DOGS.... Would LOVE opinions!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I am (well, "we" as a family) are so overwhelmed right now. We have spent the weekend looking at local and private shelters looking for a pair of dogs to rescue. We lost our Golden this past spring to heatstroke and are ready to adopt. NOT going to buy a purebred... We want a pair so they will have a playmate.

Out of the 3 shelters we visited I really only felt comfortable with one. The other 2---- one was a no kill shelter and the dogs were 3-4 a kennel and most had been there 3-5 yrs... These dogs were really unsociable and I wasn't sure how they would adapt to a home environment. Their shelter was horrible and I felt bad for these poor dogs. The people running it didn't seem that anxious to adopt out their dogs.

The other private shelter was OK, but I didn't really care for the lady who ran it. She asked us what dogs we liked at the other shelters and she proceeded to talk smack about the dogs we liked and some of the people who ran the shelters.... (i.e. "they'll lie to you"). When she asked us if we had our Golden on heartworm prevention I was honest and told her no- we started on it, but just kind of tapered off with it not really thinking about it, the vets never asked us about it.... that I realized that was a mistake and we def. planned on having our new dogs on heartworm prevention. She then proceeds to sternly lecture us on the importance of heartworm prevention and says we basicly gave our golden her death sentence! That she probably DID have heartworms and THAT is what killed her. And we needed to find another place to adopt a dog if we didn't plan on putting HER dogs on HW prevention. Very upsetting!!!! Esp. when I JUST told her I realized we made a mistake and would most def. put our new dogs on HW prevention. I do not want to do "business" with her.

But the one shelter I did like we found a few options. Well, the problem is... we as a family can't seem to agree on what dogs to get. The boys want large, high energy dogs, but my hubby and I know that our boys will not always have the time or motivation to give these dogs the CONSISTANT interaction they need. Plus, we feel our house is big enough for 1 larger dog or 2 smaller dogs and we really want to get a pair.

There was a purebred Jack Russell that hubby and I just adored. He loved to play but could also sit with us and just eat up the attention of being petted. We had him out in the yard playing with other dogs and he did GREAT! He seemed to love having a playmate. The lady at the private shelter that I did not like told us that JR's do NOT do well with other dogs and if we wanted to get a JR then that is the only dog we should get. When we told her we saw this JR playing with other dogs she just shook her head and I could tell she didn't believe us. She also told us that JR's were barkers so we needed to be prepared for that. We told we didn't hear this JR bark at all and again she didn't believe us. So now we are thinking.... "Is she right?" Are ALL JR's better in single dog homes? And they are ALL incessant barkers?Or is what we see at the shelter the type of personality we will get?

And I found a standard sized poodle that I really liked, but I am alone on this. My hubby liked the personality but "hates" the look of a poodle. The boys.... well, they don't like any dog that isn't big and super active. I know the poodle will have grooming costs, but I am OK with that. I just adored this dog and his playful, but calm personality. And he was so soft I just could not stop petting him. Which is the type of dog I want. One that will play, but also one that will sit on my lap and just let me pet it. I don't know a lot about poodles, but I sure liked this one's personality.

The other dog---- we all 4 seemed to agree on, but is last on all of our lists. He was still a puppy (4 mos) and was incredibly playful. Which I loved, but he is bigger than what I am wanting. Not crazy about the puppy stage either... But then again we could train him.... Maybe some of these older dogs are past the point of being trained?

How do we choose? Hubby and I are thinking that the boys are going to be up and out of the house in 4-6 yrs (hopefully, lol) so WE are the ones who need to be happy with the dog. I think ultimately they will just be happy to have a dog. But I feel somewhat "bad" getting dogs they don't seem to "like" at the moment. I kinda hate that they feel like they don't have a say in this.... But I am trying to rationalize it with the fact that they are not able to view the "bigger picture" like their dad and I can.

Any advice for getting a dog from a shelter or how to choose? Or on poodles or jack russells????
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Who's going to be the primary caretaker of these dogs (you, I presume?)?

    So YOU get the deciding vote! Sounds like you found an exceptional JRT; he'll make a great family dog w/lots of attention & yes, any older dog is trainable (I just took in an older Chiweenie; need to post some pix!). Just ignore the unwanted advice of some of those "humaniacs".
    3426 days ago
    My experience with JR's are that they do bark a lot. My friends neighbors dog is adorable, but she says he never sits still, he barks all the time and she has to lie down to get him to settle for the night. He will play ball ALL day if someone will play with him. Actually, I saw him toss it himself even if someone wouldn't play with him, lol.

