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Hi everyone!!

My names Emily and like the title says I am interested in people’s opinions on owning a standard poodle while still in college. I have heard a lot of mixed opinions on college dog ownership and since I would most likely end up with a Standard Poodle I’d like your opinion. But first let me give you some more information about myself, my lifestyle and future plans. I am a 20 year old college student in Wisconsin. This is the end of my sophomore year and I’ll be graduating in 2013 then graduate school. Also, keep in mind I’m not rushing into this and I wouldn’t be looking at actually getting a puppy for another year at least probably more.

Originally coming to college I always told myself I would wait to get a dog at least until after I finished my undergrad. I thought it wouldn’t be fair to the dog because of time restraints, it would be hard to find a place to live, extra expenses, unpredictability of the future and so on. But I have literally always had pets around and it’s been hard since I left home without them. Last year I went to a college close to home and lived at home, this year I’m 3 hours away and rarely go home. But sticking to my no dog rule I was like ok I’ll get rats, my pet rats were always so awesome. Then the other day I was talking to a friend about how I couldn’t wait to get a dog when I graduated and she was like well why not get one now. So I told her my concerns yet she made me realize maybe now would actually be a good time for a puppy.

And she was right. When else am I going to have so much free time, or I should say time that I can choose what I want to do with it. I’m a very busy student but it’s because I chose to be. If I’m not busy doing something I feel like I’m wasting my time so I fill my days. But I would just as gladly fill it with the responsibilities that come with being a dog owner as well as anything else. When else am I going to have such a huge supportive group of friends like those in college. Asides from other friends I’m in a sorority so I have a group of supportive sisters as well. Since leaving home my friends have truly become my second family and we’ve leaned on each other in times when usually it’d be family. They have been there for me in so many numbers of ways I know they would help me with a puppy if I needed it. When else am I going to have such few expenses. Right now my schooling is paid for through financial aid and scholarships and I get extra for housing. Currently I’m on campus, in the Fall I’ll be studying abroad and in the Spring I’ll be in apartments. When I am in apartments even then I’ll only be paying utilities and my phone bill. My parents are paying my car off for me and my insurance. I work full time during summers and part time during the school year. I realize in the future I will have more expenses but the first couple years is when I'd have to spend the most. And as I have more to pay I also *hope* to have a better job lol. I know Standard Poodles are expensive to buy and own. Asides from the initial money to purchase a puppy I would also make sure I had money for spay/neutering, puppy shots, classes, ect as well as money set aside. Like I said I am not jumping into this, I have a fear of making impulse decisions/commitments so I would make sure I as fully prepared first especially financially. And I realize it could take awhile to save up this amount of money.

As far as the future being unpredictable it’s really no more unpredictable than it will ever be. I love the university I am at and plan to stay here at least until I get my degree in Communicative Disorders which will be another 3 years. Then I am planning on going to grad school and I would like to stay where I am. We have a good program here but I obviously I don’t know now whether I’ll get accepted although if I stay the student I am now it shouldn’t be a problem.

Not to mention I am and always will be a dog lover. This is something I want to make work. I know it will be difficult at times but I willing to make the time and put in the effort. I’m not saying now is the ideal time to get a dog or 5, 10, 15 years from now is the ideal time but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad time either. I have dogs my whole life so I know the responsibilities and costs. The main difference would be I’d be sole caretaker but I want that responsibility. I’m willing to make the changes in my life because I know it’d be worth it.
I still have a lot to think about, a lot to work out and a lot of money to save. Luckily I’m giving myself plenty of time to do that. But I just wanted opinions because I know a lot of people/shelters/ breeders have negative feelings towards most college students owning pets.


On a side note are there a lot of Standard Poodles in rescues? Originally I was going to go through a reputable breeder for several reasons. This is my first dog of my own and I doubt I’d be getting another soon after so I’d really like to get exactly what I want. Which is a apricot/red/cream Standard Poodle. I feel temperament will be more predictable as well. Also health is important, I feel more of a health guarantee going through a breeder. While I’d make sure I was prepared for emergencies obviously I’d like to avoid any health emergencies and going through a breeder would help or at least make me feel better. Also one of the reasons I have chosen a poodle over other breeds is because I am allergic to dogs. I can deal with most breeds but honestly a Poodle would be best for me cause I don’t just want to deal. My whole life I have lived with dogs I was allergic too and it just made things harder. That’s really the only reason I would prefer a purebred. All of our past dogs have been rescues or we have taken them in from people who no longer wanted them. I wouldn’t mind rescuing a Standard Poodle, honestly financially it would be smarter. I just worry about health, temperament, ect. This being my first dog I guess I’m nervous to take chances and feel I’d be safer going with a breeder but I’d be open to adopting as well.


