Before Getting a Puppy or an Adult Dog

Maggie Magz at 5 weeks old. Visiting her at the breeders.
Maggie Magz at 5 weeks old. Visiting her at the breeders. | Source

This article was inspired by a recent hub written by Giselle Main, which got me thinking about some of things that I would advise people to consider before making that huge commitment of bringing a dog into their family and home. First let me state that I am not an expert just an animal lover and that I have had dogs all my life.

Dogs Require Attention and Training

When you first bring that cute little puppy home you are going to want to house train it immediately. Some people use newspapers or potty training pads. This is fine but the dog eventually needs to learn to go outside to do its business.

Housebreaking or Potty Training a Puppy

Personally the way in which I train my dogs is taking them outside every hour on the hour and walking around with them until they go to the washroom. The general rule when they are puppies is to take them outside 20 minutes after they eat. Once the dog matures and is housebroken it will not need to go outside as often. A good rule to follow is to not let the dog drink water past seven at night, enabling them to go all night without needing to urinate. Be prepared however to get up early in the morning to take the puppy outside.

Maggie Magz at almost 8 weeks old
Maggie Magz at almost 8 weeks old | Source
Bruce at 8 weeks old
Bruce at 8 weeks old | Source

Obedience Training

I highly recommend a basic obedience class for you and the puppy. This will teach the dog how to behave around other dogs and learn basic training. When the basic training is over you should continue to work with your dog on a daily basis. This gives you and your dog time together and the dogs really enjoy training, walking and playing with the people that they live with.

Dogs Can Be Expensive

  • Bringing a dog into the household basically means another mouth to feed.
  • Veterinarian Bills
  • Unexpected vet bills should your dog get sick or have an accident that requires a trip to the vet.
  • Prescription medication for animals is expensive
  • Costs of Spaying or neutering
  • In most places it will cost you yearly to licence your dog

Cannot Always Travel With a Dog

You cannot always take your dog with you when you want to go away for a long weekend or on a vacation. So this will mean either getting someone into your home to look after your dog while you are away or putting them in a kennel while you are traveling.

Mutual Decision

Before bringing home a dog everyone in the family should agree that they want a dog. So many times one person decides that they want a dog but their spouse or partner does not really like animals. This can become quite a problem and upset the household.

Rules To Make And Things To Consider

Where will the dog sleep? Will he or she have a place in the kitchen, sleep in a crate, have a doghouse outside or sleep on the floor in your bedroom.

Who is going to feed the dog? I really feel that one person in the household should be responsible for feeding the dog. I have heard of dogs getting fat because one person feeds the dog and goes off to work and when the second person gets up they do not know that the dog has already been fed.

Are you going to allow the dog to sit or lie on furniture? This is important because once a dog is allowed on furniture it is hard to stop them from sitting or lying on the couch. It may become confusing to the dog as well. “You let me up here when I was a cute little puppy and now that I am 2 years old and weigh 100 pounds you won’t let me”.

Pooper Scooper

Flexrake Standard Poop Pet Scoop/Spade with 3-Feet Aluminum Handle
Flexrake Standard Poop Pet Scoop/Spade with 3-Feet Aluminum Handle

This is the style that I have and I really like it.

 

Cleaning Up After The Dog

This is strictly from my own experience. I have not one but two Newfoundland dogs. If you are unfamiliar with the breed they are over 120 pounds each and have a lot of fur. Even though they are groomed I still have to sweep and vacuum on a daily basis. Okay some days I don’t but still. Their hair gets everywhere and I am forever picking it up. My male drools, and when Newf's drool it flies on walls, sometimes it will fly as high as the ceilings. It gets on clothing if you happen to be in the same area as him. So be prepared to be washing walls more than if you didn't have a dog. Don't forget what goes in does come out and you get to pick it up and dispose of it.


Lifespan of a Dog

Dogs can live anywhere from 5 years up to 27 years in some breeds. If you are thinking about getting a purebred you can always find out what the life expectancy of said dog is. Make sure you are willing to commit to keeping this dog for its entire lifetime.

