Well... choosing 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.


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Barked: Sat Oct 13, '12 4:43pm PST 
I want to buy a dog, but realize that my lifestyle is somewhat restrictive to dogs. I live in a condo by myself, but often have company over (including children at times). I go for an hour long jog at least every other day and would like a companion. I work 8 hours a day and the commute is not short (about 30 min each way). There isn't an outdoor area that the dog can freely go to during the day, but I don't mind giving the dog mostly free reign of the condo when I'm not home and I will take the dog outside regularly. I strongly prefer little to no shedding and for size would like something small enough to chill on the couch with.

I did some research and it seems to be that any dog expert says, "Your environment is not suited for dogs" Most of them say that because I leave the dog alone for eight hours a day. I might get two or more dogs in the long run, but for now would like to stick with one.

My research seems to point towards either a West Highland White Terrier or a Miniature Schnauzer and I am leaning towards the Westie. Nevertheless, I realize that internet research is trumped by actual experience every time, so that is why I came here. Opinions?

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Sat Oct 13, '12 5:06pm PST 
Retired rescue Greyhound. They are referred to as 40 mile an hour couch potatoessmile Just because they are not exactly little, doesn't mean they can't be couch cuddlerssmile

ETA we would need to know more about your dog personality preferences ( high energy, dog friendly, easy to train ect) to know if the Westie or Schnauzer would work thinking

Edited by author Sat Oct 13, '12 5:10pm PST


Member Since
Barked: Sat Oct 13, '12 5:56pm PST 
I'm pretty open to personality. The less aggressive the better as I may have children over and I may get more dogs in the future. I generally like higher energy dogs, but many high energy dogs suffer from separation anxiety, so I can't be too picky.


Spooky Mulder
Barked: Sat Oct 13, '12 9:09pm PST 
In your situation either would work (Westie or Mini), but with the stipulation that you consider an older dog from an EXCEPTIONAL breeder, or an older rescue.

The problem with being gone 8 hours a day, isn't that dogs can't handle it... its that a puppy simply requires more attention in that time than most are willing to give. Now, if you are able to come home somewhere between those hours, perhaps on a lunch break, then that might be more reasonable. But an 8-12 week old puppy cannot else should not be left alone for that stretch of time on a consistent basis.

However, an older dog who is already house broken and can hold its bladder, and who is past its puppy teething stage, would be a perfect candidate.

Schnauzers and Westies are not uncommon in rescue either, and you can certainly find individuals who are accepting with children. In my experience, both breeds can be a little sharp with disrespectful children, but there ARE individuals, especially when raised with kids, who are very warm and tolerant. It also helps that both are relatively sturdy breeds (both being either terriers or terrier-like) who aren't as easy for kids to "break" so to speak.

I know a foster here who just had a Mini dropped of at their rescue because the owner went into hospice. Ultra sweet, clingy, and very even tempered. I got to meet her at an event, where she had near constant contact with a variety of people (including children), and she was VERY civil, very polite, and perfectly happy to greet anyone who would in exchange scratch her rump wink

So those dogs are out there. You just have to be open with your expectations and find a good rescue or breeder willing to work with you.
Miyu CGC

Bow down to the- Princess Brat!
Barked: Sat Oct 13, '12 11:38pm PST 
Bunny and Mulder are spot on. I have a real soft spot for the retired greys- they're a great starter pet dog that's very moderate and mild. Very quiet too, the breed rarely barks, though they do talk. Definitely go for an adult. I know people are set on puppies sometimes, but frankly, between the potty training and the landshark phase and then the rebellious teenage phase... I'd rather have my 2-3 year old adult that's gotten all THAT out of their system.

My uncle has had 3 mini schnauzers, and they are such great dogs. Sweet, friendly, outgoing and intelligent. A nice size for an apartment. His latest is velcro to the MAX. She will literally go from person to person within the family to make sure she is being pet at all times.

No personal experience with westies, though.

But definitely surf around for rescues, see if you can talk to somebody about what it is you're needing and looking for in a dog. A good one will do their best to find the right animal to fit your lifestyle.

Barked: Sun Oct 14, '12 11:50am PST 
9 hours alone a day is too much for a greyhound or really any breed. Doesn't mean you can't own one though, but you should make a plan for a dog walker to come mid-day or for doggie daycare. Greyhound are usually great in the house once they transitioned into house living (most come straight off the track into a kennel setting or a foster situation), but it can take some time and patience. Greyhound groups would strongly recommend you adopt when you have extra time for a new dog - such as over the holidays or a summer vacation if possible. They can have separation anxiety too ... so thats something to beware of. If you can commit to a daily dog-walker, two greys might be an excellent choice! (once you get one, you *will* want another lol)

Otherwise, I suggest to go off the temperament of an adult shelter dog ... might be a purebred or a mutt, but individual personalities can vary and sound especially important in your situation. Check out Petfinder.org, Petharbor, and local shelters around you. Again, you'll need to find a way to break up the 9 hours for a new dog.