A Walk in the Park – St. Cloud MN Area

Privy to Minnesota and it’s ever changing thoughts on the weather, the planned adventure with a friend and her two dogs was put on hold. Tuesday, temp at 41, overcast and a wind that eagerly dropped the temp as it blustered aggressively across the land, through coats and hair. Hints of rain on the incoming clouds, with temps destined to hover into the just above freezing mark. There may be S – N – O – W in the forecast as well… (Indeed, Wednesday morning there was a solid coating of the white stuff.)

Time to pivot. Hmmm….

Instead of visiting a park for a walk in the park, I could write about local parks to visit! Huzzah!

A Walk in the Park – if you’re in St. Cloud MN!

There are ample parks to visit throughout St. Cloud and surrounding area. Most are rather dog friendly too!

  • Lake George Park / St. Cloud MN
    Nestled just outside of downtown, a few blocks from the river and campus, this park is smaller but typically bustling with activity. The “lake” is manmade! In the warm months you can stroll all around the park on a paved path, gawk at the giant fountain in the middle of the lake, run through the splash pad and take in a free concert during the summer. In winter the lake freezes and it’s a popular place to lace up a pair of ice skates.
    * Great for:
    – a stroll in an “urban” area
    – not ideal if you want to do a session here

  • Wilson Park / St. Cloud MN
    Across the river from the hospital, Wilson Park nestles against the Mississippi River. One end has a public boat launch, a fenced dog park (if your dog can swim, there is potential that they can swim around the fence…). A huge grassy area is next to the dog park and there’s a playground for assorted kid friendly play. Stroll along the grassy areas and weave between the giant old trees. Not a ton of walking area, but a pretty stroll along the river. Being on the river, there may be a fair amount of goose poop to eat & roll in + muddy areas along the shore
    * Great for:
    – a stroll & a dip in the river at the public access
    – dog park off leash exploring 
    – would work for a session, though the amount of variation would be a little slim
  • Heritage Park / St. Cloud MN
    Tucked behind Costco & wedged between two main roads, Heritage Park is quiet and vast. There are mowed trails throughout the park that move up and down hills and through stretches of woods and grassy areas. Plus a pair of bridges that span over the little lake sprawled throughout the park. Park in the parking lot for the Stearns History Museum (they once hosted the t-rex Sue!) and head to the trails. Pick a long or short jaunt depending on how far you want to walk or the time you have. Next to the Stearns History Museum is the St. Cloud Skate Park. Pause to watch the skateboarders or drop in for some board time yourself. 
    * Great for:
    – ample strolls throughout a vast area on grassy trails
    – tons of variation for a session, though be prepared for ample walking (want to explore with me?)

Heritage Park. I lost a lens cap off this bridge… At least the bridge was super pretty!

  • Riverside Park / St. Cloud MN
    Along the Mississippi River, across from the St. Cloud State University. Munsinger Gardens is a block or so away. Very big park, lots of big old trees, hills (great for sledding in the winter) and a stone wall that lopes along the river edge that blocks the drop off to the river. A mega pretty set of stone stairs will lead you down to the river and you can walk & fish along the shore. This is a busy park with a playground, splash pad, tennis courts and disc golf course (beware of flying discs & mindful of where you’re walking on the course). In the winter the grounds are groomed for cross country skiing. Talahi Park butts into Riverside Park and offers trails, a stone shelter and benches (I haven’t explore this area yet!)
    * Great for:
    – a long stroll with your dog
    – frisbee golf
    – a session! Tons of variation from the stairs to wall to river & more! (The size of this park would mean we would need to walk a fair amount.)
  • Sand Prairie Wildlife Management Area / St. Cloud MN
    Wide open prairie will great you in this park across from the prison. Tons of native grasses and flowers in various heights. Trails meander through the grasses, with the main trail a straight jaunt to the woods from the parking lot. The trail meanders a bit through the trees, then ends at an observation deck overlooking a marshy area. If you enjoy birdwatching, this is a good place to peep on waterfowl. There is ample room to walk and you will need to walk a bit before you run into the trees. 
    * Great for:
    – a long stroll through native grasses with your dog
    – ok for a session – not a ton of a variation
  • Sauk River Regional Park / St. Cloud MN
    Tucked in a bend in the Sauk River, across from the hustle & bustle of Sam’s Club, this park meanders through a clutch of woods, crossing the river via a cool wooden bridge to drop you right next to the Friends of the Whitney Dog Park. You can park & start your adventure from either side of the trail. Very wooded – watch out for snapping turtles in the path! The path isn’t paved, so you may also encounter mud in the spring & after it rains. The bridge is totally worth walking across and if you loop underneath it on the wooded side you’ll find very vibrant graffiti (or at least there was when I visited in 2015…)
    * Great for:
    – a stroll through the woods with your dog
    – perhaps a session, though the woods is rather thick 

