Ask the Dog Guide: Dog for Little Brother?

January 15th, 2009 by Dan

Ok, so my brother wants a puppy. He will not get it until after Christmas. What breeds work well with other dogs? What is a good breed for a 14 year old? He wants a medium to large dog, but I have a small dog so we need a dog that is loving, caring, nice to others, easily trainable, and could make a good watch dog. Note that my dog is a Pom Chi, and in or around May I hopefully will be getting a Collie to do agility with so he needs a dog that will be good around small and larger dogs (compared to a Pom Chi). Please write back we really need some help on a good breed.

Three dogs is a big responsibility! Are you sure that you and your family are ready for such a drastic change? Going from one small dog to three dogs, two of which are larger breeds, means more than three times the work to exercise, groom, and clean up after dogs. For your parents, it means a much bigger dog food bill, and larger, more frequent vet bills.

Adding two dogs to the family less than six months apart can also be tricky, since your second dog might not be fully established in the household by the time the third dog comes along. You’ll also need to spend extra time with each dog on training, and if you’re looking to get into Agility, that means time and money spent on classes.

Still sure you’re ready and every family member is on board and aware of the extra work and expenses involved? If so, how about adopting a Keeshond for your brother? Keeshonds are mid-sized dogs hailing from the Arctic circle. They’re easily trained, tend to get along well with most dogs and people, and will alert their families to perceived threats with a sharp bark.

Keeshond with boys

Keeshond with boys

Keeshonds need daily brushing and exercise. They do not do well in very warm climates, due to their thick coats. Your brother will need to learn to bathe and groom a Keeshond regularly, and should take obedience classes to learn how he can train his Keeshond. Keeshonds, like most dogs, need a job, and daily training sessions of at least 15 minutes are a must.

I strongly encourage you to adopt an adult dog, rather than buying a puppy from a breeder or pet store. If you’re adding a third dog to the family in May, you’d barely be through housebreaking a new puppy, and just starting in on the worst of the teething and chewing phase. Talk about overwhelming! Look for a Keeshond rescue near you, or put your name on a waiting list for a Keeshond at area shelters.

If this doesn’t seem like quite the right breed, maybe another of the 10 Best Family Dogs would suit you.

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