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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! This is my first post I joined today. So the situation I am in is that I am getting married in May and my fiancé and I are moving to a new area it's an apartment complex on 100 acres of land. We both work the same hours although she can bring a dog to work with a fair amount of regularity but to safe I'll say the dog would be alone 4-8 hours a day and we'd hire a walker.

We are very active I run 1-3 miles a day depending on how I feel or the weather (I live in the northeast). We could dedicate on our absolute WORST day schedule wise an hour to an hour and a half of exercise to a dog (I run before work). I really don't care about the looks of the breed or any of that but we want a dog we can leave alone, although we probably won't actually be leaving it alone for that long but I just want to get a dog that can manage if we need to make adjustments to our schedules. But we want a dog that is able to keep up with me running and we can take hiking overnight.


We've looked into Brittany's and my parents own one but he's always been extremely low energy and the best dog I have ever had. Which I really don't expect from another Brittany. So I am just looking for dogs that are comparable or if anyone has any experience with Brittany's in an apartment and how you think they would fair in this situation. I am fairly experienced training dogs but would prefer a dog that is more cooperative. Thank you so much!
 

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I have to say that unless a dog is really barky most can be good apartment dogs as long as they're well exercised Kiel you're planning to do. You might be interested in other sporting breeds like a Lab or possibly Weimaraner or GSP. I think a lot of bully breed mixes would love an active lifestyle like that too. And you implied you knew but it's def not the norm for a Brittany to be low energy.
 

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Never known a Brittany to be 'low energy'! Your dilemma is, for apartment living, you need a dog that does not require a lot of exercise and is at least in relative terms a 'low energy' dog. For a dog to be able to keep up with your one to three mile daily run, you need a 'high energy' dog, something of a conflict with your needs for apartment living.
 

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With exercise most dogs can be apartment dogs. I raised three in an apartment. Vegas, Nevada and Shorty. A lab/pointer, GSD and Basset Hound. They got walked and time off lead too to run. Vegas was the most high energy. Nevada had a unique situation and didn't have much stamina. So IMO most dogs would do fine in an apartment as long as their needs are met. One woman had a Brittany, he was no where near low energy.
 

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Honestly, as long as the dog gets enough exercise, any dog should be fine. An old training mentor of mine had a working line German Shepherd Dog and a Belgian Malinois living in a small apartment.
How long are you planning to leave this dog alone?
 

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Depends on how hard you are willing to work with your potential dog!

I'm a backpacker/hiker and live in a condo. We have a yard, but its very small. I own an Australian Shepherd (a typically very high energy breed) and have had her since she was 8 weeks. So puppy energy+natural genetic energy+condo sounds like a disaster, but so far it has been more than perfect. I walk her every morning for about 30 minutes to an hour, then go for an hour walk in the evening and somehow incorporate training....every day. I do bigger hikes on my days off as well. I work full time and between me and my BF she gets left alone for up to 6 hours a day.

It all works out fine. Aayla is great in the house, its not perfect, some small issues, but heck she is a puppy after all. We make it work, and it isn't a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ursie probably the worst case scenario the dog would be alone maybe 8 hours never anymore than that and that would be irregular I'd imagine 4-6 hours is the fairest honest assessment I can give but chances are my fiancé will take him/her to work. And yes Spud is the Brittany my parents have he is the son of a tricolored French Brittany we had when I was a child and she was super high energy so I've seen what they can be like. We kept spud because he was so abnormally low energy that we honestly thought something might be wrong with him despite the vet saying he was healthy, it just didn't seem responsible to sell this puppy that would much rather take a nap than play(which is unheard of for a Brittany) but he grew up and is 13 now living at my parents house and has always been a couch potato hence the name "Spud." He's definitely a unique dog lol.
 

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Honestly 1-3 miles a day is nothing for an active breed. I have a border collie/spaniel/something mix and a wirehaired pointer -- they don't start breathing hard until at least 6 miles.

I live in an urban apartment with no yard, but these dogs get at least 2 hours exercise daily (more on weekends). Those hours may be offleash at the dog park or in the forest, or on-leash running with me (3-6 miles) or my SO (6-10 miles). Although we don't run them with my SO much anymore because they were getting too fit :)

If you just want a companion for 1-3 miles and some hiking, then nearly any breed larger then 10 lbs can do that and I would stay away from active sporting breeds (GSP, Weim, Vizsla, Britanny, etc), especially as they're more prone to separation anxiety. The apartment isn't a concern at all provided you can meet their exercise needs.

