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Old 11-19-2012, 12:53   #1
Kevin108
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Need tips for picking out a dog

I had dogs, cats, etc. growing up but the dogs always stayed outside. I'm wanting to add a dog to our family for security, recreation and because my wife wants one.

We have 4 adult cats, 3 of which have spent substantial time around dogs and get along fine with them. I found 3 of them at different times while at work. I keep expecting to find a dog but have had no such luck.

I'm not scared of any particular breed. Short hair would be nice. Intelligence would be great. Decent endurance for walking would be nice as well.

This dog will be crated while we're at work until it can be trusted with the cats. We have a small fenced-in yard and I would take it for daily walks around the neighborhood.

http://www.portsmouthhumanesociety.org/dogs.html is pretty representative of my local choices. The homies like to abandon their pits around here. If I was going to get a dog today, which from that site would you recommend? Are there better sources for a good mutt than the local shelter?
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:59   #2
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Kevin, My wife and I do a lot of work with local animal rescues. One of the things we always tell people is to go to your local shelter or one of your rescues and see what the options are and if any of the dogs "click" with you and your wife. Many times, these organizations have a dog evaluator who is trained to analyze a dogs personality and this way, you will know ahead of time if they are good with cats, kids, other dogs, etc.

The options are endless here, the ultimate goal is to select a dog that will mesh well with your family and lifestyle. Keep in mind too, that a dog is a major commitment. I am sure you are well aware, but dogs, especially inside dogs, require much more time and effort than do cats. Cats are more self sufficient and dogs need companions.

I wish you and your wife luck in selecting your new family member. Just take your time and make sure you are getting one that fits and you will have a friend and companion like no other.
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Old 11-19-2012, 13:08   #3
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Rescue, humane society or shelter. Find a dog you like and want to take home. It is no more of a crapshoot than buying from a breeder and you will have several hundred dollars in your pocket. Had a pure bred, had found mixed breeds. Spent $350 on the Rottie (early 80's) and loved him. Paid the license fee for our mix, loved her and frankly she was much less work and less destructive to the furniture. Nothing like a teething Rottweiler for tearing stuff up.

Hope you find one you like.
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Old 11-19-2012, 13:12   #4
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Boston Terrier. Full of energy but one of nicest most genuine family dogs out there.
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Old 11-19-2012, 13:21   #5
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I can't say, ours picked us. Pure bred collie, went into the play room with her and the first thing she did was to untie my shoes. I had to tuck my laces into my shoes because she could not resist. She's a puppy mill, and is twelve and a half years old and I'm greatful for every minute we have her.
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Old 11-19-2012, 13:22   #6
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Also, looking at the website you posted, I can not recommend you select a dog based on a picture. Many of the other rescues we work with are Pit Bull specific and I can say with confidence that Pitts make great pets but you do still have to be careful to make sure you don't get one that the "homies" trained aggression into.
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Old 11-19-2012, 13:23   #7
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Let the dog pick you.
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Old 11-19-2012, 13:28   #8
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With cats already in the home I would aim for a younger dog. Try to find one that has a lower prey drive (not into chasing things that much type). Also talk to the shelter about fostering it for a few weeks to see if it fits into your family. And of course what is their return policies in case it doesn't click.
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Old 11-19-2012, 13:30   #9
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Definitely research the breed before chosing one. Each of our dogs was chosen based on breed traits, enegery levels/excercise required based on our daily lives. We have a cat as well and they all get along and can be left together. If you find a breed you like look around for local rescues. Some of them may be abused, but a lot are nice dogs that the owners couldn't own anymore due to moving, ect. Also make sure you can if at all possible have a few visitations, and even bring him into your home for a visitation before adopting. We have a Shiba Inu and a White German Shepard. Highly recommend both.
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Old 11-19-2012, 13:53   #10
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It looks like most of the dogs are adults. You can ask to see if any have history with cats. It may be hard to socialize an adult dog that does not get along with cats.

I am on my second Lab. Great dogs. Mine were family and cat friendly. I did raise both from pups.

Good Luck!
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Old 11-19-2012, 13:57   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmoore View Post
Boston Terrier. Full of energy but one of nicest most genuine family dogs out there.
Agreed. Boston terriers are one of the most loving breeds ive found. Best perk is it has as much or more energy as the kids and all sleep well at night after a few hours play. They do snore and fart though.
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Old 11-19-2012, 14:02   #12
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First get the pick of the litter.
Second. Sit and watch them. The ones that are most playful and active - avoid them. Look for “the thinker” one pup that stays back and looks at you as if asking “what the heck are you”. “The thinker” pup is going to be smart, loyal dog.



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Old 11-19-2012, 14:04   #13
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My last dog was from the local Humane Society. He was a Heinz 57, about 4 months old when he picked me. I put him down this spring, after having him for over 15 years. One of the saddest days of my life. He was a great dog, just a sweetheart.

