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I am ready for a puppy – what breed is best for me?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I have been wanting to own a dog for years, but living in Fargo I did not want to have one locked up at home all day alone. So for years my wife and I have told each other when (if) we ever move to the country we will get a dog. Now it has been a year since we moved and we are getting pretty well established into the home and are starting to feel like we are ready to get a puppy.

For years we both agreed that a friend of ours has a great dog (English Cocker); that is what we felt we wanted for a dog breed. Since moving we having been reconsidering and looking for a Golden Retriever and also being open minded to a Chocolate Labrador.

We are home for the most part, a majority of the time so the dog will be well taken care of; my wife works out of the home and pending the dogs size I may take it with me also to work. It will be free to run around the farm yard, but do not want it going outside of trained boundries (heavily traveled gravel road is a 150 yards from the house).

Most important of all we want the new dog to feel like a member of our family, second it would be nice to have an alert watchdog that is obedient and will let us know when we have company in our yard (not a out of control barker, just security), and last it would be great if it could upland game hunt with me (waterfowl is optional).

I have been thinking a male (I have a name picked out).

Any suggestions or input is welcome as it has been years since I have owned a dog.
post #2 of 33
You might consider asking a friend who owns the type of dog you're looking to aquire. I have always found that to be helpful. Take your time, it's a long term relationship that can give you a lot of fun and pleasure when you make the right choice. If/when you train the dog for social reasons, try to train in a class with others dogs. Then train out in front of store/markets, so he'll be social and trustworthy among people too. You'll have a trustworthy pet who you can control under most situations. I used to train Shutzhund (German protection dogs), much like K9, which requires absolute control. Best of luck, and let us know on which one you're taking home. It's all good my friend.
post #3 of 33
I've had a dog or two by my side all of my life... I've loved them all, different breed all along the way. We had the worlds greatest pit bull. She was great when our kids were born and may have been the best dog that I've ever had. Also had a couple of beagles. Also a really great breed. We now have a King Charles spaniel (worthless lap or foot dog LOL) and a black lab. The lab is absolutely the smartest dog we have ever had... Sometimes too smart to a fault. He has figured out how to open gates, turn on the water faucet in the back yard etc. (had to remove the faucet handle to keep him from turning the back yard into his own swimming pool). He will even bring his water bowl to you if it's empty or doesn't have enough water, in his opinion... He is great with our daughters. Will walk on a leash w/o pulling when the girls walk him (but he is the one walking the wife or me a lot of times). A word or caution if you end up with a lab... Labs are very high energy dogs... keep them exercised and plenty of chew toys on hand! All of our pets, even the guinea pigs, have been rescues. I would highly suggest that you determine the breed of dog that you might desire and check out the animal shelters in your area. I'll bet that you will fall for one that fill your home with happiness for years to come. Best of luck in your search.
post #4 of 33
When we were looking to get our last dog, we discussed with our vet and told him what we were looking for in a dog and he gave us several breeds to think about. That narrowed our search.
post #5 of 33
PJ is a floppy-eared Black Lab and is smarter than a whip! She's loyal, house trained, asks to go out, loves her naps and runs the house. She's great company sleeping at your feet, goes in and goes to bed with us every night, sleeping between our beds protecting us and raises a fuss if I don't get up within 2 minutes of the alarm going off. Wherever we go she goes, and never misses a beat when there's food around, gazing wistfully at us with big puppy eyes and drooling tongue for the tiniest of samples! I swear the dog knows how to tell time too - when I was out for 3 months with my knee operation, she'd go lay by the back door 5 minutes before Linda was supposed to come home from work waiting for her. Likewise, Linda's told me she does the same for me on Saturdays when I work and