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hey yall..mind helping me out with something?

742 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Marsh Muppet
I've been asked to write up a brochure on how to choose the right dog for your family.

these are the things they want included..

points on Breeder vs. Rescue/Shelter

how to choose a good breeder

how to choose a rescue/shelter

points on puppy vs adult

and a general description of the breed types listed below


I can do the bullies and terriers easy. the other breed descriptions I don't have a lot of experience with comparatively so I was wondering if those of you with the other breed types could help me by giving a general overview of your dog, appearance, temperment , energy levels etc..

and if you have anything on the other points you think should be included in something like this please feel free to post it.

thanks in advance
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Some of the biggest points that should be addressed up front are matching peoples lifestyle(s) with a particular breed. High energy dogs often need 12-15 miles of daily exercise. Grooming demands and costs are another issue. Owners home or apartment may not be suited for some breeds. Knowledge of dog training is another...some breeds are not suited for the first time dog owner.
After those question are answered, it's easier to focus on the breeds that are suitable.
i realize this may cause something to be thrown at me, but i will suggest anyways.

because of the ever growing popularity of hybrids/mutts, maybe you could include some information regarding facts and fiction regarding health, temprament and the so called "breeders"
Here is a summery of a Labrador (and can pretty much be applied to any retriever):

They are very trainable, but stubborn. Very large and rambunctious - bulls in a china shop. As puppies they are very mouthy and will chew! They require a lot of exercise and stimulation to be happy. Sadie would become destructive if she wasn't taken on at least two 2 mile fast paced walks a day and even though Blackie had run of ten acres (and an additional 40 acres behind, ten acres in front, and a pond), he still managed to destroy three newly planted trees, among other things. They are generally good with other animals, kids, and people. They shed. A lot. Health problems abound with the breed (hips being a major problem), so finding a good breeder is imperative. They are large breed dogs, and even though a properly bred one should be around 60 pounds, I've seen some Labs that were pushing 120.

In the book "Your Pure Bred Puppy: A Buyer's Guide" by Michele Welton, she covers these points when narrowing down a dog breed:
1. Previous dog experience of owner
2. Compatibility with children
3. Size
4. Coat type
5. Exercise required
6. Amount of grooming required
7. Amount of shedding
8. Activity level indoors
9. Ease of training
10. Sociability with strangers
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this is for a friend of mine who is getting ready to open her own little ma and pa type pet store and she wants to have a rack outside the store with info on how to be a good pet owner. im doing the dog info for her and there are people doing write ups for all the species whose supplies she will be carrying.

this what I've got so far

(unedited rough draft type of thing)

Bringing a dog into your life is a great joy, but along with the fun and the joy comes athe responsibility of a life, totally in your hands.

when you first start considering adding a dog to your home, all the particulars can get a little overwhelming. What kind of dog? Buy from a breeder? or Rescue? puppy? or adult? are just a few of the questions you will find yourself trying to address. So lets take a look at the things you need to consider.

What kind of Dog?

Look around at your home. Do you live in a large home? does it have a fenced yard? or do you live in an apartment?

if you have a larger living space you might take a look at some of the larger breeds that need more room to live comfortably. Conversely if you live in an apartment, a smaller dog might be a better choice, though larger dogs can do ok in an apartment depending on your answer to the next two questions..

How much time do you have to spend with a dog? How active are you?

Dogs require attention. Training, play, grooming, feeding, making sure your dog gets to go outside to potty in a regular fashion all are going to eat up a significant chunk of your day.


that's all I have so far.

im trying to hit all these points she asked for in a good progression...so

space, time, money are the three biggest and within those I think im going to include things like grooming considerations, vet visits and so forth. including adding the puppy vs adult section into what I've written above somehow.

then go into the brief descriptions of different dogs move from that into breeder vs rescue include in the breeder vs rescue points on how to identify good ones of each.
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You might want to consider doing a checklist instead of posing all the questions. That will save alot of reading and space.
I'll give a hand with spaniels. I am sure others can pitch in. Most of this applies to English Springer Spaniels, but can apply to other spaniels, as well. (truth be told, most people won't be purchasing/adopting clumber or sussux spaniels, mostly cocker, springer, and brittanies)

Spaniels are happy-go-lucky, eager to please dogs. They are playful, happy, and always ready for a day of activity. Since they were originially bred for hunting, they stick by their "people" and are not easily startled by loud noises. These are indoor dogs, since they want very much to be with their people, even when they are not in the field. Although they are great with other dogs and kids, they tend to get over-excited and can easily knock down a smaller child, so you want to be careful and train them well. The coat is relatively easy to maintain with regular grooming, but the ears are prone to infection. They need daily walks and some "free play" (fetch, running around, playing with other dogs). A bored, under-exercised spaniel will destroy your home. Most spaniels do fine in apartments with sufficient exercise.

As for the challenges of owning a spaniel -- beware the 8 month mark. There are a lot of (Springer) Spaniels in rescue because people just do not know how to manage the 8 month mark. They become temporarily insane. They learn to counter-surf, they decided they've had "enough" training, regress on training, and are just overall a big old pain in the butt. The good news is, they grow out of it.

