Choosing A Dog - Part 1

Kate Abbott, Petra Burke & Liz Palika  on Pet Life Radio

I'm quite sure most listeners to "It's a Doggy Dog World" are already dog owners, but you may be thinking about adding another dog to your household. Or perhaps a friend has been thinking about a dog. In this week's show, we'll be talking about some of the things to think about prior to bringing home a dog. Including such practicalities as whether everyone in the family wants a dog, Or the financial costs of dog ownership. So tune in and let us talk through some of the important aspects of dog ownership before you go out and get a dog.


Liz Palika: Welcome to “It’s a Doggy Dog World” I am your host Liz Palika and with me today are my good friends Petra Burke and Kate Abbott from Kindred Spirits Canine Education Center in Vista California.

Today we are going to be talking about a dog for you and your family, adding a dog. Now I understand that most listeners to this podcast probably have dogs but we may get a few listeners who don’t and are thinking about adding a dog to the family or maybe you have a dog or two or three and you are thinking about adding another one. We want to talk about some of the things that you ought to take into consideration before adding a dog to your family and while you are choosing that dog.

But first we need to take a break for our sponsor. So hold on. We will be right back.

Liz Palika: Welcome back to “It’s a Doggy Dog World”. I am Liz Palika. With me today are Petra Burke and Kate Abbott.

Kate Abbott: Hi

Petra Burke: Hello

Liz Palika: Today we are going to be talking about adding a dog to your family; whether it is your first dog or perhaps a dog that you are going to add to the family after an older dog has passed away, or maybe you simply want to add another canine member to the family.

But Kate said she wants to start off. She said she’s got a great story for us.

Kate Abbott: Well a friend of mine called, she was in a rant and rave mood, and she had to tell me the story about her next door neighbor. Now she said when the guy went to pick out his big screen TV, she said, you couldn’t believe the amount of research he did. He measured his entertainment center. He checked out plasma verses- Is it LED? – verses projection

Liz Palika: I see where this is going.

Kate Abbott: Multiple trips to the store. He checked out brands and warranties and features. This took him months. And when his kids said they wanted a dog they went down to the pound and the first pair of brown eyes that he saw he said, “Okay, fine.”
So she was ranting and raving because she was looking out the window at one of the children riding his motorized jeep dragging said brown eyed puppy who turned out to be a Mini Dachsund.
Liz Palika: Oh, no.

Petra Burke: Oh, no.

Kate Abbott:  Yeah, so at the end of the six foot leash was this little Dachsund. Now she says this motorized vehicle probable wasn’t going more than one mile an hour.

Liz Palika: but it is still to fast for the mini dog and its little short legs.

Kate Abbott: Point five miles an hour faster than the dog could do. It was being dragged along with its little feet sort of flying like a kite. All she could imagine was the potential back and neck damage, not to mention psychological damage.

Liz Palika: Oh yeah, the relationship with the kid. I mean, how many times is that going to happen before the dog is going to start biting the kid?

Kate Abbott: Yeah, so it wouldn’t have been my first breed of choice for this but it was cute. So they brought it home. So we are talking about a living breathing part of their family that had a hundredth of the amount of consideration that he spent on his big screen TV.

Liz Palika: Yeah, that is sad.

Kate Abbott: So that is how to make a wrong decision.

Liz Palika: Yeah

Kate Abbott: Let’s talk about a right one.

Petra Burke: Well we can go to him about a flat screen TV.

Liz Palika: All right, well let’s go on and talk about some of the research this gentleman should have done.

Kate Abbott: Yes

Liz Palika: First of all think about who is going to be living with this dog. Obviously this gentleman didn’t think at all about the fact that young kids probably need a more athletic dog than one with one inch long little legs.

Petra Burke: I can’t get that visual out of my head, poor little dog.

Liz Palika: But who is living with the dog comes to play in several different things. Is this a family with senior citizens who perhaps a large rowdy puppy who is going to be a puppy for a long time might be the wrong choice or perhaps an adult dog would be a better choice than a puppy. Is everyone in the family gone all day? Would this dog be home alone all the time? Many breeds don’t take well to that.

Kate Abbott: The people with the Australian Shepherd that left it in the run for 12 hours a day

Liz Palika: or longer. Then were concerned when the dogs went nuts every time they came home.

