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good "family dog" recommendation



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 29th 03, 02:58 AM
THW
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Default good "family dog" recommendation

We are looking to adopt a 2-4 year old medium sized dog from a rescue group.
Most important characteristic we are looking for is a dog that gets along
great with kids, with no aggression whatsoever.

Some folks I know are suggesting we consider English Setters, English
Springer spaniels and Brittany spaniels. As sporting dogs, they have a
reputation of getting along great with everyone. Others are saying that
these dogs are "high energy", need tons of exercise, are always "on", etc.
Are either of these breeds more easy-going than the other? We would like a
"mellow" dog...one that is playful but can calm down when in the house and
not always be looking for someone to play with it. I should also mention
that the dog will be alone for about 6 hours/day. We live on an acre (with
an invisible fence) so there is room for exercising once we are home.

I was wondering if anyone would like to shed some light on the situation.
Thanks!


  #2  
Old July 29th 03, 03:06 AM
crosem
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Default

you might consider a standard poodle, they are quite easy going and very
smart. my old buddy would let a baby ride on his back (with an adult
holding most of the baby's weight) and not even turn around, let alone show
any aggression


"THW" wrote in message
...
| We are looking to adopt a 2-4 year old medium sized dog from a rescue
group.
| Most important characteristic we are looking for is a dog that gets along
| great with kids, with no aggression whatsoever.
|
| Some folks I know are suggesting we consider English Setters, English
| Springer spaniels and Brittany spaniels. As sporting dogs, they have a
| reputation of getting along great with everyone. Others are saying that
| these dogs are "high energy", need tons of exercise, are always "on", etc.
| Are either of these breeds more easy-going than the other? We would like a
| "mellow" dog...one that is playful but can calm down when in the house and
| not always be looking for someone to play with it. I should also mention
| that the dog will be alone for about 6 hours/day. We live on an acre
(with
| an invisible fence) so there is room for exercising once we are home.
|
| I was wondering if anyone would like to shed some light on the situation.
| Thanks!
|
|


  #3  
Old July 29th 03, 03:31 AM
Tara O.
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I'd recommend choosing the breed you feel most suits your lifestyle, likes
and energy level first....just based on research info. Since you intend to
adopt from a rescue, and you intend to adopt an adult dog, your worries
about high-energy and exercise needs are fairly unnecessary. Most adult
dogs, of most any breed, mellow out with age. They become more laid back
indoors even if they are still high-energy outdoors. Most adults are
already trained with house manners and some basic obedience. Any good
rescue can tell you exactly which of their dogs best meets your needs and
wants. IOW, once you've established which breed you like most, then leave
the rest up to the rescue in terms of guiding you to the one who has the
energy and characteristics you like. If none of the breeds you've mentioned
really strike you as the best breed for you then consider some others. Labs
are known as great family pets generally with no aggression issues at all.
Boxers are the same although they can sometimes be aggressive towards other
dogs (this is something a rescue can tell you about any particular dog).

--
Tara


"THW" wrote in message
...
We are looking to adopt a 2-4 year old medium sized dog from a rescue

group.
Most important characteristic we are looking for is a dog that gets along
great with kids, with no aggression whatsoever.

Some folks I know are suggesting we consider English Setters, English
Springer spaniels and Brittany spaniels. As sporting dogs, they have a
reputation of getting along great with everyone. Others are saying that
these dogs are "high energy", need tons of exercise, are always "on", etc.
Are either of these breeds more easy-going than the other? We would like a
"mellow" dog...one that is playful but can calm down when in the house and
not always be looking for someone to play with it. I should also mention
that the dog will be alone for about 6 hours/day. We live on an acre

(with
an invisible fence) so there is room for exercising once we are home.

I was wondering if anyone would like to shed some light on the situation.
Thanks!




  #4  
Old July 29th 03, 03:37 AM
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Default

When the ancient war dogs did battle on Mon, 28 Jul 2003 21:58:39
-0400, "THW" did speak the following bit of wisdom:

Are either of these breeds more easy-going than the other? We would like a
"mellow" dog...one that is playful but can calm down when in the house and
not always be looking for someone to play with it. I should also mention
that the dog will be alone for about 6 hours/day.


Out of the breeds you mentioned, an older (3-4 years plus) bench
English Setter would probably fill your bill almost perfectly... if
the breed is right for you. Three or four years of age is still
relatively young, but you're well on your way past the puppy
craziness. Older English still have a lot of get up and go and will be
ready to go for walks or play catch or whatever the family likes to
so. But most of them are also *VERY* willing to be couch potatoes or
bed ornaments.

