A Breed Match for the Future (Tiller's help appreciated!)

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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The Cowardly- Lion - I'll find my- courage
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 12:34pm PST 
Well, everyone's help appreciated, to be honest laugh out loud

I am just nuts in love with Leia, who is the first dog I've ever personally owned, but I've been wondering about the future. I love mutts, and I love rescue, but I would really love to get a purebred puppy at some point, once hubby and I have settled down in one place. I have some idea of the breeds that appeal to me, but reconciling our tastes is proving difficult, haha. I was hoping that some breed-experienced people here would be willing to help me expand my horizons, look at our options, and maybe point us in the right direction.

Neither my husband or I are huge athletes, but I am willing to change my schedule to give a dog the exercise it needs, up to three hours or so daily (1 hour in the morning, 2 at night). The dog will likely be an only dog, but we may get him/her while Leia is still with us if it feels right. We will likely have children, maybe small children, at this point. We tend to keep a quiet, peaceful house. I'm not huge into training at this point, mostly because Leia's not as jazzed by it as I had hoped, but I am willing to expand my horizons to fit the dog! So that's the environment the dog will enter into, in a nutshell.

Now, for some basic personality traits.

- Stable. I'm talking rock solid, bomb-proof, can take whatever is thrown at him and shake it off. I realize that most of this is in the socialization and training, but it can also be a breed trait. I don't mind if this is more of a quiet stable or a goofy stable, but I do not want tendencies towards timidity or aggression (Aggression especially really spooks me, and I don't deal with it well emotionally).

- Fairly social, with dogs and people. I love watching dogs play with each other! I don't mind a little aloofness, but active dislike or aggression towards other dogs or strangers is a real turn off to me.

- Playful, especially ball drive! Hubby loves playing fetch with Leia. It's funny, she gets tired of it before he does! It would also be nice to be able to use toys as a training reward, rather than just treats.

- Outdoorsy. Both hubby and I love hiking, and my job (wildlife research tech) allows me to bring my dog, if he can handle long hours of walking over rough terrain and in iffy weather (Leia can't, sadly frown).

- A sense of humor. I love a dog that can make me laugh, either through cute antics or sheer weirdness. Leia really takes the cake on this one laugh out loud

- Easy to train/good natural manners. Either one is fine with me. By good natural manners, I mean this - Leia came into our home with natural manners. She isn't a jumper or counter surfer, she's fairly clean, not pushy, not a puller. I have no idea if she was trained to this or not, but I love how much of a lady she is! I don't mind having to train to get there, but considering my skills are not that impressive, an easily trained dog might be good.

- Low indoor energy. I don't mind a dog that explodes outside, but indoors is a place for peace and quiet, in my mind. I love a dog that can settle (given enough exercise, of course).

- Cuddly! I love how tactile Leia is, it's extremely endearing. She always wants to be touching me, or me to be touching her. It can get annoying when I have to take care of homework or something, haha, but overall I love it.

As for looks, they aren't as important, though I do find myself drawn to big, black, and fluffy. Size isn't really an issue, so long as the dog is healthy and sturdy. I don't mind brushing or shedding (Leia sheds enough for two), and I am willing to do regular groomer's visits if need be. A healthy, long-lived breed is always a plus! Here are some of the breeds that really tickle my fancy, for one reason or another: Golden Retriever, Standard Poodle, Labrador Retriever, Newfoundland, English Setter, Am Cocker, GSD, and various sighthounds (for looks and energy, not so much personality).

So, now that the essay is finished, does anyone have any ideas that jump out at them? Any reasons why the breeds I listed might not fit? Thank you so much for your input!

Tail Waggin'- Mutt
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 8:04pm PST 
How about a Leonberger? They are stable dogs. They are social and are good with people and other animals. They can be outdoorsy dogs, they are great hiking buddies. I've met some Leonbergers with quite the sense of humor so they can be humorous. The Leonberger is easy to train and tends to learn quickly. The Leonberger has a medium activity level. They can be cuddly dogs. Leonbergers are just happy go lucky kind of dogs.

Edited by author Wed Nov 14, '12 8:05pm PST

Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Wed Nov 14, '12 9:26pm PST 
My vote is for a nicely bred Am Cocker. They are such fun lovers with such pleasant character, like their exercise, seem to get along with other dogs from what I've seen. I'm sure Tiller will be able to sell them better than me, lol.


