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I am going to keep this short and too the point. I asked this question a year or so ago here, but I never took any action on the input I was given.

Here is the situation. I have a couple cats, but always wanted a dog. I mean ALWAYS wanted a dog.

I am single. No kids. Large house and yard. Heck I can kind of do anything I want so why I've not gotten a dog is hard to explain. The best I have is I work for myself, out of my house, and I can do what I want when I want. And my cats, if I decide to just leave for a few days, take care of themselves. A dog, well not so much.

Now I don't mind those of you that want/own little dogs. I don't. I want a large dog. An active dog,

A little more below the fold.

My gut is I get something like a German Shepherd. I am a very active hiker/camper/walker and this seems like a good fit. My second choice would be a Lab. But to be honest in the research I've done it seems dogs like this have a lot of health problems because of all the in-breading.

So I am asking all you smart dog owners here for your advice. Thanks in advance for your input.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Spring Seems Like A Good Time (17+ / 0-)

    to get a dog. And we have a number of rescue places around me, so finding what I want doesn't seem to be an issue.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:08:13 PM PDT

  •  Airedales. They're the best. (13+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:11:36 PM PDT

  •  all I know about dogs (22+ / 0-)

    is what we had growing up:  Black Lab mix.

    She was a wonderful dog for us kids (I was 4 years old when we got her).  And by getting a mixed breed, you eliminate many of the problems that purebreds can have.
    Tippy

    Good luck and enjoy whatever lucky dog you decide on.  :)

  •  Adopt a large mixed breed, (34+ / 0-)

    easy to find and healthy.  An older woozle may already be trained, a puppie is a lot of work.  You will know this dog when you meet.

  •  I love my Australian Cattle Dog (21+ / 0-)

    Smartest dog I ever had. Ive trained this dog better than any other dog I ever had. An excellent watch dog. Not big for an attack dog but he would get in there and get some licks in. An excellent watchdog, only barks if there's something to bark at. He sleeps by my bedroom door every night.
    His name is Grip.
    Photobucket

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:14:34 PM PDT

  •  Look for a mixed... (14+ / 0-)

    almost always fewer health problems.

    I knew some people in Houston that used to breed pit bulls with great danes for a strong, robust dog that could accompany and pull skaters through the city.

    They were sweet, gentle giants with few health problems but they did not live very long and most would pass at age 10 or so.

    A medium sized mixed breed can live 15+ years with few health problems.

    "Who is John Galt?" A two dimensional character in a third rate novel.

    by Inventor on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:17:10 PM PDT

  •  I haven't heard about health problems (9+ / 0-)

    associated with Labs. That hasn't been the experience of my friends and family that have had them. They are good dogs, very eager to please, from my experience. They can be a handful when young, for several years.

    You could also look into a golden retriever. Very sweet, and active but need a firm hand if you don't want them to misbehave.

    German Shepards have a good reputation and are usually a little more relaxed than Labs.

    I personally have a bit of an aversion to German Shepards as we had a mean one next door ("Thor") when I was growing up and he bit me once. It's my understanding that is the exception.

    You also could look into a Airedale Terrier. They are 50-70 lbs, good temperament usually, hunting dogs, and enjoy outdoors. We had one when I was growing up. She was very sweet and LOVED to go running with my brother.

    I love dogs and am jealous and wish I could get one.

    "Good God, Lemon! What happened to you in childhood to make you believe people are good?"--Jack Donaghy

    by Scott Wooledge on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:17:43 PM PDT

    •  Labs Like German Shepherds (12+ / 0-)

      appear to often development massive problems with their hind legs. Far worse with German Shepherds. In fact, this is the only reason I don't have a German Shepherd. It is the sole thing stopping me.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:30:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  UIUC has a surgery center where they can (5+ / 0-)

        do doggie hip replacements.  If you're in the East St Louis area, that's not that far away.

        My sister went there for her bulldog.  Unfortunately, they didn't make the replacements that small.

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:33:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  GSD's are my breed (6+ / 0-)

        I do not have one now but it has always been the family dog. We've had many and none of them had dysplasia. The more highly bred ones did have other health problems though. So it depends on your breeder. But what I would recommend is giving a shelter dog a home, you can find many discarded shepherd mixes as people realize they get too big. They are very loyal dogs, don't have excess energy like terriers and border collies that can wear you out, but sound like they would be perfect for accompanying you on the activities you do.

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:52:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

        these problems can also be carried by lab and shepherd crosses. Hip dysplasia is a pretty common problem in large breeds, and even in mixed breeds.
        I've owned labs and lab crosses, german shepherds and a shepherd cross (all but one adopted or rescued) and oh yeah, a doberman (GREAT dog), and being large active dogs, as they age, you will deal with problems like arthritis or dysplasia.
        Rescues, IMO, are the best places to get a dog, they have spent time with the dog and know some of the quirks you might have to deal with, and your money goes to rescuing more dogs. I like older dogs (my last adoption was a chocolate lab, who is now about 11 and has no hip problems), because I work all day and don't have the time for a puppy.
        I'm looking for another dog myself now.
        Good luck and have fun!

        If you can separate sex from procreation, you have given women the ability to participate in society on an equal basis with men. -Gloria Feldt

        by skohayes on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 04:05:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Purebred labs (0+ / 0-)

      Some lines are also prone to epilepsy, my parents had a few over the years with that issue.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:29:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have two labs. (10+ / 0-)

    They are great!
    sept stepping over them.

  •  I agree with Weck. (11+ / 0-)

    I'd make sure some of the mix is an active dog who will hike well.  As far as purebreds, we love our Nova Scotia DuckTolling Retriever.  I think most retrievers and setters are appropriate for hiking.  I LOVE Burmese Mountain dogs, but like most large breeds, they have short lives - 8-9 years.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:19:34 PM PDT

  •  Of course, I'd encourage you to (13+ / 0-)

    first shop shelters. Armed with the knowledge of breeds you can probably discern even if it's a mutt, what it might become.

    "Good God, Lemon! What happened to you in childhood to make you believe people are good?"--Jack Donaghy

    by Scott Wooledge on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:19:50 PM PDT

  •  Here Is What My Brother Has (13+ / 0-)

    a wonderful dog. Just what I want. But he is a handful. My gut is that is the owners fault :). They got him as a puppy the same time they had their first child. My gut is he doesn't get the attention and training he needed.

