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 Post subject: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:30 am 
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My ds has wanted a dog forever (well, ok, for the last 4 years - since he's be able to say intelligible things in a recognizable language), but we've always stalled because dh works a lot and I teach at a college 90 miles away from home, so I'm never home. But...I just found out that there is no position for me at my college next year, so I'll be home all next year. I figured to turn lemons into lemonade, now would be the perfect time to get ds a dog. This will, of course, be a dog from a rescue, but the choices are still pretty broad - so can anyone recommend a breed or breeds? The only real requirement is that it be a breed that is good with kids. Hit me with your suggestions?


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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:37 am 
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I am so sorry you're losing your job. I love my pit mix - he is an older midsized (70lbs) extremely calm and loving dog. We go places with kids, and no matter what happens - kids surround him, pull his tail etc he is always very mellow and sweet with them. If you're in Ohio, they have breed specific legislation though, so you might not be able to get a pittie or mix. (BSL)

I don't think the breed is as important as working closely with a reputable shelter who knows each dog's temperament. A good rescue will look hard at all the circumstances - how old your son is, the level of activity in your household, your yard space etc and help you find the right fit for you. And with a good rescue, you can do an overnight visit or even take the dog back if he/she isn't the right fit for your family.

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:48 am 
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i would recommend getting an older dog. you'll spend so much less time on bullcrap like housetraining, the dog's temperament isn't going to change so much as it will between puppy and adult, and often rescued adults are so much calmer and you have less drama. you want to take advantage of the time you have, right?

i guess the rest depends on how much activity you want to have with said dog, what types of things you want to do, etc. What do you and your son have in mind?

also, once you go and see what the rescue has, you may change your intentions. i am so NOT a shepherd person but the puppy we adopted just sucked me in from the beginning (he's half shep).

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:32 am 
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We had a Newfoundland growing up, and she was the sweetest girl. She really just wanted to be loved and get a good scratch behind the ears. Depending on the activity level you're looking for, though...Newfies aren't very active dogs, but they really are sweet. and there is a Newfoundland rescue. They love children; Jammer's favorite thing was going to sit outside a coffee shop or something with us and meet all the little kids who went past and give them a lick (children are tasty)

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:41 pm 
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As far as breeds to reccomend there are a lot! I will start with breeds that I wouldn't reccomend with small children (in general, of course every dog has it's own distinct personality.) Herding dogs. A lot of herding dogs are nervous around children just because of what they are bred to do. Most of them are high energy and that turns onto nervous energy if they don't have a job to do. Also very small fragile dogs. Chi's and dachunds usually aren't that great with kids but dogs that are a bit bigger usually are like bichons and king charles cavaliers. Of course these are all over generalizations and not all dogs conform to their breed characteristics.

I also agree with the others here that say you should get an older dog because they are less work usually. Also if you go through a rescue they will be able to tell you which dogs they have available that are kid friendly and might fit into your lifestyle.

ETA: also keep in mind that giant breed dogs usually have smaller lifespans and smaller dogs have a longer lifespan but that depends on breed and medical histories etc too.


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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:21 pm 
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I think blue heelers are the absolute BEST, but I don't know how they are with children, as a general rule. I know Olen is not very patient with kids, but he has a PERSONALITY. So smart, loyal, beautiful, funny, and cute! He does require a ton of attention, though. So, maybe I wouldn't recommend blue heelers. :\


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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:35 pm 
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Funny story re: herding dogs. We realized that my Star, who is a rescue, is likely part border collie or something like that because she started trying to herd us! She would nip at our behinds and chase after our other dog in the yard when we had a fenced in yard.

I had labradors growing up; they're super sweet, and typically gentle. I say typically, because you really cannot base everything on one breed, as Tofulish has pointed out. My half sister had a lab and it bit my nephew twice (long story, not going to go into how/if they raised the dog well, how they treated her, etc.) So it really depends on the actual dog, and not the breed.

