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Dazednconfused
Nov. 26, 2009, 05:06 PM
I'm seriously considering adding a dog to the family, and I want to do it right. I haven't ruled out getting one from the pound or a breed-specific rescue, but I still need a starting point. This is a long term thing for me - I want to find the perfect dog and am putting a lot of preliminary thought/planning into it (and have been for awhile). As far as I am aware, this will be a pet (and spayed/neutered as soon as possible). Also trying to see before I add one to the family what my schedule will be like (I will be a student next year - so it may be a couple of years, anyway).

I was hoping our COTHers would have some breeds to look into that have the qualities I'm looking for. This isn't my first dog - we had four long-lived, well-loved dogs throughout my childhood. But there are a specific set of traits that I am hoping to find - while I know no dog will be perfect - I don't want to fight against their nature/breeding. One of my dogs growing up was a mix of two breeds that produced a couple of traits that I really, really do not want to ever have again (despite skilled training) - atrocious recall being the biggie.

I am of the mind that having a dog off-leash means that overall, you do not have control, even if the dog is well behaved and well trained. That said - it would be nice to not get the equivalent of the doggie finger while in an offleash situation (which the aforementioned dog did on a regular basis - love her to death but :mad:!).

So based on these needs (knowing also that I plan to put in plenty of time with obedience training) what would you suggest?

-Great recall (no hounds...love their temperament and looks, but it's a dealbreaker!)
-preference for few health problems/can be checked or tested for
-Not generally thought of as a dangerous/risky breed (I do not own my own home and have known lots of people that have had trouble finding places to live that allowed them to bring their rottie, doberman, pitbull, etc even though the dogs were delightful canine citizens)
-Good with cats
-Suitable for both apartment and farm living & active owner
-Size and grooming are not particularly important.

I've considered Aussies, Australian Cattle Dogs, Corgis, Alaskan Klee Kai, standard Poodle...it seems like the herding breeds have the most of the qualities I'm seeking. A lot of the guardian breeds do too except for them being thought to be aggressive or dangerous (and please note, I said thought to be - this is not supposed to be a debate about what breeds are dangerous...unfortunately, some bad "breeders" have ruined it for everyone.)

Any other breeds you would look into if you were me? Any you would avoid that I listed for any reason? I think the ACD is the breed most under serious consideration for me.

Thanks guys! :winkgrin:

4Martini
Nov. 26, 2009, 05:36 PM
Gotta shout out for a lab or lab mix. We have what we think is a lab/ wiemeraner mix and it sounds like she would meet all of your criteria. We have friends with an awesome std. poodle that would totally meet your requirements too.

We started IDing breeds prior to looking too and it ended up working great for us!

My vet also mentioned a Wheaton Terrier to us - and it sounds like we had similar critera.

Good Luck

threedogpack
Nov. 26, 2009, 05:51 PM
I have fostered well over 50 dogs of various breeds, have 7 Pem Corgis of my own and a well bred ACD.

Things to consider before choosing a breed.

How much tolerance do you have for shedding? Corgis shed, and so do the Cattle Dogs. The cattle dog seems to shed about 2x a year and is easily maintained by 3 or 4 baths during the peak shedding months.

Size: LGD breeds are often very large and very hairy. They are bred to be aloof so if you want to take your dog with you when you go somewhere....don't expect a Great Pyr to be a socialite.

Temperament: some breeds are bred to take a beating and come back for more. Cattle Dogs were bred to herd bush cattle. My sweet little Meggie is as tough as nails. Truly tough. A marshmallow, tough outside and a sweet little softie inside. This means that if you use traditional methods for training you might end up with a dog who takes a correction and says "my Grandmother could do better....is that all you've got?" Some breeds were meant to have a high tolerance for pain....corrections simply will not be effective. Terriers were meant to push/pull/drag vermin who were then killed. A nip on the nose should make them fight back. Some breeds are so soft a correction will begin an unraveling that will last for years, I've known 3 Goldens like this. They were *very* hard to train. Choose carefully.

I do not tolerate a soft temperament well. I do best with a temperament that looks me in the eye if I have offended them and says "if you do that again, I will bite your @ss." I can deal with that. If the dog is too submissive and rolls over ....I'm outta there. I will not coax behavior.

That said, the cattle dog is the most loyal, most intelligent dog I have ever dealt with. I can call her off deer (did that), call her off a dog fight (did that) and she will NEVER run away. Never. I'd bet my paycheck on that one. The recall was installed at birth. Do not confuse intelligent with easily trained. She's also a candidate for Ritalin. Whatdoyouwantletmehelphowaboutthiswhatisthatneedme togetthatforyou?
She's also a bit hypervigilant.

Decide what you can live with and what you can train through.

The Corgis are something less attached to me. Their motto is always "what's in it for me?" but again, that's something I can work with. They are courageous little dogs and actually have a bit of stamina for their size. Especially my most moderate sized dog. He's got a bit more leg length, a bit lighter bone and is more areodynamic than the others. The other dogs look like what you see in the ring frequently. Heavier boned, shorter legged and longer bodied. Again, a self confident and intelligent breed that I've found extremely easy to live with (even the heavy coat that creates mountains of hair if not kept up with) and very very easy to train. I've know 4 Pems that were euthed for aggression. One was a foster at my house. Another was a students dog. A third was a fear aggressive dog that was trained using +P methods. I've known a LOT of dogs that were even tempered, well loved and fine companions.

The cattle dog is the right size for me, she's athletic to a fault, she's eager beyond belief and best of all...when she gets wet she does not smell like wet dog. The Corgis are my heart, they reflect me best, but the cattle dog helps me out the most.

The Corgis need to be lifted or have a step up to get into my Jeep Cheerokee. The cattle dog jumps in. If we have been at the gamelands and they are muddy, you can guess which is easier to deal with. Both have coats that shed water, mud and dirt. Both seem to tolerate my northern winters easily. Both breeds are social and friendly, though the cattle dog a little less so than the corgis.

