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Captain B.R.K

Dog and Changes

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Since November, I have been dog crazying and have been doing my homework on what bred, breeder, etc. to go with. I know this will be a companion for the next 10-14 yrs and am very excited to own, train and hunt with it. My question is this:

How does your lifestyle change?

I ask because I have not had anything at home to ever tie me down. Anytime I want to do something, I just pick up and take off. With a dog, that will change I'm sure?! Right?

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BRK- There defiantely is a major responseability when getting and owning a dog. I have had hunting dogs all my life and when my GSP passes on I will get another. Hunting dogs are a part of me and my personality so I am willing to give up things and some of my freedom to make it work. One of the biggest commitments and changes I have noticed is when takeing Vacations or trips. It can be tough at times to find someone to feed water or let your dog out, even for a simple overnight trip. My dogs have always been my buddys and I take them along whenever possible but this can't always happen. I have missed out on opportunitys (camping trips with realatives,fishingtrips etc) because some places (campgrounds,motels etc) wont allow pets. It's not always possibble to able to find a dog sitter but it's a give to receive commitment. Some places alow pets and some don't adn occassionally the invites are places that don't. I have 2 kids now so I am use to not haveing the freedom I once had (being able to go whenever,whereever)but the rewards of pets and family make it all worth it.

So to answer your question there is alot of responseability and commitment to owning a dog. IMO you will definately notice changes in your life and family, some good some bad. I guess know the decision you must make is weigh it all out. Ask yourself are you willing to give a little to receive a little. I made that decision years ago and have never doubted it. Dogs are definately a part of me and my family!!

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Being a new and first time dog owner I thought I could toss in some comments. Even though I'm married with 2 kids (6 and 4 yrd old) we are a very active family. We pack up and go camping, fishing etc whenever the wind blows right. With the dog its been a bit of an adjustment, but no more so than having kids.

To some that sounds crazy, but having kids wasn't bad for us either. Like IceHawk said, if you incorporate your new pet into your lifestyle then there are fewer problems. My kids have been camping in tents since they were less than 1yr old. They fish and road trip with us no nothing.

In August we got a new puppy (7wks old, right from the breeder) and its been some change since you can't bring a dog into the stores and restaurants like babies, but if your pet is kennel trained than spending a couple hours in the kennel won't harm him, whether he's at home or in the back of the car (weather permitting). Our friends got a new puppy 2 years ago and that dog goes everywhere with us whether its hunting up north or canoe tripping in the BWCA for 7days.

You're gonna love your new pet. Its definately a challenge. My wife and I both agree that raising kids is easier than having a puppy, but its all worth it when you raise the perfect pet and hunting dog. I can't wait to get my pup in the canoe so he can come to the BWCA with us.

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I equate it a lot to having kids, there are some sacrafices and your life changes but its all worth it and soon it becomes the routine. I am lucky to have family and friends that will help out when we go out of town. Usually my vacations include my dogs so I'm lucky in that regard.

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I was in your boat three years ago, single and I was the only one that was dependent on me. Now three years later I am married with two labs. It is A LOT of extra work when they are young and will be a big change. Once they get older and set in to routines, they fit right in. I work a mile from home so I can run home at lunch and air out the dogs everyday, and I actually look forward to getting home and seeing how excited it makes them every single time. After you have your pup for a couple months you will probably wish you would have bought a pup years ago. They quickly become part of the family and the reward is definitely worth the sacrifices.

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$4k on a surgery, that's a change, or should I say a lot of "Change"! Worth every penny but things that you do need to be aware of when you own a dog.

As for the "get up and go" piece, I have more friends/family that get mad at me if I don't bring the dog with! All a matter of how you train them and raise them. Which reflects back to your question.....biggest change/effort on your part is time. Put the time in and you'll have a great companion.

Chris

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Captain BRK,

All the replies I read are good and right on. Here's my personal take. I have a Springer going on 15. She and I just spent the NYE weekend hunting pheasants in SD and MN. Rain, sleet, snow and she was still going. She's slowed down some but so have I. She can't hear me anymore and as a result of that and perhaps memory loss she sometime hunts off on her own for awhile, but then I don't hit every bird she flushes either. She is my companion and hunting partner. There are kenneling costs, vet costs (she's the Tim the Toolman of the Vet's office), dog breath, etc. but, a dog is the definition of loyal. Unlike people, your dog never acknowledges your screw-ups and mistakes. I could be wrong, but I believe you will never regret the decision to add a dog to the family.

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Quote:

Since November, I have been dog crazying and have been doing my homework on what bred, breeder, etc. to go with. I know this will be a companion for the next 10-14 yrs and am very excited to own, train and hunt with it. My question is this:

How does your lifestyle change?


It's like having a girlfriend that never leaves. Always at your side, begging, looking for attention, looking for handouts, gifts. Getting in trouble, getting in your stuff, taking over the warm spot on the couch. Needing to take walks, introducing you to new people and perhaps embarrassing you in front of relatives and friends and complete strangers. Picky with there food and always looking to eat off yours. Sometimes may just run off leaving you to worry. If you can get past that they will also be your best friend and they never ever tell your secrets! Can't imagine not living with one or two or in my case three of them..

