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If I were to get another 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.

  
Oscar

Oscar Monster
 
 
Barked: Wed Dec 12, '12 8:12pm PST 
Warning- lots of rambling!
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So. This is likely never going to amount to much, but hey, why not?
The idea of another dog has been bounced around a lot in the past few years. The answer is always something along the lines of "I dunno, I guess if something comes along?" and nothing ever happens.
Lately I've just been butting heads with Oscar. A lot.
I know I'm being overly critical, I get it. But we just don't really mesh all that well. He fits in the household well enough, he's alright as a pet. But I, personally, am not someone who is interested in having "just a pet". I've got other pets to do that, if that makes any sense.
I've been toying with the idea of another dog, or maybe even getting a dog for myself. I honestly don't know how on board my parents would be with the idea. I know if I came to my dad with the idea of a sport dog he'd be interested. My mom? Maybe not so much. I don't really know.
There are a few problems, and I'm totally willing to admit it.
I'm nearly 17. I'm not going to be living here for that much longer. Though I won't be going away to college, I will probably move out within the next 5 years. I never want to have to live without a dog, I'd gladly move into a trailer or even stay at home than live in an apartment, but honestly I don't know where I'll be in a few years. This, I realize, could be a problem.
Another is obviously, do we have the money? My parents could pay, but I don't know if they would want to. I am currently looking for a job, but have had no luck.
Then there is Spike. It's hard for me to say this but she is slowing down fast, within the past month her hips have gotten bad. At 11, I don't know... she could be around another few years, she could die next week. We were talking about it a few days ago and my dad mentioned wanting another dog after she passed. I can wait, I'm in no hurry, but I feel like it would be easier to bond with a new dog when I'm not upset over Spike.
So, there are a lot of factors in play. It's probably not going to happen and I'm okay with that but I still would like to be prepared.

===

Here's the fun part, suggest a breed! I understand all dogs are different, I just want a basis of what to look for.
What I need:
-The most important to me is a trainable dog who wants to do whatever I tell it to when I tell it to. It doesn't have to be supersmart, as long as there is no trace of stubbornness. Lord knows I've had more than enough of that with Oscar.
-Friendly. I want a dog that is in your face, wanting attention. I've had enough aloofness to last a lifetime.
-Playful! This is a huge issue with me and Oscar. I could play fetch for hours and hours. Oscar doesn't even like balls.
-Not going to kill other pets. I have a lot of those. Though I'm willing to work through some prey drive, I don't want my cats to live in fear of being eaten.
-An off switch! For my mother's sake ;D

What I'd like, but am willing to forgo:
-Not extremely drooly or shed-y, though I'm willing to work with that.
-Long hair is a plus, but not needed.
-Any size is fine, but I've been playing around with the idea of having a smaller dog. It's not a big concern though.
-Water loving would be fun. I could swim for days, and Oscar won't even go near the water.
-I'd like to be able to get into dog sports, so a breed that excels in that would be nice... but I'm fine if it isn't a common sports breed.
-A generally healthy breed would be a plus.

Reading that, I'd tell myself to get a lab. The problem is neither of my parents like labs. My dad grew up with them and can't stand them, mom thinks they are ugly. Maybe a golden? Though their health concerns me.
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Trigger

*Blackdog*
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 13, '12 6:59am PST 
Oscar being an ACD I'd think he'd be more than happy to indulge in being more than just a mere pet lol

Frankly, I'm shocked he doesn't demand the opportunity!

I don't know of any herding breeds who are content to be mere guinea pigs in a pooch's body. Perhaps consider giving him the opportunity to indulge in his talents? May give you some great insight into what it is you're actually looking for in the end.




I think one of the most important parts of sorting out what sort of breed is best suited to you you need to consider not only what you want but what *you* could offer the *dog*

When you say you "sports" breeds, why? What about them appeals to you?

What would you want to do with one, consider both daily and intermittently (agility, hunting, herding etc)?

If considering a puppy how much time will you have to devote to training?


How much time will you have to devote to exercising the dog short and long term? Don't just think about those first couple of years, consider 5 years down the road, even 10 when you may have married, or had children. What types of exercise would be available (walking, jogging, off leash hikes, swimming)?

If you plan on going to college what is your plan for the dog once you are in both school and working at the same time? Where is it going to stay during all that time you're gone (at home alone, or would you be open to bringing him to dog daycare, or having a dog walker come in a couple of times a day) and what is it going to do in your absence?

Sorting out the answers to all of those question will be half (if not more than half) your battle in sorting out a great match smile







As an aside Labradors are phenomenal if, and this is a huge -IF-.... they are kept by the right kind of owner wink

And that scenario allows me to make my point for all the above perfectly.

I've known loads of people who are miserable with a Lab, can't stand 'em, but only because their Lab was miserable with them and the life they had to offer it. This is why it's important to consider not just what we want as owners, but what the dog would want for it's life and what would make IT happy as well.

