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Vent: SIL Wants Dog That Is Totally Inappropriate For Her!

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  • Vent: SIL Wants Dog That Is Totally Inappropriate For Her!

    My SIL and her husband have recently decided that they want to get a dog. Normally I'd be super excited to be able to welcome another furry family member, but there are more than a few problems with the situation.

    SIL and hubby are both full-time professionals in their respective fields and work long hours and travel frequently for work. They also live in an apartment with no yard. Most people would deduce that with work hours like they have and their living situation, getting a dog is not in anyone's best interest at this point in their lives. But SIL has got it into her head that now is the PERFECT time to get a dog. She is also not at all a dog or animal person, honestly has no clue about the time, knowledge, and commitment having an animal takes, and has never even taken an interest in animals before in her life as far as I know.

    Now, this is where it gets good. She's decided that she wants a Weimaraner PUPPY. Yes, this person who works long hours, is not a dog person, has never owned a dog, is somewhat intimidated by large dogs, and lives in a small apartment, has gotten it into her head that a very large, very energetic, difficult to train PUPPY is a good fit for her. *headdesk*

    I've tried - nicely - to explain that this is really not a good time in her life to get a dog due to all of the above circumstances, that puppies especially take a lot of work and a Weimaraner is NOT a good fit for a first-time owner, but everything I say seems to be going in one ear and out the other. I've suggested talking to the trainer they plan on taking puppy classes with and going to her local shelter/SPCA to chat with someone about appropriate dogs and get some information, but who knows if she will actually take the advice. SIL is the kind of person who thinks she knows eeeeverything.

    Is there anything I can do to help ensure that she doesn't get a dog/gets something more appropriate if she does get one? It kills me to think that she will either make this animal's life miserable or have to give it up to a shelter within months. Sigh.
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


  • #2
    Find her some reputable breeders to speak to and let the breeders tell her no. (Plus, you will look like you're helping)! She won't believe you, but she might believe the breeder. Plus most reputable breeders will take their puppies back if it doesn't work out.


    • #3
      Babysitting is usually the best form of 'birth control' for any species. Maybe convince her to sign up to foster before she commits. Then if it's a total flop you know that the puppy won't be going anywhere bad, or adding to the shelter population.

      Just a thought.

      My husband wanted a dog that was totally inappropriate for our family. If we didn't have a baby, I'd have been all for it, but he was a 9 month old, 100lb German Shephard/Rottie cross with a jumping problem and serious energy. I'm home with the baby, and he's constantly away for work. I only outweighed doggie by about 10 lbs... it was a disaster just as an idea! He was dead set on the big dog, so when we went for a second visit I let the dog jump up and I 'fell down'. He understood after that, and we got our little Dixie. He even made the comment that he's glad we didn't get big dog a few times now.

      He just had to see for himself that it was a bad idea, and it changed his mind. Perhaps your SIL needs something along the same lines.


      • #4
        She's probably not going to listen to you, unforunately. My best friend recently lost world's best (aged) golden retriever and decided she COULD.NOT.WAIT to get another dog despite her life not currently being in the best place for another one, so she went right to the shelter and immediately adopted from the first one that would place with her (bitching the whole time about all the places that wanted to call her references or her vet to confirm that she wasn't a total flake... at least she went to a shelter??).

        Now she has a 45 lb 4 month old (!!!) mix that I suspect is some type of LGB (looks a lot like an anatolian shepherd) that is very aloof, growing rapidly, is not AT ALL like her golden was (SHOCKING), and is quickly becoming a training problem. He still doesn't understand peeing outside (and a 45lb puppy pees A LOT), and last time I saw him, the first thing he did was jump on me and leave bloody scratches on my chest that took about 2 weeks to heal. He has started getting into the trash cans and shredding everything in them, which she thinks is "just a puppy thing". She refuses to crate him when he's unattended, though, because she "thinks it's mean" and her old dog wasn't crated. She doesn't take him for regular walks "because she has a fenced yard", and he is lacking a ton of what I consider very necessary socialization. He's starting to bark/growl at people in an alarming way, and she screams at him for this. To make matters worse, her fiance thinks it's "just hysterical that he thinks he's a 'big bad dog' when he's just a puppy" and has started wrestling/playing rough with him on a daily basis, so now the dog thinks everyone that comes over wants to get on the floor and bare knuckle fight with him. This is a dog that's going to weigh well over 100lbs, so I'm a little alarmed at how this is going to play out...

        The only positive thing about this situation is that he was a shelter puppy, so was neutered before he came home... I have a feeling this dog is going to be the reason I don't spend much time at her house anymore.
        Here today, gone tomorrow...


        • #5
          Wow there are some great ideas!

          Ditto foster -rescue will tell her something similar to a breeder- and find contacts for good, local-ish breeders.

          Let her visit the rescue's or breeder's pack of Weims and take a 9mo on a walk around a busy neighborhood.


