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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this will be my first dog. Mum is allergic, dad has always been indifferent to pets except cats so.

I know dogs - worked with them, groomed, etc., and trained - from family / friends but never had one to call my own. Now that I've left the house for school though.

I am going to break it into pieces.


Size - I am renting so it has to be under 30lbs, tops 40lbs. The unit restrictions are actually 50lbs but I want to give some wiggle room for the potential pound puppy as stray/pound dogs unless adults you can never get a 100% on the weight.

Energy level - Right now I am in school and out of shape [ankle injury]. However, before said ankle injury I was moderate to high activity person - I could go hiking for hours on end with little to no stopping. Once I get full okay from doctor, right now working on getting the strength back, I'll probably do a light jog in the morning with a potential for one in the evening.

Light jog - 15 minutes - 30 minutes give or take. Depends on how busy school is [school is 45 minutes away].

However, I don't want a couch potato. But I don't want a dog that'll be climbing the walls either. Something in between.

Coat type Yes there is no such thing as a "true" hypoallergenic dog [aside from those robotic dogs you can buy].

Mum isn't severely allergic, she can be around dogs for a few hours [not 24/7 hence why we never had one as a pet], however, she isn't going to want to get a face-full of dog fur when she visits.

So either a low shed and/or low maintance coat.

Health - less health problems. I know almost every breed has a number of issues nowadays. However, I'd like one that isn't prone to eye, hips/elbows really.

Age - I've known fantastic Irish Wolfhounds that died at 6 years (my grandmother's close friend's son bred champion Wolfhounds) that I absolutely adored as a child; and a friend's Welsh Terrier who was 19. Age / lifespan is really not that big of an issue.

Climate - adaptable. I have relatives here in the North Americas, UK, Europe (both northern and southern / Mediterranean areas), and Egypt. I do intend to visit them over the years as I have done before; even when working for my Bachelors I still found time to travel.

So I'd like a dog that is sort of well rounded coat wise.


Training experience - With friends & family I've experienced both types.

The stubborn very intelligent dogs - my friend's BRT, Bax, is extremely intelligent but very hard to train. And the "Velcro" dogs, the ones glued to the human's side - my cousin's Border Collie, Dover.

Trainability - any dog can be trained to any degree [from basic to extreme] if you put the effort into it (my parents' neighbors have an old Airedale terrier that'll put a number of trick-happy BCs through their paces). Including the intelligent self-thinking dogs that many people dub stupid cause these dogs are too stubborn.

I suppose the most pressing would be, if a puppy, a dog that is easy to house train. And an ability to think for itself. I don't mind the Velcro breeds but they are not my favorite.

Child proof - I have a 3 year old niece. She will have a sister in March. She lives 2 hours away. Her parents are coming here to celebrate the holidays. So yeah I'd prefer a dog that is better with kids.

And no, most of my family have pets (my niece's father, my cousin, has a Kelpie who is fantastic with her), so it won't be as if any relative's kids are ignorant to the does and don't does around dogs.

Separation - as I said before, I don't mind Velcro dogs but they are not my favorites. I prefer dogs that can think / act for themselves and that includes an animal that is "indifferent" to humans.

Given also that this is an apartment I can't have a dog that will be yapping 24/7 while I am at school. As this is school it isn't work so 8+ hours, and there are times when I can get away between classes easily, however, again this can't be a dog prone to separation anxiety.

Basic week - Mon, Fri = 8 hrs, one break away on Friday; Tues / Thursday - 6 hours; Wednesday = 0 hrs, off; Sun/Saturday - 4 to 8 hours at part time job as they need me.

Barking I've found amongst friends & family that the constant barkers are oftentimes separation anxiety, insecure, bored / poorly exercised, or territorial. Most of these issues can be dealt with, with proper training.

Puppy vs. Adult - indifferent. Only requirement for a puppy would be ease of house training.

Pure vs. Pound - Mom would love a pure blood as all her family have pure bloods and they are a very status driven lot.

For myself - a dog is a dog. Though I did show as handler for the above chap's Wolfhounds I have no intentions of competing in Crufts nor Westminster with my own dog.

However, I am willing to consider any and all - pure, mix, etc.

Animal / stranger interaction - this mostly comes down to socialization & training but some breeds [pit-bulls] are sort of pre-programmed to be a certain way by their breeding.

2,643 Posts
what do you think about Schnauzers?
their coat is not too high maintenance (they need to be trimmed from time to time though), they'r active, but the most I know to manage with normal walks of an 1-1.5 hours a day... so not that much.
they don't shed much to not at all depending on the individual.
they do have their head and are pretty intelligent, but they seem to like working together with their special person and almost every dog can be okay with children, when you keep the children in a certain radius (even the nicest dog can get startled when a child hurt them...children's behaviour sometimes are difficult to predict. any interaction between child and dog child always be closely supervised).
A poodle could also work, but they're pretty high energy. what's great on them is that they can adapt so well to their owners living situation.

if you never trained a dog on your own and since you're still going to school I'd recommend getting an adult dog.
Ideally it is already through puberty, has some basic training done and you know more about their character and can search specifically for a dog that is compartible with small children and strangers.
what you should also remember is that the classical protection breeds, but also other dog breeds, can act defensive towards strangers when they approach a child that they feel belongs the family. this goes for dogs and humans.

8 hours are a long time away from the dog. on these days I'd think about asking a neighbour/friend/family member to go for a little walk and interact with the dog a litte after 3-4 hours.
this is also a reason why I'd recommend getting an older dog. puppies have to learn to be alone, so it won't be easy for you to train them when you have to leave them right from the very first day.

9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
8 hours are a long time away from the dog. on these days I'd think about asking a neighbour/friend/family member to go for a little walk and interact with the dog a litte after 3-4 hours.
I agree to the adult concept for that. However, novel concept neighbors / family. My family is European mostly, my closest relative is 2 hours away as mentioned [he is an engineer, his wife a doctor], so I don't think they'll drive 2 hours to let Rover outside.

As for neighbors, in this neighborhood I wouldn't trust them with a stuffed dog yet alone a real dog.

I mean plenty of people have dogs who work 8+ hours, or are doctors, nurses, police, firemen/women, etc. not supposed to have pets unless they have family to look after the animals?

Super Moderator
3,968 Posts
I think eight hours is fine to leave an adult dog at home. Since you're open to adopting an adult dog, which I agree is probably the best choice for you, I'd suggest doing some research on local rescue groups. You can both search for dogs and for rescue groups on:

Pet Adoption - Search dogs or cats near you. Adopt a Pet Today. Pictures of dogs and cats who need a home. Search by breed, age, size and color. Adopt a dog, Adopt a cat.

Another website to check is:

― Rescue Me! ― Adopt Dogs, Cats & More ―

I would suggest seeking out rescue groups that foster their dogs in home settings. You can contact them about specific dogs they have advertised or you could start by sharing your wish list and ask them to recommend which dogs they think would suit your lifestyle the best. I would suggest that you aim for the most well-adjusted dog you can find.

By the way, where are you located? (country? state?) Those links are all North American-centric. If you are living elsewhere, another member might be able to direct you better to other sites.
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