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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi!
I have no dog owning experience, but I do have some experience with them as I have friends with dogs, and some family too.

I'm more of a bird person, but she passed away the 10th of May and I won't be ready for another one for quite some time and I would love to have a dog and a bird in the future.
I'm thinking it'd be smarter to get the dog first to train it properly.

Now; I would like it to be sort of like a service animal due to my different forms of anxiety-related issues.
I would prefer a medium sized dog (australian shepherds, australian cattle dogs etc.), or a larger breed would be alright too.
I don't think I could handle excessive shedding, seasonal is fine but constant year-round shedding would be too much for me.

I'll be gone for approximately 6 hours 3 times a week and 4 hours twice a week. So there'll be time for exercise, I love going for walks and whatnot, so it'd be nice with a partner too.

I'm not really sure what else I should bring up so feel free to ask if I forgot something and you need more to go on to suggest a suitable breed for me to read up on.
 

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This:
Hi!
(australian shepherds, australian cattle dogs etc.)
does not go with this:
I don't think I could handle excessive shedding, seasonal is fine but constant year-round shedding would be too much for me.
I'll be gone for approximately 6 hours 3 times a week and 4 hours twice a week.
There is a joke that Aussies shed twice a year...for 6 months at a time :) That beautiful coat does shed, fairly heavily in the summer months for sure. ACDs I think are decent shedders as well, just different hair. Instead of the long hair of the Aussie, you get the short stiff hairs of the ACD.

The herding breeds are very job oriented, so I'm a little hesitant to recommend them to you if you'll be gone that long during the day. They also tend to be a little crazy for first time dog owners. They're smart and easy to train, but that intelligence can be a real pain in the butt for a bored dog. However, if you could find the time to make sure they are tired before you left it might be alright. I wouldn't suggest a puppy though, unless you can take some time off.

If you're looking for a dog to help with anxiety, I don't think it needs to be a specific breed. There could be a perfect shelter dog out there that would help you immensely. You could also look at the "classic" service dogs like Labs or Goldens (these are both decent shedders though), another though might be Poodles (in any size).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
They were just examples as far as size goes ;) My friend's actually dog sitting an aussie right now.

Some shedding is alright but I don't think I could do a ton of constant shedding.
Would you say it's easier to clean up the longer hairs, rather than the shorter stiff hairs?

Yeah I don't think a puppy would be the way to go either.
There's not a whole lot of shelters where I am (overseas), they usually just have cats, although I still check them out just in case.

If I were to go for a puppy, how long would you say I need time off for?
I don't think I'll go for a pup, but still good to know.
And what age should I go for? I wanna be there for most of its life, I tend to feel more connected to pets that way.

Oh and does gender matter?
 

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I think longer hair is easier to pick up as it is easier to see. However, that means you'd have to do more in the way of cleaning it up, because if you can't see it you can usually get away with cleaning twice a week....if you can easily see the mess, you have to clean daily ;)

Have you considered a Poodle? They shed almost not at all, are very intelligent and people oriented, and are pretty good for first time owners. I know they get a rep as being kind of "girly" but standard poodles are actually very athletic. They also make great service dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I like to run the vacuum (almost) everyday anyway ;)

Not really, they're kinda rare-ish around here, haven't seen a single ad and I haven't seen a poodle outside in years.

I've been thinking about labs, I like the soft mouth attribute, seeing as I'm gonna have a bird as well it'd make me feel a little safer.
 

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Labs are good first timer dogs because they're smart but not incredibly drivey and they tend to have hard temperaments, which is forgiving of mistakes that newbies make. They're also very friendly toward humans and other dogs.

On the negative side, they are seriously mouthy puppies. As in, lab enthusiasts call them "land sharks" and like to show you their bruises and torn clothes. They shed a pile of fur the size of two dogs twice a year and then shed lightly year round. That doesn't bother me, but some people really get upset by shedding, and that's fine, everybody has their "thing."

For first timers, I like to suggest young adult labs and lab mixes from rescue/shelters. You avoid the really trying puppy phase, but get plenty of years with them. If you want to get a puppy, please ask us for help finding a good breeder. Labs are subject to hip dysplasia, so you don't want a puppy mill or back yard bred lab. (Plus, some of the puppy mills produce fearful or outright human aggressive labs. It's terrifying and heartbreaking.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I heard about that (them being mouthy puppies).
I'll see if I can find some rescues with labs, they're scarce around here. What age would you you suggest?
 

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Yeah I heard about that (them being mouthy puppies).
I'll see if I can find some rescues with labs, they're scarce around here. What age would you you suggest?
Anything over a year is fine.

