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Dog Lovers . . . Advice on Best Breed Sort by:
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guitargirl40
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Posted on Tue, May 23, 2006 18:41

This forum seemed like a good place to get advice from a diverse audience (with a diversity of opinion) so here goes: After 20 years of owning cats, I am now ready to move on to owning a dog. Partly its to try something new and partly its because my sons would really enjoy one, and frankly I would too. Anyway, I dont think I am particularly educated about this subject, but I guess I do have opinions. I want a 'big' dog - e.g., one that is not a kickball size fluff of fur. I want an animal that will run around the park with us, follow us on our bike rides, maybe fetch a frisbee or too, and it certainly better fetch a tennis ball. So far, I dont think I'm being too picky . . . I'd also like a dog that is not terribly hyper but is good with kids. One that will be their companion through the years in that rock solid sort of way that will bring them home from college to visit and say 'hi' to the dog if not to me. One that will growl at the appropriate times (e.g. at night when someone prowls through our yard) but otherwise be a marshmallow. Now here's where I may be getting too picky: I'd also like a dog that doesnt drool a whole lot. Its not that I am terribly finicky but more pragmatic: I have a relatively small car and when transported I dont want to get drenched as it shakes its furry head out my window or on my car seats. I'd also be thrilled if it didnt shed alot or chew too much but I'm realistic enough to know that that may be setting expectations too high, especially when it is a puppy. Anyway, I'm leaning toward a retriever or labradoodle but admittedly have no real canine expertise. The only dog I had growing up was a much beloved but rather mentally challenged cocker spaniel . . . If anyone has an opinion and wants to share it on any of the aforementioned breeds (or suggestions for the perfect candidate that I have overlooked) please advise. Oh, also, advice on the subject of caging during the day would be appreciated to (e.g., how hard is this to train a dog to do; is it effective or would a decent basement space suffice).


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classylady151
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Posted on Wed, Jun 07, 2006 23:05

I AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY that the dog our blogger needs is a lab. Labs are "buddy dogs." They want to hang with you everywhere you go. They ask so little, are smart and easy to train. And they never get tired of you throwing that ball or toy so they can bring it back to you. Labs are such happy creatures. The love you, other dogs, kids, even cats. It's a big dog, so you feel rather safe with them along. I even took my lab on my last date. Labs are good judges of people. You watch their intuitive responses and see their point of view. You'll need a reputable breeder. Labs are famous for hip dislocations and you want a pup that's been x-rayed to ensure healthy joints. Under normal circumstances, labs do not drool. Certain circumstances they may, such as watching you barbecue steak. Labs DO love their food. You have to exercise restraint, because who doesn't want to give something that cute lots of treats. You'll have to settle for a few treats and lots of attention. Because labs like attention almost as much as food. And their people even more. They are love with fur.


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scarletibis24
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Posted on Wed, Jun 07, 2006 22:36

Didn't read everyone's comments, so I hope I'm not repeating anything. My family just recently got a German Shepard. When my mom was younger, her father used to breed them, so she knows a lot. German Shepards are fiercly protective of their owners, but are playful and fun as well. They don't drool a lot, and they have an intelligent look about htem. We are currently doing the cage training thing, sort of anyway. After the first two days, our pup stopped using the bathroom in there, and instead decided to wait until he found a likable place around the house- bedrooms, the living room, and even the kitchen. We're trying to coax him out of it by taking him outside as soon as he's done eating or drinking. Also, my mom says that if he/she does use the bathroom in the house in a non designated area, to put his nose in it (immediately after the action), and tap him on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, telling him "no". Hope that helps, and good luck :D


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celticcatwoman
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Posted on Thu, May 25, 2006 15:40

I have a Siberian Husky named Persephone, who is now 6 months old. She is a nice,big dog and she doesn't bark, instead she sometimes howls when greeting someone. She loves to take long walks and is just the most beautiful, well-natured dog I've ever had. She also gets along well with my 5 cats.


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robtest
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Posted on Thu, May 25, 2006 13:05

Crate training is good for puppies. I did that with my current lab (now 10). Of course they whine at first, but it became "her spot", and she grew to like it. When she would get in trouble and have to be scolded, she would run back and get in the crate for security (well maybe to her blanket in the crate lol). Not to mention being in the crate at night, keeps them from wandering around while everyone is asleep and a.) chewing everything they can get their teeth on, and b.) little puppy messes all over the place. Dogs are fairly clean animals and won't go to the bathroom in their own bed, so crate is good for teaching them to hold it. Of course a young puppy has smaller limits to being able to hold it. Also, lots of chew toys. Let them understand that their toy is their toy and should be chewed on, and nothing else is an acceptable chew alternative. When you catch them chewing on anything, stop them, scold them a little, and then give them their toy to play with/chew on. When they chew on their chew toy, praise them. My dog comes up and wants to play, I ask "where is your toy?" and she goes to find one for a game of fetch...


