Looking for Man's best friend... help me!!

  1. Hello! I am looking to the vast knowledge of eveyone here to help me and my BF pick out the dog of our dreams!

    We would like a dog that fits our active lifestyle:
    • I run every morning and would love a running buddy
    • We both hike 5-20 miles on the weekend and would love a hiking buddy!
    • Would be fun to have a dog that can chase a ball and/or frisbee
    • We have a pretty good sized fenced in yard for it to run around and it would have run of our 1600 square foot house.
    1. Must be smart/trainable
    2. Must be a sizable dog (long enough legs to hike rocks)
    3. Must be less than 60ish lbs (so she fits in the car easily)
    4. Is it possible to get a dog that is also good with kids? We don't have any but would like to add them into the picture in 5 yrs or so.
    5. We both work M-F and are gone from 7am-6pm, so would like a breed that can handle some alone time, but then be ok being smothered with attention after work and on weekends (plus we only have 4 day weeks memorial day through labor because of summer hours).

    BF woud like a german shepard (fantastic dogs), but I wanted to research other breeds too, before we decide on a shepard.

    I would love to adapt, but still feel it's important to do my research before running and falling in love with a breed that wouldn't fit our personalities and lifestyle.

    Thanks for reading this through and I look forward to all your recommendations. We don't know what to get :shrugs:
  2. Would you be interested in adopting one (versus buying from a breeder)? There are soooo many great dogs out there that need good homes. I would love to help you on your search!!! :tender:
  3. Chesapeake Bay Retriever - I grew up with them and they are the best family dogs ever. I'd have one now, but my :heart: was stolen by a Min Pin!!
  4. Would be very interested in adapting a pup! We are still fairly interested in getting a puppy or younger dog, but you never know what dog will run by and steal your heart!
  5. Awwwww... what doggy is in your avatar? Is that your Min Pin? I tell ya, they are something else! Tiny little 10lb dogs that think they are 100lbs. Cracks me up!!
  6. I think a German Shepard is a fantastic choice. Are they under 60lbs? You might want to just search them on the internet and make sure they are usually good family dogs. (I think they are).
    • This might help!

      The Border Collie

      A medium-sized, intense dog, the Border Collie is a shepherd's dream come true. The instinct to herd is so strong in these dogs that they often cause problems in the average pet home. Border Collies will chase anything that moves, even cars, and has been the result of many an early demise. The Border Collie needs a working home, or an owner who will work the dog, either in sports like Agility, or as a herder.
      The Siberian Husky

      A medium-sized, thickly coated dog, the Siberian Husky is a powerful pulling machine. His appearance is not overly stocky, but he is extremely powerful, and has incredible stamina. Because of his heritage and abilities, a Siberian Husky should never be trusted off-leash. They can be gone in a matter of seconds. Huskies stand approximately 24 inches tall at the withers and weigh between 45 and 60 pounds.

      The German Short-Haired Pointer

      An aristocratic dog, the German Short-hair is a tall dog who can hit 26 inches and 70 pounds at full growth, and has a nice build that's neither overly stocky or lean. His color and markings give a striking appearance. He needs an active owner who has considerable dog experience.

      These are just three breeds of the many that are high energy dog breeds. With any of the breeds or even mixes of these breeds, be prepared to spend hours each day walking, running, and playing with your dog. In general, these breeds tend to do best with a more experienced owner as well.

  7. Why not go check out some of your local shelters and rescues? I know ours has a program in place to help people find a good match for them. It's hard to say what breed specifically to look for, since every dog is different (I have two beagles that are complete opposites), and there are some fantastic mix breeds out there, too. If you tell them some of your guidelines, they might have a few for you to look at.

    Also check out petfinder.com!

    Also, keep in mind that an adult dog can have many benefits to them. There are some amazingly well trained adult dogs out there looking for a good home, and you don't need to deal with the puppy stage (which would be difficult if you are gone nearly 12 hours a day!). Also, would someone be coming home during those work hours? That's a long time for any dog to be left alone, and you need to consider how much time you're going to be able to devote to having a dog.

    Good luck! I have two shelter dogs, and they are so worth it.
  8. It's a good point ^ I am just nervous that the shelter would be more anxious to place a dog and not keeping my needs in mind. I have also thought of doing a doggy day care so that the pup doesn't have to be home alone all the time. I have taken this Friday off and I will be going to local shelters, but wanted to have some breed knowledge under my belt. Keep the thoughts and suggestions coming!
  9. I agree with Donica. German Shepards are great dogs. Look on petfinders.com and see what's in your area. You can search for a specific breed by your zip code.
  10. I 2nd the idea of adopting a shelter or rescue dog. Our two are rescues, and they are the sweetest, most grateful dogs...
    If you are anxious about shelters being focused on quickly placing a dog over considering your needs, perhaps try a rescue group instead? There are many, many rescue groups that list dogs on Petfinder.com that do careful matching of dogs with families. They are very committed to finding a "forever" home for their dogs, and as a result are quite good at matching dog personalities and tendencies with families and their needs. Also, because they are generally fostered for a bit, you will be able to get a good idea of temperment and habits from the rescue organization before you adopt.
    Good luck and let us know how everything goes!
  11. I must say you really should not even consider getting a dog that is left alone for that amount of time. Dogs are social animals and need company, no matter how much time you spend with it at weekends or in the evening they need company during the day. If you get a puppy it will cry most of the day being left alone, an older dog might start barking and be totally fed up. The barking could annoy your neighbours.
    Sorry to dampen your joy of getting a dog but its my opinion and really think you should wait until you are home a bit longer during the day.
  12. I appreciate your opinion. ^

    I am very much still in the research phase right now before I do commit to such a large responsibility. I am investigating breeds, and trying to learn as much as possible now to assure that my decision is a win-win for everyone (inlcuding the dog). I would love to be able to stay home more, but that just isn't a reasonable option as it requires 2 people working in order to afford to live.
  13. wow, petfinders does have a ton of really amazing dogs! I think next steps are to continue my breed research, but also to go visit some dogs. I am taking this as an incredibly important decision (life changing). I am not just some kid running out to get a dog.

    I promise!! :yes:

    I will keep you posted on how the visits go, and keep those recommendations coming!! Thanks!
  14. i wouldn't suggest getting a german shepherd unless it's from the best lines because they are prone to lots of health problems. i think most german shepherds are more than 60 lbs, they are pretty muscular. with that said, getting a dog from a rescue would be best. i wouldn't go with a border collie, because those are for very experienced dog owners since they are so intelligent and need a lot of exercise. they don't do well alone for many hours either and tend to destroy the house without enough attention. some breeds i would suggest"
    - australian shepherd: very smart, active dogs, would do well left alone as long as you give it lots of attention otherwise. it's a toned-down border collie.there's a very nice aussie rescue organization. i had an aussie and tried another dog breed but nothing compares to an aussie!
    - husky: pretty high energy dogs, but less than an aussie or border collie, can do okay alone. they're built for long sled rides so they'd make good hiking partners. they might be a bit more than 60lbs.
    - english springer spaniel: fairly high energy, but smaller than the above dogs.
    - visla - intelligent, pretty loving dogs. there's several in my agilty group (including breeders) and they're very good at it.
    look at akc.org in the sporting and herding groups for the dog breed you might like. all breeds have a rescue group so that would be the best route. as you can tell i'm obsessed with dogs so if you need anything else, i'd be glad to help!