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12/18/12 5:14 P

Hi Joanne,
I think it's an excellent idea to look into a 'previously owned' dog. This particular owner-have you asked her if she's taken the dog to a vet (or more than one) to see if there's a physical reason for the behavior? Actually, rereading your post, it probably isn't. The dog might be getting cold if she has a light coat, or soaks water up like a sponge, which would also make her cold. It sounds silly, but a dog coat or sweater might help!

Also ask her current owner if she's tried dealing with the behavioral issue with a trainer. But it sounds like you have the right idea of positive reinforcement.

If she's a healthy dog, at eight years old, and if she's a medium sized dog, approx 50-70 pounds, she could live to 15 years old. All the dogs I've owned have lived to 13 years old, but they were mostly big dogs over 90 lbs apiece. Our medium sized dog was a stray (tho someone must have dumped him in our area, he was desperate for a family) who we had for 9 years-he was at least four years old, I think, maybe older.

In any case, this dog isn't a senior, she's got a few good years left in her. And you could add another younger dog into the mix, with the understanding that she's the alpha dog, and you're the alpha person. (heh. I knew a mini dachshund that bossed around a Labrador retriever many times larger than her. It was hilarious) Good luck with your decision.

Oh--and stay away from the store bought treats made in China please.

COSMOANGEL SparkPoints: (8,483)
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12/18/12 11:07 A

I say go for it....get a dog. Don't worry about the potty training stuff, there are many solutions and techniques to deal with that. I got a dog 13 years ago, and he is still the best work out partner ever....I live in a condo so I take him out for walks frequently and we go on one big long walk a day for me to get my exercise in. Even though he is 13, he still has a lot of spunk. Although as he has gotten older, he doesn't like going out for walks in the cold or rain. There has been times, when I've gotten him on his leash and we go to walk out the front door of my building, and he will turn on his heel and want to go back in. When that happens we use peepee pads...(the dog, not me lol). He is a Bichon Frise and he is the love of my life!!!!

BRITOMART Posts: 8,070
12/18/12 11:04 A

Have you discussed this adoption with your current roomie--the cat? Cats can have interesting ways of expressing displeasure...that make pee/poop a small blip on the radar.

Also helps to make sure any new canine has no known issues with cats. You probably don't want to live in a war zone.

I have two dogs--rescues, brothers--who are the joy of my life. I have 2 because I don't work at home, and they are better balanced with each other's company. I'm not their primary bond--the other brother is--but that's fine; there's enough love to go round.

JR0124 Posts: 382
12/18/12 10:55 A

I've adopted 2 dogs and also work from home and they are the best co-workers ever! I know you were worried about potty training but WFH you can let him out every hour and he will eventually learn. You don't have to play the game where they are crated during the day.

If you don't find anything at the shelter you could look at local rescues. Some rescues have foster homes so you can learn a bit about the background and temperament. There would be less adjustment for the dog as well.

As for treats - we use baby carrots and animal crackers and peanut butter for pill taking or to put in Kongs.

LUVS2WIN67 Posts: 1,060
12/17/12 11:54 A

Oh how I love my doggie. I hope you do adopt one and you will find it is the best friend you've ever had. We got our dog as a pup because the kids never had a puppy, but now we are looking at adopting one ourselves. My mother in law is doing the same. She wants one for companionship and someone to walk with her so she, too, can get some exercise. I think it's a great idea...but a great commitment. Unlike cats, dogs require attention, lots of it.
I agree with everyone, do your research and I believe when you choose one you will be very happy. Good luck

CAT-IN-CJ Posts: 5,051
12/16/12 3:21 P

So far as treats, if your new fur-kid has no allergy issues, you can go with any name-branded treat at the store.

Or, you can make your own dog treats at home . . . a lot less expensive and that way you'll know exactly what she's eating.

I have an easy recipe for Pnut butter dog cookies. They smell good enough to eat!

