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This will be my family's first puppy. So we don't want any dogs that are hard to train.

In terms of shedding, I would like ~2 grooming sessions a week to 'control' the problem. This is a pretty important factor for us. I really don't like the really low shedding dogs, like the Standard Poodle or Portuguese Water Dogs, but want something the next step up in terms of shedding.

We want a medium sized dog. We don't want a pick-me-up dog, but something like a German Shepherd is a little big.

For my schedule, I wasn't going to go into detail, but I think this will help with the decision making process. I'm currently a student, on a four month break. I go to school in a different city than where my family lives. My family wants to get a dog. So for the next 4 months, I have a TON of time to train my puppy. But after I leave for school, the dog will be left at home between 9 and 3 until my mom and 6 year old sister come home.

My family is active enough for consistent daily walks. No high energy exercise like jogging but catch and that sort of thing is okay. This would be an inside dog, but would be let out into the large yard we have. We live in Ontario, so relatively hot summers and cold winters. We also have a swimming pool that could be made of use.

Some breeds that I have considered are foxhounds, boxers, retired greyhounds, and a local bulldog-beagle mix. The other concern I have is whether I can train an 8-12 week old puppy in 4 months to become a relatively obedient dog. My parents will continue with training and mental stimulation, but the primary task is on my hands. I'm guessing an older dog might be better, but we would much prefer to start with a puppy.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Boxers are out most likely. They are not a low energy breed. They are highly exuberant, intelligent animals that require a good deal of physical and mental stimulation to be less destructive.

I've met some extremely well behaved well trained Boxers...including UDX dogs. That doesn't stop them from destroying things when they're bored.

Foxhounds are not a breed that are generally considered "easy to train". Hounds in general. They are fairly independent dogs and do what they want when they want to do it. You have to make things worth their while.

I will say that I have heard from longtime Foxhound breeders that their breed is "Prey smart, people stupid" in terms of ease of training. If they're not stubborn, they're stupid (Foxhound people said it, not me :p).

A retired Greyhound may work, but they are not a breed that can EVER be off leash in an unfenced/highly secured area. The Greyhound is also still a hound, and while they love their people and are less independent than other hounds, they still tend towards their own agenda. They'll do obedience, but it really doesn't seem to be their thing.

I would look to rescues and find an older dog...1-3 years of age. It may be better for your situation.
 

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I would recommend taking a look at Whippets, actually- they might suit y'all. You mentioned not wanting a super-stubborn or high energy dog, so this next one may be iffy, but you MIGHT look at Smooth Fox Terriers- not JRTs, not shelter dogs that have been labeled SFTs, but actuall Smooth Fox Terriers from breeders who are really watching temperament carefully. Ditto with Border Terriers. A lot of folks think of terriers as high energy and hard to train, but they can be pretty moderate if you've got one with good temperament, and stubborn/hard to train seems to depend a lot on YOUR personality and sense of humor. (I am NOT a terrier person, no way, no how :p)
 

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I, too, say no to a young puppy.. sometimes you have to adjust what you want to what is ideal for you and your family. An 6-8 mo. old puppy might be okay though. Still young, but not SUPER young.

As for breeds.. I would say a Lab or even a Golden but they're going to shed more than you like. Most of them love water and many will fetch, and about an hour of walking a day would be great. They might be a bit big for you, though.

The big thing here is that the dog isn't going to really have a job, per se. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, a family pet is a family pet) So, some breeds are weeded out instantly.. Herders and Working Dogs, especially. I don't really think any of the hounds will work for you, MAYBE a Beagle if you can put up with the possibility of a dog who follows its nose for everything and possibly makes a lot of noise.

Papillon might not be a bad fit, they are small though.
 

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What about a basset hound?? I think first I'd say check out your shelter and kijiji ads to for people who are giving up a dog (not to find a byb). I got my pooch from an SPCA in ON a few years ago and I love him to bits, plus he's a fine looking dog *smiles*.
 

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One thing to keep in mind is that if you're going to be there for the next 4 months, then go away to school, you probably don't want to be the primary caretaker even if it's currently the most convenient arrangement. Even with other people around, it can be traumatic for the dog if its favorite human suddenly disappears.

