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Thread: Help! Which dog is right for me?

  1. #1

    Default Help! Which dog is right for me?

    Hi,

    I'm wondering if I could borrow some of your experience and expertise to help me find the right dog.

    Some background, I've grown up in a family that adores animals, we have and have had dogs, cats and rabbits. While growing up I had a border collie Sheba (an absolute angel, most well behaved dog I've ever known) and when she passed we rescued a kelpie x sheltie Zoey (not so much of angel, crazy barking and escaping, but loved her anyway). We then got a jack russell x ???? Toby (he's big!! Think blue heeler with JRT colouring and hairy eyebrows), so we had the two dogs. This year I lost my Zoey to old age (she made 18!!), so my parents decided to get themselves a border collie puppy Jess, as I am moving out soon. So mum and dad have Toby & Jess, but when I move into my new house I won't have any dogs

    I will however have a beautiful tortie Cassidy (8 months old, recently rescued) and 2 bunnies Baloo & Maggie (one pure, one rescue).

    The whole reason I saved and built a house was so that I could have a dog, because I couldn't have a dog while renting. But now I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't have a dog because I won't be home enough I work in the city, so my commute is about 1.5hrs both ways, and I work about 8 hours a day x 5 days a week. I'm worried this is too long to leave a dog home alone, especially a puppy.

    So what I would like is your experience and advice on should I get a dog, if I did get a dog what sort of breed might be good for me to look at, and whether I should look at male, female, rescue, breeder, older dog or a puppy? Also any advice on how to support a dog who spends a lot of houses alone? I was thinking of employing a dog walker for at least once a day.

    My preference is a puppy, though I'm open to the idea of an older dog. I love working dogs, retrievers, spaniels, basically large fluffy dogs!! Although I'm worried a working dog might be too high energy (our BC puppy is definitely a lot of energy, and there's three adults to entertain her). I also need a cat & bunny friendly dog, as my bunnies are indoor and have free range of the house (though they may have to spend more time in their enclosure in the future). I sort of see myself taking the dog for walks, playing in the park, cuddled on the couch, drives to the beach, to see my friends & family (pretty much when I'm not at work I'd like them with me). Not sure I want to do agility, showing or anything like that, as I have social anxiety so group things are hard for me.

    $$ is no object (if it means a happy dog )

    Anyway, would love to hear from people, as I've been thinking about this for 3 years and have come to no decisions.

  2. #2

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    Briefly, I don't think your hours and commute should exclude you from a dog. I might be biased since my set up is similar but I think it works with planning, management and realising might need to dial social life back a lot to accomodate. I went the adult rescue route, took some time off to settle her in. Next year I'm going the purebred spaniel puppy route and will again take time off. My enthusiasm is cautious, I prefer adult dogs lol

    But other compromises might need to happen. Perhaps a list of deal breakers and 'would likes'? Mostly I am concerned for your rabbits. My two also free ranged... until I got a dog. They now live in a large pen in their own room with a baby barrier and automatic closing door because I want to minimise risk. (I'll take a photo in the morning!) While it's possible to have bunnies and dogs coexist, I think free ranging bunnies with a dog (and especially any dog of larger size) can be risky and personally err on side of caution.

    I think narrow down what kind of dog you like then start scouting out for them. Considering the future companions...a calmer dog, steady, not too high prey drive, trainable and able to settle. You probably wouldn't want a teenager since hormones, troublemaking rule testers and you don't want to test rules on the bunnies. Avoid sighthounds.

    If you do find an ideal breed you could keep an eye out for adults in rescue or returned to breeders, get a better idea of personality treats and training?

    I don't think it's not possible, will just need careful manager of your time, their needs and your other pets.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    12,488

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    hmm, dog sports are full of people who are much better with dogs than they are with people (hi there, let me introduce myself...).

    trick training at home - will make the most of any time you have - where as long walks with no mental engagement - will lead to super fit destructo dogs.

    Most farm dogs - get off when they're working and then on the lead or in the run for the rest of the day. One of my cousins - the dogs get to run themselves round the house yard before brekky and dinner (and that's how you get them back in their pens - dinner). for about 15 to 20 mins twice a day. And then maybe every second day (and different dog depending ) they get to go help work stock - ie there's not stock moving to be done every single day - it all depends on what is happening.

    So farm dog is not entirely out of the question - tho I'd be tempted to leave the puppy at your parent's place for the first 3 months. How far are they for you to go pick the puppy up on the way to and from work?

    A lot of times - I just say get a gold fish - or maybe a greyhound - but greyhounds and small fluffy critters alone together is asking for trouble.

    A slightly older dog maybe 18 months might work better depending on how willing it is to work with you when you check it out. Beware of the puppy that nobody can manage aged 6 to 12 months - that's rebellious teenager dog equivalent - and you may get home to find your house has been chewed to bits.

  4. #4

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    I forgot to take a photo so I hope this links works:
    http://68.media.tumblr.com/983d71e93...4nto1_1280.jpg

    My guys and their setup. They get run of the room when I'm home and in it. TBH they don't seem bothered by the downsize, prob because my new place is all wood except for this room and they like not slipping.

