Help Me Pick A Breed, Please

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Logen Ninefingers, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. Logen Ninefingers

    Logen Ninefingers New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    Great forum you have here - there are a lot of very knowledgeable posters. I hope you guys won't mind helping me out, as I'm struggling to decide what breed of dog I should own.

    Whether you have had dogs previously
    Two golden retrievers. Been around dogs all my life.

    Your circumstances - do you work etc?
    I work from home. The dog will very rarely be left by itself.

    How much time you have for exercise
    I'd imagine two walks per day, plus time in the back garden.

    Whether you have children, other pets etc
    One cat.

    What characteristics you are looking for
    I want a medium to large sized dog with a natural guarding instinct. Always wanted a "velcro dog" - a dog that always want to be with its people. The dog must have an off-switch and be content to curl up and be lazy. I don't like stubborn, independent dogs like Akitas or Huskies.

    What breeds you have already looked at and your thoughts on them

    Doberman - Never seen one out and about, but from what I've read (and I've read quite a bit), they seem like great dogs. The laundry list of health concerns bothers me, though.

    Boxer - Have mixed feelings about this breed. My partner likes them a lot, and for that reason, I've looked into them.

    There seems to be a lot of contradictory information out there. Some people say they slobber like broken faucets, others say they slobber only as much as any other breed. Some people say they're non-stop, bouncing-off-the-walls maniacs, others say they can be chilled out.

    Don't know what to believe, but I do like that they're natural guardians, like Dobermans.

    German Shepherd - Partner's family owns two that I don't particularly like, but from what I've read, they don't seem typical of the breed (they're nervous and prone to biting strangers).

    I don't like the sloping-backed look that the showlines have, and worry that if I purchased a working line GSD, I wouldn't be able to meet its exercise requirements.

    Anything else you think might be relevant or important
    • I live in a house in a semi-rural location. I have decently sized back garden. Space is not an issue.
    • Regarding coat length: I don't mind. Long hair/short hair, it doesn't bother me, as long as I don't have to take the dog to the groomers (happy to brush daily, etc).
    • I like to go on long walks and hikes. I'd like a dog that could accompany me on these.

    Apologies for the long-winded post! I hope I've provided enough information for you all.
     
  2. JennSLK

    JennSLK F150 and a .30-06

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    Boxers have just as many health problems as dobermans. ;) A boxer should have a off switch. Some will droll a bit but they whont be as bad as a loose lipped dog.
     
  3. Julee

    Julee UNSTOPPABLE

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    Rottweiler?
     
  4. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    Sounds like you want a Doberman to me. Though I hear you on the health issues. Rottie also not a bad suggestion.
     
  5. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    Based on what you've said, the right Doberman could be a good fit. Either of my Dobes would suit your needs just fine. Both are super velcro dogs, are very active as mature adults (were very high energy before about 2ish though), and are quite content with doing whatever I want to do. Be it be lazy and watch TV, or go for a walk, or go for a run, whatever. They never pester me for extra exercise, although they are nicer to live with after a good run (their favourite activity).

    They can be same sex aggressive though, especially males, so keep that in mind should you ever add another dog. And they also are often not good dog park dogs. Some are, but many (or even most) are not.

    Just make sure, if you're not adopting from rescue, you go to a good breeder who knows their dogs and their lines inside and out and does all of the appropriate health clearances (cardiac, hips, elbows, eyes, thyroid, etc.). It doesn't guarantee anything of course, but it's good to stack the odds in your favour.



    And this might sound like a bit of an off the wall suggestion... but an Aussie might be something to look into. I don't recommend them often, but they could fit your list too. They're not a guard breed per se, but they can definitely be very protective and don't miss a beat. In all honesty, most of the adults I know are just as protective and alert-y as my Dobes are. And mine is a major velcro dog as well, just not as needy about it as my Dobermans. But she's always close and always wants to be near.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2013
  6. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Honestly, your requirements are pretty open to a good majority of breeds, I'm sure you'll be pleased with whatever you choose. Doberman came to mind before I got to the fact you mentioned them :D. A rottie too. Even the right Australian Cattle Dog might suit you, they are trainable and happy to hang out with you. Occasionally you'll find any of these breeds without the 'best' off-switch but I feel that depends on the individual dog.