Linda doesn't. It can't be she can hear our vehicles coming; we live 1 block off a 6 - lane very busy residential street.She loves routines; as soon as I come home she jumps around excited to see me, then runs for the computer room because I go in there to take off my shoes. If I dally, she comes out with an expectational look, "C'mon! You know this is what you do first!" and keeps going to and from the computer room until I go in there. She contentedly lays down at my feet while I take off my shoes, expecting an ear rub and sighs while I talk to her. She's just a big baby!But, don't go rattling the door or raising your voice - she'd just as soon take a chunk out of your shin as look at you if you threatened us or our home - it's her home too and she zealously protects it!Likewise, she's the biggest wuss around the grandkids, patiently laying there while they pet and play with her, she's their best friend.We call her PJ the Wonder Dog.. she truly is!Tending to the babies:Party Hearty on Halloween in her Clown costume:Another shot on Halloween:Party's over, time to shnooze...We both hope you find and enjoy a pet as good as her, she's been through my knee operation, my stroke, my wife's cancer, giving us support and comfort, and she also can sense every single time I'm going to go into seizures before it happens, too.. she madly licks my left hand, eyeing me with this "... get ready.." look!BTW, we got her from a pound in Kansas; my youngest son and his (at that time) girlfriend went to see her mom, stopped in a pound and got two puppies and brought them back to Texas, giving us one. They kept the other for a short while but had to move to a no-pet apartment and had to give her sister away.
post #6 of 33
Labs are the most popular dog for a good reason.
post #7 of 33
I think there is a good reason why Labrador Retrievers are the most popular registered breed.All dogs need social interaction and physical activity (watch Dog Whisperer and you'll see some disobedient, hyper lap dogs).Whatever you decide, do yourself a HUGE favor. Train the dog well. At the very least, teach it the basic obedience commands. A dog is a 10+ year relationship and training it is time well spent (training can also be fun).My over-active, hyper, labrador retriever (sarcasm) loves going for walks. Last night my kindergartener walked my 17 month old labrador in heel position around the block without a leash.
post #8 of 33
From your list of desired traits, I can tell you not to get a Siberian husky. We love huskies and husky mixes and have had one or more at a time for 34 years. We wouldn't want any other breed, but they are not for everyone. They're pretty hyper, as you can see in this photo: They're intelligently disobedient, stubborn, pushy, and vocally obnoxious if they don't get their way. They like to run, so need to be fenced. They make fabulous watch dogs since they never miss a thing, but unfortunately, they are worthless as guard dogs because they love everyone, especially people willing to share cookies. They will steal your chair next to the campfire since they're smart enough not to want to lay on the cold ground. They will sing along with your favorite country singer while traveling in your van. They do make good use of their time, however, with productive hobbies such as landscaping: But they sure are purdy: They are also kind-hearted, so they will allow you to sleep in the bed with them at night and will share the couch if you don't take up too much room. They are quite also quite good at training their humans. This makes having thumbs to turn the doorknob on the pantry door where the treats are completely unnecessary. Further, they are capable of training their humans to fetch treats on demand and then deliver them, thus minimizing the interruptions to their naps. They also refuse to fetch. They are smart enough to realize if you wanted an item, you shouldn't have thrown it in the first place, so why should they bother getting it for you? They can, however, train humans to fetch and believe this is how it should be, especially in the case of tasty snacks. I agree with the people who suggested looking for your dog at a shelter, especially these days when so many people have had to move and couldn't keep their pets. There is a real need. Our last two dogs and all of our five cats came from shelters and have been great pets, in spite of the landscaping adventures.
post #9 of 33

New Dog

check into a boxer..we have had a white boxer for 6 years and she is very loving dog very friendly and adores kids. they are very well behaved and easy to train. the only problem with mine is that she will lick you to death if you let her.

