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Old 03-14-2013, 04:31 AM   #91
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Interesting conversation. This is the way I look at it. Some people might get upset, but I'm just being honest. I would not personally adopt 'powerful' dogs from a shelter if I had young children. When I say 'powerful' I just mean a dog that has a very strong bite force. Simply because you don't know the exact history and because of the potential damage it could do. Again that's me and just the way I see it. You just don't know. If the dog doesn't have the capacity to due tremendous damage than that's another story.
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:37 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
Interesting conversation. This is the way I look at it. Some people might get upset, but I'm just being honest. I would not personally adopt 'powerful' dogs from a shelter if I had young children. When I say 'powerful' I just mean a dog that has a very strong bite force. Simply because you don't know the exact history and because of the potential damage it could do. Again that's me and just the way I see it. You just don't know. If the dog doesn't have the capacity to due tremendous damage than that's another story.
Not to mention the fact that even a dog who is a sweetheart could very easily accidentally hurt a child. I agree with you completely, introducing a fully grown dog to children isn't the best idea, even if it is due to no malice or ill will of the dog the potential for the child to get hurt is a very real thing that must be considered. Take my uncle's massive St. Bernard, it LOVES people, and it's favorite thing to do is plop down right on top of you when you're sleeping or sitting and refuse to move. At 6' and 180lbs that's not such a big deal, but a 4' kid weighing 80lbs could easily suffocate or be hurt by the shear weight of his fat behind.
POINT: big dogs who are used to adults have the potential to harm young children with actions that would pose no hark to a fully grown individual and this needs to be taken into consideration
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Old 03-14-2013, 06:03 AM   #93
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Default Family Dog that can deal with a Cat

Congratulations on your new pup!! My son and our landlord's baby girl grew up from infancy with a chow mix and a pit mix. Both dogs adored the kids and would have lay down their lives before anything got close to hurting their babies ( the children ). This being said, adults were constantly present watching the children and dogs together. Pits are very, very protective of their family, keep a close eye on them around visiting people or dogs ( this goes for chows as well ). In response to other posts. My chow mix was abused and then landed in the pound for over a year, she ( like many chows ) is a one person dog with a love of all cats. The love of all children might be more from her other half ( possibly Newfoundland ). Shelters do extensive behavioral profiling of each individual dog. I would tend to seek a mixed breed that takes in as many characteristics that you like and then see what the shelter has for your specific home set-up. I know it has been mentioned that every dog was bred for a specific purpose/ job and getting a mixed breed can temper some of the behaviors and also improve the dogs health by eliminating some breed specific health issues. GoldenDoodle= Sweet and Intelligent.
Also realize every dog will bite, teach your kids to read dog body language and to never tease a dog with food or sneak up on a sleeping dog. An adult should practice taking food and favorite toys away from the dog, until the dog realizes that you control these things. Remember that dogs get jealous of children's attention and have the kids divide their attention equally between the two dogs. Keep a Spray bottle of water around to split up any dog scuffle, a few squirts works well. I know that is tons of advice, but I want dogs and people to have the best relationship they can. If anyone is thinking of getting a Golden Retriever and they have young children, try to find a Golden that is at least 3yrs- 5yrs old, our Chow had to train a neighbor's young Golden so that our kids wouldn't get knocked down ( think Hyperactive Denise the Menace ).
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:50 PM   #94
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"Shelters do extensive behavioral profiling of each individual dog."

Please don't make blanket statements like that. I've donated training time and fostered for a few no kills. To say shelters do all that evaluation just not a true statement. Shelters have morphed into small business and are becoming used dog stores. Which is not a bad thing if dogs get a second chance. However, when money changes hands ethics get stretched. I've see too many 'Rescue' people weave too many heart wrenching fables to get dogs sold and too many times the wrong dog/wrong family matches happen.

"mixed breed can temper some of the behaviors and also improve the dogs health by eliminating some breed specific health issues."

That is only possible if both sire & damm back at least two generations are all free of genetic health problems. It's another 1/2 truth that is floating around the mutt community.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:06 PM   #95
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"mixed breed can temper some of the behaviors and also improve the dogs health by eliminating some breed specific health issues."

That is only possible if both sire & damm back at least two generations are all free of genetic health problems. It's another 1/2 truth that is floating around the mutt community.
Not to come across as sarcastic or caustic, but it has been well documented how "pure bred" dogs have become the way they are through inbreeding to isolate genetic traits. With that trait isolation has come a number of problems due to the homogenizing of the gene pool.
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:58 PM   #96
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Not to come across as sarcastic or caustic, but it has been well documented how "pure bred" dogs have become the way they are through inbreeding to isolate genetic traits. With that trait isolation has come a number of problems due to the homogenizing of the gene pool.
Very true, that's a preamble statement of many genetic studies.


