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Thread: Dogs : Why?

  1. #1
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    Dogs : Why?

    As per title, my family wants a dog. I don't see an upside. Sell me on dogs, please.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    I grew up with dogs (and dated a few) but as a father I'm struggling to see the attraction. Bills, excrement, bad smells and the need for exercise - all things which are against my religion.

    There are quite a few pooch owners on here though so I'm sure someone will come up with a reason (ignore Trailadvent - a dog that single-handedly rescues you from a broken neck is outside the norm )

  3. #3
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    They won't crash your car or need to go to college....

  4. #4
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    You don't have to wait 18 years to get rid of them.

  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    You get to go out for a walk several times a day, rain or shine. It is good for you.

    (yes, I have a dog. Not a big one but not tiny either)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitfaced Shockmaster
    As per title, my family wants a dog. I don't see an upside. Sell me on dogs, please.

    Thank you.

    they are good for kids. teaches them a bit of responsibility and dogs are very loyal, depending on what you get. i've had labs all my life but after my one died when my 2nd daughter was 1 i thought that was it. kids, less time etc. unfortunately my 2nd daughter started to develope a fear of dogs so we decided a little reluctantly to get another dog as i didn't want her growing up with that fear. turned out ok. had two more daughters, less time for the dog and i started to feel bad for her. was actually looking to give her to someoe with more time on their hands. with sports and stuff we're busy almost every night. had just about come to terms on giving her to a friend when i stumbled upon golden retriever pups while at the local farm buying eggs. got a funny feeling and took home a male pup. thought i was going crazy but it was the best thing i've ever done. the dogs are awesome together. keep each other busy, i have a decent sized yard and now the guilt of two dogs means i find the time to do more with the dogs lol.

    dogs are great for kids. my third girl is a complete animal lover and spends almost all her spare time with the dogs in the yard or on her lap in the mudroom. my 2nd daughter got over her fear in a month. funny thing was the reaction to the first pup. she was 2 and her sister was 5. when they saw the pup, one kid ran screaming with excitement towards the dog while the other ran screaming in fear the opposite direction. we laugh about that all the time.

    if you're not into dogs it might not work out though. i'm a large breed dog guy and i really think dogs are good for kids. what kind of dog are you thinking about getting? get a breed that is good with kids. labs, sheperds, retrievers are great with kids.

  7. #7
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    They are relatively cheap and numerous, so you can use the meat for stir-fry, stew, and many things.
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    Unlike kids (legally anyway), you can lock them in a cage when you leave the house and not have to worry about the bastards.

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    Some brilliant responses, thank you. I do worry about some of your kids...

    Qbert, would need to be child-friendly - one of my children is afraid of dogs and my wife has decided that the best way to get over it is by getting one. We have some land so exercise won't be a problem but having watched friends going through this it seems that it inevitably ends up with Dad out in the rain carrying a plastic bag picking up turds while everyone else is at home by the fire.

    I guess it feels like a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to solve a smallish problem that could leave us with long-term regrets.

    I think of it like marriage - get a dog in haste, repent at leisure. Anyone ever regretted it? (Dog, that is, I'm sure we all regret marriage).

  10. #10
    local trails rider
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    The Dad might love the beast more than the rest do

    My only regret is that there's other things I'd like to do, too, but the time spent with the dog takes a healthy chunk of my freetime.

    ... turds ... Depending on where you live, that might not be an issue. Leaving the droppings is a no-no on pavement and manicured lawns but, if you have any relatively wild land, you can leave it there. You don't go picking after deer, rabbits, crows etc. either, do you.

  11. #11
    It's carbon dontcha know.
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    Don't forget the dog is laughing at you every time it sees you bending over with a plastic bag after it's just taken a crap

  12. #12
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    I'll skip the pros/cons lists and just note that years ago I wanted NOTHING to do with owning a dog, but it became clear that my wife needed one.

    It took 6 months, but darned it that thing didn't end up worming her way into my heart. I would now say I'm a lifetime convert.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitfaced Shockmaster
    Some brilliant responses, thank you. I do worry about some of your kids...

    Qbert, would need to be child-friendly - one of my children is afraid of dogs and my wife has decided that the best way to get over it is by getting one. We have some land so exercise won't be a problem but having watched friends going through this it seems that it inevitably ends up with Dad out in the rain carrying a plastic bag picking up turds while everyone else is at home by the fire.

    I guess it feels like a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to solve a smallish problem that could leave us with long-term regrets.

    I think of it like marriage - get a dog in haste, repent at leisure. Anyone ever regretted it? (Dog, that is, I'm sure we all regret marriage).

    as far as crap goes, it's my daughters' job. i do occasionally do it myself, not that big of a deal. i'm in the process of putting in a crap composter.

    as far as the dog just to help your daughter, that's a tough one. ultimately if you don't want a dog, then skip it. i had dogs and knew what i was getting into and always enjoyed having a dog. if it's not something you want, then just hang out with a friend with a dog to get your daughter more comfortable with dogs. it will take much longer, but you won't be regretting it later, like you would a dog purchase.