So opinions/advice??

Thank you,
Emily
 

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WOW!!! That's a long post!! :scared: :lol:

It's clear you've put a lot of thought into this and are agonizing over the answer to your query... Here's my advice for what it's worth...

Use your brain, follow your heart... (I know... Deep, right??) :lol:

There are lots of people who would have NO PROBLEM being a full time student and still giving a dog the attention it needs to thrive - then again there are people who struggle to get through school when all they have to worry about is themselves... What kind of person are YOU??

I went to my goddaughter's pinning ceremony last weekend (she just graduated nursing school) and there were a number of brand new nurses who were getting their pins while holding their infants in their arms!! One gal even had TWIN babies during her school years!! It's do-able... Is it optimum?? Probably not, but is that really important to you?

As long as you can plan for any contingency and make sure the dog is always well cared for even if you get super-busy (hire a dog walker, plan an "away-camp" with your parents or other family members if necessary, etc...) I don't see why you couldn't make it work (and it WILL be work... NO FOOLIN'!!)

My daughter got her spoo puppy when she was a freshman in college but she still lives at home so her puppy is just another member of my pack... She also knows that whatever life throws at her that Meau will always have a home with us - she'll NEVER have to re-home her or give her up (even if she finds herself in a situation where her dog cannot live with her.)

It sounds like you're not going to rush into anything (and that's a GOOD thing!!) and I agree with your plan to find a good, reputable breeder for your first spoo. I fully support rescue (and my other three dogs were all humane society adoptees) but until you know you'll have the time to work with potential personality/training/health issues that are a great unknown in rescue pets; it's not a bad idea to know exactly from whence your puppy comes!!! When I started my standard poodle puppy search - I knew that I wasn't in a big hurry and when I found the right puppy; everything would fall into place like it should - and it DID!! My Lucybug is almost 9 months old now and I can't remember what life was like without her!

Good luck with your decision/planning/procurement (or not)... :)
 
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I have been dog crazy since I was in elementary school. When I graduated from college and had my own place, the 1st thing I did was run out and get a dog.

BIG MISTAKE!!!

A dog really ties you down. I commuted to work and instead of getting to go out with the gang for drinks on a Friday evening, I had to race home to let the dog out. I was lucky enough to own my own condo, but finding housing can be a huge issue when you have a dog.

I played Ultimate Frisbee on a competitive level after college and I had to haul an X-pen to tournaments (fun moving that thing from field to field) and find motels that would allow dogs.

Having a dog is in many ways like having a child. It is a huge responsibility and it can be a lot of extra work. It is also a big financial commitment. Do you have $2000-$3000 in the bank in case of a veterinary emergency?

I breed Standards, and I'm sorry to tell you, I would not sell a puppy to a college student. Most of the reputable breeders I know would not either. As far as rescue goes, I'm not sure that a rescue organization would adopt out to a college student. You could try contacting them.

I would wait until you are out of college for a couple of years and settled into a job and an area before getting a dog.
 

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Haha thanks Plumcrazy!! Yes I am agonizing over it quite a bit lol! So many people have been so negaive towards it that I am starting to have to convince myself sometimes. I hear all the time about college students thinking they are the exception and end up getting pets they can't take care of and I don't want to be that person. Maybe I was just talking to the wrong people. Also like I said I have issues making commitments lol, I think it really started happening after I made a rash desicion to go to a University I ended up hating. Signing my aptartment lease was one of the hardest things I did this semester!! But yes thank you for your advice!! it really does help
 