If you're not afraid of the breed and think the entire family can be consistent in training, a Pit Bull might be a good fit. They require daily exercise, but they're not crazy energetic like a Lab or a terrier, are medium shedders, and are very eager to please.
 

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What about a basset hound?? I think first I'd say check out your shelter and kijiji ads to for people who are giving up a dog (not to find a byb). I got my pooch from an SPCA in ON a few years ago and I love him to bits, plus he's a fine looking dog *smiles*.

Bassetts, despite the stereotype are not low energy dogs. They are bred to follow a rabbit trail for miles, all day if need be. The only "low energy" Bassetts I've known were ones whose owners had unfortunately fed them as much as a bassett will eat and the dogs were way overweight.
 

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Bassetts, despite the stereotype are not low energy dogs. They are bred to follow a rabbit trail for miles, all day if need be. The only "low energy" Bassetts I've known were ones whose owners had unfortunately fed them as much as a bassett will eat and the dogs were way overweight.

I just had to browse through her posts before I wrote. I'm pretty sure from what I read she was looking to avoid a high energy dog but no so much trying to find a low energy dog, so a bassett I would think would be a good candidate, would it not? With regular walks, games in the back yard and some swimming in the summer sounds to me like sufficient exercise for a bassett, heck that's what I do with my dog and I can't call him low energy *LOL.
 

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But they're heavy shedders, and also not the easiest to train...
 

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But they're heavy shedders, and also not the easiest to train...
I guess it's all a matter of perspective *lol, Taylor is what I would call a heavy shedder, a bassett........ not so much in comparison. And again, just browsing through her post it seems like a weekly grooming session or two is something the OP is not much bothered by and that would be enough to keep the hair to a minimum.
Of course none of this is to say the poster even likes bassett mind you *smiles*, or maybe she'll find a great dog at the shelter one day that's not any of the above breeds.
 

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If you're not afraid of the breed and think the entire family can be consistent in training, a Pit Bull might be a good fit. They require daily exercise, but they're not crazy energetic like a Lab or a terrier, are medium shedders, and are very eager to please.
pit bulls.

eager to please....yes.

medium shedder....yes.

the energy thing Im going to have to say no. Pits absolutely can be and are crazy energetic...if 90 percent of the pits I've been around are any indication.

They are great with kids and people if given consistent training...but there is also the tendancy towards DA in the breed to be taken into consideration as well as the general high prey drive, all out crazy enthusiasm personality.

plus...they are Terriers...Bull Terriers but Terriers nonetheless.
 

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I think pitbulls are illegal to own in Ontario.

What about an airedale? They may be more high energy than you want though, maybe bigger too. A border terrer would probably be a good choice.
 

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My suggestion would be for you to go to your local humane society and "try out" a few dogs. I also agree with looking into dogs that are about a year old or a little over or under. The dog will be easier to train in your 4 month window because it will already be through the teething stage and will hopefully have the muscle control to house train easily if it is not already done.
Specific Breeds that come to mind for your situation are English Springer Spaniel (show lines ) they are less energetic then field lines.
I also tend to think Golden Retriever or Collie or mixes containing those breeds.
It sounds like you are very interested in training and also committed to the daily walks and play times that any dog will require.
I do know several Boxer's that get daily walks and a little ball chasing time each day and are wonderful family dogs. That is definitely an indoor dog in the heat. You will have to have air conditioning for them as the shorter nose breeds tend to over heat quickly.
I would again suggest to you to look into breed rescue. Do you have an active Boxer rescue in your area? Ask your vet and contact your local Kennel Club to find out more info on local breeders and breed rescues. Do your homework, it is well worth the time spent. Good Luck to you.

Also, hang out here. There is a lot of information to be learned here. Especially for a first time dog owner. :)
 

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My suggestion would be for you to go to your local humane society and "try out" a few dogs. I also agree with looking into dogs that are about a year old or a little over or under. The dog will be easier to train in your 4 month window because it will already be through the teething stage and will hopefully have the muscle control to house train easily if it is not already done.
Specific Breeds that come to mind for your situation are English Springer Spaniel (show lines ) they are less energetic then field lines.
I also tend to think Golden Retriever or Collie or mixes containing those breeds.
It sounds like you are very interested in training and also committed to the daily walks and play times that any dog will require.
I do know several Boxer's that get daily walks and a little ball chasing time each day and are wonderful family dogs. That is definitely an indoor dog in the heat. You will have to have air conditioning for them as the shorter nose breeds tend to over heat quickly.
I would again suggest to you to look into breed rescue. Do you have an active Boxer rescue in your area? Ask your vet and contact your local Kennel Club to find out more info on local breeders and breed rescues. Do your homework, it is well worth the time spent. Good Luck to you.