No question that inappropriate breed stock selections will bring forward genetic traits that are undesirable. This link is pretty good overview http://bowlingsite.mcf.com/genetics/inbreeding.html

One of my frustrations is ill informed people referring to a conformation dog show as a beauty contest. Responsible breeders do a tremendous amount of research to breed health stable dog to produce quality puppies.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:57 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
Interesting conversation. This is the way I look at it. Some people might get upset, but I'm just being honest. I would not personally adopt 'powerful' dogs from a shelter if I had young children. When I say 'powerful' I just mean a dog that has a very strong bite force. Simply because you don't know the exact history and because of the potential damage it could do. Again that's me and just the way I see it. You just don't know. If the dog doesn't have the capacity to due tremendous damage than that's another story.
As for bite force or potential damage, I had a black lab that around my family was great. My son (2 at the time) would crawl all over that dog, take his food, hit him with toys, chew on his ears, etc and that dog wouldn't even open his eyes if sleeping or bat an eye if awake. Yet you let anyone from the outside world into his reach and he would bite and I mean BITE. I had a friend come over and whenever someone was new I would always introduce them a few times till I knew they were okay. Well this friend comes in (6'3 345lbs) and Bob (the lab) grabs him by the arm and drags him towards the kitchen shaking violently.
Not normal behavior from the worlds most popular (family) dog.

IME all the "aggressive" breeds I've encountered have been pretty tame. Sure there were a few that didn't like kids, or cats but for the most part pretty good. The worst I saw was my brothers chow/german shepherd. She was just a straight up mean dog. I would say 99% of the time mean or aggressive dogs are that way because of humans. Whether it be to guard, look like a badass, or to fight. But there are always going to be the odd ball out like my black lab was. Dogs are like people, they have personalities. Not every person is nice and gets along with others.

In the time we have had the pit we have had great success with him and the kids (2y/o 4y/o & 7y/o). He and my youngest play the most. They love to wrestle and play tug of war, and the pit likes to pin her while she laughs her ass off.

We are happy with our choice in the pit, the only draw back with him is when he gets to running in the house and knocks people over, but that's usually a quick 10-15 second sprint and then he chills out.
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Old 03-15-2013, 01:43 PM   #98
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As for bite force or potential damage, I had a black lab that around my family was great. My son (2 at the time) would crawl all over that dog, take his food, hit him with toys, chew on his ears, etc and that dog wouldn't even open his eyes if sleeping or bat an eye if awake. Yet you let anyone from the outside world into his reach and he would bite and I mean BITE. I had a friend come over and whenever someone was new I would always introduce them a few times till I knew they were okay. Well this friend comes in (6'3 345lbs) and Bob (the lab) grabs him by the arm and drags him towards the kitchen shaking violently.
Not normal behavior from the worlds most popular (family) dog.

IME all the "aggressive" breeds I've encountered have been pretty tame. Sure there were a few that didn't like kids, or cats but for the most part pretty good. The worst I saw was my brothers chow/german shepherd. She was just a straight up mean dog. I would say 99% of the time mean or aggressive dogs are that way because of humans. Whether it be to guard, look like a badass, or to fight. But there are always going to be the odd ball out like my black lab was. Dogs are like people, they have personalities. Not every person is nice and gets along with others.

In the time we have had the pit we have had great success with him and the kids (2y/o 4y/o & 7y/o). He and my youngest play the most. They love to wrestle and play tug of war, and the pit likes to pin her while she laughs her ass off.

We are happy with our choice in the pit, the only draw back with him is when he gets to running in the house and knocks people over, but that's usually a quick 10-15 second sprint and then he chills out.
I have no doubt everything you said is 100% true, but what I'm really talking about is potential. I have a Shetland sheepdog, nicest dog you'll ever want to me. You can do anything you want to it, it has not ever shown any aggressive tendency, but if it did one day how much damage can she do, compared to a breed that has a tremendous bite force. When it comes down to it, it's a personal decision and you seem very happy with yours. Everyone's situation is different.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:19 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by SlammedDC2 View Post
As for bite force or potential damage, I had a black lab that around my family was great. My son (2 at the time) would crawl all over that dog, take his food, hit him with toys, chew on his ears, etc and that dog wouldn't even open his eyes if sleeping or bat an eye if awake. Yet you let anyone from the outside world into his reach and he would bite and I mean BITE. I had a friend come over and whenever someone was new I would always introduce them a few times till I knew they were okay. Well this friend comes in (6'3 345lbs) and Bob (the lab) grabs him by the arm and drags him towards the kitchen shaking violently.
Not normal behavior from the worlds most popular (family) dog.