Sauk Rapids Regional Park. The bridge, the wall around the river on the Whitney Park side of the river and a glimpse of the graffiti under the bridge. 

  • Sauk Rapids Municipal Park / Sauk Rapids MN
    On the edge of the Mississippi River, this park has a public boat access, a big baseball field, a shelter and a rather large playground. There’s a paved walking path that will lead you past the ball field to River Ave N which plops you right under the ginormous footings of the Highway 15 bridge. Hop around the rocks, dip your toes in the river and oogle at the archways the footings of the bridge make. If you follow River Ave N back to the park and continue to follow it, you’ll find that it leads you along the river to the Lions Park & Sauk Rapids Regional Bridge (
    there’s a cool swirly ramp here). The distance would take a bit to walk, but great if you want to head on a bike ride. The Sauk Rapids Municipal Park does tend to get busy in the summer, so finding parking could be tricky. 
    * Great for:
    – a stroll and exploration day with your dog
    – going for a toe dip or swim in the river 
    – ok for a session (lots of color from the playground), though we’ll need to add some travel time to the bridge

Sauk Rapids Municipal Park. The public water access and various colors of the playground. The image with Bender is what the underside of the bridge looks like!

  • Bob Cross Nature Preserve / Sauk Rapids MN
    A quaint park with an unpaved path that loops around quaint little ponds to drop you behind the Sauk Rapids Middle School. Or take the longer loop and be dropped at the Sauk Rapids baseball field. Not sure how the park looks in person as I’ve never explored here!
  • Watab Creek Park / Sartell MN
    Across from the old paper mill & river tucks Watab Creek Park.  Entering the park you’ll see basketball and tennis courts, a restroom and playground. Continue moving back in the parking lot and you’ll find the shelter and a MASSIVE grassy area that butts into a wooded area. The charmer for this park is the MEGA adorable BLUE bridge that spans over the Watab River. There’s a small dirt path that leads upwards into a residential neighborhood through a patch of woods and there may be another stretch of narrow trail that follows the river. 
    * Great for:
    – a quicker stroll with your dog
    – it works for a session with short walking distances from the grassy area to bridge

Watab Creek Park. Big grassy area with trees & clover (you can see the shelter/restroom in the back of the 2nd image. 3rd image shows the path up to the residential area. That bridge!!!!

  • Quarry Park / Waite Park MN
    One of the most popular parks in the St. Cloud area. Just out of town, Quarry Park has tons of trails that flow through the woods, over a swamp via a floating bridge, into a grassy area while winding around the retired granite quarries (
    all over 683 acres). You can swim, fish for trout and go scuba diving in the water filled quarries or climb up the jumbles of granite (check which permits you need first). Tons of places to explore with your pup no matter the season! A short jaunt will bring you to some old machinery and history of the quarry, longer jaunts will bring you to the various different areas throughout the park. Do note that there is a fee for parking ($10 or $5 depending on the time of year.)
    * Great for:
    – long adventures
    – tons of exploring
    – wonderful for a session, ample variation with a fair amount of walking

Quarry Park. The wooden plants are part of the floating bridge. Tons of pretty rock areas, quarries, and grassy areas to explore!

