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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@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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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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@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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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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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@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 90-101°F 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 40-60°F range, if you get that in your area.
 

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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 90-101°F 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 40-60°F 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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@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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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
@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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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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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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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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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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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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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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