So, as my husband reminds me, I’ve been internet-window shopping for puppies for about the last 5 weeks or so.  (Personally I don’t think it’s been that long, but whichever…)  We’ve narrowed some things down: we’re looking for a girl since our current poochie is a boy.  Everyone from dog experts on down say they’ll balance each other out better that way, so who am I to question?  Next, we’re going for something in the “medium” category, or at least what most people consider medium.  We’re talking like 20-50 lbs, because like I’ve said before, current poochie, Dyson, is already a big ol’ 75 lb mutt.  2 big dogs take up a lot more room than you might imagine, trust me – we used to have THREE in the same house before I got married.  (The other 2 were my roommate’s.)

Also, we’ve decided to get a puppy rather than a full-grown dog.  Dyson is what Cesar Milan would call “insecure”, and we’re hoping that by introducing a smaller, younger puppy, we’ll have a much better chance of things going smoothly, without immediate fighting for dominance.  (So far he’s always done great with puppies and my mom and sister’s smaller dogs.  Just not strange ones that come bum-rushing you at the park because their owners don’t seem to know how to operate a leash….but that’s another gripe for another time.)

So now the big thing to research is breed.  Yes, temperament and all that are important as well, but we can’t really look at that until we look at the dogs in person, now can we?  So, we figured it was best to at least research what breed mixes seem to be commonly showing up to the shelters, so we’re prepared with some knowledge of what we might expect out of the ones we find…

Due to where we live, we have to make sure to avoid any breeds considered “agressive”.  That means German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, Shar Peis, and a bunch of others are OUT.

Hehe…sorry, got distracted by my mutt  barking in his sleep 🙂

Anyway, so the most common mixes around where I live seem to be Labs, Cattle Dogs, Border Collies, Beagles, Terriers, and a few others.   That means deciding between choices like: high energy, loud, intelligent (aka good at finding trouble), wary of strangers, possibly too big, hard to train…and the list goes on.  The dog I have now is already wary of strangers, so I have full plans to massively over-socialize this dog.  The question is, will that counterbalance the breeding?  Can I deal with the bark propensity of the beagle mixes?  What about the herders like Cattle Dogs or Border Collies?  I really don’t need a dog that’s going to be nipping at the kid’s heels when we have them.  I know you can train that out…but not always.  It’s a touch choice, and there’s a lot of different things to consider in them.  I’m leaning away from anything black (easier to differentiate from this guy…)

IMAG1754That make the cattle dog or even the Catahoula Leopard mixes we’ve seen good choices, except for possibly the size.  Looking at online pics doesn’t give you a good idea of how big you might predict the dog will get.  So, until we can see them in person, there’s a lot of research and a lot of home prep work to do.  As a matter of fact, today is Cord Covering Day…Yeah….  Cross your fingers for us that we can not only get this place ready, but also find the right dog for our family (especially since we’re planning on it continuing to grow!)