Looking for a human and other pet friendly dog breed!

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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Member Since
Barked: Sun Jul 7, '13 11:34pm PST 
Hi there, my name is Melissa and I am looking to add another dog to my household within the next year. I am hoping for help with picking a breed that would work well for me. I apologize in advance for how long this is; I want to be as detailed as possible.

Apart from my pets, I live alone in a largish house in the suburbs with a medium sized fully fenced in yard. The fence is solid wood and six feet tall. I do have regular human visitors (including dog-savvy children) and occasional doggy ones, and live in a safe but busy neighborhood.

I’ve had dogs all of my life. Grew up with Rottweilers, a German Shepherd, Mini Schnauzers, and Labradors, and have done a large amount of foster work over the years including Mastiffs, Pitties, Herding dogs of many sorts, Toys, and lots of mixed breeds.

I have two dogs right now, both small breed neutered males. One is an 18 lb, almost 2-year old Shih Tzu, and the other is a 7-year-old, 9 lb Terrier/Chihuahua cross. I also have a 7 1/2 year old Bengal mix cat that cheerfully rules my household.

Qualities I love and am looking for:

-A moderate to high activity level outdoors, but with a mellower activity level indoors. I LOVE hiking, long walks, and playing games with my dogs (I also live very close to a great area for dogs that enjoy swimming).

-Medium to large in size… I am hoping in the 30-100 lb range, with 35-75 being ideal.

-A gentle dog with a play-style that works well with small breeds… as much as they both love other dogs, neither of them have much patience for the rambunctious style of play that my last Pit/Boxer cross foster puppy had for example.

-I am looking for a generally healthy breed that regularly lives to 10 years or older. If I go from a breeder I am planning to neurotically search for one that does all necessary health testing.

-A generally stable, friendly temperament. Breeds that lean towards more reactive, timid or nervous temperaments wouldn’t be the best fit for me.

-An intelligent, very trainable dog would be fantastic, but if they are similar to my Chihuahua cross (naturally a well behaved dog with good doggy and people manners, but absolutely no interest in learning anything more complicated than the ‘sit’ command) that is fine too.

Qualities I have a hard time with:

-Excessive barkers (I have neighbors on three sides of my property).

-Excessive shedding and drooling. I can deal with both to a point, but no Newfies for me unfortunately. frown I am comfortable with dogs that require regular or professional grooming however, and have a great groomer in town.

-A high likelihood of cat/dog prey drive or aggression, including same sex dog aggression. My cat is a high-energy playful boy that bounces around the house like the feline equivalent of a pinball machine, and I do occasionally have foster dogs and cats. There is also a solid chance of me adding another high energy cat in the dog’s lifetime.

-Excessive suspicion around strangers. It is feasible that I could move to a larger city in the dog’s lifetime and it is vital that he or she be able to handle the crowds and hustle and bustle that come along with that.

One more potential complication:

I have PTSD from an incident a couple of years ago where I was almost killed by a car when walking through a crosswalk. The woman was distracted while driving and didn’t see me. To this day sometimes when around traffic/headlights I find myself tensing up, uncontrollably replaying the incident in my head and my heart starts racing. It is especially bad when the headlights come on unexpectedly so I don’t have time to prepare myself. My two dogs and several fosters/dogs I’ve babysat in the past have gotten used to that and either leaned into me or politely ignored me when that is happening (which is fantastic), but I have been around dogs that have very keenly picked up on my nervousness and have started getting nervous as well. I am getting better and it is something I am working on, but that would shred me if my own fear negatively affected my dog, and I am looking for a dog more likely to either ignore or be oblivious to my nerves when that is happening.

I hope I am not asking too much. I have a few ideas of breeds that may be a good fit, but I was hoping for input from you wonderful dog-savvy people. smile

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, I appreciate any advice given more than I can say.

Black dogs rock!
Barked: Mon Jul 8, '13 3:17am PST 
Well bred Standard Poodlebig grin I actually have many of the same wants/needs as you do ( pet and people friendly, well behaved in the house, no shedding and I even have a Chi, too wink ) I am in contact with a very good breeder here in Canada and when the time is right , I really think a Standard Poodle is for me and might be a good choice for you as wellsmile

ETA I also dont want to go the reactive dog route again either! I love Bunny to pieces but I could do without his reactivityconfused

Edited by author Mon Jul 8, '13 3:19am PST


tiny...but fast!
Barked: Mon Jul 8, '13 4:20am PST 
A rescue greyhound or a whippet might be a good fit. However some are not cat friendly. The foster home for the rescue greyhound could recommend a cat friendly greyhound, if u got a whippet puppy the breeder would likely be able to give u some advice on that front. Both of these breeds don't shed much or smell. They are calm inside, but active outdoors.

Member Since
Barked: Tue Jul 9, '13 4:41am PST 
Thank you both!