    X-mas 2011 (Murphy)

    BTW: A Labradoodle

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:22:24 PM PDT

  •  Well, (29+ / 0-)

    here's what we did when we wanted a dog and we had no idea what type of dog we wanted.

    We went to the pound and walked along the cages and it's really heart-wrenching because there are so many dogs desperate for love and homes.

    We came upon a dog just laying there with his head on his paws and his eyes were defeated and the date on his cage for his demise was the following day.
    He was ours at that moment and he was the best dog ever.
    Very smart, very loyal, loved to walk, loved to play, and loved to run.
    It were as though he knew that we saved him and he was forever grateful.

    Go to your local pound and your dog will choose you.

    Good luck.

    I love Pootie Diaries

    by arizonablue on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:23:24 PM PDT

    •  I Respect The Opinions & Experiences (15+ / 0-)

      of people here. It is kind of stunning the two times I've asked this question the responses are so similar. Get a mutt! Maybe I should listen :).

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:28:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My friend Joe Sudbay (12+ / 0-)

        picked out his dog Petey (seen here) at a pound. Petey's a prince. Such a good dog. Everyone loves Petey.

        I really haven't met anyone who didn't just love their shelter dog.

        "Good God, Lemon! What happened to you in childhood to make you believe people are good?"--Jack Donaghy

        by Scott Wooledge on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:43:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  aww... i love Petey! so cute!! (4+ / 0-)

          Faux News ruined my state

          by sc kitty on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:02:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Petey is a Cocker Spaniel (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis

          Looks purebred but not show quality.  I've got one of those -- SO not show quality they didn't even doc her tail.  She looks like the world's smallest black and white, somewhat square, English setter.  Don't ask me where it came from.  She's a rescue.

          She's a barker, which our last Cocker wasn't, but extremely submissive, so it's mostly to try and scare away people who are scaring her (which is almost everybody).  She was a bit of work at first, but now she's just a real sweetie.

          That being said, our next dog (many years hence, I hope) will either be another rescue or a shelter dog -- preferably the latter.  Like others here, my hardest task will not be taking home multiples.  With a husband and daughter who both have allergies, my crazy animal lady desires are limited to one of each, no more.

          "There isn't a way things should be. There's just what happens, and what we do." — Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky)

          by stormicats on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 08:14:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Petey's very quiet and gentle. (0+ / 0-)

            Just happy to be around hanging around the house.

            "Good God, Lemon! What happened to you in childhood to make you believe people are good?"--Jack Donaghy

            by Scott Wooledge on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 09:48:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's a Cocker Spaniel to a T! (0+ / 0-)

              VeVe, our girl, is a couch potato.  She is happiest when she has a human to lean against and lay her head on.  Nothing else is necessary.  

              Happy to be outside, certainly.  Would chase birds and squirrels if I let her, but I don't have a safe area to let her do that.  Runs around in wild circles for a bit when she does have a safe area to do it, then calms down and goes back to a meander.  Doesn't mind walks, even long ones.  Not a jogger, not the dog to run alongside your bike, though.

              "There isn't a way things should be. There's just what happens, and what we do." — Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky)

              by stormicats on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 08:22:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Whatever you do.... (11+ / 0-)

        if you presently have cats...make sure you get a cat friendly dog.

        •  Most dogs will work out (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jennyp

          a truce with cats- it took my dog, a frantic puppy when i got her, about 3 months to calm down and come to an agreement with the cats.

          I would be careful of spitz, malamute , husky and other wolf- like breeds. They can work it out but i know of a couple of tragedies that would have been avoidable with initial restraint.

          Baby gates to contain a new dog, in a room separate from the cats, will give them a chance to see each
          other, check each other out from a safe distance and also reduce any stress you might feel about everyone's safety.

      •  Rescue someone. (3+ / 0-)

        I had a purebred collie (best dog ever), a little poodly-terrier sweetie, a Malamute mix, and now, a pure Chow --every one a wonderful dog, longtime best bud, fuzzy anchor -- and every one would have been needled if I hadn't walked through the shelters & fallen in love.

        (I average a dog a decade. The first 2 were Mom's choice, a cocker spaniel --crazy dog -- and the wind-borne Irish Setter, from reputable breeders, both fabulous, but really, once you've adopted one from death row...)

        Good luck and have fun, webranding.

      •  I got my dog from the pound (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, Sandy on Signal

        About a year old, she was the only one not barking and showing off.  But she was lovely when they let me take her for a walk, and she showed she was trained by going into the bushes to do her thing. She was short haired, an Australian Cattledog/white lab mix. She was intelligent, only barking at people inside my fence, and she could predict rain 12 hours out (her nose would do a circle when she sniffed into the wind, one could set the timer for rain).  She slept in my bed, and protected my children.  RIP.  Mast cell cancer (only some dogs get this, and no humans) got her too soon, although she beat the vet's odds of 6 months - by 3.5 years. Mostly healthy, she was running until the end.

        I strongly recommend a well researched, and picked out pound dog.  Do a couple of doggie dates, as this will be a companion for at least 10 years.

        “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” (Steinbeck)

        by sailmaker on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 10:38:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My family always gets their dogs at shelters. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZenTrainer

      Save a life and get a good dog.

  •  If you want the smartest dog on the planet (13+ / 0-)

    get a Border Collie.  German Shepherds come a close second.  Boxers are good looking dogs, but the average Boxer is as dumb as the proverbial box of rocks.  

    One thing to consider is the coat.  Many dogs are double coated.  Our German Shepherd would manage to clog up the air conditioner condenser at least a couple of times a year with the tufts of fur he would shed.  My sister breeds dogs and explained to me that some dogs have fur, like the German Shepherd and others have hair, such as the Poodle and several other breeds.  Hair works more like human hair.  Some will shed, but not like fur.  

    •  NEVER Get a Border Collie Unless You've Got a (6+ / 0-)

      life's mission for them and tons of room. I've known a few, you'd want them on a sheep farm or something like that, but not for someone who never got a dog because they go out of the house a lot.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:45:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There Is This Blog I Follow (4+ / 0-)

        they have a Collie. Got her cause she was cute. They are stunned how active she is. They have gone to taking her to a sheep farm twice a week. It would seem herding sheep is hard coded into her DNA.

