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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, my boyfriend and I are thinking of getting a new dog soon, preferably a puppy, from a rescue group or the shelter. Do you all have any thoughts on what breeds would be a good fit? Here's a little more about our situation and what we're looking for:

Living situation: Small house with big yard to run around in, suburban area so we have neighbors, but noise generally isn't a problem (he plays the drums with no issues). The weather here is generally mild, it doesn't get below freezing in the winter, but the summers can be a little harsh (90-100, dry heat) but we have air conditioning.

Family: Currently just the two of us, there would be no young children while the dog is growing up, but there may be in the future, so I'd like to find a breed that is patient and good with kids.

Other pets: A skittish but sweet de-clawed cat (we got her from a friend) She's here to stay, so the dog needs to be able to get along, and not be aggressive (she can't defend herself, and has issues with peeing on furniture, so we can't keep her in a separate area of the house or anything.)

Size: Looking for medium to medium-large sized dog, not a yappy small dog, but not a huge one that eats mountains of food (or leaves mountains of poo in the yard).

Personality: I'd really like a dog that's friendly and intelligent but low-key, the ones that just know when you're having a bad day and snuggle up to you for attention.

Health: I'd really like a long-lived breed that is known to be stable with few health issues, we can't afford much in the way of health care at the moment.

Allergies: None

Grooming: Don't mind a bit of shedding, willing to brush it frequently and bathe occasionally, but I'd like to avoid trips to the groomer.

Activity: Both of us are couch potatoes by nature, but we're trying to exercise more. Ideally I'd like to find a dog that is generally low-energy and cuddly and won't destroy things if it doesn't get to run every day, but is still able to walk or jog with us, probably 2-3 times a week.

Training: I'm willing to do my homework on training and learn to be in charge, but I have very little experience, and I'd prefer a dog that doesn't *need* me to be the alpha.

Experience: My mom had a dog when I was growing up, but I've never raised a dog myself.


TL;DR: I want a sweet, low-key, intelligent dog that will get along well with our cat and any future children, isn't prone to health problems, and is able to jog with us but doesn't need tons of exercise.
 

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Since you're willing to walk it a few times a week, I'd say probably a collie breed. If you start young, the cat won't be a problem. I had a border that had no problem with children, cats or other dogs and he wasn't destructive. In my experience they're pretty calm indoors but go bonkers once they get outside. Haha. They're good, medium sized dogs that are relatively easy to train as well, very intelligent and eager to learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you don't mind at least throwing a ball in the yard to help burn some energy, I'd say a collie breed.
Collies are adorable! Playing in the yard every day is totally doable, but aren't they *very* active though? like the kind of dogs you could play frisbee with all day long and they'd still have energy to burn? Or does that vary a lot between the different breeds?
 

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A border collie could easily be a neurotic, house-destroying mess if you only walked it a few times a week.

Since you'd like to rescue a dog, I suggest you just go to shelters/check out petfinder and see what's out there. If the dog's being fostered, the foster family can provide a lot of info about activity level, grooming requirements, friendliness with kids and other animals, etc. I will say that there aren't a whole lot of medium-sized breeds that are fine with just 2-3 walks per week. I will also say that not all small dogs are "yappy," and you could have just as much of an issue with an under-exercised big dog being barky out of boredom.

Also, forget everything you've ever heard about being "alpha." That was based on old research. Read this. :)
 

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It varies based on what their used to. Then again, I could've had a weirdo. Most of your medium dogs are pretty high energy, but collies are the only ones that immediately come to mind that are less inclined to be hyper-active indoors after being well exercised. The one I had was really mellow indoors (he was a year and a half), but as soon as we got outside he knew it was play time and he was a little nutcase. XD We'd run around or play ball or play in the sprinkler for a while and then he'd come back in and be fine. :b

A border collie could easily be a neurotic, house-destroying mess if you only walked it a few times a week.
I can agree with that. Hence the, at least throwing the ball outside once a day. They aren't the only collies, though.
 

