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  #11  
Old 07-17-2008, 01:54 AM
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Romy Romy is offline
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Have you considered a retired greyhound? Rescues will cat-test the dogs before sending them home with someone. If you are worried about them harassing the cats outside, you could let the rescue folks know. Once in a while the track will turn a dog into rescue that never raced because it just had zero prey drive and wouldn't chase the lure. A dog like that would be a good candidate for living in a household of indoor/outdoor cats, and they are typically young, 1-2 years instead of 4-5 years like most retirees. Also, they sometimes get in dogs who suffered from a sports injury that prevents them from racing. Depending on the nature of the injury, some of those dogs need homes with more limited activity.

Track greyhounds grow up in an extremely structured environment where they are crated most hours of the day, and then let our for exercise/bathrooming for 1/2 hour to 1 hour increments in an exercise yard. When going into a foster home, they tend to adapt very quickly, viewing the house as kind of a giant crate. They are also very sensitive to correction, so your mother shouldn't have a hard time giving it the kind of leadership it would need. I think that, given your requirements, a retired racer would adapt wonderfully to your home.

Zoom's suggestion of an older scent hound is a great one too!

Something older than a puppy would probably be good for your situation anyway, because of the lack of walks. Puppies, in order to grow up and become happy well adjusted adults need a lot of socialization. That means taking them out and away from the house and exposing them to new sounds, new smells, new people, people in hats, people with sunglasses, differently aged people, other dogs, etc. every single day. Going for walks is a big part of socialization. A puppy training class would be another option. More for the socialization than the training, but it's really important to do to get the kind of results you are asking for.
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  #12  
Old 07-17-2008, 07:19 AM
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Maxy24 Maxy24 is offline
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If someone is home all day why can't the dog get a walk? Heck 20 minutes would be fine if you get a low energy dog, but the experience is really good for them. Same with training, no they don't *need* to learn all those command but it's great mental stimulation for them and if you are using positive reinforcement it's quite fun for them, I clicker train my cats even, not because they need to know to sit or turn in a circle but because it's good to make them think, it keeps them healthy. You are thinking more along the lines of what to do to have a physically healthy dog, which is great, but you seem to miss a lot of the how to keep him mentally healthy. He will need to go out and meet people and other dogs. Bring him to a park on a long line so he can run around or invite your friend who has a dog over to have the dogs play in the yard.

An older hound could be good, remember though many of them are barkers.
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  #13  
Old 07-17-2008, 09:23 AM
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Why do you say your family can't/won't take the dog for a walk?
It would be fine taking the dog for a walk in the summers on a reasonable day. In the winters, however, it can be extremely unpleasant to be walking around; it is really cold and miserable. Thus a dog who needs long walks every day to be happy would not suit us. We prefer backyard play in general, but walking the dog around on a leash occasionally, when it's warm enough that we don't need three layers of clothes to go outside, is not a problem. I'm not saying the dog would NEVER be walked on a leash, just that if it requires that on a daily basis to be content, that wouldn't fit our lifestyle.

Perhaps I'm worrying more about this than I should be because we had a really rough winter last year, but I was definitely glad at the time to have a dog who didn't need prolonged exercise in that stuff! Also, the people exercising the dog will usually be my parents (especially my mom) - my brother is a lazy teenager and I'm not often at home. They aren't going to drop dead any time soon, but they also aren't the fittest people in the world. They wouldn't enjoy taking a dog on an hour long walk.

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I rather fear that by having an English Bulldog as your last dog, you have a rather unrealistic view of what most dogs are like.
Oh no, I've been around "normal" dogs enough to know that most dogs are NOT like that, which is exactly why I'm here wondering what other breeds could be suitable. I really like bulldogs, but we were lucky where we used to live to have a good breeder living five minutes' walk away from us. Here there is only one bulldog breeder I can find nearby (by which I mean a four hour drive), and their operation feels dicey to me. And besides, if we got another bulldog so soon, we'd always be comparing him to our deceased one, which wouldn't be fair to the dog, IMO.