I would post some pics but i don't have any on the truck computer
post #10 of 33
I would also add that our last two dogs are the only ones we did not get as puppies. After getting adult dogs, we have no interest in ever having puppies again. Ours came at the ages of one year old and about three years old, and were past the teething, housebreaking, and other unpleasantries. It would sure be nice to know their backstories, but particularly in the case of our older dog, we do know that someone cared for them. We don't know how they happened to end up at the shelter, but it's worked out fantastic for all of us. We've always had wonderful dogs but these two are probably the best dogs we've ever had. We feel so lucky to have found them.
post #11 of 33
I'm really partial to German Rottweilers. However I have had Many dogs over the last 25 Years. ATM I have a Dingo and a Cocker Spaniel. I would Never reccomend a Dingo to anyone. Their is a reason why their Illegal in the US. and I quite frankly shouldn't have her. But she was a rescue dog and I wasn't giving her back after I found out what she was. (Thought she was a Shepard Mix). The Cocker is the most child friendly and well behaved dog I've ever had. He's an Exception to the Breed, and quite frankly I don't know where he got his gentle disposition. It may have something to do with his Heart condition. Or training. But Most Cckers are Finicky little things that don't like to be bothered. I have also had 2 German Shepards. GREAT Dogs. Easily trained and well behaved. However at the end of the road the Medical bills on both of these animals were UNBELIEVABLE. Their natural disposition to certain illnesses and diseases needs to be researched before aquiring one. I've also had 3 Staffordshire Terriers. BY far the easiest dogs I've ever trained. All were very good with kids and other dogs their size. One had a very strong chase instinct and would easily catch a squirrel or bird in Mid air. I always worried if that chase instinct would take over and he'd go after one of the kids when they were running around, but it never happened. Pitt Bulls, Cane Corso, Presa Caneiro, Bull Dogs and most any working breed should be researched as to what their jobs in life have been. they will have quality's and traits that are amplified by selective breeding in order to get better results. Their is a reason these types of dogs are used for hunting Wild Boar. Labrador's Make great family dogs. Their smart, Loyal and for the most part easily trainable. However their VERY HIGH ENERGY. They need alot of attention. You'll find that for the most part they need alot of encouragement. I noticed with the 2 labs I had that as they aged they got lazy. Their diets needed to be adjusted greatly. Their excercise requirements were adjust every 3-4 months. This all started at about 3-4 years old and my Vet said it was Expected. They also suffer the same disposition as Shepards and Rottweillers toward Hip Displacia and other diseases. Research the breed because they require ALOT of attention. Otherwise your going to find alot of Holes being dug, Things being chewed, and destruction. Labs get bored easily and will entertain themselves normally at the cost of the Owner's wallet.Lastly I'll touch base on my choice of dog. The German Rottweiller. LARGE DOG, High Energy, Loyal, Smart, GREAT Guard Dog. That being said, they also have the same disposition as Shepards and Labs regarding the Hip Displacia and other illness. Rottweilers have a history of adverse effects to Common and Popular treatments for other dogs. (Heart Worm meds particularly). One thing I love about this breed over other breeds is that they know where they stand. They seem to understand themselves better then other breeds in the fact that they don't go "Nuts" when left alone. They seem to be more sure footed in their lifestyle and adjust easily to changes. I like the fact that they have a Natural Guarding tendency and have no issues with protecting what they feel is their. Owning a Rottweiller is a constant reminder in asserting pack leader. A Rottweiller natural self confidence will make it easier for them to assert themselves over weaker family members. So TRAINING is of UTMOST Importance. On a side note, Research your breed. Find reputable breeders. As great as it is to Rescue from Shelters. Which I have done on numerous occasions. Certain breeds one may want to have a blank slate with good genetics to Train propperly. Being that Rottweillers would be my suggestion, Here is a link to a Breeder that you may find Interesting. http://www.choicek9s.com/Mike
post #12 of 33
We have had dogs all our days, I was brought up on a farm with Border Collies as best friends and the wife’s family were into Springer spaniels.When we got married the Springer’s came as well, our 5th Springer past over just before Christmas, all B’s , Bracken, Boo Boo, Blaze, Bandit and Boston which my father in law had named after the type of aircraft he piloted during WW2. Got to say that I wouldn’t recommend a Springer to any one as they can be very scatterbrained, a vet friend reckoned that about one in six are steady enough to make good pets. Not the most popular Dog but look at the Lurcher. I know, it is regarded as the poacher’s dog, but if properly bred it is the best dog you will ever have at your healI got introduced to them 20years ago and would not have another bread, my present dog, Hamish, is a mix of Border Collie and Greyhound, fast, intelligent, quiet, loving and a rather catching smile for those with criminal intent. For those who like a small dog you can cross in an Italian Whippet, for a gentle giants or Bamby hunting cross in an Irish Wolfhound.
post #13 of 33
I can't give much dog advice. I always prefer a pet that I want to eat when the kids don't want to care for it anymore. First choice is rabbit, second would be chicken. I never had dog and it doesn't sound good to me.
post #14 of 33
The best dog we ever had was a Rotty named Jasper.
He passed away 2 years ago at the age of 12, and there isn't a day goes by that our entire family doesn't miss him.

