Nov 12, 2010
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Hello,

I am a pre- vet student and I own a 1 year old boxer he is so awesome! I was wondering if any vet students own pets during vet school and how they find time for their companions. Boxers require a lot of exercise and I hope that when I get into vet school I can find time for my guy, but I do not want to be unrealistic. Dog day care can be expensive too, any suggestions??

Thanks
 
OP
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Nov 12, 2010
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Hello,

Thanks for the reply :)

I was thinking about getting a second dog this summer as my boy is maturing nicely I think he deserves a friend. I am also looking for a place closer to campus :) Your advice really helped me feel better, I couldn't imagine life without a dog. I also own some livestock an hour from where I live but I have help with that, it is always nice to have support when you are busy.
 

sumstorm

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Have 7 dogs, 2 cats, one roommate who may be getting a dog, and 2 half roommates (ie they tend to live here part time) one of whom has cats, the other is my husband (who occasionally takes dogs home with him and often takes the cats home with him.)

So the number of pets in the house fluctuates between 2-~12. I'm an animal trainer (or was prior to vet school) so while it sounds like a big deal, the house operates incredibly smoothly; dogs don't bark when people visit, or when they hear sirens, or a runner goes by on the greenway. Minimal table begging (there is some begging for laps, but none for food.) Dogs know the routines for going outside, feeding, pilling, etc so there aren't squirmishes.

I do invest heavily in food dispensers and chew items (toys, bones, rawhides) particularly during intesne exam periods and finals. I am also not above sending everyone to their crates if the rowdiness continues for too long or gets too loud. I have an indoor/outdoor kennel set up for the dogs during the day while I am at school. I can run home if I need to (its a 9-13min drive) but I rarely do. I love the mornings with my dogs (we rotate who gets runs & walks) and sitting on the deck playing fetch and tug is a great study break.

It does impact travel, so if you want to be able to head to the beach without any notice, or stay out all night (even studying at the school), dogs can make that difficult. My husband (half roommate - he lives across the state most of the time) and my other half roommate (she lives here when life turns problematic) and all 7 dogs are traveling (with me) to Indiana and back for thanksgiving....about a 10 hour car ride.
 

Willowhand

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Many people in my class have pets, and those of us with canines often head out to the dog parks after lab so our furkids can exercise and play. If you're worried your dog will be lonely/bored during the day, you could try to end up living with housemates who also have social dogs.

I am so glad I have my pup here with me. Sure, her care is another --sometimes time-consuming-- responsibility, but being with her is so delightful and relaxing that her company is more than worth any trouble. It's also helpful having a live animal at hand to study anatomy on :laugh:
 

JumpHigherLivie

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I think it's all about how you want to spend your time.

I have a 1.5 yo male great dane that I adopted during the summer between first and second year -- good time to get a new dog because I had more time to train etc. But in school we go for about 3miles of walks/day and go to training classes for an hour twice a week.

I DO invest in sending him to a very good doggy day care once a week. He looks forward to it, always comes home tired, and it gives him a chance to practice playing and socializing with dogs.

The first day of classes we earned our Canine Good Citizen title and I just got him therapy dog ceritifed through TDI and we'll be working iwth a hospice after the first of the year.

If I have a lot of exams coming up I always make sure the freezer is stocked with raw bones so that I can keep him preoccupied while I study.

personally I think it was a great decision!
 
OP
S
Nov 12, 2010
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Thanks for the reply,

I agree coming home to my dog makes my day that much better. I have done training with him ( basic obedience) and he is maturing so nicely ( he is just over a year). I take him to doggy care on days when I am really busy or I call a friend who will take him for walks.

I have recently been thinking of adding a new puppy to the family, I have heard from many that adding a second dog is beneficial. I was thinking I could buy the puppy over Christmas break so I would have a few weeks to spend with it before I went back to classes. My schedule next term allows for more free time so I am hoping I have time for a puppy.

Does anyone agree with me? or disagree?

I would like some feedback

Thanks again:)
 

NStarz

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I don't really have any opinion on whether or not to get a second dog, but I will say PLEASE DON'T BUY A PUPPY. Pet store puppies come from puppy mills (pet stores that tell you differently are lying--99.9% of pet store puppies are puppy mill puppies). Please please please adopt from a shelter or rescue organization. Many have puppies available (or, if they don't, will get some in eventually or refer you to a rescue/shelter that does have puppies). You will be giving a dog in need a home, and you will not be supporting puppy mills :) Good luck with your decision!
 

sumstorm

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Personally I have always had multiple pets. I think that if pets are compatable, it does help. However, compatability can be a big challenge.
 
