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Dogs - who owns what and how did you choose it?

Discussion in 'Other Chatter' started by Paul_B, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Not Bushcraft related but I figured since owning dogs and being outdoors seem so compatible some on here will own one.

    We're an outdoors family looking at getting a dog. Three of us, one is early school age. Walking, cycling, camping and being outdoors are what we live to do. Trouble is we both work. One of us works at home a couple of days each week. I reckon others work and own dogs, how do dogs cope in their own? Any breeds better for that? Or is it down to training the dog from puppy and it'll cope?

    What dog would best suit? How did you decide on your breed choice?

    A bit more info, one of us likes border collies but I reckon they're not right sure to not coping well on their own plus potentially needing too much exercise.

    We have seen a few cocker spaniels that look nice dogs. Some of the energy and sociability of springer without the complete insanity and bonkers energy. One was a rather large cocker spaniel puppy. It didn't look like it would have the longer hair I've seen in some of that breed.

    I have always liked Irish Wolfhound and the lurchers that look kind of similar but they're definitely not suitable.

    House is 3 bed and not big, garden is a small yard. It is secure though.

    Anyone know about dogs? What's a good option?
     
  2. Stew

    Stew Bushcrafter through and through

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    Don't stress about house and garden size. I had a Weimaraner in a two bed upstairs maisonette and she was fine - they're not running laps in the house or the garden. They run when you go out!

    Dogs can cope on their own but yes, some won't. It's a slight gamble though to an extent training.

    I had my Weimaraner from pup to ten years old and now am on a vizsla from pup and now about 16 months.
     
  3. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    According to what I've read those breeds are among the most intelligent ones. Of course that's not everything. I've heard some intelligent breeds aren't really trained. Guess they know better!
     
  4. Nice65

    Nice65 Full Member

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    I can leave my two Jack Russell's for a few hours, but leaving them for an eight hour plus period is out of the question. I'm fairly sure this applies to any dog used to being part of the family. My two have each other for company. Before we got Mimi, Snippy came to work with me daily as a tree surgeons stick picker upper. She loved it, and I realised the value of incorporating her into my life as a true companion whether at work, home, camping, walking etc. If I had a working regime where I had to leave a dog on its own for more than 3 hours or so, I wouldn't keep dogs.

    As for breed choice, apart from the obvious exercise or mental stimulation needs, take your pick. I used to hate yappy snappy JR terriers but having had the older one pretty much forced on me 13yrs ago, I've found them to be very giving, characterful dogs.
     
  5. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Several good breeds if ythan 0u can spend the time to train them.
    -Boxers
    -Malinois (smaller than a German Shepherd but all the same great qualities; just cheaper to keep)
    -Boxers
    -German Shepherds
    -Boxers
    -Labradors
    -Boxers
    -English Shepherds (actually an American breed derived from Border Collies)
    -Oh; did I mention Boxers
     
  6. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    No dog should be left alone for 8 hours, they need to go to the toilet, plus they are pack animals.
    Which breed?

    Cocker spaniel.
    Was brought up with one as a child. Brought up our son with two. Very friendly, playful, happy dogs. Easy to train. Love being outdoors.

    All are now in dog Valhalla, the last one was put to sleep last year.
     
  7. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Puppies should never be left alone more than 1 hour for each month of age. Elderly dogs also need frequent toilet breaks. A healthy adult dog (not elderly) will be fine for 8 hours. They mostly sleep while you're gone (once they get past the actual leaving) unless you have a hyper-active dog or have slacked on the training.

    If weather permits and you have a secure enough yard (garden) leave them outside while gone.
     
  8. Dave

    Dave Hill Dweller

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    I agree with janne, no dog should be left alone for that long. Sorry.
    However, dependant on your financial situation, you could find a walker, you trust, who will probably charge a tenner, to come in and walk him for you for an hour then put him back in your house. A lot of women tend to do it these days around here.
    If he rips up the furniture thats your fault.
    And thats a tenner a day....
    Naaaa, on second thoughts, you're either in or you're not.
     
  9. RonW

    RonW Native

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    Do NOT go anywhere near anything that has a northern hemisphere geographical location in its name. Unless you live there and have lots of freetime to use the dogs as intended. Those are dogs that need lots of time, exercise and related attention.

