good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...
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Thread: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

  1. #21
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by Pepper View Post
    IMO any dog can turn into a bad first dog if the person doesn't know what they are doing, and any dog can turn into a great first dog if they do know what they are doing.
    I agree with that completely.

    I have to say that I DO NOT think Labs make good first dogs. They need too mcuh mental stimulation and exercise. I was drawn into that when I got Willow, but she was definitely a challenge. My current Rott would have been a better choice for us as a first dog; he's very laid-back and willing to please. I think first dogs (in the general sense) should be smaller than Labs, and not as active. I'd say most first-time dog owners do pretty well with Shih Tzus if they're willing to pay for the grooming. Small spaniels, certain smaller terriers (Cairns, etc.). It completely depends on the owners.

    I think the "perfect" first dog for anybody is an adult, already-trained dog, straight from his previous owners (not sitting in a shelter for weeks). Regardless of breed.
    "Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man."
    Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality

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  3. #22
    Senior Member sheltiemom's Avatar
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    I agree that an adult dog is best for a first time owner.

    Of the breeds I have experience with, I would recommend shelties...they are easy to train, adjust easily to active owners or to less activity, medium sized, good with kids if raised with them....the downsides are shedding and barking.
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  4. #23
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    Shelties are good for SOFT new owners....many first-time dog owners have been brainwashed by harsher dog trainers and can ruin softer dogs. And they do have extensive grooming needs, too....like I said, depends on the owners.
    "Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man."
    Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality

  5. #24
    Senior Member Mdawn's Avatar
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    I don't know what kind of dog would be good for a first time owner...but I know that a lot of people think that Labs are good for a first dog...

    I REALLY REALLY REALLY don't believe that. Labs are very high energy dogs...I don't think that some people understand that. They are VERY mouthy dogs. They are also VERY smart dogs and, in my opinion, need someone that isn't a novice in dog training as they THRIVE on learning new things. They need someone that can keep up with their exercise demands most of all.

    However, I do agree that SOME first time owners would be ok with a Lab as their first dog. The biggest component is their commitment level to the dog.

    I don't think that Mastiffs are good as first time dogs either. In general, they very easy dogs to live with...honestly. However, they need someone that knows what they are doing with training. They are very stubborn dogs and that is something that I don't think some people understand. For example, Eddie and I can train for 20-30 minutes at a time before he gets bored and wants to do something else...Uallis on the other hand...I have 10 minutes max before I lose him...because he'll get frustrated and shut down or get frustrated and get angry. He doesn't FOCUS on anything BUT the treat in my hand. He doesn't think for himself about what he needs to do to get it...so training with him is a lot more difficult with him than with Eddie.

    The Dogs: Eddie the Lab & Uallis the Mastiff
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  6. #25
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    I recently suggested my teen son to get a Webkin....any breed will do

    He hasn't been keeping up with the schedule to exercise our Siberian Husky claiming he has mysterious homework he has to do on the internet or telling me he has taken him out early while I was still sleeping ... uh huh.

    Huskies need a lot of exercise, or they will get zoomies inside the house (at least mine does).... They help me exercise at the park daily. Hope this burns off the holiday sweets.

  7. #26
    Senior Member Pepper's Avatar
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    See, I still don't believe any dog is a bad first dog if the person is commited and responsible.

    If a first time owner wanted a mastiff, researched them and learned what they needed, everything would probably be fine.

    If someone wanted a husky, or a border collie, and understood what they needed, everything would probably be fine.

    I think people just tend to think every dog needs the same thing as every other dog so they don't research. Therefore, any potential first dog they get could become a mess.

    Just because a dog is easy to take care of, doesn't mean it is going to turn out a good dog. It's not that hard to feed and water a dog, it's not that hard to take care of a chihuahua, people say they are good first time dogs. But it depends, do you want a chihuahua that is good with dogs, and people, or do you want a stereotypical ankle biter?

  8. #27
    Senior Member JustTess's Avatar
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    That is a very good point Pepper.

    My mother is happy living in her condo with her Pom. It's easy for her to handle, train, and keep happy with her lifestyle.

    My sister is happy with her Spitz.

    I wouldn't want a Pom or a Spitz. I'm happy with a husky... I can't imagine getting another breed... maybe another husky in the future.

  9. #28
    Senior Member Spicy1_VV's Avatar
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    Pepper I fully agree.

