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So... thinkin' about getting a dog...
Unread 05-07-2012, 9:41 PM   #1
rich_one
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So... thinkin' about getting a dog...

First off, I apologize up front for the length of this post.

The winds of change are a blowin' through my home, and my wife and I are somewhat at a crossroads. As many of you know, my oldest daughter is currently away in college. Well, my son will be graduating in a few weeks, and then he will be off first to basic training, then to college himself.

And then there is our youngest daughter, who is turning 6 next month.

Things were different with my son and oldest daughter. They came up together. They always had each other, and are very close to this day because of that. But my youngest daughter... well, she only has us.

Not that I mean to imply that's chopped liver or something. I mean, we have a lot of fun, and do a lot with her. And when her cousins come over, she has a great time... but when they go home, she is pretty sad, most of the time. This, of course, led to my wife and I talking.

Maybe the timing is right to get a puppy... a new member of the family. Especially now, with our two oldest kids moving into adulthood, and our youngest clearly lacking a companion outside of us.

But there's a catch... my wife is very allergic to dander, and to complicate that further, she is asthmatic. And so, I have been researching dog breeds. I have come to believe there is no such thing as a truly "hypoallergenic" breed, but do believe there are breeds that release dander at much lower levels than other breeds. My wife will be speaking to her doctor about this on Thursday, but right now, we are hoping of going with a game plan of her taking some precautions herself (constantly washing her hands, talking to her doctor about possible prescriptions that could help, and considering taking allergy shots), and us taking precautions in the house as a whole (our bedroom off limits to the puppy, so wifey has a safe zone, constant vacuuming and frequent shampooing of the carpets, more frequent dusting, and making sure all filters in our ventilation system are HEPA rated).

I guess the purpose of the post is two-fold. I would love to know what other members have dogs that have allergies to dander... particularly if you are asthmatic. I would love to know what breeds you have, how they affect you, and what practices you have in place to manage your allergies. I sincerely appreciate your input, both fact and opinion. Our end goal here is to acquire a new family member, that fits. It is time for a new addition to the family, and we want to make the best, most educated choice possible, because we know we will all fall in love with him or her, and we want to make sure we don't make a mistake. Thanks in advance.

-Rich
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Unread 05-07-2012, 9:55 PM   #2
Reel Addiction
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I think with all of the precautions your wife will take there will still could be a problem. If she plays with the dog or pets it she may break out.

Just my thought but its up to you in the end.
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Unread 05-07-2012, 10:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reel Addiction View Post
I think with all of the precautions your wife will take there will still could be a problem. If she plays with the dog or pets it she may break out.

Just my thought but its up to you in the end.
Thanks, man.

To be clear... they do not break her out. They seem to at time complicate her asthma. However, we have two friends that have dogs... one a bichon frise, and one a lhasa apso... that do not seem to bother her. Of course, we are only visiting for short periods of time, but she has pet these dogs with no ill effects, while if we go to a friend's home who had say, a doberman, the effects set into her very quickly.

-Rich
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Unread 05-07-2012, 9:59 PM   #4
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Rich -- I have always been highly allergic to dogs and cats and have had dogs (2+) consistently for the last 14 years. There is no such thing as a hypoallergetic dog, but if she is not allergic to saliva then a dog that does not shed will not be a dander issue. If you want to chat live about it, pm me you phone number and I can share my experience
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Unread 05-07-2012, 10:06 PM   #5
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Bichon Frise
Poodle
Maltese
Are breeds to consider. However, if you could adopt one, it would be so much better.
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Unread 05-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscichlid View Post
Bichon Frise
Poodle
Maltese
Are breeds to consider. However, if you could adopt one, it would be so much better.
Our intention is to adopt. We do not intend to pay a breeder. Much of my research has been pointing me towards a Portuguese Water Dog. But they are somewhat rare, from an adoption standpoint, as far as I can tell. We have also considered a Bichon. I have read conflicting studies on poodles, that have been conflicting enough to convince me to leave them alone.

-Rich
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Unread 05-07-2012, 10:13 PM   #7
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A standard poodle. Not the nippy things.

or a designer dog, i.e those mixed with poodles.
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Unread 05-07-2012, 10:24 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mscichlid View Post
A standard poodle. Not the nippy things.

or a designer dog, i.e those mixed with poodles.
Ah... I see I have more to look into.

As it stands at the moment, I think the two front runners are the Bichon and the Portuguese Water Dog. Bichon may have an edge, due to being MUCH easier to find.

-Rich
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Unread 05-07-2012, 10:25 PM   #9
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Oh... and my youngest daughter's birthday is on June 15... I am definitely hoping to make a decision in time to acquire it by then and give her a super surprise!

