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Petar

Choosing A Dog!

118 posts in this topic

You mention that you live in a unit.

Do your by-laws permit the keeping of a dog?

Do you need approval from the Owners Corporation/Body Corporate?

If the by-laws permit the keeping of a dog, are there any restrictions on the size of the animal?

Often in strata units only small dogs are permitted, if they are even allowed at all. If you are allowed to keep a dog, by-laws relating to noise still apply, so if you want a dog who barks at intruders he or she should not be allowed to otherwise cause a disturbance. If you keep a dog without approval or if it is a nuisance you could find yourself in a lot of legal trouble — you could receive large fines or be forced to remove your dog!

So, be sure to ask your strata manager what by-laws apply to your scheme before you consider getting a dog. If you are a tenant rather than an owner, you will also need approval from your landlord. A lot more strata schemes are pet friendly these days, but you still need to go through the requisite hoops and consider your neighbours.

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I would look into either a retired racing Greyhound or a mature dog from a breeder.

Greyhounds are like any dog and love companionship and a stretch of the legs. They shed but a quick wipe over every other day with a towel would be enough grooming and they don't get smelly (unless their diet doesn't suit, then they can let off some ripper farts).

Sometimes they like to dig and do normal dog things like sneak food off the bench and inspect the rubbish bin.

The Greyhounds I know have a good warning bark, it's loud & deep. But when you open the door they're just like, "Oh, ok it's just a visitor." and head back to the couch to finish their nap laugh.gif (it has literally happened to me - she was barking and barking but once I walked in and made myself at home she went back to her warm spot on the couch)

I don't agree with the concept of getting a breed and hoping it'll be a guard dog. They need a lot of training to get to that point - otherwise how do they know that your friend who's dropping in to water plants for you isn't an intruder (bad example but the point stands). Any dog that displays aggression to a human just because they're on the property (including trained guard dogs - they don't just go to anyone, I hope) should be very, very carefully handled by an experienced person otherwise it will become a liability.

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Teebs   

A miniature bull terrier might work or an adult rescue as a first dog.

There are heaps of bull terriers in rescue at the moment!

They look scary but are usually sooks.

I would get people crossing the street when I was walking my boy, he would have licked them to death !

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DobieMum   

Some dobies would tick all the boxes for you, but would you tick all of its boxes. Dobies need training and especially while they're young they need something to keep their head entertained ie. The interactive games. They have mad 1/2 hour quite often and they do shed. Saying that, they're a lovable dog, who when your home, just wants to be with you and snuggle you. To find the right temperament, do your research carefully and your breeder as well. Most have waiting lists so be willing to wait.

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raineth   

By low maintenance, I mean not a lot of grooming requirements, drooling and as little as possible shedding, and also a dog who can cope with a full day by himself in a small yard or indoors and not destroy things out of boredom.

I have come across the German Pinscher and that seems to tick a lot of my boxes on paper? Anybody with experience or knowledge of this breed?

I don't think you are really going to get a breed characteristic that will fulfil this, perhaps some more suited than others yes, but not guaranteed. More of an individual trait, along with training and enough exercise/mental stimulation.

I know pretty chill greyhounds that have had days they've decided to destroy something when left alone, they weren't quite house trained properly.

I agree!

I think a lot of the traits you want are incompatible. Short-haired dogs moult a lot. Breeds that don't moult as much require a lot of grooming.

Dogs that are more independent are often less biddable and trainable. So you may need to work out what is really important to you. Similarly, a lot of the breeds that have a stronger territorial instinct are likely to be harder work than those with less of this instinct. Most dogs do have some territorial instinct and will bark when someone comes around, and really anything more than that can be really hard to manage.

I know cafe owners who recently got a 1 year old dog. They walk him before they go to work and give him things to do while they're gone and they still come home to a lot of destruction every day. He is confined to their large backyard during the day.

I think you might be best off looking for a mature dog. One that is middle aged or over who might be a bit more prepared to snooze the day away while you're not at home.

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Have you owned/trained a dog previously ? That may also influence the type of dog/ training ...

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Rebanne   

Have you owned/trained a dog previously ? That may also influence the type of dog/ training ...

Poster hasn't but doesn't say about partner

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Have you owned/trained a dog previously ? That may also influence the type of dog/ training ...

Poster hasn't but doesn't say about partner

oops .. forgot that was in first post :o

perhaps they are more confident than I , but a 'guard dog ' breed wouldn't be my choice for a first dog ... it isn't now either ;) They'd be smarter than I .....

