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Q: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   9 Comments )
Subject: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed
Category: Family and Home > Pets
Asked by: withers-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 07 May 2004 11:10 PDT
Expires: 06 Jun 2004 11:10 PDT
Question ID: 342821
I'm thinking about buying a puppy and need help selecting a breed that
typically fits certain characteristics.  I live in an apartment
complex and spend the usual 8 hours per day at the office.  I can
afford a dog walker a couple days per week, but it's important that
the dog be able to cope with his/her alone time while I'm at work. 
I'm not a big fan of toy dogs, but don't have room for a beast,
either.  Outside of housing/space requirements, I guess the most
important personality characteristic of my new dog would be laziness. 
I don't care for high energy dogs and would get along famously with
one who sleeps all day.  I've heard bulldogs possess this quality, but
typically have terrible health problems.  So, when doing your seacrh,
think 1)home alone in an apartment while I'm at work, 2)lazy, and 3)
friendly, generally healthy, and very cute.  Thanks for your help.
Subject: Re: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed
Answered By: tlspiegel-ga on 07 May 2004 13:20 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi withers,

The first thing we need to establish from the get-go... puppies have
energy.  Lots of energy!  That's a given within all breeds during
puppyhood.  :)

But, the good thing is they also sleep a very lot.  They need a lot of
human interaction and things to keep them busy like chew toys so they
can work off doggy tensions.  Most all breeds will exhibit a lot of
'puppy attitude' for about 1.5 - 2.5 years.  After that, they seem to
slow down a bit, and every year thereafter they get lazier and more
accustomed to routine and aren't on high alert status as much.

The only person who can 'pick' THE puppy for you is going to be
between you and the dog.  You'll know!

I've provided several links where you can get a good idea on what
breed of dog is going to provide you with the qualities and
temperament you're interested in finding, but no one can guarantee the
end result. Please keep in mind, these guidelines are very basic
and only guides. Dogs within any breed have individual personalities
and temperaments.  A good breeder will help you match an individual
puppy to your tastes in temperament.

So much depends on the history of the breeding of that dog - it's
parents, grandparents, cousins, etc.

The temperament of a dog is also dependent on it's environment after
you get it home.  How you interact with the dog, stimulation,
exercise, etc.

After you've taken the quizzes and narrowed the possibilities, please
go to The American Kennel Club - Alphabetical List of Breeds and learn
more about the 150 different breeds recognized by the AKC.

Choosing a dog - Tips for choosing a dog that will be a good fit with
your family or lifestyle.

"There are many breeds that are known to have calm dispositions once
they mature past the puppy stage."


"If you are just looking for a pet puppy, remember to get it spayed or
neutered as soon as possible. Spaying before the first heat cycle
reduces the chances of breast cancer later on. Spaying and neutering
both reduce the chances of runaways, hit by cars and other roaming

Once you have weighed the pros and cons of various breeds and have an
idea of your possible choices, find pet owners of the same breed. Ask
them questions and then start your actual hunting. If acquiring a
puppy from a breeder or pet store, require a health guarantee of over
seventy-eight hours. Parvo and distemper each have an incubation
period of about ten days.

Avoid owners that want to meet you in a parking lot or who sell on the
side of the road. You have a greater chance of healthy puppies if you
can see both parents and the conditions in which the puppy was raised.
Get the registration papers when you pick up the puppy. All too often
promised papers will never be received. Make sure you are getting what
you pay for. A Peek-a-Poo may be an adorable animal but the seller is
lying to you if he or she promises you will get registration papers of
any sort. Only purebred dogs can be registered with the American
Kennel Club or United Kennel Club.

By researching the various breeds, their temperaments, traits, and
possible care needs, you can often avoid many of the possible problems
that will interfere with you and your new puppy living a long,
harmonious life together."


Animal Planet: Dog Breed Selector


Dog Infomat - Before You Get A Dog



"Selecting the right breed of dog for you is important for both your
happiness and that of the dog's. Several aspects of your lifestyle and
personality need to be weighed and compared to the dog's breeding and
needs to make the proper selection. Many dogs are abandoned or found
in the shelters because the wrong dog has been selected.
To help you choose the right dog for you and your family, we have
implemented a dog selection program. This program is based off of the
method described in the book "Your Purebred Puppy, A Buyer's Guide"
written by Michelle Lowell. (ISBN 0-8050-1892-1). The questionnaire is
of moderate length and should only require about 5 minutes to



Glowdog: Best Dog

Welcome to BestDOG!
The program that lets you find the dog breeds that are best for you. It's fun!


Dog Breed Info Center

What breed is right for your family? 
Take the quiz and find out! 


Puppy Finder


The Pawfect Match The Petcare Information Center


About Dogs: Dog Quiz

Take our ?Choosing Dog Breed Quiz? to Help You decide on the Right Dog for You.


