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Pennwoman  (Level: 161.8 - Posts: 2476)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 2:57 PM


Well President-elect Obama's children and my nephews have something in common -- they are getting a puppy. Any suggestions on what kind is good with kids 9 & 11? I love both our shepard and the wee monster that is a terrier mix. My brother wants a big dog, my s-i-l a little one. They have a small fenced in backyard.

Salzypat  (Level: 161.6 - Posts: 5414)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 3:29 PM

A golden retriever comes in many shades of red to yellow, requires only moderate care, would need some weekly brushing. But for the most part, any golden retriever I've seen is laid-back, calm, tolerant of children and just the most loving and eager to please dog you'll find. Well, except for black Labs - but my experience with them is that they are a lot more physically active.

With a golden retriever, a walk of a mile or so a day or some earnest playing fetch would keep him/her in shape. They love to be in the house and sleep on the bed with the kids, or they'll be OK in the garage on a nice doggie bed. My granddaughter's golden retriever has the cutest smile - honestly, he does smile, and he gets crinkles around the corners of his mouth!

Please, please consider an older dog from an animal shelter, preferably a shelter that tests the dogs for aggression, suitability around children, other dogs and other pets. Just because a dog ends up in a shelter doesn't mean it's undesirable as a pet. It may be the couple is getting a divorce, or they are moving and can't take the dog, or their child tested allergic to dogs, etc.

Whatever you do, please do not purchase a dog from someone selling them on the street or out of the trunk of their car. These are "most likely" puppy mill dogs. Same with buying pets from pet stores. Ask to visit the kennel where the dog was raised (if getting a puppy) and look closely at the kennels, how the other dogs react, etc. I stopped at one kennel out in the country and all the adorable puppies ran to the back of the kennel and tried to hide. What does that tell you?

Good luck and let us know what they ended up getting.

Pennwoman  (Level: 161.8 - Posts: 2476)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 3:37 PM

Oh, great points, I agree! Both our dogs are rescue dogs -- Heidi was abandoned when pregnant-- Benji, the terrier mix was a puppy mill dog --- I am just horrified at the thoughts of puppy mills -- he is the sweetest little thing -- adores me -- but is point blank dead afraid of my 19 yo son -- who has never done anything but scratch his ears and give him treats --- I hate to think of why Benji is so terrified of males. Benji is not house trained -- fortunately I am trained to let him out frequentlly -- he jumps at the sound of our perculator, a hair dryer, however is not afraid at all of the Dodge Caravan.... barks at the shower door banging shut but only barks at females that approach our house -- he doesnt make a sound at males.....

Foofy  (Level: 32.7 - Posts: 4)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 4:50 PM

If money is no object, 2 dogs that are quite large but are EXTREMELY good w/kids are the Great Pyrenese and the Newfoundland. Newfoundland's are used in water rescue, but do drool (although I'm not sure how much), they are compatible w/apartment life. Their excercise needs are quite low. I don't recall if they're good around other pets, but would like to say they are. Both of these breeds do not have short hair. Great Pyrenese are white but there's more of a color choice with Newfoundlands. Great Pyrenese will also be protective of the family & other pets. They were/are used to guard both.
Sometimes you might find a desirable cross of 2 breeds - I noticed on a site that there's a designer breed: Golden Retriever & Great Pyrenese although from what I've read there c/d be a drawback. If you plan to have the dog from a puppy, both breed histories/tendencies need to be researched & if there's even 1 quality that is contrary to your needs that hybrid should not be picked.
The reasoning is that when they are puppies their whole personality/traits/quirks aren't conspicuous. As they mature the undesired trait may still pop up because a lot of designer breeds are kind of a crap shoot. It may go from short to long hair, not barking to never being quiet, looking more like 1 of the parents then in adulthood looking more like the other, ...
I'm a big fan of taking in an unwanted pet, all of my dogs except 1 were throw aways. The Weimaraner is also wonderful with kids and protective of families - good with other pets with structured exposure. (My dog, when I was a child, was so enamoured with the kittens that one day he gently picked one up and went outside with it. My mother almost had a fit when she noticed there was 1 missing, and at 2 weeks old they don't get out of boxes. When she went in the backyard to see where he was, she obviously found the kitten. He was walking slowly around the yard with it carefully cradled in his mouth. She said he looked like a proud parent-his head held high and his tail quickly wagging.) Weimaraners are an all around hunting / family / companion dog. They are very loyal and make very strong life-long attachments to their family. They're large and have short grey hair, floppy ears, light eyes, and a docked tail-no knocking drinks off of the coffee table.
Of course, with taking in an unwanted pet, it's not terribly unusual to also aquire an unwanted behavior(s) because of bad treatment or experiences.

