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Old 02-10-2014, 02:52 PM
 
5,818 posts, read 5,147,733 times
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My wonderful perfect dog Mira died in December at age 13. I'm now beginning to think about getting another dog companion for me and the cats. I will get this new friend from one of the shelters in my region, but want to be smart and find a dog from a breed or breed mix that's right for me.

Mira was a golden retriever mix, and I hope to find a new friend that is like her in most things but different in a few ways.

I'd rather have a short hair than a long hair this time around. Mira's coat took a lot of upkeep.

I live by a bike trail and lots of tourists pass by the house, so the dog HAS to be calm around bikes and strangers and not be too territorial.

I have a big fenced yard for the dog, but my teeny town has no leash laws so my new dog has to get along well with other dogs and not freak out about the dogs that wander by.

The dog HAS to get along well with cats and not chase them.

At the same time it can't be so small that the cats could beat it up.

I think I'd prefer a middle sized dog - one that I can lift by myself but not too small. Say 25 - 50 lb.

Mira had a nice low bark, and I'd strongly prefer not to have a dog that has a high pitched bark.

I'm not super active. I don't think I could provide enough action for a working dog. The dog will spend most of it's time running in the large fenced yard and hanging out with the cats inside the house. But at the same time I often go hiking and wouldn't want a dog that didn't want to hike up the bluffs with me. So no extremes of high energy or low energy.

I live in a very cold climate. T's under freezing are very common in the winter, T's over 90 are rare in the summer.

So I guess I'm looking for a medium size, short hair, non-yippy, medium energy, cold tolerant, calm and friendly dog.

Any breed suggestions?

(And yes, I do know that individual dogs have different temperments, so I'll watch for that too.)
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:15 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
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everything you described sounds like an English cocker spaniel!

a lot of things you are looking for (good with cats, bikes, other dogs ect) are training/socilization
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:16 PM
 
4,127 posts, read 13,260,570 times
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Cocker spaniels do need regular grooming. I would check out your local shelter, you might find exactly what you want (or close to it), they can help you find a dog who meets most or all of what you're looking for, a lot also depends on the training and socialization as well as the dog's own individual personality.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:10 PM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,698,937 times
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weve had a number of cockers in my life, a full show coa does take a lot of grooming, but a pet clip every 8-12 weeks and a comb out once in a while and tada done...lol
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:31 AM
 
Location: In the middle...
1,253 posts, read 3,026,045 times
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I have to agree with Foxy...some of your requests in the pet are training and socialization issues and therefore may open the field for other dogs. It will depend on how willing you are to put time into training? If you can't do it on your own, can you afford to hire help (trainer)? Just something to consider.

I think the two main things to look for: medium energy level and low prey drive (chasing bikes, dogs, etc.) IMHO

I know if you search through the shelter, you will find your next best friend.

When you do, please come back and post a picture. We LOVE pictures!!!
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Old 02-11-2014, 09:50 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,698,937 times
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it may even be easier to say what to avoid...
as a generality...look for dogs that are NOT hounds or terriers (both groups of which tend to be hard headed, like to run/chase/have stronger prey drives, and are generally higher energy)
this includes the bully breeds like pitbulls, Staffordshire bulls, bullterriers ect, great great dogs, but might be a ltitle too much energy and drive for what you want...
id also be cautious of the working group....again great dogs but many a little more energy/drive than your looking for...

generally I think short of a few exceptions in the sporting group, that would be the area to look for what you want...
adopt an adult, (the group as a whole are PUPPIES until 2 yrs old) and preferably from a foster situation where they can help evaluate dogs, cats, bikes ect for you.


our previous spaniel was an American x English cocker mix, (puppy mill rescue) I shaved him down 1 length all over (at my parents request) every 12 weeks, keeping just his ears floofy...ears got a comb out every couple of days because he tended to "dunk" them, but otherwise that was it and he was EVERYTHING you described
lost him to cancer about a year back at 13, until then no health issues, housebroken in 24 hours, great with other animals and people, smart but not so smart as to try and out-think us lol.

