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Thread: Chosing the right breed (help??)

  1. #1

    Chosing the right breed (help??)

    One of my friend's sister (I don't want to name her, so we'll call her Jane here) has recently moved into her own house and wants to add a dog to the family. The problem is, she's a very superficial person who chooses a dog because she thinks it's cute, and has done no actual research on any dog breeds. She recently saw a Weimaraner puppy and has now decided she wants one because she loves it's color and thinks it has a cute face. However, I know these are very active dogs who need a lot of attention and lots of training. Jane is the sort of person who wants an affectionate dog that she can cuddle, look after and pamper, but she has no interest whatsoever in training it. She also is quite active, but she and her boyfriend have jobs, so she says there might be days where she can't walk her dog. She is planning on having kids in the next few years.
    I know that Weimaraners can be great family dogs, with the right amount of exercise and appropriate training. But an untrained, under-stimulated, under-exercised Weimaraner... wouldn't that be a danger to her kids (and her house and possessions)?

    Personally I don't know why she's even getting a dog if she's not prepared to attend to it's needs, but she's stubborn, and I can't change her mind, neither can anyone. However she is open to a different breed choice, if we can give her valid arguments. The problem with Jane is that she is very superficial, as I said. She loves pretty things, so she wants a purebred puppy. Therefore no shelter dogs (even though I've told her that a shelter is a great place for adopting). No, for her it has to be a puppy. (She's a bit like an adult version of the child who sees a barbie in a shop window and immediately she HAS to have it).

    This is going to seem really weird, but I'll write down a list of criteria that are important for her in choosing a breed:
    1) She doesn't like small dogs, so medium to large in size.
    2) She doesn't like dogs that bark excessively.
    3) She's not interested in doing any training, so she's looking for a breed that's naturally pretty mild-mannered and not too rambunctious.
    4) She likes elegant dogs (superficial, as I said), like the Weimaraner, so any sort of breed that's sleek and graceful.
    5) She doesn't like longhaired dogs.
    6) She needs a breed that doesn't need a lot of exercise, up to an hour a day.
    7) She has two cats.
    8) She and her boyfriend both work, so she needs a breed that isn't too prone to separation anxiety.
    9) She has a collection of expensive shoes and designer stuff so she wants a dog that won't become too destructive.

    That's about it. Any suggestions are welcome. Obviously no dog is perfect, but can you think of a breed that would do well with a person like this? I'm trying to get her interested in training, but a part from sit and down, she doesn't really care. I'm really annoyed at her, because she does not understand the commitment of owning a dog, she just wants a cute dog. I don't think she should own a dog, but since we can't change her mind, we might as well try and find a breed that's better suited to her, for her own sake, but especially for the dog's!

    My friend owns a Belgian Tervueren and I have a Golden, both are very well trained and happy, so hopefully she might change her mind about training one day thanks to them

    Thank you to everyone who answers!

  2. #2
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    Wow, what a conundrum! If she's not interested in training, and has expensive stuff she does not want destroyed, she really should NOT get a puppy. Is there any way you can talk her into getting a at least partially grown (already housebroken and past the teething state) dog?
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
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    There are breed selectors online, I usually suggest folks do several of those. Then, the breed which comes up the most often is more likely to be a good fit for the family and life style.

    You can Google: dog breed selector to find them.

    Does she know about potty training? Maybe if you discuss some of the work involved with the puppy stage - very like having a baby - that may break through to her about the work involved. NO breed comes already house trained, she is going to be coping with lots of pee and poop.

    Definitely steer her away from the bichon, (if she somehow learns about that breed), as they are notorious for being difficult to house train and often take 12 months of serious dedication for them to 'get' it. They are just very busy dogs and house training does not even make their 'to do list.'

    Would you feel comfortable letting your dog stay with her for a weekend or for 24 hours? So she could learn how often she has to let the dog out, let the dog in, feed the dog, exercise the dog? Do NOT put your dog at risk (I know I few people I would never trust with one of my dogs!).

    Could this be a passing fad and in a few weeks she will move on to another novel must have? I sure hope so, from what you have written!
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  4. #4
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    Wow what a mess! I definitely like the idea of letting her have your dog for a while so she can see how much work they are, provided it won't be in any danger (as Freedom said...). Good luck!
    Owned by one silly Springer Spaniel, with pawprints on my heart left by many other pets!


    Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go, and then do it. --Ann Landers

  5. #5
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    It doesn't matter what breed that she gets, because from what I've read of her, it's likely she would end up dumping the dog in a shelter in a relatively short period of time. Reasons: doesn't have the time or patience, costs to much to maintain (food, vet, toys, and various never ending needed supplies), pees on things, poops on things, chews things up, won't listen and behave, barking is annoying - and those "reasons" are the tip of the iceberg.

    This person DOES NOT need a dog in her life at this point. Maybe someday when she grows up and becomes more responsible, she MIGHT be ready.
    I've Been Boo'd
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  6. #6
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    I reread her inital requirements, and each items on the list knocked any potential breed off as a good choice. Get her a stuffed animal in the shape of a dog. That's the only thing that will meet her "requirements," frankly! Any medium to large size dog will need training, and exercise. She's planning on kids in a few years, and whatever dog she gets now is going get less attention and exercise then, and end up in a shelter.
    I've Been Frosted

  7. #7
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    I've went back and forth on deciding whether or not to reply to this thread.

    I'm on the side that she doesn't need a dog if her requirements are that strict. Just like humans, dogs aren't perfect in every aspect. Even if their breed is known for certain characteristics, there is no guarantee that the puppy you get will match the breed standards perfectly. This scenario sounds a lot like how my sister ended up with one of her dogs. She used to dog-sit for a lady who bought a Standard Poodle puppy because she just had to have a dog that matched her lifestyle (she is a very materialistic, showy kind of person). Poodles are notorious for being easily trained, regal, smart, etc. Come to find out that the puppy she got actually had a mind of its own and without proper training proceeded to get in trouble, with the final straw being jumping up on the dinner table and helping himself to a steak dinner. That night she called my sister and asked if she wanted the dog. He is still a handful, very stubborn, too smart for his own good, and the list goes on and on. BUT...We love him despite not being a perfect representation of the well-mannered poodles that are so often advertised.

    The bottom line is that if your friend isn't ready to accept the "drawbacks" of having a dog, then she isn't ready for a dog.
    The Minions:
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  8. #8
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    Yeah if she doesn't want to train it or exercise it much, good luck on it not being destructive. She definitely should not get a puppy of any breed they are a lot of work. Any puppy, crazy hyper working breed or not, will destroy things, that is what puppies do. I was thinking maybe a greyhound, it doesn't sound like they are as hyper as like a weimaraner, of course they would still need exercise and training. They need a fenced in area to run. They don't come across as hyper as sporting dogs to me, at least the ones I have met, they seem pretty mild mannered but greyhound owners feel free to correct me. Also they are very elegant and graceful. Whippets are a medium sized version I don't know if their personalities are the same though. However, a puppy is a BAD idea for her, so if she's against adopting a full grown dog, and she's not willing to commit to working with the dog she just shouldn't get a dog.

  9. #9
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    I agree with y'all, but remember... 'Jane' refuses to accept not getting a dog. I hadn't thought of a greyhound or whippet. I don't know much about the breeds, but from what I do know that may be a good option. Definitely don't get a sporting/hunting breed!!! But for the most part, any medium/large breed of dog is going to require a good bit of exercise.
    Owned by one silly Springer Spaniel, with pawprints on my heart left by many other pets!


    Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go, and then do it. --Ann Landers

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    I reread her inital requirements, and each items on the list knocked any potential breed off as a good choice. Get her a stuffed animal in the shape of a dog. That's the only thing that will meet her "requirements," frankly! Any medium to large size dog will need training, and exercise. She's planning on kids in a few years, and whatever dog she gets now is going get less attention and exercise then, and end up in a shelter.
    I agree with you, but sadly, I can't change her mind, she doesn't listen to me. Something I may not have expressed clearly in my initial post though, is that by "training", I mean more like good manners, not jumping up, loose leash walking, all that stuff. She is fine with potty training, teething and that. The thing is, she is materialistic, but she still cares about her animals. She has two siamese cats, she's had them since they were kittens and she dotes on them, they're probably the most spoiled cats in the world. The only thing is she doesn't really understand that dogs are different to cats, so she would need a dog that is quite cat-like and dependent, not a dog that is prone to separation anxiety and who needs tons of attention all the time. She wants to get her puppy in about a month (again, sadly she doesn't want an adult dog), so I don't have much time to change her mind As I said, her sister, who's my friend, has a Tervueren shepherd, and 'Jane' really likes her and is very good at looking after her when her sister isn't around, she's just not the sort of person who will spend hours walking and training her dog.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
    There are breed selectors online, I usually suggest folks do several of those. Then, the breed which comes up the most often is more likely to be a good fit for the family and life style.

