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Well, I'd like to get a dog or puppy some time in the near future. I'm not quite done all my research, but first I'd like to see what kind of dog it would be possible for me to keep.

I'm just out of university, single, live in a medium sized house with an acre of a backyard.
I initially was looking into a golden retreiver or lab, but I work for most of the day, and although I could walk it daily and let it run around in the backyard, it would be missing all forms of human interaction for at least 8 hours of the day.

So, I need a dog that can fit into my current schedule.

Here are my ideals. Mind you, they are ideals, so maybe not one dog will fit into all these categories, but I'm still flexible.
Something that is active and playful, something I can go on a hike or walk with, or play with in the park.
But also something that is affectionate, that is there to greet me when I get home, and to sit or cuddle beside me.

Thanks in advance!
 

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If you're not picky about breed, you need to go look at individual dogs. I never thought I'd end up with a cocker spaniel until I met one who's energy level was perfect for my laid back lifestyle. It's 9:30 right now and the guy is still sleeping. Since we're going to be cooped up all day, I'm gonna let 'im.
 

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What about a mixed breed rescue? A medium to large lab mix type dog? Perhaps you can find an adult dog who is already house trained and pretty good in the house, because being gone that long would make potty training extremely hard.
 

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Any puppy, no matter the breed, is going to be hard to take care of working an eight hour day in terms of housebreaking. It can be done, but you'll need to work out a potty schedule for the pup so it has plenty of opportunities to relieve itself in the proper location while you are gone. The only reason I have successfully owned puppies is because we aquired them on a break/vacation to allow the most supervision, and we either had someone who was at home during the day or could come home frequently enough to avoid accidents.

I would highly reccomend just stopping by the local shelter and seeing if any dog there catches your eye. An eight hour day isn't bad at all - I can be gone for eight hours and my two year old Collie mix just sleeps all day. Even when I am home she sleeps all day. lol

You sound a lot like my older brother, and the breed of dog I reccomend to him was a Greyhound. While they aren't really playful, they are both active and couch potatoes and would definitally be able to handle an eight hour work day. I'd do a bit more research into them and see if they sound like something you would like.

I wouldn't rule out a Lab just yet either - they are great dogs and if you get an older one (2+ years) I think it could fit into what you want quite well. You'd just have to be commited to a long hard walk/jog in the evening when you get home.
 

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I would definitely just look at the rescues and find a dog that catches your eye in terms of energy level. I personally am always partial to large-breed dogs, and if you get a dog that's a little bit older (a couple years old at least), you'll be able to play and do active things with them, but they won't always be a ball of penned-up energy that needs to be constantly entertained.
 

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One that would attract a prospective wife. In other words a dog that is a chick magnet :D
Mom is that you??

I would avoid cocker spaniels (seem to attract old blue haired women) and basset hounds (attract kids) if a chick magnet is what you're looking for. At least that's my experience. :)
 

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I believe a puppy is out of the question. You stated that you will be gone for 8 hours at a time that leaves 16 hours left and you need at least 9-10 hours of sleep. So that leaves us with 6-7 hours not counting your commuting schedule. A puppy demands a lot of supervision and time. They need constant supervision in order for them to be properly trained. A lot of people get in over their heads when they bring home a puppy because they don't understand the magnitude of the puppy's dependancy on their owners.

An older dog would be a great addition in my opinion. They are generaly house trained at this point and need little supervision. Plus you are giving a dog a chance for a great life.

As for the dog I suggest just going to a local shelter and see if any of the dogs they have there really have chemistry with you.
 

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Mom is that you??

I would avoid cocker spaniels (seem to attract old blue haired women) and basset hounds (attract kids) if a chick magnet is what you're looking for. At least that's my experience. :)
I ALWAYS feel like I'm hitting on a guy that is my age with a dog and I always wonder if they are thinking "It's working!" Especially if it is a dachshund, because I just go nuts for them.
 

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One that would attract a prospective wife. In other words a dog that is a chick magnet :D
Well, I can say for an absolute fact that Golden Retriever puppies, and Yellow Lab puppies are extreme chick magnets. When my Golden was a squirt, the folks down the block got a Beagle puppy and the two pups playing together contained enough concentrated cuteness to produce their own gravitational field. The two pups would be romping on the lawn on a completely empty street, and within minutes there would be a crowd of women gathering. It's as if they were transmitting an EPIRB, or something.

But puppies are a complete pain in the butt, and completely impractical for the bachelor lifestyle. Let me give you single guys a piece of advice, and you can thank me later. Two words: Great Dane.

