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Old 08-03-2006, 08:29 AM
Holm Holm is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Default Help us choose a breed

Hello there!
My family and I have decided to get a dog (we’ve never had one before). But we are having problems deciding the right breed for us, and we would like you’re help. So here’s our info:
We are a family of four people (two 16 year old boys) and we live in a two storey house, with a pretty large yard. We are all away from the house 6- 8 hours a day (due to school and work), and so we are planning on making a fenced area outside with a doghouse, where the dog can stay when we’re away, so it doesn’t have to stay inside.

However we are fairly active people, and are planning to give the dog at least two walks a day, and we also have access to large green areas and water where we can play with it. So we would like a dog that is fairly active as well(although not hyper, as quiet evenings in front of the TV are appreciated).

Other then that, we would like it to be medium to large sized, and friendly to other animals, as we have a cat.

Thanks in advance.
Ps. we have already talked about a Labrador/golden retriever, but we find it a bit to ordinary.
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Old 08-03-2006, 08:43 AM
suzanne118's Avatar
suzanne118 suzanne118 is offline
Dog Crazy
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Surrey
Posts: 2,751

what about

1)Cavalier king Charles spaniels
as i own 2, they r fantastic dogs, active (but not too active) they love to play lots of games, and some hv no problem being left alone
and they also enjoy a relaxing evening sitting on your lap.
they r great with other animals, as long there r socalised from puppies
they are best with older children, as they r small dogs.

i also suggest the Golden retriever they are fantastic dogs, i hv never owned one but i know a lot about the breed
they love to have a good run, and a game with their owner, some are ok when left alone, they make great family dogs.
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:36 AM
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Zoom Zoom is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 40,739

This breed selector is an excellent place to start. That way you have an idea of what breeds would be a good match, and you can take that information and use it if and when you look through shelters. I highly recommend going through a breed rescue if you are wanting a purebred (that way there are fewer 'surprises' as most do a thorough evaluation). Don't discount the shelter dogs though! Two of my three are from shelters (the other is a breed rescue) and you really can benefit from someone else's mistakes!

Good luck and keep us updated!
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:59 AM
Gempress Gempress is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 11,955

Good job doing research first!

Given your schedules, I would go with a older dog--one at least 6 to 8 months old. Baby puppies are adorable, but they require a LOT of work and one-on-one attention. They don't handle being left alone like that very well.

How about a rough-coated or smooth-coated collie? I think it would fit your needs perfectly. And I agree with Zoom, check out your local breed rescue groups. That's the best source to find an older purebred dog. Or, you can also try contacting some reputable breeders in your area. They occassionally have older dogs available.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:15 PM
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stevinski stevinski is offline
Int CH - $uperBitch
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australian cattle dog
australian shepherd
Rough collie
Springer spaniel
cocker spaniel

like any of these?

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Old 08-03-2006, 11:28 PM
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colliewog colliewog is offline
Collies&Terriers, Oh My!
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Central Florida
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Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (aka "Toller")
Katie + the Workin' Girls

~Smooth Collies~

URO1 CH "Smidgen" RA,WW-RN,CGC,TT,HIC,VC (2/3 CA)
URO2 CH "Dora" RN,CGC,TT,HIC,VC (2/3 CA)

~American Hairless Terriers (coated)~
UFR USR GRCH 'PR' "OE" TT (UKC Total Dog Award winner)
UFR USR GRCH 'PR' "Spud" TT (UKC Total Dog Award winner)
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Old 08-03-2006, 11:43 PM
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AusCatDogs_4Ever AusCatDogs_4Ever is offline
but please call me Aus.
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Location: New Brunswick, Canada
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Originally Posted by stevinski
australian cattle dog
australian shepherd
Rough collie
Springer spaniel
cocker spaniel

like any of these?
I wouldn't recommend an Australian Cattle Dog. Yes, they are great for active families with older children and are fairly calm and inactive indoors, but they are not good for a first time dog owner. They can be dominant and hard-headed. Also some like to "herd" cats, and can't really be trusted alone with them. They need a LOT of space to run off leash, so I don't know if a "pretty large" yard would be big enough. I own an ACD and they are an awesome breed, but definatly not for everyone.
Need Your Charlie Fix?
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:04 AM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
and Spy.
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Posts: 4,940

Aussie Shepherd are no good either as they are velcro dogs and do not do well when left alone. Tollers are pretty active as well, though I don't know if they would be a good match.

