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Thread: First Dog- Lots of Questions

  1. #1

    Default First Dog- Lots of Questions

    Hi everyone,

    First post so be nice

    I've been reading through this forum for the last few days and it has provided some great knowledge but I was hoping to ask a few questions. A bit about my self first though. I've been wanting to get a dog for quite a while now (atleast 5 years) so it's not a decision I'm going to rush into. I think I'm finally in a position where I can give a dog a good home and be a responsible owner. I live on my own and work full time, so I am looking for a dog that can be alone for about 9 hours a day during the week. My place has a big back yard and is also opposite a large park (though I may move house in the future). I'm prepared to spend 30-45 minutes during the week exercsing the dog and an hour+ on the weekends (im a reasonably active person, and I think it would be a good way of getting outdoors more). The dog will be outside when I am at work and to sleep, but I would like it to be an inside dog when I'm home.

    So, onto my many questions:

    Breed? I think I'm pretty set on getting a staffy or staffy cross, though I am open to other suggestions. My dad had a staffy x bull terrier when I was growing up and it was the most amazing dog I've ever known. Other than appearances, what sort of differnces can you expect between getting a bure preed or something which is a cross?

    Male or Female? Does it make much of a difference to the dogs temprement? I am leaning towards a female as I have heard they tend to be more loyal and bond stronger with a male owner, not sure if this is always the case though.

    Puppy or older dog from shelter? I really like the idea of giving a dog a 2nd chance of life. If I could get one that was a year or two old,
    I think it would be good to skip the puppy stage and get a dog that is a little more settled down and already trained (as I have never owned a dog before). Just a bit worried getting a dog that you havent raised, that it may have some behavioural issues.

    I'm in no rush to get a dog, so I want to take my time and make sure I'm well and informed and get a dog which suits my lifestyle.

    Thanks in advance for your replies.
    Last edited by brett174; 01-04-2012 at 02:33 PM.

  2. #2
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    I think you have got it pretty sussed by the sounds of it.

    In regards to sex, I find that mostly females tend to be more easy going while males tend to be more playful overall....but thats just my experience.

    I love staffies. I grew up with purebred staffs and my first two dogs out of home were both crosses. A staffy lab x and a staffy boxer x.

    I find the staffy nature tends to come through quite strong but that is going to depend what they are crossed with. For example,the staffy x with the boxer was extremely extremely high energy and very full on all the time, where as the staffy lab x was more laid back (she wa sfemale though and the boxer x was male so there is my original theory lol).

    I found both had the gorgeous people loving, eage to make ya happy an doccasionally bullheaded staffy attitude though. And both were execellent with kids.

    I prefer puppies myself, as I like to get babies. This is mainly also because I have a child and like to make sure I am not picking a dog up with too many issues and we can mould them into the dog we want them to be (i.e. so far all our males have been very similar and so have our females...I think thats the enviroment and our expectations of the sex coming though). However, in saying that, I think if you can get one at a year or two old you will avoid that lovely but annoying puppy phase and you will likely be saving a life too.

    Keep us updated...and welcome!

  3. #3
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    I only ever want female dogs, but I'm not even sure why. Maybe I'm just sexist. If I ever get a second dog, I might get a male though. I think it is generally assumed that male dogs are more reactive to other (male) dogs and more prone to escaping, etc. But I don't think there is actually a big difference between desexed males and females in that regard. I think the bonding argument may also be an old wives tale?

    Both the dogs I've owned/own have been rescues. My first one was just over a year and Banjo was 8 months old. I chose to get a slightly older dog because I also work 5 days a week and felt too time poor to deal with a tiny pup. Also, I loved the fact that Banjo's foster carer was able to give me lots of information about her personality, temperament and behaviour. I had a list of criteria (lots of it based on 'lessons learnt' with my old dog!), from very important to less important and sifted through heaps of listings on the petrescue and pound websites. I ended up doing a 700km round trip to meet Banjo! She was wild and overexcited, but that was an issue I was willing to take on. She fullfilled all other criteria and I think she is the perfect dog for us.

    Trying to choose a rescue dog can be a tough experience. There are so many dogs in need of a home. And they are all so deserving. I had to come to terms with the fact that at this stage in my life it would be a mistake to take on a dog with real behavioural issues. I wanted a dog that would be fairly easy to train and manage. And that's what I got, even though it was still hard work those first few months. But now she is a pretty easy dog that does not cause me many worries at all. Not counting all the shoes we lost to her. I think you need to be realistic about what issues you would be willing to deal with (eg. minor health issues, jumping up, chewing) and which not (in my case: dog agression, barking, hyperactivity and tendency to escape).