-Rich
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Unread 05-07-2012, 10:33 PM   #10
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Could always get a hairless dog...
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/xoloitzcuintle.htm

Arlene
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Unread 05-07-2012, 10:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by scientist0724 View Post
Could always get a hairless dog...
http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/xoloitzcuintle.htm

Arlene
Wow... what an odd looking dog! Kinda cool though.

Right now, I am thinking that the Bichon is the front runner... especially after the conversation I just had with Marc, who has about exactly the same symptoms as my wife.

I actually have a friend who has a bichon... I am going to ask her to let us house sit it for a week, so we can experiment, and see the effect.

-Rich
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Unread 05-07-2012, 10:46 PM   #12
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Schnauzer, Poodle, Schitzu, Bichon, Llasa Apso, Schnoodle, Doodle
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Unread 05-07-2012, 11:29 PM   #13
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Click the image to open in full size.
Poodle, Bichon, Bichon, Schnoodle
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Unread 05-07-2012, 11:42 PM   #14
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LOL... that's the crew, huh? My wife just looked at the photo, and of course came the "awwwww".... LOL...

-Rich
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Unread 05-07-2012, 11:46 PM   #15
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a dog that requires hair trimming, like the ones people have already listed will lessen the possibility of hair being all around the house. all dogs have dander. i would probably go w/ the bichon (i think that's what the previous post said, getting old can't remember) since your wife has been around them with no ill effects. dander can and will get into the heating/cooling ducts whether the dog is allowed in certain rooms or not. obviously having non-dog areas helps in general. i would find it hard not to let my dog in my bedroom with me, but then again, he sleeps in the bed w/ us.
i worked as a vet tech for 3 yrs and thought i wasn't allergic to dogs. on occasion a random lab or a boxer (multiple times) would cause me to break out on my arms after i held them. little red bumps resembling mosquito bites. i'd wash my arms and they would go away after 30 min or so, along w/ the itching.
try a bichon, see how your wife does, or a port water dog (they are hyper and crazy, at least the couple of them that came into the animal hospital).
the problem u may come across w/ rescuing is u might not be certain the dog is a pure bred bichon or whatever.
good luck
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Unread 05-08-2012, 6:11 AM   #16
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I have a shih tzu. He's the best. We shave his hair about d every three months. The two winning factors for getting him (llasa apso too) were they do not shed hair all over the house. We shave him because of the looks and save time grooming. Second he's a small dog that doesn't yip! I hate yippie dogs that get very annoying. Third they awesome personalities! You can play with him and horse around and see him think and problem solve to get the advantage. He's a great dog! I hear pugs have the same disposition. Well, I guess there's three reasons we went with the shih tzu. Idk. Lastly, even though he's a little dog I dot. Feel like Alfred Hitchcock when I walk him. Big guy with a little dog.....


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Unread 05-08-2012, 6:55 AM   #17
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Sounds like a great plan, Rich! I was really allergic to dogs when I was young. Got allergy shots for years up until I went to college and they either fixed my or I grew out of most of my allergies. I think that allergy shots aren't as popular these days because of the quality of over-the-counter allergy meds.

When you're ready to pull the trigger, definitely check out the rescue group below in my signature. They're good folks with a lot of good dogs.



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Unread 05-08-2012, 8:14 AM   #18
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You might consider an older dog instead of a puppy. A friend, who was allergic to cats as a child, adopted an older cat a few years ago and does not have any problems. As I understand it, kittens have more dander then older cats. I do not know if this is true for dogs. Smaller dogs would have less dander by virtue of their smaller size. Again, my friend grew up with a Cairn Terrier w/out problems. Brushing & grooming your pet regularly to keep the dander down and providing them with a high quality diet should help. Of course, my friend also keeps a full arsenal of antihistamines.

Cairn Terrier Puppies play in the kitchen
http://youtu.be/XR-kvvnUspI

Last edited by tug; 05-08-2012 at 8:20 AM. Reason: link
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Unread 05-08-2012, 8:25 AM   #19
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You might consider an older dog instead of a puppy. A friend, who was allergic to cats as a child, adopted an older cat a few years ago and does not have any problems. As I understand it, kittens have more dander then older cats. I do not know if this is true for dogs. Smaller dogs would have less dander by virtue of their smaller size. Again, my friend grew up with a Cairn Terrier w/out problems. Brushing & grooming your pet regularly to keep the dander down and providing them with a high quality diet should help. Of course, my friend also keeps a full arsenal of antihistamines.

Cairn Terrier Puppies play in the kitchen
http://youtu.be/XR-kvvnUspI
good point but remember its also for his little girl. an older pet may expire sooner then later and she would be heartbroken. just sayin. good luck rich hope its a super bday for her come june 15.



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Unread 05-08-2012, 9:46 AM   #20
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good point but remember its also for his little girl. an older pet may expire sooner then later and she would be heartbroken. just sayin. good luck rich hope its a super bday for her come june 15.
Oh... what he said. Didn't see this before I confirmed it. LOL...

-Rich
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