IME all the "aggressive" breeds I've encountered have been pretty tame. Sure there were a few that didn't like kids, or cats but for the most part pretty good. The worst I saw was my brothers chow/german shepherd. She was just a straight up mean dog. I would say 99% of the time mean or aggressive dogs are that way because of humans. Whether it be to guard, look like a badass, or to fight. But there are always going to be the odd ball out like my black lab was. Dogs are like people, they have personalities. Not every person is nice and gets along with others.
I have to agree with this. The family of one of my friends had a black lab they got from a breeder. Because the kids were home schooled, they did not get out much and the dog grew up without being properly socialized. Every time a visitor came over he had to be locked up because he would try to attack people, no matter how many times they came to visit.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:24 PM   #100
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Default Aussie all the way!

I recommend an Aussie, they come in all sizes- standard, mini and even toy. I have a large mini and I adore this dog, they are high energy and smart, fun to train too!
http://rykerrules.blogspot.com/
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Check out MARS Mini Aussie Rescue on the web!

Last edited by Alaskan Fishface; 03-16-2013 at 07:53 PM.. Reason: more info added
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:35 AM   #101
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It is true that I should be more specific. I have only dealt with a few small pounds, the ASPCA, and considered some local breed rescues. In my experience, not one of the groups are in it for the money. Considering the cost of a spay/ neuter, the initial vet visit, possible surgery or medication... the adoption cost is often less. We have always been given a run down on the dog's reaction to people, cats, children, food aggression, and how easily the dog with recognize an Alpha. We had to visit our dog three times before an adoption went through ( our adoption fee was only $5 ). We have been turned down by our SPCA numerous times for a second dog adoption because they don't have a dog that would be okay with children, cats and other dogs. As far as my mixed breed statement goes I stand by it, a mutt doesn't equal a perfect dog or perfect health ( I didn't say that). Some dogs abilities that they are developed for do not always translate well as a family pet, especially super high energy levels, by getting a mutt or mixed breed some of the traits can be watered down a bit and make for a better pet. Plus I will concede that I like seeing animals get a second chance at life and that training, socialization and dealing with an individual dog is key.
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Old 03-16-2013, 06:02 AM   #102
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Personal responsibility is a rare commodity in our society today.

This is so sadly true.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:04 PM   #103
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.....Plus I will concede that I like seeing animals get a second chance at life and that training, socialization and dealing with an individual dog is key.
We share that feeling. That is the only reason I donate training time and occasionally foster, to help a few special dogs get a chance.

Dogs are huge passion of mine. There are more ethical/good shelters than unethical/profiters. I'm not against someone buying a dog from a shelter. I am against dog buying decisions based souly on emotion and politically correct awareness as huge portion of those purchases fail. Most dog purchases are a commitment of 10+ years of ones life. Those decisions should be carefully researched. The reason there is a Shelter Industry is the very fact we live in a Throw it Away society.
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Old 03-16-2013, 07:55 PM   #104
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Yup, I foster and am a volunteer for MARS, Mini Aussie Rescue. I plan my next dog to be a medical needs dog..deaf or blind.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:36 PM   #105
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I believe dog temperaments are as varied as humans.
I have been around dogs all my life- a groomer over 25 years, shown and trained dogs in agility and conformation, worked as kennel help, vet tech, foster, pet sitting, dog walker, grooming competitions, shelter work, adoptions, assisted whelpings, and pet artist (trophies for shows) of various mixed and purebreds.

I have seen dogs raised from the same litter all different breeds and sizes, being nasty as hell and sweet as pie. Raised and bred identically. Blood thirsty cockers, springers, and collies. Sissy, whimpy GSDs. There goes the "there are no bad dogs, but bad owners" theories, although there are A LOT of bad owners out there.

Homeowners insurance raised in the 90s because I had a doberman and they considered that breed to be a liability, although their statistics shown that 80 percent of bite cases were black labs, yet these were not considered a liability.

For family dogs, I recommend getting the dog from a young pup, regardless of breed/mix.
If you don't have time to train a pup, you won't have time to behavior modify/train any unknown problems this dog may have. Nips from a needle toothed pit pup don't have the same impact as the bone cracking hyena -like jaws of an adult that could scar your kid's face and ruin future prom pictures.

From my observations, the best "first" all around dog for the kids would be a beagle.
The most versatile larger dog I encountered were Standard Poodles. To put up with hours of tugging and painful matt removing all over their bodies from a stranger without so much as a wrinkled lip is impressive. Shave 'em down and you have a great field companion and retriever. Groom 'em up and you are sure to get noticed around town. (One person I know had one as a chic-magnet, lol, used to take it out every Sat to the flea markets and was always surrounded by a crowd of ooh and ahhers)

On the other hand, Chows were often refused at the grooming shops because they bite first and ask questions later, don't like strangers handling them, and give no warning before they strike. (I have met exceptions to every breed and knew some wonderful Chow Chows) I was also leery of a few Pits, Rotties and Afghans for nail trimming, but the nice ones far outweighed the time bombs.


Nowadays, there are many opportunities to foster, which can be a "try before you buy", and know many people who had success with that route.
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