Just a warning: this post is HUGE. I've broken it down into parts so you can read and respond to sections easily without feeling the need to respond to the whole thing. :]

Hey, everybody! I'm new to the site, and will soon be new to the world of dog ownership. I've only had cats growing up and have seriously wanted a corgi since I was 16 or 17, though I dreamt of owning one since I was 12. I'm 19 now (though I will be 20 by the time I can get a corgi), and a student at Virginia Tech. I'm moving off campus next school year specifically so I can have the opportunity of getting a dog.

Owner benefit: I've heard from a lot of people that college students shouldn't get a puppy. I disagree with that in my case. I'm an engineering student and have a LOT of homework to do. As such, I spend a lot of time in my room doing said homework. I'm not a party girl... I think the longest activity I do all weekend is play Dungeons and Dragons, and I can bring Waffle to that with no problems. I also have severe depression (and have had it for a while) and am finally seeking help. My medicine isn't doing anything except giving me insomnia... I was discussing the want and possibility of getting a puppy with my therapist. She seemed really positive and agreed with me when I mentioned how it would help me. The responsibility of taking care of a puppy would force me to get out of bed, go outside and exercise, be on a strict routine, and be mentally challenged but also immediately rewarded. So, Waffle would not only be a dream come true, but a treatment for this disease that's been plaguing me for years. Unlike medicine, it will actually work. Does anyone have any stories they can share about dogs helping depressed people function again? Just curious.

Expenses: Because I am a poor college student, money is kind of a big deal. I worked all summer at 7$/hr in a popcorn factory and managed to store $1000 in my savings account. This is and has always been specifically for dog purposes. I made an excel spreadsheet of all the things I would need for getting a dog initially. However, I am not sure of the biggest expenses at all. How much is neutering for a corgi pup? Shots? The corgi itself?? I snooped around the internet and guesstimated... Basically, does this expense sheet look right? If I forgot something IMPORTANT, let me know.

Moving: I can't move in to my apartment until August of 2010. As such, I really want to get my corgi in late spring/early summer so I can begin training him at my parents' house and he can be moderately well behaved and potty trained... It will be difficult (no, impossible) to return to my apartment every hour during classes, but doable every 3 or 4 hours. I was discussing this with my friend, and she brought up a slightly upsetting point. She has a friend who has a dog named Chubaca, not sure of the breed. Chubaca was a puppy that was trained at home and was brought up to Tech for living in an apartment. He was perfectly trained, but moving reverted him back to square 1--mostly peeing everywhere. Is this a problem for corgies? If so, or even if not, how can I minimize the trauma of moving and prevent this from happening? If it does happen, is there anything I can do to stop it besides getting super strict with the potty training?

Furry family members: I'm moving in with a friend from middle school and her roommate. They are both animal people, one studying animal science and one studying bio with intent to go to vet school, so of course they both want pets. VetSchool wants and is definitely getting a cat (I'm very happy about this!!), but AnimalScience wants to get a dog. She is unsure if she will be getting a dog, doesn't know what breed, and doesn't know what age. So, this is iffy but still a concern. Mostly, I'm afraid the other dog may ruin Waffle's training if AnimalScience isn't being very stern in making her dog a good citizen. I can eliminate the problem with toy stealing by keeping Waffle's all in my room... I also don't want them to eat each other's food. I don't know... Should I even be concerned?

Training: I'm really looking forward to training him and having that bonding time and control. I don't think I will be taking him to obedience classes... but I may if I'm having a hard time doing it on my own. (I watch "It's Me or the Dog" and am minoring in behavioral psychology... so I want to put my skills to the test before spending money.) Potty training, sit, stay, heel, drop it, leave it, etc are all basic and necessary. I was reading about "emergency recall training" on these forums and am definitely going to teach him that. Are there any other invaluable commands I need to teach him?

I think that's it. Of course I'll ask questions as they arise. :3

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I don't have any personal dealings with Dalarno, but there are Dalarno dogs in my Corgis' pedigrees, and our breeder's dogs in some of Dalarno's pedigrees. And a couple of their girls are from the same sire (Anwyl Winds O' Change) as my Jack. Both of mine have great temperaments, and some of that is handling and raising but some is bloodline.

