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Soon to be first-time dog owner, I’m here for friendly advice!

Owen Parker

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Hi guys, I’m looking to get a dog very soon, and I’ve not had a dog as a pet since I was a young child. I’ve just started doing some research and I’m here for further advice!

I live with my brother at the moment who works 9-5 nearby, and I’m a trucker who stays away in Scotland Monday-Thursday. The long term plan may be to take the dog away with me in the truck, but I know that won’t be ideal while they’re a young pup.

I’m thinking of getting a Boston Terrier, as I don’t want a huge hairy dog if I end up taking it away for work, but I also don’t want a tiny little yappy dog. I’ve also heard they’re better than most breeds being left alone for extended periods if needed.

Any advice or suggestions would be much appreciated!
Hello and welcome.

Bostons are sweet little dogs, but you do need to watch for breathing, eye and dentition problems caused by their flat faces. When you are buying a dog like this, it's all the more important to make sure both parents have been tested to make sure they aren't passing hereditary problems to the puppies. You may also find insurance is on the high side because of the health issues the breed has.

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Unless there is someone home, I think you may find toilet training challenging. And most dogs need to be built up gradually to tolerate alone time, so that's another consideration.

One other thing - I suggest this to a lot of people in your situation.

For the next month, act like you have an adult dog. You and your brother should get up an hour earlier than normal, take an hour long walk. Do the same in the evening after work - and come straight home from work; no shopping, gym, socialising. Do this every day, without fail, regardless of the weather. Be aware of the season, and remind yourself every morning that for several months of the year you will be doing this in the cold and dark.

Also put away what you think a dog will cost for food, insurance, vet bill excesses, toys etc, then add 10% because we always underestimate these things.

That will give you a good insight into some of the commitment you will need to make.

A nice way to think of it is don't think about what a dog will bring to your family, think about what your family can offer to a dog.
Lovely advice, I agree. However, I don't think I would recommend a flat-faced breed to anyone at the moment, as the health problems are of huge concern right now.

I also wonder if you have considered an older dog, rather than a puppy? Puppies need a lot of hard work, and I do mean A LOT. A dog around the age of 3 or over - from a reputable shelter - might slot into life with you very well : all my shelter dogs have, and only one of them was under 9 months.

You would need to convince the shelter that you can offer a dog the right sort of home. Some are very picky (to the point of being obstructive), but in my experience, if you are genuine and you keep trying, there will be a shelter out there with the perfect mutt who will be made very, very happy to have a permanent home.

In fact, this story the other day about the nation's loneliest dog could not be a better recommendation for adopting a shelter dog. Good luck!
Experience: we adopted the loneliest dog in Britain
I’ve also heard they’re better than most breeds being left alone for extended periods if needed.
I dont believe there is any specific breed of dog that enjoys being left for extended periods alone ....
Depending on how long you think a pup/dog would be expected to be left you may want to think about a dogwalker or friend coming in part of the day ;)

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