Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So this is just for fun and to see what people come up with :) we are not at the point of actually getting a pup yet, but we have talked a bit about wanting to train a dog for therapy work. We live in a city that was basically built around a hospital, so there are numerous opportunities in our area. We have 2 dogs presently, and for varying reasons, neither are good candidates for therapy work. Our boxer mix (5yrs) is aloof to strangers, and really only wants attention from people he knows. Our Aussie/lab mix (2yrs) loves all people, but is uncomfortable with noises in new and unfamiliar places. Both are from rescues, and both have (what I believe are) genetic issues. Both are wonderful and very well behaved, I just don't think either of them would enjoy it much. As much as I love the idea of giving homeless dogs a home, we may opt to go with a breeder the next time around. I really think a well-bred dog from a good breeder might be our best bet to ensure stable temperament. Especially if the breeder uses the early stimulation programs and works with socializing them from the beginning.

My issue is that I love so many breeds (is that an issue?) ;) and can't decide on just one! I have always loved Ridgebacks, but I'm not sure their temperament is suited to therapy work. I have also considered a BMD, Greyhound, English Lab, English Staffordshire Terrier, Cavalier...We actually were on the list for a Berner puppy a couple years ago from a great breeder...but ended up with our Aussie/lab rescue instead. If it weren't for the shedding, I'd be all for a Berner, but I'm not sure if I could handle all that hair!

We would want:

Temperament that is generally a good fit for therapy work

We tend to prefer med-large breeds

Lower end as far as shedding goes (or able to control shedding with regular grooming) we have a Roomba so this isn't THAT important :)

Lower energy/generally calm disposition

We don't have kids yet, but may in the future

Generally good with other dogs and cats (our cat is really great around dogs...so I'm not too worried about that).

OR, we could look for an adult rescue with a temperament suited for therapy work...im sure they're out there!


Off topic...anyone with Berners....how do you control the hair? If they're professionally groomed every 4-6 weeks (bathed and brushed/blown out) would that help? I don't mind brushing a couple times a week or even daily.

Thanks in advance for suggestions!! Now to talk the hubby into letting me have another dog! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,364 Posts
I think an adult rescue is a viable option if you want to go that route. I would make sure to talk with the staff directly and tell them what you are looking for and allow them to tell you whether the dog would be suited for therapy work or not, versus just picking a dog on the internet and winging it, ya know?

I'd suggest a Newfy, mainly because I had one and he was such a fantastic dog, and would have been perfect for therapy work. Just a great all around dog. I'll also throw in Eurasier.
Berners have a lot of health issues, so if you go that route, be sure to select a breeder who health tests extensively.

I think any variety of dogs could fit the bill. It would probably be easier to list the breeds I wouldn't suggest than the breeds I would.

As far as shedding goes - any dog has the propensity to shed. Some breeds are more known for shedding than others, of course. Personally, I think that dogs with shorter coats shed more - or at least, theirs is the hair that really embeds in your clothes and furniture, versus dogs that shed long hairs or in clumps. Another crucial aspect of controlling shedding is a good diet. I have one dog (Rottie/Akita/Lab/Mutt) who sheds like CRAZY if she eats food with less than 20% fat/30% protein (although I think the fat plays the bigger role in shedding). Any dog who gets a quality diet, brushed/groomed regularly, shouldn't have insane shedding problems, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the input :)

Yes, I would be VERY picky about the breeder, no matter what breed. The breeder I was looking at for BMDs is also a vet who feeds raw, and minimally vaccinates her dogs (which is how I raise mine as well). Her biggest goal (maybe along with temperament) in her breeding program is to improve the health of the breed. I also agree that diet plays a huge role. Our two eat half raw/half Orijen kibble, and seem to do great with that. Both their coats are sleek and shiny and healthy looking, but our lab/aussie sheds a TON. Her coat is more coarse like a lab, just a bit longer/more feathering. Honestly the BMDs I've met shed less than her. So I'm definitely not expecting no shedding. I would actually tend toward a shedding breed that doesn't need any clipping rather than a poodle type...I also am not a fan of bearded breeds just for the reason that the beards carry debris and get stinky.

Here's our crazy shed monster.