GLAM-CAT Posts: 229
12/16/12 2:03 P

I have a chihuahua that pees/poops at home when it's cold BUT ALWAYS on a pee pad.
And before you get a dog think if you can dedicate your life to it for the next 10- 15 years.

JOANNIEWH SparkPoints: (60)
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12/16/12 1:03 P

Thanks so much for all the encouraging words! I have a really good feeling about this little poodle/cocker spaniel mix and I think she's going to be "the one."

The issues are: her age (eight years old) and the fact that her owner is giving her away because of potty-training issues. She (dog not owner!) pees/poops in the house when it's cold and/or raining, according to the owner. But I'm hoping that by putting her on a regular schedule and giving her treats/verbal praise when she goes outside, I can get her house-trained despite cold weather. Does that make sense?

What are good dog treats for little dogs?

BARB0863 SparkPoints: (10,555)
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12/16/12 12:50 P

I agree that getting a shelter dog is a wonderful idea. I think researching breeds can be both good and bad. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut when you are searching for a new forever friend. The best advice I would give you is to have an idea what size dog you are looking for but go with your gut. Some of the best dogs my friends have had are the ones that you wouldn't think they would have picked, I guess they were picked by their forever friends (and really couldn't say no).


Edited by: BARB0863 at: 12/16/2012 (12:51)
FIT4MEIN2013 SparkPoints: (144,741)
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12/16/12 12:13 A

Since you work at home, too, you will be able to give a dog plenty of time and be there for him/her. I suggest you get a full grown dog, so as not to need to house break him, etc.

BASKETLADY13 Posts: 301
12/15/12 9:15 P

As the current owner of 2 dogs, I must say there's nothing like the unconditional love you'll get from a dog. They're the best companions you could ever ask for. I vote yes you should adopt. There are thousands of dogs needing a good home and it sounds like you're ready to take one on. Good luck to you. I recommend doing a little research first to find the right breed for you.

CAT-IN-CJ Posts: 5,051
12/15/12 9:06 P

Well, for companionship, in my book, you can't beat a dog..... but it's gotta be the right dog (size, temperament, aptitude, activity level, not a barker, etc.) I've had quite a few and 90% of them were absolutely awesome. (A couple of them, not so much.)

Do some research on the different breeds of dogs.

What size do you want? Some breeds (large or small) require a lot of exercise and activity or they'll easily become bored and chew anything and everything.

Do you have an enclosed area where the dog can "take care of business" or will you have to talk it out a walk half a dozen times each day, rain or sleet?

What will you do about those times when you have to leave it at home (dr's appts, etc.)?

Do you own your own home, or do you rent/lease? Are pets permitted?

Adopting a dog from the shelter is a great idea. An older dog (mature, not puppy, but not a senior) is also a great idea. There are plenty awesome dogs just waiting for a new home.

I'd recommend that you check out the shelters in your area, explaining the situation, and let them help you out in your search. Be sure to spend as much time with your new potential companion as you can. Often a shelter will have a private room (away from other dogs and distractions) where you can spend some time getting to know each other.

You'll know when you find the perfect one.

Most shelters will make sure it's up to date on it's shots. Often they'll give you a coupon for a wellness check up with a vet.

Be sure to ask about any special needs the dog might have. You don't need a lot of complications.

I have a 7 year old little guy that is the love of our lives. I don't know what I did without him. I trained him as a service dog and we worked together for a few years. He even rides with me on my motorcycle.

I wish you all the best in your search. Let me know if you get one.

JOANNIEWH SparkPoints: (60)
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12/15/12 7:28 P

My situation: I live alone and work from home so spend most of my day working/eating:( I have a cat but she's very much a, well, cat....appears when she feels like it, sits on my lap once in a while. I've never owned a dog so am thinking about adopting an older dog from the shelter rather than go through the puppy issues.
What do you think? I would like the companionship of a dog and motivation to go for walks but am stressed about trying to house-train and potty-train a dog since I know that animal shelter life can get even a previously house-trained dog in an "untrained" state.

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