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Medium sized dog for working people

(47 Posts)
Sleepinginthebathroom Fri 10-May-19 14:41:12

Right, i know I'm going to get absolutely flamed for suggesting I may leave my dog alone for more than 30 seconds, but here goes ..

We plan to get a puppy. I'm looking for some breed suggestions, We would like a breed that is medium sized (or the larger side of small/smaller side of large) and fairly athletic. Doesn't need to be a working dog or anything, but we will be taking it out jogging with us regularly and for example, a little sausage dog probably isn't going to appreciate that/will be bad on its back etc. Additionally, realistically if I'm going to be walking it as much as it needs, id prefer if the dog is a breed that I'm going to feel a bit more secure running with in the dark in winter for example. Again - a little pug is probably going to make me feel a bit more vulnerable if I'm out in the dark walking it on my own iykwim

I'm planning to take several months off work with a puppy, to train it, potty train, get it used to being alone bit by bit etc.

Once I go back to work there should be (and certainly will be whilst pup is still young) someone else home every few hours most days of the week to let them out to the toilet, or someone that can work from home some days, or if needed I can look at doggy day care or a dog walker.

When we are home in evenings, dog will get lots of attention, be walked at least twice a day, and get big runs (age appropriately) at the weekend when we have more time.

Will do training classes, look at activities to keep them busy during the day like food puzzles etc etc.
I say all this to make it clear that I'm not just getting a puppy like it's no big deal and then locking it up in the house for 10 hours a day and not caring.
However, my dog will, as it gets older, be left on his own for several hours, several days a week.

OP’s posts: |
Shadycorner Fri 10-May-19 14:55:14

Hi op! You'd be surprised about daschunds btw! Ours walk for hours grin

Having said that, how about a standard or miniature schnauzer? They are great, active dogs. Very loyal and friendly but vocal towards strangers. And they love variety, so going for runs would be great!

PhannyPharts Fri 10-May-19 15:01:27

What sort of dogs have you had your eye on so far that you like?

My first dog was a staffy. I'm now a collie owner, I have two but then I train and compete with them. What sort of training would you like to do with them?

I work as a dog training instructor one day a week so I see a fair few different dogs. When i read your OP my first thought was a hungarian viszla

PhannyPharts Fri 10-May-19 15:06:24

I will say however, when you say "several hours", I wouldn't leave mine for more than four hours at a time. My puppy is now 8 months old. I've not left him for more than 3 hours yet. I have a very complex dog care programme (thanks mum and dad) and more thought has to go into that than having my four year old looked after. I would definitely get yourself on the books of a good dog walker / doggy day care provider.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Fri 10-May-19 15:06:36

Small greyhound?
Do you need a puppy?
Could you rehome an older dog?

Puppies can take so long to get to a stage where they can be left for long periods.

My greyhound is teeny. I have to bend down to pet her and I'm short. She likes trotting along beside me when I jog. She's easy to train as she's young still.
I don't have to worry about limiting time of walks to avoid risk to her frame as she's fully grown.

Sleepinginthebathroom Fri 10-May-19 15:09:01

My house isn't huge, so I was worried a vizsla would be a bit cooped up for the few hours it's alone, I'd also read that they don't do well on their own.

I have looked at Dutch shepherds - but again I'm told they dont do well alone.
I like the greyhound, but it's a terrible guard dog - I don't even need a good guard dog but ideally not a teerrible one haha - like I said, I want to feel a bit safer walking it!
I love dobermans but we plan to have children in the next few years and I was told they're not great with babies.
Have also looked at Basenjis, Manchester terrier, beagles etc. But not knowing people with these breeds it's hard to get any opinions. Everyone I know has a pug or French bulldog pretty much!

OP’s posts: |
Sleepinginthebathroom Fri 10-May-19 15:13:44

@superloud I've rescued a few dogs before and have always found an issue like some sort of trigger that was unknown (at least to me) for example one dog at the sight of a particular thing would go wild, be v aggressive etc. I know lots of people have great experiences, and I loved those dogs, but I'm planning on having children in the nearish future and I just want to be confident about the dog and it's history, after bad experiences, though I know not everyone will agree with me. I have signed up to various rescue centres rehoming/fostering puppies though.

OP’s posts: |
Whitney168 Fri 10-May-19 15:18:21

Dutch Shepherds a bit hardcore, OP LOL.

How about a Smooth Collie? Very biddable and fit in well, generally quite healthy. (Can be a bit noisy and do shed hair.) Proper bark and guarding instinct on them when needed, in a 'family dog' rather than 'guard dog' way.

Mayalready Fri 10-May-19 15:21:58

Imo you need one of these...
Very loving, love walks but equally very sloth like...
Love dc forward thinking for you op....

CMOTDibbler Fri 10-May-19 15:23:10

Lurcher - they might be skinny but they have a lot of teeth when they are feeling the need to defend you! Looks much scarier than they are. Mine love running with me, and we go mountain biking with them as well. Lots of lurcher puppies in rescue too. I foster for EGLR who are a foster based rescue so 'my' pups live with my ds, the chickens, cats etc and we get to know a lot about them.

Confusedbeetle Fri 10-May-19 15:24:19

Personally despite your assurances I think its mean to get a puppy when you plan to leave it alone when you work. 4 hour max as someone else said

BlackAmericanoNoSugar Fri 10-May-19 15:25:03

What about a soft-coated wheaten terrier? Active but good with children. They don't like very hot weather though so they might not be keen to run during the day in the summer.

MyFamilyAndOtherAnimals1 Fri 10-May-19 15:25:47

Although Greyhounds are great for being chilled out, they are DREADful for jogging with - they always need to be on a lead when they're not in an enclosed area and their pace is normal exactly halfway between a humans walking/running pace.

