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Hello, Dog Forum!

My husband and I have reached a point in our lives where we’ve started to seriously think about getting a pup within the next few years. Basically as soon as I am able to work from home! I have studied dog breeds all my life, and I grew up with and helped train 3 Brittany spaniels, so I am fairly well-versed. However, I am looking for some advice and personal recommendations from people who have owned different breeds to help us narrow down our options.

Here is a general idea of what we have in mind:

• Affectionate
• Easy to train/eager to please
• Low flight risk off-leash
• Not an excessive barker
• Generally friendly with other dogs and people
• Good running partner (we are active and usually run 3-8 miles several times a week)
• We want an athletic breed, but also one that isn’t too much of a nut-job in the house!
• Doesn’t need professional trimming (but we are happy to groom/brush at home)

Thanks in advance! I look forward to your recommendations :)
 

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My all time favorite breed is the German Shepherd ("GSD"). We had 7 of them when I was a child and throughout my adult life I've had a couple of my own. My nephew has one as well. I would still have another one but I am disabled and cannot be as active as necessary to exercise one.
 

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What about a lab? Or a pit bull?

Labs are very affectionate, very eager and willing to please, can be trained to be off leash and aren't the most vocal of dogs (usually only when provoked). They are generally great with people and would benefit from having a running partner. The exercise (and mental stimulation) will help them not be nutty in the house, and are pretty low maintenance. Easy to clean and great for hiking or getting caught in the rain.

Pit Bulls (depending on where you are located) are also great options. Extremely athletic, very smart (although they can be a little hard headed), can be trained to be off leash, and would make a great running partner. Coats are EXTREMELY low maintenance (even easier then labs). They also benefit greatly from mental and physical exercise. The only problem with pits is the possibility of restrictions.

Are there any breeds you are eyeing more then others?
 
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I believe Pit Bull type breeds are banned in the UK but maybe there are some exceptions in certain cities, I'm not sure.
https://www.gov.uk/control-dog-public/banned-dogs

While Pit Bulls aren't actually a breed, bully breeds like the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (aka English Staffy) describes what you are looking for. Mine's a staffy mix (probably with American Pit Bull Terrier) and she's VERY food motivated so she has been really easy to train. Because of this, her recall is great and does well on off-leash trails. She absolutely LOVES to run, she runs way ahead of me on the trails and comes running back to make sure I'm still behind her.

She loves to cuddle, very friendly with everyone and generally gets along with most dogs. It's really important to socialize this breed at an early age (but I guess that goes with any breed).

She does need a lot of stimulation though, I feel like she always needs to be doing something, like playing fetch, doing nose work, she LOVES agility. But once she's mentally/physically tired out, she snores like a PIG and passes out on my lap.

My biggest issue with this breed are the restrictions in my city. (I'm in Vancouver, BC) Many stratas restrict this breed, certain areas require that she be muzzled in public places and even the dog license is more expensive in a couple of cities here.
 

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I automatically thought Golden Retriever when I read your description. I agree that a lab is another breed to consider. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for the feedback! I do think Labs and Goldens are cute, but my husband thinks they're a bit boring and wants something less common. The GSDs I have known have been under-stimulated but whip-smart. I enjoy training and exercising, so I think we would be able to provide a good home for one. I also adore pit bulls, they're on the list! :)

Some breeds I have always been fond of are the Australian Shepherd, Rough Collie, and Whippet/Greyhound. Hounds don't typically go off-lead very reliably though. For Aussies, I'm a bit worried about hyperactivity - we are active, but I know they can go on for aaages. The only thing that worries me about a Collie is its ability to run in the heat with that huge coat!
 

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Maybe look at smooth collies? Though the few roughs I know do ok in the summer here, but they are kept well groomed and aren't exercising in extreme heat.

An aussie may work well for you. I see and work with a lot... There is a pretty decent range there in energy level and drive between the different lines/types at least around here.

For something less common perhaps look into some of the setters, spaniels, and pointers.
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I think a vizsla could be a good fit for you, too. They're one of the most common breeds at the doggy daycare I work at so I interact with multiple daily and I think they fit your description very nicely, I haven't met one yet that I wasn't fond of. They may not be as common in your area as they are mine, though. A weimaraner or pointers are some other similar options. I find that a lot of bird dog breeds tend to have a bit more of an off switch compared to herders but have similar energy levels when "working".
 