What is common by you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Labs, german shepherds, jack russells, chihuahuas, pits, amstaffs, rottweilers.
See a few border collies too. My area is infested with pit bulls and amstaffs though.
I'd rather stay away from terriers, especially since I'm getting a bird too.
 

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Of that list you just listed, I would really only consider recommending the lab for a first time dog owner. They are usually pretty flexible and tend not to be too affected by our mistakes (and don't worry, we all make them) when we first are learning how to train a dog. They are usually the most well rounded as far as personality, energy level, and companionship. They still need exercise, but can live without an hour or 2 run every day. They also don't shed as much as the longer breeds. They still shed, but you said you vacuum pretty often anyway, so it wouldn't affect you that much.
 

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I agree with jclark, I would stick with Labs, they tend to be really good first time dogs, which is why you see so many! I would seriously avoid the border collies (as someone who has an eight week old puppy, I can already tell you they are craaaazy), and GSDs tend to be a little bit tough as well.
 

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Labs are a perfect choice for a first time dog owner! They do shed a LOT though, and the hair gets everywhere. My friend has four (which is SO many), and he has to sweep and vacuum everyday! But that's four xD

I DEFINITELY agree with Shandula. BCs are not first time dogs; they have really high energy levels and tend to have problems with obsessive personalities. I have a BC rescue who has come a loooong way since I got her, but still has some frisbee possession issues.

Labs are low maintenance grooming-wise as well. You may want to invest in a bristle brush and give him a good once-over once a week catch some of that hair. Another thing to invest in is an undercoat rake or something similar, which is quite good at taking out dead undercoat!
 

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If your dog is going to be left alone for a lengthy amount of time get a large breed so their bladder is stronger lol.

As suggested before, Labs make great first time dogs. But you mentioned having birds and labs are extremely prey driven towards birds. Nothing you couldnt eventually train out of them but it is their instinct. They dont kill them, just fetch them, but they may accidentally.

Herding dogs are too attached to their people to be left alone for too long. My Aussie sits by the garage door when my mom leaves, even if I'm downstairs. They have bad separation anxiety.

All in all you can't find the perfect dog. Sometimes you have to pick something to give up on. With my family we gave up on the minimal shedding, we just love the fluffier breeds. Which is why we have two Aussies now lol

A Golden Retriever sounds like something you may like. They are gentle, make great service dogs, and are smart. You may just have to deal with the hair, which imo is not that big of a deal once you have one. You'll want to brush them once or twice a week or just take them to the groomers to get "de-fluffed". If you have allergy issues minimal shedding doesnt do anything because its the dander that aggravates allergies. Whether it has no hair or lots of hair you'll need to vacuum more if you have allergies.

As for medium breeds, there are Spaniels, Poodles, Shiba Inus. Shiba Inus are a little more advanced since they can be kinda stubborn but if you're dedicated to owning a dog there are lots of youtube videos and articles you can read. And more importantly all of the people here :)

High energy dogs tend to be the ones harder for first time owners. Labs are high energy dogs so I dont know if I'd recommend them. Goldens are a bit more laid bad. Spaniels can be laid back as well. Poodles are high energy. Shiba Inus are laid back as well but can be stubborn.
 

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I see you mentioned shedding. How important is shedding to you? Most of the aforementioned dogs are significant year round shedders. Some of them are very, very heavy year round shedders. I hate shedding so a lab, golden retriever, Shepard etc. would be absolutely out of the question.

I would suggest a standard poodle. Don't be fooled by the fancy haircuts that are required to show them...they look and act just like any other dog when they are pets. They are extremely intelligent and athletic.

ImageUploadedByPetGuide1441811832.352050.jpg

Don't be sucked into the labradoodle craze either. You may very well end up with a dog that both sheds excessively and requires heavy grooming. The multi generational labradoodles shed less but at that point they are 75-95% poodle. You seriously might as well just get a real poodle vs paying twice as much for a dog that is darn near a poodle.
 

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I also agree with @Naira. People get so sucked into the Poodle haircut that they forget these are athletic, intelligent, adorable dogs. I've only met a few in my time, but I have seriously loved every one of them.

Can't agree more about the ridiculous Labradoodles. You'll pay an insane amount for a "hypoallergenic" dog.
 

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I also agree with @Naira. People get so sucked into the Poodle haircut that they forget these are athletic, intelligent, adorable dogs. I've only met a few in my time, but I have seriously loved every one of them.

Can't agree more about the ridiculous Labradoodles. You'll pay an insane amount for a "hypoallergenic" dog.

Thank you for saying that. I see many people on this forum say they want a dog...when they say what they are looking for it screams poodle...but they will never consider one. @Shandula

I also know many that will have a 7/8ths or 3/4ths poodle that's a "labradoodle"...and believe their dog is better than a poodle. That one always bewilders me.

I digress. Good luck with your search!
 
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