Just a head's up, though, that they are show breeders and you can expect to spend 2x to 3x the price you initially planned for a show-bred pup from a good breeder. Some discount for fluffies and mismarks, but not all of them do.
Oh, wow. Thanks for the heads up. I can't really go much past $700 so I will probably have to find a different breeder...
Double the cost of the dog, so you can get him from a good breeder. Buying from a good breeder means that you won't have to pay for a collar and a bunch of those small things (they come in the typical puppy package), you'll get MUCH better advice on feeding and training, and you'll get a dog who actually looks and acts like a corgi. You also won't support a crappy breeder who will go on to produce tens or hundreds of dogs who won't get the good home you'll give a puppy. Educate yourself well about what makes a good breeder and what health issues are problematic in whatever corgi breed you decide on, and insist on a breeder who satisfies those requirements and who has answers for those health issues.

Pet health insurance is great but keep in mind that you need to have enough money to pay for the treatment up front and the insurance pays you back. So you still need an emergency fund.

Use your bowls and wash them well. You can also fold a ton of the food costs into your own budget by feeding raw. Forget the Furminator and use your own shampoo as long as it's nonmedicated.

You DO want to do a puppy K class. Usually that's between $100 and $150. A typical neuter is going to be $100-150 and a spay $150-200, because you don't want to skimp on the anesthetics used. Cheap surgery = cheap anesthetics = more risk to the dog.

In terms of whether it will help your depression - depends. Plenty of dogs end up very neglected because their owners can't actually bring themselves to get out of the house or get involved in stuff. It's not the owners' fault, but the dog still suffers. If your particular depression is helped by stress and responsibility a dog can help; if it's triggered by an increase in stress a dog would make it worse.
Breeders: I've got that covered already! :D Except for the whole "double the price" thing. I just typed a reply to the comment above about how prepared I am in terms of finding a good breeder, so I won't repeat that here. Thank you for mentioning it though! Had I failed to do research about breeders, I probably would have gone to a crappy one that was closer to my home.

I'm unfamiliar with what constitutes a raw diet, though. ... Can you please elaborate or link me to a thread about it? Thanks for the other budget advice, also. I will probably end up enrolling him into a puppy class if I can find one in my area for around $100 or less. I definitely will if I can get my parents to foot the bill for my birthday. Heh.

My animals at home are the escape from my depression. I've seen a black lab stuck in a tiny apartment turn into a balloon and suffer because his owner didn't care enough about walking him. I could never do that to an animal. My depression is more triggered from negative stress I can't control, and I have control (no matter how little) over a dog, which is a stress but a positive one. Your concern is valid, but I'm positive for me it is a non-issue.

Thanks again for your input!
I can save you $500...get an older corgi from a rescue! Everyone wants puppies, and the older dogs get shuffled to the side. The best dog I've ever had, and ever will, came from the Humane Society. He had issues, but nothing we couldn't work out! We were soul mates--literally. They say they know when you save them, and I truly believe that.

I think you have thoroughy thought this out, and think that you would be a very responsible owner. I too, have had problems with depression, and have found that my dogs have been my soul salvation. When people disappoint you, you can always count on your dog. They are always happy to see you, and to give you a boost when you need it.

Hope that helps---and WELCOME!!
I really want the experience of having a puppy just once. I haven't had a kitten since I was 8 or 9; all our other cats have been rescued as adults from the SPCA. I will most probably adopt my next dog from a rescue, though. Maybe it will be a corgi, maybe an aussie, who knows! That's a long time from now, though...
Wow you have everything so organized. Ways to save; don't bother with tennis balls,stuffed toys, or rope they will get shredded. I just had to throw Ella's rope and tennis balls away, she was ripping them apart and trying to eat them. Just buy a kong ball and some very sturdy chew toy. Sometimes you can find sales on toys, leashes, collars, etc. I got a "hummer" chewy steering wheel (meant for touch dogs) for 1/2 price at a local store and she loves it. And don't overdue it on the treats, corgis just need food and the occasional treat. You can use their food for training or veges.
Corgis don't eat as much food as some breeds, and you will want to measure it out. There are lots of discussions on this site about food. Waffles may want to eat the other dogs food, if your future roommate gets a dog.
Just remember take one step at a time.
Hey thanks for the advice! I will definitely do some snooping around the site about food. My cat supplements his own diet with birds and rabbits so I don't think about food very much... My other cat will only eat the nasty kibble. We also just kind of leave their food out so they can eat when they get hungry. So, yeah, not much thought has gone into food.

I have 9 months until I can actually get one (and it may be even longer before I do) so all I can do is get ahead of myself. Heh. :] When the time comes, one step at a time will be the rule.
Wow!!! Ok... so I've read all the posts. And first let me say, if you haven't already figured it out, you came to the right place to get advice and a wide spectrum of opinions.

You have planned well. And you seem to have a very good grasp on what you want (a Corgi puppy) and why you want one! I love your spread sheet!! ( I'm a bookkeeper! )

I believe you're definitely ready! And I look forward to watching your progress and waiting along with you for the arrival of Waffle (very cute name)! We picked names for our Corgi puppies before we actually got them too.