I hope that this article has not discouraged you from getting a dog. If you have any comments, questions or anything to add please do so in the comment box below.


Recommended Reading

Teresa Coppens has some excellent advice when it comes to raising a gentle dog.

© 2011 Susan Zutautas

More by this Author


Comments 100 comments

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Annie, Nothing makes me more sad than to see someone get a dog and then not realize all that's involved.


RaintreeAnnie profile image

RaintreeAnnie 2 years ago from UK

Excellent article on things to consider before getting a dog. Everyone should be aware of all of these aspects of getting and keeping a dog before they consider bringing a dog home.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks so much Mary! Drool is no fun but Bruce is worth it :)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Peg, Always so nice to see you and thanks for revisiting my hub. Magz and Bruce say hello to you :)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

After my 2 are across the rainbow bridge I think my dog days too will be over. I'll always love dogs and cats.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

This is a good hub to bring back periodically. Every person considering a dog should read this, its short, easy to read and chock full of information. I too have always had a dog, some more challenging than others and some with sad stories and endings, but I keep doing it over and over again.

My son had a St. Bernard so I can relate to the head shake and spittle winding up on the ceiling. Your dogs are beautiful btw.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Revisiting this one is a good thing right before the holidays and gift giving season. Some people think a dog is a Christmas present. Your important tips remind people that it is a forever choice for the pet and the owners. I Love those puppy pictures of your Magz and Bruce. Hope you are well.


sallybea profile image

sallybea 2 years ago from Norfolk

I know my dog days are over, I have had some wonderful pets in the past but now I just prefer to admire them from afar. Nevertheless this is an excellent article with some good advice.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Relationshipc, So sorry to hear this. I have one of each and the female always attacks the male. She's showing her dominance over him as she's the head bitch in the house.


Relationshipc profile image

Relationshipc 2 years ago from Alberta, Canada

One thing I never considered was that my dogs would not always get along. We used to be able to leave our dogs alone together, but the two we have right now have been in fights over looking at each other in the wrong way, as well as toys, food, etc. It is a constant responsibility to ensure that they are safe. We can't leave them both with the same person for fear of a fight when we are not around. We have to separate them when we go out. And even when we are home, we have to ensure they are never alone together too far away - especially in the kitchen.

FYI: Both are male and one is not neutered. The neutered one is the one who attacks the other dog; although, we know that the not neutered one plays his part.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks Sharon!


sharonchristy profile image

sharonchristy 2 years ago from India

That was a great article Susan, I loved it, thank you for sharing it with us.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you so much Shar-On, so glad that you liked my hub.


Shar-0n17 profile image

Shar-0n17 2 years ago from Perth

Nice hub full of great information. So many people get a dog on a whim or spur of the moment decision. They do not realise the costs, training, medical expenses and time involved.

All these are an important part of owning and inviting a best mate and friend into your home and your heart.

They will love you forever and give you such wonderful memories too.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you ps! Glad that you found my hub helpful and I hope that others do as well.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 years ago from sunny Florida

Sadly many people are in love with the idea of a furry snuggly critter not realizing that it is a huge commitment of time, money, energy , and love.

It is not what someone thinks of when getting a pet.

So many questions to answer: like who will watch him when we are gone? What do I do if he is hurt or sick and I have no money for a vet?

What do I do if he turns out to be mean or willful?

And on and on. You addressed many of these questions well. I hope those who are considering a pet of any kind will read this.

Angels are on the way to you this evening ps


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Shona, Nice to meet you and thanks so much!


Shona Venter profile image

Shona Venter 3 years ago from South Africa

Excellent tips and advice, Just Ask Susan. Many folk tend to fall in love with the cute little puppy but then become frustrated when it grows up and the vet bills start to roll in. Hubby and I have an older Jack Russell cross Fox terrier and she was already house trained when he got her. We are very fortunate that she is not a chewer or a barker. In many cases, an older dog can make just as good a family companion as a puppy.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Kristi, so nice to see you here. Today I just got done doing a little grooming, and wiping drool off the walls. My male Newfoundlander shakes his head and it literally flies everywhere. But they're my babies and I love them to death. Yes lots of work but so worth every minute of the love they give to me. Sorry that your dog died recently. It's a big decision and commitment, but I bet your son would be thrilled :) Thanks so much for stopping by.


