Doggy advice?

Hi. My name is Coco. I love to sleep on the couch, but sometimes I don’t know what to do with my long skinny dangly legs!

When it’s nice outside, I like to sleep next to Buddha.

Or nap on the couch with Andrew.

And have sleepovers.

When I get in trouble, I pretend to sleep.

But when I’m not sleeping, I like to go outside and chase all the little critters on our property!

I’m always looking for a new place to nap.

Will you help me find a brother or sister? I’m a rescue dog, my birthday is on Christmas Day which makes me a Capricorn.

We’ve got lots of space to run around, a giant pool to play monkey doggies in the middle with a frisbee, free roaming chickens to corral back into the coop and very energetic kids to play ball with! What kind of breed can you recommend for my parents to adopt?


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Comments 50

  1. Katy

    How exciting! I think a good way to match up two dogs who are going to be well-suited to one another in the long term is to adopt a young adult from a really great rescue. Puppies are great, but can also be somewhat unpredictable in how they’ll turn out as adults — if you have a young adult, there’s a lot less guesswork.

    Especially when you already have one dog, a great rescue organization will let you take your time testing the dogs together, and will provide lots of training support along the way. Maybe someone local can give more specific tips. I’d also suggest adopting from a foster home so you have even more insight on the dog’s personality and quirks. Best of luck!

    Oh, and if you haven’t seen it, Bad Rap has great advice on how to integrate a new dog into a household. It’s required reading for anyone bringing home a new dog!

  2. marlene

    I would get a lab because they are so good natured and get along with everyone and every dog. They fit into your household and your interests and they like to swim. Seems like a pretty good match all the way around for what you are looking for. With a lab it wouldn’t really matter the age that you get because of there temperment.

    Good luck and I think you are making the right decision.

  3. Laura M.

    Marlene – that’s not a guarantee. i’ve met a few ill-tempered labs, and my family had to return a lab mix that attacked everyone in the house over the span of 4 weeks.

    Jaden, i would arrange to bring Coco with you to the rescue/shelter you decide to visit. she’ll pick your next dog for you. πŸ™‚

  4. Michelle

    Hi there! Your doggy is so precious! We have a 2 1/2 year old female boxer, and she is just wonderful. She loves other dogs and people. We would love to get her a friend as well. She loves chasing squirrels, birds and rabbits. She is very very snuggly and loving, and everyone I know that has a boxer says the same. They have amazing personalities and a lot of love to give. Good luck!

  5. JulieD

    Well I’m completely partial to rescues and to black and tan shepherd mixes. πŸ™‚ I think you should get her a little brother…I really love having a boy & a girl together. Cinder totally bossed Charley around. But then you’re still outnumbered so you should probably get another girl!

    What about finding a puppy that looks kinda sorta like Coco? You can’t go wrong. Coco is such a sweet, sweet girl. Good luck and I can’t wait to see who you adopt and to meet her too!

  6. Amy

    I agree with taking Coco! You have to touch base with the shelter about that, but hopefully they would accommodate that kind of request. Maybe checking out potential dogs, then bringing Coco to meet them at different times will help!

  7. ladywild

    I also agree with taking your pup. When we found a sister for our big goofy dog, we took her to several places with us. We would think we found the perfect dog then Maya would disagree. In the end, it was her choice. The only thing I’ll warn you about is making sure Coco is well vaccinated. Things like kennel cough run rampant at rescue places.

    We have a standard poodle and a poodle/lab mix. Both rescues. Both were adopted when they were young adults. Both are wonderful! My favorite site was

    Good luck in your hunt.

