Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dog Decisions.

There is this big pet adoption event at the Detroit Zoo coming up next month. Garth and I thought we would be ready by September, but now that it's so close we just aren't sure we are ready for that commitment. Garth and I are also not in agreement as to whether to get a puppy or a grown dog. I would prefer getting a grown dog because we both work full-time and leaving a puppy for that long is not realistic. Garth wants a puppy because he has never experienced that before. Tough decision! I really want a dog and think it would bring Garth and I closer together, but he thinks the exact opposite.

So here are my questions for all you dog owners out there:

How long before a puppy can hold it for 9 hours without having to be let out?
Did getting a dog bring you closer with your better half?
Did you get a puppy or a grown dog?


Amber's Life said...

My husband and I adopted two adult shelter dogs. Shelter dogs can be just as difficult to train as a puppy. I highly reccommend a crate and if you're going to leaving for long periods of time (like work) this is almost a necessity. It keeps them from having accidents/tearing things up and you from getting upset when they do those things! In a lot of ways I now wish we did get a puppy because I wonder if training would have gone better because they wouldn't have had any habits they picked up at their former homes or the shelter. That being said I absolutely love my babies and it has brought us closer, we're very happy they chose us! :)

High Heeled Life said...

We have two wonderful furbabies - a yellow lab (Hubby had when we meant) and a little Yorkie we got together (from a puppy). Puppy stage is fun... if you need to leave it for extended time - what we did was invest in a doggie play pen and set up with bed , food on one side and pee pad on the other ... this way the puppy was not stressed and learned to use pee pad. He is 2 years old now and for the past year we have been leaving free to roam the house while we are out and he conducts his business outside , like a really good doggie. W are even thinkig of gettine another Yorkie ~ yes another puppy .. good luck.. can'r wait to see what you decide..xo HHL

Crystal said...

With puppies you have to work up to the 9 hours, which means many sleepless nights. With most puppies you can't just put it in the crate and it not make a mess. Everytime it does have an accident in its crate you are basically starting over at square one. Not all adult dogs at shelters have bad habits, there are some that are actually well trained, their owners just abandoned them. Though some have some very bad habits, and that is something to talk about with whomever you are adopting form. And if you get one that is about a year old, you still have 2 years of puppydom and hyperness. Absolutely get a crate, its the best thing you can do for your dog. If you're not ready now, you can always contact an animal rescue group directly, or check with the shelter when you ARE ready. There are always sweet dogs needing a home. Good luck! Whatever you do, enroll in obedience classes or agility classes or some sort of training...its more for you and Garth, than for the dog.

Carrie said...

Wow you live in metro Detroit? I don't think I realized this. Very cool.

Michelle said...

We've had our Hank (a chocolate lab) since he was 5. It's nice to get them a bit older because they can still be trained (although it's a bit harder) and are already out of the "puppy stage." He stays in the garage overnight and while we are at work and does just fine, but then again, he's an older dog. Hank is such a sweet dog and bonding with him was never an issue.

I think with your work schedule, an "adult" dog is best. And you may need a crate - at least in the beginning - regardless.

And yes, a dog brings you closer together! Hank really is like our kid. We always buy him treats and he just loves when we both play with him or take him for walks. But that's part of being a lab - he soaks up the attention!

Anonymous said...

If y'all aren't in agreement on it and you feel it's too soon, then I'd honestly just wait until y'all are ready. We have two dogs, both we got as puppies. We had to crate train them and leave them in a crate when we were at work and by the time we got home (9 or 10 hours later) they were so wound up and ready to play - but then we had to cook dinner, etc. So there for a while it felt like we didn't have enough time to devote to a puppy or training, etc.
The same goes for an older dog - you're gonna have to crate them while you're gone, too. We ended up making both of our dogs outside dogs, because we just didn't have the time to devote to them when they were inside. Truth be told, they love being outside, so it wasn't seen as a punishment to them.
I guess what I'm getting at is - they're a lot of work. If you're going on vacation, then you have to find someone to come feed them or you have to board them. Then there's the vet bills - I just dropped $130 on heartworm preventive for two dogs for just 6 months worth AND one of them goes for his yearly shots this weekend (another $100 plus).

Jac said...

We adopted our dog at 8 months- so still kinda a puppy but he was already potty trained. Maybe you want to go for that sort of in between age?

Lauren said...

We brought our puppy home at 8 weeks old and I'm so glad we did! However, keep in mind that Bogey is an outdoor dog and only comes in the house for occasional visits...and only stays in the house when the temps are crazy cold!

Depending on the type of dog, the training is going to be hard regardless. With an older dog sometimes there are bad habits that you don't enjoy...but with puppies they have the unavoidable puppy stage when they are into everything!

I would say that Bogey has definitely brought us closer together...he was our only child for so long and I can't imagine not having him around! Good luck!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

We got one of our dogs as a puppy and one when she was about 1 year old. It was 100 times easier with the 1 year old. It still takes some time to get used to each other, but potty training is REALLY hard when you work all day. Both our dogs do great during the day when we're at work.

