Author Topic: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household  (Read 7338 times)

MrsPete

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Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« on: June 13, 2014, 06:38:38 PM »
We recently lost our much-beloved large, outdoor dog . . . and now we're ready to bring home another dog, but we want something smaller, something that can live indoors, be more connected to our family -- but a dog big enough /sturdy enough that she (must be a she, so says my youngest child) can go out into our fenced, very secure back yard while we're away at work.  We've been to the county humane society, and we tentatively are in love with a 7-year old, 23-lb Beagle.  She's not officially available for adoption for another week (must be spayed) and we want to visit a couple more shelters before we say that SHE IS IT . . . but whether we go with this little girl or another one, we're sure it'll be a female dog in the 20-25 lb range. 

I've never had an indoor dog before, so I'm not sure how to prepare; thus, I'd appreciate any thoughts on these topics -- and anything y'all deem appropriate on this topic:

- We want to get her a dog bed so she'll have "her place" in the family room.  We tried to give our old dog dog beds in his outdoor dog house, but no matter what we gave him, he just chewed it up and strewed it across the yard.  We're hoping this one will like "her place" and will use it often.  I'm not sure whether to get her a small or a medium.  Do dogs like a small bed so they can feel cozy with sides rising around them, or do they like to spread out in a larger bed? 

- When we had an indoor cat we used to lure him to the areas we wanted him to stay with fresh-grown catnip in a bowl.  Is there anything similar to make a dog like her bed?   

- People talk about crate training.   We have a large bathroom with ceramic tile flooring, where she could not possibly do any damage (famous last words).  We're thinking of getting a baby gate so she could be kept in that room, if we have company or whatever -- and if we do that, I don't see any point in having a crate too.  I'm confused about why people get crates.   

- How often does an indoor /outdoor dog need a bath?  Because our old dog never came inside, she didn't get many baths. 

- When our big, outdoor fellow was in his prime, I used to buy two of the largest bags of dry food at a time.  How fast will a small dog go through a bag?  I don't want to keep too much laying about the house, but I also don't want to find myself running back out just for dog food when we've only had the critter-dog for a week.

- What else should I be considering before bringing home an indoor dog?
 
- Any positives or negatives concerning Beagles?  She's super cute and affectionate but not super high-energy, and in our eyes she stood out from the rest of the dogs.  She did growl at the Chihuahua-Terrier mix we were also considering, but since she'll be an only-dog, that didn't concern us much. 


Gin1984

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2014, 07:48:19 PM »
Crates give your dog somewhere that is hers.  It also allows you to have her locked away if need be.  We had a crate where our dogs slept plus the baby gates which kept the dog inside the kitchen. 

DocCyane

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2014, 08:26:37 PM »
I own a part beagle and they are a challenging breed. They are highly food motivated, meaning they'll eat anything. Sometimes it just has to be shaped like food. Or not.

They aren't the best listeners either. They aren't really there to please you like a shepherd. They follow their nose. It's all about the nose. They want to sniff everything. They don't care if you are on a walk, they want to sniff that blade of grass. For a week.

A full beagle will have a pretty intense bark. Make sure your neighbors will be okay with that. It's like having a fox hunt running down the hall every day.

As far as choosing a beagle, I wouldn't go with that breed again. I love my boy, but I much prefer a dog that is more of a companion.

I encourage good research in advance to understand what various breeds were bred for. No amount of training will undo centuries of breeding to refine a hunting trait or a herding trait, for example.


renaite

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2014, 08:53:07 PM »
The other part of crate training is that you start the dog off with only enough room to turn in a circle and lay comfortably. This way she learns to hold her potty urges because there isn't enough room to pee without then having to sit in it. As she grows confident and housebroken, usually there's a little expander wall thingy you take out of the crate to give her more space. My little guys loves their crates, especially my boy dog Magnus- if you say "go in your house" he runs right in. They also both like to just hang out in there with the doors open. I like to leave surprise treats in there sometimes as a way to reinforce that it's a happy cozy place, not a jail. That said, I'm certainly not an expert and definitely second DocCyane's recommendation on research. You have to do what feels right for you and your critters, and it seems like consistency in general can be more important than the specific techniques you choose. Good luck finding your perfect pet!


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notquitefrugal

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2014, 09:59:18 AM »
I adopted a beagle mix from a shelter a couple of months ago. She is about three years old and incredibly sweet. Someone trained her extremely well on behaving in a house. She isn't destructive at all and is generally very laid back. She had a lot of trouble adjusting to the crate. I don't think she had ever been in a crate before.

