Picking a breed

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: Tue Aug 28, '12 10:43am PST 
Ok, this isn't my question, it's my uncle's. He going into retirement soon, and wants a dog, and he asked me to help him find a breed. But I'd like to hear other people's suggestions. The dog has to be
-low shedding
-fairly good on recall and walking off-lead
-decent amount of energy (likes long walks)
-doesn't need constant mental stimulation
-good with other dogs
-not too much grooming
- preferably medium sized, although a STURDY small dog could be good
-can deal with playful teasing
I know it's a lot, but I'm trying to help him laugh out loud
He lives alone for the large part, his daughters sometimes come to stay (they're 18 and 20)

Tail Waggin'- Mutt
Barked: Tue Aug 28, '12 1:11pm PST 
How about a Beagle? They are average shedders. Like any dog, they need to be trained to have a good recall and need to be trained to walk off leash. Beagles can definitely be trained to do both. Beagles love to go on long walks and enjoy plenty of play time and exercise. All dogs need to be mentally stimulated in some way. Beagles are usually good with other dogs. Beagles don't require a ton of grooming as they are short haired breeds of dogs but do need to be brushed on a weekly basis. Beagles are medium sized dogs and they love play time.

Edited by author Tue Aug 28, '12 1:22pm PST

Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Wed Aug 29, '12 7:02pm PST 
For what you want, I disagree with Howard completely.

A Beagle would not fit. You want good recall? It may come with training, and yes, some Beagles are the exception when it comes to off leash training, but for the most part, their ears TURN OFF when their nose turns on. For everything else, the Beagle could work....

One problem... You want a dog that doesn't need a lot of mental stimulation? What kind of mental stimulation are we talking here? I understand a Border Collie would need too much... But a Beagle WILL get bored without mental and physical stimulation and a bored Beagle = a destructive Beagle. ANY dog will - so how much can be provided? If you want a dog with energy, it's going to need mental stimulation too.

I'll give an example. I got my Beagle at eight months old. He went to doggy daycare(I worked there), with me from 7:30am to 6:30pm(playing constantly), then we went home for dinner, then out again on a two hour walk, a stop at the dog park during said walk, and home again for bed and then we'd be up and starting over the next morning. And yes, we walked to and from my work to boot. This on top of training him, and teaching him tricks.

He's five years old next month, knows over forty commands and is only now at the point where he can be happily lazy on the couch all day, or hiking for several hours. And he's the exception to the breed! My foster dog required A LOT more, although he was only two years.

Really, more info is needed in order to suggest a good breed. How much exercise CAN and WILL be provided? How much mental stimulation can be provided too? It sounds like a good, older rescue may be the best route for your uncle.

Edited by author Wed Aug 29, '12 7:03pm PST



Barked: Wed Aug 29, '12 7:33pm PST 
My initial thought was Beagle too ... minus the off-leash part and they do shed.

I hate reading the low or no shedding criteria - because it automatically eliminates so many wonderful breeds. If there aren't allergies in the household, I think people tend to better manage with a little extra fluff around the house than the think. Both my dogs are known shedders - but the hair has never been a big problem. A little extra sweeping perhaps, but easily managed with daily brushing.

I think your uncle would be a great contender for a rescue pup! Perhaps a smaller lab or heeler mix. Start looking on Petfinder for dogs to get a feel for whats out there. And visit a couple (not just one) shelter or humane society and talk them about what he is looking for. Good luck smile

Member Since
Barked: Thu Aug 30, '12 6:17am PST 
Yeah, I mean like a collie's requirements for mental stimulation.

Barked: Thu Aug 30, '12 6:37am PST 
What about a good staffordshire bull terrier, not an amstaff a bit smaller, the only issue might be with other dogs but plenty can learn to live with other dogs. Not much grooming required but they obviously do shed a bit.

Border terrier not much grooming just hand stripped every few months and not much in between, can be taught recall if you start from a puppy. Were bred to live and work with the foxhound packs so not much DA issues.

Barked: Fri Aug 31, '12 3:13am PST 
I agree with Charlie, definitely do NOT get a beagle (or any scent hound) and expect it to be good off leash without TONS of work, and maybe not ever.

Has your uncle owned dogs before? How much experience does he have with training? No dog will be good off leash without training.

Also, what does playful teasing mean?

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Fri Aug 31, '12 6:09am PST 
You're describing many rescue pups I've known. So many great mixes fit the criteria; spaniel mixes, smaller amstaffs or bull terriers (as mentioned above) even lab/pit mixes. I've got a lot of medium sized rescued lab/pit mixes in my extended family and they really are easy keepers. They need an average length daily walk, about a half hour to an hour, but they do have great off switches indoors. They are not overly demanding of mental stimulation, just average ball and tug sessions, that type of interactive game keeps them very happy. They do shed, ofcourse, but not crazy amounts. They are plentiful in shelters right now, and if he likes black doggies you can probably find dozens in your local area without too much trouble, I bet.

How does he feel about companion dogs? there are also a lot of small breed mixes in rescues that would fit nicely here as well. I would even recommend a rescued greyhound, but they might be a bit too big for his size range...

To help him narrow it down, maybe sit down with him and run a petfinder search and see what type of dog sparks his interest and go from there?