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Dog

RhinoRhino TheRhinLOLRegistered User regular
edited January 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Anyone have one of these? A dog?

I've been thinking about getting one. My ex-girlfriend had one and I loved it to death. I would take it out running/walking and it seemed extremely smart for an animal.

I didn't have to clean up after it or feed it though.

Anyways, I was wondering a few things:
(I was thinking of getting a German Shepard)

How much exercise does it need daily?
What do you do in winter? On the worse days here it can get -30 windchill.

I love running (every day) in spring/summer/fall. I ussually run 20-30 minutes or 2/3 miles during good weather.

Is that enough exercise for it?

Can it go 8 hours without peeing/pooping? (while I'm at work).

What do you do with it when you go on vacation or travel?

How hard are they to train? I've never trained an animal before.

How much does food, vet, other - cost per month?
I got two kittens and ended up paying over $2K just for "normal" vet bills (check ups, getting them fixed, etc).

I have two "kittens" (and a full grown cat). I was thinking of getting a puppy.
They should be ok, right? If I get a puppy instead of a full grown dog (so he grows up with them).

How much does a German Shepard puppy cost?

How much do they poop? I have a small yard (8th of an acre).
Do you have to clean up it's poop or does it fertilize and decompose into the grass?

Does it need to run around the yard if I run it 20-30 minutes a day (2-3 miles)?

I plan on letting it live in doors. Is that ok?
Should I tie it to a tree during the day so that it can run around?

Do you have to give it a bath or is it self cleaning like a cat?
If so, how much do you have to wash them?

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Rhino on

Posts

  • OskiOski Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    My dad has bred and trained German Shepherds all his life and I gleaned some things from him.

    Puppies should be played with and exercised until their tired. When their young don't take them out more than once or twice a day. As they grow older you can take them out more. Mainly when their young you want to play and exercise with them so their muscles grow. And to socialize with them so they learn to love people.

    20-30 minutes of running is probably a good amount for an 8 month- adult dog. I wouldn't run with them that much until then though, as you run the risk of exhausting them or making them bored.

    My dad mostly kept his dogs in runs, which are outdoor enclosures. They're enough room for the dog to run around a bit in but still fenced off so they can't run away or destroy the back yard. However, this depends on the dog. If you have a very good tempered GSD (and most of them tends towards being good tempered), you can just let him into the backyard when your at work and clean up when you get home. Keeping a dog inside for 8 hours is not a really good idea. They can probably hold it together but its better not to risk it.

    For vacation or travel, it depends on the length of the trip. If your just going to be gone for a day or two, you can leave a big bucket of water and a sizable container of food outside for them. However, anything longer you should probably check them into a private kennel, which are sort of "dog hotels". For a per day fee people will feed them, give them water, let them exercise, and clean up after them.

    As far as the food/vet cost, expect it to be fairly sizable. With vet bills you can expect something similar to kittens as far as my knowledge (although my dad gave all of his vaccinations himself, as he believed vaccinating the pup with a weaker strain of the virus reduced the chance of getting them ill). Keep in mind though that with vet vaccinations they are injecting your puppy with a virus and that pups can die from it if its too much for their system (they won't die from the virus, just like the fever and runs, dehydration, etc.). So keep that in mind.

    You should always buy good food. Don't scrimp on food. Buy good food and serve them moderate amounts, vs. buying cheap food and giving them as much as they want. One is healthy, the other is not.

    If you get a pup, be VERY FUCKING CAREFUL with it around kittens. Puppies are very lovable and trusting, kittens tend to be high strung as fuck. Full grown cats will swipe at a puppies eyes if they think its a threat, and they could blind your puppy if your not careful. If you plan on having them be friends with each other, let them get to know each other WHILE YOUR AROUND and make sure they can be friendly. Keep them seperated while your away, at least until the puppy can grow up enough to protect itself (around 4-5 months they're big enough that no cat would really fuck with them).

