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Hello there dog forums, I am new here so sorry for any mistakes or errors. After Months of deciding if I was ready for a dog, I have decided I am ready. But I am facing a new dilemma. What dog breed is right for me? After trying tons of dog selector quizzes, I have chose to come to you guys, because I believe that you could offer better advice than a quiz and give personal experiences. This is a little bit of what i'm looking for in a dog. Thanks in advance!

  • This will be my first dog. As a kid I had a dog but was mostly my parents (Australian shepherd) .
  • My ideal dog would be loving when I come home, and come with me on hikes and long walks on the weekend
  • I have shortlisted the following: bichon frise, golden retriever, Boston terrier, rat terrier, shetland sheepdog, and miniature schnauzer. I am open to any other suggestions.
  • I would like a relatively easy dog to train. He should also be pretty friendly.
  • Ideally, my dog would need 30 minutes of exersize and would love to play fetch
  • I would like a dog who needs weekly brushing, but am willing to put in more effort in this area for the right dog.
  • A small or medium dog is what i'm looking for
  • I would love for him to walk off leash
  • My dog would have to be alone 8 hours a day :/ ; but i can spend time for its first few months to train/accommodate him to the new house.
I hope i'm not asking for something impossible. Thank you for your time, suggestions, and personal experience with the Breeds.
 

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A bichon is a lot of grooming. Boston terrier may not do well with exercise especially if you live in a hot and/or humid climate. Rat terriers are easily distracted and can be trained off leash but many end up in shelters because they are great escape artists. Shetland sheep dogs are a herding breed and like to have a job, be busy. We had a schnauzer and he was a little difficult to housebreak and developed some bad habits when left alone during the day.
Of all the breeds listed, the golden retriever is probably your best bet. But that breed comes up on a lot of searches because they are popular. I would look at a shelter for a young adult mixed breed dog. Or possibly a whippet or greyhound rescue. Although they are sight hounds, they can be trained off leash. They are happy couch potatoes as long as they get daily exercise.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
A bichon is a lot of grooming. Boston terrier may not do well with exercise especially if you live in a hot and/or humid climate. Rat terriers are easily distracted and can be trained off leash but many end up in shelters because they are great escape artists. Shetland sheep dogs are a herding breed and like to have a job, be busy. We had a schnauzer and he was a little difficult to housebreak and developed some bad habits when left alone during the day.
Of all the breeds listed, the golden retriever is probably your best bet. But that breed comes up on a lot of searches because they are popular. I would look at a shelter for a young adult mixed breed dog. Or possibly a whippet or greyhound rescue. Although they are sight hounds, they can be trained off leash. They are happy couch potatoes as long as they get daily exercise.
Thank you very much. This is just the information i was looking for. I will take this into consideration. Do you think a lab is better than a golden for me?
 

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FWIW, I have a mini-schnauzer.

This is a very intelligent breed. Training is necessary and a task to keep their minds busy. Otherwise, like all intelligent breeds, they will find something to do.

You might take look at some of the Terrier breeds. Like Welsh, Airedale, Jack Russel,....... All intelligent, some regular grooming, robust, active...... A standard schnauzer or standard poodle may fit your desires also. Here again, high intelligence = easy training, but can be mischievous when bored.

Off-leash walking is not recommended. If you want the dog to have time off-leash, then I'd suggest the following. First, walk the dog until the initial excitement is burned off and relief duties are complete. Please collect and dispose of all your dog's sidewalk treasures. Train the dog to come back to you either by whistle or voice. The Call Back needs to be reliable at least 19 times out of 20. Now, you may be almost ready for a dog park or an empty soccer, football or baseball field.

Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
FWIW, I have a mini-schnauzer.

This is a very intelligent breed. Training is necessary and a task to keep their minds busy. Otherwise, like all intelligent breeds, they will find something to do.

You might take look at some of the Terrier breeds. Like Welsh, Airedale, Jack Russel,....... All intelligent, some regular grooming, robust, active...... A standard schnauzer or standard poodle may fit your desires also. Here again, high intelligence = easy training, but can be mischievous when bored.

Off-leash walking is not recommended. If you want the dog to have time off-leash, then I'd suggest the following. First, walk the dog until the initial excitement is burned off and relief duties are complete. Please collect and dispose of all your dog's sidewalk treasures. Train the dog to come back to you either by whistle or voice. The Call Back needs to be reliable at least 19 times out of 20. Now, you may be almost ready for a dog park or an empty soccer, football or baseball field.

Good Luck
Thank you! A Friend of mine owns a mini Schnauzer. It is very loving and loyal to her but is also very independent and likes time for himself. I think this would be good because of how long he will be left alone. I did Read though that Airdale's and similar terriers such as welsh and lakeland can be extremly stubborm. Is this true?
 

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Yes. They are independent thinkers and training needs to be in short quick pace sessions with rewards. They do not respond very well to negative treatments.

They will shut off and have a strong ignore response.

