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Someone help me out - which puppy breed!?

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by ar12345, Apr 21, 2020.

  1. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member Registered

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    I’m currently through with persuading my parents to let me get a puppy. I’ve done a LOT of research, and for all of you to know, we typically need these qualities in a dog:
    Protective (watchdog and guarding instincts)
    Loyal
    Trainable and smart
    Affectionate and good with family
    Low exercise
    Children aren’t really an issue as my brother who is 9, is very sensible and mature, even at his young age. After doing my research,I thought that I should lean towards one of the mastiff breeds, possibly, as they seemed fairly low energy with good instincts. On my list of prospective breeds, I have the Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff), Bullmastiff, and the Neapolitan Mastiff. The only issue with these breeds that don’t fit my needs I think is the trainability of them. I’ve never owned a dog before, and am fairly young to do so (under 18). I’m going to be the one giving training to the dog, and even though all three breeds above aren’t recommended for first time owners, I reckon I’m up for it. I mainly just need help confirming which breed really, as apparently the Dogue de Bordeaux, which was my first choice, needs up to an hour of exercise, which my family cannot meet.
    If anyone can suggest a good breed, looking at the desired characteristics and recommend a breed for me I would be really grateful !
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    I would be very wary of aiming to have a protective/guarding dog. Getting a safe balance between being protective and being friendly with friends/strangers isn't easy, and certainly not for a first-time owner as you're sort of looking t two contradictory traits.

    Could you say why you need these characteristics, please - what sort of situation do you want them to be protective in?

    Also, how much exercise can you give the dog a day? Again, a smart dog will have a lively mind that needs plenty of stimulation.
     
    ar12345 likes this.
  3. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member Registered

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    Of course...
    Well my family live in a fairly nice house which could be attractive to outsiders. We are Asian, and so gold and jewellery is in our tradition and makes up our culture, which is also known to many. It might be good for us to have reassurance that there is a guardian within the home. However, that won’t be the only purpose, as we want the dog to be a loving pet as well.
    Exercise wise, we could possibly manage playing indoors and outdoors, as well as possibly a walk on some days, but only if there is time, so in total maybe 30 min a day? Both my parents work quite hard, with my mother doing night shifts, and so while me and my brother are at school and my dad is at work, it may be appropriate for my mother to relax with the dog, but not give it exercise or training, just lounge with it while she does her cleaning and cooking.
    When I say intelligent and trainable, I really just mean a breed that isn’t known to have extreme stubborn streaks that hinder the progress of their training. A smart breed isn’t necessary, but maybe one that has respect for the owner? Also a dog that can be left alone for up to 4 hours a day may be useful, as my mum sleeps before her shifts.
    Many thanks Judy
     
  4. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Would you be happy with a dog who has a tendency to bark if someone comes to the house, as opposed to actually threatening someone who tries to enter?

    Also, what in particular do you want to train the dog to do? Just the basics, like walk well on lead, recall, and so on?

    My belief about respect/loyalty is that it very much has to be earnt by the owner, rather than being an inbuilt trait. On the other hand, some breeds are more 'independent minded' and will make their own decisions which may not line up with what you want them to do. And some dogs tend to be very focused on one person, or maybe their family - GSDs and some collies spring to mind, but they can also be nervous and need more exercise than you can provide.

    In fact the exercise is likely to be your limiting factor - most breeds need more than 30 mins a day and even those that can manage on less would be better with more.

    I'm not an expert by the way... but hopefully all my questions will help other people come up with ideas.
     
  5. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Also, would you consider getting an adult dog from a rescue centre? A good rescue centre will know their dogs' nature well and judge whether you are a good fit.
     
  6. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sorry if this offends but you seem very focused on what you want from the dog and not too much on what you can give it. If I were a breeder I would not let a puppy go to any home where it isn't guaranteed a walk EVERY day. Rescues will have the same attitude and when I homecheck this is one of the first questions I'd ask. You could well find you are not meeting the law with regard to the animal welfare act in this- which I suggest you research very thoroughly before you bother about which breed if any. A dog is not a toy to be used and put away- nor a burglar alarm.
     
  7. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member Registered

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    I reckon it might be more appropriate if the dog would bark, but if a member of the family is threatened, then the dog acts accordingly. I would like to teach my dog the basics, try and move onto obedience, which I’m pretty sure is obligatory for a guard dog. This is also to improve the bond I have, or strengthen if you like.
    Of course, loyalty should be earnt and there isn’t really a dog that won’t show loyalty unless being treated with disrespect, I don’t really know what I was getting at. The more independent, strong willed breeds, I think I might be able to tackle in terms of training, as I have been getting lots of advice from friends who own dogs.
    The exercise factor is indeed limiting, but to be honest with you what I’ve said is probably the bare minimum. I could probably provide so much more. My aim is to be 30min, but in reality I’m going to go further. But I definitely don’t want a high intensity dog that demands high exercise needs, as I know myself and my family and we won’t be able to provide that.
    A rescue dog may be a good idea..
     
