Dog - Spencer,IA

Updated on February 29, 2012
C.Z. asks from Manning, IA
20 answers

I was wondering what would be the best dog for 2 adults and two young boys?

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answers from Seattle on

One that suits your lifestyle and climate.

What's the weather like where you're at?

Don't want to buy a snow dog if it's warm most of the year or they'll be miserable, and you'll be hip deep in fur (huskies, malamutes, etc.). Don't want to buy a dog bred for 100+ degree weather if you're in the -15 to 80 range.

How much space do you have?

Don't want to buy a guard dog if you're super active people. Guard dogs want smallish spaces and are fairly sedentary (chows and pugs and chihuahuas, for example). Don't want to buy a working dog (herders, retreivers, etc.) if you're sedentary people. Don't want to buy a giant breed if you're in a small house or apt (Danes, Mastiffs, etc.). Don't want to buy a toy breed if you're on acreage. Don't want to buy a herder if they're going to be home alone without "things" to herd and courses to run, or they go neurotic.

How much time/money do you have? The smarter the dog, the longer the training period is. W-Hybrids, Huskies, German Shepards, etc. typically take 2 years to train, becuase these are VERY smart dogs. It's like raising a child. Many of these dogs The goofier a dog is the easier they are to train. Many in just a month or two. (Retrievers are the 'Life is Like a Box of Chocolates... never know what you're going to get!" breed. Some are wicked smart and take ages, others are loveable goofballs who take next to no time at all).

The questions go on and on.And the answer of 'best dog for a family' will change with your answers

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Golden Retriever!

They are sturdy! and loving. :) What more could you want in a pet.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Please go to (notice, this is NOT a dot-com) and do a bit of research on breeds.

Then use use the website to get some referrals to some of your local breeders. Whether you buy from a breeder or not, they are experts and know their breeds traits-both physical and mental. And they are happy to talk to you! They know that a good owner will make a good pet and will do everything in their power to help YOU become a good owner first. (If you're not already :)

Know that if you buy from someone who says they are a breeder and they are purposely cross-breeding (e.g. a cocker spaniel & poodle to make a "cock-a-poo") know that they are recognized at best as backyard breeders and at worst "puppy mills." Even if they have a fancy website, if they aren't in the AKC database, watch out.

Buying from a breeder usually COSTS THE SAME as from pet store or even a rescue organization- after all is said and done with spaying, etc. Also, AKC breeders are required to sell pets with contracts that the animal has been checked by a vet to not have any genetic defects, that the animal needs to be spayed/neutered if not used for showing, and that the breeder will buy the dog back and/or replace it if if doesn't work out. So really--look for the AKC certification, it's worth it!

Almost ALL of the animals from rescue shelters originate from backyard breeders, puppy mills, and pet stores. You can spin the roulette wheel and get lucky. But there's no guarantee that you'll get a safe, healthy pet.

P.S. I don't sell dogs but my parents are AKC breeders and dog show judges. Incidentally, I don't have a dog now because I work full-time and because of that I know that I would be a rotten owner. But I LOVE dogs! I wish I could have one.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Partial to Goldens here too. And so are my two boys (and one girl).


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Yeah -- what Riley said.

I'd just add that ANY dog, regardless of breed or age, needs training -- as does any dog owner & family member. Most large pet supply stores (Petco, PetSmart, etc) have group training classes and reputable dog trainers are usually easy to find. Can't emphasize enough that training dogs & owners and establishing rules to live by (on the furniture or not? what's the feeding & walking schedule? whose job is it? Is it OK for the dog to jump on kids? Is it OK for the kids to climb on the dog? etc. ) make for much happier dogs and families.

Oh -- and if at all possible, consider a shelter or rescue dog. can help you find animals in your area.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

2 great sources for you
This is a questionaire to help you clarify your needs/wants and which will help you find the one that fits those needs/wants. Petfinder has a great search engine to , help you narrow it down, type of pet, male/female, age, even commentary to where you know a little about their personalities. Happy hunting!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Golden Retriever or Lab. I think Labs have a bit more energy, need more exercising. Our Golden is FABULOUS! with our 2 daughters (3.5 and 1.5 years old).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

Go to your local shelter, pay attention to their personalities, take a few out and play with them. Pick one that you connect with. Breed doesn't matter.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Talk to your local rescue foundation or humane society. I don't know your boys ages, allergies or anything like that.

I love my Boxer/Pit Bull mix and my boys are 9 & 11.

If you have younger kids - Golden Retrievers and Labradors.

I would totally avoid small dogs - Shitz Zu's, Llaso Opso (sp) (what we call ankle biters or yippers) if you have kids under 3.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Riley J said it perfectly!
Especially what she said about comparing retrievers to "a box of chocolates" lol!!!
Our first lab was a sweetie, but a nightmare, like Marley (from Marley and Me.)
Our second one is the best, sweetest, most well behaved dog EVER, I swear she could have been trained to be a guide dog, she is THAT smart and good, by NATURE, nothing we did.
Look for a dog that fits into YOUR lifestyle, climate, space restrictions and home life (age of your kids, other pets, etc.)
The library has lots of great books about different breeds, check a few out and make it a family project. Good luck :)


answers from La Crosse on

we had cocker spaniels growing up and then I took my cocker with me when I moved out of my parents house. Our's were all so good with us and even when I had my boys my old ( 13 yrs old) cocker was so good with them and tolerated so much from my boys. She lived to be about 16 and never once bit, snipped or snapped at my boys. She was so much like another mom, she was so good with all/ any kids and loved to cuddle.

