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Best site for finding a dog?

10507 Views 86 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Shandula
Okay, I have been looking on through all the animal shelters for several counties around me. I looking at every dog they have. I would say roughly, 60% of what they have is some kind of Pit mix, 30% is Chihuahua mix, 8% Random Large breed dogs, 2% very old small dogs. I have no interest at all owning anything with pit in it, not really fond of Chihuahuas, I don't want any large breed dog, and I don't want to make an emotional investment in a dog that might die in the next couple of years.

I have tried using to locate a dog to go check out, and it keeps saying no dogs match. It also does not work very well. If I choose, "YOUNG" it comes up with 10 year old dogs.

I also went down to the local SPCA and looked through their dogs and found nothing.

I want to go dog hunting today, but I can't even find a place to start. Can anyone recommend a good site for searching?
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Hi @John Howard !

Welcome to DF!

What are you looking for in a new dog? Have you ruled out buying from a reputable breeder? I'm not sure where you are located but perhaps you should try a Google search for a rescue local to you (if you choose to use a rescue). If you're on Facebook, you could look at various groups on there as well.

If you give us some info about what you are looking for, people here may be able to suggest something.
Thanks. I am looking for a small breed (not tiny) dog between 12 and 20lbs (full grown) that will be a low to medium energy family lapdog dog. I do not like hyper dogs. I am looking for a dog that is under 1 yr old. Breeds I have been considering are the Beagle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, of course a good mix of one these would be acceptable as long as it was not a mix with a Pit or a larger breed dog, or a high energy dog like a Rat or a Jack Russel.
Thanks everyone. I have been on petfinder all day looking at dogs. Texas is over run with pits and chihuahuas. I found a few dogs that pulled on my heart strings though, unfortunately, I can get a single shelter to answer their dang phone or return me call or email. I am kind of moving away from beagles to cocker spaniels. A lot of advice against beagles have been given. Maybe a mix that would tone them down a bit is still doable.
How much trust should I put in the breed classification that is listed on dogs. I mean some of the look good but some are like, "What"

Here is a picture of a dog. I am curious to see what ya'll think it is. Make your best guess and then I will tell you what petfinder says it is.

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Thanks for all those links. Basically my search criteria was

Type: Dog
Age: Baby or Young
Gender: Female (wife demands this)
Search Radius: 500
Size: Small

As far as those number statistics go, I would say about 50 to 60% of dogs listed as Lab, were either Lab/Pit or just pure PIT. When it comes to small dogs, oh my gosh, 95% was chihuahua mix of some sort, even if they were listed it as being something else. Probably 30% Chihuahua/Dachshund.

I really stopped going by what they were listed by, as I dismissed most of what was listed as a sneaky attempt to pass a pit or chihuahua off as something else. As far as the small criteria goes, well, a good portion of what I saw listed as small, was small because it was a puppy, and not because it was a small breed.

As far as beagles go, I have never owned one and just like the way they look. I finally got a call back from a shelter yesterday (only one), and the lady seemed very knowledgeable about dogs and told me that Beagles have a higher BITE average then most other dogs according to bite statistics (she said I could find this somewhere online). Well, with grandchildren and 36 great-nieces and nephews that come visit me, I cannot have a dog that will bite.

Honestly, I like dachshunds, but have heard that they are not good for small children because the potential for back injuries, and I will soon have a baby grandchild that will be living with us for the foreseeable future.

Again thanks for all the link. I really appreciate them and will look into each one.
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Man! I really liked that beagle/bassett mix Noel you listed, but the shelter is insane. You got to go through a month of interviews and then they actually choose a dog they want to give you. That's a bunch of bull. I am a grandfather, not a teenager. I have earned respect, and I will not put with that kind of disrespect.

Thanks, but if that is how all these shelters act, I want no part of them. They can keep their dogs.
All the dogs I liked at our insane fanatical shelters that won't even talk to you unless you have filled out an adoption application (no wonder I can't any responses from them), and then only after they have reviewed your application and talked with your vet first. It's insane!

I understand that people want ot make sure the dog goes to a home where it will not be abused. What really is the atrocity here is that in this country a girl can walk into a planned parenthood center and terminate the life of an unborn human child in less then three hours, and not even be required to receive counseling. It should not be more complicated to to adopt a dog then it is to end the life of a human. I don't care what you belief or motives are, that is an abomination!
Well, after looking at thousands of dogs, you finally find one and then you are met with this garbage insanity.


