A laid-back urban trail dog
July 11, 2011 9:44 AM Subscribe
Help us choose the right dog, please. My wife and I live in a small condo in an industrial-type urban neighborhood but I want a trail-running buddy. Conditions and other info inside.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly to Pets & Animals (25 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We lost our beloved old mutt many months ago, and we're going to be ready to get a new one soon. I'm looking for tips to help us choose the right kind. Here are the factors:
1. We live in a small condo in Oakland, and my wife and I both work 9-5ish. No kids. I am not in theory opposed to crate-training (and my wife thinks it's worth looking into) but I'll admit that it feels kind of weird to me. We have to get a dog that can handle this.
2. We can hire a dog walker for lunchtime walks a few days a week, and I can work from home or come home at lunch to walk the dog the other two. It'll be alone a lot during the day but won't have to endure too long without a pee break.
3. We don't want a little dog, and probably shouldn't get a big dog. So we're looking in the medium range (think beagle, australian shepherd, some terriers).
4. We are strongly inclined to get a dog from the pound, and have a preference for mutts. Still, I am interested in breed-specific comments or recommendations because I want to know about different characteristics.
5. This might be the most important: I run, and I want a dog that can handle going running with me pretty much daily (we'll go to the dog park on my off days), often for 5-7 miles, but then be able to chill out for the rest of the day without having a yard to patrol at home. We'll be running on trails as much as possible, and also going hiking probably 15-20 weekends/year.
6. No puppies. I'd like a younger dog with a lot miles left, but 1, 2, 3 or even older is just fine. If not for the running thing we'd probably adopt a senior dog.
So, what kind of dog should we be looking for? Size? Temperament? Breed?
I understand that dogs are a crapshoot--I've had them all my life. But I don't think it's impossible to make an educated guess. The truth is that in the Bay Area there are dozens of lovely medium-sized dogs in shelters all over. Sadly, we CAN be kind of picky.