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Old 01-17-2013, 06:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I've been amazed at just how true this is.

When I brought home both of my dogs for the first time they both had really smelly breath. It wasn't cute puppy breath. It was smelly. Especially Bowser's. He could knock over a horse with that breath. lol

The good quality food makes such a difference in the overall odour of dogs though. Within a week of switching him to RAW the smell was gone. I LIKE getting kissed by him now!
Absolutely. I fed raw for a bit but I found it prohibitively expensive and time-consuming for my personal situation, and I don't notice any difference in them when feeding a top-notch kibble, so it's just personal preference/availability IMO. The difference between a good diet and a poor-but-adequate one is also evident in yard cleanup--dogs who eat good quality food have much smaller, less frequent and less stinky eliminations than ones on cheap food.

I didn't believe it either at first, because the other argument for expensive food I'd heard is the oft-quoted, "it's actually cheaper, because you don't need to feed as much!" Well, I'll agree that you don't need to feed as much, but I track my expenses carefully and while I was feeding less by weight, I was still paying more for dog food every month than I was when feeding my dogs Dog Chow, although admittedly not as much as the different purchase prices ($50 vs. $20 for a 40# bag here) would lead you to believe.

But it really does make a huge difference for the health of the dog, and it isn't that much more expensive. It pays off in things like poop cleanup, general odor, grooming and shedding, etc....as well as less obvious things like the longevity of your dog.

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Yep you're correct I don't live in the US. I live in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Sarajevo. I'm not sure if I should start buying things right now as I'm not 100% sure if I'll actually get a dog... I don't really get my mom, she promises me something and I ask her if its really going to be like that and she says yes and at the end, nothing happens. Its been like this for quite a few times :|. I can start going around shops, checking prices etc and making a list of everything and just before I'd get a dog, I'd have the needed money onhand and could just go ahead and just buy all of it.
I wouldn't start buying anything until you're sure you're getting a dog, personally. When I said "shop around," I meant just go to shops and look online and figure out the things you want and how much they will cost. You need to have a realistic idea of expenses you'll face, but you don't need to invest in anything until you're 100% sure the dog is coming. I think your plan to do as much research/planning as possible is a good one.

For what it is worth, I'm supposed to go pick up a new dog on Monday. I know this, and I'm not buying anything until I get her. Part of it is that I have plenty of extras in terms of bowls and beds, and I already have brushes and toys for my other dogs, so I might otherwise pick up things like that ahead of time. But overall, the plan is that I'm going to pick her up on Monday, then we'll stop by Petsmart on the way home and I'll find her a collar and leash that fit her and seem appropriate, and a crate that she fits comfortably in. The really personal stuff I always wait to purchase until I actually have the dog.

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Originally Posted by pancake View Post
Just curious, for those of you that have gone from an apt to house with a yard, or house w/ yard to apt (experienced both), how much LESS or MORE exercise did your dog require from the change? if your dog is in a 5000 sq ft yard how many walks or exercises and runs would be provided versus a 800-1000 sq. ft apt indoors? I think walks and strolls are good for exposure and getting out though but having a large yard is awesome. I'm really lucky that we live in a house where there is an enclosed field that is a few acres literally 30 steps in front of my door. In the suburbs! It's actually a school field. With no children as it's an adult school with only morning and night classes.
We however, have to move soon so that's a luxury that will be sorely missed.
Personally, I do not notice a difference with most dogs. I've mostly lived out in the country with large yards, but I've done everything from keeping two intense working dogs in a studio apartment with no yard to living on a working ranch. The actual exercise time is about the same regardless for most dogs IME, as most don't significantly self-exercise.

If you're moving to a house without a yard, I'd count on maybe an hour or so extra a day to walk them, just because you'll have to plan to take them out so often for them to eliminate (this may be a generous estimate depending on the dog). If you're lucky enough to have a dog who significantly self-exercises currently, though, my general guideline is a minimum of 2 hours of exercise a day for a high-energy working breed like most GSDs.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:31 PM   #22 (permalink)
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My yard is so small, I might as well live in an apartment.. Just plan on plenty of long walks and other ways to exercise your pup..
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:37 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Well Rowdy a few questions .

What do you mean by raw? Like raw food (meet) or its some sort of food that is called raw? Probably the first thing. What is top-notch kibble as in which dog food is top-notch, good, etc.

How big should the bed be, any bowl is okay or? What kind of a collar, leash, etc. At what month should I start using the collar,leash. How long should I keep the dog in a crate (so I know what sized crate to get).