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Emily,

I totally understand where you are coming from. I am 26 and recently graduated from law school so I have done the college/graduate school route myself. I know how tempting it is to get a dog right now (don't think I didn't longingly tour the rescue pages myself in college) but having seen what my friends with dogs in college/graduate school went through I have to say in my opinion that it would be best to wait until you are done with school. The first consideration is living arrangements -especially since you are interested in a standard poodle. Many of my friends who had dogs in college were forced to rehome them in graduate school because they could not find an apartment that they could afford (or even a nice apartment) that would allow large dogs. I know you want to go to the same graduate school as college - but graduate school admissions can be tricky and you never know where you could end up. The second consideration is monetary. I went to Drexel Law on a full scholarship but still had to pay for my rent/living expenses/books ect and often in graduate school you cannot work many hours on the side to supplement your income - it is usually a very slim time financially. I have been a poodle fan for a while but until I read these boards had NO idea how expensive the grooming requirements are to maintain let alone obedience training classes ect. In this economy it may also take a while to find a job after graduation and you will not always be able to defer your student loans until you are employed. Plus there is an immense amount of studying time involved. The final consideration is what to do with a dog when you are away for a weekend ect. - your friends may not be able to dog sit depending on their own apartments rules, and boarding can run 80 dollars a night.
I hope you don't mind my opinion - I just have been exactly where you are and had someone tell me these things myself - and having gone through grad school - am very happy I followed their advice. I still don't have my dog yet - I am still searching for a job and once I find one will want to budget for a year or so to see if I can realistically afford all of the poodle related expenses and make sure my job is stable. I am finding it challenging to find a large dog friendly apartment myself - but have a bit more leeway geographically than I did in college to find the right place for me.
I think the fact that you are willing to ask for opinions and are researching about poodles means that you will be an excellent poodle mom some day!

Cindy
 

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Cbrand, your experience is what I commonly hear from people. It seems either they had a really good experience owning a dog in college or a regrettable one. This is why I'm so torn so thankyou for sharing your experience.

Emily
 

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Sounds like you are really being responsible and thinking through this decision, so that's half the battle! Inititally I was on the fence about this, and definitely do think it is an individual decision. But I guess at the end of the day unless you have exceptional circumstances outside the norm, I would wait.

My housemate in University got a puppy one summer (against the wishes of the rest of us in the house, but anyway). Then at the end of the summer she got a new boyfriend. Her dog would live in her room so much that my other housemates and I would let it out to hang out with us when we were home. To the point that the dog preferred us to her! She never properly house trained it either, so that for years it had accidents in the house. Then a few years after college when she had married that boyfriend and had a daughter she rehomed the dog, because it no longer fit into her plans. Now I'm not saying you would in anyway be like her, but I guess the point is when she got the puppy she thought she would be able to fit it into her life and then her life changed.

Speaking now from a personal level, I have just got my first puppy at the age of 29. And while I am loving the time I have with him, I am also very thankful I waited until now. A puppy is a lot of work! I can't see how I could have fit one into my younger life, when I was out all the time. My life for the last couple of weeks has revolved around him and his needs, and I don't see that changing any time soon. Although I haven't had a baby, I can only imagine this is somewhat what having one feels like.

Anyway, I guess my vote is embrace your youth and freedom while you have it! It goes so quickly and you'll never get that time back. There's plenty of time to get a dog. And if you miss that companionship, you could always volunteer at a shelter. That's what I did when I lived in England and missed my dogs at home. It filled the gap!
 

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I think if YOU'RE able to handle it than go for it!!

I got my Elphaba when I was a high school senior ((with all my freshman college courses done)) I became an "actual" sophomore this January and started going to a building instead of doing correspondence work it put a huge strain on my social life but after a few months I've balanced out my social life, with taking care of Elphie, and still working my daycare job
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but like Barbs daughter ((plum crazy)) I still live at home with my parents so although I may have been lacking in any area of Elphies exercise/socialization my family picked up my slack

I'll be a junior next year, and I'm only 19
and I plan on getting a another standard poodle next summer or the following summer
I personally think age is irrelevant when it comes to owning a dog...if the person is mature, is aware of their surroundings, has a security plan, able to afford the dog why would the age matter
I know that I have the next 10-12 years of my life planned to a T
where as most of my older friends have absolutely no idea what they'll be doing 10 years from now

I think if someone can handle the responsibility and have the resources to take care of a dog properly nothing should stand in their way
 

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Maturity, responsibility, determination and some cash (vets/grooming/food) has everything to do with it. I waited until I was older as well, but have also seen young people do it successfully. My brother is 34 and just put his GR down from old age and he was 20 when he got him.
 

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You're going to get a lot of people telling you not to, and a few telling you to go ahead and do what you really think is best...

From one college student to another... well... I'll just lay out the facts!

