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Old 07-24-2009, 08:47 PM   #1
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Default I need your help choosing a dog! :)

Hi everyone, I am new to this forum so thought I would kill 2 birds with one stone and firstly introduce myself, and secondly beg you all for your help because I am really struggling!

My name is Kate, I am getting married in July 2010 to the man i have been with for 5 years. We have gone back and forth for the last 2 years about getting a dog.

I grew up with a Border Collie called Dennis (who is still alive and still acts like a pup despite being 12!) and when I moved out 4 1/2 years ago I really missed the companionship of having a dog.

Unfortunately we were in rented accommodation at the time so it wasnt something we could consider but since we bought our first home 2 years ago my desire to have my own best friend has just intensified!

The problem is that it never occurred to me just how much thought needs to go in to choosing a breed. Everytime we think we have decided something else comes out about the breed that seriously turns us off and i was hoping that as a bunch of people with all kinds of dogs, you could give me some kind of direction!

Although we have no children yet, we probably will in about 5 years and so I first and foremost need a dog that can be left with small children and wont be tempted to bite when they inevitably pull and play! We also have friends with small children and i would never forgive myself if theygot injured as a result of my pet.

Now i understand that a dog is generally moulded based on the way that you train it and have control over the dog but there are some breeds that act on impulse and if im not in the room i need to be able to trust that dog not to react to a poke in the eye or pull of the tail.

Secondly, I have 2 cats, one who thinks he's a dog and another who we never see. They have been around dogs in the past and would get over the shock within a week but again i cannot have a dog that is going to natually want to eat my babies!

if this wasnt enough, there are specific things that the dog we buy must be/have in order to appeal to both me and my partner...

1.) Short haired (must not shed excessively as neither of us have the time or inclination to hoover everyday!)
2.)above mentioned temperament that can be trusted with cats/children etc
3.)must be no smaller than a Border Collie as my other half threatens to cook and eat small dogs (he thinks they;re too feminine and he wants a "man" dog
4.)Must not be too hyper active or need excessive amounts of excercise as they are likely to get short road walks during the week and long woodland or field walks at the weekend
5.) My partner works full time and i have gone back to university so am a full time student and part time worker so it needs to be ok to be left for a few hours at a time in between shifts (refers back to hyper breeds as i cant have them chewing my house to pieces while im out!)
6.)dont want a "boring" dog like a labrador, we want something a little more interesting (no offence intended to lab owners, they are lovely, just not our style )
7.) Generally a breed that is known for good health as we cannot afford regular vets bills even with pet insurance


Our main dogs of consideration so far have been:

Boxer, GSD, Dalmatian, Springer Spaniel, Burmese Mountain Dog

As you can see, the mountain dog and the spaniel are generally longer haired and my other half isnt too keen, boxer have lots of health problems particularly breathing etc.

We have heard horror stories about never trusting a GSD with kids or cats so we dont know if we should risk it although it is something we both were really intereseted in.

And the dalmation ticks all the boxes except that they shed excessively and are apparently a nightmare to get rid of the hair and have a lot of eergy as they were bred as running dogs and we are afraid it would get restless.

I know this is very long winded but we are desperate for some kind of guidance so please! Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! im sure there are a tonne of things i havent considered and i know that we may never find something that fits everything but there must be something close!

Thanks for your help guys!

Kate

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Old 07-24-2009, 09:06 PM   #2
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Hi Kate and welcome to the forum!

Good for you giving this so much thought before jumping in! Little kids and dog often don't mix, so you can't be too careful when choosing a dog. So many people unfortunately get a dog, don't bother to train it properly, then have a child and realize they have a problem on their hands when they can't cope with the dog and the child. I'm sure you'll get some good advice and to help we're moving the thread to a more general section and changing the title slightly.

Good luck!
Jean
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Old 07-25-2009, 08:20 AM   #3
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Hey there!! andf good luck on your search. TBH most of your favourite breeds dont seem to mesh with your lifestyle do they?
You may have to compromise on breed to get a dog that is suitable for you. Also I think semi LH breeds shed less, usually about twice a year as opposed to SH which can be all year round!!
Are you eligible to rescue?, might be a good option..

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Old 07-25-2009, 09:41 AM   #4
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Hi Kate and :welome: aboard glad that you have. joined us. I personaly would never leave a dog with a child till the child was old enough and responsible enough to be able to look after the dog and correct it's behaviour if necessary! Because you can never be too sure what's going to happen when a child and dog is left alone it just sin't work the risk. As for a Feminine dog that bothers your oh? I think a dog should be choosen by both of you. A puppy might pose a problem especialy if you have to leave if for even a few hrs a day. So Rescuing might be a optition but do your history checks where you can to aviod problems later Training too is extremely important ond both of you should be responsible for this it's won't be easy but put the effort in and time in it will reap rewards log term Pick a dog that will suit your lifestyle and pocket Best of luck to you both in your search for a dog.
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:19 AM   #5
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I was going to advice a Bernese Mountain Dog even before reading it in your list of favourites it's one of my favourite breeds too, the ones I know are very good with children!

