Author Topic: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?  (Read 1545 times)

BlueHouse

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I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« on: June 05, 2019, 09:36:50 AM »
Of course as I get to know my dog, I grow to love him.  But I'm spending a shit-ton of money on this dog.  What is necessary and what is not?  Give me your wisdom!

I've had this small breed, youngish (2 y.o.) for less than 2 months and I've spent well over $1000 on quality food, healthy treats (trying to train him), toys (trying to keep him occupied so he doesn't chew furniture), blankets, beds, other accoutrements, recreation (doggie day-care).  I haven't even started with the grooming cycle yet! 

Any advice?   

Cromacster

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2019, 10:01:06 AM »
1) They're dogs.  They're pretty happy if they're fed, clean, sheltered, and have mental stimulation.  Most of the other BS is stuff people project on the dog.

2) Just like for people, marketers are out there trying to get to you buy everything under the sun for your dog.  My dog has a few dogs beds that were around $100, half the time he sleeps on the floor.  See number 1

3) Make your own treats or just use people food (cheese, hot dogs).  Most dog treats that can be bought seem sketchy to me anyway.

4) Ditch the doggie day care.  Dogs aren't people and don't need dog "friends".  You are it's pack, it would much rather hang out with you than spend time in a lord of the flies theme park.  If it's time or exercise that's lacking get more walks or training in.  Or hire a dog walker.

5) Do socialize your dog with other dogs in controlled environement.  ie with a friend that has a dog who is good around other dogs.  Limit the amount of free play until the dogs are comfortable around each other.  Comfortable means they should each be chill lying down near eachother not worrying about the other dog constantly.  In my experience this can take a few weeks (or more) depending on the dog.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 10:15:12 AM by Cromacster »

Cromacster

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2019, 10:09:32 AM »
Another big thing that I'd recommend is making your dog work for food and hand feed every meal.

Use food for training, so every meal involves a training session.  Just keep doing whatever training your working on, but instead of a treat, give some food (grab a few pieces from the bowl and feed it to the dog from your hand).  When you have done enough training for the session hand feed the rest of the food for the meal.

This helps build trust with a new dog.  It also helps the dog learn that good things come from you.

StarBright

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2019, 10:10:08 AM »
We found that it was pretty intense in the first few months that we owned our dog (about 6 months). We spent money on vets and chew toys especially. Then the dog settled down. Eventually we didn't need to buy treats for training, he stopped chewing stuff so we stopped buying so many bully sticks, and he stopped eating bad for him things out of curiosity so we weren't running him to the vet anymore.

We do still send ours to doggy daycare, but that is only because all the boarders around here also insist that you use them for doggy daycare at least once a week if you ever want to board your dog. So he goes once a week and he loves it.

I suspect the spending will die down soon. I also second buying cheap hot dogs for training (my dog like them better than fancy, organic, healthy treats anyway and trained much better).

Also, see if you can do basic grooming yourself. We have a long haired, hairy doodle dog who is meant to look fluffy. Frequent brushing with conditioner/spray in cleaner means we don't need to pay professional groomers as often. We also trim around his face, ears, legs and butt ourselves to keep him cleaner and spread time between grooming visits.

haflander

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2019, 10:17:10 AM »
Holy crap...I spend well under 100 a month on my 50 pound mutt. It is a dog, not a human. Also, I love my dog and we have great times together and mutual respect. I don't have any worse of a relationship with my dog by treating her like a dog instead of a human baby (don't get me wrong, we still cuddle a ton and my dog sleeps on our bed instead of her dog bed). Similarly, I don't think I'm a worse owner than those who spoil their dog; I actually believe I'm a better owner :)

Fancy Food: maybe, depends on the owner. I give my dog the cheapest food I can find. We recently switched from Pedigree to Kirkland due to my gf's concerns. Costco, $30 for 50 pounds, which lasts ~3 months. Vet says this is fine.
Treats: I buy them on the cheap from Costco and cheap places like TJ Maxx or Marshall's. Break them up in the smallest pieces possible. Idk how much I spend, but it's less than the $10 a month I spend on food.
Toys: Same as above. I guess we average about one toy a month for $10. They don't need a ton to prevent them from destroying stuff*
Blankets: Free, because the dog gets the old human blankets we don't want anymore. Buy a new blanket for a dog?? HA! It's a dog, not a baby human.
Recreation: I never do daycare. At most, I could understand doing it rarely to train it to be social and fine with other dogs. But it's completely unnecessary on a routine basis IMO. Train the dog to be fine on its own at home*
Grooming: I never do this as mine is a short hair and sheds year-round, especially right now in TX. Idk about price or frequency. I'm guessing if yours is a type with hair that grows long, then grooming at a cheap place every once in a while is fine.

