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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I've seen a couple of these laying around here and am wondering if I could get some input into what my next dog could be. The earliest this would happen is in at least a year or so, but I know that some wait lists can be long so I want to go through the research process now and get an idea of what I should look for.

So a little bit about my living situation. I'm 20 and am currently living with my mom (38) and brother (17) while I go to school, which I hopefully graduate from by the end of next April, and may continue to live at home for the next little while. I currently have an 8yo mini dachshund and a 2yo cat, while my mom owns a 3yo frenchie and my brother owns a 7yo cat. We live in a nice, quiet neighbourhood in a two story house with a small fenced in backyard and pool, with parks being a short walk/drive. I live in southwestern Ontario Canada, so it can be winter here 5-6 months out of the year, and so there may be some days where I won't be able to take the dog out for a walk due to bad weather. It can also get very hot and humid here as well. I've kind of wondered if using a treadmill for these days would help with getting dogs exercise during this time of year or to just stay away from it?

Now, what I'm looking for in my next dog. It can be small to large sized, though I don't really want a dog 100lbs or more. No big grooming requirements. I would like to be able to take the dog for hikes as well as frequent walks and maybe runs, depending. Easy to train. Companion dog. Friendly or reserved with strangers. My dachshund hates people and other animals and I don't really want that in my next dog, especially because it's hard to take her out for walks and she almost can never leave the house. She's reactive and we've worked on it with her since she was a puppy, and we can work with it, but I'd just like a dog I can take with me everywhere in the future. Good with other dogs and cats. I'd also be interested in getting into obedience, agility, or nosework as there's a club nearby that do these kind of things. It would probably only be recreational though and isn't a requirement, but I thought it could potentially benefit the dog.

Any thoughts or ideas? I like the idea of adopting a dog, but while it's fortunate that shelters around here rarely get any, it also seems like the adoption process tends to do more harm than good from what friends and family have described. Some expect people to stay home all day with the pets and work from home, or they never get back to the people who are interested in adopting, among other things.
 

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I think adopting an adult dog would be a good option, since you have no real "tricky" requirements. You just want an all around good dog and there are lots of those out there that would fit the bill. And one way to be sure you avoid reactivity (as much as you can) would be adopting an adult. Even a well bred puppy can end up with reactivity, due to either nature or nurture or both. Yes, it's true some rescue organizations can be difficult. However it isn't fair, IMO, to write them all off based on a few bad experiences. If it's something you're interested in, I'd put some time into looking into rescue organizations around you (and also not around you - transporting dogs long distance is a really common thing, nowadays). Unlike with a breeder though, you probably don't want to actually contact them until you are pretty close to being ready to adopt. I would reach out when you are ready and send out a mass email, using the term loosely, to a handful of rescues I feel good about. I would tell them what I am looking for in a dog and ask them if they have a dog they feel would be a good fit. See who responds to you and then progress the correspondence.

All that said, as far as breeds go - Labs or a golden would be a good fit. Possibly GSD, and I'll throw in Corgis too. I'm sure there are tons of other breeds that would fit the bill too, most of the ones I am thinking of are either too big, have grooming requirements beyond "easy" and/or are likely too high energy for your situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I really don't want to exclude adopting in the future. I'm a volunteer dog walker at a shelter and I get to meet all kinds of wonderful dogs (a lot seniors) and it makes me so happy when they finally find homes. I think by me doing this has helped me understand the temperament and personalty that I'm looking for in a dog. So, I'm open to the idea, but I also want to keep my options open to breeders as well just in case.

I was considering the idea of a Lab. My brother's friend's family have taken in a retired breeding female from a nearby breeder a couple years ago, and they've recently started co-owning a puppy from the same breeder. I like the American style Labs more than the English style, and I'm liking this breeder's dogs. They know when to work and when to settle down once they're inside the house, and are still able to retain the working ability of labs out in the field as well. They're also really friendly and outgoing. Just from hearing from other owners, they speak highly of the breeder and their dogs. And I've always admired GSDs but wouldn't know where to start with them. Corgis I also like if I was to stick to a smaller dog. My friend actually owns one but I haven't met her yet to get an idea of what Corgis are like.
 