When I was single I had a female Dane, and she was a nonpareil chick magnet. The truly excellent part was that she also acted as a Geiger counter to the crazy ones. I've never seen a dog with such an uncanny ability to correctly assess a human's character. It's a trait that runs strong in the breed, and you can't put a price on it.
 

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I have always had large dogs and always started with a puppy, so that I could train it to fit me.

1. Start reading everything about training now, before you get the puppy. Ian Dunbar, Turid Rugaas, Karen Pryor, and everything Positive training related.

2. In addition to house training, you want to teach Bite Inhibition and socialize with lots of people before all three series of shots are complete, and lots of dogs and other animals as soon as the Vet says it is OK - usually after all three series of vaccinations are complete.

3. You may want to sign up for puppy and dog training classes with PetsMart or a kennel. Although you might learn something, and you might teach you pup something, the main thing is that you will get exposure with socialization... You might ask if they have specific puppy play classes.

4. Labs and Goldens are good for first time owners because they want to please, they are relatively easy to train, and they are very forgiving of mistakes. My current dog is a Lab/ GSD mix - tremendously intelligent, reasonably obedient, wants to play when I am home from work, otherwise sleeps about 18 hours a day .... however, he is 8 yo.

5. However, Lab & Goldens (and most pups) are high energy and require YOU to walk or run them 30 min a day. Twice a day is better - gets you in great shape, and is a good wind down after work. Most problems go away after a 30 min. jog.... and the dog calms down, too. Don't expect the dog to exercise himself, even with acres of backyard to run in.

6. Just do these things and after 3 years, you'll have an unbelieveably terrific, well-adjusted dog. (Hopefully :)

7. Depending on your patience and discipline, your mileage may vary with other breeds.

- Hank Simon
 

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I have to strongly disagree with you Hank and agree with the other posters. Puppies are not a good fit for a household where someone's gone 8-9 hours a day at work. It's asking for trouble. An adult dog is a much better fit. I also would not recommend a lab or a golden for any owner unless the owner is a high energy person. Both labs and goldens tend to be very active dogs and the OP is a guy who prefers to crash on the couch in the evening it's not going to be a good fit at all.
 

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IF your heart is set on a puppy, try to get one that is older.. 12-16 weeks.. as at that age you are getting to a point where housebreaking will be easier. I would expect that for awhile you will have messes indoors while you are at work. To that end, find an area of the house where you can confine the puppy and put down pee pads so the dog can go inside and it is easier to clean up.

As the dog gets older and more capable of "holding it" for 8 hours, you can begin to use a crate and serous house training.

Beyond that, for what you are looking for, I would suggest a poodle.. and I think a Standard Poodle. They are very very intelligent.. almost human.. and can learn anything (ask poodleholic here). The do need to be bathed and clippped monthly but you can clip them short all over and not have the show clips you often see.

We had poodles growing up and, if tomorrow someone dropped one on me, I would take it in a heart beat. They LOVE to go hiking (our poodle hiked most of the Adirondack peaks when I was a kid).

I would also say that poodles are very affectionate and loving.. the ones I have known...and very athletic.

If you are heck bent to have a smaller dog, the miniature poodle is a good pick too, and they can hike very well.

I would have suggested a German shepherd, but they need a LOT of socialization and work with people. Mine is very friendly but I have worked with her a LOT and taken her every where with me. They also need a JOB to do.
 

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I have a mini doxie, and hell, he picks up chicks all the time. Even when I'm walking him.
You know, I got dobermans because I was sure they would be a MAN magnet. But for some reason when I'm walking down the street with three full grown dobermans, all potiential suiters run screaming in the other direction.:eek:

Can someone explain to me where I went wrong?
 

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You know, I got dobermans because I was sure they would be a MAN magnet. But for some reason when I'm walking down the street with three full grown dobermans, all potiential suiters run screaming in the other direction.:eek:

Can someone explain to me where I went wrong?
:D I guess it doesn't work the other way around? Women are jipped, again!

A dob is a TOP contender for our next breed. I think hands down they are one of the most beautiful breeds, and my boyfriend gives his input that he would rush a girl with a dob, especially walking three.
 

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You know, I got dobermans because I was sure they would be a MAN magnet. But for some reason when I'm walking down the street with three full grown dobermans, all potiential suiters run screaming in the other direction.:eek:

Can someone explain to me where I went wrong?
As a guy I would run from a girl who has three dogs all of whom are big enough to eat me.
 
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