*You should really crate train the dog, even if you don't want to leave them in it all day when you're gone. Chew on the furniture? Yell and point at it (make sure they see the chewed thing) before/after being put in the crate. I believe dogs are smarter than we give them credit for. By putting them in the crate after they've misbehaved, they will learn quickly that the behavior is the reason they are in the crate. Then, they realize that if they don't chew furniture or do whatever other bad thing, then they don't have to spend the whole day in the crate and can be left alone in the house.
You should also crate train for irregular circumstances. Someone else is watching your dog? Fine, take the crate to their house so everyone is 100% sure the dog won't do anything bad while they are at work. Maintenance working in my apt at an unknown time on that day? Crate (I leave the dog in the bedroom for that, but you get it).
My dog has never once chewed furniture for any reason. One exception is when she scratched and clawed thick carpet trying to get out of a room when staying with my parents. I think a circuit shorted and she just lost it that time.
Our crate is stored away and hardly ever used because the dog has been trained to be fine in the apt when we're gone.
A big trick to training is to establish your authority in the first few months. This means disciplining bad behavior and limiting cuddles and baby talk until the dog respects you as an alpha. You may have already messed this up and it's too late... not sure :/

sisto

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2019, 10:21:25 AM »
They do cost money. Just had one of mine in for removal of a mass cell tumor. They tested it and the margins weren't good on one side so in for surgery number 2 to get the rest of it. But I digress. To answer your original question, here's what I do. Get your food from Costco. They have a very high quality dog food at a great price. I also supplement that with home cooked food. Yes, my dogs are spoiled. They get half dry and the other half is one of the following mixtures I make of beef, chicken, turkey, or pork. I buy the cheapest ground beef I can find and cook it up, then add rice or sweet potato and either a bag of frozen green beans for peas to it. With chicken I get the costco one and pull off the larger pieces of meat for a human dinner. Then the rest gets put aside and the bones and skin go into the pressure cooker for 2 hours. Then strain off broth. Use broth to make the rice sometimes for added flavor. Then the rest of the meat is pulled off the chicken and bones and some broth go into the blender with some broth. That mixture gets the chicken pieces back in it with a starch and veggie. I do the same with turkey carcass. With pork I buy a cheap cut and pressure cook it then shred it, again add a starch and a veggie. My dogs are happy and healthy. I also give them tid bits of human food for treats and make sure they have dental treats for keeping teeth cleaned since that's a big expense and bones break teeth as do antlers and other hard materials, learned from experience on that. Bully sticks from Costco are good to keep them busy too. Lastly just a simple walk works well to keep them happy. I agree that you don't really need doggy day care and they just want to be with you, but some dogs do need extra stimulation. I had one that I need to exercise a ton as well as provide toys and things to keep his mind working. Just spend time to get a feel for what your dog enjoys and or needs.

BlueHouse

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2019, 10:23:14 AM »
I hadn't even considered most of these things!  Thanks.  I'll definitely try making my own dog treats (including hot dogs). 
Hand feeding the dog.  -- I don't really believe in coddling, but what you've said makes perfect sense.  Will try this. 
I think I'll try a professional grooming at least once so I can learn something about it.  I've almost given up on trimming the nails myself.  How do you do it with just one person?  This dog is very wiggledy.
Doggie daycare -- I have similar requirements, but not so restrictive.  I had just settled on once every 2 weeks - to keep the pup socialized and exercised and to get him out of the house when the cleaners come.  Other than that, I walk him 4 times a day for a minimum of 1 mile each walk.  At about 2.5 miles (in one trip) he settles down, but I can't spend that much time every walk.  I am also trying out bicycling with him, but that's a bit dangerous, unless I take him to a long straight park.  I take him to dog parks 2-3 times per week, which he seems to really enjoy most of the time.  He loves meeting dogs on the street and will pounce on every dog that lets him.  He also gets the zoomies a lot and I'm told I need to get him training so that he'll at least come when called. 
Dog beds -- he seems to like the cheap ones, but he does like having a space that he knows is his.  I take one with me when we visit family and it seems to make him relax faster.  I did get one from a neighbor who outgrew, but the pup has no interest in it, other than sniffing.  It seems a bit big to throw in the washer though.   

