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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
So I'm not looking to get a new dog in this exact moment in time but I want to keep a mental list of ideal dog breeds for when I do. I research for the perfect dog breed for me all the time but there are just so many that I haven't been able to fully explore and it's hard for me to fully understand a dog breed without having owned/met/seen many of them. Also, keeping in mind that I'm a fairly experienced dog owner, please help me pick a breed or a number of breeds based on these ideal characteristics. Also, I hope I don't sound overly demanding! Haha, you don't have to follow every single request exactly, just pick the best fit.

Physical:​
1. Size: Overtime, I've discovered my ideal dog size. I most enjoy dogs who are anywhere from about 20-70 pounds, with my absolute minimum being about 8 pounds and the absolute maximum being maybe 90. I generally prefer a dog that's small enough that I could pick him up if I absolutely had to or at least move him. I learned that I don't want to have a massive dog after handling a Newfoundland who was actually 32-34 inches at the shoulder and 160-170 pounds. Absolutely massive. Looked like a bear and you absolutely could not on your life convince him to move anywhere he didn't want to go! Anyway, so I'd prefer something that isn't too large to handle or so small I could crush it with my foot by mistake.

2. Life expectancy: I really don't want a dog that dies young, so rule out a Great Dane if you haven't already. I don't necessarily need a dog that lives abnormally long, but please, don't pick one that will break my heart.

3. Build/athleticism: I generally don't prefer extremely stocky breeds like bulldogs, mostly for the difficulties this build may carry. I would really like a dog who is fit and athletic, and not too lazy.

4.Coat: I definitely want a dog who is soft. Oh my gosh, silky-coated dogs are absolutely dreamy in my opinion. I really love the feel of it, and I don't mind shedding either. I also don't mind brushing dogs a few times a day and maybe getting them a trim every so often but please don't recommend a dog who is too high-maintenance in regard to grooming needs. We're talking like if I don't take it to be clipped in 6 months it turns into a walking carpet or starts to form dreadlocks. Thanks!

5.Health: One of the highest priorities is for the dog breed to generally be healthy. I don't want any brachycephalic breeds, or dogs with health abnormalities like the catalburun for instance.

Personality:​
1.Energy: I'm okay with a relaxed or a high-energy dog. I just don't want one that is really, REALLY crazy, or one that is really low-drive. For the most part, I want a dog that is ready to play and go on walks, but would also like to snuggle or sleep on a bed with me if possible. I'm completely willing to play fetch for a few hours a day or take the dog on long walks if he/she needs it.

2.Trainability: I absolutely NEED a dog that is intelligent and highly trainable. I love training dogs to perform commands and I love working with dogs in general. Has to be a good trick dog, and also would be great if it was a good agility dog as I'm considering getting into that sport. :)

3.Stranger-interaction: I need a dog that is well-rounded and, with socialization, can easily be taught to enjoy the company of dogs and people. I don't really need a guard dog, but I wouldn't mind a dog who barked at the door a couple times to let me know that someone has arrived.

4.Animal-interaction: I don't want a dog with a really high prey drive. I've had dogs before who would drag you across the pavement if they saw a rabbit and would fight you even if they were tackled to the ground. Please, no dogs like that!

That's all I can come up with right now. Any ideas? :) Thanks in advance!
 

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My first thought when reading all that would be an Aussie. Have you looked into Australian Shepherds?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My first thought when reading all that would be an Aussie. Have you looked into Australian Shepherds?
I absolutely love Aussies! :D I haven't looked into what it would be like to care for one but it sounds like a good fit for me. I'll add it to my mental list haha--thanks for the advice! :)
 

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Have you considered spaniels? I'd say a Welsh Springer Spaniel or a Brittany would be a good choice. The only part that makes me pause just a little bit is prey drive, but really these are nose dogs and they'll be interested in the smells but not really become uncontrollable when sensing prey.
 

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Welsh springer spaniel! Or one of the other spaniels like an English springer or English cocker. Prey drive may be a bit higher than you want, but otherwise they fit your requirements extremely closely.
 
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I think you still have a lot of work left in your definition stage. One problem is that 8 to 90 pound range. That alone encompasses just about every breed. What about allergies? Anyone in your household allergic? What about shedding, do you prefer a dog that does not shed its fur? When we decided to adopt a dog, both my wife and I knew we wanted a dog between 10 and 15 pounds, and a non-shedding dog. We wound up with a poodle/bishon mix, 11 pounds when we got her, 16 pounds now, but a perfect fit into our household. That was six years ago, she will be seven next month, and she is absolutely family. Also acquiring a dog is not like buying a plastic toy, they change over the years, and breed does not guarantee behavior, it only is a general indication of what might be expected.
 

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I would say my number one choice for you would be a Australian Shepherd. My next could options could be a Border collie (Might be too crazy), a German shepherd (love to please) or a Shetland Sheepdog (smaller, has a longer coat but usually pretty easy to keep up). They all could easily do agility, very loyal and pretty trainable.