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  14. #14
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    If yo have to ask, you probably shouldn't get one. You don't come off as an animal person.

    I must ask, have you never encountered dogs? It seems such an odd question.
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  15. #15
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    I have never wanted a dog. Growing up my family had a small dog. I never wanted the burden and cost of owning a dog. When all my friends in college bought one, I said "Hell no" and ran the other way. I am so glad I did.
    My wife had a dog when we married. A good dog and a great companion for sure.
    The dog lived to be over 17 years old. At the end it was very difficult to deal with. It occasionally would get bouts of Vestibular disease and we would have to carry her outside and hold her up to walk etc. This would last for weeks until the dogs inner ear stabilized.
    There were times when the dog would just cr*ap in the car on road trips. We had to make her a plastic protected pen in the house for the accidents and urinary tract infections. Her intestinal tract was old and she would gas us out all the time as well.
    In those last few years she couldn't go on hikes or bike rides. Sometimes we would try to leave her in doggie care for some trips but 24hr doggie daycare is extremely expensive since our dog needed to be administered medication. Also, the occasional emergency trip to the vet was costly as well. The last time we let a friend watch her with explicit care instructions the dog destroyed our bathroom with bloody stool.
    Last year it was just too much. Her quality of life was awful and so was ours. We waited for a sunny spring day and said our goodbye's.

    Yes there are some great times and yes they are faithful till the end. And yes you will love them but there is a cost.

  16. #16
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    I could give a punch list, but maybe just some thoughts on my experience will help.

    Growing up we had 2 smallish dogs that were just kind of there. I always wanted a big dog but Dad was not having it.

    When we got a house, I got my big dog. Purebred Lab. Purebred is just a couple letters off of Inbred tho. The dog was a pain in the ass, puppy-hyper for his whole 12.5 years. He destroyed a kitchen cabinet. Once ate 10 Krispy Kreme donuts and an entire pan of brownies. He also became my best friend and did as many cool things as bad. When he passed, I was crushed.

    6 mos. later my daughter talked me into adopting a rescue dog that is half retriever, half chow. Handsome dog, but he has issues. He was obviously severely mistreated previously; I have invested a lot of time in the last year working thru his fear-aggression and thought about turning him back in a few times. It is work but it is also rewarding, knowing we saved a life (I know it's corny but it's true) and helping this guy become the dog you can tell he wants to be. It's weird, like kids, you can just see their excitement when they "get it" and do what they are supposed to do.

    Another benefit, both of these dogs were loyal & protective as hell. In this day & age, I like knowing I have a large animal with sharp teeth that loves my kids as much as I do.

    Good luck with whatever you decide, but if you do get one, consider a rescue dog. There are lots of groups out there that will foster dogs for awhile and can then give you a more accurate picture of the dogs personality (good with kids for example). When you take one, they can foster & save another.
    "In the past few years there has been building up within me an obsession that the only way to piece of mind is to go somewhere in the desert, far away from things, and just sit down." - Ernie Pyle

  17. #17
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by slomo
    Purebred Lab. ...
    ...
    ...
    consider a rescue dog.
    One thing to note is that "purebred" dogs tend to be bred for one thing: looks.

    That has not necessarily been good for their health. If you get a "mixed breed" dog, the health issues are less likely.

    If you decide to get a dog, do read about training a dog before you have your dog/puppy. If you have no clue, you might unintentionally reinforce any undesirable behavior that may surface.

  18. #18
    Just roll it......
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    Dogs are a total pain in the arse. They're a lot of work and can be expensive as hell. When they pass (often too soon), they leave a gaping whole in your life......it's not for everyone. That said, I can't imagine a time in my life where we won't have dogs going forward. My wife grew up a cat person and is now a total dog convert.

    I can't believe no one's mentioned one of the obvious bennies of riding with your dogs. My dogs (unfortunately, now just dog ) really need to get exercise several times a week and I'm not just talking about walks around the block. Without it, he basically follows me from room to room - which is very annoying.

    It's meant that I often ride (or build) with my dog when the weather's less than ideal. Living in the PNW, that's pretty often. Those are days where I could just as easily sit on the couch and drink some beers instead of getting out in the woods. Of course, it also means that I've got a riding/building partner when I can't coax my buddies out with me. I've been out in the absolute worst of conditions building and they've never once complained about being wet or cold or..... On the trail, they're the best, but definitely take a LOT of training to get to be able to ride with groups, etc. The best compliment I get from riders that haven't been with my dogs on trail is that they don't even notice they're with us.

