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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,


I am here to do as much info gathering as I can about which dog would be right for me and my family.

I have been doing some on-line research as to breeds and such and even took the (worthless) quiz on Animal Planet site to no avail. Also searched a few other sites which give all over the board answers to the breeds.

I have a free voucher at my locale HS for a dog but am having issues on which breed to get.

I had my heart set on a Golden or a Lab and even brought one home right before christmas. The lab was 11 months old and had a very odd temperment. Not just typical puppy mischief but agressiveness towards myself, cats, and kids. Either way, we made an exchange but didn't see any dogs that we wanted so we got the voucher.

What im looking for from here is what type, with what I want in a family dog, would be best. I'd rather ask long time owners than a website which states only the basic on the breeds and half of the comments below it say its way off.

I wanted a lab or Golden because I know they are very popular family pets. What I didn't take into consideration I guess was the size. I am not a small dog kind of person. I do not like anything the size of my cats, or something I consider to be a yappy dog. Dogs I won't consider would be chiuaua, pikanes (I know im butchering these names but you get the point), Jack russel terrier, poodle, pug...etc

Now, since i've written quite a bit all ready, I'll get more into what I am looking for.

I would like a medium sized dog. Nothing pug sized and nothing large Lab sized either. I want something as a puppy is not overly hyper but still has some spunk. I found, and this may go for most every dog not sure, but lab puppies are rediculously hyper. I want something that will be good with cats as I have 2 all ready. I also want one that is good with kids. I have 2 boys 12 and 10 and an almost 3 year old daughter.

I would like a young dog simply so it can get used to the cats and kids and grow with out family. It was suggested at the black hills HS that we get an older dog. That way we would know its temperment, size...etc To be honest I have nothing against older animals I just think its harder for them to adopt them out so they try to "sell" them more.

I would like a dog that can play outside, fetch, tug-o-war with the kids, run around... but I do not want something that requires super extended phyiscal activity. I am a recently disabled Air Force vet and I cannot do a lot of physical activities. I can take him/her outside as often as need be but my family would have to do the walks.

One dog I over looked when I was at the HS was a beagle. I didn't think much of it at first because I saw its size and thought no its too small just like a yappy dog. But I looked into it more and saw it would be a type of dog I liked. Also, a border collie was on my list too. I saw some there that were just darling but I was told by a few people and some research that they require a LOT of activity and do not make the greatest house pets. If not given the proper amount of exercise and such they get bored and tear up the house!

Well, I think this is long enough or too long so I will end it here. Any and all posts will be of great help in searching for our new family member! I am available to answer any further questions that may help in this seach or to clarify something I have said.

Thanks in advance!!
 

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A Border collie requires a lot of mental and physical stimulation, I'm talking hours and hours, so you're right about staying away from that, though a cross could possibly work. Some of the medium sized herding breeds can be less energy, especially if given a job like retrieving or carrying a backpack on walks.

Beagles are wonderful little guys. They're the number one family dog for a reason! I have one of the smaller ones and he's fantastic. The only thing you have to watch out for is the baying. Wiley only bays when he's hungry, bored, someone or something he doesn't know comes on the property, or he catches the scent of something he wants to chase - mostly rabbits. If you can keep on top of that, then I would highly recommend one. They are friendly with everyone, cuddly, even-tempered, single-minded, stubborn, playful, and people oriented. Definately go with a pup as an older beagle will probably want to hunt the cats.
Good luck with whatever breed you choose!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply!

That is exactly what I heard about Border Collies and as much as I want one I know my physical state wouldn't be able to handle it and it would be very unfair to the dog.


Sounds about what I thought and read on beagles. The whole problem with me choosing a dog is the limited number of choices, as I can only get one from the http://hsbh.org/Adoption.htm. They do not have but maybe 15 dogs at a time. I try to get the to help me out by giving me a simple call when something is available but they either don't or won't.

I feel im spending at least 5 hours a day seaching for info on dogs and its always to no avail to due the lack of dogs at the BH humane society.

I see a lot of border collie mix (half the time is doesn't say what kind of mix) and they look like Labs. I see the same types of dogs basically every time I look. Lab, husky, GSD, and collie mix of some sort. Sigh...Its rough because we bought the original dog for the kids for christmas and I think the previous owners did something or raised it oddly to where I was forced to take her back.

One thing I do NOT want to do is impulse buy. Its hard to do when you see something so cute! But I know its a life long commitment and I will stand by that. Tis why I am trying my hardest to get as much info as my brain can handle so I make the best choice for me and for our future family pet.


oh, and also, I live on an Air Force Base still and some breeds are not allowed in our housing complex. This also limits my adoption options. Some are rather odd but its the rules..most of them I haven't even heard of!