    I have to chuckle at some responses. Shih Tzu and small dogs? Iím not saying theyíd be bad for first timers, not at all. Can be a good recommendation but then not everyone wants a small dog or one that require that type of grooming. They donít want to be limited in the choices just because the breeds seem easy.

    For me no way, I think you need to actually like the dog you have. Iím not sure what you even do with Shih Tzu, I know they are pets butÖ..??? Maybe I have a misconception about them (although Iíve known several). Will they pull me rollerblading, be able to keep up biking, hike long trails, what is their prey drive like good for catching vermin and keeping away pest? Willing to chase flirtpole? Train to do silly useless tricks (assuming possibly)? Can protect against a coyote if needed, doubt it, not that this is a requirement but Iíd hate having to worry with how bold some are getting and people I know whoíve actually lost shih tzu, peekapoo, and yorkies to attacks. (heard of birds being a danger too) The grooming is not for me, theyíd be a dusty tangled mess and I donít want to groom or pay for that.

    Adult dog I donít think are the best nor do I think puppy is the best. I love raising and training a puppy. Not that I havenít got older dogs, but I enjoy pups too. I donít think getting an adult would have been a big advantage for me as a first time owner. You can teach old dogs new tricks, but I like having those young dogs to mold and learn my habits early on. If the dog came already trained Iíd not be able to impact them with my methods early on nor would I gain much training experience except any extra I wanted to do.

    I do agree with Dogstar in general some of the rare guard breeds might not make good first time dogs for most people, they might not be good dogs for many period. Iíve known of a couple who did well with CO/CAO though. I think now days you will find some Presa Canario with a milder temperament, although can still be a challenge for some. So these wouldnít be high on my list of recommendation but a select few might do ok.

    Someoneís past experience is important. If they grew up around dogs or not.

    People that grow up around dogs where they were active in the care and interested in the dogs are already going to have some experience even though technically those were the family dogs. When they get out on their own and are ready for their very own first dog they might be well equipped for many breeds and be willing to put in the time and research they want for a certain breed.

    If someone never had any pets and not around dogs I find those people to typically be clueless, Iím not saying that they are the bad irresponsible types they just really donít know a lot of basic stuff. Then if they neglect to research up on dogs, training, breeds, talk to people, get experience, enroll in class, makes it even harder for them. They have so many questions and also donít know how to train their dog, what their dog wants or needs. They many times fail to understand body language of their dog too.

    Of course these things can go for people who have owned multiple dogs too, but most people that are actually cut out to be decent dog owners learn along the way. Others just shouldnít own dogs period, doesnít matter how much experience, how many theyíve had, they just need to quit or change.

  10. #29
    Senior Member Pepper's Avatar
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    Yeah, I don't like little dogs at all, but then again, I've never had a small terrier.
    I didn't really want a small dog, but it's all we can have in this apartment.

    Pepper is a huge ball of energy. She can pull me on rollerblades if I let her, she can run faster then me going full speed on a bike, hike miles and miles with me, tries to kill small animals haha, and loves her flirt pole! She's got a lot of courage in her little body, although she can be shy at times.

    She has the same amount of energy as the pitbull I used to have, other then the fact that he would probably keep going if he was about to die, and she would probably take a break haha.

    I do train her to do silly tricks, but why not? She's smart enough to learn them and it keeps her from getting bored when we can't go outside for months during the winter.

    But she's a good example of a dog that needs quite a bit of work, that you would think wouldn't if you didn't research the breed. Yeah she's small, under 20 pounds, you would think she would be fine with going outside to potty and back inside and just playing fetch inside the house. But it's a different story, she needs exercise, lots, and lots of exercise or she goes insane. But looking at her small size, you would not think that.

    I think a lot of people should start involving their kids in the training of their family dogs so when those kids grow up they have a lot better experience and aren't running blind.
    Last edited by Pepper; 12-28-2008 at 03:29 AM.

  11. #30
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    What breed is she? Sounds like a little terrier type dog. That is more my type of small dog. I will take a small terrier, send me a Patterdale and I'd be one very happy small dog owner. Terriers have a nice courageous temperament and are very hardy small dogs. But people said most terriers are not good for first time owners. Some say pug, shih tzu, small spaniels. I think they call them companion breeds that were not bred for a job or something like that.