Kristi Campbell 3 years ago

My dog recently died and while I am SO VERY tempted to get a puppy, I don't feel ready for the potty training, the hair, the drool...this is an excellent article, Susan and I think everybody considering getting a puppy or an older dog should read it! Dogs are amazing and bring huge amounts of joy to us. They're also expensive and hairy and require lots of walks and love...

Thanks for this!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Peggy, Thank you and have a good weekend.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Susan,

It is obvious that you love your dogs and are good caretakers for them. I grew up with dogs in the family and my hubby and I have had our fair share of them. We now have my mother's dog (since she died) and our two cats. I know about the frequent vacuuming! Ha! The thing that you rightfully stressed is that adopting a dog should be a lifetime commitment. They are not disposable like paper plates. And yes...it is a financial commitment as well. Here is to all the good pet owners everywhere! Voted up and useful.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

dogfond, Thank you. Yes patience is indeed needed throughout the entire life of having a dog.


dogfond 3 years ago

Hi Susan! Great hub. To raise a dog, a lot of patience is also needed. I mean raising a dog is like raising a child. It comes with great responsibility.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks so much Audrey. It saddens me so much when people get pets of any kind and don't know what is involved. Too many times these poor innocent animals as you know end up in shelters or abandoned.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

Such a great article Susan! Every teen wanting a dog should read this!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Susan, That once an hour really does work well. That's funny that they reacted totally the opposite of what you thought they would. Magz was much easier for me to train than what Bruce was. It just took him a little extra time. But they've both turned out beautifully and I'm so proud of them.

Thanks for the votes and shares, and enjoy your Maggie and Ruby.


sholland10 profile image

sholland10 3 years ago from Southwest Missouri

I love your pictures!! There is so much to consider when bringing a puppy home - just like a baby. I trained my pups the same way - by taking them out every hour. The lady I got them from told me about stopping their food and water around 7pm, and it works. I took the doxies to a training class. We thought our "timid" Maggie would be afraid and that our "rambunctious" Ruby would be in trouble while there. It was opposite. Maggie made the rounds to each dog while Ruby hid behind me or my daughter. It was a hoot, but it also showed that you do not always know how your dog is going to react. Socializing them is so important. I think I know how Ruby will act after that class. She became more social but is still a 'fraidy dog. LOL

Great hub with great tips! :-) Votes and shares!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

torrilynn, Thanks so much. I agree they are worth all the responsibility and work.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Life Iz B, Thank you and I'm glad you liked the hub. I found the trick with my 2 dogs when house breaking them was to take them out every hour on the hour and 20 minutes after a meal. Enjoy your new pup.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

lemonkerdz, I hope that one day soon that you'll be able to get that puppy that you want. Thank you for reading and for your comments. Have a nice weekend.


torrilynn profile image

torrilynn 3 years ago

JustAskSusan, nice hub about everything you should do and consider before taking on a responsibility such as getting a dog. i have a dog that is German Shepherd mixed with Child and realize that a dog can be alot of responsibility but it is definitely worth it. thanks. voted up.


Life Iz Beautiful profile image

Life Iz Beautiful 3 years ago from India

Lovely hub and beautiful pup... We have recently brought home a pure breed Labrador. She is 2 months now and I am still house breaking her. Your hub definitely is apt for me now! thanks for that...

voted up and useful.

Have a beautiful day...:D


lemonkerdz profile image

lemonkerdz 3 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

What a beautiful pup. Just recently we have been considering the idea of getting a pup since in my family we have always had dogs. We have talked and talked it over and now....after reading your hub it has confirmed our idea that because of our life style it would be cruel to the dog for us to have one, we couldn´t give it the attention it would desserve. Thanks for another interesting read.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

movingfinger, Thanks so much for your great comments.


movingfinger 3 years ago

Very nice and useful article. Many people get dogs home just because they fell in love with the puppy, not realising that keeping a pet dog is a lifetime commitment and involves more effort that even raising a child. A dog as a pet requires constant care and attention (not to mention the other expenses that you have brought out). Kids grow up and become independent but dogs never do. But you can't live without their love once you get them!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

byshea, Thank you. It breaks my heart when I see or hear of animals being neglected.


byshea profile image

byshea 3 years ago

Great advice and hub! So many people get a puppy for their own entertainment and don't realize all the work that goes into being a responsible owner.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Monis Mas, Thanks glad you liked the hub. Dogs are a big commitment.

