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Yes, I'm sure y'all are tired of seeing these threads but I'd love your advice! Of course, I know nurture matters a lot, not just breed, and I'm sure no breed will tick all my boxes.

I'm looking for a quiet, loving couch potato! 馃 I want a companion who wants to snuggle with me 24/7 and follows me around. While I do walk an hour each day and plan to take the dog with me, I'm really looking for a low-energy dog. I'm pretty sensitive to sound so minimal breaking, whining, howling etc. please! Really don't want a breed that's prone to destructive behaviors either. Also looking for eager-to-please, not stubborn.

I have anxiety, so I'm hoping to teach my dog some anxiety-relieving tasks such as deep pressure therapy (laying fullbody on me and staying there as long as I need it), laying their head on my lap when my leg starts bouncing, and standing directly behind or in front of me to create a sense of security when asked to. I will not be trying to train them to be any sort of service dog though because I know I don't have the skills for that, just want some emotional support!

I love giant breeds but that's not a dealbreaker! Let me know what y'all think! 馃悤
 

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Question: if the puppy you get ends up being a barker or higher energy than you want, how will you deal with it? Will it amp up your anxiety to the point that you will have a hard time working through the issue?

I ask that, because with puppies, if you don't put in a LOT of work right from the start, you end up with a dog that is the opposite of what you want. If you don't have the energy, frame of mind, consistency to put in that work, you will have a much worse time than if you didn't have a dog at all.

You may look at adult dogs to adopt. You can talk to shelters, rescues AND breeders. The dog could be a mutt OR a purebred. But you can find a dog who has passed the hyper puppy stage, is potty trained, and has shown the calm, relaxed personality that you are looking for. And, yes, you can just as easily teach them the techniques you want as if you got a puppy. It will likely take less time because you won't have to teach them all the basics first.

Breed and breed mixes can vary a lot if you get an adult dog because you can focus on the individual dog's personality versus a breed standard that may or may not match the puppy's personality.

A nice female rescue shepherd is rarely a bad choice. They tend to be calmer and more serious about the world. They are rarely destructive. They bond strongly with their person. I think it would be very easy to teach them to lay their head in your lap and to stand in front or behind you. It will be more of a challenge to teach them to lay on top of you as shepherds aren't really lap dogs.

A small/large dog mix might give you all of that - on an individual dog basis. The small dog dna may provide the "lap dog" need of touching/sitting on you and the big dog dna may provide the calmer, less barky attitude. Of course, it could go the reverse too - hence why getting an adult dog is a good idea.
 

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I'm looking for a quiet, loving couch potato! 馃 I want a companion who wants to snuggle with me 24/7 and follows me around. While I do walk an hour each day and plan to take the dog with me, I'm really looking for a low-energy dog. I'm pretty sensitive to sound so minimal breaking, whining, howling etc. please! Really don't want a breed that's prone to destructive behaviors either.
If you get a puppy, even a super nice puppy, it'll be 18 months to 2 years (or more, in giant breeds) before this is what you get. IF you get it...you can load the dice with puppies, but there are no guarantees.

I recommend visiting your local shelters and/or contacting your local rescues to seek out an adult dog that already displays these traits - quiet, affectionate, cuddly, calm, without a history of destructive behavior. When it comes to adults that are a known quantity, breed or mix of breeds is less relevant than individual temperament for companion dogs. Breed selection is much more important when buying puppies because it gives you a better prediction of what they will be like as adults. If they're already adults, you can just evaluate them. Of course, if you are a renter (or may be in the next decade) you will want to take into account things like size limits and commonly disallowed breeds.

If you're not a dog person, I recommend you take someone dog-savvy with you to get a sense of the dogs' temperaments. People who don't know much about reading dog body language will often confuse a dog being "shut down" (overwhelmed by stress, and therefore minimally reacting to stimulus) for calmness.
 

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I'm also going to echo getting an adult if at all possible! I've known many dogs who would be perfect for you... as adults, but as puppies most were noisier and more active than it sounds like you'd prefer.

