Getting a dog? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

We are thinking about getting a dog. I had one when I was a kid and know some, not all, of what is involved in this. We are well armed but have to sleep sometime, hence the dog to serve as watch. (We sleep like logs). Also, our children are now old enough to at least help out in taking care of a dog and learn about that aspect of responsibility. They also have been asking for us to get them one for quite some time.

We realize that a dog would be an addition to our family, and that we would have to stock up for it with items like food, water, supplies, medical care, etc. We know that there is a lot of responsibility, care, and attention involved. In all honesty, if it wasn't for Y2K, we would still intend to get a dog, but not for a couple of years yet. Because of Y2K, we are now thinking of not waiting.

I have been told that dogs, besides being an excellent watch, can also offer some protection, though I would not be getting one for this, since we primarily need a watchdog. As a result, I am thinking that we do not need to go out and get a very big dog, since smaller dogs can bark up a storm and wake us also. True, their bark may not be as intimidating, but I do not see this as critical. Am I wrong in any of this thinking? I would like to know if anyone has had these thoughts also, and what if anything you did.

-- Rob (, March 13, 1999


Good idea ! Think about the most loyal midsized breed. Best wishes,

-- Watchful (, March 13, 1999.


I heartily recommend a dog even if Y2K was not a factor. We found a "free" puppy advertised in the paper that was the accidental meeting of a ladies Collie and her husband's black Labrador. The resulting mix was interesting but has made for a wonderfully gentile and energetic dog that is a delight to have. She is truly my son's best friend after 3 years together. She loves kids and is gentile with them but will bark furiously when anything larger than a pomeranian comes near. If you get a puppy, stock up on patience and chew toys. As you can tell, I'm partial to Collies, Labs, and Golden Retrievers. On the down side, they are prone to be friendly by nature. I wish I had a big German Sheperd butt biter just for the intimidation factor. There are many small children in our town, and that factor alone ruled out a fiercer beast. Either way you go, a dog is a whole lot better alarm than a sorry housecat. (Just having fun with all you cat lovers out there.) Besides, a dog is a wonderful source of heat and they love to sleep next to their master if given the opportunity.

-- trafficjam (, March 13, 1999.

Talk to people that own chows bet by far for protection. They bond very early with a family so never take one that is over a few months old. My sleeps at the door to our bedroom and if she barks then you can bet something is wrong. Yes they will bite and they are very smart animals. Not for the faint at heart!

-- chowboy (, March 13, 1999.

Be extra careful to keep him tied up or fenced in. If he goes on someone else's property he might get shot, since feral dogs may pose a real problem. Also get a dog that's big enought to defend himself from other dogs.

-- y2kbiker (, March 13, 1999.

We're relying on our geese .....

-- BigDog (, March 13, 1999.

Do geese honk at night? I know that guineas do not.

-- Betty Alice (, March 13, 1999.

IMHO, if I were to get a dog at this point (which we just did) and assume that it would help with any Y2K protection (which I am hopeful of) I would want one that was fairly big and intimidating. When I was a girl we had a German Shepherd. She was sweet and loving, but huge. Her bark was enormous. My Dad was looking for a place to put the extra house key where a burglar wouldn't be able to find it. In the end, he hung it on the dogs collar. When a visitor came up to our front door and looked through the window and saw the dog barking at him, with the house key dangling from her collar, it was quite amusing. But it was also intimidating! I wouldn't do that myself, but it makes a good point. If I have a choice, I want every possible advantage. We just bought a husky/shepherd mix. Our boys are going to teach her to pull a sled, and if worse comes to worse, there will be a little short range transportation next winter here in Minnesota. I may even get another husky and breed them.

Good luck:)

-- linda (, March 13, 1999.

Betty Alice -- Ours honk 24x7 when anyone comes by, if we leave them out, though unlike most geese they are remarkably timid and flee when confronted.

-- BigDog (, March 13, 1999.

IMHO all dogs do is eat, sleep, shit, breathe and take up space. With that said, yes by all means get one. They are on duty and have got the watch at all times. Get one who can survive your climate.

