Breeds of Dogs

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Breeds of Dogs

Postby mmichaelson » Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:16 pm

So, like Marye, I am tired of talking political and getting everyone all riled up (at least for today).
My husband and I were talking about getting a dog in a few months or so, and we're wondering what sort of breed might be the best one for us.
We'll be starting our family soon and will need to get a small to midsize dog that we can train easily for indoor living (with no pet door, due to the cats) who is good with kids and people in general.
Any suggestions from anyone on what would be best?
Or does anyone want to share what their favorite breed of dog is and why?
I'm determined to lighten up some of the conversations around here!
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:38 pm

I like Great Danes, however, they are quite impractical. EVERYTHING they do is big!
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby mmichaelson » Wed Jun 09, 2004 3:49 pm

Yeah, I like Great Danes as well, I just wish I had a yard big enough to be fair to one. Or a house big enough. I know enough about them to know that they are friendly with kids and people usually. "Gentle giants". They are cute, though.
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:12 pm

How big a dog do you consider midsize? How much energy do you have to spend on a dog?

Herding breeds and gun dogs are generally protective and tolerant of children; terriers and many of the miniature breeds are far less so.

If you can stand their bounciness, Jack Russells are amazingly cute, and far less snappy than many of the other tiny dogs. Chihuahuas are notoriously snappy and need to be watched with toddlers. Dachsunds are very good family dogs but can be fiercely protective of their toys; again supervision with small children will be necessary.

I'm fond of boxers (cheerful and tolerant, protective and smart enough to exercise good judgement on their own) retrievers (will put up with just about anything from a child) most sheepdogs (not Border Collies. Scheming wretches that they are. They'll try to outwit the people.)

Almost all the toy breeds can be inclined to snappiness. It's self-defense but again something you'd want to watch with a small child. Little bitty kids are generally safer with a midsize to large dog.

You might try reading the AKC breed standards. They speak to temperament as well as conformation.
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby mmichaelson » Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:24 pm

Selma, all good breeds!
My mother owns two chocolate labs, and I adore them. Though I have to admit, the first two years were a little tough on us all. They are very intelligent and very tolerant of strange children.
I myself prefer boxers. I was hoping that they would come up. I think they're beautiful and smart, but I wasn't sure how good they would be with children and stuff.
We were trying to debate on whether or not to wait until after actually having our first child before getting a dog. Do you think that would have any impact on any of the above breeds, or would they be ok having a child suddenly come into their lives?
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Wed Jun 09, 2004 4:55 pm

Adult dogs generally recognize a new baby as a member of their pack and treat the baby as family from day one. I'd try to avoid having a toddler and a puppy at the same time. From about age five or six, depending on the child, kids will be protective of the puppy and will have enough foresight to avoid trouble with it.

My kids were trained by a lovely old cat named Priscilla Pussycat. She taught them respect for all living things, and caution for the living things with claws and teeth. Never once did she damage a kid, but she made her points (so to speak) abundantly clear. Puppies were no problem after that.
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby mmichaelson » Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:00 pm

Good news. Our kitties are currently 1 year old and 6 months old, so in 2 1/2 years (when we have children) they should be sufficiently old enough to be all right. (it also helps that they have no front claws with which to scratch).
Since buying our first house a couple of months ago, we've really been interested in getting a dog. I'm pretty of fond of boxers (and my husband likes them too) and he likes Australian Shepherds. I love the sheps too, but they are a little high maintenance for me. Are boxers generally more low-key than that?
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby Ajax » Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:10 pm

My vote is for a Weimaraner. Great dogs!
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Wed Jun 09, 2004 5:32 pm

Boxers are jumpers. Bred for cattle-herding, and their method of choice is to bounce into the air, nip cow-butt, and bounce some more, thereby evading cow-kick. They can jump like a deer and are quite difficult to keep inside a fence. If you go with a boxer, consider putting in a wireless fence system, where the buried sensor wires and the dog's collar are the "fence", even if you have an actual physical fence which a boxer will merely treat as exercise equipment.

MillieMae routinely hopped my 6-foot wood fence and the school's five-foot chain link fence to join the high school kids across the street for lunch and play frisbee.
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby piqaboo » Wed Jun 09, 2004 6:11 pm

Boxers tend to a short life ~ 8-10 years, which can be convenient when the kids head off to school, but which is heartbreaking. They are also prone to a variety of ills like overgrown gums etc. And boy oh boy do they drool. On the plus side, they are a lot of fun, and are high energy. The kids will always wear out first.

Aussie Shepherds,IMLE, are not great kid dogs.

Other good breeds (sayeth my child-rearing friends) are beagles, shelties, and various hound breeds. Catahoula Leopard dogs are very dramatic looking too, so thats fun.

Great Danes are odd in tht their personalities are color-coded. They actually do ok in smaller houses/yards, so long as they get walked sufficiently. The smaller space gets treated as their den, and they behave well in it. But would anyone with a small child have time to keep walking the dog? (and the pooperscooper bags are frighteningly large....).

I also like mutts that contain a lot of lab, or german shepherd.
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby barfle » Thu Jun 10, 2004 6:58 am

I have limited experience with dogs, but when I was a kid we had a miniature poodle, who was great around us and always happy to meet new folks. He was pretty yippy - barking a lot when we weren't home, which didn't exactly thrill the neighbors, but that seemed to be his biggest fault. He didn't need a big yard, although he really was enthusiastic about getting the leash and going for a walk.

But if I were going to get a dog today, I'd go for a fairly small mutt. I'm of the opinion that the purebred dog business is doing a lot more harm than good (based on rumors that I'm now spreading).

<small>[ 06-10-2004, 08:00 AM: Message edited by: barfle ]</small>
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby rwcrooks » Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:07 am

I had a boxer and she was great!

