T Nation

A Family Dog

I’ve always liked labs myself. Very friendly, playful, even tempered and loyal. I have two young cousins who yank on my lab’s tail, play with his ears… pretty much everything dogs hate and he just sulks until they leave. Occassionally he will give a quick bark if something hurts but will never bite.

A stranger comes to the door though and his teeth are bared, slobber froths out of his mouth and he’s ready to attack until he sees a family member give a friendly reception.

All dogs are great, expecially if treated well from puppies on. Do be mindful of aggressive breeds though. They are usually just as friendly as any but animals are animals and while a potential threat exists with all breeds, reputations don’t form with out reason.

Thanks for the replies so far. They are very helpful. I have not ruled out the rottweiler either. What ever dog we get we will take to formal training and will take the time to socialize with people and other dogs. Thanks for the idea of a mixed dog from a shelter too.

neelydan, that is a handsom dog.

[quote]pushmepullme wrote:
We have a black lab/mutt. I’ve never had a more affectionate, playful dog. I second going to a shelter - you can find real gems there.[/quote]

I have two lab mixes from the shelter. I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

I have never met a Golden Retriever that wasn’t good with kids. They are absolutely wonder family dogs. I have never had the please of having one though, this is just my own observation and what I hear from GR owners.

Beware of Boxers, they are great dogs but are incredibly obnoxious as puppies. haha Just full of energy. I have a boxer mix who is now 2.5, he’s starting to settle down some but still gets crazy. The other thing with Boxers is they are jumpers, not that great of a trait with kids around. They also stay puppies the longest out of all breeds.

I grew up with a Yellow Lab and that dog was amazing with kids.

Good luck finding a dog that fits your family.

You’ve gotten a ton of great advice. I can’t agree more with 5.0 about rescue dogs. Normally, they’re dogs whose owners can’t keep them due to moves, lack of living space, etc. Usually biting dogs aren’t listed with rescues. Also, all rescues that I know of will say specifically if that dog is good with other dogs, cats, & kids.

Along with rescues, the various pounds/animal shelters have all sorts of fine dogs who ended up there through pure bad luck. Those dogs know that you’re bailing them out of a tough spot and will be very grateful. I know several folks have pointed out how fantastic pound dogs are and I can’t agree more.

I grew up on a farm with many different dogs of different breeds. I had several people ask me why all my different dogs were so good and so “people friendly.” Simple, they were raised with love and discipline. A dog doesn’t need to be hit to learn right from wrong. Sure, the occasional spanking is necessary, but if the dog trusts and loves you then a stern scolding will be enough. RWElder0 hit the nail on the head when he said a dog is a reflection of its owner.

I’m a Basset Hound nut. I’ve known dozens of dogs and the most intelligent BY FAR was my ex-wife’s Basset Hound she had when we married. He was freakishly intelligent and an outstanding dog. My 2nd Basset was just as smart, I got him from a Rescue after his owner died, but he was very hardheaded. I’d suggest a Basset but when they get out they’ll get on a scent, follow it, and end up in the next county. You really can’t have a Basset without a fenced yard.

A friend of mine has a Golden who has bitten children on two different occasions. I know that is a one in a million thing, just wanted to throw that out there. Don’t know the circumstances, though.

There are excellent representatives of every breed and there’s no “magic breed.” Every so often you just stumble upon that special dog who’s just “got it.” That can be every dog you ever have if you take the time with him/her. To go back to RWElder0’s statement: it’s in how you raise 'em.

Sorry to rattle on so long but I’m a bit passionate about this subject. You’re adding a new member to the family. Take your time, give him/her lots of love and attention, and you’ll have fond memories the rest of your family’s lives.

Best of luck!!

My vote goes to the Boxer, who is quickly becoming one of the most popular Breeds in America.

Tremendously loyal, GREAT with kids, and a unique personality. My last dog was a Boxer. He followed my daughter everywhere she went, almost as if he knew he was needed at her side. Awesome pup…

Unfortunately, my work travel increased so much that I was forced to give him to a close friend.

[quote]WxHerk wrote:
A dog doesn’t need to be hit to learn right from wrong. Sure, the occasional spanking is necessary, but if the dog trusts and loves you then a stern scolding will be enough. RWElder0 hit the nail on the head when he said a dog is a reflection of its owner.
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I couldn’t agree with this statement more. All I have to do is change the tone of my voice and both of my dogs know I mean business. However, every once in a while my one mutt will get into a zone and I’ll have to slap him on his rump to get his attention. haha

Don’t get a beagle for your first dog. They’re incredibly hard to train. They’re also escape artists who will run for days if they smell something interesting. Mine’s a monster and yet whenever I meet someone else with a beagle they always comment at how well behaved she is. Very high maintenance dogs.

Of the three, I’d go with a shepherd. Although, I do think labs are the best family dog and they’re very easy to train.

