Matt and I are ready to expand our family. But not in the way you might think.
We’re expecting a furry, four-legged bundle of joy in the next month or so. Last year we were distracted by our four furry, four-legged feline bundles of joy. This year we’re hoping for something of the canine variety.
We haven’t met our new addition yet. We’re planning to adopt, so we’re keeping watch on the local shelter and foster web sites.
In the meantime, we’ve been readying his or her room. There was already a dog run behind the driveshed, but it was a little run down.
Matt and my Dad spent an afternoon clearing out the barn doors, pallets, rocks and weeds. They patched the siding, built a sun shade/elevated perch and made the gate swing the right way.
My job was the house, which is an insulated box inside the driveshed. (Ignore the clutter around and on the house. Cleaning up the driveshed is on the summer to-do list, right below playing with our new dog.)
I converted the house from a duplex to a one bedroom and blocked off the second entrance. I also had the pleasure of cleaning out the interior. I don’t know who the most recent residents were, but no self-respecting dog would create such a mess in its den. In addition to the… mess, there was a piece of carpet, a few bones, a couple of toys and some hunks of ropes. Cleaning it out was a lovely job.
However, the job is done and now our doggy will have a lovely home.
Doggy won’t be expected to spend all of his or her time outside. We want someone relatively energetic who will go for runs, hikes and long walks with us, but also someone who is relaxed enough to be inside the house when we’re cooking dinner or watching TV.
Anyone have any suggestions on breeds with a good balance of energy and calmness? I’d like a big dog (the bigger the better in my opinion), but Matt’s a fan of the smaller varieties (not tea cup or handbag size, but a funny looking Boston terrier is his ideal).
What about advice on adopting a dog? I like the idea of helping a dog who needs a home, but I’ll admit that I’m concerned that we might end up with a dog that has behavioural issues. I’d appreciate any tips anyone has.
shelters are great. If you are worried about behavioural issues, get a young dog/puppy. Also consider obedience training. McCann’s is great! I like big dogs too – Australian shepherds, and bermese mountain dogs are my favourites (well, I prefer mutts – but with these as base breeds). I also really like border collies, which might be a good compromise (big enough to really be a dog, and small enough maybe for Matt) – and they are very smart, easy to train, lots of energy but also calm.
Thanks for the advice, Meghan. I’ve heard a lot of really good things about McCann’s.
Get a beagle and put it on stilts!
You made me laugh out loud. Can you imagine Vick or Vicky on stilts?
I am borderline obsessed with German Shepherds, but I don’t recommend one in your case because they need to be active all the time! My BF really loves Border Collies and as was said above they are extremely smart and easy to train. We have a Chocolate Lab right now (along with my 10 year old German Shepherd) and Labs are great but they are very very active too! Good luck! It is so exciting getting a new pup!
I read a book a long time ago about search and rescue dogs and have had a special affection for German Shepherds ever since. Border Collies strike me as the most active of all dogs, because I usually see them running around “herding.” I’m actually a bit surprised that people have suggested them twice.
I know a couple people with them and while definitely active and smart, they can also be a bit neurotic and always trying to herd. They definitely have A TON of energy!
We have two yellow labs and I love them. They are the perfect mix of energetic and snuggly while being a great size (not too big, not too small). Besides size, my only advice is to think about your lifestyle, and your climate (esp. if the dog is going to be outside in Canadian winters, etc.).
It looks like you have a lot of fun with your dogs. I love how they like being right in on everything.
They LOVE it. Lab’s are definitely the right choice for our family. There are often some really great lab mixes at shelters (at least in the U.S.) and sometimes purebred. They have so much energy as puppies but they are so so smart and easily trainable. They just want to love and please you.
I would agree with you that Borders (and also Aussies) might have too much energy for what you want. We have a dog that would be good, he’s a very giant dog, half golden retriever and half Great Pyrenees. He’s lovely – very calm, mellow and friendly, but loves to be out in nature, the wilder the better. He runs and bounds and tears up mountainsides. I hope you find a wonderful dog!
We did! Your fellow sounds great too.