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The thing about a lab puppy is that you're pretty much guaranteed 2+ years of whirlwind alligator before you get that nice stereotypical adult lab. All breeds of pups can be challenging, but for whatever reason, the contrast between juvenile lab (and golden retriever) behavior versus their adult behavior is especially dramatic. If I was going to get a lab I'd adopt one that was already grown or close enough to it that there was light at the end of the tunnel. They're such a common breed that even though they're sweeties they're hardly difficult to find in rescue/shelters. I feel like I see a ton of 9-12 month old labs in shelters and in rehome advertisements, really...I think people who want a lab-personality dog are often ill-prepared for just how un-lablike an adolescent lab can be.

My parents adopted a young adult yellow lab who'd failed out at seeing eye dog training - she was the nicest dog I think I've ever met, and she came really well trained, too. Had a weakness for chasing small animals but in a pet that's perfectly manageable.

Your situation honestly sounds like it calls for adopting an adult dog in general. You don't sound to be an enthusiast for any particular breed, but you do have specific behavior/temperament requirements, including that the dog get along well with other dogs and cats. There are a lot of horror stories floating around about "oh, the rescue said the dog was friendly but it turned out to be Cujo" or "he was so mild at the shelter but I brought him home and he immediately devoured my sofa" but in reality, unless a dog is shut down due to stress, trauma, or bad health, the vast majority of adult dogs are pretty much What You See Is What You Get in terms of temperament. Whereas even with a well-bred pup you roll the dice.
 

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Adult or young adult from a rescue. I adopted my now 2yo mutt as a puppy, wanting a pup I could take everywhere... well, it didn't happen. She's very nervous and leash reactive and doesn't like people. With puppies, you don't know what you're getting. The rescue process is a pain, but you know exactly what kind of dog you are getting. Either that, or contact breeders to see if they have older pups available.

My last dog was 13 months when I got him (a breeder return) and he's exactly what I was looking for.
 

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Your main consideration right now should be where you are going to live once you move out of your mom's house. I assume you'll have to rent, as most people do. This will restrict certain breeds (Rottweilers, Pitts, Dobermans, etc.). I would recommend getting a dog whose max weight will be less than 40bs otherwise you could run into a lot of trouble finding a place to live.

I also agree with the others that adopting an adult dog is the best way to know for sure what their temperament will be like.
 

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I am a Lab lover, and I agree with Parus. A Lab pup is a fuzzy piranha, intelligent, energetic, indestructible, always needs to chew. I usually steer new owners away from Lab pups. But, you are not a new owner AND you may have a breeder to help out. A 12 week Lab or Golden socialized by the breeder (as opposed to adopting at 8 weeks) can be an amazing pup. In addition, as Parus suggests - the companion you will have in a year, will be very different than the pup you start with now.

A Lab doesn't need much grooming, but they do shed small hairs, so weekly brushing is helpful. Goldens need to be brushed, and groomed, and it is not optional.

Some people don't like dealing with pups, especially Lab pups. I love Lab pups for the energy, the intelligence, the 'ease' of training ... but I know what to expect.
 

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if you like the breeder and you know people that are raising one of their pups, though I think they have an advantage you wont have and that is an adult Lab to fill the needs of the pup. And your not in a hurry I would explore having first hand experience right there where you can see and ask questions. Might ask the breeder if you can spend some time with their dogs, catch a local dog show they going to, be invited over when a new litter of pups is ready to get some socializing training. :)
 

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I read the title of this thread and got super interested thinking OP was a dog breeder with some big ideas for creating a new breed for a new task. (a monumental and ludicrously expensive task I suspect)

Anyway, if I were in your situation I think I'd wait until I had more longterm knowledge of where I'm going to be and what I'm going to be doing before getting another dog. Spend more time with the dachshund in the meantime.
 
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