Kate Abbott: Well we give it half an hour when we get home.

Petra Burke: What is wrong with that picture?

Liz Palika: So there are a lot of things that you need to think about as far as who is going to be living with the dog. And, of course, are these people all willing to add a dog to the family. If you want a dog and your significant other wants a cat that could lead to a disaster.

Petra Burke: You get one of each that way.  I want a little of this, a little of that.

Liz Palika: If somebody is grumpy about a dog being in the family that person could either purposefully or even inadvertently send a lot of bad vibes towards the dog. The dog is going to know it.

Petra Burke: And even if one of my ex-husbands

Kate Abbott: You said it yourself.

Petra Burke: No, I know. Outside dog or inside dog, I liked my dogs inside to be with the family. He liked them outside. That is where they should be. Again there, you’ve got to work that out as well. Allergies, kids these days have allergies. Or maybe you don’t know that you have an allergy but you haven’t had a dog in many years. You have to consider that as well.

Liz Palika: And then, of course, there is me with allergies that are living through antihistamines.

So yes, take into account the people that are going to be living with the dog. And talk to everyone who will be living with the dog to find out whether they are happy with the idea and their likes or dislikes.

Oh, and then what type of time can you devote to your dog. If you are a person who,… for example, I work with a person who travels all the time. Luckily this particular person does not have a dog, as much as she would love to have one., but like she says it is not far because she travels so much that the dog would be living  in a kennel or in a friend’s home more than it would in her own. So she has made a decision not to get a dog.

And there is just how many hours a day do you work?

Luckily with me I have a full time job during the day, but in the mornings they are with me. In the evenings when I am home they are with me. Luckily with our training here they are with me. I rotate through them.

And you don’t just have one dog?


They can keep each other company too.

And then with a daughter who goes to school, she is home at two thirty. So they are not alone for, maybe, just a few hours a day.

Kate Abbott: And you guys are pretty active.


Kate Abbott: It is not only how much time but do you drag yourself home just utterly exhausted and want to crash on the couch.


Kate Abbott: And you have got a bouncy dog who goes, “Hey, you are home. Let’s go for a walk.”

Liz Palika: or a run, or play ball, or throw the Frisbee, or…

Kate Abbott: Do something.

So keep in mind how much activity you are available to spend with the dog, not just time.

Will you enjoy life with a dog? I am thinking of a couple where the woman was a bit of a neat freak with the high powered office job. Her biggest complaint was the amount of hair that she had to lint off of her body.

Oh, that was another ex-husband that had that.

We realize that ex’s are very imprecise here.


Yeah, one little dog hair on the clothes, “Oh my God, I am covered in dog hair.”


There is one.

Kate Abbott: Yeah, my little joke about trying to change your wardrobe to try and coordinate with your dog’s hair, that didn’t go over.

I tend to agree with you.

Liz Palika: Well, hey, we put down tile in the house so then the area rug matched the Aussie’s.

Kate Abbott: There you go.

Petra Burke: So does her couch.

Liz Palika: Yes. Yes. Hey, we got rid of a white fabric couch and we got a dirt brown leather one. It works great.

Kate Abbott: And you might not have neat knick in the house. You may have those, like myself, that are creatively organized. Are you going to be able to monitor the dog? Or is it going to destroy your favorite shoes? Your first edition book? Your photo album of irreplaceable photos because your leaving stuff around and you are not monitoring the puppy dog?

And if you like to have your home in model condition, maybe a dog is not for you.

Dogs track in dirt. They track in leaves. They carry in sticks. And they catch a mouse and leave the tail. You think cats are good hunters? Many dogs are even better.

Kate Abbott: Sometimes it does work out. I am thinking of the couple where she is quite the neat freak and their color scheme is pretty much gold and cream. They have an English Mastiff. We are talking drool, and short hair shedding, and big paws to leave prints.

But they are retired.

But they love her so much.

Kate Abbott: And they have taught her to stand at the door to have her feet wiped. There are towels handy everywhere to wipe  the droop. So they have learned to adjust.

Liz Palika: They have coped.

