I want a big dog, tell me it's possible.

(25 Posts)
IslaValargeone Fri 21-Feb-14 18:54:39

We have been discussing getting a dog for ages.
In my old life I have previously had german shepherds, labs and an old english sheep dog.
We have, however, never had a dog as a family and we all desperately want one. (dc is 12).
I feel if we are making the committment, I want a big one, as it is likely to be the last time I will own one.
Trouble is I live in a town house with stairs and I know some people don't recommend stairs because of pressures on joints etc.
If you own a big dog, please could you share your absolute musts and must nots.
Ta in advance.

whatwoulddexterdo Fri 21-Feb-14 19:42:15

I have a big dog and have a stair gate so she can't get upstairs. I would be more concerned about getting him in the car. Mine wont use a ramp and she is getting too heavy for me to lift.

Blistory Fri 21-Feb-14 19:54:42

I have a big dog. She's not banned from using stairs but its very occasional. To be honest, you can clearly see that she finds it difficult to manage the downward motion as stairs are generally too close together for her and you can feel the impact as she goes down them. I'd hate for her to do it daily never mind several times a day.

Same with the car - jumping out the boot is not an issue if its once in a while. Mine goes in twice a day so I buy the car with the dog in mind - low lip and plenty of height needed.

Other than those issues, her size isn't a problem at all.

mrslaughan Sat 22-Feb-14 20:41:19

We have a giant, we only kept him restricted to downstairs , he was allowed upstairs occasionally, but this was always surpervised.

What was your old English sheepdog like? We have one who is 6 months and adorable but very boisterous.

We have a stair gate and restrict his access to kitchen mainly, with evenings in sitting room but not upstairs at all. The joint issue is the main reason but of course it's much easier for our teenage son to be able to leave his clothes all over bedroom floor without risk of them being pinched and for younger DS to leave Lego everywhere.

What sort of large dog are you thinking of?

We have a GS she isnt allowed upstairs but occasionally she jumps the babygate amd legs it up two flights of stairs amd hides under the bed!

Kids2Hounds3 Sun 23-Feb-14 10:26:48

Re-home an ex-racing greyhound, not called "40 mph coach potatoes" for nothing, and give them a life beyond the track. Visit the Retired Greyhound Trust website. Oh, and mine can all do the stairs, jump in the car etc.

Kids2Hounds3 Sun 23-Feb-14 10:27:40

Or sofa surfers

everlong Sun 23-Feb-14 12:41:41

I have a big dog and he's still only young (8 months) getting in and out of the boot is quite hilarious as he needs a lift ( push of the bum ) in and helping out.

He takes up one whole sofa to himself, can jump up and eat things off the worktops, has paws the size of a small pony that brings in half the garden, so hoovering and mopping is done a lot more.

I like his size though. I like big dogs.

MuttonCadet Sun 23-Feb-14 12:45:35

Yep we have a retired greyhound too and she's a wonderful pet, very low maintenance, no issues with stairs (after the first time - which was an experience).

Incredibly gentle kind natured dog, no issue with other dogs or people.

Tilpil Mon 24-Feb-14 07:54:57

I have a Doberman x Weimaraner but quite abit larger than we expected he's bigger than a Shepard and weighs as much as me. He has no problems with stairs etc and just use to jump baby gates he's better behaved if I just telly I'm too stay. I know people with Great Danes and they don't stop them doing stairs etc and have a Mercedes ml and they get in and out of that four times a day and no problems possible when older. But she trained theme use a ramp for when that day comes.

IslaValargeone Mon 24-Feb-14 09:29:13

mintchocchick My old english was lovely.
As a puppy he had a 'mad half hour' every day, but he was calm and gentle, soft as a brush.
I know greyhounds seem to be very popular, but it's not a breed I am considering.
I think my main concern is toilet training, we live mainly in the kitchen, but that's on the second floor.
Ultimately my dog of choice would be a Dane.

