Let‘s talk dogs

Hello folks,

As our daughter is getting older we are now considering getting a dog. The wife and I grew up without one, but we’d love to have one to keep Our daughter company.

We don’t know much about dogs, so I thought I hear it from people with a similar lifestyle what their experience with different races is.

Dog must be family friendly and good with a toddler. Not too big, but not to small either. In terms of activity I’d very much like an active fellow that i can take with me running or MTB. Anyone own a proper trail dog?

3 Likes

Hi TG333. We have got a working Labrador who is amazing. Being a working Lab she is about half the size of a standard lab, everyone thinks she is a puppy. Labs are super friendly, ideal family dogs. I used to take her on runs with me which she was fine with, you just have to be carefully it isnt too hot or them.

Key thing with any dog we believe is to socialise them while young. Expose them to as many other dogs and public spaces as possible.

Didnt think I would be writing about dogs on my first TR forum post! best of luck with it!

14 Likes

Yep, I’ve also got a working lab. Too old to come running now, but she loved it when younger.

Must gun dog breeds are good for a day on the trails are are a lot of terriers

3 Likes

We have a labradoodle and she has improved my life exponentially.

She has a great temperament around kids, good for running with, but is big and a lot of hard work. The time walking, feeding, cleaning her is a big commitment (much like embarking on a TR plan). Also, consider the cost of insurance, vets bills and food as it all adds up.

5 Likes

Gotta admit, I thought this post was going to be along the lines of “there’s no rule that says a dog can’t participate in a grand tour”.

3 Likes

I think a dog always improves its owners life exponentially :smiley::dog:

11 Likes

Something to think about is do you mind cleaning often or not? I say this as an owner of 2 German Shepherds and a boatload of hair to vacuum.

Might be bigger than you want although ours are “only” 70 and 85 lbs, 6 and 2.5 years old respectively.

3 Likes

i’ve got a 2yr old duck toller. 35lbs amazing temperament for around the house but absolutely LOVES mountain biking with me. Great trail dog, super smart and easy to train and follows right behind me. Only caution if you are looking for a trail dog is to watch their paws as you can literally run the pads off if you’re not careful.

6 Likes

We are a Golden Retriever family (currently #4 and #5 with us) but must say Duck Toller’s are freaking awesome.

With admitted severe bias, I think sporting dogs and working dogs make the best family pets. Particularly for active families. They tend to have energy and take to training well. Within those categories you have a spectrum of sizes and energy levels.

If we break the string of Golden’s it will be for a Belgian Malinois.

Make sure when bringing a dog in to your life that you have time for it. It is a big commitment but absolutely worth it IMO.

-Mark

2 Likes

Dogs are the absolute greatest thing on Earth. My first dog who’s six is my hands down favorite thing. I would gladly give up my legs if it meant she would live as long as I will. We got a second one over the summer who I like quite a bit, but it reminds me how much work puppies are.

Make sure you are finding out how active the breed is before purchasing and realize it needs to match your lifestyle. A Weim is a great dog, but needs a lot of exercise, not good for a family who just wants a dog to chill on the couch.

Also really factor in expense. You’d be looking at between vet visits, basic heart worm meds, and shots a year to be $800+, quality training if you want a well behaved dog at over $1000, food/toys/treats is going to be $1,500+ per year, plus all the time and energy it takes to have them in your home.

Make sure this is really something you want. Nothing drives me crazier then people who get a dog and then get rid of it because the dog wants attention, or had a few accidents in the house, or it costs money…realize while its not a kid it has similarities and it is not fair to the dog if you’re going to take it out on them.

6 Likes

“Let’s talk dogs”…

Only if we can also have a cat thread!!

1 Like

If you get a lab, when people say “working” they mean american-style. My english-style lab is the laziest couch weight you’ll find…

8 Likes

We have a 3 year old beagle who is brilliant. They’re smaller than a lot of the breeds that have been mentioned so far but 100% “real” dogs. She’s extremely easy going and is perfectly happy to sleep on the couch all day if you’re busy but also well up for a 5 mile hike if that’s what you want to be doing. She’s also the most placid dog I’ve ever known and is extremely gentle. We don’t have kids yet (first one on the way in December!) but I have no doubt she’ll be great with them.

I’m not sure I’d recommend one if you have your heart set on a trail dog though as recall is extremely hard to train into them, and you’ll be constantly waiting for them to catch up having got distracted by a good smell. I’ve not tried running with ours, but I reckon she’d be good for it if on a lead.

While I 100% agree with the sentiment of what @dennenj is saying the costs there sound a little high (unless things are a whole lot cheaper in the UK!). I’d estimate per year we spend closer to £500 on vet expenses & pet insurance, with training being approx. £200. I’ll not put an estimate on food, treats, toys etc. as that’s so dependent on the size of the dog! (another thing to consider when picking a breed for sure).

