What breed to get for our family?

United States
January 21, 2007 12:19pm CST
Hi everyone! This is my first post. My husband and I are both teachers, so we don't keep long work hours and his grandmother lives with us. She is 84 but still sprightly, thank goodness. We also have 3 children, ages 15, 11 (both girls) and a 5 year old son. He can be rowdy as are all young boys but has proven himself to be very gentle with babies and animals. He is a bit timid around dogs still, though, as we haven't had one since he was born. We used to have a beagle who died of old age. She was lazy and every strange noise would elicit an AROOOOOO! from her. I want a dog who is playful but not a bull in a china closet. I don't want a dog who will knock down my son and grandmother, nor get trampled either. We are look at smallish-medium breeds. I have been doing my research and am really liking the Whippet. We are also looking at Puggles (half Pug/Beagle), Border Collies (not too sure about that one), Keeshond, Sheltie, Boston Terrier. The WHippet is on the big side but they are gentle and sensitive once they reach the age of 2 or 3. They love their exercise, but can be couch potatoes once inside, provided they have had an outlet for their energy. But, let's face it....that is most dogs for ya. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.
2 people like this
6 responses
• United States
21 Jan 07
There are many types of dogs that would fit your needs, you may want to stay away from the herding dogs, because they are very high-energy and can become a bit neurotic if they are not getting enough excercise and mental stimulation (but they make great pets if you have the time for this). Also, have you also thought about adopting a dog from a rescue group? These dogs need homes and the groups are usually able to give you a good idea of their personalities because they have been fostering themin their own homes. Older dogs (2 adn up) are also more likely to be mindful of your son and mom; young dogs don't always know thier own strength and can get carried away when playing. Plus, you can skip the chewing and housebreaking stage, which can be kind of stressful when you are also trying to run a household. Anyway, good luck in your hunt!
• United States
25 Jan 07
Yes stay away from Australian Shephers like we have. They are beautiful but soooo much energy.
• United States
25 Jan 07
Yes I completely agree! There are so many dogs that need good and loving homes at the rescue shelters. I adopted my dog Mandy there and I just love her! The people that work at the shelters can help you with the perfect dog for your family. They train and work with all of the dogs are they are aware of their personalities or any special needs they might have. My Mandy is 6 months old and I am going through the housebreaking and chewing stage now but I know that there are no behavioral problems and she is healthy and she will be a wonderful longtime companion! Good luck in your search!
@Suze05 (480)
• United States
27 Mar 07
I like Whippets, they are cool dogs..but I would rather have a Boston. I looove them,, they are so cute and smart. If I didn't have 3 big dog/horses (I have a great dane LOL) I'd get a Boston, but I'm afraid my heathens would crush him..lol I really love Golden Retreivers, but they have a reputation of being very happy go lucky and easy tempered dogs, but I know people who have them and really they can be kind of mean. Plus, they are pretty big. I love Bulldogs too..but they are prone to health problems. Boxers I looove! I'd love one of them..they are great dogs too, low maintenance and friendly. I'm not sure if they bark alot or if they are really hyper or anything in the house though, since I've never owned one. Ohhhh wait..check into Havanese..I would love one of those!! they're soo cute and nonshedding..friendly, easy to train.. check them out at www.dogbreedinfo.com/havanese.htm Really though, you might do as someone else suggested and check into your local shelter and check into rescue groups..save a poor baby who needs a home from being put down.
@breepeace (3024)
• Canada
27 Mar 07
I have some food for thought on the breeds you've chosen so far. Border Collies are IMMENSELY SMART.. if they don't have something keeping them busy pretty much every waking moment, they will find their own job. And usually this job entails herding your young one around the house (whether or not they like it), digging up your carpet or scaling your fence to go check out the neighbourhood. Shelties are great little dogs, but if you want a quiet dog, look elsewhere. They were bred as an all purpose farm dog and one of those purposes was as a watch dog. They will bark at EVERYTHING!!!! Great family dogs, though, very trainable and very loving. A lot of grooming. Whippets are great dogs, but they can't be trusted off leash as they are a hound and they enjoy running. In the house, they are big couch potatos and will spend 1/2 the day in the sunny spot snoozing, but they are WONDERFUL with small children as they are patient and tolerant dogs. Very minimal grooming. Bostons are a sedate and noble breed, they enjoy being with their people, but being a small breed can be a bit standoffish with small children. However, if you were to get a puppy, this likely wouldn't be a problem. Again, minimal grooming. Kees have a tendency to be barkers, but they are great family dogs and are very devoted, however, not highly trainable. They will require a bit more exercise than most of the other dogs on the list. They also have a problem with seperation anxiety, however, if a member of the family is home a lot, this shouldn't be a problem. A lot of grooming. Puggles aren't actually a breed, and buying one of them contributes to the support of purposely breeding crossbreds. And pugs are NOT a good candidate to be crossbred, being a brachycephalic (short nosed) breed, this can cause LOADS of respiratory problems that Pug breeders work very hard to correct in their lines and watch very closely for. I'd wager a bet, that breeders of Puggles are looking to cash in on the popularity of the 'designer dog' trend and wouldn't pay the money for testing that serious breeders looking to improve the breed, are. Couple that with dog overpopulation and there's really no need to be breeding mixed dogs just for money. Something you might try doing is attending a local dog show. Pick out some breeds, and talk to their breeders (not when they're grooming or heading into the ring though!) and ask them about the pros and cons. The puppies they breed are their babies, too, and they work hard to make sure each family is compatible with their breed so they'll have a long and happy life in their new home. They're not going to lie to you! From what you've said though, if barking and fur doesn't bother you, a Kees or a Sheltie would be great dogs for your situation. But the Boston and the whippet would be good breeds, also, as would a purebred Pug. If I could make another suggestion, Cairn terriers sound like a good contender also. They are hardy little dogs that don't require much more in the way of exercise than a romp in the yard with the kids. They are very playful and quick learners, but being a terrier, they love to dig. If you pride yourself on your landscaping, this might be a miss. Think Toto in the Land of Oz. ;) Best of luck!
• United States
25 Jan 07
I don't have, but would have to say that the best family dog is a golden retriever.
• United States
25 Jan 07
I know you said that you don't like the look of poodles but they don't have to be clipped the way you see them sometimes. Poodles are smart and nonshedding. But if you really can't stand the thought of a poodle then look into Goldendoodles. That the mixed breed that I want!
@shivka (110)
• India
21 Jan 07
i'd advice you to get a hush puppy or a pug or even a spitz would be nice.. they are all small dogs..playfull they should fit into your family life