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I would not recommend any herding breed for someone who wants to walk it only 2-3 times a week. Sporting and working breeds would be out, as well. Hounds and terriers are out because the OP wants something very biddable and they tend to be considered more "stubborn." The OP doesn't like little dogs, which is a shame, because many of the breeds that need less exercise (or shorter walks, anyway) can be found in the toy group. I'm hesitant to suggest a dog at all, really.
 

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I would not recommend any herding breed for someone who wants to walk it only 2-3 times a week. Sporting and working breeds would be out, as well. Hounds and terriers are out because the OP wants something very biddable and they tend to be considered more "stubborn." The OP doesn't like little dogs, which is a shame, because many of the breeds that need less exercise (or shorter walks, anyway) can be found in the toy group. I'm hesitant to suggest a dog at all, really.
I agree, I just tried to give some hope. Only conclusion I could come to was one in the collie family because they're calmer inside than the working and sporting breeds are and less likely to be destructive as long as they're getting supplemented attention. Any dog that isn't a toy really should be exercised daily if for nothing else than to prevent behavioural problems and even then, some dogs such as labs still display destructive boredom.
 

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Even toys should be walked every day -- and some, such as papillons, are more energetic than many big dogs (paps are known as the border collies of the toy group). While it's true that toy dogs are small enough that they can get exercise just running around the house and yard, it's important for all dogs to actually get out into new environments and sniff things and enjoy their walks. Helps with keeping them from becoming neurotic, fearful messes, too. :)
 

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Even toys should be walked every day -- and some, such as papillons, are more energetic than many big dogs (paps are known as the border collies of the toy group). While it's true that toy dogs are small enough that they can get exercise just running around the house and yard, it's important for all dogs to actually get out into new environments and sniff things and enjoy their walks. Helps with keeping them from becoming neurotic, fearful messes, too. :)
I should've been more clear. Lol. When I think "exercising a dog" or "walking a dog," my mind goes to taking your dog out and walking/jogging/walking for two hours a day. Haha. Toys don't necessarily require THAT much. A lot of their exercise can be done during potty breaks, then of course you'll want to take them out at least a few times a week for a regular walk, but a lot of toys don't like doing that (I know a lot of the toys we fostered wouldn't go for walks so my mom used to take them for car rides instead haha). Either way, yet again, I have to agree with you. XD
 

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I think a not-very-young dog (3-4 or older) from the shelter would be best. Any breed--it's the individual that matters, and at that age there won't be any surprises about personality, or what they think about cats. No puppies (under 18 months), definitely. Find a good rescue that keep their dogs in foster homes, and and they should be able to find you what you want. It's hard to tell the personality of a dog that's been kenneled for a long time, so just going to a regular shelter probably wouldn't work out. I know lots of middle-aged/older dogs who would be perfectly happy with a couch and a few walks a week :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would not recommend any herding breed for someone who wants to walk it only 2-3 times a week. Sporting and working breeds would be out, as well. Hounds and terriers are out because the OP wants something very biddable and they tend to be considered more "stubborn." The OP doesn't like little dogs, which is a shame, because many of the breeds that need less exercise (or shorter walks, anyway) can be found in the toy group. I'm hesitant to suggest a dog at all, really.
Maybe I did narrow it down a little too harshly, I could maybe get a little dog, I'd have to meet a few first though. So far, the only little dogs I've met are pretty much spoiled little brats with terrible attitudes, and prone to health issues. It's the chihuahua personality I can't stand, if there was like a smaller dog with a lab or retriever personality, that could work well.

I wonder if there's such a thing as a dog for cat people? XD I've only really had cats before, and we get along pretty well. I like how friendly and easy to please dogs can be, though, and I am looking forward to taking it out for walks and jogs, just don't know if schedule will permit every day.
 

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Maybe I did narrow it down a little too harshly, I could maybe get a little dog, I'd have to meet a few first though. So far, the only little dogs I've met are pretty much spoiled little brats with terrible attitudes, and prone to health issues. It's the chihuahua personality I can't stand, if there was like a smaller dog with a lab or retriever personality, that could work well.

I wonder if there's such a thing as a dog for cat people? XD I've only really had cats before, and we get along pretty well. I like how friendly and easy to please dogs can be, though, and I am looking forward to taking it out for walks and jogs, just don't know if schedule will permit every day.