  8. Amy

    For what it’s worth, our second dog is a German Shepherd. He was socialized from Day 1 with people, put into basic obedience classes, and just in general exposed to new and different situations. He’s VERY people friendly, LOVES children (I think he thinks he’s one of my kids!), and is in general a pleasant dog. It isn’t just me that says so, either, so if the words of various Vets, techs, and a few breeders and trainers mean anything… πŸ˜‰ He tends to strike the balance I was hoping for, too. He is such a friendly guy but if someone were to attempt to hurt us, especially my kids, his friendly disposition would disappear quickly. So he’s great, even with strangers, yet not so laid back that he would be apathetic if we were in trouble. He also seems to be very in tune with how I feel, so if I feel nervous or afraid of someone he picks up on it and reacts accordingly. Worked great with a pushy “salesman” who showed up at my house late in the evening during one of my husband’s deployments. πŸ™‚ Shepherds can have a strong prey drive, though, so you typically have to train them to leave other critters alone. The Shepherds I have known – mine included! – are typically very easy to train. That’s always a plus!

    Downside: They tend to shed a lot. Also, the loyalty and devotion can be overwhelming when you find yourself practically tripping over a big, furry roadblock who wants to be with you every second. But that could be any dog and not just Shepherds!

  9. JanetinMaine

    The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need a breed that does not have a strong prey drive. There are many breeds that would chase and kill your chickens, either on purpose or just being too playful. We have an English bull dog, a collie and a golden retriever and none of them have any interest in the chickens or other fowl. We could not trust our terrier (now deceased) with any of our fowl and as a child we had a German Shepherd that would kill chickens (on purpose). I would stay away from anything with a terrier in it because they have a strong prey drive but on the other hand you wouldn’t have any rats or squirrels either.
    We lost our 8 year old collie recently (hardest thing I have ever gone through) and we decided to get two puppies (another collie because I have to have a collie and a golden retriever) and it was a great decision. They are best friends and keep each other company. They are both very loving dogs. She is my first golden and what a great dog she is becoming. And the collie is my princess.
    Enjoy your new puppy. I am still really glad that your kids got to grow up with a dog.

  10. Eva

    I volunteer at my local SPCA and from what I can see, it’s not so much what breed, but which dog will fit best with your family and Coco. If you find a dog that seems to fit your family you should be able to bring Coco to meet with the potential adoptee to see how well they get along. If you’re not 100% sure, see if it’s possible to foster-to-adopt.

    And kudos for adopting a rescue! :))

  11. Carol B

    Jaden, Your choices are many. Beside the purebred dogs, there are hundreds of shelter dogs that need a loving home. I would just recommend you go with your heart, you will know the right dog when you find him/her.
    I would strongly recommend a puppy, in spite of the extra work involved, With a puppy, you have a built in nursemaid with Coco. She already knows the rules of your household. She will teach these to your new puppy. (She will also teach the puppy some things you would rather she not pass on, but that is the joy of our four legged friends.)
    Good luck and enjoy the experience.

  12. Deborah

    Mostly the advice given so far has been sound- bring Coco with you and keep in mind what you guys would like to do with regards to upkeep. She’s clearly not a high maintenance dog in terms of coat- did you want to say with that or go with something that needed more grooming? How much work did you want to put in in terms of walk and exercise? What kind of energy level are you okay with? IE- Husky is HIGH ENERGY, and bulldog or basset is low log energy.

    Also keep in mind that finding a male dog is best. Female-female dog pairings can work, but generally you can’t go wrong with male-female. It pretty much prevents the issue of same sex aggression. I’d also argue not to go with an extremely old dog, look for one about the same age that has a similar play style. Make sure too that the dog you get is GREAT with kids!

    If you have a breed preference, don’t think you must go to a breeder too. Nothing against great breeders, but there are many great breed rescues, especially if you have your heart set on a popular kind. Boxer, lab, golden retriever rescues are all very commonplace, and many of these dogs have absolutely nothing wrong with them at all!

    I personally have a german shepherd I got from a rescue and adore her. πŸ™‚ As long as you’re very aware of what you’re willing to put in and what you need, you’ll be able to find the right pup for your family!

  13. Laura M.

    oh, definitely agreed on avoiding “drivey” dogs, unless you plan on building a fence tall enough to contain the dog. training only goes so far.

  14. Deborah

    Man you just mentioned chickens- also keep in mind to get something with low-to-no prey drive. Anything that wants to eat the chickens too much or bully them is probably not something you guys are keen on!

