|Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 7:58am PST |
|I am starting the inevitable task of narrowing down breeds for my SO and I next dog. Unfortunately, Kodie (our s'poo) is getting to that time when we are evaluating the amount of good days and bad days he has. We are the type of people who always have two dogs and so no matter how long Kodie has, be it a month or another year, I'd like to at least start honing in on the best breeds for our lifestyle now and for the next few years.
This is the first time I've had to consider someone else's desires in a dog, since I adopted our boys (Kodie and Toby) back when I was single. As such, an outsiders view is greatly appreciated...I don't want to be bias on my desires outweighing his.
As for what we are looking for it is a rather long list and somewhat contradictory at times, so any suggestions or thoughts are greatly appreciated!
Size: We are looking for something in the large to extra large range. Anything smaller than 55 lbs would be too small for my SO. He loves the extra large dogs, so even 55 looks a bit more medium than large to him, and therefore less preferable.
Temperament and Personality: We are looking for a sociable dog who will either get along with everyone or who can tell friend from foe. I don't mind aloofness to strangers, but I want a dog who will warm up once he gets to know family. Def. more dependent than independent. SO loves them to be under his feet basically, while I prefer a bit of independence.
Training: A dog who likes to learn would be ideal. I've had stubborn and I've had happy to learn news tricks, so either is fine. However, we need a dog who is likely to be okay off leash with proper training.
We visit our families a lot and stay with them (they all have dogs of their own), so a dog needs to be comfortable in a variety of settings. Obviously this has a lot to do with socialization, but a happy go lucky type breed may have an easier time adjusting. All the families have young kids, and my SO and I will probably be starting a family in the next 3 or 4 years so we want a dog who with proper socialization will enjoy kids not just tolerate them.
Activities: We would like a dog who could hike on the weekends, do a couple miles a day walk, enjoy the beach (water affinity a plus!). We also work full time so we need the dog to be okay with this as an adult. He would have company with Toby, and we would end up doing doggy day care a couple times a week and dog walkers during the day. Right now either one of us can hop home for lunch too. We like movies and tv time as well, so a dog who can just hangout would be great.
Additionally, a dog who will fetch good be great. It is not a must but Kodie is extremely toy/ball driven. He drops it or throws it at you, and in his prime he could go for an hour with a doggy chuck-it. My SO loves this about Kodie, and it would be ideal if we could find a breed where finding this level of retrieval isn't impossible to find in a puppy. This is not of huge importance but just something we like.
Health: I know all breeds have their issues, however, I'd like a breed where with proper research and the right breeder we can actually have a chance at a healthy dog. Kodie and Toby are both rescues from shelters, and from what we learned later, Kodie was born at a hoarders house and Toby a BYB. Honestly, health is a big issue for me. Or at least knowing what the health issues tend to be so I can make sure a pet insurance would cover it or we know what to look for.
Looks: Both SO and I love the retriever look, spaniel, and the big teddy bear look (e.g.: berners, neewfie). Prefer long to very short coat, but the contradiction is that I hate shedding (hence why I own a bichon and s'poo). However, I have warmed up to the shedding issue and would just prefer a breed where it doesn't have a tendency to stick to everything. Again not a big deal, and something I realize I need to get over.
Heat tolerance is an issue. We live in the midatlantic, where we freeze in the winter (it is 14 degrees here today!!), and humid in the summer. We love the Berners but we are so worried about the humidity/heat factor! We don't want a dog we can't do anything with in the summer. Obviously all dogs have a limit, and shouldn't be out in extreme heat but we would still like to hike and go to the beach with a dog when it is a bit warmer out.
Soooo with that novel of information, any thoughts? Feel free to let me know if I've missed an area of information that is needed. Thank you!
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