Author Topic: Saint's as a family member  (Read 11486 times)

Offline bluskygirl

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Saint's as a family member
« on: August 09, 2006, 11:15:17 am »
I am looking to get another dog, now that my last is gone. :(  I previously had a smaller (45 lb) super active frisbee dog that ran me ragged!  I have a very small yard, but live next to a huge open space park, so we walked every day, ran, played frisbee, etc. She got tons of exercise, but this time around I would like more of a relaxed buddy dog. I'm very active, but would enjoy a dog that would be just as happy to hang out with me on the couch. 

I have always wanted a Saint. I was previously hesitant becuase I figured big dog = big house.  I have a 3 bedroom with a very small yard, and figured it wouldn't work. Now I think maybe size has little to do with it (I know now my little 45 lb dog should have lived on a farm or something!), and that a Saint would be fine where I live. 

Can any Saint owners tell me about their experiences with their dogs; i.e., how much time do they spend exercising? Would a long daily walk at the park plus hiking and dog park activities on the weekend be enough for a Saint? How much space at home do you feel is needed to keep a Saint happy?

Also, even though I think I've thought of everything when it comes to adjusting to a giant breed like this, is there anything that YOU wish you had known before, or think would be super helpful for me to know?

Thanks to everyone who can lend me some advice!!!
???
Bella- Smooth Coat Saint
Piston- grouchy kitty
Jupiter- Scaredy Cat

Offline shangrila

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2006, 02:01:45 pm »
With a saint, the size of your house doesn't really matter so much as the amount of time you are willing to spend on them. Saints do need excersize, but that doesn't require a big house - if you are willing to take them on 1-2 walks a day, and occasionally take them somewhere fenced in for them to run around, then it doesn't matter how long your yard is. As long as it is big enough to potty in, it is big enough for a saint who gets excersized elsewhere. As far as inside the house, 3 bedrooms is plenty. As a puppy your saint might run around the house, but once they grow up they will very laid back in the house. They will want to spend all the time with the family that they can, so as long as they are allowed to be with you, they should be perfectly content to nap, play with a toy, etc right by your feet.

As far as your question about what I wish I had known before owning a saint, I would have to say I wish I had known more about saint's health issues. I knew about hip dysplacia, but I did not realize quite how bad it is. My saint is one of the high percentage of saints with HD, and is has affected her and us on a daily basis  :-\
RIP former BPO

Offline BlackGreatF

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2006, 02:21:34 pm »

I am not a Saint owner.
But I just wanted to Welcome you to the Group.
Very Addictive, and informative site.
Enjoy your stay.

Nicole

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2006, 02:26:41 pm »
 Hey! I'm Nicole and I'm mommy to Cabeza, a Newf/Chow X, and soon to be (TOMORROW!) mommy to Dewey, a Saint. We've fostered Saints and I grew up with them. I'd say that they don't need very intense exercise..as a matter of fact, the exercise can be very bad for them as younguns. (Note what Heather said about HD).

 And as far as space is concerned, same deal. Second what Heather said. They mostly want to be by you and don't need an immense amount of space to run around in or occupy.

Lyn

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2006, 03:07:15 am »
Ditto on the above..

The only thing I wish someone told me beforehand is that I'd need a bigger bed. Trying getting in a double bed with 2 Saints all stretched out. LOL

Offline PennyK

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2006, 04:19:36 am »
We have a very small yard and a very BIG puppy!¬  LOL!¬  We do short walks daily and my 6 yr old will run with him around the house on his leash usually too (though, nobody is quite sure who is leading who - LOL!)

Teddy is pretty laid back, even for a puppy.¬  He's pretty low energy - exactly what I wanted!¬  ;D If you want to go out - so does he, if you want to veg on the couch, so does he.¬ 

He is THE meet and greet dog!¬  If he thinks someone might look at him, or want to pet him, or even think about petting him, he's over there in a flash!¬  He LOVES people - ALL people!!¬  At the kids soccer games, there are toddlers all over him and he just takes it all in!¬  He has developed quite the fan club and takes it like its his due!¬ 

What I wish I would have known......tha t the 110 lb "puppy crazies" (as we call them in our house) will take the springs out of a brand new couch pretty quickly!¬  Once in a while Teddy will go completely bonkers (usually when he steals some toy of the kids that he KNOWS he's not supposed to have) and he will run at top speed and bounce from one couch to the other with the goofiest look on his face.¬  How the heck are you supposed to discipline THAT face???¬  LOL! :D

Oh....and WELCOME TO THE BOARD!!!


