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Hello everyone and happy new year !
I have been reading poodle forum posts for several months now and finally signed up for an account! :)
I am from Toronto, Canada area.

Just have a question to ask: your input is greatly appreciated!

I put down a deposit for standard pup from a local breeder and am just waiting for mom to get pregnant.
The main reason I would like to get a pup is that I think it would help improve my family dynamics. I've done quite a bit of research over the internet and found that having a pet would be good to improve emotional and mental issues. But on the other hand, I am worried that the pet will merely be 'used' as a tool to fix current emotional and mental issues that my family is experiencing.

So just to give you a little bit of my background I am a single person living with my parents and an older brother who's been diagnosed with bipolar disorder years ago. My brother goes through cycles of mania and depression and it has put the rest of the family very stressed out. On top of that i am not from financially-rich middle class and my parents literally can't work due to some health concerns (but they own a house and they've applied for pension which will give them some break). My brother is currently unemplyed (have been unemployed for years due to his bipolar behaviours) and I myself helped a lot with my parents' finances. So my brother's condition and financial difficulties combined causes frequent family fights and arguments. My brother's sometimes aggressive and depressive mood cycles caused a few police calls as well. Currently my mom's against having a dog in the house because she's sorta 'clean freak' (actually many arguments are started by her 'cleanness') and she doesn't like dog making mess or shedding hair (I told mom that poodles don't shed but she doesn't believe). My dad and brother are lukewarm and just says, 'maybe'.

I myself love dogs, had experience raising puppies (during childhood) and can't wait to have my own dog beside me, but problems with family dynamics keeps on bothering me as I don't want the pup to be raised with stress. A friend of mine said my family would not love the pup at first sight but will gradually fall in love and all these emotional and mental issues can improve with having a pet. But this thought of raising the pup in an environment where family stress is high just worries me and bothers me a lot.

So what do you guys think? Should I go ahead and get a pup and things will improve?
Or should I just not go ahead with it?
The deposit is refundable or can be deferred (e.g. I can defer it until I move out).

Thanks so much guys!
 

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I think it would be best to wait until you have your own home.

Its hard, Ik. Been waiting for my own dog for.. years... but your dog deserves the best situation possible.

do you think maybe some small animals could keep you company til you can get a puppy of your own? Pet rats are very "puppy" like, and their home doesn't take up much space, they dont smell, are clean animals who can be litter trained, etc.
 

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Honestly, it doesn't sound like a great situation. Puppies are annoying selfish greedy little monsters. Their moments of cuteness are balanced by moments of shrieking because the are lonely and bored, frequent messes, and destroyed property. It sounds like your family members are fragile, and puppies do not respect fragility.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Only basing my opinion on what you’ve told us, I would recommend holding off on getting a poodle until your living situation has stabilized. Poodles are super sensitive and generally do best in a calm, predictable household.

Our house is pretty boring, and we still had to make some adjustments after bringing Peggy home. It’s very rare that she hears a raised voice.

My other concern would be your parents’ reluctance. Every member of the household should really be onboard with a new dog—especially a puppy that will be slow to mature (as is typical for standard poodles). You’re looking at 2-3 years of work before you have your dream dog.

And patience. So much patience.

Being completely candid—I love our little family, but I preferred raising a puppy on my own to raising one with my husband. It’s such a deep bonding experience. And poodles thrive on consistency. That consistency can be tricky to achieve in a multi-person household.
 

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Peggy Sue, Standard Poodle Born May 2019
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Pet rats are very "puppy" like, and their home doesn't take up much space, they dont smell, are clean animals who can be litter trained, etc.
I loved training my rat!

@Martymarty, I lived in Toronto and my pet rat would ride around on my shoulder. He was very social. Definitely don’t rule out dog alternatives.
 

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I agree, poodles are very sensitive and do not do well in stressful situations such as you describe.

When you have set up your own home and saved up money to buy and care for a dog, the members here will love to help you find the puppy.

But a small pet such as a rat is a good suggestion.
 
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I am aggressively saving up now to put a downpayment on a condo. I expect to save enough for a downpayment within a year
I would wait. You're practicing delayed gratification.

My parents were anti-pet growing up and up until I told them I put a deposit down on Basil and they had to accept my decision whether they liked it or not. I don't know if your mom is like mine, but she needs to put her opinion on everything and it's easier to raise a puppy without the peanut gallery.

However, they are very happy being furgrandparents and willing to babysitting Basil for 3-8 hours, playing with her, making her special carrots-and-chicken, spoil her, take her on walks, get her messy, whatever. Then, she comes home with me.
 

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remember, rats need pairs and a large cage though.

Personally, I had a double critter nation. general rule of thumb is two cubic feet of space per rat with an additional two cubic feet for each extra rat. If you aren't sure if a cage you are looking at is big enough, use this website - ratclub.org - cage calculator

I myself have had 7 rats in my lifetime. Females are more playful, males are more snuggly and laid back. I only had males, they learn tricks, "snuggled" me (as much as a little rodent can snuggle), and liked to wrestle with my hands.
 
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I agree with everyone that waiting to get a dog is your best for you and your dog. Sounds like you will be moving out soon, and if you got a puppy now, your pup would just have to adjust to a new place. Also, the expense of the dog would put you behind on saving up to move out! My advice would be to focus on the bigger picture, first. :)
 

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Yes, my rat also had a pet rat. Lol. They were a cute pair.
I went rat crazy and jumped from a pair, to 7.. they are addicting! The very perfect "puppy" replacer.

