Breed suggestions (not for me)

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Toller_08, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    Can anybody out there think of a breed with these traits:

    - Minimal grooming (smooth or short coat much preferred. Hairless is ok too.)
    - Minimal exercise requirements
    - Not known for DA or SSA
    - Friendly and happy with people and other dogs
    - Eager to learn and willing to please
    - Large (50lbs and over)
    - Relatively healthy and known to live generally at least 10 years
    - Not too noisy (doesn't want a dog that will bark at every little thing)
    - Ability to be off leash reliably (no hounds)

    This person wants a dog basically as a nice, easy to live with companion. She enjoys going to dog parks occassionally, but mostly this dog will recieve leashed walks and play time in the back yard. This dog will be taken to obedience classes, and while the person enjoys training, she has no desire to ever trial or compete in any venue in any way. This person is used to dogs that can be a bit head strong (Rottweilers, Dobermans) and can handle that, but mostly she'd be better with a dog who enjoys working with it's owner and is eager and willing to please. This person does not do well with dogs that are intense or high energy, and does not want to deal with aggression or reactivity if she can help it (will not get rid of the dog if it develops an issue, though). This person is a fantastic dog owner but is looking for an easy to live with dog in comparison to the dogs she has now, who are not a good match for her, but she makes do and loves them anyway.

    Does anybody know of a breed out there that fits this description? I thought maybe a (show bred) Lab would be good, but she finds them very unappealing to look at. Not that that means they're automatically ruled out, but we all know that appearance does play a role in what we like to live with. I thought maybe a Smooth Collie would be good too, but I don't know much about their energy levels... and the barking might be an issue. Not sure how trainable they are to not bark at everything. The ones I've been in dog classes with seemed really easy going and nice to be around, though. Any suggestions or experiences you can share about any breed you feel fit the above description would be greatly appreciated! This person had a Rottweiler in the past that fit all of her requirements perfectly, but the Rottweilers I know now don't seem quite as laid back as she was.
     
  2. Sit Stay

    Sit Stay Not a Border Collie

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    I thought Swissy but I don't know how healthy or long lived they are. I did know one quite well though and he fit the bill perfectly - just an all around easy dog! Not high energy at all, very dog and people friendly, just very sweet and easy.
     
  3. OutlineACDs

    OutlineACDs Crazy Dog!

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    Whippet--- maybe not within her size requirements, but meets everything else

    Labs shed like whoa, so if her reason for wanting a short coat was shedding she may want to rethink that.
     
  4. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    To be honest her best bet may be to check out shelters. Puppies can be a huge PITA and that way she can be sure that dog dog she's getting will be exactly the kind she wants :) Puppies can always be a gamble.
     
  5. Whisper

    Whisper Kaleidoscopic Eye

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    I'm thinking a shelter dog, too. All the breeds I think of that match a couple of requirements definitely don't fit the rest. If she got a young adult from the shelter I'm sure she could find all of that (except reliability off leash for certain- I've never known a shelter that checks for that).
     
  6. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    She really, really likes them. Might have to look into them a bit more. I've heard rumors that they have a tendency to be dog aggressive, but I don't know if that's true or not.

    She used to like Whippets, but after getting to know a couple, she's not as big a fan as she once was. They seem pretty fragile. All of the ones I know tend to be very prone to severe cuts and scrapes and injuries (thin skin?). And a visual deterrent would be nice too (though not a requirement), being a smaller woman on her own, which a Whippet isn't much of. But other than that, they do seem like a good fit other than size.

    No, shedding isn't a huge problem. She would prefer minimal shedding, but has lived with heavy shedders. She just doesn't want to have to trim anything (not even feet or ears, like I have to do with Dance).


    Adopting an adult dog is definitely not being ruled out. I've told her in the past that based on what she wants, it'd probably be easier to find those traits in a shelter dog than a purebred.

    She does like raising puppies though, and by the time she's ready for a dog, it'll have been years since she's had a puppy so in that respect she might really want a puppy. At this point though, she just has no idea what breed to even begin looking at. Her favourite breed is riddled with health problems, which is why she's not seriously looking into them. And they're not quite as laid back as she thought they were (well, there is conflicting information - I still think she should go meet with a breeder and their dogs), which she could still deal with and live with, but she's really ready for an easier dog.
     