    Like Toller said, all of these breeds are a little prone to be reactive or have dog aggression/same sex aggression. If you were to ever add a second dog, I would highly recommend one of a different sex.

    You might consider breed rescue too... Dobes, Rotties, GSDs, Aussies, ACDs, and Boxers are all easily found in rescue. You might be able to find an adult with the perfect temperament already, rather than trying to raise a puppy and hoping it has the traits you are looking for.

    If you are really wanting a puppy, I would definitely make sure you go with a reputable breeder that health tests. Forgive me if you know this already, but there are screening tests that can be done on the parents for the common problems in a lot of breeds. Off the top of my head, Dobermans can carry a clotting disorder, GSDs can have hip dyplasia, ACDs can have eye problems, Boxers can have cardiac problems. The screening tests on the parents can greatly reduce the chance that your puppy will have that problem. The breeder should willingly produce the results of these tests. You don't really want to look in the newspaper or on a classifieds website for puppies. A reputable breeder (in a very general sense) usually exhibits their dogs as well and produces a limited number of litters per year. The breeder usually evaluates the puppies as they grow up and can help you select the best one for your family.

    Anyways, good luck on your search! Let us know what you decide on, and please come back with pictures! :D
     
  7. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    It depends on what level of a guarding instinct you want, but some of the protective, naturally wary breeds that weren't traditionally bred for guarding came to mind:

    Chesapeake Bay Retriever
    Australian Cattle Dog
    Australian Shepherd
    Dalmatian
    or a Bullmastiff.

    I've never met a boxer that drooled. They may give slightly wetter kisses or slobber a bit more at a water dish or while eating than tighter-lipped dogs, but I've never seen one leave slobber on a couch, or just drool generally. The ones I've met have also mostly been incredibly docile towards visitors/strangers in general, very people-oriented with both their owners and everyone they meet. At least here, the guarding instinct seems to be pretty bred out of them, way moreso than a dobe or rottie.

    If you are considering rescue, a mixed breed dog will probably fit your requirements just as well as a purebred, and a GSD mix might be better suited to you than a pure shepherd.
     
  8. Logen Ninefingers

    Logen Ninefingers New Member

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    Thank you everyone so far for your replies. Some real food for thought.

    I worry that they might be a little bit much for me. I'm not a big man, and I can picture myself being dragged along the ground with a death-grip on a Rottweiler's leash after it's seen something it wants and has taken off.

    I'm being hyperbolic, of course. I like what I've read about Rottweilers. Do you think they need a more physical owner, though?

    I hope you don't mind me asking, but how much should one pay for a Doberman from a reputable breeder? I've done some research in the past, and seen numbers as high as £1,200 and as low as £600.

    I'm not too concerned about the price, as I realize a Doberman (or any dog) from a reliable breeder is a worthwhile investment, I'd just like to know how much I should realistically expect to pay.

    Interesting. They've never been on my radar, so I'll need to look into them a bit more. Thanks.

    Mad Max's dog, right? Love the way they look, and I'd definitely consider one if they were more available in the UK. Haven't ever seen one, and a search on a popular website only turns up Australian Kelpies.
     
  9. meepitsmeagan

    meepitsmeagan Meagan & The Cattle Dog Crew

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    Owning both a Boxer and with all of my research on ACD's/having two ACDx's in the house, I will go ahead and chime in. Prep for long post.

    Boxer- They do have natural "guarding" instincts, but they aren't nearly as attentive to detail and things out of place as the cattle dogs. Drool isn't an issue. She makes kind of a mess when she drinks, and will drool a touch when she is getting dinner. STUBBORN. Omg stubborn. If she doesn't want to do it and you don't have anything to make it worth it to her then screw you. She is a mix of independent and velcro. Some days, she wants to be all over you. Others, she is content to stay out of sight and sleep the day away and not get up.

    Energy level is manageable, especially now that she is a touch older. A few runs a week/playtime with others and she's good to go. She has a fantastic off switch, though I reinforced it when she was little. Obedience training is a must. You will need to be consistent and keep up with it, and have "bootcamp" every once in a while where you proof everything again, again, and again. She has SOME reactivity that was triggered by a few attacks in the dog park. Other than that, she loves people, and gets along with most dogs. SSA is something that you need to watch out for. We have a foster ACDx right now that is female, and they have had words. Nothing that heeds C/R or anything, but I'm constantly watching them.

