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Author Topic: Tell me about buying a pet  (Read 11407 times)
Akanbe-
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« on: December 17, 2009, 06:54:23 PM »

I know lots of people have pets here so I'm hoping to get some advice.

Basically I'm looking to get a pet in the near future, but I don't know whether I want to buy one from a breeder or get one from a shelter.

Buying a pet from a breeder sounds ideal to me now, but before recently, I've always felt shelter was the way to go.  I like the idea that buying a particular breed from a reputable breeder generally means they are well taken care of, not abused, and can generally have a feeling what the temperament of the pet is going to be like.  I never really had pets growing up so for a first time pet owner, I really like the idea of having a general idea what the pet will act like.  I know it costs way more money to do it this way, but I'd be okay with that if this really is the better option.

On the other hand, I love the idea of saving an animal from a shelter.  Pets from shelters (half-breeds/mixes) seem more random, quirky/funny, etc. That kind of thing interests me as well.

So RPGFanners, please enlighten me with your experiences in this subject. 
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2009, 07:47:56 PM »

We literally saved our cat off the street, and we couldn't love her more (and I think she feels the same way about us).  From what I can tell, most breeders don't really have good reputations.  You might know what the temperament of the breed is supposed to be, but I always get the feeling that you never know what you're gonna get anyway.

I say hit the shelter, play with some animals for a while, and pick one of them.  Oh, and don't think you have to get a puppy/kitten, either - lots of pets out there who have already been potty trained... :)
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2009, 09:08:42 PM »

If you go to a shelter to pick out a cat, look for one that has fur like this:

http://duck.hidoshi.com/photos/DSCN0365.jpg

I dunno what it is about that fur pattern, but every cat I've seen like that makes an abnormally skilled and efficient hunter, to which, they will love to bring dead whatever-they-murdered to you. Then they will expect cuddles for hours. In this order.

However, make sure to look at the kitty that doesn't run toward you. They know when someone comes to "get you out," so they oft run up to the front. If you can, look for the one that doesn't run with the crowd. This is the best way at a young age to spot confidence and self-sustaining personalities in a young animal. This however, doesn't mean being self-supportive etc means they don't want to be pet. Which is a strange, strange thing that really does lower your blood pressure.

In the end, whatever you want to get, the biggest suggestion I think anyone could give is to get it while it's young. Naturally a pet owner will love their pet, but abused/older pets have no reason to think otherwise.

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 09:11:01 PM by Dios GX » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2009, 09:18:17 PM »

We have a dog we bought from a breeder, and she's one of the most misbehaved animals I've ever seen, and refuses to take any kind of training.  Meanwhile, our other dog was rescued from a puppy mill, and he's neurotic(He's terrified of everything, runs in exact circuits through our house, has to circle twice before entering or exiting the house, touches every fence post with his nose like he's counting, etc).  Our previous black lab we basically adopted off the street (a neighbor owned him but we took care of the dog more then they did, and eventually they just gave us all his stuff and made us the owners) and he was extremely well behaved, one of the best pets I think you could ever hope to have.

Our cats we adopted from a neighbor's litter, and they're great.

I say go to the shelter.  You get to save a little animal's life, you help out the shelter, and from my experience the animals there are much better then the ones from any kind of structured place.
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 10:09:43 PM »

We found a kitten this summer.

I think she's a cat, at least.

Could be a raccoon.

Sometimes this happens: http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/5329/dscf2860.jpg

Wanna have a fire extinguisher handy for when that happens.
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2009, 01:23:34 AM »

I bought my cat(Wutai) from a pet store and she ran me about 150 dollars.   She is the devil and attacks me frequently, drawing blood even.  People ask me why I put up with her and it's basically because anyone else probably would have killed her by  now.  She's cool sometimes though.
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2009, 03:16:25 AM »

We got one of our dogs from the shelter. He was such a sweet dog, everyone loved him. Unfortunatelly, he was also deadly afraid of dark-haired women and newspapers. He'd crawl into a corner everytime he saw one. That wasn't really a problem though. The people at the shelter had informed us about it and he slowly grew over it. He was partly heidewachtel and easy to train.