sisto

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2019, 10:37:19 AM »
The nail trimming is a tough one. I used to do it myself, but hit the quick one time and my dog hasn't forgiven me and now gets the other 2 riled up so I rarely do it myself now. If you use a groomer they can do it. I have never had a dog I've had to take to a groomer, but I see the need on long haired dogs. I definitely would do that myself if I had a dog that needed it. Pretty easy to run some clippers, but I cut my own hair and my families hair myself so not afraid of them. Probably pretty easy to even just get grooming done and upkeep for a bit with a pair of scissors, I've done that for my parents dog before.

It sounds like your dog is high energy if you walk it that much and still have chewing issues. Toys and chewies will be your friend here. Just make sure to have a variety and it helps to take the dog shopping to pick out the toys, or just buy a ton of sale ones. I even used to by stuffed animals from the dollar store. Chewy and tearing stuff up relieves anxiety and gets out that extra energy. I have never had much of an issue with dogs chewing things they were supposed to by giving them plenty of things they can have.

Good luck with your new friend. Seems like that's one lucky dog!

Cromacster

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2019, 10:43:06 AM »
I hadn't even considered most of these things!  Thanks.  I'll definitely try making my own dog treats (including hot dogs). 
Hand feeding the dog.  -- I don't really believe in coddling, but what you've said makes perfect sense.  Will try this. 
I think I'll try a professional grooming at least once so I can learn something about it.  I've almost given up on trimming the nails myself.  How do you do it with just one person?  This dog is very wiggledy.
Doggie daycare -- I have similar requirements, but not so restrictive.  I had just settled on once every 2 weeks - to keep the pup socialized and exercised and to get him out of the house when the cleaners come.  Other than that, I walk him 4 times a day for a minimum of 1 mile each walk.  At about 2.5 miles (in one trip) he settles down, but I can't spend that much time every walk.  I am also trying out bicycling with him, but that's a bit dangerous, unless I take him to a long straight park.  I take him to dog parks 2-3 times per week, which he seems to really enjoy most of the time.  He loves meeting dogs on the street and will pounce on every dog that lets him.  He also gets the zoomies a lot and I'm told I need to get him training so that he'll at least come when called. 
Dog beds -- he seems to like the cheap ones, but he does like having a space that he knows is his.  I take one with me when we visit family and it seems to make him relax faster.  I did get one from a neighbor who outgrew, but the pup has no interest in it, other than sniffing.  It seems a bit big to throw in the washer though.

This isn't coddling.  The dog has to earn its food.  This is a controversial method, because if the dog doesn't want to train, it doesn't eat.  Eventually the dog will get hungry enough where it will figure out that listening to you means great things happen (food).

I'll see if I can find a website or youtube that covers this method well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IxprQ8JgHk  This guy explains the basics pretty good, but ignore his training haha

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D8M7QxfGKc This guy covers more of the theory behind it.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 10:50:56 AM by Cromacster »