As for bringing you closer, I don't really think it does. I don't think it tears you apart either, but I'm not sure it really changed Ryan and I's relationship.

A Nerd and A Free Spirit said...

Well, 9 hours is really a long time to keep a dog in a crate, especially if it's more than one day a week. Technically, yes puppies could probably hold it that long once they are 6-8 months (some younger)- depends on the dog. But, when you have a dog crated that long, other problems may arise.

The biggest issue is that those dogs who are crated for 9 hours (And they will have to be until they are adults and can prove they can be unsupervised for long period without destroying anything) will be bored a major portion of the day. Boredom in dogs leads to bad habits. Hyperactivity (pent up energy), chewing on things, destructive behavior, and a frustrating experience for you and your dog.

I would say one 9 hour day - or two MAX would be enough per week, and on those days I would adjust my schedule to ensure that the dog gets probably two good walks, or a trip to the dog park, or some way to completely exhaust the dog. A tired dog is a good dog. (-:

Something you might think about is doggie day care. You could do a once a week doggie day care where your pup can go and play with other dogs - it is good for socialization and to keep the dog out of trouble. It is something I am hoping to do for our standard poodle now that Karlie is gone and he doesn't have as much time in the house.

I'd be happy to talk to you more about any dog questions you have - my mom raises poodles and so I know way too much about training etc. I would highly recommend getting a young puppy and starting a puppy obedience class as early as they will allow it - 8 weeks. It works wonders for making a puppy not afraid of other people/dogs, and helps you know how to train your dog.

I am an advocate for puppies OR an adult dog - as long as you really know the temperament of the adult dog. The puppy you can mold a little more if you are vigilient at training at an early age. Puppies are a lot of work (potty training, etc) but if you are consistent (that's the key) you shouldn't have any problems. I got both of my dogs from puppies and they are just now reaching adulthood and are great.

Having a dog is so rewarding and so fun and definitely gives you another dynamic with your relationship with your husband. I recommend getting a non-shedding breed and one that is intelligent. Hey - you should a get a poodle - super smart and super awesome. (-: excited to see what you guys decide. If you want any more specific info, feel free to ask!

Oh, I also used to work in the dog food industry so I know a lot about that as well. (I know - i'm a big dork)


Sassy Engineer said...

Hey Lindsey! I kind of fell off blogging a bit and commenting for sure, but I wanted to drop in and say hi. Also, we got adopted a dog shortly after we were married (like a month) because my husband was in a lot of night classes and didn't want me home alone at night. Dogs are work for sure, but we love her. She was about a year old when we got her, and that seemed to be the perfect age. She was pretty much done being a puppy and house trained, but we knew we would get to enjoy many years with her. We both work and just didn't really want to experience the puppy stage again (we both did as younger kids) and after my husband's brother and his wife did the puppy thing, I decided that it was probably never for me. It is hard when you are working. We definitely crate trained our dog and she loves it. She sleeps in there during the day even on the weekends becasue that is her "den." We actually tried leaving her out for a few days because she was so much older, but every time we left her, she peed. Never does in her kennel. Even though she has been a stress sometimes when she was having ear infections (she is a basset and we learned those are common) she has never driven my husband and I apart. In fact, I dread the day she is no longer with us, and I know I could never have another basset hound. She can go all day in her kennel and not go to the bathroom, but thankfully I live close to my job so I get the pleasure of going home for lunch and spending some time with the pooch :) Can't wait to see what y'all decide! However, don't go unless you are ready to take a dog home. My husband said "let's just go to the shelter to look for fun," but there was no way we could leave our Janie there!

THE Stephanie said...

We've had both - grown and puppy. Recently, we got a puppy and we LOVE it!

The best thing you can do is crate train the puppy. They won't pee where they sleep, so they will hold it while in their crate.

Becca said...

I haven't commented in a while! But when I saw this post, I just had too:) I am a HUGE dog lover and have some pretty strong opinions on them and their care. We rescued two as puppies, both at different times and not from shelters but people trying to find them good homes after they were dropped in their laps.

Teaching our first puppy to potty outside was exhausting. BUT, we didn't realize that she was as young as she was,5 weeks, we lived in a second floor apartment, ick, and my husband worked such crazy hours that I was always the one taking her out. It took Bella 6 months before she could hold it for 9 hours. She was doing really good before 6 months, but she would have accidents every now and again:)

The things I learned that worked are, definitaly crate train them if you're working long hours. Get a dog walker, they're not that expensive, to come and let your puppy out once while you're gone. We had a 13 year old girl, in our apartment complex who LOVED dogs, come and take Bella out. It was such a relief to me and Bella:) Also, crate training teaches them good potty behaviors more quickly and gives them a safe place they call home. The BIG thing is it keeps them from chewing up your home too. Some people hate the idea of crate training. They think its mean and so sad for the animal. I used to think that too until we actually did it and realized that Bella loved her crate and called it home. It gave her comfort while we were away. She would often go lay in it when we were at home and sleep. I think the big thing we did right with this is we didn't over use it. Only while we were at work. The rest of the time, she had the option to go in there.