Also, hang out here. There is a lot of information to be learned here. Especially for a first time dog owner. :)
i'd have to say, that summed up everything i was about to type up!
great advice!
 

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pit bulls.

eager to please....yes.

medium shedder....yes.

the energy thing Im going to have to say no. Pits absolutely can be and are crazy energetic...if 90 percent of the pits I've been around are any indication.

They are great with kids and people if given consistent training...but there is also the tendancy towards DA in the breed to be taken into consideration as well as the general high prey drive, all out crazy enthusiasm personality.

plus...they are Terriers...Bull Terriers but Terriers nonetheless.[/QUOTE]

What is so bad about Terriers?
I have a Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, he's my first dog, he is realy energetic, i bicycle with him 1 hour a day and go for a 1 hour walk every day.
He needs much training ,ofcaurse, and is a bit hard sometimes, but its nothing that can not be fix'd.
If i give him his 1 hour bike ride each day and walk a litle with him, then he just sleeps most of the day and is much easier :)

Aren't all dogs a bit hard?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey thanks for the replies everyone! I've decided a younger dog (not puppy) would be best for us. Gonna try and find one from a shelter.

For anyone unaware, http://www.petfinder.com/ is a great site. A search engine for shelters, for both Canada and America.

In terms of breed, nothing that has been mentioned has really interested me. I'm really open to more suggestions. At the moment I'm leaning towards a foxhound (mix). By the look of things, they're appear to be medium sized dogs, with minimal grooming, and have moderate energy levels. The only problem might be training, but with an older dog and dedication I doubt that will be too much of an issue.
 

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If you're not afraid of the breed and think the entire family can be consistent in training, a Pit Bull might be a good fit. They require daily exercise, but they're not crazy energetic like a Lab or a terrier, are medium shedders, and are very eager to please.
Unfortunately, Pit Bulls are banned in Ontario.

Thinking about breeds for your situation, I would say a spaniel such as a springer or cocker, or a medium sized terrier.

More importantly, I think a puppy would not be a great idea for your situation. I would suggest going on Petfinder.com and finding some rescues in Ontario to see what is available. Many, many great dogs can be found in rescue!
 

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What is so bad about Terriers?
I have a Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, he's my first dog, he is realy energetic, i bicycle with him 1 hour a day and go for a 1 hour walk every day.
He needs much training ,ofcaurse, and is a bit hard sometimes, but its nothing that can not be fix'd.
If i give him his 1 hour bike ride each day and walk a litle with him, then he just sleeps most of the day and is much easier :)

Aren't all dogs a bit hard?
Nothing's bad about terriers.. I doubt Zim thinks so either since she is a Pit Bull Terrier owner/fancier. But I don't think the Terrier group as a whole is one you can throw out there to just anyone. They're high energy and sometimes hard to motivate. I feel like they have different triggers and motivators than some other breeds of dog. Some breeds are Dog-Aggressive.

All dogs require a certain amount of knowledge in an owner, but some breeds are more notoriously hard to own than others, for reasons involving the dogs' original purpose, public scrutiny, amount of exercise, ease of training.. it goes on and on. I think that's all she was saying. (Forgive me, Zim, if I'm putting words in your mouth :D)
 

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See, I think that terriers are overrated as for difficulty. A far more important quality is that the owner be fairly flexible and above all, have a sense of humor- and LIKE a dog with a little fight whose first priority isn't mom's happiness.

I would strongly recommend AGAINST a foxhound or foxhound mix. Medium energy does NOT fit them, IME. That said, a middle-aged coonhound (and you're much more likely to find coonhound mixes in shelters) might not be a bad fit. But a scenthound teenager is a TOUGH dog- tougher in a lot of ways than any terrier.
 
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