Pursuit of Dog II: Man meets his dog matches

Dagoberto Aceves is looking for a dog, and he’s asked DogTime for help. He’s already taken our Are you Ready? quiz, and discovered–happily–that he is. The next step is figuring out the right dog for him.

When Dago thinks of his dream dog, the image of Michael, the Lab/Rottie mix he grew up with, pops into mind. Michael was an easy dog–laid back yet always up for a rousing game of fetch. Alert enough to warn away strangers, but thrilled to see neighbors and friends. Lovable and smart, Michael was perfect in almost every way, says Dago.

So he wants a dog like Michael. What he doesn’t want are registration papers or fancy bloodlines. “I’m not the kind of person who needs a purebred,” he says. Nor is he swept up by good looks–falling for a cute fuzzy face is one of the primary mistakes prospective owners make in choosing a dog. “As long as the size and personality fit my lifestyle, I’ll go with whatever I find,” he says.

Single human in search of canine love

To find his four-legged companion, Dago has agreed to take our expert-approved Dog MatchUp. The tool matches prospective owners with compatible dog types–it’s a kind of dating service for dogs and people.

Before taking the quiz, we ask him which dogs he thinks we’ll pick for him. Dago considers his small apartment and lack of yard, and reels off Yorkshire terriers, Chihuahuas, and other ‘pick up and go’ dogs. He thinks small spaces mean small dogs.

We also ask him to describe himself. And while he doesn’t need to write a personal ad to take the Dog MatchUp, he agrees to do it for us.

Single, 25-year-old male likes to work late and play the guitar. Mellow, friendly, and looking for dog who is same–and really smart. Took ballet lessons as a kid but have lost the exercise habit. Counting on dog, and the prospect of long walks by the San Francisco Bay, to get moving again.

Surprising apartment dogs

Dago hits upon a few surprises while taking the 3-minute quiz. He learns that smart dogs come with an extra responsibility: they need lots of mental stimulation like training or games and can become bored and destructive if they don’tget it.

He also learns he’s as good a candidate for a full-sized dog as any suburbanite with a spacious yard–as long as he’s willing to exercise his dog frequently. Some big dogs are perfectly happy in an apartment, as long as they get regular workouts.

He submits his answers–and gets the following top five recommendations:

1. Doberman Pinscher

2. Collie

3. Great Dane

4. Clumber Spaniel

5. Greyhound

But the MatchUp coughed up several dozen other dog types suitable for a guy who’s sociable, low-key, lives in an apartment, and doesn’t lead a highly regimented life. In fact, the MatchUp stresses the qualities Dago should look for in a dog, not the breed type.

Match made?

It’s the Doberman’s smarts that appeals to Dago, but his looks that scare him away. “I have a feeling people associate them with attack dogs,” he says. “I don’t want to worry about people being afraid of my dog just because of the way he looks.”

The Greyhound, a class couch potato, is the kind of mellow companion Dago thinks he’d do well with. Same goes for the Great Dane–a gentle if emotional breed. Dago loves his size too. “I would hug a Great Dane every day,” he sighs.

Armed with the qualities he’s looking for in a dog–easygoing, easy to train, doesn’t require much exercise, and is generally friendly to dogs and people–Dago is ready for canine love.