Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,211 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone! I'm a newbie here (although I have been reading these threads for a while now).

I'm looking for some feedback on what breed you folks think would suit my family, so hopefully someone can help.

Here is some background on us! My boyfriend and I live together currently in an apartment, and are interested in getting a dog in a few years once we are able to own our own home. We currently have 2 cats, and will be intending on starting a family in the future (4-5 years or so).

I had a family dog when I lived at home who passed away 2 and a half years ago now. He was a great dog, lassapoo, but my mom was the primary caretaker for him (other than occasional feedings that I did or letting him out to pee when I got home from school). I was young when we got him as a puppy, so I didn't really participate in training him.

My boyfriend has never owned a dog before. He was bitten by a GSD when he was about 8, so he is very wary around that breed, and of dogs who look 'shepherd-ish', if that makes sense. He does not hate these types of dogs, or think that they are all bad and aggressive, he just isn't able to feel comfortable around them.

Currently I volunteer at our local SPCA looking after the dogs, so I've gotten to interact with all shapes and sizes!

We've talked about it, and these are the traits we're looking for in a dog;
-Medium sized (40-50 lbs)
-Medium energy (my boyfriend is okay with high energy and although he is an outdoorsey person, having never owned a dog I'm not sure that he is fully aware of what 'high energy dog' means)
-Good with cats and children (I do have young reletives that would be interacting with the dog occasionally, as well as our own children in the future)
-Low maintenance in terms of grooming
-Easily trainable (The dog doesn't have to be a genius, but picking up on things quickly is preferred)

We had semi-decided on a Brittany, but I'm not entirely sure we'd be able to keep up with their energy level, and also unsure how they'd be with our cats.

One of our cats has never interacted with dogs before (we adopted her as a kitten). The other I don't know about, as she was 8 months old when I adopted her, so she may or may not have interacted with dogs in her previous home. (owners had to give her up due to cost)

Obviously I'm not entirely opposed to adopting from the shelter I volunteer at, but as a (basically) first time owner with other pets and children to consider, I'm a bit hesitant to not have a good idea of what I'm getting into from the beginning. I don't want to get a cute puppy from the shelter, only to have it grow up and not fit into our lifestyle, and end up having to give it up. (And yes, we do want a puppy. I'm aware adult dogs are great too, and puppies are a lot of work, and we have decided on a puppy.)

Sorry about the long post! Thanks for taking the time to read!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,186 Posts
What about an adult from the shelter? You know exactly what you're getting and no puppy biting everything, peeing everywhere and turning into a surly teenager.

Maybe a hound mix? Most hound mixes I know are fantastic with people and kids, love to be outdoors, but love to sleep the day away on the couch, too, and the grooming requirements are a bath when they get dirty. I know people say hounds are hard to train, but those people generally aren't using clicker training. Hounds aren't biddable like GSDs or golden retrievers, but they are, as a group, highly food motivated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,211 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I should have added, we do want a dog that will be able to go with us hiking, to the lake, to family BBQ's, outdoor events in our city, etc. Even possibly carry some items in a backpack for us/it when we're out and about. I'm not sure a basset hound would be as mobile as that. Beagle is a bit small for what we're looking for.

I'm not opposed to hounds, but I will say that I'm quite unfamiliar with them as a group. Also I'm hesitant as to what their affinity to chasing our cats would be. Any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,194 Posts
Lab or golden retriever?

Brittanies can be very very high energy. I have known some awesome ones, and I've also heard a lot of horror stories of the ones who never stop moving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,407 Posts
I should have added, we do want a dog that will be able to go with us hiking, to the lake, to family BBQ's, outdoor events in our city, etc. Even possibly carry some items in a backpack for us/it when we're out and about. I'm not sure a basset hound would be as mobile as that. Beagle is a bit small for what we're looking for.

I'm not opposed to hounds, but I will say that I'm quite unfamiliar with them as a group. Also I'm hesitant as to what their affinity to chasing our cats would be. Any suggestions?
Eh, I suggest Redbones to everyone looking for a hound. Lol

But they actually do seem pretty well suited to what you're looking for. They average around 40-50 pounds but can be a little bigger.

As far as grooming, they're low maintenance. They do shed, but not a lot, and have very short fur. Occasional brushing and bathing will suit them fine.
They're fine inside with a decent amount of exercise (an hour or two daily).
They tend to be very good with children (it's safe to call them a family dog) and I have personally NEVER had a problem with them around cats. With any dog, they'll need to be considerably supervised and taught their boundaries, but like I said, I have never known of a Redbone not getting along with cats.
They're very intelligent and easily motivated. They can be trained but mature slowly, so it can be a little difficult to get them to pay attention. You just have to find the right tool (which treat or toy they like best)
They are very much outdoors-y. They're built to go in a wide variety of terrains and weathers and have good endurance. They can keep up with you and carry a backpack. They can be taught recall, but at the end of the day they are hounds so keeping them on a long lead is best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,018 Posts
Britts are really really high energy usually. I would recommend a medium energy adult lab type mix. There's usually tons of those in shelters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
609 Posts
I second the lab mix.

And I raise you a rescue greyhound! Very docile, cuddly, couch potatoes who are also up for a nice walk and wanting to follow you around the house. It's my understanding that they are quick (albeit not very drivey) learners. My only concern would be the cats, but I know of many many who have lived successfully with cats (though I know that sometimes that the lures they use in racing are white, so if you have an all white cat, I'm not sure how it will work).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,211 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thanks so much for all the suggestions everyone! The other problem I've been running into is a lack of breeders in my area. Basically unless it's a popular breed (lab, golden, gsd, shih zu etc) you probably can't find a breeder in my Province. With that comes the worry that the only one you find in reasonable range is going to exploit that and have poor quality dogs that they sell for a high price, because they know they can.

