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don't know where to start!

August 19th, 2004, 03:02 PM
Hi everyone. I came across your board today and was quite excited to join!

My boyfriend and I are thinking of getting a dog but we don't know where to start. We live in a 2 bedroom apartment right beside a park, and thought it would be a great place to take the dog for a walk. We also do not own a car, so it would be nice to take the dog with us when getting a video or other places.

We are trying to figure out if we want to get one that is already trained (like one from a shelter), or a puppy to train ourselves. Preferably, we would like a puppy (because we already have a name picked out).

We are wary about getting a specific "breed", due to genetic defauts you get from overbreeding. We would be quite happy with a mut actually, or a cross between 2 breed we like (we like terriers, retreivers, spaniels, huskies) (we don't like poodles or pugs..and some others) We don't really care about size though, but short hair would be nice (My own hair is already everywhere, I don't need a dogs as well).

Are there any books you guys could recommend? Where should we start? What steps should we follow? (neither of us have had a dog before)

I've been looking at the humane society website on and off, but they are all pit bulls and bull terriers, which I'm not interested in. We do plan on having kids in the next few years, so it has to be a kid friendly dog.


Rachael :)

August 19th, 2004, 03:28 PM
Good for both of you for taking on the responsibility of dog ownership. I would start by looking at a few books from your local library or bookstore on owning a new dog/puppy as well as books on different breeds and their temperments etc. I just checked the database at the library where I work and we have scads of stuff! Whatever age of dog you decide on, rest assured that there are a ton of life changes that you will go through. I have scheduled my life around caring for all of my animals, and love every minute of it. I feel like a true parent. Dogs depend on you for everything, so be prepared to be there.
I can't help but think that if you get a puppy and need to toilet train from day one and you live in an apartment, I sure hope you live on the ground floor! They go potty alot!
I would hope that you consider adopting an unwanted/rescue/fostered dog, as there are so many wonderful companions-in-waiting, out there. I have 3 of them, all with totally different personalities. One is epileptic. One is shy and quiet, one is just like me....always underfoot and ready to go,Go,GO!!
The advantage of getting a dog from a shelter or foster situation is that the staff/volunteer may have a fair idea of the dogs' temperment, physical health and social skills, if the dog has been there for any length of time. There are also puppies available through these organizations and mixed breeds, like you prefer.
I have found that a great source for looking for adoptable dogs/pups is From this site, you can narrow down breed, (this will include cross breeds, eg: if you type in husky, you will get not only pure huskies, but husky mixes). You can also specify your location, sex preferred, age, size, the works! And you are helping an animal and organization in need. How sweet is that!
So, you have some homework to do! Good luck and congratulations!

August 19th, 2004, 03:30 PM
Have you looked on that is a really good website to find a puppy. I reccomend a mut dog as well. Because more people want pure breed animals and the mut dogs are left there forever. Where do you live at maybe I can see what I can find. And than of you will scroll farther down you will find and adoption forum look in there and see what you can find. There are alot of people on here that work at shelters that will help you find a puppy. I have a mut dog he is a Brittany Spanial and a bird dog mix. He is the best dog you could ever want. We found him, we are planning on having children soon, we are trying now. But he is a wonderful lap puppy and just a good little compaign. :D

August 19th, 2004, 03:39 PM
As I am also new to this forum, I just surfed around a bit and found a wonderful "adopt a rescue dog" section, If you click on "Forum Jump" at bottom of the screen, you will open a window with the adopt a rescue dog option. Take a boo and see if you see your dream dog! Lezzerpezzer

August 19th, 2004, 04:38 PM
We are trying to figure out if we want to get one that is already trained (like one from a shelter), or a puppy to train ourselves. Preferably, we would like a puppy (because we already have a name picked out).

Hi, Raingirl. I would definitely adopt if you can and please don't just get a puppy because you already have a name picked out. Many dogs in a rescue come in from being a stray and the rescue ppl pick a name for them just so they're not called dog #47 (or whatever). Many, many ppl change the animal's name after adopting and they adapt to it, just like their new home.
I can't even remember Snooky's name when we adopted him, and I don't think he does either. :D

August 19th, 2004, 05:38 PM
RESCUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can change the dogs name if you really want to - please save a dog from a shelter!! You will feel sooo good at the end of the day knowing you saved a dog from an unecessary death!!!

