I mentioned this on twitter the other day, but every time I go to the big city, on my way home I drive by a couple of dogs who are sometimes tied outside. Nothing abusive, in that they are not out 24/7, just inside dogs tied out for a little bit. At any rate, I always stop and pet them and hug them and tell them they are good dogs, and today I decided I would take a picture of my favorite:
Just the sweetest dog I have ever met this side of Lily. I love her so much.
I do wonder what I am going to say when I am inevitably caught by the owner as I hug their dog in their front yard with my car still running in the middle of the road, but we will cross that bridge when we get to it.
Can’t wait to get the inevitable “Help me make bail” bleg post after you’re arrested for Alienation of Pet Affection :)
I love hugging dogs.
Laughed out loud. Nice to have some comic relief.
Would like to use this thread to tap into your collective wisdom about dogs.
My kid turned 8 a few weeks ago, and we’re getting a dog this summer (maybe sooner). I have mild allergy issues with dogs and so we’ve been thinking about the hypo-allergenic breeds, or at least the ones who shed a lot less (poodle mixes, mostly).
We want a puppy. A breed that doesn’t get too huge. Any recommendations?
Mrs. BG initially wanted a Basenji, but I’ve never been around one (I grew up in the rural midwest, with every kind of hunting dog, and one amazing Samoyed).
Thanks in advance.
@BGinCHI: Goldendoodles are great, high energy as puppies, but great with people and other dogs.
@MaryLou: I never thought I’d consent to owning a dog with “doodle” in the name, but I’m coming around…..
She’s a beauty, Cole. She looks so sweet and friendly.
They are wonderful doggos with people and other puppehs. But they are not small or medium when fully grown, at least I the ones I know are not. They tend on the larger side, but not huge like a Newfie or Dane.
That’s a gorgeous girl. Just say hi, Cole.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I don’t know any Golden doodles, but I will say, in my experience, Goldens (and I agree about the word “doodles”– so hard to say out loud, even to read) are for active people who have a lot of time, energy and attention to give a dog. They need all three for a good ten years. I know an unfortunate number of Goldens who only got more high maintenance with age cause they didn’t get enough maintenance in their middle years.
You shouldn’t worry about what the owner says. You should worry about being shot for trying to steal the dog.
If you have mild allergies, why not ask your PCP what he/she might suggest you do to prevent them from worsening. Maybe there is something you can take? Use a neti-pot? I’m just guessing here.
I know my cousin has had allergies her whole life, and has been a dog owner her whole adulthood, and takes some kind(s) of asthma meds and manages quite well.
Doodles can be a mixed bag. Meet the sire and dam before you sign on the dotted line for a pup. Get their health records, screens for inherited diseases. Lots of back yard breeders are in it for the cash and don’t screen their breeding stock for health or personality. I adopted a labradoodle who was WAY too big, too loud, too smart and too anxious for his first family. He’s matured a lot but the anxiety lingers on. And he sheds like fury. SOME doodles don’t shed, some do – so don’t count on that.
In your situation I might go for a small sturdy dog like my Lowchen – nonshedding, bold, bouncy, trainable and LOVES his people. My boy is 20 pounds – many are smaller. Lots of hair, but you can choose to brush weekly or keep them in a puppy cut. His breed excels at agility. Also known as little lion dogs. Some breeder written booster info here http://romanreign.com/life-with-a-lion/
@geg6: Yep. Big but not gigantic. A nice range of sizes.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Got it. Want an active dog, but not a high-strung one.
Goldens are fantastic dogs but they are prone to high cancer rates. I lost the best dog I’ve ever loved, a Golden, three years ago to cancer. The following link is to an article that’s a few years old, but still informative. A brief quote from the story is included here, too.
@JeanneT: Thanks! Yeah, we’re on it in terms of checking around and being careful.
Appreciate the alternative suggestion.
She is stunningly beautiful and she looks like a sweetie.
@JeanneT: You’re right about doodles and unscrupulous breeders in it for the money. Can’t find an article I read last Fall about the number of squirrelly doodles being turned into shelters for all kinds of behavioral and health problems. Plus, they can be pretty expensive pups. Locally, they start at $800. So, greed does come into play.
@BGinCHI: Miniature schnauzers shed very little. We grew up with one because my dad wanted a dog but my mom wanted NO HAIR ON FURNITURE. She was a really good family dog. Some of them can be barky, but ours wasn’t- a perfunctory ARF ARF ARF when someone came to the door and then she’d leave (sometimes before we even opened the door), figuring she’d done her work and was now on break.