  7. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    Chessies might work if she goes with a good breeder who's honest about those lines particular tendencies towards DA and SSA. Or look into Curly Coated Retrievers! I've always loved Curlies.
     
  8. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Pretty much not, at least around here. I've known five or six, some from the same (bad) breeder, some imported. I've yet to know a healthy one. Seizures, allergies, joint issues, eye issues. Granted, it isn't a wide range of dogs I've known, but every one of them had issues that affected their quality of life pretty early on.

    Having said that, they were all nice tempered dogs, both with people and other dogs. Very "slow" for lack of a better term.
     
  9. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    She needs to meet some racebred whippets they tend to be sturdy dogs. Well most wellbred whippets I have met I wouldn't say are delicate. A black one would likely be a deterrent.

    But if not a whippet what about a nice grey? Not a rescue but a pet/show bred one?
     
  10. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    The right Lab could be perfect. I know several Labs who would be perfect - not even heavy shedders because they don't have a lot of undercoat. One of them came from the local pound and she is a perfect pet dog really - very low energy, easy going, totally non-aggressive (even when a Cane Corso latched onto her face), super mild mannered. and narurally good off leash. Other "Mellow Labs" I have known were rehomes/rescues, show or pet bred or from service dog breeding programs.

    Sighthounds don't so much seem to fit some of the requirements. Swissies are definitely not known to be really healthy, long lived breeds :( And the other two short haired dogs in that "family" are much more intense herding breeds. Smooth Collies could certainly be a possibility I would think. Collies are generally very easy to get along with and it isn't hard at all to find a low drive, low energy one.
     
  11. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    I would disagree with the sighthound comment. There is a breeder I know who breeds the most fabulous greys. Easy going, love everyone, large enough to intimidate, dog friendly etc etc. Sounds like a perfect match by the list.

    I have only met a couple of collies but they seem to fit, except for being smaller than listed.
     
  12. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    A greyhound sounds perfect, except the off lead part.

    What about a Dalmatian? Still needs some exercise, but they don't have a crazy drive.
     
  13. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Except the that most people don't find them to be eager to learn/easy to train. And the off leash reliability greatly depends on the situation. Of course, the can be true of any dog but a dog with a low prey drive is generally easier.

    I'm pretty familiar with non-track bred Greys, even raised one :)

    I don't know how many Collies are under 50lbs? I've known quite a few in the 60-80lb range.
     
  14. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    Thanks you guys! I'll pass along the suggestions.

    And yeah, I just don't know if a sighthound would be a good fit or not. I know some can be taught to be pretty reliable off lead, but I wouldn't trust one. Especially with the hares and coyotes around here, even in areas that are meant for dogs. And I think, having experienced breeds that are thinkers and enjoy working, a Greyhound might be a little boring. I dunno though. I will still mention them and see. Same with Whippets.

    Do any of our Collie owners here have any hands on experience they'd be willing to share? As far as what they're like to live with and train, anyway. I'd really appreciate it. :)

    Most Dals I've ever heard of sound pretty comparable to the Dobermans I know. I looked into them for myself for a while, and still really like them, but I don't think they're overly easy. The one I had growing up was pretty full on and a lot of dog. She was super easy to train though. Hands down probably the most intelligent, trainable and eager dog I've ever known. I just remember her needing a ton of exercise and she was pretty intense.
     
  15. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Most whippets I meet are at least as drivey as the average bench lab to work. I would call them an eager to please breed. I take mine to the farm where my horses are and don't worry as they aren't going to bother the farm cats, dogs or horses and they have VERY reliable recalls! Now they are small.. Whippets are the most eager to please of the sighthhounds even much more so than the silkens. BUT the non racebred greys I know are very easy to work with, both food and play driven.