Lone
Nov. 26, 2009, 06:01 PM
We're on our third aussie and they've all been truly fantastic dogs. Loyal, smart, protective (without being overly so).

We've also a several fantastic labs and lab crosses from the pound that have been great. Can't go wrong there!

Dazednconfused
Nov. 26, 2009, 06:05 PM
That was super helpful, threedogpack. Very interesting to hear from the perspective of someone who has both.

The hair is not a big deal. I have two cats one of whom is longhaired. So hair doesn't scare me!

I don't think most of the LGD breeds are a good choice for me (great pyrs, kuvasz etc) after reading about the difficulty in training them/not being for a novice owner (although I'm not sure I fall into that category perse, I am an animal person and have had dogs before, but I'm not sure I want one that's such a challenge to train).

I think knowing my preference for horse breeds - a dog that has grit but also being very attached like your ACD is, would fit in very well with me.

Other nice thing about the ACD is their size. Also one of my dogs growing up was a purebred ACD that my dad rescued when he was an animal control officer - she was a wonderful dog - so I have that sentimental attachment, too. Though again I'm considering a lot of different breeds - I don't want to get a dog based purely on that...

Are there particular bloodlines to look for/stay away from in ACD, do you know?

Bluey
Nov. 26, 2009, 06:15 PM
Many ACD's tend to be dog aggressive and territorial when mature and controlling that would be something most people have trouble with.
We get our share in our dog classes, when they grow up and their owners start having problems with them.

With your list, I would seriously consider the standard poodle, as they are generally velcro dogs as no one, no running off, even with very little training and very malleable, won't go around finding something that is more interesting in their lives than you.
They are not perfect, the grooming is a nuisance, but were bred for a smart pet and house and family dog and that is what you seem to be wanting.

threedogpack
Nov. 26, 2009, 06:44 PM
That was super helpful, threedogpack. Very interesting to hear from the perspective of someone who has both.

Are there particular bloodlines to look for/stay away from in ACD, do you know?

My Meg is a Carben Copy bred dog. Their kennel is in Michigan. I found a nice little red boy out of Michigan from the Merigang Kennel and I'd go back there for one of their dogs too. He was about 4 months old when the breeder met us on their way to a specialty in Harrisburg. We met a few hours south of us and this was one nice nice nice boy. His mother was gorgeous. At 4 months old, this young dog was self confident, sound in both attitude and temperament and just a pretty pretty dog. I got together with my friend one other time last spring and Bo was very good with my blue girl

Carben Copy : http://carbencopy.com/wp/

Merigang: http://www.merrigangacd.com/

as Bluey said, Cattle Dogs can be dog aggressive as they are assertive dogs and I would NOT use much positive punishment with them. I'd rather limit their options for what is available and make it worth their while to work with me. This is one breed I'd rather spend the $$ on to get a puppy or young dog from a breeder. If you go the rescue route, make sure the rescue KNOWS how to do a good eval.

I've had 4 cattle dogs in class and all were scary smart, one was a bit of a chest beater, but once his owner learned how to motivate him, he turned all that energy onto her and was an OUTSTANDING student. Another dog could practically run over top of him and he'd never lose the eye contact with his owner.

EqTrainer
Nov. 26, 2009, 06:46 PM
The best dogs I have ever had have all been border collie crosses of some sort or another. Bisous was BC/Chow and he had the best qualities of both breeds - and he was beautiful. Hairy, yes, but I like hairy dogs :D

I now have a purebred BC (quirky dog but he's a good egg), a chow/BC/hound cross (cute and sweet but all farm-dog) and a Great Pyr/BC/???? cross that is *fabulous*.

I think the BC brings the desire to be with and work with people to the table, but crossing them w/something else tones down the intensity that is inherent to the breed.

Personally, unless a lab were crossed w/BC, I would not have one.. I cannot deal w/that dullness. Once you have trained a BC, you are spoiled. It takes just a few minutes to teach them each thing they need to know.. I just put mine on a leash and take them everywhere w/me for a few days and then they are trained!

LaurieB
Nov. 26, 2009, 06:50 PM
We had Poodles for 30+ years and I loved every single thing about them but the grooming. If you don't mind having to clip/bathe/scissor them every six weeks or so there's no better dog than a Standard Poodle.

When my last Poodle died last year I decided it was time for a change. My criteria are pretty much the same as yours and I was certain I'd end up with an Australian Cattle Dog. I probably would have too if the breeders whose websites talked a lot about good health and genetic testing--which were very important to me--had ever replied to my emails or returned my phone calls.

While I was waiting for that to happen I fell in love with a smooth Collie. Basically Lassie without the long hair. We got our puppy three weeks ago and so far she's done everything right. She's smart, affectionate, and eager to please. And on top of that she's gorgeous. Collies can have some major eye problems but they can be checked for at 8 weeks.

It might be another breed for you to check into. :)

10 weeks old: http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/LaurienB/Blaze-11-22-09-g.jpg

This is her sire so this is basically what she'll look like when she's full grown (except for color obviously): http://colliesonline.com/ad_archive_2009/camloch_082209.html

spookhorse
Nov. 26, 2009, 06:58 PM
I absolutely *adore* my Border Collie! He's not the overly aggressive/must do something constantly type, but rather a quieter type and is better for me and my situation.

He was a shelter dog I took a chance on and he's been perfect for me! He needed to have some behavioral issues worked on and he was very submissive when I got him, but doing obedience training and then eventually Search and Rescue training has made him into a very happy and outgoing dog :yes: He just passed his Canine Good Citizen test easily a few weeks ago :)

He is perfectly happy in the house and spends most of his time sleeping (unless his little JRT bro gets him wrastlin') and then when we go out to the farm or for a search, he is ready to go! Excellent recall, great work ethic, smart (but he is not one of those BCs that are smarter than you are), friendly to a fault with all humans/dogs/cats/horses, cuddly, and just plain sweet!

horse-loverz
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:00 PM
I have another shout out for the Standard Poodle. Mine has just turned a year old and is hands down the best dog I have owned! Velcro is a good description to use.. he is attached at the hip, is great at the barn will run off and play with my trainer's dog but when I call him he comes right back. He was a very easy puppy, very very smart and great around the horses.

