decision making--looking for help

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by noob, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. noob

    noob New Member

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    This is WAY still in the pondering stage, but after doing a bunch of online research I am still confused, and am looking for help from people who know more about dogs than I do.

    We are considering getting a dog, and I am looking for help to find the breed/mix that would be appropriate for us. Most importantly, the dog must be good with children (7 and under) and able to tolerate other pets including two outdoor cats and two indoor guinea pigs. Those two factors are deal breakers. Best case scenario: I would also like a dog that barks when strangers approach, yet trainable to be quiet when told to, not exceptionally large, doesn't require heavy grooming, and not a huge "dog smell". We have a medium house with a small completely fenced yard, but I anticipate that the dog would be inside most of the time. A typical week would include only about 5 hours when nobody is at home. We've never owned a dog before and would want one that would be good for a newbie. I would prefer NOT to get a puppy--I've had a kitten before and they are fun but wild, and I imagine a puppy would be that way times ten!

    In the course of my searching I keep seeing a few breeds over and over--Border Terrier, Boston Terrier, Miniature Pinscher, Beagle, and Labrador Retriever. Everything I read about each of those breeds has some negative to it but I know that some little blurb on the internet isn't going to tell me all I need to know.

    I would greatly appreciate it if some of you more knowledgeable people could help me out with some suggestions. Breed quizzes can only take me so far, you know? Thanks!!!
     
  2. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    My best suggestion is to go to your local humane society or shelter and look around. Getting an adult dog is definitely a smart idea, and by checking out a shelter or rescue, it's very probable that you'll find a dog that's the perfect "mix" for your family.
     
  3. Apollonaro

    Apollonaro New Member

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    I don't know much, but i did hear somewhere that it wasn't the best idea to get a terrier if you have young children running around. I've had two in my life, and they both were very snippy towards children yet totally calm around adults. I would do the same thing as renee suggested, there's hundreds of dogs waiting at shelters everywhere that are just searching for that special family that they can love and protect, we adopted our Foxhound from there, and he's one of the best dogs i've ever owned as far as i can remember (unfortunately i haven't owned all that many larger breed dogs) he's medium sized, his head comes to about my kneecaps and i'm 5'3'', he only ever barks when someone comes into the house too fast and it's just one bark. he rarely needs grooming, i always brush him though just to get loose hair out. he's unbelievably good around children. If you get a chance you can look up American Foxhounds on the internet, and i've got pictures of Apollo on my webpage www.geocities.com/apollonaro which might be helpful for you to get an idea of the size he is. Good luck with your search, i hope you find the perfect dog :) and don't forget to check local shelters and sometimes newspapers (Sometimes crazy people give away the most beautiful loving animals in the newspaper)
     
  4. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Apollonaro's right about Terriers. They are NOT dogs for most children. Some kids do very well with Terriers, and vice versa, but it's not typical. Terriers are very, VERY dominant dogs, despite their size. They're also great hunters - not good news for guinea pigs.
     
  5. Apollonaro

    Apollonaro New Member

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    ^when we first got our current Yorkie Terrier. We had an Unexpected visitor (a field mouse) Somehow find his way indoors. And the only reason we found out about it was because athena went absolutely INSANE. The mouse was in behind our tv so athena started to actually chew and rip at the wires trying to get at her, eventually her high pitched bark scared the crap out of the poor little mouse nad i caught him in a container and carried him back outside to the field, where he belonged. She also chooses favorites in the family. When my mothers boyfriend is here he is her favorite, and whenever he's gone, i am her fave person. And whoever comes near the "chosen one" should be prepared for a snap & Squeal test as i like to call it. She'll snap like 50 times at your hands and her bark is weird it's like a whining yelping bark. We also had a terrier cross when i was growing up, i was about 12 and knew not to bug the dog after it nailed me in the nose becuase i got too compulsive with the petting, and if he was taunted by a young child any child for that matter he would steal their food! He stole my cousins cookie when she was like 3. Becuase she picked him up the wrong way. Definately something to consider in the long run. The breeder that sold Athena to us was very irresponsible and didn't even bother to question if there were young kids in the house. on the OTHER hand, i find larger dogs to be more tolerant. Specially ones that have been adopted. Apollo for instance will withstand a 4 year old jumping on his back like a horse, petting him a little bit TOO hard, teasing him. I just find him to be more docile, and he's quite young too. But i feel like ur on the right track, with researching and stuff.
     
  6. artstudent

    artstudent New Member

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    I'd think that a lab or lab mix would work best in your situation... Although labs can be pretty large, some of the mixes are smaller in size. Labs are also generally less snippy than terriers and probably not so prone to digging. Beagles are nice dogs, less snippy than terriers but they dig a lot and "bray"...a long sustained barking and they're also hyper as all get out...especially a young dog. Another option might be a boxer...they're supposed to be very good with kids (if raised around them) and although hyper, if you adopted an adult (maybe 3-4 yrs old) it would probably be a little "mellower" than a younger dog or puppy.

