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Time to get a dog.

rtsrts Registered User regular
edited January 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
I am 22 years old, I live in an 1,100 square foot two story townhouse, and I am allowed one pet. I have had quite a few dogs growing up, but they have always been small dogs and I think I would like to get a larger dog this time around. I am concerned though, about the size of my place which is of course rather small. I have a front and back patio, but those wouldn't be able to provide any real exercise for the dog, just a place for him to crap.

My front patio does open up to a huge grassy park though, which would be awesome to let the dog run around in except for the 'dogs must be on a leash' rule (which...many of the dog owners around here ignore). However, I don't think I could get away with it so easily because I live next door (one on both sides of me) to two board members who are constantly complaining about dogs being off leash. I am on great terms with them right now, and I would rather not ruin that but I miss having a dog.

I also live just a couple of blocks away from a dog park, and a mile or so from another park that allows people to let their dogs off leash in the mornings. And there is a dog beach only a few miles down the road as well.

I have a few questions actually, so here they are:

Is it reasonable for me to seek a larger dog? Will daily walks be enough for a large dog if I don't have a huge space for him to run around in at home?

I am thinking of a Vizsla. Do you have any suggestions for other medium to large sized breeds I might be interested in?

Should I talk to my neighbors about the possibility of me playing ball with the dog in the community park area of the complex?

Puppies are really rambunctious, so knowing that I don't have a huge area for them to run around at home I was considering going to a rescue and getting an older dog. Anyone have any thoughts or advice on that?


Thanks in advance guys, I want to do this thing right.

rts on
skype: rtschutter
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Posts

  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Define "big dog"
    Can you spend at least an hour walking it every day? If so, I would recommend a boxer, they're one of the most intensely loyal dogs. Also one of the friendliest "big dogs" by nature.

    If you can't spend an hour exercising the dog, get a standard poodle.

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Thank you guys for your feedback, I appreciate your time and advice.
    Djeet wrote: »
    I am thinking of a Vizsla. Do you have any suggestions for other medium to large sized breeds I might be interested in?
    Vizsla may not be a good fit for you. They can be high strung and need a LOT of exercise. If you're going for a purebreed you need to properly mate the genetic predisposition of the dog to your lifestyle or you both will be upset at one another. When I say a lot of exercise I'd say 1-1.5 hours vigorous walk a day, or 1/2-1 hour jog/run. When a dog that needs a lot of activity/exercise doesn't get it, he'll become nuerotic/destructive and start acting out. If my dog doesn't get at least 2 X 30 minute walks he gets annoying as hell, and unruly.

    What kind of exercise do you get now that you might be able to take your dog out with you? Can you come home from work/school to let dog out if he/she's crated? Do you leave the house for days at a time for vacation or work?

    I walk/jog early in the morning for about 4 miles which takes me about an hour. I go to school about 5 minutes walk from my house, and I work at home so I am around quite a bit. I usually go up to Los Angeles every other weekend or so, but the dog would come with me if I had one. And I have a good sized backyard up there (at my grandmother's house).
    Sam wrote:
    Define "big dog"
    I consider labs to be pretty big dogs, I grew up with Cairns/Jack Russels mostly.

    I forgot to mention that I would also prefer a dog that is very much on the quiet side.

    skype: rtschutter
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Sam wrote: »
    Define "big dog"
    Can you spend at least an hour walking it every day? If so, I would recommend a boxer, they're one of the most intensely loyal dogs. Also one of the friendliest "big dogs" by nature.

    If you can't spend an hour exercising the dog, get a standard poodle.

    Standard poodles require at least an hour of exercise too. A lot of the giant breeds are couch potatoes, but on the negative side they have much shorter lifespans than medium - large dogs.

    Have you ever trained a dog before? Viszlas aren't as easy to train as, say, labradors or golden retrievers.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    cakemikz wrote: »
    I walk/jog early in the morning for about 4 miles which takes me about an hour. I go to school about 5 minutes walk from my house, and I work at home so I am around quite a bit. I usually go up to Los Angeles every other weekend or so, but the dog would come with me if I had one. And I have a good sized backyard up there (at my grandmother's house).

    Paired with an evening/afternoon walk/jog that probably would be adequate exercise for an adult Vizsla, though as a pup she would need the exercise broken up into more manageable periods (an hour of jogging would likely be too much for any pup, they'd be game, but it might overexert them). They aren't beginner dogs, but they aren't so big and powerful as to need a super-dominant master. If you want a beginner dog I'd steer you to a golden retriever, a labrador (field stock), or a goldie/lab mix, though these would also need plenty of exercise.