The grooming would be the only downside but I clip him short about every 6 weeks and the dirt just brushes off then, no shedding, he is protective when in the car (loud bark but no bite:D) and of the house (again all bark and no bite). He plays very gently with my 8 year old and while he loves to run and play and will keep up with me when he does come in and crash he is calm in the house.

I can't say enough great things about my poodle. :D

Firefox
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:10 PM
grew up with Labs and the hunting type can be very very fun to work with, after college got a great golden ret, the kind that goes with you everywhere, now have an Aussie that is the best, planning on going with a ACD next want to not have a long haired dog next, key to most is to socialize them and take the time of dog classes etc! Good luck!

Dazednconfused
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:10 PM
A farrier I used to work with has an absolutely lovely BC girl - he has done an impeccable job of training her and the breeder is close by, so that is something to think about. I have known a few BCs that were just too neurotic and high energy for me so I hadn't given a whole lot of thought to them.

Threedogpack - thanks for the links! I am 99% sure I'd be considering a puppy (whether breeder, rescue, or pound) due to already having cats in the family. Those are some just beautiful ACDs, especially the Carben Copy ones. How is yours with cats?

Dazednconfused
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:12 PM
Stupid question for those of you with standard poodles - is it possible to clip them yourself with horse clippers? I am generally not averse to grooming or taking one in for getting clipped/groomed, but if I could do it myself, all the better ;)

Dazednconfused
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:14 PM
We had Poodles for 30+ years and I loved every single thing about them but the grooming. If you don't mind having to clip/bathe/scissor them every six weeks or so there's no better dog than a Standard Poodle.

When my last Poodle died last year I decided it was time for a change. My criteria are pretty much the same as yours and I was certain I'd end up with an Australian Cattle Dog. I probably would have too if the breeders whose websites talked a lot about good health and genetic testing--which were very important to me--had ever replied to my emails or returned my phone calls.

While I was waiting for that to happen I fell in love with a smooth Collie. Basically Lassie without the long hair. We got our puppy three weeks ago and so far she's done everything right. She's smart, affectionate, and eager to please. And on top of that she's gorgeous. Collies can have some major eye problems but they can be checked for at 8 weeks.

It might be another breed for you to check into. :)

10 weeks old: http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h245/LaurienB/Blaze-11-22-09-g.jpg

This is her sire so this is basically what she'll look like when she's full grown (except for color obviously): http://colliesonline.com/ad_archive_2009/camloch_082209.html

She is absolutely adorable! Do smooth collies get as big as the coated type?

FancyFree
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:16 PM
I got both my GSD from a local rescue. I am so sold on this breed. I believe that our older dog is really a human in a fur suit. She is scary-smart. The puppy, she's three months old, is on her way to being like our first dog. So devoted! So comprehending.

I took the puppy to the stables for the first time yesterday. She was so good! She stayed right by my side, as she was a bit uncertain. Obeyed me every time I told her to stay or move away from something.

I'm convinced they're super smart dogs. Just love them.

Bluey
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:22 PM
Yes, you can use the horse clippers on them just fine.
I would let a groomer do it for the first two or three times, to train your dog to stand there properly and then you can do a puppy clip, scissor the legs and head by hand and do nails and pluck ears and you are done.

We had up to four poodles, small ones, at once and it took me one hour per dog, every four weeks and they always looked nice, if not show nice.
One was an obedience and tracking dog and no one laughed at my grooming job.;)

We used to train border collies for cattle work and trials and border collies are a harder breed to recommend, because you can find all kinds in the breed, the nice, laid back ones and the over the top wired ones, all in one litter.
With them, you have to take your chances when getting a puppy, unless you get an adult and then you know what you got there.

The hot ones were very good workers, but as a pet, they generally drive the owners batty.:no:
I would say most border collies are great dogs, but they belong in families with dog training experience and that will commit to at least some serious basic training.
If left at their own devices, they tend to invent jobs to do and some of those families don't like and they may lose their nice home over that.:(

Go Fish
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:24 PM
It sounds like you've done your research and I think the breeds you've selected will do you just fine. My experience:

Corgis - will suit you well. Mine shed once a year for about 2-3 months. However, mine are outside a lot and I really don't pay much attention to it. Corgis definately need less exercise than an AS or an ACD. I like them in pairs, frankly, and have had as many as 7 at one time. Great dogs, if you can handle the fact that they are smarter than you. Food driven, most definately.

My father had Queensland Blue Heelers - or Australian Cattle Dogs, so I was raised with them. Love the breed but they are very intense and very hard-headed. Think Border Collie intensity with a "*uck you" attitude. Very smart - you have to stay on them. They will sneak after your horses or any other livestock you have if you let down your guard.

I've never personally owned an Australian Shepherd, but I have friends with the breed and I think they are wonderful. They blow their coat like a Corgi, though, and are a lot bigger, so think of all that hair! You could take up weaving, I guess!

Good luck - sounds like you've done your background check and I think you've selected well.

spookhorse
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:27 PM
A farrier I used to work with has an absolutely lovely BC girl - he has done an impeccable job of training her and the breeder is close by, so that is something to think about. I have known a few BCs that were just too neurotic and high energy for me so I hadn't given a whole lot of thought to them.



