|First, I'd like to say how impressed I am with the people on this forum. Very knowledgeable, positive, and helpful.
So, I'm a cat person, but I also like dogs and have had dogs in the past. My 16 year old cat, Gus, is reaching the end of his life. We've sure loved him a lot. I'm thinking of getting a dog after we have to say goodbye to old Gus, and holding off on getting another cat until sometime down the road.
I've done a few different questionnaires online, and they've suggested dogs like the Bernese Mtn. Dog, Bassett Hound, Greyhound, Lowchen, Clumber Spaniel, Tibetan Spaniel, Great Dane, English Toy Spaniel, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, shih tzu etc. The ones that come up the most are probably the Bernese Mountain Dog, Scottish deerhound, and greyhound. If any of that gives an idea of what sort of things I'm looking for in a dog.
What I'd like in a dog is one who is pretty calm/low key, doesn't need a ton of exercise or very strenuous play (maybe a short-medium length walk every day), doesn't bark too much, and is good with cats. (And at least tolerant of children. Ideally the dog would love kids, but at the very least, I don't want to worry about him with my nephews--they're old enough and good with dogs, but I don't want to worry about the dog snapping at them.)
As for training, if possible, I'd like him to be somewhat trainable. I'm not too interested in tricks or anything, but, I'd like him to have good manners.
As for how the dog acts around strangers, I'd love it if the dog loved everyone--stranger or not--but at the very least, I'd like a dog that isn't aggressive towards people he doesn't know, even if he is reserved around them.
He also probably couldn't be a velcro dog. Right now, he'd rarely have to spend more than around 2 hours alone once or twice a week, but once I start grad-school in a year or so, he might have some semesters with 4-8 hours alone per day.
I have slight dog allergies and I don't like having fur all over the place, so one that doesn't shed too much is probably best.
Size is not necessarily an issue one way or the other, as I've heard that some of the biggest dogs have less energy needs, but big AND furry is probably not going to work--I've only noticed my allergies around big furry dogs like golden retrievers and huskies.
Light to medium grooming isn't an issue. I really enjoy sitting with my cat and brushing and petting him, so if I had a dog that needed to be brushed every day, that wouldn't be a problem at all--especially if he likes it.
What I've read about greyhounds--most of the sighthounds, actually--seems to fit the bill almost perfectly. Except for the fact that they can be dangerous around cats, with their strong prey drive. I do plan on getting another cat sometime down the road, so I need a dog that can do well with cats.
I like the idea of a bernese mountain dog--several websites have said they're lower energy and need less exercise, but maybe their big-furriness would be the same as a golden, as far as allergies go? Really, I'm not married to any particular breed--rather the best one for whom I am a good fit, and the best dog to fit me.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: I live in a house with a medium, fenced-in yard.
I think this might be a tall order. Does anyone have any good ideas?
Edited by author Tue Feb 19, '13 1:34am PST