The dog we have now is a chihuahua from a breeder. The thing is more or less untrainable, because people always insist on spoiling her. She's also incredibly stupid. You know the trick where you pretend to throw the ball? She falls for it every single time.

My bunnies are all from a shelter. The people there were always able to tell me a lot about their behaviour, personality and special needs. The ones I got from there are all very weird though. I don't remember how I ended up with a masochistic albino with a runny nose and the tenacity of a cockroach, but she was a charming pet in her own right.

Anyway, for your first pet I recommend an older animal from a shelter, one that has already been trained. Kittens and puppies are cute, but training them isn't always easy, especially when it's your first time. If you're going to adopt a cat, learn about their behaviour beforehand and use that knowledge to pick one that suits you. As for dogs, I'd recommend a larger breed, because the smaller ones are often either yappy, whiny or scared shitless of everything that moves. Get one that's easy to work with, one that doesn't have a huge personal manual.

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I dunno what it is about that fur pattern, but every cat I've seen like that makes an abnormally skilled and efficient hunter, to which, they will love to bring dead whatever-they-murdered to you. Then they will expect cuddles for hours. In this order.

Ours has a lot less white, but is more or less like that. Except for the cuddles-part. She hates that. She also dislikes treats and other luxuries. And she doesn't always kill the things she gives us. On several occasions, she released a live mouse into our house. I gues her thought-process was "If I release it here, I can play with it again later." Actually pretty smart, weren't it for the fact that I'm a pretty good mouse catcher myself.
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2009, 04:36:08 AM »

The main thing I'd say if you go the breeder route is to do a lot of research. Resolutely here in the UK there's been a big movement against them, due to the high levels of inbreeding that lead to severe genetic diseases. Often the dogs suffer a lot in their lives, and will cost a fortune in vet bills. Of course, this isn't all breeders. Just be wary.
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2009, 09:02:45 AM »

And no matter what, take your time.  No matter where you go, seeing all those eyes saying "please adopt me, I'll be the bestest friend evar!" can melt a heart of stone.  You don't have to get a pet your first trip to the shelter.  If you don't feel that bond with any animals you're introduced to that day, that's okay.  This is a lifetime companion.  If it takes weeks or months for you to find "the one" so be it.  Even if you go to a good breeder, every individual animal has its own distinct personality anyway, so it's sometimes as much a crapshoot as getting a shelter pet.

Many years ago when we got our first dog, there were two family friends offering adult (say 2 year old) dogs for adoption.  One was a female dalmation who we didn't bond with at all and who didn't like children.  This was a big no since my mom used to teach dance at our house and we always had kids around.  The other dog was a male doberman.  Hearing "doberman" we weren't sure, but that dog bonded with us very quickly and loved kids.  Baxter was a great dog and still the absolute best judge of character I've met in my entire life.  The hardest thing we did was let him go because I was going away to college and both my parents then worked full time jobs (with long commutes) so...  

You also want to take stock of your living environment and lifestyle (i.e. you don't want a sporting dog if you're more-or-less sedentary).  As someone said, don't think that the ones that come trotting up to you first are into you; they're usually the alphas of the pack and simply just want to be first at whatever it is.  No matter how cute the runt of the litter may be, those tend to have the most recessive traits.  There's a reason animals in the wild cull the runts.  
« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 03:26:43 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2009, 10:52:10 AM »

I know lots of people have pets here so I'm hoping to get some advice.

Basically I'm looking to get a pet in the near future, but I don't know whether I want to buy one from a breeder or get one from a shelter.

Buying a pet from a breeder sounds ideal to me now, but before recently, I've always felt shelter was the way to go.  I like the idea that buying a particular breed from a reputable breeder generally means they are well taken care of, not abused, and can generally have a feeling what the temperament of the pet is going to be like.  I never really had pets growing up so for a first time pet owner, I really like the idea of having a general idea what the pet will act like.  I know it costs way more money to do it this way, but I'd be okay with that if this really is the better option.

On the other hand, I love the idea of saving an animal from a shelter.  Pets from shelters (half-breeds/mixes) seem more random, quirky/funny, etc. That kind of thing interests me as well.

