Top 20 Dogs For First Time Owners

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If you’re thinking of getting a dog for the first time, there are a number of things you need to look into.

One of the key considerations will be what type of dog to choose. As a novice, when it comes to canine ownership, it’s well worth looking at breeds that are most ideally suited for first timer owners. This can help to make your life easier, as you’ll have a pet that’s easier to manage and is perfect for those who have never owned a dog before.

There are certain factors you’ll need to take into account before you decide upon the breed you want. This includes looking at why you want a dog – for instance, is it for companionship, protection or as a playmate for the kids?

You also need to look at your household and the ages of your kids. Another thing to consider is where you live, as some dogs aren’t suited to apartment living whereas others are fine in any environment.

1. Golden Retriever

The fact that this breed tends to be so docile and gentle makes it ideal for first timers. This is a very people-oriented dog and is both affectionate and loyal. It’s also a great choice for families.

The golden retriever is a medium-large sized dog. They are very lovable, well-mannered and intelligent dogs. They have a great charm about them and are adored by many. Also, for first time dog owners, they are easily trained and very patient with children and toddlers. They are devoted to their owners and that makes them one of the most popular family dogs. They are energetic and happy.

This dog enjoys being obedient. If you adopt one, you’ll have a friendly pet who has very little, if any, guarding instincts. It’s all about fun and love with retrievers.

Goldens are very good watchdogs and they are known for signaling a stranger’s approach, but they certainly won’t frighten away intruders most of the time. They also need to be around people who are leaders. That makes them happy. They need to feel as if the belong to a family that appreciates them.

If they don’t get enough daily mental and physical exercise, they can become destructive, so you have to be very aware of the time that this type of dog requires. They need you to be a firm, but calm, confident leader and to be interactive. There are talented when it comes to hunting, tracking, retrieving, and the detection of narcotics. They also have great agility and performing tricks very well. The love swimming too.

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  • Kory Sampson

    Don’t listen to this. You’re going to dedicate 10-20 years of your life to this dog, first or not. Don’t pick one simply because it’s well-suited to “new owners.” Be smart, do your research, and pick the dog that you want, that is well suited to YOU and your lifestyle. You’ll get the hang of the rest, and if you love your dog, he’ll forgive you for fumbling a little the first few months.

  • Mingo

    After looking through the article, I think what bothers me about this is the promotion of a breed when there are so many dogs and cats in shelters across this country. Sure there are characteristics to each breed of dog, but dogs within the breed are unique. It is best to take into consideration temperament, energy levels, training, etc. when choosing a dog for your family. A shelter will often have some knowledge of those considerations if you visit one and find an animal to adopt.

  • BRIAN LAMBERTS

    Almost every shelter dog (small sample of course) I’ve had has been damaged–won’t bond, runs away when you call them, terrified most of the time.

    I gave up. I bought a Standard Poodle from a reputable breeder (health, temperment, more than looks.) And she’s one of those great, once or twice in a lifetime dogs.

    Great to go to the shelter to look, but newbies don’t know what to look for and the dogs are so upset by the surroundings.

  • Zetal

    Mingo, thank you. I fully expected #15 to be “mutt” on the grounds of shelter dogs tend to be needed. I’ve had three dogs, one from a breeder whose birth was a great embarrassment (who knew that a Pekingese could climb a fence to reach a Beagle in heat?) and two from shelters. Three mutts, three very good wonderful dogs who first-time owners would have been lucky to have. While it’s true that with mixes you get less insight into their personality from breed, you also get less of the bad stuff that goes with them. (At least theoretically. My German shepherd mix has an eye condition that is congenital and known to be common to German shepherds.)

  • cleos_mom

    But it’s worth remembering that a LOT of purebred dogs end up in shelters. “Dogs and cats in shelters” includes purebreds.

  • Carlos Danger

    All dogs love attention, make sure you can give it to them. I regret not doing so for our first couple dogs. Spoil the current ones rotten.

