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  1. #1
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    Default Choosing a dog

    How did you choose your dog? Or did the dog choose you? Was the first "pull" from visually liking the looks of the dog or was it their personality that stole your heart?
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*



  2. #2
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    My first dog choose me.

    I had gone to the pound about 5 times and came home empty handed. By then BF and I used to go every so often as something to do.

    We were walking down the aisle with all the dogs and I was walking past him and my then bf said, "that one looks cute." He (the dog) had pushed himself into the back of the kennel and would not look at you. I walked past him. .....Then a young family opened up the kennel behind me and started to try to grab him. He was avoiding their advances I walked back past his kennel. He looked up, made eye contact and wagged the tip of his tail.

    I ran grabbed his kennel papers, ran, literally ran into the office dropped money on the counter and told them that was the dog I wanted. We had 10 great years.

    Second dog, (current dog), it was a bit of both. But the weirdest thing, this current dog, after I looked at a calender was born the same day that first dog was PTS. Has the same white markings and even recognized his (first dog's) favorite toys. This dog also knows words and hand gestures that I did not teach him, as he was only 6 weeks old when I got him.



  3. #3
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    LOL.......i have gotten one dog, sight unseen,flown here from another state (courtesy paws n pilots), strictly on the recommendation of another forum member that she needed to be in a new home, and was a breed i favored............she is not very photogenic, so i suppose it was a good thing i didn't base my decision on her looks..............but,she is a real delight.......

    another dog was shipped up from a georgia rescue along with another bunch of yuonger dogs......i saw her pic, spoke to the rescue "owner', and because the dog was older , she was afraid of her never being adopted......so sent her along with the bunch coming north.............she is a mix of my favored breed, and i love her........

    another dog was spotted cowering,trying to become invisable in the back of a local shelter pen..........he broke my heart....he was the first of my now favored breed.........he is gorgeous to look at, he stole my heart the first time i looked into his eyes........not sure how that would have played out going by just a photo..........i had to sit with him for a couple hours at a time over the course of a few days before the shelter was sure i could have him...........he was so shy and broken that he just slumped against the wall for a while, then he would army creep across the floor to me.......................now, his highness is king of the farm here, all 12lbs of him, even over the much larger dogs..he is my heart dog in my current pack of 5 dogs......

    my other 2 large dogs first got my attention by photos on a website for a high-kill shelter......i window shop there frequently..........the anatolian shepherd was strikingly gorgeous, so i researched the breed, talked to the foster family a LOT.....it's been a learning experience, but he is doll.....

    my second one from the same shelter is a smooth coat blue merle collie.........again, the pic caught my eye, i researched the breed and again, emailed and chatted with the foster , who was also a collie breeder many years ago..........i am also thrilled with my little scottish beauty............

    so, looks caught my eye initially with some, but the personality had to go along with the looks.......2 others, looks were not the motivating factor, personality was more of the key..........

    LOL...and my little heart dog?.....i was looking for a small dog, so he caught my eye, but i HAD to hold, have , and protect this poor,wee pooch that was so terrified.........



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MunchingonHay View Post
    My first dog choose me.

    I had gone to the pound about 5 times and came home empty handed. By then BF and I used to go every so often as something to do.

    We were walking down the aisle with all the dogs and I was walking past him and my then bf said, "that one looks cute." He (the dog) had pushed himself into the back of the kennel and would not look at you. I walked past him. .....Then a young family opened up the kennel behind me and started to try to grab him. He was avoiding their advances I walked back past his kennel. He looked up, made eye contact and wagged the tip of his tail.

    I ran grabbed his kennel papers, ran, literally ran into the office dropped money on the counter and told them that was the dog I wanted. We had 10 great years.

