Potential new dog owner and need advice
First time posting in this forum, so go easy on me.
I have a special needs kid and am thinking about getting a dog. I know that personality is everything when it comes to a dog, but some breeds are more prone to certain personalities.
We want a good family dog that is relatively calm, not easily rattled by strange behavior (such as sudden outbursts or running) and not prone to barking a lot.
There is a puppy at the local shelter my wife has taken interest in. They think it is an Australian shepherd with some blue heeler mixed in. Would this fit the bill, or should we look elsewhere?
And we do not have the money to buy a purebred, so we will definitely be adopting.
Heelers/Australian Shepherds are working dogs. They are happiest when they have something constructive and reinforcing to do. Not sure that's going to be the best breed combination for your circumstances.
Constructive and reinforcing like chasing after a 6 almost 7 year old that can run for somewhere between forever and when hell freezes over?
Something to think of with kids, running, and dogs. My dog's breed is known for being great with kids, but one thing I noticed is when kids run and look back at the dog it becomes the "come get me" chase and the kid always ends up on the floor.
Not sure what kind of special needs your child has, but if the kid can't communicate with the dog, no matter the breed you could have a problem.
I'd check the local Golden Retriever rescue group. Great dogs, very gentle with kids. I would definitely not get a puppy anything, though. Get a mature Golden and you're, well, golden.
australian shepher/blue heeler will not fit in with the calm, quiet description! Definitely higher energy working type dogs. For gentle, calm, hard to beat a beagle or basset hound.
It's probably good advice to stay away from the really high energy dogs, so eliminated nordic sled dogs and hunting dogs like pointers (but retrievers are good) and dogs still used for herding (so no to border collie but german shepherd or regular collie is okay)
from the dog types the remain, getting what you want is more a feature of proper training and socialization of the individual pup rather than picking the right breed.
Also, maybe a pup isn't the best fit as they take a TON of time and energy in their first year, what about getting an older dog?
OR maybe you need to go about this in a different way. See if you can contact a therapy dog group (they bring dogs in to be with sick kids at hospitals and old folks homes). I am sure once you get hooked up with that group one of them or someone they know will be having a litter of puppies from dogs known to have really good abilities to sense what a person needs, and they'd probably be more than willing to help you train and understand and mold your dog to be that way too.
I second the Golden.
IMO a mature golden is more likely to take on your child as a responsibility and a friend. They are easily trained, and very laid back.
Whatever you do stay away from the northern breeds.
If yo are looking to rescue then an older Lab would be a great choice. When Labs are young they are on fire but after age 4 or 5 they start to slow down and become carpet placement holders. They will play all day, easy to train and very lovable type dogs.