    These dogs are seriously hilarious and I love them. As much as the ACD's are a better fit for me, I can't see us without a Boxer.

    ACD's- I personally don't see them being a good fit, BUT that is just my opinion. An ACD is going to need more than two walks and a run around the yard. They need different channels for the quirky weird energy. The more jobs the better or they will find their own. Recall has to be epic because of their prey drive. These guys LOVE their person.. who they choose. They will normally do just about anything for their person and you will never again go to the bathroom again. Or the kitchen. Or outside. Or to sleep. Or really do anything, if they can come. They are super good listeners to a point. Prey drive will override if you don't work on impulse control, and even then it is constant management. They can be stubborn and are VERY hardy/have a high pain tolerance. They are hard dogs. Harder than Boxers.

    Here is what our exercise plan is for a normal week:

    Sunday: A walk for me/run for the dogs. Fetch in the house for about 30 minutes. The cattle dogs watch for any intruders of the yard that conveniently look like squirrels.

    Monday/Wednesday/Friday: Dogs chase each other/wrestle in backyard for up about 45 minutes. Then fetch in the house/more wrestling for up to 2 hours.

    Tuesday/Thursday: One cattle dog goes to daycare for 5 hours. Then either bike ride (3-5 miles at varying speeds from full run to walk, but normally at a brisk trot), training session, or major run/swim occur.

    Saturday: Sometimes we go on a trip and go for a long-ish hike, or we take them to one of our parents, or we go on a socialization trip.

    I try to have Rider in classes every session. He's normally doing Nosework, but we did try agility last time. Lucy is a foster, so just when I feel motivated to train her. Boxer requires a bike ride every 2-3 weeks. Before the cattle dogs, a nice long hike once a week, with a good bike ride, and a walk/play date and we were set for exercise throughout the week.
     
  10. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    I had Rottweilers prior to Dobermans, and honestly, as far as being 'powerful', they're both pretty on par with one another. And I don't feel you really need a lot of physical power over a dog in most scenarios anyway. I actually find Rottweilers to be an 'easier' dog than a Doberman in the respect that Rottweilers seem a little less geared toward distraction (focus is a big ongoing thing I've had to work on with all of my Dobes) and mine were more people pleasing and less "what's in it for me?" than my Dobes are. They're both breeds that you need to be very consistent and firm with, but they're both also very handler oriented breeds that are sensitive to their person's emotions. I prefer Dobermans to Rottweilers now, but only because I find Rottweilers more in your face and outwardly goofy (with their people/those they know well) and I like my Dobes' more subtle, reserved approach. Hopefully that all makes sense! I'm kind of in a hurry at the moment. But basically, if you feel like you'd make a good owner for a Doberman or a Boxer or the like, there is no reason to feel that you wouldn't make an equally as good of an owner for a Rottweiler.

    I am not sure what a well bred Doberman would go for in your currency unfortunately, but they're about $1200-$2500 on average here in North America. Some are more, very rarely less. Most well bred dogs here are minimally $1000-$2000 anyway though it seems.
     
  11. Cardiparty

    Cardiparty New Member

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    I think maybe a bench labrador might fit your requirements. IE a lab meant for show, not work.

    They're bulky, black and they can be amazing watch dogs.

    They're not guardy per se, but you won't have to worry as much about who they're going to get a long with.

    Newfies are another suggestion except for THE HAIR.

    Both breeds are actually incredibly sweet dogs, and sometimes just having a bigger dog is enough to deter someone from wanting to break in.

    Probably not what you were wanting to hear and I acknowledge that, but just thought I'd give some out-ofo-the-box suggestions for you.
     
  12. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I'm a pretty small woman (120 lbs) and I worked with two really, really intense rotties. They were brothers, and I often handled and walked them both at the same time. If I walked them through manhattan at all, they were on prong collars, and they were essentially "good" dogs, but they were boisterous and full of energy and it was never an easy, leisurely walk.

