J.T. asks from Portland, OR on September 10, 2008
Best Family Dog Breeds
I will be choosing a dog for our family in the middle of next year. I would like opinions on good breeds for a family dog... a city dog likely to be happy in our 50X100 PDX lot. Able to be broken from chewing and digging with some work, good disposition... you get the idea. Also, any specific dogs to avoid? I want to make an educated decision. Thanks for your input!
S.B. answers from Portland on September 12, 2008
Beware that dogs never grow up! They will always have the maturity of a two-year-old. Keep that in mind. Next, you need to understand that no matter what breed you select, they will need exercise and lots of it! This is one of the most important things to consider. Exercise means going to the park for a run. Are you prepared to drag your baby out in the winter months to the park so you can exercise your dog? It's a huge commitment! Sitting in your backyard is no life for a dog, and will most likely result in unfavorable behavior due to boredom. Consider renting some tapes of the Dog Whisperer from your local library. This will give you a good indication of what can go wrong if you are not diligent and disciplined with a canine.
We have two dogs. One is a Shar-pei(wrinkly dogs) and one a border collie. Both are great with our daughter. She loves them very much and they are a huge asset when it comes to keeping her entertained. The down side is that I vacuum EVERY day! We go to the park a minimum of four times a week. If we go any less they are so full of energy that I am ready to strangle them both. They are not young dogs either. The shar-pei is eight.
Dogs are wonderful, but unless you are willing to make the commitment of caring for their needs just as much as any family member I would advise against a dog. Consider a cat. They are much easier to care for.
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K.S. answers from Portland on September 10, 2008
Bird dogs are good for kids because they are bred to not bite down on delicate things they have in their mouths, so less danger of biting. Spaniels, labs, you get the idea. Also, there is a reason why every family with kids has a labrador or a golden retriever. They are super good with kids. Old english sheep dogs are called "nanny dogs" because they are so good with kids. And surprisingly boxers are considered a really good kids dog.
The most important thing is to make sure that (assuming you are getting a specific breed) you meet the breeder and the parents of the dog to make sure that the breeder is someone you trust and the dog's parents have the disposition that you want. You should get the impression that the breeder is interviewing you to see if you are qualified to have the dog, not that the breeder is trying to get rid of puppies to anyone who will take them. Whatever you do, don't buy a dog on impulse and don't buy one from a petstore. Educate yourself about "puppymills"--impulse buys and petstore sales support horrible practices.
Lots of people poo poo breeds and love mutts, and there is nothing wrong with loving mutts (they deserve happiness too!), but I prefer purebreds because you do have more certainty about their traits. One surprisingly great resource, if you don't have your heart set on a puppy, is a breed rescue organization. There are lots of dogs that won't be a good fit for a family, but when the great family dog comes through, everyone involved tries super hard to find a good home for that dog. Good luck! :)
A.T. answers from Portland on September 12, 2008
Hello! I just recently adopted an older Pug and he is the greatest! He's very mellow, but also likes to play and take short walks. He's a great (as are all Pugs) city dog bc they don't need a ton of exercise or large back yards. Younger Pugs are VERY playful but after age 2-3, they mellow out and just want to hang out and be lap dogs. The breed is great with children, but not too small- due to their bulging eyes. Small hands may want to poke. I have a 6 and 8 year old boys that love him to death! I suggest you go to the Pacific Pug Fest this sunday 1-5 at Dogs Dig It Daycare= you can get to know the breed! Also: check Pacific Pug Rescue. org. It's a great place to start. That's where I got my doggy, Chopper. Good luck! AMy
D.T. answers from Portland on September 11, 2008
We have two jack russell mix dogs that got their cuteness from the jack side and the calm, odedient tendencies from their father. They are wonderful dogs with our two little boys, but the biggest factor I will look at the next time we get puppies is whether they SHED or not. We are animal lovers, but I am at wits end with having hair all over my house. There are many breeds that are good for kids that DON'T SHED and I would definately recommend one of them. On another note, I find it MUCH easier to own two dogs rather than just one. They keep each other company when we are out of the house and provide a constant playmate when we are busy.
T.H. answers from Portland on September 15, 2008
I agree with Ashley G. We have a three year old Boston Terrier and a 2 month old son. The dog sniffs the baby, and then keeps at least a baby's arm length away so he doesnt get grabbed. Its funny the dog figured that out on his own. Also, Bostons are pretty low-energy. We can tire ours out playing fetch in the living room (we also have a small back yard). Bostons also have very fine hair, so you dont really notice the shedding. The breed has minimal tendencies toward genetic problems (like some purebreads do) and they are just funny and joyful little dogs. - No technically they are "medium" sized dogs. 10-25 lbs. Our guy is 17 lbs and looks our cats in the eye. The breeder we got our dog from was excellent. Let me know if you want more info.
K.M. answers from Portland on September 11, 2008
We've always had Westies (West Highland White Terriers) in our family. Just love the breed- great with kids, smart, barking can be kept under control, not a big hair shedder, etc. We just love them!!
A.G. answers from Portland on September 11, 2008
I have a four year old Boston Terrier that we got as a puppy. She is the absolute BEST dog ever! Ihave a one year old son who pulls and tugs on her face, her ears , her nose, tail, you name it he takes a handfull. She just sits there and takes it. I have to pay more attention that my son is not hurting her instead of the other way around. Up until we had our son we had always lived in small apartments and she did very well. I have talked to other BT owners adn they have had the same experiences> We go to the park and every kid wants to stop and pet her and she's so patient and sweet. I love my Boston Terrier!
D.A. answers from Portland on September 11, 2008
PUGS! We have two. I have had three in my life. First one when I was younger in an apartment. They are sturdy and don't have a yappy bark. You can find a calm one...you just make sure and get a puppy from calm parents and be sure to ask the breeder...Which one is really laid back? I just got my 3rd pug in July. She is 4 months today. She is potty-trained, fetches and sits great. We took her camping and she was a dream. Just lovs to sit on our laps. My older girls haul her everywhere like a baby. She just hangs there and does not mind at all.
I would stay away from Bassets. We had one. They do have a really sweet disposition, but they also have a very musky smell, shed a lot, happy pee when they meet you or anyone else and whine whine whine.
So a Pug is my choice. My husband finally agreed and said we are pug people. They are easy to take with you anywhere you go. They are so sweet when they turn their head like they are listening to you. They are just great dogs to raise with kids and they can live to be between 10 and 14...but I know some that are over 16...so you never know. My old guy is 11. He is just wonderful too. LOVE MY PUGGIES!
Oh I also want to add. For us it was always best to get a puppy...that way would could raise it the way we want it to be. You just don't know what kind of problems come with a dog that is older. Not that it is bad to adopt an older dog, but you will run a risk not knowing the background really well.