    I am the volunteer coordinator for a group called ABC Basset Hound Rescue. We rescue Basset Hounds from kill shelters and anywhere else people call us from. We are centralized in New York, but I will tell you, we love our Bassets. They will run like crazy with the kids and then lie down for belly rubs the other half of the time. They will bark at times and howl if you get them going. They are also pack dogs, so after 2 years, we got a second and our first is SOOOOO much happier (and I think he was happy to begin with).

    Anyway, check out www.nybasset.org when you get a chance. Learn about the bread, let me know if you are interested in hearing more and I can see who is in your area that we work with. Bassets really do have the all around package that I think you are looking for to please the entire family. Warning, they can be stubborn at times, but so are our human children. Overall, they just want to make you happy and who wouldn't fall in love with those ears!!!??!!
    3426 days ago
    My only real experience is with lab mixes so sorry, no good advice here. I do know that a lot of rescues are great places for dogs too. I personally prefer a puppy to grow up and train, but that's just me. There are SO many older dogs that need good homes. Good luck in your search!
    3426 days ago
  • LIZZYP609
    I can only speak on Jack Russell's, I'll tell you what I know. My friends had 3 of them in the last 10 years. Jack's are hunting dogs. They are high energy. They are extremely intelligent. They get bored easily, and THAT is where the barking will come from. The lady telling you they are not good around other dogs isn't completely untrue. They DO get along with other dogs but they also think they are a much bigger dog and can be very stubborn. Did you ever wonder why they have cropped tails? It is because when they were bred to hunt they would go down the holes and the attach on to something (rabbit or small field animal) and the hunter would grab them by their tails to pull them out, the Jack wouldn't let go of the animal. My friends one dog kept going up against a larger dog and getting hurt. Needed stitches 2-3 times because the larger dog wouldn't take the "crap" the Jack was giving him. Now that was over a 8 year period, other than those few times they lived quite well together. In that situation it could very well have been because the Jack was the older dog and the first in the house. The larger dog was the "new guy". If you bring two dogs in at the same time then you may never have that kind of problem. Jacks are great small dogs, lots of love and affection!

    You can train in dog, regardless how old they are. I am not even going to say it would be harder than a pup. For older dogs, the biggest thing you will find that a lot of them ended up in the shelters in the first place because of certain behaviors that people just couldn't live with. Most of the time, that is separation anxiety, this can be a long term problem that will take lots of commitment from everyone in the family but it CAN be overcome.

    The best advice I can give you, RESEARCH. Research everything you can about Jacks and Poodles. Def go with the dog you and hubby pick out. The boys will grow to love them and like you said, they will be gone long before the dog(s) will!

    Take your time and good luck!
    3426 days ago
  • JLITT62
    Have you checked out rescue organizations, rather than shelters? They can be just as wacky - sometimes wackier - but the dogs are usually fostered & therefore better socialized. Sometimes!

    Poodles are really lovely dogs. Very intelligent.

    JRTs - I don't know about the barking or getting along with other dogs - I didn't look real hard at them because they're really high energy & as terriers, more likely to chase the cats. What I do know is that every dog is an individual & you have to go by the individual, not the breed standard.

    I REALLY didn't wan't a puppy, but after a lot of looking & one failed trial adoption, I decided I would try it. And it's HARD. The upside is that yes, you get to train them up right. The downside is you have to train them! And the energy, the chewing, the biting . . .

    It took us months to find Chester, so hang in there & I applau you for wanting to rescue - I feel strongly about it!

    Now putting on stern hat: HW prevention is really important - it's rampant down south (like Lyme disease is up here) & a vast majority of rescue dogs must be treated for it & it's very painful - & potentially lethal. But the rescue was really wrong to say your dog probably died of it - in fact, I suspect that's not true. But it's not something to be treated lightly.
    3427 days ago
    I can't offer good advice since we have always adopted our dogs from people we knew or our dogs have "found" us! I understand the frustration of trying to please everybody. I think you and your husband need to decide and you're right that the boys will love any dogs in the end. After all, they're teenagers and will be busy and then leaving home, and you'll be the doggie parents for a long time. Good luck!
    3427 days ago
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