Keep us posted-pictures too.
Good Luck,

Rnmorg  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 689)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 5:24 PM

I'll put a word in for my own breed of choice: Elkhounds. They are VERY loyal and steadfast guardians. No one will ever attempt to get into a house with an elkhound on duty. I won't allow my 17 yr old daughter to walk on the streets at night unless she takes one of the dogs with her and I wouldn't either. On the other hand, they are loving, playful and very funny at home. They range in size from 40 lbs to 70+ lbs, which might cover a good range between medium and large sized dogs. The greatest benefit to me is that their fur does not have the typically "doggy" smell and although they ARE furry, they don't arouse my allergies.

Cons? They have a very DEEP and loud bark. They will usually bark at anything strange or unusual going on in their yards or close by. They are very smart and stubborn and require exercise so that they don't get bored (or fat, because they LOOOVVE them some food!) Younger kids are usually good for keeping an active dog busy. Part of the whole "guard dog" thing with them is that they can become quite agitated if there is any physical contact going on between people...Kids wrestling around or people who talk loudly and move their hands around a lot may get them excited. An elkhound will place themselves between their owner and any visitors or strangers.

Rnmorg  (Level: 128.2 - Posts: 689)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 5:26 PM

Also! There is a Norwegian Elkhound rescue:

I hope they are considering a rescue dog, like Pat said...there are so many dogs looking for homes!

Papermanbill  (Level: 41.3 - Posts: 1312)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 5:29 PM

My wife and I have two of the greatest Labs around, one black, one tan and both are female. Kelly is tan and three years old and Keena is black and is about 20 months. Both these dogs are great with kids but Obama's daughters could not handle either of these two. I would recomend a standard Schnauzer or Cocker spaniel for those kids. Labs or retrievers would be a little too much for those kids. I have a few photos in my profile if you want a look.

Pennwoman  (Level: 161.8 - Posts: 2476)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 5:35 PM

cool! thanks for all the ideas

Smeans  (Level: 109.2 - Posts: 301)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 6:59 PM

I have to second the Elk hound. We had one growing up and he was the sweetest thing. Especially when I was a hormonal teenager. I remember many times sitting on the river bank crying because of whatever teenage tragedy was happening at the time and Kujo, the Elk hound, would sit quietly beside me while I cried and would nudge my face occasionally and lick the tears off my cheeks. He was a sweetheart and gentle as could be, though the grooming can seem daunting especially when they start loosing their winter undercoat. Labradors and Retrievers are also good choices which I have had experience with as well. Australian Shepherds and Border Collies are good as well but need room to run off some energy from my experiences with them.

Smeans  (Level: 109.2 - Posts: 301)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 7:32 PM

Just reread your original post with just a small back yard I wouldn't recommend an Australian Shepherd or Border Collie unless someone is going to be home with it until it is fully trained and someone is willing to go for very very long walks with it to help it burn off the energy because a small fenced backyard won't give it the room to run off the energy and prevent it from getting bored and becoming destructive.

Donden  (Level: 112.5 - Posts: 2127)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 7:51 PM

Labs have always been my favorites and have great personalities but they don't reach maturity until about two days before they die of old age. You might be sitting in your living room entertaining guests when big dog trots through with your dirty underwear. Yes,,they DO know how to open a hamper. Your socks will disappear regularly and you might find spatulas and other tasty utensils anywhere on your property. They will keep you entertained with their antics, they are totally loyal but will gladly show a burglar where all the "stuff"is. They will eat until they drop if you let them and they shed all over the place. Overall, unless you have lots of patience and tolerance, better stick with the Cocker Spaniel. (But I'll keep the Lab)

Oldcougar  (Level: 228.1 - Posts: 1935)
Thu, 6th Nov '08 8:34 PM

Sadly, our Dalmatian (which we got at the SPCA at 8 weeks old) is nearly twelve & is getting quite crippled. We've got rubber matting on all non carpeted floors because his back legs give out & the poor thing can't get up on his own (I can't get him up on my own). He's still managing the back porch stairs but I see a ramp in the near future (some days I could use one too). Anyways, I've got to start thinking about a replacement (can't be dogless) & want some advice. Because we're on a well with lots of minerals our dogs seem to grow nails at a fantastic rate. Due to my own disabilities I'm looking for a breed that usually doesn't need it's nails clipped too often or requires daily grooming. Big breeds are fine as we have 6 acres for them to romp on. I love dogs & don't mind cross breeds but due to my health now need an fairly easy care pup. Once I figure out which breed(s) might be best I can let the SPCA know & they will let me know when an suitable dog comes in. In the past we've adopted both young & older dogs, all of which have turned out well, an excellent place to get your pet

Jeannette  (Level: 114.5 - Posts: 1735)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 1:51 AM

my last dog was a rescue pup a cross between a border collie and a springer spanial .i found her very easy to teach she was very loveing would eat most anything (but she was a lady had to make sure everything was in small chunks lol )she allso was not fond of noisy electrical goods dont know why ,and most good rescue places will let you visit and get to know an animal to see if there suitable for your household and that you yourself will look after them ,and love labs but
they can be hard work but the love and loyalty they give back to you is very rewarding and they do love children .x

Salzypat  (Level: 161.6 - Posts: 5414)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 5:14 AM

Oldcougar, have you considered a greyhound? I'm not sure about their toenails, but I don't think they require much grooming.