Lesley, Thanks so much and Maggie Magz & Bruce both say thank you too :)

Happy New Year to you both.


Lesleysherwood 3 years ago

Hey Susan, if this hub has put anyone off - then that's good, because its just as responsible as having a child I feel. I don't think people realise what's involved. They may look like furry cuddly toys, but they're living beings and it's a principled working love needed, not to be dumped when bored with. Brilliant article. I love Maggie Magz and Bruce.


Monis Mas profile image

Monis Mas 3 years ago

Awesome hub! So many people get a pet, and don't really think it through! They don't realize how much work, money and time it takes. I have a dog, and obviously it gets inconvenient at times, but you have to be at least halfway ready for it! I always say - the same is with children :-)


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

werliyu, Thank you. I'm not sure how to answer your question as I'm not all that familiar with the Husky breed, and without knowing your dog I'm not qualified to answer.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

simplysmartmom, Sorry to hear this. Yes when getting a pup it's very important to research the breed & if possible to find out about what the parents of the pup are like, comes in handy too. Thanks for reading and for your comments.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Judi, The work doesn't stop when they grow out of the puppy stage, but they're so worth it. So glad that you liked the hub and thanks so much.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

wilderness, I think if I could leave my dogs for a few days like I used to with my cat I may travel more. The cost of putting them in a kennel for a few days stops me :)

Thanks for stopping by to read this and for your comments.


werliyu profile image

werliyu 4 years ago from Shah Alam

Great information. I am considering to get a new dog.... I just don't want my husky to get lonely. Should i get a new husky or other breed?


simplysmartmom profile image

simplysmartmom 4 years ago from North Carolina

Excellent hub with great info! My parents recently had to give up a puppy because he was too hyper for them - an Australian Shepherd. It was a tough choice. They had always had calmer dogs (black lab and golden retriever). Breed is very important when choosing a pet!


Judi Bee profile image

Judi Bee 4 years ago from UK

I wish everyone who considered getting a dog would run through this checklist. It is hard work, especially when they are puppies! I was exhausted from getting up early in the morning to let her out - it was just like having a baby again. Now she is older we make sure that she is exercised fully, so that blows another couple of hours a day. Too many people seem to expect a cuddly, fluffy well-behaved puppy that sits quietly all day - they don't!

Great advice, voted up & shared.


wilderness profile image

wilderness 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

My wife and I are more cat people than dog people, but some of the same concerns exist. Lifespan of the the new family member. Costs. Travel is a big one - dogs travel much better than cats, but cats are perfectly fine for a day or three if left alone.

There are lots of considerations to getting a pet, whether a puppy, kitten or anything. You've covered the basics of it here - good job!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

princesswithapen, I find that if someone has a pet that is in a home where one person does not like animals, it's hard on a relationship, as well as on the pet. Thank you for reading and for your comments.


princesswithapen profile image

princesswithapen 4 years ago

You've rightly mentioned "Mutual Decision" as one of the key points to think about before getting a dog. For people who are averse to the idea of getting a dog or a pet can bear the brunt of having to put up with something they hate on a daily basis. I am not one of them as I love dogs and pets in general. But I know a friend who is in a similar situation.