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Posted on Thu, May 25, 2006 10:11

I was always a huge fan of cats years ago, but would take a dog over a cat any day. I agree with Crazybeautiful2000. I have owned Labs all of my life, one for 14 years. They are great dogs, but, then came Winnie.... I now have a Golden Retriever and she has been the most easily trained dog I've ever had. I also crate trained her, since 8 weeks old. Goldens are very affectionate and loyal. However, if you are looking for a dog to guard your home, I am not sure I would recommend a Golden. Mine would lead a thief right through the door, wagging her tail all the way! In that respect, they are great dogs for children to be around. I'm not sure if it applies to all Goldens, but mine demands my attention all of the time, always wanting to play (She's almost 2). I'd say go for the Golden, but then again, I'm biased! Lastly, be sure to go to a reputable breeder! These dogs are very popular and you should check the breeder out before purchasing one. Good Luck!


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guitargirl40
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Posted on Wed, May 24, 2006 19:29

Thanks EVERYONE for the great suggestions on every point . . . It was all really helpful. Fascinating too. Anyway you've given good collective endorsement to several excellent choices. A lot to mull over. I must travel a bit in June so will probably not bring home a pup until July. I'll drop a line in a few weeks and update how we fare. I'll probably need coaching then when it comes to the training part, esp the caging as that has me a bit conflicted. Thanks again - woof!


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starzseekingutonight
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Posted on Wed, May 24, 2006 18:52

BEAGLES ARE THE GREATEST PETS..THEY ARE LOVING, AFFECTIONATE, AND VERY HONORABLE DOGS...THESE ARE BY FAR THE GREATEST DOGS FOR A PET.


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Posted on Wed, May 24, 2006 17:20

I've had Lab Retrievers, really good with kids and adults. Intelligent, funny, playful and affectionate. Currently I have a half Lab, half Newfoundland.....he is very sweet natured and patient with people. Good luck finding your Pup... Susan


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Posted on Wed, May 24, 2006 16:31

My shitzu/Maltese is a dream he is so obedient, Easy to train, extremely loving,such a good boy I feel so lucky to have him everyday in my life.


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Posted on Wed, May 24, 2006 14:12

I have am the PROUD mommy of 3 Labs, 10yr (chase,black) 6yr (chesni,chocolate) and 5yr (greenli sue,chocolate)...You have described everything "Lab"!!! I obedience train for friends and mine are unbelievable. I thank god everyday for them, they have given me the "fulfilled" feeling that keeps me sane! They say animals relieve stress "Well...I needed 3"LOL. I am an Emergency Room nurse, it is so wonderful to deal with "Lab-type" personalities at the end of a long shift of giving endless care to others. Email back if you would like to get more facts and ideas. I'm sure you can tell, I absolutely recommend letting a Lab own you! lol.


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Posted on Wed, May 24, 2006 08:52

I have had newfoundlands for many years and they are BIG, and SWEET, and full of love. They can be very active and then also couch potatoes. They don't have an aggressive bone in their bodies and if you are an active person they are great for water rescue trials and competitions. They love the water and instinctively swim to save everyone. They have great faces and truly love everyone.


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robtest
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Posted on Wed, May 24, 2006 06:16

I have had labrador retrievers in my family and personally for 35+ years. I have owned other dogs, a couple cats, ferrets, and many little creatures. Labs are great for sons, as they love adventure and being protective, kinda keep them out of trouble as best they can. There is a test over on the Tickle site called "What is the best dog for you" or something of that nature. Maybe you could take it and also have your kids take it to get some ideas. The vast majority of my dogs have been "foundlings" that were rescued. My current dog is an AKC with lots of ribbons in her heritage, but to be honest. A dog is mostly a dog, and the foundlings were great too! Good Luck in Your Search! :o)

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crazybeautiful2000
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Posted on Wed, May 24, 2006 05:40

I have 2 beautiful dogs, a yellow (almost white) labrador retriever, and a golden retriever. They are both wonderful dogs, great with kids (but not tiny kids, they like to knock them over and lick them, lol). Their personalities are similiar. Goldens probably chew a bit more as puppies, so they need lots of bones to keep them happy. They need some space to run and stretch their legs. I have a nice fenced-in backyard, with a dog door, which is ideal. As far as the hair and shedding issue goes, I would take a golden over a lab anyday. Golden's hair is long and silky, with an undercoat. It combs out nice and vacuums up even better. A lab has thick short hair that is hard to comb out and sheds everywhere and sticks in everything, especially in furniture and on clothes. Both of mine were crate trained, which is good for potty training, but also necessary for their own safety. Puppies can get into trouble if left unmonitored. They can chew things that will hurt, or even kill them. So it is best to keep them crated when young. Also, puppy school is a must, to socialize the animal, and also to let them know that you are the leader of the pack. Overall, I vote for the golden. Goldens are God's beautiful angels. I have never met a mean golden. Their sole goal in life is to make their master happy. They are easy to train, their hair isn't too bad if you keep them brushed, they LOVE kids and other animals. Be prepared to spend some bucks in vet bills. It is important to keep up with their shots and physicals. Both labs and goldens are prone to skin or allergy problems, and also hip dysplasia. Good luck in your pet search. They will bring you such joy and companionship.


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CruisinGecko
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Posted on Tue, May 23, 2006 21:26

I recommend a yellow lab. Mine has been crate-trained. He sometimes has to be wrestled into the crate, but it has been effective for housebreaking. Be warned, they love to chew on everything(dog toys, automatic sprinkler wires, etc.)


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