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It's Much Too Soon, But, What Kind of Dog for Me?

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  • It's Much Too Soon, But, What Kind of Dog for Me?

    The reason I say it's much too soon is that I'm a cat person, currently with four, one of whom is extremely timid, just plain scared of everything. I'm not going to even look at dogs until she is gone, which, hopefully, won't be for a good many years yet. I'm pretty sure the other three could handle a cat friendly dog.

    That said, I have wanted a dog my entire life, but never had one. The parents didn't want one around when I was growing up and circumstances were just never right, once I was an adult. So, I have dreamed about having a dog for most of my life and fully intend on making that dream come true, sometime.

    So, I'm a complete newbie about dogs, and I want to make the right choices. I'm not much of a disciplinarian, sadly, either. I'm thinking for both of those reasons, an "easy" dog would be a likely candidate. I'm also older, and planning on moving to a retirement type community in about 10 years, so small is probably better.

    I'm drawn to two breeds, poodles and greyhounds. I'm a little iffy about greyhounds because of their size and chase instincts, but, having been in equine placement, I like the idea of giving a racing greyhound a home. And, I wonder if poodles are a little too smart and tough for me.

    So, just to facilitate my dreaming, and focus on the perfect dog for me (in reality, I know that there's no such thing as a perfect dog), what are your thoughts and suggestions?
    If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
    Desmond Tutu

  • #2
    I have had both,and loved both.

    Any dog can bark, bite, run etc. A young dog without a racing history will very likely have less "baggage". Rescues can also be hit/miss. Having a relationship and investing time into basic training is invaluable.

    The poodles intelligence is a good thing, not a bad one. They are easy to teach, even a newbie can teach the average poodle to sit, lay down etc. I would also feel safer introducing friends to a poodle, as generally they are less shy than greyhounds. They do however require coat care, groomers every 6 -8 weeks. Greyhounds grow very little coat, but they do shed more than you think. They also enjoy planting themselves on a couch or bed and not moving for several hours. They remind me of lazy thoroughbreds hehe.

    Greyhounds do have the cutest faces though Cant resist a greyhound schnoz.


    Another thing to consider is health. Greyhounds typically have a life expectancy of 8-10 years old, whippets and italian greyhounds are longer. Poodles in general live longer, standards often up to 12-15 and the mini and toys sometimes up to 16+. Each breed has their own health predispositions which is why parentage testing and buying from good breeder is important.

    There's also always that "rescue mutt". LOTS of nice ones. Some come with baggage,but often with a little time and patience that can be overcome. Im sure you could find a poodle, poodle cross and a greyhound through some rescues.

    I love both breeds, and the nice thing is that both come in 3 sizes

    Comment


    • #3
      I will have to think more about the "perfect" breed for you, but do want to say that my good friend has had three greyhounds (one that raced, one that was a reject, and I think the 3rd also raced....can't remember.) Despite their size, they are such low-key couch potatoes. Really wonderful dogs and each one had a lovely temperament.

      They are not small dogs, they do shed a lot, but they seem to be super easy as pets. She does not have any cats, so I'm not sure how they do with cats.

      The only word of caution (which will not scare you away as someone who has worked with racing TBs) is that some of them have injuries and health issues due to racing/being bred for racing. My friend's first bitch had a degenerative spine condition that ultimately limited her mobility and eventually she was euthanized (although she did live a long time). But it was something that she needed to manage throughout her older years (she did accupuncture and it helped tremendously.)

      Good luck!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks to both of you. As far as poodles go, going to a groomer on a regular basis is fine. It would be a nice outing for an old crock (which I will be by the time I get this dog.)

        And, S1969, I'm pretty sure I remember you. Aren't you the one I spent the day with at one of our retiring racehorse days? If I'm remembering correctly, the young lady you were helping came home with a lovely horse, at the end of the day. So, you're right, I do understand that a retired racing greyhound could very well come with some problems. I'm good with working with them.