    They are a lot of dog, but probably not much more than a doberman, and it sounds like you're more than willing to do your research, find the "right" dog, and learn how to train it, and I don't think there would be any reason you couldn't physically handle a Rottweiler unless you have some physical handicap that would affect you handling any large dog.

    Also, have you considered a beauceron?
     
  13. Logen Ninefingers

    Logen Ninefingers New Member

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    Thank you for the suggestions. Don't think either of the dogs are what I'm after, but appreciate you chiming in nonetheless!

    Exactly the type of information I was looking for, thanks. Rottweilers are a definite contender now, up there with Dobermans.

    I haven't, but they look interesting. Are they follow-you-from-room-to-room dogs, like Dobermans? What's your experience with them?
     
  14. milos_mommy

    milos_mommy Active Member

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    I've actually never met a beauceron, but from what I hear, they have a temperament similar to a GSD. A few members on here have them, so hopefully they'll chime in.
     
  15. Mina

    Mina BRT - "the black watch"

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    I hesitated to mention this as, although I've read quite a bit about them over the years, and have corresponded with a number of owners, I've yet to meet one, in 'person' ...

    Nevertheless, if you're comfortable with the idea of (for example) a Rottie, and would consider something more rare (and healthier), the Hovawart may be worth a look.
    http://www.hovawartclub.org/abouthovawart.html

    If it weren't for the shedding (allergies), this would definitely have been a real consideration for us.

     
  16. SizzleDog

    SizzleDog Lord Cynical

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    I actually think a Doberman sounds about right.

    These have been mentioned before, but I'll mention them again to make sure you're aware, and are OK with owning a dog who...
    - might develop expensive health issues
    - is probably not a good dog-park dog, especially if you get a male
    - will cost $1800-$2000 for pet quality
    - will have cropped ears (I only know one responsible breeder - that isn't a working breeder - that will consider leaving ears natural. And you do not want to get a dobe from a working breeder just based on ears... trust me!)

    I've owned several over the years. They're fantastic dogs, in the right hands. :)
     
  17. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    I agree on the Dobe, but the OP is in the UK, the dog won't have cropped ears. ;)

    And it is possible to get an uncropped dog from a responsible breeder in the US, it would just be more of a small-time breeder. Here's one:

    [​IMG]

    (the cropped dog in the photo is from a different breeder, and had issues. Yes, his legs are way too short.)
     
  18. SizzleDog

    SizzleDog Lord Cynical

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    Oh derp, didn't notice the OP was in the UK! My bad!

    May I ask who the breeder of the natural eared dog is? PM is fine. (It's very, very, very uncommon to find a breeder that is doing everything right - that isn't a working breeder - that leaves puppies natural. It's always nice to be able to add more breeders to my extremely short list that leave puppies natural.)
     
  19. Logen Ninefingers

    Logen Ninefingers New Member

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    Firstly, thank you to everyone who offered their suggestions.

    After a discussion with my other half, we've decided it isn't currently feasible to purchase a Dobermann. Because of the health concerns, we'd have to buy from a reputable breeder, and that's simply too costly right now (which is a shame because they sounded like the right fit).

    We'd still like a dog with the same requirements as mentioned in my original post, only without the hefty price tag.

    We're considering rescuing, or simply buying a less expensive dog (a breed less prone to disease). Again, I welcome any suggestions (in regards to breeds, or what to look for in the rescuing process, etc).

    Thanks guys.
     
  20. Logen Ninefingers

    Logen Ninefingers New Member

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    Firstly, thanks to everyone who offered their suggestions. I spent a lot of time researching dog breeds that wouldn't have otherwise crossed my mind.

    I thought, for a moment, that the Doberman was the right choice for me and my partner, as the breed seemed to encompass all of the traits listed in my original post. However...

    ... After much debate, we came to the unfortunate conclusion, because of the hefty price tag they carry, that purchasing a Doberman simply wasn't feasible for us right now.

    We still would like a dog, preferably one that fits the description I gave, only one that we can actually afford (sounds awful writing it like that, because I know that well-bred Dobermans are expensive because of the extensive health checks they're put through).

    We're looking at potentially rescuing a Doberman, so any advice about that process would be greatly appreciated. If we don't go down that route, we'll be researching breeds that aren't prone to as many diseases, so suggestions are encouraged!

    Thanks guys.
     

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