    I know many terriers can do most of those things mentioned although some can sometimes be stubborn on the silly trick training (some won't be) that wouldn't bother me. Just take up more time...lol Some of my current dogs go too quick and I run out of things to teach them having to think up more.

    I'd even take a Parson Russel Terrier, Toy Manchester, Rat Terrier I could live with too, fostered a couple and they were awesome, didn't want to give them up. I also really like Schipperke's although they are small and kinda hairy too.

    I'm fine with smaller dogs like 25-35lbs, thats the size I really like (although I like large breeds too) and I'm fine with even smaller who are terriers maybe 10-20lbs, under 10lbs I start to worry if I will break or lose them. I'm not fond of most toy breeds like Pug, Japanese Chin or Shih Tzu or small Tibetan Spaniel breed.

  12. #31
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    You guys make excellent, valid points. It really does depend on the person. Are they willing to go to training? What do they know about dogs in general? Have they ever been around dogs for any amount of time? Etc., etc., etc.

    I researched a lot before getting my sheltie (first one) and he was a wonderful fit for our family at the time. After he passed away, I wanted a small dog for a change with less hair so did a ton of research again. I found the min pin - small, hardy dogs, healthy, very rambunctious, not "soft" in temperament (which is important to me as it could be loud around here at times and I didn't want them to be afraid), etc., etc. I got my first min pin and she was great. Just what I expected.

    I'd longed for another sheltie for quite awhile, though. I missed my "winter dog" so now we have another sheltie. If I were to get another breed, I'd research it to death before getting it to be sure it didn't have anything typical to its breed that would drive me bananas.

    If you're willing to do the research AND go to classes or work with someone very knowledgeable to train your very first dog, almost any dog will do. Most don't honestly realize what a huge commitment a dog is - it's almost as much as a child. You have to care for it, exercise it, train it and love it - usually for at least 10 years if not longer.

    And someone above made another really valid point - you have to love the dog you get. You can't get the breed that best suits you if you don't really like that breed.

    Most problems I've seen with dogs occurs because the person didn't do their research and/or they just didn't have the commitment or time necessary to do a good job with the dog.

  13. #32
    Senior Member TFTpwnsYou's Avatar
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogstar View Post
    I think it's not so much about the breed as about the person. I think there ARE people for whome a pit, a GSD, a rottie, a BC - may be just fine as a first dog.
    I kinda think the same thing. I mean there may be certain dogs that are better for 1st time dog owners, but I do think it depends on the person. Any dog can turn into a nightmare without proper training.
    TFT & Pappy Mommy!

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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    I think anyone who wants to get their first dog needs to really think about their life style and what they are willing to do and how much responsibility it is to get the dog out to potty, out for exercise, out for socialization and out for training (well, in too, since training is an on going thing).

    It comes down to How much EFFORT can they expend? and beyond that, how much effort WILL they expend?

    How much will other members of the household expend in energy to help with the dog? Will everyone be on the same page training etc.?

    If they really don't get off the couch, don't like to walk or get regular exercise themselves and don't want to do "too much" they may not be good dog owners, REGARDLESS of the breed. If they get a dog, but someone else dictates the money for necessities such as crates, food, vet care etc. and that person isn't real aware (and willing) to meet those expenses, then maybe a dog or a cat or ANY pet is a bad idea.

    The bottom line is that shelters are full of animals people no longer wanted when they found out the animal cost them time to train and care for and money.

    I personally think that if a first time pet owner is an impulse buyer they ought to get a stuffed toy and stay away from live animals....

    Quote Originally Posted by TFTpwnsYou View Post
    I mean there may be certain dogs that are better for 1st time dog owners, but I do think it depends on the person. Any dog can turn into a nightmare without proper training.
    Amen!

    JustTess...
    Your son were living here he would be in more trouble for LYING to me than for not walking the dog.... and he better be getting straight A's and hold a 4.0 Average if he has too much homework to be walking the dog! LOL

  15. #34
    Senior Member Pepper's Avatar
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    Pepper is a schnauzer

    I am also not fond of those little, fluffy toy dogs, I'm always just thinking im going to break them. And I need a dog that can keep up with me, not me having to slow my pace to keep up with them, haha.

    There are really no breeds that wouldn't enjoy a nice walk, or gain socialization from it. They may tire quickly, but it's still a walk.