        If there are other breeds I should be looking at, please feel free to suggest them.
        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
        Desmond Tutu

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Louise View Post
          Thanks to both of you. As far as poodles go, going to a groomer on a regular basis is fine. It would be a nice outing for an old crock (which I will be by the time I get this dog.)

          And, S1969, I'm pretty sure I remember you. Aren't you the one I spent the day with at one of our retiring racehorse days? If I'm remembering correctly, the young lady you were helping came home with a lovely horse, at the end of the day. So, you're right, I do understand that a retired racing greyhound could very well come with some problems. I'm good with working with them.

          If there are other breeds I should be looking at, please feel free to suggest them.
          What are you "looking for" in a dog? That may be able to help direct you to some breeds.

          Size?
          Energy/Exersize requirements?
          Shedding/Moderate or Non-Shedding?
          Puppy, adult or rescue?

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
            What are you "looking for" in a dog? That may be able to help direct you to some breeds.

            Size?
            Energy/Exersize requirements?
            Shedding/Moderate or Non-Shedding?
            Puppy, adult or rescue?
            I don't know if Ihave the energy it takes to deal with a puppy. Plus, I'm a sucker for older, so I would say adult or rescue. But, I think it would have to be a rescue without many discipline problems, because, like I said, I'm just not much of a disciplinarian. I was kind of thinking of looking for a dog that was done racing, breeding or that was done showing but was not going to be bred. Or, a rescue, of course. We're very fortunate here to have an excellent Humane Society that I would trust to match me correctly with a dog.

            If I'm going into a retirement home or community, I would think that small would probably be better. Though, as greyhounds are couch potatoes, and some are not all that big, they would probably work.

            I've pretty much ruled out most of the working dogs and the terriers as having too much energy. I'm more than willing to walk with a dog a few times a day and play with it, but I'm not able to give a high energy dog the exercise it would need.

            I don't care about shedding. With four cats, I'm very used to puffs of hair floating across the kitchen, no matter how much I sweep and vacuum. I wouldn't mind daily or weekly brushing sessions and would do them on my cats if they would hold still long enough.

            I'm not quite sure I could deal with a dog that is stubborn about being trained to piddle outside, or at the very least, if it's small enough, on a training pad.
            If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
            Desmond Tutu

            Comment


            • #7
              Wait till you meet Patsy this week and see if you like her type. She's so incredibly quiet through the day (i.e., sleeps) while she's energetic but controlable on walks. I know we have lots of shelters in the area but I was so very pleased with what I found when I went to the Animal Care Sanctuary in PA that I'm attaching their website. Believe me it was worth the drive.

              http://www.animalcaresanctuary.org/

              If you're seriously considering a greyhound you MUST have a permanent secure fenced enclosure-think chain link fencing so they can be exercised. At least that's what the Greyhound Assoc. in Buffalo used to require. One of the gals from work used to foster them and she adopted at least 6 if not more. Do understand though that they may kill one or more of your cats. My small animal vet has greyhounds and they have killed more than one of their cats. Remember, they 'chase' a rabbit around a track so they have a high prey instinct.
              Sue

              I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would definitely suggest looking into a reputable breeder who may have a dog retired from breeding, or a dog that was returned for whatever reason. You could even look into this now, let the person know what you're looking for in the future and they may keep you in mind when something comes up.
                I really do love the biddability of the poodles. They are smart and enjoy learning, and man it's enjoyable when training is easy! My lab, god love her, is as dense as they get and though she's a sweetie training her requires much more patience and repetition. My older poodle mix got his main commands in a matter of minutes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sounds like you would like a nice lapdog! Not all are yippy and some (I'm thinking particularly of Papillons, Pomeranians & Toy Poodles) are rather smart, which makes for easier training. And I've never met a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that I haven't been in absolute love with.
                  "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                  Phoenix Animal Rescue

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Louise-I think the size of a greyhound or larger dog might be a problem. Many condos or even HOAs have very restrictive size rules, and I'm sure many retirement communities do also. Around here they have stand alone, condo type communities with all outside maintenance included, so something like that might be a good fit too. And most of the communities around here that are retiree oriented are single level too. And you might consider a Sheltie also. Laurierace can comment on them.
                    You can't fix stupid-Ron White

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Also, before jumping into the deep end of dog ownership, start with a foster dog that needs a home.