BTW, welcome to the board!!!

August 19th, 2004, 07:22 PM
Please be aware that you will still need to do training or retraining if you get an adult dog. Some dogs may come with "issues" that need to be worked through. There are trainers, classes, and people here who can help you.

Curious what name you've picked out.

Lucky Rescue
August 19th, 2004, 08:05 PM
Just my 0.02cents, but if you aren't home all day, dont' get a puppy. A rescue who has a dog in foster care can tell you if the dog is housetrained, can be trusted alone in the house, is good with cats, kids, etc.

You can change a dog's name at any point in it's life quite easily.

Don't get a husky in a 2 bedroom apt. Most smaller terriers need tons of exercise. Ditto for hounds and retrievers. Boston Bull terriers are the exception among terriers and are very good apt dogs with very low maintenence coats.

And for what it's worth, pit bulls are one of the most kid friendly and tolerant breeds around.

JRT Rescue
August 19th, 2004, 08:27 PM
As everyone else has noted, I say go with a rescue as well :) Also I just wanted to remark on your comment on short hair. There are very few breeds that don't shed, and specifically a dog with short hair don't mean that the dog will not shed as much as dogs with long hair.

I also commend you for researching getting a dog, as a person who volunteers a LOT of time to a rescue, I just wish more people would research and know what they are getting into.

August 20th, 2004, 07:54 AM
Thanks everyone for the replies. We were considering getting a shelter dog, but none have peaked our interest yet. I only knew of the Toronto Humane society as a place to look though. We didn't know we could change a dogs name either (I thought that would be hard!).

You would probably laugh at the name if I tell you. some names based on colours that do not rhymme with anything. Specifically, our name rhymmes with "orange" (we also have names that rhymme with silver and purple). ok..yes..we are crazy. The name we have picked is "Borange" (which sort of has a Russian feel I think).

We are really looking for a medium to small dog. Preferably male (more because of the name). I think the short hair preference is for care purposes (don't have to brush as much). I was looking at petfinder, and I really seem to be drawn to the beagle mixes, and there was this one cute husky/collie mix. Dashunds are also nice, but I hear they have back problems. My father has a poodle/golden retreiver mix that is quite cute. He's an apartment dog and he does well (the mother was the poodle). My grandmother had Dachshunds (I think she had 4) when I was a kid. We weren't allowed to have a dog when I was a kid because my mother was allergic. I got her cat allergy, but not the dog one (thank god!).

I think we will have to go look for some books and get an idea. What's also nice is there is a vets office about a 20 minute walk from our place-which is nice since we do not have a car. Anyone know of any training classes/schools in Brampton, Ontario?



August 20th, 2004, 08:23 AM
The name we have picked is "Borange" (which sort of has a Russian feel I think).

humm i wonder why? ohh what's that sound? look's outside and it's Boris ringing my bell... gotta go... i guess i too will never be able to put my finger on it!

PS: BORANGE i love it!!!!

August 20th, 2004, 08:53 AM
All dog breeds seem to have their own little health risks. Whether its bad hips or chronic ear infections, all of them seem "prone" to something. The good thing about shelter dogs is that you generally already know what cards they are going to get dealt and many, if not all, health issues have already presented themselves. That is of course if they have any. Its a crap shoot with ALL animals. With breeder dogs, you'll have no clue what you're getting for years and years to come (at which point you'll have kids and do you really want to be dealing with dog health/behaviour AND newborn? Not likely). Get a shelter dog where you know what you're getting and then spend the next few years preparing and training for baby, knowing what the issues are if any.

Beagles are great dogs. They can be prone to ear infections and can never be let loose to run off leash, however they are usually very friendly and silly. They do shed like the dickens though. I have two and I feel I need to sweep the floors and brush the couch every day in order to keep it manageable. However when I just had one, it was only usually once a week which is what people should be doing anyway, pets or no pets. If you have any small animals like hamsters etc you'll need to keep them up high and safely tucked away as beagles naturally see them as something they're supposed to pounce on.

Any questions on beags, i'd be happy to answer.


August 20th, 2004, 09:55 AM
Borange is cute! It does sound Russian.
What did you have for purple? Like murple or burple? I like murple! lol :D

August 20th, 2004, 10:09 AM
Good Luck on getting your dog!!! I would rescue it's a great feeling.

and I agree w/LR for the pit bull, as I have one and a pit mix and they're excellent w/my 3 small children (I also have a gsd). They are great dogs, very friendly and great w/kids. :D

August 20th, 2004, 02:24 PM
What's a GSD?

