Help choosing a breed?

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Help choosing a breed?

This is a discussion on Help choosing a breed? within the Working Dogs forums, part of the Dog Shows and Performance category; I decided recently I wanted a new dog. I still have my dog, Amora, a corgi-labrador mix, who simply doesn't have enough energy for me. ...

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Old 09-27-2015, 03:51 PM
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Help choosing a breed?

I decided recently I wanted a new dog. I still have my dog, Amora, a corgi-labrador mix, who simply doesn't have enough energy for me. I live in Northwest Florida, ten minutes from the beach and eight from the dog park (which has a little bay behind it). I would prefer a dog easy to train, but I'm open to a moderate challenge (Read: A reasonable challenge, not something that is seemingly impossible and requires a U.S. Marine) In terms of energy and exercise needs, I want it high. My new pup will be exercised via Bikejoring/Urban Mushing and hiking and in the summer months playing fetch near or in the water. While I would prefer no serious/ "nordic type" shedding, I'd put up with it for the right dog. Since I am a young, single female, I would prefer a dog that is large and affectionate towards me, to scare off possible intruders, though guarding ability is not a top priority, and still snuggle on the lonely nights (Amora is not a cuddler, she constantly has to check out every sight and sound). I've considered a German Shorthaired Pointer, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie and Belgian Malinois. I'm still in the "research" phase so I'm open to other breeds I may not've heard of or considered. Thank you in advanced for your input!
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:19 PM
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When i read your description the first thing i thought of is a border collie. They are energetic, willing to please, and will stick by you side. Also when i say energetic i mean very energetic. They don't require a whole lot of brushing.

My next choice would be a aussie, they enjoy playing and swimming but do settle down at the end of the day. They are very loyal and willing to please, they do require more grooming then a border collie, but nothing like a husky.

I hope you find what you are looking for
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:36 AM
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Standard poodle. High energy, intelligent, love to swim and retrieve. Also like to cuddle. Kept in a hunt clip cuts down on coat maintenance. Make sure you get a dog from working lines.Hunting Poodles: Field-Proven
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Old 09-28-2015, 11:07 AM
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@Russian4 I was heavily considering a border collie, but I hear a lot about that Border's are "super serious," and "bred to work independently," so does that make them detached from their owners or?
I also really liked the Aussie, my step mom owns a show line and she's a joy, but she's indifferent to anyone else but my step mom. I like that in my dogs (I get jealous mwahaha)

@Agility Collie Mom, I met poodle mixes and purebreds and they're phenominal, but do they have the energy to keep up? I know recently breeding kind of "diluted" them from their original potential into breathing teddy bears, but a working line... I feel like it would be hard to find and generally small animal/children aggressive. I have no idea, I haven't even seen a working line in my lifetime.

Update: Mental stimulation would come from trick training and "smart games"
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:39 PM
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No matter the breed, working line dogs should not be aggressive to children. Generally speaking, working line dogs have better temperaments, because who wants to work with a nasty, snappish, aggressive dog?

You really sound perfect for a border collie. BCs aren't independent like hounds, they're very intelligent and eager to please. They are very serious dogs in general, yes, but that doesn't mean they aren't a pleasure to be around. For the person who has the time and energy, they are amazing dogs.
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Old 09-28-2015, 07:41 PM
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@Amaryllis A very good point, I forgot about the AKC's lack of temperment regulations and the resulting "insane" champions being bred.

Excuse my ignorance in the Working line world (I live in the city so I wasn't never really given the opportunity to work with working line dogs and thus wasn't too interested in learning about them, but since I'm in the position to..) I felt like Working Lines /need/ sheep or game animals (We don't have that readily available here, to my knowledge) would they suffice without it, and replace it with trick training, hiking, and everything else I mentioned?
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Old 09-30-2015, 02:50 AM
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I specifically like Aussies because I'm selfish in that I want my dog to only like me. I also hate when dogs are overly friendly with strangers. Cosmo won't let a stranger pet him with a glove attached to a 12 inch pole.

Socialization is extremely important. Aussies are very sensitive to strangers. Cosmo does not like children and will not let strangers of any age pet him. He will give a cursory sniff and that's about it. Children ask all the time if they can pet him and due to children's general lack of knowledge on basic dog etiquette (not throwing your arms around a strange dog) I usually have to say no. They make him extremely nervous.

He barks. A lot. He barks when he plays, he barks when he chases, he barks when he's bored, he barks if he wants you to play, he barks at the door, he barks at people walking around in the night, he barks a lot. He also plays like a sheep dog, pretty rough and with a lot of violent sounding growls that turn other dog owners off even though it's complete play.

He gets bored and makes his own games for himself. Today I was sat on the couch and he was chewing a pencil so I took that away and say back down. Then he found an empty Chapstick box and I had to take that away. Then he grabbed my grandpas teeth off the table and finally I had to stuff a Sierra mist bottle with chunks of cheese so he would work on something constructive rather than destructive. You have to be ready to find games for your Aussie to play and entertain them or else they'll make their own games.

