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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Yeah I found it on Amazon. When I meant online, I meant as a torrent or a stream. I don't have a VHS player in my dorm room. Too old school, heh.
Neutering can be done for little money at a low cost spay/neuter clinic. A vet's office is going to charge more. We wrote out the puppy budget too and planned out everything. We planned to go to a low cost clinic but as Finnigan matured we found that one of his testicles wasn't descending (they call them chryptorchid when this happens). Low cost clinics usually will not neuter them at this point because it is a more invasive surgery and to be honest, I would not be comfortable with them doing it anyway. They do the normal neutering to remove the testicle that is visible and the tubing, but then also have to go into the abdomen and search for the missing one. It's basically like have a spay and neuter at the same time. This was much more expensive. Certain medical issues such as this may come up and you have to have money set aside in case it does. You really can't predict what will happen even with the healthiest puppy from the best breeder.

As for house breaking, Finn has learned not to pee in our apartment at last. He was very difficult to house break. However, he has not made the connection that he cannot pee in any other home or building so if we take him to my Mom's or brother's or even in a store, he will pee. I know when we move he will have accidents since he won't yet recognize it as his home.
Whoa hold on! Where did you find the Furminator for $35?? I've only found it for $50, and I'm a poor college student too, so that's why I don't have one yet!

Anyway, back to your post. Mine might be as long as yours! Remember that these are just my philosophies, and everyone here is different. While what I say is what I will always go by, and what I think is the best way, doesn't mean I'm not wrong. It's just what's working now for me and for others who are really active in the dog training world.

Depression: I have it. Actually, I had insomnia first. I've always had insomnia, and am still currently seeking different medications and even going to get a second opinion because I think it's my severe insomnia that's causing my moderately-severe depression. I love dogs. I've always loved dogs. Even on my absolute worst days, full of crying for no reasons and hating everything and everyone, the only thing that still makes me happy is hanging out with my dog. The bonds humans can have with other species amazes me. I think it's the most beautiful thing. You sound like this is really what you want, and even if you don't know exactly what's coming, you're expecting that. I admire you for doing your homework. You won't regret it. I think training is extremely rewarding, especially doing formal training with Conan (we are taking herding lessons and I hope to compete). With dogs you have to be 100% calm, 100% confident, 100% content, 100% of the time. Especially when it comes to training. My dog has helped my anxiety a thousand times more than my depression. And when your dog loves working for you, you love working your dog. It's such an amazing relationship.

Expenses: These are hard to tell. We were feeding Conan (our Corgi) Orijen grain free kibble and are in the process of switching to raw feeding. I take my dog's health as seriously as I take mine. I feed all organic, raw ingredients. Dogs do not need grains in their diets and most commercial pet foods are full of them. They are a huge cause for all sorts of allergic reactions and all sorts of health problems. I also use Zuke's Mini Naturals as treats for training and you can use diced up chicken or beef too. So feeding really depends on what you feed him. Just remember that in general, you get what you pay for. There are pre-packaged raw foods that are extremely convenient, but much more expensive than buying the meat yourself. Here are some books to help if you're interested in a raw diet:

Moving: Conan is two years old as of October 15th and has moved three times. He's been fine. I think that may have been more of a handler issue than a dog issue.

Furry Family Members: The others here probably know how I feel about this one! It's not that I'm uptight, it's just that my dog is a working stock dog. I don't want others screwing up my training (or my dog's health). Just because your roommates have had animals doesn't mean they're good owners. Make sure of it. Nothing can be left out that the dogs will eat. Especially food. I would never free feed my dogs and cats, because they will eat until they're throwing up. Scheduled feedings are your friend. That way no dog/cat can eat each other's food. I wouldn't want anyone else handling my dog either, but that could be part of having a working dog. The idea with working dogs (be it stock dogs, police k9s, seeing-eye dogs, etc). is for you to be the absolute coolest, most fun thing ever imaginable in the world. That way, you have a very smart dog that thinks on his own and knows how to handle all types of situations, but always knows it's in his best interest to listen to you. I'll talk more about this in training. So, having two dogs at different training levels is possible, because I do it, but I would be very adamant that the rules you want for your dog are enforced when you're not there.

