Which way to go?

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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I'll just take a- nap until you- pet me.
Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 12:18am PST 
I have adopted 2 adult dogs, one from the SPCA and one from a private rescue. I found that private rescues know their dogs a lot better and are not shy about telling you if you choose a dog that is probably not the best match for you. Not that this is true for all shelters and rescues mind you but that was my impression.

My first dog Kye is my right hand man, he is never way too far away. I have never lost him. My other dog, Carbon, started out as a foster baby and when I took him the lady that ran the rescue told me flat out "on a leash or behind a fence because he is a runner," so I was prepared to work on recall. I adopted him in 2004 and it took me about 7 months to get him to walk off leash at a heel. He hasn't broken a heel since then. He still likes to take off in the country after deer trails but I trust him off leash as long as the 'heel' command has been given.
You get what you put in with a rescue dog just like with puppies. There are some breeds that can make unreliable off leash dogs (Huskies and Beagles for example) but there are a lot of other factors at play as well. Age, sex, spayed/neutered or not, prey drive, relationship with handler, etc. I liked the comment that was posted about fostering dogs until you find the right one for you. You get to peruse dogs and help save lives at the same time!

Whatever you choose good luck and congrats!
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 9:30am PST 
All my dogs have pretty much been rescues, adult and otherwise.

I actually found Maya was my utmost reliable off leash. She stuck close, checked in, listened to cues, and all without the training to be that way, she just naturally was. Granted, Rottweilers are herders too.

Charlie... Is if he's at a dog park that's familiar to him. If you take him somewhere new, not a chance in heck. I usually throw a long line on him - although I bet you get that with Sanka too, both of them being hounds, bol.

Ria is great. Until she decides she DOES NOT want to come in from playing in the snow. In which case, it's a game of Catch Me If You Can to get her inside. Otherwise, very good. Still working on her though, but she IS hitting her teenage stage and is just a puppy still.

I too, find rescues to be more likely to know whether or not their dogs are good off leash. Let's be honest, foster parents are there to get to know the dogs, just as much to keep them in a stress-free/home environment, so they should be able to tell you more about the dog than a shelter would. Your best bet, I think, would either be to look at herding breeds if you go with a puppy, or to look at adults in rescues and talk to the fosters.

It's all about- me.
Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 9:51am PST 
My Pepper Pooh was from the Humane Society...GSD/Rottie mix. Best velcro dog ever!


Farlekiin the- Dragonborn
Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 10:13am PST 
Another vote here for a herding breed or mix of herding breeds. way to go Farley has excellent off-leash skills and a great recall, and I found it very easy to teach him. When off-leash he always keeps within a certain distance and when he gets to a certain point, he will stop and look back and wait for me to catch up. I never taught him that, he just does it. smile

Adopting an adult is a great idea, and breed-specific rescues could be an excellent option. I also like the idea of fostering first.

ETA: Sonja, speaking of Rotties, my good friend has a Rottie that is TOTALLY a velcro dog. Whenever she has him off-leash, I've never seen him bother to go more than 10 feet away from her. Not only is he perfectly happy to trot alongside her, he feels it's his duty. big grin

Edited by author Tue Dec 18, '12 10:18am PST

Jettsen - Adoptable

Looking for- love!
Barked: Tue Dec 18, '12 1:01pm PST 
Sanka if you go with a foster based group you can ask if they've ever had the dog off-leash. Jettsen & Chloe are the first fosters I've ever taken off-leash but others might live in areas with dog parks which would give them an idea of how they would do. If a dog doesn't listen in a fenced area they aren't going to listen in an unfenced area!
Samoa SunnyBear Bell

Happy Boy!
Barked: Wed Dec 19, '12 6:58am PST 
I recommend a herding mix. I have two. One is a Corgi something and one is an Aussie/Lab or Aussie/Golden or possibly BC.

They are both peaches. The Corgi mix is a little on the velcro side and has some temper issues, but is a wonderful off leash natural heeler. And Samoa is just the best overall dog I have even known.
Natasha - 美花- ~Beautiful- Flower~

Let's play tag!- You're it!
Barked: Wed Dec 19, '12 7:24am PST 
I'm here as another vote for a herding type adult dog! laugh out loud

I adopted Tasha as a four year old adult. The fifth day we had her, we went for a walk to the beach. On the way there, I had her on the leash. I took her off the leash at the beach and she just explored the areas around us, and never wandered far. I didn't put her on the leash for the walk back home and she stayed near us as we walked. Then she saw a cat. She took off after it into a field. My dad called her back and she stopped, looked at him and he called her again, and she bounded back. big grin I've never had an issue with her recall, she's always come when I call. Sometimes she'll stop and hesitate and it's obvious she's thinking about disobeying, but I just call her again and she comes. She is the second dog I've ever owned that I completely trust off leash(the other was an Aussie mix).

Barked: Sat Dec 22, '12 5:43pm PST 
Don't you hate it when you type a long drawn out response and the computer eats it? So to condense, I got Holly at a year old, ACD/Aussie, she is an excellent off leash example while still being a complete anomally of her breeds, she is calm, loves all people and most other dogs, has an amazing off switch and needs very little excercise compared to the rest of the pack. Overall though I have complete confidence that if a tragedy were to happen and our dogs all had to go to new homes they would all be excellent off leash dogs for anyone they bonded with. They are all herder mixes, even Paislee that acts almost entirely like her Catahoula contribution is absolutely trustworthy off leash with the exception of intolerance of men approaching on the trail, she throws quite a fit to tell them they cannot approach us but since I worked with her recall from the day I brought her home she is even easy to pull off when she starts to chase prey or any other surprises. Admittedly I got the other 2 when they were 6/7 weeks old but no matter who else gained their trust and love in the future they would be able to trust them off leash. When I say trust off leash, 7 mile hikes that are in very wooded very high wild life areas and my girls have never had an issue. Even Holly the most secure least protective of my pack gets well out of my site but one word or whistle brings her running back at full bore. My other 2 are more protective and so consequently hardly ever get far enough away that they cannot see me in case they need to "protect' me from other hikers or dogs or imaginary predators but if they do venture out of eyesight they are very intune with my every move and trail change. I have had people comment often on my trust in my dogs and responsiveness but it is just bred into them really.
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