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re: Dog Owners: best "starter" breed?
By Damhnaitmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 691, member since Sun Apr 22, 2007
On Thu Apr 24, 2014 09:42 AM
Nyssasistic wrote:

I am definitely looking for a kid-friendly dog, but I'm actually leaning more toward an already-adult dog than a puppy. I would rather break habits and retrain an adult dog that's more capable of learning than a puppy.


Along with bigger dogs usually being friendlier, and breeds having their old instincts still ingrained in them, I would like to mention that older dogs will be slower to break habits and be retrained than a puppy. My boyfriend's dad has an English Setter that was allowed to go to the bathroom wherever he wanted until he was a year old and his dad adopted him. Two years and extensive training later, they still find pee spots in their living room from him. Likewise, my Husky was the around the same age, 1, when I adopted her and I'm still trying to teach her that it's okay that she's left at home alone for a few hours without her destroying my linoleum kitchen floor.

Puppies are much more eager to learn, and catch on much quicker to what you want them to do. I would recommend, for a first dog, one of the smarter breeds such as labs, corgis, border collies, etc. They LOVE to learn, and learning new things is practically what they live for, making training easier for them.

I agree waiting may be best, if not just because of the timing, but because as a not-such-a-big-dog-fan, there is still a lot of facts about dogs you're not 100% on. Read some training websites or read on particular breed and breed mixes you may be interested in before deciding a dog is something you want to do.
re: Dog Owners: best "starter" breed?
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3643, member since Sat Sep 20, 2003
On Fri Apr 25, 2014 07:34 AM
After talking it through wit Hubby a few weeks back, we decided waiting would be best. We'll revisit the idea post-baby and see where we stand.

Thanks everyone for your input. I feel like we were able to make an informed choice and it was largely due to the input I got here. When the time DOES come for a dog, I'll be sure to revisit this thread. I've gotten some fantastic advice on how to handle a new dog and it won't go to waste.
re: Dog Owners: best "starter" breed?
By reeldancegirlmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 1018, member since Sun Jun 15, 2003
On Sun Apr 27, 2014 09:42 PM
I know you're delaying but I wanted to add my $0.02 to the mixture anyway!

-If you are interested in getting an adult dog, I would recommend bypassing a shelter and go with a rescue group. Many of these groups have dogs in foster homes with people who have assessed their behavior. You may even find one in a home with young kids (but possibly still older than your kiddos are) and will know if the dog likes kids, merely tolerates them, or does not do well with children. These groups also frequently will pull dogs from local shelters, so you would still be doing a good deed as far as saving (two) dogs from euthanasia due to space/cost restraints.

-I love schnauzers personally, they are great loyal dogs. But they can also be neurotic and yippy. They are classified with the terriers and any terrier is going to be a bit nuts. I have a schnauzer and I love him to pieces. He is very protective, and barks whenever anything is going on outside/people walking past the apartment. When I'm walking him, he's very good about alerting me to people around me, whom I may not see in the dark. I used to live in an apartment complex that got very unsafe very quickly and I truly believe that he is the reason nothing ever happened to me. (The yippiness is better now since I moved from my townhome to a flat on the second floor).

-I second the suggestion for labs/golden retrievers, if you want a bigger dog. Labs aren't usually too big, but sometimes they can be on the larger side. I will say that labs tend to be stupid dogs and require more patience to train. In general they are great people dogs, but of course each dog has it's own personality.

-Herding dogs (I have a catahoula, but I wouldn't recommend him around small children, he doesn't like noise) are pretty nice, but high energy. My best friend going up had a sheltie and she was the greatest little dog (she's around 18 years old now and still going strong!). An old coworker has a aussie shepard and really likes her. They seem like nice dogs.

-I worked in emergency medicine for 6 years and day practices before that, and I still work in the field (although in a research capacity) so if you have any questions in that regard, don't hesitate to ask! Either here or facebook.
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