Dog Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I've been looking for some weeks, doing LOTS of reading on various different breeds of pooch and now i thought i'd ask you guys.

I would like a small/medium sized dog. They will be alone for 8 hours a day, 4 times a week. I will walk them mornings and at least once in the evening on those 4 days and they will get much longer, more energetic walks the other 3 days of the week. I have a small garden, no children but that might change over the course of a dogs life and a medium sized home.

I've looked at different hounds including Brittanys and Beagles, mainly because myself and my girlfriend like how hounds look, but have been put off with leaving them alone for so long and not being able to walk them off lead respectively. Golden retrievers keep getting mentioned everywhere i look but my partner says she thinks they are too big.

Can anyone reccomend any breeds? I dont mind cross or pure and i'm based in England.

Thanks!
Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,712 Posts
I'd contact your local shelter and rescues and tell them what you told us and see what they have for you. There are a lot of dogs out there who could meet those requirements.

Also, just because hounds in general aren't terribly reliable off leash, (a) an individual hound (mix) might be fine, and (b) you might find a dog so perfect otherwise, that you live with the leash. It happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
951 Posts
Sometimes when people talk about 'what's the best dog for me? Breed X, Y, or Z' it sounds like they think they are buying boxes of cereal, like all they need to do is determine if the best fit for them is Cheerios, Corn Flakes, or Froot Loops, and once they know that, just pop over to the grocery store and buy a box of Corn Flakes because one is the same as all the rest.

Not so with dogs. You can'd compare 'Collie vs Labrador vs Doberman' decide one is best for you and then just go find any old breeder of that particular breed and get one of their dogs. There is tremendous variation within a breed, especially if you are looking at BEHAVIORS. You really have to understand what the breeder is breeding FOR and if that matches your desire. Let's say you are trying to compare the Golden Retriever vs the Labrador Retriever. If you are a hunter and after looking at all the facts you believe the lab is going to be your best bet, but you go buy a lab from someone who is breeding labs as companion animals only, you are going to be disappointed. If the only breeder in your area of actual hunting/retrieving dogs happens to be breeding Goldens, even though it wasn't first on your list, it is going to be a much better fit than a lab bred just be a companions. Similarly, a person debating between Lab and Golden to be a family companion, is really debating the wrong thing especially if all the local Lab breeders are breeding hunting dogs and all the local Golden breeders are breeding companion animals first with no regard to how interested their dogs are in swimming out and bringing back ducks.

So for all of these, what's much more important isn't what breed it is, but to tell the breeder what characteristics you are looking for and if they are producing dogs like that. Because while there is huge variation within a breed, dogs are generally very very very similar to their parents and grandparents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice. I will contact rescues and shelters around me and pick their brains.

I am going to be a first time dog owner. I have no proir knowledge of dog behaviour traits, not researched about breeders and the varieties they breed within a breed or any other information. That is why i am coming to a forum such as this, asking for peoples knowledgeable opinions instead of just 'going out to buy some corn flakes'! Your advice is valuable to me and hopefully to my future dog. If you could give it without patronising me in the process that'd be even better. Not everyone on here might have tried breakfast cereal before.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,746 Posts
Hi Hibernation,

I really appreciate that you're doing research and seeking advice before you bring home your own new canine friend.

One approach that helped me determine what kind of dog best fit me was to start by looking at general categories of breeds, rather than specific breeds. I found an older version of this book in my local public library and poured through it:



I found myself personally drawn to the "companion dogs" and ended up adopting a Pekingese-Shih Tzu mix. It looks like you and your gf are drawn to the "scent hounds," and I'd suggest learning as much as you can about the dogs in that categories - beagles, basset hounds, etc.

Make sure that you're not just drawn to the appearance of those dogs, but to their typical behavioral characteristics and exercise and training needs. Keep in mind what different types of dogs have been bred for and consider how your lifestyle replicates that.

My current dog - the Pekingese-Shin Tzu mix - is actually not my first dog. A couple of years ago, before I found this site, I got excited about adopting a dog and brought home the first handsome face I saw at the shelter. He was a Great Pyrenees mix. I was attracted to his looks, but as a Livestock Guarding Dog, he turned out to be a very poor fit for my lifestyle and I had to find him a new home.

Keep asking questions, and definitely keep reading as much as you can. I came to this site as a novice dog owner myself, and I've learned a great deal just by reading about the experiences of many other novice and experienced owners. :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,746 Posts
I might also suggest that you and your gf work your way through the criteria on this thread:

http://www.dogforum.com/new-additions/how-choose-right-breed-11760/

You'll never find one single breed that is the "perfect" one, but you'll want to focus your search on the breeds that come closest.

Also, as you work your way down this checklist, please feel welcome to post more here. It would help us help you narrow down your choices.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
I would strongly suggest, if you can, going to a local dog show. Most people there are pretty happy to answer questions about their breeds, and you can also meet dogs, and check out their temperaments.

I don't even show dogs, but I'm always happy to chat about Aussies when people ask me about him whenever we are out walking.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kelly528

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,746 Posts
Shandula's idea of going to dog shows is terrific. If you decide to buy a puppy from a breeder, you'll also want to do a lot of research on how to find the right breeder. We have resources to help you with that process as well.

