Please help me choose a dog breed. I’ve looked at breed selection websites with no real luck, so I’m hoping some of you might suggest to me some dog breeds that would fit well with my preferences.
Up to now I’ve been a cat person, so this would be my first dog since childhood, when the prevailing wisdom was that dogs were an ornament that lived alone in the backyard, were fed, and scooped-up after. Thankfully times have changed, but I’m not current with what dog care entails. If you know of a good, recent book for beginners, I’d appreciate your input too.
I’m a stay-at-home mom with an emptying nest, and a difficult adolescent son who I’m raising alone. I think a dog would be great for both of us for the following reasons: it would require us to get outside and exercise, it would be someone new to love and focus on, it could be a “social ambassador” to help us with our shyness and meet new people, it would provide us with steady doses of unconditional love, even when my son is angry and sullen, and it would be a good friend for me when my nest becomes truly empty.
I don’t want a huge dog, nor a tiny dog, probably about the size of a border collie or smaller. I’d like for it to be happy living indoors much of the time, not be yippy, nippy, or a barker, not a nervous dog, not knock things over with its energetic tail-wagging all the time. Low-maintenance grooming would be best, especially for cleanup after beach play. A dog that’s especially high-energy might not be great for us, and I want a dog that will respond to training and have good manners for the most part.
I have two cats, one of which is an ardent fetch-cat, and they are inseparable. I want to be careful not to disturb this relationship too much. I’m guessing a puppy would grow up learning to leave the cats alone, but I’d prefer not to have a breed that would remain puppy-wild for years and terrorize the household.
I’m hoping that the perfect dog for me isn’t a cat! Can you suggest breeds that I should avoid or ones that I should look for? Mutts are fine, but the right temperament is important to us, and I’d still need to pay attention to breed.