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Discussion Starter #1
We're looking to adopt a dog from a rescue / foster home. We have 2 indoor cats. DD#2 is almost 4, so we have a young child. I'm a long distance runner and would love to have a dog running companion. I run about 6 miles a day during the week and longer runs in the weekend. I'm looking for a medium size dog. I'm not very experienced with dogs so a dog more on the docile side would suit us. An easy going dog that likes to hang out during the day (after the morning run) and not too demanding would be idea. We homeschool so we can be with the dog during the day. DH (cat person) would like the dog crated at night. The brittanys are on top of my list. Other suggestions?<br>
A friend of mine is fostering a dog, really sweet (mutt - hound / retriever / ...). The dog is great with kids. Learned to sit and stay fairly quickly. She was waiting calmly for my friend in the car while we chatted. I had a bichon before and she would just bark and yipe the whole time. Anyways, I'm tempted to adopt her but feel that maybe I should do more research. Thoughts on this?
 

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I'd look into this....<br><a href="http://www.selectsmart.com/DOG/#top" target="_blank">http://www.selectsmart.com/DOG/#top</a><br><br><br>
It may help some.
 

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I would not do a Brittany, unless it's like no Brittany I've ever known.<br><br>
With that much exercise to offer, if you're drawn to the sporting dogs I'd look at the English Cocker and the English Setter. Both are dogs that are VERY gentle and good with kids once they've got their wiggles out.<br><br>
I'd also see if your friend will let you "borrow" the mixed-breed for a few days, long enough to see how things go with the cat and kids. If it works, that's a great solution.<br><br>
Click either link in my signature and then on "articles" for more on choosing a breed.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for the responses.<br>
thekimballs: I'm curious why you don't think the brittanys would be a good fit. Is that because they're hard to train? Or require a more experienced dog owner?<br><br>
I'll check out the english cocker and english setter. I assume they're good for the novice dog owner. i plan to sign up for a dog obedience class regardless of what we get.<br><br>
My friend has a cat and so I know that dog is good with cats. She brought the dog to pick up his son after our homeschool group meeting, and there were 7-8 kids surrounding the dog. The dog was friendly (although my friend said the dog relaxed after most of the kids left). I'll give my friend a call. I wonder if the organization that she's fostering the dog from would let us borrow the dog. That would be perfect though. Thanks.<br>
I'll check out your links now.<br><br>
ETA: Whats the difference between a cocker spaniel and an english cocker spaniel (dh says one of them speaks english!!)
 

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I'm a fly-by poster to the pet section.... my friends have always had border collies, they used to have goats so the dogs had a 'job' which kept them content with their (bc) need to control things. as my friends have gotten older (65 and 75) the goats and other livestock have gone but they enjoyed the bordie collies so much they have adopted others over the years through a rescue, their last dog, a wonderful personality, had so much energy but my friends just could not give her the exercise she needed to stay content, the man the rescue place sent out to meet with the dog was a runner, he took bonnie out for a run and they bonded, he was happy she was happy, bonnie found a new home better suited for her energy levels.<br><br>
I don't know the whole ins and outs to the border collie, they are a varied breed, and may not even be a breed breed if that makes sense, my hubby is always talking about 'it's more of what they do as of what they look like' I'm lost on that conversation.... all of their dogs have been well-behaved, not yappy, not jumpy or frizzled. Our friends have cats, chickens and our kids are over there a bunch <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> the dogs are wonderful.<br><br>
thought I'd share about the running story, so be sure to tell the rescue about that so they may be able to make a good match for you.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamaMAMAma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10317761"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you both for the responses.<br>
thekimballs: I'm curious why you don't think the brittanys would be a good fit. Is that because they're hard to train? Or require a more experienced dog owner?</div>
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No, Brittanys are super-easy to train. The reason I don't recommend Brittanys to the average family is that they are WOUND. Every Brittany I've ever stood next to was actually shaking, ever so slightly. Take a dog like that out into the field and they are gorgeous--they're like the butterflies of the sporting dogs, and they're so happy and light--but it means that they are intensely reactive and the opposite of easygoing. Now OF COURSE every dog is an individual, and there are sure to be couch-potato Brittanys out there, but the breed overall is a taut string. They're also very submissive, and can tend toward fear/fear biting if you overwhelm them.<br><br>
I don't know how important it is to you to have a pace dog--in other words, a dog who trots at the same rate you run, not trot-gallop-trot-gallop--but if you want a very smooth dog beside you the English Setter may be the best bet. I generally recommend the Laverack "show dog" type of Setter, not the Llewelyn field setters; the Laveracks are a little bigger, less intense, more tolerant. However, almost all English Setters available in rescue are the field type.<br><br>
Don't confine yourself solely to the sporting group, of course--there are many great jogging-companion breeds out there. But I happen to really like the personality of the English Setter and the English Cocker.
 

