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Dog breed recommendations

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  • Dog breed recommendations

    now that my old Bernard/Sheperd mix is getting old, its time to start thinking about another dog... sigh....

    here is what we are looking for

    medium-ish to large-ish size

    we have a horse farm, so a dog that would stay on the property would be nice

    a dog that is comfortable (and smart) with horses and Muleys

    a dog that will settle down at night in the house with us (curl up on the bed, etc)

    a dog that (hopefully) would NOT chase our barn cats or hurt our house cat

    my old dog doesnt bother the cats at all. but, I probably will not get another Bernard/Sheperd mix again

    a dog with a big bark, that will bark at (and intimidate) strangers (but, probably not hurt them)

    i want a healthy dog.. not one with "problems", im so very tired of animals with "problems" id like just one "normal" dog...

    we have been considering

    RedBone (until I found out they would hurt our cats)

  • #2
    A lot of your wish list depends on whether you get a dog from good lines or not, training, and just plain good luck. I know dogs in all three breeds which meet your requirements and others which do not.


    • #3
      Poodles are awesome! (Okay lets qualify that - well bred poodles are awesome! Poorly bred ones are crazy, neurotic walking vet bills.) My boyfriend and I have two miniatures and a standard. The standard is quite protective of the house and I think she would do something if the need arose to protect her humans. She has quite the bark on her and all of them are good watch dogs. Nothing escapes the attention of the minis. They generally sound the alarm first and the standard goes to back them up. The minis are actually chickens and would run away at the first sign of real trouble. They'll at least tell you its there though!

      They are all incredibly loyal and want nothing more than to be near their people. The standard is much more serious about life. The two minis play and wrestle like maniacs, while the standard just watches from the nearest piece of furniture with disdain, like "Ugh, why did you people do this to me?!". The female mini is definitely the one in charge of the three, but the standard is protector of all.

      The two females aren't great with horses, but the male mini is. Then again, he was the only one raised with them. The standard just wants nothing to do with them and more or less pretends they don't exist. The mini is kind of a terrorist in general and thinks she should be ruler of ALL THE THINGS and isn't amused that the horses do not bow to her whims. The male is buddies with my tries to kill dogs Arab. They'll hang out together.

      All of them enjoy being outside and I think any of them would be good at agility if I was so inclined. I think the standard would *do* it because it was asked of her. I'm not sure it would be her cup of tea. She's pretty sure her job is watch dog and protector and really isn't terribly interested in doing anything else. I take that back. She will relentlessly retrieve a ball you throw until you are sick of throwing it. She NEVER tires of the chase the ball game. The two minis would love agility though.

      All of them pile onto the bed at night. The standard isn't all that cuddly. She wants to be with us, but not necessarily being petted much. She usually sleeps at our feet. The female mini wants to be cuddled by one of us. The male usually wants to be against someone's legs.


      • #4
        Collie or Border Collie or a mix of those breeds with something else would be your best bet IMHO.

        I think they would be the least likely to go after the cats - a lot of Poodles (large ones) I have known have been cat eaters and I don't have any experiences with Red Bones but I would think they may go after cats as well since they are more tracking/hunting dogs whereas Collies are more herders.

        I'm sure you'll get lots of different answers and really it will all depend on the individual dog. I personally prefers mutts from shelters and have had some amazing dogs from shelters.


        • #5
          A weimeraner is wonderful but you do have to check that they are well bred. Blues are undesirable and the hips of the parents should have been checked.


          • #6
            Hounds are not one I would count on "sticking around", unless you have a lot of acreage. Plus, IME (we've had several- bassets, coonhounds, plott hound, walker hounds), they will chase small animals such as cats.

            Poodles, from what I hear, are great dogs, but I have no experience with them. Same with Collies.

            My vote would be for a Shepherd or Shepherd mix. All of ours have been awesome dogs and would be great on a farm or as a house dog.
            "People ask me 'will I remember them if I make it'. I ask them 'will you remember me if I don't?'"


            • #7
              If you don't have a strong preference for a certain type of dog, I would consider checking out the shelter if you have a good one.
              Given what you mentioned, I would say that a coonhound is more likely to follow his nose and wander everywhere. I like hounds, but you are also correct that a hound may have a little higher prey drive in regards to cats.
              A poodle or a collie would probably fit your needs, although again unless you are really attached to one or the other I would look around at some mixed breeds as well. I have purebreds because I am attached to a particular breed, so I have nothing against purebreds at all. If you do go the purebred route, make sure that you consider the health tests that each breed should have and look for a breeder that does those tests. I don't think that mixed breeds are healthier than a well bred purebred, but obviously there are chances with anything.


              • #8
                There are some great collie mixes out there that would work for you. If you don't have a preference, they're much harder to adopt out than a purebred.


                • #9
                  I have a Std poodle that is a great dog, although mine is rather shy and would go hide rather than protect the house, lol.
                  I only got her because I couldn't find a suitable dog at my local SPCAs (I had 2 young kids at the time).

                  My parents have a Tervuren and I love her, too. Very active, intelligent dog, and although she is friendly I have NO doubt she would protect her owners/house if needed. She is quite intimidating when you don't know her - she looks like a little wolf.