Starting to put the list and to also figure monthly costs.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:40 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I did it with two GSDs with no problems. As for smell, generally not a problem. Quality food and no health issues, no doggie smell.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:24 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Also I forgot to ask. For those snowy days or really hot ones, when I'm unable to take the dog out for 2-3 hours (when she'd be older) should I use a tread mill? We have one at home

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Old 01-19-2013, 08:19 PM   #26 (permalink)
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My dogs got way more exercise when I lived in apartments than any of the places with yards. I got Brenna at 9 months old while living in a small studio apartment, I would take her and Mollie on 2 mile walks almost every night, and the nights I didn't I still walked them around the parking lot several times.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:58 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I've found that treadmills are almost always too short for a dog to do anything more than a slow walk on. Also, exercise stimulates the bowels, so your dog might crap on your treadmill. I speak from experience.

Apartment living with a dog would be stressful for me and I'd probably find the dog ownership experience more annoying and frustrating than pleasurable unless my situation is ideal for having a dog. I'd just be so paranoid about my dog destroying the place or being too noisy and making us both homeless. I have a friend that lives in an apartment and he can't use his rolling office chair because the sound of the chair rolling on the hardwood is too loud for the neighbor below them and they will complain. I know with my dog I'd probably get noise complaints just from his feet pounding on the floor when he walks or runs. When he's upstairs and I'm in the basement, it sounds like a bunch of elephants galloping around.

Personally it would just be too much stress for me, especially with a puppy.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:13 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Growing up my dad and I had 2 GSDs in a 2 bedroom apt. My father used to walk them everyday and take them to the beach to run when possible. I took one with me when I got married. We never had an issue in the apt. Actually, we had an oops litter once, so we had 2 adults and 7 puppies in a 2 bedroom apt. That was a bit much. Fortunately we found homes for all the pups and the female was spayed when I took her with me after I got married. So 1 GSD should be fine as long as she gets the walks and training.

And I think that having the dogs in an apt was easier in a way. They HAD to be walked several times a day. There was no just opening the door to the yard to let them out. No digging holes in the grass, no barking at the moon, no fence charging......

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Old 01-19-2013, 11:49 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Syaoransbear View Post
I've found that treadmills are almost always too short for a dog to do anything more than a slow walk on. Also, exercise stimulates the bowels, so your dog might crap on your treadmill. I speak from experience.

Apartment living with a dog would be stressful for me and I'd probably find the dog ownership experience more annoying and frustrating than pleasurable unless my situation is ideal for having a dog. I'd just be so paranoid about my dog destroying the place or being too noisy and making us both homeless. I have a friend that lives in an apartment and he can't use his rolling office chair because the sound of the chair rolling on the hardwood is too loud for the neighbor below them and they will complain. I know with my dog I'd probably get noise complaints just from his feet pounding on the floor when he walks or runs. When he's upstairs and I'm in the basement, it sounds like a bunch of elephants galloping around.

Personally it would just be too much stress for me, especially with a puppy.
I live on the first floor and our apartment is seperate from all the others in the building, basically our apartment starts on one side and spreads to the bank, and we only have 4-5 stairs whilst neighbours are on the other side and they have alot of stairs lol.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:05 AM   #30 (permalink)
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I live in a 600 square foot apartment with my girl and we're fine. We don't exercise in the house even when we're at my mom's much larger home, so nothing really changed for us here. I am very very glad I got her as an adult though. She wasn't fully housebroke, but that was easy to do since she was an adult and able to hold it longer, had a longer attention span, all of which culminated into an easy housebreaking process, much easier than trying to housebreak a pup in my opinion.

Other than that basically what everyone else says, exercise and feed well. I'd like to include, not sure if this was mentioned earlier or not, but mental exercises are necessary too. This includes, but is not limited to, basic obedience training. Some other things I do to wear out her brain is I teach her fun tricks, play hide and seek, hide treats and make her find them, etc.

To answer your questions about food, yes raw is raw meat. There are some excellent threads on this in the food section of this forum. As far as top-notch kibble, it would be easier to recommend some brands if we knew your general area (not anything too personal just like, USA (in which case a region would be nice too since it's so big), Britain, etc. ) For instance, I live in Iowa in the United States and the kibbles that are available in my area that I consider good are Taste of the Wild, Origin, etc. As far as bowls go, I prefer metal because I think the plastic ones have been found (sometimes) to become toxic. Don't take that as gospel, as I don't have a source for that (can't remember where all I read it) but I go with metal. Any kind of leash should do, nothing fancy required. I would recommend, for a puppy, just regular buckle collar. As far as beds go, Sasha has the biggest bed I could find, I made sure that it wasn't just the crappy easily squishable kind, payed a pretty decent chunk of money for it....and more often than not she sleeps on the floor :P Dogs are funny that way. Some dogs really really like their beds, some not so much. Sasha does like "her" chair. I say "her" because it's supposed to be my recliner, but she has taken it over. I'll post a picture because it will show you that these dogs don't really need all that much room to be happy lol
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