    You can Google: dog breed selector to find them.

    Does she know about potty training? Maybe if you discuss some of the work involved with the puppy stage - very like having a baby - that may break through to her about the work involved. NO breed comes already house trained, she is going to be coping with lots of pee and poop.

    Definitely steer her away from the bichon, (if she somehow learns about that breed), as they are notorious for being difficult to house train and often take 12 months of serious dedication for them to 'get' it. They are just very busy dogs and house training does not even make their 'to do list.'

    Would you feel comfortable letting your dog stay with her for a weekend or for 24 hours? So she could learn how often she has to let the dog out, let the dog in, feed the dog, exercise the dog? Do NOT put your dog at risk (I know I few people I would never trust with one of my dogs!).

    Could this be a passing fad and in a few weeks she will move on to another novel must have? I sure hope so, from what you have written!
    Thanks for your help I think I seem to have painted a really evil picture of 'jane' in my initial post. She does know about house training a dog, and she is ok with doing that, as well as teaching her puppy not to chew things. By training, I mean, she is not interested in teaching her dog all the other stuff like not jumping up, loose lead walking and all the other good manners. She sort of "expects" her dog to do it naturally, which of course no dog does, but which is why she would be better with a pretty mild-mannered dog in the first place. The thing is, she really does care about animals, so I would trust her with my dog for a week-end (no more than that, as my dog is used to at least three hour-long walks every day). She also looks after her sister's Tervueren shepherd when she's not there, and is very good with feeding her, playing with her, and walking her. She also has two cats, and she dotes on them, they're very well looked-after. She just wouldn't do well with a dog that needs tons of exercise and attention. She could do well with a dog that's quite cat-like in personnality. For the moment she's still stuck on her Weimaraner idea, but from what I've heard of them (please correct me if I'm wrong, I've never owned one), they're quite a demanding breed and not the best dog for a novice owner.

    I tried some of the breed selector websites, and I kept coming up with greyhounds and whippets, would they be a good pick for her? (It's definitely not a passing fad, both her and her boyfriend are intent on getting a puppy, I just hope they can find a breed that's better suited to them.)

  12. #12
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    I wanted to have HER do the breed selectors. Several of them. As she reads (and re reads) the questions, over and over, it may make an impact on her. It will give HER some info, even if only subconsciously.

    And frankly, if YOU do the breed selector and tell her get X breed, she gets one and it doesn't work, then it is 'your' fault. Make HER do the up front work and the choice, as well. Nicely, of course! Sit with her as she works through them if you wish, but try to keep your boundaries in place, so she can't 'blame' you if things do not work out.

    She has to take on responsibility from the start, right from the decision making to get a dog, which breed, and such. You've looked at the selectors now, so you've seen the sort of things they get in to. (Probably you were aware of most of it anyhow: coat maintenance, exercise, lifestyle and so on).

    Also perhaps have a frank discussion with her as to how she will manage the first year - the puppy stage - while she is at work. Draw her out, how will the dog be occupied, how will she give the pup exercise when she gets home from work tired and (in winter) it is already dark out.
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  13. #13
    How about a pretty plush stuffed dog? They are well behaved and come in all colors. Some are even remote controlled. Seriously, I don't think there is a right dog for her unless she is willing to hire someone to do all that doggy stuff for her.

  14. #14
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    The Shiba Inu is a very cat-like dog, grooms its own fur, etc. If she is willing, a greyhound or whippet does sound like a far better choice for her than a Weimaraner. Greys are know to be 90-mile-an-hour couch potatoes. Love to run full out when they can (so a fenced park excursion would be good, but otherwise are happy on the couch!
    I've Been Frosted

  15. #15

    Thank You

    Thank you for everyone who replied, we talked to her a lot but at first she didn't want to listen. She eventually settled on a miniature longhaired Dachshund (changed her mind about little dogs), her aunt had a litter... No idea how it will turn out, I just hope the dog will be okay. Her boyfriend loves dogs and is apparently going to make an effort with it so hopefully, fingers crossed, everything will be fine

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