thinking of getting a dog...... any help - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 02:53 PM Thread Starter
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thinking of getting a dog...... any help

i have always wanted a dog but dont know what to get.. its between a siberian husky or a german shepard .....

i am 21 and have a normal size back yard and work part time and go to school .

i been trying to find out which breed is easily to train and better with cats since i have to at home .

is it better to get a puppy or to get one from a rescue shelter

also what does it cost like to own a dog

any help and suggestions please and thanks
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 03:02 PM
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Puppies are a LOT more time. I suggest an older dog.

Both breeds have lots of prey drive, and cats are fair game. TRAINING can help, but don't leave them alone together.

Well, there are the vet costs, shots, physical exams. Then when you need to bring the dog in for sickness or injury... It gets expensive fast.

Food, if you feed kibble, one 50lb bag every few weeks runs about $40+ a bag.

Then you will of course need a crate, leashes, collars, toys, bedding, grooming supplies (brushes/combs, shampoo's)extras (treats, other collars, ect.)

If you have a behavioral problem and want a trainer, it runs in the hundreds.

And damages, all dogs mess things up, especially puppies, they destroy when they get bored.

Thousannds of dollars a year, and if your dog gets into an accident requiring surgery/staying at the vets, add a few K more.

But it varies. Dogs are expensive.

Not to mention the hours of time, and the patience needed.

I'm sure you will get better answers than mine.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 03:23 PM
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WOW APBT what a downer. LOL just kidding. but i do have to disagree on one point. "Puppies are a LOT more time. I suggest an older dog." A older dog can be just as much work if the older dog has behavior problems.

I think both dogs are great dogs, i have owned a Huskie and now that I have a GS i would never own anything else. With that being said a older dog mght have a problem with a cat as to where a pup raised with the cat could become best friends. Of course same goes for a older dog but more likely with a pup.

Cost in owning any pet is expensive. Throw out what you pay for the dog. Figure out food, vet ect.....and plan on putting out at least a grand the first year. Of course the love they give you back will never have a dollar amount.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 03:43 PM
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I agree with APBT that puppies are typically more work. I certainly wasn't prepared for it when I got my puppy.

I would suggest getting a 2-3 yr old dog from a rescue that has been in a foster home for a few weeks. Then you would have a good idea of the dog's personality and what training he/she may require. Also, many foster homes have other pets (including cats) and you could get a dog that has shown it is cat friendly (or atleast cat tolerant).
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:07 PM
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I also agree with APBTLove that generally puppies are WAY more work with training, socialization, money and time than most adult dogs. Specially if you go thru a rescue so can really have the opportunity to get to know the older dog and it's needs.

Both your choices have alot of fur, so just be aware of the maintenance and vacuuming that involves (though most dogs shed some...).


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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:09 PM
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You would need to use all the free time you might have for the dog. I wouldn't suggest getting a puppy since you work and have school, you wouldn't be home enough to housetrain it/regular train it, and it would cost you a lot for doggie day care/dog walking. An older dog would be better, so that you already know it's personality, and how it does with cats. I don't agree with the fact that you can't leave a GSD alone with a cat; our GSD is alone with my boyfriend's four cats all the time and there are no problems, you just need to make sure that they are okay with cats and won't hurt them.

They are definitely expensive. We've probably spent over 2 grand in the 4 months we've had Frag. Vet bills, different collars, because a puppy outgrows them quick, and not to mention a 30lb bag of dog food every two weeks. We were feeding purina puppy chow, but that sucks, so we switched to raw. Now we're paying about $27 a week to feed him RAW. Better kibble costs upwards of $30 per 15lb bag. Multiply that by about three a month and you get $90 a month. Times 12 months equals $1080 a year. That's for a puppies feeding, and I may be exagerating just how much mine eats, as he hasn't been on kibble in a while, but you see how quickly it can add up.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:11 PM
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I'm going to agree with APBT.

Puppies require way more time than an older puppy or young dog. Young puppies like small infants require more time in smaller increments. You need to be prepared to be up several times through the night and avaliableat minimum every four hours for at least a couple months to get that puppy potty trained.