OP
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Nov 12, 2010
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Hello,

I was aware of the puppy mill dogs coming from pet stores, I have always bought my dogs from reputable breeders. I think that my boxer would enjoy a friend he is very sociable!

Thanks
 

JumpHigherLivie

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I don't disagree with you, but I don't entirely agree with you either...

Although you can avoid the puppy phase (I was quite thankful for not having to potty train!) ... I think that if you're adopting a dog you should acknowledge that you might actually have to work HARDER on the socialization issues, because you aren't "starting from scratch" with these guys and often times have to un and re train.

Some dogs are totally fine and have no issues what so ever, but I think that there's a fair number of them that have had less-than-stellar starts to life and aren't BAD dogs, but need to be "un and re" trained in terms of socialization. I put a TON of time into my dane (now granted, having a dog who weighs 20 lbs less than me decide to lunge on his leash to dart elsewhere is a bigger problem than with a smaller dog haha). One thing I really like, is adopting from places that foster ... you get an idea of what things they might need more work on in a home environment.

Just my two cents and experiences, I"m certainly not an expert!
 

sumstorm

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though you can avoid the puppy phase (I was quite thankful for not having to potty train!) ... I think that if you're adopting a dog you should acknowledge that you might actually have to work HARDER on the socialization issues, because you aren't "starting from scratch" with these guys and often times have to un and re train.
This depends on selection in terms of where/whom the dog/pup is obtained from and of the dog/pup itself. The early handling, socialization, and competences of the breeder can greatly impact the quality of a pup, as can the shelter/foster/rescue experience for a pup or dog. I do purchase my working dogs from breeders because I need the greatest return (in terms of health/lifespan) for my working dogs because I am committing at least 2 intensive years of training before they can really work. A quality breeder who believes in and has the time for early socialization and training produces amazing dogs (my 8 wk old pup came to me already sitting and laying on cue, and walking potitely on a leash.) My 10mo old shelter rescue through our school's spay program also came to me knowing how to walk on leash and sit/down on cue because of her foster/rescue program. The biggest factor is setting and maintaining high criteria for selection. You need to rule out dogs that aren't ideal before being enchanted by how cute they are, or how much they need a home.

As a trainer I am routinely chastised for refusing to adopt dogs that aren't the pinnacle of ideal temperment because I 'have the skills to solve the problems' but I don't want the problems. So I select for dogs that are well balanced, react with curiosity rather than fear or excitement when startled, that take odd things in stride (I want a dog that wants to quietly investigate the giant squeeking toy chicken rather than jumps on it with excitement or hides from it or barks at it), and that are interested in people, but not so devoted that they won't be tempted to play with a treat filled toy. I may occasionally get a dog that has a few mild issues that are generally solved in less than a month (often less than 2 weeks) but I have completly avoided dogs that are reactive, fearful, aggressive, or overly boisterous. It does take more time...and a bit of a hard heart, though.
 

bunnity

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If dog compatibility is a concern I think that is another really good reason to get an adult. With a puppy you can socialize all you want and still have it grow up to be dog aggressive - a lot of that is genetic. With an adult that is 2+ years old, you are going to have a pretty good idea of its personality and its interactions with other dogs.

The "screwed up shelter dog" is somewhat of a myth. They are out there, definitely, but having worked with shelter dogs on a daily basis for a year most of them are just dogs. The one sleeping on the floor next to me (foster) was bred for fighting, spent over half his life in the shelter on hold for cruelty, went through four homes after that (flaky adopters, he didn't do anything wrong), AND was a stray for two months after that. He has the most stable temperament of any dog I've worked with and I trust him completely. Oh, and he's somehow house trained. So life experience does not necessarily make a dog into a problem dog.

Back to the original question, if you get another dog you have to be prepared for the fact that they may not get along after a while and you may have to keep them separate 24/7. If that is not a possibility for you, don't get another dog.

If you are planning on buying a dog, I would urge you to go to your nearest shelter and walk up and down the kennels and look every dog in the face. Then make your decision.
 

cowgirla

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I don't disagree with you, but I don't entirely agree with you either...

Although you can avoid the puppy phase (I was quite thankful for not having to potty train!) ... I think that if you're adopting a dog you should acknowledge that you might actually have to work HARDER on the socialization issues, because you aren't "starting from scratch" with these guys and often times have to un and re train.