  15. Jan Small

    Beautiful photographs of Coco, Jaden! She’s a very lucky dog to have found you and your family. I agree with the advice about avoiding terriers and terrier-mixes…they would make quick work of the chickens. Check with your home owners insurance carrier…some breeds may cause cancellation. I learned that recently from my insurance agent friend. BBDs (Big Black Dogs) are so numerous in shelters and rescues and often get overlooked…adopt a young BBD…good Karma!

  16. katklaw777

    A good rescue shelter will work with you and help you to add another great dog.
    I heard that if you have a male cat you should adopt a younger female cat. I am not sure if dogs are the same but it worked for me with my 3 kitties.
    Good luck to you and hooray for rescue adoption!!!

  17. Yaz

    I have no doubt a Sheppard is what you need. Sheppards build Life long bonds to family and animals, exceptional protection, and herding skills. I speak from experience. No sneaky little varmint will touch one feather on my chickens and when they stray too far Fuzzle (sheppard) will gently grab them and bring them back!! So much intelligence and love in one furry body. Of course you must introduce the Sheppard to the chicks first.

    On a side note I have no idea how I stumbled on your site but your recipe’s are DELICIOUS! Thanks.

  18. Cristina

    Before we got our second dog, I did quite a bit of research, and something I came across is that two females are the combination most likely to have major conflicts, so I would suggest a male dog. I think any breed can be great, it just depends on the individual, but I bet a herding dog like an Australian shepherd or collie would ADORE your set-up!

  19. Barb

    I can second the vote for getting a boxer. We’ve had three so far, and they’re fantastic family dogs. And there are boxer rescues all over the country, so you can find one near you. All our boxers have been great with kids, they love to play, and they’re EXTREMELY energetic. As an added bonus, they’re just plain goofy and fun.

  20. Jack Drane

    We owned bulldogs for 25 years. Now that we’re retired we would love to have another one, but the price of them is very high.
    Our first one was $350 and our second was $1100. But now there
    some of them are $2000 to $4000. Maybe someone has one for less. It will have a loving home.

  21. mimi greenberg

    Your place sounds so wonderful! If I change my name to DOG, can I come and live with you? I love to nap and would be a perfect pal for Coco. I’m already housebroken and promise not to bark.

    Seriously, the issue is not the breed. It’s the disposition and temper. I have known miniature canines that terrorized other dogs and people too. I have also met large dogs that were gentle giants despite the breed reputed to be nasty.

    That said, Irish Setters are wonderful.

  22. Dona Lee

    I completely agree. Boxers are the sweetest dogs ever. They will even nurture cats and squirrels. They will wiggle themselves inside out just to say hi when you come home after a five minute absence, Mid-sized, they are big enough to be a dog yet not so big they intimidate children. They smile all the time and will always be there for you. Smart enough to train easily. A bit overly energetic until they are around two, but so adorable you forgive them for their wild exhuberance. I am generally not a dog person but a boxer can put a smile on my face after a bad day.

