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Thread: Where to get help choosing a breed?

  1. #1

    Default Where to get help choosing a breed?

    Hi guys,

    I'm brand new to this forum, and hoping it's OK to ask my question here! DH and I have decided to begin researching dog breeds as we'd love a new little soul to join our family.

    Is there somewhere on this forum where we could chat about our situation and get some assistance/suggestions as to suitable breeds? Or is there somewhere better on the web for that sort of thing?

    Thanks for your time!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    Well you need to decide on size, level of energy and what sort of temperament would fit your lifestyle. Are you outdoor active people or amble through the park.
    Where do you live? How much space?
    Doing research is an excellent idea, you are in the right place, welcome.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009



    Where you're at is fine.

    But we need to know more about what you want in a dog and what your lifestyle is like to help.

    And the other great place to find out about lots of breeds of dogs at once are dog shows. There's an all breed show nearly every weekend in every state. Including some in more rural towns - because there's nothing the dog obsessed love more than an excuse to travel somewhere.

    For example - Next Sunday 17th May in SA, at SACA Park (Cromwell street, Kilburn Park, near Gepps Cross), starting at 9am is Metropolitan Kennel Club Championship Show. On the same day there is also an Agility competition at Para Districts (Salisbury) Obedience Dog club (athletic and energetic dogs with training obsessed owners) and a Gun Dog Club Retrieving trial (Labradors, pointers, spaniels etc) at Kapunda.

    You'd need to find the canine association in your state and then look up the schedules - what you'd be looking for are things like "all breeds championship or conformation shows".

  4. #4


    Oh good! I can tell you loads about what we want in a dog!

    Firstly, we are at home all day. Husband and I run a business from our inner suburbs home (have been doing so for the past 3 years and we just love it). We have deliveries coming to the door most of the day, as well as couriers coming to collect from us. We need a dog who won't be upset by the level of activity... They would need to remain pretty chilled out as people come and go. In addition to deliveries we sometimes have staff coming to work in our home, too. It can get pretty hectic (but always fun, I think) at our house.

    We have a medium sized backyard with pool. Very secure. We don't especially mind whether the breed is small, medium or large. I think we probably had something medium in mind. We don't mind how much it costs a week to feed. We are lucky that we can afford all the initial vet bills, anything annual, registrations and any surprises that pop up.

    We have a young daughter, 4.5 who loves dogs. She's at kindy a couple of days a week, at home the rest of the time. She'll be at school next year, but DH and I will still be at home with the business as usual. And we would like to have more children, we hope.

    We knock off work by about 3pm and relax at home, walk around the neighbourhood or go to the local playground. I used to go jogging every day but was hit by poor health 12 months ago. I'm still 12 months off being able to jog again. So, for now, level of activity is lowish as I can only manage slowish walk. I'd like to build up to running again, and hope a furry friend can join me when I'm ready.

    Weekends we either have friends around for a BBQ or we garden or we hit the beach.

    We would like a breed who is relaxed and happy when with other dogs as we regularly look after a friend's Border Terrier when they are away on holiday. The BT is incredibly quiet and chilled out, loves other dogs. So hopefully if we also get a dog with a temperament to match then the exchange will work the other way and we can have holidays too without too much worry.

    My husband has his heart set on an Irish Terrier (based on looks alone). At this point in time he's refusing to keep an open mind to any other breed which is a bit frustrating. I'd rather ask around and see what people recommend. I don't want to sweep up hair so would love a poodle mix or anything else that has a reputation for little shedding. Do Irish Terriers shed much hair?

    As a child my family had various breeds... Border Collie, Bull Terrier, Corgie, German Shepherd, Jack Russel. I loved all of those and couldn't pick a favourite... though I know my husband wouldn't tolerate how excitable Jack Russels are, so I'm crossing that one off the list.

    I'd really love to rescue a dog that needs a home, but having trouble convincing husband. He said the only way he'd consider a resuce is if I found an Irish Terrier or Airedale in need of rescue. Pretty slim chances of that!!

    Anyway, any help or advice much appreciated!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Has Hubby seen a "welsh terrier" - they look quite similar to Airedales only a little bit smaller and more manageable. I've met one at dog club. It was easily distracted by fun smells like possum trails but quite friendly with everybody.

    A standard schnauzer is also similar - depending how you clip them.

