March 19th, 2011, 02:56 PM
I love to have a dog but never had one. We live in a house and am ready to have my first dog. However, I need some advice from you guys as to what best suits my situation. You will find out from my following notes that I have not much clue about dogs and their types and that is what I need help with.
- Get a puppy and raise it.
- We have no children in the house. But we are picky about our funiture, living area (to be clean), etc....so the dog should be nice not to chew on things or make a mess all time :-)
- It shouldn't be of a breed that get really huge. Mid-size would be good. Not the size of a Chiwawa.
- Dogs that do not easily get sick. I wouldn't like to go to Vet so often. So, I understand I should stay away from smaller dogs due to allergies...
- I really like the look of Golden Doodle and Bichon Frise.
- Beagles are not bad either.
- I want a smart dog. One that I can teach some moves :-)
- I will be able to take the dog out once or twice a day and like it to accompany me without a leash outside or in my car.
- I like dogs that remain to be cute when they grow up like the curly hair Golden Doodle.
Finally and more importantly, I am not sure if I should get a female or male dog. As I said previously, I can't really go to Vet a lot (I just don't like clinics in general). So, would a male or female better suit me?
Hopefully I am not asking way too much in a dog with above or sounding really stupid :-)
Please give me your input on what type of dog am I looking for. Honestly, I don't even know much of their breed names and types.
March 19th, 2011, 03:33 PM
If you are not confident of being able to train a dog not to jump up on people, or not to pee on the carpet, or not to chew on things, then the best thing is to pick a dog that you already know has none of those traits.
So, my advice would definitely be to adopt an adult dog, not a puppy. An older puppy would work, or very young adult, if you want one young. An adult dog already has a clearly-evident personality and you can tell by meeting him/her whether or not you click.
If you go down to your local SPCA/pound and just walk around and look at the dogs on a regular basis you will gradually come to know what kinds of personalities are out there and what you want.
Once you find a certain dog or certain breed you like, you can then run a search on the net to see what kinds of health issues it is likely to have, how much exercise it will need daily, and how long they typically live. By the way, mixed breeds-- "mutts"-- are often healthier than purebreeds (though a lot depends on the breeder the animal came from).
Don't forget that some dogs need lots of grooming-- whether do it yourself or by a paid professional. This can be expensive, so be sure to do some research into it before you commit to an animal, if that is an issue.
Some kinds of dogs need lots of exercise daily or else they start to chew on things and get into trouble, so if you aren't into walking your dog super far, you'll want a breed that only needs short-ish walks. (ALL breeds need to walk, and running around the yard is not the same as going for a walk. It's hard-wired into them. But there is huge variation in the amount of walking they need.)
The staff will also be able to tell you if the dog is noisy, nervous, jumps up on people, possessive over food, or has other issues that you might not be able to deal with (chewing on things, trying to run away, fighting with other dogs). You can also find out if the dog pees only outside, pees only on pee sheets, or handles both fine.
Another idea is to go scope out the dogs at the pound and then when you know roughly what breed you want, run a search for animal rescue groups in your area that specialize in that particular breed. They will be able to give you detailed information about the dogs they have, and they will know if the dog is a chewer, a barker, or whatever.
In your case, I think getting a dog whose traits and personality are already established would be a very wise move that will save you lots of stress in the end.
March 19th, 2011, 03:47 PM
TokyoParrot has given you some excellent advice. :thumbs up
Perhaps you could go volunteer at your local spca for awhile until you become familiar with dogs and learn more about them. :)
March 19th, 2011, 05:56 PM
Indeed TokyoParrot has given me a great deal of good info. Thanks for the prompt and informative response.
I actually came across dogbreedinfo.com quiz and they suggest me to get any of:
Kerry Blue Terrier
Portuguese Water Dog
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
I will look more into these.
As for as getting a dog goes, I definitely would not like to get one from a rescue shelter. I live in Greater Toronto Area and visited Toronto Humane Society. To my dismay they had only few dogs. Maybe I am missing something but Kijiji and Craigslist seem to have much more of a variety. Can you guys point me to some places that I can go and look for dogs other than humane society of Toronto?
March 19th, 2011, 06:43 PM
I agree with TokyoParrot, a puppy doesn't sound like it would fit your situation. Chewing and house-training accidents are stages any puppy goes through, and as well, they need several vet appointments during the first year for puppy shots, boosters, and neutering. Youth and adult dogs only need annual check-ups, if they are healthy.