IMG_4404.JPG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
549 Posts
Look for a breeder that has had puppies that got certified as therapy dogs... and start contacting breeders NOW because it can take a very long time to get a puppy from a good breeder (really, 3 years later, I'm still looking, and I don't even want a therapy dog!).

I wouldn't suggest a Bernese because they tend to die pretty young, and it takes a while to train therapy dogs. If shedding really is an issue, look into standard poodles. I kinda agree that long haired dogs are easier in a way than short hair dogs - at least we don't have hair needles all over the floor, just clumps of hair...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,651 Posts
I think pretty much any of the dogs you listed could be potential candidates. Labs especially, but I think they really are one of the worst shedding dogs out there, even regularly groomed! I have never been able to pet one without being COVERED in hair. The short haired dogs shed more than long haired dogs because the hair has a shorter "lifespan."

Staffies are generally super people friendly, but some "pit bull" or bully type breeds have dog aggression or dog selectivity issues. Going to a shelter and choosing an adult dog or carefully selecting a breeder might mitigate that concern. They are also VERY high energy. They are a terrier, after all!

Cavaliers are great little companion dogs, but you have to be very careful selecting a breeder, as they do have some pretty serious health issues.

The rescue route is also a great avenue! I mean, any puppy you get will probably take 2-3 years to be therapy work material, so why not skip that jumpy, obnoxious puppy stage and get an adult that is dying for some attention? I'm sure you can find plenty of social, well behaved dogs that would thrive visiting hospitals!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,243 Posts
I'd suggest a Newfy, mainly because I had one and he was such a fantastic dog, and would have been perfect for therapy work. Just a great all around dog. I'll also throw in Eurasier.
If you're interested in either one of these breed suggestions from sydneynicole, I'm happy to answer any questions. I have both! :bounce: And I am ALWAYS happy to talk about them. At length. Especially the Eurasier breed.

As for the shedding, regular brushing and grooming does help. When Annabel (our Newf) gets groomed, we always add on their deshedding treatments and we invested in a good high powered blower type dryer that blows out her undercoat after baths. Beckett (our Eurasier) actually sheds in sort of clumps so I've always found it WAY easier to just brush him and the shedding is controlled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,500 Posts
When I read this I thought Smooth Collie, except for the shedding. As Lillith said short haired dogs shed more than long haired ones. But if you want a family/ other pet friendly dog they're excellent. They are at the lower energy end of the herding group. They're about the size of a lab, so a bit smaller than a Berner or a Leonberger (which is also a good choice).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
If you're interested in either one of these breed suggestions from sydneynicole, I'm happy to answer any questions. I have both! :bounce: And I am ALWAYS happy to talk about them. At length. Especially the Eurasier breed.

I hadn't heard of an Eurasier before...but I am interested...I did a crash course of research over the last day or so, but would love to hear more from you. particularly about temperament. From what I've read, it sounds like they may be a little reserved toward strangers? Ive met a few spitz type dogs, and all of them have been so focused on their person/people, that they don't care about interacting with anyone else. With early socializing can that be mitigated?

Also, it doesn't sound like they take extensive amounts of grooming, is that correct? brushing a few times/week and more when blowing coat? When they aren't actively blowing coat, how much hair is left around the house?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I hope one day i'llbe able to have a german shepherd pup! In my point of view this dog is best companion one can have. Intelligent, loyal and beautiful dog.They do shed a lot though but brushing once a week will work well i think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,340 Posts
Although you didn't say, a Golden Retriever is terrific for therapy. Grooming is an everyday thing, but I think it's worth it for a calm, intelligent personality.

On the other hand, I have a Lab/GSD who is golden colored (possibly a Lab/Golden/GSD mix) and I think the mix is fairly sweet. He was recently certified for therapy work, and he's fine if I wash him and brush him at least one week before we go visit kids or seniors for therapy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,243 Posts
I hadn't heard of an Eurasier before...but I am interested...I did a crash course of research over the last day or so, but would love to hear more from you. particularly about temperament. From what I've read, it sounds like they may be a little reserved toward strangers? Ive met a few spitz type dogs, and all of them have been so focused on their person/people, that they don't care about interacting with anyone else. With early socializing can that be mitigated?

