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What Type Of Larger Dogs Might Work?


SnowGypsy

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Is anyone full-timing with a larger dog (thinking no larger than a lab), and if so, what breed(s) and how has it worked out?  I am currently hoping to finally start living the full-time life in the coming year, have a strong preference for larger breeds, and am currently stumped as to the best bet + being a senior, I am looking at adopting an older dog and am aware of the challenges having done that in the past.  The last dog was an English Lab (shorter, more stocky one) who was 7 or 8 years old, but she has been gone a few years now.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.  I am hoping to get one that does not have the "wanderlust"!  My days of chasing after a dog have pretty much passed at this point.  Thanks!

Cathy

 

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A lot depends on how you define "a larger dog" as I knew someone who did so with a great dane but that obviously is larger than you have in mind. If you stay in commercial RV parks it is important to keep in mind that some RV parks ban specific breeds. For example, you might come across a park that doesn't allow breeds such as Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Mastiffs, and Rottweilers. Other parks may limit four-legged guests to “small dogs only”, or place a weight limit (such as 40 lbs) on canine guests. 

You also need to be aware that adopting an older dog has some potential issues that do not usually come with a puppy. We adopted a 20# dog that was 7 years old. We anticipated some difficulty in adjusting but it has now been 11 months and he has had 14 teeth pulled and emergency bladder surgery for stones blocking the urethra. He has adapted to our home but still deals with anxiety issues and is slow to warm up to strangers and visitors as well as other dogs. He is very possessive of my wife and while he is improving as a traveler, he has a long way to go. An older dog is much more likely to have difficulty adapting to a change of home and owners. In the past year we have spent nearly $10,000 on him. 

Edited by Kirk W

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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I would not have a dog without pet insurance. Prevents the big bills, and if managed well, is not too expensive. We look at 10k being the high end for an illness or injury and arrange savings and insurance to be able to cover that amount at all times. Even our rescued Macau ex racer was able to be insured, although we never were able to use it in the short time before her passing.

We downsized dogs this time, both are at or under 40lb. We are in a better financial position so we have injury only insurance on these two rescues (from the meat market in China). The one has front ligament issues as he was strung up for sale by his front legs.

KEEP in mind, what you can physically handle in 10 years. A larger dog may be too much to safely handle, even on leash. (Something all reputable adoption locations will, no matter how uncomfortable, discuss.)

Edited by Payroll Person
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1 hour ago, 2gypsies said:

A couple friends have Labradoodles.  They are absolute awesome!  Smart, calm, friendly.

I have met several Labradoodles up close and personal.  Fine dogs.

Since both poodles and labs are hunting breeds I expected them to have "some" hunting instinct.  Absolutely none. 

My wife's Bichon is a better hunter than a Labradoodle!! 

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PGzJPMYaiQc/Ts0eRmcm4PI/AAAAAAAABag/J5XqLsFQTR0/s1600/vladimiir_snowpatch_pheasan.jpg

The Bichon is a great hunter and is easy to carry in the hunting vest.

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/--cJVutgrthg/VCxaEdoBuLI/AAAAAAAAD6o/DSOT0azkb60/s1600/vladimir_snowpatch_vest.jpg

If you don't hunt go with the Labradoodles.

 

4 hours ago, Payroll Person said:

Something you can lift in and out of vehicles now, and in 10 years. Not all will want to jump, and as they age (really most of the time) the thumping or jumping down is tough on their front end.

I had a 100 lb German Longhair Pointer that jumped in and out of a one-ton truck and it didn't do his joints any favors.

I now have a 25 lb French Brittany.  I lifted her in and out when she was a puppy.  She can jump FIVE feet straight up for a standing position. 

Won't do it to get into the truck, I need to pick her up and place her gently on the seat. 

I call her my French girl.  Are all French girls that wimpy??

5 hours ago, SnowGypsy said:

.....Any thoughts would be appreciated.  I am hoping to get one that does not have the "wanderlust"!  My days of chasing after a dog have pretty much passed at this point.  Thanks!

Get one of these.

https://www.gundogsupply.com/garmin-alpha-100-tt15x-combo.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&campaign=DPA&utm_term=GARMIN-ALPHA-100-TT15X-COMBO&gad_source=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIgrPkzva1gwMVPyCtBh24xQjVEAQYBCABEgIRn_D_BwE

At least when they run off you will know EXACTLY where they are!!  At some point, you can take out the shock prongs and just use the tone controls to get your dog to return to you.

For a couple of hundred, you can get a collar without GPS.  Train your dog to return to your BEEP, BEEP command when you push it. 

Remember you might not know where the dog is, but they know exactly where they are and how to get back home quickly.  It is really easy just to push a button and then wait for your dog to return.  Your neighbors will appreciate you not screaming your dogs name at high volume to get them to return.