I could not do with a neurotic BC, but Fred is more of a low key type and perfect for me. Not saying he's a perfect dog, but he is sure close :winkgrin: He's one who can be off leash all day long on a farm and will not go anywhere he shouldn't go. Usually right about the time I will start looking for him, he shows up like magic :lol: If not, I simply give a whistle or yell and he will be right in to check on me :D

BCs like Fred are out there, it's just finding one :)

sickofcollege
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:34 PM
My Meg is a Carben Copy bred dog. Their kennel is in Michigan. I found a nice little red boy out of Michigan from the Merigang Kennel and I'd go back there for one of their dogs too. He was about 4 months old when the breeder met us on their way to a specialty in Harrisburg. We met a few hours south of us and this was one nice nice nice boy. His mother was gorgeous. At 4 months old, this young dog was self confident, sound in both attitude and temperament and just a pretty pretty dog. I got together with my friend one other time last spring and Bo was very good with my blue girl

Carben Copy : http://carbencopy.com/wp/

Merigang: http://www.merrigangacd.com/

as Bluey said, Cattle Dogs can be dog aggressive as they are assertive dogs and I would NOT use much positive punishment with them. I'd rather limit their options for what is available and make it worth their while to work with me. This is one breed I'd rather spend the $$ on to get a puppy or young dog from a breeder. If you go the rescue route, make sure the rescue KNOWS how to do a good eval.

I've had 4 cattle dogs in class and all were scary smart, one was a bit of a chest beater, but once his owner learned how to motivate him, he turned all that energy onto her and was an OUTSTANDING student. Another dog could practically run over top of him and he'd never lose the eye contact with his owner.

They sell KELPIES!!! They are my absolute favorite...I have one now and will most definitely get another when the time is right. They are great family dogs, athletic, very active, but quite indoors, somewhat protective, good watch dog, etc. She is so in tuned to my feelings/thoughts, I love the breed.

Dazednconfused
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:34 PM
The most recent BC I know that I like so much lives on a ranch, goes around with the farrier most days, and comes from actual working lines, sire has placed in the top five at the TX cow dog finals. She seems to have a good sense of when it's time to work and time to play, but I'm not sure how much of that is the impeccable training she's received or the breed/pedigree she has...I'm concerned that will be too much activity for me (even though I'm quite active with walking, hiking, kayaking, etc). That last part makes me want to go with a smaller dog like the ACD/BC/Corgi - several of my friends go kayaking with their dogs and I think that could be quite fun :winkgrin:

Again I appreciate the responses so much!

Go Fish
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:35 PM
The Corgis need to be lifted or have a step up to get into my Jeep Cheerokee. The cattle dog jumps in. If we have been at the gamelands and they are muddy, you can guess which is easier to deal with. Both have coats that shed water, mud and dirt. Both seem to tolerate my northern winters easily. Both breeds are social and friendly, though the cattle dog a little less so than the corgis.

My Corgis can all jump into the back of my Saturn Vue and jump onto the floor of the truck. I've never had to lift any of them.

Bluey
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:46 PM
The most recent BC I know that I like so much lives on a ranch, goes around with the farrier most days, and comes from actual working lines, sire has placed in the top five at the TX cow dog finals. She seems to have a good sense of when it's time to work and time to play, but I'm not sure how much of that is the impeccable training she's received or the breed/pedigree she has...I'm concerned that will be too much activity for me (even though I'm quite active with walking, hiking, kayaking, etc). That last part makes me want to go with a smaller dog like the ACD/BC/Corgi - several of my friends go kayaking with their dogs and I think that could be quite fun :winkgrin:

Again I appreciate the responses so much!

Sounds like you could handle a border collie, because having much to do with you is what makes one good.
They are really not continuously hyper dogs, they love to work and work hard, but when you are not working, they make good couch potatoes.
Mione would come in the house, go to their crates and lay there, watching for me, hoping we went back to work some more.

Now, there are some really neurotic ones, that bite at imaginary flies, or chase their tails, or run back and forth, stirring up dust puffs they then chase down, for hours at the time, bloody paws and all, if you don't stop them.
I had some of those to train, really sad OCD dogs.
Those are hard to live with as pets, but are still, like most border collies, great working dogs.
Border collies just have not been bred for laid back family dogs, so you have to be sure you find one of those, not one that lives only to work.

spookhorse
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:54 PM
The most recent BC I know that I like so much lives on a ranch, goes around with the farrier most days, and comes from actual working lines, sire has placed in the top five at the TX cow dog finals. She seems to have a good sense of when it's time to work and time to play, but I'm not sure how much of that is the impeccable training she's received or the breed/pedigree she has...I'm concerned that will be too much activity for me (even though I'm quite active with walking, hiking, kayaking, etc). That last part makes me want to go with a smaller dog like the ACD/BC/Corgi - several of my friends go kayaking with their dogs and I think that could be quite fun :winkgrin:

Again I appreciate the responses so much!

I can't say Fred has had impeccable training LOL, it's just who he is... he does have that sense of when it's work time vs. play time vs. chill time. He can even chill when he's at work and waiting for his turn:

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n174/spookhorse01/Pets/Photo0009.jpg

This was taken at a search while waiting for our deployment. Soon as I said "Let's go!" he was up and ready to work :)

I am not hugely active other than riding my horses and doing farm work. Fred does go camping and hiking when we get to do that, but those times lately have been few and far between. Going to SAR training once a week or so and spending one 8 hour day on a farm most weeks is his most energy expenditure on a regular basis. then add some additional SAR trainings and several searches this year since he certified. Depending on work hours, I was also getting him to the dog park once a week during better weather.

He is a good sized BC and weighs about 50 lbs... I can't say he'd appreciate kayaking, though, he certainly doesn't care for motorized boats :lol:

Don't discount a BC because most of them are hyper and needy, there are some out there who are a lot less high drive. It's funny, I was actually looking for a Corgi when I ran across Fred at the shelter just browsing. It was love at first sight and it has worked out wonderfully for us :sadsmile:

Good luck!

knightrider
Nov. 26, 2009, 07:58 PM
I'd have to put my vote in for the Standard Poodles...i have two and I doubt I will get another breed....I love English Labs, German Shepherds, Corgis and several other breeds, but don't like the hair and the dog smell in my house. The poodles are clean dogs and while they do require grooming, I can do them with my horse clippers and I am buying a Rigid Shop Vac/Blower for xmas because a dog groomer friend of mine recommended it for times I want them to look really good...i often just clip them short though.