  23. Lisa Baird

    You are so lucky, she is a beautiful dog and probably would love a buddy. If you have a lot of space for exercise that’s a plus too. In my adult life we’ve had 2 shelties, that , while smaller dogs, have big personalities and LOVE to run and ‘corral’ things. We had a female, then a male, both were smart and sweet and great companions. The negatives, they have a long coat and shed about twice a year…nowhere nearly as much as my lab, which I think is daily! Shelties are also prone to barking, but mine by no means were excessive barkers…they barked when there were knocks at the door and if they were in the yard, if someone walked by the fence. We ‘ve also had two labs as I raised them for ‘Leader Dog s for the Blind’ One was a female that was half lab and half golden retriever. She was really great and did make it as a Leader Dog, she lives in Milwuakee with her person. My other candidate was a male black lab, and while he’s very sweet, he did make the cut because of certain phobias…doesn’t like stairs. While I know, and have been around labs who are high energy, he is not, he’s very lazy. We walk him every day, and he likes it, but I can’t see him running through fields….that’s probably unusual for a lab. he’s very gentle and tolerant of the little ones in our neighborhood, even though our kids are grown and he has little exposure to young ones. We also now have a mini American Eskimo…smart as a whip, sheds like a fiend, and is a bit of a barker. (apparently, the ‘spitz’ breeds all are) She’s also pretty bossy with the lab who is 4, and he takes it. While I love her, I don’t think it’s a breed for everyone. She is also great with the neighbor kids. She’s just a year, so hopefully she’ll settle down a bit:) One of my favorite breeds that I’ve never had, but have had friends who have is the German Short-Haired….the ones I’ve known have all been sweet….and they love to run! They could definitely keep up with your current dog. I’ve never met a golden retriever I didn’t like, but again there is a little more maintenance with the coat. I agree with one of the commenters, it would probably be best to get the opposite sex, that has worked in our household. Wow, SOOO many great dogs out there….when you meet the one for you, you’ll know it! One more thing, I have mixed feelings about puppies, now that I’ve been through it 5 times, next time I’m going for a young adult. While some could have issues, I feel like the rescue organizations are pretty honest with you, they don’t want to take back a dog they’ve placed. Many are trained, have settled down a bit and are anxious for a home:) Good luck!!

  24. Kamia

    We do dog rescue and fostering here in the Midwest, and have placed and taken care of over 50 dogs in the last several years. Of all the breeds that have enjoyed being outside; have easy-to-take care of coats like Coco, and want to please you, the lab is the one. To this day I kept the Lab/Bull Mastiff mix we got, and have the most loyal, fun to be with playmate! Try to choose a black dog from the rescue this time — they’re harder to place and end up getting passed over all the time due to superstition. BLACK DOG RESCUE

  25. Deirdra Strangio


    We have had many kinds of dogs and have worked with many other types of dogs. Out of all the dogs I liked was my 3 rottweilers. They are very very good with children. They love to be loved and will put up with just about anything (I would be wary if rescuing one that has been abused or taught to fight other dogs). They are very easy to train and will think they are lapdog size.

    I would not get a lab or golden retriever. They are great family dogs, but the down side is they are not very smart so it’s mostly conditional training. They are the most common in the puppy classes and the sort of people who get them are lazy in training, want them as their cuddle dog, or cannot be the dominant one. It might just be where I live too O_O

    ANother good dog for space would be some sort of cattle dog. They would be wary of predators of the land and protect their herd. They are also great family dogs and very smart. Some times too smart and need things to do.

    I would definitely have sessions where your dog and the rescue dog had an hour to get to know each other in a controlled environment.

  26. Sarina

    I would definitely say LAB. I did not know how good and patient a dog could be until I got mine! He is a lovely companion.. good with all animals from chickens to horses to cats to other dogs.

    He is a very good dog.. except for the one time he chewed up two cell phones, a pair of prescription glasses and a remote control.. but really.. it wasn’t his fault we had them laying out and they smelled all like us.. and nom nom nom.. thank goodness we were both ready for upgrades on our cell plan:)

  27. Kaitlin Jenkins

    Oh Jaden I’m so glad to hear that you’re looking to adopt again. Coco is such a beautiful girl by the way. I’ve worked at animal shelters for a majority of my life and I’d suggest you work with a shelter or rescue to help find a good fit for you. Many of them allow you to bring Coco with you to see how she and a potential new playmate get along. It’s always great for two dogs to meet on neutral territory too so this avoids the problem of having to introduce them on Coco’s territory. Good luck in your search, can’t wait to read what you all figure out!

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  29. Jen M O

    I have a lab and he is great. He was crazy the first year and very hyper. I’ve heard great things about huskies. I recommend you should bring Coco to see how she does. Good luck!

  30. Shaden Coren

    The best way is to take the whole family – especially Coco – to your local shelter or rescue. This way, you can see how a pet responds to another dog, children, etc. Each breed, & mixed breed, of dog has its’ own good & not so great traits. Working in the veterinary field, I can say from experieince that labs, although wonderful, loyal pets, tend to consume things they shouldn’t. The majority of my foreign body removal surgeries have been on labradors. That’s not saying all labs are billy goats in disguise. With correct & consistent training, any pet can be an excellent family member.