I know a lady who has rescued several racing greyhounds. She began back in the days when the owners just shot the dogs that weren't fit for racetracks or became too old for racing. She says they are wonderful dogs. They need to run and exercise some but they are also couch potatoes in the house. I think now there are a number of rescue groups for greyhounds.

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 5:55 AM

They've said they're getting a rescue dog - Craig Ferguson cracked me up last night by saying "The Obamas have announced they will be getting a rescue dog - Barack Obama will rescue one from a flaming, collapsing building with his own hands."

Not an exact quote - but the gist.

Scifidwarf  (Level: 147.5 - Posts: 249)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 7:52 AM

My son had a Blue Healer and she was a great dog. She was very lovable and excitable. She walked to the bus with every morning and greeted him when he got. She got hit by a car this summer though but we have good memories. Blue Healers are very friendly and don't get terribly big.

Suzannec  (Level: 258.9 - Posts: 616)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 8:04 AM

You can't go wrong with a lab. Sadly, there are many beautiful black labs in animal shelters (Why, I don't know!) so that would be a great place to find one. My beautiful dog Boomer sheds quite a bit so I bought a Dyson sweeper and that really helps. Labs are so loyal and lots of fun to play fetch with. Also, a little shitzu is a good little dog but they may become yippy. One of the Obama girls is allergic to dogs so Cesar Milan (dog whisperer) recommended a maltese or a schnauzer. I can't wait to see what they pick out!

Pennwoman  (Level: 161.8 - Posts: 2476)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 8:50 AM

LOL, I presented my brother with all your ideas -- my parents had a lab, so its in the top running.
My nephew, is set on a beagle -- with all the logic of a 9 year old.
"Because Brendan has a beagle"

And last night I rolled over to go to sleep, Benji was stretched out, right beside me -- he wagged his tail and licked my face and then proceeded to snore. I love that wee mutt!

1mks  (Level: 219.5 - Posts: 5925)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 10:17 AM

Hey, why not a kitten? They don't have to be walked. I have a new baby. He is a Manx and absolutely darling. BC for Ben's cat. We finally lost poor Smoky to his cancer battle. He was fabulous and can never be replaced but BC has certainly put a smile back on our glum faces. There is a picture of the darling on my profile.

Pennwoman  (Level: 161.8 - Posts: 2476)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 10:22 AM

Oh I am a cat person too Marsha -- but my brother and his family do have a cat -- a rescue cat, who, and I am quoting the 9 year old "doesnt do anything" She is a bit older. My brother is more of a dog person -- and so the debate rages on....

Salzypat  (Level: 161.6 - Posts: 5414)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 10:44 AM

Suz, you are right that there are a lot of black Labs in shelters.

Someone sent me an article that said it is hard to get any black dogs adopted. There were a number of possible reasons given, from the fact they fade into the shadows of the kennels at the shelter, to the fact that you often can't see the expressions on their faces clearly.

There may also be a lot of black Labs because don't they have good-sized litters?

I had a black Lab, but she was older when I got her. She was a good dog but then started having seizures and I couldn't handle that; I was afraid she'd have seizures while I was at work. Since I inherited her from my sister-in-law, and she had gotten the dog from a rescue, no one had a clue as to the dog's age. She had come to me from a farm home, so I don't think she was ever totally happy with the confining fences of my yard, even though it is a fair-sized yard. Certainly not anything like the 360 acres she had on the farm.

My granddaughter has a black Lab. He's about31/2 I think and he is a big bonehead! He runs everywhere, is big and lanky, clumsy, goofy. The only bad thing about Labs I've been told is that it takes them longer to mature than it does other dogs, maybe until 5 or 6 years. My granddaughter has worked with her dog so he "sits pretty" and will do a few other things she's taught him. He is loyal and watches her every move.

Spay and neuter, please!! It's the only way this problem of too many pets in shelters will be cured.

Bbear  (Level: 167.3 - Posts: 2297)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 11:25 AM

Just remember:

Dogs have masters and cats have staff.

Get a cat!

Oldcougar  (Level: 228.1 - Posts: 1935)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 11:41 AM

I love cats too but I feed the birds & the rabbits, so I may get an inside cat (the neighbours 4 cats are always hunting on our property). Still want a dog to keep me company on my walks. Anybody know of a breed known for short nails?

