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Please help me dissuade family member from getting puppy

(22 Posts)
MsFanackerPants Sat 22-Feb-14 03:17:00

My SIL and BIL are planning to get a dog. Neither of them had dogs or grown up with dogs. They are also going to be ttc soon. Both work full time and BIL can be called away at short notice for work and be away for weeks potentially.
They are planning on getting an akita. And a puppy.

I am really very worried about the dog. I don't think they have a realistic idea of the amount of work a dog involves, any dog, but especially a large dog like this. I've grown up with dogs, including two rescue dogs a d am u der no illusion about how committed you have to be as a dog owner. And we had little dogs with generally good temperaments. I've also been involved with a dogs home so have seen the result of people wanting a puppy and not thinking about the 10+ years of dog, failing to train properly and then giving up on the poor thing because its hard work or "bad".

The dog is coming from what I suspect is a backyard breeder. They haven't had to wait, they seem to have decided on this dog very quickly (in the last week), the dog is coming to them in 5 weeks. I have a feeling it will all go badly wrong. Should I try to put them off and if so, how? I really don't want to see this poor dog end up miserable or having to be rehomed.


YoureBeingASillyBilly Sat 22-Feb-14 03:21:52

Ah fuck! I hate hearing stuff like this. You can pretty much tell how its going to end up. Im not sure what you can do- i assume if the dog is coming in 5 weeks it is 3 weeks now and they have been to see it and fallen in love?

Have they discussed it with you and asked for opinion/advice ir just mentioned in passing that theyre doing this?

YoureBeingASillyBilly Sat 22-Feb-14 03:25:00

Do you or they know any akita owners they could talk to (or even borrow the dog) to see how much work is involved?

MsFanackerPants Sat 22-Feb-14 03:38:16

We just got an email from them saying "meet our new dog". SiL hasn't even met her from what I can tell. DP is more worried than me, he loves dogs too and has spent a long time researching what breed we should get. His first reaction was "akitas are not for amateurs!" We saw too many bigs dogs dumped at the dogs' home and the difficulty re homing them because of behaviour issues due to bad owners.

SiL and BiL are getting married in a few weeks so no time to even spend with their potential new dog. They live about 150 miles away as well, otherwise we'd be taking them to rescue centre for a talk and to walk some BIG hard to handle dogs. SIL came with me once before and struggled with a staffy on a short lead. Akita is going to be impossible for her, it will weigh about the same as her!

YoureBeingASillyBilly Sat 22-Feb-14 03:45:35

I have owned big dogs all my life (Gsd/rottie/boxer/lab) and i wouldnt go near an akita- they are hard work. i know why you are worried.

If possible i would try and go down the health issues from improper breeding route. If its a BYB then chances are it wony have had all the checks done or properly matched parents. I would research all that goes wrong specific to that breed and try and dissuade them that way.

Its tough though- when people have seen the dog/know it exists its hard to change their mind.

I think they're mad if just getting married and ttc!

tabulahrasa Sat 22-Feb-14 08:53:24

My friend has an Akita - I walk with her every night and look after her when they're away, she's a lovely dog, good with children, fine with other dogs, but...

You're advised not to let them offlead as the combination of a high prey drive and being hard to train usually means suddenly dodgy recall - so that means you need to do more exercise than with a dog you can just let run about.

They are hard to train - they're typically very independent and stubborn.

They're also not massively easy to motivate, they're not usually interested in food and often not particularly interested in toys...which not only affects training but means no games of fetch either.

They're not fantastic with strangers or things changing as well...they're quite suspicious and wary of new things - so you get lots of suddenly stopping to growl at something or someone they think is in the wrong place and things like meter readers completely freak them out.

They're also prone to all the joint problems that large breed dogs get- so if the health tests haven't been done they should expect huge vet bills.

Hoppinggreen Sat 22-Feb-14 14:26:46

You are sadly wasting your breath.
My brother and his family got my 11 year old nephew a lab puppy last Xmas. Everyone tried to talk them out of it - the comments on FB when SIL mentioned they were thinking about it were numerous and all said " no". , which they got very huffy about.
Everything we thought that would happened has and the only person who ( occasionally) bothers with the dog is my 10 year old niece.
Can't say the dog is badly treated really but he's not really treated in any way at all.

HappySmileyFace Sat 22-Feb-14 14:42:27

I just had this conversation with a relative today. Whilst we didn't talk her out of getting a puppy, we did find a breeder that was able to board a puppy for longer and will try and train the puppy until they are 4-5 months old. Hopefully that will be better. Not sure if this type of thing is an option but in case it helps.

Have also spent this week living with a 12 week old puppy. Such hard work. (And that is a relatively easy breed to deal with).

Some people just can't be told how hard it will be.

MothershipG Sat 22-Feb-14 14:49:13

Who thinks it's ok to leave a puppy on its own all day???? Has even this most basic fact escaped them? Because if it has there is no hope.