BlueHouse

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2019, 11:01:24 AM »
I hadn't even considered most of these things!  Thanks.  I'll definitely try making my own dog treats (including hot dogs). 
Hand feeding the dog.  -- I don't really believe in coddling, but what you've said makes perfect sense.  Will try this. 
I think I'll try a professional grooming at least once so I can learn something about it.  I've almost given up on trimming the nails myself.  How do you do it with just one person?  This dog is very wiggledy.
Doggie daycare -- I have similar requirements, but not so restrictive.  I had just settled on once every 2 weeks - to keep the pup socialized and exercised and to get him out of the house when the cleaners come.  Other than that, I walk him 4 times a day for a minimum of 1 mile each walk.  At about 2.5 miles (in one trip) he settles down, but I can't spend that much time every walk.  I am also trying out bicycling with him, but that's a bit dangerous, unless I take him to a long straight park.  I take him to dog parks 2-3 times per week, which he seems to really enjoy most of the time.  He loves meeting dogs on the street and will pounce on every dog that lets him.  He also gets the zoomies a lot and I'm told I need to get him training so that he'll at least come when called. 
Dog beds -- he seems to like the cheap ones, but he does like having a space that he knows is his.  I take one with me when we visit family and it seems to make him relax faster.  I did get one from a neighbor who outgrew, but the pup has no interest in it, other than sniffing.  It seems a bit big to throw in the washer though.

This isn't coddling.  The dog has to earn its food.  This is a controversial method, because if the dog doesn't want to train, it doesn't eat.  Eventually the dog will get hungry enough where it will figure out that listening to you means great things happen (food).

I'll see if I can find a website or youtube that covers this method well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IxprQ8JgHk  This guy explains the basics pretty good, but ignore his training haha

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D8M7QxfGKc This guy covers more of the theory behind it.

My dog seems willing to learn - if there's a treat in front of him.  When we're out on a walk, he will do what I want until he gets the treat and then he does what he wants.  And then I wave another treat in front of him, etc.  Actually, training is going pretty well and he can now sit, stay, leave it, take it.   He also knows to go directly into his crate and wait for his nighttime dental chew after his last walk.  And his crate training is perfect (someone must have done this before he was abandoned because he's really good at it, loves the crate, and I wouldn't have had the heart).  Sometimes I come home and he's just hanging out in the crate waiting for me.  (I'm experimenting to see if he can be trusted alone, he's too anxious to play/chew/etc...he just stares at the door waiting for my return)

 I'm just having a lot of trouble with "come".  Sure he'll come if I have food, but not if there's another dog that he wants to play with or a tree that he wants to sniff. 

He MIGHT be learning that I'm the boss.  He's not rushing me at the door any more, and he waits until I say it's okay for him to approach his food.  But out on the leash, he wants to lead until he's completely done peeing on every single blade of grass that has ever been peed on before and then he'll walk next to me while looking at me like "aren't I such a good boy?" 



Roadrunner53

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2019, 11:08:48 AM »
First, I would recommend if you already have not is have the vet check over the dog and get all the shots it needs.

If it is messed up and needs flea treatment, get it from the vet.

If your dog is the type that needs grooming, start it right away. I have two dogs that get groomed. One dog is old and still hates it. Some dogs have hair growing in their ears that need pulled out and the groomer can do that. Some dogs have so much hair, they get matted at their butts and can't poo.

I would NOT feed your dog the cheapest dog food. Another question for the vet to see what the recommend. Or at least do an internet search for the best dog food for your pet. Good food will keep your dog healthy for years to come. Do not feed it chicken bones or most bones due to them getting it caught in their throat. I saved a strange dog from choking one time due to a chicken bone caught in its throat. Make sure their water is clean every day. If it is dirty, clean it twice a day. Dogs get sick from dirty things too.

Dogs like regularity like being fed at the same time every day. My dogs will notice anything out of place and bark if they see something moved.

Always keep your dog on a leash, or in a gated yard and never left alone in a hot car.

They liked to be talked to and learn a vocabulary over time. Water, leash, car, ride, let's go, come, up (stairs), down (quit jumping), dinner, eat, go to bed, get the ball, fetch, NO. Tell them they are good boys or girls.

Socialize your dog around people and other dogs. My dogs were not socialized and we have no family or few visitors and my one dog is very aggressive towards strangers. Very bad indeed.

Both my dogs are old and one who is almost 11 years old has cancer and we have him on a million meds and he goes to the vet a lot, he also had chemo treatments. The other dog is 15 1/2 and has recently developed a minor kidney issue. He is on special Vet dog food for kidney disorders but takes no meds. The other one is also on special vet food for weight maintenance. Very expensive. Before they were on this special dog food they were always fed really good dog foods.

Good luck with your new dog!

DadJokes

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2019, 11:44:53 AM »
We had two dogs but had to re-home one due to him not getting along well with our newborn.

