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help me find the right breed for us - Page 2

post #21 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach'smom View Post


 

 

Adorable!!!!  Big, black shelter dogs are the best!!!  Timber is 2 (the vet estimates)  and is 80 pounds of love!

 



aww I wish we could get together for a puppy play date...Billie is about 2 and she is a wild child...she needs big puppy-like dogs to play with. Her ears stand up sometimes (when she is SUPER interested in something) kinda like your guy...So cute...Sigh, ok sorry for hijacking the thread to talk about dog cuteness OP.

post #22 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by treeoflife3 View Post

I strongly recommend you reconsider supporting the breeder industry (even the best breeders help keep puppy mills alive simply by making it okay to continue to buy from people who make sure more animals are born despite overfull shelters) and adopt from a breed specific rescue once you choose the breed you want.  I also want to give a vote for brittany spaniels.  They are lovely dogs.  I used to have a neighbor with a couple of them.  it is true though, puppies won't be calm and the bigger the dog, the longer it'll take to mature.  Although this can be true for smaller dogs too.  My grandma's little dog didn't chill out til he was 3 or 4.  Now he is GREAT, but lordy was he hyper and all over the place before then.  I personally couldn't have a puppy... I need the calmer 4+ year old adult dog hehe.


ITA with everything posted above...EXCEPT, we had a brittany spaniel and he was a hunting dog. Those dogs are bred to RUN RUN RUN all over fields flushing out birds for their owners. He was psychotic in his energy. I definitely don't think a Brittany would be happy in an urban or even suburban environment. They have too much energy, kinda like a German Shorthaired Pointer.

 

post #23 of 44

I wish people would realize a good reputable breeder is not adding to the pet overpopulation problem.  Is it horrible and sad and depressing as hell, yes...but that does not mean we throw out generations of health testing, temperament testing, etc that are in a good reputable breeders lines.  The shelter problem is the fault of irresponsible breeders and irresponsible owners.  Not everyone is equipped to rehab a dog or have an unknown history.

 

ALL of my dog except for my latest have been rescues, my cats are rescues, my rats are rescues, heck and bunch of my chickens are rescues....I wholly and fully support rescue.  However, I also wholly and fully support reputable breeding..there is a reason different breeds have temperament profiles, exercise needs, etc.  Its nice and sometimes downright imperative to know what to expect in a dog and what you are getting.  

post #24 of 44

Our dog would meet your criteria, except he's a little bigger.... near 100 lbs. He's a St. Bernard/mastiff mix, but he behaves like a mastiff. He has short hair, but sheds like crazy. He doesn't drool, though, so that's a big plus! 

post #25 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

Bulldog was my first thought too. It's too bad that's not an option. 

 

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are wonderful dogs, but the hair!! It's long, with a dense undercoat. They shed a lot, and it's definitely not easy upkeep, especially if the dog is in the bush a lot. 

 

Brittany spaniels are really sweet, good family dogs with mostly shorter coats, but tend to be energetic. I think one would do fine with the kind of exercise schedule you are describing, but there are always variations in temperaments even among purebreeds. 

 

Portuguese water dogs? Too big? 

 

Australian Cattle dog (Blue heeler)? I love these dogs. Short hair, not too big, very smart and trainable. They have lots of energy, but again, I think it would be manageable with a long daily walk and off-leash playtime. 

 

With respect to energy levels and exercise needs, my sister prefers working dogs to sporting dogs. She finds that sporting dogs ALWAYS want to play, no matter how much exercise they are given. A working dog is pretty content to relax until it's called upon to do it's job, as long as it gets a good workout everyday. For most family pets, a good long walk and play time equates to "doing it's job". I'm sure there are many exceptions, but I see some truth based on the sporting and working breeds we've owned and known over the years. 