Training: The very first and most important thing I have to say is that you should please remember that human behavioral psychology is not dog behavioral psychology. We are two entirely different species that think in entirely different ways. Most behavior problems in dogs come from them being treated as humans (ie. as if they have human psychology). That said, have you heard of marker training? I think you should try it. It's the most rewarding thing for both you and the dog. Conan loves it. With marker training, it isn't the dog that limits the possibilities, it's your training! You can teach your dog pretty much anything you want. And don't feel like he'll be a robot dog. Everything he does right, he gets a reward. It's a win-win. Here's a great article if you're interested: http://leerburg.com/markers.htm I think it's worth a read. Remember that obedience is your friend. The recall is the most important command your dog should know. It could save his life. And remember that recalls are NOT optional. Once your dog fully understands that command (does it 8-10 out of 10 times) you must never repeat yourself. Call the dog once, if you get no response, go and get the dog and bring him back to exactly where you were standing. A good, calm but firm, "You come to me when I call you!" works as enough correction with the dragging (don't carry the dog) by the collar to the place you were standing should work. I only ever use corrections when I know 110% that my dog knows the command. Remember we want the dog to know it's in his best interest to do what you ask. So we teach the sit until it's boring, with the dog getting rewards every time. Eventually you phase out rewards and offer a correction if the dog doesn't comply when he fully understands the command. I do very little correcting. It doesn't take a dog very long to realize that listening to you means a reward.

Lastly, I noticed you didn't add vaccines to the list. I worry about vaccinosis and am concerned with unnecessarily vaccinating my dog so I only do what is required by law and what I am at a high risk for in my area. For example, rabies is necessary. Bordatella and Lepto I don't think are, so I don't get them. Here's a good book to read on vaccines and vaccinosis: http://www.amazon.com/Shock-System-Animal-Vaccination-Healthy/dp/19...

Whew! That was crazy. Hopefully it offers some help for you, especially if you read through all my blabbering. I congratulate you on your decision for a dog and for a Corgi. They are such an amazing breed. They all have the best little quirks. Stubborn little boogers, but so faithful and hilarious. Great job on the research. I truly commend you for taking so much time to know what you're getting into! Good luck! I can't wait to hear about Waffle (LOVE the name) when you get him!
I found the furminator at Petsmart... Maybe it was one for cats? Iunno. I just picked the cheapest one and slapped it on the list, lol. They make imitators that are probably cheaper, also, though I don't know where to find such things. I've seen 'em on TV and such.

I'm very excited about training Waffle! We won't be doing herding (I admire you for that! That must be some hard work) but I want to do beginner agility and teach him some neato tricks. For example, I want to make an L-shape with my finger and say "Bang!" and have him play dead, and have him come back to life when I say "zombie", haha. Having something challenging to work on, like training, will definitely make me feel better. My depression is caused by stress I can't control and the very high anxiety resulting from that stress. :\ Ironically enough, stress I can control and eventually eliminate through hard work makes me feel better! I do art and when something goes HORRIFICALLY WRONG as it so often does, it's stressful but I feel a lot better working to fix it than I would not doing anything at all. Training is another art form I must master! Incidentally, I have heard of marker/clicker training. I read through a little of the page and will most certainly read it all the way through before I get him in May or so. As a final note, I'm really glad I'm minoring in behavioral psych. Although human psychology doesn't transfer well to other species, basic principles of learning do. I'm in an animal behavior class now and it is awesome.

I'm going to have a stern talk with my roommates about my dog and how he should be treated. I might even be THAT roommate who puts signs in the kitchen "REMEMBER: DO NOT FEED THE DOG WITHOUT MY EXPRESS PERMISSION" etc. I just hope AnimalScience is a good owner... I dunno. We'll work it out.
Maybe have a conversation now with animal science as to her thoughts, ideas and rules of being a good dog owner and good housemate that has a dog too! Agility can't be started till 15 months or so but basic obedience will have to be first and we use clicker training with this. I love the clicker and think it works well, if I'm someplace without it I just make the clicker noise and that works ! I use treats with my clicker but I know some trainers do not teach this! I found much cheaper furminators online but for me I use my brushes and combs...someday I will get one!

If art works for you...just think of all the cute corgi cards/things you can make!!!!
That's great! I'm glad you want to get into dog sports of some sort, because Corgis are very active. They aren't couch potatoes (at least mine isn't). And if he doesn't get enough mental/physical exercise in one day, it's a nightmare. Ever seen Marley and Me? I'm not exaggerating, it's like that. And it's not separation anxiety, he just gets bored. You can use markers/clickers with basic obedience and I think you'll really enjoy it. On the Leerburg website they have three videos of humans clicker training other humans, that gives an enormous advantage to understanding the dog's behavior and thinking process. Clicker training is definitely an art and I'm still working very hard at it. Herding is great. I got into it because I was a little discouraged with the serious obedience the agility clubs near me required. They want all the necessary commands down BEFORE starting lessons. And I just thought.. wait, isn't that what going to lessons is for?? But it's probably just the ones closest to me.

I'm glad to hear you've done so much work in preparing yourself. I'm sort of doing the same now because I would eventually like to get a dog for Ring Sport but it will be a long time away.

Good luck and keep us updated!
I had to look up Ring Sport because I had no idea what it was. It reminds me of a sort of karate for dogs, haha.

