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Please talk to me about getting a pup

(62 Posts)
tinkywinkyshandbag Fri 23-Oct-15 23:32:59

Hi all, we have wanted a dog for a LONG time, well DD2 and I have. DH has never owned a dog although he likes them, DD1 likes dogs but is more of a cat person. (We do have a cat)

We have kept putting it off for one reason or another but I am thinking that the time is finally right. Both DDs are now at secondary school. DH works at home 2 days a week. I also work from home, although I am in and out (I am a therapist so have client appointments but not all day every day). My in laws have moved nearby and could help out if needed. I have dog owning friends who could offer help and advice. We have a house with a fenced garden, not big, but big enough. (We may be getting an extension built but probably not for another 6 months at least). DD2 is dog crazy, happy to walk it and even pick up poo, very happy and confident with dogs although I fear she will love it to death!

DD2 wants a Westie, she really loves them. I'd really like a lurcher, but we have a cat, and it's only me that really like them. DD1 wants a pug, but only because they are cute so that's not happening (I have concerns about health issues with that breed). I also like borders, and terrier type breeds like cairns, I'd even consider a Yorkie. Would like a small to medium breed, nothing bigger than a beagle, preferably a non slobbery not too stinky dog. Happy to walk several times a day, say 3 smaller walks and one big one, more at weekends. We'd prefer not to have to pay more than about £500.

I was thinking of a rescue dog simply because there are so many needing homes. DD2 really really wants a puppy but I know it will be me doing most of the work, toiler training etc. (which is the main thing worrying me to be honest). So...questions.

What do you think - pup, or rescue? Thoughts on cat friendly breeds?

How long do pups take to toilet train?

Is it inevitable our house will be chewed and generally ruined? (not exessively house proud but don't want my sofa which we saved up for to get eaten!)

We have room for a dog crate but not for a pen as well. Would that be okay?

How long before a pup could be left alone for an hour or so?

Would it be better to wait until Spring? (although I am thinking that there is never a "right time" and don't really want to wait any longer...)

I think that's it for now, thanks for any advice!

Dieu Sat 24-Oct-15 00:52:48

I have a pup, and honestly, never again. I would definitely go down the rescue route. Others will say differently I'm sure, but I am speaking as someone who was in tears today over having to wipe shit off the walls, sofa, floors, etc. It isn't all cuteness and cuddles, and is in fact a LOT of work. Even after we come out the other side of toilet training (he is 5 months and showing no signs), I am prepared for the fact that my beautiful wooden floors and sofa will need replacing, as the whole place stinks of piss. Constantly. My pup is ADORABLE in so many other ways, but everyone I know who has seen what it's like firsthand, has said 'no way'. It's pretty sobering! If you do decide to proceed, I would say go for a bitch, as they're 'cleaner' in my experience. It's inbuilt, as they clean up after the pups. Part of the reason it's going so slowly for us is that our pup (male) couldn't care less that he's having accidents indoors. It's like having a toddler with no nappy on, and is without doubt the hardest thing that I have ever done. Having three newborns was a doddle by comparison. I'm really sorry to be the voice of doom, but I would never have done this if I'd known in advance what it was going to be like. And I'm living it now, whereas other posters who have come out the other side will have forgotten how bad it is! Another tip would be to get a short, smooth haired dog. Ours is longhaired and it's so much extra work. Good luck.

ineedamoreadultieradult Sat 24-Oct-15 01:08:07

I have no experience of having a pup but from the horror stories I've heard I would always go for a rescue dog. We have rescued several dogs and if you take your time and find a good match for your circumstances they tend to slot right in as if they have always been there. The only dog we have had at the same time as a cat was our Bichon Frise she was tolerant of the cat (they weren't best buddies or anything) but left each other alone or even managed to share the sofa if there were enough blankets/knees to make it seem appealing. I would be careful with sighthounds and terriers around cats.

ChairRider4 Sat 24-Oct-15 04:17:15

I admit I would never go the pup route again and compared to many he has been easy and super quick not really chewed etc I remember sobbing outside at 1,3,4am in the snow and freezing cold begging him to go pee and then go to sleep then the refusal to walk in lead 30 mins to leave the close etc and even though I read loads I underestimated amount of hard work

Course would not swap him for anything now smileand at almost 11 months is pretty good though hitting teenage but least no standing outside middle of night

ChairRider4 Sat 24-Oct-15 04:21:32

Oh and don't underestimate the amount of walking you want to do especially when it is raining and freezing

I knew my boy would and does need lot of walks and does not care if wet and cold out he still wants out plus he needs mentally wearing out but as I needed a working dog that is ok

My next dog will be a whippet thlwink

Noitsnotteatimeyet Sat 24-Oct-15 08:21:36

I know pups aren't always easy but they're not all as bad as pp have experienced!