    My dog is not even remotely rabbit safe so I make up for it with that extra caution and prevention. They've never met and I don't intend to, health and safety above risky cute pics IMO.

    A 2 year + old would still be on the young spectrum while having that hopefully more settled and calmness in itself for long periods alone. If going that route id find one that's been fostered and assessed properly, or has been with the person selling it for a few months ie breeder returnees due to moving house etc

    Puppies the breed and state of puppy matter more, would be looking how to identify calm and healthy puppies versus calm because sick. I'd find some kind of soft mouth breed...

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThistleTheDog View Post
    I forgot to take a photo so I hope this links works:
    http://68.media.tumblr.com/983d71e93...4nto1_1280.jpg

    My guys and their setup. They get run of the room when I'm home and in it. TBH they don't seem bothered by the downsize, prob because my new place is all wood except for this room and they like not slipping.

    My dog is not even remotely rabbit safe so I make up for it with that extra caution and prevention. They've never met and I don't intend to, health and safety above risky cute pics IMO.

    A 2 year + old would still be on the young spectrum while having that hopefully more settled and calmness in itself for long periods alone. If going that route id find one that's been fostered and assessed properly, or has been with the person selling it for a few months ie breeder returnees due to moving house etc

    Puppies the breed and state of puppy matter more, would be looking how to identify calm and healthy puppies versus calm because sick. I'd find some kind of soft mouth breed...
    Thanks so much for your fantastic responses

    Thistle - Your bunnies are gorgeous!! I have a blue otter lop and a self black lop. My babies. I definitely won't be getting a dog right away, I need to settle the other animals into the new house first, this is their first move. My bunnies are 3y.o and are use to having full run of the backyard (when we are home to supervise). The new puppy is never to be left alone with them, so they do spend more time in their various hutches these days, and in the new house they are in their hutches or playpens at all time (the backyard here has been fully secured all the way round, plus quiet well known area.. new place not so much). It has been a bit of an adjustment having a new dog because my old cats and dogs (we lost one cat and one dog in the last year) were not an issue, I'd happily leave all 6 animals in the backyard alone for hours knowing they'd be fine. But the new puppy just wants to be with them, she's not vicious, just wants to play but she's much too big for that.

    I'm glad to hear that being away from home doesn't mean I should avoid a dog, but does sound like I need to think this through really carefully so everyone is happy (dog, bunnies, me). Thankfully I have no social life to speak of, so no issue there :P


    What do you think of the following breeds for me?

    Golden Retriever - I have a major crush on this breed, been wanting one for about 8 years, but my backyard is on the small time and they need exercise, not sure how they'd go with my bunnies either.
    Australian Shepherd - I was going to get an Aussie (my uncle just did), but after meeting with a breeder and checking out the breed at the Melbourne Show I decided they were a bit too much for me (though they are super cute!)
    Corgi - Cute, working dog and shorter! So hopefully less likely to escape a backyard and maybe needs less exercise??
    Rough Collie - Gorgeous, don't mind the grooming, again working breed, really smart
    Shetland - Same as the rough, but smaller which might be better for my small backyard
    Small fluffy breed - Not a major fan of small dogs (i.e. Maltese), but might be good for me
    Small fluffy breed x - Like a poodle x, I'm a bit hesitant here because I don't like supporting designer breeds..
    Samoyed - Fluffy and not a working breed

    Problem with all of the above is I don't know much more about the breeds than google can tell me, having had mostly kelpie and border collies in our family. I've tried to talk to some breeders, but most aren't interested in chatting until your close to getting a dog.. whereas I was thinking I might be able to rescue a dog.

    I was even thinking an older dog, like 6+, and then I could maybe get a puppy later on when I have more experience and time.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    hmm, dog sports are full of people who are much better with dogs than they are with people (hi there, let me introduce myself...).

    trick training at home - will make the most of any time you have - where as long walks with no mental engagement - will lead to super fit destructo dogs.

    Most farm dogs - get off when they're working and then on the lead or in the run for the rest of the day. One of my cousins - the dogs get to run themselves round the house yard before brekky and dinner (and that's how you get them back in their pens - dinner). for about 15 to 20 mins twice a day. And then maybe every second day (and different dog depending ) they get to go help work stock - ie there's not stock moving to be done every single day - it all depends on what is happening.

    So farm dog is not entirely out of the question - tho I'd be tempted to leave the puppy at your parent's place for the first 3 months. How far are they for you to go pick the puppy up on the way to and from work?

    A lot of times - I just say get a gold fish - or maybe a greyhound - but greyhounds and small fluffy critters alone together is asking for trouble.

    A slightly older dog maybe 18 months might work better depending on how willing it is to work with you when you check it out. Beware of the puppy that nobody can manage aged 6 to 12 months - that's rebellious teenager dog equivalent - and you may get home to find your house has been chewed to bits.

    Hehe, I am definitely better with animals then people. I'd take them all home if I could I might try the sports again, I wanted to do agility with our BC puppy but couldn't even get her through puppy school. To be fair though, I was on board with her training, my parents weren't.. so it just wasn't sticking. She's a good girl though.