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Thanks guys for the reinforcing the good feeling of owning a dog. I'm feeling better already.

I've been doing some homework on breeders over the last month and pretty excited about being a first time puppy owner.

The other day I was thinking about the changes and thought I'd ask the question. Not that I didn't think about the life style changes, because I did. I just wanted to hear from you long time and new puppy owners how much fun it is to come home to your dogs!

I'll just have to train my dog to enjoy sitting at the bottom of the boat and watch me do some fishing grin.gif

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"$4k on a surgery, that's a change, or should I say a lot of "Change"! Worth every penny but things that you do need to be aware of when you own a dog. "

How does a guy pay for a surgery like that? Those are the concerns I have with owning a dog.

For you dog owners, do you worry about that as well?

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Money

First, the cheapest part of owning a dog is the purchase price. Then you'll have yearly vet bills for regular stuff like vaccinations (rabies, parvo, bordetella, etc...), heartworm tests/meds, fecal floats, etc... Also surgery for spaying/neutering the dog. Then there's the unexpected stuff like staph infections, other parasites (tapeworms, etc...), getting stitches for cuts, and numerous other potential things including surgery and potentially putting the dog down when it's old. There's also boarding, professional dog training, dog training equipment and dog gear for hunting (e-collars, checkcords, retrieving dummies, blank pistol, bird launchers, etc...). If the dog is left alone all day you may need to build a kennel (concrete, fencing, dog house) to house it as well.

Lifestyle

Dogs are like little kids in that they can't take care of themselves. You need to feed them, let them out to go to the bathroom, train them, exercise them and you'll do that every day for the rest of the dog's life. You and the missus will need to figure out how to do that. You'll need to find boarding when you & the missus go on a winter vacation to Mexico.

It's definitely an investment in time and money, but if you really like dogs and hunting with them it's worth it.

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My lab puppy should be born within the week here and we are very excited for it. I've been doing quite a bit of reading about training, ect, and am looking forward to that as well.

Captain: What breeds are you considering?

I know it is an investment of money, but being able to have a hunting partner and companionship will be worth it.

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Brandon,

We got our first dog this year, and I'd say the change was huge.

The difference between the needs of a puppy and the needs of a dog are much different. I took a week of vacation when I first brought the pup home. Fortunately my girlfriend and I work opposite schedules, so someone was usually home with the dog at all times. I believe the rule of thumb is that a puppy can usually be crated an hour for each month old it is, so for the first few months you need to accomodate the dog into your schedule.

My recommendation would be that if someone cannot be home with the puppy during the day for the first few weeks, then you may not have the best situation to bring a dog into.

There have been a lot of comments here about the rewards of spending the effort to raise a puppy, but to address your question, yes, the change is huge. A single guy with no tie downs at home (me) now getting a puppy, I've had to cut trips short this year, leave work early once a week to make it to training class, coordinate evening agendas with my girlfriend to ensure someone is home to let the dog out if we happen to work the same schedules that day, etc.

One huge point to consider is that this coordination goes on EVERYDAY. You are tired, you are hungover, you are busy, you are whatever, the pup needs you the same as it did the previous day.

I was dog crazy for 3 years before all the pieces came together for me and the time was right. I actually had a breeder say that I wasnt ready for a dog a few years ago, which made me feel good.

Your comment about hoping a dog will lay in the boat while you fish is great - hope you realize that puppies don't exactly do that though smile.gif When I take the dog ice fishing, I find I am spending about 50/50 playing with the dog and fishing...better than not going fishing at all, and playing with the dog on the lake is almost as fun as icing crapps!

The improvements we have seen since the beginning of October (he's now 5 months old) have been immense, but not without sacrifice, and yes, I wouldnt trade it for anything.

Hope this helps, from a new first time dog owner.

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Quote:

"$4k on a surgery, that's a change, or should I say a lot of "Change"! Worth every penny but things that you do need to be aware of when you own a dog. "

How does a guy pay for a surgery like that? Those are the concerns I have with owning a dog.

For you dog owners, do you worry about that as well?


It was a worry of mine that came true....this is my first dog and he has both elbow and hip dysplasia (both parents were good, from a big breeder). I had elbow surgery done last summer.....and it went on my Visa. No other way for me to come up with that kind of money. I am looking potentially at more sugery down the road....but we will see how things progress ....and how to pay for it at that time if it comes.

I would agree with what everyone has mentioned here. It's a big responsibility but it is well worth it. This is my first pup and I would not change a thing...even with what I have gone through. As GSP mentioned....the purchase price of the pup is the cheap part (and not even!)....this is something to be aware of.

It's very rewarding!!