Our puppy was sleeping through the night within the first week and was completely reliably housetrained by 4 months (and accidents were few and far between before then but we did watch him like a hawk). He was a bit chewy until his adult teeth came in but the only thing that got damaged was our old oilcloth tablecloth which we were going to replace anyway...

We have two cats who put him in his place immediately- he adores one (it's unrequited) and is terrified of the other

We started leaving him for short periods of time right from the start and built it up gradually and he's now happy to be left for 3-4 hours if necessary

Yes puppies are hard work but the tricky bit doesn't usually last that long. All our other previous animals have been rescues and several have had 'issues' so it's not a guarantee that life with an adult rescue will be plain sailing either

As far as breeds go, Westies often have skin problems so that's something to bear in mind and beagles are generally not advised for a novice dog owner - they look cute but can be really hard to train and recall can be particularly tricky. If you want something fairly small and non-shedding poodles are great - if you keep their hair clipped short they don't look silly

Dontbesilly Sat 24-Oct-15 09:28:12

We have two small spaniels and two cats. You must keep a very close eye on the cats and dogs for a while. My cats are the boss. Really do think about the best breed of dog to live in harmony with a cat. Cats can cut up rough and some breeds are not good with cats.

Both of my dogs are completely different characters even though the same breed. Just like people in a family I suppose. One took to the crate so easily and the other never ever took to it, as an example.

For puppies I find that good, consistent training is key. Even when you really perhaps feel poorly or exhausted, it needs to be done and everyone in the family needs to do it too. This way you get a better behaved dog for ever. Pay close attention to lead walking and recall as it's important to get those right. Also jumping up and barking needs to be checked. If you ever need to let a barking prone dog outside in the night for a wee you end up chasing it around the garden in your pj's trying to shush it, this is what my best friend does.

Please do be prepared for the bad days. You will think seriously that you have made the wrong decision and perhaps regret having a dog. However you must perservere and keep going because all of a sudden you will realise that you actually did do the right thing in getting a puppy and suddenly the hard work has paid off and you have an accepted and loved member of the family that you would do absolutely anything for and you couldn't imagine life without.

Put away from the puppy, any valuable items as puppies chew and mess. It's just damage limitation really and more about common sense. Our puppy loved to chew my lounge rug so it was put away for a while until the puppy had stopped chewing.

I have two rescue cats but no experience of a rescue dog. However I would definitely consider a rescue dog in the future.

Good luck with your new dog and whatever you decide to do.

harryhausen Sat 24-Oct-15 09:30:38

We got a border terrier pup 5 months ago.

I work from home. My Dcs are 10 and 8. It took me 6 months to source him from a good breeder. From reading on here I was utterly terrified. I thought it would be worse than a new baby.

He's been amazing. House trained within weeks, never even a whimper at night (he sleeps in a crate in the kitchen). I need to walk him a hell of a lot at the moment (2 hours a day!) but it's good for me to get out as I work alone. We all totally adore him and wouldn't be without him.

I didn't go down the rescue route as I was not an experienced dog owner and I wanted a particular breed - also, I really wanted the experience of a puppy.

insan1tyscartching Sat 24-Oct-15 10:00:38

We have had Eric from 9 weeks old. I'd say the first weeks were hard but I think more because it's quite restrictive having a young puppy. He was house trained within a couple of weeks though and has never really chewed anything more than the odd sock. He does steal stuff but that's more so that he gets a piece of ham to hand it over rather than because he wants to chew stuff up.
He's good fun and we love having him and those early weeks were short in the grand scheme of things tbh.
Eric's never been crated but by five months we could leave him for about an hour quite happily. We started from 12 weeks leaving him 10 minutes and building it up and now we can, but rarely do, leave him for four hours.
We didn't go the rescue route because we were inexperienced owners and wanted a puppy of a particular size and non shedding.