"Considering getting a dog, but just can't decide which one best suits
you? Get some help making this important decision with's personalized guide. It's simple: You provide us with
some answers about your preferences, and in return we'll give you a
list of dog breeds that are right for you."


PetNet: Selectapet

Helping You Choose Your Best Friend


Canadian Kennel Club

"CKC Customer Service Representatives are constantly asked the
question "What breed of dog should I get?" It's a good question
because there are almost as many choices as there are factors you must
consider during the decision process. This portion of the CKC Web site
will help you choose and ultimately decide which of the many
recognized breeds are suited to your lifestyle. Keep in mind there is
no definitive right or wrong answer, but there are some responses that
are definitely more practical for you than for others. The objective
is for you to select a good match that pleases esthetically and
More important can a particular breed blend comfortably into your
lifestyle and environment.

This survey will help you match compatibility based on physical
characteristics of the breed's instinctive traits relative to original
purpose, general temperament and practicality of the breeds to your
specific lifestyle, living conditions and personal likes and


The following two sites have excellent information on puppies and
choosing the right dog.


So You


Keyword search:

choosing a puppy
best dog breed for me
dog breeds
dog breed characteristics
picking a puppy for me
quiet dogs
lazy dogs
space requirements for dog breeds
what breed dog is best for me

Best regards,
withers-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed
From: pinkfreud-ga on 07 May 2004 13:28 PDT
Have you considered a Basset hound? Some of the most laid-back, lazy
(and most lovable) dogs I've ever met have been Bassets. Sometimes you
have to hold a mirror under their nostrils to make sure they're still
alive. ;-)
Subject: Re: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed
From: tlspiegel-ga on 07 May 2004 13:51 PDT
Hi withers,

In reference to Basset Hounds, my neighbor had one and was greatly
disappointed with the temperament, and spent thousands of dollars on
health care.

They also do not like to be alone for long periods of time and can set
up quite a racket of howling.

Might I draw your attention to a previous question on dog breeds and
the comment provided by researcher byrd-ga:
Subject: Re: Dog Breed 

From: byrd-ga on 04 Dec 2003 18:35 PST 
"Please don't get a Bassett Hound.  My son, now age 23, had wanted one
of those lovable-looking little critters all his life.  I wouldn't let
him have one, so as soon as he got out of the Army last year, one of
the first things he did was get one.  Her name is Lucy, she's adorable
and cute, and he loves her to death.  He also swears he will never
ever EVER get another one, and if he had only known ...

Well, to make a long story short, it turns out that not only is dear
sweet Lucy a bit short in the legs, that extends to her dear little
brain as well, which has caused no end of grief in getting her
housetrained, not to mention obedience trained, which she likely will
never entirely be.  Her short legs, long body and large head also
create a spectre of future (read: expensive) hip problems, and my son,
who lives in a two-story condo, has been advised by the vet not to let
her negotiate stairs on her own as that would accelerate said future
hip problems.  She has also had several mysterious digestive
complaints costing quite a bundle at the vet, who shrugs and says
those aren't uncommon with this breed either.  And she sheds and chews
(pillows and shoes) and throws up in the car.

If you'd like, I can get more details from my son, but I'm sure you
get the idea.  I'm no expert on dog breeds, but this one I'd suggest
you steer clear of.  Good luck!


Health considerations

In general, the Basset's build predisposes him to structural problems
(neck, back, hips, legs, ankles and shoulders), ear infections, eye
and skin problems, and snoring. The Basset is one of the breeds
predisposed to glaucoma and bloat. Paneosteitis (also known as
wandering lameness or growing pains) is occasionally seen in young
Bassets. Attacks can be brought on by stress and aggravated by
activity. Grass allergies are not uncommon. The long, drooping ear
predisposes the Basset to ear problems. The ears must be kept clean
and dry. The Basset's large paws are prone to interdigital cysts,
abscesses and fungus infections between the toes.

Breed characteristics and personality
The Basset has a tendency to howl when left alone for long periods of
time. He requires a fenced yard. Although not an energetic dog, he
will readily follow an interesting scent to wherever it will take him.
He has a tendency to continue wandering instead of coming home. He
also drools a lot and makes a mess when drinking. One of the most
common reasons Bassets are given up for adoption is that they drool
too much. This is not the breed for an immaculate housekeeper. He
should never be allowed to jump off furniture, grooming tables or the
back of a van or truck as back injuries are common because of the long
back and heavy bones. Care must also be taken to not over-exercise
when pups are young because of their heavy bones. The male Basset does
not mark territory as much as the males of many other breeds. Some can
be difficult to house train. This is not a watchdog, but will bark at
the approach of strangers if taught to do so. Overfeeding is to be
avoided as excess weight can cause most of the Basset's health

The Basset is sweet loyal and affectionate. The personality is mild,
never timid or aggressive, a gentle disposition. He has great
endurance in the field and is very devoted to his loved ones. He is
affectionate and gentle with children and has the reputation of never
biting. The male is not male aggressive in this breed. He was bred as
a pack dog and it is inherent in his makeup to get along with other
dogs, male and female. He can be stubborn.