As far as temperament and well round goes all those breeds are pretty good but it also falls on the breeder and the socialization you do while the dog is still young. So set the dog up for a successful future and you should be okay. As look at plenty of breeders. You want to make sure it isnt a backyard breeder. Talk to the breeder and look at the parents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think you still have a lot of work left in your definition stage. One problem is that 8 to 90 pound range. That alone encompasses just about every breed.
Laco: Thanks for your response. I definitely agree with you - I'm quite an indecisive person, so I have a hard time narrowing things down. I understand that this makes it difficult on behalf of the responder. If you want, you can just look at the 20-70 pound description. More specifically, 25-60 would be most ideal.
I just didn't want to rule out any dogs by size because it's not as important to me.
To summarize my desires more decisively:
1. Generally healthy, athletic, medium-sized
2. Fairly easy-to-maintain coat, preferably soft to touch
3. Intelligent, trainable, obedient
4. Tendency to get along well with people and dogs
5. Low prey drive
6. Tendency to perform well in Dog Agility
7. Willing to put in hours of my day to physically and mentally stimulate my dog
What about allergies? Anyone in your household allergic? What about shedding, do you prefer a dog that does not shed its fur? When we decided to adopt a dog, both my wife and I knew we wanted a dog between 10 and 15 pounds, and a non-shedding dog. We wound up with a poodle/bishon mix, 11 pounds when we got her, 16 pounds now, but a perfect fit into our household. That was six years ago, she will be seven next month, and she is absolutely family.
As for allergies, no, that's not really an issue. I'm planning to own this dog on my own and as far as I know, I'm not allergic to dogs. I would know, really, considering my Rat Terrier sheds horribly. Congrats on the success of your dog! She sounds like a great pet. :)

Also acquiring a dog is not like buying a plastic toy, they change over the years, and breed does not guarantee behavior, it only is a general indication of what might be expected.
Having raised 4 dogs myself and regularly socialized and trained dogs of various breeds at my local animal shelter, I completely understand. I in no way expect that breed is a perfect indicator of behavior. However, I also understand that traits are more common to specific breeds based off of their genetic evolution and the job that the breed was bred specifically for. This is what I was going off of. Regardless, I appreciate your advice, and I can see how I may have come off as indecisive and possibly naive. I apologize for the misunderstanding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Have you considered spaniels? I'd say a Welsh Springer Spaniel or a Brittany would be a good choice. The only part that makes me pause just a little bit is prey drive, but really these are nose dogs and they'll be interested in the smells but not really become uncontrollable when sensing prey.
Akado1, thanks for your reply. No, I haven't really, come to think of it, although I've always liked English Springer Spaniels. I don't know Welsh Springer Spaniels or Brittanies well but I've heard that they are good dogs. :) Yes, I have the same problem! It's very difficult to find dogs with low prey drives that are also eager and obedient because so many working dogs were used for animal or prey-related purposes. This one I'm willing to sacrifice a little for. Really, I just don't want a dog that is horribly difficult to control. Thanks for your advice! I'll definitely look into these dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Welsh springer spaniel! Or one of the other spaniels like an English springer or English cocker. Prey drive may be a bit higher than you want, but otherwise they fit your requirements extremely closely.
Thanks for your response, Elrohwen. Wow, this one seems to be a popular suggestion! I will definitely have to look into spaniels now. I understand that it's difficult to find breeds that match my requirements and have a low prey drive, so that one can be tough. Thanks again. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would say my number one choice for you would be a Australian Shepherd. My next could options could be a Border collie (Might be too crazy), a German shepherd (love to please) or a Shetland Sheepdog (smaller, has a longer coat but usually pretty easy to keep up). They all could easily do agility, very loyal and pretty trainable.

As far as temperament and well round goes all those breeds are pretty good but it also falls on the breeder and the socialization you do while the dog is still young. So set the dog up for a successful future and you should be okay. As look at plenty of breeders. You want to make sure it isnt a backyard breeder. Talk to the breeder and look at the parents.
Thanks for your response, Russian4. :) Wow, you just listed some of my favorite dogs. I have a couple of Border-Collie-German-Shepherd crosses, so both breeds are some of my favorites. Aussies are great, and Shelties sound awesome. Solid advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Curly Coated Retriever

I think this Characteristic & Behavior Trait Paper
Thank you for your help, TruckersMom. :) I liked your breed suggestion because I've always liked retrievers. Also, may I mention that the file you gave was extremely useful? Reading that paper 'til the end, it's helped me to narrow dog breeds down by groups rather than spending hours looking at individual breeds. Now, I've been able to narrow down my search to 3 groups:
1. Herding dogs
2. Retrievers
3. Spaniels

I'm not as interested in a protection dog because a guard dog is not what I'm looking for, Mountain Dogs because I know they're enormous haha, fighting dogs because although I like Pits and Staffies, I don't like the stocky build in dogs so much (so many health consequences and so much power to their size). I know from owning as well as petsitting Terriers that they're far too high-strung for my liking, and Toys generally have too short of an attention span for me. The only exception to that off of the top of my head is that I love Papillons. :)

Pointers, Companion Dogs (I especially love Keeshonds) Scent Hounds (I'm a big Dachshund fan), Northern dogs (really like Sibs and Malamutes), are more of a grey area for me, haha.

Thanks again for your help!!
 

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Vizsla's seem to be the in breed right now that along with Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The Vizsla's I have met have seemed to have a pretty decent prey drive but I am assuming it is like Redbone Coonhounds. I almost said Redbone Coonhound but I know some that fit and some that don't.
 
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German Shepherd Dog owner and you're set. They may not come number one in various areas you're looking for, but in all areas across the board GSD is number two. Females are smarter, and usually weigh under 80lbs. I have a male and a female, and can pick the female GSD up with ease. :) :)
 
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