    I think if you're not 100% committed to owning a dog, you might end up regretting it and the dog will suffer, so really consider the amount of work that goes into dog ownership.

    Cheers,
    EB

    P.S. Our pups have always been rescues. IMO, there are too many good dogs needing a home for me to go to puppy mills. Mutts can be the best dogs, but can also be challenging as well.

  19. #19
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    Mine love the trail. Each breed has it's virtues. My pointer is fast, loyal and a great mountain biking dog but dominant. My pit mix is a handful as every smell must be investigated so she stops a lot, loves swimming. The best dog I ever had was a a Belgian Teruvian. Very smart, tough and extremely loyal. Had a samoyed, dumbest and most messy but pretty. The hound I had loved trail was strong, loyal but that loud bark! Labs are great but a bit slow, never macho. German shepards are very smart but rather heavy and slow for mountain biking. Teruvians/malanois (same just different coats) are similar but smaller than large shepards.
    Never hit a dog, only teaches them fear of you. Always a friendly greeting. Be aware if you get a high energy breed they need lots of exersize, more than once a day. If you live where warm a black or dark dog needs more heat protection.
    Last edited by abegold; 04-03-2010 at 11:36 AM.
    agmtb

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by juan_speeder
    If yo have to ask, you probably shouldn't get one. You don't come off as an animal person.

    I must ask, have you never encountered dogs? It seems such an odd question.
    As far as I know I'm mostly human. What is "an animal person"?

    Yes, I have encountered dogs in my life. And you're right, asking that was an odd question but I'm happy to answer it for you.

    Thanks for all the responses, particularly around experiences with breeds/rescue dogs, etc. Some serious pros and cons, too.

    Probably my biggest concern is that if we get a dog I'd like a biggish one as where we live is quite remote and I can see the attraction from a security perspective. However, my wife is quite houseproud and I can see an "it's me or the dog" type conversation in the future. Which may not be a bad thing, actually - I bet a dog would fart in bed less.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitfaced Shockmaster
    I bet a dog would fart in bed less.


    LOL !
    " A way to a deep freedom " - Tarja

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    Bandit is a 10 week old Siberian Husky. He is a bundle of energy and loves to run. Very smart and so far very loyal, loves my 10 y/o son and my 16 y/o daughter. Must be the Alpha thing, but he will not "cuddle" with me, but he will with my wife and kids. Haven't tried the biking thing with him yet but that time is coming. As I write this he is right here at my feet, out like a light, we just got back from running.
    Oldest daughter doesn't ride, she fights MMA.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitfaced Shockmaster
    As per title, my family wants a dog. I don't see an upside. Sell me on dogs, please.
    Thank you.
    Dog ownership teaches valuable lessons about the selfless side of relationships. Dogs are loyal, good natured and fully dependent on their masters. Even though they are a burden, sometimes and pain in the ass, and will always require consideration in your plans. If you are generally attentive and caring, they have a short memory of your failings and will always return to your side ... perhaps the same as "forgiveness".

  24. #24
    trail fairy
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    WTH

    No Dogs in ya life, man ya haven't lived this is one time to listen to the family!

    And you will find out!

    Dogs are like people ya can't judge them by the cover unlike people how ever Dog is mans best friend though this is like any relationship you get what you put in!

    and unlike people giving really is the benefit ya get from a Dog, they don't expect or ask for loyalty they give it to an owner who is worthy!

    Pickin a dog is hard thing like bikes so many choices and often easy to get wrong, I let the Dog choose me, breed so many arguments but again, look at the Dog look at the owner the apple usually is vry close to the tree often find this quite funny

    For kids its best not to have a pure breed though, and Pure breeds usually cost the money, inter breeding, breeding out of natural traits etc can cause higher costs.

    Just do it and ya will wonder what ya have missed, and the kids will have one of the best friends of there life if treated well and like a dog, they are not humans, though my Dog does get too much good life better than me, but he knows hes a dog finally don;t fed them S H I T , like people if ya give em Macca's they go fat, get sick die young and have a miserable existence feed em natural with plenty of exercise and you ya kids and they will live healthier fuller lives!

    Having a dog growing up was one of the best things eva, having a dog again now is like being a kid again! Go the Dog, Dogs rule people suck,, they're are no bad dogs either just bad people!
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  25. #25
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    Plain and simple.

    Companionship. Your dog will always love you if you treat them right.

    I've got a 70 lb white purebred Labrador and he goes with me MTB rides and really does well at keeping up. I don't have to ride slow at all, and on the descents I'll stop at trail crossings and every so often just to make sure he's still following. He loves to run trails when I ride them. It's the ultimate time for them in nature running down a trail.

    I'm on the road all the time, so I take him with me and he stays with me in hotels. I've also got an extended cab tacoma with a dog pad in the extended cab and a full dog house set up in the camper shell which he always has access to.

    I'l always have a dog in my life!

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