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nickyp   

As a recent greyhound convert, here's my 2 cents:

Our boy Billy is a 3 and a half year old GAP dog. We've had him for almost 4 months. I think he's a bit different from a lot of other ex-racers in that he did not spend all of his previous life in kennels, so he's more house-savvy than a lot of them.

He does love to lie around for most of the day and loves to sit on the couch or bed. The short coat is really easy to maintain - a quick brush every now and then cleans up the dead hair. He doesn't smell much and he is the most polite and gentle dog I've ever owned. That's the pros.

The cons: He NEEDS at least one daily walk of no less than 20 minutes, 2 is better. He is a very fussy eater and it took 3 months to get to the point where he will eat every day and has gained enough weight to cover his ribs. He does NOT like to be left outside and has made a (surprisingly small) hole in the screen door to get inside when left out. I think he would be OK inside on his own, but he doesn't have to be because we have another dog. Forget about sleeping in if he wants to go for a walk, he will whinge constantly until you take him. You need to keep an eye on the weather to make sure he's not going to be too hot or too cold. He's not a watch dog in any sense of the word, he doesn't bark and would open the door for a thief!

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Petar   

Thank you all for your replies and insight! It really is fantastic.

To clarify - our unit is more like a smaller dwelling style rather than a block of flats. The property is at the rear (up the driveway) of another property and has a small yard of its own. We fully own the premises. I'd be happy for the dog to have access to both inside the house and the yard.

Thursday's, Friday's and Sunday's one or both of us are home basically all day. I envisage this enough for training and obedience purposes, as well us play and bonding time with the dog? I am very focused on having a well behaved, disciplined and obedient - as well as good natured and friendly companion, and am prepared to put in time I have available to do so. Aside from this we are home Monday afternoon from about 3pm. Days aside from this we are home between 6-7pm, which still gives us some time with the dog before bed for walks, play and attention. I want the dog to be our companion when we are at home, not simply restricted to the backyard all day and night.

I did consider dobermans also, as correctly trained they seem to suit our purposes, but they are perhaps a bit too big and take up apt of space when we'd also prefer a good sized couch companion. Which is why I am now leaning towards a German Pinscher. Dogs are dogs - obviously chances are I will be finding some evidence of hair and such around - I even find my partners hair all over the place! (Hehe) I just want to minimise the chances and get something I can realistically look after. That's why I'm doing my due diligence and extensive research and reading, and being realistic about my circumstances and what I want.

Greyhounds would also probably fall into the too big category.

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Petar   

Also further to this - my partner and her family owned a beagle for around 10 years before it died around 5 years ago.

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JulesP   

You can cross pit bulls off your list as they are not allowed in Victoria.

Do you think you can cope with the mess that dogs create? There will be slobber, vomit, hair, poo etc etc. If you have a small backyard then any grass may get churned up.

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Three days a week is not enough for training, obedience bonding and play time with an adult dog, let alone a puppy. Those things absolutely need to be worked on every day several times a day, for any dog. If you want a really well behaved and obedient dog then then more than that.

The thing about having a well trained obedient dog is that you can't teach it things on some days an not worry about it on other days. If you want a dog to perform a behaviour consistently (for example not jumping on the couch uninvited) you have to be there ready to enforce the desired behaviour every single time the dog goes near that couch. As soon as you are not there and it decides to get up on its own, you have undone any progress you have made.

If you only want it going to the toilet outside and you take it outside ever two hours and reward it every time it goes outside three days a week but aren't there to do it at other times the dog is not going to quickly learn that it should go outside instead of inside.

This goes x50 for a young puppy, they NEED consistency to learn.

So in your situation you are going to have to compromise. Any dog left alone for that long regularly IS going to take longer to train to become your ideal companion because you just cannot provide the consistency. It IS going to get a bit bored and explore things and probably pull things down and chew them and pull them apart, it's just what they do. And that's with you spending lots of time interacting and training and exercising the dog while you are there.

If you can cope with that then I think there are dogs that could be happy fitting in to your lifestyle but you won't be able to bring a dog in and have it behave perfectly under your circumstances. Especially if its a puppy or a young dog.

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...I did consider dobermans also, as correctly trained they seem to suit our purposes, but they are perhaps a bit too big and take up apt of space when we'd also prefer a good sized couch companion. Which is why I am now leaning towards a German Pinscher.

...

Greyhounds would also probably fall into the too big category.

Oh-kay ... lets just be 100% clear here ... making a choice based on how much of the couch the dog will take up is silly. No matter what size dog you get they'll just take up all the space - unless they're not allowed on at all!

