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  #1  
Old 08-10-2009, 02:13 PM
prock prock is offline
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Question Family pooch suggestions

Hi there,

I'm looking to finally get a family dog and would really appreciate some suggestions regarding what breed I should be looking for.

I've got two small active kids (2 and 5 years old). I work 8 hours/day my wife works 5 hours/day. We have a fenced back yard and live near Toronto - cold winter and the odd hot/humid streak during the summer.

Some of my priorities:
  • Good with kids
  • Quiet-ish ("hello" when someone's at the door is ok)
  • Not too much grooming
  • Plays fetch with a frisbee and tennis ball
  • Good with mixed outdoor/indoor environment
  • Trainable but not smarter than me
  • Can let off the leash safely
  • Not going to kill the neighbor's cat
  • Not going to bark all day at the neighbor's cat
  • Prefer fur that is soft, short(er), and consistent length
  • Ok with snow (Canadian winters)
  • Ok with sleeping by itself (indoors)
  • Low odor
  • Prefer consistent fur color
  • Don't want to have my clothes covered in fur after getting off the couch
  • Will go for a jog with me

I don't want to spend a fortune and have no qualms with a cross-breed.

My thoughts on a couple I've looked at so far:
whippet: want to be able to let it off the leash without worrying about it running away
beagle: don't want to hear barking all day
puggle: would like some more energy to chase a ball and go for a run

Any input/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
-Peter
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2009, 02:22 PM
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Izzy's Valkyrie Izzy's Valkyrie is online now
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Have you looked at a Standard Poodle? If you want smaller in size, go for a Miniature!
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzy's Valkyrie View Post
Have you looked at a Standard Poodle? If you want smaller in size, go for a Miniature!
Hmmm... thanks very much for the suggestion but my masculinity is not satisfied with a poodle.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:41 PM
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Standard poodles are large dogs. Keep the coat clipped and they are not foofoo. Ignoring a poodle because of you 'masculine' is rather silly. A dog is an important part of the home environment. Standard poodles are amazingly intelligent and capable dogs.

You have a long and complex list of needs. There are few breeds that can be molded into all of that. Plus, you have to accept that a lot of what you want comes from training and time as well as the personality of the individual dog. There is not a breed that can be let off leash, there is not a breed that does not bark at cats, there is not a breed that will always play fetch of Frisbee. You nurture behaviors or train behaviors to create what you want and create consistency. You need a flexable dog that is easy to train but your hair requirement cuts you down a lot.

The only other thing off the top of my head is a Portuguese water dog and they probably are not perfect.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by IcyHound View Post
Standard poodles are large dogs. Keep the coat clipped and they are not foofoo. Ignoring a poodle because of you 'masculine' is rather silly. A dog is an important part of the home environment. Standard poodles are amazingly intelligent and capable dogs.
Thanks I'll take another look at them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IcyHound View Post
You have a long and complex list of needs. There are few breeds that can be molded into all of that. Plus, you have to accept that a lot of what you want comes from training and time as well as the personality of the individual dog. There is not a breed that can be let off leash, there is not a breed that does not bark at cats, there is not a breed that will always play fetch of Frisbee. You nurture behaviors or train behaviors to create what you want and create consistency. You need a flexable dog that is easy to train but your hair requirement cuts you down a lot.
Thanks for all the feedback and input. My list is not meant to be inflexible I am just trying to give as much information as possible on what my ideal would be.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:55 PM
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Honestly, you might check out some older (3-5 years old) Labs in your area. If you keep up on regular brushing/bathing and feed a good diet, the hair is pretty manageable. The older dogs will still be able to keep up with you and your kids, but won't be so nuts as to knock them over. Look for a good Lab Rescue in your area, they can help match you up with the perfect dog.

Otherwise, I would just start checking out the shelters and rescues in your area for something that catches your eye and fits your requirements. Again, I would stick with a slightly older dog.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:56 PM
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I was going to suggest an older lab or lab mix. Be aware though that they shed pretty badly. Keep up with the brushing for sure. Ours was a great dog for an active family.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:05 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions about the older labs. Will look into that too.

I'm not worried about the kids getting knocked over. It builds character.
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I was going to suggest an older lab or lab mix. Be aware though that they shed pretty badly. Keep up with the brushing for sure. Ours was a great dog for an active family.
I was thinking Lab, too, except for the shedding part. But regular brushing will definitely cut down on the amount of hair flying around. As for sticking to clothes, I just buy clothes in colors that won't show the hair as much.
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:08 PM
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I'll second the standard poodle. I grew up with them, out in the country, and they are tough, smart, hardy dogs who can give any of the "tough guy" breeds a run for their money. There are even poodles that are trained attack dogs (not that I suggest that). Poodles are retreivers, like labs and goldens . . . the froo-froo part came in later, because their coat can be groomed in interesting ways and because their incredible intelligence and playfulness made them phenonmenal companion dogs. But you can keep them in a clip that just makes them look like a shaggy dog, and the froo goes away.
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