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Help me choose a dog please

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  • #21
    Realistically you can provide a walk in the morning and a hour or so of unstructured exercise in the afternoon. You might do agility but until you're actually in a class, this is just a possibility.

    I would strongly recommend a very very low energy dog. It is easy to bring out food or toy drive for agility training, especially if your goal is anything less than having a top dog. Unlike many sports, you can title and progress through the levels of agility without ever winning a class. Agility relies on accuracy to "Q" (receive a qualifying score). Yes at the upper levels you start getting into needing points based on seconds saved for your MACH but that is so far down the line it isn't worth factoring in.

    Personally, I would set aside any breed preference, coat type, or size (as long as it was under 40 lbs) and go to rescues and ask if they have an under 40 lb, 2-4 yr old, low energy, intelligent dog, that is well-socialized and looking for a laid-back lifestyle with an opportunity to pursue performance sports at a non-competitive level.

    That perfect dog might be a CockerX, LabX, BTx, Min. SchnX, etc. If you just look at disposition and set aside physical attributes, it will be much easier to find the right dog.

    My parting example is that I've had two kick-butt schnauzers. They are trainable, loyal, friendly, great with all animals, great with children, and athletic. I would never recommend a schnauzer for your lifestyle because while MY schnauzers would be an awesome fit, the AVERAGE schnauzer in a shelter is backyard bred or a puppy mill dog and many possess none of the traits that make my dog a good fit for your lifestyle. Many are yappy, dog aggressive, bad with children, etc. It isn't the breed standard but it's what youll find in many shelters.

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    • #22
      I, too, suggest contacting local legitimate rescue organizations to see what dogs are currently being fostered in your area that would meet your requirements. Those fostering the dogs will know their personalities very well and can help you find just the right match.

      For the most part, you should avoid the herding breeds as they are high energy and need an active job or they get frustrated and destructive or resort to nuisance barking.

      Where are you located? If you are anywhere near Houston, I can put you in touch with a few really reputable rescues.
      Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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      • #23
        Have you considered a sighthound or sighthound mix? A whippet would be in the size range and these guys are great at hanging around in an apartment. There are also a few whippets at my dog club who rock at agility!

        And while they are larger than what you mentioned, you could also consider a rescued greyhound. Major couch potatoes!

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        • #24
          I'm with those that say be less breed specific. We have to mutts. A JRTxHeeler/Corgi/somethingoranother and a Houndx(shhhhh) GSD and we love them.

          The JRT is 'my' dog. Sits with me on the couch, sleeps on my side of the bed, totally blows off my husband unless it's time to eat. She's loyal, smart and very very VERY stubborn. It's taken a lot of work to get her to be a good girl, but it's paid off in a wonderful dog. She'll sleep on the couch all day, and be ready to go for a run with me in the evening. She comes every where with me. When our schedule changes, she adjusts no problem. Easy to crate train, house break, and was thisclose to her CGC until we had a little not her fault snafoo. She's about 25lbs. She will totally zone out when she gets to sniffing something, but she was pretty easy to clicker train.

          The Houndx is a totally different ball game. I don't think that his elevator goes quite to the top. He is sweet, and goofy but a total PITA to house break. He just. doesn't. get. it. He's busy busy busy and a chewer. Not food motivated. He doesn't really have a person that's he's attached to. He's a great running buddy, though, and good with DD poking at him all the time. The JRT can get a little snippish with her. Not the type to sack out on the couch all day. DH wants to aim him towards SAR. He's 6 months and a little over 50lbs so going to be a big boy. He plays well with others, but has some weird phobias (doorways, mostly). Very submissive. Hard to crate train (I've given up that it's just not for him). He does have that hound bay, so I worry about our neighbors sometimes. Takes his sweet time picking up on a new skill.

          FWIW we live in a condo situation with no yard. I spend a lot of time walking them, and the JRT comes to the barn with me. Take some time to visit them all. I just got a good 'vibe' with both of our from looking at pictures, then when we met them it was confirmed. It's okay to take your time or pass on one that you don't think will fit your lifestyle. It's better for them to stay in the shelter than get bounced around. I said no thanks to quite a few dogs before we settled on the JRT. We wanted a big dog, GSD type. We got little Dixie instead, because we just 'knew' she was the right one.

          Good luck, and remember... post pictures of your new friend!

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          • #25
            As an owner of a herding dog, I agree with the others that say they are not the dog for you. It really doesn't sound like you will have the time to devote to a herder that is needed to keep them sane. And good citizens.