Are you open to rescuing or do you really want a purebred?
If set on a purebred you could look at airdales (smaller size), tibetan terrier, a doodle of some variety, fox terrier, grey hound, beagle, sheepdog, bichon frise (yes they can hike and run!), or a well bred spaniel (be wary...some can be more britanny-type energy levels).

A bully-breed cross might do you well if you're willing to go that route, or a lab-cross.

Of course with the terrier breeds you may have difficulties with off-leash hiking (not sure if that's something important to you) in which case going for a working/sporting breed might suit you better but be prepared to give it LOTS of exercise. Or ask the breeder for the laziest of the bunch lol

ETA: Wheaten Terrier and Shnauzer (or Shnauzer cross) may be good options too! Irish Terrier is another to look at.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey thank you so much that's a lot of great info. We are open to a rescue dog I mean primarily we would like a puppy I don't really care honestly but she sort of does. I just want to make sure I get a dog that doesn't dump out on me during a run or hike which sometimes is overnight through the mountains in New Hampshire. Off the leash stuff is pretty important to me because I'm used to a Brittany that is really good off the leash. I am okay at training a dog for it but Brittany's are kind of easy since its genetic. But I really appreciate all that information.

I would love a bully breed to be honest it would be my top choice because there are so many in tough situations and I would love to rescue one unfortunately the apartment complex (and every other one we've looked at in Massachusetts) doesn't allow pit bull anything or anything resembling a pit bull in the complex.
 

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Hmm, off-leash sticking around will probably make terriers harder for your situation -- they love to follow their noses :) I'm not saying it's impossible, but most individuals in that breed category will require more effort to instill a reliable off-leash recall.

Too bad you're in the USA as over here they have a Klein Munsterlander which sounds perfect for what you want. Great size (40 lbs ish), attached to owner but not crazy separation anxiety (so good off-leash but can be alone), great with kids, hunting background but not as high prey-drive as gsp/weims etc. There are some breeders in the US but they're quite rare to be honest.

I've had 2 rescues that were puppies (and another that was 8 months old when we adopted her). Both were obviously not bully breed when we adopted them (we knew we wanted more a lab-esque dog) and both were amazing pets. But adopting is always a gamble.

You could go the sporting breed route, just be prepared for LOTS of mental stimulation AND physical exercise to keep the dog non-destructive.
 

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I will repeat what others have said, most dogs are fine in an apartment once they are sufficiently exercised.

I do want to outline though that if/when you get a puppy, it most likely wont be able for long walks and overnight hikes until its atleast 1 year old (depending on breed and size) as their bones are still growing etc and you could do serious long term damage - im sure you already know this but its important so I felt I had to say it.
Also you might need to take a while off work when you get him/her as they will struggle to hold in their toilets for 4-8 hours for the first few weeks aswel.

Other than that go with whatever breed you like really that is over 20lbs or so. And best of luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Has anyone ever owned a whippet or a greyhound? I understand that my off the off-leash desires are pretty much out the window but they seem perfect. And there seems to be a limitless number of rescue options. They're calm indoors and energetic outdoors but I do worry that if I get one they're gonna kill someone's little toy dogs in the complex. I mean obviously leashed it wouldn't be able to chase them but I mean God forbid I am not paying attention for two seconds during the dogs 15 year lifespan I wouldn't want to be responsible for someone's chihuahua or little dog getting maimed. Does anyone have experience with this? Is that a real concern or is it more one of those it could happen because it has happened a few times or if it is a genuinely hereditary issue that I'm really going to have to keep an eye on.
 

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Greyhounds are sprinters, built for expending energy quickly. They are not endurance dogs. I'm sure they could hike, but it wouldn't be their preferred territory. They are also quite delicate, so dangerous hikes would be, well, dangerous.

As others have said, there are tons of dogs that would work for what you want. Lots of shelter dogs would be fine. Otherwise, sharing my personal preference, you could look into smooth collies. They're athletic but not super high energy, so they'd be fine with chilling as well as hiking. The biggest issue in an apartment is the potential for alert barking, but that depends on the individual and training.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Great info. So we've narrowed it down to the following requirements.