Then there is also; where do you live? Unfortunately, today a lot of places have restrictions on dog ownership or the size of dogs. In Northern San Diego County, here where we are, there are quite a few senior living communities, 55 or older. I can’t believe that I am getting that close to that; very scary. I will never live in those but…Anyway, dogs can be 30 pounds or less or 40 pounds or less. Many apartment complexes that allow pets have size restrictions. You may live in an area where the houses are side by side by side or a condo or a townhouse. Where you live can greatly affect dog ownership.

Beside the fact, that some communities have outlawed a great deal of different breads.

Yes, entire cities.

Liz Palika: And it is really scary. Entire cities... In Denver Colorado you cannot own any dog that looks like it is related to, or perhaps might be, a Pit Bull Terrier. Now, I have had several visits to Denver and think that it is a wonderful city; but I could certainly never live there. Not that I have pit bulls, but I just don’t agree with breed specific legislation.

Petra Burke: Well you and I have Aussies. We can’t live in that one town that you were telling about that banned Aussies.

Liz Palika: Oh sure, that banned Aussies.

Petra Burke: There is no way.

Liz Palika: Kate has a Rotweiler. That could be a problem in a lot of places.

Kate Abbott: Exactly

Liz Palika: So you have to be aware of your living situation, the community that you live in, and if there are any laws pertaining to the breed that you might be looking to get.

Kate Abbott: And financial because I was talking to someone who said that he would love to have a dog. They did allow small dogs in his complex; but it was a $300 deposit.

Liz Palika: That is security deposit.

Kate Abbott: Yeah. He just didn’t have that.

Extra money

Wow, that is a lot.

Liz Palika: But, just to give you an idea of the expenses of having a dog, the cost of a puppy from a breeder…You are looking at… If you want to get a pure bred dog, you are looking at anywhere from $500 to $2000.

Petra Burke: Stacie would probably want more than $2000. I know somebody who is selling their rotty pups for $2500.

Liz Palika: That is a lot of money.

Petra Burke: I remember the days, $150 for a purebred.

Kate Abbott: Yeah, not only purebreds these days but a lot of the designer dogs.

Liz Palika: We have talked about that in a previous podcast.

Kate Abbott: But even if you go down to the pound and you pay say $60 there are a lot of other fees.

Even the shelter can be $150, $165, $175 because: they spay or neuter them first; they microchip them first; give them their vaccinations first. So those costs add up.

Petra Burke: Then, like you just said, costs from a shelter. Initial supplies can be $100 to $200. You know, you have got your bowls and your leashes and your collars and your food

Liz Palika: And your crate

Kate Abbott: And toys

Petra Burke: and your toys, and all sorts of stuff.

Then, of course, you’ve got your vet exam. You definitely want to being your dog to the vet in , I would say, the first two days, to see how healthy they are. Do they need anything? Is there something that you can’t see so you don’t notice? That could start at $100 and go up from there. Then second and third vaccination exam during each visit $100 to $150. Spayed and neutering, depending on the size of the dog, $125 to $200.

Petra Burke: Or more. The lady that had a Maltese was quoted, what $600?

Liz Palika: Where did you go? Beverly Hills?

Petra Burke: I am assuming that the vet thought that he needed to use a surgical microscope to find that poor little dogs ovaries.

Liz Palika: I was shocked.

Petra Burke: So we referred her to another vet.  She had a very reasonable price.

She was very happy.

Liz Palika: Then micro chipping, which I swear by.


Kate Abbott:  you have had so many lost dogs show up at your door.

Liz Palika:  I know. It is up to me to help lost dogs. Not that mine are getting loose.

Kate Abbott: Dog friendly woman lives here. Come here for treats.

Liz Palika: They must. I tell you.

Petra Burke: Well I think Kayla walks down the street going, “Here puppy, puppy, puppy”

“Follow me home”

Liz Palika: Put a microchip in. If you are going to get a dog spend the money to get them micro chipped.

Heartworm preventative; that would be so awful to have.

It is in so many areas now. Heartworm has spread all over the country.

That there can cost you $150 to $200. Local fees for licensing.

If your dog is spayed or neutered it might be $20 to $30. If your dog isn’t spayed or neutered it is going to be significantly more.

Then you think of grooming supplies and lee and tick prevention.

