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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    London, England

    Tell Me About... Dogs

    After much ado we're moving to the country side next summer, and I thought of giving in to my husband's biggest wish: a dog. His 40th is coming up so I'd like to give it to him then, or the idea anyway as I'd like him to be able to pick out the dog he'd like a puppy from himself. So I am curious about dogs and babies, how they are together, and if anyone has any experience or knowledge about any of these dog breeds I'd be grateful. Especially how the are with babies and children, how clean and smart they are, etc. I know there are a lot of dog people here, so I hope someone can help me out! Or I might have to join a dog forum...

    Alaskan Husky
    Alaskan Malamute
    Bernese Mountain Dog
    Border Collie
    Cocker Spaniel
    English Setter
    English Shepherd
    German Shepherd
    Irish Setter
    Siberian Husky

    ... If you know of other beautiful, clever and childfriendly dogs, please suggest away. These were the ones I found on an intelligent dog ranking, and/or that I like the look of. Thanks!!
    My darling Marian Illyria Aphrodite, March 2013 & Little Bunny (a girl!) due 9th of February 2014

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Southern California
    Huskies are EXTREMELY energetic and if not properly exercised can become VERY destructive-- I know plenty of people who have them and most have completely destroyed yards, furniture, etc. just something to think about when there are little ones involved! I don't know much about the other breeds, but we recently got a golden retriever puppy( who we named Bob), and we adore him! We have never had this breed before, (although growing up DH and i have had other dogs-- everything from great danes to chows to chihuahuas)but I can now honestly say I completely understand why they are one of the most popular "family" dogs. My rambunctious 5 year old has played, tugged, jumped and wrestled on and with Bob since day one. And Bob has never once snapped, growled or bitten. He is totally okay with my son playing with his paws and ears --so I don't have to worry about toddlers yanking on them, I know it will be fine. He was amazingly easy to house train and is already protective of the family. He loves the water an the outdoors-- a perfect country dog! The hardest thing we have had to deal with is the shedding. But he loves the water so much that giving him a bath once a week to help with that is no sweat at all. I would definitely check into a Golden!
    *~*Proud Mommy Of Evan Alexzander*~*

    Currently Loving:
    Girls- Alice, Laurel, Hazel, Josephine, Clara, Emmeline, Penelope
    Boys- Dexter, Everett, Levi, Felix, Emmett, Jasper, Rhys, Declan

  3. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Currently on the west side of the U.S.
    I'm a dog worshipper and I've had at least one dog for the last 20 years, usually 2. To me, there is no greater creature on this earth! They are so loving and dedicated and pure and just wonderful - my dogs literally crack me up every single day and they fill my life with love. BUT! (and there's always a but isn't there?) They are also a LOT of work. Especially as puppies. It's essentially like having a new baby. You didn't say if you've ever previously owned a puppy but if not, I always try to warn people what they're getting into. It takes a lot of work to train them, as well as a lot of patience (because accidents will happen) and determination. They have to be constantly watched, taken outside every hour, sometimes they cry at night, etc etc. If you aren't really into it, most people will give up. That's why so many puppies end up back at the shelter/store where they came from. So I always, always recommend that people try to foster the puppy/dog first - depends on where you live I'm sure but it's very easy to find here in the US. That way you get a trial run and if it really isn't a good fit, you can bring the dog back and try a different one. You also have to be sure to purchase a crate - for the dog's safety, for easier house-breaking, and for your own sanity.

    There are a lot of misconceptions out there about mixed breeds, or mutts, or shelter dogs - in my honest opinion, they are the way to go. I had one purebred Golden Retriever and he was the meanest dog you'd ever meet. He bit EVERYONE. Three different vets told us to put him down but my mom refused. Purebreds are often in-bred and that leads to serious health issues (behavioral and physical). I've never had ANY problems with any of the "mutts" I've adopted. They've all had long healthy lives and have all been sweet as can be! And then you don't have to spend $2000. In terms of finding which breed is best for you, adoption facilities can help you with that too. They'll ask you questions about your family and your life and they'll work to match you up with a dog that will fit with you. And, of course, do a lot of googling before you make any final decision (for breed info). Also, I know most people want a puppy because they're so cute and loveable... but honestly, most people would be better off adopting a dog that 1-3 years of age already, saves a lot of work and effort especially if they come already partially housebroken/trained.

