(Closed) First dog?

posted 1 month ago in Pets
Post # 18
2714 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

Get an older dog (3 or 4 years old at least) – dealing with the puppy stage with a one-year old would be hell.  We adopted a 9-year old and it was SO easy.  He was already house trained, had pretty good manners and doesn’t have crazy amounts of energy – plus he’s been easy to teach new things to as well, you absolutely can teach an old dog new tricks.  He’s a beagle and I wouldn’t hesitate to get another one – they’re wonderful dogs with lovely temperaments and great with kids, as a rule.

Post # 19
1299 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

They need to start by writing down what their (realistic) expectations are for a dog:

– Preferred size

– Grooming needs

– Trainability / independence / stubborness levels

– Activity levels (are we talking a short leash walk up and down the block or minimum 1 hr off-leash walk at least once a day?)

– Mental stimulation needs (exercise isn’t the whole picture!)

– More aloof with strangers/dogs or needs to be immediately friends with everyone?

– Life span and willingness to deal with health complications (some breeds are higher risk then others)

– What do they want to DO with the dog? Merely a happy family pet to hang around the house? Hiking / running buddy? Outfit accessory to go everywhere with them?

Getting a dog is a big step and by putting real thought into the above questions will really start to guide their research on what they should be looking at. This exercise will help them both if they decide to rescue or go with a puppy from a breeder.

For rescuing, it will allow rescue organizations to identify the right personalities that come through the door. 

For breed/breeder selection, it will help them narrow down the breed list but also there is variation within breeds depending on different lines. E.g. border collies have working lines, sport lines, and show lines – depending on line the expected personality of the dog will be quite different!

With a young child, I would also add my voice to those recommending adoption of an older dog. Doesn’t need to be a senior, but something that is 2-3+ and has grown out of the adolescent phase. Teenage dogs can be a challenge (no matter how good of a dog!). Plus, by 2-3 they have typically settled in their personalities so rescues have a much clearer idea of how good a fit the dog will be. Under 2, they are still maturing and their personalities can shift quite a bit depending on their envronment and experiences.  

Post # 20
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017 - River Museum & Aquarium

My husband and I both grew up with labs, but they can be high-energy and require a lot of stimulation to be happy. Though, they are loving, loyal pets. I also had a scruffy, adopted Benji-looking dog growing up. 

This past spring, we adopted an approx 1 year old lab mix (we think lab and dachshund but not certain). 

She was very mellow and sweet yet incredibly friendly when we met her at the humane society, and we loved her instantly. We are so lucky to have her! We liked another dog who was a Boxer mix, but he seemed too high-energy like he might not play well with our cat. 

We LOVE our rescue pup. If they are looking to start with a little puppy, plenty of rescue organizations have puppies in foster homes waiting to be placed with families. This is a nice way to know their personality as the foster parents can provide great insight. Dogs of all types have different personalities just like people, and breed can’t always be a good indicator of what you’ll get.

Obligatory pet pics below. 🙂


Jack the cat:

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