    I did actually think about the walking thing, our BC is walked a lot but it doesn't really help calm her down, she needs mental stimulation as well. I'm not sure I want a dog smarter then me :P although that probably rules out most dogs.

    My parents are about 30-40mins away, I plan to kidnap their BC every now and then until I get a dog of my own. Haha, no greyhounds with my bunnies. I do think about just having bunnies and kitties, but I have a feeling eventually I'm going to want a dog.. how can anyone be happy without one?

    That's my one fear with going with an older rescue, most of the people I know with a rescue find them unmanageable (to be fair that is mostly due to the owners), and I don't want a dog that's going to chase my cats or rip up my yard. I think I'll just have to do a lot of research and understand the dog before I take them on. I was thinking maybe I could try something GRR and look for a 4+ old dog.. I don't know. This is hard. And I don't want to get it wrong, because once I take on a dog its for life no matter what happens.

  7. #7

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    Opps dupe.
    Last edited by Vitsyra; 12-08-2016 at 05:27 PM.

  8. #8

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    So I've been looking at older dogs needing rehoming on Gumtree, so tired of seeing "Need to rehome my dog as I don't have enough time" or "because I now have kids".. Oo; You take the dogs AND the kids to the park.. easy peasy. Poor dogs, they don't deserve to be treated like that.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    VIC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vitsyra View Post
    What do you think of the following breeds for me?

    Golden Retriever - I have a major crush on this breed, been wanting one for about 8 years, but my backyard is on the small time and they need exercise, not sure how they'd go with my bunnies either.
    Australian Shepherd - I was going to get an Aussie (my uncle just did), but after meeting with a breeder and checking out the breed at the Melbourne Show I decided they were a bit too much for me (though they are super cute!)
    Corgi - Cute, working dog and shorter! So hopefully less likely to escape a backyard and maybe needs less exercise??
    Rough Collie - Gorgeous, don't mind the grooming, again working breed, really smart
    Shetland - Same as the rough, but smaller which might be better for my small backyard
    Small fluffy breed - Not a major fan of small dogs (i.e. Maltese), but might be good for me
    Small fluffy breed x - Like a poodle x, I'm a bit hesitant here because I don't like supporting designer breeds..
    Samoyed - Fluffy and not a working breed
    Goldens are great dogs, I don't know heaps about them myself... but I'd guess they would be fairly content with some decent exercise morning and night + mental stimulation during the day while you're away (puzzle toys and such). Of course puppies will cause more trouble than an older dog would.

    I probably wouldn't recommend an Aussie Shepherd for you. They can be pretty demanding. I got lucky with my boy in that he's pretty chill and will happily swap exercise for snuggles on the couch (although the next day he'd be full of energy and driving me nuts, lol). They don't all have that chill streak though. Some can be super full on!

    Corgis... I don't know heaps about their needs, but they are on my 'one day' list as well I do know that most people say that Pembroke Corgis are less demanding than Cardigan Corgis.

    Rough Collie I would put in the same category as an Aussie... I know quite a few that don't get enough stimulation or exercise and they are destructo dogs, they also bark a lot and will do anything to escape, they can be very full on!

    Shetland Sheepdog: An option... keep in mind small doesn't always equal less exercise/mental stimulation... just probably a bit easier to manage in general.

    Avoid oodle mixes... you have no idea what you're gonna get with them... There is no consistency with them and I've met some seriously loopy ones!

    Samoyed is also on my one day list if I can ever bring myself to commit to caring for that much hair. I just adore their personalities, they are SO happy! All the Sammies I have met have been beautifully well mannered with dogs and people... plus I've never met one who's high strung or nervous/aggressive. Not sure on how they compare when it comes to daily needs.

    Are you in Victoria? There's an event on soon held by Dogs Victoria where they will have a showcase of different breeds... might be worth a look? Events like that are great to meet dogs and owners/breeders and have a chat about whether its the right breed for you.
    http://www.dogsvictoria.org.au/GetIn...utforDogs.aspx

    If you decided to go down the rescue route, why not foster? That way you can get a feel for a dog and whether it's the right dog for you before you commit.

  10. #10

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    My suggestion (caveat I'm biased) is get a Rotti!!!!

    They are certainly used as working dogs but I think they are a bit less energetic that the Kelpie/border collies

    My PepperDawg spends ALOT of time sleeping (whether we're home or not). She's not lazy as such, she loves walks, training/tricks and is great around our 5 high energy boys aged 6>11 however if she's alone she sleeps SOOOO much (my security camera's confirm this).

    In fact our Pepper was a pup when we got her and my youngest child was only 2. Not once have we had any issues which is the same experience as I had as a child who grew up in a family of Rotti lovers.

    I think whether you have children or not, whether you can walk your new Rotti (see what I did there lol) at 5pm or 9pm won't matter so much (so long as there is some routine). There's a range of toys and things you can leave for your new dog to keep them occupied during the day. It's not ideal, lets face it most of us would prefer to spend all day with our dogs and I agree with the poster above who mentioned if you can leave your new pup with your folks for a few months until he/she gets a bit older

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