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I totally agree with thekimballs about brittanys. I've never knows one I wanted to live with! Nice dogs, pretty dogs, but not a good match for the word "docile".<br><br>
English setters and English cockers are both breeds with grooming requirements. Are you willing to get something that needs professional grooming? My initial thought is that a 6 mile run is a lot for an Eng. Cocker. They are not very large dogs with very far reaching gaits.<br><br>
I'd rule out a border collie as well as they are very driven dogs. Though a daily run would go far to work out some of their energy, in general, they are bred for herding and they have a compulsion for organizing things around them like other animals and children. They will herd them if possible. The border collies I've known didn't like chaos, didn't like running kids - it represents disorder to them and it's in their bones to get up and gather things together. It's funny to watch but I wouldn't want to live with it either.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks on the info about the brittanys... something those guides don't tell you about.<br>
The English setters look great, but I can't find a rescue near us. Will keep looking. Grooming wise, I'm willing to take the dog to a groomer once every 3 months. Would that be sufficient?<br>
I've ruled out the border collies too because they seem to be hyper indoors. How about the australian collie?<br>
I'm not set on a sporting breed (not sure I know what that means exactly), but I'm definitely looking for a running companion.
 

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I think if your friend is fostering a dog you are considering, why not call and see if you can spend a little bit of time with the dog. You can ask your friend all your questions and really get a feel for what this dog is like.<br><br>
I've known a lot of Brittany owners who absolutely loved them. <i>But</i> they were all big time hunters, and the dogs were professionally trained hunting dogs, who got to go out almost every weekend on a trip.
 

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I agree with brittany's being wound. i have a weimaraner and they're similar in temprament. You have to be a family that either stays home to be with the animal OR takes it with you where ever you go to give it proper attention and exercise. They aren't docile as was mentioned. Rarely do they sit down and just let you "pet" them.<br><br>
A basset is a great running companion. They run as long as they have a partner and once they're done they lay.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mamaMAMAma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10319445"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thanks on the info about the brittanys... something those guides don't tell you about.<br>
The English setters look great, but I can't find a rescue near us. Will keep looking. Grooming wise, I'm willing to take the dog to a groomer once every 3 months. Would that be sufficient?<br>
I've ruled out the border collies too because they seem to be hyper indoors. How about the australian collie?<br>
I'm not set on a sporting breed (not sure I know what that means exactly), but I'm definitely looking for a running companion.</div>
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By Sporting breed, we mean a breed from the Sporting Group. The AMerican Kennel Club, our national breed registry, classifies dogs according to their heritage and original purpose. Of the top of my head, the groups are: Sporting, Hound, Working, Herding, Non-Sporting, Toy, and Terrier. The Sporting dogs were developed to assist man in hunting in various styles - either pointing out the birds (pointers, setters), flushing out the birds (spaniels) or retreiving them, either on land or water (the retrievers and some spaniels). All the groups have dogs developed for specific purposes, some of them simply being beautiful and cuddly!<br><br>
If you can, go to your local library and check out the AKC Purebred Dog Book. It will most likely be a bit dated and they are recognizing new breeds often. The AKC also has a website.<br><br>
As for grooming, every three months may be a bit long for a setter or spaniel. If you recall what thekimballs explained about the two different types of setters above, that will determine the coat. As I just explained, these breeds have been developed to work in the field (thus they are intellegent and have a willingness to please in general). As dog shows have developed, people have bred dogs to be more beautiful aka, have more coat and longer coat. A lot of coat is not really an advantage in a field working dog. Unfortunately, over time, some of these working breeds have almost become two different breeds within a breed - those from working stock and those from show stock. You won't find long beautiful coat on a working dog and you won't find a show dog with a short sparse coat - speaking for Eng setters, but it applies to all the setters and the spaniels as well. You could easily get away with trimming a field dog every 12 weeks, not likely for a dog of show stock. Also, the temperamant can vary between the two as teh field dogs are activey bred to be working dogs and have the energy we've talking about in the Brittany, hence Joanna's recomendation to get one from show stock.<br><br>
Make sense?
 