Oh, if that gets out of hand it is I think triple the money that you would spend initially, if you don’t have it under control.

And then, of course, we always suggest training classes, obedience classes.

Granted we are a little biased.

Yeah, I noticed slightly. So that can range from $75 to- We have seen what? -$200, $300. It depends on what you are looking for. If it is in kennel training it is a lot more.

So take all of that into consideration also when you get a dog.

The price of the dog and its food is just a very small part of the fee, especially, the first year.

Kate Abbott: Of course, it pays dividends in return, but…

So, which also means if you go to the shelter and you see that one cute little puppy and it has a brother or sister, you have to adopt two, ergo your fees double.

And then double the headache.

Liz Palika: And we have to admit we do not advocate adopting or buying litter mates. That is a totally different podcast in the future.

Petra Burke: But since we do see it happen…

Liz Palika: We have to mention that.

Petra Burke: Yes

Kate Abbott: And while we are looking forward to the dog growing up past the puppy age; how about your own life? Where are you planning to go? Are you living in a condo now? Plan to get a home? Are you getting ready to retire and downsizing?

Liz Palika: Is your significant other in the military and maybe shipped over seas?

Petra Burke: We see that a lot.

Liz Palika: Unfortunately, here in San Diego County near Fort Pendleton we see an awful lot of dogs given up by their owners because the owner or owners have been shipped overseas.

So take all these things into consideration.

We are going to take a break again for our sponsors. When we come, back let’s talk about dogs, shape, sizes, temperaments, activity levels. We will talk about dogs. Perhaps, I can help you think about what dog would fit your household better. So hold on. Take a listen to our sponsors. We will be right back.

[Music Playing]

Liz Palika: Welcome back to “It’s a Doggy Dog World”. I am your host Liz Palika. With me today are Petra Burke and Kate Abbot. We are talking about our favorite subject today, dogs.

 In the first half of this podcast we talked about some things that you need to think about, about yourself, your family, your home, your future, before you add a dog to your family.

Now let’s talk about dogs. Dogs are one of the few species of animals on earth that come in such a variety of shapes, sizes, coats, activity levels. There are many breeds of cats. There are many breeds of horses. There are many different types of dolphins. But there is nothing that comes in the variety that dogs do.

And to me that is one of the things that makes them so fascinating. There is quite a few breeds that I would prefer not to share my home with just simply because of some of their characteristics. But there are also a lot of breeds that I would love to share my home with. Granted right now my husband and I have Australian Shepherds and we have had them for 20 years or more; but we are looking to add a new puppy to our family and right now we are doing some research into breeds. Perhaps, a breed that is similar to Aussies but maybe a little different. But we are doing some research.

Kate has two totally different breeds, Cockapoo and Rotweiler. I mean, that is 180 degrees out.

And then Petra shares her home with three different breeds, all with some different characteristics and temperaments.

So let’s talk about some of the differences and similarities that dogs have.

Petra Burke: Well I think right now… I know if you watch animal planet…I love watching the dog shows because I think that they all talk about it. That is where a lot of good information, if you are starting and you want to start the research, check it out there. Of course, don’t expect to buy that perfect dog that you see in the dog shows; but it gives you an ideal what they look like when they are full grown.

Some of the most popular ones, from the AKC, are the labs, the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever

Yorkies; which we see a lot of.

Liz Palika: We wee lots of Yorkies.

Petra Burke: German Shepherds

Well, of course

Liz Palika: They have been popular for many years. Beagle, Dachsund, the boxer; which we have seen more and more boxer ourselves lately.

Poodles, of course, and then the Miniature Schnauzer.

Petra Burke: We have always seen lots of Miniature Schnauzers

Liz Palika: I think we saw an influx of Beagles right after that movie cam out, Under Dog. Then there was a movie a couple of years ago that had a beagle in it too, Good Boy, or something like that. And we saw quite a few beagles.

Kate Abbott: Then Dalmatians after 101 Dalmatians. Oh, yes yes yes.

Petra Burke: Thank goodness, not many St Bernards after

Kate Abbott, Petra Burke and Liz Palika: Beethoven

Liz Palika: And we didn’t see a huge influx of Alaskan Malamutes after that one…

Kate Abbott: Eight Below?

