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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few months ago, I had posted a thread asking about info of self training a service dog.
Thankfully that is no longer the case. My health has greatly improved thanks to dialysis. (Now in the process of being officially put on the kidney transplant list, yay!)

With my health improving, I am more mobile, though sometimes I still have trouble walking (mainly when I have an arthritis flare up or if my back is hurting)

I've been doing a lot of research on trying to figure out which breed (mix or not) would best suite my needs, but could use some help.

My typical week is.. Mon, Wed and Fri from 2pm-6pm I am at dialysis. The rest of the time I am home, I don't work because of my health. (hopefully that will change after I do get a transplant)
Some days I can walk more but typically its a 5-10 mins (I can rest a few then get back to walking again, so taking walks isn't a problem, as long as I rest when my back aches)
We live in a 1 bedroom apt, it's about 700 sqft, we also have a small porch that's fenced. No grass in it though, all concrete.
Across the street from the apt is a nice big park/field. I also live very close to a couple of dog parks.

Does anyone have any suggestions of what type of dog could work for me?

Note, in the apt I live in, size does not matter. Only thing we cannot have is what they consider aggressive breeds -_-
 

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Some thoughts here and there--

Have you discussed with your transplant team any concerns about having a pet and where you take that pet? You don't have to share your health details of course but I know that a former coworker of mine on immune suppressent drugs for a transplant had to be extra careful of contagins, including what might be picked up at a dog park or from a young puppy.

I would not typically expect any dog of any breed who is under aged 5-6 years or so to be happy with only 10 minutes walking at a time. Some smaller and lower energy dogs may so OK with that time as indoor playtime and combined with short walks as adults.

While plenty of dogs like dog parks, plenty of dogs hate them. They are stressed by them and may act out in stress or shut down in fear. Basically, never rely on a dog park for exercise when dealing with a puppy or a brand new adult dog.

Since temperament and health are seemingly even more important to you based on exercise and health issues than Average Joe, I suggest contacting breeders about rehomed adult dogs, maybe 4-7 years old for smaller breeds. Ones that maybe finished breeding or did not quite make the cut but are fit otherwise.

Just consider what assistance you have for taking care of the dog as your treatments continue and may require in-patient care

Edit to add--
I mention smaller breeds NOT because they are inherentily lower energy than medium or larger breeds. Not at all. But, given the same energy level from the dog, a 15 lbs Bichon is going to be physically easier to deal with than a 60 lbs Lab along with being overall cheaper/easier to board or find a sitter for
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Our home will have to be pet free and sterile when the time comes. But this is going to be 2-3 yrs down the road. I've already been told there is a 2+ yr wait list. In the time it has to be pet free, the animals (we currently have 2 cats) will be at my moms home.

I know 5-10 mins isn't enough, I don't mean that in total each walk. I mean, I can do that, rest and get back to walking them. During the rest, they could sniff around, potty etc.. In that process I would also be working on doing more, basically to build myself to be able to walk longer. I also should have mentioned that I wouldn't be the only one walking the pup. my husband would take it on longer walks when he was home in the evening (no time in the morning for a longer walk)

I would never fully rely on the dog park, if they loved it great! If they didn't, I wouldn't force it. I'd just take them on a long lead to the field to let them run.

If something did come up and i needed help because of my health, I have husband to help. If they needed to go somewhere while I needed to recover, my mom is more than willing to help as well, so all that area is covered.

This isn't something we just decided over night. We discussed this greatly and made sure our bases were covered in the sense of my health and what I can and cannot handle.

I actually would prefer an older pup if i could find one that suited my needs and was good with cats.
 

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I think that size does matter in this. I suggest a small dog and I also suggest an older dog. Sometimes there are senior dogs available for adoption. Breed? Not a terrier as they can be very very active. Is grooming an issue? I like Bichons for what you describe but they need to be groomed. Pugs are good too.

Again, I think senior dog would be a good match and not a large dog.