No drooling, never jumped the fence, very alert and extremely smart!

They look intimidating to some people but are among the friendliest dogs you'll ever meet.
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby piqaboo » Thu Jun 10, 2004 9:26 pm

My favorite game with the boxer I roomed with was to give her the middle of the big piece of rope, and I hold both knot ends (this rope as ~ 1"+ in diameter). I'd then swing her around in circles, completely airborne, until I got to tired or dizzy to continue. She never got tired of the game. It helped me that she was small for her breed (under 50lb).

After she'd get a drink of water, her "mom" would grab her and mop out her lips with a towel kept for that purpose. that controlled the overflow I previously referred to as drool.
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby haggis » Thu Jun 10, 2004 10:45 pm

Jeez, I can't believe you guys!!!

Breed, smeed.

Saxy, get a mongrel from the local shelter and you’ll never regret it. They are almost vet proof; "mongrelization" is not just a slur; most vets will tell you that “mongrels” are almost universally immune to most dog diseases.

Find a smallish dog with bright brown eyes that wags itself to ecstasy when you hold him/her and that’s the one.

When your kid is born, allow the dog to celebrate in the event. There are (someone will probably prove me wrong) no germs (rabies is not on the table for discussion) that a dog can transfer to a kid by licking.

We had a little Daschie (only “purebred” dogs we’ve ever had…my wife’s crazy about them, I’m the mongrel lover in the family) and when we brought the twins home. She just went wild to be near them and my wife let her. (My mother was aghast!!!)

When my wife put the boys down to nap, Pooka the First would lie between the crib and not budge until they woke up. It took me two months to train her NOT to sit up (bad for Dachies) and watch the boys.

I am so a dog guy, and I don’t mean big macho dogs, although my boys loved the great Danes (two) next door and were riding them like horses when they were only two (boys, not dogs!)

Love a mongrel; Hell, most of us are mongrels anyways!!!
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Fri Jun 11, 2004 5:11 am

Haggis is right, mongrels are generally more immunologically robust than a purebred dog. If you get one that was well socialized as a puppy, you should have a very decent family pet.

The attraction of the known-breed dog is that you do know what you're getting. Temperament is at least half heredity and if the dog owner is after a specific temperament choosing a dog by breed standards is the logical way to go.

We've had a dachshund, and a dachahuahua; dachshunds are not really small dogs. They are big fierce mighty hunters. They just don't take up much space.
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby haggis » Fri Jun 11, 2004 8:47 am

Selma's right about Dachies, Pooka the Hun was as fierce a mouse stalker as any feral feline; we just had to reassure her that the mice were, in fact, very small badgers.
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby rwcrooks » Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:11 am

Haggis did you name Pooka the First that before you got Pooka the Hun?
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby haggis » Fri Jun 11, 2004 10:41 am

Actually they were all "Pooka the Hun" I meant the first Pooka for the boys when they were born and the second one, who was the mighty mouse stalker

(officially, "Night Banner's Erotic Dum Dum"
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby Nicole Marie » Fri Jun 11, 2004 11:40 am

My vote is for a American Staffordshire Terrier. But I'm biased since I own the breed. "American Staffordshire Terrier who is affectionate, reliable, and an especially good dog for children." from the AKC.

The Little Rascals dog was a Pit, the RCA dog is a Pit and Pres Roosevelt owned Pits.

Great dog, loyal, very easy to train and likes to be included in everything the family does. (The easy to train part is why they've gotten a bad rap; some folks have trained them the wrong way.) "In a recent study of 122 dog breeds by the American Temperament Testing Society (ATT), pit bulls achieved a passing rate of 83.9%. That's as good or better than beagles ... 78.2%, and golden retrievers ... 83.2%." http://www.badrap.org/rescue/myths.cfm

The AKC website also has a page that explains how to include Fido into the family. Please socialize your dog. A big mistake people make is to own a dog and never take them anywhere. Your dog must go with you places and be exposed to people. Otherwise when guests or new family members are introduced the dog is automatically defensive. I'm lucky I live in a dog friendly town where most stores let them in and we have several dog parks. (Dog parks are a great place to socialize.) The AKC web site has good tips on socializing and picking a breed.

I've met to many dogs that were not socialized and when the family had children the dog did not like the kids and the family had to give the dog up.

Get a rescue dog too! http://www.badrap.org/rescue/index.cfm

P.S. Stay away from Chihuahuas. Little bastard dogs. I've never met a nice one. My father in law has one and he's bitten my dogs several times. Yes, my Pits run like hell when they see Little Bastard coming.

<small>[ 06-11-2004, 01:21 PM: Message edited by: Nicole Marie ]</small>
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Re: Breeds of Dogs

Postby Shapley » Fri Jun 11, 2004 12:16 pm

Just move to the country, like we did. Dogs show up at your door step (3 so far). Usually good natured dogs, since they are usually pets that got too big for the house, so the owners took them to the country and dropped them off. Very cruel to the dogs. Some property owners shoot them when they come around. Some of the dogs wind up as coyote food, some turn feral.

There are a couple of St. Bernands that roam the countryside around us. Beautiful white beasts, a mom and pup, I think. They may still be someones pets, but they roam a lot. They scared the dickens out of me the first time they leapt from the woods near me. They just kept running, paying me no attention (well, the puppy turned and looked). I called the neighbors to see if they were missing a couple of polar bears, but none claimed them. My nearest neighbor had spotted them while on his deer stand the day before, but didn't know where they belonged.

Several feral dogs live down by the river not far from us. We occasionally see them near our place, but our dogs keep them away. We've had our dogs fixed, so they have no reason to hang around.

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