Bottom line: If you want a cheerful, affectionate, athletic "velcro" dog and are prepared for the chaos that comes with it, a spaniel might be right for you. They can (and do) make fairly good first-time dogs, but I would recommend going the rescue route unless you are full prepared to take the "bad" with the "good".
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I wouldn't mind helping. Mastiffs I can help some. What about the primitive flock guardians? Where is the store going to be, name location? That would be neat to see our work outside a store.
I wouldn't mind helping. Mastiffs I can help some. What about the primitive flock guardians? Where is the store going to be, name location? That would be neat to see our work outside a store.
the types listed nd the points listed in the first post are verbatim what she wrote to me.

the store is going to be in Greensboro NC. they are due to open in a year. it was supposed to be six months from now but she had trouble with one of her loans. I don't know the name of the store yet. I got plenty of time to do this, just wanted to go ahead and do it.

I think adding anything, breed types and points not listed would be appreciated.

and tooney that's a good idea... you mean like an outline sort of?
I can give a little insight to Mastiff's. I won't go into Retrievers since someone else already did and did a good job of it.

Things people need to consider when choosing a Mastiff.

Space is a huge issue. These dogs need room to maneuver in...even just to turn around. They can be pretty messy when it comes to the drool. Be prepared to get drool on you...on your walls, even on your ceiling because they sling them up in the air. You need to keep drool rags handy just to keep it under control. Expense is another thing to consider. They are VERY big dogs and they eat a lot. You have to be able to afford quality pet food for them in large quantities. Vet care is more expensive since most meds, etc are based on weight. Supplies for them are expensive because everything has to be BIG...from crates to collars...even toys. Exercise...they grow EXTREMELY fast as puppies and a potential owner has to be mindful of that and care for their joints. No hard exercise while they are growing. Uallis, in particular, had growing pains when he hit growth spurts and we had to be very careful with him when it came to exercise during that time.

They are very gentle dogs...but they can inadvertently hurt people by stepping on feet, hitting you with their tails...so they have to be watched around small children...remember these dogs will be face level with kids of certain age groups and they can easily smack a child in the face with their tails. Training is a huge issue with these dogs. They HAVE to be well mannered. They are simply too dangerous otherwise. Having a smaller dog with a jumping problem...is completely different than having a Mastiff that wants to jump on people...a whole different ballgame because 9 times out of 10 someone WILL get hurt when a 200lb dog jumps on them. Its the same principal with leash walking; they HAVE to be able to walk loose leash because a strong pull on the leash from them will have the owner knocked off their feet. They can be stubborn when it comes to training. They need a consistent trainer. They can be protective but seem to be pretty insightful into situations. I would term it as they are sensitive. They pick up on tension in the "air". Uallis is VERY sensitive to other peoples moods and tone of voice. He also has selective hearing on occasions and the general attitude of "I'll do what you want, but in my own time". I wouldn't really say he's an eager learner because of that. Eddie, for example, will immediately follow a command, Uallis wants to think about it first. Also, they are incredibly loyal dogs and very much velcro dogs. They NEED to be with their "people" to be happy. They are not suited as outside dogs. Think about it this way, they are a guardian breed...it is in their nature to be with their people...in order to make sure all is well and everyone is safe. That is very important thing to keep in mind. Every Mastiff I've ever been around has been friendly...but watchful at the same time. They didn't refuse a good petting but they never really took their eyes off me...they were just watchful, but not to the point of being unfriendly.

Health issues you can easily research on the internet but my daily concerns are ear infections, joint care, and bloat. Those are the main things that I think about and do the most toward preventive care. Oh, also heat. Uallis isn't tolerate of heat and needs to be kept cool in the hotter months.

So in a nutshell:

Space...they need space

They are expensive to care for

Moderate exercise (while especially careful during growth periods)

Because of the stubbornness, they need someone who knows a little bit about training.

They have a lot of health issues, with fairly short lifespans...its important to get one from a reputable breeder, if choosing not to rescue.

Pretty run of the mill information...but hope it helps. :)
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Retriever breeds all differ in a few particulars, but they tend to have more similarities than differences. We will assume that the retrievers in question are the result of successful breeding programs, and exhibit the traits that actually define the breeds.

1) Retrievers are high energy dogs, and have moderately high-to-extreme exercise requirements.

2) ...are among the most intelligent dogs and require a great deal of mental stimulation. They are easily bored and tend to be destructive when they have nothing to do.

3) ...are typically slow to mature. Most don't really start acting fully adult until 3-4 years of age, and they never really grow up as compared to other breeds. They exhibit more puppy-like behavior into their senior years than some other breeds do as pups.

4) ...are oral obsessive. They mouth and chew. A lot! Everything you own may receive tooth marks and/or dog saliva at some point.

5) ...are extremely friendly, outgoing, and adaptable. These are the signature traits that make retrievers so popular. They are not especially sensitive to changes in household routines. They adapt better than most other breeds to being adopted as adults. They are not by nature suspicious and are about the last dogs to be considered for personal protection work, though they are alert and will bark at the approach of strangers.

6) ...are among the most trainable of dog breeds.

7) ...are typically low maintenance grooming-wise, but shed prodigiously.

8) ...are susceptible to hip, elbow, and eye defects. Labs are known to suffer from Exercise Induced Collapse (a kinda-sorta seizure disorder) and Goldens have a high incidence of cancer. Like all flop-eared breeds, they can suffer from yeast and/or bacterial infections of the ear. The more time they spend in the water, the more likely they are to suffer.

9) ...normally live about 12 to 15 years.

10) ...are large breeds averaging 70 - 80 pounds as adults. Many grow substantially larger.

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are typically less indiscriminately friendly than other petriever breeds. They are more territorial and suspicious as well. They were developed as a "hermit's dog" and are more of a one man dog than is normal for the group. They are generally more sensitive and come across as more stubborn.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are pretty normal for the group, except they are a medium sized breed.
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