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First Time Dog Owners

Someday I would like to have/buy a Dog(s) but I have NEVER in my life owned one, so I want to know what Dog breeds would y'all recommend/suggest to someone who hasn't had one before? 

P.S: My "dream Dog" is a Husky, cause my favorite animal in the wild is the Wolf.

P.P.S: I am not a fan of "purse dogs"/small breeds nor do I enjoy being around super large breeds A.K.A "holy sh*t dude, that dog is huge!". 

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Reply by Stella


First off - Huskies are bred to do things like run the Iditarod. They have incredible energy and endurance, Can you provide that kind of workout? No? Then your Husky will be a "Houdini dog" and find ways to escape, resulting in bailing him out of Animal Control and paying fines (at best) or him getting lost and/or run over. These are VERY high energy dogs.

A Klee Kai might be a good alternative.

And props for asking. So many people get dogs without doing the necessary research...it often turns out badly. I hope you find your perfect breed.

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Reply by arwen


I’d recommend one of the more common breeds for a first time owner. Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are pretty good for first time owners. Stay away from high energy, intel breeds like Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, huskies, Malinois, some lines of German Shepherds, etc. Do not!!! Get a doodle!! Or any type of ‘designer dog’ like shepsky, pomsky, chiweenie, etc. They are mutts that are unpredictable and bred for money. They are always backyard bred (the opposite of ethically bred) because no ethical breeder would sell a puppy to someone breeding doodles. Poodles are very smart and can be high energy. They aren’t the best breed for first time owners, but if you have a lot of time and energy to invest in training and exercise then they’re great! 

No matter the breed you get, make sure that the dog is from an ethical breeder. Once you’ve decided on a breed that will match your lifestyle, look up the breed club for that breed. For example, “Golden Retriever Club of America”. They should have a list of reputable breeders. If they don’t, here are some signs of an ethical breeder:

1. they show their dogs in conformation and dog sports and they are titled

2. their dogs are health tested according to the recommended tests by the breed club for the breed

3. their dogs are “in standard”. that means no colors that are unnatural for the breed (merle french bulldogs, silver labs, etc). the AKC has breed profiles on their website where you can see the standards

4. they will always take back any puppy they breed for any reason 

5. they interview potential buyers 

6. they keep in contact with buyers throughout the puppy’s life and are available if you have any questions

7. they don’t have one male and one female. ethical breeders don’t breed whatever dogs are available. they carefully select pairs based on the strengths and weaknesses of each dog to produce the healthiest and in standard puppies

8. they don’t advertise on sites like craigslist, good dog, or any website that offers to ship puppies/has photo listings of each puppy 

9. depending on breed, you shouldn’t be paying less than 1k for an ethically bred dog, but no more than 5k. This depends on breed as some breeds are more expensive than others 

10. they educate buyers and set them and their puppy up for success. they socialize and desensitize puppies starting right after their born

11. they don’t have more than 2 litters per year, depending on how many dogs they have

12. an ethical breeder will never have dogs available at all times. that’s a huge red flag 

13. puppy stores are not ethical. at all.

I know this seems like a lot, but an ethically bred dog is worth it. Backyard bred (byb) dogs tend to have behavioral and health concerns that are difficult for a first time owner to deal with. A lot of byb dogs are reactive and tend to have allergies and other concerns. Byb dogs tend to be sold with parvovirus (parvo), a disease that is extremely deadly and painful for the dog. It attacks the digestive track and causes bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Most dogs don’t survive parvo, especially if they don’t get immediate treatment. The backyard breeder will usually ignore any messages and essentially disappear, leaving you out 2k and with a dead puppy

If you don’t want to go through the process of finding an ethical breeder, i recommend adopting from your local animal shelter. Although the dogs are mutts, they’re still really cute. Shelter dogs do have more behavioral and health problems than ethically bred dogs, but it’s better than supporting a backyard breeder or puppy mill.

As for finding your perfect breed, I also recommend the AKC breed finder. Once you’ve found a breed you think would match your lifestyle, try and meet the breed in real like and see how you feel about them. You can go watch dog shows and the people there will be more than willing to tell you about their breed! 

Good luck on your dog searching journey <3

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Reply by rose


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