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livelaughlove21's avatar

Care to recommend some dog breeds?

Asked by livelaughlove21 (14236 points ) January 30th, 2014

We currently have a three-year-old female orange tabby and a one-year-old border collie mix. We don’t plan on getting another dog for at least a couple of years, but we’re trying to figure out what dog breed would be best.

I’d like our next dog to be small or medium sized, but I’m open to some larger breeds. No Great Danes, Pitbulls, or Mastiffs. Nothing ugly like a Pug or too high maintenance like a poodle. We want a down-to-earth, loving dog with a medium energy level. A dog that doesn’t need to constantly be with people (we both work) or need a ridiculous amount of exercise (a daily walk is all we can manage). A dog that typically gets along with other dogs, cats, and children. A gentle dog that won’t howl or yap all night. Preferably, not a dog that sheds profusely, since our dog takes care of that on her own. No breeds known for bad health problems. Now, I know I’m asking for a lot, and there may not be a breed that fits into all of these, but I just want to hit as many as I can.

We’ve discussed Yorkies (I hear they can be aggressive with other dogs and kids), Beagles (I hear they’re hard to train), and Siberian Huskies (they shed quite a bit). That’s just what we’ve talked about, though, not the only ones we’re willing to choose from. I also know that not every dog is different, but I’m just looking for common characteristics within breeds.

And no suggestions for a mutt, please. We’ve got one of those already.

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64 Answers

Seek's avatar

Dachshunds are wonderful dogs. Smallish, short haired, easy to train.

I know I just told a horror story about my last Doxie, but he was badly abused and not representative of the breed

They do like to dig, but unlike a bulldog or pitbull that will rearrange your landscape looking for cold dirt to lay down in, Doxies are burrowers, so they dig small holes, and then abandon them when they don’t see anything interesting down there.

Every Doxie I’ve had (including Russell, who is also half miniature pit bull) wants to cuddle all the time. He sleeps either on my feet or curled up next to me. On warmer nights he will sleep in his pet bed on the floor next to me, but he does get chilled easily.

They have short legs, and like short walks more than a huge amount of exercise. I don’t think they have the attention span for extended games of Frizbee or whatever. If I want Russell to sleep all night, all it takes is one long walk, and he’s cashed for hours.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr What’s your experience with dachshunds and back problems or obesity? I doubt I could convince my husband to get one of these dogs (not sure why he doesn’t like them), but I love long-haired doxies. So cute!

2TFX's avatar

Labs are the best breed for families with children but females are prone to cancer, pugs are a lovable but stupid bred which needs constant care. Pugs have a tendency to have respiratory problems.

Seek's avatar

I’ve never had problems with obesity, but I’m really careful about maintaining my dogs’ weight. We don’t allow table scraps or anything like that. That’s the best way to avoid back problems, along with limiting his jumping and stair climbing. So, like, don’t get a Doxy if you live in a fifth-floor walkup.

WestRiverrat's avatar

You could always go to the pound and rescue a mutt. They tend to make really good pets.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Labs tend to eat things. We had a lab. He ate our back yard, including our metal porch swing. Then he ate the fence and escaped.

I like German Shepherds.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My friend has had a lovely basset that gets along with her high strung border collie.

Cruiser's avatar

I think a Brittany would fit in nicely. You can take a questionnaire dog breed selector here that will offer up a few suggestions based on your answers to the 10 questions.

Dutchess_III's avatar

According to your thing, @Cruiser, I should get a Tibetan Mastiff!

janbb's avatar

How about a golden retriever? They are usually gentle and easy to get along with. Based on my current experience, I would not suggest a terrier. Frodo is a great dog but very high maintenance.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Cruiser I got an English Cocker Spaniel after taking that questionnaire. A 97% match. It’s funny, I was at the vet a few weeks ago and a lady had a Cocker Spaniel that was the sweetest dog I’d ever met. It approached me, put it’s head on my lap, and let me pet it for a good 20 minutes. And it was just there for a teeth cleaning, so it wasn’t acting that way because it was sick. It really pulled at my heartstrings.

