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Am I finally in a position to be able to get a dog? Advice needed!

(42 Posts)
EssGeeEmm Thu 29-Dec-16 19:38:00

Hello fellow dog lovers!

I've debated whether to post on here for a while but have decided I really need the advice of some seasoned dog owners to help me decide what to do...

Bottom line is - I have wanted a dog my entire life. Literally. It's all I have ever wanted and I am the biggest dog lover you can possibly imagine, and yet I am now in my 30's and still have never owned one and it genuinely breaks my heart! I realise this sounds a tad dramatic, but that's the honest truth.

I guess I'm hoping that if I give you my full situation, you can tell me whether my 'dog dreams' are just pie in the sky and not going to happen for me... or whether I am actually in a position where I could be able to finally get one!

I live with my husband and 3 cats - no children and none planned! My husband works full time (1min walk away from our house so feasibly would be able to pop home in his lunch hour to give the dog a walk etc), and I work part time Mon - Thurs, and am out the house in total for 5 hours each day (including commute). I do only work term time though so I get 14 weeks of holiday a year which would mean lots of time spent at home through the year.

As previously mentioned we have 3 cats aged 2, 2.5 and 6... the youngest one I'm confident would adapt fairly quickly to a dog and she's pretty fearless! The other 2 are definitely more 'nervy' and I genuinely have no idea if it's something they'd just come round to eventually or not?!

I've wrestled with myself for years about getting one and have always wanted to make sure that I only get one when the time is absolutely right! But is the time ever completely right? I don't know if there'll be a better time than this. Yet I do worry about the cats and the fact it would be left alone for a few hours each day... I have 2 retired parents who live 20mins away who I know would come and help out and take the dog out for walks and provide company etc but I can't expect them to do that every day...

I am also keen to know if I'd be able to get a rescue dog as I have heard that they won't allow a dog to go to a home where the garden isn't completely enclosed? We live in the country and whilst we have a huge garden, it backs on to woods and fields so it is impossible to get it secured completely...

If anyone is able to give some advice/opinions I'd be really grateful! Thanks in advance and sorry this is so long!!!

Costacoffeeplease Thu 29-Dec-16 19:45:32

I'd be a bit concerned about not having an enclosed garden, how do you propose to stop the dog running off?

Everything else seems doable - what type of dog are you thinking of?

(I have two dogs and 15 cats currently)

Floralnomad Thu 29-Dec-16 19:48:51

I don't think even with all the help you could get a puppy ,unless your parents are happy to spend hours at your house everyday . Whatever you get you need to make the garden secure , if you can't fence the periphery then fence off a section near the house .

Costacoffeeplease Thu 29-Dec-16 19:51:53

Sorry I was thinking rescue dog - you wouldn't be able to get a pup unless you could be home all day for the first 2-3 months at least

EssGeeEmm Thu 29-Dec-16 20:00:08

No that was what I suspected... I'm very open to getting an older dog, I just heard that cats adapt better to a puppy which was what swayed me that way! But maybe that's not even the case?! And 15 cats?! Wow! grin
And yes, I think the only thing I could do is to section off a large area of the garden somehow so that I'd have somewhere secure to let it out.
Thank you both so much for your input and advice, it really helps to talk it through practically and put emotion to one side! smile

EssGeeEmm Thu 29-Dec-16 20:02:51

Oh, and as regards what type of dog - in a dream world I've always wanted a labradoodle or a cockapoo or similar... but realise this may not be the right breed for us and as first time dog owners! I'd be very happy to have almost any breed personally but my husband is unfortunately a lot fussier than I am!

OhTheRoses Thu 29-Dec-16 20:05:21

Fence off garden partially, get dog/puppy at start of summer holidays and then yr DH cd take a week off when you go back, then three days, then yr parents Cpl of days a week then it's nearly half term.

