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I was thinking about dogs, getting one, a house isnt complete without at least one dog, and the above description of Labradors just broke me up

commented: LOL +0

I lol'ed at the Meth lab. Anyways... if you were to get a dog, i'd prefer you get a dog that does not shed that much, is easy to train, is adorable looking, etc.

We've been lucky (mostly) with our dogs. Our first was an Irish Setter that wandered into our livingroom (door was open while the paint dried) in 1981. We contacted the owner who didn't want him anymore. Our best dog ever. Since then we have had another Irish Setter (puppy from breeder friend), a Shepherd/Husky cross from the Humane Society (my wife was a volunteer dog walker) and another Irish Setter that was lost (owners could not be located). Last November we adopted a golden retriever from a rescue place. That was the end of our good luck with dogs. We suspect he was given up because of medical or behavioural problems. You have to be careful when getting a rescue animal.

commented: Go Irish Setters! +0

You have to be careful when getting a rescue animal.

Rescue animals are kind of risky to get. One of our current pets is a tabby cat. She has developed a really bad attitude with men (and not with women) because of the last owner oftenly neglecting her. But hey, she is a really smart cat that can even steal food out of drawers, open doors (don't ask), and open the refrigerator and steal food... which is why she lives outside.

We've been lucky (mostly) with our dogs. Our first was an Irish Setter that wandered into our livingroom (door was open while the paint dried) in 1981.

Ah, those dogs are awesome. Those would be a dog I would get but unfortanetly, when you have my mom... your dog has to be a toy breed... which is why we own a havenese (fully grown, weighs 5 pounds, is all hair) and a maltese (fully grown, weighs 6.8 pounds, is all hair)... :)

We've had three rescue cats as well plus one blue point Himalayan that we got from a breeded. The first was s tricolour kitten that my father-in-law found in his wood pile. We got a black short hair from the Humane Society (kitten) and our latest is a medium hair that we got as a kitten, also from the HS.

Our favourite dogs have by far been the Irish. Very gentle and loaded with personality.

You can tell we like animals (the dog in the picture is staring at a cookie).

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we only have 14 cats and three dogs, bit short on dogs, need another one, all were spca rescue animals

We have a Yellow Lab cross with German Sheppard. He's a handsome dog but he sheds a lot. We have to vaccuum every other day because of him. He's 8 now and has become a really good old boy although he's starting to get pain spots when we pet him :(. The vet says it's an age thing :(.

we only have 14 cats and three dogs, bit short on dogs, need another one, all were spca rescue animals

Only 14 cats and 3 dogs.... Wow, that must be hard to care of. And you are still looking for more dogs!

I am guessing they all live outside... boy, you sound like you visit your petstore a lot for their foods and equipment...

@Jim, if you were wondering what one of my dogs looks like (sleeping), here you go (the havenese, he has gotten a haircut this morning by a groomer):
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commented: That's pretty much what I look like sleeping. +0

If you considering a dog that is like a lab, why not get a Newfoundland? those are nice dogs that are very loving and sweet (good with kids). or how about a border collie, they shed a little bit but are extremely smart and beautiful dogs.

Problem with a Newfie is when it gets wet it takes days to dry out. We had considered a Pyrennes.

Around the time I was born, my parents had a Rottweiler, but she died young due to cancer. Rottweilers are awesome dogs too, they are super smart, gentle, don't shed much (short hair), but they have lots of energy, so you have to be ready for that (i.e., it's not a living-room potato). It's like a Labrador (lots of energy and short hair), but better, because Labs are complete idiots in comparison.

After that, I grew up with a Golden Retriever. Those are also great dogs, again, very smart, gentle, but they have long thin hair (and shed a lot) and have much less energy (which is either good or bad, depending on your preference). They're well known for being cowardly and welcoming dogs, so, don't get it as a guard dog, a home invador is more likely to drown in dog saliva than be bitten. My dog broke its leash (chain collar) twice: one time to go mate with a neighboring dog in heat; and, to run away from a cat that was showing its claws.

why not get a Newfoundland?

I love Newfie dogs. When I move to a place that can support a large dog, a Newfie will be on top of my list.

Around the time I was born, my parents had a Rottweiler, but she died young due to cancer

I didn't know dogs can get cancer!

Rottweilers are awesome dogs too, they are super smart, gentle, don't shed much (short hair), but they have lots of energy, so you have to be ready for that (i.e., it's not a living-room potato). It's like a Labrador (lots of energy and short hair), but better, because Labs are complete idiots in comparison.