                  Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!


                  • #10
                    I love the herding type dogs for the horse barn. I love the herding breed because they thrive to please their owners and they are awesome around children. I have a pembrooke welsh corgi and an Australian shepherd. Both dogs are extremely well with the horses and they settle down at night to snuggle with the kids or me. If you ask me, you can pretty much make any dog good around the horses with lots of consistent training. If you introduce them early to the cats, I found that they won't find it satisfying to chase them. If I have to choose a breed from your list, I would pick a collie.


                    • #11
                      We have acreage in the country, next to a mountainous state park. We have cats I don't want chased, and occasional visiters, so I don't want them terrorized, I just want to know they are here. The best dogs we have ever had for our situation are Golden Retrievers and GR crosses. We have a two year old now who will bark at strangers, not wander, sleep in the house by the fire at night, and love cats. For our purposes, a Border Collie has too much energy and too much herding desire, and hounds will follow their nose. I don't want my dog running across the road to enter the park.

                      A friend has a well bred Standard Poodle that is a good dog for a similar situation.

                      I like Collies, but we have many burrs and fox tails, and grooming a dog often isn't likely to happen.
                      Mystic Owl Sporthorses


                      • #12
                        OP, I've talked to TriState Collie Rescue, they have a dog not yet on their website that might be perfect for you. The adoption coordinator is sending me the details. I'll PM them to you as soon as I get them.

                        In the meantime, here's the new website: http://www.tristatecollierescue.org/index.html

                        Gina, the dog the adoption coordinator just mentioned as a possibility for you is not yet on the website.

                        Clint, a smooth collie will fit the bill for you.


                        • #13
                          I have an aussie puppy, almost 10 months old. While she's high energy, she also loves to snuggle. She is fascinated by my horses but has a healthy respect for them, and won't go out in their runs or paddocks. My son has two cats at his home and my puppy really wants to be their friend, but they have no interest and she respects that. She is very protective, has a surprisingly big bark, but is great with kids and can handle being mauled by my toddler grandson. The downside is I've found her to be pretty stubborn. She's been to obedience school twice, and knows all her commands, but if there's a "better offer", something more interesting, she conveniently forgets her training. But she's a puppy...so there's hope, I hope.

                          That said, the best dog I've ever had was an English Springer Spaniel. She was everything you say you want, and more. She was field bred, not bench bred, so didn't have the long hair and was 35 pounds.


                          • #14
                            Shelter mutts, and collies! I've never had a Standard Poodle, but have only heard good things. I'm partial to mutts and Collies though. Shedding issues aside.


                            • #15
                              I have a HoundxShepherd (we think Aussie/Beagle). She is everything you want on your list, except big. She's 35ish lbs so not small but not big either. She has a small herding instinct but none of the beagle hunting instinct. She was super trainable and is great around all other animals. Her best friend is the cat. She's active and loves a job, but is also very excellent at cuddling.

                              A mix somewhere along those lines might work well if they don't have too much hound wandering in them. My girl's mix cancels out the negatives in both of her breeds and I just got the best of both worlds
                              Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
                              My equine soulmate
                              Mischief Managed (Tully)- JC Priceless Jewel 2002 TB Gelding


                              • #16
                                We have a smooth collie (would never have a rough-coated... too much hair!!) and couldn't be happier. He is 70 lbs and a tricolor (folks have actually asked me if he's a collie/ dobie cross!), is FANTASTIC with our kids, has never ever offered to chase the horses, and is very good at staying around the farm (he is a house dog when he isn't out with us). Collies don't have a very terrifying bark though, more like peel the paint shrill.


                                • #17
                                  An Aussie was the first breed that came to mind when I read your wish list.


                                  • #18
                                    By stay on property do you mean a dog that will stick around the property as a whole or one that will be glued to your side 24/7 while you do chores and lay outside the ring while you ride?
                                    The herding breeds and poodles are pretty velcro dogs that with the right training would be solid farm dogs. They are the type that are right at your side when you do everything and when put into a down will lay and watch you ride.
                                    If you want a dog that will hang out on the property within a 50-100 foot radius of people but doesn't actively follow along then I would recommend something much lower drive/energy. For example, our barn dog is a puppy mill rescue sheepdog. She's always within eyesight wandering around or chasing squirrels, but has zero desire to follow you around while you do chores. As a breed I don't know if it would be a great fit, but as an individual she does great at the barn.


                                    • #19
                                      I was thinking collie when reading your wish list. If you don't want to groom every few days get a short coated (smooth) collie. (And I'm probably over generalizing here, but every border collie I have met does not meet all of the criteria on your list. They all seemed way to active and neurotic to me. They are definitely not the same as a regular collie.)


                                      • #20
                                        My English Pointers have been fabulous farm/house dogs. Look for one that is show bred or dual bred not straight American Field Bred...Bitches run 45-65 pounds, males 55-75 pounds. Wash and wear, get along great with other animals, like to ride with me, have a big bark but no bite. Very few health issues unlike some of the other breeds mentioned, and a pretty hardy with a long lifespan. Mine have averaged 15+ years.