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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; Originally Posted by cos Originally Posted by AmoraBabora @Amaryllis A very good point, I forgot about the AKC's lack of temperment regulations and the resulting ...

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Old 09-30-2015, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by cos View Post
Originally Posted by AmoraBabora View Post
@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!
Thank you so much for all your time in responding to all my questions so quickly. Definitely found the breed for me.
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Old 10-02-2015, 12:06 PM
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As someone who owns a Border Collie and an Aussie, I can tell you they are both awesome dogs. It sounds like you're leaning heavily to Aussies, so I'll tell you a little about my experience with one.

Levi (my Aussie) is frequently referred to as my shadow dog, or velcro dog. He loves other dogs, and likes other people, but no one would ever doubt he's my baby. He does require brushing, particularly behind his ears, and his "pants". They are definitely prone to mats, so you really have to watch them because it is so painful for them if they get out of control. He was extremely socialized as a puppy. Aussies can be a bit snappy/standoff-ish so he had a ton of good experiences as a puppy. As a result, he's perfectly content to let people pet him, but he's not going to sit there and be pet for minutes at a time (unless it is by me or my husband). They are HUGE snugglers! For example, he recently had to go to the pet sitters for 5 days. The sitter is also his trainer from our old city, and when I picked him up, she confessed he slept in the bed with her and her husband. :P

Levi LOVES other dogs, I imagine that has to do with his heavy socialization as a puppy. As a result, I am very confident introducing him to other dogs, and taking him everywhere. The only problem I have is that he does try to herd the other dogs a little bit, and is a little mouthy in his play style.

Energy level: He's awesome. Can run and play, go for long hikes and walks, and is content to curl up on the couch and have a nap (he is currently warming up my feet). He isn't hyper and is RARELY makes a peep. He is not a big barker, in fact hardly ever. He doesn't bark at the door, other dogs, people. Nothing. The only noises he makes really are: 1) A moan when he stretches 2) A barky-howl when you talk excited to him, or when my husband gets home from work.

Intelligence: Training Aussies is hilariously easy. They want to work for you, and they like playing and training with you. The only thing I'll mention is that they are soft dogs. If Levi and I are working on a new trick, and he's not quite getting it, and I let out kind of a frustrated sigh, his face shows instant sadness. All positive with Aussies!

All in all, they're aussome (muahaha) dogs for someone who has the time and energy for them. My BC is young (13 weeks), but I can also chat about my experience with her so far if you're not 100% sold on an Aussie.
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Old 10-04-2015, 09:44 PM
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The low temp of Northern Florida isn't going to be an issue with most dogs, but the heat may be.

Have you considered a Blue Lacy?

It's a good dog for warmer weather. It's a 'cur type' which means it's a landrace dog developed in rural areas to be able to hunt animals, herd livestock, and protect the farm. The dogs are medium sized, 35-45 lbs for most. It's a working dog, it has intelligence, drive, and energy, and it excels in all sorts of dog sports. I haven't heard of anyone getting them to pull, but I am sure they'd be happy to.

The dogs are very friendly and laid back in the house. They like to 'prance' when happy.

Note they are multipurpose dogs, there are people who specialize in breeding for certain activities, some are hog dogs (not as common as other cur breeds) some are used to hunt coyotes as 'bait dogs' (they are sized enough that the coyote is drawn to them as a potential easy meal, but the dogs are strong enough and fast enough to run back to the hunter before getting eaten), and of course cattle herding lines. I'd go for the herding lines. Plus there are lots that are mostly pets.
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:00 AM
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Sounds more like an aussie (working line probably) than a BC to me. Australian Cattle Dog might be worth looking into as well.

I feel like a BC might be too soft/small for what you are looking for.
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Old 10-08-2015, 01:07 AM
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I'd definitely look into a standard poodle! They're high energy, extremely athletic and intelligent dogs -- there's absolutely nothing frufru about them. They're very versatile as well, and do great in many disciplines. On top of that, they're eager to please (though the do have minds of their own) and happy to cuddle, and ready to fun miles with you if it makes you happy! If you keep them shaved down (no fancy haircuts) or put them in a hunting clip, they look like dogs rather than fashion accessories.

Border collies are great exercise companions as well, though not much for the intimidating guard dog factor xD Mine looks far too cuddly! She can walk for miles and miles though, and loves to run around. The main problems are herding instinct (she'll run after kids if I'm not paying attention) and the fact that her long coat and dark colouration means she does overheat in the summer, and I can't shave her down because she's got a double coat. Of course this is in desert settings (quite literally, as I lived in Israel until very recently) so it may not be as much of a problem where you are!
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:21 PM
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I think a staffi could fit pretty when with the exception of them being good guard dogs... i think they're too people friendly for that stuff. they're energetic,friendly and affectionate and very people-centered.
other than that...a responsible bred Schäfi could meet your taste, eventhough they can shed a lot.
the Doberman could fit, if you're more calm. they, like malis, can be pretty sensitive and can get nervous when their master doesn't give them the feeling of safety they need.
A Schnauzer could fit too, if you can live with a dog that will test you a bit (but all intelligent dogs do that). they're awesome dogs.

If you don't plan to seriously work with them I would vnot recommend getting a working-specialised Schäfi or Doberman and no Mali or Hollandse herder.
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Old 10-17-2015, 09:19 PM
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Do research before deciding to get a Belgian. They need intense work, both mentally and physically. If you don't give them the exercise they need, they will themselves something to do and you will probably not like the result.
They are very easy to train, but require a new challenges constantly. I do not do bite work with mine, but many mali owners swear by it. I am still covering the basics with my current mali but will be starting her in tracking and agility.
It is basically impossible to exhaust a mali. They do not have a off switch. I run my mali at least five miles a day and an hour later she'll be ready to do it again. German Shepherds are often described similar to the malinois but a lot more calm. Maybe consider looking into a GSD?

I do not know working dogs like the aussie and border collie, therefore I am unsure how intense they are. Research is vital in selecting the right dog.
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