The Basset is a great family dog. He is gentle with children and very
tolerant of their activities. They love everybody equally and get
along with most other pets. His biggest drawback is his drooling.


Basset Hounds - What's good about 'em, What's bad about 'em

If you don't want to deal with... 

Slowness to learn and an independent "what's in it for me?" attitude
toward training -- can be very stubborn
Running away, oblivious to your calls, when an interesting scent
catches his attention
Slowness to housebreak 
Baying and howling 
Slobbering and drooling 
Heavy shedding 
A distinctive houndy odor 
Gassiness (flatulence) 
Chronic health problems 
A Basset Hound may not be right for you.

If I were considering a Basset Hound... 

My major concerns would be:

Stubbornness. Basset Hounds are not Golden Retrievers. They are
independent thinkers who don't particularly care about pleasing you.
Most Basset Hounds are very stubborn and can be manipulative. You must
show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.

To teach your Basset Hound to listen to you, "Respect Training" is
mandatory. My Basset Hound Training Page discusses the program you

Providing enough exercise. Basset Hounds don't need to run for miles,
but they do need more exercise than the typical slow walk around the
block that many owners give them. Basset Hounds who don't get enough
exercise become obese, which puts stress on their bones and joints and
causes more health problems. Basset Hounds MUST have regular
opportunities to stretch their legs and vent their energy, if you want
them to remain healthy and fit.

Basset Hounds cannot be trusted off-leash. They will take off --
oblivious to your frantic shouts -- after anything that emits an odor
or runs.

Housebreaking. Basset Hounds tend to resist being told what to do, and
housebreaking is no exception. Expect four to six months of consistent
crate training.

Noise. Basset Hounds should never be left outside in your yard,
unsupervised. Their deep voice carries a LONG way. The mournful baying
and howling will have your neighbors calling the cops to report the
nuisance -- or quietly letting your Basset Hound out of his yard so
he'll wander away.

Slobbering. Many Basset Hounds, especially those with massive jowls,
slobber and drool, especially after eating and drinking.

Shedding and houndy odor. For such a shorthaired dog, Basset Hounds
shed much more than you might think. Their short coarse hairs come off
on your hands when you pet them, and stick tenaciously to your
clothing, upholstery, and carpeting. Also note that Basset Hounds have
a distinctive "doggy" odor to their skin and coat that some people
find offensive.

Gassiness (flatulence) that can send you running for cover.
Fortunately, Basset Hounds who are fed a natural diet of real meat and
other fresh foods have much less trouble with gassiness. See my Basset
Hound Health Page for more information.

Chronic health problems. Because of overbreeding, poor breeding
practices, and an unnaturally long heavy body, long ears, and loose
skin, Basset Hounds suffer more than their share of bone and joint
problems, ear infections, and skin disorders.

Best regards,
Subject: Re: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed
From: voila-ga on 07 May 2004 15:41 PDT
Hello Withers,

I looked around for you as well and the characteristic combination you
require is fairly difficult 'get.'  The best I could find might be a
Sealyham Terrier.  They're known to be the couch potato of the terrier
set, although they enjoy several brisks walks a day.  They're calm,
intelligent, and stable.  They also have very few health problems that
I've seen (glaucoma/deafness).  Some of their celebrity owners have
been Humphrey Bogart, Alfred Hitchcock, Gary Cooper, and Cary Grant. 
Finding one with careful breeding might be a bit difficult and they
tend to be quite expensive.  They're powerful diggers so shouldn't be
left alone in a yard.   Indoors, I think they'd be fine as long as
you're on a top floor.  See what you think:

Good luck finding your canine companion,
Subject: Re: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed
From: pinkfreud-ga on 07 May 2004 16:15 PDT
Whatever breed you choose, I can't overemphasize how useful it is to
meet the pup's parents. The disposition of the parents has a great
deal to do with your puppy's behavior. Even purebred dogs can come
from defective stock; some breeders breed for looks, not for

Several years ago, my husband and I bought a beautiful, purebred black
Lab. We named her Lwaxana (a name from Star Trek). Her nickname was
Loxie. We were not able to meet Loxie's parents, so she was
essentially a pup in a poke as far as her ancestry was concerned.
Seeing names on the AKC papers doesn't tell you much about what the
genetic baggage of your puppy might be.