I love retrievers (especially flat coated ones) but I don't think they'd be up for jogging.

What about a setter? (English setters are B E A uuuu tiful!)
Or a german pointer?

tkband3 Fri 10-May-19 15:27:04

Whippet! Loves long walks and long sleeps

MyFamilyAndOtherAnimals1 Fri 10-May-19 15:27:27


actually, a type of collie dog is probably perfect for you. Although they may not like being left for too long, as they're an actively intelligent dog.

Bluebell9 Fri 10-May-19 15:27:28

We've got a 3/4 lab 1/4 springer mix.

He loves to go walking and will run with DP (when he goes) but is also happy to snooze on the sofa at home.

DP worked shifts when we got him so was at home more but works similar hours to me now.
Ddog gets 2 walks a day from us and during the week goes to a mix of daycare and walks with my parents.
My Mum said its like she's disturbing his naps when she comes round to collect him, he loves walking with her dog, once shes prized him off the sofa!

SuperLoudPoppingAction Fri 10-May-19 15:43:38

Honestly mine is a super jogger.
But I do keep her on the lead. I would with any breed. If I'm jogging I'm not going to be able to keep an eye on whether dogs are on the horizon etc so I would rather know where my dog was.

Dora26 Fri 10-May-19 15:50:41

On my 3rd springer spaniel and I adore the breed - love being out, running, sleep at home fabulous with kids. Barks hell at doorbell but I wouldn’t categorise them as guard dogs really. Get a bitch pref. Enjoy!

PhannyPharts Fri 10-May-19 16:36:34

No breed will specifically do well alone, you have to get them used to it. You might be lucky, you might not. Its never an exact science choosing a dog. You seem keen to put the effort in to getting them used to it.

A viszla is usually smaller than a doberman. A dutch herder is definitely bigger than a viszla and best suited to a working home. Like a previous poster said- they're hardcore. I've only come across one in 15 years of competing my dogs and the one I have met was aggressive to dogs and people. When it trains, all the other handlers and dogs have to vacate the field.

I think with your wish list, you're not going to find an exact fit. I would put my top priorities as being gentle with people, which is as much about training as breeding, exercise needs ( and your ability to give it which will change once you have kids so consider that too), and having a good "off switch", so that they can accept down time.

My staffy looked mean, but was gentle as anything and could cope with the exercise and training i threw at her. She was also tolerant when I had my baby. But they are marmite dogs. I love them. I would suggest one of those, or a well bred springer spaniel.

Diddleysquat Fri 10-May-19 16:55:34

What about a native breed terrier: Welsh, Irish, soft coated wheaten, wire haired fox for e.g. they are great family dogs who adore children. They wouldn’t do well being left for more than 3-4hours but them no dog will. They generally play well with others so love doggy day care.
Don’t get one if you don’t want to be stopped by every single person on every walk you take asking what they are as they are such gorgeous doggy dogs grin

tabulahrasa Fri 10-May-19 17:23:59

For deterring people at night, looks matter way more than whether dog would actually do anything or not (most dogs won’t btw, unless specifically trained to) so you either want a breed people think is aggressive like a staffy or, anything large, short coated and black.

Any healthy adult dog should be up to a bit of jogging, so unless you’re talking about more than 10k runs a day, you don’t need a particularly active breed.

adaline Fri 10-May-19 17:34:58

We have a beagle and I wouldn't recommend them for someone who's going to be out of the house that much in the first year - or going forward, to be quite honest. They're amazing dogs but they're certainly not easy or low-maintenance.

He's lovely and has a great temperament but he needs a lot of work. Since he turned one, he's needed at least 90 minutes of exercise a day, plus a good amount of company and attention. They're typically not a breed that cope well with being left for long periods either. Some do manage fine, but they are prone to separation anxiety and get destructive when bored.

You also have to be very, very careful not to leave food out as they really are dustbins! All our kitchen cupboards are child locked and we have a baby gate across the door in the kitchen too. We can't keep a bin out either - that's locked away too! They're very strong chewers and will easily eat your sofa if you leave them unattended and un-exercised!

Don't get me wrong he's an amazing companion and I love him to bits, but he does require a lot of input. We manage using daycare while we both work so he's rarely (if ever) left alone. That's three days a week, and the other four he's with one of us - he gets a long walk each morning and spends at least 2-3 hours running about in the garden too.

merryMuppet Fri 10-May-19 17:36:49

My last dog was a lurcher - greyhound crossed with belgium shepherd dog and was fab at running and long walks (I did canicross with him) - he had a good scary bark and looked big and quite scary when he barked but was fine with being left a few hours. I got him when he was about 13 months and am planning on getting another older lurcher rescue once my whippet pup is a bit older. He was happy with a big walk and a smaller walk each day and a longer run at the weekends and then just slept the rest of the time.

Sleepinginthebathroom Fri 10-May-19 20:32:03

Thanks, some great breeds I hadn't thought of and good to confirm some aren't right for me! Will carry on researching

Any other suggestions welcome!

OP’s posts: |
DogInATent Sat 11-May-19 10:16:12

However, my dog will, as it gets older, be left on his own for several hours, several days a week.

How many hours? How many days of the week? These are important details. Some breeds/individuals will cope better with being frequently on their own, whilst others may be more prone to behavioural issues when denied human contact.

Are you set on the puppy bred-to-order route? - providing the hours/days combination is reasonable I'd suggest a young Staffy, there are plenty adolescent pups in shelters looking for homes. They can cope with a p/t working pattern providing there are arrangements for comfort breaks and it's not 9-12, 1-5 every day Mon-Fri.

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