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Collie. No two ways about it for me. Max.
Ours went through a PAT* assessment yesterday. Two pages of tests the assessor had to do all sorts of things including pulling his tail and exposing him to loud noises.
He did perfectly.

It was at a pub by a lake. Lots of geese. I thought he would try to chase them. He didn't. And he relaxed under the table when we sat down to complete the documentation.

*PAT. Pets as therapy. It's where you take the pet round places like old people's homes, hospitals and the like. His groomer suggested it based on how well he behaves with her. At about 80 pounds, he is quite a big beast but gentle with children and old people. He'd be right for the job.

There was a Staffie on a lead today that snarled and barked at Max. He gave me a look and just strolled on by.

But each to his own. I grew up on a farm in Scotland so we always had Collies. Now that I am retired I have the time to give him for the exercise he needs it was a no brainer.

Whatever dog breed you get, you first need to be aware of the committment he/she needs and whether you can provide that.
 

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Most of the qualifications you mention are a matter of training, not breed specific. Most things you should be considering are size, hair length, general temperament. Working breeds are more athletic, but also need more attention and management. How much free time will determine this choice.

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Well I've never owned a Collie, but that's a very pretty one!!! :)
Thank you. He's handsome in his Tux and quite photogenic. Maximililan Thunderbolt, but Max for short.
He is fairly well-behaved too.

A little tale from his walk this evening. Our house faces on to a common green so I just open the front door and off we go.

Tonight one of our neighbours had her dog out too. She was trying to get it back in but he wanted to romp around with Max and just ignored her. So I called Max back and the other dog, Rascal, came too. I got it by the collar. Thank you Max.

I know I think he is a gem - who doesn't think that about their dog? He makes people smile and that can't be bad.
 

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If there is enough square footage and the people have the energy, its the breed I always recommend. You simply cannot find a more beautiful dog.

Agree, even low on space you can make it work. IMO the most regal/noble breed, I fell for my pup fast.
 

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We won't see eye to eye on that.........:)



Collies also top most lists for intelligence.

Bud has a border collie, stayed with him earlier this summer and he said what ever you do don't throw the damn stick when he brings you one. Well.... I threw the stick :D

Yea he didn't want to stop and kept nudging it closer to my feet when I wouldn't pick it up to throw again, rather comical.
 

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Agree, even low on space you can make it work. IMO the most regal/noble breed, I fell for my pup fast.
Amen! We had two of our own GSDs when I was a kid. Both of my parents were cops--not K-9 officers, but one day, my father was asked to rehome a K-9 that was retiring when the handler didn't have enough room to keep his new dog and the retiring one. By the time I was in the sixth grade, we had our own two GSDs and FIVE retired K-9s living with us, along with our Peekenise dog, a tom cat and a chicken. I had three sisters and we were never allowed to leave the house without taking a dog with us as a babysitter. When I raised my own family, there was no other dog I would consider. Now, my kids are all grown and I'm too old to exercise a GSD, so I have two lap dogs, but I foster a GSD from time to time and I am always heartbroken when its time for them to go to their forever homes.
:)
 

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Amen! We had two of our own GSDs when I was a kid. Both of my parents were cops--not K-9 officers, but one day, my father was asked to rehome a K-9 that was retiring when the handler didn't have enough room to keep his new dog and the retiring one. By the time I was in the sixth grade, we had our own two GSDs and FIVE retired K-9s living with us, along with our Peekenise dog, a tom cat and a chicken. I had three sisters and we were never allowed to leave the house without taking a dog with us as a babysitter. When I raised my own family, there was no other dog I would consider. Now, my kids are all grown and I'm too old to exercise a GSD, so I have two lap dogs, but I foster a GSD from time to time and I am always heartbroken when its time for them to go to their forever homes.
:)
Good stuff, thanks for sharing! I believe you commented on my post and saw my pup. One thing I've been trying/working on is getting her out and about to socialize. She just has a hell of a personality, she loves everybody and everybody loves her. Kids as well (don't have any of my own) but with being a pup I'm careful due to the fact she just wants to jump and play with them. We go out and about to the stores and cautiously at the dog park once in a while. The struggle is real with her drive but I knew what I was signing up for and wouldn't trade it. Won't be my last one I promise you that.
 
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