  • Kit Kitt

    After reading below comments and agreeing with them, I would also like to point out my disappointment in the lack of information per breed, the how and why it is ideal, the cons as well as the pros. One thing that bugged me the most was that most of the breeds listed for first time owners take a while to groom or brush out, as they have much coat and undercoat on them. People need to know that if they are a first time owner. Growing up, I used to bathe dogs and cats for a few years. So many of these breeds mentioned in this article came in terribly matted and ratty furred to us because their human mommies and daddies where too busy with life to regularly groom them their-selves. If you get hairy dogs, expect regular brushing out and grooming sessions about every other day for the well being of your dog, other than that, get a short haired breed. Pit bulls make wonderful first time dogs as well.

    I recommend adopting a shelter dog instead of going for a papered pure breed, as when you get a shelter dog, you are saving that dog’s life.

  • kristen

    Agreed. And if the shelter is no-kill, you’re saving two lives. One for your new friend, which opens up a spot for another rescue for the shelter to take in!

  • Jemima Strutt

    The only thing that bothers me is that they’re all little, yappy dogs I prefer bigger quieter dogs and there are quite a few that would be excellent for families with children or just as a companion for a single person.

  • Kim Miller

    A year ago I bought a Bichon Frise puppy. This is the second one I have owned. They are by far the best dogs ever! Very smart, affectionate and adorable looking. They are very easy to be housebroken with little accidents. Both of mine were totally trained in days. They love everybody and are great with children.

  • Mingo

    I couldn’t do anything but “like” your post 9 days ago because it was hitting too close to home. I adopted a male shihtzu mix from a no kill shelter near me approx. 14 mos ago. He was damaged as you point out with bonding issues, etc. He was “numb”. When I first met him, I knew these things but I saw the bounce in his step and he was mine. He had been terribly abused by life and probably on his own for quite some time. I think the bounce I had seen may have been from a broken bone that didn’t get treated or heal right.

    He was ill when I made the earlier post and today, my little guy died. I am heart broken as you can imagine but I remembered your comments and I can tell you without a doubt he is one of the greatest loves of my life. We found a way to bond on his terms. He found a way to communicate with the other two dogs I have. I watched him try his little heart out to overcome what life had dealt him. I would have done anything to save his life, again.

  • derk

    I cannot stand it when a little dog yips and yaps all day. makes me want to rip out my ears. big dogs are great :)

  • Brian Richards

    Greyhound? They love to run away, require a lot of space and very tall fences.

  • Melony Cleveland

    Where did you hear this? They are very lazy. Require only one good daily walk/ play time in a fenced area in addition to regular potty outings. As for fence jumping, for most a standard four foot fence is all that is necessary. Of course, there are those individuals that will jump fences but those are the exception. I have spent the past 20 years working with this amazing breed, the most recent five years as the director of a Greyhound Adoption program. For the record, the dog in the picture is NOT a Greyhound, it is an Italian Greyhound.

  • Julie Marie Totsch

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve rescued two dogs and there is nothing that compares to the love of a rescue dog.

  • gabriela58blue

    All my dogs were/are either shelter or rescue dogs. My first shelter dog was about 1 1/2 years old, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix, he was found on the street, skin and bones, scars, they even found some buckshot in his neck. His history was not known, but he sure had a tough life before he became my dog. He was a soul of a dog, I still miss him after more than a decade has gone by. Like most shelter dogs, he had to overcome the shelter trauma first, being in a shelter for a while screws them up badly, but most of them bounce back, they just need love and patience.
    He not only was a shelter dog, he was my first dog ever, a large dog too, but he was so laid back, affectionate and non aggressive, I never had a problem. My kids were 3 and 5 years old when I adopted him, he loved those kids and they loved him back! They took naps together all the time.
    I’ve had good dogs since, but I always say, there’s never gonna be another one like him.

