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I read a book recently about the emotional stability of dogs. A few pieces of advice that I can recall:

-Go with the mutts (I didn't - I love my dog dearly, but whoa is he a needy nut)

-Do not go with dogs with light colored eyes or pink skin - there is a correlation between lighter coloring and emotional instability.

-Golden Retrievers are getting more agressive, as the traits that have been selectively bred for are causing more agression than has been there in the past.

-Labs have the highest pain threshold - could be good for dealing with small people who don't get "gentle"

Don't go for a boxer if you intend it to be an outside dog. Their coat is too short and fine to withstand winter outdoors. Besides, they're real family dogs and need to be part of the family and live indoors with them. I've grown up with boxers (currently have 2 females which were puppies together) and I wouldn't get anything else...but they do live with us (indoors and outdoors)

i am a big fan of siberian huskies. don't freak out about their coats in the heat....i live in arizona and my huskies love the heat so much that they sunbathe when it's over 100 degrees, fer chrissakes. they just shed their undercoats once a year when it gets warm.

i personally am against rescuing when you have little kids around. i have rescued lots of dogs and cats, and each dog i've rescused ended up having massive health or behavioral issues. separation anxiety, past abuse, etc etc etc. one dog i rescued cost me almost ten grand in vet bills.

after growing up with huskies, but not having one for a while, i decided to get a purebred from a breeder. i did lots of research and settled on a breeder halfway across the damn country. it was great, b/c i told her about my daughter, my level of activity, etc etc etc. and she had three pups at the time who met my criteria, but she matched the pup with the calmest personality because my daughter was only 2 years old at the time. (because the breeder was a few states away, i didn't get to meet the pup first, which wasn't the optimal situation.) the dog wasn't cheap, but i feel the money was definitely well-spent, since she came to us already acclimated to family life, and with a health guarantee, since the breeder is nationally known and well-respected.

the dog has been simply a joy since we brought her home. no health issues, calm personality, with minimum puppy annoyance. as much as i love the idea of doggie rescue, i wouldn't recommend it with your little ones around. and she is a beautiful dog, but definitely intimidating! when i take her for walks, people admire her, but are afraid to come too close. which is fine with me: this way they won't find out that she's a total sweetheart, and the secret is mine all mine. :)

I recommend bulldogs, I grew up with them and they are great watchdogs, people are scared of them just looking at them but they have lovely temperaments and are great with kids.

Two words: German Shepherd! Very protective of the family and kids, very intimidating towards potential intruders.

One of my favorite dogs was owned by a coworker; Jasmine was a Rhodesian Ridgeback, which I know you have experience with. I think they're awesome. But if you're looking for something else, my experience is as follows. My family has had, at one point or another, the following breeds: a mutt (lots of spaniel plus unknown), a Lhasapoo, a beagle, a Shitzapoo, a Schauzer, and a Schnoodle. My brother has had a chocolate lab for over 10 years: loyal, but dumb, and would not scare a fly. I would recommend AGAINST the beagle; shed like crazy, and tempermental. The only other "big" dogs we've had were the mutt (awesome dog) and the Schnauzer (standard). My cousin, a true dog person, has border collies, which are another great breed, and great with kids. I would HIGHLY recommend a Schnauzer, which come in mini, standard, and giant. No shedding, not too big, but big enough, loyal, smart, great with kids. The only reason we don't currently have a purebred Schnauzer is that we co-own our current dog with my parents, and they wanted something smaller, so we have a half mini Schnauzer, half toy poodle mix. The poodle part has always resulted in a somewhat energetic dog. Good luck!

Tertia, are you completely mad? (Rhetorical question, ha ha). Why would you want to complicate your life with a puppy? Or two puppies? Are you ready to put up with big steaming poeps ALL OVER the house, and all over the garden? Do you really want every soft toy, every slipper, every couch and every cushion to be shredded? Do you want a small animal dragging your broeks around the garden, and chewing them up in full view of the neighbours? Are you prepared to put up with incessant barking, or be driven so mad that you actually flirt with the idea of becoming a dog-murderer?

If so, get a lab or a staffie, a pavement-special, or perhaps a Border Collie. I say this, somewhat bitterly, because I have had intimate experiences of all these breeds, and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone who is a) busy b) stressed c) coping with small children or d) looking forward to a quiet time.

But I do have a suggestion - a basset hound. We bought our first basset, Velvet, five or so years ago, and she has turned out to be the best dog we've ever had. I've never really liked dogs much, but I love Velvet dearly, and my kids are besotted with her. She's placid, calm, loving and incredibly indolent, and the children treat her like their favourite duvet/pillow, and vice versa. (And I won't even mention the pleading, adoring, poor-lil-old-me look that is permanently plastered on her face). At the same time, she's a brilliant guard-dog: her sense of smell is almost as sharp as a bloodhound's, and she goes beserk when anyone comes within 30 metres of our gate. Plus, she's as fierce as a tiger when provoked, or when her territory is invaded - she has a fearsome bite, which she's used once or twice when an uninvited person has come through our gate.