But I wouldn't trade my mini-S for anything. Loyal, fun, alert, calm, intelligent, playful, athletic, intuitive companion. He helped me through a difficult time and kept me from trying to fly from the 30th floor.

Once you get through the puppy year and have good socialization, you will have an amazing companion for 12-15 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes. They are independent thinkers and training needs to be in short quick pace sessions with rewards. They do not respond very well to negative treatments.

They will shut off and have a strong ignore response.

But I wouldn't trade my mini-S for anything. Loyal, fun, alert, calm, intelligent, playful, athletic, intuitive companion. He helped me through a difficult time and kept me from trying to fly from the 30th floor.

Once you get through the puppy year and have good socialization, you will have an amazing companion for 12-15 years.
Thank you for the help. I think that the m.schnauzer might be just what i'm looking for!
 

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  • This will be my first dog. As a kid I had a dog but was mostly my parents (Australian shepherd) .
  • My ideal dog would be loving when I come home, and come with me on hikes and long walks on the weekend
  • I have shortlisted the following: bichon frise, golden retriever, Boston terrier, rat terrier, shetland sheepdog, and miniature schnauzer. I am open to any other suggestions.
  • I would like a relatively easy dog to train. He should also be pretty friendly.
  • Ideally, my dog would need 30 minutes of exersize and would love to play fetch
  • I would like a dog who needs weekly brushing, but am willing to put in more effort in this area for the right dog.
  • A small or medium dog is what i'm looking for
  • I would love for him to walk off leash
  • My dog would have to be alone 8 hours a day :/ ; but i can spend time for its first few months to train/accommodate him to the new house.
When considering terrier breeds, remember that they were bred to hunt and destroy vermin...that means seeing small animals darting around may override any recall training and your dog will take off. Sometimes a scent might even turn on their "ignore" switch. And, because they're independent, they are less likely to have that "natural orbit" that more handler oriented breeds have.

I'm not saying that they absolutely can't have a 99% successful recall, but be prepared to abandon the idea of having a dog you can walk off-leash if their recall proves unreliable. A long line and harness may be necessary at all times.
 

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I think any of the breeds you listed would fit your requirements well other than the Boston Terrier - I wouldn't count on making a brachycephalic dog a hiking companion, given how poorly they deal with heat and how many of them develop breathing issues.

And I love Schnauzers, but as Lillith says, they can take a extra work to be reliable off-leash...they're not stereotypical door-dashing, fence-climbing runaways like huskies, but they do like to follow their noses off on an adventure, given the opportunity. Not a dealbreaker, but something to be aware of. My mini was pretty good about sticking close unless you ignored her for more than a few minutes, then all bets were off, haha.

Honestly, with your requirements being so broad, and you being open to a wide variety of dogs, I would just hit up local shelters and rescues and look for a nice youngish dog that you click with and has the attributes you want. 18 months or older is a good age for adopting an adult dog, because you can see their adult temperament and size clearly (all puppies are little and friendly...many of them grow out of one or both traits). If you get a pup you won't be able to hike with it for quite some time, because too much exercise when young can hurt the growth plates and joints. Plus, puppies aren't as fun as they look, and if you get a nice adult you can start enjoying time with your dog right away as opposed to spending months on the basics of making the dog into a housepet and waiting for it to grow out of the "eating all your belongings" phase.

I've had quite a few dogs (from both breeders and rescues/shelters) over the years and the one that settled in the easiest and fastest into my life was actually the oldest one I adopted, at 5 years old. Being into the calmer phase of life definitely made it easier to introduce him to my home and his new lifestyle. Just something to think about!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
When considering terrier breeds, remember that they were bred to hunt and destroy vermin...that means seeing small animals darting around may override any recall training and your dog will take off. Sometimes a scent might even turn on their "ignore" switch. And, because they're independent, they are less likely to have that "natural orbit" that more handler oriented breeds have.

I'm not saying that they absolutely can't have a 99% successful recall, but be prepared to abandon the idea of having a dog you can walk off-leash if their recall proves unreliable. A long line and harness may be necessary at all times.
Thank you! I am very flexible with many of my desired qualities, so if the a terrier is checking all the boxes except off leash walking, then It is a sacrifice I can make.
 

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I think any of the breeds you listed would fit your requirements well other than the Boston Terrier - I wouldn't count on making a brachycephalic dog a hiking companion, given how poorly they deal with heat and how many of them develop breathing issues.

And I love Schnauzers, but as Lillith says, they can take a extra work to be reliable off-leash...they're not stereotypical door-dashing, fence-climbing runaways like huskies, but they do like to follow their noses off on an adventure, given the opportunity. Not a dealbreaker, but something to be aware of. My mini was pretty good about sticking close unless you ignored her for more than a few minutes, then all bets were off, haha.

Honestly, with your requirements being so broad, and you being open to a wide variety of dogs, I would just hit up local shelters and rescues and look for a nice youngish dog that you click with and has the attributes you want. 18 months or older is a good age for adopting an adult dog, because you can see their adult temperament and size clearly (all puppies are little and friendly...many of them grow out of one or both traits). If you get a pup you won't be able to hike with it for quite some time, because too much exercise when young can hurt the growth plates and joints. Plus, puppies aren't as fun as they look, and if you get a nice adult you can start enjoying time with your dog right away as opposed to spending months on the basics of making the dog into a housepet and waiting for it to grow out of the "eating all your belongings" phase.