Once that's done lay in all the supplies you need to keep your dog operational. Vet supplies,food,entertainment for the animal. But remember, the dog is just another livestock. Love it a lot but not too much. Get some good recipies for chow pup. The household dog is a useful tool.

-- nine (, March 13, 1999.

Husband got me a dog yesterday, a 7 week old toy poodle. (Hubby says a mother of 4 teenagers needs someone to love her unconditionally and who's not arguementative.) He's cute and loves to cuddle (both hubby and dog.) Now for dust mop's y2k usefulness: footwarmer, psychological comfort, noise alert. BTW, he will stay inside so he doesn't become dog stew for the unprepared masses. Linda

-- newbiebutnodummy (, March 13, 1999.

German Shepherds and other canine "protectors." A friend had one of the most fierce, most protective members of this breed I have ever seen. One day a man grabbed this friend, held a knife to her throat, and said, "Call off the dog." Then he raped her.

All dogs do is make your neighbours hate you because of the racket and the stink they create!

-- no dog lover (, March 13, 1999.

Good question. We have two G. Shepards and an Akita, and I want to get a breeding pair. The oldest shepard, the best guard dog is 13, the other are 6 & 7. Being adults all are "lighter" eaters. I would like to get G. shepards, but there is that puppy food thing to think about next year. I'm not so sure about storing dog food for that long. We have talked it over, still aren't at a decision. One of the Australian Shepard types would do well as an alert system and they would be able to work with farm animals, and they are a medium sized dog.

Need a breeding pair of cats too. we are mouse free & I want it to stay that way.

Geese, 24X7, but they aren't aggressive. Geese hear in a different freq range it seems than dogs so there are sometimes when the geese are absolutely the first alert.

-- Mitchell Barnes (, March 13, 1999.


One of my very wealthy clients had a pure bred G. Shepard, born and trained in Germany. Only understood commands in German, and the smartest dog I had ever met. He also had a full bred Akita bitch. They got together and I was given one of the puppies. He became the most beautiful 110 Lb. dog I have ever owned. He was so handsome that people would stop us just to get a better look. He was classic and handsome. The only drawback was, as my wife commented, Some of the best looking males are the dumbest and most good for nothing. I would throw a piece of hamburger towards him and he would allow it to bounce off his nose, search for it on the ground, sniff it to make sure what it was and then eat it. You always knew when he entered his dog house because of the resounding bang when he would consistantly knock his head against the back wall. We kept him for years just because of his good looks and because we figured he would perish without us. It was like having a good for nothing son.

Good luck: Bill in South Carolina

-- Bill Solorzano (, March 13, 1999.

Bill --- ROTFL. My mother-in-law has had shepherds for 40 years and never a male that wasn't a total retard. We have had a newf in the past and have thought about getting one but not sure we can store enough food for her ......

-- BigDog (, March 13, 1999.



We bought a rotweiler pup a few months ago...not because of y2k, but because of living in a somewhat isolated area, with break-ins. I've never owned an aggressive animal, so training and control of the dog is vital. She's 11 mos old and knows all the basic commands. (Now we are working on obeying those commands when she's distracted.) She also understands that she is not the boss of anybody in our family. She is an extremely intelligent dog, wild about kids, and is a natural tracker...that could come in handy. She has a hearty bark and a "deep throaty growl." (Very intimidating) She is loving and loyal, and has livened up this "old folks home." We also have a golden retriever. He's sweet and he loves everyone..never barked at anybody in his life. Pat him on the head and he's your buddy. They are definately NOT watchdogs. My dogs are not allowed to run loose. We have a 50X50 fenced area. Sometimes they come inside at night, and the rotweiler is allowed to run in and out as she pleases. Also, my sister has a german shepherd and a doberman. The shepherd is a great dog...the doberman (Her 3rd one) is squirrely. All three were nervous and nippy. Hope this helps you out.

-- Eye OnY2K (, March 13, 1999.

