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I just found out that my parents are buying me a dog for my birthday. :confused:

So I was wondering what kind of dogs other people have. I'm especially interested in a small to medium size dog because my apartment has a 40-50 pound weight limit.

I don't own a dog right now but I adore English bull terriers.

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Can you give a little more backgorund on your schedule? I have a border collie/ Australian Cattle Dog mix that is great and within your size limits. I live in an apartment too, but the only reason she is ok is because we go for hour long hikes in the mountains almost every day.

Or, are you going to be gone 8+ hours at a stretch 5 days a week?

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Can you give a little more backgorund on your schedule? I have a border collie/ Australian Cattle Dog mix that is great and within your size limits. I live in an apartment too, but the only reason she is ok is because we go for hour long hikes in the mountains almost every day.

Or, are you going to be gone 8+ hours at a stretch 5 days a week?

I have a 40 hr/week job. But I live about 30 seconds from work, so I always come home on my lunch breaks. When I'm not working, I'm usually at home, so the dog would probably just have to go for no more than about 4 hours without being let out.

I also run on a treadmill several times a week and was planning to run with the dog in the park instead of the treadmill. So I think the dog would be able to get a good amount of exercise with my current work schedule.

Hour long hikes everyday will probably be too much for my schedule, so a dog that requires that much exercise probably won't work for me. But he definitely will not be cooped up for 8+ hours or anything.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'd highly recommend checking out your nearest shelter. I don't, generally, recommend pure breeds because they tend to die sooner, and be more open to diseases. You can find all sorts of wonderful dogs at shelters (just becareful to notice behaviors when choosing), and it's usually cheaper. Check out Petfinder.com as you might find something in your area, as well.

As far as breed, or breed combos-

German shepard or any cross with is usually good

A smaller pit Bull or cross are happy dogs

Collies or border collies are great dogs

Virtually any terrier.

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I'd highly recommend checking out your nearest shelter. I don't, generally, recommend pure breeds because they tend to die sooner, and be more open to diseases.

I am hesitant to follow this advice. Shelter dogs are more likely to have mental disorders that can cause a lot more trouble than the initial money you save. Seperation Anxiety (dogs that are terrified of being left alone) is much more common in shelter dogs. Treating this will probably involve a visit with a behaviorist, medication, and a lot of torn up stuff in your apartment. This sort of thing can add up quickly.

It is also a myth that mutts are categorically heartier or less prone to genetic defects. A good breeder can guarantee against things like Hip Dysplacia (common in labs and german shepherds) Treating this can cost thousands of dollars.

That being said, neither of my dogs were purchased from breeders, but I strongly reccomend you not write off the idea.

I would look strongly at what the dog you are looking at was bred to do. Most shepherds, and other working dogs will be too high energy for your lifestyle I think especially as puppies.

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What would you like to do with your dog? That's key to determining what type of dog you want. Do you want the dog for protection, companionship, playtime, an exercise buddy, skijoring? The qualities you want will dictate the breed. I don't recommend purebreds unless you are certain of the quality of the breeder, and this is difficult for a new owner to gauge.

How about an adopted greyhound? You'd be past the puppy stage that would require a lot of time, and after their racing careers, greyhounds only need to release short bursts of energy and really don't require a lot of daily exercise. They're actually great dogs for apartments, although it seems counter-intuitive. Some retired racers have behavioral problems, but most are actually very well-socialized with other dogs and just need to be taught things like going up and down stairs, which they've never had to encounter before.

Or how about a Jack Russell terrier? Little dog body with a big dog personality. If you live in a high rise, it can probably be litter trained.

I would not recommend a border collie, german shepherd, or a pit bull (as purebreds). They are extremely intelligent/energetic/willful and need an experienced dog owner and lots of training and/or exercise to remain happy. Of course, if you've had dogs before or are confident that you can commit to a big responsibility, it wouldn't be a problem.