Some things to think about if you're considering life with an ES...
English setters are longhaired dogs, so they will need grooming at
least once a week (or more) to keep the feathering tidy. They also
benefit from professional grooming every couple of months to neaten
and trim the head, ears and neck and underneath the tail. You can
learn to do the feet yourself with blunt scissors. Some people choose
to have their groomers clipper the whole dog in a pet Cocker or
Springer trim. It all depends on your individual dog and how much
coat, and the type of coat, they carry. They shed! And the bench dogs
(probably more than straight field-line dogs) generally have more flew
-- the pendulous lips that hang down. Therefore, they may tend to
drool. Some are more dry-mouthed than others. But all of them will
drool at some time or the other, especially if there is food about!
Some folks (like my mom) absolutely can't handle this! So that is
definitely something to think about. If the thought of flying drool
bothers you, this might not your breed.

What else? Hmmmm..... Some of them love the sound of their own voices
and can become barkers, but that shouldn't be a problem if you don't
leave them alone in the yard. In general, a bored dog is a noisy
and/or destructive dog. English setters tend to make lousy kennel or
yard dogs because they crave their family and want to be with you.
Many of them will insist on following you from room to room. Contrary
to popular belief, they *can* be protective of their family when the
situation warrants. They are really tuned into you and know when
you're scared or worried and they'll react to that. Usually though,
they are friendly, happy, tail-wagging-all-the-time (so watch out for
breakable things on low tables!), outgoing family dogs who make great
canine pals for children. They're not for everyone, but for those of
us who love them, there ain't nothin' better than life with a setter!

*~ *~ *~
Karen C.
Spammers be damned! I can't be emailed from this account! So there...

"You have no power here!
...Be gone! Before somebody drops a house on you too!"
  #5  
Old July 29th 03, 06:26 AM
Support Your Local Community Band
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I am very predjudiced to bird dogs and setters in particular. I have had an
irsh, an english three gordons and two red and whites. (this doesn't count
the twenty some fosters that have passed through the house)

Be advised that Setters are NOT for everyone. That is the main reason we
get the dogs we get in rescue. The very traits that make them excellent
field dogs make can frustrate owners who want a dull witted dog, such as a
poodle or Golden Retriever. Setters have the attitude that THEY know what
needs to be done and they often can't be bothered with the way you think you
want something done. Successful hunters who use setters are those who
follow their dogs, rather than lead the dog.

Setters need a fair amount of exercise and a LOT of family attention. The
long coats need regular combing. The flews can trap volumes of water that
defy all physical laws and a favorite setter trick is to drain the water
bowl in the kitchen and then deliver half of it to your lap in the family
room.

I have setters because I was bit three times as a child and I vowed to never
have a dog that would cause a problem. Setters were the best answer.

I don't recommend ANY dog around infants and toddlers. Setters pose a
hazard because their always wagging tails can knock little ones off their
feet.

There are adult rescue setters available all the time. The same goes for
Pointers, Viszla, Weims and brittanys.

I suggest you talk with your nearest rescue contact to get more information.
Good luck.

chuck petterson
rescue bus driver




"THW" wrote in message
...
We are looking to adopt a 2-4 year old medium sized dog from a rescue

group.
Most important characteristic we are looking for is a dog that gets along
great with kids, with no aggression whatsoever.





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  #6  
Old July 29th 03, 06:48 AM
Charles Richmond
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THW wrote:

We are looking to adopt a 2-4 year old medium sized dog from a rescue group.
Most important characteristic we are looking for is a dog that gets along
great with kids, with no aggression whatsoever.

I would suggest a Miniature Schnauzer. The Miniature Schnauzer is *not*
so very small, perhaps 35 or 40 pounds IIRC. Very smart, the breed has
a good reputation with children, and *no* shedding. You will need to
have the dog groomed every couple of months or the dog will begin to
look "shaggy"...or is that "shabby"???

[snip...] [snip...] [snip...]

I should also mention
that the dog will be alone for about 6 hours/day. We live on an acre (with
an invisible fence) so there is room for exercising once we are home.

You may have to crate the dog in the daytime when you are away. If
you can have a neighbor or someone...to let the dog out midway (after
three hours) that might be helpful.

Please know that an "invisible fence" is *not* really a very good
protection for the dog. While it may keep the dog in, it will *not*
keep other animals and children *out*... It is dangerous for the
dog in any case...but especially if you have coyotes or other
wildlife in your area. A coyote might take off your dog and eat
it. Or the neighborhood kids could throw rocks at your dog. A
*real* privacy fence...or even a chain-link fence...is *much*
better protection.

--
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
| Charles and Francis Richmond richmond at plano dot net |
+----------------------------------------------------------------+
  #7  
Old July 29th 03, 08:27 AM
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Default

When the ancient war dogs did battle on Tue, 29 Jul 2003 00:26:15
-0500, "Support Your Local Community Band"
did speak the following bit of
wisdom:

The very traits that make them excellent
field dogs make can frustrate owners who want a
dull witted dog, such as a poodle or Golden Retriever.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^
How so? Are not Goldens and Poodles sporting dogs also? They're not
upland bird dogs, but their work still requires the thinking process,
biddibility and a good work ethic in the field. No matter what you
think of them, I wouldn't exactly call them "dull witted."