She has a thick coat and sheds terribly as it has gotten warmer. Mine is a picky eater, there are even quite a few dog treats she won't eat. I have been feeding her grain free food and she likes it. She does not get along well with most dogs, but she is an only dog, so this isn't so bad.

Congratulations on your upcoming adoption. Based on my limited experience, I don't think you can go wrong with an adult beagle.

chasesfish

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2014, 10:33:15 AM »
We love our beagle mix.  The poster is dead on about food motivation. We keep a spray bottle of water to keep our from begging at the table


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Mrs. Frugalwoods

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2014, 10:49:00 AM »
We have a greyhound who we absolutely adore. We needed a dog that would be fine at home alone while we're both at work all day, and she's perfect. Greyhounds are calm, low energy dogs (contrary to popular misconceptions) who love humans. Our hound is very cuddly and gentle with kids. She's also extremely well-behaved and quiet. Greyhounds, by nature, aren't aggressive and don't bark. If you're still open to considering breeds other than beagles, I am very biased towards greyhounds and could talk about how great they are all day long :)

To address a few of your questions:
-We did crate train her for the first few months we had her, but that was mostly due to her post-racetrack transition phase (they're kept in very small crates on the track and can be overwhelmed by a house). The crate was bulky and took up a lot of space, so we transitioned her out of it after the initial few months. I think your bathroom would serve the same purpose.

-Our hound sleeps happily on a large dog bed we purchased at Costco--if you have the space, I'd get a larger bed so your dog can sprawl. We didn't have to bribe her to like her bed--she immediately flopped down on it.

-We bathe her about twice/year but I think this varies based on breed. Greyhound have short fur and don't get very oily/dirty.

Good luck and have fun!

Jamesqf

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2014, 11:22:36 AM »
Since your yard is securely fenced, just put in a dog door so she'll be able to go in and out as she needs/wants to.  Crate training may be the only alternative if you don't have a secure outdoor area, but I think it's far from optimal.

starbuck

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2014, 11:46:28 AM »


I've never owned a beagle, but they can be a high-energy handful. It really depends on the kind of beagle mix she is. Does she get to have blankets in her kennel or does she destroy them when she gets board at the animal shelter? Is her bark something you can live with? Some mixes are really high-pitched intense barkers, some aren't. A 7 yr old dog should be pretty mellow at this point in their life.

Crate training can prevent an unsupervised dog from destroying things when you're not at home, so substituting the bathroom for a crate would be fine.

I'd get a medium sized bed with sides for curling up against. You can always add an old blanket to the bed if she likes it to be a more snug fit. :)

My 18 lb dog eats about 1 cup of food a day. Definitely measure food for a beagle because they are super super food motivated and will hoover everything up and then not understand why their bowl is empty. A 23 lb dog is so easy to feed - I usually get a 13-20 lb bag of food. Don't get super massive bags of food because it will take forever to go through and maybe go bad, and a dog can be allergic to certain ingredients or not like a certain flavor. Most pet stores will let you return a bag of opened food if that happens though.

If the dog is dirty, bathe her. Otherwise, not necessary. Bathing too often can mess with their skin and dry it out. It's been years since we've had to bathe our (mostly indoor) dog.

Good luck and don't forget to post a picture if you go through with it!

Carless

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2014, 12:32:40 PM »
Whatever you choose, train her not to bark at the neighbours.  On both sides of our yard we have noisy dogs, and it's made us dislike the neighbours for inflicting their pet noise on us.  It only takes being woken up at 7:30 on a Saturday a couple times to strain a relationship.

hoodedfalcon

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2014, 01:00:53 PM »
I would like to also recommend a greyhound (or greyhound mix). I adopted a 2 year old from the shelter about a year and a half ago. She was never a racing dog, but spent her whole life at the shelter. She is absolutely the sweetest dog I have ever met. She doesn't get stinky and doesn't really need baths (beagles tend to be on the stinky side, FYI). She sleeps all day long while I am at work and is fine left alone, and other than the first few weeks I had her, is not destructive at all. She also loves to play, and will hike all day long, run all day long, play frisbee all day long if you are into that. Or she will sleep. She really loves to sleep. I can't really let her off leash in open areas as she does have a strong drive to run, and she is fast. All in all, she is very low maintenance and she rarely barks. She is great with my 17 year old cat, and she loves children.

notquitefrugal

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2014, 07:17:49 PM »
A couple more things: Mine does not beg at the table. She sometimes looks at you with sad eyes, but doesn't beg. Mine has never destroyed anything in my house besides a dog toy. She tore up some of her bedding in her crate because she hated the crate at first. She is fine left alone in the house. I tried putting her in a bathroom and quickly discovered she can climb over a baby gate.

