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Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

I am on the waiting list for a mini ALD in winter 2016.  (Yes, that's how long the waiting list is!)

I have essentially zero dog experience.  I tried volunteering at the city animal shelter, but that didn't work out.  I'm nearing retirement age, and they said I wasn't agile enough to exit the chihuahua kennel and not let the chihuahua out. It didn't help that my mentor was unrelated, and did not model a lot of the behavior she wanted me to do.

Linda, Charlie Brown and Beau wrote me wonderfully helpful comments (because I posted to a place few people could reply.) She was reminded of a friend who had severe arthritis, got a doodle puppy, but had to rehome the puppy because her arthritis in her hands were too severe to groom him.  She had a lot of trouble potty training the dog because she couldn't get the dog outside in time. Often her friend couldn't walk her dog. Eventually this friend got a 4 year old dog, and that situation worked out fine.

I can't crouch and get up again, but I don't have trouble standing, then bending at my hips to touch the floor. I can certainly get out of a chair, and can walk about 3 miles in an hour.  I'm pretty sure I couldn't lift a 30  or 40 pound dog, but wouldn't a mini ALD weigh less than 30 pounds by the time it was potty trained?  I type at a computer most of my workday.  I would have trouble lifting 5 or 10 pounds above my head, but no trouble lifting that weight from the floor to my waist or chest.

She suggested going to puppy training classes at places like petco, and books like The Puppy Listener, an trying to volunteer at a boarding facility.  Those sound like great ideas.

Thank you so much Linda for your comments.  I certainly don't want to get in a situation where I'd have to re-home a dog.  My therapist (who has a standard poodle and has lots of dog experience) is totally supportive of me getting a doodle.

I sure plan on following Linda's suggestions.  I was just wondering if anyone had anymore suggestions.  Thanks so much for reading this!

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Wow!  All this talk about Havanese has me wanting to add one to my family.  I have Ginger, a medium Goldendoodle who is 1 year old and weighs 23 lbs, but I would love to get a little brother for her.  Hmmmm...may have to check those puppies out!  :)

I was thinking the exact same thing! Maybe Winnie "needs" a Havanese brother.... :-)

Same here, I was thinking a little brother for Annabelle. I guess we would have to start the Havanese sibling group.

Oh my how adorable. I may have to look into those.

Do you have any neighbors or family/family friends who you could spend time with and interact with their dogs? You might be able to get an idea of what size of dog is best for you. I am completely horrible at looking at anything and guessing its size. For example prior to owning my own dogs I was routinely assuming every dog I saw was 10-20 pounds heavier than they actually were. Like others have said even thirty pounds is a big chunk of puppy! I remember when my puppy, who is well past 30lbs now, was 30lbs he could generate a pretty large pull on a leash. Good luck with your decision! I'm sure you will have a blast with whatever puppy you get :)

More later. Thank you for your thoughts. On my next trip to the Y, I'll have to see how much weight I can actually lift from the ground to my waist/chest, and report back.

All of you are the best!

Make sure that weight is wiggling from the middle in all directions with the tail and all four feet moving.  The reason I say that is because right now I'm puppy sitting.  I have two doodles myself, one 80 lbs and one that is 60 lbs.  We are puppy sitting a little maltese that is about 8 lbs and picking her up is like trying to pick up a handfull of worms.  She gets so excited she just can't sit still while I try and pick her up.  You are getting some great advice.  I think your best bet is to expose yourself as much as possible to friends dogs and try and figure out what will work best for you.  I know that even with Pet Partners which is a Therapy pet organization that you can volunteer without a dog.  Possibly you could see if there is one in your area and you could team up with some of the folks on their visits and see how you do with different size dogs.  Best of luck.  Glad to see you doing your homework.

I have a mini ALD and he weighs 23 lbs.  Even though he's a little guy, he needs a LOT of exercise.  He gets two long walks and a few shorter walks a day, along with a few games of fetch.  I know sometimes people think the minis won't need the same amount of exercise as a larger dog, but I haven't found that to be the case.  Just something to consider.

After reading this post, I started thinking about the different ways that I lift weight at the gym. I can lift more from a squatting position than I can from a hinged position, which requires bending over at the waist without bending at the knees. So, Nancy, if you have trouble crouching and then getting upright, you might find it difficult lifting a dog. It would be hard to bend over at the hips and lift a dog from that position, regardless of the dog's weight and size. One of my dogs weighs about 25 pounds, and if I want to lift her, I do so from a position with bent knees. From any other position, this would be uncomfortable. My other dog, though, weighs about 50 pounds, and I never pick him up. So, you would probably be fine without ever having to lift your dog. I am also able to tether them both safely in the car without lifting them up. Wally jumps into the car by himself, and Charlotte leaps into her booster seat on her own. Bathing, too, can be done without lifting. You could take your puppy/adult doodle into the shower and sit on the floor (or on a seat in the shower) and do the whole shampoo/conditioner thing with a hand-held shower sprayer. Are your hands strong and flexible enough to handle a leash and the grooming tools you'll need for walking and brushing your dog? These are just some more considerations as you wait for your puppy.

I can certainly bend my knees, and can get up from a squating position that is about adult chair high, maybe a little lower.  I have a chair that can be used in a shower that I can use to wash my puppy/dog.

I bet a lot of doodle owners of standard sized doodles can't lift their dog.

I think my hands are strong enough to handle a leash and grooming tools.  I realize that a doodle puppy is not a  service dog, but  SOME  adult doodles are guide dogs and service dogs.  Even though I'm requesting a 'mellow' pup, I realize temperament is not guaranteed and is only partly genetic.  I may get a hyper dog.

I think few doodle owners can run as fast as their doodle can.  When adult dogs play fetch, I doubt many owners run as fast as their doodles.

I haven't made it to the Y yet, but I'll report back when I can.

Thank you for all your perspectives.  They do help me a lot!!!

You might want to buy a chuck-it tennis ball thrower because that tires out my doodles quicker than anything else because as you said they run fast! And the chuck it throws the ball very far with minimal effort- I literally throw like a girl and it's absolutely no challenge for my boys but the chuck it is very helpful!

That is so funny because I don't throw very far either and Annabelle always takes off running before I even throw it. She finally stops and looks around for it then realizes she ran way too far. I think if she could do an eye roll, she would. I will have to try the launcher.

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