        The first time they couldn't imagine she'd be able to do it. She was just so freaked out 24/7. Within seconds she was doing it.

        Taking her there to do this, well it has changed her behavior close to 24/7.

        When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

        by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:51:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, border collies are hard-wired... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flowerfarmer

          ... for being a working dog, and specifically the herding instinct is overwhelming.

          PBS: Nature: Dogs that changed the world
          Short intro.  I remember watching this show....

          Click on the photos to get a mini-essay on hard-wired behaviors.  The first one is for border collies.  The one absolute I remember from this show is about the border collies.  If they're kept occupied they're wonderful dogs.  If they are not trained, or do not have a job to do, they can become extremely destructive.  They do take up most of one's time.

          Border collie or rat terrier or fox terrier or standard dachshund or one of the hunting breeds or otherwise, the dogs who were hard-wired to work MUST have something to do just to keep their mental equilibrium..., or else they literally go crazy and have to be put down.  Some turn destructive enough to kill other animals (cats, dogs, whatever other pets there might be).  Working dogs are lovely..., but if you can't or won't take time to work with it, it will turn destructive.

          I love the look of border collies, but it's not a dog to have unless you live on a farm and have sheep to herd, and time to work with the dog and train it..., which is most of the day.

          One full-length video on the PBS web site that touches on this topic:
          Why We Love Cats & Dogs

          I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

          by NonnyO on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 11:09:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Border collies (0+ / 0-)

      Make good assistance dogs as well. We had a Border/blue heeler mix for our autistic son years ago, behavioral dog. Chips was the best thing that happened to him in those rough years. I credit Chips with stopping his self-injurious behaviors, he'd put himself bodily in between my son's head and the wall, and as my son didn't want to hurt his dog, he'd stop.

      "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

      by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:34:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Labradoodle gets my vote. (8+ / 0-)

    They are big, no shedding, lovable, loving, bossy, intelligent, super protective, jealous, adorable.
    Did I mention bossy?
    You'll get endless pleasure ruffling their hair/fleece/wool.

    •  That Is What My Brother Has (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JoanMar, arizonablue, weck, vgranucci

      and I think it is the fault of the owners, but my gosh that dog is a handful.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:32:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, not the owners. They have their own (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arizonablue, webranding, weck, vgranucci

        personalities and they really do think that they are all that.

        •  I Realize At Some Level It Is Random (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          weck, JoanMar, vgranucci

          as a puppy you never know what you are going to get. Their dog, Murphy, is totally out of control. Clearly I'd never, never do this, but if it were my dog I could almost imagine leaving it on a back road. I mean I am about the most patient person you can find and he wears me out in a matter of minutes.

          When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

          by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:37:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oh! Murphy sounds as if has been allowed (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            webranding, vgranucci, Dallasdoc

            to run free.
            Dogs are like children in so many ways. You do have to set boundaries. You must let them know who is the big dog, so to speak. They will respect you if you do.

            •  Well The Opposite (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              vgranucci, JoanMar, hester, NonnyO

              my brother does two things I hate. One they both work, so for like 8 hours a day he is in a cage. They also use a shock collar, which I think is cruel beyond words.

              When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

              by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:59:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's just wrong (6+ / 0-)

                I am all for crate training, but not keeping it in there all day long.  I am against  shock collars all the way.  This keeps a dog in fear and neurotic.  In fact, they are not training the dog right at all.  Is it neurotic?

                ‎"When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative." (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

                by Sandy on Signal on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:13:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  It Is Terrible. Just Terrible (5+ / 0-)

                  I am not sure how you define neurotic, but he is a "problem" dog. I think these two things add to if not cause this. I recall being at his house and picking up the remote for the shock collar. The dog cowered as soon as he saw it.

                  I don't tell my brother how to raise his child or live his life, but I mentioned this was really fucked up.

                  When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

                  by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:17:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  A neurotic dog is an overly anxious dog (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    NonnyO

                    one that has been in a stressful or fearful situation.  They have different tendencies like cowering or lack attachment.  Dogs that are crated too long, like show dogs or owners who are not involved enough, will not bond well or act like normal dogs which is to want to be with you.

                    My friend is a dog trainer.  Years ago, she trained dogs for the Army and now she opened up her own kennel and canine courtesy school.   If the people are sane, the dogs will be trained.  Just like the military, they come out respectful and well mannered.  Dogs like that kind of structure.  It is orderly, no unexpected fearful situations.  This is how one trains a dog.  They follow the leader, the owner.  
                    However, there are people with their own issues and problems, lo and behold their dogs have them too.  It is sad to see breeds like Yorkiepoos and Maltese with the same issues as their owners.   One lady refused to let her dog go outside to do his business or anything else because she was afraid a hawk would steal him.  That seems like abuse to me, the dog is quite unfriendly just like the snobby owner.  It isn't natural for a dog to want to be inside.  This dog has issues because of the owner.

                    Shock collars and physical abuse create neurotic dogs, too.  Never hit a dog.  They understand "no" just fine.  Dogs that live in such a state of fear have trust problems.  However, when the dogs are out of those situations, many are so grateful for a good home, they are the best dogs of all.  Shelters are filled with dogs from abusive homes.

                    ‎"When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative." (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

                    by Sandy on Signal on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:16:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  I wonder what they feed the dog? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    NonnyO

                    Many people feed dog food that is high in sugar and protein. It's what we call "rocket fuel". That plus confinement and cruel punishment do add up to neurotic for any dog.

                    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

                    by ZenTrainer on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:44:31 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  The dog is not the problem... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Sandy on Signal

                    The human treating the dog badly is the problem...!

                    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                    by NonnyO on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 11:26:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  You're correct... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sandy on Signal, Iron Spider

                The shock collar is cruel beyond words...!!!  (Curse the day someone thought of it!)  Put the shock collar on your brother and let him see what the dog feels like....  Seriously, that's major cruelty!  [I would report him to the police department or the humane society if he were my brother.  He may be a nice guy otherwise, but a shock collar crosses all kinds of cruelty boundaries!  Nope.  I'm not above turning in a relative if they're cruel to an animal or a human.]