    Is your preference for Vizsla from the appearance, or perhaps from a positive personal association with one?

    Do some research and see if you can find out what breeds fit your lifestyle and living situation. I'd start at a place like dogbreedinfo.com (they aren't the bible of dogs, but basic info on a lot of breeds and might be a good jumping off point) or akc.org. Also realize that many breed-specific forums/sites have a lot of fan(atics) and there may be more noise than signal sometimes. Know that even net of adoption expenses, adopting a shelter dog will usually be less upfront cost than a pup (particularly a purebred).

    Dogs have a wide range of obedience/trainability. My Boxer isn't ... dumb, he obviously picks up stuff and keys in on things. But the fucker needs shitloads of repetitions to set a command, with ample re-training bouts. He also needs a very firm (dominant) but patient (calm and not angry) hand.

  • ManonvonSuperockManonvonSuperock Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    do you live near a racetrack? if so, you could adopt a retired greyhound, they are totally awesome to have.

  • UsagiUsagi WOMP WOMPRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Labs are definitely big dogs (80-125 lb big) and tend to have a very long 'puppyhood'. If you're looking for a dog that is more quiet and has less of a tendency to bite, I'd suggest some type of bird dog, like a smaller lab, cocker spaniel or Brittany. Because they're bred to hunt birds they have soft mouths and are largely tolerant of children, which if you're planning on exercising your pet in the community park is important.

    But by all means get a rescue dog, whatever breed they end up being I am sure they will love you just the same. Lots of shelters offer help with placement and some will even help you find an obedience trainer to get you up to speed on commands.

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  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I can't in good conscience say that I have trained a dog before. I did have a friend growing up who had a Vizsla and I loved the dog. At least I think it was a Vizsla, it looked just like the ones I am seeing online. Was a bit older at the time though so it may not have been an accurate reflection on the breed. I mainly was looking at the Vizsla in particular because most of what I read says that it is a good one person dog, that likes being indoors more than out, and doesn't make a whole lot of noise.

    I live near Del Mar, I don't know if they race dogs there.

    The 'community park' is a private park in the middle of my condominium complex. There are rarely children in it, except some annoying skateboarder kids.

    skype: rtschutter
  • CliffCliff Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Get a female golden retriever. I say female because they are quiter and more respectful of boundaries than males, which would work well if you live alone. Although mine is very protective and barks at everyone, most goldens are friendly and get aloong well with everyone. They are an incredibly adorable breed. Like others have said, as long as you have time to walk it and/or play catch with it regularly, it will be plenty happy.

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  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    May I ask what qualities you are looking for in a "big" dog? Is it just the fact that they are physically large, or are there specific traits of larger dogs that you like? Because some small/medium size dogs are known to behave much like larger ones.

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  • Caramel GenocideCaramel Genocide Registered User
    edited December 2008
    as your dog will not run laps in the backyard of his own accord

    my lab vehemently disagrees with this statement.

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    It's just a preference I think. They don't get under your feet as much.

    skype: rtschutter
  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I'm going to throw in here for an Akita.

    They don't bark unless there's something really wrong, they're great guard dogs, they're big, cuddly and catlike, they're super intelligent, and clean. In fact, Akitas wash their faces like cats do! As a note, they do shed twice a year.
    Akitas are very clean, intelligent and loyal, train easily, and consequently are easily bored. Akitas have also been documented to be gentle with young children and babies.

    Akitas are very adaptable and can live happily in apartments provided they are given enough exercise.

    Wikipedia Akita link

    I mean, come on, look at the picture, they're so cute! :D

    250px-Akita_inu.jpeg

  • OremLKOremLK Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Well, in that case, I agree with female golden. They're great dogs.