What about money? Could they be scared off with the cost of dog walkers, vets bills and the damage that a bored Akita will do to their home?

Have you been able to have a conversation with them?

MsFanackerPants Mon 24-Feb-14 04:41:55

Hello again.

DP has emailed his sister about it, less diplomatically than me and I think MIL has also talked to them. MIL is a bit scared of large dogs and worried that as the dog will see her as a stranger it might not be ok with her.

BIL is taking some time off work in April when the dog arrives and can apparently take it to work with him on base. How this will work I don't know, not sure that his commanding officer will be too keen on the amount of puppy poo. You can't get a dog trained at work!

I am majorly allergic to all dogs except poodles and schnauzers so it means we won't be able to visit them, especially not at blow out time!

I'm going to email SIL to ask if the dog has had a health check. The dog is very cute looking but so are all puppies.

D0G Mon 24-Feb-14 05:02:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tabulahrasa Mon 24-Feb-14 09:10:14

If they do get it...being aloof with strangers is an adult trait - as puppies they're usually more than happy to meet people, the same as any other puppy. So unless your MIL is not going there for a year or so, she wouldn't be a stranger.

The one I know is delighted to see visitors - she's just wary of one off people.

If you're allergic to fur, they do shed constantly, a lot. When they blow their coats it's a ridiculous amount, but it's not a small amount of fur the rest of the time.

Peach123plum Wed 26-Feb-14 02:00:30

Just got up to put my akita cross back to bed as jumping stair gates with wood in front of them. Go to training classes but finding this dog harder to train than other dogs I have had. So maybe that will make them think.

Peach123plum Wed 26-Feb-14 02:01:09

Just got up to put my akita cross back to bed as jumping stair gates with wood in front of them. Go to training classes but finding this dog harder to train than other dogs I have had. So maybe that will make them think.

MsFanackerPants Wed 26-Feb-14 02:34:03

Well, I tried my final technique which was to email to ask about health. My mum has a rescue dog who should never have been bred really, unpredictable temperament, hip problems and eye problems (he has had the chop, it would be so irresponsible to pass his genes on). So I asked SIL about the health of the parents and if the pup has been checked for breed related health issues based on the problems Mum's dog has.

SIL claims she spoke to the Dogs Trust centre near her for advice on getting this puppy. I'm not sure if she did, it doesn't match my experience of rescue centres who would be more likely to advise them not to do this. If they really wanted an Akita, why not a rescue one?

I also just totally depressed myself earlier by seeing the number of people trying to find new homes for Akitas on pets4homes. I really hope I'm not seeing this dog on there in a few months when they realise (like all the other people getting rif) that they don't have time for the dog's needs. Or it doesn't get on with their cat.

This is probably the first time in my life that I'd love to be wrong, I really hope I am.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Wed 26-Feb-14 09:57:59

Me too OP. i hate that pets4homes. I think pet ownership and sale needs to be far more tightly regulated. No-one should be able to sell a dog like an unwanted coffe table!

MsFanackerPants Thu 27-Feb-14 15:11:17

YoureBeing, I didn't even know it existed until this week, it's awful. So many people rehoming puppies and young dogs because they have a young baby too. I saw one dog 8 months old that needs to be rehomed because the family have a 9 week old baby, at what point did that seem like a good idea!? You can bet the poor thing came either from backyard breeders or a puppy farm because no reputable breeder would have considered it wise.

DP is making a last ditch attempt with SIL today to try to stop this. He's pointed out that if she wants a cat then it's not going to be able to live well with an akita because of the risk of the prey drive kicking in and that should BIL be deployed or even just away on exercises or doing flood defences etc again the dog is going to be stuck in the house without anybody to walk it because SIL is only 5foot 2 and weighs about 8 stone.

Suspect that if BIL-to-be wants to take it on to base they're going to have to find some pretty specialist insurance and if anybody in his office objects then the dog can no longer go.

I love dogs and that's why we don't have one yet, because we couldn't be good owners right now.

YoureBeingASillyBilly Thu 27-Feb-14 17:16:40

She wants a dog that she cant even walk?! shock idiots. Sorry but they are.

tabulahrasa Thu 27-Feb-14 20:33:06

Why would she not be able to walk it? The owner of the one I've been talking about is 5 ft 1, she manages fine.

MsFanackerPants Thu 27-Feb-14 21:48:28

Because she couldn't even walk a staffy on a lead at the rescue centre? She can't walk my mum's dog who is a 13kg spaniel...

tabulahrasa Fri 28-Feb-14 08:05:52


tabulahrasa Fri 28-Feb-14 08:08:33

Sorry, hit the wrong button on my phone.

Though, oh sort of covers it, lol. If she can't walk any dog, really what breed it is is less relevant than they shouldn't be getting a dog at all.

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