Need Help Deciding A Breed
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Thread: Need Help Deciding A Breed

  1. #1
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    Need Help Deciding A Breed

    Hey All!

    I have a few questions in regards to dog breeds, and what kind would be right for my family.

    Before I take up too much of your time, here is some basic information about my family and I:

    #1: We have multiple cats. Sometimes they get hyper and play with each other, but most of the times they just lay around the house in their cat towers.
    #2: We are moving into a house with a decent yard (for my area at least -- Southern California)
    #3: Our dog will sleep indoors as the heat outside can reach 100 degrees in the Summer (we'll have AC in the house)
    #4: I have an 8 year old daughter and might have more kids in the future.

    In terms of what we're looking for -- Preferably a large breed that can be good with cats and children. Though, it's not exactly a requirement that they are large. For some reason, I seem to like most of the Hounds, but as I've read online they don't get along with cats (Irish Wolfhound/Deerhound). I was told that the Bernese Mountain Dog & Great Pyrenees would be good for my needs but I'm not so sure considering they have such thick fur (wouldn't they be uncomfortable in a hot environment?)

    Additionally, I also found a dog called the Silken Windhound. I've heard as far as hounds go, they are generally more accepting with Cats and wont have an issue if you get them young enough to get used to everything.

    Thoughts?
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  3. #2
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    The sight hounds, terriers and husky types should be avoided, they all have very high prey drive.

    The most important thing would be getting a puppy (or a dog already socialized w/ cats from a young age). You are supposed to use a gate and slowly expose them to one another. I gave the puppy and the cat a joint salmon feast in little bits on their first meeting and they get to have snacks like that together pretty often and that seems to be all that is needed in my case. The pup has been swatted at a few times and the cat avoids the puppy's rooms but when the pup is allowed to make forays upstairs they are generally pretty civil. There might be some rump in the air play barking, I caught an instance of cat herding and some intrusive butt sniffing but even that stuff is decreasing as the pup learns she can't make an ornery 14 year old cat move or play with her (and the cat's doing fine, she stole a piece of chicken from under the dogs nose today without a second thought and the dog just looked at me like "you seeing this ****?!").

    Herding dogs and the gentler livestock guardian dogs (thinking Pyrenees) tend to do well with cats when socialized early. The former need a ton of exercise and attention, the later lay around all day and bark all night. Well socialized retrievers should be good.. Internet says boxer, bichon, beagle (known a couple that lived in tandem with cats myself), retrievers and maltese are good too.

    Last edited by +BlueMerle; 08-14-2018 at 12:29 AM.
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    I've never had any issue with my two mutts and the cat. Heck, my husky mix always plays with the cat. I think it shouldn't be too much of an issue as long as they meet as puppies, but I'd definitely avoid the high drive breeds.

    The key really is to have places where the cat can have some peace - we keep the basement open (dogs don't go in there), we have a cat tree, and a gated area off the kitchen where the cat food is.

    Pyrenees are awesome with cats, I hear.
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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    All generalizations are wrong. In general.

    We had a miniature schnauzer (a terrier) who would kill all kinds of small animals - squirrels, mice, rabbits - and sometimes bring them in through the doggy door and deposit them in front of us. Yet he cheerfully lived with a few different cats.

    My daughter has some kind of terrier mix that currently lives with a cat. The biggest problem is he annoys the cat by constantly wanting her to play.

    I've had two different hounds: a beagle who was fine with cats until a barn cat knocked him on his butt. After that it took a great deal of work to get him to even tolerate my sister's cat, who was with us for an extended time. The other was a high prey-drive Plott hound who could never be trusted around any cat.

    It also depends a lot on the particular cat(s.)

    I think a puppy or an adult dog with a proven history around cats would be your best bet. Keep in mind that those giant breeds you mentioned tend to have relatively short life-spans, though wolfhound owners I've talked to say they'd rather have a wolfhound for five years than any other breed for fourteen years.
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    Yeah, I gave up on having a Bernese Mountain Dog because they live 8 years in average.
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    Senior Member Lillith's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    Hounds are generally not great with cats because they see them as prey...but if they are raised with cats and understand that they are part of the family, they typically get along. If I were you, I would go with a reputable breeder whose socialization program includes exposure to cats and other animals, and who can tell you about their dog's ability to get along with cats as adults. Or, find an adult dog who is known to get along with cats.