Princesswithapen


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

fornalina, Thank you for adding to this hub. Yes time and commitment is very important.


fornalina profile image

fornalina 5 years ago from Poznan, Poland

I remember all those problems that I had to overcome before I got a dog. The hardest thing was persuading mom, because she was afraid that the dog will destroy a lot of thing in our house (especially shoes). But fortunately I took a year off before going to university so I had time and I managed to persuade her. It is really important to have time for a puppy that just came to your home. It's a totally different home and you have to replace the mother that the puppy had been taken from. If you're not there it will grow up into a sad dog. I'd say that if you're not 100% sure that you have enough time for dog, don't buy one. Buying a dog is a commitment, it's a bit like having a baby.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

thelyricwriter, Thanks so much for your wonderful comments.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

Thanks for sharing. A perfect article to anyone wanting a dog. People should read this because it is very useful.Votedup!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

angemac, Thanks for your comments and for reading.

Thanks Sis, Maggie loves toilet paper and paper towels. I still have to keep the bathroom door closed because she will go in there and steel the toilet paper :).


ChristyZ 5 years ago

Great hub Suba with some fantastic points. Anyone who thinks a puppy makes a great Christmas gift is going to be very disappointed when they realize the amount of work involved. I don't have the long hair to deal with..but my guy is a little paper shredder so I get to pick that up all day long, lol.


angemac23 profile image

angemac23 5 years ago from Canada

Very important information for anyone considering adopting a new dog!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

danielleantosz, I worked at a kennel and we would take in all kinds of rescue dogs, just broke my heart to see how they were just tossed away, abandoned or abused.


danielleantosz profile image

danielleantosz 5 years ago from Florida

Great advice, it is amazing how many people get dogs and then decide they can't keep them. It breaks my heart looking at craigslist at all the people getting rid of their dogs because they are moving and can't take their pet. Makes no sense, you have an animal you don't move to a place that doesn't take animals!! I know there are emergencies, but there are too many to just be emergencies. Well said!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hezazeus, Thanks glad you liked it.


Herazeus profile image

Herazeus 5 years ago

Very nice articles...you have a new fan!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi AmeliaKat, Actually we did consider "Rambo" our cat when we got our first Newfoundland dog. Rambo has his own bedroom and loved to taunt the dogs. Sadly though Rambo has since passed but had a long and healthy life. Thanks so much for stopping by and I loved your comments :)


AmeliaKat profile image

AmeliaKat 5 years ago

Did anyone consider the resident cat when getting a puppy??? Noooo, they just bring that little ball of fur home and expect me to help train it. Did anyone consider that I liked my spot on the bed? Or that I liked having my human to myself? Nooo, the puppy was just too cute.....


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Sithuwam, Thank you for your comments.


Sithuwam 5 years ago from Melbourne

Great ideas and comments, specially how to house train your puppy. Thanks for all these great ideas.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

mothercristina, My female always goes in one spot in the yard and she was never trained to do this so I am fortunate, however my male goes wherever he pleases. Thanks for stopping by to read and for your comments.

ginersmaltese, Thanks so much! I love your picture.


gingersmaltese profile image

gingersmaltese 5 years ago from 27597

vOTED up and useful. great article!


mothercristina profile image

mothercristina 5 years ago

I cannot wait to get a dog. I learned how to train one from my dad. Our dog had his own little bathroom space in our yard, so no poopies all over the place.I know it takes some courage to discipline one, because they're so cute that you just want to give them their way all the time. So worth it though. I hope everyone studies up before getting their own pets. Great list here to start with.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Dalton, Newfs are wonderful. Good luck in finding one and good luck keeping him or her out of the water :). If you are lucky you may just get one that does not drool. My female only drools when food is involved. My male on the other hand drools quite excessively.

kentuckyslone, Thanks for stopping by to read my hub.


kentuckyslone profile image

kentuckyslone 5 years ago

My wife is looking for a dog right now... :0)


DaltonPark profile image

DaltonPark 5 years ago from Monterey, CA

Just Ask Susan - My husband and I have wanted a Newf for years now (I grew up with big dogs)! After lots of research we decided they were the perfect breed for us. We live on Monterey Bay and are in the water a lot, as well as being avid hikers/campers. We had refrained from getting a dog earlier because we had moved around a lot, but now we are ready and saving up for one. Can't wait to have our own fuzzy, drooly bundle of puppy joy.