  • Mendenhall-Poole Carol

    I adopted a rescue puppy from Joplin Missouri. It was a 4-month-old German Shepherd. I was a bit worried that it might be too much to handle. I started puppy kindergarten right away so that I could get a start on socializing him. I followed that up with obedience training and also spent a lot of time socializing him with other people and dogs because I did not want to have an aggressive dog. I have to say it worked out perfectly. He is the best dog I have ever had! He is now 2 years old and is the opposite of an aggressive dog. He loves people, children, and other dogs. And yes, I spoil him rotten! When I am doing yard work, he is always by my side. If people are walking their dogs along the street, he just stays contently by my side and watches them go by. If the people ask if our dogs can meet, I give him permission to go say hello, and he always approaches happily wagging his tail. Best dog ever!

  • Lauriesheri

    Pit Bulls – What ???? I would feed rat poison to any pit bull who lived near me.

  • rmurray

    Agreed! After owning several breeds, we chose to adopt a greyhound. He’s now a wonderful family member – bright, calm, humorous, a tad aloof and very low maintenance. GHs are sight hounds so they require a fenced enclosure and can never be off leash in an open area. And other than a brisk walk, and perhaps a quick run at a local off-leash dog park, they truly are couch potatoes. All breeds require different needs but if a GH fits your lifestyle, of all the dogs that we’ve owned, our greyhound rates probably #1.

  • nicole

    I would recommend you feed yourself rat poison for having such an ugly heart. Its not the breed, its the owners fault if the dog is raised aggressive… which BTW any dog can be neglected and become aggressive regardless of breed. … Just as guns dont kill people…people do. same concept

  • http://www.urbancowgrrl.blogspot.com/ Julia M

    Hmmm … they just had a similar photo article about the 10 most difficult dogs to own and some of these breeds were on that, too. Seriously? First time dog owners need to find a gentle, submissive temperament dog no matter what the breed and it’s best they have help choosing a dog from someone who is knowledgeable about them – not going off of vapid, misinformed articles like this one.

  • http://www.urbancowgrrl.blogspot.com/ Julia M

    All but one of my dogs (purebred from my cousin who is a reputable breeder) have been shelter dogs. All of them took a little training and work at first but have been the most wonderful companions I could ask for. If someone wants a dog but knows nothing about them and doesn’t want to educate themselves and take the dog to obedience classes then I don’t think they should get *any* dog. There are plenty of purebreds from breeders who will have issues too if owned by someone who doesn’t know dogs and isn’t willing to learn.

  • http://www.urbancowgrrl.blogspot.com/ Julia M

    Wow. I hope I never live near you. One of our family dogs is a pitbull and we got her specifically because she was so good with our toddler. Your comment is about as educated as someone saying that about another person because of the color of their skin. Get some education.

  • http://www.urbancowgrrl.blogspot.com/ Julia M

    I do have to agree with you about them not being good first dogs. The terrier in them does make many of them stubborn and because of their history of breeding for dog aggression for fighting they have the potential to be dog-aggressive. And they’re really strong. But they are rarely ever people aggressive (unlike other breeds which have a higher tendency toward people aggression) which makes them very safe if a novice is never going to have them around other animals.

  • http://www.urbancowgrrl.blogspot.com/ Julia M

    Much as I love Bichons, we had one when my daughter was born and no matter how hard we tried to socialize him to her he was far too aggressive and dangerous with infants and toddlers and we had to re-home him. So, not every Bichon is safe with children. Like all breeds it’s an individual dog thing :( (the irony is we got a pitbull and he is great with toddlers – our Bichon’s new owner who was quite elderly used to joke about how if he was bad she’d replace him with a pitbull)

  • http://www.urbancowgrrl.blogspot.com/ Julia M

    Really? I have a few friends with Greyhounds and they sleep on the couch all day.

  • JR

    I’ve always had mutts and had great success with them. One of my favorites is the pit bull/pointer that I got from the humane society as a large puppy. She cowered in corners for a couple years and always seemed fearful but in latter years has undergone a complete transformation and become a social butterfly. Despite a ferocious bark and appearance, she is gentle and loving, and really wants to talk – so much so that we’ve renamed her R’Astro (after the Jetsons dog Astro). She wanders the house and property with ease and peace, snuffling and making friendly doggy sounds, and rushes to greet visitors – by dashing up to them and flopping down upside down on their feet. She won’t be ignored – “Pet me or else!” I know the pit bull’s reputation but I have seen no signs of aggression whatsoever. Although, I do think R’Astro would defend me with her life. I have no fear of having her around children, other animals, etc. She’s won over many a heart, including mine.