I've had quite a few dogs (from both breeders and rescues/shelters) over the years and the one that settled in the easiest and fastest into my life was actually the oldest one I adopted, at 5 years old. Being into the calmer phase of life definitely made it easier to introduce him to my home and his new lifestyle. Just something to think about!
[/QUOTE
I am totally open to going to a shelter, but I wanted a dog from a breeder so I could have a general idea of what I was in for.
 

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That's the thing - with a pup, you never truly know what you're in for. You can only hedge your bets by getting a suitable breed from good lines and a responsible breeder.

Adult dogs are pretty much WYSIWYG when it comes to temperament.
 

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That's the thing - with a pup, you never truly know what you're in for. You can only hedge your bets by getting a suitable breed from good lines and a responsible breeder.

Adult dogs are pretty much WYSIWYG when it comes to temperament.
I Have no problem adopting a adult dog, but my only concern is that they may be harder to train than a pup, is this true?
 

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I Have no problem adopting a adult dog, but my only concern is that they may be harder to train than a pup, is this true?
Depends on the individual dog, really. FWIW I'm not even a good dog trainer and I have several dog sport competition titles on my dog that I adopted when he was 5. He got his first title with me when I'd had him less than a year. Older dogs can definitely learn new habits and behaviors. Sometimes it's actually easier with adults because puppies may not be developmentally ready to handle certain expectations.
 

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I Have no problem adopting a adult dog, but my only concern is that they may be harder to train than a pup, is this true?
Nah, if anything, training an adult dog is easier. I mean, if you adopt an adult from a shelter you might get a dog that has, say, never seen stairs, perhaps never met a cat or a horse or some other random animals, never been on a car ride, which are typically socialization things that you would do with a puppy, but if you're trying to train tricks or obedience, the adult will probably perform better than the puppy!

In certain unfortunate situations, you might find a dog in a shelter that has suffered from abuse, so they are unwilling to try anything and "shut down" when you try to train them, but by speaking with shelter staff you should be able to figure that out quite quickly.
 

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Depends on the individual dog, really. FWIW I'm not even a good dog trainer and I have several dog sport competition titles on my dog that I adopted when he was 5. He got his first title with me when I'd had him less than a year. Older dogs can definitely learn new habits and behaviors. Sometimes it's actually easier with adults because puppies may not be developmentally ready to handle certain expectations.
Thank you! this seems perfect as the only thing holding me back from adopting a older dog was the training. I've read so many articles saying the worst dog for a beginner is a puppy. Now i don't have to spend as much time to accommodate the dog to the new house and housebreak him. Awesome! tough sometimes puppy are too irresistible.
 

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Nah, if anything, training an adult dog is easier. I mean, if you adopt an adult from a shelter you might get a dog that has, say, never seen stairs, perhaps never met a cat or a horse or some other random animals, never been on a car ride, which are typically socialization things that you would do with a puppy, but if you're trying to train tricks or obedience, the adult will probably perform better than the puppy!

In certain unfortunate situations, you might find a dog in a shelter that has suffered from abuse, so they are unwilling to try anything and "shut down" when you try to train them, but by speaking with shelter staff you should be able to figure that out quite quickly.
That's awesome! Are there any adult breeds that you would recommend?
 

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More like, breeds and mixes to avoid if you have certain living conditions. For example, if I were a renter I would stay away from frequently banned breeds, like bullies and German Shepherds, and dogs over 40lbs or so. If I didn't have a fence, I'd stay away from breeds known to be runaways, like huskies. But with adults and mixes it's more about the individual than about the breed. Often with rescues and rehomes the breed is just a guess at best anyway.
 

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That's awesome! Are there any adult breeds that you would recommend?
Well, if you're adopting from a shelter, you're likely going to get a mix. I think the Lab mixes or Golden mixes are a pretty safe bet all around, typically. Like Parus mentioned, you might want to avoid certain breed mixes that are known to have traits you might find undesirable. Huskies are notorious escape artists, howlers, and will run for miles happily without you, so that might not be a good fit for someone who wants to do off leash things.

And, of course, if you're renting pit mixes might be banned in your apartment complex, so think of that.

When you're adopting an adult, though, look at the individual dog. I would go with a dog that has been fostered for some time so the foster can tell you more about their personality.
 

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More like, breeds and mixes to avoid if you have certain living conditions. For example, if I were a renter I would stay away from frequently banned breeds, like bullies and German Shepherds, and dogs over 40lbs or so. If I didn't have a fence, I'd stay away from breeds known to be runaways, like huskies. But with adults and mixes it's more about the individual than about the breed. Often with rescues and rehomes the breed is just a guess at best anyway.
I will make sure to find one that makes me and the dog both happy and healthy. Thanks.
 
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