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Pets & Animals Whether you have dogs, cats, ferrets, birds or horses, post with others in this friendly pet forum. Lost a pet? We have a Rainbow Bridge forum too.

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Old 07-21-2004, 07:01 PM
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What Kind of Dog.........

My husband and I are in the Market for a dog. We're are looking at big dogs....German Shepards, Bull Mastiffs, Mastiff, Giant Schnozers, Bulldog, Labradors, etc.

We want a dog that will be good with kids, doesn't shed much and protects the house.

What Kind of Dog should I get??
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Old 07-24-2004, 11:34 AM
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Well, I have a Lab. I have to say he is great with kids, protects the house, is very loving, but does really shed!
Diane
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Old 07-29-2004, 11:47 AM
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Lovelyme7

It's good that you are thinking ahead and not just impulsively buying.

We have a Akita/German Shephard mix... however we don't have children so I can't say how she would be around them. She is very even tempered and a real layed back personality, has been that way since she was a puppy.

Akita's are very protective of their family so if you are looking for a protection dog, this one is tops. German Shephards are also excellant family dogs and good protectors.

Mastifs unless you live in the country or have several acres this wouldn't be my first choice as they are huge dogs and needs lots of space to exercise in.

Labs are also good family dogs and protective.

I have to say on the down side Akita's are very furry almost like a chow and there will be alot of cleanup of hair as it flies every time they shake.

Good luck and let us know what you decide.

Anna
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Old 07-31-2004, 03:15 PM
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Labs Definitely!

We have a black labrador retriever and we have 2 children. He is absolutely wonderful with our children. He loves them! Whenever they are outside he follows them around everywhere - he wants to be where they are. They are "people" dogs - they want to be with people. He is very protective of us and our children. I can't tell you how many times we have been out in the yard and a strange dog will come in the yard. Our dog will immediately jump in between the strange dog and the children to protect them! He will then run the strange dogs off. He is also a good watch dog. If someone comes in the driveway or up the sidewalk that we don't know, he will bark like crazy at them. Also, if he is lying (or standing) at the top of the steps, he won't let strangers or anyone he doesn't like or trust come up the steps! Is that awesome, or what? We love him - he is 9 years old now. I don't know what we'll do when something happens to him! We are crazy about him and he is crazy about us. Labs just want to be petted and rubbed all the time, and they just want to know that they are loved! I don't know about the shedding part because he stays outside. I highly, highly recommend labs. They are really and truly a great breed of dog!

Ruth
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Old 07-31-2004, 03:36 PM
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You probably won't find a large dog that doesn't shed, and a Golden Retriever is a very kid-friendly, family loving dog. German Shepherds can be fine, but need training. Labradors are usually hunting dogs but are very friendly, and also rambunctious.
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:34 AM
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Hi,
It's good that you are thinking about breeds. One thing to keep in mind. The bigger the dog the shorter the life span.
Most large dogs have heavier coats and shed.
All breeds come with their share of issues and concerns. I suggest you do a little studying into the medical history.
I have owned many breed of dogs but have to say that for over all performance, maintainence, etc. Australian Sheperds or Border Collies are a good prospect.
The worst part for them to me is their herding instinct.
I also own a G. Sheperd. She is a good dog but is a bit big for the house. I like to have indoor/outdoor dogs. My Aussie can out manuever and is much faster then my Shepherd. She just doesn't have the over all strength my sheperd has.
Many of the larger dogs make good family pets.
No matter what breed a very, very important factor will be good training. Next, but not least have your pet microchiped, altered, and vaccinated. And don't forget the heartworm prevenative.
And don't foget some good nutrition. by this I mean don't go to the dollar store and buy the off brand. You don't have to buy the high dollar pet store stuff either. Many of these products are not really much better than anything else. You are just buying a name.
Good Luck!
Robin in NC
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Old 08-01-2004, 07:52 AM
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Our first dog was a German Shepherd, fantastic guy, got him when only 8 wks old, so he was trained well & had quirky personality. He was not quite 2 yrs when we had our son, & was VERY protective of him, would watch over him in his crib as well. Was always very gentle & loving & patient with all kids, he lived till the age of 12.

The only down side was the heavy shedding! I assumed short hair, no shed, LOL..boy, was I wrong! There are very few dogs that don't shed, & according to my vet, those ones are the small dogs. But if you brush your dog daily, the shedding isn't so bad.

Now we have a Shepherd/Collie mix, which sheds as bad or worse than the pure Shepherd & a Husky/Border Collie mix, whose shedding is more in little clumps seasonly, not fine hair daily...if she is brushed daily, there is almost no shedding then.

I think your best bet would be to talk to your vet, personally. I think most of the bigger dogs can all be good family dogs, with proper care, luv & most importantly, training.

Good luck & happy hunting!! Hugs, Jacquie
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Old 08-01-2004, 03:22 PM
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I second the opinion on training...that will make ALL the difference in the world, and make or break your relationship.

I personally favor the labs for kids. As many people have already stated, they are generally, as a breed, fantastic with kids. We got our yellow lab when my daughter was one. They are inseperable, and Sunny (the dog) was very patient with my daughter even as a puppy. They are very much people dogs, so if you are gone ten hours a day, this is NOT the dog for you. You will find that to be true with many of the large breeds. They also are very "mouthy." By that, you MUST provide them something to chew, or they will find it on their own, and you won't like their choice, ten to one. They also need their exercise. Sunny sheds A LOT! Labs have an undercoat (they are water dogs) and I will swear that they really do shed like they have two coats. I actually tore up my wall to wall carpet in my living room and installed hardwood because it eases the pet hair clean-up (I also have three cats).

Labs are not great watch-dogs if you are looking for an aggresive front. They will, however, bark their heads off at strange dogs, people and cars they see on "their" territory. To me, that is perfect. And I echo the person who said that bigger dog means shorter life span. I think it was my vet that said that the average lifespan for a lab is 11-12 years. That is not long at all, when you think about it.

Good luck with the search.

Sarah
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Old 08-02-2004, 06:30 AM
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Lots of good advice. I would say Research is the best key here. Something we did after we lost our first dog was before getting another, we bought a very good book on dog medical care... I can't remember the name of the book but it tells all kinds of things that dogs get, how to treat in a emergency situation and just some really sound advice on dog care.

Anna
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Old 08-02-2004, 07:19 AM
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If you have young children, I would have to say to stay away from an Akita. My niece was attacked by one when she was about 3-4 yrs old. This dog had NO history of being aggressive....in fact quite the opposite.

When the animal control officer got there (sent by the 911 dispatcher when she heard the emergency was related to a dog bite), he took my sister aside and interrogated her about why she would have her DD around such a breed of animal.

The dog caught her on her right cheek. She is now 15 yrs old and has had several plastic surgeries for the scar. They say she will need at least two more to get the scar to the best they can get.

The dog's owner was so upset, he wanted to put the dog down. We all talked him out of it. However, he did ship the dog off to a new home.....on a ranch up in East Texas where there are no children within miles!

My sister has had three boxers and has never had a problem with them & her DD's. The first two were females, the current one is a male. He is much more protective of my nieces than the females. He seems, at times, like just a big baby! I've already told her that if they need to find him a new home, he's got one with me....I doubt that will happen as they had their first two boxers until they passed away.

If they weren't such an expensive breed, I would suggest that you get a Labradoodle. They are adorable!! They are a cross between a Labrador & a poodle. They are a mid-sized dog. They don't shed. They cause absolutely zero probelms with people who have allergies, asthma or any other respiratory disease. I want one soooooo bad but just can't afford to spend $ 900.00 plus initial vet fees for a dog!
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