[quote]dre wrote:
However, every once in a while my one mutt will get into a zone and I’ll have to slap him on his rump to get his attention. haha[/quote]

Yeah, and I can see the look on his face: “OW! Yeah, I guess I was screwin’ up!” :wink:

[quote]WxHerk wrote:
dre wrote:
However, every once in a while my one mutt will get into a zone and I’ll have to slap him on his rump to get his attention. haha

Yeah, and I can see the look on his face: “OW! Yeah, I guess I was screwin’ up!” :wink:

[/quote]

haha, yeah.

[quote]VanderLaan wrote:
I would suggest that you examine your lifestyle first and then decide what breed of dog to get. Make sure that you will be able to meet the requirements/needs of the dog - exercise, space, attention, etc. If you get a mismatch, then you are on the express lane to pet owner hell.

That said, of the three breeds that you mention, I would choose the beagle. Primarily because I like to hunt rabbits and I live out in the boonies. However, as noted above, they are about as smart as a sack of hammers and they howl - make that bellow.

I second the comments regarding goldens and labs. Few dogs are better with children than the retrievers. Mutts at the pound are a good option too.

  [/quote]

Great post.

My last 2 dogs have been Golden retriever mixes from the pound, great family dogs. My current dog is a Golden/ Collie mix, neurotic but smart as hell.

[quote]5.0 wrote:
tedro wrote:
While I love German Shepherds (see my profile), it may not be the best choice for you if you have never owned a dog.

They can (and should) be absolutely wonderful dogs, but they do require a firm hand and will very likely challenge you at some point for dominance. It is an absolute must to make sure any GSD is well-trained. Being a very intelligent breed, they also need some sort of mental stimulation. Leaving them alone outside all day will invite them to pick up poor habits. (Chewing, chasing, barking)

Beagles are smarter than they are given credit for, but they are very stubborn and very instinctual hound dogs. They must be fenced or on a lead at all times, or they will find a scent and track it for miles.

I like boxers too. They only thing I will add about them is that they can be very high-strung.

If you have the time and patience to work with a German Shepherd, you will be hard pressed finding a better dog. If you are not willing to work with them, you could be putting yourself in a dangerous position.

As popular as they are, you will also have to exercise more scrutiny when finding a pup. There’s a lot of bad breeders out there looking for a quick buck, and also alot of eliticist breeders out there that may have good lines, but they don’t give their dogs the attention they deserve. I’d stay away from both.

Some food for thought…there’s a good reason why golden retrievers and labs are so popular with families.

Good points. That brought to mind some of the ailments, like cancer and other diseases, that are associated with purebreds. Many mixed breeds are much healthier than purebreeds because the bad genes are not passed to the mixed breed - only the strong healthy genes are passed on.[/quote]

This is true. My chocolate lab had a pretty impressive pedigree (apparently) and he died of cancer last month at seven. Hell, I tossed the papers when I got him because I didn’t give a shit.

Any thoughts on puppy selection? What to look for? I went for the goofy runt that kept walking into things and couldn’t have gotten a better dog.

[quote]FormerlyTexasGuy wrote:
I’ve always liked labs myself. Very friendly, playful, even tempered and loyal. I have two young cousins who yank on my lab’s tail, play with his ears… pretty much everything dogs hate and he just sulks until they leave. Occassionally he will give a quick bark if something hurts but will never bite.

A stranger comes to the door though and his teeth are bared, slobber froths out of his mouth and he’s ready to attack until he sees a family member give a friendly reception. [/quote]

Also like to comment on this. If you want a dog to protect your family, a lab does a pretty good job of scaring the shit out of people that knock on the door. I was often surprised how big and bad mine sounded when someone strange would knock. Remember, he ran from squirrels. Small ones.

I will add my .02 although you have gotten very sage advice so far.
Of the 3 dogs you listed, the Boxer is the best choice. Hopefully you have a large fenced yard. Boxers are very energetic. Adequate exercise will discourage boredom-associated behaviors like chewing and digging, favorite Boxer pastimes. If you do not have the VAST amount of time to invest in training a dog, I would discourage getting a pup.

Kids as young as 5 and 7 are not old enough to abide by the rules of structured puppy-training protocol - you will wind up with a confused “bad” dog. The SPCA (or other local shelter) has wonderful young-adult displaced dogs looking for a forever home. Good luck.

[quote]WxHerk wrote:
There are excellent representatives of every breed and there’s no “magic breed.” Every so often you just stumble upon that special dog who’s just “got it.” That can be every dog you ever have if you take the time with him/her.

You’re adding a new member to the family. Take your time, give him/her lots of love and attention, and you’ll have fond memories the rest of your family’s lives.

Best of luck!![/quote]

Sure enough, great points.

Here’s mine, to compare with NeelyDan’s behemoth. Lab’s from the local pound, Rott from the rescue I mentioned.

[quote]wfifer wrote:
Get a Weimaraner. They’re clean, great with kids and love to run around outside.[/quote]

they are cool looking too.

Since everyone is showing off their pooch, I will too. This is Stella.

Never met a Black lab I didnt like.

Stella doing what she does best…