Has your dog ever attacked you?
Life with a dog - what you wanted to know about it
Living with a dog - a topic about which I am asked many questions every day. I finally took the time to answer your questions in just under 3500 words. Yes, you see, I could talk forever on the subject of dogs. Nevertheless, I am only giving my experiences with my dogs here. I'm certainly not a dog expert, even though I've always been involved with dogs and have been absolutely infatuated with dogs from toddler age. But I only bought a dog when I was sure that I had enough time and that a dog would also suit my lifestyle and needs. Do not make hasty decisions - getting a dog should be carefully considered and thought through - your little friend will then (ideally) be with you for the next ten to twenty years and turn your life around 180 degrees.
At the beginning I have to say that I am really lucky and have two super uncomplicated, well-behaved dogs at home - my life with a dog is quite uncomplicated and I now manage to organize and arrange everything so that everyone in the house is happy . Every dog has a different character and every dog becomes different through upbringing - so you cannot assume that everything will go smoothly with your dog. You never know if the dog will develop into a barker, if the dog has aggression problems or a bladder so weak that it has to go out every two hours. Ideally, none of this happens - but I would advise you to start from the "worst case" if you are considering getting a dog. So that he doesn't end up in the home, like so many other poor animals, because he means “too much work” for you and you can't get along with him.
So think about it: will I have problems with my neighbors if the dog barks all the time or are my walls thick enough anyway so that it wouldn't be a problem? Do I have enough will and assertiveness to train the dog consistently? Do I have the opportunity to look after my dog around the clock, or do I have someone who can take my dog from me every now and then, should that be necessary? If all of these questions do not cause you to worry and you are 100% sure that you want to take a dog in with you then - go for it. It was the best decision of my life and it will be the best decision of your life too. It is not for nothing that it is said that a dog is man's best friend. I feel totally uncomfortable without my two fur noses and can no longer imagine my life without them. You can read a post with all the “basic questions” and how I got into the dog at all here.
Subject: What kind of dog should I get?
Why did you choose a puppy?
I also looked at some dogs from the animal welfare, but there was none that was so love at first sight. I wanted a small dog that I can take with me wherever I go. Preferably any Maltese, Jack Russell or Poodle mix. It then became the Jack Russell mixed breed, because we found Pippa on Willhaben and fell in love with her at first sight. And that was the reason why we decided to have a puppy - love.
I think it always depends on what you want and how much time you have. If you have less time or would like to put less work into the initial education, it is great to take a fully grown dog - there are very, very many wonderful, loving dogs in the animal shelter that are looking for a home. (I'm not talking about "problem dogs" who have gone through something bad in their life, because they are a topic of their own and require much, much more attention and work than a puppy - if you would like to take in such a dog It is best to talk to someone who has experience here.) Animal shelter dogs are always super grateful that they are allowed into someone's heart, so that they can show it for their entire life, build a very, very strong bond - and are absolutely in love with the people who “saved” them.
If you feel up to the task and you have enough time, you can of course take a puppy. Yes, that is more work and yes, I am often asked why I did not take an adult dog out of the shelter - you will probably be asked that very often too. Pippa was an accident litter, so nothing bred. A child of love, so to speak - small, robust and just so sweet as sugar that I couldn't take it. In addition, as the first dog, I just wanted to have that “from-puppy-on” feeling.
If you raise a dog from puppy age, you have a very special bond with the dog - a real "mom-child" bond (this is not to say that you don't get that with adult dogs - every pet becomes if you do lets it into his heart like a baby of his own). In addition, you can train the dog exactly as you want. Of course, depending on the breed, the dog will also have its peculiarities - but at least it has not yet learned something from a previous owner that you might not like so much and that might be difficult to train again.
I believe that taking both the adult dog and the puppy has both advantages and disadvantages. In any case, I would always first look at the animal shelter to see if they might have a dog (including a puppy) that suits you.
Which breeds can you recommend?
Phew, honestly - I'm overwhelmed. Of course, I have my preferences when it comes to dog breeds, but not in the sense that I can recommend one based on your needs. Pippa is a Jack Russell mixed breed and I would take a Jack Russell (mixed breed) again at any time. These dogs are super smart, cheeky, stubborn, possessive, stubborn, sporty, but sometimes also serene, they go along with any shit and will love you like no one has loved you before. In addition, Jack Russells tend to get very old and are generally a not yet overbred, robust breed. They bond very strongly to their people and get along well with other dogs and people, although I have made the experience that they usually get along best with other Jack Russells. But I am sure that there are very, very many great dog breeds and personally I am a fan of mixed breeds anyway, because they are simply more robust because they are not overbred.
Do you sometimes have problems meeting other dogs?
No, Pippa is actually very easy to get along with. Sure, sometimes she growls at other dogs when they don't give her any rest and sometimes she is barked at by little fearful bunnies - but that has never been a problem. So I cannot give tips on how to deal with dogs that show aggressive behavior towards other dogs.
Have you been to a dog school?