  31. Sabrina

    Hi Jaden. Try not to focus so much on the breed of the dog because there can be so much variation in temperament. One person mentioned getting a lab because the get along with everyone. Yes, that’s true for some labs, but there are also the ones that are very territorial or high-strung, or dominant, etc. Keep an open mind and heart, and talk to a rescue. They will know their dogs best, and they will be able to guide you to the right choice.

  32. Joe

    Rescue or adopt a pit bull don’t be afraid of the breed I rescued 2 pit they are the best dogs in the world my son works for a shelter an he works with them all the time good luck Joe

  33. Christine

    Okay – I’ve been through this several times and what has always made the most sense to me is to choose a dog with similar size and activity level. I adopted a Border Collie cross boy last summer and we ended up rescuing a Collie this spring. They are approximately the same age but I’ve adopted dogs who are two years apart with similar size and activity needs and it worked out well. One of the really nice things is that the same size dogs need the same size food rations and you can walk / run them together easily. My dogs love each other and play well together and also keep each other occupied. The only caveat with two similar in age, especially puppies, is that it is very difficult to train two dogs at once. Much easier to have one trained and than train another puppy. The older dog will actually help do most of the training of the little pup as they will model their older siblings behaviors.
    Good luck. I love watching my two furry babies play together and sleep together!

  34. Catherine

    I think you should look into getting an English Shepherd, which is a type of collie herding dog. They are all round guardians, of children, animals and property. They are not well known dogs but there are a lot of people out there doing their best to rescue the breed which was in danger of disappearing back in the Eighties. Another name for them is American Farm Collie. They are related to the Australian Shepherd which is not from Australia, and nor is the English Shepherd from England. Some people are crossing them with the Rough Coated Collie, in order to strengthen that breed which can have a lot of health problems, esp. with eyes.

    Go to English to read about them. Maybe you could rehome one, or alterntively get a puppy to train. A good breeder will find you one for your situation. They can have high/medium/low energy.

    If I had chickens and children then I would look definitely look into getting one of those.

    Good luck with your search!

  35. Catherine

    I forgot to say that Susan, from the Farmgirl Fare blog has a half Australian Shepherd/half English Shepherd called Lucky Buddy Bear. He is black and tan. Go and check out her blog.

  36. Debra Anderson

    Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer, says to MATCH THE ENERGY. When looking at that first, it eliminates some dogs you may have otherwise considered.

    I’m not sure about two males that some have recommended but I know there will be exceptions. When I was getting two dogs myself (from puppyhood) I had decided on a Chihuahua because they were so small – it was my compromise with the universe regarding my allergies. The males of that breed are the cuddly ones, females the divas ‘-) so I got two males to start with [even though I was concerned about the usual 2-males-will-fight thing but hoped it was different because of this breed’s personalities] and it did not turn out well at all, albeit they were both fixed at 6 months they just fought most of the time.

    I re-homed one of them [he did fabulous on his own in his new family!] and got a female pup instead and they are great together. They are both fixed, no “back-yard breeding” happening! My late husband and I used to be in dog showing and I learned [too] much about that nonsense. SPAY AND NEUTER EVERYONE! There are already too many dogs in the world, you can tell by the number in North America that have no homes and get put down. And if you find homes for your’s, you are taking away potential homes of dogs that needed it or they are put down.

    I am IMPRESSED you are getting rescue dogs. My brother and his wife are both doctors and can afford anything they want and they’ve just rescued their 2nd dog and the first one has had a very long life πŸ™‚

    I’ve had my little dogs for 5 and 6 years now and it has turned out wonderfully and I did not develop allergies either. For anyone who thinks my idea is a good one for them, be aware that “real” Chihuahuas are [breed standard] supposed to be under 6 pounds. Do not get a “teacup”, it means they take runts with hereditary problems and breed those problems into future generations. “Backyard breeders” often / generally have traits (ie: extra volatile) because of their breeding mistakes. “Purebred” doesn’t mean anything either, there have to be things in place for that to be worth anything. And “no”, a female does NOT need to have pups to be full-filled. Your dogs (male and female) have a much lower chance of things like cancer if they are fixed young. PLEASE GET A RESCUE DOG instead of buying a pup off these people who think they should breed whatever dogs they ended up with.

