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Hello everyone, I am new to this forum. My wife and I have a young daughter (just under 2 years old) and we are reading/researching into pets, mainly dogs because my wife and I are allergic to cat hair and dogs are way nicer and more loyal. We only want the one child and are looking at introducing a dog into the family but are having trouble deciding on the type of dog to get because neither of us have had a dog before.

I have bought the e-book Caring For Your Dog "Caring For Your Dog" which has been a tremendous help for learning dog care basics, potential items needed for a dog, caring for dogs going through different stages in life, and even if they unfortunately become disabled. It hasn't help us choose what breed dog to start with though and the dog we get will become a member of our family. Any ideas or suggestions to help us decide would be appreciated.
:)


Background on our family: I am a shift worker and have the potential of working 8, 10, or 12 hour days with working 3 days (longer shift weeks) to 7 days (shorter shift weeks) consecutively. My wife is a full-time homemaker, who loves crafting (sewing and quilting). My daughter loves dogs and other animals in general, in fact her fourth word after "mum", "dada" and "poo" was "dog" and "doggy" which she says whenever she sees a dog.

Warm regards,
K. Jetts
 

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There are several things to consider. 1) size. How big or small a dog do you want. 2) energy level. How much time will someone have to interact, play, or walk the dog. Do you live in an apartment or a house with a yard. that can sometimes determine size and energy levels. Stay away from designer dogs as you will not know with any reliability which parent the pup will gravitate to and they are seriously overpriced for what is, in essence, a mutt. If dealing with allergies, I would suggest a poodle. They do require grooming and coat care but they come in a variety of sizes that you can chose from. If you want a regular coated dog, I would suggest something in the 25-40 lb range (spaniels, a smaller lab or golden). You can check the local animal shelter for a new pet. Some end up there through no fault of their own, while others can have issues that you may or not have the skills to deal with. Do you want to start with a puppy and deal with all the issues of housebreaking, training, etc or with an older dog? Don't discount older dogs as more can be known of their personalities that could dovetail into your home. Your schedule pretty much puts you out of the picture so care will fall mainly on your wife. I would ask for her input since she will be the one having most of the interaction and care.
 

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I can add to some of Sarah‘s suggestions. If allergies are a consideration poodles and poodle mixes are not a bad place to start. But first consider what exactly you want in your pet. Remember breeds were developed to perform a function. You might want to spend some time looking at what the different dogs were bred to do to find a good match. A free and available resourse is the breed lists here. List of Breeds by Group – American Kennel Club. Look at the “temperament“ section that is what breeders are supposed to be working toward.
I have worked poodles and poodle mixes for the last decade or so for detection. They are great dogs but not the right choice for everyone.
Sarah Is correct when she says they are often expensive and overpriced. Her suggestion to rescue may help the cost. Although the breeds rescues list may be suspect. the IAABC did a citizen science study MuttMix Survey and the results were that even experts were right predicting breeds in mixes only 28% of the time. i Usually suggest if people are thinking of rescue they volunteer to foster first. That way if the dog is a wrong fit you discover that before commiting and can feel good about helping him move toward a more appropriate home. On the other hand I suspect a toddler in the family will make fostering difficult.
Regardless you should enjoy the process of finding the right dog for your family.
Good luck finding your pup.
 

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This might not be the most popular opinion, but I'd advise you to get a pureblooded breed. Rescuing a dog is certainly noble, but as Sarah said, breeds were created for a purpose. You have a child at home so getting a hybrid or rescue with a questionable temperament might be risky. Dogs, in general, are sociable and friendly, but I know I would choose something that comes with a fairly expected character. This list might help, Best dogs for first-time owners. Each of these breeds is suitable for less-experienced and busy people. They are forgiving, so even if you make a mistake while raising them, you can easily correct it. My personal favorite for families with kids is the Golden Retriever. There is a good reason they are the Nr. 1 choice for families across the US. You can read about their temperament on the AKC's site, jump to temperament and you'll see why they're so amazing.
Hope this helps a bit
 
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