I've known other Rottweilers with the same attitude, gentle, loving, great with kids, smart, excellent watchdog - just looking at him would scare most folks away, until they learned that the only thing they had to be scared of was being licked to death. Just a big ol' cuddly bear.

Anyway, that's my 2c
post #15 of 33
Labrador retriever! My maggie was a choc lab that passed a few years ago. After teh puppy chewing and hyper stages, she was the most obedient, loving, protective dog I've ever owned. Many many years ago we had a lab/pointer mix and he was an awesome dog also, but loved to run (away mostly). He was always trying to escape out the door when someone opened it...we put out the search party and find him covered in mud and happy as a clam. But the lab was unbelievable as a pet. My brother has a yellow "bench" lab and he is absolutely awesome also...so put me down for a lab!!
post #16 of 33
I've never had this problem because I like to take strays home that are malnourished and feed them up and get them their shots. I hate seeing dogs that are neglected. 9 months ago I found a puppy about a month that was on the verge of death(ribs showing and barely walking). I took him home, fed him, got him shots and the whole 9 yards(close to $300 invested in a month and a half). He was about 7 1/2 lbs when I got him and I gave him away a couple weeks ago and I'd say he was close to 50 lbs. I'm not sure what he was(looked like a blue heeler in a way) but he was a good dog. Last week my friend, who has a basset hound, was about to put his dog down because he thought he was paralyzed in the hind legs. I frantically searched to find out what might be wrong with him, and I came up with the same conclusion that the vet did. Too many ticks and the toxins were getting to him(he's 7-8 years old). If I had 50 acres I'd have more dogs than you could shake a stick at, and I'd probably be single because my wife hates me for being partial to dogs.I've always wanted a full blood Dalmation though.
post #17 of 33
Maybe this has been said, but I didn't have the energy to read all the short stories.

When in doubt go for a lab. Nice thing is that they can be big or small, depending on who has bred them. Smart, lovable, loyal, watchful, and can be trained to do anything.

I will say this, a tired dog is a good dog. Put in the hours and show your dog was flies and what doesn't. You'll love the results. Dogs need structure.

Good Luck!
post #18 of 33
I have had several breeds including labs, my favorite has been the Australian Shepard. I can't recommend them enough. They are great inside and outside the house and very obedient and loving, the also make pretty good watchdogs.
post #19 of 33
What ever you decide to go with, I hope you will give a look at the shelter first. I am including a link to petfinder.com as you can use that to look at any dog breed at shelters across the country.


I have found two of my three dogs on petfinder, and three of my last three at shelters. I take as much pride in telling people about my shelter dogs as my brother does telling people about his pedigreed to the n'th degree lab. Mine were had with pocket change, and I think he is still paying off the loan...(Ok not really, but you get my point).

I have a couple of Cattle dogs, and I will tell you that I love them, but they aren't for everyone. They are basically brilliant, but can be territorial, fiercely protective, and short with strangers. They are also beyond athletic, agile and quick as lightning, and are focused and driven to the point that their bodies give out before their drive will. But if you have something that must be protected, that would be a good choice. Mrs. Engineer has nothing to worry about with Hannah the Blue Heeler around! I also need to mention that they are extremely loving, caring, and playful, but their focus and drive is way more than most could handle, and I would not recommend them for a first time dog owner.

Here is my cow-girl team.

Hannah is the best frisbee player I have ever seen.

post #20 of 33
my best friend was a rottie-12 year old relationship-bit by rattlers 4 times-1 he took for daughter looking for a horseshoe-my best girlfriend was a golden-had her for 14 years-she was a dang good frissbee player and watch dog-where u live u need a dog that will adapt to your weather,please keep that in mind moss.
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