 

 

 

 



I love hunting and sporting dogs and have had a variety of scent hounds, retrievers and pointer and IMO they do not meet the criteria that the OP is asking for. They are awesome dogs. But they are not what I would describe as calm as a general rule and not until they are older if they are. Same problem with the herding breeds. No way on her getting a Australian cattle dog. Shudder the thought of that.

post #26 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post




ITA with everything posted above...EXCEPT, we had a brittany spaniel and he was a hunting dog. Those dogs are bred to RUN RUN RUN all over fields flushing out birds for their owners. He was psychotic in his energy. I definitely don't think a Brittany would be happy in an urban or even suburban environment. They have too much energy, kinda like a German Shorthaired Pointer.

 

 

ITA, I love love my German Shortaired Pointer but she is 9 years old now and she drove me nuts when she was young. Her and my German Shepherd puppy are best buds though and keep each other entertained. I wouldn't recommend either to the OP though, per her requested attributes.
 

 

post #27 of 44

oh yikes, yeah cattle dogs are some serious dog!  They are great, dont get me wrong, but need A LOT of work.  People who have breeds like this dont just play a bit in the yard and do a walk or two a day...its like run miles, compete in sports, etc.  

 

What about a standard poodle?  I personally dont like them cut the way they often do, love them with a nice full face:)  They are wonderful family pets, smart, energetic but not crossing the line into spastic without a job like some others do.

post #28 of 44

I'd get a hound.  A beagle or a foxhound.

post #29 of 44
Also what you need to keep in mind, in addition to no puppy is ever calm enough, is individual comfort zone. I have a 12 month old pup, rescue that I've had since she was very young. She ha been to tons of classes ranging from puppy on up (i teach dog training classes) and plays fabulously with almost all dogs. I would NEVER take her to dog park. She is very soft and would not be able to handle the inappropriate dog play that dog parks encourage. I am positive that she would quickly become aggressive if put in that situation. Instead she gets together and plays with other appropriate dogs. I would also never leave her outside of a store tied up. The majority of people do not know how to greet and interact with dogs and for my soft girl who adores everyone, if a stranger came up to her, loomed over her, and roughly pet her, she would be done.

With all of that said, there are plenty of dogs out there that would thrive at dog parks, etc. There are also plenty of dogs who are taken there and become extremely uncomfortable while their oblivious owners are excited their dog is getting exercise. The discomfort results in bad behavior elsewhere. It depends a lot on the individual, something a knowledgeable breeder can help predict, but it's not 100% until the dog is an adult. I would consider toy breeds as many were bred to be companions. You would probably have the shorter hyper puppy stage with one of them. Be prepared to adjust life as needed for your individual dog. Don't force them into a lifestyle if it doesn't end up fitting their personality.

Hope this helps!!
post #30 of 44
Thread Starter 

I do not expect a puppy to be calm. I don't even want it.

I love the puppy stage. They are like 2 year olds. Wild, fun, learning, making messes.

I know what puppies are like.

 

A rescue is not right for us right now. We have specific needs for size and temperament. Neither of us are fabulous dog trainers, or highly experienced. We have had dogs as kids, and been to training classes. We want to start with a puppy where we have an idea what to expect. Every animal comes with surprises, but getting a puppy from known parentage, health and temperament tested, is a better starting place for us.

 

If someone posted about TTC, you wouldn't tell them about how they should adopt an older child. They have made their choice to have a baby, and while there are many 10 year olds who need loving homes, adopting a 10 year old isn't right for every family.

 

We want a mid to large sized dog. I want something that comes up to my knees. We will be living in Berlin. There will be people everywhere. I want something big enough to see, and big enough to have energy to go for long walks. I feel more comfortable walking a dog that I can see without looking down. For me, that is about knee-height. I NEVER want to have a dog in a stroller or a handbag.

 

We want a doggy dog. Play frisbee in the park. Go on walks. Play fetch. I don't want a toy.