CMOTDibbler Sat 24-Oct-15 10:23:51

Pups are massively hard work, they really are. A rescue, just out of puppyhood is sooo much easier tbh.

Get a dog that you like - if both dds are at secondary school, then its not many years before they will be off, and the most loving teenager isn't the one to arrange grooming, vets etc.

That said, how do you fancy Pookie - maybe a bit hairy for you, or Nelly who is an adorable pug x and is living with cats. Nelly has been in foster with the rescue for months now as she came in pregnant, and is apparently a gorgeous dog, who would fit right in.

EGLR can homecheck anywhere

tabulahrasa Sat 24-Oct-15 10:24:35

Reading your post, I'm going to say get a rescue...

With the breeds you've mentioned, a £500 limit and wanting one in spring...if you get a puppy - you'll be limited to puppy farms and dodgy backyard breeders.

Puppies from good breeders due this spring will already have a waiting list and you're talking twice that price or more for some of those breeds.

As for cat friendly breeds - terriers may well be a worse idea than lurchers

Floralnomad Sat 24-Oct-15 10:42:35

If you want a pup ,on a budget then get a rescue pup ,there are plenty about it just means putting in a fair amount of effort to find them . We got an older pup (15ish weeks) from Battersea ,he wasn't HT but he's a working terrier and had been docked so I doubt he had been indoors much if at all . I had waited years for my DH to agree to a dog and maybe see things through rose tinted specs but I found the HT / biting / training bits easy . I would definitely have a pup again but always a rescue .

BagelSuffragette Sat 24-Oct-15 11:23:53

Just some to think about ... all rescues all under £500

Gwynfluff Sat 24-Oct-15 13:40:44

Another vote for a whippet. Pedigree puppy from a breeder was £400. Short hair, not slobbery, not barkers, toilet trained easily. 2 good walks, with a chance to run, and then zonks out. Likes the kids. Probably best from a puppy due to the cats. No puppy chewing! Likes to be around the family.

We actually crate our whippet overnight and when we go out. Something whippets are supposed to 'hate'. But we made it his bed and safe space from the off.

Though he's go 'his' spot on the sofa now...

PacificDogwod Sat 24-Oct-15 13:47:31

If you really wanted to subject yourself to looking after a puppy, you could always go for a rescue puppy grin - rescue would absolutely be a priority for me.

I consciously decided against having a puppy. They are so cute they melt your heart, but there was no way I was prepared to put the work/broken nights/house training in while working 4 days/week and with 4 DCs.

There are loads of young rescues around. My advice would be to contact local rescues, look at the Many Tears website and be brutally honest with yourself what you can and cannot (or don't want to) do. Then make sure you don't go home with the first cute dog, but wait for the right one to come along - and they will. Sadly, there are so many rescues.

I'd not worry too much about the breed and more about the personality of the individual dog.

tinkywinkyshandbag Sat 24-Oct-15 20:33:15

CMOT that's so funny, we live near elgr and I have had my eye on Nellie for a while...for myself I'd love a shaggy sad faced lurcher but I have to find something to suit the family. I had rung up about some Jorkie pups today....but taking all the comments into account I do think a rescue dog would be good for us. I just sent a message to elgr about Nellie...wish me luck!! Exciting.

CheerfulYank Sat 24-Oct-15 20:47:26

Aw, good luck!

I have a pup and he is difficult. He's the second I've raised myself and I would have been quite happy to never have a puppy again, but I didn't want a rescue while the DC were young. (We tried it and it didn't work.) But I think a rescue would be a wonderful fit for your family! smile

CMOTDibbler Sat 24-Oct-15 21:04:39

Oooh, thats brilliant - she seems like such a lovely little dog. You must live near me then, so if you wanted the family to meet some lurchers (if Nellie won't work), then pm me and we could meet up

Oxfordblue Sat 24-Oct-15 21:14:17

I was advised to have a pup (from a rescue centre) because I didn't want it upsetting my cat. We had approval for westie/bichon puppy & then this little 18mth cavalier turned up.

I grew up with a westie & he was such a feisty character, a lot to to with my mum not socialising him etc, but he was a full of short mans attitude.

Remembering the above (also had 2 x dc age 6 & 9 to take into account) I requested to be consider for the cav.

Well she is gorgeous, such a sweet natured dog, she was a bit overly Velcro, but that's not surprising with her background...several homes in her short lifetime, through no fault of her own. Being a non terrier & a soft mouth breed & so gentle, she is very tolerant of my cat. I've had to train her, but she is so keen to please it was quite easy.