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Really, though, I think the dog you're looking for is going to be a specific induvidual and not a general breed. I would scour the shelters and local rescues, that's going to be your best bet for finding the lazy, laidback, minimal maintenence dog you're after.
Individual personalities are important, I agree - our bulldog was a sweetheart, but I've met some nasty ones - but aren't we more likely to find what we're looking for in some breeds/mixes of dogs than others? Like I said, meeting the dog before we get him is still a necessity.
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  #14  
Old 07-17-2008, 09:40 AM
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CharlieDog CharlieDog is offline
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I have to second the retired racer thought. That really sounds like the best option.
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  #15  
Old 07-17-2008, 10:54 AM
nwfn nwfn is offline
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Originally Posted by Maxy24 View Post
If someone is home all day why can't the dog get a walk? Heck 20 minutes would be fine if you get a low energy dog, but the experience is really good for them.
I don't see how a walk on a leash would be more mentally stimulating than a romp in the backyard off-leash. Maybe it would be if we were in an urban setting with lots of people and dogs to sniff, but around our place there aren't a lot of either.

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You are thinking more along the lines of what to do to have a physically healthy dog, which is great, but you seem to miss a lot of the how to keep him mentally healthy.
Learning tricks isn't the way that we would choose to keep our dog mentally healthy (if you do, great - different strokes for different folks). We did play with our dog a lot, though it was in short bursts because of his low energy level. We have a big house, so a lot of playing can and does take place indoors. I'm not worried about mental health because I feel we can provide that kind of stimulation, thus I'm not putting as much emphasis on it as the exercise.

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He will need to go out and meet people and other dogs.
Sometimes a friend will bring their dog over to play or vice versa, but not too often (it's a LONG way to travel). There are plenty of people coming and going, though, at least in the spring/summer/fall months, so I'm not worried about people exposure.

I like the retired racing dog idea, at least if the cat thing can be sorted out. *sigh* But despite all this, my mom will probably want a goddamn Shih Tsu, which I think is totally wrong for our family *headdesk*
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  #16  
Old 07-17-2008, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by nwfn View Post
I like the retired racing dog idea, at least if the cat thing can be sorted out. *sigh* But despite all this, my mom will probably want a goddamn Shih Tsu, which I think is totally wrong for our family *headdesk*

Shih Tzu.

And is that kind of profanity really necessary?
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  #17  
Old 07-17-2008, 11:33 AM
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Why? Other than the size and potential grooming costs, a ShihTzu would probably be fine. Doesn't require a lot of exercise, most are pretty laid back little cuddlers and they get along great with cats. I'm not a ShihTzu fan by far, most that I've met have been little furry demons IMO, but a good friend of mine got a puppy over the winter and he's a pretty awesome little dog.

I also think you're underestimating the importance of mental stimulation for dogs. Not only does it tire them out quicker than a walk does, it helps to form a bond between you and the dog and just makes life easier.
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  #18  
Old 07-17-2008, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by RedyreRottweilers View Post
Shih Tzu.
Jeez, sorry.

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And is that kind of profanity really necessary?
No, it's not necessary, but it's also not a big deal if I choose to use it unless you choose to let it offend you.
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  #19  
Old 07-17-2008, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
Why? Other than the size and potential grooming costs, a ShihTzu would probably be fine.
I find that Shih Tzus tend to annoy me in general. I find it hard to put my finger on what it is I don't like about them, but I still don't like them.

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I also think you're underestimating the importance of mental stimulation for dogs. Not only does it tire them out quicker than a walk does, it helps to form a bond between you and the dog and just makes life easier.
As I've said, I feel confident we can provide mental stimulation, which is why I haven't been talking about it here.
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  #20  
Old 07-17-2008, 12:07 PM
Buddy'sParents Buddy'sParents is offline
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I like the idea of a retired greyhound. I think finding a good, reputable rescue in your area and working with them on what your family needs are is going to be the best way to go. We have some excellent rescues in our area that really work hard to make the best family-canine matches. If I were looking to add a dog (when I didnt know the breed) this is most likely the way I would go.

I also want to mention that dominance, in my mind, does not equal aggression. That actually bothered me a bit. I have a dominant male and he is far from aggressive. Perhaps we are using different connotations of the words, but blanket generalizations like that do not do well for many dogs.

And, our three do not get walked routinely. And while I think walks are important, they just can't happen at all times in our area, so I do the best I can to make sure all three of my dogs get the mental stimulation necessary for them to be healthy. BUT, we do go places, we go to the beach, the park, the dog park, pet stores, etc.. They are always going, going, going. We do training sessions, play sessions, you name it, constantly, they are always interacting when they are not sleeping.

And, the foul language is really not necessary. I do believe people may take offense to the "goddamn <insert breed>". I, for one, do not like all breeds, but would never resort to such language to describe a breed, except for my own individual dogs of course.
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