Our second puppy, Piper potty trained WAY easier...We had a different situation though. We finally lived in a house with a big back yard and Piper was 3 months when we got her. She never really offered to chew much because we had Bella to keep her busy:)

Puppies are hard work, but now that our dogs are grown, they are still hard work, lol...Our dogs definitely brought R and I closer as a couple and also caused conflict too. I was more on board about having a dog then R was, so when they would pee inside or chew or run from us, R's anger towards the dog felt like he was actually angry at me...We both grew into the animals and now we wouldn't know what to do without them!

Hope this helps!

stribble29 said...

We got our first puppy 3 years ago. We did not start right away potty training outside and used potty pads instead. Big mistake!!!!! We got our second puppy a year later and started with outside potty training and it worked!!!! Crate train it right away. I am a teacher and I also go to the gym after school so I get home late and so does my husband. Our dogs can go about 10-12 hours without having to go to the bathroom. I leave the house at 6:30 and we get home around 5:30. They do a really good job of holding it. Sure they have had their accidents here and there, especially in the beginning, but once they get into a routine, all is well. Set a routine and stick to it! We love our puppies like children and it has made my husband and I a lot closer. Good luck!!!!!

Mary said...

We adopted two adult dogs and they are amazing! Having a dog definitely brought us closer. I can't imagine adopting a puppy because they are so much work! With an adult dog, you typically know what you're getting in terms of personality, especially if you adopt a dog that is currently in foster. The foster parents or the rescue can fill you in on the dog's personality. Also, if they are in foster, they are often already house trained, crate-trained, and may even know some basic obedience.

Whether you adopt a puppy or an adult, you still have to go through training to make the most of your relationship and to make life easier for both of you. We have done training with our adult dogs and you can definitely teach an "old" dog new tricks. Also, don't worry about an older dog not bonding with you, because it absolutely will. You might want to look into a dog walker to help you out during the day.

Whether you decide on a puppy or an adult, thank you for saving a life! Adopting is so rewarding!

Megg said...

I know next to nothing about dogs, since I've always had cats, however, I do have this to say: adults are much more difficult to adopt than puppies (or kittens). Consider giving an adult a home, because they are much more likely to be waiting a lot longer for a home. Everyone wants a baby because they're cute. (I volunteer at a cat shelter so I know this from experience)
Good luck! I can't wait to hear what you choose!

Stacie said...

Jon and I are having the dog discussion every month or so, it's such a tough decision!! Good luck to you guys, I'm sure whatever you decide will be great.

Jessica said...

My husband and I bought a puppy. We bought a mini Pomeranian who is now 15 months and fully grown at only 5 pounds. Even with her small size which equate a very small bladder, she was SUPER easy to potty train. We were told by many friends that she would be hard to potty train, but I am so excited to say it was just the opposite! By about 12 weeks old she was FULLY potty trained. And before that she never messed on carpets, only on linoluem so it was easy clean up. I have heard most dogs 'just know' not to go on carpets. Also if you crate train the dog it will be much easier to potty train, they don't want to mess in their crates because that is where they sleep. So that could help you as well.
As far as bringing my husband and I closer? DEFINITELY! My husband and I don't have any kids, so Bella is our little baby. Bryan and I are MUCH closer to each other now, because we went through the WHOLE puppy thing together! There were midnight potty trips, and when Bella was sick when we had only had her for a few weeks, we BOTH stayed up all night with her. Really it's like having a real baby, and seeing Bryan so worried about our little Bella just made my heart melt to see this big strong man love something soooo little soooo much!
As for sheltered grown dogs, I have had friends that adopted them and had a lot of problems, with not only potty training but also behavioral problems. You never know what kind of home they had prior to yours and what kind of owners they had. If you get a puppy you are the ones training them and loving on them and knowing what kind of treatment they get. I'm not saying all sheltered dogs are mean, but the few I have been around I would definitely not let kids be with them alone.
Dogs are a lot of work. BUT they are worth every single midnight potty trip, every mess, and every bark! I wouldn't trade my Bella for anything! She is my world right now, and even when we have kids of our own, Bella will always hold a special place in our hearts, because she was our FIRST baby :)

Amy Jo said...

My husband and I just got a 7 week old puppy last week and this is what they told us....if you take how old they are (in months) and add 1 to that it will tell you how many hours they can go without needing to go potty. For example, if the dog is 8 weeks old (2 months) they can only go 3 hours without needing to go outside.
Hope this helps!

PS ~ this is my first puppy and IT IS HARD!! You get no sleep, up every couple hrs throughout the night, the puppy chews on everything, they require so much attention, and training takes a lot of time. Thankfully, my husband is at home during the day and I'm at home throughout the night or else we wouldn't be able to do it. Do some research on puppy care before making your decision. There are lots of articles if you google it.

PSS ~ There is nothing better than puppy breath :-)

Good luck with your decision!