As for our other dog, she is also a small dog and has been very well behaved. She is healthy, so her expenses have been pretty minimal. Our allocated budget is divided as such:

Groomer: $27.50 ($55 every other month)
Dog Food: $23.50 ($70 every 3 months for 2 bags of quality dry food)
Vet/Misc: $20 (this covers vaccinations and the occasional toy or bucket of liver treats)

$71/month is pricey, but I know that dogs can be a lot more expensive, especially bigger dogs or dogs with health problems.

We didn't bother to go through formal training. We simply taught her through positive reinforcement to use the bathroom outside and go into her kennel. She's used the same four toys for a couple years now: a few stuffed animals inside and a rubber ball for outside. The stuffed animals are disgusting, but the stuffing isn't coming out, so they aren't getting replaced yet. She wants to chase her rubber ball outside nonstop, and that ball is indestructible.

And there were one-time (hopefully) expenses, like a bed, a baby gate to turn our laundry room into a kennel, getting her fixed, etc.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2019, 11:48:02 AM by DadJokes »

former player

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2019, 12:02:27 PM »
If you've had your dog for less than two months you are doing very well with the training - an adult dog such as yours will take at least two or three months to become bonded to you, which is the point at which you can expect them to come immediately when called - although almost any dog can be distracted sometimes.

I agree that dog treats need to be small, especially for a small breed - a quarter inch cube would be enough for the dog to enjoy, and with very small treats you can give them lots of times.  To make your own dog treats: take a tin of tuna in springwater or a handful of chopped liver or other offal from the butcher, mix it with a raw egg and a couple of tablespoons of flour, press the mixture flat into the bottom of a microwaveable dish and microwave for a couple of minutes.  Let it cool, and cut into small pieces.  Keep in fridge until needed, as it doesn't have preservatives in it.

Once you've got all the necessities in place, which it sounds as though you now have, a young and healthy dog will stop costing so very much - it's when they are old and on medication or special food that the costs creep back up.

Dave1442397

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2019, 12:36:23 PM »
A couple of things I've saved money on are flea meds and heartwoom meds.

PetArmor Plus is $55 for a year's supply at Costco.

I bought heartwoom meds here: http://heartwormprevention.com/

That stuff costs a fortune at the Vet's.

Roadrunner53

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #14 on: June 05, 2019, 01:09:14 PM »
If the dog is not neutered, do so ASAP if it is an adult dog. I think they do it at 6 months for puppies.

I use Seresto flee/tick collars. They last 8 months. https://www.petcaresupplies.com/seresto-dog-collar-for-dogs/flea-and-tick-control-treatment-190.aspx?utm_source=shopzilla&pack_id=556

We shampoo the one dog with Cowboy Magic shampoo and conditioner. It is a pretty good shampoo and I buy it on ebay sometimes.

Your Parks and Recreation may have  dog training classes at a low price by a professional trainer. I took my older dog there as a puppy. He did well and loved to please. It required a 15 foot leash, a fanny pack to put treats in while training. I can't remember if there was anything else. It is pretty basic and you need to continue training at home.

The one dog that is sick gets some of his prescriptions thru Chewy.com. Not sure if they are the cheapest though.

Give your dog lots of love because you will get lots in return!


RetiredAt63

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2019, 01:20:43 PM »
Others have covered a lot but I will toss in my 2 cents worth also.

Crate = safe refuge, my dogs always went to their crates when they wanted time out.  We never had a bed for them, the crate was where they went.   DD knew that when they went to their crate they were to be left alone.  Of course they slept on the bed (or on DD's bed).  Or on the tile floor in the bathroom in summer before we had a house with AC.

Costco Kirkland grain free was great for our dogs.   Their dried liver is well priced and makes a great treat.  So does cheese (the real thing) and hot dogs.  Small bits, they have to work for rewards.

Obedience classes - beginners is essential for a well-behaved dog.  If the dog likes it there are higher levels that are a challenge for them and fun to do as a team (i.e. you and the dog).  Other fun team sports are agility and fly-ball.

Exercise - if your dog likes to retrieve, a ball or dog frisbee gives them lots of exercise in a relatively short period of time.

