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HI everyone!


I have a 3 yrd old bichon/toy poodle mix. She is very sweet and loving I was thinking about getting her a playmate as well as getting a good guard dog. We live in a isolated part of town. What I would like to get is a big dog Can this work? I know it can but my predicament is this. I'm afraid she will get hurt or worse. I want to adopt a good dog from a shelter or rescue organization but I feel that if its a adult male he will be set in his way and they might not get along. I feel like some places will just tell you what you want to hear to be able to get rid of the dogs that need a home. my friend said to get a puppy VS a adult cause that way the puppy will grow up with my dog and it will make the transition easier? I'm confused and don't know where to start. Any help or ideas would be appreciated.
 

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Every dog is an individual. since you mention worrying about your little dog getting hurt, it is good to point out that many people don't leave their dogs loose and alone together no matter what their sizes. If you are home and both dogs are friendly, a big dog shouldn't be an issue.
Do you want a second dog for yourself? Not just as a playmate for your first dog I mean. Two dogs aren't a ton more work than one, but there is more expense and time involved.

A guard dog.... you do not want a guard dog. A real trained guard dog is expensive and highly trained requiring a lot of effort and continuing training work as well as being difficult to insure. An UNTRAINED "guard" dog, meaning a dog encouraged to be territorial or hostile to strangers is a huge liability and a danger. A large dog with a deep bark is all you need as a deterrent for most casual criminals or idiots.

Some rescues do overstate the dog's good qualities and understate their less desirable qualities, most rescues try to be honest but depending on how long the dog has spent in foster, they may or may not have knowledge of all the dog's traits. They also depend on the honesty of the foster family too, along with the foster's dog assessment skills. Finding a rescue group with a good reputation that follows up with their dog placements, provides continuing support and such and is willing to do more than one meet-and-greet and particularly good is a trial weekend or overnight.
The more similar the foster home is to your home in terms of dogs, people, schedule, exercise for the dog etc the better idea you can have as to how the dog will suit your home.

A dog that has been in foster with a smaller dog (and getting along and spending time together, not just in the same house) would be a great choice. You could get a younger 1-4 year old dog that is potty trained, most likely has basic training like leash training and sit/stay, and comes fully vaccinated and ready to go out and about. A big happy-go-lucky black lab maybe-- tons of them in shelters and rescues, large black dogs are intimidating to many people and if you get a lab past the puppy stage (over about 18 months), you can have a good guess at adult personality

Shelters generally have very little info on the dogs. Many are strays and dogs in a shelter environment don't always behave like they do in a home. Some become very shut-down and scared from the noise and chaos, others more hyper and crazy due to lack of exercise and attention. If you know someone really good at evaluating dogs, you can get a pretty good idea of a dog's temperament overall even in a shelter but you have to consider that as a dog settles into your household, they might change (which can be a good thing or not, depending).
 
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