  • Lake Wobegon Regional Trail
    Ok, not actually a park but an old railroad turned into paved walking/biking trail. It runs 65 miles and is completely paved the entire way! Pick it up in Waite Park and make west to Osakis (legs willing!) In Albany you can continue onward or take an arm that brings you north just beyond Royalton.
    (Check out the interactive map to get an idea of where the trail goes!)  Holdingford has a covered bridge that is super cool and there is a giant scientific & nature area in Avon (Avon Hills Forest SNA) that you can explore. Locate a trailhead, pack a lunch and hit the trail! Best for biking  though you can also walk or jog with your dog. Amp up your burn by towing your dog in a dog friendly trailer or have them jog with as you bike. 
    * Great for:
    – jogging, walking or biking with your dog
    – at stop points it would be fun to do sessions, along the trail would be less workable
  • Millstream Park / St. Joseph MN
    Just a short drive out of St. Cloud will land you at Millstream Park. There are giant grassy areas, a base field, a dog park, and a wonderful stroll through the woods. Two bridges will deliver you over the creek, each leading to the other. Near the parking lot is a big pond with a bench – a peaceful place to sit for a moment. Over the bridge you’ll be on the edge of the creek then following a grassy groomed trail in a loop to the other bridge. Heads up! This is a disc golf course. 
    * Great for:
    – a medium long stroll through a woodsy area (keep an eye out for disc golfers)
    – disc golf
    – a session with some walking

Millstream Park. Cool bridge & less cool bridge haha! Tons of grassy areas and wooded areas. 

  • Hidden Lake Park / St. Augusta MN
    A short drive south of St. Cloud will land you in St. Augusta where you’ll find Hidden Lake Park. There’s a small playground, a shelter and quick access to the lake via a wooden fishing pier. Following the disc golf path, you’ll wind around the lake, through the woods and end back again at the parking lot. A good portion of the path is paved as it weaves throughout the trees making the stroll quite comfortable and leisurely. 
    * Great for:
    – an easy stroll through a wooded area
    – disc golf
    – a session as there is ample areas to cover with a decent amount of walking

Hidden Lake Park. Lots of textures and a very pleasant walking path that’s paved.

  • Kiffmeyer Park / St. Augusta MN
    Also a short drive from St. Cloud, Kiffmeyer Park is quaint and quiet. From the ball park on one edge, the park meanders towards a rolling hill, crossing a little river via a cute bridge. Ample open areas to explore plus wooded areas that follow the river. At the top of the rolling hill there is a small playground and parking lot. 
    * Great for:
    – an easy leisurely stroll in a sorta small park
    – a session with fair amount of variation in a smaller park

Kiffmeyer Park. Quaint and easy to walk with a cute bridge and lots of grassy areas 

  • Bend in the River Regional Park / Rice MN
    Head out of St. Cloud roughly 20 min and you’ll find into Bend in the River Regional Park. Yes the park is located on a bend of the Mississippi River! Once upon a time this was a working farm raising chickens, pigs, corn and potatoes. The original homestead was built in the 1880s, the barn in 1907. The second owner arrived in 1912, replaced the house, built more outbuildings (a garage in 1915 for the new car) and it remained in the family until the property was sold to Benton County in 2002. All of the buildings are still standing! There is TONS of texture around the buildings – from cobbled walls, the metal sided barn and piggery, to the slates of the granary and the peeling white of the house. Stroll and read the plaques for each structure then pick a direction to follow the gravel trail. The path to the south of the farmstead loops you past the second parking lot, switches you across the road and walks back to the farmstead. Opt for a longer stroll as the path loops completely around some farm land. The path to the north of the farmstead makes a short loop, landing you on the driveway to the farmstead. Additionally there is a path that branches from the main path (when going south) that drops you into a wooded area butting up against the river. Tons of textures, and variations in landscape make this a FAVORITE place for photographers. (In the fall this place gets crazy busy with sessions!)
    * Great for:
    – a variety of strolls – short through the farmstead to long for the farmland loop
    – a session! Tons of textures, buildings, landscapes in a very walkable area

Bend in the River Regional Park. Tons of texture and different landscapes! (And yes that’s me in the last three!)

  • Mississippi River County Park / Rice MN
    Directly across the river from Bend in the River Regional Park! This park follows the Mississippi River for 1.3 miles and covers 230 acres of land. One third of of the park is wooded, the rest of the park features ample grassy areas. There is a disc golf course, archery range, boat launch, canoe campsites and camping for groups like boy scouts and girl scouts. Tons of walking paths to explore. (I haven’t explore this area yet!)

Tons of options for taking a stroll and having a photography session with your dog! If you want to be a dog model for the locations I have yet to explore email me at and we’ll go scouting together!

This is a blog ring! Follow the links until you end up back here! Next Nicole Hrustyk of Pawtraits by Nicole, takes you for a virtual walk through Sunset Park Trail.