                      And don't forget that CoTH giveaways can have some nice dogs that need homes because someone moved or someone in the family died and they need to place the pet.
                      www.facebook.com/doggonegoodgoodies
                      http://doggonebakedgoods.com/

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Yeh, I'm worried about greyhound size. That, and the fact that they are sight hounds and have, usually, high prey drives. I'm certainly not against the toys. A friend of mine has a lovely little Peke that I just adore. And, toy poodles do always seem to attract my attention. The Cavaliers, too, are on my watch list. They are so beautiful, and the one person I know (on-line only) who owns two just adores hers.

                        But, for now, I'm just dreaming, and scheming. And, that's kind of fun, in itself.
                        If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
                        Desmond Tutu

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MunchingonHay View Post
                          Also, before jumping into the deep end of dog ownership, start with a foster dog that needs a home.

                          And don't forget that CoTH giveaways can have some nice dogs that need homes because someone moved or someone in the family died and they need to place the pet.
                          Best ideas I've seen.
                          Sue

                          I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Italian greyhound! Many are fine with cats...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Greyhound that are not off the track..ie show bred...live longer than the 8-10 of retired racers who have big time issues with bone cancer. They are lovely dogs regradless and many of them successfully live with cats in the house. Outside cats that run may be a different matter altogether. Poodles have more overall health concerns but have a much more outgoing personality. They are two pretty diametrically opposed breeds. If you are a more energetic out and about type person, the poodle may be the better choice, they also lack the stubborness of the hound breeds. Of course, the Poodle has a much larger grooming commitment for you to make.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Louise View Post
                                But, for now, I'm just dreaming, and scheming. And, that's kind of fun, in itself.
                                I have fun with that too! I'm kind of nomadic at the moment so there's no way I could get a dog right now, but I love checking out petfinder, and I think breed matches are fun to play with (like http://animal.discovery.com/breed-se...og-breeds.html), even if I don't always agree with them.

                                Since you say you don't have a ton of experience with dogs, I would consider volunteering at a rescue to get a feel for ownership. Many are willing to work with you, so you can walk the small or well-behaved dogs until you become more confident.
                                "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                                Phoenix Animal Rescue

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I would have to suggest a Cavalier or an Italian Greyhound. I think the IG's are very catlike so would be a good transition. And Cavaliers are just plain wonderful. They have some health issues but they are so sweet

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm bias, but I think a Cavalier would be a great choice for you! My Cavalier is my first dog and I couldn't have asked for an easier animal. He is smart so was very easy to train and just has the sweetest, friendliest personality. He is active when I want him to be but will also be content spending the day lounging around with me on the couch if that's what I'm feeling. He's a great size in that he's very "portable" but not so small that people sneer at him for being a "little dog". Tbh, most people actually think he is a baby Springer (though mine is more sporty looking than some Cavaliers). Cavs do come with their health concerns, mostly heart issues, but I think the pros of the breed make it so worth owning one!
                                    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Sonesta here on COTH is a Cavalier breeder

                                      http://www.sonestafarms.com/cavaliers/
                                      Draumr Hesta Farm
                                      "Wenn Du denkst es geht nicht mehr, kommt von irgendwo ein kleines Licht daher"
                                      Member of the COTH Ignorant Disrepectful F-bombs!*- 2Dogs Farm

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        A Havanese might be the dog for you.

                                        Havanese are good-natured, sturdy little dogs. There's nothing really distinctive about them in terms of looks or behaviour, but they're good companions and easy to care for.

                                        Mine is a bit of a dunce but very reliable around people and animals, and she's super low-maintenance. Good with cats, rabbits, horses, whatever.

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