    Artstudent
     
  7. noob

    noob New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies so far, they have been very helpful. I wouldn't mind a shelter dog at all, but I like hearing information about what may or may not be a good choice. The last thing I want is to go to a shelter, fall in love with a dog, and then later find out it's a totally inappropriate choice.

    Thanks again, and still looking for any more input!
     
  8. leaughxp

    leaughxp New Member

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    Just wanted to say I got a lab/hound mix puppy recently and he gets very hyper. Hopefully he'll grow out of it a little. Maybe that's is his hound part though cause I've heard labs were great family dogs. If you do get a lab, I'd watch his tail though with the kids because it can hurt! And with the kids I'd get a smaller sized lab, my neighbor used to have a yellow lab that was 120 pounds, he was huge! My puppy wags his tail all the time and in his crate you hear thump, thump, thump. Maybe a mix would be good just consider what the other part is.

    I had a West highland terrier and he was a GREAT dog! He got mats but we didn't ever brush him much because he hated it. Don't really know how much grooming they really need but I would guess not a huge amount if brushed regularly. Bailey had a great personality good with kids and my youngest sister was four when we got him. He was big for a westie (about 25 pounds) and he would bark sometimes if people came to the door. He would chase chimpmunks, squirls, and rabbits but never caught any. He loved to go for walks and suntan in the yard. Just thought I'd through it out there in case you hadn't considered them but they may be more grooming than you'd like.
     
  9. bogolove

    bogolove New Member

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    A lab may be a good dog for you. I was going to suggest a golden, but the golden has longer hair which may annoy you, but they tend to be very smart, gentle, good natured dogs. Now I was told my dog is a lab/golden retreiver mix, but he is starting to have a lab/great pyrenees look to him so I don't know for sure, but if the lab/golden mix is true he is extremely gentle with children, barks at anyone in front of our house, and his fur is longer but he does not shed too bad, it tends to come out only with a quick brushing. But he is a 70 pounds now and that may be bigger than you want. Now my mom has a lab mix who if she was not overweight would probably weigh about 50 or so pounds. She is also very gentle and loving with children and loves everyone but will bark at a stranger. I also agree at checking with a shelter and the tend to be able to tell you if a dog they have is good with other animals or not.

    Terriers can be snippy. I had a West Highland White Terrier, and believe me I loved that dog but he could be snippy, not necessarily at kids, but he could be sometimes. He generally was sweet to everyone, but I can remember my dad yelling at me about something when I was a teenager and if that dog had been a big dog he would have gone at my dad and probably successfully hurt him because he looked pretty violent at that time and he was a sweet dog.

    What about a boxer or a boxer mix? They don't get huge, and they are generally so sweet towards children, I don't know how they do with other animals. They have a short coat, but they do need a reasonable amount of exercise. They are affectionate and loyal to their familes. Just an idea.

    Let us know what you get, and good luck in your search. :)


    (edit) Artstudent- I just saw you mentioned boxer too, sorry I wasn't trying to steal your thunder ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2004
  10. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    Actually the westie is one terrier that I find to be mellower.... Just had to add that, in case you had your heart set on a terrier. They are still terriers, but not as dominant and difficult, IME.
     
  11. bogolove

    bogolove New Member

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    Sorry, I don't want you to think I was putting down the westie. I loved mine very much and he was a great and sweet, loving dog. But he did give me a trying time. He would always escape from the house and I would have to take a piece of cheese out in the neighborhood and try to catch him. He was so fast, I always joked he was like a rabbit. But he ended up escaping one time and he ran up to the highway. I will leave that part alone, but I did enjoy him very much. They are really cute dogs too with those furry little white faces.
     
  12. JRT_Rattie_Mom

    JRT_Rattie_Mom Terrier Lover!

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    We have both a Jack Russell Terrier, and a Rat Terrier. Our JRT is fine with all kids as far as SHE is concerned! The problem is she doesn't understand that young childen fall over when she jumps up trying to play with them! Our Rat Terrier we adopted from a rescue last July at 14 weeks. She is an absolutely wonderful puppy! I had never been around Rat Terriers before, but have done some research on them after adopting Holly. They come in a standard size (up to about 35 lbs.) as well as the popular smaller size that we adopted. Holly will probably only be 10 lbs. full grown. Rat Terriers are smart as whips... good with children... and very sweet as well as entertaining... from what I've seen in ours, and heard about other RT's. You mentioned the Border Terrier as an option, and I had never seen one until recently. There is a Border Terrier that has been at the dog park we go the past few months, and I did notice he is very calm and quiet for a "terrier" but don't know if this is typical of all Broder Terriers.