Having done a lot of rescue and foster work for the SPCA, it kills me to see people who get an animal when it is young and cute, just to dump it off somewhere when it gets older and more expensive. My cat is 10 now and getting gritchier every day, but I couldn't imagine getting rid of her. A pet is like a child - you are in it for the long haul.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Stephanie, My husband had hinted not too long ago that he would like to get another puppy, but I think we really have enough with the 2 that we have. I spend 1/2 the day yesterday grooming them :). Thanks for stopping by and hope that this article is of some use to your grandson.

Peg, It is so sad that people get animals for a few years and then they end up adopting them out for various reasons, some that make no sense at all. Thank you I think I will go back and add to this hub about the lifespan of a pet for a consideration as well. Very good point.

Becky, Thank you so much for sharing a great story with us. There are so many animals at the shelters that need loving homes too.

Tommy, I love your picture. Sorry to read about your lab. It is just like losing a family member when they die. Thanks so much for your comments and for coming by to read my hub.


Tommy Shaw profile image

Tommy Shaw 5 years ago from Minnesota

Great hub! We are animal lovers with three cats and three dogs (we just had to bid farewell to our 15 year old lab)! These are great tips that everyone needs to know before bringing a puppy home! Thanks so much and agree - owning a dog is a huge responsibility but oh so worth it!!!


Becky 5 years ago

Thanks for writing a great hub. I had a 3rd family dog and she was a great dog but I had to untrain some of her bad habits. She was 2 when we got her and had already been in 2 families. I felt so sorry for her but I told my husband that I wanted her but if we got her, it was for life. He agreed and we got a great dog. She protected our sons when they were out of the yard and a loose, aggressive dog came towards them. She was in a fenced yard that she didn't leave, but when she saw her boys threatened, she went over without even touching it. She chased the other dog off and then went back in the yard. She also tracked down their hamsters when they got out of the cage. She would bring them to me safe but damp. We never regretted saving her from the shelter.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Susan, Great advice on things to think about first. Some folks think dogs just need a yard and they'll be fine. But dogs love LOVE companionship and crave their humans even experiencing separation anxiety when they're gone. So much to think about.

I saw a "Needs a home" flyer posted in the vet's office yesterday with an explanation that the owners just had twins and they don't have time for a dog now. (WTH?) Did they think a dog only lives a couple of years when they adopted it? A puppy grows up and lives (hopefully) many years. One of ours lived to be sixteen. Something else to consider. Peg


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

Your hub caught my eye because my college aged grandson has been wanting a puppy (they're so cute!). You've done a great job in listing things to consider before getting a dog - I'm sending him a link! I love dogs and cats, and, until recently, always had at least one of each. I want to get another puppy, but your hub reminds me to fully consider what it would entail. Good job!


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Will, We find that with the 2 dogs we tend to travel a lot less than what we used to.

Chatkath, Thanks so much and yes a huge irresponsibility but well they are well worth every minute.

Motown, Mastiffs in a small apartment may just be a little hard :) Gorgeous dogs though. I remember in obedience training this couple had 2 of them and they were great dogs. I worked at a kennel and there was one mastiff that we would get in quite frequently as his owner traveled a lot. He was one of the nicest dogs that boarded with us.


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

Great hub - and I'm in love with Maggie. That said, my husband is a dog lover, and if he had his way we'd breed mastiffs. BUT, we live in a twelve square foot apartment, and the two cats already take up too much space. I'm going to make him read this hub...lol


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Oh I love these puppy pictures and I am so grateful that you did this hub. Dogs are a huge responsibility and also very loving special animals that deserve the very best!!!!

Great Hub Susan.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I've had dogs much of my life, and I love them, but I've reached a point in my life where I'm ready for a break. We want to travel, so when our black lab leaves us, that's it for a while.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Ruby, My grandmother had a chihuahua named Perky. Was the cutest little dog. Poodles are awesome and they don't drool :)


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Shucks, I wanted a doggie until i read that the drool reaches the ceiling, OK, just kidding. I used to always have a dog, usually a Chihuahua, now i think i would like to have a Poodle. Thank you for the great tips.

Cheers


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

SubRon I don't really think Christmas is a good time at all to get a dog. Too much going on with the holidays to properly introduce a puppy into the home. But that is just my opinion as many people do still get dogs at Christmastime.