The Application is forwarded to our Adoption Committee. You can expect to be contacted within one or two days by our volunteer regarding the status of your application.
During this period the volunteer is busy reviewing the application details and speaking with your veterinarian for reference purposes. As soon as all the details are in place, you can expect a call from one of our volunteers to discuss the details of your application

If you are approved, our adoption volunteers will begin to review the bassets available for adoption and match the right basset with your lifestyle. Not every basset will be the right one. Through the evaluation of our foster homes, we are able to assess each basset for particular traits and dislikes. The basset that “speaks to you” from our website may not be suitable for your home. We will discuss each available basset before placing them in your home."

You will then be able to speak to the foster home for the dog you and the Adoption Committee agree best matches your preferences.

If the foster home agrees that you are right for their foster dog, a home visit will be arranged. If all parties agree this is the basset for you, the adoption can take place the same day and you can take your new family member home with you."

This is fanaticism on cultic level if you ask me!
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I understand their thinking, and I think it is nuts. They are saying that they want to make sure you meet THEIR standards before letting you have one of THEIR dogs. It is simply disrespectful of other humans.

I firmly maintain that there is no reasoning or argument that you will ever present to me that will justify it being more difficult and complex to adopt a dog, then it is to abort a human baby. And anyone who thinks there is justification for this, is not worth the effort of me talking to.

Regardless, I have found my dog from a reasonable, rational, respectful individual.
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Well, I took the gamble and got bit in the butt. I found this nice looking Yellow lab (Gus) at the local pound. He seemed very friendly and was the right age I was looking for (10 months). The pound had a record that concerned me though because he had been adopted from the pound at 6 weeks and then returned by the people that adopted him at 9 months. I asked the pound why the people had returned him and they just stated that it was, "Personal Issues". I took that to mean that the people could not provide for Gus anymore, but I wondered what kind of owner that loved their dog would choose to give him to the pound instead of finding him a better home. That was my question.

After getting Gus home we immediately fell in love with him. He seemed super friendly and responded well to training, something his previous owner gave him none of. One thing that concerned me though was that Gus seemed to be very hard mouthed for a Lab. He posses incredible jaw strength and is able to crush a cow leg bone (store bought) with a single bite.

All was well until my mother dropped off her little Miniature Pomeranian (Butch) for us to care for while she was on vacation. As soon as Gus saw butch in my mom's arms, he lunged at my mom almost knocking her over. It all happened so quickly, I thought he might have been just trying to play with the little dog. But that night when my son was walking Butch on a leash, Gus ran out the door when it was opened and attacked Butch viciously. Had I not right on his tail, he would have most certainly killed him. His ears were laid back and hair all bristled up. I got there in the nick of time as Gus had just got the little dog in his mouth and I only saved him with a swift and hard soccer kick to the rear of Gus, landing me on my butt between Gus and Butch. Gus reeled around and came right back at the tiny dog full force and I had to land a punch to his forehead to stop him. In all my years, I have only seen one other large dog attack a tiny dog like that for no reason. That was a neighbor's Pitt Bull that broke through a wooden fence into my back yard and grabbed our lhasa apso puppy out my 8 year old daughter's arms and crushed it's head in front of her. Most large dogs do not act that way towards tiny dogs.

I reasoned that Gus might be suffering some ill effects of being in the pound, so I decided that I might be able to fix Gus with training. After multiple attempts to introduce Gus to Butch and two other little dogs (in a controlled situation), Gus immediately responded with aggressive and deadly force. It's as if a switch is flipped in his brain when he sees a small dog and he goes right for the kill. So we started keeping gus in our dog pen during the day until I could have time to work with him more.

Then today the unthinkable happened. Our friends visited with their 3 year old grandchild. He was out walking with his grandma and got close to the edge of the dog pen and Gus viciously tried to attack the baby for no reason. Fortunately, he was penned or it could have been really bad. With the kind of jaw strength Gus posses, I cannot imagine the damage he could do. I cannot see the slightest bit of Pitt in him, but there has to be something besides Lab in there somewhere.

I don't know what his previous owner did to him for him to be this aggressive at 10 months old, but it is obvious why they got rid of him.

