Help Finding the Right Dog

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.


Member Since
Barked: Sun Jul 22, '12 9:15pm PST 
Hi there! I am a 25-year old graduate student who plans to get a dog within the next two months. I am looking for advice regarding a breed that would work well given my lifestyle.

I am looking for a dog that:
- Is a good jogging/hiking companion
- Will not become depressed if I am school for long hours
- Is relatively low maintenance (doesn't shed; doesn't need daily baths)
- Will be okay living in a smaller space without a yard-- e.g. apartment
- Friendly; Not a hunter
- Is a good traveler

The Boy Wonder
Barked: Mon Jul 23, '12 2:02pm PST 
I'll take a hand at giving you my thoughts on what you have on your list and what you don't.

First -

-Any healthy dog of a decent size (and many smaller dogs) can make a good lite jogging and hiking partner. Some of your more active breeds are going to make better jogging/hiking dogs, However with increased activity requires more diligence to make sure the dog is getting enough exercise

- As a rule most dogs don't like being left alone all day, some breeds are quieter in the house than others. But being that you won't have time to do the raising I'm going to recommend you go with an adult rescue who can be fit closest to your lifestyle.

- All dogs shed to some degree, however if you don't want to do a lot of brushing and want a dog that is more wash and wear you're looking at smooth coated dogs.

- Many breeds can make good apartment dogs depending on how much you are willing to walk with, and play with the dog. Look into local parks that you can play in, or even in the right cases a dog park. This and being left alone most of the day limits your options coupled with the first desire of a jogging partner.

- I'm not sure what you're looking for with Friendly, and non hunter. Are you looking for a dog that is trustworthy off lead with small animals, which is Mostly a training issue coupled with prey drive, or are you wanting a dog that can live in the house with small animals? this is again training and management on your part. Please clarify this part

- Good travelers depend more on individual dogs rather than a breed.


Now my questions for you.

What size dog are you looking for?
Do you want a dog that is great with strangers or more aloof?
Do you need/want a dog that is good with other small house animals?
Do you want a dog that is good with children?
How trainable do you want your dog to be?
Do you plan on doing obedience classes?
Would you consider any dog sports with your dog?

Without more to go on it's hard to pick a breed right off for you but based on you wanting a good apartment dog, that enjoy's walks and hiking but is quiet most of the day in the house I'd recommend a rescue greyhound. Things to know is they are Not off leash dogs. They are not generally good with small animals, though some are considered cat safe, and can be Managed in a household with small pets. They do come in a range of colors and even size as small females can be 35lbs's or so and large males can top 70lbs at times.

If you weren't going to be gone long hours I'd add smooth coated collies to the list as they are good with people and animals alike and are nice low key dogs that love their people. However they are very prone to separation anxiety. You might still talk to a few rescues and mention your requirements as sometimes you'll find adults that are better at this than others.

Barked: Tue Jul 24, '12 3:31am PST 
If you're going to be gone long hours at school anytime in the next couple months I hope you go with an adult dog instead oof a puppy. It's just so much easier for everyone that way.

I wouldn't get to caught up looking at any particular breed... if it were me I'd look around at shelters or rescues in the area and see if any dogs interested me. There are a lot of really nice dogs out there, mixed and purebred that need homes. Since a lot of them are mixed they might be little like the breed they are listed as anyway. The nice thing about getting an adult is it's easier to tell what you're getting. You already know how active they are, how much coat they have, how friendly they are, how much prey drive they have, and more. You can tell some with a puppy, but it's often more of a gamble.

And adults often come housebroken. BIG advantage smile