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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I am new to this forum, thought I would join since I'm looking into getting a dog. Anywho,

I am having troubles deciding which breed to get. I live on a lake and in the water everyday in the summer, very active person with lots of energy, live in a small cabin on the lake with not the largest yard but have access to a field within 2 minutes from house. I have all the time in the world for a puppy for the next 2 years to raise something.
Any ideas?
 

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The easiest way to give people an idea of what you're looking for is to describe your future dog. Big dog or small one? Do you see yourself wanting to spend time grooming so your dog is fluffy? Or more a 'hose 'em off' type person? One that loves everyone or who is going to be security? In other words, if you could just 'order' a dog, what would you get?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
defiantly hose off type of dog that is large. Kind of a bachelor dog, I looked at boxers, german shepherds, labs, chesapeaks. Just looking to some real help on deciding so I don't make a 20 year mistake;) I love anything but would like to narrow it down to what I want and what is best for me.
 

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I may not be of very much help here because I am a herding dog person, but I will try all the same. Avoid collies if you want your dog to hang out at the lake. I have never met a collie that likes water and mine refuses to go to the bathroom if even the grass is wet. Aussies are theoretically not water type dogs, but almost every one I have owned/fostered loves water. My PB aussie will swim all day long and just loves the lake. They are very rough and tumble dogs. I will warn that they are smart to the point of outsmarting their people, but are highly trainable if you want to put the time into it. The energy level of an Aussie never ceases to amaze me. After a 9 miles mountain bike ride with no stops my aussie is still running circles around me.
On a different note, I know a lot of people with Labs who just love them. One thing I have noticed is that my friends who couldn't decide what to get frequently end up going to a shelter and picking out a lab/boxer or lab/GSD or something like that. Ususally they end up being heinz 57 dogs, but they are also often just right for my friends with no breed alligance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the help, I was debating on picking up a dog from the humane society but then came across the fear of getting a dog and it being aggressive towards me because it was abused during puppyhood.
 

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Thanks for the help, I was debating on picking up a dog from the humane society but then came across the fear of getting a dog and it being aggressive towards me because it was abused during puppyhood.
Shelters will not adopt out a dog that will be human aggressive because it is a liability. These dogs are usually humanely euthanized at the shelter, depending on what kind of shelter it is. The caveat to this is that some dogs can be resource gaurders which means they will guard coveted resources from you, however, there are simple things you can do to curb this behavior so even this is not a real issue. A lot of shelters test for resource guarding in a dog as well.

I think going with a shelter dog is a wonderful idea. Most shelter dogs are there because they were either no longer wanted (new baby in a household, moving, evicted, got a new puppy, etc.) or they were too rambunctions because they weren't given enough exercise (something it seems like you can provide a lot of). A lot of times, shelters will give you the option of "test driving" a dog for a day or even sometimes as long as a week to see if he/she would work out in your home.
 

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I would agree that going to a shelter or rescue will open the most options for you. The staff should be able to help narrow down dogs, but it is always good to know what you are looking for in general.

From your description, I think a Sporting breed would fit you best. They are usually versatile, do anything, outdoorsy, energetic. Any of the retriever varieties would do well in water. Pointers are another group you can look into. Most of the gun dogs will do well in your situation and enjoy the kind of environment you can provide.

After you do some research feel free to ask about any specific breeds that pique your interest.
 

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As always... I vote for a Lab - friendly, love water, easy to train, very forgiving... and an adult lab is very grateful to be adopted :)
 

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One of the best reasons, IMO, to choose a dog from a shelter is that there are plenty of dogs there that are a few months to a few years old. For the most part, their temperaments are already set. That means you can pick out what you want in a dog. If you're looking to avoid aggression, choose a confident dog that interacts well with people. Some shelter dogs come with baggage, but it's definitely a myth that they're all treated badly by their former owners. Make a short list of what you want in a dog and then check out petfinder.com. Plan to meet several dogs before making any decisions.

As far as breed, I think lots of breeds could work for you. I would venture to say that you'd probably find most of the retrievers to be your type of dog.
 

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I recommend rescuing a dog from a shelter or rescue organization! I went the rescue route, and it was ideal because Hobbes had been fostered by a family for awhile before we got him, so the foster family was able to tell us all about his temperament, likes/dislikes, etc. We have no idea what his life was like before he was a year or so old, but it doesn't matter because now he's a happy and wonderful member of our family. To be fair, I highly doubt he was abused, since he's never shown a moment's fear of humans since we've had him (about 6 months now), but what the other posters say about aggressive dogs not being adopted out is true, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Shelters and rescues do temperament testing before deciding if a dog can go to a home.

Good luck on your search!
 
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