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  1. #1
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Any dog lovers around these parts?

    I've got a few questions about a couple of different breeds and rather than wade through the spamverts that Google would serve up, I figure I'd turn to the Foo collective.

    Looking at Labrador, Golden Retriever, German Shepard, and possibly either a Lab/Retriever or Lab/Poodle (Labradoodle) mix.

    My son wants me to get a German (his buddy has two and he thinks they are neat), but my wife questions if my laid back, passive personality could handle one.

    Primarily, I'm wondering about food consumption, exercise requirements, frequency of groomer/vet visits, and transporting them.

    **EDIT** I'm seeking input on these breeds specifically, as they are the predominant ones when searching for organizations that train guide dogs.
    Last edited by no1mad; 10-09-13 at 12:00 AM.
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    A tiny member bikeguyinvenice's Avatar
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    When I was a kid I had a Black Lab. Great dog, very friendly, loyal, great around other people and animals.
    If I every have the time to take care of a pet again I would get another lab.
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  3. #3
    Grumpy Member trsidn's Avatar
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    The shepherd would be the smartest dog. The Labradoodle won't shed. The Golden and Labs have terrific dispositions.
    I don't see a laid back personality being a downside to any of them. My pick would be the golden, but would not argue against any of them.
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    Infinite Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    All great dogs. Some neighbors have a Labradoodle and it's a sweety.
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    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    I had a black lab from 1990 - 2004. She was a wonderful dog.

    She'd eat a big bag of dry food every month.

    I walked her a couple times a day and play ball or frisbee at least once a day. In the winter I'd take her to the beach and let her swim for a half hour.

    She had ear surgery when she was 2. Later in life she had arthritis so I gave her 2 glucosamine every day.

  6. #6
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
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    We got a Catahoula in June '13. She's smart & easy to train but needs a lot of exercise. I walk her the same way I walked the lab - on a beach cruiser. http://youtu.be/RdcYUehUzMM


  7. #7
    Below Par Bikernator's Avatar
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    My $.02

    Labs can be fantastic dogs, but they're all over the map in my opinion. Some are laid back, mellow, lazy, even... and some are nucking futs. My sister has a black lab that's fantastic, my mom has a black lab that is insane. Exercise requirements will vary within the breed a lot, too. I am a huge fan of Goldens, because they're super sweet, and still have very entertaining active personalities. I just met a friend's goldendoodle and it was especially cool. I like German Shepherds, too, but don't have a lot of experience with them, so I don't want to over play my hand. Of the ones listed, training would be most required (I've had few run-ins with the other breeds; more with German Shepherds). They're all about the same size. While I know German Shepherds will fetch, keep in mind those retrievers will do so more. It's much easier to wear a dog out launching a tennis ball for 15 minutes than doing wind sprints with it for the same amount of time.

    For the record, I own a Chesapeake Bay Retriever and grew up with large mutt dogs.

    EDIT:
    Holy shnikeys, I almost forgot!! Go to a rescue, man. Check out the pets who need homes. Many of which fit the description you're after. If you want a puppy, they got 'em. Want an adult, they have those, too. My sisters are both deeply involved with it, and I see we are geographical neighbors. PM me if you want some help with it (My Chessie is the only pet the family's ever gotten that was from a breeder. The rest were rescued in some way, shape, or form).
    Last edited by Bikernator; 10-08-13 at 04:59 PM. Reason: The part that comes after "EDIT:"
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  8. #8
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    Hard-impossible-to beat a Lab for pure "goodness" sweetness friendliness.
    However-all those dogs are prone to that "hip problem" be very careful because apparently they have been inbred-probably to get "bigger dogs"-and that trait-hip problems-pretty common-and the breeder will lie about it of course-and there isn't any good way to tell if they will have the problem-until they are older and have the problem.
    You might consider a greyhound.They are very sweet-generally not as outgoing as a lab(but what dog other than a beagle-is)-but good natured-rarely bark-no doggy odor-won't bite the neighbor's kid(even when he deserves it)- they do need to be on a leash-except in dog parks or fenced back yard.