  8. ar12345

    ar12345 New Member Registered

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    Of course, and I wasn’t intending to use my future pet as a toy or a burglar alarm, nor have I stated that anywhere. I have said that I would like my dog to have guard dog qualities, as that is one of the qualities I’m looking for. I’ve also said that the dog will be a family pet: not simply used to wander around my property.
    Regarding exercise, I understand why that might have flagged up an issue by the way I said it, but as I’ve said to Judy, 30min should be the bare minimum, and I will be able to achieve more for sure.
     
  9. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    There are some aspects of dog training that can be learnt from a book, or from friends (though a lot of people are still in the Dark Ages when it comes to training and you really don't want to be using old-fashioned approaches with the sorts of breeds you're looking at). But there are a lot of aspects that can only be gained through experience, like learning to drive a car. And taking on the sort of dog you have in mind is like reading how to drive in a book and then driving off down the motorway in a Ferrari.

    With experience, you learn to read your dog, and others, the way a good driver can read the road and sense what other cars are likely to do. You spot a tiny difference in how your dog is holding his tail when he's seen another dog and you know what he's contemplating... the tip of an ear lifts a bit and you scan your surroundings for the cat you know your dog must have spotted... Even expert trainers can't guarantee raising a pup so it would never react in any circumstances, and if the a dog the size of the ones you would like did react, you're going to be a passenger... There's also the risk that if they did mistake a visitor for an intruder and attacked them, you would probably be held liable.

    I wonder if you should consider Staffies. They do tend to love people so maybe aren't the ideal guard dog, but they have a (completely undeserved) reputation which might make people think twice. They can be unreliable with other dogs but all the ones I've known have been really steady dogs.

    I do think that you should aim for at least 1 hour a day exercise though. You can test this simply by going for a walk for that amount of time a day. A lot of dogs are amenable if they get less exercise on the odd day, but others are going to be a right pain in the neck, and could keep your mum awake. Bear in mind as well that if you get a pup, it'll be quite a while before it lets your mum get any sleep in the day!
     
  10. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm sorry to be blunt but I really don't think your idea of a dog matches with the reality. You want it to be a family dog, but ”act appropriately” if a family member is ”threatened” (what does that even mean?). I think in that respect you need to get some legal advice - even putting a 'Beware of the Dog' sign on a gate is fraught with legal implications as it suggests a dog *might* present a risk. So having a dog that you expect to ”act accordingly” could put you on the wrong side of the Dangerous Dogs Act.

    Further, if someone was on your property, they could fairly easily incapacitate a dog (assuming the dog wasn't in hiding). Prevention is better than cure, buy a good burglar alarm and a safe for your gold.

    There are guard dogs of course but they need a lot of training from people who have a lot of experience. Reading and taking advice from friends is not enough. You wouldn't expect to be able to drive a high performance car without any driving lessons, no matter how many times you have watched other people driving and how clearly you understand how the steering and acceleration work.

    I'm afraid that is simply not the case, and again highlights that your expectations are a little unrealistic. There are many dogs that are simply not handler focussed, some have been bred over millennia to be highly independent.

    I'm not suggesting you shouldn't get a dog, but the guard dog / pet for a new owner that you are looking for isn't realistic.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
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  11. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Actually, this just jumped out at me too -
    You said you are under 18. In the next few years, you are going to be going into either further education or work, probably moving away from home, getting into relationships, maybe children. So do you leave the dog in the family home with people you had to ”persuade” to get him? Or you take him - what happens when you are at work all day?

    Your life is at a pivotal point, you want a puppy now but thinking of the next 10 to 12 years, how do you foresee it working out?
     
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  12. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    I would not recommend any mastiffs for a first timer, but looking at your wish list....many small breeds would tick that list. Don't think that the size is all that matters...many small breeds are just 'big dogs in a small body' and they can be mighty keen to raise alarm when somebody comes around.
    But even they are small and may seem there is 'less to handle'...don't let that fool you, they still need the same training as the larger breeds though as regarding physical exercise, some don't need 'hours' for it, just regular daily walks...more of 'little and often' basis.
    But what ever breed you eventually settle....puppies will take HUGE amount of effort to get them their adulthood with appropriate skills to live and behave amongst humans.
    And as for the rescues....they can be bit easier as first timer, but even then...they can take months to settle and learn their way in the new household....and there will be toilet accidents too until they feel totally settled and safe with you.
    I'm not trying to put you off, but it is better to hear some harsh possibilities of what to expect and may happen. There is just no guarantees with dogs...pups or 'second hand'....it is always a leap into unknown and then you have to try to mould the dog into your liking, but also you and your family will have to adjust A LOT too. It is same situation if you would have another human joining into your household....you all have to make it work together, not just the new human visitor.
     
  13. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Half the dogs in rescue are from homes where the child/ stay at home mum/elderly parent thought a dog would be a nice idea. Then life changed (!) often after only a few months or a year and it was up to the rescue to pick up the pieces. :(
     
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  14. Rinkydinkydo

    Rinkydinkydo Well-Known Member Registered

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    The advice I would give you is this.... be very careful or you could have a ticking time bomb on your hands,which may go off when you least expect it.
     

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