    If you want a dog that is fine with lots of strangers coming and going - a terrier might not be the easiest choice as they can get quite territorial. Then again most Staffordshire bull terriers would lick any visitor to death before defending the property.

    Border terriers are great - tho I've not met one that is more laid back than a Jack Russell - I'd put them about the same - energy wise and your yard would be completely rodent free.

    The downside on breed info pages that I've found for Irish Terriers is they can be somewhat protective (not good if you've got lots of strangers coming and going) and sometimes pick fights with other dogs. And sometimes they can be hard to house train. The upside (and downside) is they are very trainable about other things (downside of a smart dog is if you don't train them they will find their own amusement that might not be your amusement eg good bye garden).

    If you get a puppy - they start off not needing much exercise - the rule of thumb is about 5 minutes per month of age so if you get an 8 week old puppy - that's 10 minutes in one session - tho you could probably do three sessions a day. Lots and lots of mental stimulation and very short training sessions - with any puppy.

    I'm a bit of a sucker for a Bull Terrier, there's been a few of those in my family and one of my dog's current best friends and beach buddy is a Bull Terrier. Most laid back couch potato. Not seen many as jogging companions but I guess it could be done. I have heard of someone training their cavalier king Charles spaniels to do a 20km endurance run. Built up slowly.

    Based on your descriptions of lots of people coming and going and being laid back about that, you might want to consider one of the gun dogs like Labrador, or Golden Retriever or Spaniel (lots of varieties). But you could probably train a terrier puppy to be laid back.

    Oh wait - the shedding thing. Well he could clean up after it. The border terriers I know - need their coat "stripped" (sort of plucked) about twice a year (autumn and spring), otherwise a weekly or as needs brush was enough with them, I didn't notice much shedding. I've got a cattle dog, who sheds a bit but otherwise her coat seems pretty Teflon when it comes to staying clean. I just use a flat static mop over the floor boards and brush that off with a scrubbing brush at the back of the yard.

    People I know who have cocker spaniels get them clipped - about every 8 weeks. Same with Airedales - maybe less often. Clipping for the non-shedders can run to $80 per time depending on size of dog.

    A standard poodle might suit you temperament wise. The smaller ones have a tendency to be anxious and high strung, and all poodles are insanely clever - you need to work their minds as much as their bodies or they do naughty things.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    PS the Dogs SA or SACA (South Australian Canine Association)
    list of shows is here - you download a word doc and then search for "terrier", or "open"

    There is a big show on 1st of June at SACA Park (Cromwell St). Starting at 9am and probably going all day.
    Anyone can rock up, there's no fee, parking may be difficult after 8am, but it is a big space. You just end up further away.

    You can then walk around the various set ups and talk to people. They usually judge breeds in alphabetical order - within breed group eg "Terrier" is one group, "Toy" is another group... so Airedales would be close to first, Irish - mid morning, Staffordshire Bull Terriers later... and Welsh almost last. The trick is to visit breeders when it is not close to their turn in the ring, ideally after otherwise well before, always ask.

    Most breeders love talking about their breed and what sort of people should own one - so they are the best people to talk about why an Irish would or wouldn't work. You will find out what breeds can be found locally and which ones you'd have to go interstate for. I found one Irish Terrier "breeder" in SA - not sure if they've had any puppies yet, and no welsh terrier breeders. There's probably a few border terrier breeders and Airedale breeders to choose from. Time to take evil hound for a walk.

    Something is desparately wrong with the Dogs Sa website at the moment - sigh.

  7. #7


    OHhhhh. I just goodled Welsh Terrier. He would LOVE this breed! I'll show it to him in the morning. Will have to read up and see whether it would be suited to our unusual home life. Brilliant suggestion, though - as I find the look of this breed more attractive than Irish terrier I have to say.

    I also like standard schnauzers and DH is open minded to those, too.

    You mentioned terriers being a bit territorial and this might be a bit of a problem for us. Always new people coming and going through our ever revolving front door. Often the staff and delivery people are long term, well known to us... but come Christmas time we sometimes have new temps and we really need a breed who would be completely chilled out about this. Things are hectic enough in our business without having to worry about the dog being uncomfortable with new people.