    There's a member here who has a silken windhound, so perhaps she'll chime in! I believe she has a cat, too!

    But what do you want in a dog? Energy level? Grooming requirements? What do you want to do with the dog? Sports, an active companion, or a couch potato? I think those are probably the more important questions, because I don't think it will be as hard as you think to find a dog that gets along with cats.
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    Two things are important. FIRST the cats have to be savvy and not RUN madly from the dog. A cat that runs hissing and running madly from a dog will invoke the prey drive in almost ANY dog. SECOND is ANY dog will need to have it made very clear that running after the cats is 100% not allowed.

    As for kids.. well again, most of that is management of the child as well as the dog and not letting the two be together alone and unsupervised.

    Off hand I would say a show line Golden Retriever might be your best bet. IOW's you want a golden Retriever;s attitude first and foremost. Do not get a Silken Windhound and then expect the temperament of a Golden Retriever.
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by 3GSD4IPO View Post
    Two things are important. FIRST the cats have to be savvy and not RUN madly from the dog. A cat that runs hissing and running madly from a dog will invoke the prey drive in almost ANY dog. SECOND is ANY dog will need to have it made very clear that running after the cats is 100% not allowed.
    Ha! We had a big lab who went with us to visit my sister. My sister had a cat who lived with four dogs and was not in the least intimidated by a dog. Our lab took one look at him and charged full-bore. The cat refused to even flinch. No hissing, no claws, no running - she just stared him down - all 116 pounds of him.

    Our lab pulled up short and turned and looked at me, then the cat, then me again. His expression was clear: "What's happening here? Why is this creature not running away?"

    After that they were fine together.
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by Lillith View Post
    Hounds are generally not great with cats because they see them as prey...but if they are raised with cats and understand that they are part of the family, they typically get along. If I were you, I would go with a reputable breeder whose socialization program includes exposure to cats and other animals, and who can tell you about their dog's ability to get along with cats as adults. Or, find an adult dog who is known to get along with cats.

    There's a member here who has a silken windhound, so perhaps she'll chime in! I believe she has a cat, too!

    But what do you want in a dog? Energy level? Grooming requirements? What do you want to do with the dog? Sports, an active companion, or a couch potato? I think those are probably the more important questions, because I don't think it will be as hard as you think to find a dog that gets along with cats.
    Great questions, some of which I think I'll have difficulty answering lol.

    In terms of Grooming/Shedding, my wife prefers if it would stay at a middle to low level. She is open to getting a dog that has a higher Grooming requirement, but I'd have to buy the pet Roomba as a compromise :P. I personally don't care about Grooming because I grew up with labs/huskies, both who shed quite a bid.

    In terms of energy, I'll have a backyard, so I'll preferably want a dog that can play back there and also go on walks. My wife and I aren't really active people, so I don't want a dog that I have to run at a park on a daily basis. If they are okay going on walks and running in my backyard, that's all I'll need.

    Mostly i'll be looking for a companion, but I'll also want the dog to hold it's own, if that makes sense. I'm moving to Corona CA, and there are a high number of coyotes out there. While my dog will be an indoor pet, I still would like it to be big enough to defend itself against a potential threat. I've known people who own smaller dogs that have gotten taken away by big coyotes in Corona. Even when they were indoor dogs. The Coyotes would go into the backyard when they were playing and snatch them up.

    I am totally open to getting a Great Pyrenees/Bernese mountain dog, but I heard they don't do well in heat. Even though they will be indoors, when they go on walks in the summer it could get up to 100 degrees. Should I start looking into herding dogs instead?
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  12. #10
    Senior Member Lillith's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by tylerprime View Post
    Great questions, some of which I think I'll have difficulty answering lol.

    In terms of Grooming/Shedding, my wife prefers if it would stay at a middle to low level. She is open to getting a dog that has a higher Grooming requirement, but I'd have to buy the pet Roomba as a compromise :P. I personally don't care about Grooming because I grew up with labs/huskies, both who shed quite a bid.

    In terms of energy, I'll have a backyard, so I'll preferably want a dog that can play back there and also go on walks. My wife and I aren't really active people, so I don't want a dog that I have to run at a park on a daily basis. If they are okay going on walks and running in my backyard, that's all I'll need.