Liz Palika: Whatever, the one about the dogs in Antarctica. We did not see a huge influx of Alaskan Malamutes after that. Which both of those, Saint Bernards and Alaskan Malamutes, they need a special home and someone who knows that breed. Thou I am glad that we did not see a huge influx there.

But something else we ought to talk about are mixed breeds.

Kate Abbott: Then, by the way, this whole new thing about designer dogs often makes me chuckle because all breeds were designed at one time or another for a purpose.

Liz Palika: Yes

Petra Burke: Yes

Kate Abbott: So when someone comes to me and says, “I want a dog. What should I get?”  I want to ask them, “What is your purpose in getting a dog? Do you want a companion? Do you want a sporting dog? Do you want a hunting companion?”  and then look at the breeds that were bred to do that. Then you can start winnowing that out by the kind of coat, and the amount of exercise as well.

I think the reason goldens and labs are so popular is, as a breed, they were to work with people and do stuff for them. So, originally that was hunting,; but we can modify that to service dogs or bringing in the paper for you in the morning. But it is still that basic concept of working for you.

Liz Palika: t: I think also both of those breeds have a tendency to be greatly affectionate and not overly protective. They will bark when somebody comes to the door; but they are not going to bite grandma. Unless, there is a temperament problem or they have not been socialized. For the most part they are not going to bite grandma.

Kate Abbott: We are talking in generalities here.

Liz Palika: Generalities, yes.

So they are people oriented breeds and I think that is…

Kate Abbott: The extreme example is the poodle. They are one of the most people oriented breeds I know.

Then there are those that go, “I want a dog.” I want to go for a walk.” “I want more exercise.” For themselves; but they don’t really want a lap dog. Maybe one of the northern breeds, the Malamute, the Pomeranian,, which I love; but that is yours.
The more a little standoffish breeds, they might be what they want.

Kate Abbott: Well there are a lot of different ways to characterize or categorize dogs and dog breeds, but let’s talk about some that are more excited and more extraverted, perhaps. They may or may not be protective. Maybe, perhaps, bark when somebody comes to the door, but not do protection work.

Petra Burke: More like an alarm.

Kate Abbott: An alarm dog.

Petra Burke: Yeah

Kate Abbott: Chihuahua, obviously.

Kate Abbott: Yeah, and a lot of terriers on that list. That just sort of describes terriers. Right?

Liz Palika: Yeah

But we have seen lots and lots of Chihuahua and of course, some of the celebrities started carrying them around as accessories we saw even more of those.

Dachsunds are very much excited, extraverted; will bark when somebody comes to the house. Heaven forbid the plumber comes in without knocking.

Kate Abbott: Hey, you’ve got to bark so that people will look down and say hi to you.

Petra Burke: Yes

Liz Palika: Yes, especially when you are so short.

And yes, like Kate said, lots of terriers. The Fox Terrier, e Parson Russel Terrier, the Jack Russell Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Silky Terrier West Highland Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, s Pomeranian; Yes, Poms are on that list. And my mom has a Shih Tzu. Yes, he is definitely excited, extraverted, and sometimes barks more than he should.

And then, of course, we have got the breeds that are, perhaps, not quite as excited and extraverted, but are still fairly active. Cocker spaniels and Cockapoos, of course, both fit into that category. Smoothen and wire fox terriers; min pins,  Now min pins could probably fit on the first list to though. Although, they are probably not as extraverted. they can be more one family dogs, but they are active.; the Shetland sheep dog, Shih Tzu, and the Silky Terrier

And then like dogs- I think you and I like Liz- the herding breeds.

I love those. I can just work with them better. I have the German Shepherd and the Aussie.

Petra Burke: Those dogs, though, you sill have to give a job. So if you are a type of family which likes to give them a job; which getting the paper… Our dogs do obedience. They do herding. They do pulling a cart. I mean, our dogs are always so busy. But if you like a dog that you can do things with, and Aussie, a border collie, a Doberman Pinscher, English Springer Spaniel, -We have had a few nice ones come through class. – German Shepherd, Goldens, Poodles of all sizes,

Liz Palika: And poodles are so undervalues.