          • #6
            Help her do a budget for daycare and training . We have a year old BC mix who is a total handful. Now, we knew what we were getting into (other dog is an ACD mix). We both work full-time, bug DH doesn't leave until about 8:30am and I'm home by 3:45pm, I work from home on Fridays and never travel, so there's someone around more than in many homes with two wage earners. We are STILL spending a fortune on "day school" because we cannot leave her home alone, even for the 7 hours that we aren't there. She'll grow up eventually and we planned for this when we wanted another herding dog and decided on a puppy, imagine what a shock it would be for someone who imagined they'd just stick the smart, busy, dog in a crate and go to work all day right from the get go.


            • #7
              We had a bad experience with a rescue dog that luckily turned out very well in the end - rehomed her with a friend of a friend who happens to be a professional large dog (Rottie) trainer. Dog was supposed to be for DH, he didn't get involved in anything whatsoever (walking the dog, taking her to the trainer, etc., etc.) We both work full time and it was just not a good situation for me or the dog, even though our pet sitter came over every day to walk her while we were gone. She was fear aggressive (confirmed by my trainer) and ended up attacking one of my friends (who she had met before). In reetrospect, we should NOT have a dog and although I love them I don't know much about them (I'm a cat person) and I have told him we will not get another one. And I cannot imagine your SIL with a puppy!!!
              What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


              • #8
                I burst out laughing when I got to the weimeraner puppy part. Sorry. Hard to think of anything more inappropriate. Maybe a small, older litter-box trained dog.
                anyway, she won't listen to you, you're just a relative. See if you can get her to have some talks with "experts", anyone- a vet, a daycare person, a trainer- she'll probably respect advice from such a person.


                • #9
                  OP here is the quiz from our local weim breed club, maybe share it with your SIL and her hubby:

                  I urge all potential Weimaraner owners to ask yourselves these questions:
                  Can your entire household handle the size and activity level of a Weimaraner? The adult weight of a Weim can be overpowering. Weims are more active than a lot of breeds -- by this I mean that many, not all, Weims are busy, busy, busy. Does that type of dog fit your lifestyle?
                  Has someone in your household grudgingly agreed to allow you to have a dog/Weimaraner? Is someone only giving in to your pressure? Too many times a reluctant family member "lets someone have" their dream dog, but when that dream becomes a reality -- along with the housebreaking, barking, chewing and digging -- suddenly the dog has got to go. Tolerance is a big part of dog ownership, all family members have to really want to accept and cherish your new family member. If one family member dislikes the idea of a large house dog, you should instead compromise with a pet you can all agree on.
                  Will you obedience train your Weimaraner? Due to the size of a Weim, their busy attitude, and desire to work with people, you must have the time and commitment to obedience train your dog at an early age.
                  Can you live with the the consequences of a Weimaraner's high prey drive? Weims can and do kill small fuzzy critters. If that happens can you live with it? That is the one single question you must answer, and do it honestly. Weims can sometimes live successfully with cats and other small animals; however, if the worst happens will it cause you to want to get rid of the dog? If the answer is yes, then you should NOT get a Weimaraner -- period.
                  Will your Weimaraner live indoors? I think that all dogs should be indoors when people are at home. Dogs desire to be members of a pack and as such they need to be with you (their pack leader) when you are at home. You are acquiring a companion animal: Livestock and lawn furniture are kept outdoors 24hours a day, NOT companion animals. So ask yourself, how much time (out of a 24 hour day) do you plan on spending with your new companion? If the answer is only an hour or two at most, please consider an alternative to getting a dog.
                  A Weim's size, energy level, and desire to be with people means that if the dog becomes frustrated at being outside they can and will do significant damage (tear up lawn, chew hoses, chew electrical wiring, chew tires, chew off screens, chew through wood doors, chew molding, chew plants, chew up chain link, etc.). Oh yeah, if they are frustrated, Weims can also BARK real loud!
                  How will you deal with destructive phases? Weims hit a major energy and destruction phase from 6-18 months old -- and you need to have a plan to keep the dog from destroying the environment and the environment from hurting the dog. If all you intend to do is to keep the dog loose in the house or yard when you are not home (during this adolescent/puppy phase), you should plan on significant damage.
                  Are you ready to take on the responsibility of a Weimaraner for the next 10-15 years? Our rescue organizations are flooded with dogs that are given up for many, many reasons -- but the overwhelming reason is that their owners where not responsible enough or committed enough to stick it out. Owning a pet requires a sense of caring, tolerance, humor and love. If there is even the possibility that in the future you might move and not take your dog, get divorced and not want to keep your dog, or not have enough time for a dog - then DON'T GET A DOG.
                  HaHA! Made-est Thou Look!


                  • #10
                    Do they own the apartment or rent? If they rent, I'd go to the landlord, let him/her in on the plan, and let them shoot it down for you. I'm thinking of the damage my Lab/Pit mix did to the front porch . . . and trying not to think about an apartment with no walls suddenly because the dog has eaten through them.