The closest Brittany breeder (which I researched extensively because that was basically what we had decided to get) was in the next Province over, and also bred at least 2-3 other dog breeds, as well as siamese cats, which makes me uneasy. There are ones in other places of the country that would ship a dog to us, but I'm really not comfortable in not meeting the dog beforehand, and taking their word on their facilities and the parents' temperments, etc. (we wouldn't be able to justify the extra expense of a flight/hotel just to meet puppies that are far away).

The Redbones sound interesting, but I'm worried that they wont be available in our area. Lab mix also sounds like it might be a viable option. My boyfriend insists he would be able to handle a Brittany's energy levels (aside from that issue from the research we've done they seem like a perfect dog for us). I told him if we end up getting one it will be his responsibility to satisfy those energy levels on days when I feel pooped, haha.

If anyone knows of reputable Brittany breeders in the Atlantic Canadian provinces that would be highly appreciated!

Thanks everyone again for the suggestions so far! It really helps to get perpective from others.

*Edit* We also are fairly close to the New England reigion in the US, but I'm not sure about all the protocols that would be involved in bringing a dog back across the border.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,194 Posts
If you really like brittanies, have you looked into English or welsh springer spaniels? Or English cockers?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,211 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
The English and Welsh springer spaniels seem like just a bit more fur than we're looking for. I don't mean in terms of shedding or grooming, (well that too I guess) but my boyfriend really prefers the look of a more sleak dog, rather than a fluffy one, if that makes sense. He hasn't said as much, but his 'yes, no, maybe's to breed selections have followed the pattern of prefering dogs that are more sleek looking as opposed to having more fur.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,194 Posts
A brittany could work for you, but I'd recommend you meet a bunch of them first as they can be very very high energy. I love the breed, but they are getting a bad reputation as being a dog who never settles in the house and drives its owners nuts. If you like English springers but not the hair, the field bred dogs have a very light coat (fairly similar to a brittany) but they are also kind of nuts.

I still think a lab or lab mix could be a very good fit. Lab puppies are rough though. Generally all of the high energy sporting dog puppies can be rough, especially through the teenager stage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,211 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
We were planning to stop by the breeder to see and interact with the dogs first, since we don't know anyone who owns a Brittany. The breeder we were looking at chooses a dog for the family based on what they're looking for (hunter, family pet, etc). It's far away, but not so far that we couldn't make a day trip out of it. The only other breeders we've found next closest to that one were so far away that we would have to spend a night at a hotel midway through the drive there/home. Doing that with a new puppy, not to mention finding a hotel that will allow dogs in the first place, seems like a fairly big ordeal to go through, and pretty stressful for the pup. Not to mention that we probably wouldn't be able to visit the pups more than once beforehand due to the cost of a trip like that.

Is there an appropriate place to ask questions about a specific breeder? Like, if other forum users had heard of them, or saw any red flags that maybe I might be missing? Is that info okay to post here?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,194 Posts
Yes, we're happy to look at breeder websites and thing and let you know if there are any red flags. I was initially looking for a brittany, so I know a few of the New England breeders and dogs, but I don't know any up towards Canada. How far away are you limiting the drive?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,211 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks so much for your help! This is the website of the breeder we have been looking at; http://www.dogcatbreeder.com/
They do breed multiple dog breeds as well as cats, which made me uneasy initially, as I heard that breeders who do more than one breed should be avoided. I have contacted them by e-mail, but I get the impression that they aren't overly tech-savvy folks, and haven't gotten the chance to call them just yet. We're not looking for a pup for another few years yet, but I'm all about in-depth research and planning, haha.

I think that we'd be willing to make a day trip of going to the breeder, so probably within a 10-12 hour round trip drive at most (accounting for lots of stops for potty breaks for the puppy.) Ideally we'd like it to be close enough to be able to visit the puppies more than once before we bring ours home, but I know that's not always possible. For me, I do need to be able to visit at least once to see the parents and how the dogs are being kept for myself. For that kind of thing I'm not comfortable just taking the word of a breeder I've never met.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,257 Posts
Strictly my opinion on reading the website of the breeder, but I do see red flags. For one, they have 3 Lab litters due the same week which means a TON of work- so I'd wonder how much socializing and human interaction these puppies would get. They have a "miniature Labrador" litter which they say is naturally occurring (not a mix) and they've just continued to purposefully breed these small at maturity dogs, that's just plain odd to me and a new one that I've never seen people going for in Labs.

They do mention a 2 year health guarantee which is good but make no mention of what is guaranteed or what health testing they have done other than "hip and eye certified" (you'd want to see the results of the testing).

All that said, some of these things may be something that can be cleared up to your (someone's) satisfaction after talking to the breeders. The website is minimal so they may have plenty of good information available on the phone. Someone experienced in reading pedigrees may be helpful in telling you what to look for on them; I just notice that it says "champion lines" but I don't see much listed on the pedigrees for show or sport wins.

And while some people may prefer this and it has nothing to do with the health of the dogs per se, they advertise that all the pups are raised "under Alpha techniques creating a calmer submissive dog" which would NOT a training technique I personally would want a puppy started under, I'd want a bold and confident puppy begun with positive reinforcement and positive interactions with people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,211 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I should have added that if you click the picture of the particular dog breed, there is more detailed info available (such as bloodlines, etc). The website is not very intuitive or well set up, in my opinion.

I'm wondering if the lab litters are not just one litter that they're expecting all colours from? Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't all colours of labs have all colours of lab puppies?

Some of the info in terms of dates of litters on the main page differs from what is said when you click on the individual breed, so I'm thinking the site isn't updated as throughly or regularly as might be best for getting accurate info.

*Edit* Also on the mini-labs, I also found that odd.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top