They are great dogs....very loyal, obedient, great with kids and people of all kinds but they are protective and sound like a big dog when they bark at someone from inside. Mine do not let anyone get near my car if I'm not in it and they are waiting for me.

One of my dogs is a little obsessed with deer and took some training to not chase them, but he sticks around and is great now ( i got him as a rescue)....they are such well behaved dogs and so like people that I couldn't imagine life without a standard...

I'm not much for the herding dogs like the Border Collies or cattle dogs because I've foundthey become an issue with the horses and it drives me nuts when they want to herd everything.

MsM
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:01 PM
A couple of reminders/warnings:
Be careful about what activity level you can accomodate, especially in an apartment environment. Will the dog have to be home while you are at work? If so, be careful of velco dogs - that can lead to separation anxiety issues.
Many of the herding and working dogs really need a job!
Standard poodles are great. The grooming issues are pretty easily handled with an A5 clipper, a couple of different blades and some practice. However, they can be quite active in the house and they are fairly large. If you can find a sensible mini (not always easy) that might work out great - much more portable.
I am currently enjoying my two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Smart, sweet and an easy size to manage (although they have recently dicovered they can now jump high enough to get on the furniture!:eek:) However, you have to be very careful about the breeder as there are a number of health issues in the breed.

Dazednconfused
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:14 PM
A couple of reminders/warnings:
Be careful about what activity level you can accomodate, especially in an apartment environment. Will the dog have to be home while you are at work? If so, be careful of velco dogs - that can lead to separation anxiety issues.
Many of the herding and working dogs really need a job!
Standard poodles are great. The grooming issues are pretty easily handled with an A5 clipper, a couple of different blades and some practice. However, they can be quite active in the house and they are fairly large. If you can find a sensible mini (not always easy) that might work out great - much more portable.
I am currently enjoying my two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Smart, sweet and an easy size to manage (although they have recently dicovered they can now jump high enough to get on the furniture!:eek:) However, you have to be very careful about the breeder as there are a number of health issues in the breed.

I will actually be living on a farmette (5 acres, completely perimeter fenced) in a couple of months. However I want to keep my options open. I don't want a dog that absolutely not apartment/small yard suitable if my situation changes. I would hate to get a dog I loved that absolutely required a huge yard, then have to contend with that if I moved, changed jobs, etc - I don't want the dog to be the loser in that situation - animals are for life, in my world, hence why that's a requirement. I certainly don't mind exercising the dog, taking it to a dog park, etc. But I am trying to think ahead here - that is why I listed my requirement of needing to be suitable for both.

I don't think CKCS or miniature poodles are really what I'm looking for - too barky and I just don't really want a small dog. Thanks for the suggestions though ;)

horse-loverz
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:25 PM
Just couldn't resist sharing pics of my poodle.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=794639&l=8085f5d630&id=1274785839
He's growing out a pony cut. (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=794631&l=3f44170290&id=1274785839)..
and this is what he looks like in the house (http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=623783&l=9746e8ef7d&id=1274785839)..

and while He is velcro as in he likes to be with me he is not neurotic.. he is actually a very laid back dude. He does fine if left in the house for the day while I go out.. not destructive or anything he just prefers to be with me or near me while in the house and loves to go on road trips.

TKR
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:26 PM
Not sure if it's the right breed for you, but for me -- there is just no other breed that compares to a GSD. I just can't live without one. They are the most loyal, trainable, intelligent - "complete" dog you could have. They "get it" so quickly and want nothing more than to please. They can be territorial, particularly a male, so I might recommend a female for you. They are good with other animals including cats. I've never had any other dog that was so smart or so devoted. I also have a BC, a Yorkie, cats and horses -- my second and have had a number of Labs, a collie, alot of mixes that we adopted, but my GSD is my heart.
Good luck and kudos to you for doing your homework!
PennyG

superpony123
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:32 PM
COLLIES! Or a sheltie.

I have a rough collie, and he is by far the best dog we've ever had. He has blonde moments (he is positive that when the wind blows hard, the flag on our mailbox is actually a monster) but he's really pretty smart. We have a cat, who HATES winston (our collie) but winston absolutely loves the cat, and has from day one. He tries to give her baths, and it's pretty funny. He walks up to her and gives her a huge lick on the face and she looks like "I AM GOING TO KILL YOU" :lol:

He was VERY easy to train, and learned pretty quickly. Collies are pretty hardy animals.

REMEMBER, if you get a collie, DO NOT GIVE THEM HEARTWORM MEDICINE. At least i think it was heart worm. We didn't know this, and it made him very sick, he had diarrhea all over and it was VERY bad. I don't remember exactly why collies can't have it, but they just can't--don't worry, theyll be just fine without it. I remember he had kennel cough as a puppy, but it's nothing big and they get over it in a week or two with medicine. I am not sure if this is common in collies, but it is likely because we picked him up from the pound.

Overall, collies are GREAT dogs. Super super obedient! I love winston. He's awesome. He's very smart, and when you train them right, they're the best dogs you can ask for. He doesn't beg. He looks at you with big eyes though and gives this "i haven't eaten in ten years" look and you decide to give him food because he's so darn cute and he's NOT begging you (but we know this is his secret method of begging :lol:)

another thing: don't let the long hair scare you. I've found that rough collies at least (never had other kinds, though a friend had a sheltie that *seemed* to shed a lot) hardly ever have noticeable shedding. you can pet him and scratch winston real hard any time of the year and you're not going to see much hair coming off. We try to brush him relatively often and give him baths because otherwise their fur gets kind of matted and icky, but they won't shed on your floor or your couch or anything. Most of the hair just comes out with the brush. If you brush them every week (though I'm too lazy, and brush him once or twice a month which still does the trick) you'll be good as gold. But as long as they get baths every once in a while and brushed every so often, you won't see any hair showing up on the furniture