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  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    any dog you get can be trained to be respectful of boundries its just idiots who think oh my dog is cute when it jumps up on someone, or thinks its playing, and doesn't reprimand it, who don't respect boundries. yes some dogs are harder to break of it, but its all trainer.

    a large dog should be fine for you. my dog is 55 lbs and she is lazier than me in the house and will sleep all day/lay on her couch. but as soon as we go out, she runs around like nuts.

    vizlas are nice dogs, though they can be a little skittish/neurotic. but if you socialize them, they should be fine, the ones i have met have been mostly people dogs, but that could be individual traits rather than a breed.

    common consensus is not to run with you dog until 6 months or so, especially if they will be big since it can be bad for bone and joint growth which means expensive care later on.

    if you live near the beach i would look into a more of a water dog. ( goldens, labs, etc) but that is because they love to swim and its easy exercise. while not technically a big dog (30-45lbs) a portugeuese water dog is awesome, jokers, low shed, smart so easy to train.

    i will type more later but the key to training is to set boundries early and be consistent. and don't let them get away with anythign as a puppy that would be horrible if they were full grown

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  • GafferoGaffero Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Having picked up a rescue dog two years ago, I'd say your best bet is to keep an open mind.

    The rescue dog I picked up was a Chihuahua/Pug?/Jack Russel mix and has since become the best dog I've ever had. His name is Smokey, likely after those "Lil' Smokies" brand of cocktail sausages. He enjoys eating raw carrots, apples, and bananas on occasion, and frequently burrows himself into towels and blankets when it gets cold. He has a terrycloth pig, named Terry, that he likes to flop around and pounce on. His little teeth stick out from under his top lip which makes him seem as if he's smiling. At around 19 pounds, he's small enough to be a cuddly lap dog without needing large amounts of food or exercise.

    smokeyup6.jpg smokeyiqy4.jpg

    Your best bet is to find a dog that is genuinely interested in you. Don't go for looks, as looks can be deceiving. Most shelters are eager to help you find a dog, and most shelters are currently overflowing with great dogs who have been surrendered by their owners due to difficult economic times. Puppies take a great deal of time and energy; adult rescue dogs provide plenty of quality companionship with significantly less effort involved.

  • TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User
    edited December 2008
    There's some odd suggestions in here. I can't honestly recommend Akitas, poodles, or Vizslas; all three are more "experienced dog owner" dogs. Akitas are very loyal, but that also translates into very protective, and it's difficult for a new owner to train them out of "guarding" the owner in a dangerous way. You don't want your dog to bite your girlfriend when she swats you on the butt, for example. Poodles are lovely dogs but hyper-intelligent, so if you're not willing to spend large amounts of your time thinking of things to keep their brains busy, they'll come up with their own mental stimulation. This will generally take the form of systematically destroying something interesting, like your furniture. Vizslas are also smart and quite energetic, and also frequently develop separation anxiety because they get so attached to you.

    Now, if you've got your heart set on a Vizsla, you can deal with the difficulty of having one as your first dog. (Bear in mind that living with dogs your parents owned is very different than being entirely responsible for one yourself). Also, take a long and hard look at your money situation: can you cover several hundred dollars a year for food, several hundred for routine vet visits, plus grooming costs, toys, cleaning for your stuff, pet deposit for your apartment, and emergency expenses? A single emergency vet visit can easily run into the thousands, and you never know when your pet is going to take sick or swallow a twist tie and need surgery or something.

    Keep in mind, too, that having a pet is frequently a commitment for the next 10 years or more, and that it can make moving a great deal more complicated. Are you willing to proscribe your moving choices for the next decade so you can make sure to bring your dog along? Many apartment complexes simply don't allow pets, many have weight limits or breed restrictions (which frequently include Akitas, German Shepherds, and anything that looks even slightly pit-bull-ish like Boxers).

    I love dogs and completely sympathize with your desire to have one. Just please make sure you're making the right decision for you AND the dog before you go through with this.

  • pots+panspots+pans Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Rescue dogs can be wonderful as has been said. My Auntie got a mixed breed rescue dog who had been beaten horribly when he was younger and it was wonderful seeing him gradually come out of his shell.

    When we went to the shelter to choose a dog, they would let you take dogs out to a nearby field in order to see how friendly/well behaved the dog was, so if that's an option I'd reccommend it.

  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I'd recommend a Golden Retriever. They're smart and incredibly friendly. It's basically impossible to get them to bite you. I don't think the gender is all that important. My family had two male goldens that were a lot more respectful of space (tendency to jump up) than their current female one. The overall temperament of the dog is much more important than the gender.

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  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I'll have to agree about Akitas: they're cute, but take a hell of a lot of training, firm experience, and early socialization if you don't want a furry liability on the end of your leash. They're like chow-chow or sharpei in that a single person or very smart family with older kids with a lot of time, experience and desire for a fiercely protective dog is just about the only person who should get them.