    Some are very outgoing-like Arty (ours) but our fist two were closer to shy-Arty anything but shy.
    AND- Greyhounds have very few-zero maybe- genetic shortcomings(selected out i guess)- very healthy also-live 12-14 years-
    Gorgeous dogs too-great travelers
    AND they aren't active dogs -they DON'T need a big yard or lots of walks-
    folks think because they look like jocks-that they require lots of exercise many walks a day-like a giant Jack Russell- but they are couch potatoes-only want walks because they are busybodies-prefer to not cover lots of distance-strictly busybodies
    so they are great apartment dogs-
    Biggish dogs but they live small
    Oh well-pass it on-greyhounds are couch potatoes-don't need much exercise constant walks big yard etc-great travelers too-pop them in car-they fall asleep
    and they arrive house trained

    Labs are great dogs also-but doggier smelling and prone to that hip problem-probably require more exercise and are prone to getting fat-greyhounds don't seem to get fat-Arty has made a heroic effort to get fat-constantly pesters--successfully- my wife for treats-but she has leveled out about 70 lbs-
    Other than the hip problem-hard to beat a lab or a beagle(but they are escape artists and will bark a bit-yowl etc)
    Last edited by phoebeisis; 10-08-13 at 05:05 PM.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    I saw a comment about training and one about health issues (hip dysplasia). I'll address that by stating that all of the breeds listed in the OP are ones that came up in a search for guide dogs, so the various training programs should notice and "wash out" any dog that are hard to work with or exhibit major health problems by the age of 2.5 years (average age for a service animal to start their working career).
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  10. #10
    bill nyecycles the sci guy's Avatar
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    this is chainsaw

  11. #11
    Senior Member trackhub's Avatar
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    I second Bikernator's suggestion to go check out Rescue Dogs. Lots of loving companions in waiting.

    Apartment dweller, can't have a dog. But love them. It always amazes me how they know who their friends are. I'm also convinced
    that they understand everything we say to them. They just don't let on they do, part of some kind of secret Dog code.

    Grew with a Black Lab. Great dogs, the one we had was very mellow, easy going. German Shepard's are known for their
    intelligence, and protectiveness the world over.

    But, you might find that an "All American Dog", better known as a mutt, just might be the best.
    "The People will believe what the Media tells them they believe". George Orwell.

  12. #12
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    Oklahoma ASPCA has some good looking mutts just waiting for you.

  13. #13
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    My mom recently adopted a retriever/poodle mix. It is fairly high strung but seems well behaved and she said he was a very fast learner.

    Laid back and passive? I would strongly consider adopting a retired greyhound. My wife and I did this two months ago. Every one I've been around is extremely quiet and lazy with a great personality. My wife never had a dog and didn't have a high opinion of them, but after she spent time around a greyhound she got excited about getting one. Now her and Bentley are best friends. See if there is a rescue program nearby, there are a lot of these dogs in need of a home.



    Edit: greyhound requirements:
    Food: Bentley eats about 6 cups of food a day. I would think this is similar to your list
    Grooming: we brush him occasionally. That's all they need
    Exercise: super lazy dogs but they need walked regularly (like most)
    Transporting: ours loves the cargo area of an SUV/wagon
    Vet visits: pretty standard but get a good teeth cleaning
    special requirements: bed, coat, and commitment to keep it leashed or fenced. They can hit 40mph before you can react. We take our to a local fenced tennis court to let him run.
    Last edited by thirdgenbird; 10-08-13 at 07:01 PM.