I'd say if your father doesn't like Labs he's not going to like Goldens. They are two peas in a pod, typically near identical in personality, build and drive, one just has a bit more fur. In the grand scheme of things simply adding more fur won't sway those personal preferences.

Edited by author Thu Dec 13, '12 7:04am PST

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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 13, '12 7:22am PST 
"The most important to me is a trainable dog who wants to do whatever I tell it to when I tell it to. It doesn't have to be supersmart, as long as there is no trace of stubbornness."

I'm not so sure such a breed exists. Sure, some are more biddable than others, but I've been on dogs for decades of varying breeds, and I've yet to meet a one that has 'no trace of stubbornness'; even soft biddable dogs exhibit that from time to time. Dogs are creatures who do have their own minds, drives, wants etc. Those who complain of stubborness often need to look at their own training ability and techniques.

I'd be more concerned about working through the wall you've hit with your current dog. Enroll in a class maybe that would be suitable for your current ACD (I didn't catch the full breed or mix of your current dog so I could be wrong here), maybe use this as an opportunity to advance.

Lab or Golden might fit in the future, so would several of the herding breeds depending on what activity you're wanting to start.
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Oscar

Oscar Monster
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 13, '12 12:41pm PST 
Oscar (who is an ACD with maybe a dash of something else) is so lacking in drive, it surprises me too. I have a thread on that in the training section. I've really been looking for some sort of activity to do with him. We've done some very easy competitive obedience through 4H. He didn't do badly, but also didn't enjoy himself much. He did what he was supposed to, but lost points for lack of enthusiasm.

I hadn't thought of what I could offer to a dog, to be honest. That is certainly something worth thinking over. As far as your questions, I'm not sure whether you meant I just think them over or actually answer. In any case, writing it out help me think. So:

When you say you "sports" breeds, why? What about them appeals to you?-
I guess I mean like border collies and shelties. Mostly dogs that excel in agility. I like their personality and drive. They are always just so much fun to be around! At the same time, I'm not sure I'd want such an intense dog as some of the border collies I've met are.

What would you want to do with one, consider both daily and intermittently (agility, hunting, herding etc)?-
First and foremost, it would be a companion. I'm home a lot, I spend a lot of time with my pets to the point where some of them (Oscar) get annoyed with me. I like to do trick training quite often, although that is something that I can do with with Oscar. I'd also like to do agility and therapy work. Maybe rally?

If considering a puppy how much time will you have to devote to training?-
Time is one thing I have a lot of. I'm homeschooled and a lot of days I'm just at home doing nothing. I'd have pretty much all day, every day, at least for the next year or two.

How much time will you have to devote to exercising the dog short and long term? Don't just think about those first couple of years, consider 5 years down the road, even 10 when you may have married, or had children. What types of exercise would be available (walking, jogging, off leash hikes, swimming)?-
I live in the mountains and have a fairly large (5 acre) yard. When it's nice out and hike and swim quite often. Usually at least twice a week. I don't know where I'll be in five or ten years, so I guess that could be an issue.

If you plan on going to college what is your plan for the dog once you are in both school and working at the same time? Where is it going to stay during all that time you're gone (at home alone, or would you be open to bringing him to dog daycare, or having a dog walker come in a couple of times a day) and what is it going to do in your absence?-
It would stay with my mother and brothers, who are home all day.

==

The thing about labs is that my dad doesn't dislike the personality, he doesn't like them because my grandfather loves them. It's stupid, but eh... not much I can do about that.

Lucille, that is a good point. I think I may have worded that badly, what I meant was that I was looking for something without a breed tendency to be stubborn.
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Trigger

*Blackdog*
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 13, '12 1:39pm PST 
It sounds like plenty of breeds might suit you quite well!

If you're interested in a Border Collie or Sheltie I don't see why you couldn't make it work with what you said in your answers....plenty of time, plenty of space, plenty of ambition to take the dog out and give it lots to do.

I get what you mean about coming off as annoying, as much as I adore my Pug I am so glad I have three other dogs who are beyond happy to do things with me. He'd much prefer to snuggle/sleep 23.5 hours out of the day and eat the other .5. He most certainly does NOT do tricks or indulge me in any sort of extracurricular training. I'd go nuts if he's all I had to work with party
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Rexy

I dig in mud- puddles!
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 13, '12 11:09pm PST 
I'm going to agree with Lucille...pretty sure there isn't such a thing as a dog that won't have it's moments of stubborness. Even the most eager-to-please, biddable dog will still have a mind of it's own. wink

Seriously though, I would try putting a bit more work into trying to build some drive into Oscar...if only to make sure that you do in fact truly want a drivey dog. You've gotten some good suggestions on your other thread.
http://www.thedogathlete.com/pages/playing-with-prey-drive
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