—Hello, I am on a hunt for a dog breed that is right for me. In this post I will include my lifestyle, things I want in a dog, and anything else I can think of. I will also include a summary if you don’t want to read the whole thing, though I do recommend you do, as it includes some details that may be important. Please let me know what breeds of dogs you think would be right for me! Feel free to also link your social media for me to look at if you are a breeder or rescue owner yourself (Facebook/Instagram/Website only). I am especially interested in you if you are in the Atlantic provinces, and will HIGHLY consider you no matter what if you are in PEI!
—I am an experienced owner.
—I am a student in university that visits home every summer.
—I will live in an apartment or small basement of a house during school.
—The dog will likely experience cats and small animals.
—The dog will be alone between 2-7 hours on weekdays, depending on my changing schedule per semester.
—Hour-long walks occur almost daily.
—Parks are available within walking distance.
—Must live with another dog during the summer.
—The dog should be supportive of my mental health and enjoy affection.
> My Lifestyle At University
—I am an experienced dog and puppy owner (owned two labradors in the past) and am currently taking veterinary school pre-requisites at a university. I have also worked with dogs at a kennel, where I would meet over 40 different dogs per week and have to care for them via owner preferences. I love studying canine psychology and training and learning from trainers online, though I do not have actual experience in it besides teaching my parents’ dog some easy and basic obedience. I am a smart, hard-working student and I am confident that I will be in vet school late next year, as my grades have been consistently high throughout my time spent at university.
—Next semester (September 2023) I will live on my own or have roommates I am familiar with in an apartment building; whatever I can find that is affordable, really. I also had an offer from a nice family that is currently renovating their basement specifically for student housing, so I might take up that opportunity as well (note that they have a pet indoor/outdoor cat living upstairs). It is important to recognize that I will be leaving the dog alone, probably in a cage if I believe necessary, for a minimum of 2 hours to 7 hours on a weekday. It is most often only 2-4 hours at a time, unless I have back-to-back courses and laboratories on one day. I am almost always home all day on the weekends.
—I am suffering from an anxiety disorder, ADHD, depression, and some newly discovered social anxiety as well, and I find myself usually spending time on my own and often wandering to PetSmart look at all the animals and dream of having my own or to impulsively purchase things I don’t need. I know having an animal will help me with this, especially a dog, as it will motivate me even further to take care of myself and so I can care for an animal in need of my care.
—There are several days a week that I will go for hour-long walks, maybe more depending on how I feel. I find them therapeutic and I love observing the traffic and people bustling by in the small city. I will do this even in windy, cold, icy, slippery weather. I know some parks in town that I can take the dog to, and walking there is usually no issue for me. I may not be able to do this on a daily basis, but I definitely will try to do it on nicer days.
> My Lifestyle During Summer
—When the university year ends in April, I unpack everything and go back home to my parents for the summer. They have a 1.5 year old labrador retriever, who is rather rambunctious and is not the greatest at picking up social cues from other dogs. He is getting a bit better, though! He is not the best at playing with smaller dogs, as he will jump on them and seem intimidating, even though his intentions are not to dominate. He only knows basic obedience and is currently being trained on his recall to avoid bolting and to break up dog-dog interactions if it is getting too rough for the other dog to handle; he is doing great so far! They also have a cat who usually keeps to himself, unless he decides to tease the young labrador, in which chaos ensues.
—My parents live on a 10-acre property of fields and a lakeside beach. There is shallow water available to swim in, grassy fields to run in, and a pond with lots of peeper frogs that sing in the night. A paradise for a dog, in my opinion! My room is upstairs, in which my dog will probably be closed in during the nighttime.
—During the summer, I expect to be working a part-time or full-time job, though my dad does work from home, so my dog will never be home alone unless we all go somewhere that dogs are not allowed.
> What I Want in a Dog
—My biggest motivator for getting a dog is to improve my own mental and physical health. Caring for an animal has seemed to always get me moving and on my feet. So, a dog willing to accept my affection and look up to me would be highly preferable. Due to apartment living during the schoolyear, barking will likely not be tolerated in an apartment setting. Overall, I want a dog that will suit my lifestyle, and I am not incredibly picky.
—The following are some things that do not matter as much, and are not required qualities; just a plus. An intelligent breed with emotional support animal or service animal relativities would be beneficial. However, I would have to train all of these qualities myself, which would be guided for me from Google searching. If I were to train a service animal, I would want to train deep pressure therapy, alerting to anxiety, and similar.
Thank you so much for reading, and especially if you leave a suggestion for me! Have a good day.