    Breeds that get popular because of TV shows, movies (usually) get over-bred and then you may be getting a pile of problems not generally associated with that breed. Also, go be around the breed you want IN PERSON. It can radically change your idea of wanting that breed in your family. It just means some breeds are more suited to your family than others. Only reading about a breed in a book can get you into trouble when you have the real thing in your home. That’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way in years gone by. Even though I have Chi’s now, when I was younger it would have been the wrong breed for me. So do your research and open your mind; if a breed description keeps saying they are aloof, get that in your mind before it arrives on the plane, if you like cuddle pets. A couple of other breeds, when I visited them in their homes, I knew I could never handle them – it’s an interesting exercise.

    I apologize if I’ve upset anybody with my statements but if I was someone like Betty White she’d be saying SPAY AND NEUTER too πŸ™‚

    Jaden – Steamy Kitchen – you are awesome!

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  38. Nancy

    Get an American Blackmouth Cur. Best dog I ever had,she loves the grand kids , the UPS man &guards my chickens. You can buy from a breader or rescue one contact Mrs. Murphy in Mobile, Alabama.
    Good dog

  39. Gina

    I came over here because I saw these gorgeous egg rolls in my e-mail, but your babies (doggies) are so adorable I got distracted.

    I had a basset hound for 14 years and she was the friendliest dog ever. I have two doxies now and we got them when she was about 12, the three of them were the happiest campers ever.

    I keep saying two is enough, but now I want another.

    Good luck, hope you find the right fit.

  40. Monica

    We have a bull mastiff which we adore, but you have to be on board with basically having a very BIG dog – ours weights 170 pounds – and he is underweight! But he is just a big baby – Has great personality, and is wonderful with kids and very easy maintenance. We also have a rescue which is part collie and I think a bit of shepherd.. she is also great too, but she is older and wiser. Other dogs that I had growing up and can totally vouch for them – Boxers. They are great family dogs, easy maintenance, and just plain fun and so easy going! Florida Boxer Rescue is a great place to start:

    And like many had said here, the best way is to introduce Coco to a new friend and see how the match up..

    I cannot wait to see Coco’s new buddy!

  41. JC Marc

    I agree with EVERYTHING you said, Amy, about shepherds. Jaden, you will not find a more loyal dog than a shepherd and so easy to train. I have had 3 shepherds through the years and they adapted easily to every dog they were paired with – even my brother’s pit bull that we babysat for 3 months. One of my GS loved cats, one tolerated them, and one thought they were great fun to chase, so no help with the cat thing. Major drawback was the hair. They shed a new dog everyday. Lots of vacuuming. As a lifelong dog lover, I can tell you the traits of every dog breed. You should talk with a local shelter because they can physically help you pair your baby with a new friend. They should meet each other before bringing the new friend home. Good luck to you.

  42. JC Marc

    Jaden, one more thing – my son has a Rhodesian Ridgeback/Lab mix. We babysat her for 2 yrs when he was in transition. Best dog I have ever known – social and energetic. Ridgebacks were bred to hunt lions and were “keepers of the castle”, so they are protective in a quiet way (she used to do a bed check every 3-4 hrs at night, especially if there were guests). Long legs, some shedding. Smart and easy to train. Got along with EVERY dog she came in contact with, very social. Great mix of breeds. If I ever come across this same mix of breeds . . .

  43. Dagmar Finch

    Hi Jaden,
    all of the above and then some – most of the comments have been very sound and leave you exactly where you started – you have to make up your own mind!
    I have fostered over 150 dogs of all breeds and sizes and when it comes down to it my fave pair was a little Terrier bitch and a big Boxermix male. She had him wrapped around her little paw and he did whatever she told him to do – very funny to live with. If you think you’d like a smaller dog to go with your big one, pls consider Cocker Spaniels or King Charles Spaniels. Many are absolutely wonderful dogs who want nothing more than to please their people. Also look at the Hound group. Some of my best dogs were black and tan hounds. Not a mean bone in their bodies and the best companions to children ever. I have a feeling you’ll be spending time on
    And Happy Birthday while I am on here – many happy, healthy ones more!