Some dogs are totally fine and have no issues what so ever, but I think that there's a fair number of them that have had less-than-stellar starts to life and aren't BAD dogs, but need to be "un and re" trained in terms of socialization. I put a TON of time into my dane (now granted, having a dog who weighs 20 lbs less than me decide to lunge on his leash to dart elsewhere is a bigger problem than with a smaller dog haha). One thing I really like, is adopting from places that foster ... you get an idea of what things they might need more work on in a home environment.

Just my two cents and experiences, I"m certainly not an expert!

Like others have said, a lot depends on your priorities when you are in the shelter looking at each dog. I went into the shelter and said "I want a male dog that is at least two years old and under 40 pounds." That narrowed down my choices quite a bit. I also wanted a dog that had no fear/resentment issues towards people (I've got one of those already, didn't need a second. The first, by the way, was from a breeder and I got her at four months old as a "neglect" case.), and obviously, needed to get along with other dogs. That narrowed it down to about three dogs, and I was prepared to walk out with nothing.
The dog I ended up with was curious, not =overly= active, and he came when I whistled, because he wanted to spend time near me, not exploring. He wasn't one of the shelter dogs that made a mess of his kennel area every night, so I was hopeful about the housetraining part. I introduced him to my dog, they sniffed, and went their separate directions to explore the play area. Needless to say, I was thrilled.

Took him home that night, they continued to mostly ignore each other. Found out he was an angel in the crate, both when he was alone and when I was in the next room. Continued to come when I whistled, paid attention to me even if he didn't know what I was asking, training-wise.

And that was exactly what I wanted. I knew once the new dog settled in that he would come out of his shell. It was more important to me that they were aloof from the first, not instant playmates, and it has definitely worked out in my favor. Now, they love each other to death and play beautifully. They occasionaly get a little rough with each other, sure, but they also sleep together in the same small crate of their own free will. And it's only been three months. Most of his "issues" were fixed within the first month -- ie, his desire to climb onto the furniture and into your lap.

So basically, what I'm trying to say, is if you go into the shelter and take the first cute dog that you like, or the first dog of a specific breed that you come across, you may be battling some training/socialization issues. If you are willing to take the time and find the dog that is the right fit for your household and lifestyle, you may find yourself with an almost-perfect best friend.
 

bunnity

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Like others have said, a lot depends on your priorities when you are in the shelter looking at each dog. I went into the shelter and said "I want a male dog that is at least two years old and under 40 pounds." That narrowed down my choices quite a bit. I also wanted a dog that had no fear/resentment issues towards people (I've got one of those already, didn't need a second. The first, by the way, was from a breeder and I got her at four months old as a "neglect" case.), and obviously, needed to get along with other dogs. That narrowed it down to about three dogs, and I was prepared to walk out with nothing.
The dog I ended up with was curious, not =overly= active, and he came when I whistled, because he wanted to spend time near me, not exploring. He wasn't one of the shelter dogs that made a mess of his kennel area every night, so I was hopeful about the housetraining part. I introduced him to my dog, they sniffed, and went their separate directions to explore the play area. Needless to say, I was thrilled.

Took him home that night, they continued to mostly ignore each other. Found out he was an angel in the crate, both when he was alone and when I was in the next room. Continued to come when I whistled, paid attention to me even if he didn't know what I was asking, training-wise.

And that was exactly what I wanted. I knew once the new dog settled in that he would come out of his shell. It was more important to me that they were aloof from the first, not instant playmates, and it has definitely worked out in my favor. Now, they love each other to death and play beautifully. They occasionaly get a little rough with each other, sure, but they also sleep together in the same small crate of their own free will. And it's only been three months. Most of his "issues" were fixed within the first month -- ie, his desire to climb onto the furniture and into your lap.

So basically, what I'm trying to say, is if you go into the shelter and take the first cute dog that you like, or the first dog of a specific breed that you come across, you may be battling some training/socialization issues. If you are willing to take the time and find the dog that is the right fit for your household and lifestyle, you may find yourself with an almost-perfect best friend.
great post, and I'm so glad it's working out so well.
As a former adoption counselor, I will say that the adoption staff appreciates when people take their time and know what they are looking for. Especially if you come at non-peak hours (mornings and weekdays) they will try to spend a lot of time helping you make the right match.
 

twelvetigers

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Well, you could only take one, and you took the right one I think. Plus if dog #1 hated hot weather, she needed to go to someone headed north, lol. It's hot every summer.
 

