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My wife and I took over ownership of my parents house and decided that we would like a dog to join our family. Currently we live in a household with a Jack Russel Terrier, who is getting on in years. We love him, but he is and has always been "granddads" dog. I'm sure you understand what I mean, Furgy never leaves Granddads side.
The type of dog that were looking for is a companion. I'm an avid fisherman and woodsman and would appreciate having a friend with me. Not necessarily a hunting dog however. My wife loves going for walks in the woods as well when she gets home, so a companion for her would be fun.
The dog would never be left unattended as I can bring him/her to work.
I don't care about shedding or any concerns of that matter.
I would prefer a smaller to medium sized dog, something that isn't overly obtrusive. My wife and I often travel to powows and stay with friends. All of my friends would accept a dog, but I would prefer to bring a small companion that would be "cute" instead of "huge".
Most importantly we want a friend and addition to our growing family.

So, given my situation and lifestyle, what breed would you'll recommend. Some advice to kickstart the process would be awesome and appreciated.
The only dog I've seriously looked into as of yet is the French Bulldog/
 

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I don't usually have any idea's for people...But one dog just poped right into my head. Cocker Spaniel. I don't have any experience on them, but while looking up info on English Springers I saw a few things on them. Good luck!
 

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While a Frenchie COULD work, I think if they were outdoors with you in the heat, they might or might not handle that particularly well. I would actually look a bit smaller than a Frenchie or the cockers, especially if you travel via air- Frenchies don't fit well under the seats, they're just a LITTLE too big. I'd look at the larger end of the toy group, particularly the Cavaliers- I'd also check your local cocker rescue group, too- some groups take mixes and ours locally has gotten a lot of cocker x cavalier crosses- lovely little dogs.
 

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I don't know about the French Bulldog. They don't do well in heat for long periods of time, so fishing trips and etc might be a problem. I was going to recommend a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, I actually think it would be perfect for your situation if not for the size issue. They are a little bigger than you wanted, but on the smaller end they are 17" at the withers... barely larger than a Beagle. They are biddable dogs, sociable, love the water and the outdoors.
 

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Labrador, just go to a breeder with smaller parents.

welsh springer

Chesapeake bay retriever

curley coated retrievers

any kind of medium sized retriever or spaniel would suit your needs
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So, I'm seeing alot of spaniels and retrievers in the list of responses. Can I ask why? What was it about our lifestyle that says, "spaniel or retriever". What can you tell me about those breeds. (I looked up both for temperment, but owners generally know alot more then a generic statement.) I really do appreciate the help.
p.s. The Nova Scotia is one handsome dog.
 

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Spaniels and retrievers are basically built to be outdoors in different kinds of weather. If from a good breeder most of have good temperments, they are bred to work closely with people, so usually are very friendly and trainable. They are higher energy dogs, at least the first 2 or 3 years (then they tend to calm down a little, but still high energy), so would fit your active lifestyle.
 

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Go to a local rescue, shelter or humane society and meet some individual dogs. Spaniels tend to be higher energy, but not all are. Zero is a really, really mellow guy.
 

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A nova scotia duck toller would be a great fit. Smaller then a lab, so not to big, but same outdoor lifestyle breed.

I know alot of people dont like this breed, but I would say a miniture poodle, not to small, not to big, easy to keep clean, cute, outdoor type of dog, great companion.
 

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I also thought first off of a Toller.
They are good allround dogs, not too big and usually friendly dogs that with adequate amounts of exercise are happy to be "lap dogs" when the occasion calls for it. They are smart and owner oriented as well, and take well to training, love the water and woods but do well in the city.

I also think the border terrier can be a great choice, but that it is important to remember they are a terrier! Highly intelligent and independent and fiesty. They are not "soft" dogs, and can be VERY affectionate but I believe that terriers are for experienced owners simply because of their tenacity. Doesn't mean they can't be easy, occasionally they are, and I also don't think they require a "dominant" mindset, but they can be a challenging type of dog. Of course, I just reread your post and there is already a JRT in the household..do you remember HIM as a puppy? I would also, if the older dog is still around when you get a dog, go for a female instead of a male.

Off topic...you go to Powwows? I used to go to some with a friend who is native and really enjoyed them. I adore the drumming circles. I even got to attend an Ojibway wedding (my friend's), complete with smudging and dancing. A neighbour of mine was a protogee of Narval Morrisseau and is an awesome native artist as well, the artwork is very moving. Native culture is beautiful.
 

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I think a lot of people are recommending spaniels and retrievers because...

1. With training, they can be trusted off-leash. There are some breeds who are hardwired to follow prey, or simply hardwired to think independently, and those breeds can never be trusted off-leash no matter how much training you do... Greyhounds, Beagles and Huskies, to name a few. Many spaniels and retrievers are very biddable dogs, reliable off-leash WITH TRAINING, and I thought that with the love for hiking and the outdoors it would be nice to have a dog who could roam free while still walking with you.

2. Most retrievers love water. Golden Retrievers, Tollers, Labs, Flat-Coated Retrievers... all usually love to swim due to their heritage as "water dogs". Thought it would be nice to have a dog that could take a splash of its own while you were out on the lake.

3. Generally very rugged dogs, not the type that will give up halfway through a hike. High-energy dogs.

4. Extremely sociable. Some breeds tend to be aloof with strangers, and some owners like their dogs to be that way... retrievers especially are generally instant best friends with everyone they meet.
 

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Papillon.

Cocker Spaniel (I've had 3 purebred, and one mix...all fantastic dogs).
 
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