GO!

Choosing the right breed for a friend...

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
(Page 1 of 2: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  
Ra

Veteran Watchdog
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 10:27pm PST 
Another thread- this one's much more serious though. A friend of mine has been divorced for over 2 years, and her sons are now both out of the house (graduated). She does work full-time during the day, but feels very lonely when she comes home at night. She's never owned a dog before, so no experience whatsoever, and is looking for a canine companion suited for her. I've suggested papillon.
What would you guys suggest for her?
[notify]
Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 10:35pm PST 
Does she have any specific requirements she needs met?

Because inexperienced person just seeking companionship absolutely screams nice older dog from a rescue that's already been house trained (if she's working all day) and is known to be good being left alone.

Just sayin!
[notify]
Ra

Veteran Watchdog
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 10:42pm PST 
She would like a small dog breed. And yes, she's looking mainly for companionship. A dog that can watchdog, but won't bark aimlessly is also a plus.
I did suggest rescue to her, and she replied that she would like to raise a puppy.
I'll probably do some more reinforcing about the benefits of rescuing tomorrow... but so far, she'd like to have the puppy experience, so we'll go from there for now. smile

Edited by author Thu Aug 23, '12 10:44pm PST

[notify]

Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 11:05pm PST 
What's a full time job to them? Meaning, how many hours?

Please reinforce that puppies, especially young ones, really shouldn't be left alone for 8+ hours a day. Especially not small ones from small breeds, who honestly need to be eating 3-4 times a day for the first 6 months or so to ensure they don't become hypoglycemic. Puppies cost more in vetting and and require a larger financial and physical investment than a nice older dog.

She doesn't have to get a senior, there are many wonderful young adults in rescue. And small breed rescue is just as booming as its ever been... puppy mills still being what they are and all.

On that note, please enforce the IMPORTANCE of going to an incredibly ethical breeder when dealing with small breeds especially, as many many many of them are simply millers or fools selling cute puppies at a high price. Well bred dogs are not cheap, and the 1500+ she will spend on a well bred puppy sure could buy a heck of a lot of dog food, toys, vetting, and training for a nice rescue dog who's already past house training, teething, etc.

Not trying to dissuade you from recommending a particular breed to her, but being as how she works full time, has absolutely no experience and doesn't really have any specific requirements (the vast majority of small dogs are perfectly capable watchdogs, and frankly, you have a better chance of picking one up from rescue who you KNOW isn't a nuisance barker, rather than having a person with no training experience try to prevent it in a puppy), a rescue really is the logical choice here.

GMO, of course.
[notify]
Miyu CGC

Bow down to the- Princess Brat!
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 11:07pm PST 
I'd like to add 'puppy' and 'rescue' are not mutually exclusive! And even if she becomes particular about a breed, there are many breed rescues. It's not uncommon to see them wind up with pups as well. Sometimes they take in a pregnant mother, and have a litter to find homes for! It would also do well too find out just what she classifies as 'puppy'. Because I'd still call a 6 month old a pup too, even if it looks almost grown.

That being said.... smallish + mild tempered. Possibly pug? They're such mellow good natured guys, if you can deal with some of the health issues. Pap is a good choice too.
[notify]
Ra

Veteran Watchdog
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 11:22pm PST 
Hmmm yes, I'm aware of all the reasons accounted Mulder; thanks for listing them. smile I didn't immediately bring it up in our convo just now, since we automatically started thinking through the different breeds. I'll definitely bring up all of those points tomorrow.

Miyu, if we get super lucky and come upon a compatible pup in a rescue, that would be great! smile

ETA: She's an engineer and comes home around 6~7 on weekdays- so it is pretty late. More the reason to rescue an adult. I guess my main goal in this thread though was to consider various possible breeds, not whether she will rescue or not. wink

Edited by author Thu Aug 23, '12 11:25pm PST

[notify]
Nare

Woo-woo- whineybutt
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 24, '12 12:23am PST 
Kitty, I don't think breed alone can be based on what you've provided. They were merely pointing out that the things that she did want, were trained and not always genetic or to breed standard.

All dogs bark.. and they will bark aimlessly if not trained / desensitized. Older dogs are (sometimes) trained. If shes not home during most of these hours where the dog has the potential to bark its head off without redirection or training, then if she has up tight neighbors it could spell trouble.

How much time is she willing to put into grooming? Exercise? Training? Medical costs? How small is small? To me, 30lb is small. But so is a 6lb chihuahua. Is there anything she wants to do with the dog (hike, swim, bike, jog)? Does she have lots of visitors? Some dogs dont enjoy the company of anyone other than their owner and are perfectly fine with that, other dogs crave the outside attention.

I would take her to the dog park (if thats your type of thing) and have her meet all sorts of breeds beforehand so she has an idea of desirable traits and whatnot.
[notify]
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 24, '12 12:41am PST 
Has she considered a cat? My mum is in the same boat work wise and whilst she loves coming home to her cat she could not handle the dog she had, the laziest, easiest, most non-barking dog ever, and gave him back to her ex. After 8 hours of work she just could not be bothered giving him a walk, especially in winter, and didn't want to do anything with him on the weekend in the end because she got so tired during the week. Even a small dog for companionship takes a bit of commitment and needs to be walked even when your tired.

A pug might be okay though, they are pretty laid back, probably won't demand too much exercise. But if she's just looking for a critter to snuggle on the sofa with of an evening a cat is probably a better choice. They make better 'latch key' pets for very busy people.
[notify]
Ra

Veteran Watchdog
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 24, '12 1:09am PST 
Gotcha Nare. You know what, I'll link her this thread, so she can read the post.. If it's alright, I can provide more in-depth info and answers to your questions tomorrow... it's 1 in the morning in my time zone. You guys provide fabulously organized info! smile

She's very ready to be committed to her dog's needs, come whatever. Though a beginner in our field, she's a dedicated person, and I'm 100% sure she'll handle this commitment wisely (especially with me on the side), so we can rest easy, whatever conclusion we come to. And you guys can be sure I'll inform and instruct her on all things that make a healthy dog the whole run.

She's pretty resolute on getting a dog, though thanks for the suggestion JT! My mom used to have all cats, and they were the best snuggle-buddies.

Edited by author Fri Aug 24, '12 1:15am PST

[notify]
Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Fri Aug 24, '12 6:24am PST 
"I'd like to add 'puppy' and 'rescue' are not mutually exclusive!" Well, in some parts of the country it just about is. I live in CT and searched for months for puppies in rescues, absolutely zip in my area and I was searching out the tri-state area. That's actually a good sign as there are precious few unwanted litters and a very high spay/neuter rate. They're almost all imported by transport rescues from down south and I wasn't getting a puppy sight unseen. (This was before I volunteered for a transport rescue) I've helped sort litters, so I wanted to choose my own pup to raise after decades of raising pups for others. I wound up getting one from an oops litter from a breeder friend. I paid vetting costs.

It is true that nice pups can be found in rescue if you're willing to transport.

I totally agree that it sounds like the OP's friend is perfect for a small companion dog in rescue past the puppy stage. I work full time. I saved all my vacation time for the entire year and took the three weeks off after my pup came home at 8 weeks. After that I went home every 4 hours and had to make that time up at the end of the day and a few hours on weekends. It's doable, but to devote enough time to a pup you've really got to be fairly close to work and be able to flex some time, IMHO. Or maybe she's a lucky lady and can take her pup to work?
[notify]
  (Page 1 of 2: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2