Bunny- Standards ironically have been one of the dogs I've been most seriously considering out of the breeds that I thought might fit for me! The ones I've met have been fantastic dogs. big grin

Sandy- Thank you for that advice regarding a Greyhound or a Whippet! I love both those breeds but had actually never considered them before because of how very active my cat is (he is blind in one eye but still manages to zoom around the house at high speeds on a regular basis). Do you think that kitty energy level would be safe with the right sight hound?

My vet thought that a well bred Golden Retriever, Spinone Italiano or bench line English Setter could be a good fit for me, I have loved the ones I've met of all of those breeds but have never had them before. Any thoughts from people on here for those breeds?

Thank you both again so much for your advice; I truly want whatever dog I get to be just as happy with me and my furry family as we will be with him or her, so I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. smile

The Muddy- Princess
Barked: Tue Jul 9, '13 6:57am PST 
A Golden, Spinone or English Setter are all good possibilities. All three would LOVE your small dogs and your cat. English Setters are the most gentle and sensitive of the three and may key too much into your moods when you get nervous. A Spinone is the most rambunctious...big and bouncy. How do you feel about messy wet beards in your face and lap? Of course I am biased toward the Golden, but if you do your research in choosing a breeder, I think you can find just the right dog!

Member Since
Barked: Wed Jul 10, '13 6:02am PST 
.............A BEARDED COLLIE would fit your criteria nicely..

My beardie Secrets whole life revolves around protecting little Brillo (13lb. jack-chi)24/7. Very athletic.... does not bark needlessly ... very calm in the house and rv. You'd be hard pressed to find a better companion for your little guys . Yes, they need daily brushing but no professional grooming is needed if you brush them 10-15 minutes a day.

No one here on dogster talks about this breed (why I don't know???) but believe me THE BEARDIE IS A HIDDEN GEM.....check them out

Member Since
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 7:50am PST 
Hi again, I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to reply to this; just got my computer back up and working finally! happy dance

Selli- I am a regular dog sitter for two Schnauzers; wet beards don’t bother me a bit! Do you think that a Spinone would be too bouncy for small dogs?

One question on Goldens: from what I’ve read there is a field/show line split in Goldens like there is with Labradors… I was wondering if it is as extreme of an energy level difference as it can be with Labs?

Your Golden in your picture is just beautiful by the way. big grin

I’ve been writing down breeds that have been recommended to me by ‘doggy’ people (my groomer, vet, dog owners including on here, vet techs, a great local trainer, etc) that seem like they may have potential for me.

-Golden Retriever
-Standard Poodle
-Spinone Italiano
-Clumber Spaniel (not sure how they compare on the shedding front to say, a Newfie, Rough Collie or a German Shepherd?)
-Bearded Collie (I’ve heard they can be very sensitive… would it be too sensitive with my PTSD?)
-Greyhound (love them, worried about the potential prey drive with a very active cat that frequently runs around the house at high speeds)
-Keeshond (Loved the ones I’ve met, worried about the potential for barking)
-Old English Sheepdog
-Bernese Mountain Dog
-Great Pyrenees
-Tibetan Terrier (concerned that the ones I’ve met have been more stranger reserved than I’d like)
-Bench-type Labrador Retriever
-Blue Picardy Spaniel (I have never met one of these guys in person, though I love what I’ve read about them and there is apparently a good breeder in my state!)

Any of those that you think I should definitely rule out, or any other breeds to consider? If it helps any, I have no issue whatsoever with looking into/searching for rare breeds if it would be a good match.

Thank you all again. I truly can't say how much I appreciate it. smile

Edited by author Thu Jul 18, '13 7:56am PST


Ice cubes? YES- PLEASE!
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 11:28am PST 
I second the golden retrievers. Just be very careful to select good, mellow, show-line dogs with a clean health record. I have heard the field lines are bred to just gogogogogo all day long and never rest.

I babysat for a week two well-bred pet goldens and they were a joy to be with. Very mellow indoors but always ready for anything and everything you throw at 'em; be it a leisurely 1/2 mile walk around the neighborhood or a tough 6-mile hike in the mountains. I just brushed them every other day and the shedding was quite manageable.

Edward - Sweet to the- core
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 7:34pm PST 
Well if shedding and drooling bother you a Clumber is out. Your other criteria they are a good match for, but I have to tell you nothing sheds more than a Clumber. Seriously, it is almost indescribable. They shed 24/7, 365 days a year. And they drool. One day a week I go through the house with bleach to clean the drool off the walls. All my clothes end up with drool smears all over them smile They are not the dog for someone who likes a neat house. I wouldn't have a home without one but they are definitely not for everyone.

tiny...but fast!
Barked: Thu Jul 18, '13 9:17pm PST 
The greyhound rescue here has the foster homes assess if they are cat safe as well as small dog safe and kid safe. So u might look for a rescue that does this.
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