    A vizsla would also be debatable, as they're this endearing but bwuh? mix of hyperactivity and people-gluey--they want to be on or around you pretty much every second they're not running around outside, which is still a lot. If that sounds cool, by all means, look for a rescue or comb shelters nearby.

    Goldens and Labs are fantastically sweet and eager to please, but watch out for abandoned purebreds with hip problems. D: (Not to say a less-than-flawless dog doesn't make a great pet or deserve a home; $$$ is always a factor in future vet bills, not to mention life expectancy. My idiot neighbors bought a purebred Golden from the first ad they saw, and at 4, she's under vet's orders not to run more than a few minutes at a time because of the degenerative...stuff.) Have you thought of one of the spaniels (cavalier King Charles are my personal favorites) or a medium breed like the keeshond? Grooming's more of a concern, but they're smart, sweet dogs.

    Some people already have said stupid things, but I'm ignoring them because I just found a potato in my fridge that looks like it's smiling.
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Financial burden isn't really an issue. While I have been hit by the flailing economy like anybody else I am still pretty well off. I own the townhouse I live in so I don't have to worry about landlords, just the HOA rules. I do plan to move in the next 5 years or so, but if I do it will be to a bigger place with a bigger yard and a garage for my chevy. I just probably won't be able to afford a place this close to the beach and my school if I try for something bigger. My profession doesn't require me to live in any one place in particular. So I think I will be well off.

    I wouldn't say I have my heart set on a Vizsla, they just seemed well rounded for what I was looking for. I do love golden retrievers but they tend to smell pretty bad as they get older (even with frequent washing), and they shed a hell of a lot.

    I am confident that I can handle the responsibility. I live just around the corner from the humane society here in the north county of San Diego, so I may walk over there tomorrow and start talking to them.

    skype: rtschutter
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Tsuki - I have consideried a Welsh Springer. I had an English Cocker growing up and I loved her to death. Sweetest dog. But I have also encountered other springers and cockers that I didn't like at all. I am worried it would be too much of a luck situation when it comes to temperment.

    skype: rtschutter
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    i would
    1. make a list of traits you think your ideal dog would have
    2. get yourself a breed book, and go through it and make yourself a short list of breeds that might work
    3. take that list to the spca or look at breed specific rescues.
    4. Profit

    do you want a puppy or an older dog?

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  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    mts wrote: »
    do you want a puppy or an older dog?

    I would prefer a puppy, but I am not against getting an older dog if that is what the situation calls for. But I do like thinking back and remembering the dogs I have had when they were puppies.

    skype: rtschutter
  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    cakemikz wrote: »
    Tsuki - I have consideried a Welsh Springer. I had an English Cocker growing up and I loved her to death. Sweetest dog. But I have also encountered other springers and cockers that I didn't like at all. I am worried it would be too much of a luck situation when it comes to temperment.

    Yeah, some springers and cockers have bizarre temperaments thanks to our good friend, Mr. Overbreeding; investigating lots of rescue dogs for the right one would probably be the solution. Cavs tend to be more mellow and accepting of other dogs - not to mention melting your face off with cuteness - but have nasty heart problems.

    If smell and grooming are important, maybe consider a young Lab. Vizsla are notoriously clean dogs, too, but Labs have most of their good points with slightly different bad ones (hip problems, hyperactivity, licking people to death). It probably comes down to personal preference.

    Some people already have said stupid things, but I'm ignoring them because I just found a potato in my fridge that looks like it's smiling.
  • TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User
    edited December 2008
    All dogs smell kinda bad when they get old, pretty much like people. As for shedding, that's going to vary dog-to-dog. Short prickly dog hairs can be just as irritating as long scraggly ones.

  • SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    cakemikz wrote: »
    Thank you guys for your feedback, I appreciate your time and advice.
    Djeet wrote: »
    I am thinking of a Vizsla. Do you have any suggestions for other medium to large sized breeds I might be interested in?
    Vizsla may not be a good fit for you. They can be high strung and need a LOT of exercise. If you're going for a purebreed you need to properly mate the genetic predisposition of the dog to your lifestyle or you both will be upset at one another. When I say a lot of exercise I'd say 1-1.5 hours vigorous walk a day, or 1/2-1 hour jog/run. When a dog that needs a lot of activity/exercise doesn't get it, he'll become nuerotic/destructive and start acting out. If my dog doesn't get at least 2 X 30 minute walks he gets annoying as hell, and unruly.

