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What breed(s) would you suggest in this situation?

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  • What breed(s) would you suggest in this situation?

    Hi guys! I'm (not so) patiently waiting for the time when I can get a dog - hopefully within the next year, if things go according to plan, I'll have a new doggy addition. However, I'm just not sure what breed will work for my situation, so I'd love to see what you guys suggest. Of course I realize that all dogs are individuals as well.

    Requirements:
    1. Large breed. I want something that looks fairly "scary" and that will at least alert me when something is not quite right. I live in a fairly sketchy neighbourhood, and while I realize the dog is not fail proof safety mechanism, I'd like a dog that will make somebody hesitate.

    2. Good with small animals. I have two cats and a rabbit. The rabbit is what I'm majorly concerned about and any dog, regardless of breed, will never be left alone with him.

    3. Suitable for apartment dwelling. It's likely my boyfriend and I will be living in an apartment for a while. While the dog will get plenty of stimulation and walks, he or she needs to be able to relax when inside.

    4. Good at the barn - I want something that will be able to play nicely with the other barn dogs and accompany me on trail rides.

    5. Not overly aggressive. While I do want a guard dog of sorts, I want a dog that will be good with people once they're given the "okay".

    I think that's it. Training will of course be paramount, but I'd like to start off with a breed who is inclined to meet my needs. Can't wait to hear your ideas!
    Fit Dog Blog
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    Blog Post: How I Became a Werehorse and a Bit About Bites

  • #2
    Hmmm, my first thought is a standard poodle, in black (because people are afraid of big black dogs more so then other colors.) But, honestly, I think you would be better to get a dog from a rescue that has been in a foster home. That way you will have more insight to its personality, how it is in certain enviroments and with other animals.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by bcody View Post
      Hmmm, my first thought is a standard poodle, in black (because people are afraid of big black dogs more so then other colors.) But, honestly, I think you would be better to get a dog from a rescue that has been in a foster home. That way you will have more insight to its personality, how it is in certain enviroments and with other animals.
      I totally agree with getting a rescue but my boyfriend has made is clear that we MUST get a puppy. I'd much rather adopt a 1+ year old, but it is what it is. I'm certainly not against getting a rescue or pound puppy though.

      I've thought of a standard poodle but I'm not sure if they are "scary" enough looking. I know they make excellent watch dogs but cannot deter people by appearance alone.
      Fit Dog Blog
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      • #4
        My Rottie was all of those things She was a great dog. And she was really good at chilling out. I agree with getting a puppy, especially if you want a "scary" type breed, its easier to teach a puppy that your small animals are part of your pack and not prey.

        If you have large breed experience, I think Rotties and Bull Mastiffs are both pretty good types of dogs for what you want. Not as high energy as a GSD, Dobie or Boxer. Great Danes are nice dogs too, but they are large
        Unrepentant carb eater

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        • #5
          our big black Labrador love dog has a deep and scary bark. pay no attention to the wagging tail!
          A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Judysmom View Post
            My Rottie was all of those things She was a great dog. And she was really good at chilling out. I agree with getting a puppy, especially if you want a "scary" type breed, its easier to teach a puppy that your small animals are part of your pack and not prey.

            If you have large breed experience, I think Rotties and Bull Mastiffs are both pretty good types of dogs for what you want. Not as high energy as a GSD, Dobie or Boxer. Great Danes are nice dogs too, but they are large
            That's good to hear! My boyfriend loves Rotties and had them as a child. They're not my breed, but if it barks (or neighs or meows) then it's alright with me. I have heard rotties are bad with small animals though, which makes me hesitant.

            I love mastiff but my boyfriend doesn't like them. Sighhh! He's what makes this whole thing so darn difficult. Maybe I can con him into a dobie/mastiff cross...