Unfortunately, I don’t find them all that cute.

flutherother's avatar

You can’t go wrong with a mongrel.

Cruiser's avatar

@livelaughlove21 What were the other 4 breeds that were close matches listed under your match?

gailcalled's avatar

I grew up with a dachshund; he was very sweet but we had to carry him up and down the stairs. Eventually he did develop bad back problems. My mother said that he went to live with a nice family in the country.

cookieman's avatar

I second the Bassett Hound. We had one for over ten years. Very sweet and docile. Great with kids. There is the drooling to contend with though. She lived to be thirteen with no major health problems.

WestRiverrat's avatar

An American Water Spaniel might suit you. They need to be walked about 30 minutes a day and have their coats brushed a couple times a week.

Dutchess_III's avatar

A Cocker Spaniel maybe? I had a dog whose mom was a cocker. How do you spell cocker? Don’t know what the dad was. Snuff was one of the best dogs I’ve ever known.

janbb's avatar

I had a great cocker spaniel – ver yplacid but some can be high strung.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I choose my dog by sitting down in the middle of the litter. I choose the one who came to me and crawled in my lap. She also made the least amount of noise. I liked that because I hate barky dogs.

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III That is how our rescue dog chose us. She climbed in my wife’s arms reached back with her front paws and caressed her face!

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III @Cruiser If I did that, we’d have a new dog every month. We go to the local shelter a lot just to look at and hold all the puppies and kitties (my husband says we do it to “tease ourselves,” but I like it). Pretty much every time we go, one of us gets singled out by a particular puppy that seems to really want to go home with us. That’s how we almost ended up with a 4-month-old beagle awhile back.

We weren’t chosen by our dog at all, because she was passed out when we found her. She was one of three border collie mix puppies at the shelter, all 8 weeks old, and we held the two black and white ones first and were kind of iffy about it. We went back one more time before leaving empty handed and someone had put this little brown, black, and white one back in the enclosure, so I picked her up. We thought she was really sick, maybe even dead, because she was completely limp. We could let her head drop back and she wouldn’t wake up. We were told that she just got done with an intense play session. She was just so freakin’ cute that I had to have her. She didn’t wake up until we got home. My husband’s mom says they must’ve tranquilized her in an attempt to get rid of her, because we haven’t seen her that calm since. She’s a hellion, but she’s ours. :)

janbb's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Yes – Frodo was ver ycalm when I picked him. That and his looks were the reasons. He still is not a barker – unless company comes to the door. And he is crazily energetic.

longgone's avatar

You are asking for a lot. The breed you want hasn’t been invented yet, I’m afraid. Sadly. If you had to pick five points which are most important to you, what would you say?

Training Beagles is horrific, yes, and Huskies are almost as hard.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But there are dogs like she described out there. I have two of them. They wouldn’t necessarily be a particular breed. Just a dog, and they just have to get lucky.

longgone's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well, you can get lucky with any dog. The OP is asking which breed might give her the best chance, and that is hard to answer, if you’re going to be objective.

ragingloli's avatar

Well, you can get lucky with any dog.
You might want to rephrase that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

(I kinda like the sound of it!)

longgone's avatar

@ragingloli I won’t. Come on, that wasn’t funny. You can do better.

Dutchess_III's avatar

NO NO NO NONO NO! Do not respond @ragingloli!

ragingloli's avatar

@longgone
That whole post is an innuendo.
“The OP is asking which breed might give her the best chance, and that is hard to answer, if you’re going to be objective.” = “Which breed of dog is the most likely to let me have sex with it?”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Shut up Raggie! LOL!

longgone's avatar

@ragingloli Cleverly done, no?

gailcalled's avatar

After our dachshund went to the country, my grandfather gave us an adorable beagle, who was not happy w. our small plot of suburban back yard. He (Larchmont Jeffrey) used to bay at the full moon and run away a lot. My mother had engraved on his dog tag, “If you find me, put me in the Larchmont Taxi, and have him drive me to 7 Villa Lane, collect.”

