Help me narrow down my choices!

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: Sun Oct 28, '12 4:49pm PST 
I find sighthounds so lovable ... I can put up with the poor obedience, whimpy winter coats, and horrible recall in exchange for all their good qualities. Whippets, Salukis and Pharoah hounds are definitely breeds I admire.

And who says you have to decide before meeting more dogs and potential breeders? I would pursue a couple of options to get a better sense of whats out there and what you're going to get.

Member Since
Barked: Sun Oct 28, '12 5:58pm PST 
Would you consider a rescue puppy? I know that it's usually discouraged to recommend a rescue when someone is asking for help finding a purebred dog. However, considering the wide variety of type and temperament of the breeds you're interested in, honestly, I think you will end up happy with what ever dog you get.

Since you are ok with a big dog, even prefer it, you don't have to worry about a rescue puppy getting too big. If you get a rescue puppy, you don't have all the pressure of choosing the perfect breed, you'll probably end up with a nice blend of what you like in all those breeds.

If I was at a place in my life where I could get a dog of any size and felt I could deal with a variety of temperaments, I'd just go to petfinder put in dog, large, and baby and see who came up.

(Actually it would be this specific puppy http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/24478754?rvp=1 )wink

/...back to lurking

Please, be nice - ... or else!
Barked: Mon Oct 29, '12 1:18am PST 
You're off to a gr8 start and, so far, you seem to be doing a very good job of narrowing down your own choices ...

What is it about terriers and labs that don't "gel" with you? Once you determine the answer to that, along with your list of "basic wants", you will have eliminated most of the dogs on your ever-growing list.

Also, there is a wide, often huge, range of drives and temperaments within each breed and, often, within each litter. Assuming you're looking at a pure bred dogs, choice of breeder will be of equal importance (if not more so) to that of choice of breed!

Oh, and as an aside, although fun and well-intentioned, I would hesitate to put too much faith in either "breed selector tests" or the opinions of people without real experience; all too often, even the most extensive reading about a particular breed and the reality are quite disparate! JMO.

Best of luck!

blue dog

Edited by author Mon Oct 29, '12 1:28am PST


Star BN RN- RA

Barked: Mon Oct 29, '12 6:56am PST 
I recommend the breed selector tests more for the questions then the results, they do have good question that people often forget about when choosing a breed to look into. I am also curious what you didn't like about terriers and labs...it would help if we knew what specifically got on your nerves with those breeds. I wasn't trying to recommend any specific breeds in my first post, just a couple "types" of dogs that would fit. I LOVE sighthounds, they are great dogs but if you get a puppy (i know borzoi's very well, I help show them and know a bunch of breeders who I help with) they are crazy, very energetic and ready to go, the rescues are the calmer ones with common sense. borzoi's are great dogs, I really love them but they have very wide ranging personalities, some are very outgoing others nervous...some are obsessed with racing while others could care less about chasing the "bunny". They are stunning dogs but you have to choose a good breeder....

As for the other breeds on your list, I dont have too much experience with them other than the staffie (which I love! they are usually very sweet and smart).

Member Since
Barked: Mon Oct 29, '12 8:15pm PST 
As far as Labs go, they tend to be to be to dopey for my taste. laugh out loud Not that there is any thing wrong with that, but I like a more "refined" type of dog, in general. Secondly, the small terriers strike a raw nerve with me. I don't know why, as I love dogs, but I can't be around little terriers for any length of time. I have never pinpointed the exact reason, but I don't "like" there energy.

Barked: Tue Oct 30, '12 4:33am PST 
Sight hounds are great, they can keep up with lots of exercise and are a great couch potato when you are.
We go hiking all the time and Willow is off leash the whole time in the woods.
Since the whippet might be to small for you try the bigger sight hounds.
Grey hounds are great too and also low shedding.

Member Since
Barked: Tue Oct 30, '12 4:47am PST 
I know it sounds bad, but if the only dogs left in the world were labs and lab mixes, I probably wouldn't have a dog. I am NOT a retriever person. And like you, terriers just aren't my bag, either.

Have you considered herding dogs? They're actually a pretty diverse bunch. Smooth and Rough collies are great dogs.
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Tue Oct 30, '12 6:37am PST 
The boxer really seems to stand out to me here. They definitely seem to tick a lot of the boxes.

ETA: Okay, boxers can be "dopey" too, if we're talking about the same thing.

Hmmm, other than that, I'd say find a good ole mutt.laugh out loud

Edited by author Tue Oct 30, '12 6:40am PST


Please, be nice - ... or else!
Barked: Tue Oct 30, '12 8:58am PST 
" ... So my "dream" dog breeds are: American Staffordshire terrier, American Bulldog, Black Russian Terrier, Bull Terrier, Borzoi, Boxer, Black and Tan coonhound, Greater Swiss Mountain dog, German Pinscher, Hovawart, Ibizan hound, Irish Wolfhound ... "

Depending upon how much value you place on your basic "wants", your list will eliminate most of your dream breeds; it will also eliminate most of the breeds suggested by the dog selectors. As I mentioned prior, you're actually off to a decent start...

The more specific and determined you are with what you're looking for, the easier the selection process will become. If you're not all that picky, a rescue dog would seem to be in order!!!

For whatever it's worth (and I'm not suggesting that this is a good choice for you), if you decide to look more seriously into the Black Russian Terrier and need more information, feel free to PM me. Be forewarned that, according to your list, there are 2 immediate caveats:

1) Although the BRT will be very "low shedding", he is certainly not considered to be "low grooming" (and, by the way, one does not normally see "low shedding" and "low grooming" together in a given breed).
2) Also, although a well-bred, well-socialized BRT will be quite comfortable to "be around people", should the need arise, he will be considerably more than "slightly protective".

Again, keep looking,
and best of luck in your search!

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Tue Oct 30, '12 2:46pm PST 
Looking at your list, it has some in common with my wants in future dogsmile One of the breeds suggested to me was a bench bred English Settersmile

ETA of course, that was before I realized that I do NOT want to deal with a high prey drive againsilenced

Edited by author Tue Oct 30, '12 2:55pm PST

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