^Your perfect dog is waiting for you .


Originally Posted by AngryMan View Post
I think u need some angry school.
Originally Posted by Renee750il View Post
That's what we do here. We're emotionally invested in each other and each other's dogs, the joys and the sorrows.
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:17 AM
Aussie Red's Avatar
Aussie Red Aussie Red is offline
Rebel With Cause
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,194

Originally Posted by AusCatDogs_4Ever
I wouldn't recommend an Australian Cattle Dog. Yes, they are great for active families with older children and are fairly calm and inactive indoors, but they are not good for a first time dog owner. They can be dominant and hard-headed. Also some like to "herd" cats, and can't really be trusted alone with them. They need a LOT of space to run off leash, so I don't know if a "pretty large" yard would be big enough. I own an ACD and they are an awesome breed, but definatly not for everyone.
could not agree more. These are dogs that are best with experienced owners as they can get very pushy and out of control in the wrong hands. They need experienced owners who can spend alot of time with them and know how to crub their stubborness and put it to work. An ACD left alone can become a real problem.
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Old 08-04-2006, 04:33 AM
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Toller_08 Toller_08 is offline
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I don't reccommend Tollers (Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever) often, but so far, from your description they sound like they may be a suitable breed for you The Toller is a medium sized breed. Females are between 17-20" (preferably 18") tall, and weigh between 37-43lbs. Males are between 18-21" (preferably 19") and weigh between 45-51lbs.

First, I'll post the top 10 reasons NOT to get a Toller though:

Originally Posted by The Ontario Toller Club & Peggy O'Connell

Top Ten Reasons NOT to Get a Toller
These are not little Golden Retrievers!

10. Shedding and mess :
Tollers do blow their coat seasonally, and they are dogs who like to swim and roll and wallow. They are not a dog for the fastidious or the allergic.
9. Watch your cat :
Many tollers do just fine in households with cats or other animals. They do have a strong prey drive, however. If you don't want your cat chased, this may not be the dog for you. The chasing will be all in fun, but it is likely to happen.
8. Don't expect me to protect you :
Tollers are generally wary of strangers, but if you want a dog to serve as protection, look elsewhere. While they are excellent natural watch dogs, and their barking may be more than enough to scare away a burglar, these dogs are not cut out to protect. They may not lead the burglar to your silver, wagging all the while like a lab or golden, but they also aren't likely to go for his leg.
7. The scream :
Many Tollers have a penetrating scream which they produce to indicate excitement and eagerness. To the uninitiated, this can sound like the dog is being fed into a wood chipper; it's high pitched, frantic and loud. Not all Tollers scream, but many do. If you are unable to teach quiet manners, or live in a neighborhood where dog noise will get you in trouble, or just don't like dogs who make noise, this is not the breed for you. The scream is usually a reaction to an exciting stimulus (water, a toy, a ball) rather than a constant behavior, but it can be annoying.
6. Drive:
Tollers are a hunting breed, and are bred to be working dogs. They have a frantic drive to work, and will retrieve until your arm is ready to fall off. Tendonitis in Toller owners is not unusual. This dog is a retrieving fool who will climb trees to get to a bumper stuck there (we have pictures). This may sound cute now, but after the 400th throw, you may change your mind.
5. Not be everyone's best friend:
If you are looking for a dog who wants to be the world's best friend, the Toller may not be for you. Tollers are gentle and kindly and many can be quite outgoing, but if you are looking for a dog with that Lab "I just met you and you're my best friend" attitude, the Toller may be wrong for you. The Toller will greet strangers happily, but generally reserve true enthusiasm for their family and special people.
4. Did you say no?:
If you give a Toller an inch, they will take a mile and come back for another. Tollers are generally too smart to engage in out and out dominance battles. Instead they sense power vacuums, and exploit them. If you are unable to be firm (kind, but firm) about the rules of your household, and to enforce them consistently, you will find that the ruler of your house has four legs and is red. They don't have a mean bone in their bodies, but they are opportunistic and stunningly smart. If you aren't in charge, they will be.
3. Just do what I tell you :
Tollers love to work, but they are not always as easy to train as other breeds. They need to be challenged and engaged by their work, or they get bored and stop paying attention. They may also try things a dozen ways before they get around to doing what you're looking for. Patience, inventiveness and flexibility are the rules. If you want a dog who's going to learn by the book, or if you're at all unsure about your ability to train a dog who's a little different from the norm, the toller may not be for you.
2. Smart, smart, smart :
It cannot be stressed enough that this is a dog with brains to spare. Keeping all that intelligence focused and busy is a big challenge. These dogs MUST be given at least basic obedience training, and many toller owners are active in several dog activities (hunting, agility, flyball, tracking, competitive obedience) just to keep their Tollers occupied. Even a Toller who is "just a pet" MUST have basic obedience training and the chance to use their brains (teach them to bring the paper, have them carry the mail in, teach them tricks) or they become downright obnoxious around the house.
1. Vrooom:
The toller is an energetic dog, and needs plenty of exercise. While they aren't quite as hyperactive as some breeds, they do need lots of exercise, physical and mental. If you are looking for a dog who is content with nothing more than a pleasant walk in the evening, go elsewhere. Better behavior through exhaustion is the rule for living with a Toller. If you don't have time to give this breed at least an hour of exercise a day, every day, with plenty of swimming and fetching, look elsewhere. A Toller with excess energy will find another outlet for his drive, and the results are seldom pleasant.

