|Barked: Mon Apr 1, '13 6:16am PST |
|Based on your description of needs, a Golden Retriever really does sound ideal. Highly trainable (so able to go off-leash), fantastic with children, lots of stamina for a good run. Just all-around 'good guy' dogs, no real extremes of personality (when bred well, of course).
Another option would be a spaniel of some sort, maybe an English Springer. This also ticks all the boxes, but there could be a conflict of personality in there - these are very in-your-face affectionate, 'just want to be in your skin with you' dogs. That might be an issue for someone who seems to be a cat person, hahaha. But they are fantastic, trainable, very sweet with kids, and can just go for miles.
Don't cross off Standard Poodles either! These are very neat and clean dogs, and might appeal more to a cat person with their witty diva personalities. They are absolutely not frou-frou; they've been bred to go all day in all weather to act as retrievers and hunting dogs in Europe. They have plenty of stamina and pep for long runs, but can settle right down in the house to play with the kids. One of the smartest and most trainable of all dogs (which can be a bad thing! Too smart for their own good, at times.)
There are more, but these are the first three that popped into my head. A setter would work well too if you can find one in rescue, but they do tend to be more difficult to locate than the three listed.
Adult rescue sounds perfect for you, it would allow you to really pick out a dog that does well with your cats and kids ahead of time rather than hoping and wishing with a puppy that it turns out alright. Just keep in mind that, when going with a rescue, everything depends on the personality of the individual dog. You can have a Golden that hates kids, or a lazy Standard Poodle (both unlikely, but possible), or on the other hand, you can have a Beagle that's fantastic off-leash. Keep an open mind about the process, and use breed as more of a guideline than a hard and fast rule. Mixes are fantastic as well, as my Leia can attest to
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