It was a very small town in the early fifties, and the taxi driver was sweet enough to return Jeff to us from time to time. My two sibs and I thought that this was comptetely normal. I think Jeff went back to live with my grandfather. My sister says that I am inventing this story.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@gailcalled…your mom killed both dogs! “Going to live with Grandfather” was a euphemism. :D

rojo's avatar

Given your requirements why would you have a BC mix? Stay away from border collies (you probably know that by now though with a one year old).

Oh, and anything smaller than a cat; those should be considered rodents.

gailcalled's avatar

@Dutchess_III: My mother did not kill either dog. The dachshund did develop two slipped discs and the vet had to euthanize him.

Larchmont Jeffrey beagle, who was in fine health but living in the wrong place, probably was returned to my grandfather, who kept horses, Great Danes, Russian wolf hounds, Irish Setters, a honey bear and a parrot named Adolph.

Neither my grandfather nor my mother would ever had had a healthy young dog put down. At the very worst, my grandfather would have returned the beagle to the kennel.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@rojo Border Collies are great and intelligent dogs, but they require a lot of work. Daisy was our first dog that we actually took part in “raising,” so her being a Border Collie meant nothing to us. If I didn’t work and had plenty of time on my hands, I’d love a purebred Border Collie. Daisy has been difficult to train, but that’s because we don’t have the amount of free time required to really train her. But she’s a good, albeit stubborn, dog and she turns a lot of heads when we’re out in public.

Did I say I wanted a dog that was smaller than my cat?

rojo's avatar

No, you did not mention the size thing; that is a personal pet peeve (pun intended).

As for border collies, I love the breed. I am on my second BC. He is 13 old, has gone deaf, is rake thin, and still so OCD that I could lop off one of his legs and he would bring it to me to throw and have him fetch but, as much as I love the breed, I do not know whether I will do it again. (Yes I do. I almost adopted a two year old BC two weeks ago but fortunately some other kind soul did so instead) I also strongly feel that you should have at least two of them at any one time. That or a herd of sheep.

Seek's avatar

Sort of off-topic, but I knew a family with four boys who had a border collie named Louie. Louie could play hide-and-seek. It was the neatest thing. He’d go to his corner, everyone would go hide, and someone would shout “Ready or not!” And Louie would take off and find everyone.

Lots of fun. Great dog.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Are boarder collies high strung? I have always thought I’d like a collie but I don’t like high strung dogs.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III They’re VERY energetic and need A LOT of exercise and mental stimulation or they get very bored – which is a bad thing with any dog.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Maybe a good country dog then.

rojo's avatar

@Dutchess_III what @livelaughlove21 said plus they can be extremely obsessive compulsive. Mine knows that if he bothers me too much with his ball I will put it up but he just can’t help himself. He will bring me his ball and if I ignore him he will pick it up and drop it in my lap or beside me on the chair repeatedly until I do something with it either throw it or hand it back to him and tell him I will put it up (he knows what that means too). If I do that he will hang his head, walk off and around with it for no longer than 10 seconds then come back and again drop it in my lap with a kind of a “How ‘bout now?” look on his face. From the look, you can tell he has completely forgotten that he has been told no. I will then put it up in the toy basket while he looks on with the classic hangdog look then his eyes will light up and he will run off in search of something else for me to throw. This will go on until every toy, ball or bone he has has been put away and there is nothing left This happens every day, multiple times a day and has been that way for as long as we have had him.
My other BC would bring the ball, lay it at your feet and then lay down and stare at it until you picked it up and threw it. Didn’t matter whether you did it a few seconds later or an hour later, she would not look away from that ball or move until you did something with it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That would drive me insane @rojo! No collie for me!