If you're open to adopting a dog, then I'd strongly encourage you to work through a rescue group that fosters their dogs in home settings. There's a wide variety of rescue groups, and many specialize in certain breeds.

The advantage to going to a rescue group over a shelter is that that you'll get a lot more information on each dog's temperament and behavior. Often it's best to approach a group by explaining your background and interests and asking them to introduce you to the dogs that would be the most suitable. Often times, you can ask for a two-week trial period before the adoption is finalized.

Going directly to a public shelter can be very daunting for a first time owner. My mistake with my first dog (the Great Pyrnees mix) is that I decided to adopt him after only three shelter visits and a twenty-minute meet-and-greet. I had no idea what I was doing and went on looks alone. I also had unrealistic expections about how much training and exercise he would need. I ended up here a few days later desperate for help.

I'm looking forward to reading more about your search. Just remember that it takes time to find that special dog. Don't be in a hurry. This is a great site and I hope that you will feel at home here. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
You might find it difficult to adopt a dog from the main rescues and some breeders if you plan to leave it alone for 8 hours a day.
Some dogs might not suit being left alone for that length of time so you might like to consider a dog walker .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,929 Posts
Hi,

I've looked at different hounds including Brittanys and Beagles, mainly because myself and my girlfriend like how hounds look, but have been put off with leaving them alone for so long and not being able to walk them off lead respectively.

I love my hound to death but would never choose one again because of his bark. A hounds bark is very loud and living in a neighborhood can be chalanging
Ours likes to patrol the yard and bark at every on he sees. Not everyone appreciates his attention. I can't walk him off leash because he would follow that nose to the ends of the earth. I think that is how he ended up in the shelter in the first place. i adopted him when he was 6 months old he is now 10 1/2 . Beagles are also known to be escape artists. I know someone that has one that will climb a tree to get out of their yard. You would never have a sweeter dog than a hound but sometimes that does not balance the scales.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
951 Posts
Thanks for the advice. I will contact rescues and shelters around me and pick their brains.

I am going to be a first time dog owner. I have no proir knowledge of dog behaviour traits, not researched about breeders and the varieties they breed within a breed or any other information. That is why i am coming to a forum such as this, asking for peoples knowledgeable opinions instead of just 'going out to buy some corn flakes'! Your advice is valuable to me and hopefully to my future dog. If you could give it without patronising me in the process that'd be even better. Not everyone on here might have tried breakfast cereal before.
As a first time dog owner, I think it is important to get a breed or type that is known for being 'easy', even tempered, resilient to mistakes, etc.

With your work schedule I would strongly advise against getting a puppy, a lot of adult dogs would do fine with the schedule you describe but not a puppy. Note, ideally even for an adult dog you'd get a friend, neighbor, or hire a dog-walker to give your dog a break during the 8 hour stretches, but many people end up being able to manage without that.

Breeds/types I would encourage you to look at:

Poodle or poodle mix
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Keeshond
American Eskimo Dog
German Spitz, any size
(the above three are extremely closely related breeds)
Puggle - not a breed, a 'designer hybrid' a concept I am normally against but in this case I make an exception.
Boston Terrier
Whippet or Italian Greyhound
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Wow, cheers for all your kind and thoughtful advice. I've spoken to some more breeders and owners and have decided that a hound of any description is not a wise choice for us or the dog. I've started creating a wall in my garage that will separate it in half and will install a flap in the side door so the dog will have a large, cool inside space and a decent sized garden to stretch its legs during the 4 days they'll be home alone. I think we will now leave buying one until early next year as we have two holidays booked between now and Christmas and dont want to leave the dog with other family until we've had a longer period with it. So we'll spend the time wisely and visit plenty of rescue centers and seek plenty of more advice. A petit basset griffon vendeen has been mentioned, also a glen of imaal terrier, border terrier and a shetland sheepdog. I will certainly continue to post on here and will probably try a post pictures etc of any dog we are considering to see what you think. Thanks again. Really appreciate your time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Ok, so we went to a labradoodle breeder the other day and thought they were great! The labrador just keeps coming up with everyone i speak to but they are too big. Any ideas on breeds or crosses with labs that have similar temperaments, appearence etc but smaller?

Thanks
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
If you like the Labradoodle, I would suggest getting a full blooded Poodle. They have all the same features; smart, easy to train, athletic, but without the insanely inflated price.
You could look at Miniature Poodles which are fantastic dogs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,800 Posts
Ok, so we went to a labradoodle breeder the other day and thought they were great! The labrador just keeps coming up with everyone i speak to but they are too big. Any ideas on breeds or crosses with labs that have similar temperaments, appearence etc but smaller?



Thanks

I think in terms of temperament and energy level, spaniels are similar to retrievers but generally smaller. They're friendly, happy, active dogs. Depending on the breed of spaniel, they have different genetic health and behavioral problems that you have to watch out for so it's imperative to find a good breeder. Also do research into show vs field lines. The show line spaniels I've met are all low-medium energy and the field line are much higher energy.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top