Mine is an indoor dog and gets 2 to 4 half mile walks per day. I bathe her once every two weeks.

My first choice was a greyhound, but there aren't any greyhound rescue organizations near me. I went to a shelter and fell in love with a beagle (I realize as I type this that that phrase is probably the beginning of a country song)...

Gray Matter

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2014, 08:36:50 AM »
I have owned beagles since I got my first one at age 9 (I'm 43 now).  Love, love, love the breed.  Though others find them to be high energy, that has not been my experience with my beagles and they are great companions.  They love to curl up next to me.  But, a couple of things about beagles...

1.  Like other posters said, they can be "barky."  I wouldn't leave a beagle outside all day unless I was sure they weren't going to bay all day long.

2.  Beagles are pack animals.  I wouldn't have just one, as they tend to get lonely and that's when they get into trouble.

3.  Beagles do follow their noses, and several of my beagles were diggers and would dig under the fence if they were going after a little critter.

As much as I love beagles, given the set of circumstances you described, I probably wouldn't get one.  I'd get a quieter dog that is happy being a loner.


Janelle

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2014, 09:17:43 AM »
If you're getting a 7 year old dog, you can probably skip the crate training. Ask the shelter if they think she is potty trained/keeps her kennel clean. We crated our dogs when they were little but if you can spend time with her for a few days when you bring her home and make sure she gets out at regular intervals, she will learn quickly where you want her to "go" and is probably over her random stuff chewing stage. They really only do that when they're young or anxious and if you spend the first few days with her while she gets used to your home, it probably won't be an issue.

My dogs are mostly indoor dogs but they go for runs and hikes with me often. I bathe them once a month, twice if they get stinky :)

I do dog rescue and my best recommendation is to do the research, visit lots of rescue places, and ask the staff lots of questions before you commit.

Good luck!!

Cassie

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2014, 07:14:56 PM »
WE had beagles growing up and they can be high energy but by age 7 the dog should be less so.  They are great family dogs, loving,  good with kids, etc.  However, they are little escape artists  and get out of fenced yards. It probably has to do with their noses & love to hunt.  When my friend got 2 she had to hire someone to make her fenced in yard escape proof because they were getting out.

tipster350

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2014, 10:58:35 AM »
The way to help any dog reduce destructive behaviors is to give them proper exercise and lots of company. A frustrated, lonely, under-exercised dog will chew beds and other items. Dogs need to be with their pack, not kept alone outside or only in house/yard. They need walks and to know their neighborhood.

Timmmy

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2014, 12:11:12 PM »
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS crate train your dog.  Having the option to place them in the crate and have them stay quietly opens up a world of possibilities during their life. 

Some examples - People that are allergic or don't like dogs can come to your house and the dog can stay in their cage and out of sight.  When traveling and you need to have someone watch the dog the dog will feel safe in their crate even if it is at someone else's house.  We go camping and you can't expect a tent to be a way to secure a dog if you need to leave them there. 

It also makes housebreaking super easy. 

Beagles....  Possibly the smartest stupid breed of dog you will find.  I've had two and they were so smart and soooooo stupid at the same time.  I don't think I have the time to type out all the things that our last beagle ate.  Stubborn, headstrong, fully capable of ignoring you, tolerant of children, and more interested in what the food on the table tastes like then what you might do to them if they reach up and snatch it. 

All that said, I'd own another one. 

And it sounds like you aren't but PLEASE don't buy a dog at the pet store.  There are plenty of dogs at shelters and rescues that make fantastic family pets. 

lisahi

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2014, 12:47:43 PM »
- We want to get her a dog bed so she'll have "her place" in the family room.  We tried to give our old dog dog beds in his outdoor dog house, but no matter what we gave him, he just chewed it up and strewed it across the yard.  We're hoping this one will like "her place" and will use it often.  I'm not sure whether to get her a small or a medium.  Do dogs like a small bed so they can feel cozy with sides rising around them, or do they like to spread out in a larger bed?

For a dog between 15-30 pounds you would need at least a medium-size bed. Small beds are generally for dogs under 15 pounds. As for what type of bed--you're going to have to wait until you get your dog to know. I would buy a cheaper bed to start with. If you find that your dog likes to burrow under blankets, you may want to consider a "cave" bed. If your dog likes to sprawl out, you may want to consider a wide pillow-like bed.  Then there's my dog, who likes sleeping on hard, cold surfaces. You just never know.