Lickin your feet- all the time
Barked: Thu Nov 15, '12 1:35am PST 
First thing I thought of is the American Cocker Spaniel, and THEN I saw Jackson's post. laugh out loud Only reinforces how suitable they are!

Tiller actually does have an incredibly extensive post here on Cocker Spaniels, as informative and accurate as she always is:

http://www.dogster.com/forums/Choosing_the_Right_Dog/thread/6136 24/2

The Muddy- Princess
Barked: Thu Nov 15, '12 6:11am PST 
The perfect dog for you would be a Flat-Coated Retriever, but I hesitate to recommend on due to their tragic short-span (10 years is very old for a Flat-Coat).

Newfs are great but won't retrieve endlessly. A Tri-Color Rough Collie is a good possibility, they hit all the buttons and they are healthy for their size. Leonburger and Berners are possibilities but Berners also have health issues and Leos are still very rare. A coated American pet GSD which Tiller can direct you to would work, but selecting the right breeder would take a lot of work.

Of course Golden's also hit the buttons except the color.

A lot of great breeds would work for you, it will come down to what sparks your heart.

Member Since
Barked: Thu Nov 15, '12 6:47am PST 
I would encourage you to avoid herding dogs, with the exception of the rough/smooth collie. Many herders are reactive, so if you don't want that, it's probably best to just put them out of your mind. smile

Have you thought about a mini poodle? Poodles come in many colors and are actually pretty versatile!

The Cowardly- Lion - I'll find my- courage
Barked: Thu Nov 15, '12 9:37am PST 
Thanks so much for the input, guys! I really appreciate your thoughts.

Howard, I hadn't really considered the Leonberger at all. I was under the impression that they were kind of 'a lot of dog,' if you know what I mean. I think I may have to work up to a dog like that - improve my training chops before bringing one home. If I'm wrong, then that's great, though. They're seriously gorgeous dogs.

Jackson Tan and Lancer, I really do love me a well bred Am Cocker. Lancer, thanks especially for that wonderful thread, it had some great information. The only problem is this - my husband is totally against them. His parents have one who's a little terror; she was poorly bred, poorly raised, and gets next to no exercise, and is just unholy nasty as a result - barky, snappy, unstable, barely housetrained, the works. He seems to think all Cockers are like that, no matter how much I tell him it isn't so! Any ideas for convincing him otherwise?

Selli, thanks for your run-down! I hadn't thought about the retrieving thing with Newfs. I do love love love a good tri-color anything, though, ahaha. Every time I see a Berner I'm just all cloud 9 I do love Rough Collies as well, but I worry about their sensitivity being an issue. I see that you're a Golden aficionado, would you mind telling me more about Goldens from an owner's perspective? And why would you say Flat-Coats in particular for me? Thanks so much!

Guest, I suppose it's a good thing I was never too into herders, haha. I love them for their looks, but I'll take a happy-go-lucky sporting dog any day. I really love poodles, especially standards, but my husband thinks they're too girly - typical. I'm working on changing his mind, though, poodles are just too good to pass up.
Ginger DSA- ThD TT CGC - &hearts

My Angel
Barked: Thu Nov 15, '12 10:44am PST 
I think a Golden would be a good fit f you look past the color-- they fit all your other wants. Some are more active than others depending on the lines and individuals. They do have a fair amount of health issues as a breed though, some of that can be avoided by choosing a good breeder.
Ginger was great for activities outdoors, could do agility or lure coursing or run with my bike but very laid back and calm temperament, and relaxed when hanging around the house or waiting in between activities.

Edited by author Thu Nov 15, '12 10:46am PST

Star BN RN- RA

Barked: Thu Nov 15, '12 12:44pm PST 
I agree with the idea of a well bred Am. cocker (although I tend to like the English cockers a little better but I think that's because I have had to groom way too many poorly bred am cockers..)

Maybe you could take your husband to a local dog show or trial where there will be some well bred Am. Cockers that he can meet..I know some dog show people are a little possessive of their dog but if you watch them in the ring and talk to the people after they are done showing most will welcome questions about their breed/dog.

Lickin your feet- all the time
Barked: Thu Nov 15, '12 6:22pm PST 
Another Tiller post on Cockers! Don't miss out on Gretta's post in this thread either. I think these will be answer more of your questions on the spot, both the pros and cons. If you find them suitable, maybe convince your husband to read both of Tiller's posts? smile

http://www.dogster.com/forums/Choosing_the_Right_Dog/thread/6214 91/1

Edited by author Thu Nov 15, '12 6:27pm PST

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