 

Apartment life is not a bad life for a dog. Going on several walks per day, living with a big family, that is not too bad. Living there, we walk everywhere. It is normal to walk to some shop every day. It is a cultural norm to leave your dog tied up outside a store when you go inside for a few minutes. In germany, if your dog is on a leash, outside a store, and bites someone, the dog owner is not responsible. It is a different country, with different norms.

 

Judging by the dogs I have seen on the streets, where nearly half are this size or larger, I am not the only one who wants a big dog in the city.

 

I am not doing anything wrong here. I am planning ahead of time. I have heard a lot of great animal advice here, and was looking for breed suggestions, not suggestions to do something else entirely.

post #31 of 44

a keeshound would be the right size and temperament, but have LOTS of hair.  Plus they are the CUTEST puppies!!! 

post #32 of 44

We have a poodle mix and in many ways she is great.  BUT!  She was the most destructive puppy in the universe.  We walk her for about an hour a day and have a big fenced yard.  She was hell.   Now, she is great (3 yo) for the most part.  Poodles are really nice dogs, but they are so smart that you have to tire them mentally, as well as physically.

 

Are you planning on having a crate for the dog in the apt?  That would make a difference for me.  In order to leave our dog as a puppy, she needed to be crated otherwise she would destroy absolutely everything in reach. 

post #33 of 44

I recommend a Golden Retriever like a PP. A female will be between 55 and 65 pounds and if she is spayed and on a quality food she will not shed much. Coat care and bathing is easy and will not require professional grooming like a poodle or poodle mix would. Germany has some very good breeders and if you go through a reputable breeder they will likely do temperament testing, (and you will definitely want to go though a breeder that does this). The testing will show which puppies are high or low energy and which will be easily trainable. Since you mentioned that you are novice trainers, I think that the trainability of the dog is key for you. Goldens do ok in an apartment with regular exercise since they really love their people and want to be near them. I have a hard time getting my Goldens to go outside and exercise without me, they just come back to the front door and whine to get back in! Some of the working dogs may match your criteria, (Belgian Malinois and similar types), they may be too dominant for people new to training. If you are considering a Golden, now would be a great time to contact the breed club in Berlin and get on an email list that focuses on breed discussion. That way you are well versed in the breed characteristics and health problems before you even start looking for a breeder. Actually, I would recommend that you do that with any breed that you are considering.

post #34 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post

The biggest obstacle see is you say you want a calm dog. Regardless of how calm the breed is known to be as as adult, puppies are not known to be calm and the medium+ size breeds take longer to mature than small breeds so you could easily be looking at years before the dog matures into calm. If calmness is a high priority for you then I'd seriously consider getting an adult dog so that you avoid the hyper puppy stage and also know that the dog has a calm disposition, because even within a breed known for it there are dogs that just aren't and you won't know you have one until it's grown.



 I wish to 3rd this - puppies are not calm, so you are setting yourself up for a year + of high energy.  bolding an important point above.  goldens and labs are both high energy breeds, even though most can be wonderful family dogs.

 

also, a french bulldog is not the same as what you're probably thinking of as a bulldog or bully breed.

post #35 of 44


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bremen View Post

I do not expect a puppy to be calm. I don't even want it.

I love the puppy stage. They are like 2 year olds. Wild, fun, learning, making messes.

I know what puppies are like.

 

A rescue is not right for us right now. We have specific needs for size and temperament. Neither of us are fabulous dog trainers, or highly experienced. We have had dogs as kids, and been to training classes. We want to start with a puppy where we have an idea what to expect. Every animal comes with surprises, but getting a puppy from known parentage, health and temperament tested, is a better starting place for us.

 

If someone posted about TTC, you wouldn't tell them about how they should adopt an older child. They have made their choice to have a baby, and while there are many 10 year olds who need loving homes, adopting a 10 year old isn't right for every family.

 

We want a mid to large sized dog. I want something that comes up to my knees. We will be living in Berlin. There will be people everywhere. I want something big enough to see, and big enough to have energy to go for long walks. I feel more comfortable walking a dog that I can see without looking down. For me, that is about knee-height. I NEVER want to have a dog in a stroller or a handbag.