    GSD pups can be expensive, if your going purebred. My dad sold pups for anywhere from $500- $3000, depending on the lines. You could adopt one, or buy a mixed breed. All depends. You might find a deal as well, if you buy a female from a breeder and let the breeder use her as a mom whenever he wants (breeders will sell you females at a discount if you sign a contract that says the breeder can breed the dog whenever he wants and keep the puppies).

    You'll always need to clean up poop. Keep a bag for it and throw the shit in the garbage bin on trash day.

    You can let it live indoors, but during the day let it run around outside. Don't tie it to a tree, thats just cruel. Let them run around and have fun.

    You'll have to give puppies baths every now and again. They never clean themselves. Wash them whenever they start to smell or if they have things in their coat.

    Hope that helps.

    Oski on
  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Wow. That's a lot of, um, really basic stuff. First off, a lot of these questions depend on the breed you get: exercise, space, temperature tolerance, affability to smaller animals (prey drive), and grooming requirements are all over the freaking board.

    Generally, though, 8 hours is too long for a grown dog to hold it, and way too long for a puppy; when you're housebreaking, you need to take them out every couple of hours, absolute minimum.

    Puppy prices also vary widely depending on whether you spring for a popular-breed purebred puppy from a good non-mill breeder, or get a rescue or shelter dog. An older rescue dog will have a known temperament, usually be housetrained, have its shots and be neutered already.

    Check out this show (and site, of course) to figure out whether you really want a sheperd. They're very active, very loyal, and crazy smart, but I dunno if they can stand cold up to your area's.

    DO NOT tie it to a tree during the day! A properly exercised and entertained dog will stay in the yard and do its business (which does not break down into neat fertilizer very quickly, as I recall, unless you mash it around?). Keeping it in the house is an okay idea, of course assuming it's trained and exercised and okay with your cats. If it stays outside in good weather, make sure it has a dog house or kennel for shelter, and lots of toys.

    Aoi Tsuki on
  • supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Can it go 8 hours without peeing/pooping? (while I'm at work).

    Maybe, but don’t expect that arrangement to work out. Tou should really hire a dog walker if the dog is alone for more than six hours.

    How much exercise does it need daily?

    German shepards are sheepdogs. Ideally, the need to be engaged in some kind of work for 8 – 12 hours a day. They can get by on a lot less, but don’t buy from someone who breeds working dogs.

    What do you do in winter? On the worse days here it can get -30 windchill.

    Put a sweater on the dog and walk it. But you might be lucky and have a dog that hates the cold and just sleeps on really cold days.

    I love running (every day) in spring/summer/fall. I ussually run 20-30 minutes or 2/3 miles during good weather.

    Maybe. Especially if you have a yard that the dog can run in at other times.

    What do you do with it when you go on vacation or travel?

    Get someone else to take care of it.

    How much does food, vet, other - cost per month?

    It depends. A dog that size with no health problems, eating good dog food, is going to run under $100 a month. Vet bills will be at least a few hundred dollars a year, and vary wildly from vet to vet. Dogs with health problems can cost thousands of dollars more every year (or every month!).

    I have two "kittens" (and a full grown cat). They should be ok, right?

    Yes. But seriously, just stick with three animals. That’s enough. Get a dog after you’re married and settled.

    How much does a German Shepard puppy cost?

    A good one that’s not likely to have hip dysplasia will be $500-$3000 depending on what part of the country you’re in and when you buy it. They cost less in spring and winter, and are much less expensive in middle America than on the coasts. But just adopt a mutt that would otherwise be euthanized.

    I plan on letting it live in doors. Is that ok?

    No. Get a small dog. Don’t get a dog that’s supposed to be work outside twelve hours a day. Especially if you value your furniture.

    Should I tie it to a tree during the day so that it can run around?

    No. That just makes dogs mean.

    Do you have to give it a bath…how much do you have to wash them?

