Jump to content

Menu

Family wants to adopt an unknown mixed breed puppy--help?


cintinative
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am not thrilled--I don't think I want a puppy at all--I was leaning toward an older dog that is already housetrained. The biggest hesitation I have is that we have no idea what the mix is for this puppy. It might be a bull terrier/cur hound mix with something else thrown in. The shelter has no idea.  How do you assess a dog's temperament when he/she is 1) just a puppy and 2) an unknown mixed breed? They said she was very calm when they took her to the "getting to know you" room but was jumping and excited in the cage with her sister.  It might have been her first "meet and greet."

We have no pets aside of a pet corn snake, if that informs your input.  

Would love some BTDT type advice. We definitely want to rescue a dog, but we had been leaning toward the local lab rescue. They seem to take a good amount of time to assess fit with the families they place with. This puppy is from a local animal shelter so we don't get any of that assistance.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I personally would be against it. I am very choosy (extremely!) about any dog or cat we get because I intend for all pets to be ours until they die, barring some unforeseen emergency. I’m not a fan of re-homing dogs and cats because it just “didn’t work out.” I also personally have certain mixes that I won’t consider because it is not the right kind of dog for me, so any hound mix would be a no for me and a bull terrier mix would also be a no because shelters love to say that when really it’s a Pit mix. 

I guess it would be possible for my family to overrule me on a dog if they were all in favor, along with dh. But I really hope they don’t because, as I said, I don’t consider dog aquisition as small matter. 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Six of the eight dogs I've had in my life were mutts (the last two were purebred). With two of the six I/we knew what the mix was but with the others we could only guess. We got all  of our dogs as puppies. All were wonderful dogs. I'm not concerned about mixed breeds and I'm a believer in a dog being what its owner trains it to be. 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Puppies are a ton of work, so I wouldn't recommend getting one unless the whole family is on board. Getting an older, already-housetrained dog is generally so much easier, especially since it sounds like you don't have a lot of dog experience. I like your idea of adopting from the lab rescue.?

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right now I feel like I do almost all the cleaning around here so I am anti-puppy. Also my kids have Legos everywhere just sitting out which I think is just inviting a puppy to chew/ingest some. I suppose we might get lucky and have a puppy that doesn't chew, but I don't know that we will be able to predict that. I told my husband I was a no on this one (puppy). I really think we need an older dog--even a one year old would be better.  I don't think that my kids have any conception of how much work a puppy could be, and I can see myself resenting that they forced me into that.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, cintinative said:

Right now I feel like I do almost all the cleaning around here so I am anti-puppy. Also my kids have Legos everywhere just sitting out which I think is just inviting a puppy to chew/ingest some. I suppose we might get lucky and have a puppy that doesn't chew, but I don't know that we will be able to predict that. I told my husband I was a no on this one (puppy). I really think we need an older dog--even a one year old would be better.  I don't think that my kids have any conception of how much work a puppy could be, and I can see myself resenting that they forced me into that.  

Yeah, legos + a puppy is not a good mix at all. We only adopted older dogs when my kids were in the toys-all-over-the-floor stage.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, livetoread said:

FWIW, the labs I have known have chewed everything until about age 3. After that, it’s just most things.

We had two labs that we adopted as adults who didn't chew anything, other than chew toys. Now, we have two 16-month-old English labs and they stopped being chewers around the year-old mark. I'd only classify them as moderate chewers, even at their worst.

The worst chewer ever was my Aussie/Catahoula when he was a puppy. I had to get a few new pieces of furniture because of his little puppy jaws.? He stopped chewing and turned into the best dog ever at two years old. 

Edited by Selkie
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, I have one answer based on the "mixed breed" part, and another answer based on the "puppy" part.

Most of the dogs I've had have been mixed breeds. Certainly there are differences between them, but the ones I've had have been fantastic dogs. Some have been harder to train than others, some more likely to be bored and get into mischief than others, but essentially they've been good-natured dogs we were all happy to live with. We've been pretty flexible too, though, and more amused than anything else to discover one had a herding dog background and another was more protective and so on.

I don't think a puppy is a good choice if you don't want to be looking after it-- and almost inevitably you will. Legos and such are another good reason to go for an adult dog. I'd say you would be justified in insisting on an older puppy or adult dog whose temperament can be evaluated. But I agree that you should plan on a young lab chewing everything! Honestly, I'd look at middle-aged dogs. They can arrive already housebroken, past the chewing stage, ready to settle in easily. 

Edited by Innisfree
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, livetoread said:

FWIW, the labs I have known have chewed everything until about age 3. After that, it’s just most things.

We’ve adopted two older labs around age five and six and neither ever chewed anything. I think you’re very smart to go with an older dog and the lab rescue sounds like a good place. One of our labs came from the Humane Society, but they did complete assessments and graded them. Because it was our first family dog, we decided we would only take a dog with high marks in every category. We ended up with absolutely the easiest dog ever, and I grew up with lots of dogs. Our next one came from a lab rescue in another part of the country, only because my husband wanted something very close to what we had previously, I was more open to almost anything. Because this dog lived with a foster family for a few weeks, we basically knew completely what we were getting and she’s been a wonderful dog for our family.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Frances said:

 Because this dog lived with a foster family for a few weeks, we basically knew completely what we were getting and she’s been a wonderful dog for our family.