            I have been keeping my eye out for another dog, take your time, there is no rush. In fact it might be better to wait until you are in a house, with a yard, where the dog has more access to the outdoors. Not to mention, moving is stressful enough on animals, much more so if the animal is a recent addition to your family.
            My blog: Crackerdog Farm

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            • #26
              what about a poodle? they do remarkably well in agility, are extremely intelligent, easy to train, need only moderate exercise, and tend to be friendly/relaxed with other dogs/ animals/ people. And come in the size you want.
              If you're willing to go bigger, I'd say you were looking for a labrador- they also meet your requirements of only moderate exercise/ easy to train/ friendly and laid back. Lots of nice labs are successful in agility.
              Whippets are in the correct size range, but from your comments about not liking the lack of recall of terriers, I don't think you'd like a whippet. Plus they kind of need a safe fenced area to sprint around in, and you don't have one. Get the dog for the lifestyle you have now, not the lifestyle you hope to have in the future.

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              • #27
                I'll put in another poodle vote. Decently bred minis and standards are awesome dogs. I have a mini and my boyfriend has a mini and a standard. They don't get any structured exercise. Just play in the yard. All do fine crates for the work day. They're all good with kids and like pretty much anyone they encounter. Nobody is noisy except the acceptable alert barking to someone new on the property. The minis make some hilariously ferocious noises when wrestling with each other.

                They're all very smart and want to please. They're all very easy to train.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by chicken_derby View Post
                  Have you considered a sighthound or sighthound mix? A whippet would be in the size range and these guys are great at hanging around in an apartment. There are also a few whippets at my dog club who rock at agility!

                  And while they are larger than what you mentioned, you could also consider a rescued greyhound. Major couch potatoes!
                  Agree entirely. Though if you want the size - whippet definitely.

                  If you don't want grooming fees, then not an Afghan, Saluki, any of the wolfhounds (includes Borozoi), Scottish Deerhound or Silken Windhound (which look remarkably like Collies).

                  Our family has always had retired greyhounds. Like every dog - their temperaments vary. On the whole - they are great apartment dogs as they are accustomed to being crated up to 20 hours a day and rarely bark.

                  There are exceptions - one of our current ones is a major exception. She thinks she's a JRT. She's ALWAYS excited, barks and whines frequently (and "sings along" to classical music), and has the bladder the size of a penny. She's also a huge drama queen. She has also bowled over small children, and doesn't understand the concept of personal space or letting a toy go. She also doesn't really understand training outside of "sit" which she takes to mean either "sit", "down", or "flop over" interchangeably.

                  The other is a typical greyhound - like another cat. She prefers sleeping all day, not barking, and more sleeping. She holds her bladder well, loves small children, and caught onto training very quickly; we currently have an "army" routine for her training where she has to act like a soldier (attention = sit, present paws = paw/ other paw, hit the deck = down, craaaaaawl = crawl, bang! = play dead).

                  Both get along great with other dogs - most greys are good with other dogs having been around them in the kennels. However, some greys have an acute prey drive and may not get along with small dogs.

                  Most of the issues you bring up are questions rescues ask before introducing you to future matches. However, most rescues have a stipulation that a grey should never be off leash unless they are in a completely fenced in area. This can also depend on the temperament of the dog - our typical grey is fine off leash and always comes when called and waits for permission before chasing a squirrel. The other - HA! She is never allowed off leash unless she's in the fenced backyard and all gates are locked. Our first greyhound was excellent off leash and didn't like going more than 10 feet from the person she was out with. Greyhounds have excelled in agility, though they aren't record breakers or ridiculously good at it like other herding dogs.

                  In the winter (depending on your climate) they need coats as they have less than 5% body fat - general rule of thumb is that if YOU need a coat, the grey definitely does!

                  In all, whippets are pretty much the same only smaller. Experience with Italian Greyhounds is that they are very yappy and drama queens.

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                  • #29
                    You could have my dog He is over 40lbs though... lol
                    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

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                    • #30
                      And another vote for a poodle!

                      My dog fits ALL of your criteria.
                      She's a Standard poodle, but is only about 45lbs (all hair, mostly).
                      She will sleep all day if I'm not around.
                      She will go all day if I'm into riding/hiking/whatever.
                      She LOVES agility and I really should have done it in competition with her.
                      She is great with other dogs, kids, adults...Not a mean bone in her body.
                      She was SO easy to train, and is the best-ever trained dog I've had so far.