    Second dog, (current dog), it was a bit of both. But the weirdest thing, this current dog, after I looked at a calender was born the same day that first dog was PTS. Has the same white markings and even recognized his (first dog's) favorite toys. This dog also knows words and hand gestures that I did not teach him, as he was only 6 weeks old when I got him.
    Omg. You may (or may not) want to read "a dog's purpose" and "a dog's journey". Super good books, but very emotional as well.
    Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
    friendship without envy or beauty without vanity?
    Ode to the Horse. ~ Ronald Duncan


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Tallyho, what is your now favored breed?
    Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
    friendship without envy or beauty without vanity?
    Ode to the Horse. ~ Ronald Duncan



  6. #6
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    lol...i guess i did leave that part out,eh?......

    for 25+ years i never had less than 3 labs and a JRT at any given time........i found myself dogless at one point, and went to the shelter for a "small " dog, came home with a 70 lb lab/pit mix that was my all time love of my life, heart/soulmate dog..i still have trouble talking about her....she died waaaaaay to early, and i was crushed, but needed a dog, and one that was as far away in appearance from her as possible..........i cruised sheltres for many months until seeing the small cowering terrier at the shelter.......

    the size of a jrt, not quite the right look, not quite a rat terrier...he really needed me as much as i needed him....
    after getting him home, the vet informed me she thought he was a toy fox terrier.........later, i was astonished to see his clone on tv at westminster dog show!
    i researched the breed, sure enough, that's what he is.......

    now, they are my favored breed.....lol...not quite as INTENSE as jrts and just as cute,sturdy and game.........small enough to pop into the kitchen sink for a bath...........and the feature that gets me every time are those stick up ears..they remind me of corgi ears, and are soooo cute



  7. #7
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    I was in the process of looking for a dog last July/August. I know the founder of a large rescue that I've volunteered for and put the word out to them. I also kept an eye on their website and met several dogs but none really seemed to click.

    After a little while of looking, someone contacted me saying they had found a senior dog on the street in Maryland. I asked for pictures and this dog looked OLD and in not great shape... and he looked huge. They were 2.5 hours away and I debated whether or not to go look at him but something about his face told me to. (I'm a sucker for a grey face ). The dog was a nervous wreck but a sweetheart. So I brought him home.

    I guess he kind of found me. This has been the best dog I've ever had. He's absolutely perfect for my situation. He was 100% house trained, never does anything wrong, and is awesome. He's had more than his share of health issues (which my pocketbook does not appreciate!) but he's worth every penny.
    "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"



  8. #8
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    Two chose me, literally. They were dumped at my house or wandered by. My collie was chosen for me by collie rescue. My cocker was a senior adoption. I chose her.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  9. #9
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    I've been looking at dogs for awhile now. Have fostered several, but none have grabbed at my heart. The one dog I fell immediately in love with, and still love because of her beautiful personality, I had found wandering on a busy highway. Her owners answered the found dog ad otherwise I would have kept her. I guess I need to be patient and the "one" will find me. Thanks for sharing your stories.
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*



  10. #10
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    MrB sought out his aussie as a puppy after researching the breed and deciding that's what he wanted. I sought out my first one- he fit the bill for size (studio apartment limit) and didn't shed which was great (had owned full standard poodles before as a kid so that's what I was used to). The next four kinda... found us. All 'failed fosters', though the first of those we did let go to be adopted, only to have her returned months later.
    I guess we did seek out the foster failures, too, but not with the intention of KEEPING them... sigh.
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  11. #11
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    I chose my dog based on her looks (shaggy mix, obviously mostly collie type), her gender (I prefer females), and her zest. I like a bouncy dog. Also, she could walk on her hind legs like a person for a distractingly long time without falling back to all fours, and I have a weakness for a dog with a schtick.


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
    How did you choose your dog? Or did the dog choose you? Was the first "pull" from visually liking the looks of the dog or was it their personality that stole your heart?
    How about you think about what you would like to live with in a dog, and then narrow it down to breeds that might fit that bill, and do some research on them?

    It is all very well to pick a random dog based upon its looks or what you think, (usually based on little or flawed information) that you think its personality is, but how about you think about your life, facilities, preferences, expectations, and do your homework on what breeds might suit you? Of course you can adopt a dog because you feel sorry for it or it pulls at your heart strings, but you can stack the odds in your favor by thinking about the behavioral and physical characteristics of various breeds and how well they suit what you want. If you still feel compelled to "save a life" rather than buy a nice puppy from a reputable breeder, every breed has a rescue effort, sometimes multiple organizations, so you can go that route if you feel
    the need to.
    Last edited by Houndhill; Nov. 10, 2012 at 05:27 PM. Reason: Typos