            Keep the ideas coming everyone.
            Fit Dog Blog
            Twitter: https://twitter.com/FitDogBlog
            Blogger: http://fitdogblog.blogspot.ca/
            Blog Post: How I Became a Werehorse and a Bit About Bites

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Preposterous Ponies! View Post
              Requirements:
              1. Large breed. I want something that looks fairly "scary" and that will at least alert me when something is not quite right. I live in a fairly sketchy neighbourhood, and while I realize the dog is not fail proof safety mechanism, I'd like a dog that will make somebody hesitate.
              any of the herding or working breeds (or crosses) is going to be very aware of their environment and changes with that environment. Something with a dark face is far more scary than a light face.

              2. Good with small animals. I have two cats and a rabbit. The rabbit is what I'm majorly concerned about and any dog, regardless of breed, will never be left alone with him.
              this is strictly a training issue if also include your first criteria. Training a dog to be good with other household pets might be difficult, or it might not, depending on your training chops.

              3. Suitable for apartment dwelling. It's likely my boyfriend and I will be living in an apartment for a while. While the dog will get plenty of stimulation and walks, he or she needs to be able to relax when inside.
              again, this is a training issue. Teaching a dog to relax is a training issue. I know that Wendy is a huge proponent of massive amounts of exercise, I am not. The problem of more and more exercise is that the dog gets more fit and needs more to hit the point of tired. But either way, you will have to train the dog to relax in the house or create a conditioned relaxer.

              4. Good at the barn - I want something that will be able to play nicely with the other barn dogs and accompany me on trail rides.
              I feel like a broken record here but it will be a training and socialization issue. How your dog gets along with the other barn dogs will depend on so many criteria (which may change if you get a puppy....as they mature the other dogs may not be tolerant and some may be a problem) that there is no "breed" who will be good with all dogs all the time.

              5. Not overly aggressive. While I do want a guard dog of sorts, I want a dog that will be good with people once they're given the "okay".
              training issue.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                I totally agree on all points threedogpack. Most of my criteria is training based - we have experience with large dogs and are quite competent. Still, I would like a dog that is naturally inclined to meet my "demands", in order to make training easier. I definitely agree with on everything, though!
                Fit Dog Blog
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                Blogger: http://fitdogblog.blogspot.ca/
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                • #9
                  I had a big black lab as a kid. He snuggled up with the house pet rabbit. Anybody that didn't know him was afraid of him because of his big bark. He was a very gentle dog that never hurt anything, but I wouldn't put it past him to protect if need be. My dad would pretend to beat us kids- we'd holler "OW" to play along, and the dog would get between dad and us and gently grab dad's arm or hand.

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                  • #10
                    My GSD is all of that. Realize that I spent TONS of time with him though as a puppy. If you've got the time, I just don't think you can beat a good GSD.
                    Kerri

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                    • #11
                      Requirements:
                      1. Large breed. I want something that looks fairly "scary" and that will at least alert me when something is not quite right. I live in a fairly sketchy neighbourhood, and while I realize the dog is not fail proof safety mechanism, I'd like a dog that will make somebody hesitate.

                      2. Good with small animals. I have two cats and a rabbit. The rabbit is what I'm majorly concerned about and any dog, regardless of breed, will never be left alone with him.

                      3. Suitable for apartment dwelling. It's likely my boyfriend and I will be living in an apartment for a while. While the dog will get plenty of stimulation and walks, he or she needs to be able to relax when inside.

                      4. Good at the barn - I want something that will be able to play nicely with the other barn dogs and accompany me on trail rides.