Marley & Me made me cry, and is what my mom is afraid of, I think. Not me crying, but the wtfcrazy behavior some dogs can have. Part of the reason I want him to be a good boy is so I can keep him at my parents' without my mom complaining... and she is so good at complaining. A prepared owner makes for a happy family all around--and an especially happy dog, I think. I do want both of us to be active, and being a doggy "soccer mom" is as good a way as any. Hehe. :]

And I will definitely keep everyone updated. Oh lawd, I'm not sure even I'm prepared for the excitement that I will no doubt gush onto my page/the forum. Hahaha.
Well, keep in mind that no pack structure, no obedience training, and no general knowledge of dogs many times leads to a Marley. I don't think you'll have that problem. If anything, they become destructive because they're bored. Also, if you do your homework with a breeder (and I have no doubt that you will) you're much less likely to get a dog with bad temperament. And a well rounded dog who gets enough physical/mental activity shouldn't be destructive at all. I think you'll be fine! :)
I should add that even though I've recently started Conan on formal training, he's still very much a house dog. He sleeps in the bed with us and is allowed on the couch. I would be condemned for life by true working dog owners if they knew that! :)

And the others here can probably tell you that I'm extremely adamant about being the only one who handles my dog (besides my boyfriend) because of our unruly roommate. I'm hoping yours are much more responsible!
Wow you did a great job putting all these together!
I had a stress induced depression for years, it was like addiction. Medicine didn't do anything except voiding me from all emotions whatsoever. I had the same reasons for getting a dog that you do. Getting out of the bed, walking wit him, taking care of him, etc. I estimated some costs, but some things were unexpected.
For example neutering. The puppy I picked turned out to be cryptorchid, which means one of his testocles did not come out. Which means the neutering was about $500 and my vet is not expensive. Poor guy got neutered and spayed at the same time.
Do you have an emergency fund? Bad things happen and they cost A LOT of money. I paid $1000 for a 2 night hospital stay with pneumonia. All they did wwas x-ray and put him on IV for 2 days. Care Credit card helped a lot with it, but now I have to pay for it.
I noticed your puppy cost was rather low. Most people pay about $1Ko for a puppy from a good breeder. And you want a good puppy that has great temperament, was raised properly and has clean bill of health. Otherwise you'll end up paying a lot more for training, vet bills and frustration.
By the way, consider puppy training. It is very helpful and is a good start for you and your puppy to learn how to learn.
I noticed that you wrote harness for a car. Consider using a crate instead. Corgis she a lot and even though I use the crate there's still hair on my back sit. Those rare occasions that he rides in front it flies all over the place. Also, it gives your dog the freedom to get dirty and wet a park and for you not to worry about the car getting messed up.
You can get Frminator in as little as $25 on Amazon.
Buy the towels, blankets and pillows for dog bed at Goodwill. Save you a lot of money, and sometimes you can find appropriate toys in there.
Your initial vet visit is rather expensive. What are the things that need to be done? If the dog is from a good breeder all you'l need to do is check for worms, get heartworm med and anti flea and vaccinate. Some clinics will have coupons for the firs visit.
Invest in a good baby gate. My dad gave me one that doesn't mount to the walls permanently and sure enough Shiro turned it over.
Good luck picking the perfect puppy!
I just kind of guessed at the vet costs; whenever we take our cats to the vet it's around $150 for something or another. Usually they just get poked and checked for worms and temperature, body weight, etc. Kitty physical. Although, maybe it's so costly because we do senior bloodwork once a year and usually have to get medicine for some infection Torry has contracted from an oppossum or fox. >_< I will definitely start an emergency fund as soon as I start to take in some money. I'm looking into selling some of the hats I make for extra funds. :3 But, if anything like that were to happen, I think my parents would help me out. Emergency Christmas gift, or something. Heh. I'm willing to pay up to $800 for a puppy... if I can't find one for that price or lower from a trusted breeder, hopefully my family can throw some money as a birthday gift. It's awesome having my birthday right when the semester ends.
I put down the car harness for the longer trips; for trips to the woods, the crate is necessary! I may try to find one on freecycle and just keep a spare crate in my trunk, heh. Speaking of freecycle, thanks for all the advice on saving money!
So far we have had to pay about $300 for all of Jet's vaccinations and vet visits and he is all set until he needs his booster shots next August. This included the vet fee, shots, getting microchipped, and flea/heartworm meds (was buying 1 each time we visited the vet). We also went to the local SPCA to get him neutered and the $50 fee went up an extra $20 since they found out he was cryptorchid (like the puppy above). We also paid the $27 for the e-collar so he couldn't like and pain meds. So it was only $100 for his to get neutered there vs. our vet wanted to charge $350. All of these expenses really depend on the puppy you get and the vets/SPCA in your area. I also know that the SPCA near us does low cost shots where they are a few dollars cheaper and don't charge a vet visit fee. This might be something to also look into.


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