    ETA sighthounds have a reputation that I dont' think is deserved. Most retrievers we have lure coursed are much more into it 'faster' than most sighthounds. Its like it takes them a while to decide this is a game they are into, where as most other breeds (BCs, tollers, goldens, and even a crestie!) are more likely to tear after a moving lure. I remember doing our first LC event that was for sighthounds. I was shocked, even the dogs with coursing championships would stop and pee on course :yikes: No terrier would stop to pee when after something! My point being for actual off leash training in the presence of a running bunny I don't think they are more or less likely to bolt off after it vs any other dog. (a dog used for hunting of course will be more likely to)
     
  16. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I don't think sighthounds in general are hard to train per say. With positive methods, they can learn behaviors pretty readily. Especially when you start when they are puppies. But they don't tend to be hard wired to work with you on tasks the way herding or sporting breeds are. I think that may be part of the reason training them to a high degree of reliability is something many people seem to struggle with though. They also very often are not dogs who will tolerate much pressure in training and tend to be fairly easy to shut down with any use of traditional training.


    I can't say my experience with sighthounds and coursing has been like that at all. I would be really, really disappointed to see every sighthound at a coursing trial so disinterested in the lure that they'd stop and mark on the course. Or who were out done by Labs. When I helped with Greys at coursing, I had to be instructed on how not to get my fingers broken or a concussion when I took them near the field. These normally mild mannered dogs would become...well, crazy with excitement as soon as they saw what was going on. They loved coursing and were quite fast and dedicated. Of course, they were not small animal safe while running loose on their property. But they aren't really supposed to be either.
     
  17. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Oh I am not sayign they don't get good at it. BUt its not as automatic as I expected. As the owners of one of the few sets of LC equip in the province, as well as going out to races I have to say IME sighthounds don't have anymore drive than most dogs. I have seen loads of tollers and BC and MANY a JRT go batshit crazy as soon as they hear the lure motor. I know many a whippet does too, but all those whippets also are fine with cats and small dogs.

    I think in most cases if they are raised with small animals they are typically fine. That said I wouldn't go to a die hard racing breeder to buy a dog you want to be great off leash and good with your cats. On my trip sampling whippets I met many a whippet with racing titles who shared their home with a cat.
     
  18. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    I don't think sharing a home with cats is generally the issue though. It's seeing cats or other small animals running loose, outdoors in the great wide open where there could be an issue. At least that has been the case with many sighthounds I have known.
     
  19. Dekka

    Dekka Just try me..

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    Possibly, but I think its much more likely if they never see the cat as a 'friend'. That said even if they run my guys won't do anything to them if they catch up. Bounce will chance rabbits but is afraid of cats LOL. She won't chase them, evar.

    But high prey drive doesn't mean cat killer. I am sure Ado has talked about Petie and he has hunted but is good with cats and kittens. Kaiden is a maniac about racing and will chase a cat if it runs, but stops when it does. I also have owned cat killers, but when it comes to racing or coursing there doesnt' seem to be any correlation.

    All that said just as many collies, bc, labs etc are likely to take after a cat streaking across the great outdoors. I have had clients when I was teaching at the local obed club that had issues and they all had non sighthounds. My point being is that ANY dog can decide chasing a cat could be fun. And IME a non hunting sighthound isn't really any more likely than any other working/herding dog to chase. (I am sure Sport would not only chase but kill a cat if he ever found one)
     
  20. Aleron

    Aleron New Member

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    Maybe the longhaired Whippets have been bred just as pets long enough that they don't have much interest in prey or hunting? The Whippets I see here in lure coursing are probably the most consistently driven and dedicated out of any of the breeds.

    The Greys I knew had high prey drive and were cat killers, outdoors. Talking to other sighthounds people, it seemed that was often the case. When a sighthound with a sighthound type temperament sees a cat running in the distance, they are not going to think "oh that's my friend, let me go say hi". Instead they see a small prey animal moving. These dogs killed at least one cat they lived with peacefully in the house when the cat accidentally got outside and they killed stray cats that were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Obviously the cat killing was not encouraged or enjoyed but it happened. It's unfortunate that the family cats couldn't be kept safe from the dogs and that there are roaming stray/feral cats in the area but it was what is was. These dogs were definitely more likely to be oriented towards chasing, catching and killing prey than the average dog. They aren't really supposed to be average dogs though :)

    My Belgians have pretty high prey drive too. They are very willing to chase rabbits and squirrels. And a couple have killed them if they happen to catch them. However, I can ask them to wait or call them off the chase- training to that degree of reliablity is IME much harder with a sighthound who has proper prey drive.
     

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