                      Only drawback is the grooming thing, which you need to do at LEAST 3 or 4x a year. But it is SO nice not to have dog hair all over the house...not to mention...my dog just doesn't smell!

                      If a standard poodle is too big you may want to consider a "Moyen" (medium-size poodle). I don't normally like the miniature poodles, I've known too many that were yappers and I can't STAND those.
                      Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!

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                      • #31
                        I tend to agree with those who say check out the local shelter or rescue for a dog who meets your criteria. Crosses are hard to characterize as they can get traits from either patent and even full siblings can be totally different.

                        However, I didn't see Keeshond on the list of suggestions. I had one for many years that I got from a Kees rescue and she met pretty much all of your criteria-around 30-35 pounds, SUPER intelligent and trainable, could go all day between walks (remember, the smaller the dog, the smaller the bladder and many small dogs can't wait all day), loved her walks but also loved sacking out on the couch. Lovely, lovely dogs, and a breed known for longevity. I would have another in a heartbeat if i didn't live in the South-it gets too hot for a Northern breed here.

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by sophie View Post
                          And another vote for a poodle!

                          My dog fits ALL of your criteria.
                          She's a Standard poodle, but is only about 45lbs (all hair, mostly).
                          She will sleep all day if I'm not around.
                          She will go all day if I'm into riding/hiking/whatever.
                          She LOVES agility and I really should have done it in competition with her.
                          She is great with other dogs, kids, adults...Not a mean bone in her body.
                          She was SO easy to train, and is the best-ever trained dog I've had so far.

                          Only drawback is the grooming thing, which you need to do at LEAST 3 or 4x a year. But it is SO nice not to have dog hair all over the house...not to mention...my dog just doesn't smell!

                          If a standard poodle is too big you may want to consider a "Moyen" (medium-size poodle). I don't normally like the miniature poodles, I've known too many that were yappers and I can't STAND those.
                          There are 3 AKC recognized sizes of poodles. Toy = under 10" Miniature = 10-15" Standard = technically anything over 15", however, they're generally in the 18-24" range if you're talking about a true standard and not just a mini that went over size.

                          Both of my miniatures are pretty substantial dogs. My male is 15" and close to 20lbs. My female mini is 14" and a couple pounds lighter than the male. My female standard is about 55lbs and I believe she is 23". I haven't measured her in several years though.

                          I believe the 'moyen' size you are referring to is the equivalent of AKC's miniature. I forget which kennel club uses the 'moyen' term. I've not met terribly many yappy miniatures, but yes, a fair number of the toys I've known have been, even the well bred ones.

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                          • #33
                            crap. Your dog just went to his forever home on the 29th of December. Vinnie was 20#, long legged (for jogging), totally non aggressive, short hair and cute. He was a Puggle (Beagle/Pug). He had 5 months worth of training to get him up to speed on recalls, down/sit, crate training and loose lead walking.

                            I second the poodle recommendation, various sizes to suit your needs, wicked intelligent and come in a bunch of colors!

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                            • #34
                              I dont know where you are but somone on FB just posted pics of their female lab, spayed/shots, housetrained, obedience trained, etc and they have to give it away. In NC. PM me if you want the info, sounds perfect for you.
                              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                              ---
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                                Boston Terrier. Best little dog ever.
                                Thanks for all the suggestions for Boston terriers. They worry me some because of what I've read about them overheating if not handled carefully in warm weather and I'm not wild about their looks but I'll keep an eye out for a Boston terrier cross.

                                Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                                If you decide to adopt a sheltie, just make sure they aren't barkers...some are and some aren't but the foster should know how they'll react.
                                Thanks for the tip about shelties and barking. I didn't realize that and I'm sure my neighbors wouldn't appreciate it.

                                Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post

                                I would strongly recommend a very very low energy dog. It is easy to bring out food or toy drive for agility training, especially if your goal is anything less than having a top dog. Unlike many sports, you can title and progress through the levels of agility without ever winning a class. Agility relies on accuracy to "Q" (receive a qualifying score). Yes at the upper levels you start getting into needing points based on seconds saved for your MACH but that is so far down the line it isn't worth factoring in.

