S/O - Wanting to adopt a second dog. Which breeds/mixes are the friendliest and calmest? - Mothering Forums
Pets > S/O - Wanting to adopt a second dog. Which breeds/mixes are the friendliest and calmest?
ReadingMama's Avatar ReadingMama 07:41 PM 12-12-2011

We love the lab personality.  We prefer dogs who are friendly to everyone, who love children, who are fine with other dogs.  Playful, but not hyper.  Affectionate couch potatoes who like to play sometimes.  Our medium sized lab mix is AWESOME.  She's 10 now.  We've had two smaller dogs in the past and both of them bit pretty much every child who came to our house.  As well as our own child.  We figured maybe it's a little dog thing, so we're expanding our size range. 

What dog breeds are sweet, relatively calm, not too loud, not too sheddy, and without too many inherited health problems?  We're open to mixes, of course. 


P.S. We're considering labs and boxers, and I posted about that in another thread.  Just looking for more options in this thread.



Lovesong's Avatar Lovesong 10:21 AM 12-13-2011

If you can afford one (and find one) I would warmly recommend an Old English Sheepdog.


OES are really playful dogs, right until their death, loving to partake in a game of football or chasing sticks as well as rolling around in the grass with other dogs. At the same time, it is not a breed that require a lot of exercise in order to stay well behaved. Some dog breeds become destructive, if not given enough exercise, but an OES will just lay down and be happy to spend time with the family if you do not have the time for a long afternoon in the park. They understand, constantly glad to be given whatever time you have. So, an ideal dog for a family that wants an affectionate coach potato that still likes to play.


As for temperament, they are very intelligent if a bit stubborn. They do not have the readiness to please of a lab, and might sometimes be prone to do as they themselves want rather than what their owner wants. Such as following an interesting trail further into the forest, even if you call their names...but with a bit of discipline and dog candy that is not really an issue, but rather an interesting personality quirk of the breed.


Generally, OES are very secure in themselves and affectionate and friendly dogs. They do get along best with breeds who like to jump around and chase each other, rather than wrestle. It is because they are very gentle dogs, not prone to being aggressive at all. So dogs that are aggressive in their playstyle (such as rottweilers) are not the best companions for them.


When it comes to children, they are often called nannies of a reason. They tend to take to children as their little lambs, their charges. When young, they may chase after children who run if the herding instinct in them is very strong and have a tendency to try to keep all of the children in front of them. Never by biting, but there can be some nipping until the dog has learnt not to nip or (most likely) the children have learnt how to be with the dog.


Overall, I do not think you can go wrong with an OES as long as you have a good shaving machine to keep the coat cut short. During summer, this is in any case the most humane thing to do.


As for shedding, OES sheds more like a human than a dog. That is, in wads of hair being brushed out of the coat rather than these hard, needle like hair cementing themselves to rugs and upholstery.

starrlamia's Avatar starrlamia 11:38 AM 12-13-2011

As I stated in the other thread all dogs have health issues all breeds have issues. The only way to be certain you are getting a dog that will have few health issues is to go to a reputable breeder.


All dogs are different, even within a specific breed there are different personalities. Little dogs can be great dogs, it is a matter of training your dog and children to respect one another.


There is no perfect dog breed, they all have their pluses and minuses, for your requirements I would recommend getting a mature dog so you can be sure about their temperment... But here are a few that make good family dogs.


Boston Terriers- small, playful, some can have a lot of energy and because they are terriers may or may not like other dogs (get an adult).

Pugs- laid back, dont need much energy, are generally good with kids

Basenji- Great little dogs, are described as being more like a cat then a dog, can be high energy

Pit bull- can be high energy but are absolutely great with kids and people (were once called nanny dogs), they may or may not like other dogs

Mastiffs- big dogs but are laid back and need little exercise, they are great with their people but are aloof with strangers, most will warm up.

Poodle- Can be high energy and may need more exercise, great with families

Beagle- great with kids, a bit more low key then some other breeds


There are a ton of other breeds. I would recommend against herding dogs, some bully breeds and most terriers because of their high energy requirements. I would contact rescues in the area and let them know what you are looking for and be open about the breed, they know their dogs well if they are living in foster situations.



nd_deadhead's Avatar nd_deadhead 12:32 PM 12-14-2011

Just to back up Star - we are on our second Cardigan Welsh Corgi. We got them both from the same breeder; the first (Topper) when he was 10 months old; the second (Yancy) when he was a year and a half.


Both are wonderful examples of their breed, and terrific dogs, but they are very different. Topper loved all dogs, but was afraid of anyone who looked like my brother (he scared the crap out of the dog when he was a puppy, and Topper never, ever forgot). He was very independent, and needed constant reminding that we were the boss. He loved being petted, but did not like to snuggle up on the couch - after he'd been petted, he would lay down nearby. Topper would do anything for a treat - he knew a lot of tricks, but wouldn't always do them if I didn't have a treat in my hand. He loved us, but wasn't exactly affectionate. He was sensible - he put himself to bed at night, even if everyone else was still up.


Yancy is very different. He is a snuggle-bunny, and if he starts out next to you, before you know it, he's in your lap. He will do anything to please, and has learned 4 new tricks in 3 weeks (treats not required!). He loves all people, but is afraid of dogs and cats. He is completely attached to me, and will follow me all over the house. He doesn't like to be in a room by himself when we're home (though he's fine when we're gone).


Even though both are representative of their breed - smart, playful, even-tempered - they have very different personalities. Again, I agree with Star - rind a reputable breeder or rescue organization that will get to know each individual dog, and let them help you choose one that suits your family.

starrlamia's Avatar starrlamia 10:45 AM 12-15-2011

corgis are also great family dogs lol!

ReadingMama's Avatar ReadingMama 11:43 AM 12-15-2011

Ha!  I just talked to the shelter about this dog this morning! 

Going to meet this one today.


And here's the boxer we're meeting Sunday.

starrlamia's Avatar starrlamia 11:37 AM 12-16-2011

oh gosh the first one is adorable!! The second one doesnt look border collie at all lol

Good luck!

fresh_veggie's Avatar fresh_veggie 01:21 PM 01-25-2012

You very much just described a retired racing greyhound.  Believe it or not.  We have had ours for over a year, he loves kids, doesn't bark (ok, maybe twice the entire time we've had him), and he's very outgoing but very much a lazy couch potato that hardly needs any exercise.  Greyhounds don't have much skin oil so they never stink and are less likely to cause allergies.  Medically speaking, greyhounds are prone to very little "breed" diseases - because breeding is so strictly controlled to not allow inbreeding, there aren't really any diseases they get more than other dogs (dogs with long legs, however, are prone to bone cancer - greys are not the most prone out of long legged dogs).  Greyhounds generally live to be 14 or so, despite being rather large.  Ours is 80 lbs and very solid, but very much a cuddler.


Some things are a bit quirky, things that just go along with being a sighthound.  Fetching is either yes or no - some just won't do it.  They are pretty independent and harder to train than an eager to please lab, but ours has done really well and knows basic obedience and a couple "tricks."  They do have to be on a leash at all times when you aren't in an enclosed area.  There are lots of rescue groups that you can contact, and they will help match a dog with you and your lifestyle, kids, and other pets.  


I see you don't have your location listed, but just look up either Greyhound Pets of America or your state and greyhound adoption.  They are truly wonderful, loving animals that appreciate "the retired life."  


Good luck with whatever dog you choose!