                Caging a dog for a whole day while they work is the other cruelty.

                Big dogs need to have a large yard to run and expend some of their major energy.  It's one of the major reasons I never had a dog as an adult living in a town and working all day and living in an apartment.  I knew the dog would go crazy, and I knew it would be cruel to the animal.  Dogs are pack animals and they need their pack around them (even if it's humans and not other dogs).  [From earliest childhood forward, we were taught to be good to our animals.  It was one of the few absolutes in our family: be kind to animals.  Even raising beef, pork, and chickens from young things forward and knowing they would eventually find their way to our table in the food chain, no one was ever allowed to mistreat an animal.]

                Try to convince your brother to give away or sell his dog..., or give it to a humane society..., and get that damned shock collar off the dog!!!

                I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                by NonnyO on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 11:25:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You must be willing (0+ / 0-)

                to be the alpha dog or you, and your dog, will me miserable.

                A great book for a new dog owner is
                'Good Owners, Great Dogs' by Brian Kilcommons.

                The best trick he gave me was the -pennies in the soda can- shaker to stop your dog from barking.
                It works pretty fast.
                Brian Kilcommons

          •  Be a foster home (7+ / 0-)

            Until you find one you really love.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:16:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  They aren't adults till they are 3 so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NonnyO

        until then they are quite a handful yes!

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:41:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Get a mutt. (12+ / 0-)

    Go to a shelter or rescue website. We've had two wonderful large dogs.

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:32:13 PM PDT

  •  My daughter (10+ / 0-)

    fosters dogs from the local shelter.  Basically there are very good people who rescue dogs from high kill shelters but simply have no place to put them.  They may have up to 10-12 dogs at a time and it is nice for them to have a foster place to go to until they get adopted.  I suggest you go to your nearest shelter and see if this is an option.  That way you can test out a dog or two to see if they fit into your lifestyle - and if not - you give them some individual attention until they can be placed in a good home.

  •  Get a mutt (12+ / 0-)

    My Charlie was the sweetest dog ever, and he was part shepherd, part collie, and part some kind of hound.  Brown dog.  Brown dog with a big, big heart.

    "Republicans are poor losers and worse winners." - My grandmother, sometime in the early 1960s

    by escapee on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:38:36 PM PDT

  •  I vote for mutt. (8+ / 0-)

    Get one that is a Shepherd mix, or a lab mix.

  •  Hmm. Not sure I can offer any help (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vgranucci, weck

    as I have two doxies; short legs that make them good for lap-cuddling but not so much for hiking.  But you should know that getting a dog will change your life, much like living with a young child would.  IMO, it's worth it, and your living arrangements seem to be perfectly suited for having a dog.  So, good luck and keep us posted.

    Koch Industries, Inc: Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft 'n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, Dixie

    by ChiTownDenny on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:46:44 PM PDT

    •  I Didn't Say This In My Diary (4+ / 0-)

      but I know it will change my life. Not sure if I can handle that. I know my dog needs me a lot more than my cats, which I think most days could do just fine without me.

      The people I know with dogs that are well behaved, spend a ton of time working with them. I don't want a non-well behaved dog :)!

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:53:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm glad you're considering all this. (5+ / 0-)

        Both my dogs went to puppy school; one when he was a puppy and the other when I adopted him at age 6.  At school, you will learn how to teach your dog behavior; i.e. sit, come, stay, etc.  Without school, you may have challenges.  With school, you will have an enjoyable experience with your dog.  So, if your ready to make the committment, it's great.  I couldn't be happier with my dogs, and yeah, they still somethimes misbehave.  ;)

        Koch Industries, Inc: Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft 'n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, Dixie

        by ChiTownDenny on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:59:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, you likely do (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, Sandy on Signal

        want a well behaved dog (my speculation). One that jumps on folks, barks incessantly, has separation anxiety, or bites (for example) is a liability and could make some of your friends and neighbors a bit uncomfortable. It also makes for unpleasant relationship between owner and animal if the animal is always being told to be quiet or whatever.

        Since you solicited ideas, here's what I'm thinking because I too would like to add a dog eventually. Actually, our cats are highly dependent on us and very social so we know they would miss us and be jealous of a dog for a while. But this is my plan:

        Get a book on dog breeds and look at the pictures as well as the personality traits. There could well be the same info on-line. I haven't looked except for a couple of specific breeds. Some breeds are good family dogs, quiet, active, energetic, sedate, calm, some good with cats/others not: the spectrum.

        Go with an adult mutt or a purebred rescue/pound should you find a breed that you like. Many of the rescue groups work together and if they find a "forever home" in a different state, sometimes folks will help with transportation.

        By going with an adult, you don't have the puppy training. Some rescues have greater needs than others, so consult with the experts there. They will help match owners and the animal because they want a successful placement for both of you. Also, by going with a rescue or pound animal, you save a pooch's life -- and could end up making a woozle that didn't have much hope a very happy pup!

        As an aside, I recently went to a cat purebred rescue site on Facebook, talked with the rescue folks about what kind of kitty to add after our beloved Jezebelle crossed over. They were very helpful.

        And one day, you'll walk into a rescue or see a picture and, as someone said upthread, your pooch will pick you.

        I commend you for asking. Adding another family member is serious work. Good luck! :)

        You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else. -- Sir Winston Churchill

        by bleeding heart on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:50:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My dog goes everywhere with me. She is so (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        flowerfarmer

        well behaved I never think about it.  That is kind of why my husband always recommended puppies because it is easier to train them and they become very bonded to you.  Sometimes pound dogs have problems from their treatment by previous owners although I always recommend pound dogs.  Like the dog whisperer says, the problems usually come from the owners not the dogs.

  •  get another cat ;-) nt (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, eXtina, vgranucci, weck, PhilK, psyched
  •  Go to the library and check out a book (7+ / 0-)

    called: "Paws To Consider". It tells the truth about each breed.

    The authors also have one called "Mutts: America's Favorite Dogs".

    Both books will help you match up your life style with a certain type of dog.

    Check with your home owners insurance to see what breeds they WON'T cover.

    And... what you are describing in personality is (sorry to say) a small or medium size dog. The bigger the dog the less active they tend to be.