Thanks for the suggestion about pitbulls. Nothing against them, but I just don't like how they look (it's a purely esthetic thing). I do feel bad seeing some many in our local shelter though. It's also because I live in a buidling with a lot of pets, I know they don't always do well with other dogs. On my floor, there are only 10 apartments, and at least 4 have dogs (that I know of and I've only been there 3 weeks). Also, I was told they are not good dogs for apartments.

I'm really getting hooked on the beagle idea though. I will have to propose it to my other half. Maybe when we're at the mall later, we can swing by the pet store and look at their books.

(Silver=Tilver and Purple=Nirple) (We were also considering getting 2 fish and naming them Tilver and Nirple)

Lucky Rescue
August 20th, 2004, 02:46 PM
You don't like their looks? My Chloe is very hurt to hear that. :p
Pit bulls are good apartment dogs. They are clean and nearly odorless and in general are not barkers. Mine is a big couch potato - LOL!

But I understand why you may not want one if there are many other animals around.

Beagles are cute and adorable, but if you want a beagle, just be aware that many of them bark. A LOT

August 20th, 2004, 03:33 PM
OHHHH Chloe Auntie Luba hasn't seen a picture of you in soooo long!!
I wubs you sooo much look at you squishy squishy hugggggies!!

August 20th, 2004, 03:51 PM
GSD= German Shepard Dog.

My pittie only barks when we play w/him, other than that my GSD and my PBM (pit bull mix) do all the barking.

Just please don't buy a dog from the pet store, when you do get your little pupper post a pic of her/him. :)

August 20th, 2004, 04:41 PM
Rescued greyhounds are great apartment animals too!! They are very gentle and love vegging on the couch! Only thing with them, as well as beagles, is that they can't be let off leash!!! My friend has 2 beagles and she loves them, but they do bark a lot, and they are a bit of a handful - she calls them high maintenance dogs!! But really, what dog isn't?? I know Brick is totally high maintenance but only because we spoil him rotten!!! :o I had a dachsund growing up and the only problem she had was a smelly ass (anal glands) - LOL.........I would get one in a heart beat if I had a bigger house!! And I WILL one day!!! This lil house is getting too small to house all of our critters!!!

Regardless of what you choose, look around and keep looking. If you are in Ontario, there are a TON of rescues that will travel your new dog to you, like Luba did with Sadie!! Every day new dogs are posted on rescue sites!! And honestly, it is such a wonderful feeling when you rescue a dog! Every time I look at Brick my heart swells with love and affection and I think how lucky we were to find him, and how lucky he is!! (spoiled rotten dog!!) It truly is amazing when you can rescue!!! Good luck and keep us posted!!! :D

Lucky Rescue
August 20th, 2004, 05:42 PM
Rescued greyhounds are great apartment animals too!!

Absolutely! Greyhounds are wonderful - clean, affectionate and quiet.

I never heard my foster greyhound bark and I had him for 3 months.

Thinking that small dogs are best for apartments is often not true. A greyhound is much more suitable for a small space than many small breeds would be.

August 21st, 2004, 01:41 PM
I think rescuing a dog is the best option for anyone who is looking for a new pet. When I first moved to arizona I was lonely and needed a friend. I went down to my local shelter and snooped around. I found this beautiful lab/chow mix. He is very timid and sweet. Another great thing about him was that he was already trained. He knows all the commands and is potty trained. I absolutely adore him. Im sure if you look around you will find a little one (or big one) that is the perfect match for you and your hubby. Just make sure you look into and get all the facts about the breed and characteristics about the dog before you dive into anything. When you find one you want to take home make sure its his forever home.

Ps. Having a dog is one of the most rewarding things you can ever do!

August 21st, 2004, 01:49 PM
One more thing. When I first got my lab/chow mix I was living in an apartment and was reluctant to adopt him at first. However, i visited with him and realized he was very timid and very relaxed. I believe small dogs are better in apts but you never know what you will find. Bear is not exactly a "small" dog but i made sure his personality would be suitable for an apartment. Make sure you do the same. It will make all of you alot happier, trust me! :)