Do you have a securely fenced yard, or access to a secure, fenced area that's not a dog park for a dog to run? If so, I strongly encourage you to look into adopting a retired greyhound! They're not called "40mph couch potatoes" for nothing - many are extremely chill and quiet dogs indoors so long as they're able to stretch their legs and run several times a week. I say no dog parks, because greyhounds (and most sighthounds) do have high prey drive that can be triggered by small dogs or puppies running around/yelping, and also have exceptionally thin skin, so are more likely to get injured by mouthy play. My understanding is that greyhounds are quite trainable, but not necessarily as intensely handler focused or driven as many of the "highly biddable" breeds like border collies or poodles.

My MiL has a Leonberger that may also suit your needs. They're a giant breed for sure, with lots and lots of hair, so you need to be prepared to handle that (much less drool than other hairy giants, though!). But they're very laid-back, mellow dogs. Many do love to work/train - my MiL has done Rally with her Leos in the past, and knows one who's an Obedience champion. Many (including one or two of my MiL's previous dogs) also compete in water rescue, as their size, love of water, and webbed feet make them exceptionally suited to the job. But most days, her current boy is happy with a walk and being able to wander around their garden. They do have an impressive set of lungs, but don't typically bark just to hear themselves bark. My MiL's current male (the only one I've personally met) alert barks when someone or something's on the property, and whines occasionally when he thinks he needs to go out or is feeling ignored, but that's about it. I imagine it'd be easy to train him to do something besides whining in these situations if my in-laws wanted to, but the whining doesn't bother them so they've never tried.

Edit: I've also met a number of 4+ year old labs (typically show line) who would meet your needs well, and are perfectly happy with an hour of walking and some training a day. But 4+ years is key here - labs are notoriously mouthy, energetic puppies, and they stay puppies for a looong time.

In an ideal scenario, you could get on a list with a service dog training agency to adopt one of their "wash out" labs - these are often at least a year or two, and most have washed out for reasons that are minor for the average pet owner, but makes them unsuitable to work as service animals full time (they're too distractable in certain situations, too friendly, insecure in certain scenarios that they'd rarely encounter as a pet, minor medical issues that make them unable to wear the working harnesses, etc). They're almost always from breeding programs specifically selecting for chill, bombproof, trainable dogs, and have a boatload of socialization and training. But as you can imagine, the waiting lists to adopt these dogs are usually miles long. Worth looking into, but I wanted you to be prepared for quite the wait!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all so much for your suggestions! I think you all raise a lot of important points I'm going to think about. I 100% agree I think an adult dog (or maybe even a cat lol) would be best for me. I had considered a retired greyhound and am going to continue looking into that route. I think I'm also going to talk to local shelters, orginizations, dog-lover etc. so they can help steer me in the right direction and make sure I make the best choice for me and the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In an ideal scenario, you could get on a list with a service dog training agency to adopt one of their "wash out" labs - these are often at least a year or two, and most have washed out for reasons that are minor for the average pet owner, but makes them unsuitable to work as service animals full time (they're too distractable in certain situations, too friendly, insecure in certain scenarios that they'd rarely encounter as a pet, minor medical issues that make them unable to wear the working harnesses, etc). They're almost always from breeding programs specifically selecting for chill, bombproof, trainable dogs, and have a boatload of socialization and training. But as you can imagine, the waiting lists to adopt these dogs are usually miles long. Worth looking into, but I wanted you to be prepared for quite the wait!
Do you happen to know where I could find more information on programs like these? I don't mind waiting years for a good match!
 

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It's not something I've ever done personally, so I'm afraid I don't have details about who specifically to talk to. I'd reach out to organizations like Guide Dogs of America, The Seeing Eye, Canine Companions, etc. and see how they handle the process. You may have to research what groups operate in your specific region. Assistance Dogs International might be a good place to start looking for accredited programs.
 

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Thank you all so much for your suggestions! I think you all raise a lot of important points I'm going to think about. I 100% agree I think an adult dog (or maybe even a cat lol) would be best for me. I had considered a retired greyhound and am going to continue looking into that route. I think I'm also going to talk to local shelters, orginizations, dog-lover etc. so they can help steer me in the right direction and make sure I make the best choice for me and the dog.
It's great to see several pro-rescue people on this site!

Perhaps you might also consider a bullmastiff?
 
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