Cardisa, when I go away I call home and actually talk to my dogs on the phone. Well I do most of the talking :)

drbj, On several occasions my Newfoundland dogs have both been on the bed with my husband and I and it leaves very little room if any. Now that they are getting older they don't tend to want to make the jump up onto the bed.

RH I do hope you do a hub on you mini zoo as I would love to see all those animals.

Ken They sure do change your life. Mine are my second set of children :)

dahoglund, That's a good way to get around the housebreaking but then you miss all those cute puppy days.

Gordon, Yes the animal shelters would be a lot less overcrowded.

Thanks everyone for stopping by to read and for your comments.


Gordon Hamilton profile image

Gordon Hamilton 5 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

A lot of very good advice and valid points for people to consider, Susan. I'm sure if more people took heed of these facts, there would be a lot fewer puppies abandoned at a young age by owners who can't cope.


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

You wrote a good article here about what to expect with a new doe. We have bypassed the initial housebreaking by getting dogs that are older.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Excellent. Good information for anyone thinking about adopting a dog as a friend. Like you I've had dogs all my life. For the past eight years its been a Sheltie named Gus who goes almost everywhere with us.

Unfortunately too many people purchase pups without ever knowing even basic information. I tell people that a puppy is no different than a baby. It will change their life. Thanks for a great read. Enjoy Maggie Magz.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Oh and Susan - I know my husband would not prefer to have all the animals. But I love them and he loves me - so he deals:) I clean up after them and I say if he can't look around and tell they are here I'm doing fine:). Most of the pets are - well maybe I should do a hub and link it here:)!!!! You've even figured out the title - My Mini Zoo! Lol you're a genius!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

This is a lot of very good and realistic information for present or incipient dog lovers. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, Susan.

Before my present work which didn't require traveling, I always had a dog - usually a toy poodle. There was never any question where the dog would sleep. On the pillow above mommy's (me) head. Just don't try this with a St. Bernard.


Cardisa profile image

Cardisa 5 years ago from Jamaica

Hey Susan, a good morning it is. This hub is close to my heart as an animal lover too. I work away from home and miss my animals a lot. I ask about their well being quite frequently that my fiancé gets a little jealous.

Good job!


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

A very good collection of comments, Just Ask Susan. I tend to go along with Merlin Fraser: "A dog is not just for Christmas" but a lot of people seem to think that "cuteness" will last and last. As for the "laws" you mentioned. That's Canada. Down here, I don't know for sure, but I think it's still a "free for all" chaos. Walk into any pet store and buy that "cute" creature that the kids love, but, I'll bet in most cases, need I say who will usually get the job of care.... I love dogs too, but I "don't" love too many dog owners.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

RH, Sounds like you have your very own zoo :) I am grateful that I have hardwood floors as I would hate to have to vacuum all through the house. Maggie sleeps downstairs to guard the house at night and Bruce he's a Mama's boy sleeps on the floor on my side of the bed.

SubRon, I have run across a couple of breeders that in order to qualify to purchase a puppy you have to fill out this huge questionnaire and if they do not like what they see they will not sell you the pup. In the city where I live if you have your dogs fixed you get a license for half price. I suppose that is a good incentive.

DzyMsLizzy, I am grateful to have only one of my Newf's that drools. But man does it ever fly when he shakes. :)

I loved that movie Beethoven.

marellen, We did have a cat at the same time as the Newfs and the cat used to taunt those poor dogs. It could get pretty crazy when the chase fest started. The cat would lay under the couch and stick his paw out as if to say "HaHa can't get me under here, just try".

nightbear, I so agree with you all the work is well worth it. My old boss wanted me to take home one of her champion Newfs as she was no longer showing her. I had to decline but would have loved to. Can you imagine 3 Newf's as house pets lol.

Silent Whisperer, It is very hard when one of your pets passes as they are members of the family. So sorry to read that you recently lost a dog.