Most small dogs act like spoiled brats because their owners spoil them to no end. A lot of dog owners don't train their small dogs for things like begging, biting, jumping, barking, etc, because they're smaller and it isn't as damaging as if say...a German Shepherd were to exhibit those behaviours. A lot of toys suffer behavioural issues because their owners don't work with them. If you work with them, though, they won't act like that.
 

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A collie would be a lot of grooming, if you're thinking rough collie, and all of the herding breeds tend to be on the busy side and needing those runs. My borders are good but that's with an hour off leash run in the morning and lots of training.

There are some great little dogs that would work well, keeping in mind the spoiled little dog routine is more the owners and not the dogs. A whippet comes to mind or that type of breed if you can handle the shedding. Give me my long coated dogs anyday over my boss's beagle that is dropping clumps of hair....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think a not-very-young dog (3-4 or older) from the shelter would be best. Any breed--it's the individual that matters, and at that age there won't be any surprises about personality, or what they think about cats. No puppies (under 18 months), definitely. Find a good rescue that keep their dogs in foster homes, and and they should be able to find you what you want. It's hard to tell the personality of a dog that's been kenneled for a long time, so just going to a regular shelter probably wouldn't work out. I know lots of middle-aged/older dogs who would be perfectly happy with a couch and a few walks a week :).
Thanks, Willowy! That does sound like it'd be a good fit :) That actually sounds like my Mom's old dog, Tasha, she got her from a golden retriever rescue, she was the sweetest thing.

The thing that made me consider getting a puppy instead of an older shelter dog is actually our cat - she has some issues that are pretty much un-trainable as far as we've seen, because she was probably abused in the past, although we don't know for sure, we don't know her whole history.

My friend's dog is like that too, one of the attitude-chihuahuas that I was talking about. The dog was pretty horribly abused in the past, and it's really great that she rescued her, but the dog is still kinda crazy and hard to deal with, even with (expensive) medication. Taking on years of responsibility for an animal with behavior or psychological problems is a pretty big deal. It just seems like so many problems can be prevented if you raise them yourself. But then again, I don't have experience raising puppies, it's probably very different from cats, I'm not entirely sure if I could keep up with a puppy.

The rescue places do seem like the best option so far, I like that they know a little bit more about the dog's past, and can give you a heads-up on any issues.
 

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Raising a puppy is very very very different from raising a kitten, haha. They need constant supervision and lots of training. If you aren't sure your schedule will permit you more than 2-3 walks with a dog every week, you definitely don't have time for a puppy. Luckily, many dogs in foster homes are used to living with cats and are either polite with them or ignore them entirely.
 

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German Shepherd Dog, off course I am biased :)
I kind of put GSD's in the category of dogs that need a good amount of exercise. They are working dogs, after all.


Raising a puppy is very very very different from raising a kitten, haha. They need constant supervision and lots of training. If you aren't sure your schedule will permit you more than 2-3 walks with a dog every week, you definitely don't have time for a puppy. Luckily, many dogs in foster homes are used to living with cats and are either polite with them or ignore them entirely.
I seccond (or third?) the suggestion of an older rescue dog. There are a great many dogs that need homes and not all dogs are in rescue because they're bad in some way. Many times the owners just can't care for them anymore.
 

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Whippets, Cocker Spaniels or Cavalier King Charles Spaniels might be a good fit for you. Good Luck with your search. :)

PS - I've added pictures of them below
 

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I'm going to comment on the no kids now but maybe in the future: IMO it's best to have the dog and kids sort of grow up together. Sometimes, if dogs are a bit older they don't have the patience for kids. Also, no one knows how long any dogs will live. Some breeds may be longer lived but crap happens.
 

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Pepper is 8.5 lbs of mostly mellow dog. He's a yorkie/Maltese mix. He spends most of the day asleep, ad we play for about 1 hour a night (me chasing him or throwing his treat ball.). But he gets walked four times a day, and frankly he'll go as long as I want - or as short. I can't imagine how nuts he'd be if he didn't get out of the house for a walk.

Any dog needs more than being let out in the yard. It allows them to be social.
 
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