Most of the non-shedding breeds (shih tzu, bichon, poodle, etc.) need a lot of grooming, so be sure you are willing to invest either your time into daily brushing or periodic trimming, or your money into professional grooming done every 1-4 months.
There is no correlation between allergies and the size of dog, there are both small and large breeds who are prone to them, and as well to other health conditions. Please understand, though, that any dog of any breed can develop an unexpected medical condition!
The bichon frise and cocker-poo may fit your situation, as well as some of the terriers. Golden doodles are a bit bigger and more active than would match with your exercise schedule. Beagles aren't that easy to train tricks, and also need a fair amount of exercise.
If you get a puppy, one difference between males and females is that males are much less expensive to neuter. There are behaviour differences between the sexes, but they are breed-dependant, so in one breed males are more affectionate; in another breed it is the females; and so on.
March 19th, 2011, 06:44 PM
TokyoParrot has made of some very good points.
Volunteer at a shelter as a dog walker. From there you can get into their foster program. This will help you understand more about dog behaviour, how to communicate with them, and how to pick one perfect for your lifestyle.
My very first dog was a 10 year old lab I adopted. I never had my 'own' dog and wanted to a dog that was easy and would not be too much trouble as it was my first time. He did not live long...but he taught me so very much. From there I ended up volunteering at shelters, working at shelters and also got involved in rescue. It's been now 16 years and I know that because of this old boy...I am where I am today.:thumbs up
March 20th, 2011, 02:06 AM
First of all, here are two things I got off of Google-- they are general lists of the rescue groups active in the Toronto area. I think I typed "Toronto dog shelters" to get these. (There is another place in the forum somewhere that allows people to recommend specific rescue groups, but I couldn't find it just now... maybe someone can help out with that?)
Local Dog Groups and Pet Rescues in Toronto
Ontario Rescue Organizations and Shelters
As I wrote above, one of the best reasons to get an older dog is that you know exactly what you are getting, and you can pick one with the exact behaviors you want. Here is an actual example of a write-up from one Toronto group I picked randomly, just to give you an idea of this.
I would definitely prioritize personality/behaviors over looks/breeds. Dogbreedinfo.com is a great site for getting basic information, but the list of recommended breeds that it produces is a list of dogs that are likely to have the characteristics you want. You still have to train it not to pee on the carpet, not to bark, etc. which is fun for some people and a headache for others. If you get an adult, you already know for a fact that the dog has the characteristics you want.
If you look at the listings of puppies, in comparison, the typical information would be something like "Currently 6 months old, expected to be 35-45 lbs and moderately active as an adult, moderate shedder."
Example (I edited out the name of the dog, a chocolate Labrador):
ABC is a very loving dog with lots to offer but he isn't a huge fan of young kids and will avoid them – he isn't snappy or snarly, just prefers not to be around them full time. ABC is great with other dogs and pays no mind to the cats in his foster home. ABC loves older children who are more gentle with him, are a little quieter and can play ball so kids 10yr+ would be great! ABC is best suited to a home with no small kids around full time. He is very excitable when someone comes, in a positive way though, just looking for someone else to give him attention.
Being a mature dog ABC comes with tons of benefits – he is house trained, clean and quiet in the home, he is used to having free roam of his home when left alone, he is a nicely mannered, knows basic commands and house manners, he is way passed all the nuisance puppy stages like chewing and house breaking. Tons of great reasons to adopt a mature dog over a puppy! He's older but still really loves to get out and exercise so a good brisk walk each day is perfect for him; he'd also love to join you on hikes and other outings to the park, dog park or beach. He only barks when people are knocking at the door or if he is trying to get your attention to play. He is a very loyal, friendly guy who just likes to be around his people. He loves to play with people or just hang out quietly with the family. If you are looking for a companion that is already trained and ready to settle in to your family consider ABC! Ideally ABC can find a home with a fenced yard.
I think you can see that you can really go into an adoption with your eyes wide open this way. Rescue groups want the adoptions to be successful, so they are very upfront about behavioral issues in particular. It is NOT in their interests as a group to hold back or sugarcoat bad information, because they don't want the animal abandoned again 6 months down the road.