Help Choose A Breed

Discussion in 'Dog Breeds' started by 648117, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. 648117 Honored Member

    My brother and his partner are planning on buying a house early next year.
    Once they have the house they want to get a dog. I don't think his partner has ever owned a dog and she is allergic to cats so they wont be getting a cat.

    At the moment my brother is thinking about getting a chocolate labrador. He said he will probably do basic obedience but has no interest in agility or trick training, he doesn't see the point in them (I laugh at this because he likes sports (ie, cricket and rugby) which is really no different to dog sports imo).
    So he asked me what other breeds there are that are like labradors but smaller.
    He loved our cavaliers, so he might end up getting one of those (I don't think I could get another cav, none will ever be able to match half of the perfection of Paris and Kiefer) and he has never owned his own dog.
    I said to him that a Staffy would suit him. They are smaller, minimal grooming, very friendly and cuddly, most seem to be calm in the house, very forgiving and gentle, seem to have good health, they are very popular which suggests that they must be easy to live with. But I don't think he likes the look of them. (personally, I love brindle staffies :) )
    I also suggested a Border Terrier, there are a couple at agility that seem very calm and friendly, one has a mentally disabled owner. There is also one at obedience that I think is nice. They don't seem to be too terrier-ish either (if you know what I mean).
    I was thinking a retired greyhound would also be good, but I don't think he likes the look of them and they may be a bit big (although they probably need less space than most small breeds) so maybe not a whippet either.
    I'm going to try to convince him not to judge a breed by how it looks. But I guess that's how a lot of people pick breeds. I'll also ask him if would consider an older rescue (I really think he should get a staffie and there are so many in rescue) but I have a feeling he will insist on getting a puppy.

    He's visiting at christmas (they live in a different city) so I will ask him what qualities he likes in labradors but it would be good if I had a little list of other potential dogs.

    He said he wouldn't want to do any grooming.
    I don't think he would want a high energy breed or a very intelligent one that requires mental stimulation :rolleyes: .
    Basically a low maintenance breed that's not too big (sounds like a staffie to me ;)) .

    Can any one suggest other breeds that I could tell him to look into?

  2. MaryK Honored Member

    To be brutally honest, I am wondering why your brother wants a dog. He may do basic training but nothing more, doesn't see the point, doesn't want to groom a dog (even short haired dogs like staffies need grooming once a week to keep their coats shiny and dust free plus regular bathing, nail clipping and teeth cleaning etc. basic hygiene ).

    Rather than asking him about breeds, I would be more asking him if he's prepared to put in the work required to look after a dog. And even more work with a puppy!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Puppies need house training, basic training is a must not a maybe, regular exercise in walks, grooming, bathing (all dogs need this whatever their breed) play time, mental stimulation (again all dogs need this even the lazier breeds). Dogs are a total commitment, not a part time one.

    I'm not saying for one moment he wouldn't love the dog or ill treat a dog but dogs need more than just basic obedience and he's only saying 'maybe' on that.

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  3. Mutt Experienced Member

    But why wouldn't a lab fit if he likes them? Or is a lab really too big?

    I would definetely not go for the staff, assuming you mean the american staffordshire bull terriër or the staffordshire bull terriër, (and no I like them very much and think they are beautiful), BUT when between 2-4 years (when they get mentally full grown) they tent to get dogagressive (espacially to the same gender), which is just in the breed. Of course there are exceptions, but that is like a shepherd that has no herdingstalent or a rottweiler that doesn't guard. If they don't mind being on the look out for that and don't necesarilly want a dog for off leash walking in crouded dogparks, than they are perfect. Staffies are great (really great!) with humans/kinds etc. but they are not dogdogs if you know what I mean.

    The cavalier wouldn't be my choice because of their terrible health (Syringomyelia which basically means that the skull is to small and the brains are being pressed out the skull). Although they are very nice and gentle dogs.

    I just know 1 Boston but thats a nice little fella, although it is something you must like (the flat nose) and again is something I wouldn't choose for.

    Maybe a whippet (smaller than the greyhound, social, busy outside but calm inside)?
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  4. southerngirl Honored Member

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  5. Dogster Honored Member

    It doesn't sound like getting a dog is a very good option for your brother, he needs to take care of it, and he needs to understand that dogs (especially puppies!!) are like children, and they need love, care and attention.

    I want to suggest a whippet!!! I LOVE whippets:love: The breed suits your brother, imo. They are calm, they are very gentle (I have never seen an aggressive whippet) but you have to train using positive reinforcement, because they are sensitive.

    A whippet is super fast, and will enjoy lots of running and excercise, they are athletic dogs. But they're also 45 mile an hour couch potatoes.:p When they're left at home, you don't need a crate, they basically sleep all day.

    They require minimal grooming (I think they have hair, not fur, saw that in a video) and they'll be just fine with basic obedience.

    I think whippets are beautiful, but I can understand why some people may not like how they look. Maybe your brother should consider a retired whippet?(since greyhounds may be too big)
  6. 648117 Honored Member

    I know what dogs and puppies require. I agree that he may be imagining only the good parts of dog ownership (cuddles, nice walks in the sun etc). The only puppy (other than Holly) that we have ever had was Paris and that was 10 years ago and she was a very special puppy (she was sick and so not active or destructive, didn't chew, naturally extremely clean and easy to toilet train) so I agree that I don't think he knows what he will be getting into, the only other two dogs that we have owned we got at a year old and 12 years old. He's only met Holly twice.
    Our cavaliers were not well trained but were extremely well behaved (if you know what I mean, Holly is nearly the opposite of this :LOL: - extremely naughty) so I think he thinks he can get that again.