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houndhill View Post
    How about you think about what you would like to live with in a dog, and then narrow it down to breeds that might fit that bill, and do some research on them? . . .
    If you still feel compelled to "save a life" rather than buy a nice puppy from a reputable breeder, every breed has a rescue effort, sometimes multiple organizations, so you can go that route if you feel
    the need to.
    I see nothing wrong with people who choose to purchase puppies from responsible breeders, and have done so myself. At the same time, I also think that it is possible to look for a mixed breed dog in rescue that fits the basic criteria you are looking for - especially at a rescue that fosters the dogs so that they know a little bit more about their personalities and training.
    In answer to the original question, I love all dogs but I do have a favorite breed. As a result, now I tend to find my dogs by choosing a breeder first, and then often the breeder has significantly lowered the selection for me based on the criteria that I am looking for. I like to have one male and one female, so usually gender is important.
    I always recommend that people consider questions like:
    * How much can you exercise a dog?
    * How much time can you spend on grooming, and how much money can you spend on professional grooming?
    * How will you do with shedding, slobber, stuff drug in by the dog's coat?
    * How much time can you spend with a dog?
    * How friendly do you want your dog to be with strange dogs? Strange people?
    If you know the answers to those questions, then I think that you can successfully find a dog, be it purebred or mixed breed. If you are looking at a mixed breed, though, it might be somewhat more difficult to answer some of these questions for puppies, so if you are not very flexible on some of this, then I think it is better to get an adult (and I think that to a lesser extent, the same is probably true for purebreds as well).


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=Casey09;6662139]

    I always recommend that people consider questions like:
    * How much can you exercise a dog?
    * How much time can you spend on grooming, and how much money can you spend on professional grooming?
    * How will you do with shedding, slobber, stuff drug in by the dog's coat?
    * How much time can you spend with a dog?
    * How friendly do you want your dog to be with strange dogs? Strange people?
    [f/QUOTE]

    That's a great set of questions. It goes beyond "looks vs personality"!

    Other questions: Do you enjoy a dog who is very focused on you at all times?
    Do you like a dog who is independent andd makes its own decisions?

    Can you handle a dog with an intense prey drive, or would you prefer one who did not have that?
    Do you enjoy a dog who loves to play retrieving games?

    How do you feel about barking, do you prefer a dog who tends to bark a little, or lots?

    I'm sure others have other things they think a potential owner should consider.

    In terms of appearance or physical characteristics , additionally....

    Do you like a dog who is long legged, or shorter legged, long backed or tailed vs tailless? Do dilutes bother you? (brown nose, lighter eyes?)

    Do you prefer the feel of a smooth coat, long soft coat, wirey coat, etc?

    I do think behavioral characteristics are just as important as physical ones, and it kind of goes beyond "personality".

    Different breeds have different behavioral as well as physical characteristics.

    I think some people just do not put the thought into what they are getting.



  15. #15
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    I will check them out. I have christmas break coming and I like to dive into a good book, even if it makes me cry.


    Quote Originally Posted by kelliope View Post
    Omg. You may (or may not) want to read "a dog's purpose" and "a dog's journey". Super good books, but very emotional as well.



  16. #16
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    Perhaps it would not make you cry, but I wonder if you might find it useful to do some research into the breeds that interest you, based upon your expectations of a dog?



  17. #17
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    Though I do want a Great Dane one day, I wanted a dog sooner than I could have a Dane in my life so we went to the local humane society. We'd actually gone with my SIL to help her look for a dog (she was looking at a "purebred" dog on craigslist... 2 hours away... that wasn't fixed... wasn't trained... was an older puppy/young adult... had never been to the vet.... etc... for twice the price of a humane society dog of the same age). Wanted to open her eyes a little (it didn't work).

    Anyway, boyfriend and I had a good time walking around but weren't considering a dog at that time. And then I was trolling the adoption website about a week later as I am wont to do from time to time and saw this mop-like little dog that I fell in love with. Boyfriend agreed to go with me "just to look at it" (YEAH right). We got there and he had just been placed on hold by a family to adopt the next day, but we didn't want to waste the entire drive out there so we toured the grounds, visited the petting zoo, and looked at all the indoor adoptables. I saw a few dogs I wanted to meet, but none really grabbed my heart that fit in the weight limit of our apartment.