 

We want a doggy dog. Play frisbee in the park. Go on walks. Play fetch. I don't want a toy.

 

Apartment life is not a bad life for a dog. Going on several walks per day, living with a big family, that is not too bad. Living there, we walk everywhere. It is normal to walk to some shop every day. It is a cultural norm to leave your dog tied up outside a store when you go inside for a few minutes. In germany, if your dog is on a leash, outside a store, and bites someone, the dog owner is not responsible. It is a different country, with different norms.

 

Judging by the dogs I have seen on the streets, where nearly half are this size or larger, I am not the only one who wants a big dog in the city.

 

I am not doing anything wrong here. I am planning ahead of time. I have heard a lot of great animal advice here, and was looking for breed suggestions, not suggestions to do something else entirely.

To the bolded, I think you are getting to caught up on breeders being the one and only way to know a dog's temperment etc. There are SO MANY purebred dog rescues out there that can find you a puppy. It isn't asking you to "look at the 10 year olds" or comparing it TTC...People are making valid points. You CAN get a purebred dog from a rescue that specializes in that breed and you can get a puppy too!.... It is just a matter of looking. Also knowing the breeder and the parents is still not a guarantee of anything with a dog. Yes bad breeding can result in some issues but even good breeding can present dogs with challenges...Also you are ignoring the fact that purebred dogs in generally are notorious for various health issues that come up throughout life.

 

Finally, you mention that you think taking a dog for several walks a day is sufficient exercise and I will STRONGLY disagree with this. Except for a few breeds (I'm thinking mastiff's and the like here) several on leash walks a day is NOT enough exercise for the average dog. They need at least a 1/2 hour, but better would be at least an hour, off leash daily to be happy and avoid destructive habits, such as chewing stuff and just general restlessness due to lack of exercise. I know you said you have owned dogs all your lives but seriously a few walks a day is NOT enough for the average breed of dog, it bothers me that you think it would be. Apartment living is fine for some breeds of dog but that is coupled with a lot of exercise and on leash just doesn't hack it all the time.

 

You have been given a lot of great advice here. It's too bad you don't like some of it, everything seems well intentioned. At this point I am just pretty bothered by your assertion that a puppy (let alone full grown dog) can be satisfied living in an apartment with several walks a day. You are setting yourself up for disaster if that is what you think. You have gotten several great breed suggestions but I think you are just unrealistic about what dealing with a puppy is going to be like.

post #36 of 44

I disagree with your disagreement. lol.gif  Before kids, I was a professional dogwalker & petsitter.  I walked all kinds of dogs, from mutts to Bassets, Labs, Goldens, a Great Dane, a Shar Pei, a Springer Spaniel, Pit Bulls, Pomeranians, German Shepherds, Vizslas and Jack Russells.   They were my regular clients and I was very involved with their care.  For my dogwalking clients, I went to their house or apartment 3-5x a week while the people were at work, and walked the dog for 30 min or so.  I know that for many of the dogs, this was the only actual exercise they got that day. They were of course taken out to pee when their families got home, but then it was dinner and homework and bedtime and no time for walks- that is what they hired me for!

 

My point is that these dogs were fine. They were fit, happy, not destructive or mentally unhinged because they didn't get an hour of off leash time every day, or even ever. They were very well-adjusted family dogs.  It's wrong to suggest that people who don't walk their dogs for long periods several times a day cannot be good dog owners, because they certainly can. To me it sounds like the OP plans to give the dog plenty of exercise. 

post #37 of 44

If I walked my dog 30 minutes, 3-5x per week, she would DESTROY the whole world.  It depends on the individual dog, as well as the breed. 