 

Thanks. This is why I am leaning toward the rescue also. My kids are in love with the idea of a puppy, but they have no idea about the chewing, the pooping, etc. It's *possible* I can restrict their Lego use to one area, but I don't really believe we will be able to keep them off the floor entirely unless we majorly change the way they play with them. And I totally agree with the prior posters--that is dangerous for any dog that chews.  A middle aged dog would be perfect in my view, especially as I consider that in eight years we will (likely) have two in college and as I understand it, high school seniors are super busy.  I just have to convince my kiddos.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think most mutts are unknown. People (me included) mostly tend to guess Breed X and Breed X, but odds are high in most mutts there are a LOT more than two breeds involved. I'd be very leery of the guess on bull terrier unless the mom had puppies in the shelter. I say that because most mutts are (1) mixes of other mutts or (2) mixes of the most common breeds in an area. At least in my area "common" and "bull terrier" would not go in the same sentence!

If you do a search for "puppy temperament test" you'll get some suggestions of things to try to help you make an assessment. Temperament testing is best done by a trainer with lots of experience, though. It's possible you could find a trainer who would temperament test the pup for you.

But my bottom line advice would be that if you don't feel good about it then don't. There are lots of puppies and dogs who need homes. There's no need to take one if your head and your heart aren't in it.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If rest of your family does decide it very badly wants a puppy, insist that they learn all about puppy needs in advance and make the needed changes such as LEGO pieces not on floor beforehand, and working out a schedule of who (not you!) will take care of what the puppy needs when.  All that studied by them and dry run it all before any particular puppy can be considered.  Even get a puppy care contract from them  

In some ways homeschooling is an ideal time for puppy since there are active people to exercise and do all the other things a puppy needs. But it should not be entered into blindly. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Puppies chew because the are teething and need to chew.  A "good" puppy does not equal one that does not chew.  But giving a puppy lots of appropriate chewies and picking things up can limit or even eliminate damage to personal items. 

This.

Puppy loves towels and socks.   They're soft.  He has lots of appropriate chewies. Many are ignored.  When grabbing one he's not supposed to have,  we just redirect.

DD is also convinced he thinks he's a cat, as he likes cat toys.

He loves to play tug.  But he drops things when he's told (practice for dropping things he's not supposed to have).  And if we drop our end, he drops his and gives us a pathetic face because we stopped.

Just like human babies, cold chewies feel good.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here “mutt” is code for pit bull mix. Someone told me more than three quarters of the shelter dogs have a lot of pit bull in them. I know lots of people with them as pets and they seem to be great dogs, but that’s a lot of dog to handle when you don’t want to.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ignore your family and do not get this dog.  You will be the one doing 90% of the work, and you will be the one dealing with the emotional fallout if/when it doesn't work out and either someone gets bitten or the dog needs surgery for eating legos.  Just say no and take the family to see a dog at the lab rescue.  Labs are awesome dogs.  Even lab mixes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Farrar said:

Here “mutt” is code for pit bull mix. Someone told me more than three quarters of the shelter dogs have a lot of pit bull in them. I know lots of people with them as pets and they seem to be great dogs, but that’s a lot of dog to handle when you don’t want to.

Yup. 

When I was 16, I got the most awesome mixed breed puppy of all time. She was a Sheltie/Spitz and she was beautiful, brilliant and trainable as heck. For real - the first night I had her, she started to whimper in her box (poor man’s crate) and I said, “Nika! Shhh!” Then she whimpered a tiny bit more and I shushed her again. Then she never whimpered again. That was what it was like to train her anything. She had ONE tinkle accident on the rug. ONE! Then she was housebroken and she even had her particular potty area of the yard, so she didn’t go all over the yard. 

Alas, though. People with Shelties and Spitzes don’t ever have unintentional puppy litters anymore. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whether you ultimately get a puppy or an adult, l suggest you stick with breed or breed combinations that are generally regarded as being suitable for novice owners. Bull terriers, even if not “pit” but the traditional bull terrier like in the original Incredible Journey, are advanced owner dogs. I don’t know about curs but would guess they are too. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Farrar said:

Here “mutt” is code for pit bull mix. Someone told me more than three quarters of the shelter dogs have a lot of pit bull in them. I know lots of people with them as pets and they seem to be great dogs, but that’s a lot of dog to handle when you don’t want to.

Around here, it's higher than that.

Or a chihuahua. 

Edited by gardenmom5
Spelling
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's true that with a mutt, you really have no idea.  I will say that the very shy pup is the only one we would absolutely stay away from, mutt or purebred.  I say this because shy can turn into a weird aggression, depending on other factors.  

But, I'll also add that we've always had BETTER luck with mutt pups than purebred pups.  Their personalities tend to be more watered-down (in a good way) and not extreme.  Of course there are always exceptions.

