Need Breed Suggestions!

sparty13

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#1
Hi everyone! My name is Ryan and I’m 25 years old. I've been thinking about getting a dog for a while and now is the time. Heres a little background: I am currently living with my parents in a good size house and large backyard but no fence. I have been battling lyme disease the past 2 years so I haven't been able to work and not sure when I will be able to again so right now I pretty much have all the time in the world so now is the best time for me to get a dog. We have an 11 year old cat that is very friendly but I’m not sure how she would react to a dog. I am hoping I will be able to work within a year and once I start I will probably have normal 8-5 hours. I will also probably be moving into an apartment or a house with a fenced in yard when I am able to.
I am looking for a small to medium sized dog that will get along with my cat and fit my lifestyle which will change eventually. I plan on adopting a puppy or young dog from a shelter. Here is a list of my preferences.
-Small or medium sized dog
-Moderate exercise (daily walks)
-will get along with my cat
- I do not have a fence right now
- Will have to be ok by itself during the day when I start working (not sure when but not any sooner than 6 months)
-no toy dogs
-friendly
-affectionate
I have been looking at corgi mixes, sheltie mixes, and King Charles cavalier spaniel mixes. They seem to be suitable for what I’m looking for but just wanted other opinions. I would love a golden retriever/mix or labs but I don’t think they can be left alone all day when I start working.
Also are male of female dogs better with cats?
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Ryan
 

Romy

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#2
If moving into an apartment is a strong possibility in the future, you might want to stay under 25 lbs as it will keep more housing options open for you. :)

Shih tzus and shih tzu mixes came to mind. It's been popular for a while to mix shihs with other small breeds and try to sell them for a lot of money, so they do come up in rescue pretty regularly.

They are rather mellow and get along well with other animals. Very smart, very loyal, and their energy is on the low end. And while they're a small dog they're very sturdy.
 
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#3
Keep in mind if you get a shih tzu mix you will need to have it groom regularly, every 6-8 weeks at the very least, so factor that in cost wise. Otherwise a Tzu mix would be a good fit, mine is 10-11lbs and very easy to care for, she is great with cats, and people alike.
 

*blackrose

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#5
I think you also may be able to find a good Rat Terrier type dog in a shelter. They're a bit larger than "toy" size, and the ones I've met have been fantastic.

A Lab or Retriever mix can certainly be left alone during the day. I have a 28 pound Lab/Spaniel mix (who actually sounds just like what you're looking for) and she routinely went 10-12 hours alone when my husband and I were at classes during the day. My Chesapeake Bay Retriever (not the kind of dog that would fit what you want, but still a clingy butthead LOL) can be crated for up to ten hours and he's just fine, too.

As long as you don't mind the potential for grooming, I think a good Spaniel mix would be a great fit.
 

Elrohwen

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#6
I would love a golden retriever/mix or labs but I don’t think they can be left alone all day when I start working.
Just wanted to let you know that this isn't true at all. There's no reason a lab or golden would be worse off alone while you're at work than a smaller dog and plenty of people own these breeds and work full time. So don't let it limit you if that's what you like!

I would just go to a rescue and tell them what you want and see what they suggest. There are probably plenty of nice mutts who fit what you want from many different breeds and mixes. In the shelter environment, the individual temperament of the dog is more important than the breed, since the dog might not fit the correct breed temperament anyway. They can also typically test with cats, or you can look for a dog from a foster home that has cats.
 

JacksonsMom

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#7
I agree on a Spaniel mix of sorts or some kind of Shihtzu mix. I think Sheltie mixes and Corgi mixes may be a *bit* much for simply daily walks, and no other form of exercise, but I guess it just depends on the individual dog too.

If you're more looking for a puppy from a breeder, maybe even a Border Terrier. I've been suggesting them a lot lately because they're on my brain (should be my 2nd dog breed lol) but they're really great little dogs. They're on the small side but sturdy and leggier than some of the other terriers, they're less prone to dog/cat aggression than some other terriers, they're typically friendly with everyone (but not overly friendly, like a lot of Labs, for example). They're pretty adaptable, I've seen some very high energy but I've also seen some that are fairly mellow. They will need some grooming but not a lot -- most people I speak with get their hair stripped 2-3x a year.

If you're going to be moving into an apartment possibly, or even renting, I'd definitely look at size restrictions. Honestly when I was looking (and I'm still at home w/ parents, at 23)... renting is harder with pets in general, it limits your options a lot, but you open up your options by keeping pets under 25lbs and no 'restricted' type breeds - Shepherds, pit bulls, etc.
 

samshine

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#8
It's great that you will have plenty of time for a puppy, but I want to warn you about a potential pitfall. Puppies who always have somebody around can miss out on learning to be okay being left alone. Then when circumstances change and they have to be left they are prone to develop separation anxiety. In serious cases the dog goes into a full blown panic attack every time they are left, and that is a terrible life.

So if you end up getting a puppy, make sure you teach it that being alone is okay. From the beginning, make a point of leaving for short periods. Good luck!
 

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