My wife decided I needed another dog, and we contacted the local German Shepherd rescue. They brought over a very sweet 2 year old female, and she picked us. Took lots of training and patience to bring an adult dog into the house, as she had bad habits (like all of them, no good habits except she was house trained). She's sleeping downstairs here in my office as I type this.

Whatever you do, have a training plan in mind, and make sure that everyone in the house follows the "rules". And the dog will pick you.
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Old 11-19-2012, 14:29   #14
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Pay more attention to your cats and they will tell you twice as much about what's going on around the house as a dog and aren't near as stinky and noisy. Learn to read their ears and tails. It's that simple.
Also.
Wet cat... Raining or sprinklers on/ Fell into toilet.
Dry cat... All is well. But study it from time to time. There are signals.
Dirty cat.. look for critters in the neighborhood like a pack of dogs.
High cat....Time to check condition of your ladders.
Sleeping cat.... All is well unless the cat's tail is moving.
Curtain cat... Needs a bit more training with a spray bottle.
Curled up next to you in bed cat.... All is well. Cat may be cold. Plan to move when it warms and begins to unfold.
Tail strait up. Cat is fine
Tail strait out. Meh
Tail flickers side to side. BEWARE.
Ears back... DOUBLE BEWARE
Ears back while proceeding you. Cat waiting for you to catch up.
Ears back, teeth showing, noise comes from cat. Run away or cover cat with handy items.
Cat is in four wheel drive. Leave the premises immediately or follow cat under the couch or bed.

There are other signs but need to be studied carefully.

signed:
Your new dog
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Old 11-19-2012, 17:18   #15
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it all depends what you want a dog for. you want a companion? go adopt one. you need a working dog? do some research. My only advice is dont turn picking your breed into a fashion show. weight the pros/cons of each breed, and make a decision based on your research.
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Old 11-19-2012, 17:32   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glock20 10mm View Post
Let the dog pick you.
Exactly. Spend time with some of the dogs that meet your size/appearence desires, pick the one that is most comfortable with you and who you're with.
For me, the dog that is comfortable being handled and picked up (puppy or not) and not super nervous and rigid will always work out to be a fine dog.
In the last two cases, those were APBT's and they have been excellent and well mannered dogs.
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Old 11-19-2012, 17:36   #17
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Mini Schnauzer. Loving, good alertness, non shedding, playful, smart, cute.

I love my little Schnauzer. She's small for the breed, but fits us just right.
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Old 11-19-2012, 18:14   #18
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our Misty is now 11 years old (black lab/border collie mix) from the shelter.

she was in the pen with another puppy, taunting it by parading back and forth with a rawhide chewy in her mouth...a real smartass. we had to bring her home.

smartest/best dog we've ever had.

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Old 11-19-2012, 18:19   #19
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We have a border collie beagle mix we got her from the shelter here in Houston. Take your wife with you my wife picked out our dog and she has been an awesome part of our family.

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Old 11-19-2012, 18:21   #20
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I searched all local shelters and ended up looking on petfinder.com and found this little fella. He's a lab/pit mix and such a love dog, this is him begging me to play some fetch with him, which he does all day long. Rescue a dog, save a life.

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Old 11-19-2012, 18:34   #21
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We have had great luck with shelters, the dogs we have brought home seem to appreciate a good home. Only one bad experience - we adopted a pregnant dog by accident from a rescue shelter - ended up with a lot more than we were planning for.

Older dog has a lot less energy - a pup will need more attention. Do you have kids? If so, they should go through the puppy experience.

I know you don't want to hear this but if you are going to crate the dog, consider getting a couple smaller ones. They are very social animals - worst thing you can do is lock them up in solitary. Make sure to take their collars off before going into crate.
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Old 11-19-2012, 19:02   #22
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I was at a relatives house 6+ years ago, our Lab was with me. The guy asked, 'where can I get a dog like that'? I said, you don't 'get a dog like that anywhere'. They become that way with association & training, not stuck out in the back yard all day by themselves.

What I mean is, socialization, training, & environment mean so much to how a dog turns out. This 2nd Lab is 9.5 yrs right now & doing well.

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Old 11-19-2012, 19:59   #23
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After have just gone through an unsuccessful adoption, my only 2 cents is go with a confident dog. Not dominant, but confident. Skittish or shy dogs can become fearful aggressive in a heartbeat. It's not that they can't be trained, but they are a lot of work and you always have that doubt about them. I have an 10 year old Pug, who was the undisputed king of his litter and is a phenominal pet. I wouldn't be put off by their energy or whatever. We also had a Greyhound, who was a 40 mph couch potato. Great pet and gentle as a lamb. They can be trained to not chase btw, contrary to what many say. I recommend both breeds.
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Old 11-19-2012, 20:01   #24
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Any dog can be a good pet depends on the training and socialization I think.
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Old 11-19-2012, 20:05   #25
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My last two dogs picked me. Found them at the Basset Hound Rescue and The Humane Society.
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