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  #1  
Old 10-24-2004, 06:10 PM
noob noob is offline
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Question decision making--looking for help

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!!!
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2004, 08:59 PM
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Renee750il Renee750il is offline
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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.
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Old 10-24-2004, 09:06 PM
Apollonaro Apollonaro is offline
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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)
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Old 10-24-2004, 09:26 PM
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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.
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Stupid is the most notoriously incurable and contagious disease known to mankind. If you find yourself in close proximity to someone infected with stupid, walk away as soon as said infection is noted.


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Old 10-25-2004, 12:37 AM
Apollonaro Apollonaro is offline
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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.
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Old 10-25-2004, 03:51 PM
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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.

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Old 10-25-2004, 05:51 PM
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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!
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Old 10-25-2004, 05:52 PM
leaughxp leaughxp is offline
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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.
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Old 10-27-2004, 10:30 PM
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bogolove bogolove is offline
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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 by bogolove; 10-27-2004 at 10:42 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-28-2004, 03:54 PM
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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.
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