  16. #35
    Senior Member JustTess's Avatar
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by Elana55 View Post
    JustTess...
    Your son were living here he would be in more trouble for LYING to me than for not walking the dog.... and he better be getting straight A's and hold a 4.0 Average if he has too much homework to be walking the dog! LOL

    Yup. He's a little above 4.0 because he's in advance classes, however, he knows I know his favorite resource I can take away from him .....

    Why, it's electricity to his room in the evening

  17. #36
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by myminpins View Post
    Shelties are great dogs for first time dog owners IF and only IF they have the time to give the sheltie (a) lots of exercise and (b) lots of time with the family. They are NOT loner dogs and do NOT like to be alone for long periods of time. They NEED lots of exercise or they go nuts. They HAVE to have space to run and/or lots of walks. Oh, and you MUST MUST MUST brush them weekly at least. If you don't have that kind of time and energy, a sheltie is not for you. (Shelties are in the top 6% of ease of trainability, etc.)
    Haha, I actually have 2 Shelties, and none of this applies. Well, some of it does....I have a big yard so my dogs can get out of the house and run off leash. But other than that, I just take them out to fetch from time to time, and they're more than fully exercised, in fact they're both quite laid back, which is why I love this breed.....they adapted to my life style and don't mind spending most of their days snuggled at my feet while I play on the computer. I never ever brush my dogs though, and their hair is super shiny and fluffy and pretty....I think it must be because they're totally indoor dogs and don't get matted too easily because of that. My dogs don't do too bad being alone because they are the best of friends, I think when we're gone...they just keep each other entertained...they play really well together.
    Last edited by Trelaboon; 01-01-2009 at 04:45 AM.

  18. #37
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    I believe it has more to do with the prospective owner of the dog than it does the actual breed of the first dog. I think any first time dog owner should do their homework before bringing a puppy or adult dog into their lives. If they have chosen a breed they should read up all they can about the breed and speak to as many COE breeders as necessary to get an understanding of the breed in general that they have chosen and if their not adopting they need to also learn the difference between a BYB and a COE breeder because it does make a huge difference.

    10 years ago I brought home my first rotti and I've been hooked ever since, but I read books, spoke to breeders, interacted with the breeders rotti's, etc before bringing home my first rotti pup and it was a lot of work, as is owning any dog and training is a must.

    I guess it comes down to how responsible the first time dog owner is and how much time and energy they will spend raising, loving, and training their new canine companion.
    "He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." - Unknown


  19. #38
    Senior Member Melissa_Chloe's Avatar
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    I think a Shar pei is a great first!

    Chloe was my first, and she was housetrained as soon as I got her (10 weeks old .. as they are very clean dogs), they're very smart, she doesn't bark - I've only heard her bark maybe 10-12 times in the past 10 months I've had her (and most of those were when she plays with other dogs), they're not big dogs, and can be couch potatoes!

    She also never chewed anything except her own toys/bones, and I never had any "puppy problems" most everyone else had.
    She was pretty much perfect !

    Of course vet bills can be high with some, but nothing that pet insurance can't help with.

  20. #39
    Senior Member Tolak's Avatar
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    I think it should be more good owners & bad owners for the first time dog.

    I've dealt with terriers since I was a kid, having uncles who had everything from Yorkies to Airedales. I guess I was brought up thinking all dogs have a somewhat independent thought process.

    My first dog as an adult, a Yorkie, was raised with not even so much as a book. I sure had phone numbers though, uncles, the breeder, plenty of resources. After my Yorkie was a Westie, Cairn, and now a pair of Aussie Terriers.

    These two are my first Internet pups, and actually the first dogs I bought training books for. It's interesting learning why the things that have worked for so long work.

    First time owners shouldn't worry so much about the breed as training resources. Stock up big time, online sources, books, individuals, you can never have too much. From this you can determine how much time & energy you want to spend, and come closer to finding a breed that matches your lifestyle.

  21. #40
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    Re: good dogs and bad dogs for first time owners...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tmarie423 View Post
    I believe it has more to do with the prospective owner of the dog than it does the actual breed of the first dog. I think any first time dog owner should do their homework before bringing a puppy or adult dog into their lives. .

    EXACTLY!!! If they have researched adequately, they will be somewhat prepared. Each breed has challenges.

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