I would not take any dog I own to a dog park and I certainly would not take a small dog to a dog park. Ever. Too much risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I also want to add for the walking aspect, I still have my walker to use. I will more than likely use it at first walking the pup (so I CAN have somewhere to sit/rest a min when needed) I can also walk longer than 5-10 mins at a time with using it.
 

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I also want to add for the walking aspect, I still have my walker to use. I will more than likely use it at first walking the pup (so I CAN have somewhere to sit/rest a min when needed) I can also walk longer than 5-10 mins at a time with using it.
Then a small dog is best as it won't upset the walker (and you). A senior small dog is even better.
 

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Congratulations on being added to the transplant list!

As for dogs, I would not recommend a puppy at all in your case. You know how when you do your research and find out how much work they are and then you ask around and people say how much work a puppy is? It's an understatement! Actually having a puppy to look after 24/7 is way more work than you can prepare for. It's pretty much like having a newborn baby (from what I've heard anyway). You're up several times a night, you're rushing them out to the bathroom every 20 minutes, you're constantly cleaning up after them and making sure they're not getting into anything. They cry, they bite, they're beautiful little devils for the first 6 months. Then around 6 months they really start getting energy.

Honestly I would recommend waiting the 2-3 years and get a dog then. You won't be so restricted on what you have to get and you won't have to send him/her away while you recover from surgery. A dog is a 10-15 year commitment so why not wait and get what you want then? Enjoy your cats in the meantime :)
 

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I would also agree that a small to medium sized older adult/senior would be a good fit, just because a small dog is going to be easier to handle physically than a big guy. I also think you could do a larger dog, but they would have to be very well leash trained and non-reactive to many distractions. If my 50lb. dog decides he wants to chase a rabbit, its not exactly easy to hold him, and I'm 190 lbs., nearly 6ft tall, and in pretty good shape. If its a smaller dog, it wouldn't be that big of a deal if they decide to pull on the leash a bit. Puppies aren't known for great leash skills! They will tug on the leash and want to go, go, go.

I don't think you should worry too much about a specific breed, but more about a specific temperament. Calm, unruffled, content to stroll at your speed and stop and rest when you need to.
 

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I would strongly push looking for a smaller, more laid back dog from a shelter or rescue. What breeds/types end up in shelters tends to be somewhat regional, for example I see more small dogs here in CA than I did when I lived in NY. What you're describing makes me think of a lot of the smaller chihuahau mix type dogs I've known. I really agree you should focus on looking for a specific dog rather than a specific breed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you @ Jen2010 :)

I'm not looking for any specific breed or age, neither matter to me really.
I'm just trying to figure out in general what breeds could possibly fit my needs (I understand med/small would be best and that is perfectly fine with me! ) I live in TX if that helps any. That way, I can at least get a general idea of what to look for. I will be checking shelters/rescues etc.. to see if I can find one.

I'm looking now instead of after the surgery because I also have very high anxiety. I will randomly at home alone with no apparent reason will go straight into an anxiety/panic attack. Sometimes it's so bad I start hyperventilating and go into an asthma attack. I was advised by one of my Drs to get a dog to help with calming me since non of the anxiety meds work for me.
 

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Thank you @ Jen2010 :)

I'm not looking for any specific breed or age, neither matter to me really.
I'm just trying to figure out in general what breeds could possibly fit my needs (I understand med/small would be best and that is perfectly fine with me! ) I live in TX if that helps any. That way, I can at least get a general idea of what to look for. I will be checking shelters/rescues etc.. to see if I can find one.

I'm looking now instead of after the surgery because I also have very high anxiety. I will randomly at home alone with no apparent reason will go straight into an anxiety/panic attack. Sometimes it's so bad I start hyperventilating and go into an asthma attack. I was advised by one of my Drs to get a dog to help with calming me since non of the anxiety meds work for me.
Be sure, whatever dog you get, that the dog is confident and not a worried dog. A worried dog or a dog that lacks confidence will not help you with anxiety attacks. That dog will spin up when you do, which is counter productive.
 
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