My beautiful Otis (a platinum blonde golden) died of cancer the October before we got Lovey from Cole. He was the most beautiful and sweet soul of a dog. It just about killed me to put him down, but he was suffering so. His ashes sit on our mantle in a beautiful carved wooden box with his red collar sitting on top and underneath the old Balloon Juice calendars in which he appeared.
Don’t lie Cole. You know you want to thieve the doggo.
@BGinCHI: I adore Golden Doodles, and I kind of get an instant crush on almost every one I meet. But I have read multiple articles about common Doodle issues, so I will never get one, though I continue with my crushes.
I think all the breeds that go through the “everybody wants these” phase tend to have health problems. Cocker spaniels had issues, and I had 3, so I am not saying they aren’t great dogs, but the health issues are totally predictable. Doodles are like that.
What kind of weight are you thinking? My three “bigger” dogs have all been in the 40-45 pound range, which I think is perfect.
I feel strongly about having a dog that I can pick up if something happens. I don’t know whether that will be a concern for you guys, but it’s something to think about.
I absolutely adore my Tucker, but if I had done my research about temperament tendencies – even in a mixed breed – before I brought him home I would have known that he would be happiest in a crazy household with lots of people and kids.
That is not my house. He’s still a happy boy, but he doesn’t get the “action” that would be his first choice.
Springer spaniels (or a springer mix) are a nice size, but I haven’t researched their temperament in decades. It might be worth a few minutes of research.
You might also try to catch jeffreyw on a thread and ask him.
My random thoughts, for what it’s worth.
@geg6: I understand and think I remember you writing about it. When I lost Dexter, I wrote about it here. Now that I think about it, I lost him 4 years ago next week. I’d loved to be a slave to another Golden, but going through that experience, watching him lose the fight, and knowing now what I do about Goldens and cancer I can’t take the leap. I do have a fantastic PBGV and an equally good Terrier/weasel mix.
You don’t say anything. You stare them directly in the eyes as you unhook the dogs, lead them to the car, and drive away happily ever after.
*insert: “I’m now the captain” meme
All good points here.
@BGinCHI: My dog Buster is a Shih Tzu mix, and has the most wonderful (and hypoallergenic) fur. They’ve got lots of fur and need good grooming, and they’re also rather noisy, but you might consider that breed.
@Jim Parish: Brain fart. Buster’s a Lhasa Apso mix. The rest of the comment stands.
The Pale Scot
My first comment using a phone, so ya know be kind
Scotties don’t shed, they’re not hypo allergenic though. They are a good dog for little guy, loyal, tough with a streak of sarcasm to keep ur son on his toes.
@Jim Parish: Shih Tzu is more fun to say……
@The Pale Scot: My aunt and uncle had an AMAZING scotty. I loved that dog. Full of piss & vinegar, with an oversized personality.
John Cole, you’re great. Thanks for making me laugh out loud!
The Pale Scot
@BGinCHI: So a Scottie it is then! Glad I could hellp?
If you’re interested, I can put u in touch with my sister, she’s a maven on how to find one. Reputable breeders have been working to breed out some issues they have, so they can be pricey. But ones do turn up.
Does anyone have experience with Havanese dogs? I really like their size and they seem to be such happy, well adjusted dogs.
Is it possible that a lot of dogs of all breeds die from cancer?
Cancer is pretty common in all animals because it is our cells that do not progress properly and effectively grow rather fast. Will any animal species with a shorter life span develop cancer at a higher rate? Three of the five people in my immediate family have developed cancers, I wonder how that rate holds in the overall population of any species?
Thanks to all for the responses. Very helpful.
@BGinCHI: I do know a breeder whose Lowchen just had pups in Grand Rapids MI. Her dog is from a reputable line, AFAIK, but I don’t know what screenings she’s done. If I didn’t have 4 dogs, I’d be investigating this litter.
BUT if you keep thinking back to a doodle, I’d look for a young adult so you can see what package you are getting. The very best doodle I ever worked with (in my dog obedience teaching days) was from hunting lines of poodles and labs. Marvelous dog, but very high energy!
@dexwood: $800 is cheap for a dog from a good breeder but REALLY expensive from a bad one. I believe my boy (now 70 pounds) was supposed to mature at 40 pounds, and be non shedding: he cost $650 from a backyard breeder. I love him to pieces, but he’s a lot of dog!