    There are usually a fair few staffies and staffy crosses in foster care at any given time, so you would have lots of choice. You can set up an alert to get notified of new listings on the PetRescue - find your new best friend! site in your state.

    Good luck with your search and welcome aboard!

  4. #4
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    Hi Brett welcome to the forum.

    You sound pretty prepared and willing to give your future dog the best home possible, good on you!

    I am a shelter girl all the way, all my animals are rescue animals as i too, believe in giving an animal a second chance at life. You will find lots of staff's in pounds/shelters so i would advise looking there first. Remember it doesn't hurt to look & if you can't find the "one" try another avenue (except pet shops argh).

    I prefer older dog's as my work schedule was hectic at the time and i didn't want to go through the hassles of toilet training etc. Molly was two at the time i adopted her and i found i was still able to mould her into the dog i wanted, then again, my mums bichon poodle cross was four at the time she adopted him (he was an ex stud dog so most probably a puppy mill product) and he is utterly loyal to her & will do anything to please her, so i think alot of it has to do with a connection you feel with your dog.

    In regards to females or males, i have no idea. When i look for a new pet i have no expectations in mind (except whether i want a dog or cat etc) and walk into a home or shelter looking for that connection. Either me and the dog will bond or we wont

  5. #5
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    Hi Brett! to the forum!

    Sounds like you have it pretty well thought out! I am two American Staffies and they are awesome pets! I've had both of mine since they were 6 weeks old and the puppy stage... while fun! is a lot of work lol saving a rescue dog would be great though! We have worked full time since we have had them, they only get about half an hour walk a day and are inside when we are, but sleep out side and are outside when we are at work or out. They adapted pretty well with it too. Before we had Bella though Harley was into a bit of self landscaping in the back yard!

    Regarding the sexes, I honestly think it comes back to individual dogs and how they are raised. Harley had a harder puppyhood than Bella (I use to be a smacker) but he is also way more of a sook than she is, he will always stay by your side and is very loving and much more obediant. Bella was always babied and she is a naughty little girl, doesn't like to listen and is a little bitch! lol I think in the future I will stick to girl dogs as you don't have to worry about all the silly boy stuff. Harley has also never been an escaper, Bella on the other hand loves a good adventure and I am still finding new people that she has been and visited now!

    What ever you do it sounds like you are going to have one very well looked after pet!

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  6. #6

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    I'm going against the flow here and going to suggest that the breeds you have in mind may not be the best types to leave alone for much of the day.

    If you are really set on a staffy x, you would be best to look for an older dog that has been in foster for a decent period of time. What you will be looking for is a dog that is known to be settled being alone during the day. Staffords and some of their crosses are real people dogs. They can be prone to anxiety if left alone, which can translate into problem behaviours like barking, destruction etc.

  7. #7
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    I always liked males, never wanted females (had 2 though, aged ones and desexed)
    I really dislike puppyhood too. After saying no more dogs when my last dog died I took on a pregnant bitch and raised 4 pups. I kept two of the buggers and the third came back here as she wasn't working out where she was.

    My point is that we can change our minds even if we don't intend to.

    Personally I would go for an older rescue too if you are going to be away 9hrs a day. Of course though it is totally up to you and your preferences.
    Last edited by Di_dee1; 01-04-2012 at 05:02 PM.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  8. #8
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    That's what I liked about the way I selected a dog, Natty. I always gave the foster carers a good description of what the dog's life was going to be like and let them make the decision on whether the dog would cope with being an only dog, being left alone during the day, the amount of exercise I could give her, etc. I got knocked back a couple of times like that, but I didn't mind because I only wanted a dog that I could make happy within the limitations of our lifestyle.

    As sad is it may be, it is why I decided not to adopt from a shelter directly because they just don't have that kind of knowledge about the dogs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    .
    As sad is it may be, it is why I decided not to adopt from a shelter directly because they just don't have that kind of knowledge about the dogs.
    Not entirely true, the reason i even took a second look at molly was because one of the officers stopped me on my way back to the car. Turns out Molly had been surrendered to the pound over three months ago and this woman had been taking her home with her as often as she could, she told me she had a beautiful nature and to please take her for a walk before making up my mind. So we did, fell in love and the rest is history. So some pounds, probably small pounds do have some sort of knowledge about their dogs.

  10. #10

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    I like my males... they tend to be more affectionate I have found, though that may just be the ones I have encountered. Plus they seem more energetic and don't mind a bit of rough-housing while my girls have been much calmer and quieter.

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