    What kind of exercise do you get now that you might be able to take your dog out with you? Can you come home from work/school to let dog out if he/she's crated? Do you leave the house for days at a time for vacation or work?

    I walk/jog early in the morning for about 4 miles which takes me about an hour. I go to school about 5 minutes walk from my house, and I work at home so I am around quite a bit. I usually go up to Los Angeles every other weekend or so, but the dog would come with me if I had one. And I have a good sized backyard up there (at my grandmother's house).
    Sam wrote:
    Define "big dog"
    I consider labs to be pretty big dogs, I grew up with Cairns/Jack Russels mostly.

    I forgot to mention that I would also prefer a dog that is very much on the quiet side.

    Any dog is going to be quiet if they get adequate exercise.

  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is check with your HOA if they have any rules considering dog breeds. I think Stale's HOA made him get extra insurance for his Rottie.

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  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Elin wrote: »
    One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is check with your HOA if they have any rules considering dog breeds. I think Stale's HOA made him get extra insurance for his Rottie.

    Oh wow. I haven't heard of any rules like that but I will check with the main guy next time I see him (which is often).

    skype: rtschutter
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited December 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    There's some odd suggestions in here. I can't honestly recommend Akitas, poodles, or Vizslas; all three are more "experienced dog owner" dogs. Akitas are very loyal, but that also translates into very protective, and it's difficult for a new owner to train them out of "guarding" the owner in a dangerous way. You don't want your dog to bite your girlfriend when she swats you on the butt, for example.

    I agree with everything else in your post, But I trained an akita almost completely by myself when I was 12. They need a decent amount of socialization and training, sure, but its not really leaps and bounds over care for any dog. Not saying he shouldn't consider this when He looks at breeds, but if he even has friends around while its a puppy and reads about training and care (which he should do anyway) its not rocket science. Unless he gets a rescued akita that is already problematic, I dont see why that should be an issue.

    I'm biased though, I had an akita.
    Spoiled info about my experience with the breed:
    Spoiler:

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  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    cakemikz wrote: »
    Elin wrote: »
    One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is check with your HOA if they have any rules considering dog breeds. I think Stale's HOA made him get extra insurance for his Rottie.

    Oh wow. I haven't heard of any rules like that but I will check with the main guy next time I see him (which is often).

    Check for weight limits, too, as well as any other breed restrictions. As Trowi (may I call you that?) noted, shepherds, Rottweilers, dobermanns, any pit bull-looking dog, or - ironically - akitas can all be singled out for higher insurance rates or banned, period. I can't think of any other breeds as highly regarded for aggression; no one I know was ever penalized for owning a chow, sharpei, or other standoffish-er/guard breeds, though these dogs are all not recommended for new owners. (As far as my own preferences go, I'd point you towards a Great Pyrenees, but they're huge, stubborn as hell and not eager to please. Very sweet, though.)

    Some people already have said stupid things, but I'm ignoring them because I just found a potato in my fridge that looks like it's smiling.
  • TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Iruka wrote: »
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    There's some odd suggestions in here. I can't honestly recommend Akitas, poodles, or Vizslas; all three are more "experienced dog owner" dogs. Akitas are very loyal, but that also translates into very protective, and it's difficult for a new owner to train them out of "guarding" the owner in a dangerous way. You don't want your dog to bite your girlfriend when she swats you on the butt, for example.

    I agree with everything else in your post, But I trained an akita almost completely by myself when I was 12. They need a decent amount of socialization and training, sure, but its not really leaps and bounds over care for any dog. Not saying he shouldn't consider this when He looks at breeds, but if he even has friends around while its a puppy and reads about training and care (which he should do anyway) its not rocket science. Unless he gets a rescued akita that is already problematic, I dont see why that should be an issue.

    I'm biased though, I had an akita.
    Spoiled info about my experience with the breed:
    Spoiler:

    I love Akitas; they're awesome dogs. The reason I wouldn't recommend them for first-time owners is that they can be very, very protective, and they're quite powerful animals, so a not-fully-trained Akita can be hard to control. This varies dog-to-dog, of course, but you never know with a puppy whether it's going to be a big mellow sack of love or have a more difficult personalities.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    The smell thing, it usually comes either from poor grooming or intestinal issues (or sickness). If you know smelly goldies I think that speaks more to the owner than the breed. My 12 y.o. goldie doesn't particularly smell and we're pretty lax with the grooming. She gets a spring/summer buzzcut every year which helps a lot. She likes the water though so if she's left near a body of water (swimming pool included) she will jump in and swim around, and then proceed to roll in the dirt and leaves. My Boxer pup eventhough his coat needs almost zero maintenance is noticeably smellier due to gas, though this only happens when we change his food too suddenly or if he's fed poor quality food. So long as he's on good kibble (and he doesn't "get into something") he's not really all that farty.