@BGinCHI: if you want something smaller than a goldendoodle, you could do a schnoodle, which is a schnauzer/poodle mix, and they tend to be in the 30 pound range. My cousin has one and he’s a sweetheart.
Or you could…just get a poodle. If you don’t give them a stupid haircut, they look like normal dogs, and they’re super smart. I know a few people who have poodles with “natural” hair, and when I show pictures of them to people, they often wonder what kind of dogs they are, because people are so used to traditional poodle cuts.
(here’s one, just for reference: http://www.very-simple.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/DSC_2452-930×623.jpg)
I don’t know how available they are, but what about a whippet? Smaller than a greyhound and not as, uh, problematic as Italian greyhounds, about which even my brother’s vet said, “They’re a dirty breed.”*
Both of my brothers are sighthound aficionados, and whippets really hit the sweet spot. Bro’ Man says they are always in short supply as puppies, though.
* Bro’ Man’s whippet, who lived to a ripe old age, was a great dog, but he had a slightly loose interpretation of “house trained.” Like they have some genetic memory of “the palace has marble floors, and some servant girl will clean it up anyway.” No such problems with whippets and big greyhounds.
Basically you want a low shedding dog that cleans up nice. A lot of allergies to dogs are from them bringing in allergens from outside. Grass, dust, pollen are all carried in by the dog. If you make the effort to keep them clean (use an allergic formula shampoo that cuts some of the allergens in their hair), you may find the allergies are manageable. If you find yourself getting a more allergic response, look into what is blooming around your house and see if that may be what the dog brings in.
@currants: …a true National Treasure
Oops, “Bro’ Man’s whippet” should have been “Bro’ Man’s Italian greyhound.” D’oh!
@Steeplejack: My daughter and SIL have whippet, whippet mix or Aussie shepherd mixes. One dog they bought and the rest came through rescue groups. The first purebred whippet was part of a surrendered litter to a rescue group. They vet the dogs and do a lot of socializing when they are young. And they are cheaper than buying from a breeder. He is more stand offish than the other dogs but has a lovely personality. All he asks is that he gets taken for long walkies when they can. They let all the dogs run in the backyard until the “zoomies” are over after work. They do some agility (they have pipes set up for the serpentine walk) but the real energy drain is flyball. https://www.flyball.org/
J R in WV
We have never bought a dog who was provided by a “breeder” ever. We have mostly adopted dogs from our vet clinic, one from the local shelter, last two from friends with a goat dairy not far away. There are so many great dogs who need a loving home — plus mixes and mutts are way stronger than “breeds” of dogs, most of which had issues from the breeding process.
A good friend who is a retiring Vet, who left that profession years ago, specializes in a bird dog breed, Boykins, common in the Low country of coastal South Carolina. She always finds another Boykin in a rescue situation rather than paying someone who wanted to make money off their breeding dogs. They are not real big and are hypoallergenic to some degree as she is pretty allergic to both dogs and cats.
I can still pick up the new puppies, who weighed around 45 pounds when we took them to the vet a week or so after we got them, but it’s a near thing now. They are 1/4 great pyrenees and 1/4 Lab mix from their sire, and half farmyard dog who presents much like an Aussie Cattle dog of some sort, but is probably really a WV farm mix. So nothing like a breed. They are sleek black dogs, there were OTR pics of them some time back.
They are nearing one year old and still chew a lot… most recently a scrub brush, providing about two millions splinters, along with a ton of cardboard shreds and newspaper bits. They don’t actually swallow too much weird stuff, but will produce lots of trash around their beds.
Shelter dogs or rescue mutts are our recommendation, for dogs who tend to last, be smart, and will really love you for the rescue — they do know they have had a close call and that you, their people, saved them…
Best of luck, hope you get a winner. Lab or Golden mixes are great, but you don’t need to pay big bucks for good mixes at any shelter.
ETA: One of our best ever dogs was picked up as a 6 or 8 week old puppy abandoned by a road side down on the SW VA / KY / WV border in the very much middle of no where, and found her way to wife’s place of work in Huntington, years ago. Relative of original finder was wrangled into taking the pup to the local shelter (NOT a no kill shelter) but made a good faith attempt to find a home on the way to the shelter, which worked out for the pup and us. Some kind of Airedale mix, smart, well behaved — but had some sort of lymphoma and was lost to us at around 10-12 years of age. Still miss Annie…
“Honey? That weird fat guy with the mustard on his shirt is hugging Sweetums again.”
There are so many good dogs that are killed because their people let them down.
Please consider adoption. That dog can help you as much as you help him or her.