 

Vladimr Steblina

Retired Forester...exploring the public lands.

usbackroads.blogspot.com

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For the past 20 years, we have traveled with as many as three medium to large dogs (50-100#). Golden retrievers, English Setters and currently Small Munsterlanders. All our dogs have been crate trained. They ride in the back seat of the crew cab in their kennels and when younger a crate in the trailer is used when time outs are necessary and when house breaking. Older dogs have used a ramp to get into and out of the truck and trailer. I agree with Vladimir that an electric collar is a very useful tool when used properly.

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15 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

Amazing!! Have you tried to find a more reasonable vet?

Have you ever had a dog needing 14 teeth extracted? Have you had a dog that needed emergency surgery due to 3 bladder stones in his urethra and 5 more in his bladder? The alternative was to have him put down, which is probably what most people would have done and I'm sure his previous owner would have done. We adopted a 7 year old dog that has become my wife's soul mate, and while the dog might not be my priority, my wife's wellbeing and happiness is. No, we didn't go look for the cheapest place to have any of his care done but chose what we believed to be the best care. His bladder surgery was done at MedVet Dallas. Most of my life I could not have paid what either of those cost, ($2800 for teeth and $6000 for surgery) and we would have had no choice but to put the dog down, but this was a choice of what value do I put on saving the dog that my wife has come to love over the year that she has had him. 

How much would you spend to keep your wife happy? For me, because we do have the money the question was, which do I value more, her happiness or my money? 

Edited by Kirk W
Add information.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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5 hours ago, Kirk W said:

How much would you spend to keep your wife happy? For me, because we do have the money the question was, which do I value more, her happiness or my money? 

Excellent point!

Linda

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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Kirk W:  I agree with your last post.  We have also encountered most of your same issues but with the added obstacles that our current senior dog will not get into our rig, weighs nearly 100# and is a breed often forbidden in RV parks(Doberman, our 7th).  This makes our planning travel VERY difficult as we need to have someone stay in our house to allow him to live his last days in HIS routine not ours.  He is a very mellow pet, has been with us nearly 12 years and came from a rescue(as most of the others did too), so we are commited to letting him live the remainder of his days the way he wants to, as much as we can.  He also struggles with a very low heart rate which sometimes affects his mobility.  Our vet is on board with our direction for him and we continue to let him live his best life as a long time member of the family.

Marcel

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I have camped and stayed long term in RV parks, so I am aware of a lot of the challenges, it has been 4 or 5 years ago though.  I am familiar with the breeds, probably most of them anyway, that are forbidden in some areas.  Having lived in AZ among snowbirds, I learned about size restrictions.  I am willing to deal with issues in order to have the dog with me, as I always have.

The last two dogs, both larger, had ramps and those things for dogs that look like log carriers to help them at other times.  The last 3 dogs lived 14.5+, so I am familiar with the challenges, and adding aging myself, I know I need to hit a balance between the two.

I know vet expenses can be high, and with higher cost of living areas, higher yet.  I do understand spending whatever someone can handle financially, with the real limit being "quality of life" for the dog, which the dog does express, I think anyway.

I appreciate everyone taking so much time to reply, and reminding me of some things that I actually sort of knew.  Sometimes, I forget how old I am, and it will occur to me "What do you think you're going to live to be 200?"  I responded to a post in anothe forum where a younger person was saying there was so many things he wanted to do, how would be do them all in a lifetime.  Prioritize!

Here, if I purchase a dog, we see mostly hunting dogs and herding dogs.  They would be a best choice in the area, as generally, they are not a part of a puppy mill operation.  I have always liked herding dogs, and had some mixes.  They have been crossing herding dogs with one another, and I might consider one of those:  Corgi/Australian Shepherd, Heeler/Aussie and Border Collie/Aussies.  They would be more of a medium size.  I know they need exercise, but so do I, and I love to be outside.  "Use it or lose it."

Thanks again.  I'll be checking back and will let everyone know when I get what I am sure is my last dog.  Gee, where does the time go?

I really have a lot of planning to do!  A dog is an essential item for me.

 

 

Cathy

 

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5 hours ago, SnowGypsy said:

A dog is an essential item for me.

One of the best dogs we ever had was a Corgi mix that was part of a litter left at the pound with the eyes not yet fully open. We adopted her 2 weeks later at an estimated 6 weeks of age and we had her for more than 16 years. We still miss her. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

your plan for full-timing with a larger dog sounds wonderful. I've had a great experience with an older English Lab in 2023 too. Labs, in general, can be fantastic travel companions. Consider adopting a mature one from a shelter, as they often bring a calm and loving energy. It's also wise to look for a breed that tends to be less prone to wanderlust. Btw, best of luck for your journey!

@allie

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The English Lab (shorter and stockier than the American) is on the list.  The last one came from an animal shelter.  She had been tied in the yard, and the people moved away.  She appeared to have been bred until she could no longer be, and according to someone that knows dogs, was passed around before landing alone in the yard.  It took her awhile to adjust to family life.  She didn't know how to play in the beginning, as we would play with the other dog, and she would just stand and watch looking anxious to join, but not knowing how.  Eventually, her personality came out.  I do prefer the yellow, and even though they say there is no difference in personality with color, I think they are very wrong.

Thanks for responding and casting your votes for a lab!

 

Cathy

 

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