- When we had an indoor cat we used to lure him to the areas we wanted him to stay with fresh-grown catnip in a bowl.  Is there anything similar to make a dog like her bed?

There's no dog equivalent to catnip, but most dogs are either food-motivated, toy-motivated, attention-motivated, or a combination thereof. You need to get to know your dog to find out which one she is. With a Beagle, she'll likely be food-motivated. That means you can lure your dog to her area with treats. If you do wind up getting a crate, you can search "crate games" on the Internet to help your dog get used to a crate.

- People talk about crate training.   We have a large bathroom with ceramic tile flooring, where she could not possibly do any damage (famous last words).  We're thinking of getting a baby gate so she could be kept in that room, if we have company or whatever -- and if we do that, I don't see any point in having a crate too.  I'm confused about why people get crates.

You can use a small bathroom in place of a crate, but you should also think about long-term. Do you want that bathroom back at some point? A Beagle isn't a big dog--they can live 15-16 years or more. Do you want your dog to take over your bathroom... for years? Because crates are most often used as your dogs "room." You get a crate that is big enough for the dog to stand up and turn around easily. Once the dog is used to the crate, she can sleep in it, be put in it when company comes over, eat in it, etc. (Note: to sleep in a crate, your dog will likely require a crate bed or mat). Crates don't just serve to housetrain dogs (although they're great for that), but also serve as a place your dog can call her own. A lot of dogs love their crates. It also prevents your dog from getting into things if you don't trust her at home, alone and loose.

Now, if your dog turns out to be very trustworthy and you can let her run loose (at least in a portion of your house), then perhaps you don't need a crate. You may still want a crate, though, for its benefits.

- How often does an indoor /outdoor dog need a bath?  Because our old dog never came inside, she didn't get many baths.

Completely indoor dogs can probably go a few months without a bath, depending on whether they are short or long haired dogs. Most dogs still get oily, though, after awhile. What is your oil and smell tolerance?

If a dog also goes outdoors, I would bathe the dog once every two weeks. Why? Because your dog is treading on the same ground she's using the bathroom. That ground is also full of bugs, bug excrement, bird poo, pollen, dirt, fungus, plant matter, etc. And then she's coming back in the house with all that. To think about it almost makes you want to bathe her every time she comes back inside, but that is way overkill. Once every two weeks is healthy for the dog and for you. More often than once every two weeks can be rough on the dog's skin.

- When our big, outdoor fellow was in his prime, I used to buy two of the largest bags of dry food at a time.  How fast will a small dog go through a bag?  I don't want to keep too much laying about the house, but I also don't want to find myself running back out just for dog food when we've only had the critter-dog for a week.

You'll probably be feeding her about 1 cup of dry food per day, but commercial dog foods have feeding amounts on the package. This is a guideline. If you find your dog is getting too hefty using the guideline, then cut back. If your dog loses weight (and you can feel her ribs), give her more. If your dog seems like she's starving... she's probably not. A lot of dogs will eat far more than they should. Gauge her look to know if you are overfeeding or underfeeding her. I buy a 50 lb bag of food for my two small dogs. They get 1/2 cup per day each (so 1 cup for both of them). It lasts me about 2 months per bag.

- What else should I be considering before bringing home an indoor dog?

If you ever plan on giving her freedom of movement around at least part of the house when you're not around, consider a doggie door. With a secured back yard, it's a blessing to not have to worry about letting the dog out.

You may also want to consider what boundaries you want to set up. Some folks (like me) are fine with the dog getting up on the furniture, or sleeping in the bed. Others do not allow the dog up on the furniture, and have the dog sleep in a crate, or on a dog bed. Start with your boundaries from day one. If your dog jumps up on the couch, tell her in a firm, but not angry, voice ("nuh uh"). Then when she gets off the couch, give her a treat. ("Nuh uh" is better than "no" because we tend to say "no" a lot in everyday conversation, and it will lose meaning to a dog).
 

- Any positives or negatives concerning Beagles?  She's super cute and affectionate but not super high-energy, and in our eyes she stood out from the rest of the dogs.  She did growl at the Chihuahua-Terrier mix we were also considering, but since she'll be an only-dog, that didn't concern us much.

I don't have any Beagles of my own, but I have friends who do. One has a Beagle mix that is a ball of energy. The other has a pure-bred Beagle, who is laid back and rather quiet. While you can look up general traits of breeds, you're going to be getting an individual. She may or may not fit the general traits of her breed. At 7 years old, she shouldn't have some of the more annoying puppy habits (chewing, for example), but you'll never know until you start living with a dog.

