not a dog person.
...
But I just don't get dogs.
...
I don't think puppies are cute.
...
I really dislike it when dogs lick my hands, or when I have to touch anything covered in slobber.
...
the big issue is the way dogs fawn all over their owners drives me up the wall.
...
And I really don't want a pet to suffer on account of me.
Do Not Get A Dog.

Dogs want to be loved, and if you can't handle that, you don't need to own one. It's not fair to the dog.
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