Moving to St. Cloud MN – what you need to know!

You’ve decided you want to live in Minnesota to enjoy the lakes and brave the brutal winters. Perhaps you’re new to the state or just looking to relocate to a bigger/smaller city and you’ve picked St. Cloud MN! 

What you need to know:

  • The St. Cloud area includes St. Cloud & Waite Park (they kind of blob into one another). Go across the river and you’re in Sauk Rapids, with Sartell tucked in nearby. St. Joe is a few miles down the road. An hour drive will get you to the Twin Cities, Alexandria and Willmar. 

  • St. Cloud settles along both sides of the Mississippi River. The hospital is on the river, as is the university, walking trails and parks. There are 3 bridges that will aid you in crossing the river.
  • There’s a mall! You can find ample choices for attire and munchies across many genres. Not all of the spaces are filled, but you still have many options to shop for the perfect things. Or just go for an indoor stroll as the mall is set up as loop with anchor arms – perfect for a climate controlled stroll when the weather gets gnarly cold (it will happen). 

  • There are 4 chicken restaurants, ample pizza places (Gary’s is a local fav), and a one of a kind burger joint that has been serving rapid serve burgers for 3 generations (Val’s – go once, you’ll be addicted!).

  • Dairy Queen will supply you with tasty frozen treats (two in St. Cloud, one in Sauk Rapids) but only during the warm months – March to November. Mr. Twisty is another local frozen treat go to place with two locations – St. Cloud & Sartell plus an ice cream food truck! They too close in the winter months. If you’re craving soft serve in the form of Dairy Queen in winter you’ll have to head out of town or head over to Culvers, McDonalds, or Wendy’s. 

  • There are 5 dog parks in the area – three in St. Cloud, one in St. Joe & one in Sartell. You can read more about them in this blog post. 
  • Petco & Petsmart are the duo of dog friendly supply places, you can also gear up & get supplies for your pup at Menards, Fleet Farm, Runnings, and Mimbach Fleet Supply. (There are also two Targets and two Walmarts, a Costco and Sam’s Club.)
  • Aim for a stroll along the revamped Beaver Island trail that winds along the river, or pop out to Quarry Park for a stroll amongst the trees and retired quarries (they are stocked with trout!) or head out to Sand Prairie Wildlife Management Area to walk into a large grassy area with your dog. There are tons of other parks to explore. In town they come in various sizes from wee to many city blocks. A short drive will bring you to countryside and additional parks to explore with your pup. 

Although a city (population 68,462 as of 2019 census estimates) St. Cloud retains the feeling of a smaller quaint town, especially once you navigate away from the main road arteries, old downtown and the mall area. There’s a giant library, and a large very pretty flower garden to explore (pups not permitted in the upper garden) and tons of charm in old downtown.  Tri County Humane Society is the local animal rescue and are active in the community with a fundraiser walk in September. Check out the art crawl downtown in the spring & summer months, visit the Benton County Fair (late July / early August) take in the HUGE car show in August (on the 22nd this year).  Fourth of July Fireworks are launched from the river and can be viewed from many areas. 

When the weather gets cold, strap on your ice skates and head to Lake George. Or head to the slopes – Powder Ridge Ski Resort is only about 20 minutes away in Kimball! More of a sledder? Grab your sled and scope out the local hills – there’s some monsters in town!

What about dog friendly places?

The St. Cloud MN is sort of dog friendly. If you want to bring your pup out and meet up with friends for a drink or food you’ll be limited to the available outdoor patios. (Inclement weather & winter will have your pup staying home as they aren’t allowed inside.)  Otherwise you’ll have to meet up with friends at one of the dog parks or have a bbq and invite them to your yard.  

If you want to snag a brew or some noms with your pup here are some patios you can pop over to: 
(Call ahead to see if patio seating is available – some patio spaces are quite small!)

