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Hi, I am hopefully getting a new dog soon :D. I was wondering if anyone could recommend some breeds. I am an active person and love hiking and would like to bring my dog along on hikes. Dogs that enjoy swimming are preferred. It needs to be good around horses and other animals. Being good with people is a must as a plan on bringing him/her everywhere with me. I prefer large breeds but would consider a medium as well. I have owned dogs before and am looking for one that is generally easily trained and just loves being with their person. Thanks a ton!
 

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many of the hunt-bred dogs or shepherding dogs would suit your lifestyle.

Hunt = Flatcoat Retriever, Labrador, Setters (Gordon, Irish, English), Nova Scotia Duck Toller, Boykin Spaniel, Golden Retriever, German Shorthaired Pointer, English Pointer, German Wirehaired Pointer, Spaniels (English, Cocker, Field), Vizsla (shorthaired or wirehaired), Brittany, Munsterlander (Small or large), Weim, Pointing Griffon

Obviously of the above list, some are going to be harder to find then others depending on where you live. E.g. Munsterlanders are very popular in Northern Europe but quite rare outside. Flatcoats will only really be found at a breeder while a labrador (or mix of) is in nearly every shelter.

Shepherd = Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog, Kelpie,

Then you have the working breeds (Rottweiler, Pinscher, Dobermans, Boxer, Shnauzer) -- many of these will have a tendency to be a bit more aloof to strangers, but it's very individual based. e.g. you'll meet LOTS of Boxers that are very outgoing with everyone, but some will be more reserved and only affectionate to their human(s).
 

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Just be careful with the breeder you get a Dal from as breed quality has declined and some lines have aggressive tendencies, especially towards strangers.

Don't get me wrong, there are LOTS of great Dals out there, but make sure you're getting one from an owner that breeds for even temperments.
 

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Being one of my fave breeds, I don't suggest this to everyone, but I think an Australian Shepherd would be an amazing choice for you.
 

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Being one of my fave breeds, I don't suggest this to everyone, but I think an Australian Shepherd would be an amazing choice for you.
I was actually considering an Australian Shepherd. Would you be able to tell me anything about your experience with them or their general personality?
 

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@caitlins1031 - Sure can. :) My Aussie will be a year in 4 months. I'll also send a shout out to @Sabina88, @jclark343 and @ThatYellowDog who also have Aussies.

Personality - Total clowns. Not a day goes by when he doesn't make me laugh out loud. He's a goofball. I use him for my demo dog in all my classes because he's such an easy-going dog.

In general, I would say Aussies are the definition of a velcro or shadow dog. They don't just like to be with their person, they NEED it. They are very loving to their person (or people), but can be aloof and even a little bit guarded with people. Mine isn't because I socialized the heck out of him as a puppy, so definitely no guarding/fear/aggression, but he prefers my hubby and I over all else.

Very easy to train. They really like to work and learn. That goes for agility, tricks, obedience etc. It takes me very little time to teach new things to my Aussie. (True story, one time I forgot something that I was going to demo in class, I taught it to him in the morning, and when it came time to demo at 6 that night, he totally nailed it and saved my bacon ;) )

Barking seems to be pretty variable within the breed. Mine hardly ever barks. He needs to be WILDLY aroused (agility!) to bark. Other than that, he howls a little when my hubby gets home from work.

Their coats need some brushing, especially behind the ears, pants and feathers to prevent mats, which are quite painful. If you brush a couple times a week you'll be fine. They do shed. A lot. There's hair on everything I own, in my food, and in my drinks. It's just part of the package. :p

The cons.

They do need exercise. Mental and physical. A bored Aussie is a neurotic, barky, destructive tornado. A well exercised Aussie is an amaaaaazing companion.

Health. They are generally healthy dogs, but when looking for a breeder, do your research. Epilepsy and vision problems occur in bad lines. And a Merle to Merle breeding results in 25% deaf/blind puppies.

If your dog has diarrhea, it will get in his pants. All over those beautiful pants. And you will have to bathe him, and it will be gross.

If yours happens to have either a natural bob tail, or your breeder docks the tail, you'll get some hate.