Plus - you can just buy another couch ;)

and I'm only half joking! My 10 kilos of dog takes up more space in our king sized bed than my husband does. We've taught him to only sleep on his rug at the foot of the bed but occasionally he sneaks off to claim what he thinks is rightfully his - approx 90% of the bed. He's currently sitting along side me on a two seater couch - body against my thigh - legs fully extended taking up as much space as physically possible. I'd say he's got about 60% of the real estate at the moment.

Lots of people here have covered how you're looking for conflicting things - low shed Vs coat type etc.

What I personally think you should do is think about your list and really consider what's super important to you and try to get out to meet some of these dogs

Eg for me -

* I don't mind what size dog I own, giant or small - I'm happy. Except for the last 7 years my family has always had a big dog and a little dog. However, for me my dogs

*can not slobber - urgh - yuck

* I'm too lazy to own a long haired dog which requires brushing out. And that's important to be honest about. It's not that I don't like long haired dogs - there are a number I'd love to own - but anything that requires too much grooming is entirely off the list.

*can have spunk - I have a terrier - they have attitude - but I don't want anything too driven - I'd probably never own a "guard dog" they'd be too much for me to handle.

*ideally should be older - I didn't want to deal with a puppy and all that stuff.

So where does this leave you and your partner?

I'd recommend getting out to some shows - the royal, dog shows, other local gatherings to see if you can meet some of the breeds you've mentioned above. Get in touch with some breeders and see if you can meet their dogs - see what a number of people have to say about their breeds. Visit a shelter with the view of just meeting some dogs - *I will warn you* - Shelters can be emotionally tough places to visit I cried the first time I stepped foot in one. At each step of the way - mention and ask about lifesyle - every dog is different - my last dog basically needed to be dragged around the oval for a walk. She hated exercising - she was a rel couch potato. My current dog cries bloody murder if he doesn't get at least 90 minutes exercise a day.... while both technically "muts" they are/were both pretty typical fox terrier types.

I think its really great you're thinking about all this now - it shows that you're committed to making good choices.

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trifecta   

I think you should look at getting a rescue dog, purely for the fact that if you look hard enough and are savvy enough with your research you may find a dog that is being fostered under similar conditions to what you can provide. Not all foster carers stay at home all day or work part time. You'll have to be patient, however, as a lot of rescue organisations do not rehome to single dog homes nor to people who work long hours. However, there are dogs out there that are happy or better off being single dogs, you've just got to take the time to find the right match.

As a footnote, with regard to German Pinschers, I think angelsun on here breeds them?

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Teebs   

I hate the if you work full time you shouldn't get a puppy comments , if that was the case there would be a lot of dogs looking for a home

I've always worked a full time job and a part time job (for 14 years) was living alone when I got my dogs as pups. I still managed to train them and teach them. Just as many thousands of other people have done as well.

To the OP. If you are seriously looking at a bully, just be warned they are very pigheaded and can be hard to train

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Steph M   

To be honest I don't know if size should be your deciding factor, and as for guarding breeds I'd be concerned that for a first time dog owner who has what sounds like a pretty busy life some of those breeds mentioned might be a bit much. More so if not adequately stimulated and trained.

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Petar   

I realise some of my criteria and questions may sound naive, that's why I'm here! Last thing I want to do is go out and get a dog then try and fit a square peg in a round hole, leaving miserable dog and frustrated owners. Thank you all for your input, it really is helping. After your suggestions, bull type breeds are off the list.

Also I disagree respectful re: couch space haha! That was just an example, but a large dog = more surface area obviously, and in a smaller size dwelling I can't see it suiting us.

And like some have mentioned I need to ask the question - how do other full time professionals own dogs? In this day an age with 9-5 being almost a myth, how do they keep their dogs happy and disciplined? Being home for 3 full days and an afternoon each week is surely more than the average couple?

However understand the point of inconsistency of training a puppy and not being there to correct/reward/address behaviours. Would gladly consider an older dog, perhaps up to 3 years old?

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JulesP   

I got 2 dogs :)

My dogs don't go on the couch btw. I trained them to go to their beds and they stay there apart from coming over for the odd pat. I don't want dog hair etc on my couch!

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Teebs   

When you say guard dog, do you mean a dog that will attack anyone it doesnt know, or a dog that will just stand up and bark and maybe step in if something bad is happening?

I think a lot of people get their backs up about the use of the word guard dog as they think most people mean a dog that will attack on command.

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