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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Pet Stop

 > Looking for the right dog for us

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RRTom

California USA

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Posted: 03/22/06 11:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We still work. A dog would be at home alone with 2 cats. The cats are strictly inside cats, so a doggie door is out of the question. My wife has suggested training the dog to a litter box.

We would want to take the dog (and sometimes the cats) in the motor home with us for weekends or extended trips.

We do not want a barker. We are "grandparent age" and enjoy walking, but wouldn't want a dog that requires a great deal of activity to remain happy and healthy.

I had a Sheltie years ago, and it was honestly the best dog I ever had or ever knew.

We have been holding off on getting a dog for several years, because we just didn't think it would be fair to the dog. But doggone it (no pun intended) seeing the pleasure others in our group of rv'ers get from their dogs, we are feeling like it may be time. IF we can do it with our life style.

Any ways, please feel free to share any thoughts or suggestions with us.


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mockturtle

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Posted: 03/22/06 12:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you plan to leave the dog home in the house all day long, I would reconsider. Don't think just of your pleasure in having a dog along on trips, etc. Think of the dog. Unlike cats, dogs don't do well left in the house all day. If you do get one, don't get a puppy. Adopt an older dog who's mellowed out a bit.


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RRTom

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Posted: 03/22/06 12:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mockturtle,

That's exactly what's been holding us back.

snowhawkwoman

Lyons, KS

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Posted: 03/22/06 12:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our dogs can "hold it" for about 6 hours without problems - that's about the longest I leave them alone in the house while traveling to nearby "big city" to do my grocery shopping, etc. Most of the time I just take them along in the car - they LOVE the drive thru windows at fast food places - but in the summertime I don't do it - car gets too hot - so they stay at home lying on the sofa enjoying the A/C! I stay at home (am retired) and when I ran a little shop - since I was the owner - I could run home at lunch time and let the dogs out to do their thing. (my Yorkie would go to work with me each day) Don't think it's a good idea to get a puppy unless you are there to consistantly work with the pup on chewing, housebreaking, etc. Our golden Xena was adopted as a young adult from the animal shelter - she was already housebroken - she's so good about it I honestly think she would explode before "going in the house" - so that might be a way to go - but you still need for one of you to go home some time during the day to let the dog out and to play for a bit. I'm home all day with the dogs - but they never get excited until "dad" comes home from work - then it's major play time!! (mom's boring I guess)


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CatandJim

Tulsa, as in Oklahoma

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Posted: 03/22/06 12:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There are so many great kinds of dogs to consider but first I think there are questions you need to closely examine and see if a dog is right for you right now.

Yes some dogs can be litter trained but usually they are the very small breeds of dogs. It is a time consuming process and if you work full time and are not home to consistently train the dog to this process it will take even more time. Once properly trained to use a litter box I have heard that some dogs don't relate to going potty outside very well so that might be a challenge. Some get confused and stay that way for a while about exactly where it is "OK to go" while inside, in other words lots of accidents around the house and in the area of the litter box. Litter works well with cats because by nature they have a desire to cover up their waste... this is not true of dogs so it can be a lot of work.

If you are going to work full time, can someone come home at lunch? Not only to let the dog but to play with it and spend some time with it? Those work days can be awfully long & lonesome! Even if a dog is crate trained they will need a break. It is my opinion that they should not be left alone inside (house or crate) for more than 4 to 6 hours at a time.

If you get a puppy are you or your spouse ready and willing to get up several times each night to either 1. let the dog out and train it to go potty outside or 2. put the dog in it's box to litter train it? Keep in mind this can go on for months and could cause you to be pretty tired and sleepless feeling.

OK so you decide to get an older dog from rescue (which I personally think is the best place to get a dog) so are you able to retrain the things it will need to work on? Most dogs can adapt to a new environment pretty well but you have to keep in mind there are certain ways you want to do things, your schedule is going to different from where it came from, etc. So even a rescue dog will need your time and effort to make the transition. True you might get a dog that is already housetrained but what if the dog isn't completely reliable? Are you willing to do many of the same things I have already asked? Are you able to love it "warts and all"?! No rescue dog is perfect just as no dog from a reputable breeder is either.....all dogs need loving consistent training, period.

Are you able to keep a dog properly groomed? With different breeds that of course means different things but some of the smaller (litter trainable variety) are longer haired or full coated so this is a real consideration.

Can you walk it every day? All dogs need to regular exercise, some more than other true but they all need some exercise. One reason is a tired dog is a good dog and the other is dogs LOVE to get of their own space and "read the doggy newspaper" i.e. sniff around and see who has been where.

So if you can feel good about your answers to all of these questions, it may be time to start looking at the shelter and/or researching breeds to find out about traits, trainability, activity level and exercise needed, prey drive (with cats that is important), grooming requirements, etc., etc. Keeping in mind that dogs are indeed pack animals and when you bring one into your home you become their pack... they will want to spend as much time with you as possible. [emoticon]

If you do your homework and think about things in advance the dog you bring home has a MUCH better chance of becoming a wonderful, well trained companion. One which will be able to share many happy years with you.

Good luck, please let me know what y'all decide.

* This post was edited 03/22/06 12:54pm by CatandJim *


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BCSnob

Middletown, MD

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Posted: 03/22/06 12:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Most dogs regularly hold it for 8+ hrs (unless the bulk of the dog owning public takes their dogs out in the middle of every night).

I suggest getting an adult dog so you can skip puppyhood (highest energy and shortest "hold it times"). Adults dogs are available from shelters, rescue groups, and breeders who are retiring older dogs from performance activities.

Mark


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Happytraveler

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Posted: 03/22/06 12:29pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My son and his wife love animals. They have two indoor cats, a indoor rabbit and a Golden retriever. They don't even have a yard, but what they did was built a big rectangular wooden box with drainage, dirt and sod out on there decking. When there gone they lock the cats up in the bedroom and leave the doggy door open for the dog.


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marshro

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Posted: 03/22/06 12:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You can answer some questions on this site to help with a match up that would be the best dog for you.

Which dog?


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tigerfans2

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Posted: 03/22/06 12:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Any dog'll do...........

2manytoyz

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Posted: 03/22/06 12:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look up "crate training" on google. You'll see what most of us who still work do with our dogs. [emoticon]


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