    Also, regardless of breed, dogs are messy. Even the ones who don't shed much or are hypoallergenic, they're still dogs. They get dirty, they smell, some of them slobber. They have accidents inside, they get sick and throw up on the carpet. It's all just part of having a dog. In my opinion, they're worth every single bit of it because of the unconditional love they give you - but if you're really a neat, clean person, having a dog may be a tough adjustment. Generally, smaller dogs are easier to clean up after and it can be easier to contain the mess... but other factors matter too of course.

    Anyway, I can ramble on about dogs endlessly. I'm very passionate about educating people before they adopt because it breaks my heart every time someone takes a dog back - and that happens all too often. Good luck with the journey, it's great that you're starting a bit early and trying to gather information!

    Pregnancy #1: lost to mc, 10/11

    Amelia Joelle arrived on 11/28/13 at 7 pounds, 4 ounces of pure beauty. Couldn't be happier to finally be mama!

    Baby #2 - another GIRL! - due 8/1/16

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Huskies and Malamutes shed A LOT. I imagine it would be the same with burmese mountain dogs. ANY dog built for winter weather will shed a lot because they tend to have two coats. German shepards have a similar coat and can have genetic problems with their hips. I am not a fan of any dog with long hair just personal preference. English mastiffs are gentle giants and are generally great with kids and easy to train. I have a fila/english mastiff mix and he is great with my kids. I trust him completely around them. They can climb on him pull his tail even stick their hands in his mouth. Even my anti dog cat only DH loves him.Other dogs ive had growing up
    Boston terrier
    Basset Hound
    Mini Dauschund
    German Shepard
    a couple of dogs I would like now are a schnauzer a labradoodle a rottweiler and an irish wolfdog. I prefer bigger dogs in general as the little ones do yap. So my rough rule is over 35lbs haha.

    I agree with cvdutch mixed breeds are great and puppies are a lot of work but well worth it. I was 15 when I got my heeler mix and I would take him outside at night in 3 ft of snow to do his potty training. I did the same with my mastiff mix. And both the beagle and the basset hounds were rescue dogs. I have never used a crate but have used baby gates to block them out of certain rooms in the house at times.
    Last edited by hootowl; August 9th, 2013 at 01:14 PM. Reason: left stuff out

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    I have had always had 2+ dogs since the day I was born and am a firm believer that, while being a lot of work, they enrich your lives in a way quite different than anything else.

    I love several of the breeds you have listed, but something to be aware of is that "intelligent" breeds can have different outcomes. Some intelligent breeds like Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers (the top two breeds for families) tend to work wonderfully with families and are quite easy to train, others, such as border collies and huskies, are typically difficult to train because their high levels of intelligence leads them to becoming easily bored and destructive. If you cannot provide the dog the plenty of exercise and enrichment please do not get a breed that will require immense amounts of either.

    Another factor I would take into consideration is the desired power structure of your family. Are you wanting a family dog or a dog for your husband? Some breeds (such as malamutes if i remember correctly) are notorious for doing better with a single master vs. in a family environment.

    Another thing to consider is that typically bigger dogs tend to be better with children because they are usually less aggressive. An article in Applied Animal Behavior Science a few years ago listed Labradors, Siberian huskies, and golden retrievers as the least aggressive breeds, while I believe chihuahuas and Jack Russell terriers are the most aggressive.

    Before you consider purchasing/adopting/etc. I would definitely recommend doing your research on various breeds and talking to your husband about what you want out of your dog. Whether you want a hunting companion, a dog that will cuddle in your lap all night, or one that will protect your family, you have a variety of options, and both you and your dog will benefit from you doing the research to make sure it's a good fit for everyone.

    Dogs that I have been around and loved AND would suggest for a family with small children include Labradors, golden retrievers, blood hounds, Rottweilers, and a variety of mutts. However, it comes down to the training much more than the breed.

    If you have any further questions feel free to PM me. I love talking about dogs more than anything

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