    Yes, you have to wash them when they stink. And brush them.

    supabeast on
  • EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Oski wrote: »
    For vacation or travel, it depends on the length of the trip. If your just going to be gone for a day or two, you can leave a big bucket of water and a sizable container of food outside for them.

    Most larger dogs will probably eat that in one go.
    Get a friend/neighbour to feed them.

    EskimoDave on
  • OskiOski Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    EskimoDave wrote: »
    Oski wrote: »
    For vacation or travel, it depends on the length of the trip. If your just going to be gone for a day or two, you can leave a big bucket of water and a sizable container of food outside for them.

    Most larger dogs will probably eat that in one go.
    Get a friend/neighbour to feed them.

    Actually they don't, if its large enough. Most dogs just eat until their full and stop.

    Oski on
  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Do you not have a fence around your yard? Cause if you're leaving him outside for the day, which you'll more or less need to if you're gone for eight hours, having it tied up like that is cruel.

    If you aren't able to leave it outside while you're gone then you'll need to hire someone (professional or neighborhood kid or even just ask a neighbor) to let it out mid day for you.

    And while walking it 2/3 of a mile is certainly good for it, that's all it is if that takes you 20-30 minutes to get that far. That's not a run, that's a slow jog for a person and an average walk for a big dog.

    Though your utter and complete lack of knowledge screams you need a small to, at most, medium sized dog. And definitely one of the smarter ones.

    Quid on
  • Kate of LokysKate of Lokys Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Given your lengthy history of pet problems, you should absolutely not be thinking about adding a large, active working dog to your menagerie.

    You already have three cats, all of whom have already had an assortment of health and behavioural problems over the past few months. You've also said on several occasions that you barely have enough money to adequately care for your current animals. And now you want another pet?

    Learn how to look after the ones you have first. I don't want to come off as overly harsh here, but in your situation, I think it would be extremely irresponsible of you to get a dog. Your cats have just gotten used to living with each other... throwing another species into the mix would stress them way the fuck out, and they would start acting up again, and your next thread would be asking for advice on the best way to get rid of three cats :(

    Kate of Lokys on
  • QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I was not aware of those other threads. No you are not ready to take care of a German Shepard.

    Quid on
  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Thirded. Keep this handy for when things have calmed down. :/

    Aoi Tsuki on
  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'm going to go ahead and concur with the guys above me. German shepherds are brilliant, fantastic pets (oh, the stories I could tell you about my dog Major,) but they really need to be challenged. This is not the time for you to get another pet.

    Terrendos on
  • RocketScienceRocketScience Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Oski wrote: »
    EskimoDave wrote: »
    Oski wrote: »
    For vacation or travel, it depends on the length of the trip. If your just going to be gone for a day or two, you can leave a big bucket of water and a sizable container of food outside for them.

    Most larger dogs will probably eat that in one go.
    Get a friend/neighbour to feed them.

    Actually they don't, if its large enough. Most dogs just eat until their full and stop.

    Labradors are never full.

    RocketScience on
  • illigillig Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Oski wrote: »
    EskimoDave wrote: »
    Oski wrote: »
    For vacation or travel, it depends on the length of the trip. If your just going to be gone for a day or two, you can leave a big bucket of water and a sizable container of food outside for them.

    Most larger dogs will probably eat that in one go.
    Get a friend/neighbour to feed them.

    Actually they don't, if its large enough. Most dogs just eat until their full and stop.

    yeeeeesh... don't just assume that b/c a dog you had experience with would stop eating, all other dogs will do the same...

    many dogs will continue eating until the food is gone... and eat themselves into bloat or other problems... it's absolutely NOT recommended to just leave a bunch of food out for a dog, like you would for a cat

    and OP... you seem to have entirely too many pet issues with your cats as is, mostly due to general cluelessness about animals... i would really not recommend adding a large dog to your menagerie

    illig on
  • Darth WaiterDarth Waiter Elrond Hubbard Mordor XenuRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Oski wrote: »
    EskimoDave wrote: »
    Oski wrote: »
    For vacation or travel, it depends on the length of the trip. If your just going to be gone for a day or two, you can leave a big bucket of water and a sizable container of food outside for them.