Grooming - learn to do it yourself, it means that you are never at the mercy of a groomer's schedule, and think of the money you will save.  Same for nail trimming.  Same for bathing.  I did my dogs' nails with no help.  Part of it is getting the dog at a level where you are not killing your back.  And training them to cooperate is like any other training, you trim a nail and give a tiny treat, do the next nail and give another tiny treat.  Eventually you can do all the nails before you have to treat.   Missy was good for nail trimming and she knew she was earning a treat, as soon as her nails were done she headed for the treat jar and sat and waited for the treat she had earned.  You can make your own grooming table for not a lot of money.


simonsez

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2019, 01:56:30 PM »
Great feedback - one possible solution I will add is for the nail trimming.  If your dog likes to retrieve balls, throw it down a sidewalk as straight as you can 10x a day.  The acceleration and then deceleration does a fair job of grinding them down naturally.  I haven't trimmed nails once on the last two dogs.  Of course, one was a choc lab and the other has at least 1/4 lab in it so both would/will play fetch happily on any surface until my arm falls off.

GuitarStv

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #17 on: June 05, 2019, 02:05:07 PM »
Costco dog food is decent quality and pretty cheap.  They also sell cheap, large bags of liver treats that you can use for training.  None of the dogs I've ever owned have really needed much in the way of toys.  Something to chew on when they're younger, something to chase (ball or stick) if they're prey motivated is about it.

An obedience class is totally unnecessary if you take the time to train your dog.  Dogs are simple creatures.  Give them a simple command consistently, reward them when they do the right thing, and most of them will pick up their training very quickly.  Train one thing at a time and wait until they get it before you move on.

I do all my own grooming with my dogs, including brushing their teeth and clipping their nails.  It does require training.  The grooming got a lot easier when we started getting short haired dogs too.  :P

CatamaranSailor

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2019, 02:07:19 PM »
We have a Golden Retriever who while being very pretty, is pretty much the dumbest animal alive. We love her, but she gets lost in the backyard. She also has epilepsy and requires some pretty expensive meds to keep it in check. Our other dog is a "rescue" who is pretty much the smartest animal alive. She's a lot like living with a Velociraptor. She was on sale at the rescue because she kept escaping her kennel. The "Smart One" ate one of her toys and it ended up costing $3,500 in surgery/vet bills. Long story short, keep a good emergency fund, and have fun with them.  Really all you can do. They are certainly not cheap. As I write this, both furry idiots are asleep on my feet. Money (cough cough cough) well spent.

Roadrunner53

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2019, 03:30:50 PM »
We have a Golden Retriever who while being very pretty, is pretty much the dumbest animal alive. We love her, but she gets lost in the backyard. She also has epilepsy and requires some pretty expensive meds to keep it in check. Our other dog is a "rescue" who is pretty much the smartest animal alive. She's a lot like living with a Velociraptor. She was on sale at the rescue because she kept escaping her kennel. The "Smart One" ate one of her toys and it ended up costing $3,500 in surgery/vet bills. Long story short, keep a good emergency fund, and have fun with them.  Really all you can do. They are certainly not cheap. As I write this, both furry idiots are asleep on my feet. Money (cough cough cough) well spent.

Hahaha, funny on your 'smart, pretty dogs'. I have a male poodle, 15 lbs. Since adulthood he has not wavered in his weight in 15 years. I don't know how he does it but he only eats so much and some days almost nothing. Other days, eats all of it. He was a very bossy baby dog and has been the 'boss' since arriving. His attitude hasn't changed at all. We are his minions and he tells us what to do. Extremely intelligent. He know if anything is out of place in the garage and will stop and stare and analyze the situation. He has multiple personalities. He can be the boss, the baby man, Mr. Aloof, and very crabby at times. We also have a Pomeranian that is 21 lbs. He is the sick one. He was a rescue and very scared and couldn't even walk on a leash when we got him. He was full of flea eggs and totally matted. He went to the Vet two days later on Monday, then about 3 days later after being treated for fleas, he was groomed and shaved down. He was shy and didn't know up from down. He turned out to be a really sweet tempered dog and now tries to boss the bossy Poodle around. They are a real joy. Pomeranian likes the ac on in the bedroom and a fan blowing across the bed at night. He snaps his fingers to tell us he wants it cool in HIS king bed. Yes, both sleep with us! We ended up getting a king bed so we, the minions could have some room! LOL!

sisto

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2019, 03:36:08 PM »
Recall is the most difficult thing to train a dog to do consistently. A method I have used for years is to first start with a long leash and call and reel them in, followed with lots of praise. Then move to a rope and just keep doing it. Eventually you stop using the leash or rope.

