So... now that we're buying a house, and getting a yard, I'm really interested in finally getting a dog. Nathan's none to pleased about this current fixation, but I'm hoping I can ease him into dog ownership by fostering rescue dogs for a while.
As with all my interests, Google has become my best friend... I probably spend far too much time researching different breeds, breeders, rescue groups, genetic disorders, behavioural issues and the like. I've narrowed down the breeds I'm interested in, but as I browse PetFinder for rescue dogs, my heart strings are pulled by more and more breeds...
- Non-Drooling: I know some people can overlook this, but I have a deep aversion to drool
- Shedding/Non-Shedding: This is no longer a concern for me -- it was before I had cats, but now... The only annoying thing would be dealing with allergic guests.
- Terriers & Hounds: I'm just not a fan of small terriers and scent hounds. Terriers are usually non-shedding which is a pretty solid redeeming quility, but hounds tend to smell, well, like a hound. Overall, The only terrier I have much experience with is the Schnauzer (my cousins' had the cutest personality), the rest I could live without.
- Unusual: I don't want a golden retreiver/chocolate lab/german shepherd... I'd rather be asked a dozen times on a walk "What type of dog is that?" than have a breed that's too popular for it's own good. I was leaning towards Portugese Water Dogs (aside from the health issues), but then I found out Obama's getting one for his girls... greeeaaat.
- Size: I like *some* small dogs, but really, I prefer the large /x-large breeds. They're more expensive to feed/vet, but.. they're real dogs.
- Athletic: I want a dog to run with me... maybe do some agility or flyball.
- Low prey drive: I absolutely love the look of Salukis, but sighthounds and cats just seem like a *very* bad recipe -- Butters moves too quickly, and suddenly she's lunch. A pointer would be preferable *lol*
- Rough & Tumble: A beefy dog to wrestle with. I love my Mum's poodles, but you can't roll them on their back...
- Child-proof: Not entirely breed specific, but some breeds are just better with children (ie. pain tolerant, protective, etc). The more research I do into (American) Staffordshire Bull Terriers (aka "pit bulls"), the more annoyed I am with Dalton McGinty & Ontario for enacting Breed Specific Legislation.
Great Dane: Absolutely gorgeous, big sucks, but bloat really scares me.
Irish Wolfhound/Scottish Deerhound: Stately, but more independant than Great Danes, bloat
Black Russian Terrier/Standard Poodles: My Parents poodles have really grown on me. I guess it helps that my Mum is an expert groomer and makes her dogs look abolutely splendid (modified puppy cut, not a show cut). Too bad Nathan *really* hates them...
Bernese Mountain Dog/Leonberger: huge wooly creatures to satisfy my facination with carting
German Pointers/Catahoulas: Not big dogs, but having lived with both these breeds, they've definitely grown on me.
Saluki/Borzoi/Ibizan: Gorgeous, but not rough & tumble, problems with off-leash, bloat
Shiba Inu/Chow Chow/Husky: Very pretty. but can have issues with aggression/dominance
Eurasier/Norrbottenspets: Fluffy and fun
Rottweilers/AmStaff/Bull Terrier: Huge sucks, good with children, unfortunately American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier & anything else that even *looks* like a "pit bull-type dog"= muzzle in Ontario
On the smaller side, there are a couple breeds I wouldn't mind looking into. TBH, I see them as a starter breed to ease Nathan into the idea of dog ownership. They don't require as much exercise, they don't cost as much to feed/vet, and they can curl up on your lap more easily. On the down side, because they're so small, their training is more easily overlooked (Small Dog Syndrome), and... they're small >.>
Whippet/Miniature Pinscher: tiny but elegant, cute personalities
(Toy/Miniature) Poodle/(Miniature) Schnauzer: Probably biased, having grown up with these breeds
Lhasa Apso/Lowchen/Shih Tzu: My Gramma had the sweetest Lhasa, and I just love the overall look and temperment of these little dogs. Being related to an expert groomer is probably influencing my opinions of these dogs... I know how good they can look with a great haircut!
I have to say -- I'm leaning towards the "pit bull" type. There are a couple 4 year olds available through rescue groups/humane societies. I would love to have a well socialized, happy "pit bull" as a spokesman against BSL. Having to muzzle the dog would be annoying, and I worry about how negative reations would affect her socialization skills. Not being able to play with other dogs in an off-leash park -- would she learn proper play techniques? I'd have to invite dogs over to my fenced backyard for unmuzzled doggy playdates.