                    • #11
                      My son in law wanted a big dog puppy as a 1st pet for my grandson becasue when he was growing up he had "shep" apprantly the greatest dog who ever lived and a big dog. My daughter found a rescue that had bunch of 6 month old big dogs who were rescues because no one could handle them, took son in law there a few times to pick out the big dog and son in law got jumped on, snapped at, lunged at growled at etc.
                      The wound up with a 3 year old pug who was given up by his family when they had to move, he's the perfect dog, has no interest in going out except to pee/poop, doesn't jump, already neutered, his only fault is he has a couch pillow that is his girlfriend and he makes mad love to it when company is over,my daughter is mortified.


                      • #12
                        Oh wow.

                        I've always wanted a Weimeraner.

                        Maybe one day when I own a large estate, have taken up field trialing, and can adopt one that's four years old at a minimum I'll get one.
                        The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                        Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                        The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alex and Bodie's Mom View Post
                          Do they own the apartment or rent? If they rent, I'd go to the landlord, let him/her in on the plan, and let them shoot it down for you. I'm thinking of the damage my Lab/Pit mix did to the front porch . . . and trying not to think about an apartment with no walls suddenly because the dog has eaten through them.
                          Yep. Our BC mix is never left home alone, yet she's still managed to find time to sneak around and chew up a couple of window sills, a bit of baseboard, some wall to wall carpet, pulled lots of stuffing from the couch, chewed the leg off a diningroom chair, etc... We don't keep a fancy house, it's full of dogs and boys, so why bother, and we own it, so whatever...someone with a rented house or for whom having really nice things is important wouldn't do well with her at all. She's exercised, entertained and never left alone, yet she still manages this if she isn't getting every speck of attention all the time. She does sleep well at night (tired!!) and can be left loose without causing a bit of trouble because she's passed out.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thank you for the input everyone!! Lots of very helpful suggestions, Chester's Mom I will DEFINITELY pass on that questionnaire to her!! That's AWESOME and pretty much everything I want her to know about having a big, high-energy dog!
                            Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                            • #15
                              Oh yeah, your SIL could be related to my husband's nephew. They have a 4-year-old BC that doesn't get nearly enough attention or exercise. He and his wife were considering giving the dog away or back to his breeder just a few months ago because the bored and frustrated dog started peeing in the house and destroying small items. And these people are CHEAP (not poor, just cheap) - it took them forever to grudgingly part with the money to get the dog neutered.

                              Instead they got another BC puppy, this one a female. . Wait till they find out the cost of spay vs. neuter. I have failed and failed and failed to ferret out a single grain of logic that led to a second BC.

                              Reputable breeders will of course tell these sorts of people "no". It's rarely a deterrent - they just go buy from a breeder who advertises on Craigslist.


                              • #16
                                is she crazy, we a have German Shorthaired that is almost a year old and while he is good, he has LOTS of energy

                                has she said why she wants a Weim?

                                try to direct her to a Greyhound rescue and ask for a couch potato or a nice adult pug or other "house" dog


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by Burbank View Post
                                  is she crazy, we a have German Shorthaired that is almost a year old and while he is good, he has LOTS of energy

                                  has she said why she wants a Weim?

                                  try to direct her to a Greyhound rescue and ask for a couch potato or a nice adult pug or other "house" dog
                                  She and hubby are very active and run several miles daily, and she wants a Weim so it can "go for runs" with her. I strongly doubt her abilities to teach a large hunting-bred dog to heel... I have suggested something small and quiet, or a Greyhound which is big and quiet, but she seems stuck on a Weim or something else just as unsuitable just because it would be able to "hold up" to daily runs, in her opinion.
                                  Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique



                                  • #18
                                    she could run with a Greyhound, or does she not realize that

                                    not that a Weim couldn't be a great running companion, but they would need to be atleast a year old to keep from messing up the joints

                                    or she can borrow my GSP for runs, he is not a "stop and smell the roses" walker, he walks on a mission


                                    • #19
                                      You might emphasize something akin to what was said in another thread, one of the perennial "should I geld my colt?" conversations (the original was something like "The stallion will be used for breeding X times a year, but you'll spend every moment of that year with the extra work of owning a stallion") In her case - "You'll be running with the dog maybe 7 hours a week, or less. But you'll own a large, burstingly energetic and athletic young dog for every moment of that week - you'll have to plan how to feed him, get him outside to relieve himself, get him to the vet, find alternative care when you need to travel, train him to be pleasant onleash and in the house when friends come over, to take pills without biting, to stay out of the trash and off the couch, etc., etc., etc."


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by caradino View Post
                                        She and hubby are very active and run several miles daily, and she wants a Weim so it can "go for runs" with her. I strongly doubt her abilities to teach a large hunting-bred dog to heel... I have suggested something small and quiet, or a Greyhound which is big and quiet, but she seems stuck on a Weim or something else just as unsuitable just because it would be able to "hold up" to daily runs, in her opinion.
                                        Find a vet that will council her about not running with her dog until it is at least 18 - 24 months (she likely won't believe anyone else): hopefully this will encourage her to find a breeder with some older pups so she won't need to wait as long for her jogging partner.