    We have 2; Rex, a mix German shepard/Alaska husky and Lester, an Alaska malamute/Siberian husky.
    We rescued both. Rex came from a couple, low social class, using chemical state of mind enhancers, living in a 2 room apartment. Dog had never seen the woods at the age of 1,5, whereas the woods could be see out of the kitchenwindow. Up to this day he strongly reacts to men wearing caps. Only I am tolerated wearing one.
    Lester we found on a 5th floor apartment in the middle of a medium city, so full of bundled energy, he'd hop up the walls. Literally.
    Now they both have a very rural area to live in, but they need to go out. We do that 4 times a day. We can not unleash them, because Lester takes of and does not return. Only if or when he sees fit.
    We did not fully realise the amount of work (not always that much of an issue) and time (becoming more of an issue) these dogs would mean. Dogs mean commitment, even and especially at incomvenient times. See them as small kids, that do not grow up. Dogs will be dependent and relying on you all the time.
    I love mine. I really do, but sometimes the fact that I am so tied up drives me nuts! It prevented me a lot of times to go out and work. You do not leave a dog alone for 8hrs. 4 max. but Rex often doesn't make it. He destroys something before.....
    And don't get me started on the shedding. Especially in spring. Or the muddy paws. Or the stolen food.
     
  10. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    8 hours? I know ppl who have had dogs be perfectly happy with that except for the leaving stage. One had 2 pugs then terriers (only one). They are all the toy dog / companion breeds so perhaps worst case (apart from ultra high energy intelligent breeds of course). Another had a nice jack Russell (oh boy do they get a bad reputation but don't let me go there, I will waffle on!).

    A friend has three dogs of two breeds and they have no problems going 9 to 10 hours. They are very well balanced dogs. They have a kennel outside.

    Neighbours have dogs and seem to work usual hours. A lot have the same back yard but instead of cat flaps they have dog flaps. Either into the house or an outbuilding. I think that's the way I'd prefer to do it. Secure yard (6ft fences or 5 ft wall in our car levels plus secure trellis or fence top. We can get a kennel put in.

    Dog walkers? There's a few and that's something we'd consider for long days absent.

    I used to agree with views about leaving dogs alone. I am still not sure but I have observed quite a few who manage with very settled dogs. One especially but she's a complete unique when it comes to animals. She has a very good instinct.

    Breeds. Boxers?! You have to be kidding! Hello, 5 year old to get knocked over on walks. They're nuts in a way border collies aren't as in full of energy without intelligence to use to fully train. That's at least what I've seen of the boxers round here. I live near the main dog walker route (can see it from bedroom window). Boxers walking humans is what i see.

    GSDs are not my preference. I've had the advice to avoid because you don't know what they're thinking more than other dogs. They're very intelligent and in a way that makes them more unpredictable is what I've been told by ppl involved with dogs. Belgian shepherds seem too similar to me so they're out.

    My thoughts are border terrier. If know what ppl say about terriers having a mind of their own but it's an intelligent breed with a good ability to b be trained. Plus it's got a good, calm nature from what I've read and seen. Heck I've known ppl take one climbing in his rucksack. Nearly hanging upside down routes too. The dog looks out until he got bored then slept on his lunch. Kept it warm!
    :depressed:

    My partner likes border collies but that's one breed I'm not going to get. Just too much I think. A friend had two and they were calm at anything, totally obedient. Their owner worked from home so that makes a big difference. I'm thinking cocker spaniels could be better but almost as much of a bad idea.

    One thing I do not agree with in any way. Huskies in most of the UK! Sorry but it's become a trend for town folks to own them and walk them on a lead just like a toy dog round the park or cancel towpath. I know they're not giving them enough exercise but least because they're often obese individuals (or nearly obese) who could not give any active dog enough exercise IMHO. Cruel but true I'd wager. Even with our issue of long periods on its own we'd certainly give any dog we got sufficient exercise over the day. At least an hour in the morning and evening with some days a good stint at lunch (flexible home working with one of us). At weekends? Well let's just say at least Sunday it'll be dog tired! We might have a young child but we're active.

    BTW does anyone know about dogs and cycles, in particular whether they can be trained to run alongside? Talking away from traffic routes.
     
  11. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    One thing I'm worried about. There's a guy with one of those American breeds that looks like it's banned dog breed but it isn't. The owner hasn't got it fully trained. It pulls on the lead whichever way it wants while he's hanging on for his life. How would you handle encounters with such a dog?

    I have no reason to think it's dangerous other than the owner's obvious lack of control.
     