Cost - We paid $650 for Soffie and $500 for Griffyn. Neither of them are show quality but.... they both are AKC registered and every bit a Corgi as Corgis can be. Unless you want a show dog, you don't have to and shouldn't shell out big bucks!

Flea/tick control and Heartworm - a definite monthly expense.... but you can get it cheaper at various websites. We actually buy it one month at a time. In the long run I guess it's more expensive but for us with two dogs it works out better that way.

Furminator - We have one but there are "copy cats" on the market now so check for that. But... I find a comb works better.

Bowls - I believe Waffle should have his own bowl. We have the stainless steel bowls. Each has their own food bowl, but they drink water from the same water bowl. When we got Griffyn, he didn't want to drink from his own bowl and insisted on drinking from Soffies water bowl. She didn't mind so we let that continue.

Food - Raw diet can be lots of work and hard to travel with. We thought about it when we got Soffie, but quickly realized, it would be impractical for us because we travel and spend time in motels etc. So we opted for a quality dry food. It's a little more expensive but well worth it! We buy Wellness, but here's a great website to check out www.dogfoodanalysis.com

Crates - we have 3. One small one, we bought for Soffie when she was very small puppy. Then as she grew we purchased one to fit her adult size. We recycled the puppy crate for Griffyn then purchased him the same adult crate we bought for Soffie. We also use the crates for them in the car. The crates were invaluable too, for sleeping puppy through the night!

Socialization - Probably the single most important thing to do along with potty training.

Pet Insurance - We have it for both too. I guess I would say, "do the math". It cost me $101. per month. And as the saying goes, insurance is something you buy hoping you don't have to use it, but if you need it then you're glad to have it. Soffie torn her cruciale ligament on July 29th this year. So far vet bills are approx $1000. of which I have been reimbursed 80%. Not as much as I have paid out in premiums, but... I couldn't have afforded the bills otherwise.

As I said waaaaay back at the beginning of this reply, I look forward to hearing about your journey and hope you'll keep us all posted!
Good Luck!

ps... almost forgot!!! Geesh!!! I suffer from panic attacks, and there's nothing like Soffie's little snuggle and Griffyn's clownish personality to help me through the toughest of panic attacks!
I have now been sufficiently convinced to take Waffle to puppy kindergarten, lol.

I'm definitely going to get the insurance if I have a steady job. I'll get it eventually! We could have used some for our cat, Torry, when he was a kitten. (Ugh, so many trips to the vet.)
Panic attacks are AWFUL and I'm really glad your dogs are there to help you through 'em. I've only had mild ones but the most I can do at college is curl up on my bed and hug a stuffed animal.

Cost- 500-650 is more my price range. :] I've emailed a handful of breeders (one who is having puppies in April so they will be ready to go home around the ideal time I want one) and am expecting replies. ...I'm kind of hoping I get Waffle for $400 somewhere but I probably won't.

Flea/tick/heartworm stuff- My parents buy it 6 months at a time at our vet office for our cats. I might be able to finagle dog supplies for birthday gifts, haha.

Insurance- I can't afford insurance as I am now... if I get a job next school year or my art commissions pick up, I can probably get the cheapest plan. (I'm not a working student. :[ It's hard to maintain a 3.5 in engineering and still have time to not go insane.)

Food- Yeah, I was thinking about the raw diet after I went to bed last night. I would really like to do it, but because it's a 5 hour trip from school to home and hunks of meat take up space... and it's kind of gross... I will probably opt for the high quality food instead. I don't know. Still thinkin'.

Everything else- thanks for the advice! Especially with the comb... who'da thunk it? I have been sufficiently convinced to enroll Waffle in kindergarten for the socialization aspect. Of course, getting a boost in training doesn't help either. I'm still sort of in this "cat mindset"... I need to remember this is a dog, not a cat.

I will definitely keep you (and everyone else, lol) updated on my progress with Waffle. :] It will probably stagnate over the winter as my excitement dies down and my classes become unbearably difficult. I'm taking an Intro to Companion Animals class next semester as my escape from physics and math. I'll probably share tidbits of info from that as well as ask more questions. "We learned THIS in class is it true for corgis?" Anyways, thank you again for your very in-depth reply!
Wow Rachael, you've really put a lot of thought into this! Good for you! I don't really have any valuable info for you, but I wish you all the best with Waffle!! He/She will be one lucky Corgi!!!

On another note - Waffle should play a Rogue - pickpocket the snacks and evasion, evasion, evasion!


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