Unfortunately, there is no possible way I can keep Gus. My family is torn apart and devastated, but I will not tolerate an animal of any kind that will show even the slightest aggression towards any human. I have never owned a single animal that would, and never will. My family knows that this is a hard and fast rule in our house. I will be calling the pound in the morning to return him. I will also be telling the pound that they should do a much better job of getting information about dogs that are voluntarily brought in. They should warn people when they bring dogs in that if they do not disclose that the dog has demonstrate aggressive behavior towards humans and other animals, that they are responsible if that dog is adopted out by another family and it injures a human or another animal. If Gus would have hurt my friends grandchild, I would have gone to the ends of the earth to sue both the pound and the previous owners. As it is, my family is now suffering the emotional wounds of losing yet another family pet.

My suggestions to all of you, is to think hard before you again make the recommendation and encourage people to get a dog from shelters. I am not saying anyone here is responsible for what happened, but I had not thought about looking at shelter dogs before I was encouraged to do so on this forum.
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Okay, I have some answers for you, and also I have to say I'm thoroughly annoyed and quite angered with many things you have said, especially because some are flat out wrong and prejudiced.

First of all, likening this dog to all shelter dogs is ridiculous. Just because you had a bad experience does not mean that many other people--millions, don't have positive ones. Not only that, but you went on and on and on about how you thought good rescues' and shelters' procedures were "insulting" and ridiculous. Well, if you had gone to one of those instead of becoming personally offended by standard responsible procedures, you'd probably have gotten a better dog with a more thorough history and behavior tests. I find it ironic that you were bothered this shelter had a poor history on this dog yet you find anyone questioning people coming in or out to be a violation. A shelter that asks a lot of questions does so because they would know their animals well and would know how they behave around small dogs/pets and children better than this one did. Just the fact that they adopted out a 6 week old puppy is a huge red flag. That's entirely too young. In fact, puppies separated from their litter before 8 weeks can often have a very strong bite--because they didn't learn better bite inhibition from the other puppies. That might be part of why Gus was like that.

Also, no, it is NOT uncommon for a good number of large dogs to see small dogs as prey. Just because you haven't seen it in anything else than that traumatic attack on your dog doesn't mean that it doesn't happen a lot. If a big dog isn't well socialized to small dogs, and/or they have a high prey drive--which Gus clearly did, then they will probably go after and kill them if they have the chance. I'm concerned too and curious about how you were/were planning to train him with little dogs. Because if you put him in the same room with them right away it likely just riled him up more and made him want to go at them more. Like putting a Redbone in a room with a caged raccoon.

And he "must have some Pit Bull in him"? REALLY?! HOW is it people justify a dog's aggression by saying "Well it must be a Pit Bull!" instead of facing the fact any breed can be dangerous or aggressive?! That maybe it was his experiences or brain wiring that made him act in such a way? This logic is absolutely insane. Believe it or not Labs are responsible for many attacks on children. Not only that, but thinking that a breed makes a dog either dangerous or safe is one of THE most dangerous things that the American public believes. People will assume that a Pit Bull who has a therapy dog certification might one day snap and kill because it's a "vicious" breed. People will assume (like you did) that because something Labs can't be very aggressive, because it's a "friendly" breed. Different breeds have some personality predispositions, but all dogs need to be looked at individually. The dog you got was unstable, reactive to children and small animals, with a high prey drive and poor bite inhibition. His breed (like many dangerous dogs) likely had very little to do with that. And really, him being in a shelter probably had nothing to do with it either. After all, he was there for what, a month? I'm pretty sure whoever had him for the previous 7 months is who created or exacerbated his bad behavior.

You did not go to a responsible rescue. You went to one that fit your standards of "respecting you" and giving you whichever dog you thought "seemed nice" instead of answering and asking a lot of questions to find a dog that IS actually nice and won't go after small dogs and children. So no, you can't blame us for any advice we gave you because you didn't actually follow it.

To end my rant here, I am sorry that you went through such a bad experience and that poor Butch went through this too. But do not try to place any blame on the entire shelter world or a breed that has absolutely no involvement in this at all. This was all due to human irresponsibility, and what sounds like a very unbalanced, reactive dog.

I never said "It must have been the Pitt Bull in him'. You just made that up. I said the only other dog that I had ever seen attack a small dog was a pitt bull. I actually said that I could see no evidence of Pitt in him at all. So try reading before go on a rant.

As far as the rest of what you said goes. Your are free to your opinion. Opinions are like poop. Everyone's poop smells good to them, but stinks to everyone else.