Besides, you can't beat how CUTE they are!
 

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@caitlins1031 - .
Barking seems to be pretty variable within the breed. Mine hardly ever barks. He needs to be WILDLY aroused (agility!) to bark. Other than that, he howls a little when my hubby gets home from work.
Can you tell Sawyer this lol, I'm pretty sure he taught Maye how to bark :eyeroll:. Also Levi was adorable as puppy, although not really helping my aussie puppy fever haha.

Anyways, I don't have much to add from what Shandula posted since she pretty much hit the nail on the head. They are definition of goof balls and they are also extra smart cookies and love to learn. Which also in turn means they need plenty of mental and physical exercise.
They are a very loving breed to their people or family and can be a bit aloof with strangers.In my case my standard aussie isn't really a big cuddler but does enjoy affection, he will always be in the same room I'm in 99% of the time. My mini American shepherd on the other hand loves attention and pets and cuddles and being as close to you as possible, she on the other hand doesn't stay in the same room as me very often, in fact a lot of the times if I'm not attentioning her she wont sit with me any more (diva :p). If someone else is up she will always find someone to cuddle with and get lots of attention from.
They are deffinitly pretty good shedders, so keeping up with grooming will help. There is some slight variation in coat type, some are foofier with more undercoat and some have a thinner flatter more hair textured coat or something in between. Even with brushing I still find hair in odd places :ponder:.
The last thing I wanted to touch on was health, as mentioned it is important to make sure you go through a good breeder who health tests their dogs. They are known for eye problems and sometimes having the MDR 1 gene amoung other things., so those are some good things to look for when seeing what a breeder has tested their dogs for. My standard who didn't come from a good line (we found out after), he recently turned two and already has eye problems.
But other then that they are great dogs and I cant imagine not having one anymore.
 

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So @Shandula basically nailed it. The only thing I can say is that my aussie is a lot more guarded. He is generally ok when we are out, isn't usually the first to approach people but will warm up. In the house he is very guarded. He has to adjust and if people do not let him adjust it's a total Sh*t show. I did not have him as a puppy and, although I was told he was socialized, I do not know how much or what the quality of that socialization was.

Are you a first time dog owner? If so I would only recommend an aussie if you plan to work with a trainer. They are not the best first time dog.

What about a lab? I have a lanky lab that would totally fit your lifestyle.
 
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@jclark343 - Wait are you giving yours away? I'LL TAKE BOTH! ;)
 

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@Shandula. Depends on what I come home to tonight (That would be Forbes) and if I can get some freaking sleep tonight (Roxie is afraid of the storms we have been having).
 

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Dogs that like to swim:

Dog breeds fall into one of two categories. Water lovers or water likers. Within each breed there is some variance of course. Heck within the same litter there is. No dog breed instinctively dislikes water, even desert breeds.

Dogs can be afraid of water or swimming because they have had some sort of traumatic event around or related to water. Note dogs don't always link things logically. I've know dogs that were afraid to swim in pools but fine at lakes. One thing a good breeder does is expose puppies to water to make it unlikely they will balk at it later in life.

Breeds that love water:
Newfoundland
Retrievers (Lab, Golden, and many more)
Waterdogs - (Poodle, barbet, Italian, Spanish, and Portugese water dogs)
"Versatile" hunting dog breeds (Recognized Versatile Hunting Dog Breeds - NAVHDA)

Breeds that like water:
Everything else.

Regarding hiking. With the exception of dogs that are extremely small, or have very short legs, and/or a smushed in face, any dog in good health is going to be able to keep up. Working sled dogs run the equivalent of 3 marathons a day, and do it for multiple days in a row. People cross in pointers and other hunting dogs to increase stamina even more. Except for extremes, don't worry about the breed being able to keep up. It will.

Regarding other animals. - This is mainly based on how exposed to other animals the dog was as a pup. Sighthounds will always be interested in small things moving fast across the grass, be it the neighbor's cat or a plastic bag blowing in the wind. Sled dogs - traditionally they were kept and fed during the winter but let roam free during summer, and expected to feed themselves. These breeds tend to have a high prey drive and hence often don't mix well with small pets.
 
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