Johathan Chance: I looked through a bunch of the linked sites from the one you mentioned, and while Greyhounds seem great, I’m still hesitant about getting a dog that big. I’m slightly intimidated by big dogs and that wouldn’t be the best situation for a first-time dog owner. (I know, rationally, that a big mellow greyhound would be easier to train/control than, say a medium aggressive breed, but on a gut level, I’m still slightly uncomfortable.) I haven’t ruled them out completely, and there’s a Greyhound “Meet-n-Greet” at a neigborhood PetsMart next(?) week and I intend to go and check 'em out.
jadailey Thanks for the crating info. I was at the Dumb Friends League yesterday and they said a number of their dogs were crate trained.
Venkman and DDG The research on Beagles I did before you posted agrees with what you said. When I was a kid, we had a beagle, but my mom was home most of the day, and our beagle (per the vet) was a weird beagle tempermentally…utterly a couch potato, wouldn’t chase or fetch, very “cat-like” in personality.
Crunch Frog, et al A breeder is my last choice, and if I go, I’d only be interested in a “non-show” quality dog (they make you neuter the dog and then they destroy the papers).
porcupine I love the way Norwegian Elkhounds look and their temperment sounds wonderful. Any websites in particular you’d recommend?
oldscratch I’m definitly going for an older dog. The dog must be able to get along with cats. As for Ridgebacks, I’ve never met one personally, but my best friend had one, and apparently (this wasn’t a problem when they lived in a rural area) their Ridgeback looked at small furry creatures as appitizers. They had to find a new home for it when they moved to the city, but my friend said it was the best dog he’s ever owned.
Necros I just went to the Quebec shelter yesterday! The people their are great and, you’re right, they do have a lot of information on their animals. There were a ton of Rottweiler mixes (too big), an absolutely gorgeous Akita-Rottweiler-Husky (?) mix (huge and didn’t play well with others), and a Lab-Chiuahaha(sp!)(doesn’t like being at home alone) mix. There was also a Basset-hound/Rottweiler mix that was just…odd looking. We didn’t hit it off. I’m going back in a week or so and try again. I know I’m being extremely picky, but…I’d rather be picky than have a failed adoption. I actually had a friend with me who kept me to my list of qualities I wanted(there was an Old English Sheepdog that I fell in love with, but rationally, I know it’s bigger than I wanted and there was no info on how it did with cats). Happy ending though, as I was leaving, a couple was adopting the Sheepdog.)
Thanks for all the advice (and keep it coming). I got a few books on breed behavior expectations, and found a few web-sites that have forms that match you to specific breeds.
Per all sites, the best dog for me would be a Golden Retriever, and Labrador Retriever, followed by Newfoundlands (!!), Bernese Mountain Dogs(?), Greyhounds consistantly came in about #6 on the list, so I’m definitly going to look at them.
I’ve also been checking out breed-specific faqs and info pages from rescue societies on-line sites (the Newfoundland page is great. It’s got a document titled something like “Why you DON’T want to get a Newfoundland” that was funny and informative.)
Also, per one of the books I’ve read (Selecting the Perfect Puppy) Golden Retrievers and Labs rank way up there for me.
I’ve been doing a ton of breed research too. Anyway, I’m going to a few more shelters over the next day or so, and I’m going to be contacting a few of the rescue organizations in the Denver area.
Thanks again, and I’ll keep everyone informed,