Left alone for 4-6 hours per day although could be less definitely won't be more. (Can be adjusted potentially but would be a harder compromise to commit to)

We have the capability to excercise the dog strenuously but would rather a dog that we could take out for an hour or two a day and play with it to mellow it out. Basically I am not looking for a jogging companion but it is a high energy jog i would be happy to take it with me.

But most important is that the pooch is quiet and doesn't require extensive please be quiet training. Since all the dogs I've owned could bark all they want and the neighbors wouldn't call the landlord.

And second most important is a dog that can come with us on our hikes which are long and often overnights.


Two breeds we've also been considering are the clumber spaniel and Bernese mountain dog.

Definitely ruling out greyhound since I didn't realize how delicate they are and super sporting dogs are a little harder to handle since they are so high energy and often loud. But we are open to a sporting breed that is quiet and can handle a day of less exercise and wouldn't destroy the house.
 

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I can't say for sure that a Bernese will or won't fit your stated criteria, but I can say that they are WONDERFUL dogs. I've never met one that wasn't a sweetheart. However, be aware that they are prone to a variety of health issues and usually have pretty short life spans (which is why, sadly, I'll probably never own one).
 

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I heard that too their average life is 7.2 year which is tragic. A clumber spaniel has Bernese mountain dog bred into them. So their personality is apparently similar they're smaller too 55-80 pounds. I've also heard people put like sacs on their mountain dogs and clumbers to carry stuff which I don't know if that's normal or not seems like someone would accuse me of being abusive on a trail with that but it'd be nice for a dog to carry their own water bowl haha or like their snacks on the trail.
 

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Ditto SchnauzerGirl- I knew someone who got one as a hiking dog but before he was a year old he was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia- so bad that the last I heard they were having trouble finding someone who would even do surgery on him.

Another young berner I know was recently diagnosed with a "moderately severe heart murmur" so they have to be careful with his activity levels as well. Under 2 years old.

I know for a fact that the first dog I mentioned came from a bad breeder- don't know where the second is from. They are AWESOME dogs but make sure you get one from a really good breeder that's doing all of the appropriate health screenings on the parents before they are bred!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So not to sound too naive or ignorant. I am aware that looking into good breeder and everything is important and I of course really want to make sure I get a good breeder for any dog I get even a healthy breed but I really have no idea what to look for or where to start. I've done some research on what to look for but haven't found a reliable source to give me a good idea about what I am looking for with a breeder.

In particular how to protect myself from false information aka yeah all our parent dogs are healthy here's my word on it now give me your money! If that makes any sense. I've never bought a puppy before and I've always grown up around dogs that live healthy long lives so I really don't want to ruin that streak.
 

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Jabajoe:

You are doing the right thing by researching early. Picking a breed that fits your lifestyle (instead of based on appearance) is so important to a long happy relationship.

As for finding a breeder, be prepared to do some legwork. The first step is narrowing done the breeds you're interested in (check!), next research what hereditary illnesses can affect those breeds. A good place to look is the national breed club (example: http://www.clumbers.org). This website will contain lots of info about the breed as well as recommended health screenings. Additionally, most clubs have lists of breeders who are members of the club. Usually these members are expected to perform the health screenings required by the club. So the list of breeders is a good place to start, but you still want to ask for written proof of health screenings. They should be able to present documentation to show that the parents have passed every relevant health test. If they seem unwilling to provide this (or claim to have it but won't produce the paperwork), goodbye! Seriously, you'll do yourself a favor to pass. Don't settle until you find a breeder that meets your expectations and makes you feel comfortable. At this point, ask to visit. You should be able to meet the breeder, see their dogs, see where the dogs are kept, and meet at least the mother of the future litter. Good breeder are happy to show off their dogs and have nothing to hide. All dogs are clean, happy, and friendly. If they pass the home check, you can start discussing specifics about what kind of pup you want (I recommend you be specific about temperament, flexible on gender and color). The breeder should also ask you lots of questions, which shows they care about what kind of home you will give their puppy.

Don't be discouraged if it takes time to find the right breeder. And don't be surprised when you find a good breeder that you may have to wait for a pup. Most good breeders have wait lists. Most good breeders don't advertise (don't have to).

There's more that could be said, but I've given you enough to get started on the right path. Please continue asking questions and doing research, it will pay off :)
 
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