I would not recommend a lab puppy, either. I agree with Moose that labs rock, but as puppies they can be extremely destructive. I speak from experience. My lab's excessive oral fixation was his ultimate downfall a couple of months ago. He never grew out of it. At 7 years of age he actually cracked a marrow bone in half (I didn't think this was physically possible for a dog) and swallowed one piece. The vets couldn't dislodge it. I had to put him down, and I've been bummed ever since. I can't even think about a new dog. :(

But anyway, enough! I just came on this post, but by now you may have chosen already! Hope you post a picture of your new pup when you get him or her :)

Edited by Liriodendron Tulipifera
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Liri, a greyhound is way over skap's weight limit. They run 70 pounds and up when full grown. If he likes the look of a greyhound, a whippet has that at half the size.

I agree with Styles that you should check out shelter dogs. That's where I got mine, and his personality is great. Often the shelter will have some information on the dog's background, which may help avoid the problems Scott describes.

Labs and golden retrievers have the mellowest personalities. A purebred of either would be too big, but you might be able to find a mix that's smaller.

If you're considering a mixed-breed puppy and you don't know how big it will grow, look at the feet. They're the best "leading indicator."

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a shetland sheepdog and I have to say that he is one of the most loyal, intelligent, easy to train, good natured, and obedient dogs that I have ever seen. His coat will also be magnificent once it fully grows in (he's 1 year old). A sheltie would be in your weight limit, although it does require a good amount of exercise. Remember that if you buy a pure bred dog, to research the breed thoroughly and inspect the lineage of the dog and have it inspected by a veterinarian. Always buy from a registered breeder. Good luck!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have to put my vote in for shelter dogs, and border collies! But, ultimately, you have to decide who you connect with. I got my border collie/spaniel mix at the shelter when she was 3-months old. I just thought she was really cute and friendly, and I liked that she was the only dog that wasn't barking desperately, or barking at all for that matter. She was house-trained within 2 -days of getting her home. She was energetic, and I did live in an apartment, but I came home to see her at lunch, and we hiked or walked daily, so it was never a problem. It helps to know some knowledge of the breed your considering, but I think there is much to be said about how you relate to each other.

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For your weight category I would suggest a shibu Inu! They are compact “little” dogs with a big heart and look like miniature Akita’s.

I own an Akita named Turk who truly is the most spoiled dog I know, which is the only way to treat them I suppose.

Good luck with the dog hunt!

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Edited by thegirishamerican
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  • 2 months later...
Thanks for all the advice everyone. Just to follow up here's some pics of my new dog, Webster! :D

He's a border collie/sheltie/german shepherd mix (the brown dog in the pictures).

Hey, looks like a great choice.

Had I gotten here in time, I would have recommended a Standard Poodle, but your choice looks perfect. Hopefully you had someone temprament test the dog so you know what you're getting.

Moxie-n-Dallas.jpg

It's true that pound dogs can sometimes come with "baggage", but in most cases, it's not a huge issues. My wife heads the local animal rescue, and 80-90% of the dogs adopted out are great.

I also agree that it is a myth that purebreeds are less healthy. The premise is called "hybrid vigor", and it is false. The fact is that all dogs have some genetic predisposition to disease and each breed's predispositions are slightly different. If you cross a poodle with a golden, you simply combine the predispostions. If, in a cross, you remove a trait it is purely luck. The fact that traits are better known for each breed means that breeders are aware and actively trying to breed these traits out, as opposed to mutts where there is little selection for or against these traits.

How about an adopted greyhound? You'd be past the puppy stage that would require a lot of time, and after their racing careers, greyhounds only need to release short bursts of energy and really don't require a lot of daily exercise. They're actually great dogs for apartments, although it seems counter-intuitive. Some retired racers have behavioral problems, but most are actually very well-socialized with other dogs and just need to be taught things like going up and down stairs, which they've never had to encounter before.

Greyhound: world's fastest couch-potato. :P Very true. Very active in the open. Very docile inside.

I speak from experience. My lab's excessive oral fixation was his ultimate downfall a couple of months ago. He never grew out of it. At 7 years of age he actually cracked a marrow bone in half (I didn't think this was physically possible for a dog) and swallowed one piece. The vets couldn't dislodge it. I had to put him down, and I've been bummed ever since. I can't even think about a new dog. :)

This is most heartwrenching experience. I'm so sorry. I had to put our Akita down after only a year due to temprament. No matter, it was the hardest thing to have to do.

But now we have the poodle, and life is great. Hopefully your next dog will do the same for you!

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