You might have a rowdy older dog that needs lots of exercise and training, but it can still be left for multiple hours without accidents. And I cannot see why you would get an older puppy or dog with behavior problems. Sure sometimes we get those dogs with compassion in our hearts from rescue, however, there are a number of people who have dogs with behavior problems that they raised from puppies- so it's not necessarily young dog=no behavior problems.

I also disagree with the puppy raised with cats means that they'll be best friends. We had 2 cats when we got Argos as an 8 week old. Argos had been raised with cats. The cats hated the puppy and never adjusted, they always ran and growled. The puppy grew up into a young dog that woud listen to commands but still wanted to eat the cats. The cats did OK with an older GSD that we had rescued that we cat tested before bringing her home. I think a lot of the dog/cat relationship also depends on the cats.

I think GSDs are way more trainable than Huskies. Shepherds are more "into" their people, while Huskies tend to be more independent. Either one will get into trouble if given too much free time. And Either way you're going to have alot of hair everywhere!

Pet Ownership is expensive. Puppies are way more expensive. Once you get past the initial cost of the dog (a quality puppy runs $800-$1500, while an older puppy or dog from a breeder may cost more depending on what training there has been, and of course a dog from rescue is the least expensive option) you then have vet bills. Puppies have 3 or 4 vet visits that they need and I have yet to have a puppy that didn't need to go to the vet for at least one extra thing- from vaccine reactions, pyoderma, or just an extra worming. A healthy older puppy or dog only has to go once a year. A dog from rescue has the added benefit of already being altered, so that's one less expense also.

With quality food, treats, heartworm meds, and flea treatment my adult dogs average about $80 a month. Add in training which is another $60 a month. Training is essential for a puppy. They need that socialization and early learning to help them develop into a well behaved adult.

Most important is not to impulse get a dog. Know what you want and really look to find exactly what you want. I know so many people who have decided they want a dog, call the first ad they see online or in the paper and go buy it. Take your time and evaluate and you'll be more likely to get a companion that will enrich your life.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:13 PM
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A rescue will normally have all the vet work done already as well. Shots, spay/nueter etc. That can get really expensive when you utilize your own private vet.

I would also suggest a rescue. The potty training stage is really rough, and you already work and go to school. So that will save you some time. There is also a special bond that you'll have with your new dog knowing that it was you who saved it's life.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 04:22 PM
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I would go with a reputable rescue. They can place a dog with you that matches your lifestyle, most likely an adult, more laid back dog.

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 07:50 PM
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A puppy is usually more work, but if given the choice, I would rather do the extra work of raising a puppy RIGHT (socialization being the key component) than working through rehab with an older dog that may have issues.

NEITHER of them is easy though; you probably know that but it doesn't hurt to point it out again.

I agree with the previous posts that said the dog/cat relationship is very possible but also depends on the cats. My dog Dana (RIP) was introduced to cats as an adult, and she really only got along well with one of the cats in my mom's house-- the cat (found as a stray) who for some reason was comfortable around big dogs. I'd wager that cats could be trained to some extent to see dogs as "OK" but I don't know. There were some cats in my mom's house that would just not come around Dana. Dana would probably be curious but the cats would be freaked out which could lead to the cat attacking and a dog retaliating.

I have come to realize that the energy level and prey drive of a dog plays in to the amount you'll spend on veterinarian care. I've never taken a dog to the vet as much as Tuki, she is just designed to chase things that move and has injured herself repeatedly doing it. Keep that in mind when getting a dog-- it is much easier to raise and afford a dog without strong innate drives that go against what you want as a dog owner. You probably want to take your dog on walks where there may be other dogs, cats, squirrels, geese.

Yes you can train a dog to focus on you instead of the environment, but if you got a more laid back dog from the start, things would be that much easier.

If I didn't have all my free time (after work) to dedicate to a dog, I would choose an adult who was known to be somewhat mellow. You may not find a German Shepherd or Husky like this available to you, though.

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