I have an 11 year old Airedale bitch that I wouldn't trade for our food. From a pup she has been very protective and loyal. She's 40 pounds of raw energy with a big dog bark and big dog teeth. She's very territorial about the house. I'm positive that we've been spared at least one break-in due to her patrolling behaviour. She doesn't eat much, 20lbs of kibbles a month and has been very healthy. Best of all she doesn't shed much. The downside is that Airedales, like all terriers need firm direction and guidance (not the overbearing kind as they are very stubborn) as puppies or they will try to run the house and will become terrible and unmanagable animals. They take a long time to mature emotionally (2 to 3 years) so you have to stay at it for a while. They are not a good dog for beginners, too easy to spoil. Having said that, we have participated as a foster home for adult Airedales that have been neglected, abandoned or abused and those dogs (GI) get it immediately. They take only a few days/weeks to fit into the houdsehold routine and they immediately figure out what you want.

I would reccommend the Airedale for the surprise factor as well. As an intruder, if I see a doberman, rottweiler, akita, pit bull, german shepard, chow and I know that I am probably in for some trouble and will proceed accordingly but some of the other less threatening breeds especially cute fuzzy ones will be an unknown factor. Before you buy, just be sure that you want a dog, do some research to decide which breed will fit in your life/family the best or go to the pound and use your best guess as to what you will want. Some of the best dogs that I've ever known were dog pound rejects. Good luck.

-- Ramp Rat (Aviation_R_us@noname.nocity), March 13, 1999.

Great idea! Here's a way to get a wonderful dog. Contact a rescue group for the breed of your choice. You can find out contacts by calling a breeding association. Rescue groups have young and old dogs, usually no puppies (except mixed breeds that were mistakes). The rescued dogs are socialized in "foster" homes and given shots and medical treatment, if needed, before adoption. Also, rescue dogs are much cheaper than buying from a breeder.

Two months ago I adopted a sheltie-border collie mix from a shelter and he is turning out to be a smart little rascal and needs lots of training. Requires much time and energy!

Good luck

-- meeko (, March 13, 1999.

We just adopted a "mutt" out of the local shelter a few months ago. He's only 25 pounds and low to the ground, but he is VERY protective and territorial. His bark is alot worse than his bite (which is non-existant) but if someone walks through the yard,, he definitely has their attention....

-- (, March 13, 1999.

Also take into consideration that you will have to let the dog out at nite, in total darkness. Do you want your doors open then? A long lead attached to a hook screwed into the ground allowing the dog move away from the house & then returning on his own will save the "walking" problem.

A good idea for all dog owners might be to start training your dog(s) now to have their last time out early in the evening.

Also, I've bought dog food with expiration dates well over year away. Storing it shouldn't be a problem--the store keeps them for long periods.

I have 2 dogs. A 1 1/2 yr old white shepherd, beautiful & huge. She "bounces" off the doors and windows when she hears noise outside! The other one may very well kill any criminal just by his looks alone!! There's a good chance they will drop on the ground and die laughing!! He's a 12 yr. old shepherd/bassett hound mix!!! What a sight!! He has a shepherds body with a bassetts legs and feet!! I've had him for 10 years & there are times when I still laugh when I look at him. But he has the bark of 120 lb shepherd. If nothing else, he will be the one keeping the humor going in my home if we get on edge at the end of this year!!

Good luck in your decision!

-- Joan Asaro (, March 13, 1999.

Please don't get upset, but there is a way to feed your dogs after the kibble runs out. Breed rats. Keep them isolated from wild rats and make sure you give them "clean" food. They'll eat insects, grain, whatever. The feed to protein rate is very high, and they breed faster than rabbits. We haven't yet eaten a rat, but Nutrias (giant rodents) are raised for human consumption in Russia.

-- Helen (, March 13, 1999.

Youz Guys never cease to amaze me. From geese to rats! Thanks for the responses, I plan on printing this thread out and having Mrs. Michaels read it.

More comments still welcome, Rob.

-- Rob Michaels (, March 13, 1999.

This method of training makes for a good dog and makes everyone happy. Decide where you would like your dog to "stay"; I chose to front door for several reasons; time spent wit family, strangers approaching, letting them out; Tie the dog to the door knob and give enough rope to lay down and stay comfortable. (this is at night of course,never during the day or alone) Whoever is the dogs master might want to sleep on the floor close by for the first few nights. The dog will hold its bladder and bowels because it doesn't want to lay in the same area etc.( Don't forget to let em out before bedtime) After a while, when you say "lay down and point to their spot, they will. You will not need to tie them. Your presence the first (few?) nights will reinforce their assigned place.