before him we had a pure bred English cocker, she lived to 15 but lost her eyesight at 13 to cataracts, otherwise perfectly healthy...we kept her in a working cocker cut (short but a little shaggy on the sides, she had to have her feathiring combed once a week or aftr shed been running in the fields, but it took mabe 10 mins...
great with other animals and people...easy keeper...quick learner and eager to please...
she helped my baby sister learn to walk...

other family also had cockers, same revies, great family dogs, easy to train but not pig headed, enough energy to go on a good hike but not so much as to be destructive in the house on a bad weather day...

unfortunately some bad breeding left cockers (particularly americans) with a bad rap as biters but that's a combi of bad breeding and bad training. cockers are SUPPOSD to be happy go lucky dogs!

Last edited by foxywench; 02-11-2014 at 09:58 AM..
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,472 posts, read 43,550,710 times
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a good rescue will take into consideration what you are looking for. most dogs are tested with an in house cat to see if there is aggression. just like looking for a house, you may have to compromise on some things to get other more desirable characteristics. good luck.
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:33 AM
 
Location: North America
19,635 posts, read 12,385,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 601halfdozen0theother View Post
My wonderful perfect dog Mira died in December at age 13. I'm now beginning to think about getting another dog companion for me and the cats. I will get this new friend from one of the shelters in my region, but want to be smart and find a dog from a breed or breed mix that's right for me.

Mira was a golden retriever mix, and I hope to find a new friend that is like her in most things but different in a few ways.

I'd rather have a short hair than a long hair this time around. Mira's coat took a lot of upkeep.

I live by a bike trail and lots of tourists pass by the house, so the dog HAS to be calm around bikes and strangers and not be too territorial.

I have a big fenced yard for the dog, but my teeny town has no leash laws so my new dog has to get along well with other dogs and not freak out about the dogs that wander by.

The dog HAS to get along well with cats and not chase them.

At the same time it can't be so small that the cats could beat it up.

I think I'd prefer a middle sized dog - one that I can lift by myself but not too small. Say 25 - 50 lb.

Mira had a nice low bark, and I'd strongly prefer not to have a dog that has a high pitched bark.

I'm not super active. I don't think I could provide enough action for a working dog. The dog will spend most of it's time running in the large fenced yard and hanging out with the cats inside the house. But at the same time I often go hiking and wouldn't want a dog that didn't want to hike up the bluffs with me. So no extremes of high energy or low energy.

I live in a very cold climate. T's under freezing are very common in the winter, T's over 90 are rare in the summer.

So I guess I'm looking for a medium size, short hair, non-yippy, medium energy, cold tolerant, calm and friendly dog.

Any breed suggestions?

(And yes, I do know that individual dogs have different temperments, so I'll watch for that too.)
Keep away from terrier and terrier mixes. They go after anything that moves, and they can be a bit territorial. Maybe a lab mix? Bravo for rescuing a shelter dog and opting to do it again.
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Old 02-11-2014, 01:16 PM
 
Location: Maryland
1,667 posts, read 8,355,932 times
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I love Labs. They all have a personality so you never know. But, they love the cold, are happy around people and other animals, and are not excitable about things they're used to. Some get big, though (around 100 lbs). You could go to the shelter and let a dog "pick" you. They seem to know, and calm down when they get a Forever Home.
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Old 02-11-2014, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic east coast
5,357 posts, read 9,820,047 times
Reputation: 10189
We found a dog such as you're seeking at a shelter. He passed last year. He was a mix of Whippet and Rat Terrier. Face like a Rat Terrier, built more like a Whippet but not as slender. Weighed about 27-30 pounds. Great dog.

Short easy-care coat, good watchdog but not very barky otherwise. Needed minimal exercise--a good play period where he could run around like a crazy dog and then happy to snooze on couch or in his bed.

Got along with kids, cats, bunnies, squirrels, everyone--had zero prey drive--odd for his mixture.

Best of all, he was very tidy...hated to get dirty..walked around puddles, kept his coat clean like a cat. He did need a coat or sweater during the coldest days as his fur had no undercoat..he loved to be warm.

Maybe you could find something similar?
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