Merlin, I want to go away next week perhaps you would let me drop off my 2 Newf's at your house. They are not much trouble and are well behaved. However they do take up a lot of room :) Yes it would be nice to have someone like you where I could drop the dogs off with, but in my case I would not do that to anyone that is a friend.

There are people that collect dog hair to make sweaters. I don't think I would want to wear a dog hair sweater though.

Well I sure hope that your friend appreciates all that you do for him.

Radioguy, Yes for sure after every nap too.

Thanks everyone for all the great comments.


Radioguy profile image

Radioguy 5 years ago from Maine

Important info here. Be sure and take the puppy outside after EVERY nap. Well done!


Merlin Fraser profile image

Merlin Fraser 5 years ago from Cotswold Hills

Hi Susan,

Wonderful advice but I think you missed a bit, Dog owners need good and understanding friends. You know the type of doggie owners I'm talking about, "Love me Love my Mutt !"

I think what you really need if you have a dog(s) is you have to have a MUG (Short for Muggins) close at hand.

A Muggins is a close friend too dumb to say NO when you need a place to dump the dog for a period of time...

Every dog owner has to have a constant supply of these if a normal life is required.

I have a friend who has just set up a new business who also who has two Labradors who need a doggie sitter on occasions.

Problem is the occasions seem to be getting more frequent and I have just ended up with the dogs for a weekend. Don’t get me wrong, they are great dogs, friendly and gentle and well trained BUT... they are still dogs, I live in a small flat and we have just had one of those summer weekends for which Britain is rightly famous... Yep ! It piddled with rain for most of the time.

Trying to cover two soggy Labradors with a towel before one and or the other can shake and redecorate the hallway is near impossible so I have spent the last two days washing down walls and dehairing my beige rugs. So far I have collected enough loose dog hair to knit a new dog...!

To all those thinking of getting a cute little cuddly puppy just remember;

“A dog is not just for Christmas ! Be like me and have Turkey !”


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

I have always had a dog and we actually got a new dog 6 months ago. She is a Staffordshire Bull terrier and she is one of the most loving dog I have ever. Buddy our cross between a Staffie and Jack Russell was my favourite but he died last September and I was heart broken. Be warned when you get a dog be aware that you and your children are likely to outlive your canine buddy. When the time comes for him/her to go it can be quite heart breaking. Thank you for another great hub.


nightbear profile image

nightbear 5 years ago from Michiagn, USA

I too have had dogs (and cats) my whole life. And they are actually a lot of work, but it is so worth it, the unconditional love they give you is not to be taken lightly. That love is so necessary in so many ways that anything needed by the dog is just okay.


marellen 5 years ago

Really good and informative hub. No dogs in this household for now...just my cat...who rules....lol


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

Excellent advice. Newfies!! OMG I love them, they are so beautiful, and so mournful looking.. I've never had one, but a cousin of mine did--and no, you do NOT want to be in the way of a drooling Newf when they decide to shake! The movie "Beethoven" didn't exaggerate by much...LOL...(even thought that was a St. Bernard, and not a Newfie)...they share that drool trait. ;-)

Voted up and useful!!!


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 5 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Just Ask Susan, you have written a great hub. There are a lot of idiot people out there who have dogs. I think in order to have a dog a person should have to pass a test, just like a driver's license. I grew up on a farm and we always had a dog. Our dogs stayed home. Some neighbors' dogs didn't, and those idiot dog owners just doubled and quadrupled in town. Now I live in the country again and I would love to have a dog again, but, being alone, I refuse to get a dog until I can be there for it just as if it was a human child. Unfortunately I still have to be gone a lot, so my dog days may never happen again. Again, great hub.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

First - I'm dying laughing right now (I have 13 animals - 1 bird just died:( I had 14) I do have to swifter or vacume daily - if I skip you can tell! But I think I might have just figured out why Mr. Peanut (mini daschund) is getting fat! I bet the kids are feeding him again. He will pick up his bowl with his teeth and bang it on the floor for food:) thanks - I'm going to make it a one person chore and see if he loses weight.

Your dogs are adorable! Susan - I love my dogs - they are so lovable and sweet - And they like to sleep in front of the door at night - no one will get in this house:)! Lol

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working