-- KoFE (ImissmyGerman@Shepard."AC"), March 13, 1999.

dogs are wonderful- we have a Great Pyrenese- they are great with family, kids and livestock, but very protective and intimidating otherwise. The only caveats I would make are to be sure you have room to roam, work for it to do (livestock protection) and no close neighbors (or deaf ones would be good). If you've got that, check out the Pyrenese. Also, would concur that you should check out Rescue Groups for dogs- we've gotten two wonderful ones through or via referrals from a dog rescue group. Some rescue groups are breed specific and others just general dogs.

As for feed if grocery stores not available- try hunting. Dogs will relish deer, squirrel, rabbit, turkey, etc- you can freeze the meat if cold out where you live, or can it.

-- anita (, March 13, 1999.

Gimme a good mutt, preferably a Golden Retriever/Shephard mix or terrier mix.

However, I must say that I loved my St Bernard, "Sir Wolfgang Van Dumkopf"...due to his immense size, we didn't have many visitors for many years. :-) After about 5 years, ol' Wolfie started getting aggressive, chasing people up trees, and we had to put him asleep a few years later. He was friendly to us, but around strangers/visitors he just got too darned unpredictable.

-- Tim (, March 13, 1999.

Dry dog food is very prone to insect infestation, including cockroaches. They and/or their eggs are in it when you buy it, due to the lower standards processing dog food as opposed to people food. If you store dry food, keep it sealed in 5 gallon pails to prevent problems

-- sparks (, March 13, 1999.

The best dog I've ever owned is a Hungarian Kommondork (pronounced "commodore.") This animal is a large guard dog that is very intelligent, and grows quickly.

Average weight is 90- 150 pounds. It sports a long, white mop coat. They are known to be bear and wolf killers, yet it will guard it's "flock" with its life. When I speak of "flock", I am referring to family, animals that it grows up with, and is friendly out of its territory. It usually doesn't roam. I finds a vantage point in its territory early in life, and observes everything around it

Its coat can withstand all weather. Good with livestock.

-- Faze the Nation (, March 13, 1999.

Anita.... I have raised and trained Great Pyrenees for twenty years, before that it was Dobermans. The GP is too big a dog for most people, especially city/newbies dog owners. These big dogs are pack dogs and if there is no one human in the family that is dog smart enough to be their leader then they become the leader and are hard to handle when they get older, especially male GPs. This breed is my choice as an all round watch dog but not for people who do not take the time to raise and train them when they are young. They can not be treated/raised like most people raise their kids. You might not agree with this but I like my Great Pyrenees dogs better than a lot of the humans I deal with.

-- DogsNeedLeaders (, March 13, 1999.

I also recomend the Great Pyrenees.

Thay were bred to guard sheep in the Pyrenees mtns. Protection against wolfs and bears.

Thay sleep alot in the daytime but are awake and alert at nite.

Thay eat the least of the "giant breeds".

Our newest pup is 18 wks. old and already weighs 65 lbs.His father is 150lbs.

They were developed to work independantly of the shepard so as a consequence thay are a little on the stubborn side,but can be trained with a little hard work.

Thay can be trained to pull carts so should be able to earn there keep if TSHTF

Go here to see one in action

I also think getting one from the breed rescue people is a good idea.

I think just about any dog is a good idea.

Sean in Indy

-- (, March 13, 1999.


Yuk!! Thanks for informing re: storing dog food! I already keep my dog's food in a 5 gal. container (screw on top). Never knew I was doing the "right" thing. Now I'm definitely going to stock up on more of the same containers to store their food.

Just one question: do the containers prevent the eggs from hatching? (In other words, when I open a container 3-6 mos. later, will I see any of those "adorable" little bugs crawling around?)

-- Joan Asaro (, March 14, 1999.

Faze --- where could I find out more about Commondorks (and, no the pronunciation didn't help)?

-- BigDog (, March 14, 1999.

Want a Mackenzie River Husky! Most beautiful big dog on earth.

-- Want that dog (Y2K@wrecks.dreams), March 14, 1999.