    And always always rescue a dog from a shelter. You buy dog food, not dogs!

    My blog might have some articles on this.
    http://www.examiner.com/...

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:51:52 PM PDT

  •  Go to the shelter and get a large mixed breed (6+ / 0-)

    You'll know the right one when y'all meet. That's how I wound up with Chloe the Wonder Dog - I just knew. I wouldn't trade our two mutts for any purebred dog on earth, including that ewok-looking critter that won the dog show.

    Good luck!

    A little blue dot in a vast sea of red.

    by deha on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 04:53:17 PM PDT

  •  A Mixed Breed! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vgranucci, weck, Sandy on Signal

    Had a beagle-Fox terrier that was super smart and a Great Dane-Lab that was beautiful, gracious and sweet with family but very protective. You might consider a mid size dog because if it takes to sharing your bed, you might end up on the floor. LOL

    Whatever you get, go to puppy class.  It helps you to understand about setting boundaries and both you and the puppy will be much happier. It helps the puppy with their people problems -- YOU! Even older dogs will benefit from you going to puppy or training class.

    Dogs are way different from cats in what they need and how they entertain themselves.  

  •  Since you said you had a big yard, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, vgranucci

    I'm going to give you an unconventional suggestion.

    Get a rat terrier.  They are small, and tough as nails, they are quite capable of entertaining themselves.  They will dig the crap out of your yard going after varmints.  That can be a plus or minus, depending on your point of view.  I hate gophers, so it would be a natural for me, if I didn't have a cat that already blows the curve in all types of rodent-killing.

    •  AKC: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      webranding, vgranucci
      The Rat Terrier is a multipurpose companion dog that is capable of hunting rodents and vermin above and below ground as well as coursing small game. He is a sturdy, compact, small-to-medium sized parti-colored dog giving the appearance of elegance and athleticism.
      If you're going to leave it alone for any length of time, get some kind of terrier, terrier mutt preferably.  They're predatory working dogs.
  •  Look into getting a boxer. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, vgranucci

    If you want to have an athletic dog, you could do a lot worse than a boxer. They're great dogs. They can jump extremely high, though, so if you've got a short fence, be aware of that.

    I always like to encourage people to adopt. Shelter dogs are wonderful, and you can get one that's more mature, so you don't have to deal with all that puppy bullshit of them chewing up all your stuff.

    In my experience as a dog owner, get a lab if you want brains, a boxer if you want to exercise, and a healer if you want absolute, breathtaking loyalty.

    Best of luck.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    by NMDad on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:02:54 PM PDT

  •  Had a Lab here. She was wonderful. We had to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vgranucci

    put her to sleep at the ripe old age of 8 due to lymphoma, very common in Labs and apparently Goldens, which we had after, and had to put her to sleep at age 5.  Labs also have hip problems.  Both were absolutely wonderful dogs, very social, very trustworthy, very loyal and loving, but it was heartbreaking to lose them so young.  I'll never get another Lab or Golden for that reason alone.  

    "They love the founding fathers so much they will destroy everything they created and remake it in Rush Limbaughs image." MinistryofTruth, 9/29/11

    by AnnieR on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:03:44 PM PDT

  •  I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Best dog in (3+ / 0-)

    The world.

    They don't do a lot of barking. They are very pack oriented but not territorial. They were bred to hunt lions in packs of 2-5, so they can be very fierce. I got this dog when I was single and living alone. I lived in a duplex and had a fair number of "visitors". I wanted a dog that wouldn't bark a lot and who wouldn't try to attack strangers just because they were near the house or invited in. This dog will change its posture if he senses I (or any other member of the pack) is in danger. I like that.

    They're great with children and handicapped people. Very gentle. Extremely pack oriented. If you're active, they'll do active with you. But being hounds, they'll laze around with you if you want.

    Because they're fairly unusual they don't have a lot of breed oriented problems associated with overbreeding or inexperienced breeding. I got mine from an excellent breeder in Mt. Dora Florida.

    I think Lynn Swann was the owner of a brood of this breed. Check the animal planet's segment on it.

    •  My Gut From Asking This Before (3+ / 0-)

      and doing some research is I find a shepherd mix. One of the thing I find from looking at shelters by me is the large number of these dogs. My gut is (1) they got bigger than most people thought and (2) they are active and need attention.

      That second thing for me is actually a benefit, what I am looking for :)!

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:08:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's right. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, flowerfarmer

        People bought them as puppies because they are adorable.  Often they look like little wolf pups and are fun, fun, fun. Eight months later, they are large and they have shed their winter coat, all of sudden they show up by the droves at the Humane Societies.  It is a predictable and sickening trend.

        Siberian Huskies are beautiful and intelligent.  The shelters are full of them.  They are very active, alert and loyal.  They love being outdoors but never let them run off the leash.  If they do get out, eventually they come home.  It is futile to play chase games with them.  You will lose.  

        They are the most curious breed and love to check out what all the dogs are doing in the neighborhood.  They are pack dogs too.   They weigh between 35- 50 lbs.  If you saw the movie Snow Dogs, they are like that but worse.  Good chance there is a husky/shepherd mix at every shelter in this land and at every minute.  Both breeds get around way too much.  

        ‎"When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative." (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

        by Sandy on Signal on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:28:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Or they found out their home owners (0+ / 0-)

        insurance didn't cover them. :-(

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:48:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Google rescue dogs in your area (4+ / 0-)

    Whatever you do, don't buy a dog from a store or breeder.  There are more than enough of every kind of dog in rescues and shelters.  Everyday, purebreds arrive at Kill shelters.  You can find your perfect dog through a shelter.

    The larger and older the dog, the less chance they will be adopted.  Ask the rescue how he does with cats.  Some dogs even Alaskan Malamutes and German Shepherds  can be alright with cats.  If they are older or already had their nose scratched by a cat, it may work.  Both of those breeds shed, so that is a concern, too.  Will the dog be indoors most of the time?  How often will it be outside?  

    Standard poodles are the smartest of all.  There is also a new craze the labradoodle and golden doodle- blends of labs with poodles or retrievers.  They seem to have a great combo from both breeds: intelligence and obedience.