    But the reality is that this is how most dogs live. Most dogs never go to any sort of class, or just go to the puppy playgroups at the vets. Most dogs (especially short haired ones) never get groomed and only get a bath if they stink.
    Although I do trim Holly's nails, we never did our cavs nails, the groomer did and I have never cleaned any dogs teeth (most people don't and Holly is a chew monster so I don't think she needs it).
    A lot of dogs don't even get walked, at least my brother will walk the dog.


    I am going to talk to him about what dogs need and try to explain to him that most dogs are not like Paris and Kiefer when he is here at christmas. I'm going to try to make him understand that it could all end in a lot of work for him, especially if the dog has any behavioural issues etc.
    But the way I see it is that if he wants a dog then he is going to get one no matter what I or anyone else says so all I can do is suggest breeds that have the lowest chance of going wrong. He has been saying he wants a dog for over a year now but they are waiting till they have bought a house so at least that's something.

    He might end up with a lab (and if he does I will try to direct him to health tested parents). I think he is a little concerned about the size because his partner has never had a dog and he has only lived with cavaliers which are rather small compared to a lab. He just asked if there were any smaller breeds that I thought would be good.

    Personally, I've never met a mean Staffie. Although most seem to ignore other dogs and go to the owner for pats, I've never actually seen one be aggressive with other dogs.
    I could be wrong, but I don't see my brother going to a dog park. I don't really see him wanting to interact with other dog owners much.
    I thought they would suit him because they are cuddly, will love to sleep in the bed, not too high energy, low grooming requirments, friendly towards people and children (they don't have kids yet, but I think they do want them).

    He likes cavs because that's what we had. Neither of them had Syringomyelia (we didn't even know about it when we got them) but they did have terrible hearts :cry:

    Yeah, I suggested them (or a retired greyhound) but I don't think he likes them because they are skinny and don't look cuddly (although I know they are very sweet). A lot of people don't like the look of whippets and greyhounds and don't know what they are actually like.
    MaryK likes this.
  7. 648117 Honored Member

    There isn't the same number of dogs needing homes in NZ as there are in the USA. You would pretty much never find a small breed (or mix) puppy at the SPCA or dog rescue. They don't even get small adult dogs very often (sometimes a jack russell but not much else) unless you consider a Staffie cross small. And if you consider a Staffie small then you would probably be able to choose between a Staffie cross or a Staffie cross or maybe a Collie cross. They are the main types in rescue.
    Most small dogs available are puppies from pedigree breeders, backyard breeders and petshops (from backyard breeders).

    I love sight hounds to.
    I'm not sure that there is Whippet racing here. They have "greyhounds as pets" but I have never seen a Whippet needing a home.
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  8. Mutt Experienced Member

    I don't think your brother will be a bad owner and I do think he can get a dog. Of course it is nice when people do sports and such with their dog, but not all dogs need it as in otherwise they will be miserable. If they get walked as in 2 times a day 1hour or so and they get attention as in cuddles I think the dog still has a great life!
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  9. MaryK Honored Member

    I can understand what you're up against. If someone is determined to have something, then all you can do is try to lead them in the right direction.

    I agree, all the Staffies I've met or known are lovely dogs, both with people and other dogs.

    How lucky that New Zealand has a low stray/surrendered dog rate. Its' very high in Australia (I may just move to N.Z seems a very civilized place and my late Grandfather loved it there). Here all dogs large, small and in between are available, in Shelters way too many it's heart rending.

    They don't, to my knowledge, have Whippet Racing here but do have the Greyhounds as Pets and, although they may not look cuddly, they are real snooky sookums and adore cuddles. I knew someone with two and both were the biggest cuddle bugs under the sun. And very low maintenance, didn't need long walks as they are bred for short bursts of speed, and not much in the way of grooming.

    Sadly, too many dogs live their lives not being walked much or trained, I understand what you're saying, but here I see the results of this with dogs left in the front gardens going crazy, or worse, whenever they see another dog or human.
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  10. Dlilly Honored Member

    Maybe he could foster a dog for a while, just to see what it is really like to care for one. :)
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  11. Adrianna & Calvin Experienced Member

    If he's worried about fur, Lab Retrievers are very sheddy. I agree with the small/medium mutt idea, and it looks like there are a few hundred dogs available in the NZ shelter system. There are some really cute ones, all sizes, here: http://www.petsonthenet.co.nz/ads/index.php?a=5&b=347

    OMG some very cute mutts available!
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  12. 648117 Honored Member

    That's for all of NZ.
    It is not practical to get a dog from a different city because of travel costs to first meet the dog then to go back again after a property inspection to get the dog and then if it goes wrong it's even more travel.
    My brother is in Wellington and using that website there are six dogs for adoption, three of which are greyhounds (well, one of those listings is actually two greyhounds to be re-homed together).
    In my city there are only three dogs for adoption using that website (although I know there are more than that using another site).

    I'll mention the shedding to him. I don't think he would have considered that because Labs have short coats.

    I'll suggest this also.
  13. Gracegeorgina Experienced Member

    What about a cavapoo? I had a cavalier who unfortunately was run over (characteristic of the breed(car chasing)) and most hybrids are rather sensible. Both poodles and cavaliers are intelligent so would be good at learning tricks. I also like havanese, they seem to have great temperaments :)
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