I have lived in 6 different countries and I am fluent in four languages. I have seen and dealt thousands of dogs outside of this country and I have can say unequivocally that I have never seen so many unbalanced dogs with problems as I have seen here in the USA. Make of it what you will, that is just my observation based on my personal experience.

As far as Pitt Bulls go. They are just a dog, but they are dog with a much greater capacity to due damage and kill them the large majority of other breeds. Before you go off on another rant let me save you the time and list all the stupid regurgitated defenses that pitt owners use (It's like you all read them in a book.)

1. The Chihuahua defense. "Chihuahuas are far more aggressive then Pitt bulls are." First of all this argument is so dumb, it is an insult to the intelligence of the person who try to use it. Equating a Pitt Bull with Chihuahua is like comparing an air soft gun to a 44 Magnum revolver. One might sting you and the other will tear a hole through you the size of a dinner plate.

2. The German Shepard Defense. " It's really German Shepard's that are doing the attacking, but people just blame any dog attack on Pitt Bulls." This is actually a very insulting statement, because it assumes that every dog expert in the world is a complete idiot that cannot tell the difference between a German Shepard and a Pitt Bull.

3. The American Pitt Bull Terrier Defense. "It is not a true Pitt Bull unless it is a full blood American Pitt Bull Terrier, and there are almost no attacks reported for true American Pitt Bull Terriers". This defense is just so dumb, it is almost too dumb to address. It is simply as person's last ditch desperate attempt to defend the Pitt Bull breed by trying to create an impossible qualifier. As in saying, "If the authority did not ask for the dogs AKC registration after the dog attack, then you can't blame it on a Pitt".

There are some other, but I think I made the point. Here is the truth. Pitts are dogs, just like another dog. They are no different except for this one thing; they have a much GREATER CAPACITY, to inflict damage and kill then just about any other breed of dog. This is a result of their breeding. Anyone who denies this point, is simple living in denial. Any dog can become aggressive and bite, but few dogs can kill a human as easily as a Pitt can. So in this case owning a Pitt Bull is actually more dangerous then owning a gun. I Gun cannot get up of it's own accord and go kill someone or their dog. A Pitt Bull can!

I believe that anyone who chooses to own a gun, must except the responsibility that they are choosing to own a deadly weapon and must take full responsibility for that and take all measures to assure that that gun does not fall into the wrong hands and hurt someone. Like wise, I think Pitt Bull owners bare a much greater responsibility then say someone who chooses to own a Chihuahua, and needs to accept that they are choosing to own a dog that has the CAPACITY to kill a human and they should therefore take all possible measure to make sure that dogs never has the chance to do so.

That is my opinion. It might stink to you, but it sure smells good to me. :D
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Thanks for all the compliments guys.

I never blamed any of you for what happened and I said that. I just said that you should think carefully before pushing someone to go and get a sheltered pet. I guess I should have explained what I meant by that better, but time was short. I am sorry for that.

I simply meant that I believe that getting a sheltered pet is more riskier then getting one from an owner that knows the dog (which is how I have gotten almost every one of my many great dogs throughout my life). Most (Not all, most) of the dogs at shelters have been rejected by their owners. People in general do not REJECT good well balanced dogs without problems. They either keep them themselves or make sure they find a good home if they can't keep them. This is just plain common sense. That is not to say that dogs do not end up in shelters for other reason, or that all dogs in shelters are bad; it just means that when get a shelter dog, you run a greater risk of getting a pet that has been rejected because they have some kind of problem.

You guys have made judgments about me based on you limited understanding of the situation. There was my wife, two sons and daughter-in-law involved in the process. I did not not even want to get Gus myself. We went to the "Pound" after going to the ASPCA, where we met people from the City of Abilene Animal Shelter, who asked us to come by. We went there looking for a small dog, not a yellow lab. When my family saw Gus, they instantly wanted him, but I said no, because we did not know anything about him. I resisted for three days against unbelievable pressure from all of them. I finally agreed to give the dog a try under the agreement that if I saw anything I did not like in the dog, he would go away. So guys, you can throw all the mud at me you want for not listening to you and your advice about going to a shelter, but it just won't stick.

I never said that shelters should not investigate the dogs they give out, but I don't feel they have the right to investigate me. I don't need anyone to tell me what I NEED. I know exactly what I want and need. I just need them to answer my questions about the dog. I can make the decision whether or not a dog is right for me. I don't need anyone else's opinion about it.

I know most of you here think that you are more intelligent then me. I want to give you a chance to prove that. I want you to give me an intelligent, non emotional answer to this question.

