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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I am new to the forum and need a little assistance in picking the right dog. I am 18 and live with my mum and younger brother who is 9. We live in a ground floor flat with fairly large rooms and a large communal garden with plenty of grass and running space. I do not have much experience in owning a dog but I do get along with dogs generally quiet well apart from the time I was attacked when little (dog owners fault). I am planning on getting the dog ones my exams are finished and I'll have a couple of months off until I start going university which itself will be around 2-3 days a week for a few hours and is only about an hour away from my home. I will be more than happy to devote 2-3 hours a day in exercising and walking in various large parks and hills around my town.

I would like a dog that is:

- Medium to Large (Not too Large, German Shepherd size is good)
- Has ability to protect
- Family Dog
- Quick Learner
- Can be a jogging partner
- Doesn't need to eat huge amounts of food (I will feed only high quality food) I'd like to pay for quality not quantity.
- Has not got a lot of health issues (I would like insurance to be low)


There are a few people living around me in the flats that have German Shepherds, Cane Corso, Staffordshire Bull Terriers. However, I do not want a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or similar breeds to it.

I would appreciate your help, I don't like doing the quiz's to select dogs suitable for me, there's always something missing. Thanks!:thumbsup:
 

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Judging by your speech patterns I'll guess you're in the UK and I'm not sure which breeds are as common there. However, having THAT much time to devote to exercise is good. Really, I think with that much openness it might just be a good choice to go down to the local shelter with this list and see if they have any that fit this description in the kennel. Big dogs that need a lot of exercise are usually the majority of what you find in shelters, and mixed breeds are almost always healthier and have cheaper pet insurance premiums.
 
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Personally, I'd love to get a lab or a golden retriever. Maybe those breeds are too large, but both would make active family dogs.
 

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Let's talk jogging partner for a minute.

Did you know that a working sled dog is capable of running a length equal to FIVE MARATHONS while pulling a sled, and it isn't unheard of to make a 1000 mile run in 8 days.

That's at the extreme end, but pretty much any random dog is going to be able to run a triple-marathon, provided he is given time to train up to it. I am guessing even the most extreme joggers can't do that.

About the only dogs that won't work for jogging companions are tiny dogs, dogs bred to have extremely short legs (wiener dogs, basset hounds) or dogs with really scrunched in faces (bulldogs) because they have a hard time breathing.

That being said...you really can't go wrong with a Labrador or a Golden Retriever. Want to go a little bit more on the protective side? German Shepherd or Boxer
 

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For the sake of your mom, I'd actually consult her heavily on this. Remember, she is the one who will have the dog in her place, who will be watching it when you are going to school, and who will have to entertain it when you are bogged down with midterms and finals. Retrievers and shepherds can be awesome dogs, but your mom needs to be confident in handling them, or find that confidence with the help of a trainer.

If you have no heavy preferences for breed, it sounds like your intentions would best be suited by a medium-sized (or a large, lightly-built) dog from an animal shelter or a rescue society.

And as @akodo said, pretty much any dog can keep up with an active lifestyle. I know joggers who take small terriers, poodles and even pomeranians along with them. What you really don't want is a dog that exceeds your activity level. But going the other way, most dogs will happily keep up with walks, jogs, hikes and sports so long as they are kept fit and trim.
 

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This is a really terrific thread.

http://www.dogforum.com/dog-breeds/top-5-best-worst-breeds-first-143666/

Especially pay attention to the breeds that come up time and time again as NOT recommended and steer clear of them. I'm a mom, and Kelly has a great point about involving your mom in the decision-making.

I would contact rescue groups that foster dogs in home settings. They can steer you towards the dogs that best fit your criteria. You're looking for most well-socialized dog that you can find. (Avoid any dogs that are called "timid" or "shy." You don't want to bring home a fearful dog as your first dog.)
 

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Maybe look into grey hounds? I know they can be a great pet for smaller spaces, and less beefy of a dog for your mom to handle
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the response guys, I have consulted my mum and she seems fine with having a medium to large dog and also providing it with exercise as it'll encourage her too. She would like a puppy so she can adjust with its growing size as the goes on rather than be handed a fully grown dog. She has also agreed with me on the dog have protective traits because there have been a few burglaries in the area and my mum owns quiet a lot of gold (Indian investment technique). I have been thinking about German Shepherds since there are a few already where I live and they all seem obidient and content. Do you guys recon GSD would fit the bill?
 

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I think some GSDs could fit the bill, but at the same time I personally will admit to being slow to recommend GSDs to people new-ish to the experience of owning a dog because, while pet bred GSDs can be relatively mellow, the breed was still bred, for a very long time, for military and protection service - to bite people - which means that GSDs gone wrong can go really wrong. The vast majority of GSD owners could have picked a better breed for themselves in my opinion, and a proportionally high number of the GSDs I've known were reactive-aggressive.

On top of which, they've been so overbred in many areas that it can be difficult to find a line with sound temperament and health. So be cautious if you go that route.
 

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If you are in the UK, why not get a Lurcher - Lurcher Information - All about Lurchers | Lurchers.

Or, as Weenie suggested, a Greyhound. Also in the sighthound category are Ibizans, Whippets and Salukis, all dogs with enough energy to run with you, but not so much that they'd go stir crazy living in smaller quarters. Afghans might also be a consideration, but they have a LOT of hair and are quite large.

Rescues are another option. Hope you share with us what you decide on, and how it all goes. :)

Edited to add: sighthound and sighthound crosses tend to eat only what they need, and not that much. They must keep that speedy figure, you know. :)
 

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Certain German Shepherds would fit the bill nicely. Just about any shepherd dog or working dog is what you're describing. As to Greyhounds, I believe them to be dogs that are not too high energy, and that prefer short speedy runs above jogging. Retrievers are VERY friendly, not protectors at all. Hope this helps!
 

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I think a GSD is going to be too much dog for an inexperienced owner. And that could be said for any breed that is a guard/guardian type dog, or bred for that purpose. They have the potential to become very dangerous dogs. They require extensive amounts of training and socialization. You don't want them to be weary of strangers. You want them to be aloof, but accepting and comfortable.

Be assured that just about any medium to large size dog you pick will serve to deter burglars. In fact, I think studies have even been done that show a burglar will be deterred by just a recording of a dog barking. Many security systems come with that option.

If you and your mom are truly concerned for safety, then invest in a security system that will automatically alert authorities if somebody breaks in. This will keep you much safer than a dog. And it'll keep your dog safer too. If somebody is bound and determined to break and enter, they will not hesitate to hurt your dog.
 

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I'd like to recommend that you read this thread:

http://www.dogforum.com/new-additions/i-want-guard-dog-173594/

I really think you'd be the happiest with a well-socialized family dog. Your mom would do well to invest in a safe for her gold.

Really, be careful for what you wish for. A little over a year ago, as someone with almost no real dog experience, I thought I wanted a lab and headed to a shelter. Somehow I ended up with a sixty-pound, two-year-old Great Pyrenees mix. He was a handful. For over two months, I spent five hours a day exercising him and trying to train him, and in the end, I had to find him a new home.

Now, I had a wonderful companion dog and couldn't be happier. If you make companionship your first priority, I think you're much more likely to end up with a great dog.

No, my dog is not at all a guard dog, but he would certainly bark and sound the warning if someone tried to break in.
 
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