  • Felicia Faulkner

    My husband and I have been saving up for a down deposit on our first home, and once we get there it’s a given that a dog will probably be packed in the Uhaul on the same day (we’ve been without a dog for way to stinkin long bc of being in apartments). Anyways after going over many different breeds for many years, we are without a doubt getting a Pit Bull. We both had many different breeds of dogs between us growing up, but we think a Pit Bull will be a perfect fit. We love being outside, being semi-active, exploring new things, meeting new people. It has “we must own a Pit Bull” all over it. My husbands cousin just rescue a Pit Bull puppy a couple months ago and its hard not to want to steal her, lol.

  • Felicia Faulkner

    I read an article just the other month stating that dogs bought from breeders instead of from shelters are 50% less likely to bite someone.

  • Felicia Faulkner

    Very true. I’ve always loved bigger breeds that are protective to an extent (my childhood Boxer passed away at 11 years old last June from MRSA). I couldn’t imagine having really any of the dogs listed above. Def not my cup of tea.

  • Felicia Faulkner

    Attention whore much?

  • BC

    I have a purebred Shih Tzu and he was a puppy mill dog set to be euthanized. In fact, MOST rescues are purebreds from puppy mills that have been bred to death and are “useless.”

  • http://batman-news.com terrysmith

    Please dont recommend the King Charles Spaniel in the UK. The British Kennel Club has destroyed this dog by advocating a flat and receded face as the BREED TYPE. The result of this is a lethal condition where the brains of these dogs , on reaching maturity, have not enough room in the skull to expand. The adult becomes agonised with this condition and has to be put down. Breeders are known that still breed from dogs known to have this condition. ( I do not know if the USA King Charles Spaniels have also been affected by this selective breeding process. ) There are many other pedigree dogs that have lists of genetic defects caused by the Kennel Club and Crufts. This show dog phenomena causes the owners of winning dogs to proceed to inbreed the winners with their nearest relatives, mothers , siblings and fathers. By doing this the winner hopes to maintain the facors that caused the dog to win. Get a mongrel unless you can afford constant vet bills.

  • Sarah

    Yappy dogs? Cavaliers definitely aren’t yappy. Our Cavvie is very relaxed and docile and doesn’t bark much at all.

  • beagal

    So, were the puppies “Pekgles”? : )
    (Oh–Peagles.)

  • Richard_Pietrasz

    The only dog I’ve known that I knew was abandoned & in the shelter works out fine. Not perfect, of course, no dog or owner is, but even my wife is better behaved with him around.

    He was poorly trained, 2 years old, and the wrong dog for the next 2 owners (2 in 4+ months), but now he has been with my family for 3.5 years and it works out fine. He is a sure-bred Shih-Tzu and needs someone home much of the time.

  • Richard_Pietrasz

    Or Beaglingese. Peagle sounds better.

  • Tori

    I’m beginning to think that showing of animals (dog, horse etc) is just one more arena of abuse. People’s egos keep them from seeing the inherent cruelty in these activities.

  • Ben

    We adopted a lab (well, mostly lab) from a local shelter, about 3 years old. She has been the best dog! I had raised a golden retriever from a puppy (breeder), and when we lost her, I never thought I wanted to have a dog again, because it hurt so much! A few months later though, I realized that taking a dog in, and giving it a loving home was a gift was so totally worth it. I found this lab at a shelter, and she is the best!!

  • Joslynn Pelletier

    I disagree with several on this list, but none more then the Pomeranian. They are notoriously hard to train due to their napoleon complex and their high intelligence. I would never recommend a pom to anyone looking to get a dog for the first time. Ever.

  • artie help

    What are you talking about?…

  • dodosareextinct

    I suggest talking with the local animal shelters and adopting mixed breed shelter dogs. I have had pedigreed dogs and the shelter dogs with the easiest to live with being the shelter dogs. Plus, the shelters will tell you how the temperament of the dog will fit in with you. It may be impressive to own a high-dollar pedigree dog, but shelter rescues are the best.