I think it's a really great idea to look at the age of the dog you'd like to get and the size of dog you'd like to get. I've been most satisfied rescuing older (age 3-6), "special needs" dogs. I've rescued two dogs with Epilepsy, which is a very manageable condition that most people don't want to deal with, so they don't even consider the awesome dog! In one case, JD's epilepsy became nearly non-existent once he was put on a healthy diet and exercised regularly (he lost 35 lbs in 4 months with us)- he didn't have to take pills any longer! In another case, we rescued a lab named Molly who was six, had epilepsy, and managed her epilepsy with Phenobarbital, which isn't really that expensive in the grand scheme of medications. She only lived four years, but I like to think they were the best four years of her life!

No one wanted these two "special needs" dogs. And they are (were) fantastic companions.


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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:37 pm 
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Don't forget to consider the mixed/mutt/not purebred dogs at the shelter, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:38 pm 
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Meggs wrote:
I've been most satisfied rescuing older (age 3-6), "special needs" dogs. I've rescued two dogs with Epilepsy, which is a very manageable condition that most people don't want to deal with, so they don't even consider the awesome dog! In one case, JD's epilepsy became nearly non-existent once he was put on a healthy diet and exercised regularly (he lost 35 lbs in 4 months with us)- he didn't have to take pills any longer! In another case, we rescued a lab named Molly who was six, had epilepsy, and managed her epilepsy with Phenobarbital, which isn't really that expensive in the grand scheme of medications. She only lived four years, but I like to think they were the best four years of her life!

No one wanted these two "special needs" dogs. And they are (were) fantastic companions.


This makes me want to hug you. <3

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 8:47 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
This makes me want to hug you. <3
I almost put pictures of them in, too, but it made the post too long. Then I would have surely gotten a Tofulihug. Woo!
Spoiler: show
Image J.D., who now resides in Arizona and swims and lays in the sun, med-free.
Image
Molly, a few days before she died of cancer. We rode in the convertible and ate peanut butter and cookies together, because we knew she was dying. She put up a hell of a fight and I was able to spend two extra days spoiling her.


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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:28 pm 
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oh man, I'm biased but I vote puggle. there are so many in shelters because people apparently just decide they don't want "designer dogs" after they aren't puppies anymore, but mine is the absolute love of my life. seriously, she is so awesome, such a great personality, and very kid friendly. I can't even describe how happy she makes me other than it makes my heart want to explode. she took a lot of TLC to get to where she is now because she was previously from a puppy mill/abused, but it is SO worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:30 pm 
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Meggs wrote:
Tofulish wrote:
This makes me want to hug you. <3
I almost put pictures of them in, too, but it made the post too long. Then I would have surely gotten a Tofulihug. Woo!
Spoiler: show
Image J.D., who now resides in Arizona and swims and lays in the sun, med-free.
Image
Molly, a few days before she died of cancer. We rode in the convertible and ate peanut butter and cookies together, because we knew she was dying. She put up a hell of a fight and I was able to spend two extra days spoiling her.


That picture of Molly made me tear up. (((((hugs))))

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:43 pm 
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I love English Springer Spaniels.... yet I don't like any other spaniels? I'd go to a shelter or two and check out who they've got and who they'd recommend to go with your lifestyle.

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:14 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
That picture of Molly made me tear up. (((((hugs))))


Good, I'm not the only one! Meggs, you are so awesome.

Just to echo what everyone else has mentioned, breed isn't as important as the personality of that particular dog because there will always be exceptions to a breed (case-in-point: my total couch potato Aussie mix.)

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:36 am 
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allychristine wrote:
I think blue heelers are the absolute BEST, but I don't know how they are with children, as a general rule. I know Olen is not very patient with kids, but he has a PERSONALITY. So smart, loyal, beautiful, funny, and cute! He does require a ton of attention, though. So, maybe I wouldn't recommend blue heelers. :\

I also have a blue heeler (mix) and he is the most wonderful dog in every way except for his fear of children. They are too unpredictable for him I think and if they run wild he wants to herd them which can be very scary for a kid. From what I read they aren't good with kids as a general rule because of their personality unfortunatly. But once again every dog has it's own personality. I also had a collie growing up and she was pretty good with my brother and I as kids.