MsM
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:35 PM
Well, I would suggest a Greyhound as a bigger dog that is a couch potato, but the cats make that not advisable... Its harder to slect a breed where the puppy will always be okay with the cats. While some Labs are really active and would chase cats, others I have known are lay-by-the-fire-with the cat on the back kind of dogs. That said - I knew them as adults. Makes a difference.
PS while I agree the Min Poodles are often barky, I have found the CKCS are not - but sounds like smaller than you want.
Std Poodles can live in apartments, but they are active inside and would require a fair amount of exercise. Some years ago M. Barishnakov's Std Poodle had 11 puppies that lived in his apartment until they found homes. Of course it was a big apratment and they were really anxious to get them evaluated and placed!:)

Dazednconfused
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:39 PM
Well, I would suggest a Greyhound as a bigger dog that is a couch potato, but the cats make that not advisable... Its harder to slect a breed where the puppy will always be okay with the cats. While some Labs are really active and would chase cats, others I have known are lay-by-the-fire-with the cat on the back kind of dogs. That said - I knew them as adults. Makes a difference.
PS while I agree the Min Poodles are often barky, I have found the CKCS are not - but sounds like smaller than you want.
Std Poodles can live in apartments, but they are active inside and would require a fair amount of exercise. Some years ago M. Barishnakov's Std Poodle had 11 puppies that lived in his apartment until they found homes. Of course it was a big apratment and they were really anxious to get them evaluated and placed!:)

The cats are not a problem with the right greyhound. The fact I said no sighthounds, however, is. :sigh:

Irishrose261
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:40 PM
I recently acquired a little Sheltie mix. I have no idea what else might be in him (something to give him a shorter coat), but he has been PERFECT for me. His temperament fits breed characteristics exactly. Incredibly smart, incredibly people-friendly, great with kids of all ages, very loving. He has plenty of energy, but an hour's worth of moderate exercise (brisk walking/slowjog) daily keeps him happy and sane.

http://irishrose.tumblr.com/post/258894914

threedogpack
Nov. 26, 2009, 08:58 PM
Those are some just beautiful ACDs, especially the Carben Copy ones. How is yours with cats?

Meggie is good with everything. I don't have cats in the house (yet) but she's been to the boarding barn I board at as a demo dog for classes. There are tons of cats there and most have no fear of dogs. She ignored them. Now I don't know how much of that is the fact that she lives with 6 other dogs and has been to class after class after class so she learned early on that you must ignore other animals or lose your turn to work, and how much of that is she's just good with other animals. However the fact is that she ignored them. I would suppose that with a bit of training (and any dog will need at least come/sit/down/stay/leave it) the cats should not trigger a dog.

This is Meglet

http://themares.blogspot.com/2008/08/meg-and-conner-and-stuff.html

http://themares.blogspot.com/2008/08/meg-out-and-on-town.html

Bo, Merigang Suncatcher:
http://themares.blogspot.com/2008/09/merrigang-suncatcher.html

knightrider
Nov. 26, 2009, 09:43 PM
Just wanted to add that my two standards live in a townhouse with me and 3 cats....they are quiet all day and when I get home, they are ready to go out...because of time lately, I've been taking them for 15 min. walks am and pm and then they go to the barn...they have their rounds at the farm...play a little but mostly make their rounds and come hang in the barn...they go in the tack room when I ride and then go home with me....when I get home, they are pretty much settled for dinner and bed, but occasionally do play...

My younger standard was more high energy when he was younger, but I still got away with normal walks during the week because I took them everywhere with me....on the weekends I typically do more with them...hiking, visits to family, horse trials, etc....and I can get them plenty of time out and about even though they live in a townhouse that really is not that big for them as I close off rooms during the day.

They do need activity when younger but they are such characters that they are a blast to own...I've never met a dog who knew me and my life/schedule so well....they know when they should go with me somewhere or when they are supposed to stay home...this breed is not one you'll regret. Even my friends who aren't dog people like my dogs...

Go Fish
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:08 PM
I will actually be living on a farmette (5 acres, completely perimeter fenced) in a couple of months. However I want to keep my options open. I don't want a dog that absolutely not apartment/small yard suitable if my situation changes. I would hate to get a dog I loved that absolutely required a huge yard, then have to contend with that if I moved, changed jobs, etc - I don't want the dog to be the loser in that situation - animals are for life, in my world, hence why that's a requirement. I certainly don't mind exercising the dog, taking it to a dog park, etc. But I am trying to think ahead here - that is why I listed my requirement of needing to be suitable for both.

Then I would definately go with the Corgi. Best couch potatoes I've every seen. Corgis can go from comatose to "let's go" in 1 second. They don't require the same level of activity that a ACD or AS needs. And, definately stay away from the BC if you think, even for a minute, you might get back into apartment living.

LaurieB
Nov. 26, 2009, 11:28 PM
She is absolutely adorable! Do smooth collies get as big as the coated type?

Yes, they do. It's basically the same dog, just with a different coat. The height range is 22-26 inches (females smaller, males bigger) and full grown they weigh between 50 and 65 pounds.

JanM
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:45 AM
The only thing about a large dog is are you going to use a doggie door? If you are a really big dog might have a door big enough for an intruder to fit through-of course most bad guys are at least smart enough not to go through a doggie door that size in fear of meeting the dog on the other side. Everyone I know with Standard Poodles loves them. Have you considered the possibilities of a Poodle or other breed rescue group? You might find a great dog who has lost it's home due to financial reverses or owner illness and is already cat friendly and would love to have a new home.

MunchkinsMom
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:54 AM
Guess I will be the first to say that hands down, my best dog breed has been our brittanys. Excellent recall, great house dogs, tolerant of small children, other animals. Not many health issues that I know of (but you might want to confirm that via internet research).

Mine have always been females, but I have known some good male Brits in the past also.

Mine are afraid of the horses, but only because I didn't bring them to the barn when I was boarding, and I don't do it much here at home either, because I really don't need to have them at the barn with me.