Sounds like a pretty lucky dog to me.

buckyou Thu 29-Dec-16 20:11:59

I think you will be fine. Sounds like you deserve one!

Our garden isn't enclosed, they can get out onto our fields but they don't go anywhere. (got a 1 year old pointer.. So quite a lively one!). Could you section off a small part just so they can go for a wee and be enclosed?

LumelaMme Thu 29-Dec-16 20:18:47

Get to know some dogs (if you haven't done so already) before you make a decision about a breed. Ask their owners about their plus points and their vices.

As first time owners, it's probably wise to go for something fairly placid. In your shoes, I'd avoid a working-line dog like the plague. Be prepared to put in the legwork with training and socialisation.

Think very hard about the origins of any dog or puppy you look at. If it's a puppy, make sure you see it with its mother before you commit to buying it (lots of dog are bred in puppy farms and brought to the UK and presented as 'bred at home' when they've been born in terribly conditions to overworked exhausted bitches; they are often not too healthy themselves). I'm not automatically anti fashionable crosses like cockapoos, but these are classic puppy-farm dogs.

EssGeeEmm Thu 29-Dec-16 20:30:09

Aww thank you roses and buck! smile It would definitely be the most loved dog there is... and it would have a wonderful life here! I regularly go for long walks across the fields and hills around our house and am usually the only person out walking without a dog. lumela Oh I completely agree with you! I'd always be extremely careful about where I got any puppy or dog from... I regularly lurk on this board and have started to get a good idea of various dog breeds and their traits and pros/cons already! Still a lot to look into though of course. And I would absolutely want to see a puppy with its mother (if I went down the puppy route)... Thanks for your advice, its really useful to know - and I didn't realise cockapoos etc are classic puppy farm dogs!!! shock That's definitely something to be extra aware of. Ooh yes I think you have the right idea roses - if I wait till July then I would have 7 solid weeks off! That would be the best time to go for it. Then I'd just need to get some 'helpers' in and figure something out until half term (which is only 6 weeks later - that's the longest I ever work without having at least one solid week off!). Oh I love pointers! I'm seriously jealous... Yes I could definitely get a bit of garden sectioned off, that wouldn't be too difficult!

Blackfellpony Thu 29-Dec-16 20:37:09

I think it would be a very lucky dog smile

Fence off some garden and look at some rescues. I find the smaller ones more adaptable than some of the larger ones or even look at specific breed ones if you know what your looking for.

I regularly leave mine 4-5hours and they are absolutely fine with toys to keep them busy. Any longer than that I call someone in but I would think that length of time is fine.

My cats got bored of the dogs very quickly once they realised the dog wouldn't chase them. I've had more trouble with the puppy as they do like to do whatever they shouldn't and annoy the cat but the older dog hasn't bothered at all!

UnbornMortificadoAtChristmas Thu 29-Dec-16 20:41:39

Costa how do you manage shock

OP another plus side to an older dog is no teenage stage. I'm sure a lot of dogs are cat tested these days at rescues.

My mam currently has 4 cats and 4 dogs and they all rub along quite well. Two of the dogs are ex workers (bull greyhound and lurcher) and they've never bothered the cats

UnbornMortificadoAtChristmas Thu 29-Dec-16 20:43:50

And I agree with pp's it will certainly be a lucky dog smile

Costacoffeeplease Thu 29-Dec-16 20:53:34

grin we've been driven totally bonkers by them all - I have no idea smile

EssGeeEmm Thu 29-Dec-16 20:58:27

Eeeep, you're all so kind - and giving me hope that maybe I'm not living in a fantasy world! I think I will definitely aim to at least get a piece of the garden secured first of all... then start looking into rescues that may be able to help, and do some more research into suitable breeds - and then maybe I'll go for it in July! Just hope that the cats will forgive me one day - although you've all given me hope from your tales that cats and dogs can actually live together in (reasonable) harmony... wink

RandomMess Thu 29-Dec-16 20:59:20

We had adult cats
We don't have an enclosed garden
I waited 40 years for a dog
We have children

I got a rescue, we all adore her grin

Fortunately she doesn't wander far when popping out for a wee/poo but if that was her nature obviously we would have just used a lead.