I got my first dog when I was 19. She kept me home from going floating and camping with friends, and I couldn't stay out too late at people's houses because I had to go home and feed my girl... that being said though, I have no regrets getting her. She is been the k9 witness to my life up until now, and she's the best dog I've ever had. I took her everywhere I could... but it definitely makes it hard to travel, and you have to plan ahead big time.

I'm a horrible example, because now I'm 22, and my roommate and I have 4 dogs. They're HUGE responsibilities. We're going to our friends' wedding in November, and we're already trying to figure out what dog goes where and get watched by whom. They're also quite expensive... we've had our close calls have had to make emergency vet visits that have cleaned out our bank accounts... so keep that in mind.

My poodle got knocked off the deck by the greyhound and had to go get x-rays to make sure his leg was fine. The x-rays and trip to the e-vet cost well over $200, and the time my TQ somehow licked the flea meds off her back put me back about $175 just for a visit to the vet and a shot of vicodin (only to be told that if she kept showing seizure-like symptoms, that I would need to bring her back asap = more $$$$$).

It's also hard to find a good place to live that will allow you to have your dog, and where I live, pet deposits range from being JUST as much as first month's rent (so that's rent + pet deposit + deposit = 1st month $$$$).

Anyway, things to think about. I don't regret getting my first girl, and I don't regret rescuing each of my boys... but they're definitely a lifestyle change. Before I go splurge and shop, I have to make sure I've got enough to keep them healthy, utd on shots, well fed, groomed/bathed, and entertained. (They're never short on love and attention here :))

Make the right decision for YOU!
 

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It's hard to say b/c only you know what your priorities are and whether or not you can live with keeping a dog above your friends and having fun, etc for the next 15 years. Not saying it's all bad, but you will have to always think about your doggy waiting on you at home. A bored lonely dog = trouble.

However, You def. can do it as a college student. I am a full time college student and a mom to 3 kids ages 6 and under and I have a cat and a toy poodle and I manage it all fine. Some days are rough, but it works out good.

But the fact that I have kids already means that I have to be home at a decent hour, etc. I'm already tied down. If I didn't have kids right now. I would prob. Just have the cat, but that's just me.

good luck making your decision.
 

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My experience was a bit different, I got married between my sophomore and junior years in college, moved halfway around the world and was desperately lonely in my new home while my husband was off to sea in the Navy. We got a dog the second week we lived in our first home (I had just turned 20 two weeks before), and she has been the light of my life. However, I am not one to stay out late at bars, etc, and in Hawaii, you're never really over an hour from home anywhere on Oahu at least. So, my experience with having a dog in college was different. I potty trained her over the summer before my junior year, so she was crate trained before I started school in August. I would let her out before I left for my first class in the morning, came home in the afternoon, let her out and played with her, and then went to work. We've always been lucky though, since most military housing allows pets with no deposit. So, for me, it was an awesome experience, but like I said, it was different than the typical college experience.
 

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Think Twice! Then think again and again and again!

HUGE MISTAKE Emily.

Think twice before your do it.

Otherwise your Poodle could end up as a rescue someday.
 

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o_O
I'm her age and I can keep you rest assured my dog will NEVER see the inside of a rescue building EVER

if she has the resources to take care of a dog, and doesn't mind taking a blow in her personal life there is no reason she shouldn't get a dog

and I just want to add...that I think its ageism...maybe in reverse but still ageism
what makes me or this girl any less qualified to own a poodle or any dog as college students vs. a middle age woman with children and a full time job?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow things to think about. I definitely appreciate everyone’s advice/opinions, especially the personal stories. I'm still undecided, although leaning towards just waiting. But like I said this wouldn't be for another year probably more and I'd be going into my senior year of college so I'm sure a lot will change between now and then. I will also know more about course load, future plans, how much time I truly have, discover where my priorities really are ect.

I still love the breed so until then I will just continue to learn and I'm always saving money. Whether it will be used towards a new puppy eventually I don't know yet but it'll be there.

And I'm not sure whoever mentioned volunteering at the humane society and fostering but that is a great idea. In about a week when the semester ends I start my volunteer work at the shelter again but I never thought about fostering before. That would definitely let me experience what it would be like having a dog in college.
 

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I would wait.