PS: The sport of AKC Obedience was basically invented by Helene
Whitehouse Walker (a Standard Poodle breeder), in part, to showcase
the intelligence and versatility of her breed. She was tired of people
snickering at them and calling them names. I'd say she did good...

*~ *~ *~
Karen C.
Spammers be damned! I can't be emailed from this account! So there...

"You have no power here!
...Be gone! Before somebody drops a house on you too!"
  #8  
Old July 29th 03, 10:51 AM
Chris Jung
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Default


"THW" wrote in message
...
We are looking to adopt a 2-4 year old medium sized dog from a rescue

group.
Most important characteristic we are looking for is a dog that gets along
great with kids, with no aggression whatsoever.

Some folks I know are suggesting we consider English Setters, English
Springer spaniels and Brittany spaniels. As sporting dogs, they have a
reputation of getting along great with everyone.


Since you will be getting your new dog from a rescue group (smart move -
good rescues have wonderful gems ready to be discovered!) you can find
mellow adults in all those breeds. Both English Setters (ES) and English
Springer Spaniels (ESS) have two different types within their breeds: Show
Bred verses Field Bred. Show bred are usually much (especially in the ES)
calmer. The field bred in both breeds are higher energy and thus have
higher exercise requirements even as adults. There has been some problem
with questionable temperaments in some ESS as a result of poor breeding
practices (i.e., the breeders not placing high enough emphasis on good
sporting dog temperament) but a good rescue would have evaluated the ESS in
their care and would know and carefully place any ESS with hinky minds in
homes that can handle them. The Brittanies I've known have been wonderful
dogs but quite active even into their middle years. However they get all
types in rescue so with a bit of search and patience on your part you could
find a easy-going young adult Brittany. Personally I'm very fond of the show
bred English Setter- every one I've met has been a Major Love Muffin.

A good rescue will want to match you up with a dog that truly fits in your
family. After all the trouble they go through with the dogs they do not
want them or the families to be unhappy. A bad or misguided rescue will not
give as much thought to proper placement - they just want to place the dogs
somewhere - anywhere.

Good luck with finding your new family member!

Chris and her two bummed out smoothies,
Zeffie and Pablo (I still miss that fuzzball Bode)


  #9  
Old July 29th 03, 02:25 PM
Diana
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"Chris Jung" wrote in message
...
[..]

A good rescue will want to match you up with a dog that truly fits in your
family. After all the trouble they go through with the dogs they do not
want them or the families to be unhappy. A bad or misguided rescue will

not
give as much thought to proper placement - they just want to place the

dogs
somewhere - anywhere.


Just one little concern in that you (the op) say that you have an electric
remote fence that is the boundary of your acre of land. These fences aren't
so popular in the UK but from what I have read on these groups, these fences
are often the reason that many dogs end up in the shelters in the first
place. A remote fence is not really an adequate containment for a dog,
especially an excited dog that has seen a deer or rabbit, or a lonely dog
who has been left alone outside unwittingly while the kids have been
distracted and gone off to play elsewhere.

I don't have a fencible yard at all so I know that my dog won't ever be able
to enjoy our garden on her own, but that's fine,, I can be there to
supervise and besides which we have far better open spaces around us for
open countryside walks. Living like this has not been a problem for us as we
don't really have any other distractions, like kids, and I specifically
chose both my last GSD and my future Weimaraner for their breed specific
need to be with their people, but for the busier family and with more
independent breeds of dog, I would strongly recommend that you 'real -
fence' an area of your acre for the dog to play when you or your family
might not be there to watch him.

Otherwise, I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing about your
new pooch.

Diana


  #10  
Old July 30th 03, 03:25 AM
Tirya
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Default

"Charles Richmond" wrote in message
...
THW wrote:

We are looking to adopt a 2-4 year old medium sized dog from a rescue

group.
Most important characteristic we are looking for is a dog that gets along
great with kids, with no aggression whatsoever.

I would suggest a Miniature Schnauzer. The Miniature Schnauzer is *not*
so very small, perhaps 35 or 40 pounds IIRC. Very smart, the breed has
a good reputation with children, and *no* shedding. You will need to
have the dog groomed every couple of months or the dog will begin to
look "shaggy"...or is that "shabby"???


Miniature schnauzers should be between 12 and 14 inches at the shoulder, and
should top out at around 20 pounds.

American Miniature Schnauzer Club: http://amsc.us/

Tirya
--
TDC Inca Jeeper
A dirty Jeep is a happy Jeep.


 




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