DH works from home so that did make it easier, she was already crate trained still sleeps in it, or goes in if DH is out for the day.

I just waited for the "right" rescue to come up that would be a good fit.

Wolfiefan Thu 29-Dec-16 21:06:47

Seeing a puppy with its "mum" is NO guarantee of avoiding puppy farmer. I would go for a specific breed or rescue. If you want a pedigree then go through the breed club. Go to shows and meet breeders and ask questions.
I bet you could fence in your garden. Lots of specialist websites like kennelstore that sell to breeders etc. I am sure you can fashion something.
I still wouldn't want a pup. We got ours 1st December. I still can't leave her long enough to have a shower without her being hysterical. (Separation anxiety) I understand we may be unlucky but I can't see myself being able to leave her for the foreseeable. (Am working on it!)
Many smaller rescues foster dogs and so can advise on their suitability for a certain home.

Bubble2bubble Thu 29-Dec-16 21:12:34

Suspect you may end up with more than one dog grin
Many dogs live peacefully with cats and a good rescue can guide you on this. You can make the cats feel more secure by allowing them a dog free area using stairgates if necessary.

For peace of mind and your dog's safety you absolutely need an enclosed area in the garden.

If you like poodle crosses there is a lot of info ( and dogs for rehoming) on the Doodle Trust website.

EssGeeEmm Thu 29-Dec-16 21:39:35

random That's lovely! I'm so pleased you got your dog in the end - and sounds like she was well worth the wait! Ohh I think I've seen a photo of your gorgeous pup wolfie!!! My heart melted... thanks for the advice too - I'll definitely check out kennelstore! bubble I'd already thought about stairgates as an option, that would be a really good idea! And I wasn't aware of the Doodle Trust website, I'm definitely going to take a look at that. Thank you! smile So glad I posted now - you've all given me some really great advice, tips - and hope! grin

EssGeeEmm Thu 29-Dec-16 21:39:47

random That's lovely! I'm so pleased you got your dog in the end - and sounds like she was well worth the wait! Ohh I think I've seen a photo of your gorgeous pup wolfie!!! My heart melted... thanks for the advice too - I'll definitely check out kennelstore! bubble I'd already thought about stairgates as an option, that would be a really good idea! And I wasn't aware of the Doodle Trust website, I'm definitely going to take a look at that. Thank you! smile So glad I posted now - you've all given me some really great advice, tips - and hope! grin

Cherrysoup Thu 29-Dec-16 21:47:55

You really need to fence off part of the garden for a pup.

If you definitely go for a crossbreed as you mentioned, please find the UK breeders' clubs to find ethical breeders as opposed to those who have jumped onto the cav/cockapoo/doodle bandwagon purely for the money/name.

As you work term time only, the beginning of the summer holiday would be great, but you can't rely on this given seasons don't run to timetables.

Wolfiefan Thu 29-Dec-16 21:52:38

Cat came on a walk with pup today! Stairgate is good. We actually have one with a catflap!

Wolfiefan Thu 29-Dec-16 21:55:48

Blue Cross website has great advice on introducing cats and dogs. Scent swapping. Use of a houseline. Retired greyhounds website also has great advice leaflet. Look online. Great method for teaching leave before dog and cat introduced.

Cherrysoup Thu 29-Dec-16 21:56:51

Some interesting reading about the realities of getting a dog/pup.

EssGeeEmm Thu 29-Dec-16 22:03:16

That's some fab info! Thank you. smile No it's a shame I can't just 'pre-order' one ready for the beginning of July! grin
wolfie could I maybe just have your beautiful pup?! 😉😍 A stairgate with a cat flap would be perfect!

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