  44. Leighton VanSickel

    BEAGLE !! I have had several – they are happy, loving, love children, love to romp and play – very social. Love other dogs. They are suited for outdoor running and romping, and also love to be inside. You can’t go wrong with a rescue beagle……

  45. Hope

    Long time lurker….and I’m on the Boxer bandwagon!! We have two – one we got from a boxer rescue, the other from a breeder. Both are phenomenal and very happy dogs. Probably wouldn’t protect me from a flea, but then again I figure that’s what the firearms are for versus our pups! Ha! Good luck on your search!

  46. Sara

    As someone who works at my local humane society, I do have some tips for you!

    1. First, it’s not really about breed, but about dog. While some breeds are more inclined toward specific behavior traits, it’s not always a given. For example, shepherds and pits have pretty high prey drives typically, but not all shepherds and pits are going to go after other smaller prey animals (i.e. chickens, cats). I’ve found that pits can be some of the most loving dogs around! It’s only in recent times that they’ve become these horrible attack dogs. Go for the individual dog, not the breed! Pointers and labs tend to be very hyper the first few (3-4) years then settle down. Huskies love to escape! We get 90% of our huskies and husky mixes as strays or because the continuously escaped. Herding dogs ( love to chase things (kids, chickens, I’ve even heard of them rounding up loose furniture to the center of the room!). Shepherds and huskies are big shedders.

    2. In my experience, opposite sex, smaller, and younger dogs are often more accepted in a new home. Puppies can be nice in that they are usually more submissive, but they are also more annoying to an adult dog. Puppies want to play, play, play and adult dogs generally don’t. But the nice thing about having an adult dog already when getting a puppy is that the existing dog can help train! They help with basic good doggie manners, house training, etc.

    3. At my shelter we do allow prospective adopters to bring in their own dogs, but we have found that it often does not give an accurate idea of how the two dogs will get along at home. Your dog can be extremely stressed by coming to the shelter. It will be filled with smells, sounds, and sights that s/he won’t be ready for. I know a lot of dogs get really freaked out by the floors in our shelter. Also the smell of a shelter often is similar to that of a vet’s office – and many dogs don’t like the vet! So keep in mind that your dog (and the shelter dog) will not act the same at the shelter as they would in a real-life environment (home). We often encourage adopters to introduce the new dogs outside. You’ll definitely need to introduce them outside the home before bringing a new friend home – that way your dog can get to know the dog before bringing it straight into his/her territory where s/he will be defensive immediately – walks are great for this too! Leash up both dogs, allow them to sniff each other and give them time. You’ll need to keep them separated when you’re not there to supervise (this includes night time!) and you might want to think about keeping leashes on one or both of them – that way, in case they do get into a scuffle, they’ll be easier to pull apart. There will be some growling and some snapping, but that’s normal; they have to figure out the hierarchy with the new friend.

    Good luck on your new family member! In my opinion, shelter dogs are the best!

  47. Gabrielle

    The finest dog I ever had was a pit bull/Lab mix who was as loving, smart(!), and gentle as could be, so I admit to being somewhat prejudiced in favor of that particular combination (other folks I’ve known who had dogs with that mix tend to concur), but I agree with those who have advised you to vet individual dogs. You can’t judge a book by its title and genre. You should definitely see how the dog gets along with Coco and also hear from the rescue/shelter about what they know of the dog’s temperament and tendencies.

  48. Kate

    You might want to consider an Australian cattle dog (sometimes called a red or blue heeler). They love to run, herd and chase frisbees and ball. They can keep up with just about anyone and because they are high energy they often need new homes when their old families discover that a dog kept in a house all day with no play leads to destruction! But give them a task and lots of space and they will be loyal forever. Very smart and trainable too!

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