We have now bought another basset pup who is a delight.

As a person who worked in a kennel that specialized in dog training as well as training people to be dog trainers, let me say never . . . *NEVER* . . . get two dogs together at once. They have a tendency to bond to one another and it was the one thing that all the trainers said should be avoided at all costs.

I have a golden retriever and a black labrador retriever. They are great dogs, but they need alot of family interaction, so a retriever probably isn't a great dog to be in the backyard only. It's better for the dog to be a part of the family and be able to spend alot of time with you. I recommend considering no dog unless they can be inside with you as an intimate part of your family. :)

I grew up with German Shepherds; the first one wouldn't let a stranger near me or my brother, but was the cuddliest, loveliest family dog. I used her as a pillow. The second one was quicker to warm to strangers, but not so quick that anyone knocking on the door or peering through the fence would have suspected any such thing! My grandmother came to live with us when I was eight, bringing three grown GS dogs with her, and they were just as licky-loo and patient with us as ours was. (Our dog didn't quite love the new three, unfortunately, despite the fact that one of them was her mother.)

I've also known several lovely, patient, cuddle-whore Rottweilers, but I don't have any experience of them with children.

Labs are often kind of dumb. This can be amusing, but they're just way too indescriminating in their friendliness.

Beagles are typically not good with children. I'm biased against Dobermans because of a bad experience (snapped at me for - honestly - no identifiable reason when I was about seven; owners didn't believe me; owners were surprised a year later when he bit their infant's cheek and it had to be reattached. Yuck.) but I have met others that were fine.

I would go with a Newfoundland as they have the best rating for a family dog. When you are looking for a dog that does well with children it is wise to be breed specific instead of going for a mutt because you have greater chances of getting the temperament you are looking for. With a mutt you really have no idea what you will end up with and that can be quite dangerous if the dog is around your kids. Good luck!

If you get two dogs, you MUST name them Crash and Burn. I have always wanted dogs named Crash and Burn.

How about a Border Collie or an Australian Shepherd? We have an Aussie, and he is a great family dog and LOVES to be outside all the time. Smart as hell, too.

I can highly recommend a black lab retriever (would-be thieves seem to be put off by black dogs). We got one when my son was 10 months old. BUT do not expect it to be a walk in the park! They require a great deal of attention and love. We were fortunate enought to not have had too many of the typical youg lab behavior problems (digging, roaming etc) but I can only attribute that to the fact that she worships the ground our 9 year old golden cocker spaniel walks on and always follows his example and ealry basic obedience training(NEVER GET A SPANIEL WITH YOUNG CHILDREN! - ours was already part of the family but keeps a wide berth from our little tot who is now two). DO NOT get two puppies at once if you value your sanity and home.

I dont know if anyone has mentioned English Mastiff I grew up with these dogs and own one now this breed has never been hostile in my experience and they are so large and fierce looking people are so afraid my parents own four and live in the country where the ups and mail people wont even get out of their vehicles because their scared the will get eaten alive. I have a 15month old and like I said these dogs are so sweet the only problem we have is she is so large she can knock over little ones if your not careful oh and there is drool lots of it.

My vote definitely goes to the Boerboel. Fiercely protective of their owners, and excellent with kids. They are defenders of the home and family .... dislike strangers but are great family pets. They need a 'master', lots of attention, and training.

My vote definitely goes to the Boerboel. Fiercely protective of their owners, and excellent with kids. They are defenders of the home and family .... dislike strangers but are great family pets. They need a 'master', lots of attention, and training.

Hi Tertia. I know I am a bit late to this post, but I would recommend a bulldog. I don't have one, but my BFF has one - the dogs name is Elle (as in Elle McPherson the supermodel!) She is so gentle with my friends 3 year old, and great with visitors and friends, but heaven help you if you are an uninvited stranger! She looks and sounds very vicious, but she is such a gentle soul. They are loveable, playful and very relaxed dogs. The best thing to do though is to go and have a chat with your local vet, they handle different dogs all the time, and will tell you which ones bite the least!

I recommend going to the AKC (American Kennel Club) website because you can look at the "typical" personality of each breed. Animal Planet's website also has an engine that quizzes you on your lifestyle and habits and reccomends a breed that is most compatible based on your answers.
I have a purebred shar pei and he fits our lifestyle PERFECTLY. He is very good with children, VERY easy to house train and is not a rambunctious dog.

I dont have a dog but i recomend a american staffordshire it is a pit but it is great with children or go with a lab or golden retriever

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