  • Jason

    I’m surprised at the lack of affection for the Collie. My family has had several, as have many of my friends, many who have been first-time dog owners. With the exception, perhaps, of the Golden Retriever, they are more intelligent and learn naturally. There’s a reason Lassie is a Collie and the breed is a top choice for frisbee competitions, etc. They behave very well. They are gentle and lovable–infant-safe. They fare well home alone during the workday. Extremely loyal. They are protective but not aggressive–you never hear of collies attacking people. Excellent temperament. Only two considerations are that they need plenty of exercise and regular grooming.

  • altheajj

    I am sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is absolutely heart breaking.

  • Tommygun

    I’ve found that Poms are literally 50/50. By that I mean every Pomeranian I’ve dealt with is either a total joy, or a total terror. I agree that they are not a good dog for first time owners.

  • Jacqui Kent

    This just boke mt heart…

  • James

    English Springer Spaniel…..best dog ever!!

  • Waiting to be approved

    I have a Maltese-Pomeranian mix. Its a great dog that’s very attractive and friendly. It’s also the last dog in the world that would bite you, but it sure does bark a lot when someone rings the bell.

  • Waiting to be approved

    Yeah, nice because he’s waiting for the toddler to fatten up for the feast.

  • Jeanne Smth

    Sadly, hydrocephalus is definitely present in US Cavalier lines as well.

  • Bonegirl06

    I detest the term designer mixes…

  • Elyse

    I’d just like to add though, it might be better to get a young adult dog instead of a puppy for your first time. Puppies are still developing, and mistakes in socializing them right during these first few months could create lasting behavioral problems.

    I’ve owned mature dogs before getting a puppy, but I’m afraid I made a mistake in socializing my first puppy. She was one of the most adventurous and outgoing of her litter mates and I watched her from the day she was born. But I think I pushed her into situations where she was overwhelmed by too many large dogs at once (dog park) and children (softball game) before she was ready and I probably didn’t handle it right. She’s four years old now and passive-aggressive and overly timid. A year ago I got her a laid-back buddy, which has helped her to become more calm and confident, but I still wonder on how much of an effect training has on a dog’s personality.

  • Elyse

    I agree that shelter dogs take more patience and often have some behavioral quirks that may never be completely resolved, but I wouldn’t put it out of reach for a first time owner. My first dog was a shelter “German Shepherd/ Husky” mix. She was abused by a male owner and it took her whole life to not be afraid around strange men, but she absolutely loved my dad after she warmed up to him. And other than that, she was a GREAT dog. My purebred dachshund that I watched since the day she was born is more difficult in many ways. But yes, people should do their research. I know if the dog is a mix, especially a mix with an unpopular breed, they will call it by the breed that is more desirable and not necessarily by what it is most like.

  • Elyse

    It becomes cruel when the focus goes from admiring animals’ beauty and skill, to seeing animals as only a medium for humans to show-off their skill.

  • Aj Tyne

    This sounds so great at first thought but it is simply untrue. I worked for about 30 years as a behavioral trainer — I worked almost exclusively with problem behavior, not obedience training. I also worked over 20 years with rescue. I know people who were dedicated beyond the average pet owner and had financial resources beyond average, but they still could not manage or overcome the fact that they bought their dream dog and it was so incompatible with the reality of the person’s life. One example was a rambunctious, gorgeous Setter in a high-rise in the heart of downtown, owned by the most dedicated but disabled woman. She fought a valiant fight to make the dog happy, spent money on training and dog walkers, etc. She would not give him up. He was well-loved, but it was always a strained life because of his high energy needs and her inability to meet those needs. The really sad part is that she really did research before getting a dog. But she loved the look of the breed and read and her from breeders that the breed would be fine with a 20 minute walk twice a day. She was given the worst advice! I’ve seen many older people get a tiny dog but then couldn’t control it and it couldn’t handle the doting of the older people, so became very aggressive. I’ve seen people buy or adopt tiny, fragile dogs for a household with small kids, then want to give the dog up when it growls or bites the kids, border collies in apartments, rottweilers with a timid, first-time owner, and the list could go on. Sometimes an odd match works out well, but you shouldn’t count on it — the shelters are full of poorly matched dogs. The best thing a new owner could do is to hire someone, like a dog trainer or behaviorist to help them choose their dog, whether from shelter or breeder. That would be money well-spent, as long as the one hired actually knows how to judge a shelter dog or dog breeds (not everyone does, even if they are trainers), The next best thing would be to talk to a groomer or veterinarian. Some shelters have someone on staff who can help, but most shelters cannot afford someone like that, so it’s hit or miss whether you will talk to a knowledgeable dog person or a person who loves dogs but cannot offer guidance. At least read and research, but as happened to the lady with the setter, you can’t always trust what you read.