« Last Edit: August 10, 2006, 04:38:51 am by PennyK »
Every girl needs a Teddy bear!

Offline swells

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2006, 04:31:49 am »
Sounds like your house is more than adequate to live with a Saint. Like everyone else said, they just want to be by your side. A good daily walk and some off leash excercise would be perfect.

Definately educate yourself on the health issues (hip dysplasia, bloat, torn ACL) and be prepared for a dog that's life span is not as long as your past frisbee dog.

Once you get a giant breed, it is hard to go back to any other breeds. Their love and devotion is overpowering.

Stacie

Offline Saintgirl

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2006, 10:09:51 am »
Welcome to the board! Saints are amazing dogs and I can't imagine a life without one! I don't think that the size of your house would be an issue, as long as you have a couch your saint-to-be would be more than content! The only thing that I can think to mention is that you say that you are fairly active. Saints don't fare well in the heat, so they require minimal activity in the summer. Other than that, our boy loves to go hiking and camping with us in the spring and fall, and as for the summer camping, we just leave out the hiking and camp beside a lake!

My warning to you, make best friends with fur and drool before you get a Saint! That way when you do get one, you won't even notice!!
Leah, Hutch, and Abbey

Offline Saint and Mal mom

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2006, 01:49:38 pm »
Welcome to Big Paws Only! We have a small yard and 2 big dogs, but it is not a problem. In my opinion, Saints are the perfect dog for anyone. Unless of course they are afraid of big dogs and a little drool. Then, look out! But Dolly is just awesome. She's a spaz sometimes, but nothing like my Malamute. And she's wonderful inside. She never had to be taught to go potty outside. She just did it from 5 months old on. So I don't know if females are generally harder to housetrain or not. Mine wasn't. And they are just so sweet. I wish I lived near someone with a Saint for Dolly to play with. If you get a Saint, you'll never regret it, I guarantee you!
Marissa

Zoey- Alaskan Malamute, 4 years
Dolly, CGC- Saint Bernard, 4 years
Foster mom to Clarence- Basset Hound, 5 years

"To be loved by...any animal should fill us with awe-for we have not deserved it."

Yaz

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2006, 08:37:52 am »
Gershwin is our second Saint. Some of  previous dogs include an Aussie, a lab x bullmastif mix, a Belgian Shepherd, a Norfolk Terrier, and Wheaton Terrier. I wanted a big dog that was good with kids and low energy since I have three (soon to be four) very young children and can not guarrentee a long daily walk for a dog. The pros of living with a Saint are the easiness of temperment and beauty of the breed. In the house, Gershwin is content to lie in the same room as me, without needing attention. He will lie there as the kids run circles around him (literally) and jump over him as they are chasing each other. He is ten months old but his calmness in the house is equal to a middle aged dog.
However, someone once compared living with a Saint to living with livestock and I have to agree. He is more work than any of the about breeds I mentioned. I like my house to be fairly clean - NOT pristine (impossible with toddlers running around), but clean. I brush Gershwin daily to try and keep the hair to a minimum, but the crawling babies are covered in dog hair and when they drop food it is immediately covered in white fur, regardless of sometimes twice daily vaccumming. Saint hair floating in the air (due to the air vents we have in home)lands in food and drinks. During the molting season whereever Gershwin lies is covered in a carpet of hair when he gets up. And the walls are constantly being cleaned due to the drool mixed with fur that gets stuck to the wall when he shakes his head.
Gershwin's poop has never been firm to the touch so when he does his business, I have to tear up patches of grass when I pick it up or I leave remenents of poop on the grass, which I do not like doing due to the number of kids in the neighbourhood. And that happens three or four times a day.
I am not trying to be negative, just stating the facts. Gershwin is one of easiest dogs I have owned in terms of obedience and steady calm temperment, but he is also the most amount of work. When you love a dog, the work is just part of the parcel. Here is a picture of our 10 month old big messy baby.