No, we weren't in a dog school with either Pippa or Luna. Back then, my friend practically raised his puppy, Luna, himself. Pippa then simply took over everything from Luna and learned - we hardly had to do anything ourselves. Other than that, Jack Russell are super eager to learn, and Pippa has always loved learning simple commands. We both enjoyed working with her and teaching her a lot - but our second dog certainly contributed most of it.
How can you be mad at such a cute little puppy if he did something wrong?
I think evil is the wrong word and I don't think wrong is a word that should be used when it comes to puppy training. Just because a dog doesn't do something the way you want it to, doesn't mean it is bad and wrong. You can see a puppy like a toddler who doesn't understand your language. A puppy just does what he likes and what he wants to do - and often he doesn't even know that he is not allowed to. I was never angry with Pippa, and at most I punished her with withdrawal of love (that's also most effective with her). But I was certainly also strict in bringing up my children and never let Pippa get away with anything. It wasn't always easy when such a small, button-eyed creature looks at you sadly, but it was necessary. You just have to be strict with a puppy sometimes - otherwise it will just be a spoiled, yapping dog who thinks he can do anything. Your dog is a puppy for a year, that's when he learns the most - after that, he is fifteen years as you raised him in the first year. So think carefully about what and what not to let your dog get away with as a puppy.
Topic: at work / at university
How do you get work and a dog under one roof?
Since both my friend and I are self-employed, that's actually not an issue for us. We can organize our time ourselves and can plan our day more or less according to our dogs. Doesn't mean that we orient our whole life to our dogs - but it is definitely easier that way than when you are tied to fixed working hours and jobs. When I know that my boyfriend is out all day, I usually work from home so the dogs aren't alone. If my friend is at home, I work away from home. And we leave our dogs alone for a few hours - but not 9 hours every day because they would be poor. If you work full-time, I would recommend checking with your employer in advance whether you can bring a dog to work. If the dog is used to this right from the start, knows that he cannot bark continuously, has to be quiet, and is easy to get along with, then that shouldn't be a problem. If dogs aren't allowed in your workplace - find another job. No fun. But then of course it becomes more difficult. If you have a partner who can take the dog to work - perfect. Otherwise, at least in the beginning, i.e. the first year, I would definitely look for care for the dog. You will have to take the first few weeks off anyway so that you can concentrate on raising puppies (you may also get little sleep), and even after that, the dog should not be at home alone from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. I know some dogs that seem and are much more restless, unbalanced and thus also uneducated by being alone for a long time.
How was that with Pippa when you were still studying?
I had a flexible degree - so no times when I had to be permanently present (such as at a university of applied sciences). So I usually only had a few hours of uni a day, which wasn't a problem. But I keep seeing students at university who have their dogs with them in the lecture - if it's a small dog that doesn't attract attention and doesn't make a sound, that shouldn't be a problem (at least for some courses).
Topic: traveling / traveling with a dog
You travel a lot - how long can your dogs stay alone?
I am lucky that both of my dogs are very "uncomplicated". Uncomplicated in the sense that you can easily stay at home alone for 6-8 hours. Pippa is so easy to care for that she can stay alone for up to 10 hours without making a sound. Of course, that doesn't happen that often, because then I also have a guilty conscience - but I don't have to. When I come home, Pippa just looks at me sleepily out of bed, as if she hadn't even noticed that I was gone. Our second bitch has to go out urgently after a maximum of 8 hours - but she can also stay alone for that long. As I said, it doesn't happen every day, of course, but our two dogs can stay alone for a long time if we go out with them before and after. But here you have to say that we are very lucky - I know a lot of dogs who urgently need to get out after 4 hours or who bark incessantly when they are alone. We have used our dogs to "be alone" from an early age - but there is no guarantee that it will work so well.
What do you do with your dogs when you travel?
When we travel to Austria, Pippa almost always comes with us, Luna mostly stays at home. This is because Luna has no problem being alone, but needs a bit more space to feel comfortable. She would probably not be so happy in a small hotel room - and besides, she does not tolerate changes of location so well and then always has stomach problems or an epileptic seizure for a few days. So Luna stays at home, where a good friend or mother-in-law usually takes care of her. So she is practically behaved at home - simply so that she is not unnecessarily stressed by any change of location. If we go on vacation outside Austria with a reasonable distance, we usually make sure that we can drive the car so that it is easier for us to take Pippa with us. Pippa should just about fly due to her weight (with most airlines) - but she is just such a long sausage and just turns a blind eye and fulfills the conditions to be allowed to fly "as hand luggage", i.e. by my side. Because I don't want to do that to her for short vacations, she stays at home when traveling by air (until now) - although we usually bring her to my mom or a friend. Pippa is used to always having someone around and she doesn't really care where she is as long as she has someone who constantly mothers and takes care of her. That's why she comes under care with almost 24-hour care. : D
Where can you go on holiday with your dog?