Roadrunner53

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2019, 05:18:26 PM »
sisto, great on your method but I am one of the people that just do not trust most dogs to have good behavior. They are easily distracted by other people, dogs, cats and who knows what. They will bolt and run when off a leash. I know some dogs are extremely well trained and will listen. But, myself, I do not trust any dog off a leash.

I live on a State Road that is narrow, windy and people travel it very fast but it is a 30 mph speed limit. No one goes 30 mph. and my dogs would be right out there in the road if not for the rope at my front door.


Jouer

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2019, 10:26:02 AM »
I agree with others that paying for formal pet training isn't necessary......most of the time. I think it can be invaluable for first time pet owners. Why? Because even though it seems like the pet is being trained at these things, it's really the human that is being trained. The human is learning how to train their pet.

GuitarStv

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2019, 11:14:52 AM »
I agree with others that paying for formal pet training isn't necessary......most of the time. I think it can be invaluable for first time pet owners. Why? Because even though it seems like the pet is being trained at these things, it's really the human that is being trained. The human is learning how to train their pet.

Think of a dog as a hirsute toddler with a speech impediment and voracious appetite.  That'll get you about 95% of the information you need for training.  :P

sisto

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2019, 02:43:27 PM »
sisto, great on your method but I am one of the people that just do not trust most dogs to have good behavior. They are easily distracted by other people, dogs, cats and who knows what. They will bolt and run when off a leash. I know some dogs are extremely well trained and will listen. But, myself, I do not trust any dog off a leash.

I live on a State Road that is narrow, windy and people travel it very fast but it is a 30 mph speed limit. No one goes 30 mph. and my dogs would be right out there in the road if not for the rope at my front door.
I 100% agree with you and don't have my dogs off leash at all ever unless in a contained area.

mspym

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #25 on: June 06, 2019, 05:25:06 PM »
We got our dog from the rescue at roughly 12months old. She was a country dog and the transition to the city was a little rough but every week she gets better. We feed her rice and chicken wings and use grainfree kibble from aldi for training treats. We use deer antlers for chews and they are amazing - last for months, she doesn't get bored of them and they don't smell or leave a mess everywhere.

For training, we picked a couple of things at a time to work on and ignored everything else, then once she had the first things down, start on the next one. She didn't deal with any form of harshness because her previous own hit her so we went with positive training. She earns her food, knows what furniture she is allowed on, and is improving on walking on a loose lead. She is a kelpie/staffie x so we tire her out with a run and then she can focus on some training. Giving her A Job really helped her settle

Zach George on YouTube is quite good and didn't make me feel like I Was RUINING My Dog Forever. Karen Pryor's book Donít Shoot The Dog is also highly recommended.

marble_faun

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2019, 05:39:17 PM »
I adopted my dog when she was a puppy, and there WAS a large up-front cost, especially with socialization classes. 

But once you've done that and gotten your basic equipment (leash, dishes, bed, clippers, etc.), there's not much ongoing cost beyond (1) kibble and treats; (2) vet check-ups; (3) paying someone to watch your dog when you are out of town. 

I would recommend looking into Rover.com.  They have daily dog-walkers as well as people who will board your dog in their homes.  For us, it's been much cheaper than boarding at a kennel, and our dog is happier being in a homey situation.

Good luck!!

FIREstache

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2019, 06:03:37 PM »

I had some up front costs for a heated dog pad (for dog house I was given), but ongoing costs for yearly vet and tags, dog foot, and flee/tick protection was very reasonable.  I didn't consider the dog very expensive.  But that was a long time ago, and I certainly prefer the freedom of not having any pets these days.

Blueberries

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #28 on: June 07, 2019, 08:17:57 AM »
I second the deer antlers for chew toys.  They are the only thing(s) my dog will chew.