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III That would drive you insane? I wouldn’t suggest any high energy dog for you then.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes. To have a dog bug me for hours and hours on end to throw a ball, all day, every day, day in and day out, would drive me insane. You wouldn’t mind that @livelaughlove21?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III I wouldn’t be bothered because if the dog wanted to play that bad, I’d play with it. It doesn’t take much effort to throw a ball. Dogs like to play, especially dogs with a lot of energy. It comes with the territory.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What if you didn’t have the time at the moment or were trying to get something else done?
From what @rojo said, it’s not a question of wanting to play “that bad” some time. It’s ALL the time. It doesn’t sound like you could throw a ball for 10 minutes then be done for the day. Sounds like you’d have to do it all day long.
If I didn’t work or had absolutely nothing else to do, that that would be fine. But my life will never revolve around a dog.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well I can’t speak for @rojo, but our BC mix doesn’t do it all day. She’s gated in the kitchen for 8 hours while we’re at work and all night. So yeah, I can take time in the evenings to play with her, even if she’s being obnoxious. She sometimes has so much energy she’ll run high-speed laps around our living room until she tires herself out. Dogs are a lot of work and take effort on the owner’s part. Some dogs take more than others, while some are more relaxed and independent. The latter type would work best for an easily annoyed person.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, geez! I would hope so in that instance, @livelaughlove21! I can’t imagine how a naturally energetic dog would feel after being caged in a small room for most of the day and all of the night. Yes, you would have a huge obligation to make it up to her.

We have two dogs, a Brittney Spaniel mix and a German Shepherd. They spend most of the time in the house, but we also have a very large fenced yard so there is lots of room for them to run around and play (and chase squirrids, one of their favorite past times.) Whenever it’s possible we just leave the back door open so they have the run of the house and the yard. Yupid (the spaniel…her real name is Dutchess) sleeps on the bed with us at night, Dakota sleeps her cushion behind the bed room door.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III With no fenced-in yard and a dog that has shown potential to be destructive, there’s no other choice while we’re working. Josh gets home before 3 and walks and plays with her; I don’t get home until after 6. It’s not that bad for her, though, since she has hip dysplasia. Too much exercise will have her limping the next day.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How did you end up with a high-energy (ergo ‘destructive’) dog when you have no fenced yard?

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III Like I said, we got her from a shelter and she was our first dog, so we didn’t know. They actually told us she was a boxer mix. Regardless, we didn’t know how much energy she’d have. They told us she’d be a medium energy dog. They were wrong. We planned on getting our yard fenced, but ended up not being able to afford it. Summers are too hot here to leave her outside all day anyway.

When did this become about me not being a good enough dog owner? Our dog is very happy, thank you.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I didn’t say you weren’t a good dog owner.

rojo's avatar

For the record, I don’t want anyone to think that I ignore my dog and his needs. I do play with my dog. We go out for walks, I throw his toys for him to retrieve, constantly. After I accomplish whatever I need to get done I give him his toys back after they have been confiscated so we can start all over again, and again, and again. It can, however, get annoying both to me and especially to guests who have not don’t deal with such a persistent obsessive dog personality on a regular basis. Also, I knew what I was getting into before we made him a part of the family (although, I do admit my other BC did not prepare me for what I think is actually a mental disorder in Ayre).

Dutchess_III's avatar

I wonder if dogs can have the same kinds of disorders that humans have? Can they be autistic and stuff?

rojo's avatar

Sure! Thing we would have a shrink look at in humans we consider admirable traits in dogs.

WestRiverrat's avatar

One option with high energy dogs is to get a treadmill for them to walk/run on. I have one friend that built a hamster wheel for his Labs, they love it.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Leanne1986's avatar

What about a West Highland Terrier? I have known and worked with many and they don’t tend to shed too much and, when well raised, are often well mannered, happy go lucky little dogs. They can suffer skin problems but these can be prevented by feeding a decent diet and looking after their coat and skin.

Schnauzers are also (usually) lovely little personalities too and, again, I work with a lot and they seem to get on well with other dogs and people.

rojo's avatar

@WestRiverrat wonder if you could rig something like that up to an alternator and battery setup and power your tv while you sit there watching it and the dogs running?

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