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I personally would be fussed about breed.  I'd be looking for a breed that matched my lifestyle.  Some dogs need lots of exercise and stimulation, others are more like couch potatoes - definitely something worth considering when you need to go out for over 30 minutes at time, sometimes 4 times a day for a dog requiring a lot of exercise given the Shetland weather.  Some dogs have guarding instincts, others don't.  Some bond better with people than others.  Want a lap dog?  Want a dog that wants to play with toys or one that doesn't want to fetch?  Some are noisier than others.  Work all day and no one at home?  Forget it.


Shetland is fortunate in that it doesn't have one, but two dog clubs.


Why not check out the RSPCA, The Dogs Trust and other charities in your current location?  You could always contact the relevant breed club, say the Bernese in this case, especially if you've never owned that particular breed before.

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This might help if you've no previous experience of Bernese:




Regarding suitable breeds, then I agree with wot ULS said. Look at the breed characteristics.


Purely for example: collie pups are fairly common up here - but do you really want a dog that needs to be on the go all day if you can only let it out in the garden occasionally? Or a greyhound - 40mph couch potatoes and generally very placid, but tend to be very good at thinning out the local cat population and can have recall difficulties due to a strong chase instinct. Do your homework.


Anyway, good luck and hope you find a suitable dog for you and your family. I wouldn't be without my dog...but I could throttle the little sausage a dozen times a week :)

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  • 8 months later...

People think of Labs as lazy dogs but even they are full of energy and don't slow down till they are 7 or so.  A neighbour got a Collie for their kids and left it on its own in the garden, neither they or the kids spent any time with it at all that I could see.  Poor thing spent all day long throwing its own food dish in the air for something to do.  

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