So RPGFanners, please enlighten me with your experiences in this subject. 

Shelters are a pretty good way to go, for both humanitarian and ecological reasons. Breeders are a god damned waste, because all "purebred" means is "inbred". Avoid purebreds if you can; they may look "nicer", but they're harder to train and often a whole lot stupider. Not to mention all the genetic defect issues, etc. If you do buy a pet from a store or whatnot, try to go for a mixed breed or an outright mutt. Still, I say shelters are the best route.
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« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2009, 12:32:53 PM »

I grew up with a lot of cats in the house and almost every single one of them we picked up on the streets/at the shelter. They have a lot more character than the purebred cats (my aunt owned several purebreds), in my opinion.

Once had a cat who was a real fighter (would fight with a particular, three-legged stray on a regular basis) but he was so intelligent and aware of us that we simply adored him.
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« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2009, 12:50:05 PM »

I live in Ohio. If we want a pet it mostly involves finding a nest of coyotes and feeding them beef jerky till they warm up to you.

Raccoons also work but that's only if you suck at taming coyotes.

And by NO means shall anyone EVER attempt to tame the deer from around the chemical refinery that takes up most of the town. I think the reasons as to why not should be obvious.
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« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2009, 03:17:20 PM »

I've always gotten my cats from owners looking to get rid of their animals.  A shelter is also a good idea.  These animals need saving most, and I have never EVER had a bad experience with any of these animals--I would have changed nothing.  Please, please, please go to a shelter or someone in the newspaper looking to get rid of a kitten.  If you're going that route.

Stay away from pure breds--genetic issues there.
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2009, 05:17:15 PM »

Avoid purebreds if you can; they may look "nicer", but they're harder to train and often a whole lot stupider. Not to mention all the genetic defect issues, etc. If you do buy a pet from a store or whatnot, try to go for a mixed breed or an outright mutt. Still, I say shelters are the best route.

Does this apply to just dogs or both cats and dogs?  I've heard purebred dogs are dumber than mixes, but does that apply to cats as well?  Stupidity isn't a big issue as long as it isn't, "Gee this carpet looks like grass I think I'll piss right here" kind of stupidity.  While I'm undecided with whether I want a cat or dog still, I definitely don't want something that's too hard to train.  Buying from a friend/newspaper ad sounds decent too

You also want to take stock of your living environment and lifestyle (i.e. you don't want a sporting dog if you're more-or-less sedentary).  As someone said, don't think that the ones that come trotting up to you first are into you; they're usually the alphas of the pack and simply just want to be first at whatever it is.  No matter how cute the runt of the litter may be, those tend to have the most recessive traits.  There's a reason animals in the wild cull the runts.  

That's a good point too.  My sister has an awesome sheltee and it's a great dog, but she does require more playing and walking than some other dogs I've seen.  I figure if I decide to go the cat route, I assume the lifestyle isn't as big a deal.  

As for going for an older pet like Tomara suggested, I don't know if I could resist the urge to get a puppy/kitten.  I know they can be a terror, but I'm hoping the good will outweigh the bad in that case.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2009, 05:20:49 PM by Akanbe- » Logged


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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2009, 06:52:12 PM »

I've never had a purebred dog and I don't think I'd ever really want one.  I don't think a 50$ dog from the SPCA is any better/worse then the 1500$ dogs you see in pet stores.  Having said that, I'd recommend a lab/mix of some sort.  I've had 4 different labs and they've all been awesome dogs in their own way.  My favorite dog and the dog that I grew up with was a lab/pit mix and she was by far the most intelligent dog I've ever had.  She learned how to catch frisbee at a very young age and listened and responded to verbal commands immediately.  My current dog now is a Lab/Chow mix and she's very shy but pretty well behaved.  She howls like a wolf though, kind of weird but it makes her unique along with her purple tongue.

If anything I'd suggest finding a dog/cat that is still young and more easily trained.  Once a dog hits a certain age there's some traits that you can never get rid of.  If you do decide to get a dog, maybe watch Cesar Milan and figure out how you're gonna train it to do exactly what you want.  Dog psychologist, good stuff.  :D
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