It depends on what time of the year. In winter you can go almost anywhere with your dog. For summer holidays there are many beaches in Croatia and Italy where dogs are allowed. Greece is not a problem either. We have already been to Elba with Pippa, which was incredibly beautiful. Dogs are allowed on the beach all over Elba and it was one of the most beautiful summer holidays I have ever had. When traveling with a dog, I prefer, as I said, road trips. In principle, you can go on holiday with your dog anywhere you can easily get to by car. You have to keep in mind that you also need a lot of additional luggage for your dog - there is certainly enough space in the car. I tend to avoid city trips with my dog in summer. We were once in Florence with Pippa in the middle of summer and I felt so, so sorry for her - strolling through the old town at 40 degrees not every dog goes along with it and is certainly not healthy either. I wouldn't do it like that anymore, but you finally learn.
What if you spontaneously want to stay out longer?
If my boyfriend is at home, no problem. If not - went stupid. If you don't have someone who has a spare key and can let the dogs out, you can usually get rid of such spontaneous actions. The dogs are poor when they can't get out and you can't expect them to suppress their peeing needs for several hours.
Subject: Living with a dog
How is life with a dog in a big city?
I don't live in Vienna, but in Krems - it's certainly not a big city. We have a large garden and can be in the country within a few minutes, be it on the Danube, in the Au or on the next mountain. I take Pippa with me to Vienna every now and then, but of course it's more difficult there. Pippa is used to peeing on "green" - and when I was with her in a Viennese dog zone for the first time (in autumn) it took about an hour until she found a place to pee. Meanwhile, things are getting a little better and she’s already making it on earth - but when we are in seventh or eighth, where there are hardly any dog free-run areas or green areas where dogs are allowed, she’s really having a hard time. I also think that's a good thing because I don't even want to train her to constantly work on asphalt (here in Krems that would be counterproductive) - but it's a bit of a hassle if I always go to a suitable dog zone have to drive. Pippa drives in public, hating her muzzle. With our second, bigger, dog that would all be unthinkable. Luna has never been muzzled in her whole life and has never ridden an escalator either, she feels uncomfortable among crowds. I believe that city life works very well for a dog if he's used to it from the start - and doesn't know it any other way. In addition, in Vienna you can also make wonderful excursions into the countryside or go to larger open-air areas. With a smaller dog that doesn't need a lot of exercise and for whom it is sometimes okay to just go outside the door in the morning, definitely - for a dog that really needs a lot of exercise, it's definitely not right in the big city so funny.
How long did it take Pippa to be house trained?
When I said Pippa is totally straightforward, I really meant it. Pippa was actually house trained at eight weeks. We never had to get up more than once during the night, and she popped in maybe three times in the first few weeks. But I also know dogs that take much, much longer and with whom you have to go out every hour at night. Unfortunately, you don't know that in advance.
When do you have to go out with your dogs for the first time in the morning?
We always let our two dogs out late at night when we go to sleep - around eleven or twelve. In the morning it’s very different. Somehow Pippa has no need to pee - she would prefer to be in bed until twelve in the morning, until she makes herself comfortable to get up. Our second dog whines for it from seven in front of the door because she has to get out so urgently. Sleeping in with Pippa at the weekend would be easy, but not with our second dog. Since both my friend and I are early risers, we don't mind.
What do you feed your dogs? Do you barf How much does that cost?
I barked Pippa for a while, but then stopped because of time constraints. I also had the feeling that I had to pay attention to so much in order to really cover all nutrients 100% and so as not to harm my dog more than to help. Somehow it was all too tricky for me. Pippa is getting now Dog’s Love - sometimes the organic version, otherwise the normal one. The dog food is more expensive, but really high quality and it tastes so good. The food only has ingredients that you and I would also like and actually the food mostly smells like goulash haha. Our second dog gets a bit cheaper, but still high-quality food, because it simply needs three times the amount and anyway has a stomach that can handle everything. Pippa eats an 800g can for 4 euros for almost four days, while our second bitch would need one a day. However, we do it so that we cook something fresh for the two of them about every third day from leftovers and meat from the supermarket - so that they have a bit of variety in their menu. And they also get a lot from the table. I would say that I spend around 50 euros on Pippa's monthly needs and around 70 euros on Luna. Of course you can keep it much cheaper, but I believe that good quality animal feed is important - and you can see it too. Both Pippa and Luna have totally shiny, soft fur and are pumperlgsund! :)
How much does a dog cost around a month?
As already described above, that depends a lot on what you are feeding. There aren't really any other fixed monthly costs - except for the annual veterinarian visit with any vaccinations. Every now and then maybe a new collar, leash, sweater - but that's luxury and not absolutely necessary (so of course, once - but not necessarily every month). I would say that I spend an average of 50 euros a month on food for Pippa and then around 150 euros a year on veterinary costs and 100 euros on goodies (equipment / toys / treats ...). However, I always have money on my side, should something happen and Pippa or Luna need some major surgery at the vet - always keep this in mind when you get a dog.
Okay, you saw - I talk about my dogs for far too long and far too happy. But they just mean the world to me and I couldn't imagine my life without them anymore. Once a dog, always a dog!
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