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I wouldn't recommend a herding dog for a household with small children if you're aiming for a calm, low-key homelife. We have an Aussie, and running with you would make his day, AND he's very calm for the breed. BUT his instincts/genes/whatever for herding makes life with small children really exciting for all concerned. It is SO hard to convince them the los are not sheep. They run and squeak and roll on the floor. They run off in all directions at once and refuse to sit around in clumps. Herding dog must respond. Herding dog must tug on their clothes (and ??) with his teeth. Herding dog must shove them into place with his shoulder (this is slightly different than shoving them down for dominance, but just as big a NO-NO). Herding dog becomes stressed and anxious when chaos reigns. Parents must teach herding dog his natural responses are not appropriate here. It's not easy, though it can be done.<br><br>
In short, we love our shepherd but I can definitely see it would have been easier on all concerned to bring him into a home with adults/older kids only.<br><br>
We rescued him from a private party (his next stop was the drowning pool or abandonment) without any education <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hide.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hide">: and got lucky. Since you're doing the right thing and checking it all out ahead of time, my .02 is a herding dog is not a good choice for your requirements.<br><br>
Good luck! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Oh, and, though you haven't mentioned it, don't get a Jack Russell Terrier.<br>
(at least not until your kids are teens). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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Discussion Starter #14
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SquibsNCrackers</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10320718"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, and, though you haven't mentioned it, don't get a Jack Russell Terrier.<br>
(at least not until your kids are teens). <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"></div>
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My chiro has a JRT, so I know what not to get. Very friendly but hyper dog, the girls are a bit scared of the dog constantly licking and jumping on them.<br><br>
So where am I...<br>
Brittany - no<br>
border collie - no<br>
english setter / english cocker - no (frequent glooming)<br>
australian collie - no (herding instinct)<br><br>
??? Other suggestions?<br>
I'll stop by the library to get a book to learn more on the different breeds.<br><br>
I'll see my friend who's fostering the dog today. I hope she still has her.
 

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This hound retriever mix sounds like a wonderful addition to your family. Hounds are excellent family dogs. Retrievers will run when given the chance and will calm when necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I emailed a picture of the hound/retriever mix to a friend and she said the dog definitely is part pit bull. She suggested I look for another dog. I know not all pits are "dangerous", but being a novice dog owner and mother of young kids I'd rather stay clear of the breed. (please don't flame me!)<br><br>
What do people think about labradoodles or goldiedoodles?
 

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The designer dog route is NOT a bad route to take. With them being mixed usually they have many low key traits. Not to mention the hypoallergenic tendencies they do make wonderful household companions.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>afishwithabike</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10325767"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The designer dog route is NOT a bad route to take. With them being mixed usually they have many low key traits. Not to mention the hypoallergenic tendencies they do make wonderful household companions.</div>
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This is TOTALLY TOTALLY FALSE. It's 3 am and I just got up to pee, so I am not going to write a ton now, but "designer" dogs are a bad idea. Will be back in the (later) morning with why.
 

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I think the obvious couch-potato-inside, great runner outside who can go the distance with you daily but not be hyper or driven when you are not running, is a sighthound. Whippet, saluki, afghan, borzoi, greyhound (there are others but you get the idea). They are also, as a rule, great with kids. Some may want to chase a cat but you can find good-with-cat rescues fairly easily, even retired racers.
 
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