    Mostly i'll be looking for a companion, but I'll also want the dog to hold it's own, if that makes sense. I'm moving to Corona CA, and there are a high number of coyotes out there. While my dog will be an indoor pet, I still would like it to be big enough to defend itself against a potential threat. I've known people who own smaller dogs that have gotten taken away by big coyotes in Corona. Even when they were indoor dogs. The Coyotes would go into the backyard when they were playing and snatch them up.

    I am totally open to getting a Great Pyrenees/Bernese mountain dog, but I heard they don't do well in heat. Even though they will be indoors, when they go on walks in the summer it could get up to 100 degrees. Should I start looking into herding dogs instead?
    Based on that, some breeds I would recommend are a Collie (Rough or Smooth), a Standard Poodle (no shedding, so probably a plus for your wife!), Lab, Golden Retriever, or a Cocker Spaniel (one bred more for companionship than hunting). You will want to discuss with your breeder exactly what you want, and what your lifestyle is, because some of those breeds have working lines, and some have show or companion lines.

    Really, I don't think any dog should be walked in 100+ degree weather. The pavement can burn their paw pads when its that hot, and I've seen few dogs who do well in that heat. Instead, just stay home and play in your yard where there is plenty of water available and the dog can take breaks when they need it.
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by Lillith View Post
    Based on that, some breeds I would recommend are a Collie (Rough or Smooth), a Standard Poodle (no shedding, so probably a plus for your wife!), Lab, Golden Retriever, or a Cocker Spaniel (one bred more for companionship than hunting). You will want to discuss with your breeder exactly what you want, and what your lifestyle is, because some of those breeds have working lines, and some have show or companion lines.

    Really, I don't think any dog should be walked in 100+ degree weather. The pavement can burn their paw pads when its that hot, and I've seen few dogs who do well in that heat. Instead, just stay home and play in your yard where there is plenty of water available and the dog can take breaks when they need it.
    Thanks for the info!

    We'll be getting those dog shoes/socks, though I'm not sure if we'll be able to get our dog to tolerate them. I do agree that the pavement can get really hot, even if it's 70 degrees out.
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    I know you had a grooming issue, but everything else that you want fits a Lab perfectly. You could get a Lab mix adult that already has some of the traits you want, or you could get a puppy and train it.

    I walk my 80lb Lab mix every day, even when the temperature is in the high 90s with high humidity, and he has adapted easily to the hot pavement. He can hold his own with squirrels, foxes, deer, and one or two coyotes ... usually they run and he chases. He is good with cats. And, when I'm not home, then he sleeps. As long as I walk him and exercise him one or two hours a day, he's happy. I walk him for 30 min. twice a day, I let him play with neighborhood dogs for an hour a few times a week, and I currently have him in scent training and in therapy training, both of which provide great socialization and mental training opportunities. All of this makes him a terrific companion.
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by hanksimon View Post
    I know you had a grooming issue, but everything else that you want fits a Lab perfectly. You could get a Lab mix adult that already has some of the traits you want, or you could get a puppy and train it.

    I walk my 80lb Lab mix every day, even when the temperature is in the high 90s with high humidity, and he has adapted easily to the hot pavement. He can hold his own with squirrels, foxes, deer, and one or two coyotes ... usually they run and he chases. He is good with cats. And, when I'm not home, then he sleeps. As long as I walk him and exercise him one or two hours a day, he's happy. I walk him for 30 min. twice a day, I let him play with neighborhood dogs for an hour a few times a week, and I currently have him in scent training and in therapy training, both of which provide great socialization and mental training opportunities. All of this makes him a terrific companion.
    I'm not totally opposed to having a lab in my life again. As I mentioned, I grew up with them because my parents loved the breed. I was just hoping to explore different breeds this time around, but if chance has it that there is nothing else available by the time I put my money down, I always know that Labs are a great option.
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    Re: Need Help Deciding A Breed

    hi there i see your post was last year but the Great Pyrenees is a good dog with cats and kids. i had one for 10 years and have about 8 cats indoors. Not mine they are my wife's. as far as his coat it works both ways keeps warm in winter and cool in summer. i lived in Florida so he did handle the heat well. great dogs.
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