We also have two aussie/golden retriever cross females, (well, one looks like a Carolina Dog), the one that looks more Aussie has a higher herding drive and is more vigilant than the one that looks like a Carolina Dog. Both are great house pets as well as farm dogs, but again, I do not take them to the barn to interact with the horses. Personally I like the temperment of the brittany better.

Bluehorsesjp
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:56 AM
I have pretty much the same criteria as you in looking for a dog. I had an amazing mixed breed who was in all sense of the word the perfect dog. In my quest to find a dog like her I came up with the English shepherd. Think border collie with an off switch. Super smart, easy to train (although mine is a bit softer than I anticipated). social, good with other dogs when socialized, good with kids ( i didn't socialize mine, but he loves kids anyway.) Good with the horses, he will not sneak off and chase them. Athletic, mine keeps up on epic trail rides and does agility. Good with my cats. Mine did chase them a bit when they were outside, but a couple of corrections and now he just lets them rub up against him.
They are called English shadows, meaning velcro dog. Mine is very much that way.

It is a somewhat rare breed, so it might be a bit harder to find, but well worth it. I can't say enough about this breed.
http://www.englishshepherd.org/

Oh and there is a bit if hair for sure. But it really isn't bad at all.
Here are some pics of my English shepherd Finn.
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1004067&l=dd7ef5bd97&id=572522957

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1004067&l=dd7ef5bd97&id=572522957

I too looked at the ACD, but was concerned about the dog aggressive aspect as I go to horses hows with my dogs and want them to be polite to everyone they meet.

vacation1
Nov. 27, 2009, 01:47 AM
I love the collie types, but thought I'd mention the Goldens too. I'm not very fond of labs - lots of crappy labs out there, and lots of 'labs' that are pit mixes being pity-marketed at shelters, and even good labs have a rather higher level of territorial attitude than many people realize. Goldens, on the other hand, seem to have weathered being wildly popular much better; I'm sure there are bad ones, but they generally live up to their reputation. And
it's unlikely to ever get singled out as a 'bad' breed. Plus, some of the nicest dogs I've ever seen in shelters have been golden mixes - commonly with collies or spaniels. Sweet, friendly, extremely affectionate and less wired than collies. I love collies, but I've never known one - mix or pure - that had an 'off' switch. Borders are famously hyper, but the rest aren't much more relaxed. And they tend to upset cats by doing things like trying to make them move around to get herded.:lol:

SarEQ
Nov. 27, 2009, 08:23 AM
REMEMBER, if you get a collie, DO NOT GIVE THEM HEARTWORM MEDICINE. At least i think it was heart worm. We didn't know this, and it made him very sick, he had diarrhea all over and it was VERY bad. I don't remember exactly why collies can't have it, but they just can't--don't worry, theyll be just fine without it. I remember he had kennel cough as a puppy, but it's nothing big and they get over it in a week or two with medicine. I am not sure if this is common in collies, but it is likely because we picked him up from the pound.

I've had a smooth collie for years and we give him heartworm medicine monthly... all dogs really should get heartworm preventative, if they don't have a reaction. Collies tend to be prone to seizures (mine has epilepsy managed by medicine), and ivermectin has been known to cause issues with dogs prone to seizures, but I don't know why collies wouldn't be given heartworm preventive. Heartworm is so dangerous! I understand your dog had a reaction once... but if he was a young dog maybe he ate something else that made him sick... I don't know. Or maybe he got a dewormer at the same time and the worms he'd picked up at the shelter made him sick. I'd just hate for someone's dog to get heartworm because they worry the medicine will hurt their dog.

Kennel cough is just an illness... your shelter should have vaccinated him against it.

Claddagh
Nov. 27, 2009, 08:39 AM
...

REMEMBER, if you get a collie, DO NOT GIVE THEM HEARTWORM MEDICINE. At least i think it was heart worm. We didn't know this, and it made him very sick, he had diarrhea all over and it was VERY bad. I don't remember exactly why collies can't have it, but they just can't--don't worry, theyll be just fine without it. I remember he had kennel cough as a puppy, but it's nothing big and they get over it in a week or two with medicine. I am not sure if this is common in collies, but it is likely because we picked him up from the pound.



Sorry, but just have to speak up here. The post above is WRONG! Please do not fail to give any dog heartworm preventive!!!!

Collies and Collie related dogs such as the Australian Shepherd, or any mixed breed with Collie in them should definitely be given heartworm preventive medicine - JUST NOT IVERMECTIN (such as Heartgard). These dogs should be given another type of medication (one NOT containing Ivermectin). The medicine of choice is usually INTERCEPTOR.

http://www.interceptor.novartis.us/

Safety
"INTERCEPTOR has been tested safely in over 75 different breeds of dogs, including collies, pregnant females, breeding males and females, and puppies over two weeks of age."

cloudyandcallie
Nov. 27, 2009, 08:53 AM
I was chosen by an aussie, and have now had them for many decades.

I grew up in a family of Llewellyn Setters, with one exception a Manchester Terrier given to me by a greatuncle. (Learned that little dogs get savaged by dogs from down the road so best of have a dog big enough to defend himself.)

First aussie showed up from Calif. via some family friends who gave him away on TV to our neighbors. He moved in with my horse while I was off at college. I found out that this is the perfect breed for me. Plus all the mixed breeds I've rescued along the way, none of whom have aussie blood in them, but all good in their own way.
Still I'm an aussie person first. I want intelligence and fuzzy-ness.

Read all the dog books on the characteristics of the breeds. I saw a thread on here with someone complaining about Corgi hair! If you don't want a lot of hair, don't get a dog who is fuzzy. I've lived in the city and country with aussies and had no problems, just remember you'll get a lot of exercise walking an active dog in the city, especially on freezing nights when even the muggers weren't out in St. Louis.:lol:

Bluey
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:08 AM
I would say, don't get hung up too much on what breeds are supposed to be, because each individual dog in any breed may still be different than the breed say it should be.