American Pitbull Terrier, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Tosa, American Staffordshire Terrier, Canary Dog, Fila Brasileiro, Staffordshire bull terrier, cane corso, ca de bou, Rottweilers, Dobermans, wolf hybrids and any other breed with dominant traits of aggression.
 

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Basset hounds are amazing family dogs. People are fooled by their size. they are a "medium breed" but weigh in at up to 75 lbs. they just have 2 inch long legs lol but it makes they very durable dogs for kids. and they were bred to have amazing stamina. they are sooooo good with children and they are also nice because if you don't want them tearing around the house they love sleeping too.
 

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I would recommend a Mountain Cur. I don't know how hard it would be for you to get your hands on one but they are excellent family dogs. They can go for miles and miles tirelessly while still having an off switch and were bred as an all purpose dog. Whether that was "baby sitting" kids, guarding the homestead, working the livestock or hunting bears, coons, cats or other game.

My Cur, Delilah was an eerily intelligent dog that caught on sooner to most training exercises than most toddlers do to potty training. She rarely had a doggy odor and was very good with children and most people with the exception to men. That was only because of the abuse she endured at the hand of my step father. Delilah was about 18-20" tall at the withers and about 32lbs which would qualify as a medium sized dog in my book. My experience is only with Mountain Curs, there are other breeds of curs out there that may differ from Mountain Curs just so you know.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Basset hounds may be available at some point but I have never heard of a Cur before and am rather doubtful the local HS will have one :(

Im pleased at the responses I am getting though, keep it up!
 

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Just to weigh in on the older dog thing--

Puppies aren't really blank slates. They carry a hard-wired personality inside of them. With training and socialization, many of the rough edges can be smoothed out, but still, there are dogs who are going to be active, dogs who are going to be more fearful, dogs who are going to be soft. With an older dog, you get to see who the dog really is and not imagine what he might be. There's less of a crap shoot when you adopt an older dog.

In my life, I have adopted 2 six year olds and an 8 year old. I had FABULOUS years with all of them and they were easy and GREAT dogs. I have not regretted my decision to adopt them for a single second.

I also adopted a great pup as a show prospect and did everything I was supposed to do to raise her right, and she is a touch shy and a little reactive. It's all something I can live with, but I can't change who she is and it gets in the way of our show career. They aren't blank slates.

I just suggest peeking at some adults. Who knows, maybe you can hit the jack pot like I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
the more reading I did on older dogs and first time owners, it might be a better idea to be honest. I just have to make sure I have a better history about the dog before I bring it home, as I don't ever want to have to bring one back again!

I did some searching on Mountain Cur and like I said before, hard to get good info. From what I read its a hunting dog and doesn't make for a good house pet. I am sure there have been some that are but like I said when I look up info from these sites it gives info that is suspect at best.
 

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A smaller Lab mix would probably be ideal for you. And there's usually no shortage of them. With mixes you can't count on breed traits, you have to really get to know the individual dog. So before bringing another dog home, spend as much time with him/her as possible. That way, hopefully, there won't be any surprises. Although a lot of dogs shut down in a shelter situation, so you may not the dog's entire personality. . .but you can get a pretty good idea.
 

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A smaller Lab mix would probably be ideal for you. And there's usually no shortage of them. With mixes you can't count on breed traits, you have to really get to know the individual dog. So before bringing another dog home, spend as much time with him/her as possible. That way, hopefully, there won't be any surprises. Although a lot of dogs shut down in a shelter situation, so you may not the dog's entire personality. . .but you can get a pretty good idea.
What mixes would be good with a lab? I do see like every other dog they have are lab or collie mix of some sort. I do still love the lab but to have a smaller one would be nice.

ALSO if anyone wanted to get an idea of what I have to choose from, petfinder.com and 57706 zip (black hills humane society) is the place.
 

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You might go check out Firefly: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/22344709
Unless you think her coloring will make The Powers That Be think she's a Rottweiler! :p Seriously, I think she's worth a look. She looks sweet :).
 

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What mixes would be good with a lab? I do see like every other dog they have are lab or collie mix of some sort. I do still love the lab but to have a smaller one would be nice.
Yeah, every dog in South Dakota is a Lab or Lab mix :p. I thought it might be different West River but I guess not. Don't get too hung up on the exact mix. . .shelters are usually guessing on the breed mix anyway. I'd be going to meet every medium-sized dog they get in--eventually one will click.
 