5 Likes

Can we talk dogs… how much time you got?!

This is Bailey and she is seven and the most amazing pup in the world. I had an incredible loving lab as a kid, but her breeder wasn’t around anymore so did some hunting on other breeders with similar bloodlines, and it really paid off temperament wise - she is a little ball of love and cuddles. She got bone cancer when she wasn’t yet three (varying reasons - generally more common in giant breeds), and had her leg amputated and went through chemo. She is 4+ years out of diagnosis in which she was given 6mo-a year to live. And if you’re thinking wow, that sounds like a lot of effort and money, well consider that she is happy every day, doesn’t complain and is incredible at bringing people (children and adults) out of their shells to ask about her and love her. As someone mentioned above, I’d give anything for her to live as long as I will. For now, I’ll keep pulling her in her trailer, taking her to races and spoiling her.

Labs are incredibly loving, family friendly loyal pups who will be overwhelmingly excited to see you everyday you come home from work or your ride.

I don’t know if i answered any of the real questions, but I wanted to talk dogs.

10 Likes

We definitely do not have a “proper trail dog.” Our dog, Robbie, is a rescue who was neglected and maybe not physically abused but I’m sure verbally abused based on the fact that the few times I raised my voice with him early on he broke out into uncontrollable shaking. After those first couple of times I stopped raising my voice with him. Like most dogs, he responds much better to positive encouragement and treats, anyway. :slight_smile:

He’s great for walks or hiking but I wouldn’t take him with me on the bike because he’s scared of everything and I have no idea what he might do if another cyclist were to come barreling at him. He’s also kind of a smallish dog, so…

But, he is absolutely the best with kids and other dogs. We’ve never had a friendlier dog and he is awesome at races. He only causes “trouble” when he sees another dog, in which case he wants to run over and start playing. The only downside to traveling with him is that he gets car sick, but it’s something we plan for so it’s not that big of a deal. Still, something to keep in mind. Robbie’s our 3rd dog. Our first absolutely loved car trips. The second, not so much, and he also got car sick. Those two were quite the pair. I used to call them my “circus escapees” cause they were a couple of clowns.

A couple of pics of our “little dude:”

E05EAA21-1F4E-4BF8-9078-41F893CD0FAD

IMG_4647

7 Likes

Had a husky. He was great for hiking. He loved running. But when he would overheat a bit, he would just stop. Which is perfectly fine. But as mentioned, it has to be kept in mind.
Huskies are high maintenance (both cleaning and temperament wise) so might not be best as first dog.

We currently have a poodle. Very smart dogs. Pretty loyal. And they’re great runners (surprisingly to many). She can run 10k no problem. Learns and understands well.

Goldens, Labs, Boxerdors, Shnauzers-mixes, etc…
Lots of great breeds out there. It all comes down to the owner though. You can have the greatest dog in the world but if the owner doesnt train it well…or the other parts of the family don’t follow the same behavioral cues…you’ll have some issues.

My wife boards/walks dogs so i get to see a lot of them go through my house… same breeds can have COMPLETELY different personalities depending on their upbringing and quirks put in by their owners.

In the end, you gotta make sure the breed can take the type of activity you want to put them through, and most importantly, that your family is ready to put in the time and attention for the first few years to "mould’ the dog to your desired behavior.

5 Likes

Things to consider certain breads need more exercise then others. However the more exercise they get the happier they are and more well behaved. Dogs take a lot more effort up front to train them to behave but they will be life long companions once you do. You have to be the alpha dog in the pack even though dog will usually in the end be king of the household… Plenty of information out there on Breads that list their traits and short comings. Try to pick a bread that fits into your life style. In my experience the smaller breads are usually noisier meaning they bark a lot trying to make their presence known. Think small man syndrome. If you want a purebred do your research on breeders. Some over bread their dogs which can cause health issues later in life. Don’t pass up an opportunity to get a shelter dog. Sometimes they can turn out to be better then purebreds. Most of all don’t get one if you are not planing on making it a family member. After all they all have personalities just like us. Treat them well and they will treat you well

2 Likes

Getting old now

4 Likes

Woodson and Bodhi. Woodson is the one of the left who I said earlier on here who’s (in my opinion) the greatest dog of all time. Literally the light of my life (don’t worry the wife feels the same way) and Bodhi is the one on the right who we’ve had a few months. He’s a good boy but is still learning a whole lot.

11 Likes

had never heard of that breed until someone commented that ours looked like one:

Before that we had a Border Collie, great family dog but working dogs require either a ranch job or owners that are invested in keeping them happy and sane.

3 Likes