Saying that, yes, we do breed purebreds so we have an idea of what we are apt to get in the offspring.

I have liked different breeds, but for other reasons than my preference, I have owned other than the dogs I would prefer.

One of my favorite breeds, that appeal to me more than most, is dobies, but working with the dog club and therapy dogs, not everyone welcomes them, so I quit having dobies.
I love ACDs, especially the red ones, but again, working with the dog club, amongst so many other dogs training and showing, many ACDs tend to be from touchy to right out dog aggressive, so I never wanted to have to manage that aspect of the breed, or hope to be lucky enough to find one that was not dog aggressive.

I loved the training with the border collies and if you need a dog to work with you, you can't beat a good one, they truly are a partner, but you do need to be very active to do right with such energizer bunny dogs.
It is a shame not to use that mind and expect that drive and work ethic to sit idle for hours on end every day.

One of my best dogs was an aussie we got from a breeder at a year old, that had been sold to someone that kept it isolated in an outside kennel, with minimal contact with people or dogs.
Still, a practically unsocialized dog, true to it's good breeding, came out of her shell eventually and was the best cowdog, nursing home visitor, a true love sponge around the elderly and disabled and raised our chicks for us every spring.

As you may see, we have the dogs we have for many reasons, which breed they are is not that important, but what we make out of the dog we get is.:)

pday09
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:20 AM
My vet also mentioned a Wheaton Terrier to us - and it sounds like we had similar critera.

Good Luck

I have a Wheaten, but she is NOT a barn dog. Mine was scared to death of the horses (but she was always submissive, even as a puppy so I don't think this would apply to all Wheatens). They also require a good bit of grooming because they have long hair. They're also hypoallergenic though, which is nice and they don't shed, which is why we picked this breed. She is a JOY to have but just didn't want to be a barn dog, she likes to lounge on the couch much better. :D
I was a working student for something with an Australian Cattle Dog and she was amazingly sweet and the perfect barn/horse show dog. Easy to train, would wander a bit but always came back with a whistle. Didn't run at the horses and tied to the trailer all day at shows without complaint. :D

tullio
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:41 AM
While I do realize that I have an exceptional individual, I am a big fan of the Lab/greyhound mix. My family had one who we still call "the angel dog" even though we lost her to cancer many years ago. My current one (and I wasn't looking for it, I just lucked into her!) is equally beloved by the dogsitter, the vet, the other tenants in our building, my friend whose horse farm she had an open invite to visit, my elderly grandmother, etc.

With all the designer mutts out there, I am perennially surprised that no one is breeding a Lab/greyhound. The Lab friendliness and energy balanced with the chilled-out greyhound makes for a great personality. My dog will run and play or sleep all day, and never has behavior problems as a result of either (and this at the age of not-quite-3!)

We have a rock solid "sit" and "down", and she has never once failed to come when called - I have called her back from squirrels, other dogs at the dog park, etc. Even if she is running the other way, she turns and comes back. I think that might just be her, and not the 'breed', but I guess it shows the possibility is out there. Our first lab/greyhound was very similar in terms of trainability.

On the down side, they are large, so if that's a problem... my current one is taller than most full Labs, but very streamlined. Also, both had problems with chewing when we first got them. My dog is generally crated when we're away, but she is more trustworthy now than she was at first.

Both were rescue dogs - we're just incredibly lucky to have had them both. If you see a lab/greyhound at your local shelter, give them a look because both of mine have been very like what you are looking for! :D

Vesper Sparrow
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:09 AM
I love GSD mixed with a more laid-back breed. I've had a shepherd-lab and shepherd-husky and now have an unidentified shepherd mix (possiblly a Dutch Shepherd). All have been very smart, trainable and loyal, with a desire to please, but not as neurotic as the purebred GSDs I grew up with. All of them have been a little quirky but so much fun.

My last two adapted very quickly to horses--even at the age of ten in the case of the shepherd-husky.

wendy
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:22 AM
I have to say that most of the original OP requirements are all about training not any inherent breed characteristics. When considering a breed choice you aren't thinking about the correct characteristics. The biggest one is how much exercise/time are you willing to put in to the dog on a daily basis? if you're a "slow walk around the block" or "being shoved into the backyard better be enough" there are MANY breeds that you (and the dog) will be miserable together; ditto if you're a hard-core long-distance runner and try to drag say a bulldog along with you. If you're not into training/working the dog and just want a pleasant pet again many breeds are disqualified. You state you don't care about size/grooming/hair, but really piles of hair can be disturbing to many people, and many people just can't keep up the grooming for other breeds of dogs.
And many people chime in saying how much they love breed X without considering that just maybe breed X isn't perfect for everyone; I have a hard-core high-energy working dog whom I LOVE, totally smitten with the breed, but I would not recommend the breed to 99% of people out there.
There are lots of very nice websites and very honest books about breed characteristics that are very helpful.

Dazednconfused
Nov. 27, 2009, 10:49 AM
I have to say that most of the original OP requirements are all about training not any inherent breed characteristics. When considering a breed choice you aren't thinking about the correct characteristics. The biggest one is how much exercise/time are you willing to put in to the dog on a daily basis? if you're a "slow walk around the block" or "being shoved into the backyard better be enough" there are MANY breeds that you (and the dog) will be miserable together; ditto if you're a hard-core long-distance runner and try to drag say a bulldog along with you. If you're not into training/working the dog and just want a pleasant pet again many breeds are disqualified. You state you don't care about size/grooming/hair, but really piles of hair can be disturbing to many people, and many people just can't keep up the grooming for other breeds of dogs.
And many people chime in saying how much they love breed X without considering that just maybe breed X isn't perfect for everyone; I have a hard-core high-energy working dog whom I LOVE, totally smitten with the breed, but I would not recommend the breed to 99% of people out there.
There are lots of very nice websites and very honest books about breed characteristics that are very helpful.

I don't think you read my post very carefully.