  • Milk & Honey Hard Ciders (St. Joe)
  • White Horse
  • Lincoln Depot
  • 7 West Taphouse
  • Molitor’s Quarry Grill & Bar (Sauk Rapids)
  • Bad Habit Brewing (St. Joe)
  • Beaver Island Brewing
  • Old Capital Tavern (Sauk Rapids)
  • Bello Cucina (St. Joe)
  • Olde Brick House
  • Blue Line (St. Cloud only / Sartell location not dog friendly)
  • Panera Bread
  • Pepperjax Grill
  • Coyote Moon Grille
  • Pickled Loon Bar & Restaurant
  • Green Mill Restaurant & Bar
  • Rock Creek Coffeehouse (Sauk Rapids)
  • Grizzly’s Wood Fired Grill
  • The Local Blend (St. Joe)
  • Jules’ Bistro 

If you’d rather stroll a shop, Petsmart & Petco are going to be your top choices (plus your pup can pick out the perfect toy or treat!). JoAnn Fabrics has a dog friendly sticker on their door and Arrow Ace Hardware did confirm being dog friendly when inquired. More research will be done! Best bet is to call ahead to double check if the shop is dog friendly or not. 

St. Cloud MN has a plethora of offerings – from antique stores, boutiques, to big box find them everywhere stores, to the historical society, and ample parks and walking paths. Take in a movie at the theater, stroll the mall, get your car washed, eat as much chicken you can handle (or burgers or sandwiches) and visit the neighboring towns that make up the St. Cloud MN blob – Sauk Rapids, Sartell & Waite Park with St. Joe right down the road. Snag your pup for a stroll in one of the many parks, or head to the Mississippi River for a swim.

Did I mention there are tons of nearby lakes you can explore too? Warner Lake in Clearwater is popular and has a dog friendly beach area. Not all lakes have beaches, but many have public water accesses where your dog can jump in on a hot day. Or drop in your boat and take your dog on a cruise around the blue waters. 

Tons of awesome things to do, explore, see and eat in St. Cloud MN! All the things you didn’t know!

Ready for a session that’s urban in theme? Let’s stroll around downtown St. Cloud! Visit the contact page for all the ways to get your session set up!

We’re in a blog circle! Next up Nicole Hrustyk of Pawtraits by Nicole shares tips on what to do with your dog in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Dogs are my Niche!

When it comes to photography there are ample directions a person can be inspired by – be it vast landscapes bathed in natural light, the celebration of two hearts in union, the arrival of a new life to the world, the speed and sleekness of a vehicle, the fluff and drool of cats and dogs, or every person, place or thing that falls into the lens view of the camera. Pending the inspiration, the niche is found (or not in some cases as found in the all-for-everyone photographers).

What is a niche?

A niche as a noun is defined as: 

  • a comfortable or suitable position in life or employment.
  • a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.
As an adjective:
  • denoting products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.

At the basic, niche = specialization

A niche in photography can be generalist (wedding photographer) to specialized (the wedding photographer who focuses on LGBTQ couples). Family photography, business photography, car photography, & pet photography all fall within the realms of a niche in photography. Deeper specialization of the niche the more tailored the business.

  • family photography only on the beach or only Halloween themed
  • business photography that focuses only on trainers and exercise or is aligned to modern creative companies
  • car photography that focuses on modern sports cars or on vintage cars pre 1970
  • pet photography only featuring a single style pet – dogs, cats or horses

How did you pick your niche?

Like many photographers I started with traipsing into many inspirations of photography. Landscapes, star trails, tilt shifts, macros, shadows, textures, old houses, leaves, anything that caught my eye. The early days of my DSLR averaged 1000s of images every month. (My dogs Mick & Icey were often found in the sets.) A couple of weddings filtered in throughout the years, though their experience was more tolerable than of glee – a mark that wedding photography wasn’t my jam. Axle arrived in 2012 and the 1000s of pictures turned towards this puppy’s antics as he ran, played and grew alongside Mick & Icey. I never grew tired of capturing a bazillion images of each of the trio. 

The niche happened a hot summer day in 2012 with the birth of About A Dog Photography. Why not focus on dog photography? Something just clicked – I could offer this as a service to other dog parents so they too could have beautiful images of their dogs as they moved from puppyhood to adult then into the golden senior years. 

There is an amazing amount of glee, happiness and pride that happens when I photograph dogs. I’m able to capture bits of their personality in vibrant, classic, playful images that immortalize a dog’s memory.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a dog photographer. 

How do I pick my own niche in photography?

I think the key to picking your niche in photography is finding the subject you LOVE to photograph and pursuing it with great passion.  Try out different subjects of photography. You’ll find the one that inspires the spark and deep passion and when that happens you’ll find the starting point of your niche. Define it, narrow it and own it! 