  14. #14
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    Right thirdgenbird !! Bentley-pretty dog-or handsome depending
    Greyhounds-all rescues from tracks-GREAT PETS
    We have had one or two since 1996
    Most extremely laid back-and NEVER bite humans(OK close to never)- about 1/2 are cat safe-
    close to zero genetic health problems-in fact other than somewhat sensitive skin-no health problems to speak of
    AND the best looking dog in the neighborhood!!
    Third-notice very little doggy odor.
    I grew up with beagles-so I expected a doggy odor dog when my wife brought home a greyhound-NO ODOR- except when wet or for 5 minutes immediately after running. Don't shed much-heck don't have much hair(but you will find that over the next couple of years Bentley will get more hair on her hindquarters- very good with kids other than toddlers(but arty is ok with toddlers mauling her since any attention is good attention)
    Yeah really can't beat a recycled greyhound-great apt dogs -not really big on unnecessary exercise-but Arty will occasionally(when the weather changes) suddenly start sprinting in a wide oval-well wide as the yard allows-they all do that-maybe 20 seconds of crazy fast sprinting(turn on a dime-surprising for such a leggy dog)

    Labs are very sweet too-beagles also-but they are pretty active dogs-gotta walk them more-
    Arty just wants to get out front to lean on the neighbors-make them pat her etc
    Like Third says-lazy laid back sweethearts-

  15. #15
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    Bentley (male) is cat safe, ignores other dogs, and is fantastic around kids/infants. He was fostered in a home with an infant and young kid and we saw him interact with both. The odor was something I forgot to mention. Greys really don't smell at all.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Will G's Avatar
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    Had German Shepards around all the time growing up and then after I got married. All were female dogs, 60-85 pounds. Big dogs go through lots of food, quality food can get expensive, and that means lots of clean up in the yard. All of them were smart and very in tune with the family, i.e. very pack oriented. All were great with friends and children. Our dog allowed our kids to crawl all over them and I only saw her get agitated once when my son bit the dog on the ear. They were very much a part of the family. In that regard, the dogs are also very defensive and protective of family and home. I would deploy with the Air Force for months at a time leaving my wife and sons and did not worry much about anyone entering the house. Exercise was big. I would do 5 or 6 mile runs and take the dog, she would chase tennis balls, sticks, moose, squirrels, rabbits, etc. Hip displasia can be a problem. Keep their weight down, ease up on too much running, glucosimine. Our shepard was 5 and showed hip problems after long runs. Vet says she will be lucking to live to 7. She lived to 12.5 yrs old and was very active with few problems until the last few months.

    Currently have a West Highland Terrier about 25lbs. Cute, lovable, but not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Basic commands have a low response rate. On the up side, not much food required and his short legs don't require much exercise.
    Flying a jet is no different than riding a bicycle. It's just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes.

  17. #17
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Much as I'd like a Greyhound as a pet, I'm looking for something that can be used as a guide dog and the Greyhound hasn't been mentioned by the handful of organizations that provide training and placement of guide dogs for those that are blind or of low vision.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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    I missed that portion. A greyhound would make a pathetic guide dog. It would either lay down and take a nap or guide you directly to the next closest person that would pet it.

  19. #19
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Much as I'd like a Greyhound as a pet, I'm looking for something that can be used as a guide dog and the Greyhound hasn't been mentioned by the handful of organizations that provide training and placement of guide dogs for those that are blind or of low vision.
    I would speak with those organizations... guide dogs get vetted pretty stringently for behaviour and intelligence before they enter training and it is a fairly lengthy process.

    My friend recently got her first guide dog (she has been blind since birth) and it has improved her quality of life immensely... besides being a capable guide who will steer her away from danger her dog (Black Lab) is also a deterrent to those who would see this rather small woman as being an easy victim.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    I've got a few questions about a couple of different breeds and rather than wade through the spamverts that Google would serve up, I figure I'd turn to the Foo collective.

    Looking at Labrador, Golden Retriever, German Shepard, and possibly either a Lab/Retriever or Lab/Poodle (Labradoodle) mix.

    My son wants me to get a German (his buddy has two and he thinks they are neat), but my wife questions if my laid back, passive personality could handle one.

