Forget any sort of terrier if you have to leave your dog alone for long periods of time. Terriers need a lot of attention and most of them are very hyper even when they get older. You may come home to find the whole place destroyed.
I second the advice on poodles, but you may also consider a Maltese or Maltipoo.(I have one) They do not shed as much either(NO dog is completely shed free) and are extremely laid back and amenable. If you brush them out every single day you can avoid coat tangles and they won't need as much grooming as a full-blooded poodle.
From what I've seen, the most hyper dogs are Jack Russel Terriers. They're so cute, but wild.
I adore German Shepherds. Beautiful and smart. Shepherd/Lab mixes are great too.
My fiance' has an Australian Blue Heeler-- that dog is so smart it's scary!!
^^sweetness, I have a 6 month old German Shepherd and she is the most beautful dog I have ever laid eyes on. Magnificent dog, she's already 70 pounds! She is also the smartest one I've ever come across and I've been around quite a few. I can't recommend GS's highly enough to anyone who has the room for them, and they need plenty. They are the perfect dog if you want them for your children and for protection. They are completely trustworthy, none of this turning on the owner crap. Heidi is VERY intimidating toward strangers, but all you have to do is tell the person, if you want to, to say her name and she calms right down!
But Sasha's right..you need space. I can't think of a better 1st time dog though(besides a Lab)...I have one of those too!
laynes, my last big dog was a very, very large Black Lab and I loved that dog more than I can say. But he was so friendly and loving, someone was able to come right into our yard a steal him a couple of years ago. It took me this long to get another big dog, but I can tell you for sure no stranger is getting beyond the fence with this one.
I'm sure no one will be messing with your Shepherd though! That's for sure!
My Yellow Lab is the sweetest thing but she can be a biotch if she senses that she doesn't like a person. I don't know if I could ever get anything but a lab or GS. Love them!
The only caution I'd have with labs is that they do need plenty of exercise and you need to be careful with their diet because they put on weight quite easily. I see a lot of fat labs waddling around the local dog park.
I guess the choice with any dog is your particular circumstances, living arrangements, work commitments, etc etc. If you have a busy job that keeps you away from home for long hours then personally I don't think it's a great idea to have a dog at all. Unlike cats who are happy with their own company, dogs are very social/pack animals and being left home alone for long periods of time isn't fair on them or you.
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If you live in the US you can go to a web site called Petfinder.com that can show you pics of all sorts of animals that need rescuing in your area.
I had one years ago, at a time when I lived in a somewhat dangerous area and always felt so safe with her. She was very gentle with my son, and would bark ferociously at anyone who would pass by when he was out playing in the back yard. There were times when I'd have to stop my son from being too rough with her (he was just a toddler and didn't know any better) and not once did she ever snip at him.
She was also a breeze to potty train, hardly any work at all. From a very early age she would let me know when she needed to go out, would just scratch on the back door. I've had a lot of dogs and loved them all, but she was by far the smartest.
I wish you many happy years with your precious new girl!
If you are worried about allergies you can try any of the new "designer" breeds they all seem to be allergy free....
Life is short....drink up!
Keep in mind dachshunds as a breed are not good with children. If you intend on having children in the next 10 years, you might want to reconsider this breed or get an adult who has been well socialized with small children.
I agree with those that say get an adult, not a puppy. Although puppies are cute, they are huge pain in the butts!
Also, recognize pets are a huge 12+ year commitment not to be taken lightly. That said, they are so worth it!
As far as poodles, I just put mine down this last Jan. He was 16 years 7 months. He, and every single poodle I have ever met, has been yappy and neurotic. He was also smarter than most people I have met and was my best friend.
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