Although she was the paragon of health physically, Loxie grew up to be
a very disturbed dog mentally and emotionally; a vet said she seemed
schizophrenic, and said that her condition was probably hereditary. We
had poor Loxie put down after she attacked me viciously in bed one
night while I was sleeping. I still have scars from that encounter. If
only we'd met Loxie's parents, we might have suspected that this was a
very troubled dog, and we could have saved ourselves a lot of trauma.
Subject: Re: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed
From: tlspiegel-ga on 28 May 2004 13:40 PDT
Hi withers,

Thank you for the 5 star rating.  :)

Best regards,
Subject: Re: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed
From: puppie_biscuit-ga on 03 Jun 2004 11:19 PDT
instead of a puppy, adopt an adult dog from a shelter. This will save
the dog's life. shelter staff can give you an accurate of the
individual animal's habits, and find the prefect match. Older dogs are
sleepier and mellower than puppies, and less likley to unpredictably
change their behavior. Senior dogs especially sleep a lot.
Subject: Re: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed--to tlspiegel-ga
From: lyssasue-ga on 14 Jun 2004 08:38 PDT
I was reading these commments, and althought i am not posting in
regards to helping anyone pick a puppy, i am here to clarify something
that has been said on these message boards. "A Peek-a-Poo may be an
adorable animal but the seller is lying to you if he or she promises
you will get registration papers of
any sort. Only purebred dogs can be registered with the American
Kennel Club or United Kennel Club." [tlspeigel-ga] i disagree.
Although i am not completely sure if they[peek-a-poos] can get
registered with that AKC or UKC i do know however that the breeder is
not "lying to you" when they tell you that you CAN get registration
papers on this breed. I have a peek-poo and i recieved him from a very
respected breeder in our town, she gave me my darling puppies
papers(yes..registration papers) and i sent away for him to get
registered. I registered him with the CKC. i am not sure if you knew
that this kennel club existed but it does. So yes you can get a mixed
breed such as a peek-a-poo, shih-poo, cock-a-poo, and many others
registered.  These breeds are just as well respected as any other and
i do not appreciate you saying that the breeders are lying to you.
they are not. before you go around answering questions with false info
you should get all the facts
Subject: Re: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed
From: jacquiw-ga on 01 Aug 2004 19:57 PDT
To the person asking a question, my best advice for you would be to
get an adult dog.  With the qualities that you want/need, a puppy is
DEFINATELY not the answer.  Puppies require almost constant care and
if left alone for the long will become bored and destructive. Please
consider adopting an older dog. There are literally thousands dying by
the minute, just think, you could be saving someone's life. If a puppy
is still what you want, then get a stuffed animal. They are lazy and
require no care.  You don't even have to clean up after them!!!

And to lyssasue-ga-- Peke-a-poo's are mutts. I'm not sure what your
breeder fed you, but they are mutts.  Also, just an FYI- any reliable,
knowledgeable breeder knows that CKC papers mean nothing.  It's just
another way for backyard breeders to entice people to purchase their
"designer" dogs. Look it up and research it, you'll find out it means
nothing in the dog world.
Subject: Re: Dogs -- Choosing a Breed
From: terabytesmom-ga on 13 Nov 2004 01:40 PST
I would hate to see that you would make such a judgement of a basset
hound over all the negative people. I have had two bassets, one now 7
years old, and a 6 month old puppy. I too live in an apartment, yet
they are perfectly fine. If you care for your puppy properly ( no
stairs, right food) and they come from healthy parents then you should
have no problem. My male (the 7 year old) named General Patton is just
now getting the starting of arthritis, but loves  his life. yes they
are hard to train, but are very sweet. My female ( 6 month old) tera
byte, took only 2 weeks to potty train. but it does take a lot of
treats since this breed does love them. they love everyone, and get
along with children, and other pets ( have two cats as well) they are
very loveable, and lazy. they have a calm temperment ( unless you take
away food) but alot of the negativity on here come from those that
obiously didnt care for thier basset well. My two do not howl ( even
when left alone) unless they have to potty and are locked up in
kennels. Patton had a shock collar ( idea for loving pet but dont want
noise) and my female is fine aslong as given a ton of treats before
you leave ( like a child, can not watch parents leave. ) . i cant
stand that people are so judgemental over a breed they really dont
know. and to who ever said they are short on the brain, they are not a
dumb breed, just very stubborn. maybe they feel like they dont have to
waste their time with you. this is a breed that has an attitude as i
will do it when i please. and also they have the second strongest nose
in dogs. only that to a blood hound.
 if you so worried about this. why not get a cat. once litter trained,
they could care less about anything, less maintance, and all you would
have to make sure there was clean litter and food. and maybe a window
sill or two. if thats two much work, try some fish.

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