Pudgy Pets - I'm thinking of getting a dog..suggestions??

03-07-2009, 12:22 AM
I would like to get a dog. Unfortunately, we live in a townhouse with a very tiny yard. I run several times a week and I would like to take the dog with me if possible. That makes me think that I would need larger dog (like a lab) but then I look at our pathetic back yard and think how miserable the poor thing would be with that tiny space. So- what do you think? Is there a size/type of dog that would be ok with a smaller space, is good with small kids, and might also like to go running with me??

Please help!


03-07-2009, 12:31 AM
How far and how long do you run? Whippets and grayhounds, I've heard are good running companions, but only for relatively short runs (not endurance running, but a couple miles would be fine). Breed books and even online searches might be helpful. Even some relatively small dogs (not tiny miniatures, but 25 lbs and up) are great runners, but look for long legs and a long nose (snub nosed dogs tend to have breathing issues, short legged dogs would have trouble keeping up and possible back problems).

Hounds would likely have good endurance, so beagles, harriers and other medium sized hounds would probably be great companion runners.

Shepherding dogs (cattle dogs, larger shelties, border collies, austrailian shepherds...) probably would do very well (but they're wicked smart, so they get bored easily, and train easily, but need a lot of training. If the dog has to spend much time alone, or isn't tranied, it can get into major trouble, amusing itself).

Or a consideration is your local humane society. Humane societies generally allow folks to volunteer as dog walkers (there's usually a short application form to fill out, and often you can start the same day. If you tell the staff you're looking for a medium sized running companion, they may have suggestions in mind, and you could even test out some running companions while volunteering at the same time.

03-07-2009, 12:48 AM
I have a german shepherd and she's amazing. She loves to walk and run outside haha, not so much anymore with her old age and arthritis though. That's the only problem with the bigger dogs and their hip problems. But I'd totally recommend a shepherd. If you're really gonna run them every day, I don't think a small yard will matter as much really. And every dog is different. You may get a really lazy shepherd like ours haha, who would rather sleep on the couch than run outside in our huge backyard.

But I also think a greyhound sounds good as well, as they're commonly known to be extremely lazy besides their occasional sprint. So being left alone, or having a small backyard probably wont matter much.

I would just go to the shelter and find one who calls to you. Any dog will run by your side, I think, and adapt to their environment.

03-07-2009, 12:53 AM
I don't know if they run well, but Great Danes are said to be very wonderful small space even apartment dogs, because they're reputed to be big lazy bums when they're not actively playing with their humans (of course, they tend to be clumsy around nicknacks, and are said to eat tremendous amounts of food).

03-07-2009, 12:56 AM
I love shepherds too. If you are committed to running with a dog I don't think your back yard size will be an issue. We have had two shepherds one was big on walking the other on playing ball. Plus no one is going to mess with you with a German Shepherd.

03-07-2009, 12:58 AM
Please check out the local shelters before you buy a dog, there are alot of dogs out there who need good homes. My sister just adopted a dog from the shelter near her and she (the dog) is a sweet heart.

03-07-2009, 01:01 AM
Greyhounds run VERY fast - as in 35-40 miles per hour - and are escape artists. They can squeeze through cracks as narrow as six inches. There's a really good website about greyhounds as pets: www.midsouthgreyhound.com.

This is a pretty cool tool: http://animal.discovery.com/breedselector/dogselector.do . But it gave me 121 results, so it might make your search harder rather than easier!

traveling michele
03-07-2009, 02:24 AM
I don't know if they run well, but Great Danes are said to be very wonderful small space even apartment dogs, because they're reputed to be big lazy bums when they're not actively playing with their humans (of course, they tend to be clumsy around nicknacks, and are said to eat tremendous amounts of food).

LOL-- I have a great dane and they are great dogs for smaller areas as they are very low-key. However, I can't imagine running with mine! She is huge and clumsy and I think she would pull me down. She does knock things over with her tail but she doesn't actually eat much food. My other dog is a doberman and he loves to run but I've never run long distances with him. I had a lady pet sit him multiple times and she did run with him. He wouldn't do well with a smaller yard though-- he would be fine now as an adult-- but probably wouldn't have as a puppy.

Most breeds have breed rescue clubs with dogs (often wonderful but really do your homework to see why they need a home) that need homes. I suggest really doing your homework with breeds. Take your time and really research. There is no one perfect breed. Shelters are a great place to get familiar with dog breeds and mixes as are dog shows. In my opinion the larger breeds are often, though not always, better with kids. We have had small to giant breeds with children (dachshund, boston terrier, golden/lab crosses, dobermans, and a great dane). The smaller dogs are often more hyper and yippy. Good luck in your search!

03-07-2009, 02:33 AM
jade I second your comment about shelter dogs! I actually worked at a shelter over the past few summers, and dogs are some of the most forgiving creatures on earth!

I have seen a few dogs that have been completely broken by former owners, and it's remarkable how they forgive and love their new owners unconditionally.

I have two shelter dogs, and I wouldn't trade them for the world! I think that a terrier might actually be a good fit for you. I have a boston terrier/chihuahua mix who is about 25 pounds, and she runs with me all the time, and never seems to run out of energy.

Whomever you choose to give your loving home to, I hope that you enjoy them!

03-07-2009, 05:31 AM
I would recommend any terrier mix for a running partner. They come in all shapes and sizes and they tend to be smart and have lots of energy. If you don't run regularly, they will get bored though.

We have a heeler/terrier mix and she is a great running companion. I can't take her when I run in the neighborhood because it brings out all of the other dogs, but it nice to have her if I go on a trail or somewhere I am not familiar.

03-07-2009, 07:01 AM
I have 3 dogs.2 Goldendoodles and a doxie.They all love to run.Doodles are 80 lbs and wonderful dogs.You can get themy in a mini version, about 40 lbs.Doxie also loves to walk but only can endure 2-3 miles.Dogs are wonderful, whatever you choose.

03-07-2009, 08:56 AM
as a vet who once worked in the miliatry as a shelter vet...i highly recommend going to the shelter and looking at dogs there. There are many wonderful loving pets at the shelter that have nothing wrong with them..and many are purebreds. Too many of them will be euthanized. I wouldn't recommend a puppy since you shouldn't run puppies until they are at least 1-1.5 yrs of age since their joints are open and need to close. You can even go onto pet finders.

I wouldn't recommend a greyhound for running purpose. They do run...but they are sprinters not marathoners..however...that being said..that will probably be my next dog because i think they are absolutely wonderful dogs and are in the same boat as shelter pets...being killed because they can't run.

03-07-2009, 04:59 PM
thank you all so much! I am going to check out the links now! I will definitely look at shelters first. All of our pets growing up were rescued and I agree that I do NOT need a puppy! I think the volunteering to walk them is a great idea!

Wolf Goddess
03-07-2009, 07:16 PM
Also, I'd say aim for one that'll be in the 20-45 pound range if your yard is small. I know that many dogs are content with a small yard as long as they're walked regularly,but after moving to a house with an acre back yard with my Aussie Shepherd mutts, I can say that they're much happier in a large yard.

03-07-2009, 09:54 PM
I have a townhome and I have 2 dogs. My dogs don't stay outside, they hate being outside except they do like sunning on the deck. They just go outside to go to the bathroom and thats it. Otherwise, we walk them, take them to the dog park and they play indoors.