We haven't had a dog for a few years because of too many health events and travels within our family.  But, one of our (young adult) dd's just got a rescue mutt pup two weeks ago, and we've agreed to be the backup caregivers.  ?  (This wasn't too difficult for me, because I really love dogs so much.)  Already, two weeks out, we have a slightly better idea of him.  So far, so good.  

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like your family has a great deal of enthusiasm where a dog is concerned, but not a lot of experience. Have you ever owned a dog as an adult before? What are the ages of your dc?  Pedigree or mutt, dogs are a LOT of "work." If you've never owned a dog outside of your childhood, then there is a very steep learning curve.

Why not do some short-term boarding from a service dog association or a rescue shelter to do some learning and exploring without the pressure of jumping into a full-time ownership situation? 

I owned 2 dogs as an adult, but it wasn't until I started volunteering at a service dog centre that I properly learned about dog care with lots of help from professionals. It made a huge difference in the enjoyment of owning a pet.  Obedience classes with the whole family, safe dog toys, crate training, leash training, healthy eating, home preparation and maintenance , and dog health are all important factors in owning a dog. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Ktgrok said:

Can you sell the kids on the idea that "puppies are easy to find homes for, but older dogs have a hard time finding a home, so we'd REALLY be rescuing it if we got an older dog". Sometimes pulling at those heart strings works wonders. 

 

Yes. Absolutely--it would be a win for us and the dog.  ?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have two dogs. Anabelle is a shelter "mutt" (she was advertised as catahoula/mountain cur mix but she is definitely some kind of pit mix) and L'il Bit is a pure blooded bassett hound. She was found by a neighbor nearly starved. We nursed her back to health while looking for her owner but no one ever claimed her.

I don't like dogs and I don't want dogs. Dh does most of the work with them. I feed them when he isn't able to and let them in or out. The bassett hound is mostly an outside dog so most of her shedding stays outside. Both were about a year old when we got them so still a bit of puppy in them.

Anabelle has never had an accident in the house that was her fault (once or twice we've been away too long and she wasn't let out in time) . She won't even touch something she thinks might be a kid's toy. Those stuffed animal things that are sold as dog toys, she won't touch them. She doesn't beg or take food that is unattended. You have to set it in the floor and call her before she will take human food.

L'il Bit stays outside because her breed is hardheaded and she cannot seem to get the idea that you do your business outside. She will chew anything that isn't nailed down and if she's really bored anything, nailed or not is free game. She takes grandma's garden gnomes from her yard and brings them to our yard. She has to be put in the kennel if she's inside when we are eating. Unattended food is as good as gone when she's around. If it is super cold out and we let her stay inside for the night, she's confined to a kennel after we go to bed.

Pit bulls get a bad rap but Anabelle is the most patient dog you've ever seen. We've had her since our youngest was 2 years old (he'll be 6 in January) She has never even attempted to bite, scratch or even snarl at him. She puts up with everything you could imagine a preschooler could do to dog and just looks at you like "Please make him stop now". Now, she is mighty protective of him. You don't hurt her boy lol. She gets antsy if he spends more than one night at Grandma's house. When we give her commands, it is rare we have to say it more than once.

L'il Bit has a good temperament with kids too but she's not as fiercely protective of us as Anabelle is. She will do almost anything for food. We've been working with her for over a year now but she still doesn't listen to commands very well. Unless you have food. And even then sometimes it depends on whether she thinks she can get it from you without listening first.

Both are good dogs but in my experience, mix and purebred are just words. You can have good mix breeds and good purebreds (not just with these two, despite the fact I don't like dogs, we've had a dog in the house for most of my life). I would visit the shelter several times and have them socialize the dog with you and the kids. Ask if they know anything about the dog's history. We found out Anabelle was left behind by her owners when they moved away. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Quill said:

When I was 16, I got the most awesome mixed breed puppy of all time. She was a Sheltie/Spitz and she was beautiful, brilliant and trainable as heck. 

 

We had the sweetest stray dog growing up. Just showed up on our street one day with her puppy.  She looked awful--emaciated and dirty--she gave all her nutrition to the puppy.  We put ads in the paper and at the grocery (there was no FB or chips back then) and no one claimed her. As she got better, she became a gorgeous dog. We think she was a collie/golden mix. She was the sweetest tempered dog. Very gentle, loved to fetch, and just an overall wonderful family dog. We were blessed. 

Edited by cintinative
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my house, Mom has veto authority. I vote for an adult dog.

We got a rescue dog that is 5-6 years old and absolutely adore her. She was housetrained and is very people-oriented. She wasn't leash trained and still tends to pull hard if there is a cat or squirrel (LOL), but she is generally very well-behaved. I took her to a church picnic, and she had perfect manners the entire time. People fell in love with her.

Even with both of mine at home as commuter college students, some of the care falls to me. With schedules and such, it just ends up that way. I also buy the food and pay the vet bills.

We are renters, and the management company required a documentation of her breed and required a copy of the rescue paperwork for that. There was a long list of breeds they won't allow even if it was just a fraction. So if you rent or may rent in the future, keep that in mind. No pit bulls, rottweilers, dobermans, etc. 

When I went to get renter's insurance, they needed the same documentation. Apparently some breeds require an additional premium, but ours didn't.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...