In response to chowboy. With all due respect, and a love of Chows, I would not recommend a Chow Chow without A GREAT DEAL OF RESEARCH.

You sound like you want a family dog, that will simply sound an alarm by barking. Chows rarely bark. Chows attack.

Chows are rumored to have traveled into China with Ghingis Kahn. They are also supposedly the oldest domesticated breed of dog.

They were used to guard temples in China.

It is true that they form a strong bond. But sometimes they will bond with ONE PARTICULAR MEMBER of a family, and then become extremely possesive at the exclusion & possible detriment of other family members.

Chows need to be carefully and constantly socialized with people & other animals otherwise they become very unpredictable.

Chows have specialized dietary needs, as their digestive tracts resemble that of pigs more than other dogs.

I love Chows, but bringing home a Chow is not the same as bringing home a Lab or Shepherd.


P.S. I have a Chow/Lab mix. She is gorgeous, she looks like a Chow, but acts like a Lab. The lights are on but no one is home. She couldn't be sweeter or a better family dog, barking is her hobby. But I was extremely paraniod about bringing a Chow mix into my home considering my daughter had stitches in her face as a toddler as the result of a dog attack.

P.S.S. There are people who will swear Chows are fabulous family dogs, but a friend of mine at anti-cruelty puts more Chows to sleep than any other breed because they attack people. They will be fine one moment & turn on their owner in a split second. When he found out we had a Chow mix he drove 45 min. at 10:30 p.m. unannounced because he was a wreck with worry for my children.

Our vet didn't even want to touch our dog. She was amazed after examining our dogs ears and mouth that our dog didn't attempt to bite her. When Chows come in for shots, the owners are expected to hold down their dogs with the animals back to the door. The vet administers the shot & leaves. The biggest defenders of Chows are usually breeders of Chows. Look for unbiased information.

-- Deborah (, March 14, 1999.

Lots of good ideas and advice on the thread - thanks gang.

Deborah, you are right - we are thinking mid-size family dog and good barker. I had a mixed breed as a kid and it was a great dog. Also, this "Rescue Groups for dogs" appears worth looking into. Sure would make some dog happy, no?

Since bugs/larvae can get into the dry packaged food if not properly stored, does it make sense to favor canned dog food? I don't intend on shooting squirrels or other animals for food unless there is absolutely no other choice.

-- Rob Michaels (, March 14, 1999.

The only information I have is relative to breeders in Bedford Canada and Florida. I'll try to find the address information for you. It may be a few days, for I'm on the road.

-- Faze the Nation (, March 14, 1999.

For the person wondering about the Hungarian corded coat sheep dog, I believe it is called the Komodor.

As for the other question about feeding a dog mostly canned food, you will have to pay special attention to dental hygeine if you do this. Soft food won't adequately exercise the gums and the teeth tend to accumulate tartar faster than a kibble fed dog. Unbelievably, we brush our dog's teeth about three times a week (no toothpaste) to cut down on the number of times her teeth need to be cleaned by the vet.

-- Ramp Rat (Aviation_R_us@noname.nocity), March 15, 1999.

Great Pyrs Rule!!!

We have 3 different breeds of dogs but our Great Pyrenees female is the best for outdoor guarding. She knows the her territory, is big (she's only 65 lbs. but looks like 95 lbs. - her father was 150 lbs)with a bigger bark.

When we first moved to the ranch the coyotes would wake me up in the middle of the night. I was scared they'd eat our dogs or calves. I considered hunting the coyotes but researched that and found out that coyotes similiar to wolves have a very sophisticated social structure and if you kill the wrong pack member you may end up with more breeding pairs than usual, hence more coyotes. Plus, really didn't fancy idea of killing coyotes and coyotes helpful in keeping the rodent populations down.

Anyway it turns out that Great Pyrs are great for keeping coyotes at bay. When the sun starts going down the coyotes start up very loud....sounds like a huge flock of geese sometimes. When that happens our G.P. starts barking and runs toward the creek where coyotes hang out. Pretty soon they shut up. No calves have been lost either. We've heard from the locals that a G.P. have killed a bobcat once. That's pretty tuff.

Plus they are very loyal & affectionate. Get along with all family members and livestock. They're guard dog, nurse, and lover all rolled up in one.