Want some extra help with your photography? I will be offering 1-on-1 mentoring this summer. Or opt for the anytime anywhere Beyond the Barking Basics Course! (The manual course Make Manual Your B*tch will be launching this summer!)

Next up Canberra Pet Photographer, Ina Jalil of Ina J Photography talks about how she is pursuing her dream and her passion by becoming a pet photographer.

Get Lucky!

Get lucky… cue the Daft Punk + Pharrell Williams & Nile Rodgers song. (You’re welcome!) 

Luck is also the theme of the season with St. Patty’s Day arriving decked in green, gold, rainbows and pint sized leprechauns. Why not help a shelter dog get lucky by giving them a new home? Heck, why not adopt a pup named Lucky?

Headed over to a new tab and arrived on Petfinder.com. Petfinder has been around for a long long long time and has helped a bazillion pups connect with the perfect people and find their new homes. One of the cool things they have is a pet match quiz that will help find the perfect pup or kitty to add to your family. Just answer some straightforward questions, pick up to 13 breeds you adore and Petfinder will give you a list of pups who could be the perfect fit. Another cool feature is the amount of search options you can search under – from breed, age, size, gender to coat length and color and even by name! (Don’t forget to create a free account so you can heart dogs for future reference!)

Let’s use the name search option and put in Lucky!
Ta-dah! Below are local to Minnesota Luckys! Get lucky with these pups:

Lucky at Animal Ark (image from Petfinder)

This Lucky has a really cool past – she came from the country of Oman! What a trek to end up in snowy Minnesota! It’s suspected she’s a saluki mix (salukis are rather common in Oman) and she’s freaking cute! Her Petfinder bio mentions she’s a year old, needs a little work on house training and leash training (I mean who wants to do either when you’re in subzero temps???). She gets along with dogs her size and doesn’t appreciate hanging out with small dogs. Visit Petfinder to get all her details.

Lucky at Happy Tails Rescue (Image from Petfinder)

How adorable is this Lucky? He’s a young dude noted as a pitbull & cattle dog mix. Petfinder doesn’t have any information on him but with a little digging I found him on Happy Tails Rescue’s website (btw if you’re looking for a bloodhound… ). His bio is short and straightforward – he’s fun, does well in a fenced yard and is a kisses & belly rubs guy. There’s also a notation that he’s good with other dogs and kids. If you’d like to get this Lucky head over to the Happy Tails Rescue Website.

Lucky at the Rescue Crew (image from Petfinder)

This Lucky is a little dude rocking as a chiweenie! (Chihuahua & dachshund mix). He’s 6 1/2 years old and packed to the brim of his small frame with a GINORMOUS amount of personality! He loves to play and will chase a ball for hours, though isn’t a fan of the cold weather. If you add him to your family know that he will take his time warming up to you. Need a little Lucky in your life? See his details on Petfinder!

Lucky Man – fostered in Illinois with Across America Boxer Rescue

Need some old luck? This dude will give you TONS! Lucky Man is a mature man, with an awesome personality and tons of love to give. His previous family left him and the neighbors banded together to feed him. Lucky Man got sick, was rescued by Across America Boxer, got fixed up and is looking for a home. It seems this older dude has been with his foster since June. He’s in Illinois if you’d like to add him to your family. Check out his details on Petfinder.

Lucky at Emotional Rescue (Image from Petfinder)

Check out this Lucky! What a hunk! He’s a tripod pup (only 3 legs!) and loves to run and play. He’s affectionate, big and loves to play. A fenced yard is a must for this guy. He’s friendly and kennel trained. Add a ton of luck with this Lucky pup in your family! See his details on Petfinder!

Looking to get a Lucky pup closer to you? Check out the Luckys looking to bring luck to their new families on Petfinder! (As of writing this post there are 1,900 dogs looking for new homes!)

Why not a session for your new Lucky or pup? Limited weekends available and after the time change this weekend weekday sessions will be available again! Don’t wait to book for summer for a session, we will have a only June – August available before back to school limits us again! Summer is perfect for sessions – green grass, flowers, warm temps and trips to the beach! Contact me at to book your summer session today!

This is a blog circle, coming to you every Friday! Next up pop over &  snag your lucky discount code while Darlene Woodward of Pant the Town Photography shares some adorable comfy and lightweight cat themed shoes perfect for travel with your pet.