    Primarily, I'm wondering about food consumption, exercise requirements, frequency of groomer/vet visits, and transporting them.

    **EDIT** I'm seeking input on these breeds specifically, as they are the predominant ones when searching for organizations that train guide dogs.
    Is this a companion dog or a dog for home and property protection?

    Do you plan on going to puppy lessons or will a "smart" dog do?

    If you take a rescue dog make certain you can return it if there's a personality clash.

    As it's your first dog, a puppy will meld to Your ways, puppy class will give you time to study how others interact with their puppies.

    Might sound cruel but a cage to sleep in at night and place to put them for time out will save a lot of furniture.

    Labs are great(laid back), golden's are somewhat obtuse, Shepard's are "work" dogs, any dog would adapt, get one that "likes" you.

    I have 2 neufies, 2 English mastiff and an aussie shepard pup

  21. #21
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    My bad.
    No greyhounds aren't considered guide dog material.Maybe service dogs companion dogs in the PTSD type-but not "seeing eye dogs"
    Part of the reason might be the usual claim-which seems correct(we have had 3 greyhounds)-that sight hounds are liable to take off-full speed- if they see sudden motion-squirrel cat fellow dog raccoon-
    and they are not considered as trainable tractable as other dogs-probably true

    Thirdgenbird-yeah the no odor-really was a surprise for me- since we had beagles when I was a kid-and they are a typically doggy odored(meaning whole house smells doggy to non dog owners)
    The no odor should be a great selling point for dog naive folks-heck for anyone.
    Bentley cat safe and dog indifferent child toddler sweet- yeah they are great dogs! How is he with thunder-some indifferent-some unhappy with it.

    I really feel compelled to "sell" greys because so many folks see them-assume they are gigantic Jack Russells need lotta room lotta exercise-
    they certainly LOOK like they do-but they don't-great apartment city dogs-walk them 2X day-
    During our last hurricane-Isaac-very slow moving storm-Arty refused to go out or be walked(despite umbrella)-she held her business 28 HOURS!!-Yes I timed it-they usually house trained-very few "accidents"

    Thirdgenbird?? Thunderbird maybe?? What does it mean?
    Phoebe and Isis were are 1st 2nd greyhounds

  22. #22
    smorenivore colorider's Avatar
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    I've had two black lab mixes (both rescues) now and can't say enough good things about them. Sweet, goofy, fun, etc.... My grandparents had a GS that was fine with adults, not so much with kids. I know they can be great dogs but I would lean toward the lab just based on my own personal preferences. Both types need a lot of exercise or may be prone to getting fat - especially the labs. Hip dysplasia can be problematic with both but especially GS's - ask your vet.
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  23. #23
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    Hard to beat lab lab mixes- sweet dogs

  24. #24
    A tiny member bikeguyinvenice's Avatar
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    They are not on you list, and they are LARGE dogs, but Great Danes are awesome dogs. I dated a woman that had two of the. Super friendly, great around other animals and kids. They eat a lot, but they are mostly couch potato dogs.
    "Normal" is just a setting on a washing machine.

  25. #25
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    I would speak with those organizations... guide dogs get vetted pretty stringently for behaviour and intelligence before they enter training and it is a fairly lengthy process.

    My friend recently got her first guide dog (she has been blind since birth) and it has improved her quality of life immensely... besides being a capable guide who will steer her away from danger her dog (Black Lab) is also a deterrent to those who would see this rather small woman as being an easy victim.
    I'm still in the process of finding these organizations through online searches. Some appear to have their stuff together better than others, but I don't want to exclude a potential program because their web site has a crappy design either.

    One program in SoCal is a 4 week course- show up on a Sunday and Monday/Tuesday are strictly classroom lecture going over commands before being introduced to the dog on Wednesday. One place in NJ (only one I've found so far that works with GS and Labradoodles) is similar, while another in NorCal (and outside PDX) is on an accelerated course cycle of only 2 weeks. These all start out on campus and transition to public spaces.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

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