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You might go check out Firefly: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/22344709
Unless you think her coloring will make The Powers That Be think she's a Rottweiler! :p Seriously, I think she's worth a look. She looks sweet :).
My wife and I were just looking at her, she looks like a German Shepherd if anything. Im going to check out the breed info on her.
Yeah, every dog in South Dakota is a Lab or Lab mix :p. I thought it might be different West River but I guess not. Don't get too hung up on the exact mix. . .shelters are usually guessing on the breed mix anyway. I'd be going to meet every medium-sized dog they get in--eventually one will click.
yeah I guess doing more research and coming here listening to others responses I really want to go look at all the dogs they have, not just the one specific breed I had in mind. I really want to drop by tomorrow but 2-4 inches of snow might keep me indoors :(
 

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My wife and I were just looking at her, she looks like a German Shepherd if anything. Im going to check out the breed info on her.
yeah I guess doing more research and coming here listening to others responses I really want to go look at all the dogs they have, not just the one specific breed I had in mind. I really want to drop by tomorrow but 2-4 inches of snow might keep me indoors :(
Definitely don't get too hung up on the breed or mix. You want to avoid the breeds that absolutely won't fit your lifestyle (like border collies), but I'd be checking out plenty of breeds and mixes. Make a list of what you want, and try to evaluate each potential dog against it.
 

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Wow, that is such a different group of dogs than what we have in PA.

I love mixes, but there is no consistency to temperament. I found the owners of my old dog's littermates and was amazed at how different some of his littermates were. He was a Golden Retriever x German Shepherd and he had a mostly GSD temperament, but with the Golden's friendliness to strangers. Some of his littermates were, shall we say, far less people friendly.

That's not to scare you off mixes, but to let you know that just because one lab mix totally didn't work for you that doesn't mean another won't be the perfect dog for you. Personally, I'd meet every dog in your size range and go from there. As to the cats, you can't expect dogs to love cats, but you can train most dogs to leave them alone. You also need to give cats a place to escape to the dog can't get to, such as a room just for the cats or even a series of shelves on the walls above the dog's reach.

I really don't recommend puppies for beginners. Puppies are tough, housebreaking is time consuming and frustrating, and no matter what you do, temperament is temperament. Huskies are never going to be a good idea around other small animals and beagles can't be let off leash. That's why I recommend an adult dog.
 

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I vote for a Lab x GSD mix :) There are roughly 3 types - Mostly GSD, mostly Lab, and clearly a mix (maybe with other things) - my avatar is an example of the last.

If you have a Rescue organization, they usually will try to match the dog to your family, and sometimes you have foster families that really get to know the dogs before they're adopted. A 2 - 3 yo Lab has lost some of the puppy insanity and is beginning to settle down, retaining some spunk, depending on the individual.

I agree with Amaryllis, especially about Lab pups, they can be challenging when you don't know what to expect. In contrast, an adult Lab is superb for beginners because the adapt very quickly, they're eager to learn, and they forgive mistakes quickly.

Write down the traits that you're looking for clearly... and keep looking.
 

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I was like you. Researching breeds and asking on these forums.... I got pretty good tips by the way.

I also was looking for a pup so he could adapt to the family, but pups are bundles of energy, have sharp teeth and claws. Not good for small children, plus you never know what you're gonna get once the dog is fully grown (personality).

So, I made up to my mind and decided to go for an adult mixed breed from rescuers. That way you see the dog's personality and the rescuers will be able to tell you if he can live with cats and children.

In the end I got a remarkable Golden retriever, 9yr old... (too old I must say) but it is a wonderful dog. Just what we needed, the kid love him and does not need lots of excersise. And he adapted to us in 2 weeks. Is very pacient with my child, it does its needs outside... I could go on all day.

So, that's my advise, get an adult dog. 3-4yr old is already a mature one with plenty of energy. I know you prefer a pup, but I must say an older dog is a safe shoot.

Regards
Diego
 

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Discussion Starter #18
again thank you for the replies. I am going to go with an older dog because of the info given here. Im going to try and beat the snow right now and get to the shelter. I will surely let you all know what decision was made, if any today, and become a regular member on these great forums.

Again, thanks to you all for your replies!
 

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well, got back just in time for the ice on the roads to form and snow to start but Im happy to say I got a wonderful dog. As I was walking around the kennels most if not all the dogs were barking and jumping around their cages like mad...except one. We looked around a bit and came back to him for a visit.

I have never seen such a calm and loving dog like this one before! Its an American Blue Heeler/Border collie mix.
No pictures yet as I got home not too long ago but I am overjoyed all ready! The dog instantly...well after smelling everything around..came in the house and went right to the couch and the blankets I had on it. When I sat down, he sat right on my lap giving me kisses.

Im so happy to not only find one of the breeds I wanted but a nice sized dog and one who adopted US!

For now, I will post what was on the HS website and I look forward to sharing more on these websites!

http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/22294668

Also if anyone has one of these dogs or some more info I could read let me know.
 
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