                      5. Not overly aggressive. While I do want a guard dog of sorts, I want a dog that will be good with people once they're given the "okay".
                      well, most of your criteria are all about how you train and socialize the dog. If you get a puppy, it should be fairly easy to socialize the pup to the cats and the rabbit. If you socialize the pup to other dogs, it should be fine playing with other dogs. Any dog can live in an apartment if it's given enough physical and mental exercise.
                      Note that many apartments have size restrictions on dogs, and many ban specific breeds- my complex allows large dogs, but they don't allow german shepherds, pitbulls, akitas, rottweilers, Doberman.
                      So you need to consider other criteria:
                      big one, how much time do you have to devote to exercising/working the dog? if you look up breeds, they usually classify them as high/moderate/low exercise needs. A dog with low exercise needs can usually be kept happy with just two 20-minute leash walks per day; moderate, he'll probably need an hour morning and evening with something a bit more active than just leash-walking; and stay away from the high exercise needs breeds. Many of the really big dogs are easier than the smaller dogs to live with, because they are quite content with low amounts of exercise and a nice soft place to snooze on in-between. Many smaller dogs are very active and have more trouble than bigger dogs settling down. One of the mountain dogs or a bull mastiff might suit you.
                      The other is what kind of coat- how much time are you willing to put into grooming, and are you willing to live in a fur-filled home, because some breeds (labs, GSDs) can shed an alarming amount year-round. Other dogs don't really shed, but require extensive clipping and grooming.
                      If you want something that looks scary, most people aren't intimidated by labs or poodles.
                      Your best bet is probably to go to the local shelter and look for a black mixed-breed puppy with pointy ears- black and pointy ears is scary to people.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        One very important point in your planning, since you rent an apartment. Breed restrictions by both your landlord and your insurance company. You don't want to have to be in a situation where you have to rehome the dog due to either one.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I grew up with a lab/boxer mix. She was all of that and then some! She was my soul mate, I miss her every day. I would look out the window and see the horse laying down with the dog in between her legs, a chicken or two or three roosting on their backs and cats all over them to This is the same dog that at 2 years old and no training to get used to horses was picked up by her ear flap by a stallion at a boarding barn and was taken into the stallions stall. She never bit, whimpered, barked, anything. When the stallion was done sniffing her and grooming her she left with her tail tucked back to the safety of the aisle way. When she passed a whole community mourned her loss, a lot of kids grew up with her and everyone knew her to be a great dog. She was 50/50 lab boxer mix. I would take anything with lab in it! labs are the best dogs ever. I also had a saint bernard, they drool a lot and shed a lot but they are scary Mine scared the UPS man up onto a car that the dog slept on The most important thing when choosing a dog though is to make sure it fits with you and your lifestyle.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I was also going to suggest a Mastiff - they are large enough to make their presence known, they are usually super chill around other pets, and happy to lay about when you're in the house.
                            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The apartment lifestyle and need to chill out would rule out any working breed. Before people start hollering about their couch potato exception remember it is the exception. If you are getting a puppy then there's a fair chance you will go through a breeder since purebred puppies within specific parameters are slim pickings. If it comes from the breeder then a good breeder will breed for purpose and breed characteristics. A two year old "dud" Rottweiler might be perfect for you but buying a rottie as a puppy might turn out terribly if it is higher energy than your lifestyle can accommodate.

                              Why is your boyfriend set on a puppy?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                                One very important point in your planning, since you rent an apartment. Breed restrictions by both your landlord and your insurance company. You don't want to have to be in a situation where you have to rehome the dog due to either one.
                                ^ forgot this part, thanks LauraKY

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
                                  The apartment lifestyle and need to chill out would rule out any working breed. Before people start hollering about their couch potato exception remember it is the exception.
                                  mine are not the exception, they are the way they are because of training to be that way.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Great Dane or Bullmastiff came to my mind.
                                    AKC's description sounds like just what you are looking for!
                                    http://www.akc.org/breeds/bullmastiff/index.cfm


                                    A guy at my dog training place has one and she's only maybe a year old...really cool girl. We were at a match yesterday and she was just "chillin"!!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by threedogpack View Post
                                      mine are not the exception, they are the way they are because of training to be that way.
                                      Hm. Suppose it depends on your lifestyle. But no amount of training will make a dog sleep all day while you're at work instead of running circles around the apartment.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Abberlaze View Post
                                        Hm. Suppose it depends on your lifestyle. But no amount of training will make a dog sleep all day while you're at work instead of running circles around the apartment.
                                        from the OP: he or she needs to be able to relax when inside.

                                        from this I thought the OP was saying that when they were home the dog needs to be able to relax inside. Most dogs sleep when their owners are at work. If it's a puppy, then it should be confined till it's able to be safe in the house.

                                        I was talking about those dogs who can't relax in the house when their owners are home. THAT is a training issue. Learning to relax is a learned behavior.

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