Before my cocker passed away we got a husky puppy, he is also SO good with the kids.. but with two young boys you might not have the energy for a husky puppy ( looking back Im not sure how I got through a husky puppy and 3 young kids!)... an adult husky still takes alot of energy but ours is so good with the kids!

Now that our husky is 15 and getting up there we got a long haired collie... he does nip alot! But he is pretty good over all. He has really taken to our 4 yr old and just loves him and follows him everywhere and nips at his pants and shirt the whole time :) But he is starting to mellow out and he is doing better.

cockers are still my favorite.. but my husband doesn't think they are cute and likes the bigger dogs..



answers from Minneapolis on

It depends on your lifestyle and how much time, energy, and money you want to invest. Does your family have allergies? Do you want a dog that does not shed? Do you want to walk it daily? Brush it daily? Some dogs are more high maintenance than others.

Checkout this site:
They have a dog breed selector quiz.

Here is what the website states:
"Do you want a puppy, but don't know how to choose the right dog breed? Well, fear not. Our custom built dog breed selector quiz will help you find the best dog breed to fit your family. We have compiled eight different dog breed characteristics that help choose the best breed of dog for you. Simply choose the most desired attribute for each category. Then choose the importance level for that breed characteristic. We automatically calculate the best dog breeds for you. Enjoy!"


answers from Jacksonville on

Not enough info.

What is your lifestyle? Do you both work outside the home? Do you travel a lot? Do you like being outdoors? What kinds of activities do you enjoy that you can include a dog in? Do you run? Do you bike? Are you gone every afternoon/evening for extra-curricular activities? Do you have a yard? Do you have space inside? Have you ever owned a dog? What kind of research have you done? How much time do you anticipate spending with the dog? Training the dog? Grooming the dog? Can you afford grooming expenses if you have a breed that needs special grooming at a "groomer"?



answers from Kansas City on

Shiba Inu best dog we ever had!!



answers from New York on

I have a very small dog. She is very over-protective of me.

My dog does not shed!

I would rec a bigger dog. See There's a quiz that asks what you're looking for in a dog. Plus, a few additional questions. A few breeds are recommended.

See **You might find a wonderful dog that needs a home from a local shelter. Just type in your zip code and that you are looking for a dog.




answers from Milwaukee on

We recently had to put our chocolate lab down and he was the best dog ever! He was so good with our 2 kids since they were babies and always greeted the neighbor kids on the sidewalk.



answers from Washington DC on

it really depends on how old your boys are, how much space you have, who will be the primary caretaker of the dog, how active you are as a family. I can tell you a few breeds not to get, the others depend on the answers to the other questions. Rottweilers- they tend to bond w/one person and become very posessive of that person. Shepherds are good pet but need a lot of training, always, I figure w/ a family you prob don't have time to do that, if so go for it. In general, working breeds need training etc, they need to be trained to perform a function, it's in their blood. Good Luck! oh also some breeds have more health problems than others be aware of that. Coats: make sure your consider that as well, grooming is a big factor for certain breeds. People love Goldens, as do I, but they are like babies/ toddlers for the first few years think lots of training plus grooming to avoid mats. I've had two, love them but my next one will not be a golden. The labradoodles are good, but they are mutts, I don't know if you want a pure bred dog. There is nothing wrong w/ mutts! Less health problems that stem from poor blood lines. We had a mutt from the time I was 7 til I was 24! I loved that dog. again good luck!



answers from Eau Claire on

Both Labs and Golden Retrievers are fantastic, sweet, fun, loving dogs, and generally fairly easy to train. But I do agree with other posters who have stated you should really look into the breeds and find out more before you choose.

I have also found 2 fantastic dogs, one at our local shelter and one who was being given away by someone who couldn't keep it. One was a husky mix who was a bit more of a handful, but had tons of character and the other was a lab, who is the best dog I have ever had. My 6 yr old goes EVERYWHERE w/ his lab and she literally puts up with everything! Being climbed on, led around, toys and food taken right out of her mouth.

So make sure to think about your local shelter or even "to give away to good home" dogs in the paper or on Craigslist. Do your research and good luck!



answers from Columbus on

There could be lots of good choices. Consider how big of a dog, activity level, grooming maintenance, purebred versus rescue. AKC has a tool online to help find the right breed, but there are so many options outvthere to comment without knowing more. If you work with a rescue or a reputable breeder they should be able to help with a dog that would be a good fit.



answers from Minneapolis on

There is a show on Animal Planet called Dogs 101 .... worth a watch as they go over all sorts of breeds, talk about best situation for them re: exercises & temperament, best breeds for kids, etc. You also get to see what het dog looks like as a puppy... and then as an adult. My girls love this show, and it's away for your boys to be 'involved' in the process!

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