Petra Burke: Yes

Liz Palika: Or underutilized. People forget that poodles were working dogs. They were very versatile working dogs. I hate to see a spoiled rotten poodle that doesn’t have anything to do because over all he is an unhappy dog. Poodles are bright and intelligent. I wouldn’t want to keep up with the coat but

Petra Burke: That is a choice we make.

Liz Palika: Yeah, that is a choice.

Petra Burke: Look at our friend who has her poodle who does herding the sheep and goats. It is incredible.

Liz Palika: And pull a wagon, and does service dog work, and does therapy dog work,

Petra Burke: And he is so happy.

Liz Palika: And he is the happiest poodle on the face of the planet.

Petra Burke: And then, of course, the rotties and the Shetland Sheep Dog. The rottie I would say look at the rottie as a German Shepherd. It is a working dog. It is a guard dog, you know, that type of thing. But, Teddy finally grew up and now is herding geese after five years; Kate your Rottie and then Kate your friends Rottie that are herding the sheep and goats.

Kate Abbott: The joy of her life is to get to herd.

Liz Palika: And stare at them.

Kate Abbott: And watch them.

Liz Palika: Yes, make sure they stay safe. Obviously, they can only be safe when she is watching them.

Petra Burke: Then, I guess, if you are looking for a calm more laid back breed some suggestions. Even though people are probably surprised when you say Great Dane.

Liz Palika: Boy that is a big dog. Does he need a lot of exercise?

Petra Burke: I think every owner that I no of a Great Dane says that it is a couch potato.

Liz Palika: Granted

Petra Burke: Oh, and a Grey Hound. Granted you have to give them their own couch; but Grey Hounds and Great Danes.

Liz Palika: Akitas and Alaskan Malamutes, they can be high energy when they want to but for the most part they prefer to just lay around and watch. Akitas are very protective but they are not an active breed like, perhaps, the German Shepherd who is patrolling the backyard. The Akita is laying under the tree back there watching everything but he is not patrolling.

The Alaskan Malamutes, they were originally a sled dog;, but when they are not hooked up to the sled let them have the sofa. That is what they want.

Bassett Hounds, sofa is there life. Blood hounds are probably the world’s best search and rescue or tracking dog. But again, when they are not working

Kate Abbott: They know how to kick back.

Liz Palika: Oh, yeah.

Petra Burke: And then the New Finlands and the St. Bernards.

Liz Palika: They are just nice to lay on, because they are just a couch themselves.

Kate Abbott: What is often surprising with the giant breeds…I had a Mastiff and I was living in a trailer. You go outside, go for a walk, and come back in ‘plop’. That was enough. Thank you. I want to be right here.

Petra Burke: You know how we mentioned earlier how some places have 40 pounds and under, those are the most active dogs. Bark, bark, spin and shout. You should say 100 pounds and over.

Liz Palika: Nothing less than 100 pounds.

Petra Burke: t: If want a couch potatoes who is rather mellow and will just lay on there that is what you need to do. Not these little spin and shout dogs.

Kate Abbott: You are right. My Mastiff would lay there and go, “If it is really important wake me up.” Where the little dog would be going, “What was that? What was that? What was that? Did you hear that? Did you hear?” “Yeah, yeah, whatever, if it comes in here I will deal with it.”

Liz Palika: Another temperate category that we need to talk about are shadows.

Kate Abbott: Velcro dogs

Liz Palika: We’ve all had a standing joke that we have shared with our classes on more than one occasion and probably didn’t need to, but we have to.

Petra Burke: But they all can relate, if they have a shadow dog.

Liz Palika: I have not gone to the bathroom alone in more than 25 years,

Petra Burke: Nope

Liz Palika: Because Australian Shepherds are shadows. Well we have two of them at our feet right now while we are talking. Aussies think that they should be attached to you. And if they are not attached by a visible leach or umbilical chord it is an invisible one.
They are very very unhappy when exiled.

But there are quite a few other breeds like that.

Petra Burke: The Bishon, the Boarder Collies, Cockerspanials, German Shepherd

I will have the two Aussies and the German Shepherd bring me a ball and the German Shepherd will go, “Excuse me mom you sitting?”

Liz Palika: I am surprise the palm is not on there because she is sitting like right between my feet going, “I got mom first.” She grew up with Aussies and German Shepherds.