    Then my boyfriend got stuck in front of this one yellow dog's kennel because she looked like a dog he grew up with. What sold me on meeting her was the part where she wagged her tail a little bit but didn't get up off her hammock bed. We liked that she didn't default to a neurotic little barking thing (which is an understandable behavior in a kennel, but it's hard to know if they will settle out of that once they get home). We are also a fairly lazy family and knew a fairly lazy dog would fit in best at home.

    We met with the adoption counselor, talked about the dogs on our list, eliminated 1 of them because of a medical thing, bumped Yellow Dog to #1 and the dog that was our first choice down to #2 (the order we would meet them in). Fell in love with Yellow Dog in that little room, and took her home the next day (after MUCH drama where they humane society did the right thing to call the apartment for approval but described her as a German Shepard cross, which is a banned breed in this complex and they denied the adoption, back and forth for HOURS. Happily, the manager finally saw her picture and agreed that it was HIGHLY unlikely the 50lb yellow dog with white feet, white tail tip, and white stripe was a GS cross and approved her).

    Turns out she is just perfect for us.

    And lazy as the day is long.


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  18. #18
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    I've owned dogs before, but hubby hasn't, so I needed to make sure the dog we got was user friendly. I took a look at what was available in my local shelters. Most of the dogs available were either pit bull crosses or chihuahua crosses. Many of the remaining dogs had some kind of issue I didn't think would work in our household. Remember, I've had dogs before, but hubby hasn't, so the dog needed to be able to deal with a lot of human error. A dog which might work for a lot of people wasn't going to work for us.

    Since the shelter dog option wasn't going to work for us, I started looking into getting a dog from a breeder.
    I came up with some criteria for what I wanted in a dog and what I thought would work in our household. Then I started crossing dog breeds off the list.
    -Neither huge (Newfie) nor tiny (Chihuahua)
    -Not a high energy working breed (Border collie, Weimeraner, Jack Russell)
    -Not yappy (Miniature Schnauzers)
    -Not on my insurance company's breed restriction list (Pit bull, German Shepherd)
    -Not too attention challenged for an inexperienced dog owner (Chow, a lot of the hound breeds)
    -No breeds where I've encountered lot of badly bred specimens in my area (Labs, Golden Retriever, Irish Setter, Bernese Mountain dog.)

    Having ruled out all the breeds I didn't want, I then started looking for breeders. Availability became my next reason for winnowing out a breed. However lovely a Flat Coated Retriever or a Spinone Italiano might be, I'm not gonna get one if I have to have it shipped from some place three time zones away.

    Finally, to DH's horror and mortification, I announced we were going to get a standard poodle. They're trainable, they're athletic without being insane, they're big enough to be real dogs without being huge, and I had a number of breeders to choose from. Once hubby met a real poodle, he realized they are actually pretty cool dogs when you give them a normal haircut.

    My next preference was for a breeder who does not dock her dogs' tails. My first choice breeder didn't have enough pups, so had to go with my second choice breeder. I was last on her waiting list, so I was offered the leftover pup. He had a funny looking asymmetrical white splash on his face, and the other buyers wanted prettier pups. Fortunately, despite being the leftover, he had what I felt was a good personality. He was neither the boldest nor the shyest of the litter. He's been easy to train, and he has somehow resisted learning to counter surf despite my husband repeatedly leaving food on unattended plates.



  19. #19
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    Houndhill wrote
    That's a great set of questions. It goes beyond "looks vs personality"!
    Personality is so important in dogs and I truly believe that some peope just don't click with certain types of dogs or select a type of dog that they can't meet the needs of. We can all be swayed by a dog that we love the look of, but it's always a good idea to investigate beyond that. It doesn't hurt to like the way your dog looks, but you have to find a dog that works for you on both counts.



  20. #20
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    We love Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. We have a good, long time in business, breeder. When we want a dog, I contact her. When a suitable dog comes along, she sends it to us. She takes back any of her puppies who don't work out, so occasionally she has a dog who was returned by people who can't deal with a Chessies, or a show dog does not do as well as expected. Our 9 year old and 3 year old Chessies were show dogs who didn't place well and became available to us as 1 year olds. My 89 year old father's 7 year old Chessies was returned to the breeder because of divorce when he was a year old.



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