  • princessofpriobiotics

    My dog is perfect and she’s not a “breed”. What is she? A mix of adorable, cute, sweet, and love.

  • cozyinnewengland

    Most breeds have a corresponding rescue group.
    My ‘perfect poodle’ is from the New England rescue group.
    He is cheerful, fun, loving and great with kids. Also super
    intelligent! And beautiful. Poodles don’t shed, another plus!

  • labs rock

    Attention whore much?

  • socalgal

    My kids fell in love with a 4 month old rescue pitt basset hound mix. He was an absolute love, easily trained, well behaved, not aggressive at all. Friendly to a fault to people and other dogs alike. But around 2 years old he got more aggressive. Trainers had warned me that personality could change as he matured. He wasn’t one to start a fight, but he wouldn’t back down once another dog started in. Sadly, we learned that letting him off leash at the beach, hiking or in the neighborhood park wasn’t a good idea any more. And my kids had to stop walking him, there were issues when he was tired. He became aggressive with larger dogs he had happily played with an hour before. He wouldn’t hurt a hair on our heads, and still has all those great qualities with our family. But he will never be a great social dog, which was one of the things I was really looking for.

  • Robert

    There all great dogs but you can’t beat a shelter / rescue dog they will give you so much love and never ask for much unless its a Chihuahua, my first rescue was a Chihuahua who I had for 10 years and passed away from cancer, The one I have now was badly abused but still loves people but most of all she is great with little kids, so please don’t forget about these loving Chihuahua.

  • http://freyjaw.dreamwidth.org/ FreyjaW

    We had a family dog from the local pound that was a purebred black Labrador Retriever. She was voice trained and everything. She even taught me not to be afraid of dogs. Pax was the best dog. Any dog who thinks indoor cats are family and tries to make friends with them is pretty special.

  • http://freyjaw.dreamwidth.org/ FreyjaW

    Our family dog had a bit of separation anxiety, but we got her through that quickly. She was afraid of brushes and shook in fear at first when we brushed her. That’s when we figured out our purebred black Lab was in the pound as a cruelty seizure. (She ended up liking the sensation of being brushed so much, it became one of the words we had to spell, like out, walk, car, cookie…)

  • http://freyjaw.dreamwidth.org/ FreyjaW

    My sincerest condolences. I know the pain of losing a beloved pet all too often. It tears your heart up.

  • blackchow

    I think it depends on how well they re socialized from a very young age. I doubt most puppy mill dogs are judging from my own experience. Of the best behaived dogs I’ve had three were from ‘backyard breeders’ and one was a retired AKC champion. The dogs I had that I suspect were from puppy mills were basically good dogs but could be a bit snarky at times. Abused and/or feral dogs can be a challenge but I’ve known trainers that could fix them. There’s good expert advise on the Net on this if you look hard enough. I’ve known a few experts that have done an unbelievable job with feral rescues.