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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:41 am 
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I wouldn't even go as far as to recommend a specific breed. Just go meet some dogs!


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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:52 am 
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definitely go meet some dogs! i spend my summers at the humane society and it's pretty cute to see families come in with one specific thing they want and walk out with completely the opposite. so much of your choice will come down to a feeling or connection.

that being said, i LOVE my rescued doxie but small breed dogs and kids aren't my favorite combo. i constantly have to keep people from sending their toddlers over to my dog just because she's small. she's never bit anyone but she (and many other small breed dogs i've been around) gets tense and on edge around kids so i don't let unfamiliar kids pet her.

my friend runs a summer program that matches bully breed dogs (mostly pit mixes) with student trainers (4th-6th grade) to show that many of the bad feelings people have with bully breeds/kids is unnecessary and it's been a huge success in getting those dogs adopted out. so don't be afraid to snuggle with a few pit mixes, the ones i've come in contact with are some of my all time favorite, sweetest dogs.

and i totally agree with what other people have said about older dogs. 3-5 years old is a really good age to shoot for- they've calmed down a bit but they still have a long life ahead of them!

so when you take everything you learn through your research and go meet some dogs, i bet you'll find the perfect addition to your family!


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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 12:46 pm 
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shanniesaysyo wrote:
that being said, i LOVE my rescued doxie but small breed dogs and kids aren't my favorite combo. i constantly have to keep people from sending their toddlers over to my dog just because she's small. she's never bit anyone but she (and many other small breed dogs i've been around) gets tense and on edge around kids so i don't let unfamiliar kids pet her.



I agree with this, Bonny didn't have trouble with kids petting her in the park, but one of our friend's kids was always chasing her around and trying to hold her because she's so small, and she haaaaaaaated it. Of course, if you get a puppy that will grow up with your kid, they'll be used to it, but I still would avoid really small dogs.

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:25 pm 
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I am partial to Pit bulls, but that may be an issue since I know reynoldsburg has a no pit law. I am working with a rescue out of Pittsburgh and delivery is an option fyi.

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:14 pm 
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If you can find a dog who has lived with children previously (and loved them) that is ideal. I agree to look at the individual dog not the breed. A dog 3+ years with some prior training is a god choice. Most puppies and adolescents are just naturally jumpy and mouthy and pushy, which doesn't mix well with kids. Other things to consider are how much energy you are willing to deal with/how much exercise you are willing to give and how much grooming you are willing to do. A good shelter or rescue will know their dogs well and will ask you questions about your living situation and what you are looking for so they can find you a good fit.

I would also think about what will happen if you go back to work after a year. Will the dog be left alone all day? It's really not fair to any dog to be regularly left home for 10+ hours with no exercise, bathroom breaks, or affection.


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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:53 pm 
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Oh yah grooming. Keep in mind that some breeds will require professional grooming every 6-8 weeks and that can run you anywere from $40-$70 depending on the breed. Others will need to just be brushed regularly.


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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:25 am 
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Puma wrote:
I am partial to Pit bulls, but that may be an issue since I know reynoldsburg has a no pit law. I am working with a rescue out of Pittsburgh and delivery is an option fyi.


I would hope that a reputable rescue wouldn't deliver a pitbull to a home in an area with breed restrictions forbidding one from owning pitbulls.

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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:20 am 
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my biased opinion: I love my goldendoodle. Yes it's a fancy mutt, "designer dog", I'm aware of that and okay with it. But the intelligence of a golden retriever and a poodle, very goofy and playful, and doesn't shed-needs haircuts every 4 months or so, great around kids, and adorable.


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 Post subject: Re: Dog recommendation?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:48 pm 
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Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! Once the semester is finally over, I figure we'll go to Pets Without Parents, talk to some people there, and see what dog will be a good fit. And not only will I never EVER again accept a job with a 90-mile one-way commute, I'll make sure that next time I work within walking/biking distance of home. In other words, I won't be abandoning the newest member of the family during daylight hours.


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