We just love her & it breaks my heart to think of poor little dogs like her bring ill treated & desperate for love.

Blondiewoman007 Sat 24-Oct-15 22:37:33

We have a 4 month old Australian labradoodle and I would say she hasn't been half the work I was expecting (after reading the puppy horror stories online). I think if you are used to hard work being a mum a pup will be easy peasy.
We got her at 12 weeks and have never got up at night time with her. She has never wet her crate but maybe we've just been lucky? She has kind of just slotted in to our life and we are loving it so far. She has had the odd peeing and pooing accident at home but we're getting there. She is a typical mischievous puppy and steals washing and would sell her soul for a shoe but I find that really funny.
We are loving having a little puppy.

Dieu Sat 24-Oct-15 22:44:59

I think if you are used to hard work being a mum a pup will be easy peasy.

Depending on the pup! I'm wondering Blondie, if it makes a (positive) difference getting your pup at 12 weeks. We got ours at 9 weeks, but I think the longer they can learn good habits from mum, the better!

I also wholeheartedly agree with the poster who advises not to focus too much on breed generalisations (they can disappoint if it doesn't go as planned! wink, but the individual dog.

Toughasoldboots Sat 24-Oct-15 22:51:12

Another one coming on to plead you to consider a rescue, too many need homes and would love a kind owner. Puppies too, some born there.

Grittzio Sat 24-Oct-15 23:05:43

We've also got a Border Terrier pup who's coming up for 6 months and her nick name is perfect puppy, I was dreading puppy stage, that's probably why we waited 18 months between losing our last dog. She started going through the night at 9 weeks, few days after we got her, toilet trained easily, can count on one hand number of accidents in the house but you need to crate train, she's hasn't chewed anything she shouldn't, but she has loads of toys, any boxes, plastic bottles are given to her to destroy, house looks a mess but no damage. She can be left up to 4 hours, no longer in crate, but I also work from home so only 2 days a week is she on her own for this long. Keep them occupied & plenty of exercise, I think it's dog's who get bored which create the most problems. I love my pup, so glad we got another dog, she's my excuse to say no to work and get all the family out on walks.

Strokethefurrywall Sat 24-Oct-15 23:27:10

I remember waking for the 5th time in the night to 8week old Elvis's pitiful cries and bursting into tears. My exact words were "fuck having kids if it's worse than this!" - my babies were a breeze compared to the puppies.
That being said Elvis was toilet trained very early, Frank on the other hand was a street pup and found under a car at 6 weeks. He submissively pissed every time we walked in the door for about a year. He wasn't bitey though as he chewed on elvis mostly.

I think now, with two long haired shepherd mixes and two young kids, I don't want anything else peeing on my floors as long as I live.

I love puppies and definitely shouldn't be allowed to be around them because I want to bring them home - but then I remember the early puppy days and I think fuck no! Unless it's a very small and inconsequential dog. Like a pug. Or one of those tiny mixed breed shitzu/maltese/poodle/Yorkie mixes that people like to carry around in their handbags.

JoffreyBaratheon Sun 25-Oct-15 00:50:52

I'd agree with those saying rescue pup. I got a 9 week old staffy/JRT cross from Dogs Trust almost exactly a year ago. (Tomorrow is the anniversary of the day we went to see her and reserved her!) She has been hard work. I have had puppies come to me housetrained at 8 weeks. She was 7 months old before she was housetrained and even now we have to watch her and read the signs she wants to go out... She is a lovely, affectionate, adored dog though. Last winter was hell as we had to leave the door open most of the time for her to go in and out. I swore I'd never have a winter puppy again. (All previous pups we had were summer ones, so much easier than standing outside in freezing weather waiting for a poo or pee to happen).

A year on and she is one of the best things in our lives. She is adored by the kids and us.

Dogs Trust are brilliant - give you tonnes of information, support, help, puppy classes.... And the pups are vaccinated and you return them to the centre for a few hours to be spayed/neutered at 6 months (included in the initial price you paid for pup) so it is a good option. We got on the Puppy List then phoned daily til something came up... Then raced in and reserved her. So you need to be persistent. I phoned every day for 2 months and they said it was the longest they could ever remember going without a litter coming in. The week after her litter, another then another came in... So you won't wait long.

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