  12. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    PS I should have said American pit bull type breeds. Sort of boxer crossed pitbull. I've checked its a legal breed.
     
  13. Magentus

    Magentus Settler

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    We adopted a lurcher (Whippet Sloughi X) from our local dogs home. We're lucky in that at least of us is with her at all times - wouldn't feel ok about leaving her alone, she has bonded with us completely now and the home stipulated she would be distressed being left for any length of time.

    We only have a tiny 2 bed flat, but whippets and greyhounds are lazy dogs and don't need much room. She has 4 or 5 walks a day including one or two runs in the park, though being prey oriented she wears a muzzle (don't want her bagging someones cat!) but is a sweet and gentle soul otherwise.

    It's amazing how they pick another sight hound out from a distance - Bonnie gets very alert and then excited, looking forward to running around with the pack. It's really funny watching them once they've spotted each other.

    I'm completely sold on Whippets, Sloughi's, Greyhounds and Lurchers now - fantastic temperaments, very loving and intelligent companions.
     
  14. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    Whereas there are always exceptions to the rule, most dogs behave exactly in the way they have been selectively bred to do. So a chasing dog will run and run etc. For that reason I have only ever had gun dogs. They expect to work with people and obey their commands. Even then I am careful to choose from field trial stock. I wouldn't entertain any dog that will not come in on first whistle from 50m away - yes that is partly down to training but good gun dogs virtually train themselves (to some extent). If your dog won't come in when called it should be on a lead. Having said all that every breed has 'rogues' - there's as much variation in psychological makeup in dogs as there is in humans :) . If your dog is going to be with children make sure you see the temperament of the parents; taking a chance with kids isn't an option.
    Just me two-penneth worth.
    Cheers,
    Broch
     
  15. daveO

    daveO Native

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    Personally I wouldn't get a dog if I had to leave it alone for long periods during the day. If you're set on it then definitely don't get a puppy. I'd stop worrying about breeds and just see what rescue dogs are out there and judge the dog rather than the general breed. A good rescue place will find a dog to fit you and won't allow you to take a dog if they don't think it can cope with your lifestyle. The hardest bit for you will be finding a dog that is 100% with kids, especially if your kid isn't used to dogs.

    I got my collie from a rescue place in North Wales while we were on a camping holiday up there. The rescue center owner drove all the way down to South Wales to make sure our house etc was dog friendly before we could have him. I'm lucky that I'm self employed and he is with me all day. He was left there by a family who said they couldn't cope with his energy but he's a really easy going dog as long as he isn't confined for long periods. He'll happily stay at home for long periods if needs be but he'll also walk for 20 miles and still want to play fetch for a few hours afterwards given the opportunity.

    Separation anxiety seems to be a big problem with dogs, I'd look into that before going too far. Some people treat their dogs like babies which always makes it worse when they're left alone. It can be worse with rescue dogs as they've already been dumped by one owner and it can make them quite neurotic.

    I used to have a spaniel that came to work with me every day but still couldn't cope with being left alone for even short periods. He was the kind of dog that had to stop wagging his tail to think though. Couldn't manage to do both at once...
     
    Dogoak likes this.
  16. SCOMAN

    SCOMAN Full Member

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    After the passing of our Jack Russell Meg in late April we got a new pup in Jul. We couldn’t have another JR, too soon, so we got a Border Terrier. We’ve had her in puppy foundation class and doing Bronze good citizen award. We’re not wanting a lassie just a dog that’ll respond to us with her own character. The Border Terrier is great, friendly, reasonably obedient and a lot of fun. She’ll easily fit in a tent and enjoys being outdoors. Whilst small she enjoys going out and will run for most of it. We have my MIL or a dog walker come in at lunchtime to let her out, more for our piece of mind.
    I see a lot of families and friends buy labs or springers then can’t understand why the dogs are exuberant or naughty with minimal walks given and little stimulation. The latter is as important in my opinion. Unfortunately a friend tried to rescue a ‘pedigree’ lab recently. She walked it, played with it and it bit her, her partner, Dad and other dogs whilst out. It didn’t work out and after a recent attack on her it’s been returned. A shame but she’s just started a new job and IMO a large dog wasn’t ideal for their one bedroom flat.
    Have a good think about your household, what type of dog or dog qualities you like then look at a breed which you can mesh with. Good luck
     