    Obedience training is a must.  Ask how the dog ended up at the shelter.  You can tell if a dog had basic training within a few seconds of seeing it.  You can also tell if a dog has been abused right away.  If it jumps up on you, put your hand palm flat and point down.  The dog should obey that command.   Dogs pay attention to signs.  Some dogs will cower and that is because of past abuse.  Be gentle but firm.  Assure him, it is alright.  Then try "sit, come and wait."    See how it goes and walk it on a leash at the pound or shelter.  If it needs training in this area, ask the shelter who they recommend and what to do.  

    The best trained dogs are crate trained.  All dogs need their own space, so plan on a getting a crate.  If it is a puppy, this is the easiest way to way to housebreak.  At night is the best time to use a crate.  Don't keep him in it for long periods of time especially during the day.  They need to explore and be part of the household like the cats.

    Look for alertness and happiness.  The dog should wag its tail when you walk with him because he thinks you are his master.  Be firm if he tries pulling on the leash, he should stay near you and slow to your pace.  Some dogs need more manners training but if the dog seems willing to obey, you are on the right course.  They are different than cats in that they really do care what you think.  

    ‎"When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative." (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

    by Sandy on Signal on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:07:43 PM PDT

  •  Hit the shelter and find one that adopts you. (8+ / 0-)

    I really must find a good sig line!

    by Rileycat on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:22:55 PM PDT

  •  We have owned a number of different dogs. (4+ / 0-)

    Two lab mixes, a German Shepherd/Pit mix, a Jack Russell and a part chihuahua part alligator named Sassy. Each dog had their own issues and their own greatness. Right now we have a lab/German Short hair (more GSH than lab) and our little Jack.

    All of our dogs were raised with cats and I would recommend that you start with a young one or one that has lived with cats, you don't want any tragedies. When picking your dog look for one that fits your energy level and be conscience of the dog's needs. Some are great couch potatoes and some are great couch eaters.

    You owe your dog walks and the opportunity to burn off their energy. Does the dog need a lot of grooming? Things like that really matter. Having a dog is the best! but be realistic about your expectations.

    "But much to my surprise when I opened my eyes I was the victim of the great compromise." John Prine

    by high uintas on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:30:34 PM PDT

  •  I've had many dogs and definitely prefer large (5+ / 0-)

    breeds over smaller dogs.  My favorite was an Irish Setter, who was great with the kids, a good alert dog, loved to hike or run along side us when we were horseback riding, loved the boat and water and boy, could she hunt.  We've also had Alaskan Malamutes that we trained to pull a dogsled.  They were beautiful, also good with kids and need lots of fenced area to run. I really think they need lots of training to keep the "wild" in them under control.  We had a sweet dog that was a collie sheperd mix that was a great friend.  My neighbors and relatives have had black, golden and chocolate labs that are smart, shed less and are good companions.  They do have a tendency to chew on everything.  Golden Retrievers are loving and gentle.  My daughter has a Rottweiler that is a gem.  So much depends on getting them young, training them well and to suit your expectations.  These larger breeds live 10-14 years and I strongly recommend crate training.  Ours all went into their crates when I said "crate" and that was their safe, sleeping place.  It cuts down on any damage to rugs, furniture etc. when you are away too.

    "George Washington: "The power under the Constitution will always be in the people.... and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled." 1787

    by moose67 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:38:58 PM PDT

  •  Your best bet is a lab shepard mix. (6+ / 0-)

    Best of worlds.

    •  That Is My Thinking (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      weck, high uintas, ericlewis0

      I knew that was what I felt was right but I still asked this question, cause I over-think everything :).

      I have to admit the one thing I never thought about was mentioned here a lot. Which is grooming. I never even pondered this for a split second.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 05:44:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have two dogs outdoors. I do not groom. (0+ / 0-)

        The biggest issue is ticks.  I pick them off everyday and collect them in a baby jar of alcohol or mouthwash.  Even so, the ticks can get ahead of you.
        I may wash and brush the dogs once a year to help pull off their thick winter coats.  It gets hot here.
        I do not let my dogs in the house and they do not want to come in the house.  I have a spot for them in the mudroom as they came in for the first time, for a short time this winter when we were having those 4 degree nights.
        The best thing during cold winter, if they refuse to come in is a stack of hay bales.  It is the best if a bit pricey and are best changed each year because of vermin like ticks.  I spread the bales out in the chicken coop.  Dogs like thick piles of leaves too.  They enjoy lying on cheap blankets and old coats.

    •  Good suggestion. I had a dane lab mix that was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandy on Signal

      awesome too.  His name was dude.  Kids loved him.  I used to let him out of the car on a back road and follow him at 25 mph for about three miles.

  •  Mutts are way less likely to be problematic. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, ericlewis0

    Mutts and crossbreeds tend to avoid the worst of the AKC-sanctioned suffering we humans inflict on upon these wonderful animals.

    We have a cocker spaniel/pug mix which we consider (without any bias at all) to be the perfect dog. Has the typical pug's affectionate nature without all the eye and nasal problems. And unlike way too many cockers these days, he isn't...well...psychotic.

    If you let them run, even ankle-biters are a lot more athletic than we are, so you don't need to go for a big dog to have one that can keep up with you on hikes.

  •  Best dog I ever met was a Doberman. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, ericlewis0

    My plumbing customer wasn't going to be home, but she told me to let myself in.

    Just as I started opening the door, I looked through the glass and saw a huge dobie laying on the couch, hair standing up on his neck, perfectly rigid, staring right at me.

    I quickly pulled the door shut. The dog didn't move a muscle, but his stare totally freaked me out. With heart pounding, I said fuck it, I'm going home.

    That night on the phone my customer laughed her ass off. She said "Gilroy" wouldn't hurt a flea. We rescheduled for the next day when she would be home.

    She met me outside and immediately regaled me with her doggie's stellar attributes - doesn't shed, doesn't bark, doesn't act aggressively toward strangers. The most even tempered dog she's ever owned.

    As we walked inside she wrapped it up with, "Best of all, he doesn't eat or poop. When he died six years ago we had him stuffed."

    So, if you want a totally hassle-free dog, I'd recommend stuffed.

    Bonding, however, may be problematic.