What makes a dog of more intrinsic value then any other animal?

Let me give you an example of what I mean by this. I raise pure bred show chickens. Here are some pictures.

I invest heavily in the care of these birds. Many of them I hand raised from chicks. I derive great joy from raising them. What makes a dog of more value then my chickens?

I am looking for an intelligent answer.
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The question was an honest question and I think many people provided decent answers.

The answer is very simple though, a dog has no more in intrinsic value (belonging to a thing by its very nature) then any other animal. Dogs have no more intrinsic value then a chicken, a cow, a pig or a coyote. But, in this country, dogs that are pets have only been more Assigned superior value, but that is purely an emotional societal driven idea. It is an idea that is not based on intelligent logical fact.

The reason I am pointing this out is because a lot of the criticism I have received on this forum, comes from this societal idea of a dogs superior value. I think the majority of the people here, share this sub-conscience idea that dogs are more valuable then other animals. But this is a purely emotionally based idea based on an assigned value that you have given to dogs and not an intrinsic value that they have.

Here is the reason I used my chickens as an example. Yes, I have very beautiful chickens, which I enjoy very much. But the truth about raising show chickens is that you have to cull your birds. For those that don't understand what culling is, it means that you have to get birds of lesser quality out of your breeding program. Out of a 100 chicks, I may have to cull 97%. What happens to this 97%? They are converted into food for my table.

Now, I know some of you just had a knee jerk reaction to that last sentence, but how many of you eat chicken? Or how about beef, pork, and lamb? (Please no vegan comments here. We know what you believe. Okay).

If dogs have no more intrinsic value then any other animal, why do we think that it's okay to kill and eat one, but the other (Dogs) must be treated with almost human like care? Why is it that a state government that passes all kinds of laws to protect dogs from abuse, also hires full time professional hunters to chase down kill coyotes (Dogs) from helicopters by the thousands? (I can post video if you don't believe me about this.) I bet there are even people on this very forum that go out and kill coyotes (wild dogs), but think that their pet dogs deserve to be treated like humans. The truth is that the fact that we hold a much higher standard for the treatment of dogs in this society, is just proof that we have "Hypocrisy of Ideas".

I could go on and on demonstrating the ideological hypocrisies of the American society concerning domesticated dogs, but it is not necessary. You get the point.

Many of the comments and even advice here have been based on this illusion of supreme value that has been assigned to dogs. I think the reason so many of you are critical of me is because you don't seem to get yet that I don't share your value system for dogs. Or if you do, you don't like me for it. The problem is, that you have ideas that you live by that are not founded in logic or intelligence, but are founded in emotion. You are free to disagree, but you would then bare the burden of making an intelligent argument for why domesticated dogs hold a higher intrinsic value then other animals, and I think you know that you can't. The only argument you might make would be based on utility (whether physical or emotional), but that would still place them in the same category as livestock.

Listen, I am not saying you are wrong from loving your dogs. It's just wrong for you to ask everyone to value domesticated dogs the way you do, or judge them for not living by your emotional standards.

Personally, I view dogs in the same manner as I do my chickens. They exist for my purposes, not me for theirs. I do not exist to provide them with a good home, they exist to provide me with enjoyment. Not ascribing the same emotionally based illusion of superior value to a dog as you do, does not make me a bad pet owner. My animals are very well taken care of and generally live full lives with me and die of old age. I would challenge anyone here to come and visit me and tell me if any of the dogs that I have owned in my life were not the most friendly, well balanced, healthy dogs you have seen.

Why am I saying all this? Because, I just want you to understand who you are dealing with. I hold a completely different value system then you. I do not subscribe to the modern American cultural ideas about dogs. I understand that I am in the minority here and that there are many people that are fanatical about their FEELINGs towards dogs that are based on this emotional illusion of superior value. Unfortunately, a lot of them volunteer at shelters.

I am looking for a dog that meets my criteria, not me their. If I get a dog that does not fit my needs, he will be culled, just like Gus was (Taken back to the pound). To some of you, this qualifies me as a person that is "Not taking the subject of pet ownership seriously". But that would be you asking me to live up to your standards of dogs having a higher value then my chickens.

I know what kind of dog I am looking for. I have found many great dogs on my own in my life without anyone else's help. I bet I can do again. I don't need some fanatical idealist shelter volunteer telling me whether they think I qualify to own one of their PRECIOUS dogs.
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