  17. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Dog qualities required:
    1. As safe with primary school aged children as any dog can be.
    2. Trainable / calm natured
    3. Medium sized.
    4. Able to become a fit, energetic dog capable of long walks and even short runs alongside cycles (away from traffic or course). Basically a run all n day dog when out and about
    5. On less active days the dog would have to be happy with an hour in the morning and in the evening (more in summer in the evening). Plus lunch at times.
    6. Eventually it will need to cope with half days in its own.
    Desirable qualities:
    1. A proper dog! I prefer a working breed. JRT, border terriers, cocker/springer spaniels, etc. No little rats or long hair dogs for me. If it needs hours of grooming after a short walk no! Scruffy, working dog will be just fine. I will of course groom. That goes without saying I think.
    2. It's going to be my dog! Sorry, my son's dog. No mine. No my partner's. No mine! OK! Compromise, it's our dog so that means it mustn't be a breed that kind of bonds with just one person. Is it possible to get a family dog. If so they all bond to one main person?
    3. OK with strangers is good. We don't see some family that often but they have teenagers who will love dogs. Must be good with them and adults too.
    I can't think of any other things for this list.
     
  18. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Dogs bond with the person that spends most time with it, and feeds it.
    Remember, dogs are pack animals. It must know it is at the bottom of your pack. Learn to recognise early agressive/ pack climbing behaviout, and stop it progressing.

    I was tought that you and everybody in the family should be able to give the dog its food, then once it has started to eat, be able to remove it, without the dog showing any agression, be it verbal or body wise.

    Before we went and bought our first family dog when son was 2 years old, we spent quite a bit of time with the breeder, who is also a dog trainer.

    I find it scary to be close to a non trained dog, no matter the size.
    We in fact had a rescue dog, an elderly terrier mix. We got it after the first cocker, to be friends with her. It was incredibly agressive, tried to attack me, wife, son. Attacked and bit the cocker, several times.
    I almost shot it, but at the end gave it back to the rescue center. After that we went and bought another cocker.
     
    #18 Janne, Nov 13, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  19. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    That's one of my pet hates about toy dogs. They aren't put in their place at the bottom of the pile behind every other human. They're treated like "babies" when they should always be treated like dogs.

    If you treated large, powerful dogs the way owners treat toy/lap dogs you'd have a potentially very dangerous situation.

    I don't blame the dogs only the owners. I seriously believe those dog owners should never be allowed to own any animals. Irresponsible! Handbag dogs as accessories. No! Dogs walk not carried on handbags.

    Sorry for the rant. I'm a firm believer owners are widely found to be idiots who don't know how to look after dogs. A good owner looks after the health, wellbeing and I suppose mental health if their dogs partly by putting it in its place. They're happy knowing they're at the bottom of the pile on most cases if that's how they're brought up from puppyhood. It's confusion over its place in the pack that often creates issues with aggression.

    Now I know I don't have much dog experience but I've had a lifelong love of dogs. They've never scared me but fascinate me. I've studied and researched dogs in the past. I nearly got one years ago because I had the out all day matter sorted back then but things changed.

    My experience is basically with friends and family's dogs over the years from a very young age. My earliest dog memories were with a dog older than me. A JRT that took all my attention when I stayed with that relative who owned it. I never had that cuddle attitude. Dogs were dogs to be stroked and fussed over but also to be left alone. Dogs never had reason to run away from me because we both got only positive interaction between us.

    So whilst I've never owned dogs I reckon I know how to look after one. I know the differences between dogs. You need to take account of many factors which often vary according to type of dog. For example livestock protection dogs are different to livestock herding dogs to gun dogs to utility dogs, etc. It's always a mix of several drivers to their behaviour.

    Sorry I digress. I find dog behaviour an amazing area of study. I wonder how you would get into it?
     
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  20. Paul_B

    Paul_B Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Some experienced dog owners I know warn me against rescue dogs purely because you never know how they were treated in the most important stage of their life, puppyhood. They say the earliest weeks determine a lot about what the dog becomes they tell me.

    They all say it's not worth the risk of a rescue dog biting our young son. Especially because he's kind of wary of some dogs. Not scared just that certain dogs he gets bad feeling about. It's usually for a very good reason. Such as their large staffers (I know staff owners will complain about that comment), little dogs who are not trained properly or bouncy dogs who jump up at you. It's not an issue, he stands his ground but you know he's cautious.
     

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