Until you are done with your school and in a better house and environment.
I have had a dog since I was 12 and well it has been keeping me back in many aspects of my life but that are things I knew when getting a dog

And when I do something I always have to have the dogs in the picture.
I don't do anything unplanned

If you get a dog be prepared to have it in your life for the next 15 years.
And you have to plan according to that. I don't get people who get ride of there pets because they move and so on. Because if you have a dog you have to suit your life according th them. remember they did not ask to be your pet ;)
 

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I would suggest waiting until you're done school.

I'm a full time university student, 21 years old and I have two standards. I live at home with my parents, and there is no way I would have any real social time without their help. I got my first standard when I was in grade 9 (he was supposed to be a foster puppy for a guide dog school but was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and came to stay with us), and while he was mostly my responsibility, my parents did A LOT for me.
Then this past september, Mitch came along....He is all my responsibility, and it's HARD sometimes. This is a typical day for me:
Wake up between 6:30-7:30, take Mitch for walk, take Matrix for walk.
Feed them, shower, get dressed, feed myself
~8-9 am Go to class OR go to dog park (dog park/offleash time 3-4 times a week)
Between 1-4 pm Come home walk Mitch (45mins-1.5 hours), walk Matrix
do homework, hang out for a bit
~5 walk Mitch, walk Matrix
~ 6:30 Feed them dinner
eat dinner myself, watch tv, homework, hang out, go to karate or ultimate frisbee
~10 pm walk Mitch, walk Matrix
~11 pm take Mitch to pee before bed
Sleeep and start all over again the next day.

Without my parents I would be a hermit! They'll walk and feed both dogs for me when I go to my boyfriend's house for a night, or have a bunch of papers due, or if I'm not feeling well.
I walk my dogs so much partly because they enjoy it and need it, but also because I don't have a backyard. So they rely on me to get them exercise. I can't tell you how much I would LOVE a backyard. In the winter especially, when you've just trudged home through mucky snow and freezing winds, the last thing you'll want to do is leash up your dog to go for a long walk. Or when you're pressed for time, the last thing you want to do is take your energy filled dog to the dog park to burn off some steam...

It's a HUGE commitment, and I can't even imagine what getting a puppy would be like!! About a week after Mitch came to stay, I really REALLY regretted it. I felt like all I did was walk my dogs all day! I felt like I couldn't leave my house for more than a few hours at a time and I felt very isolated, and Mitch wasn't even a puppy, he was two years old. It wasn't until I smacked myself in the head and stopped pitying my "old life" that I realized how much joy and love Mitch gave me, and now I can't imagine not spending most of my day with him.

Just keep in mind that once you get a dog, everything becomes a little more difficult. Things like waking up late isn't such a big deal without a dog. You throw on some clothes, shove some food in your mouth and out the door. But with a dog, you have to do that plus walk the dog and feed the dog.

It's totally doable to have a dog in college, but it isn't always fun...
 

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i don't think you should wait until your done ALL schooling.

but i do think you should wait a few years. at 20? (OK keep in mind i had my first KID at 20) your tying yourself down to something. A big commitment. And yes i don't know any reputable breeders who would sell to you on your own (you living at home with your parents wanting the dog too? maybe)

this is the time of life when you have so many opertunities pop up- that you should take- travel etc.

another option- IF your living arangements allow a dog- why not look into fostering? Theres many rescues looking for foster home.s This can be a week to a several month commitment- but allows more flexibility then having your own dog with a 10-15 year commitment
 

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No matter what you choose to do, I just wanted to say that you sound very intelliegent, responsible and mature. You will make a lovely spoo owner someday.
 

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Honestly, the biggest problem I see would be the monetary part, and your plans post-schooling. You seem mature enough to handle a dog, and what problems may come at you. I think raising a pup while in school should be manageable because you have a fairly flexible schedule. IMO, post-school, you only get busier...

I just finished college and am now working full-time. I decided to get a puppy right out of school since I would be working and making the "big bucks." However, I have come to realize that it is more expensive than I have ever imagined just to maintain the dog, pet rent/deposit, etc. I am extremely lucky that my boyfriend "co-owns" the dog with me and helps pay for expenses. (I haven't even had an emergency vet visit of any sort yet! *knock on wood*) Otherwise, I do not think I would be able to afford the dog by myself on an entry-level salary. Plus, I own a mini, which I believe is significantly cheaper to raise than a standard.

All in all, you may have more time to train the pup now, and if you have the resources, then go for it. But the long-run is unforeseeable - and should still
be heavily weighed into your decision. (I can't make up something for you, haha)
 
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