I thought rottweilers are good dogs, but not as good as labs because of their intelligence and behavior... a lot of people say rotts are horrible dogs because they are considered "dumb" by many and labs are considered better in all aspects. But for me, it doesn't matter.... all dogs are just as easy to train... except for my neighbors chihuahua... those dogs have the worst attitudes....

I didn't know dogs can get cancer!

Of course they do. All animals, including humans, can get cancer. There are only a few rare exceptions in the animal kingdom (naked mole (no cellular division), sharks (special cartilagenous tissue, exceptionally resistant to cancer), etc.). Many small animals have very high cancer rates (40-60%).

When dogs are diagnosed with a cancer or any similar lethal or debilitating medical problem, they are usually put down quickly.

I thought rottweilers are good dogs, but not as good as labs because of their intelligence and behavior... a lot of people say rotts are horrible dogs because they are considered "dumb" by many and labs are considered better in all aspects.

They have quite different behaviors, actually. They are both high-energy and playful. But the Labs are much more independent and, as retriever dogs, they constantly wonder off and explore places. The Rotts are much more of a master's dog, they want to be by your side and do what pleases you, and protect you (which is where some of the danger is, they can be less welcoming with strangers, even aggressive if a threat is perceived).

This is the quintessential difference between "retrievers" (Lab, Golden Ret., Poodle, etc.) vs. "shepherds" (German Shepherd, Rott, Collie, etc.). Labs are smart (as far as dogs go in general), as are most larger dogs, but they slip away more easily, i.e., forget the training, lose interest in pleasing you, or are just distracted by curiosities. So, Labs can be trained and used for their "intelligence", but your average family Labrador dog is not particularly "smart" (i.e., they "slipped away"). Rotts were bred to be trained and obey, it's basically their sole purpose in life, which makes them much "smarter". They are also known to "stay" the longest, as even well-trained dogs lose interest fairly quickly after being told to "stay", but well-trained Rotts are known to always outlast the patience of their master when told to "stay".

A friend of mine has a Rottweiler. With one command of "clean up", his dog will go through the house to find each of his toy (shew toy, balls, bones, etc.) and pile them all up in one specific corner of the living room. And of course, he knows his left from his right, and can do lots of fancy tricks (lay down on specific left/right sides, play dead (incl. sticking out the tongue), jumping, singing, etc..).

But for me, it doesn't matter.... all dogs are just as easy to train...

Not really. It's true that the basic dog tricks (sit, stay, follow, come here, etc..) as well as civilized behaviors (not peeing inside, not barking too much, not harrassing visitors, etc.) are easy enough for any dog to learn, and mostly retain too. But a dog's attitude can make the training much harder, and the general obedience later on not that great. Short attention span, lack of caring for the whole "life of servitude" thing, or irritability (and aggressiveness) can make things harder. Most dogs have been bred to be fairly easy to deal with and well-behaved by nature, but there are clear differences.

Solved, got a Choc lab, and a dane/hound cross from the spca
Thanks for all the replies

Choc lab, and a dane/hound

Yep... that "little" fella is going to give you a good cardio workout in the morning ;) and congratz on your 18th pet!

Labs are smart (as far as dogs go in general), as are most larger dogs

Interesting qualification. All dogs are equally smart but they use that intelligence in different ways - so they are not all equally trainable. Terriers (most small breeds are related to terriers) were bred to work independently of their owner so they are excellent problem solvers to get what they want but are mostly uninterested in what you want. When people claim they are 'stupid' it usually means the dog is actually out-thinking them as has figured out how to get what they want without obeying.

This is the quintessential difference between "retrievers" (Lab, Golden Ret., Poodle, etc.) vs. "shepherds" (German Shepherd, Rott, Collie, etc.). Labs are smart (as far as dogs go in general), as are most larger dogs, but they slip away more easily, i.e., forget the training, lose interest in pleasing you, or are just distracted by curiosities.

I would disagree with this, retrievers were bred to work with people as well and have to keep focus even around lots of distractions (guns, people, birds, etc.. while hunting). But retrievers are also much more 'nose' dogs than shepherds (shepherds are very much 'eye' dogs) because they had to find dead birds often in thick undergrowth or reeds in a lake whereas shepherds need to keep track of large numbers of sheep over relatively open terrain. So they are distracted by different things, shepherds tend to be distracting by fast moving things whereas retrievers are distracted by new smells. Guard breeds (Rotts are both guards and shepherds) generally have the greatest patience while working since most of the time when you are guarding nothing is happening but you can't stop paying attention.