Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dog hair

I love having a dog around:  If you have a dog, you will have several occasions to smile and laugh every day.  
Around here, when a dog dies it leaves such a hole in my life that I immediately get another dog to fill the hole.  The experts say one should take time to grieve, but I can't stand the vacancy and Cliff can't stand me crying, so within two days of the death of one dog, we're off to find another.  
I've gone to the shelter for my last two dogs, and I've chosen a grown dog each time.  This means I get a dog with baggage, psycho behavior that they wouldn't have had if I'd raised them myself from a puppy.  We laugh when Iris attacks dogs and animals on TV, but when she literally tries to kill my sister-in-law's mini-dachshund, it isn't funny at all.  It's scary.  Part of the reason for such behavior is her breeding.  She's half whippet, a breed that goes after small animals (although she carefully avoids any confrontation with a cat; go figure).  That's her worst trait; that and the shedding.  Sadie, her predecessor, was a hair factory, but Iris is worse.  
I've had the thought that maybe we should just put Iris down for her aggressiveness toward small dogs, but that would be hard.  
What I do is research a lot.  Don't tell Iris, but I'm shopping for the dog I will have when she dies.  Although at my age, she is liable to outlive me.  
Dogs I've already owned:  German Shepherd, Fox Terriers, Rat Terriers, Chihuahua, Chow, and Miniature Poodle.  The Chihuahua didn't shed enough to be troublesome, but she wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer.  The poodle didn't shed and was very bright, but she was snooty and thought she was better than us:  After having her for a year or so, we gave her to my parents; she lived to the ripe old age of eighteen and was treated like a queen.  As for the terriers, we had a good one and some not-so-good.  I loved our German Shepherd, but I wouldn't want one in the house, and we don't have a fenced yard where we could keep an outside dog.  I do not want to lose another dog to the highway.  


I've heard good and bad things about Jack Russell Terriers.  I like a high-energy dog.  There's a local breeder, and we were considering getting one of his puppies (after Iris dies) until I found out that they can be pretty bad shedders.  
So I've surfed the Internet for information on non-shedding dogs, and I've asked questions of people who own them. 
      
For a long time I considered a Yorkie.  They don't shed.  They don't have to be groomed.  Perfect!  Then I found out they are prone to a lot of health problems.  We're retired; veteranarians are expensive.  Besides, dogs with health problems make me cry.  Cliff hates that.  


I've studied the Schnauzer, both standard and mini.  They seem to be non-shedders and they are playful, but they require expensive grooming.  Still, I was leaning toward the breed until I found out that they, too, have myriad health problems. 

Originally I wasn't going to think about a poodle, but they are amazingly healthy.  I don't think my parents ever had to take Maleah to the vet, except for some dental work when she was an old lady.  In her old age, though, she developed a terrible odor, worse than just a "doggy" odor.  Perhaps a vet might have done something about that; I don't know.  And with poodles, again, there are the expensive visits to the groomer.  I've wondered about perhaps finding a poodle cross.    


And then there's the Maltese: Non-shedding, healthy, and playful.  Unfortunately, this dog would either require daily grooming or an expensive groomer.  I know a lady in Texas who owns a Maltese, and he doesn't have hair like this.  She must have him clipped from time to time.  He's a smart, funny dog who sings along when someone plays the piano.  
Maybe it would be best if Iris outlives me.  I'll just have to keep her away from small dogs so she won't kill them.  

17 comments:

jaz@octoberfarm said...

hi! i just found you through taryterre! glad i did! i would love to hear about your chow. we have only ever had chows. they are quite something! teddy, our current chow is a real pip! i just made butter and i hear you make your own butter too. off to check out your blog some more!

Anonymous said...

Donna,
Changing the type of dog food can make a big difference - I have a pit-lab puppy that someone put out and we adopted. Most dog foods list corn as the first ingredient (and just like with horses) corn can make a dog very hyper!!! I've recently switched to Purina One Beyond, which has no corn it it. The difference in behavior is amazing. It's a little pricey (and their may be other brands out there too), but it seems to be well worth the cost.

This comment will come up anonymous but I'll sign my name...
Sharon

Donna said...

We feed Purina One, Sharon.

Anonymous said...

I had a lab chow mix, he was the best. Good guard dog, wouldn't run off, would follow me when I went out horseback riding best of all, he'd do his business out in the field, not the yard. Now I have a hyper mutt that chewed up the neighbors 80$ muck boots, steals clothes off the line and is just a pain.

Donna said...