Cosmo herds anything from cats to children. Be ready for that.

He's extremely intelligent. He can pick up commands very quickly and he is very athletic. He does, however, need equal amounts mental exercise as physical. If you don't exercise an Aussies brain as well as their body you will have a neurotic dog on your hands.

He is extremely affectionate. And by extremely affectionate I mean he will come over wiggle his whole body and cry and slam himself against me like he hasn't seen me in three months out of the blue. This is a demanding behavior and is ignored but he LOVES and CRAVES affection. I cannot go to the bathroom without him trying to nose his way in behind me to watch me poop. This can get annoying so be careful what you wish for!

They are a double coat breed. Not GSD or Malamute shedding but be ready for some hair.

Engaging in Aussie activities like agility is good. Bike riding is one of cosmos favorite things but we can't go far because he's still growing. He walks beautifully on leash

Prey drive. While he doesn't ever capture, he chases. He can easily trample a small dog and harm them. We are working on small dog manners but I still can't trust him around small dogs or cats. Much less a squirrel.

He is my baby my snugglepoo my cozzy bear the love of my life. He can also be a huge pain in my ass and make me want to rip my hair out but I love him to death
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Old 09-30-2015, 03:40 PM
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@Cos thank you so much for your feedback, definitely helpful. Definitely sounds like my kind of dog. He sounds so much different than Maddie! Would you happen to know if he was a working line or show line? I know the purpose of breeding a litter will greatly change a dogs temperment and needs, something my old GSD (showline) taught me. More like a golden retreiver in a GSD's coat...

And also, how well does he handle varying temperatures? It can get 90-101F here, and drop to the 30's in the winter. I plan on being most active with my dog in the fall, and sticking to indoor/late night/early morning play in the summer, and midday in the winter. So more so, how does he respond to the 40-60F range, if you get that in your area.
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Old 09-30-2015, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by AmoraBabora View Post
@Cos thank you so much for your feedback, definitely helpful. Definitely sounds like my kind of dog. He sounds so much different than Maddie! Would you happen to know if he was a working line or show line? I know the purpose of breeding a litter will greatly change a dogs temperment and needs, something my old GSD (showline) taught me. More like a golden retreiver in a GSD's coat...

And also, how well does he handle varying temperatures? It can get 90-101F here, and drop to the 30's in the winter. I plan on being most active with my dog in the fall, and sticking to indoor/late night/early morning play in the summer, and midday in the winter. So more so, how does he respond to the 40-60F range, if you get that in your area.
He's from a working line!

We live in Oregon so we get everything from blizzards to 113 degree heat. While he hasn't experienced a winter yet, I'm sure he will do fine. I am planning on getting him protective boots to avoid snow and ice blisters when it's cold on his pads and I would suggest the same for you if it gets super cold and icy. He has lived in an apartment with no air condition in the summer and while his favorite spot was the cold kitchen floor, he did fine and adapted well. But never walk a dog above 75-80 degree weather, that's my rule! Heat blisters from concrete and sand can cause huge problems and lots of damage and pain.

Visiting the river a lot helps! He used to hate water when he was young but now he leaps in willingly and has a swim. Still not like a lab but he will swim with me. He loves being outside so when it's above 75 and were hiking I just make sure to bring lots of water and hike in an area with lots of water. We have dense trees here as well so staying in the shade is never an issue.

Also consider an equafleece if it gets super cold, they're great and last a long time some are water resistant which is nice for rainier seasons like we also get. His double coat makes him dry fast but when it's pouring rain o always like to make sure he's warm and comfortable. No one wants to be cold AND wet!
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Old 09-30-2015, 04:08 PM
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@Amaryllis A very good point, I forgot about the AKC's lack of temperment regulations and the resulting "insane" champions being bred.

Excuse my ignorance in the Working line world (I live in the city so I wasn't never really given the opportunity to work with working line dogs and thus wasn't too interested in learning about them, but since I'm in the position to..) I felt like Working Lines /need/ sheep or game animals (We don't have that readily available here, to my knowledge) would they suffice without it, and replace it with trick training, hiking, and everything else I mentioned?
Like I said, Cosmo does herd anything that runs from him. I don't have sheep though, and I discourage chasing instinct because we live in a neighborhood with a lot of cats including three that live in our house as our pets so chasing is a no no. I expend his mental and physical energy in other games and routines that keep him mentally and physically in shape, so it's not a problem. We will begin agility when his growth reaches its peak a little after he turns 1 and I know he's going to be very good at it and enjoy it. We practice with hula hoops and he does really well.

Also laughing because he's being a perfect example of an affectionate Aussie right now. He just climbed over my sister to lay next to me, rolled his body onto me, kissed my face, and whined at me with his paw on my hand while I tried to type that! Naughty and now he's laying on the couch because that doesn't fly!
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