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, which dog breed to pick?

The house is currently dogless. Such a weird empty space with no snores, sighs, grunts, crunches of bones or wagging tails. Odd to not drop a bowl of food, do potty breaks, share snacks or having a walking companion, since there has always been a dog in my life since 2006. 

Since we are waiting until the summer break to pick a dog, there is ample times to think about which breed to pick.

Here are options we’re considering:

  • Rottweiler
    – Owned & love the breed! (Ought to hear me squeal with delight in meeting or seeing a rottie…)
    – Strong willed, aloof with strangers, they can be total doofuses and very loving if treated well
    – Not a dog for everyone, rotties need leaders and ample socialization – lack of can lend towards a pushy, naughty adult
    – They work well in family dynamics, though being big they can knock over children
    – Find as a rescue or from a breeder who focuses on temperament vs bulk and head size

  • Pitbull
    – Owned and love the breed!
    – Pitbull isn’t actually a breed! The actual breeds are: American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier & Staffordshire Terriers
    – Happy, loving, laid back, smart, people lovers
    – They have a tendency towards dog aggression and reactivity to other dogs, can be curbed with ample socialization & training
    – Great for hiking and lounging buddies, may not be great in social situations with other dogs (depends on the dog)
    – Opt for a rescue as pitties & pittie mixes tend to make up a large amount of puppies and dogs found in shelters

  • German Shepherd
    – would be a new to me breed
    – they are smart, active, strong, protective, a great companion for all activities
    – tend to be shedders and blow out their coats twice a year (dog hair doesn’t bother me)
    – need ample training and socialization to be a well adjusted dog – love to have a job
    – can be a bit nippy & bitey (can be corrected with training) – this comes from them being HERDING dogs!
    – Adopt (often many shepherd mix dogs available in shelters, sometimes purebreds) or find a reputable breeder

  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
    – new to me breed
    – smart, watchful, happy, friendly, talkative, chill to moderately active
    – can be stubborn and require a strong leader
    – In the same family as the Bernese Mountain Dog
    – BIG dog, can weigh easily over 100 lbs but they hardly drool!
    – Strong & love to pull, they were bred for general farm work from watchdog to cart pulling
    – Have a double coat and shed, though less than huskies, labs and shepherds are prone to
    – Long duration for house training, could take up to 6 months
    – Very rare to find in rescue, breeders often have long wait lists

  • Mutt from a shelter
    – super variable as per what’s at the shelter though I would avoid: super high energy dogs, most small dogs, doodles, labs & lab mixes, huskies 
    – I have a mega soft spot for pitties, pittie mixes and shepherd mixes
    – The ideal age range would be puppy to a 2 year old dog

Eenie, meenie, miny, mo… I don’t know!

Having had a rottie and pittie in the past, they make the list though I’d like to have something a little different. Kris’s son LOVES german shepherds, but I’d like to wait a little before adding a shepherd into our family so the two can grow and train together. 

Tons of research into Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs and I found myself falling in love with the breed. Their look, their personalities, a laid back but fun loving dog with a sleek coat (Berners are too fluffy for my taste, plus they’re rather short lived) – and I knew that a Swissy was going to be a future dog in my family. The quest into breeders began, all in casualness as introducing another dog with Bender was most likely not going to happen (he was super particular about dogs he liked).  Continued to collect information, figuring that it would be a couple more years before we’d be adding a new dog into the mix. Unfortunately, the liver disease Bender was living with peaked and turned into liver failure in February, meaning the movement into a new dog was sooner than anticipated. An application was filled out, we’re on the list for a Swissy!

What about a mutt? I love mutts! Both Mick & Axel were mutts! With waiting until the summer to add a dog into our family I have only been looking lightly at available dogs. 

If I adopt here are the places I’d adopt from:

That’s only a small amount of the rescues in Minnesota! Most likely Tri County Humane Society would be my first pick as they are in St. Cloud.  If you want to add a new family member to your home, I would def check out a local rescue!

What would be your choice for a breed of dog?

This is a blog circle and will drop every Friday! Next up visit Carol Mudra of Apawture Studios in Milan, Italy as she shares some fun info on one of her favorite American dog breeds, the Catahoula Leopard Dog.