Ferrets are also a great puppy replacer personality wise, but they stink, I don't think your Parents would like that.. mine wouldn't let me get one bc they smell.
 

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Killa and Tekno
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Not saying this would happen to you but just food for thought, I grew up in with a mentally unstable parent that wasn't too into dogs and when I finally was allowed one of my own, it was used against me at every turn. The dog was used against me as leverage ie "if you don't do this, then I'm getting rid of your dog", any mess in the house was blamed on the dog and I would be charged for "damages", and anytime I left home I had to wonder if I would come back and the dog had been let out a door or taken to a shelter. I still have that dog I'm referring to today, 15 years later and I love her to death but did she make my home more stable, absolutely not. I would've had a much easier time getting away from my mentally ill family member and keeping my autonomy without the passive aggressive games, had I not had a dog. I would also be very concerned about a Bi-polar family member injuring, killing, or releasing the the pet outside in a fit of rage or to make a point. I'm going to second here getting a rat, I adore rats and if you need to escape a situation quickly they can slip easily into a little carrier and go pretty much anywhere. They're also super smart and affectionate. I would hold off a poodle until you've moved out.
 

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It’s generally a bad idea to bring any animal into a situation where any of the people living with the animal are not on board. I even got my little kids to buy in before we brought home our puppy. Puppies make messes, pee on the floor, nibble on the coffee table when you look away for a second, shred paper for fun, the list goes on! Our house is loud and active, just kids being kids, and the pup is fine with that, but fighting is different. I’d keep the deposit so you hopefully don’t have a long wait when you do get into a better place to be able to bring a dog into your life.
 
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I have rather serious bipolar disorder, but it is checked by numerous medications. I used to have rages, depression, everywhere on the bipolar spectrum but this is now controlled. I do have serious ups and downs but medication helps. I have been with my psychiatrist for 20 years now - so we are sympatico - he has taught me so much about my condition. We work together on treatment plans etc. I am fully engaged and I would trust him anywhere. He knows that I now know when to change medications, change dosages, etc. and I often have input into treatment decisions.
In your case it seems your brother is caught in that bounce from one set of symptoms to another, upsetting the family dynamics. Your brother has probably been to more than one psychiatrists but do try to find him a good psychiatrist and maybe he can get on medication that would help him.
I do not recommend getting a puppy now. Dangerous for puppy and your brother, Wait until you are settled in a place of your own.
I think that expecting a dog to settle in and be answer to the mess of a family right now is putting unreal expectations on a puppy.
I was lucky with my Asta - thought I was getting a pet but he has turned into my service dog , so helpful to me. He started really paying attention and learning his specialized commands when he was 4 - he is now 6 - training a service dog is an everyday commitment. It becomes entwined with the daily routines. One of the most important things is patience patience patience - Doesn't sound like that is something you have right now.
If I can help you in any way, Start a Conversation (PM) and I will gladly share any help that I maybe to you.
Putting some prayers your way tonite ((HUGS))
 

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You’ve had such great advice, and I agree with everyone. One thing that I didn’t see any mention of is how expensive it is to own a dog, and a poodle even more, because they need grooming every 6-8 weeks and it costs at least 100$ every time (probably more, I don’t own a standard but toys). Even if you want to do it yourself, you need to buy equipment and tons of patience to teach the dog, which would be hard to do in a chaotic environment.

I think having to pay vet bills for a family who is already struggling financially would just add so much stress. I honestly don’t see how adding a dog to the family situation would help in any way.

If I were you I would keep all my money to help me move out sooner. And then get my dog ! :)
 

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I am sorry things are so complicated in hour family these days. I hope you can effect changes for the better for yourself asap. That said as much as I understand your desire for a poodle puppy I am happy to see that you are going to wait until your living situation improves. Poodles (but all pups reallY0 are very sensitive to their home environment and given that things don't sound emotionally stable I think you would end up with an anxious adult dog if the puppy was in an unstable stiuation. Also remember that the purchase price of a puppy is just a small part of a puppy/dog's expenses over its lifetime (heavily front loaded by medical expenses like immunizations). You need to look at all your expenses to be able to know if you can afford a puppy.
 

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Winnie 10/24/20 standard poodle
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You have received so much excellent and caring information! I agree 100% even though I have no personal experience with rats I know folks that have and they love them so much! Our family brought a standard girl pup into our home 14 years ago and I seriously debated for the 18 months we waited whether it was a good idea. Our oldest daughter was 16 and her ups and downs were very extreme and her voice was loud and argumentative often. Our pup was resilient as a youngster but in time she would go to our room and stay there until our daughter left (she had moved out by then) and I finally understood the depth of empathy and pain poodles can feel towards their surrounding and the people they live with. Before our poodle died last April that broken relationship was healed and she greeted our daughter with joy but it took much work and a determination to make her visits quiet and peaceful for that to happen. Raising a new pup is so time consuming and our home is now working on a new 10 week old pup. I wish my husband would step back and not help because I find myself undoing his missteps often but bit by bit he's learning along with the pup and we know that in time we will be rewarded with another fabulous fur kid for another decade plus. You deserve to experience all the joys without the problems your parents and brother will add to the mix. Save up, move out and be patient, the perfect pup will be waiting.
 
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