I've been asking around about this, am curious to get opinions from you ladies.
I hope you don't mind me bringing this up with you, I have a bit of an internal conflict I can't figure out, it's in regards to a dog.
DH and I went to a dog festival in June had a great time, it got me thinking of what I want in my next dog, it came down to us wanting a boxer mix from a rescue organization.
Cesar then released a list of top family dog breeds and I was looking to see what mixes would be best, one of them was a boxer/lab. I typed in several searches in Google to try and get an idea of what the mix looks like and ended up on Pet Finder. I was scrolling through and found this adorable dog, he is in a shelter just 45 minutes from my house.
DH drives by the shelter on his way home from work and went to check out the dog yesterday. He told me that the dog is 1 year old, it's been in the shelter for 7/12 months of it's life, the people surrendered the dog as a 5 month old pup cause it was chewing everything. Right now the dog has quite a bit of issues, he chews everything, nips in an excited but not aggressive manner, he doesn't have manners and jumps on people which can be a problem since he is LARGE. All of these things are a huge concern when you have 3 pets already (2 cats, 1 dog) and a pre-schooler in the house.
When we got Sadie (our dog) she had issues too, many of them similar, but she is much smaller and we only had one child, who was 8 at the time. Sadie improved so quickly under our care so I am positive that we could do it again.
DH and I really want this dog but am not sure if he would fit into our family dynamic at this time. I'd honestly love to foster the dog see how things go without having to commit the money (other then day to day care), and if it did work out I would adopt him, unfortunately the shelter is city run and doesn't allow fostering. It's also unfortunate that the shelter is a ways away, another option I would love to do is to volunteer time there, help them get the dogs in a more adoptable state.
I do know pets are a huge commitment and would never abandon the animal if I did take it in. I had a cat with dementia for the at least the last 3 years of her life, we eventually had to put her down at 16 years of age due to cancer. Sadie (our dog) has a sensitive stomach and we ran tests to figure things out (got no real answers) paid $700 for that and also spent over $1000 removing a fatty deposit from her butt by her tail. Thankfully my other pets haven't had any serious medical issues yet, but all animals have had regular vet check ups.
I'd appreciate it if you could give me some feedback, and help me make a decision on what to do, DH and I really want this dog but are unsure if it's really meant to be. If you have any questions feel free to ask away.
The dog isn't a boxer/lab mix, like pet finder told me, the shelter let my DH know that he is is mutt the breed mix is unknown.
* Amanda *
I'm probably going to be in the minority here when I tell you what *I* would do, but since you're asking....
I much prefer to get dogs as puppies. I've seen so many behavior problems with older dogs from shelters (I was a dog trainer for 3 years), and I know that, for my family, that wouldn't be a good fit. Good behaviors are much easier to teach initially, than to correct bad behaviors. I would probably only ever get a shelter dog if I had an "older" family or my kids were out of the house, since I would have more time to devote to training.
That being said, if it really is a lab/boxer mix, both of those breeds are pretty eager to learn and are highly motivated. It's a shame that you're not able to do the fostering to see if he would fit in with your family. Good luck on making your decision. If you ever have any questions, just feel free to ask I miss my dog training days!
This is a tough subject. I sounds more like everything is negative then positive. It isn't the breed you want and it has lots of issues. If your kids were older, I would say go for it. I don't know, I could be wrong though. I would just worry with the nipping and jumping.
With all that being said, if it is an easy dog to train and you like the dog, it might be worth it. I wish you could foster to help with your decision. Good luck on your decision and keep us posted!
Sadie- mommy to Ruthie & Randy
I'm all for rescuing dogs if you are prepared. We rescued a black lab mix that we found at maybe 3 months old. She ate everything, peed everywhere and drove me nuts for nearly 2 years....labs are rough....but that being said...she is amazing with our children and sooo gentle. If you feel safe with this dog, then go for it. Sounds like it is still a puppy and just needs time and training.
I am not breed picky, would be happy with any short haired, mid to large breed dog.
* Amanda *
Meet the dog today myself, DH took the dog we were looking at for a quick walk when we first got to the shelter, we then went to the "gym", just a larger empty room, and brought the girls and Sadie to meet him. Sadie is a bit timid of him, probably cause he has no doggie manners, but was fine to just look and keep her distance. Natalie he just sniffed and then walked away, Dana could have interacted with him a bit more but she's 13 so I am sure she'll be fine. My impression is that he's a really good dog, really smart, even tempered and eager to please. So we filled out the adoption papers, they gave DH a quick call to go over some of their concerns (mainly the cats and how we'd manage introduction) and they'll get back to us on Monday to let us know if we've been approved.
* Amanda *
We've been given the run around with this dog from the shelter, I am unsure if we will be adopting, not because of the dog but because of the shelter.
* Amanda *
DH talked to the supervisor at the shelter, we've arranged to foster the dog for two weeks, we can give him up at any time during that period, after that period we have three choices, return him, extend the foster, adopt.
* Amanda *
Just thought I would update you ladies on this, after 8 days of fostering the dog we found that he had some issues with randomly snapping and biting, not hard enough to puncture skin but hard enough to hurt. After talking to some trainers we found out it is called redirected aggression and could take months to sort out. We decided that with a 3 and 1/2 year old and 2 cats in the house it would be in the best interest of our family that the dog go back to the shelter.
It was very sad bringing him back because we made so many strides with him, he was walking on a leash, learning to pay attention, picked up on sit, stay and leave-it, he even progressed with the cats. He was sweet 99% of the time but that 1% was just too much of a risk. One of the ladies at the shelter has arranged to get the dog into a rescue that specializes in rehabilitating dogs that are difficult and then getting them into homes, so our input on how he responded in a home was valuable to them, guess that's a positive that came out of this.
One thing I realized from this experience is that another dog is not what I want right now, so we are taking a break and enjoying our family as it is.
* Amanda *
Really hope you don't mind me updating on all my dog matters, yeah I really am indecisive.
DH and I haven't announced it on FB yet so no comments please but we've been looking at some Sheltie/Collie cross puppies at a rescue organization, they require you to fill out an application before seeing the dogs so we've done so and sent it in.
Here is their petfinder link.
* Amanda *