If you can't keep this dog busy, don't get this dog. More than many breeds, a Toller is a mental and physical commitment. They are not the dog for everyone, and while we love them dearly, we don't want to see them in pounds and shelters. Keep this in mind as you consider choosing a "Little Red Retrieving Machine".
Now, you said you have a cat...this says Tollers cannot live with a cat. However, most of the Tollers I personally know DO live with cats and do just fine, of course, with any dog it wouldn't be a great idea to leave the Toller and the cat together, unsupervised...but a Toller & cat relationship can and does work. I've loved Tollers all my life and have been researching them for atleast 10 years now...which is a long time considering I can't even have a purebred until 2008. Anyway, as was said in the above quote, Tollers are high energy, high drive dogs. They need something to do, or else they will find a way to amuse/entertain themselves. They can become destructive and barky if not stimulated enough each day. They require a lot of exercise, but they will lay down in the house while you want to watch TV or something. I have a Toller/Border Collie. She gets 2 jogs a day, aswell as a walk which ends up in a romp/play/run/obedience practice aswell in a nearby field. Now, they don't neccessarily NEED 2 jogs a day, that is jsut something I like to do. They DO need daily walks though and atleast an hour (preferably more) of playing/retrieving each day aswell as mental stimulation. Tollers love to work, they love to please. However, that being said, they do get bored if you repeatedly do the same thing over and over again and they thrive on learning new things. Tollers can also be pretty stubborn and often their intelligence can do more harm than good...they're almost too intelligent for their own good. Owning a Toller is like having a 2 year old child for 12-14 years. Tollers MUST be socialized tons and it is extremely wise to take them to puppy classes and atleast one obedience class. If not, they can become very fearful around new things and I've known a few to become fear biters and barkers due to lack of socialization as a young pup. Socializing has to continue for the rest of the dogs' life aswell, not just as a pup. Tollers love to be with their family. I find that they, in general, much prefer people over other dogs. They don't like to be left alone for long periods of time, but a lot of breeds don't. Anyway, that is all I can think of to tell you at the's getting late (well it IS late, almost 2 am!). If you are interested in this breed and would like to know more, please don't hesitate to post any questions here or you can PM me . I do think that the Toller would be a great dog for you and your family.

Last edited by Toller_08; 08-04-2006 at 05:12 AM.
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