  •  large breeds generally don't live as long and have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, ericlewis0

    more major health issues.

    just a happy-go-lucky guy

    by happyman on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:10:23 PM PDT

  •  Go w your gut. Just make sure you train her/him, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, boudi08

    spend a lot of time with her/him, etc. Remember if you let him/her sleep in your room you are giving them attention (In dog terms).

    Love the dog w your whole heart nad you will never be forsaken. They are the best.

    If you are interested in raw feeding let me know via kosmail.

    Good luck

    "Say little; do much." (Pirkei Avot: 1:15)

    by hester on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:15:12 PM PDT

  •  Try fostering a couple of dogs first. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, ericlewis0, flowerfarmer

    When you have a dog, their schedule is your schedule.  You don't get to sleep in anymore on the weekends.  Your dog needs to go out.  Don't feel like going for a walk today?  Too bad.  Your dog needs it.  Out partying and just want to crash at 2AM?  Not until you let bowser out.  

    Are you ready to shell out money for some good obedience training for both of you?  Are you able to handle vet bills that can dash to a few hundred bucks without even breathing hard?

    I've seen people think it would be great to get a dog and then get pissed because they (the owners) were too lazy to properly stimulate/socialize/care for their pet and things went south.  Shelters are full of "wouldn't a dog be fun?" victims who got left behind by people who didn't do their homework.

    Which you're attempting to do now.  Good for you.

    For the record, I had a Staffordshire/Lab mix that was a better companion than a lot of people I know, hands down.  Smart, funny, loyal, calm.  Just beautiful animal.

    Good luck!

    Oh - and your cats will hate you for a loooooong time.

    Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln

    by CJB on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:20:08 PM PDT

    •  Speaking of your cats, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilK, ericlewis0

      Prey drive is something to take into very serious consideration.

      Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln

      by CJB on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:24:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Joke I Am Single, Never Married (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CJB

      folks tell me I am good looking. Really good looking. I think I am single cause I am self-centered, very independent, maybe even rude. My cats are like me.

      A dog worries me ....

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:26:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I think that's a good sign. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm really a dog person, but I switched from dogs to cats because I raise other people's children for a living and having a dog is like having a 3-yr-old, time- and attention-wise.  I just can't handle that much "need" after a day with four small children.

        Cats, on the other hand are so blessedly self-reliant. :-)

        Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abraham Lincoln

        by CJB on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:34:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Dog Needs to Get Along With Cats (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding

    I saw a tv show where a pet store allowed prospective dogs to interact with a cat to see if the dog could get along with a cat. If the dog got along, it was a good fit for the cat owner.

  •  question re preferred temperment: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, Lujane, pdxteacher

    I'm an animal behaviorist (or was one in a previous life) and it always amazes me that people looking into which breed they want often don't consider temperament. Do you want a really smart dog? Very obedient? Boisterous or calm? Loves only you or likes everyone?

    Another consideration is the tidyness factor: long haired dogs can shed a lot, and some mid-short hair breeds shed too. You have to do a bit of research on that, if you care. If you mind living with dog hair all over everything, then you might consider a shorthair breed. Allergies are another issue. Labs and other water dogs are notoriously allergenic, while people with allergies often get poodles because they supposedly are "non-allergenic" (somehow I doubt that).

    Personally, I'm a cat and bird person (not at the same time!), but if I were to get a dog it would be a cattle dog or an aussie shepherd. Both are compact, mid-size dogs, known for extremely high intelligence and loyalty. They aren't particularly aggressive and do well with other people and also can be kept under control in the wild off leash. Tempermentwise, aussies can be slavishly worshipful to their owners (it's the border collie genes), while heelers are supposedly more independent, which some people like.

    The other breed I have heard good reviews about but aren't mentioned much are greyhounds, which you can get through a rescue service to soothe your conscience, if that's important to you. Every greyhound I've met is ultra calm. Owners tell me they are not super active at home and are happy to just quietly hang out with you. But let them go in an open field and it's like watching a high performance racecar accelerate. They aren't too bright though, and don't live very long (like most large breeds - keep that in mind), but hey you can't have everything.
     

    •  I Am Thinking About This 24/7 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane

      what I don't want is an aggressive dog. I live in a very rural area. Safe area. Most days I don't even lock my front door. I don't need a dog that barks or could protect my house.

      What I want is an active and pretty intelligent dog.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:37:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  check into aussie heelers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding

        If I lived in your environment, that's what I'd get. They are known to be "quiet" and only bark when there's an intruder. Which I really appreciate - I live in an urban neighborhood in which every damn neighbor has a dog that barks uncontrollably at certain times (and often all day - I work at home, so I know). FYI those barky breeds are: Great Dane, Dachshund, Peruvian Orchid Dog (hairless, looks like a rat!), Sheltie mix, Basset Hound, Pit x Basset mix.

        There were some good book suggestions above. I think that it is possible to put too much into breed temperaments: each dog is an individual and needs to be assessed on its own. Before you go to the shelter, or breeder, or adoption service, read up on how to pick a dog: what behavioral clues to look for that will tell you how that particular animal will behave. From what I've read (I'm not an expert at this), you may want to look for a combo of a few qualities: calmness, alertness, intelligence, and friendliness.

        Good luck, and I hope you write a diary some day describing your experience selecting and getting your dog!

      •  The most docile dog I ever had (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        webranding, flowerfarmer

        was a 110 lb. male Alaskan Malamute.  We call him "the Gentle Giant".  I also have two female Alaskan Malamutes, they are definitely the alpha dogs.  Malamutes have a reputation for being aggressive and are dog dominant, mine are not.   When I walk Yuri, if an unleashed male dog comes around, he just stands still and looks at them, they walk away.  Doesn't growl.  I have never seen him fight.   Neutering is a Godsend for many reasons.

        He does bark but only if a dog walks through the yard.  One night my car was broken into and none of my 5 dogs did anything to let me know.   My three cats fight on a daily basis, but my five dogs (3 Malamutes, a golden/husky mix, and a lab mix) are a mellow family.

        ‎"When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative." (Martin Luther King, Jr.)

        by Sandy on Signal on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:05:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Watch what you ask for. ;-) (4+ / 0-)

        When most people think of smart dog they are actually thinking "compliant". They want a dog who will do what it's told to do. GSD's do this very well, it's what they love to do.

