GO!

Doing my research for a potential First 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.

  
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Zoe

Have Beach, Will- Swim
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 8:24am PST 
Oh wow, so many great suggestions! You guys are awesome.

It's looking like, in general, my best option is to write some of these breeds down and look at rescues, and also browse Mix Breeds. I've grown up with two Mix Breeds and they are the greatest! Believe me, I know that prey drive is something that's very hard to get under control... our family dog, Tobi, is a rat terrier/dachshund mix and he is a TERROR with small animals, we've been trying to break him of that since we first brought him home but that mix of breed just means he's way too focused to really snap him out of it. So terriers are definitely going to be avoided.

The rabbit IS familiar with dogs, his owner's family had two pomeranians and they both pretty much ignored each other.

I'm kind of torn as far as age goes because getting a slightly older dog would help find me something that's a bit more mellow, but it'd also be nice to get a puppy because then I could raise it around the rabbit and hopefully adapt it to small animals, which is what I was hoping to do if I went with a Shiba... are there any Shiba owners out there who have experience with that aspect of things?

I feel really bad saying this but Cocker Spaniels are kind of low on the list, I had a pretty bad experience with one when I was younger and I haven't been particularly fond of them since. Every dog is different though, so I haven't completely counted them out. My neighbors have a Springer who's a doll, but from what I've seen of them they require a lot of exercise and most importantly roaming space, so I'm not sure it fits my situation.

I like the idea of a Keeshond! My brother's girlfriend had a Keeshond who was awesome, I'll look into them some more. A German Shepard sounds great too if I can find a more mellow individual.

The exercise thing is pretty flexible, I capped my exercising potential at 1 hour simply because I currently live a very lazy lifestyle, but part of the reason I want a dog is because having one convinces me to go out on a more regular schedule and for much longer; when I'm at home, I have a lot more fun going for walks if I bring my dog with me, so it's likely that with a pooch of my own I would be willing to extend that exercise time past that; I just wanted to cap it because it's hard to say what will and won't happen in the future, you know? hahah.

Edited by author Sat Oct 6, '12 8:25am PST

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Miyu CGC

Bow down to the- Princess Brat!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 8:44am PST 
smile Everybody gave really great advice, especially Mulder and Niki. I concur with whoever suggested meeting as many of these kinds as you can. Find meet and greets, or dog shows, talk to the people at the rescues as well.

I still think a grey MIGHT work, but it is harder with the rabbit, though you did say you might be moving soon. Definitely never leave them unsupervised. Emphasize your dog needs to be small animal friendly.

I have a white GSD, and feel a bit silly for not plugging GSDs like Mulder. My girl is perfect for our home. She has the capacity to do a lot, but also does very well on moderate exercise and is willing to be super chill the rest of the time. She is great with our cats, but the cats have claws. Bunnies... don't. I really don't know how she'd do with one, and I would watch VERY closely. She's about 3, is the rescue's best estimate. She is very people friendly, but I am careful when I take her out for walks after dark. In general I don't let people approach us, or pet her, as that protective instinct comes out. It's great as it means she'll keep us safe if anything ever happens, but it's also not something I want to risk- her getting sharp on somebody who walks past us and decides to try for a drive by petting (of a strange dog! in the dark! argh! True story.) But she's wonderful at home, so smart, very loving, and I can literally do ANYTHING with her. I don't know if they're too large for you, but we were talking greys and chows, so... gsds fit right in.
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Zoe

Have Beach, Will- Swim
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 8:55am PST 
oooh I'm REALLY liking the idea of a GSD. Something that could protect me after dark would be GREAT, especially since Mass doesn't let me carry pepper spray with me! Maybe there is a rescue in the area who will work with me puppy
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Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 9:00am PST 
I am quite frankly surprised at the suggestions of chow, gsd, or greyhound. Not so much the greyhound..except for the rabbit part laugh out loud Neither chows nor gsds are what I would consider starter dogs.
I suggest you contact a rescue & tell them what you want & explain your situation. A mixed breed that is in foster care could wind up being your ideal first dog.
You could find a young adult who has been proven reliable around rabbits, and a house full of people.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 9:06am PST 
Contact me! SERIOUSLY! I am in RI, and adopt many dogs up your way via my rescue, Southpaws Express. Also a very skilled matcher....people here will vouch for me....so what you want, I can find! way to go Because of the roommate situation, I would suggest an adult, as if they are not doggie, puppies being what they are....PUPPIES laugh out loud....may be a little bit much wink

Are you from Barrington? My sister lives there and we actually just adopted a puppy to a Barrington-er smile

Edited by author Sat Oct 6, '12 9:08am PST

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Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 9:23am PST 
Tiller hug applause cheer
OP..I would seriously contact Tiller. She has an amazing amount of breed knowledge & will bend over backwards to make sure you get the most wonderful dog, ever!
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Zoe

Have Beach, Will- Swim
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 9:31am PST 
That would be awesome! Yeah, my hometown is Barrington and it is where my parents still live so I'm in the area quite a bit. Acquiring a dog won't be happening for a while, not until after I graduate, but I'd love to add you on here and contact you when the time is right X)
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 12:54pm PST 
Chows are a behavioral hot mess when mishandled. Potentially VERY sharp dogs. I work with a veterinary behaviorist at times when they need another handler and I've been on several Chow consults. Most of the serious ones have been raised from puppyhood by inexperienced yet well-meaning folks and the dog is by adolescence seriously out of hand. Never would I recommend them as a first dog to be raised/handled. Same goes for a GSD. Their adolescence and fear periods when not handled well can really just about ruin a dog; the resulting behavior mod work takes much time and patience.

In this case I'd go with an older rescue, at least past the puppy/adolescent stage. That way you have a better idea of the dog's behavior around small animals, kids, roomies etc. Plus there are so many wonderful dogs languishing in rescues and shelters who would do very well and live happily in your situation. Please do contact dogster Tiller when you're ready. Their rescue is very experienced at assessing temperaments properly because their dogs are fostered in a home setting. They've got an excellent record of matching highly adoptable, sweet dogs with the right people. Best of luck to you in finding a great dog!
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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 1:39pm PST 
Precisely why everyone has been recommending an older rescue dog from a foster smile

There are individuals within any breed with any dog that can fit your criteria, you just need to select a dog who's temperament is already established and well known.
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Zoe

Have Beach, Will- Swim
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 2:46pm PST 
I'm totally down with this idea... plus, there are way too many older dogs trapped in a system where most people only want puppies, so if i can give a slightly older dog a home that'd be pretty fantastic! Tiller, I'll be sure to keep in touch with you as well as any other breed specific rescues in my area and see what happens I guess!
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