Offline saintbarney

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2006, 05:08:30 pm »
We have a huge house and an acreage but my saint doesn't need all the room. He prefers to lounge out in the yard, chewing toys or bones and when he is in the house he is either on the bed, the couch, or his own bed. He isn't very active, he doesn't run and play in the house at all. He'll sometimes wrestle with the other dogs but he's always on the bottom, so I don't have to worry about a big clumsy saint ramming into things. We have several different breeds (mixed and purebred) and Saints are THE perfect breed for us. We couldn't have asked for a better dog!!

He's only 6 months old so looking back I can't think of anything I had wished I had known. I hope we won't have trouble with hips, I guess time will tell with that. We got him from a breeder who was retiring from breeding and was going to send him and his littermates to rescue. This breeder didn't do any testing or anything on the hips and we knew when we got him what we might be getting into.

Sorry for your loss. :(
~Danielle~
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My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown

Offline Yayamc20

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2006, 07:14:17 am »
My Saint is 5 months old and to be honest with you I do not know what I did before him. He is the best thing to happen to my husband and I! This is our first dog together (we both had dogs growing up) and he is totally awesome! He is smart and loving. Iggy is a smooth coat (short hair) but he still does shed ALOT and also drools. Those were two things that I was afraid of but his loyaly and joy that he brings us greatly outweighs the extra cleaning I have to do. Personally I will never go with any other breed.

Offline PennyK

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2006, 08:48:03 am »
Welcome Yayamc20!!

Tell us more about your wonderful Iggy!!  Oh, and we LOVE pics!!  LOL!
Every girl needs a Teddy bear!

Offline lindar5928

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2006, 02:32:01 pm »
Our Saint, Barney, just turned one. He is pretty much past the puppy stage and is the best dog we ever had - smart, gentle, beautiful and loyal. He's a rough coat so yes he sheds ALOT. And yes he drools, but it is manageable. After eating and drinking, we wipe his mouth (face) with a slobber towel. He actually likes this. After exercising (very limited) we wipe his mouth. He sleeps in our room (on the floor) and doesn't drool all night.
As a puppy he had the annoying habit of nipping our feet, ankles etc. When he was about 10 months old (and puppy teeth became a bit more of a problem) we put a few pennies in a coffee can and shook it at him. Nipping stopped immediately. Second time he nipped after that I shook the can again again and said "nip and you get the can" Again he stopped. He nipped a few days later and I said "do I need to get the can?" He stopped. How's that for smart? A few weeks ago he got crazy and started jumping (not like him) so I said "do I need to get it" He stopped and looked at me - then kissed and kissed. Is that not smart or what?
He's the best dog ever - beautiful long coat (hair all over the place and I need to buy stock in Hoover) goofy (steels my hairbrush and brings it to me to start the chase) loving (always by us - leaning on us as well as always being in the same room)
When he meets little dogs, he instinctively lays down to their level and lets them use him like a trampoline.
When he was little, he liked to bring sticks into the house (still does). He tried and it didn't fit through the door. He tried again and it still didn't fit.
so he put down the stick and picked it up by the end and easily brought it in. Smarter than a lot of people I know
Bottom line - get a saint - and buy a good vacuum and lots of slobber towels. Then sit back and enjoy the best breed ever

Offline LJ06

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Re: Saint's as a family member
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2006, 02:54:01 am »
Hello all! Its so nice to talk to other Saint owners. My Saint's name is Gracie and she has an older brother named Willy who is a shar-pei/lab mix. Grace is 2 years old, about 110 lbs and so adorable. She is such a big baby and is also a lap dog wanna be... She eats anything in site and loves to sleep- especially on her back all sprawled out. We have a hard time keeping her off the bed in the early morning and most of the time she stays in bed after my husband and I get up. She is great around kids and loves her baby pool! I buy clothes and accessories for her and Will and I think I have 100+ pictures I can share. Taking photos is a hobby of mine and since I do not have babies yet- My dogs have to be my babies until then¬  :) I hope to share stories and photos will all the other Saint owners and look forward to hearing all about your gentle giants! P.S. any advice on how to keep her off the bed or best way to teach tricks??? (she doesnt seem to catch on too quickly or have any interest in learning tricks?)