        I think a smart dog is one who can problem solve which is not always desirable when the problem they are solving is how to unlock the gate.

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 07:54:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  get a jack russell (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    webranding, ZenTrainer

    I shared my life with one for 12 years before she died of age.  They are small dogs and have medium coats so there is minimal care needed and they are very self sufficient.  They are also fiercely loyal and bond completely with their human.

    Only be warned; they are extremely high high energy, like being on speed.  However this is their joie du vivre and their extreme zest for life.  There are also several Jack rescues around the country who can help you find a suitable canine companion  

    •  I House Sat For A Jack Russell (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lujane, flowerfarmer

      for three weeks. A total, I mean a total nightmare. Glad you had a good experience, me not so much.

      When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

      by webranding on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 06:51:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it depends on the individual dog's temperament (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane

        I now share a room with a Jack/Fox terrier mix and she is quite a dowager lady.  Question is finding one that has had house training and has a more bombproof temperament than the one you describe.  You will find most larger dogs are not well suited to apt living and smaller breeds work out better
        Wish I could help you find a pooch; don't know if you know of this site
        http://www.petfinder.com/...

  •  Germans Shepherds are smart, but purebreds (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal, Debbie in ME

    have lots of problems.  One of the smartest dogs I ever had was a German Shepherd.  He got hip displacement at an early age.  Get a mix.  I had a great dane lab mix that was large, could run and hike all day long and was the kindest dog.  

  •  Let the dog rescue you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debbie in ME

    You need to let a dog rescue you.   go find him or her.

    You don't choose, they will choose you.

    I have never picked a pet in all of my life.  They have all picked me.  

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sun Apr 01, 2012 at 08:41:58 PM PDT

  •  What about rescuing a Greyhound? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal, Debbie in ME

    They are sweet couch potatoes in the house, despite their size, but they can (obviously) run with you.  You'd have to leash him/her, though.  From what I understand, if they see something chaseable, that sighthound instinct takes over and they'll run off from you...

  •  We talked to a breeder many years ago (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal, Debbie in ME

    about labs. She did not recommend one for us because we were going to be away at work all day. She advised us not to get a working dog like a lab unless we could actually give it work to do every day. A working dog without work often spells trouble, because they end up engaging in destructive behaviors if they aren't occupied.

    We got a pair of Boston Terriers. Their "work" is sleeping on your lap; in the absence of a lap, they'll accept a comfy chair as a substitute. When you come home, they'll bounce off the walls for a while, then they'll happily hang around doing whatever you want to do with you.

  •  We got a rescue Australian Shepherd (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debbie in ME, tardis10

    six months ago.  She is a beautiful tri color, smart as a whip, loves exercise and is affectionate beyond belief.  They love their owners so much they are called "Velcro dogs".  We just adore her, and I would recommend the breed to anyone.

  •  Here's a helpful book (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Debbie in ME, tardis10

    It's about choosing a dog, based on its behavior, rather than its appearance, or other possibly misleading attributes.

    The Perfect Puppy

  •  A mutt from the local Humane Society shelter would (3+ / 0-)

    be best. They're usually checked out for problems, to see if they're sociable or not, and many of them are housetrained so you won't have the initial housetraining problems.

  •  No matter what (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandy on Signal, Debbie in ME

    It doesn't matter what breed or mix you decide on. Just make it a rescue dog.

    Woof, arf, arf, bark bark

  •  Best large dog I ever had was a (0+ / 0-)

    Lab & Kuvasc mix. Smart,funny,affectionate and friendly.Good with kids. but no idea if she liked kittehs. Certainly ones that found their way into her space didn't phase her. Not much did.
    Best of luck.

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:17:42 AM PDT

  •  My input (0+ / 0-)

    I suggest a lab mix or a Catahoula Leopard mix. Both are friendly, active, easily trainable and tend to get along well with cats. If you get a rescue dog, make sure it's either a puppy or has known experience with cats. A dog raised with cats is more likely to get along with them. Our Catahoula treats our cat like her puppy, which works very well, but we got the kitten shortly after Freya lost her puppy.
    Catahoulas are a cattle herding/hunting breed out of Louisiana originally. They are great with kids, other animals, and protective without being aggressive. They are also very smart. I know of many Cata owners who get toddler locks for the fridge because Cata's learn how to open them and help themselves (and they usually close the door after too so it takes you longer to figure out where the food is going). They also tend to kill snakes, so if you have a pet snake, don't get a Cata.
    We've had two Cata assistance dogs. Both of them at some point have protected him from other dogs (who we think had a problem with the wheelchair). Both of the attacking dogs were put in their place and kept off my husband but neither one was injured by our Cata, just a little wet from soft mouthing. One of the attacking dogs was a Shepherd mix, the other was a much smaller dog. Both of our Cata's were rescues. Freya is still with us, Sadie passed on several years ago.

    I personally don't trust shepherds but that's my issue and I recognize there are a lot of good shepherds out there, I just generally have not run across them with a few star exceptions.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 05:27:00 AM PDT

  •  Terrier and terrier mixes (0+ / 0-)

    whether Staffordshire, Wheaten or Airedale (the bigger ones) have fewer health problems than other purebreds and are perfect for single people -- they tend to be one person dogs.  They're also very smart, have great stamina and athleticism and can be trained for love of you alone.  On the down side, they are bred for independent action, so "classic" choke collar training won't work -- it brings out the stubborn.  My terriers have always been a little short on sympathy, too -- I need to be very obviously "sick" to be excused from getting up and getting out and getting going.  Self pity is not an option.  For me, all that makes them perfect -- Though I will say too, that like most working dogs, they'll get into all sorts of imaginative trouble if they don't get enough excerise or have enough "work" to do.

  •  If you live near hunting country (0+ / 0-)

    Check shelters for hounds a few weeks after what ever the hell season it is that they use hounds for hunting support.  I one place I lived, every year (sorry, I forget what season) around the same time, the shelter would get a few beautiful hounds that did not make good hunting dogs and would be abandoned in the woods.  The dogs (up to the point where they were ditched) were well taken of and already pretty well trained.  I wish I had the time and/or the space for a coonhound.  Easygoing and not a slobbery as most hounds.

    "Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars" --Casey Kasem

    by netop on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 08:04:21 AM PDT

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