MrsPete

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2014, 02:32:55 PM »
Catching up post:  We didn't end up getting the dog we were looking at, but we did get another Beagle.  We've had him two weeks now, and he is perfect.  He's 8 months old, and everything y'all said about food is TRUE!  What a little pig!  We are working on NO BEGGING.  However, he's not a barker -- must be individual tendencies.  He is a bundle of energy, and we're loving that.  He's a beautiful dog, and he's already a member of the family. 

Since this is about money, WOW, the animal shelter is a great bargain.  We paid $70 for the dog, which included his rabies shot and a 5-shot "puppy pack" that covers all his first year vaccination needs.  And we got a certificate to take him to the spay/neuter clinic within the first month for free (they were very serious about that and made us sign something saying we would have him neutered -- not that I disagree in the least!).  A spay is normally $80, and a neuter is normally $70.  What I thought was terribly heartless:  If I want him to have pain medicine for after his neutering, it'll be another $9.  Who on earth would NOT pay the $9?  They should up the price and make everyone give the dog the pain meds. 

Gray Matter

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2014, 05:48:47 PM »
Congrats on the beagle pup--he sounds like a lovely addition to the family!  I do love hounds--am so happy you got one and that he's a good fit.  Now...how about a photo?  :-)

MandyM

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2014, 07:04:40 PM »
Catching up post:  We didn't end up getting the dog we were looking at, but we did get another Beagle.  We've had him two weeks now, and he is perfect.  He's 8 months old, and everything y'all said about food is TRUE!  What a little pig!  We are working on NO BEGGING.  However, he's not a barker -- must be individual tendencies.  He is a bundle of energy, and we're loving that.  He's a beautiful dog, and he's already a member of the family. 

Since this is about money, WOW, the animal shelter is a great bargain.  We paid $70 for the dog, which included his rabies shot and a 5-shot "puppy pack" that covers all his first year vaccination needs.  And we got a certificate to take him to the spay/neuter clinic within the first month for free (they were very serious about that and made us sign something saying we would have him neutered -- not that I disagree in the least!).  A spay is normally $80, and a neuter is normally $70.  What I thought was terribly heartless:  If I want him to have pain medicine for after his neutering, it'll be another $9.  Who on earth would NOT pay the $9?  They should up the price and make everyone give the dog the pain meds.

Congrats! And thanks for adopting a shelter dog!

Honestly, I didn't read all the previous posts, so I'll add my 2 cents and hope it isn't completely repetitive.

Seriously consider crate training. Plus, double it as his bed/special place. Dogs are den dwellers and their crate can be made enticing and their "safe" spot. Put a comfy bed in it, a toy, maybe even feed him there.

Walk.Your.Dog. Every day if at all possible. He is high energy and a tracker, bounding around a yard isn't the same thing and won't settle him like a walk will.

Beagles are roamers, trackers, escapers. Check your fence once in a while to make sure he can't get out. My part-beagle used to roam the neighborhood regularly. Then once he was gone for 10 days and I put signs up. When I got him back and we went for a walk I had no less than 4 neighbors comment "Oh good you found him! He comes to visit us all the time!" I was amazed; had no idea he was so popular.

Basic training classes are worth it. Or get a book or youtube or whatever. More fun can be had when you have a common language.

Post a picture!

notquitefrugal

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2014, 02:08:42 PM »
Since this is about money, WOW, the animal shelter is a great bargain.

Very annoying: I normally keep my thermostat on 78 in the summer, and it takes very little cooling to maintain that temperature. After dealing with the shedding for several weeks and trying various supplements/shampoos/topicals and brushing her 2-4 times per day, I kicked the thermostat down to 72. The A/C runs a lot now and it feels chilly inside to me, but the dog sheds a lot less.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Adding an indoor/outdoor dog to our household
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2014, 03:11:50 PM »
A couple more things: Mine does not beg at the table. She sometimes looks at you with sad eyes, but doesn't beg. Mine has never destroyed anything in my house besides a dog toy. She tore up some of her bedding in her crate because she hated the crate at first. She is fine left alone in the house. I tried putting her in a bathroom and quickly discovered she can climb over a baby gate.

haha... we now in addition to our 11 year old husky/GSD mix have a ~10 week old stray that showed up at our house (vet's guess is Australian cattle dog mixed with... something? beagle? Jack Russell? we'll find out how big she gets I guess). she figured out how to climb the baby gate in less than eight hours. I was pretty impressed. I had to make an extra plywood layer for it so she can't get her paws in the lattice, LOL.

anyway, congrats on the new furry family member MrsPete!! how exciting!! :)