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I have a 9 month old lab and it's the first dog my wife and I have had together. I would say the change is huge especially when you throw in the fact that we had our first child on August 29th. This is different and I love it all. I hunted my dog a lot this fall so I made the agreement with my wife that I would give up Ice fishing. I love to fish but I will give up ice fishing to fish out of the boat and hunt all fall anyday.

I just made the biggest change of all. After hunting over my new partner all fall I decided to put in my vacation bid for next year. I am taking Oct 21 thru December 15 off to get him out as much as possible. That will also give me more time to hit the pond for the fall bite next year grin.gif. I can't wait!

Change is good grin.gif

LovenLifeGuy

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"Your comment about hoping a dog will lay in the boat while you fish is great - hope you realize that puppies don't exactly do that though When I take the dog ice fishing, I find I am spending about 50/50 playing with the dog and fishing...better than not going fishing at all, and playing with the dog on the lake is almost as fun as icing crapps! "

Oh I fully understand as a pup that won't happen, but in time I hope to get her under control and have fun in the boat. Glad you brought up the ice fishing topic too because I like to do that and wondered how people with dogs dealt with em' on the ice.

Thanks for the replies about everything. I'm excited but nervous with the changes that come with everything. But like everything, change is always good and look forward to everything!

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Quote:

Glad you brought up the ice fishing topic too because I like to do that and wondered how people with dogs dealt with em' on the ice.


Just don't put the pup on a 20' lead and tie him to the front of your two man pull over portable....and then let him play around outside. Doesn't take much for him too wrap the lead around the whole house and pull the lead under the sled (movinig the sled off the holes) and across all 4 lines inside tangling everything!!!! Don't ask me how I found that out.... blush.gifgrin.gif

Good luck and be sure to update us when you get the pup!

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Another helpful suggestion is to find a hunting/fishing partner that either has a dog or is getting a puppy at the same time. I find that you'll typically have similar goals of getting the pups to behave, you may find more time to get outdoors with your pup.

As far as ice fishing and behavior is concerned...I bought a fish trap guide and removed one seat. I set up a dog bed in it.

The other option, (of course!) is to bring extra ice scoops and if the dog misbehaves, just toss one at him crazy.gif

Good Luck!

What breed of dog are you looking for?

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trouthunter,

I was wondering about maybe bringing my puppy along ice fishing but wasn't sure how he would do on the ice. I have a quick flip 2 and I think the idea of setting up a dog bed next to me in the ice house would work out. I just wonder how long he will last before getting impatient.

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I tied his leash to one of the poles in the house, long enough for him to lay on the bed or step out of the tub and onto the ice. I sit on the right side of the shack and drill a single hole on the right side. His leash will let him get close to the hole, but not close enough to put his paw or his nose into the water. That seems to work...I put a water dish and food on the ice on the left side on the ice.

One other thing that I have been meaning to do is to get him a "special" fish house bone. Stop by von hansons butcher shop and get him something to keep him busy, that he only gets in the fish house. Seems that he's not interested in his normal toys out on the lake, too much new stuff. He wasnt too impatient, but i could tell when he would get bored and that was the time that I took to stop fishing and play with him....

I limited the first couple of trips to under 3 hours, and picked lakes close to home. Monday we are headed to Mille Lacs for the first time together.

Another couple of recommendations that are working for us...Don't go fishing near crowds of people for the first couple of times out...Catch a perch and give it to the dog...if you can, go with a buddy who has a dog as well...they will wear each other out...

Another concern I have is the lack of snow. Dog has slipped a few times and I worry about injuries

Hope this helps!

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Last winter, my pup was only two months in January and I brought her fishing everytime I went. While we were setting up, I would run around and wear her out and then she would sleep on a blanket the remainder of the time. I have a Frabil Speed Shack Cub, she would sleep by one door underneath the heater and I would have plenty of room to fish.

This year, she has much more energy so I take a tennis ball with me. It rolls forever on the ice when there is no snow. I throw the ball 30 or 40 times, she goes and gets it and then by prime time she is tired out. I would never think of not bringing her. My dad and I slept in our permanent overnight at LOW earlier this winter and took her with. She did great and made the trip much more entertaining since the fish didn't bite.

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Quote:

"$4k on a surgery, that's a change, or should I say a lot of "Change"! Worth every penny but things that you do need to be aware of when you own a dog. "

How does a guy pay for a surgery like that? Those are the concerns I have with owning a dog.


Like someone else said, VISA accepted!

I will not be taking a winter vacation this year, have been bringing my lunch to work, and will be on a very tight budget for a while.......and smiling the whole time.

She is healthy and happy again, like a totally different dog than before. Last trip to the vet this morning to have stitches removed, and we got a clean bill of health.

It's a factor, no question, and I have two labs, so everything is x2. I'm going to look into these pet insurance programs, I want to learn more about it.

Chris

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One more comment on the dogs in the boat, here mine are "on alert" looking for fish and helping keep the bow down for me at the same time! It makes for some fun times having them along in the boat. The curious looks when a muskie is landed are priceless!

007_7.jpg

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