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Need some Advice, Please.....



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 21st 03, 03:37 AM
Jon
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Default Need some Advice, Please.....

We are looking to get our 6 year old daughter her first dog. I am
looking for a mid- to - large size dog. The wife's biggest concern is
health. The fewer the known problems with a breed the better. We have
been told by several different people that we may want to look into a
mutt cos they are known to have the least amount of health problems.
Is there any truth to this. We are not all that big on having to have
a purebred dog, a mutt would be fine. Any help, advice, or suggestions
you could offer would be appreciated. TIA

Jon
  #2  
Old July 21st 03, 06:08 AM
Jo Wolf
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I'd suggest a medium size dog ... a pleasant adult mix. A large dog may
be too large for a 6 year-old to cope with. Somewhat shaggy and
scruffy, and too cute.... with a very waggy tail.

Do be aware that you should get the dog that you parents want. Period.
Kids are fascinated by a new dog/puppy at first, but they have other
priorities in real life.... and they will love the dog that you bring
home... and leave all the work to you. This is normal. Plan for a
basic obedience class.

Sit down and list the physical and personality characteristics you want,
then prioritize them... before you start to look at dogs or breeds
thereof. Adult size, length of coat, shedding, activity, need for
professional grooming, health/genetics....

Health problems.... Mixed breeds do inherit problems, too; it depends
on the genetics involved in the family tree.... and it is entirely
possible that the mixed breed dog has not had good preventive and
curative vet care for general health problems.... Each mixed breed dog
must be approached as unique and is a one-of-a-kind critter. Some of
the most handsome dogs with the greatest character and wimsical
personalities are just plain "designer dogs".... pure mixed breeds.

Jo Wolf
Martinez, Georgia

  #3  
Old July 21st 03, 06:56 AM
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On 20 Jul 2003 19:37:54 -0700 Jon whittled these words:
We are looking to get our 6 year old daughter her first dog.


Why do you consider this dog "her dog"?

When you envision the dog and your daughter interacting what do you see?
Dressing the dog in doll clothes? Pushing it around in a baby carriage?
Training it daily? Playing ball or frisbee daily? Grooming and walking
the dog? What will the relationship be such that it is HER dog and not
YOUR dog?

What will be her responsiblities in regard to the dog? What will be the
consquences if she fails in those rsponsibilities? If she has no time or
interest in the dog, what then? When she is 14-15 the dog will be 8-9. If
you consider the dog to be hers, not yours, and she decides it interfers
with her social life, what then?

Do YOU want a dog? If you do then get one for yourself that will be
capable of living in a home with a well behaved young child. All aspects
of the relationship with the dog should be your responsibilty - not just
the obvious such as feeding, walking, cleaning up after and vet bills,
but also the required social interaction of playing and training.
Naturally one would expect her to enjoy the dog as well but that should be
the extent of it.

I am
looking for a mid- to - large size dog. The wife's biggest concern is
health. The fewer the known problems with a breed the better. We have
been told by several different people that we may want to look into a
mutt cos they are known to have the least amount of health problems.


Just using the category "purebred" and "mixed breed" (or mutt) doesn't
give a realistic picture of the choices. There is "carefully bred" and
"carelessly bred".

In a carefully bred dog the breeder knows the dogs in the pedigree very
well, including their health. They test for and discover problems the
ordinary pet owner would never notice. If a problem is discovered it
might render the dog "unbreedable because of health problems" even if the
problem does not presently affect the life of the dog.

In a carelessly bred dog the breeder knows little about the health of the
dogs in the pedigree and makes no attempt to find problems. Thus the dog
is considered unhealthy only if the problem is so serious as to affect the
life of the dog - that is to be noticeable by the average pet owner. So
these untested dogs are billed as "healthier" than the tested simply
because no one looked for problems.

If a breeder is going to breed untested dogs then yes, a mutt, is somewhat
less likely to have health problems than breeding two poor quality
purebreds together. Random breeding doesn't do much for shared health
problems, but it can mean that breed specific problems are not expressed.
Meaning they are in the genes but don't affect the dog - those genetics
come out in subsequent breedings.

Is there any truth to this. We are not all that big on having to have
a purebred dog, a mutt would be fine. Any help, advice, or suggestions
you could offer would be appreciated. TIA


There are hundreds of medium to large sized adult dogs that would make a
fine family pet. Puppies are not recommended for families inexperienced
with puppies/dogs where there are young children in the househould.
Puppies explore with their teeth. It is difficult for the young child to
understand and deal with normal puppy behavior. Often the way puppies
play is distressing or frightening to the young child. It is frequently
difficult for the young child to consistently behave in a way that does
not excite the puppy into jumping up and nipping, or to stop that behavior
when it occurs. Adult dogs are a much better prospect for a home with
young children. They will, generally, be calmer and less nippy. They are
more likely to treat the child in the manner they would treat a puppy -
something whose antics are to be tolerated and who is to be protected. IN
contrast a puppy tends to treat a child as a littermate - perhaps a
playmate but also subject to "who's on top" and "sibling rilvalry."

If YOU want a dog check out http://www.petfinder.org If you aren't
particularly intersted in a dog and are only satisfying your daughters
request then it is a better idea to pass. A dog, adult or puppy, is
considerable investment in daily time and effort.

Diane Blackman
  #4  
Old July 21st 03, 04:45 PM
Alison
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"Jon" wrote in message
om...
We are looking to get our 6 year old daughter her first dog. I am
looking for a mid- to - large size dog. The wife's biggest concern

is
health. The fewer the known problems with a breed the better. We

have
been told by several different people that we may want to look into

a
mutt cos they are known to have the least amount of health problems.
Is there any truth to this. We are not all that big on having to

have
a purebred dog, a mutt would be fine. Any help, advice, or

suggestions
you could offer would be appreciated. TIA

Jon


Hi Jon ,
If this were me I think I would be more concerned about whether a 6
year old could manage a mid- large dog . It's very disappointing for
a small child not being able to walk the dog if it is too strong for
him/ her or it is too boisterous and knockes her over.
Also, very important is that you need a dog thats likes children ,
not all do ! What type of dog does your daughter like ? Xbreeds and
mutts can be healthy as they have a wider pool of genes but it depends
on what they have been crossed with . Some types of dogs have
hereditary defects . Have you thought of adopting a rescue dog? if so
make sure you get one who's history is known .
From my own experience I 've learnt that children soon lose interest
in their pets when it comes to the chores ,so really it will be you
and your wife who will be the primary carers and trainers of the dog .
Alison


 




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