Also, it doesn't sound like they take extensive amounts of grooming, is that correct? brushing a few times/week and more when blowing coat? When they aren't actively blowing coat, how much hair is left around the house?
My apologies, I didn't get an email that there were new posts on this thread so I didn't see your reply.

The breed standard calls for them to be "aloof" which in a lot of breeds tends to actually mean fearful of strangers, but with all of the Eurasiers I've met who are aloof, it really IS aloof. In that they check out a stranger, but just care more about being with their own family than interacting with the stranger. They're not all over friendly and crazy about anyone like a golden or a Newfoundland, for example. There are exceptions, of course. My dog, Beckett, grew up with a Newf and actually seems to have learned to love other people from her. And I will say that at the gatherings I've gone to, the dogs are always coming up to all the people and checking everyone out throughout the event. (Speaking of, once the weather warms up a bit, we usually have several gatherings all over the US periodically throughout the year)

Grooming Beckett takes me about a quarter of the time that it does to groom Annabel (Newf) so to me, his grooming is easy. They do blow coat about twice a year, yes, but while I do see little tufts of Beckett fur around the house every so often, it's not very bad at all and pretty easy to keep on top of. Brushing once or twice a week seems to do the trick, though it can be a little more depending on the genetics and if they end up with something like spay coat after a spay/neuter.

They're also far more biddable than most of the other spitz breeds while still having a lot of personality. I know people who do obedience, rally, conformation, agility, and trick training with their Eurasiers. They're easy-going dogs, not a lot of prey drive, and they don't tend to be barky. Breeders breed for health and temperament first and foremost. And, in fact, most of the breedings in the US are researched ahead of time by the club's board of directors to make sure we're keeping as much genetic diversity and health in each mating as possible. And I really have to say that the Eurasier community is welcoming and fun, too! We like to get together and see everyone's dogs whenever we can. Especially the puppies, lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Update!! We are bringing home a tricolor Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy in a few weeks! He'll be 9 weeks old, from a breeder who shows and does all the OFA required health testing (plus hips). The puppy is also being weaned onto raw food, and they have a strict vaccine protocol (spacing them out properly to avoid too much immune stress). They have a 5 yr health guarantee against MVD and SM as well. I will be continuing to feed a raw diet when he comes home. We are hoping to train him for therapy work when he's older, so I'm really concerned with getting him out and about ASAP...is it okay to take him out in public before all his vaccines are done? We don't go to dog parks, but is it safe to take him to pet friendly stores (not petco etc, but maybe Home Depot and places there there aren't a ton of other dogs) and walks around our neighborhood? I remember taking my previous puppies in public right away with no issues, but now I've read it can be dangerous. Also, I work at a dog daycare and we allow young puppies to start coming before all their vaccines are "finished" (have to be up to date with boosters appropriate for their age) and don't have any issues with illnesses. When is it advisable to start taking him to work with me? (we separate small dogs and puppies into appropriate groups based on play style, so he won't be with rowdy, big dogs...and I'll be there to make sure he's safe and having fun).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,340 Posts
Congrats! The best answer is that it is location dependent, so call the local Vet for an official recommendation. Most will discuss this over the phone.

I would recommend that you get a written recommendation from the breeder.

The conservative recommendation is to wait until after the 3rd set of shots. [In the Southern USA, that may be prudent.] In many places, it seems OK after the 2nd set of shots. After only the first set of shots, it may be a bit risky, depending on location.

Where ever you go, don't let your puppy touch the ground or other dogs, but stay in a shopping cart. Taking your pup for a neighborhood walk sounds like a Vet question. When I had a therapy dog, my Vet said that because he was up to date with his shots, that he could safely play with puppies that did not have all their shots. Again ask your Vet, but if you know that all dogs in the neighborhood are up to date, then you may be able to socialize, walk where they are... or invite them to your house.

The main question is - Can your pup get sick - And that is best addressed by your Vet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,361 Posts
congratulations !!! That is awesome !

Not sure if it made difference my breeder had you step in a bleach/water pan before you entered her yard.. and she had you take your shoes off at the door before going to see underage pups still with the dam.. Not everyone.. select few people would be invited (other breeders / and previous puppy owners of hers) My understanding parvo / distemper doesn't get killed ?? it just gets wiped round ? True or False

as an older pup and dog I like Home Depot early in the morning.....
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top