Kate Abbott: She thinks she is a German Shepherd.

Petra Burke: Yeah, that is very true.

Of course Golden Retrievers, the Maltese, poodles

Liz Palika: Of all sizes, yep

Petra Burke: and your Shetland sheep dogs again. A few of your sheep dogs.

Liz Palika: Okay, now some other things to think about when choosing a dog. Do you want a puppy or an adult? Personally I love raising puppies .Puppies can be a lot of work. They take a lot of time. You have to think about an awful lot. Puppy proof your house, your garage, your backyard. But I love watching a puppy grow up and raise them the way that I want them to be, for the most part. You only have so much control over the end result, but for the most part. So I like raising puppies. But a puppy is not right for everyone. They are a lot of work.

Petra Burke: So sometimes a dog would work out, a full grown.

Well not necessarily full grown, I mean, as far as maturity wise. Some people want a dog that is 10, 11, 12 months old. Possibly a 5 year old; we have a lady in class that has that 5 year old Alcon cross. He is five. She has adopted him, I think, within the last few months.

Liz Palika: One of the downfalls of that, of course, is that you are often getting someone else’s problems. She is dealing with a lot of issues with that Alcon Cross. For 5 years of his life somebody had…Who knows what had happened to that poor dog? So she is dealing with those issues.

Obviously, if you get a dog that is a little bit younger than that, maybe in the first year of life, then they might not have suffered too much; although Janna did.

Kate Abbott: Yeah, she was a little under a year when I got her and she was about half of what she should have weighed. She had a pack of fat puppies; but she herself was a mess both emotionally and physically.

But I have adopted young adults and one of the joys of that, is already knowing pretty much what size they are going to be.

Liz Palika: And what coat they are going to have and what their temperament is.

Kate Abbott: Unless you get a pure bred. If you get a mixed, one of the things about getting an older dog is that you have a better idea about their size and temperament. Yeah, they may have some baggage, but working with that in training is comparable to working and setting that up with a puppy.

Petra Burke: Sure

Kate Abbott: And a lot of older dogs are there not for behavior issues. Their owner may have died, gone into a nursing home, shipped out.

Liz Palika: Yes

Kate Abbott: Military

Petra Burke: A divorce

Kate Abbott: There is as many different… One of our students got a lovely dog and the reason the people turned it into the pound was they retired and they were going to travel.

Liz Palika: Oh, how sad. Get in an RV and travel with the dog.

Kate Abbott: So, you know, she actually got a lovely dog with the nice temperament and just a little bit of brush up training needed, already house trained.

Petra Burke: Poor dog

Kate Abbott:  But he was even happier to get a new home.

Liz Palika: Sure, he is probably appreciated more in this one.

Another aspect that you might want to think about is male or female. Personally, I have had both, I have loved both; but there is a reason why- And I hope I can say this in public. – There is a reason why they call bitches bitches.

Kate Abbott: You say that like it is a bad thing.

Liz Palika: And female dogs

Kate Abbott: Be proud of it.

Liz Palika: And female dogs are the origins of that. They can be a challenge, especially to a women owner. A female dog to a male owner, of course, is going to be all sweetness and light and Bambi eyes and coy and flirtatious.

Kate Abbott: Play the gender card.

Liz Palika: Yes

I like my male dogs. I think the male dogs are very loyal, friendly, and affectionate; but that is totally a personal decision. I mean that is one you need to think about. Think about the characteristics of each. But decide which gender would work better for you before you get a dog.

Well that is our time for today.

Next week what we will do is talk about: some of the different places where you can find a good dog; and how to find a good dog; how to talk to a breeder; how to check out  the dog at a shelter; which is a very artificial place and the dog may be very very stressed.

Kate Abbott: Questions to ask of a rescue dog organization.

Liz Palika: Exactly! Exactly! How to find a resource group.

Petra Burke: And we will have more stories to share.

Kate Abbott: We always have stories.

Liz Palika: So for today we will call it quits. That is it.  But tune in next week and we will continue along this same line of thought and perhaps give you some more things to think about or talk to your family about. So that is it for this show.

Kate Abbott: See you next week.

Petra Burke: Bye bye!