Pagwatch Mon 24-Feb-14 09:35:28

We have an old english Shepdog. He is utterly gorgeous - gentle and incredibly cuddly smile
Our home is over 3 floors but he stays mostly on the ground floor.
He is a much easier dog to care for than our fucking bischon.

Twooter Mon 24-Feb-14 13:38:41

You would manage when it is younger, but what about in 6 years time when it would be starting to show signs if age, especially if it's been doing stairs multiple times a day since young. I had to carry my 10 kg dog up and down stairs in his last year, because of elbow arthritis. You would have to rehome or pts early at that stage.

noddingoff Wed 26-Feb-14 17:05:24

I think "stairs are bad for them" is an excuse for shit genetics. Any decently made dog should be able handle stairs and - gasp- off lead walking from a fairly young age. I think the point about thinking years down the line is a valid one though, especially if you have no option but for the dog to get up steep steps to get into the house...but I don't think it would be awful getting a dog that you know you might have to euthanase six months earlier than if you lived in a bungalow on the flat. Size of garden also irrelevant - access to good walking places much more important.

ThePost Wed 26-Feb-14 17:08:32

I'd love a Great Dane. Big soppy, daft so and so's.

coffeeinbed Wed 26-Feb-14 17:15:01

Stairs are a problem.
My dog has been staying downstairs recently.

he just can't make, so I would definitely take that into consideration.

IslaValargeone Fri 28-Feb-14 09:35:36

I must admit, noddingoff yours is the post I want.
I'm aware that stairs could be an issues with any elderly dog, which as you say might mean euthanising six months earlier?
Our house backs on to a huge field, I am at home all day so can give a dog all the walks/attention it needs.

Our previous dog was a large Border Collie. Much as I loved him, I chose a much smaller dog this time because, as he got older, it became so difficult to get him in the car, which he hated. He was too heavy to lift and couldn't get in himself.

He decided at about the age of 10 that he would not climb the stairs anymore and so stayed down. I presume it just became too painful for him.

It was also difficult to walk him in his later years when he was unsteady on his feet after a stroke, with arthritis and cataracts, but still wanted to have a mooch round.

Border Collies just won't give in!

tabulahrasa Fri 28-Feb-14 10:10:04

If I'd had to put down my last two dogs when stairs became a problem..it'd be more like two or three years earlier than I had to, not 6 months.

Even if you decide that puppies not doing stairs because of their joints is scaremongering - you still have the problem that large breed puppies are not massively coordinated and may not be able to actually manage the stairs before they get too heavy to carry.

I don't think it's impossible...but, honestly, I don't think I would.

Booboostoo Fri 28-Feb-14 11:21:41

I've had GSDs all my life I've never heard of the idea that they should avoid stairs forever. While they are young, yes they should be carried or not allowed up and down stairs, but you'd need to be a bit cautious about the amount of walking you did as well with any large breed pup. From 12-18mo onwards though I can't imagine why the dog would have a problem with stairs. I stand to be corrected though!

I've also had a GSD with degenerative myelopathy and stairs did become an impossibility for him at one point but we worked though that. He adjusted well to sleeping downstairs and towards the end he had a doggy wheelchair which hugely extended his walking life and enjoyment!

Twooter Fri 28-Feb-14 20:10:18

You talk about pts 6 months early as though its nothing, but there is nothing more heartbreaking than putting to sleep a bright happy dog, who's legs are letting them down.

We don't let our girl go upstairs and have trained her not to bother.

Aquelven Sun 09-Mar-14 17:19:35

I've owned five Old English Sheepdogs & they were all pretty boisterous but did calm down a lot as they got older.
I have little dogs now & the main advantage I've found is being able to take them everywhere except for supermarkets

handcream Mon 10-Mar-14 16:53:57

Our big dog has never ben allowed upstairs and never seems that bothered 9 years later. IMHO I dont like dogs upstairs. My DS lets her sleep on the bed (Yuck!)

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