  • dingy

    Others have hinted at this, but I have had 7 shelter dogs, including a puitbull and a coydog (coyote/dog mix). EVERY ONE of them was the most friendly, most easygoing dog any of my guests had ever seen. Each had it’s own personality and you could guess how each had been mistreated. BUT give them 2 years and this past is erased from their memory and personality. The “secret”? Two things.
    ONE they are at the level of a two/three year old child. Therefore treat them. that way. Don’t chain them up; don’t leave them home alone; don’t feed them only once a day; don’t put them down in the basement or any place where they’re isolated. Keep them with you they way you would your three year old child.
    TWO. Give them a regular schedule (children like routine) lots of attention (Don’t ever pass them without giving them a pet or a hug) and lots of exercise (run, don’t walk, them every day). If there is a dog park nearby, take them there and play with them every day.
    If you do these things they will be calm; they won’t yap no matter how little they are, they will not be nervous, anxious, fearful or aggressive.

    If you can’t do the above…DON’T GET A DOG! Dog abuse is rampant, even among those who think they treat their dog well.
    P.S. PLEASE don’t take your dog to obedience school! They don’t need it and it is cruel.

  • dingy

    NO DOG WILL BITE. I repeat NO DOG WILL BITE…if they are raised right. Do you have a dog that bites, is aggressive, snarles? It is your fault! Treat him better. You made him aggressive, you must undo the damage you caused.

  • dingy

    You don’t know pitbulls! ANY dog, raised right is a loving, non-aggressive, friendly, playful dog. The only way I know mine is a pitbull is that he is a policeman: whenever my other dog starts sneaking food from the bag, Tyke barks until one of us comes to investigates. He knows right from wrong!

  • dingy

    You are ABSOLUTELY right! Any dog aggression is caused by the owner. PERIOD! Owners don’t like to believe they’re guilty of dog abuse, but they ARE.

  • dingy

    You could have saved a lot of money by going straight to “spoil him rotten”. Aside from being too exuberant, you would have gotten the same kind of dog: loving, happy, wanting to be near you, friendly to others.

  • dingy

    I love shelter dogs. When I first get them, and have any kind of stick (rake, hoe, etc) in my hand they see it and slink quickly away or cringe. Fast forward two years. Now I have a stick in my hand and they look at me excitedly because I am either going to throw it so they can run after it, or I’m going to play tug or war with them! The bad memories have been totally erased!

  • westomoon

    Cruel? Some dogs love it. I don’t, so have avoided classic obedience training.

    But I did once end up with a young pit bull rescued from a basement pit bull farm — completely unsocialized, but so sweet. She and I had to go to obedience school, just to teach her some basic concepts, like how to behave on a leash. She enjoyed the process much more than I did — being a working dog, she loved to know what the task was, and to get an “A” for doing it well.

    The trainer had some personal dominance issues with her breed, which did tend things a bit toward bullying on his part. *grinning* I was kind but firm with him, and eventually trained him to behave better.

  • westomoon

    What a gratuitously mean comment.

  • westomoon

    Gratuitously mean.

  • westomoon

    If you adopt a young adult rescue, you have the advantage that the dog is grateful for what you’ve done. I’ve had some rescues who’ve come to me from nightmare lives, and they’ve never taken more than a year to become wonderful, well-adjusted dogs.

    On the other hand, one of the worst dog pairings I’ve ever seen was a friend of mine who purchased a very expensive German Shepherd dog — a sweetheart of a girl, bred for temperament — and then did everything by the book. They just never clicked, and as time went on, the friend became afraid of the dog and the dog contemptuous of the friend. It was one of the most horrible messes I’ve ever witnessed.

  • Blondy Van Weirden

    What a sorry sick asswipe of a woman you are, stupid.

  • cheri

    thank you for being a wonderful human, opening your heart and your home to an almost lost cause; i am touched, when you said, how he tried to overcome what life had dealt him, and you responded on his terms; if only he had lived longer
    you would have been richly rewarded by his unending gratitude and love. (*sniff*)

  • cheri

    making me teary-eyed.

  • cheri

    you can tell their ignorance by their quick retort; no education, no hands-on experience, comments made most likely heard thru gossips shared by non-owners as well.

  • cheri

    best reply ever; this breed, that breed, short-haired, wiry-haired, low maintenance, high maintenance; they’re all just human companions needing affection, patience, and most of all – commitment; we are the humans, we are the brains, let’s all look beyond the physical and start taking ownership and be the leaders these creatures need us to be.

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