I know dog food is a very touchy subject, but I just wanted to recommend Costco's grain free food.  I'm not debating grain free food (child with celiac so I would do it regardless), but if you're spending a lot, I'm guessing it's grain free.  They also have reasonable standard/grain food there, too.

RetiredAt63

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #29 on: June 07, 2019, 09:01:18 AM »
I second the deer antlers for chew toys.  They are the only thing(s) my dog will chew.

I know dog food is a very touchy subject, but I just wanted to recommend Costco's grain free food.  I'm not debating grain free food (child with celiac so I would do it regardless), but if you're spending a lot, I'm guessing it's grain free.  They also have reasonable standard/grain food there, too.

I also recommend Costco's grain free food.  Missy did much better on grain free, and  Costco never had any recalls (other brands did, Costco has good quality control).

Nick_Miller

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #30 on: June 07, 2019, 11:57:23 AM »
We loved our dogs but they are gone and I doubt we ever get pets again. People woefully underestimate how much they eat, poop, pee, bark, shed, tear up things, scratch floors, get sick, get under your feet at dinner time, shed some more, bark some more, make you wait in the rain while they defecate with a guilty look on their face, need license/tags, age and require more meds, add a huge cost whenever you go on vacay, and make the house smell like wet dog.

Roadrunner53

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2019, 04:51:28 PM »
We loved our dogs but they are gone and I doubt we ever get pets again. People woefully underestimate how much they eat, poop, pee, bark, shed, tear up things, scratch floors, get sick, get under your feet at dinner time, shed some more, bark some more, make you wait in the rain while they defecate with a guilty look on their face, need license/tags, age and require more meds, add a huge cost whenever you go on vacay, and make the house smell like wet dog.

Wow, what negativity! Yes, animals cost money and if you go into it with blinders on then you shouldn't own a dog. I have two old dogs and one is on cancer meds and went thru chemo and 3 surgeries in regard to it. He is also on a ton of meds. It has been a big investment and we can afford it. I would not suggest everyone could spend that money and would not diss anyone who could not. The love they give is worth it if you can afford it. We have our dogs groomed every 6 weeks and yes dogs poop and pee and so do we humans. Most dogs can be trained not to tear up the house. People get sick too. My house does not smell like wet dog, why would it?

PDXTabs

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #32 on: June 07, 2019, 06:20:24 PM »
4) Ditch the doggie day care.  Dogs aren't people and don't need dog "friends".  You are it's pack, it would much rather hang out with you than spend time in a lord of the flies theme park.  If it's time or exercise that's lacking get more walks or training in.  Or hire a dog walker.

My dog loves socializing with other dogs, including at dogie daycare. But since I work from home I just take him to the dog park now instead. But when I spent five days a week at work he really liked to spend one day a week at dogie day care where he got to socialize. It improved his behavior around other dogs and people. Also, I got to watch him having fun on their web cam.

BlueHouse

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Re: I adopted a dog. How do you guys do it?
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2019, 01:55:02 PM »
Excellent advice everyone! 
I will note that I'm just now learning that different coats of different breeds hold/retain water differently -- I'm just learning that I'm meant to dry the dog completely and that his own body heat will not let his hair dry, which leads to wet dog smell. 

For formal training -- yes, it is more for me than for the dog.  I believe an obedience trainer may be able to identify some things that this dog already knows and he may be forgetting because I haven't asked him to perform.    I also don't know a lot of dog etiquette so they may help me to know if my dog is being a bully in the dog park or whether it's normal behavior for his age.  I'm also starting to believe that this dog is a lot younger than I was led to believe and he may still be a puppy.  (1-2 years)

I'll definitely look into Costco food and I've tried the antlers (a hit!).  My guy likes to play with 4 or 5 toys at once and seems to make these really fun games out of them -- they keep him from chewing my furniture, so I'm good with that.  He loves the mini tennis balls, and we tend to leave them behind at the dog park on occasion. 

I think the costs are leveling off -- the first month was a shock to me, but I think the majority of that was upfront costs which are now done for the next 6 months or so.

But please, keep providing more ideas.  I will definitely never buy flea & tick or heartworm meds from the vet again. That was super-expensive!