sumstorm

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Back to the original question, if you get another dog you have to be prepared for the fact that they may not get along after a while and you may have to keep them separate 24/7. If that is not a possibility for you, don't get another dog.
I personally do not agree with this. I do believe that if you aren't willing to manage dogs that don't get along, you start out with that concern in mind and work only with individuals/organizations that can support you in this regard. IE breeders that will happily take back (at your cost, not theirs) the dog for this reason and/or rescues that will foster and rehome if necessary (again at your cost.) I have lived with 6 or more dogs in our home the majority of my life (excluding 6 years for college and international travel.) I would not find isolating a dog, or trying to rotate dogs acceptable; so a dog that was not compatable and had to be seperated 24/7 from the rest of the clan would essentially be neglected here (I don't believe it is reasonable to isolate all my other dogs in order for that dog to get the appropriate time/level of attention.) Depending on the issues, I would rehome the dog. If the issues was agression that couldn't be resolved with training and a vet behaviorist and wasn't reasonable to rehome, I would consider euthanasia. That is a sad reality and part of the reason I put such a huge stock in every dog having an excellent temperment when they come in (and puppies coming from exceptional breeders.) I am also adament that every dog have solid training and good social skills; it is crucial to me that I can call my dogs away from problems before they happen, and send everyone to their crates if necessary. Generally, if you work with breeders and rescues that rehome, the initial costs are higher, and many insist on a contract that excludes you from rehoming the pet you adopt. To me, it is worth it (it also means that several of my dogs have safe places to go if something happens to me.) In the past 2 years we had over 70 fosters (true fosters, not fosters with the intent to adopt), with a total of 6 (and now 7) dogs in the home clan. There have been times we have had an additional 4 dogs in our home. We haven't had any issues with lack of compatability (but we are careful with introductions.)
 

twelvetigers

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By Dog #1, I meant the preexisting :p She's stuck here for the foreseeable future

(dont you have some studying to be doing? Oh wait, so do I...)
Oh! For some reason I thought you meant the first dog we looked at. Duhrr.

As for her... yeah... well... Chloe gets a shave every June. Although your dog would look pretty funny naked and might not forgive you for months.

You should leave tufts on her feet.... bahahaha.
 

twelvetigers

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Just tell everyone she's a sheltie, the rest of the image should come pretty easily.

I think it would be hilarious. :hungover:

But yeah, we only clip Chloe because she likes walks around the lake and we live close enough to do that pretty easily year round.
 

bunnity

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I personally do not agree with this. I do believe that if you aren't willing to manage dogs that don't get along, you start out with that concern in mind and work only with individuals/organizations that can support you in this regard. IE breeders that will happily take back (at your cost, not theirs) the dog for this reason and/or rescues that will foster and rehome if necessary (again at your cost.) I have lived with 6 or more dogs in our home the majority of my life (excluding 6 years for college and international travel.) I would not find isolating a dog, or trying to rotate dogs acceptable; so a dog that was not compatable and had to be seperated 24/7 from the rest of the clan would essentially be neglected here (I don't believe it is reasonable to isolate all my other dogs in order for that dog to get the appropriate time/level of attention.) Depending on the issues, I would rehome the dog. If the issues was agression that couldn't be resolved with training and a vet behaviorist and wasn't reasonable to rehome, I would consider euthanasia. That is a sad reality and part of the reason I put such a huge stock in every dog having an excellent temperment when they come in (and puppies coming from exceptional breeders.) I am also adament that every dog have solid training and good social skills; it is crucial to me that I can call my dogs away from problems before they happen, and send everyone to their crates if necessary. Generally, if you work with breeders and rescues that rehome, the initial costs are higher, and many insist on a contract that excludes you from rehoming the pet you adopt. To me, it is worth it (it also means that several of my dogs have safe places to go if something happens to me.) In the past 2 years we had over 70 fosters (true fosters, not fosters with the intent to adopt), with a total of 6 (and now 7) dogs in the home clan. There have been times we have had an additional 4 dogs in our home. We haven't had any issues with lack of compatability (but we are careful with introductions.)
I don't really know what you're disagreeing with. We have both worked with enough dogs to know that you can end up with a situation where they cannot be trusted together, supervised or otherwise. Separating 24/7 is not an option for you; rehoming an animal would not be an option for me.

Since the dog community I am involved in is primarily bully breeds, I know plenty of people that do crate and rotate - and pretty much everyone with bully breeds separates when unsupervised no matter how well the dogs get along.

My point to the OP was that by acquiring a second dog they may end up in a situation where the dogs don't get along and cannot interact safely - and that the OP needs to be prepared to deal with this possibility.