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Old 02-13-2008, 10:34 AM   #1
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Question Need to know about good family dogs....

Hi! I'm new to this forum, and I am not a dog owner (yet). We are however, on the lookout for a GREAT family dog (has to be great with toddlers and infants, especially), great watchdog, and if possible a good guard dog if the case arises. Do you have any suggestions, experiences, or advice? Any will be appreciated! Thank you in advance.

By the way....my favorite from reading about dog breeds are so far the American Bulldog, but are they that good with kids, especially very young ones? They look so big and intimidating, that I am so afraid they might be bad with kids. And, I can't afford to spend that much....maybe $200 max on a dog and of course, things they need. So, are rescue pure breds safe? Aren't they rejected cuz they were abused or have issues or will have issues because of being abused from past owners?

As you can see, I am quite a newbie with dogs, so every advice, suggestion, etc will be great!

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Old 02-13-2008, 10:55 AM   #2
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Hi geo mod and welcome to the forum.
This question seems to come up a lot.
As far as breeds go, some make better watchdogs than others - the retrievers I've known make terrible watchdogs. Most dogs would protect their owners from a real threat though if push came to shove. People have been surprised sometiems how their dog who wouldn't hurt a fly out of nowhere attacked a real intruder and then went back to being a marshmallow.
Whether a dog is good with kids or not especially little ones has more to do with how they were trained as puppies than with breeds. The rule is never to leave dogs and little kids alone though, no matter how good you think your dog may be with kids.
Finally, if $200 is all you want to spend, I think your only option is your local humane society. So your chances of getting a purebred are slim, but you might be able to find a bully mix. And not all dogs at the shelters have issues. Some do from past abuse and if you are not willing to take on that baggage I understand. But some are in there for other reasons, like their owners are moving somewhere that doesn't allow dogs, getting a divorce etc. So there is a good chance you can find a great dog, pre-trained who would love nothing more than a second chance at a home.
That's my anyway!
Good luck!
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:01 PM   #3
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With babies and toddlers, I would, as a general rule, avoid herding dogs (unless the shelter knows it has experience with kids). They like to try and herd the toddlers (to keep them safe and protected) but have been known to nip, or bowl over, children not going where they think they should go.

Please remember, it is just as important that you teach the kids to be good with dogs as it is for the dogs to be good with kids. No matter how sweet the dog, too many ear tugs, tail pulls, interrupted naps, etc, can lead to problems. If the dog growls, do not correct the dog (he's giving fair warning) correct the child.

And as a little side note, think about what you want most in a dog. I grew up with a wonderful family dog (German Shepard), who was both a watch and guard dog for my brother and I, but he was most definitely NOT a kids' dog. Playing and romping were only done with my father. The rest of the time, he was on duty.
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Old 02-13-2008, 02:39 PM   #4
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Hi and Welcome to the Dog Forum. For us to pick a breed for you would be totally wrong.

My saying is: A puppy is only as good of an Adult as the Owner makes it to be!!! Having said this, some breeds can be totally ruled out as a simple suggestion a Mastiff!!! I certainly would NOT recommend a Neopolitan Mastiff at all. Some breeds are for experienced folks to own and raise with even some help from a good trainer.

I have seen mean in alot of good breeds, not being brought up properly being socialized correctly. so, we do not want to put down any top breeds as mentioned a German Shepherd. I have many in children homes doing super great. I have seen some darn right nastey smaller breeds that bite the ankels, faces of children and my oldest daughter is prof of that with a scar on his cheek from a peek my mom owned.

So, I would researched like dogbreedersinfo.com and maybe read this link also: http://best-dog-breed-for-children.com/cb.html
Decided by reading about breeds and rent videos, contact some trainers advice and people you know that own certain breeds. If your wanting a purebred dog, keep in mind that a good breeder will tell you all you want to hear, so beware and get references on the Breeder and check them out.

If not, go to a shelter and look. Make certain the dog has been temperment checked for all things including children. so many are adopted only to be returned as they do not work out for kids. You must instruct your children if you get a puppy to raise that they do not jump and squeel to frighten the pup for a time till it gets used to them.

I wish you the best and think long and hard and a dog is a big time job and investment of alot of time, expense etc. I think it is wonderful children are raised with a dog as I hate to be walking one or two of my Shepherds only to run into a few children that start screaming in fear of a dog. Get some good advise in your area from reputable people and trainers and read the net also.

If you need further advice on looking please ask, but try and decide what fits your needs with children as no dog is child prof or bite prof.
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