What breed should I get?

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.

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Member Since
Barked: Tue Sep 18, '12 11:55pm PST 
Hello dog experts! I've long wanted a dog and my living situation finally allows it. Hope you can give some 2 cents on what breed is fit for me. Here are my requirements

- healthy. Do not want to deal with cancer at age 3.

- smart and trainable. I'd like to do more than just sit roll fetch. Fewer repetitions to "get it".

- great temperament. Calm,bond with me, absolutely no mental issues like "afraid of shopping cart" or some such nonsense.

- jogging companion

- puppy. This puppy is going to be "practice baby" before I decide to have kids.

- get along with my cat

- medium to long coat. Absolutely love the sensation of running my fingers through fur.

Wow that is a long list!! Right now the leading choice for me is royalair GSDs but they are kind of large, and I've had a GSD before. There are so many dog breeds out there! Am open to suggestions!! If you can suggest breeders that would be great too!!

Edited by author Tue Sep 18, '12 11:57pm PST

Rocky *CGC*- With the- angels.

Gone but never,- ever forgotten- xxx
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 1:54am PST 
Hi puppy

Firstly, nearly everything you mentioned is down to you bringing up the dog properly...

Smart and trainable... All dogs are smart and trainable. But the main issue is, are you smart enough to train certain breeds of dogs? Lol, I don't mean that in a horrible way, it's just some breeds are more 'testing' than others... Patience is key puppy

Temperament? Yeah, some dogs are bred to have an amazing temperament but it's also down to socialisation... If you introduce the puppy to shopping carts early on, it won't become afraid of them but you can't expect a dog, who has never seem one before, to be absolutely fine with it... Socialise your puppy in as many different places as possible.

Jogging buddy? A puppy isn't going to be able to go jogging with you until it is fully grown, maybe not for the first year of it's life...

A long coat? Some breeds come in long and short haired varieties puppy

But all in all, have you thought about Golden retrievers or anything in the Collie range?

Most herders and retrieving breeds were bred to work along with people so are very highly trainable... Still training can be difficult with any breed and there's no such thing as quick training!

Good luck!

Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 7:21am PST 
The "practice baby" part is a bit concerning. As you know, dogs aren't kids and they live a long time .... so please plan to commit to the full 12-16 years you'll have it, even after children. A lot changes when the baby comes so if you are planning on having kids in the future - knowing you'll have the time, energy, and finances for a young dog should be a HUGE consideration.

Have you considered rescue or adoption?

Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 7:32am PST 
Dogs and babies are nothing alike. If they were I wouldn't have dogs. I really can't see how a dog could help you decide if you want kids. Looking after other people's kids could help you decide that, it sure cured me.

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 8:00am PST 
I agree that dogs don't stand in for kids. I'm also concerned and here's why: In my area the number one reason for owner surrender of a pet dog to a shelter or AC is that the couple had a baby. That is absolutely no reason to decide that one is no longer responsible for a dog. Acquiring a pet dog is a committment that lasts for the dog's entire life, sometimes 12-15 years. I'm not saying the OP would do that. It's just so dreadfully common around here to get a dog to 'practice' on when a couple is young, they have a baby and then dump the dog...usually when it's an undertrained, active, adolescent dog that's not easy to place due to behavioral issues. Or the couple breaks up and dumps the dog. Sorry, I've just seen it more times than I can count after the dog is past it's 'cute puppy' stage. It's all over craigslist, too, so the real number is actually higher than what's accounted for in shelter/AC stats.

Most people are more successful if they have the kids first, especially if they're planned for in the near future, and then add a dog once the kids are past the toddler stage and can learn how to behave around dogs or even help train and care for them.

Were the GSDs you've had dogs that you were directly responsible for, including all costs and vetting associated with owning a dog? Are there reasons you don't want to stick with GSDs?

Lady Killer
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 8:15am PST 
What previous posters have said: Dogs are not like kids. They are two completely different animals.

Also, most of what you had mentioned about what you want in a breed aren't really breed characteristics. Any dog breed can become afraid of shopping carts on walks. It all really comes down to how you train it.

Though, I have to say that herding dogs are more likely to "get it" with training, but that really comes down to the individual dog's personality as well.

Good luck smile

Edited by author Wed Sep 19, '12 8:15am PST


The Muddy- Princess
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 9:10am PST 
I agree that puppies should not be "practice babies" and NEED to be obtained with the wholehearted commitment of a lifetime, but I have been thinking recently that if you eventually want to have a dog and children it is a good idea to get the pup say three years before your first baby. This is especially true for retrievers since they are little landsharks as pups, but as adults (over say 2.5 y.o.) they are typically fantastic with young children. I think in the end in comes down to if you are really going to be dog people.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 7:26pm PST 
I have to agree with all the previous posters. Dogs are not children and nothing like children. I have dogs instead of kids, because I can better afford them.

Cost less
Don't talk back(well.. so to speak)
Can be left home alone

Children cost a lot, take up all your free time and social life more than a dog would, they're often noisier, cannot be left home alone, etc.

If dogs were children, I probably wouldn't have dogs either. laugh out loud

All the other posters hit the nail on the head. It's concerning that you want a dog as a 'practice baby' because they're nothing like that. Babysitting BABIES will get you that practice, not a dog. It's 10-15 years of commitment. Dogs are a lot of responsibility, just like children, but they're NOT the same type of responsibility - hard to explain that one.

And yes, most of your wants do come with how you raise or train your pooch.
Ava & Nix

Suburban Farm- Dogs
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 8:00pm PST 
Agreeing with everyone else that dogs and kids are nothing alike and a puppy shouldn't be viewed as a "practice baby." They're so different--you could raise the best dog the world has ever seen, but still be completely and totally unprepared for a human baby. Likewise you could raise some pretty good kids but be totally clueless on how to raise a dog. It's just like when parents will give their kid a pet rock as a "practice hamster." One won't prepare you for the other. smile

Most of the things you mentioned in the first post have more to do with how well you socialize and train your puppy when it's young. Smart is relative.. There's lots of smart breeds, but a Husky is a TOTALLY different type of "smart" from a Golden Retriever, for example. They're both trainable, but you can't train them the same way, if that makes sense. A husky is far more stubborn. They love their owners, but if they don't see the point to a trick, they won't do it. laugh out loud On the other hand, a typical Golden would do just about anything without question if it would make you happy. Border Collies are considered the most intelligent breed, but they're a breed known for being sensitive to the point of emotionally fragile. They don't take well to harsh training. At the same time though, they'll take advantage of you if you let them.

I'd spend more time thinking about what smart really means to you, and it will help narrow things down. smile

A larger dog like a GSD or Collie won't be good for a jogging buddy, or any strenuous activity really, until it's at least 1 or even 2 years old when it's done growing and the growth plates are closed. You don't want to put strain on a pup's joints until then.

Edited by author Wed Sep 19, '12 8:03pm PST


Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
Barked: Wed Sep 19, '12 10:45pm PST 
Jewel applause laugh out loud
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