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Discussion Starter #1
My grandpa lost his 7 year old Jack Russell Terrier to cancer about 3 weeks ago. He told me yesterday that in a few months he might want another dog. Since I am the dog person of the family, I will be helping him find the perfect dog. Now I am turning to you guys to help me make that happen.

Grandpa's dog ("Jackie") was his baby. She was spoiled rotten and had the chubby belly to prove it. She was a therapy dog and visited hospitals and nursing homes with my grandpa. She was very high energy and high maintenance.

Their lifestyle: 2 older people, both retired with some medical issues. Grandpa walked Jackie every day and they have a big backyard. Their dog will be their baby. It will be taken to the vet for every tiny issue (overprotective daddy...) and showered with love and pretty much constant attention.

What they want: A small-ish dog (I would say max 20-25 pounds), 1 to 2 years old, not crazy hyper (they could handle Jackie, but I think it would be best to scale back the energy a bit), definitely a friendly dog, they do not have any other pets, should be decent with kids (not too much interaction with them, but grandkids will want to play), a dog without significant grooming needs would be best.

They want to adopt and they are thinking about a mixed breed (Grandpa thinks mix breeds are healthier; Jackie was purebred, she died young) but it doesn't really matter. It will be a while, but I have already started checking out petfinder. What breeds should I be looking at? I am a big believer in individual dogs' personalities being about more than breed, but I would like an idea of which breeds might best fit them. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
 

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Hmmm....I've met some very nice Spaniel mixes. A small Lab mix would be good. All the older people I know have a Sheltie/mix. Or a Poodle-y mix. Shih Tzu mixes are usually nice dogs. Except you said they don't want a lot of grooming. Like you said, it's really all about the dog's personality, so looking for a particular breed mix might not work out.
 

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Thank you for your thoughts. I think I am going to find a few dogs on petfinder that are in foster care and email their foster parents if I can to get a better idea of the personality of the dog. I really want to get this right, they have been very upset since they lost Jackie and my grandma has had issues with medical problems resulting in depression and such... they need a dog to love on. Thanks!
 

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too bad they aren't open to a larger dog. I know many, many seniors that have adopted greyhounds and find them to be perfect pets for retired folks. Many opt for a dog that has been returned from a previous home and is a bit older and more settled (5-6) rather and a 2-3 year old right off the track. Greyhounds are among the healthiest of the pure breed dogs. There's no guarantee a mutt is healthier. If mix dogs with bad genes, the offspring will inherit them regardless of whether the parents are "pure" or not. By breeding unhealthy pure breed dogs, we're making the mutts unhealthy as well.
 

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What about a Pug? They can be very laid back, but also enjoy walks and running around a yard. They are known to be super friendly, and very loyal. Grooming is minimal, they do shed a ton, but they don't need much. They don't bark much, and they just love the companionship of humans.

I have seen more and more come into local rescues here lately, so they are fairly eay to find.

Good luck, whatever he chooses!!
 

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That's very sad that such devote owners had the bad luck of early cancer. But it sounds like what they want is the right choice. Young, so that don't have deal with health issues too soon, but I'd go with 2-4 to avoid the crazyness of puppydom. Small or medium. I love large dogs, but they can be a strain for older people. With so much attention, they probably should get a smart dog also (gonna get in trouble for this, but maybe avoid shelties/spaniels). And although mutts aren't necessarily healthier, it's great that your grandpa isn't set on getting a pure/breeder and can look at mutts/shelters. Most shelters have some nice mixes of terriers, hounds, and even jack russels that hopefully can fill the hole of such a loss.
 

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I'm not one to reccomend Pugs very often, but I'd agree with Sunshyne, a Pug sounds like it would be a good fit, especially if they're looking to adopt a dog that's a couple of years old.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for your help. However, my grandpa is way too impatient to follow through with our plan to find him a good dog in the spring. Our local SPCA was having an open house last week. So grandpa went to have a look. He saw a dog he liked, called my grandma, and brought her home. She is 10 months old, orange-ish brown, and about 30 pounds. Pretty much the opposite of what we were looking for... lol. But, so far he is happy with her and their whole house is more lively with a dog around again. Thanks again!
 

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No idea. just an all around mutt. Medium length hair, curly tail. My family thinks chow mix because she kind of looks like my dog who we guess is a chow mix... So really no idea. I have yet to meet her and give my expert opinion lol.
 

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my dad got the greatest mix, black lab & basset.

coat of a lab, body of a basset. awesome dog! oh how i miss lucy.
she got into dad's fishing gear and ate a bunch of fishing line :(

we had to put her down, her innards were in shambles by the time we realized what had happened.
 
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