    Wishing you the best of luck in finding your new family member! :)
     
  13. JRT_Rattie_Mom

    JRT_Rattie_Mom Terrier Lover!

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    OOPS!
    I was also going to mention that Rat Terriers normally do well with cats (I know you didn't mention JRT's as an option, but they are NOT recommended for families w/cats or other small critters like guinea pigs.) We have a 5 foot iguana that we had before getting both the JRT & RT, and both of them just ignore her. I think in many cases any pets you may have when you bring the new addition home (though you would need to monitor carefully) would probably learn to accept those pets as part of the family... but I would suggest choosing a breed that isn't prone to harming cats and/or other small critters.. just to be on the safe side :) Hmmm... not REALLY recommending Rat Terriers here! ;) but they do have very short hair... almost no grooming required at all... just occasional bath, and toe nail trims... and no dog smell here! :)
     
  14. Millie

    Millie New Member

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    I would also suggest going to a shelter. Most of the time you do have some backgroung info on the dog. Such as good with kids and other pets ect. But a lot of dogs at the shelter do have some problems. Thats why most are there. Some run away,bark a lot, dig, bite etc. I am sure there will be some training needed. Also a lot of dogs end up barking a lot when left outside most of the day. They get bored and need human interaction.Labs need exercise so a small yard might not be big enough. You might consider a smaller dog than a lab, so it could live in the house with you and not be taking up all your space. Good luck finding a dog. Let us know who your search turns out.
     
  15. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Most dogs (and cats, for that matter) are in shelters because they suffered the misfortune of ending up with owners who did not care and were irresponsible and callous. We prosecute people who ditch their children in that way, yet make excuses for people who ditch their pets, allowing them to get by with laying the blame on the animal instead of their own inadequacies. :mad:
     
  16. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

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    Exactly. I've volunteered at shelters for years and I always wonder when someone turns in a dog: "Are they REALLY allergic to it?" or "Are they REALLY moving and can't take the dog?"
    They make up excuses to ditch the dog. I'd say about 10% TOPS of the people who turn dogs and cats in are actually being honest about it. (Which is usually: "He's too much dog for me, I can't handle it anymore" or "I think he would be better off in a different home", etc. I still don't agree with their taking the dog to the pound and giving it a potential death sentence, but at least they were being honest.
     
  17. Millie

    Millie New Member

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    Yes, I do agree they end up there because of owners who don't care. They also end up with problem such as running away,barking and digging because they live in a home with people who don't care. These problems arise because of lack of love,attention,no training and when those problems start affecting the owners they get rid of the animal. I think people have to remember you can't walk into a shelter and think you will walk out with a perfect dog. My neighbors are on there 3rd dog from a shelter. So far all 3 have been runners. But because these people are to stupid to realize they need to take the time to train the dog,they get frustrated and return the dog. Then they come home with another dog. It is frustrating form me because all of they dogs have been so loving they just need direction from someone who will take responsibilty for them. It is so sad.
     
  18. Renee750il

    Renee750il Felurian

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    Shame on the shelter if they're getting the dogs from the same shelter! After a couple of tries, someone needs to figure out that these aren't fit dog owners and stop allowing them to adopt.

    Just a thought - what are the odds that all three dogs were actually runners before these people brought them home? Maybe they are doing something to make these dogs run?
     
  19. Millie

    Millie New Member

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    These dogs were runners before. The second one they had they got at a shelter 45 miles from there house. They invited us over to see the new dog. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was the dog that lived 4 blocks from my house. He was at my house 2 nights before. I called the owners to pick him up. They must have turned around and dropped him off at the shelter. The previous owners didn't disclose that he was a runner or the shelter didn't disclose it to my neighbors. So he ended running away back to his old house 4 blocks away. I wish I could have seen there faces when he showed up. He would tear screens of windows to get out. My nieghbors got rid of him. They are nice people, they would never hurt a dog. They just don't have a clue.
     
  20. leaughxp

    leaughxp New Member

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    Yeah they can run fast. Bailey used to chase squirrels, rabbits, and his personal favorite-chipmunks. He never did catch any though. :) Bailey used to run out the door every chance he got. It's not fun to chase him down at 1am on a Saturday night only to find him pretending he belongs to someone else! When we saw him he was just walking nicely with these two people outside, they said he went in their garage and just followed them. He'd never walked so nice for me. Besides having to chase him down every so often, he was a GREAT dog, never niped at anyone and loved all the neighborhood kids.

    If you get a dog from a shelter, make sure you spend some time alone with him before adopting him. I wish I had done that before I got my puppy. I had played with him in a room but his sister was with him and when I went back a second time to get him I just held him (he's a big sweet baby when you stand and hold him but otherwise he's very obnoxious). I wish I would have seen him in the room alone first, at least then maybe I would have been a little more aware of what I was getting into. Good luck in your decision. :)
     

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