Pennwoman  (Level: 161.8 - Posts: 2476)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 11:52 AM

I dont know about short nails, but my mother bought the nail trimmer that is advertised and while it is slow work, it works great and Heidi, our shepard, let me do all her nails, which she would just whine and wiggle and move when I tried a regular clipper!

Redwingchick  (Level: 91.1 - Posts: 420)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 12:07 PM

There are so many Black Labs in shelters because of Big Black Dog Syndrome which is the flippin' stupidest thing I have ever heard of. People are more afraid of black dogs. Color has absolutely NOTHING to do with a dog's temperament. Who knew there was racism in the dog world, too.

Oldcougar  (Level: 228.1 - Posts: 1935)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 2:57 PM

Holy cow, prejudice in the dog world too, who'd have thunk it. We've had 2 black dogs, both the friendliest animals.

I guess I should be asking more about slow growing nails. I've just never had dogs that required so much nail care in the past, Running around outside always kept their nails worn down but not here. Since I can't get our dog loaded in the truck I can't even take him to a pro. I'll get 1 of those new trimmers for the next one & hopefully I'll be able to keep up. Thanks Martina/Pennwoman, I was wondering if those things worked

Smoke  (Level: 96.7 - Posts: 12009)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 3:07 PM

I've been wondering if those trimmers were any good. Weimaraners are manic at the best of times, but nailclipping can get scent glands emptied on you. That and my hands aren't strong enough anymore to use the regular kind.

I'm getting some too - thanks for the tip!

Salzypat  (Level: 161.6 - Posts: 5414)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 3:32 PM

I had a black German shepherd (who is now living in the Boston area) and the scary thing about a black dog is you can't see them at night! I finally put a fluorescent orange collar on her, which helped a little. I'd be calling her to come in at night and all of a sudden she'd stick her cold nose on my arm - she had been standing right beside me. Gives you a little startle.

But yes, there does seem to be some prejuidice against black dogs, but I think it maybe goes back to the point that you can't see their features very well. As humans, we like that eye-to-eye contact.

I'm glad to know about those nail trimmers too. My German shepherd's toenails desperately need trimming but she absolutely hates to have her feet touched.

Caramel1  (Level: 135.1 - Posts: 21589)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 7:32 PM

He said today is his first meeting with the press that one of his daughters has algeries so they cannot get a "mutt" like him will have to be a dog that is nonalergenic-paraphrase but the gist of his words. What kind of dog is nonalergenic out of curiosity?? Linda

Papermanbill  (Level: 41.3 - Posts: 1312)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 7:43 PM

Admitting he is a "Mutt", does he have fleas ??

Chyenn  (Level: 209.4 - Posts: 1332)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 7:57 PM

poodles are said to cause the least allergic reaction. allergies are usually worst with shedding, so breeds that shed the least are the best choice.

Caramel1  (Level: 135.1 - Posts: 21589)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 8:29 PM

Yes, Bill that was the word he used. Trust me, I would not have used it if he hadn't-Linda

Lucimoore  (Level: 192.1 - Posts: 1732)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 8:46 PM

Many of the new "designer" breeds are tauted to be hypoallergenic. My brother and sister-in-law have a Yochon (Yorkie and Bichon mix) that I babysat for them a while back. Don't know about being hypoallergenic just know he did not have the least idea of what spending a half-hour outside meant. Came right back in and did his business on the floor or anywhere else he decided to. Worst two weeks I've spent in a long while. Cute as could be but ..........glad he can't talk.

Salzypat  (Level: 161.6 - Posts: 5414)
Fri, 7th Nov '08 8:51 PM

I visited with a lady at our local dog agility center this summer and she had the most adorable little white "dust mop." It was an unusual looking dog and I asked about it. She said it was a soft-coated Wheaten Terrier and she got that kind because they do not cause allergies like most dogs.

This is part of what it says on

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog, which ranges on average anywhere from 17 to 19 inches and weighs about 30 to 45 pounds. The breed has a square structure and is well built. Its hair does not shed like most dogs; like human hair and Poodle hair, it keeps growing, needs regular trimming, and drops just a few hairs daily.

Click on this link and go down to No. 4 to learn more about it and to find another link to see a picture of the dog. They are adorable.

Sherilynn1962  (Level: 116.2 - Posts: 372)
Sun, 9th Nov '08 1:17 AM

Airedale Terriers are pretty good for those with allergies - ours never sheds.

Loyal and loving, playful. Protective - will kill snakes and fight bears to protect you.

Word of caution: They will happily turn your yard into swiss cheese. Train them well........

Nsinuosblufyxn  (Level: 106.3 - Posts: 274)
Sun, 9th Nov '08 1:40 AM

it's not unusual for labs to chew a lot but my mom had adopted a part lab from the shelter & he couldn't stop digging holes & hiding stuff in them. that was the only we ever had that always got car sick.

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