    I looove Staffys and confess I've always wanted one. I can picture a staffy fitting in well with our circu,mstances... I'm sure most staffys would be happy being a lounge lizard while noise goes on around them. UNfortunately DH doesn't like them at all and has mistakenly assumed they're not suited to families with children. Hard to change his mind on that one. Might have to take him to meet a few before he can be swayed.

    Funny you say that Border Terriers are same energy level as Jack Russel! I had a Jack Russel as a kid and it was a bit like taking a tiny stick of dynamite everywhere I went. She was the Energiser Bunny. She didn't stop running and pouncing and jumping and playing until the very day she died (age 16 or 17 I think). (Bless her, we loved her so!! But I know from that experience we absoluely couldn't have a JR in our current set up. Way too much barking every time someone came to the door. By comparison, the Border Terrier we regularly look after is SO chilled out! But this little BT had an infection when she was very young so is left with very slight disability... perhaps this has affected her temprement and explains why she's so quiet? She stays with us for up to a week at a time and hardly bats an eyelid while our busy business runs in the background. I guess she's just not a typical BT.

    From what you're saying about Irish Terriers, I really don't think one would be a good fit.

    I'm a sucker for bull terriers too! I found one roaming the streets when I was a kid and she was JUST beautiful. My mate. We were stuck together like glue for many months. Alas we had to rehome her and ohhh did I cry my eyes out. I called her Cookie. Always wanted one since... but again, my husband has mistakenly assumed they're naturally agressive, not suited to families with children. Would be harder to sway him on this one than with staffy I think, just based on appearance (isn't that a shame).

    Now, you've suggested labs, retrievers and spaniels would cope well with all the coming and going - tell me general grooming guidelines for those? Would they shed abpout the same amount as your cattle dog? I'm a lazy groomer, I'm afraid. I just can't see myself finding the time to do it more than once a fortnight, and also haven't time to sweep up lots of hair. If we took a lab or a spaniel for a swim in the beach once a fortnight do you think that would take care of loose hair?? Not really an option during winter though, is it!

    I gave some thought to a standard poodle but wondered if they were better suited to couples than homes with kids. Or am I getting them all wrong?

    Love the look of airdales, but are they typical terrier temprement and therefore not a great match for our hustle/bustle?

    So much to consider isn't there!

  8. #8


    Oh excellent tip to go along to the SACA show on 1 June. I think the three of us will go and have a wander. Great idea. I wonder if breeders might be a bit one-eyed sometimes, though (without meaning to be)...? That's why I liked the idea of asking here. But no harm in widening the search.

    I took my daughter to Million Paws on the weekend so she could have a look around at the breeds. She loved everything she saw! Except the Irish Wolfhound that towered over her ;-)

  9. #9


    A Stafford would suit all of your requirements other than maybe a jogging companion, although that would depend on how far you jog and possibly the individual dog. They're more suited to short sprints than long distance endurance(think body type of the 100m olympic runners compared to the 10000m runners).

    You'd need to find a breeder who has dogs that are happy around other dogs and do lots of socialisation while young to ensure as much as possible that it would get along well with other dogs. I'm onto my second Stafford and both have been very happy to play with other dogs, although my current dog is a little bit too rough for some dogs - if it's a regular dog he plays with through close attention and management of play he soon learns what is ok and what is not with each individual dog i.e he has a golden retriever friend at the beach who he will wrestle to the ground and hold onto skin/fur/ears and that dog is quite ok with it(as is it's owner) but other dogs will just submit to such play(and some other owners don't see it as play lol) and he's learnt to play more gently with those dogs.

    As for Staffords and children, I don't think there is a better breed, although while they're very young and learning not to bite, very close supervision is needed - those puppy teeth are nasty buggers.

  10. #10


    'TeeVee' - A lot of things that you have mentioned previously are to do with training of a pup. You, not being able to run for 12 months or so – bodes well for getting a young pup.

    If a JRT is not your husband's cup of tea – then really look closely at the temperament of any other terriers you may like the look of. The ones mentioned – such as Irish and Welsh are still terriers.

    Some links for you:

    Complete List of Dog Breeds with Photos - 160 Dog Breeds Listed A to Z

    Dog Breeds of Australia - Home

    Australian National Kennel Council

    Then there are ones like this to help:

    Selectapet - find the breed that is right for you | PetNet

    Good Luck !

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