    Most larger dogs will probably eat that in one go.
    Get a friend/neighbour to feed them.

    Actually they don't, if its large enough. Most dogs just eat until their full and stop.

    Labradors are never full.

    It's really quite ridiculous; my dad's side of the family are lab crazy and they will eat and eat and eat if you let them. We had a champion bird dog named Corky who was almost as big as a great dane and he could polish off three cups of good kibble in about two minutes. Also, labs, shepherds and huskies are all incredibly social dogs that thrive on the structure that humans provide.

    p.s. Wassup, big D? :P

    Darth Waiter on
  • jefe414jefe414 "My Other Drill Hole is a Teleporter" Mechagodzilla is Best GodzillaRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    If you want a friendly, easy going pet, adopt a greyhound.

    jefe414 on
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  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Labradors are never full.

    So very, very true - they will only stop when it makes them sick.

    I can remember a few occasions where one of the labs my family used to have, in his younger days, managed to either rip open a food bag in the garage or get the lid off the can we used for food storage....And then we found him later sprawled out on the deck with a visibly distended stomach and a dejected "Oh god, why didn't you guys TELL me this would happen?!" look on his face.

    And of course other times they would eat rocks, plastic straws, corn husks, sticks, each other's collars, etc. etc.

    Anyway, I do unfortunately have to agree with the other posters, Rhino - based on the other problems and some of the questions you ask, you don't sound like you're ready for a dog at this point, especially a large high-maintenance one like a german shepherd.

    Deathwing on
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  • EskimoDaveEskimoDave Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Oski wrote: »
    EskimoDave wrote: »
    Oski wrote: »
    For vacation or travel, it depends on the length of the trip. If your just going to be gone for a day or two, you can leave a big bucket of water and a sizable container of food outside for them.

    Most larger dogs will probably eat that in one go.
    Get a friend/neighbour to feed them.

    Actually they don't, if its large enough. Most dogs just eat until their full and stop.

    Labradors are never full.

    Neither are Akitas.

    EskimoDave on
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Just a note, raising a puppy with cats does NOT guarantee it will be good/friendly with cats as an adult. Some dogs can be raised with cats and still see them as "furry running prey" when they grow up. Especially ones who were bred to hunt small animals, like sighthounds, terriers, and daschunds.

    Getting an adult dog who is already good with cats is a better guarantee of getting a cat-friendly dog.

    Regarding German shepherds in particular: they are a very popular and overbred breed. By that I mean there are thousands of people breeding them with no regard for health or temperment, people who are only in it for $$$. They are notorious for having horrible hip problems. Absolutely do NOT buy a puppy from any breeder who hasn't had the dog-parents hip tested with the OFA tests for hips and elbows. Once you get the parent dog's full pedigree name (like "Pendleton's Gracious Queen Annie" or whatever) you can look on the OFA website to see if they were tested and to see the test results.

    Price. A good breeder will probably be fairly pricey, especially since GSDs ARE so popular. Also all those health tests cost money so they charge more to make up for the tests.

    Poop will eventually decompose, but not before making your lawn disgusting and smelly. So yes, you do have to poop and scoop.

    LadyM on
  • HewnHewn Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    A German shepherd is about the worst breed if you're thinking "Hmm, maybe a dog."

    My puppy is 4 months old now and basically requires double the attention of any other puppy I've had. He needs constant activity, such as training, playing, or going for walks. Failure to do these things results in him finding his own fun, which is bad news for anything in that can be chewed.

    Hewn on
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  • elmoelmo Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Id recommend getting a book on dogs, prefferably one with subjects ranging from puppy to adult dogs.
    Check out amazon or ask at your local vet for any recommendations they might have

    elmo on
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