Jaz, our Chow was great and lived to be an old age, but she was another hair factory. She should have been brushed often, but I didn't do it. So you can imagine how that went.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It's been almost 2 years now since i had a dog and every now and then I find a clump of hair somewhere. I don't do deep cleaning too often, you can tell...or maybe it's cat hair...it's been well over a year now without any cats around either. Pets are no longer in my budget. They are like another person to care for and feed. Nice I have some grand dogs to visit with now and then. Have fun looking!

Rachel said...

Have you looked at Westies?

Hyperblogal said...

Duct tape will prevent shedding.

Margaret said...

Our smartest and most personable dog was a Blue Heeler(Australian cattle dog)/Australian Shepherd/Dingo mix. Perfect size dog since Australian shepherds aren't as big as German Shepherds. He was also beautiful, but very active. I don't know what kind of house dog it would make.

BlueRidge Boomer said...

We are now on our 5th Jack Russell....they are "very" high energy and seem to do better if they have a companion...they need lots of room to run and play and all of ours have developed health problem around the age of 8....Mia was just diagnosed with congestive heart failure. she is the second JR we've owned with this...the last one lived to the ripe old age of 15...
Enjoy

Anonymous said...

Just recently found your blog. We lost our most beloved of all dogs a little over a year ago. I do not know if we will get another. She was beyond smart, by anyone's estimate that was around her. And good beyond belief...she lived to be with us and to please us. She was very funny too and gave us so many laughs. She was 7/8ths Blue Heeler and 1/8th Border Collie. That Border Collie in her made her a very high jumper. She would not leave the yard, even if the gate was left open several days, which did happen. The first couple years she was such high energy but we had several children so even in town she was exercised. And we would walk her some and take her to run in a wide open area (the game was she would be with me, then hubby would begin to run and after a time, I would let her go to "catch him"...she LOVED that game). As she aged, she slowed down and became a perfect house pet. Though she shed, of course. But for overall personality and behavior, she was the best ever!! I think a dog that is a mixed breed is healthier too. She lived to be almost 16 1/2 years. And only the last couple years had to see a vet much. Hope you find what you are looking for!
Elizabeth

Ms Martyr said...

People are now developing "designer breeds" which are crosses that used to be called mutts. My husband saw an ad for a "labradoodle" and thought it must be an "oops" breeding. I explained that those pups are probably going for $650 and up. Anyway, the point I was going to make is that an old mix - cockapoo - can be a nice mid sized dog that doesn't shed. My parents had two. One was smart as a whip and the other couldn't find her way out of a paper bag. Both had nice personalities.

TARYTERRE said...

Since Iris is still among us, I suppose all this talk about NEW dogs is a tad bit premature. But I'll pipe in my two cents worth. I grew up with a BEAGLE. Have you ever had experience with them? She was a real sweetie. Kind, gentle. Not mean at all. Also had a poodle, a dog that was half St. Bernard and half collie. Weird combination. And a Heinz 57 variety dog that was a mix of god knows what. Buried them all. So sad. Now I just have cats. Shedding is a problem for dogs or cats, though. My favorite cartoon pictures a cat and her human momma. The momma says, "I HATE cat hair, as she picks up a clump." The cat looks at her and replies, "Tell me about it. I do too."

Amy said...

I agree about the cockapoo. My first dog was a cockapoo and it made me love them for life. Kind, sweet, obedient, smart, extremely healthy, and never shed. I doubt I will ever love another dog as much (and you know I've had my share of pets!). I'd love to have another. I used to groom him myself once or twice a year with pet clippers..... just like a sheep come shearing time.
My sister has a mini Schnauzer/Dachschund who is really healthy and easy to groom, but isn't very bright. Box of rocks is a pretty good comparison. She's sweet as well, but very needy....much like a baby who only want to be held by mommy (which is okay for me because I love being needed)...
I think most of the sites comment on dogs needing to be groomed, but since I bought the pet clippers, even a hairy dog is easy to control.... it's mainly about behavior for me at this point...
(I can honestly say I wouldn't willingly get a Jack Russell, though....my neighbor has one, and good gravy...)

Mo Rage said...

Okay, a little dog information:

Jack Russell terriers. I have this couple who owns two and I dog-sit for them once a year, a week at a time and I can tell you, from them, that these two don't shed--not that I've ever seen--and dang, they're a lot smarter and nicer than a lot of people you'll ever meet. In short, I'd highly recommend one to you. Don't say no completely. Not yet.

My two cents.

Tango said...

My next dog will be a Basenji. No barking and no shedding. :)

Leilani Lee said...

Chiming in late here -- suggest you look for a mixed between two "non-shedding breeds" for example, poodle + schnauzer; poodle + westy, schnauzer + westy etc; that way, you get reduced genetic disease problems (hybrid vigor) and a non-shed or low-shed coat. Either way you have grooming (either brushing short haired dog to cut down shedding or groomer to maintain non-shed coat)