I smaller short haired version is the Entlebuch Cattle Dog, from what I know and from direct experience with a male owned by a relative of mine, they are also very patient with children, with the necessary supervision all dogs require:

http://www.entlebucher.org/


Another breed I would advice looking at your priorities is the White Swiss Shepherd:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Shepherd_Dog
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:17 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your help so far. I did look into rescue dogs but a lot of them that we have seen are not very good with cats or they are things like Staff's which isnt really what we are looking for. My mother in law rescued a couple of dogs in the past and both had bad health problems in the end and it was quite heartbreaking in the end so i dont know if i could handle finally getting a dog of my own and losing it to an unknown illness a year or two later.

i know that the comment about leaving the dog with children seemed a silly idea but we have friends with small children, the youngest being 18 months and up and there are obviously some occasions at that age when they run off and if they get to the dog before i do i dont want a dog whose natural instinct is to bite! lol

I will be home most of the time while the dog is a puppy but obviously no-one can stay home 24 hours a day hence the non-high activity dog theory

the problem is, given my way i would love to have a GSD. I think they are beautiful breed but everyone i have spoken to has told me what a terrible idea it is to have a gsd becasue they can turn viscious etc etc. Is this even true? i know there are a lot of breeds who get a bad reputation but i am a willing and able person to train a dog properly, I ahve always been very assertive with my mothers dog and even my cats know what they shoud and shouldnt do!

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Old 07-25-2009, 07:54 PM   #7
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Hi There

German shepherd dogs in my circle have an excellent track record with children if bought up with them and socialised well, they are very family orientated but this is as with all dogs the better socialised they are the better they tollorate things. But I dont think a GSD would be suitable due to the amount of exercise you can give it. Despite what OH would like a smaller dog would be a better option, westie, mini schnauzer, or beleive it or not a labby and they are so not boreing if you bring them up to love loads of exercise my friend has a black lab and she is beautiful and is the best with children, also you might think about a border terrier lovely little dogs, although I think although small do need a fair bit of exercise

Keep us posted
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Old 07-26-2009, 01:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K9_Kate View Post
4.)Must not be too hyper active or need excessive amounts of excercise as they are likely to get short road walks during the week and long woodland or field walks at the weekend

7.) Generally a breed that is known for good health as we cannot afford regular vets bills even with pet insurance
Our main dogs of consideration so far have been:

Boxer, GSD, Dalmatian, Springer Spaniel, Burmese Mountain Dog
Hi kate & welcome to the forum. I would delete Boxer from your list - they do need a lot of exercise otherwise you are just asking for trouble.

No matter what breed you get there is always going to be that 'vet visit' due to some incident. So please think very carefully about your financial situation before getting a dog whether from a breeder or rescue. Sadly, there are already far too many unwanted dogs in rescue homes some due to the financial commitment it takes to care for your pet.

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Old 07-26-2009, 03:11 AM   #9
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Default What about...

a great dane? They are large, tend to have nice temperaments, and have very short hair. All the ones I've met have been great with kids and cats too

GSD's need to be brushed out a lot and they shed a LOT. Bernese mtn dogs also need to be brushed often as they tend to get mats in their thick coat. Boxers are crazy (in a clown way, but still, crazy), and in my experience, dalmatians are not great with kids. All the ones I've known have been snippy and kind of independent.

Otherwise I would suggest getting a mix-breed dog that has traits of the breeds you love. I like mutts the best anyway because they are unique!

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Old 07-26-2009, 03:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K9_Kate View Post
the problem is, given my way i would love to have a GSD. I think they are beautiful breed but everyone i have spoken to has told me what a terrible idea it is to have a gsd becasue they can turn viscious etc etc. Is this even true?

it can be true, if they are not breed properly! Some show line have gone through a selective breeding for appearances only, and these dogs often have a nervous character and bad temperament. At the same time some extreme work lines from Eastern Europe such as DDR are way too hyperactive and hard to handle. I'd stay away from american lines both for healt and temperament problems. If you want a GDS with the characteristic you listed, I would go for a good West German bloodline breed for family dogs and working dogs. They can settle down for a quiet lifestyle, but they are active dogs... This does not mean they can't stay home alone during the day!

Or I would go for the White Swiss Shepherd, I put the link in my previous post, It's basically the white version of the GSD but he's quieter, more patient, less active and more of a family and children dog. Plus, you have very good blood lines there in USA!
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