 

That being said, if she walked 2x per day for 30-45 minutes, plus off leash dog park visits, she will likely be just fine. 

post #38 of 44
Golden Retriever. I loved mine so much, he was wonderfully sweet and seemed like he understood everything. Awesome with kids, they crawled all over him, laid on him and he just loved it.
Longer hair but easily controlled most of the year, just spring was extra shedding.

oh yeah, ETA we got him as a puppy when we lived in a second floor apt. I remember training him and running down the stairs to get him outside to pee on the tree out front, lol.
He loved living in apts, we moved a couple times and then loved it when we bought our house. He was a city dog all the way and loved walks in the city. We took him to a nature conservancy park and he swam in the river there and hiked with us
post #39 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lula's Mom View Post

I disagree with your disagreement. lol.gif  Before kids, I was a professional dogwalker & petsitter.  I walked all kinds of dogs, from mutts to Bassets, Labs, Goldens, a Great Dane, a Shar Pei, a Springer Spaniel, Pit Bulls, Pomeranians, German Shepherds, Vizslas and Jack Russells.   They were my regular clients and I was very involved with their care.  For my dogwalking clients, I went to their house or apartment 3-5x a week while the people were at work, and walked the dog for 30 min or so.  I know that for many of the dogs, this was the only actual exercise they got that day. They were of course taken out to pee when their families got home, but then it was dinner and homework and bedtime and no time for walks- that is what they hired me for!

 

My point is that these dogs were fine. They were fit, happy, not destructive or mentally unhinged because they didn't get an hour of off leash time every day, or even ever. They were very well-adjusted family dogs.  It's wrong to suggest that people who don't walk their dogs for long periods several times a day cannot be good dog owners, because they certainly can. To me it sounds like the OP plans to give the dog plenty of exercise. 

I'm not saying they aren't good dog owners, I am saying no dog is fulfilled (no matter what you want to tell me with dog walking experience, been there done that, family bred dogs been there done that, worked with trainers etc, read behavioral books) with not getting regular off leash time. Period. This is pretty much a fact amongst dog professionals of the world. Yes the dog can be happy and yes you can avoid issues if they are still super exercised but never getting off leash time sucks for a dog. Period.


 

 

post #40 of 44

Um, OK? I'm sorry, that just makes me laugh.   I believe I would be more fulfilled if I lived in Spain and painted beautiful paintings every day, but that ain't my life and I am still happy with what I have!lol.gif  I guess a whole lot of dogs in this world are not "fulfilled". They'll never reach self-actualization.  And it doesn't matter- they are also still happy and have beautiful lives.  Sure. They would love to run off leash all the time, of course they would, but it is not feasible for many people to let their dogs do that.  I'm not sure what you want people who live in a place with strict leash laws to do? Or if there are no dog parks? Or people with severely dog-aggressive dogs who can never even be walked on the street, much less set loose in a dog park or to run through the woods (I had one!)?  In any case, the OP said she plans to allow her dog off-leash time at a dog park, so your point is moot. 



You said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ldavis24 View Post

Finally, you mention that you think taking a dog for several walks a day is sufficient exercise and I will STRONGLY disagree with this. Except for a few breeds (I'm thinking mastiff's and the like here) several on leash walks a day is NOT enough exercise for the average dog. They need at least a 1/2 hour, but better would be at least an hour, off leash daily to be happy and avoid destructive habits, such as chewing stuff and just general restlessness due to lack of exercise.

And I pointed out that I have cared for hundreds of dogs (you seem to want to dismiss that experience, does it matter that I also spent years as a registered vet tech? no?), so I do pretty well know what "the average dog" is like.  As a pp said, certain dogs don't do well unless they have a whole lot of exercise. They will chew things, yes.  But saying that the average dog needs 1/2-1 hour of off leash exercise daily in order to just maintain sanity and not destroy the house, is not a realistic viewpoint and doesn't match up with my considerable experience in observing these matters. The OP's dog, when she gets it, will be fine. And if it's not, I expect she will recognize that and take it to the dog park more often, since she mentioned they will always be there and spending tons of time with it.

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