Minuses: they love to hang out in ponds with long but very soft (like the nicest fur coat ever) so they're not the cleanest animals.

WARNING: Do not get one if you live any city. These dogs are only for country living and lots of land to guard. We had our G.P. in suburbs before moving to ranch. Not a pretty site. By 6 months she was always digging out of fenced yard and running over to a pasture a few blocks away where at the time rented for our horses.

-- Texan (, March 15, 1999.

In addition to the beach, I love dogs too. One point I haven't seen on here is the type of dog for where you live. If you live in the south (hot summers) it wouldn't be fair to a chow (LONG THICK hair). Need to consider those type things.

my .02


-- Deano (, March 15, 1999.

Our family happens to breed Austrailian Sheep Dogs - "SHELTIES". Most people mistakenly call them mini-collies (they are not). Our two breeders are both tri color and the next litter up is probably going to be around October sometime (6-8week age for pups).

These are excellent working dogs, energetic, protective. They have a size challenge, being mid-size, but are very very quick. Strangers are not able to get at them, usually. Farmers LOVE these herding animals for the work they do and they are virtually impossible to steal, since they circle around strangers at a 4ft to 8 ft distance (instinctively).

Ours are both registered with champion bloodlines and have all types of pups. They have some tri colored, some bi-colored (sable and white) and some black and whites. They "can" produce what is known as "blue merles", but have yet to have any in the litters.

Tri-colored pups and blue merles are the least common. Even with having both the bitch and the stud as tri's, it doesn't up the chances of having tri-pups.

They eat sparingly, and do well in cold climates. They are impatient with kids since they tend to "herd", and kids look like they need herding, so make sure to get a pup no more than 12 weeks old for families with small children.

Mr. K

-- Mr. Kennedy (, March 15, 1999.

Fila Brasileiro is considered to be the ultimate guard animal:

The Fila is "The Security System That Loves You!"

Filas are very large athletic dogs which, as part of their unique temperament, want nothing more than to protect and guard their family.

The Fila Brasileiro is the finest loyal and loving family guard dog. Filas are excellent with THEIR children, very tolerant and loving.

Fila dogs were raised in Brazil to hunt jaguar and wild boar.

Filas have been used in this country to hunt bear and wild boar. With no special training, filas are surprisingly naturally successful.

The fila was also bred to track slaves in Brazil. Agencies in this country are finding this keen sense of smell and amazing intelligence useful in drug detection and Search and Rescue work.

The fila dog has a very special temperament. The Portugese word is "ojeriza". The best translation of "ojeriza" is "A very strong dislike and distrust of strangers."

The Fila will tolerate a friendly stranger only because of his desire to please his master. A quick move by the stranger can result in a swift move by the fila to intercede and protect. The Brazilian fila does not have to be trained to achieve this degree of protection. It comes packaged naturally in a 90 to 170 pound playful bundle of love wrapped loosely in a brindle, fawn or black coat.

The fila was also bred to herd cattle and protect them from wild animals and other predators. The filas will work together as a team. This has been observed around homes where the fila, working in groups of three will leave one behind as a guard while the other two may even go seperate directions to investigate.

The Fila Brasileiro, "The Security System that loves you" can judge the situation and immediately respond appropriately.

Fila: the ultimate protector

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), March 15, 1999.

Pets thrive on diets such as the ones written about in "Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide To Natural Health For Dogs & Cats".

I have two dogs in the best of health. No scratching. Shiny coats. The five-year-old just had a dental exam & the vet stated she has the teeth of a healthy six-month-old! No cleaning was even necessary. In fact neither dog has ever had to have their teeth cleaned. They eat nothing but real food (no chocolate).

Typical meals are made up of the following:

Brown rice/barley/oats; green beans/peas/carrots/yams; chicken; combination of brewer's yeast, alfalfa powder, kelp powdwer; corn oil.

I will purchase kibble & canned food later this summer. This will allow me to stretch their regular diet in the case of a disruption in the food delivery system come Y2K.

I strongly recommend Dr. Pitcairn's book. You can e-mail me if anyone wants more info.

-- Bingo1 (, March 15, 1999.

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