    If you get a longhaired dog, particulary one with an undercoat, and she gets a lot of time in the water, you'll need to more regularly brush her coat otherwise you'll get dredlocks and matts of hair that can be smelly and are a pain to work through during grooming. Grooming is a good thing, it's a bonding experience with your dog in a way that walks aren't. If you cannot tolerate hair get a short haired dog, and not a dog with an undercoat; even shorthaired dogs are going to shed a bit. Shedded long hairs and undercoat are more messy, but shedded short hairs are itchy.

    I'm not one to make breed suggestions/prohibitions, but unless you have ample patience and time to spare, you do not want a dominant dog as your first venture into pet ownership.

  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Aoi Tsuki wrote: »
    I'll have to agree about Akitas: they're cute, but take a hell of a lot of training, firm experience, and early socialization if you don't want a furry liability on the end of your leash. They're like chow-chow or sharpei in that a single person or very smart family with older kids with a lot of time, experience and desire for a fiercely protective dog is just about the only person who should get them.

    My dog might have been an exception but I didn't get that impression at all from having an Akita. She was very friendly with people and we never had problems with her being overprotective or trying to bite anyone.

  • TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User
    edited December 2008
    Hypatia wrote: »
    Aoi Tsuki wrote: »
    I'll have to agree about Akitas: they're cute, but take a hell of a lot of training, firm experience, and early socialization if you don't want a furry liability on the end of your leash. They're like chow-chow or sharpei in that a single person or very smart family with older kids with a lot of time, experience and desire for a fiercely protective dog is just about the only person who should get them.

    My dog might have been an exception but I didn't get that impression at all from having an Akita. She was very friendly with people and we never had problems with her being overprotective or trying to bite anyone.

    It's just a breed trend; not every Akita is going to be protective, but in general, they do tend that way, and people should bear that in mind before getting one. I've met some pit bulls that were awesome with other dogs, and some dumb-as-rocks poodles, and some mellow Pomeranians, but that doesn't mean pitties don't tend toward dog aggressions, poodles toward being scarily bright, and Pomeranians from being yappy little ankle-biters (actually just very active, but I don't like poms).

  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    A little update if anyone is interested, I think I have decided on getting a Newfoundland. They shed and drool a lot, but everything else I have been reading says they are pretty great for my situation.

    I checked with my HOA and they have no rules about size/breed as well.

    skype: rtschutter
  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    D'awwww. Newfies are the sweetest dogs in the universe. Thou'st chosen wisely, provided one knows about the drool and hair and tendency to dive into any bodies of water they see. <3

    Some people already have said stupid things, but I'm ignoring them because I just found a potato in my fridge that looks like it's smiling.
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Aoi Tsuki wrote: »
    D'awwww. Newfies are the sweetest dogs in the universe. Thou'st chosen wisely, provided one knows about the drool and hair and tendency to dive into any bodies of water they see. <3

    There is a dog beach about 5 miles down the coast, so I think it should be pretty fun.

    skype: rtschutter
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    be aware of overfeeding them. large breed puppies need special diets to keep them from growing too fast.

    newfies are sweet dogs, but likely wont be a running partner.

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  • desperaterobotsdesperaterobots Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I think the only way to choose is to go to a pound and find a dog you connect with. Then consider if it's too big or the breed too crazy to deal with. My family got our dog from the pound, and he's been the cutest, smartest, most obedient (and cheekiest) member of our family. I took care of him by myself for a few years, and he was a great pal. While I had him in an apartment I had to walk him twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Great excuse to get out of the house and a little bit fitter.

    Good luck :D

  • TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    You should get a German Shepherd. They are fantastic dogs that get a bit of a bad rap, but the fact that they're used for police dogs, seeing eye dogs, bomb sniffers, and all sorts of other uses tends to get overlooked.

    I may be a bit partial, however, as my family had almost nothing but shepherds growing up. Also I wouldn't exist if it weren't for them. My Dad lived in an apartment with my Mom, and he met her delivering a package to her because the delivery guy was afraid of her dog.

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