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  #11  
Old 08-02-2007, 01:09 PM
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I'd suggest a rescued dog for a newbie . After you get the hang of dog ownership , you could go puppy . Yes, Labs can be more energetic than Goldens . Depends on the breeding and early socialization though .
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  #12  
Old 08-02-2007, 01:25 PM
Melissa_W Melissa_W is offline
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I think that any breed can be a good first breed if you do your research and make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into.
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  #13  
Old 08-02-2007, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
I think it all depends on the family. I think a lot of hounds can be good for first timers; as long as they aren't expecting a super obedient, off-leash companion, most of the ones I know are pretty forgiving types. Some of the spaniels and retrievers, as long as they are active people able to provide sufficient exercise.

I'd pull staffys off the list, because along with the high energy, you are most likely going to have dog aggression and prey drive; not something I would ever want for a beginning dog owner. They should be able to take the time to learn about training and make a few mistakes without having to worry about aggression issues.

Mostly, I agree with Jess. An adult rescue with a solid temperment.
I agree, it all depends on the family and its willingness to train, play, and love their dog. if they are a layed back family get a layed back dog.
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  #14  
Old 08-02-2007, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Buddy'sParents View Post
Labs are high energy dogs, I wouldn't disqualify them as being "right" for beginners, but I certainly wouldn't say it's the best fit. I have no knowledge of goldens firsthand, but my experience from the outside looking in, tells me that they can be a lot of dog to handle as well. Different strokes for different folks, though. It certainly depends on the individual and the family as to what would be a good first-time dog.

With that said, I echo Jess. Finding a responsible, well-known shelter and adopting a dog is a great idea for a first time dog owner. You don't have the puppy stages.




I absolutely agree--there really is NO best beginner dog--because everyone looks at traits differently!! Having raised a lab from puppyhood--I can say that if you are not commited to training and exercise, and at least 2-3 years of intense puppy behavior--labs are not a good fit! they are great with people, and want to please--but need lots of attention!
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  #15  
Old 08-02-2007, 06:07 PM
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Boston bull terriers FTW!

Ahem...er.. Actually, I think that a "casual" first time dog owner is best off with an adult dog of whatever breed happens to fit their lifestyle best.
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  #16  
Old 08-03-2007, 06:01 AM
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I think most breeds can make good first time dogs providing the owner researches through and through. There is no right or wrong. I know two separate families with 'first time' dogs - one of them is an Akita, the other is a Rottweiler. Both families did their research, knew fully what they were getting themselves into and in turn, the dogs have worked out wonderfully for them.

Many recommend Labs and Goldens as first dogs. They are excellent first dogs providing that crucial research is done. The reason so many Labs end up in shelters is because new owners do not research. Labs have amazing temperaments but they are high energy, intelligent and demanding. They are not the type of dog who is content with backyard play and a walk around the block. They are not used as gundogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs and guide dogs because they are lazy and unintelligent!
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  #17  
Old 08-03-2007, 03:38 PM
Psyfalcon Psyfalcon is offline
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I tend to say Goldens or Labs. I also like the Spaniels (Springers, mainly) or the Brittany for that job. They are higher energy than some dogs, but depending on the breeding and individual it can be mild to insane. Adults are especially suitable though.

Given the huge number of Retrievers and to a lesser extent the Spaniels, they have pretty solid temperaments for the genetic abuse they take at puppy mills and bybs. Most of the problems I've seen can be traced back to a lack of exercise rather than poor temperaments, which is really amazing to me.

They are generally quick to learn. The incidence of dog aggression, people aggression and other problems seems relatively low, which is also important. I think that makes up for most of energy problems, if the family is willing to get off the couch at all. Most are satisfied by a long game of fetch or swimming, something the owner can do from a lawn chair.

Contrast that to the Sighthounds which need a vast, fenced area, or the senthounds/pointers/Dalmatians that can run for miles, it makes the retrievers exercise requirements look tiny in some respects.
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  #18  
Old 08-03-2007, 07:17 PM
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A mutt. Well any dog really that is already mature so that the owner knows what they are getting themselves into.
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  #19  
Old 08-03-2007, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyfalcon View Post
Contrast that to the Sighthounds which need a vast, fenced area, or the senthounds/pointers/Dalmatians that can run for miles, it makes the retrievers exercise requirements look tiny in some respects.
I have to strongly disagree with this. We have fostered several sighthounds and they are EXTREMELY laid back. The staghound we are fostering is about 11 months old, and he is a total slug, which is typical for this group of dogs. Sighthounds in general are slugs that need access to a fenced area where they can do their twice daily 5 minute "tear around at 45 mph" thing, before coming back inside to sleep on the couch. There is no way you could expect a spaniel or a retriever to be remotely like that.

Actually, the big challenge with sighthound puppies is getting them to be active enough that they don't look like buttless angelfish when grown. Usually this means having two the same age so they can exercise one another when the urge to play hits, and then pass out on the couch 10 minutes later.

Retriever exercise needs are WAY more intense than any sighthound. I have spent the past 2 and a half months fostering sighthounds, and been pregnant on bedrest at the same time. There is no way on this planet that I could have fostered a retriever or spaniel with their exercise requirements. No freaking way.
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  #20  
Old 08-03-2007, 09:38 PM
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I'm, not saying that the Sighthounds need a ton of exercise, the problem is having the fenced area to get them to run, and keep them in (the Saluki high jumping comes to mind...).

The average backyard is not big enough for one to really get up to speed and stay at it. The ease of that 5minute run gets less easy when you need to drive 15 minutes to a dog park, worry about other dogs with that thin skin, drive home, etc. The happiest sighthound I've seen was a Greyhound let loose in a baseball field, but that means dodging the town police, animal control, and people generally wanting to mess with you.

We have a large fenced yard for the area, but our dogs run out of room relatively quickly when they get going. It takes Lexi (beagle/greyhound) about 3 seconds to cross the yard, fewer than 10 strides. I would want a bigger fenced area before taking in anything faster.
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