                                Personally, I would set aside any breed preference, coat type, or size (as long as it was under 40 lbs) and go to rescues and ask if they have an under 40 lb, 2-4 yr old, low energy, intelligent dog, that is well-socialized and looking for a laid-back lifestyle with an opportunity to pursue performance sports at a non-competitive level.
                                Thanks. This is a good reminder. I like dressage and I can do first level. I wouldn't go out and buy a FEI dressage horse if I was horse shopping. I should keep the same mindset about agility and not look for a dog that I can do well with when I haven't even tried it. I know the same goes for color and coat type as I know color has never made any horse shopping list I've ever came up with. I guess I'm just holding out hope that if I look long enough, I'll come up with a dog that meets my requirements and looks like I hope for.



                                Originally posted by sophie View Post
                                And another vote for a poodle!
                                I'll look into poodles. I've never been around one and they have never made any lists that I've made- do they have to be groomed into the very fancy hairdos or can they have a more natural look?

                                A few other questions/comments.

                                I've been looking at local fosters and petfinder- I think I've got about 20 tabs open right now of various dogs! Does anyone know anything about MARS (Miniature Australian Shepherd Rescue)? I've mostly ruled out the breed but they have one listed as a non-herding type, very low key apartment type dog and I'm interested in the dog so want to find out about the rescue. Or, can anyone recommend any good general breed rescues in Oregon?

                                Many of the shelters I've looked at do allow a weekend or week long foster to see if the dog is a good fit and I'm going to take them up on that.

                                The reason I'm asking about specific breeds isn't to get an older purebred dog but rather to figure out what breeds I might want to look for in a mutt. Most of the dogs I've been around have been mutts and I'm cool with them.

                                Thanks for all the advice.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I have 3 50-60 pound mixed breed males. While I live in a home (not an apartment), I do not have a fenced yard so all dog exercise and bathroom breaks require me (or hubs) physically taking the dogs out on leash.

                                  The boys are a 3 h.o. plott hound? mix, a 10 y.o. terrier mix and a 13 y.o. lab mix. They are all rescues and were adopted as puppies/young dogs except for the oldest. They all went to.obedience training and the youngest also did some basic agility. I'm a teacher and am gone from 6:15 a.m. until 4 p.m. From the 'hollows' on my bed, it appears they sleep all. Day. Long. I walk them when I get home from work. They're all pretty.chill and have settled into.this life well.

                                  I also am an adoption counselor at a local shelter and have successfully placed many dogs into homes that were apartments. There have been several times when people fell in love with a dog that I knew would be a recipe for disaster in an apartment and.have said no. If you want to go the shelter route, ask around for recommendations for organizations that really do try to match an appropriate dog into the home.
                                  Random horse pics http://www.flickr.com/photos/glfprncs/
                                  Talk to me about fitness or nutrition (I'm an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer)!
                                  My blog! http://personalsweatequity.blogspot.com/

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                                  • #37
                                    A standard dashound would fit your size requirements, are fun to be around, short haired, and have that hound personality. My sister and parents have always had the minatures and they are great dogs.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Poodles would be a great choice. They are really smart, many do agility and obedience events, and you don't have to do the fancy puffball type clip if you don't want to. You could even learn to do the grooming yourself.

                                      I used to trim my Mini Schnauzers with hand clippers (they were too smart to let me near them with electric clippers) and they looked fine. And if I ended up with one part looking rough, it grew out quickly and looked fine. There are a lot of even all over, and shorter clips you can do. They were bred to be hunting dogs, so they aren't some delicate couch potato the way some people think of them. If were to get another dog I would get a medium or standard poodle.
                                      You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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                                      • #39
                                        I had a Westie growing up, he was truly the Best Dog Ever.

                                        We have a hound now. Thought she was a beagle, but she looks more coon hound now she is grown. She is a FANTASTIC dog. She's really lazy in the house, content to sleep most of the day. She never barks, she's super mellow and easy going. Crates like a champ, housebroke quickly.

                                        Outside she is active and energetic and is a great jogging partner.

                                        She's smart, in a different way than the retrievers or terriers. Her only vice is that she is a total chow hound and will counter surf if we aren't looking.

                                        I never wanted a hound and now I am sold on them...
                                        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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                                        • #40
                                          I would say the same thing that I said on the other thread about someone looking for a breed - if you aren't really drawn to a certain type, check out local shelters and rescues and see if anything there would fit the bill. They may have a young adult dog in foster care that they could match you up with.
                                          I have nothing against a purebred puppy if you do decide you would like to go that route. Poodles can be cut into a sport clip or a puppy clip. Just remember that the hair will grow and the dog will need grooming. There are lots of options that would probably fit what you would like. Good luck in your search.

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