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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Someone I know has decided that she just loves my borders and my aussies and that she has to have one. I tried to gently explain that both breeds need a lot of training and exercise to not be destructive and the dogs she has now don't know basic obedience, aren't exercised, and aren't house-trained. Because they're older toy breeds they can get away with it but a border or aussie wouldn't thrive under those conditions. They'd be natural disasters.

But she likes that my dogs do tricks and are so well-behaved!
Well, they do and they are (if I do say so myself), but I spend a lot of money on a training facility membership, we do classes 5 days a week and train 7 days a week.

But she would train them if she had one!
Maybe she would, but she's never done it before with any dog she's owned which indicates to me that the interest isn't really there.

I understand that not everyone cares as much as I do if their dog can heel, or doesn't jump, or whatever, and I think that as long as you are happy with the relationship you have with your dog that is the only thing that matters. But I wish more people would be honest about what kind of dogs are good fits for them. Personally, I love Bull Terriers. I think they are the cutest dog breed and I want a million of them. Buuuut I don't have any because I know that I don't "do" stubborn and I'm not a patient person. It's not fair to the dog or the person to resent each other because you're simply not compatible.

Being honest about your ownership style also means also being honest about the kinds of breeds you are looking into. I could justify getting a Bull Terrier if I wanted to. They're smart! They're high energy! They're goofy! Just like my border and aussie! But we all know that's not the WHOLE truth of who they are. I talk to a lot of people (and see a lot of people post online) about "is this breed right for me?" where they address honestly what they want out of a dog but cherry-pick traits to justify a certain breed.

You all know I just got a new baby Aussie and I am totally in love with her. Aussies probably don't even broach my top ten favorite dog breeds (no offense meant to those who do love them!) but the relationship I have with her is so much better than the one I would have with a breed I like more but doesn't fit my ownership style.

Anyways, this has been frustrating me and I needed to vent. Thanks for listening! :)
 

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I completely understand. There are breeds that I like but know would never fit into my lifestyle so I just won't get one. I don't have space or time for a big dog or one that needs crazy amounts of attention. I LOVE rotties, but they wouldn't fit with me right now so I'll have to wait until I'm ready.

My parents neighbors got a brittany spaniel because the dad likes to hunt-although he never planned to actually hunt with the dog. She is a holy terror. She's horribly behaved and bored and aggravates the entire neighborhood.

I also have a friend that regularly gets dogs she's not prepared for (beagle,GSD,Husky) and then gives up on and sends to the shelter. Drives me INSANE.

My roommate has a young GSD that she almost never walks or trains and she's almost never home. Yet says she wants a husky?!?!?! Please no.

For the benefit of the dog, yourself and everyone around you, you'd think people would be more realistic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ugh, your friend is the worst. She shouldn't have dogs at all. Also, that GSD is going to be a GSDisaster.

I don't get why people can't like or love a breed and at the same time not feel the need to own it. I love big bully types, presas, canes, etc., but I knooooow they're a bad idea for me at this point in my life.
 

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I'm probably the best/worst advocate for those two breeds. I'm always telling people not to get either of them, when they comment on how wonderful my dogs are. Yes they are, but I work with them constantly. There are a couple Aussies/Borders that we see occasionally at the park, and they are nuts.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm probably the best/worst advocate for those two breeds. I'm always telling people not to get either of them, when they comment on how wonderful my dogs are. Yes they are, but I work with them constantly. There are a couple Aussies/Borders that we see occasionally at the park, and they are nuts.
Hahahaha SAME!
"Your dog is so sweet-"
"NEVER GET ONE THEY'RE THE DEVIL"

To be honest, I HATED Aussies with a visceral passion until I started getting involved in dog training because they were all nuts and out of control. I still hate about 50% of the Aussies I meet.
 

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I have a HUGE love for GSDs and Mals but I wouldn't be able to own anytime in the near future, they are too much dog for me. In fact Tessa tends to my upper limit of the kind of dog I can handle. Her BC side is exhausting and the main cause for most of her reactivity - her dad was a aussie and border collie mix that probably had issues by my guess because her mom is the sweetest, biddable, bomb proof labrador I've ever met.

Having known what she would turn out like, I probably would have gone with a breeder of labs or a golden, not another BC mix. Not saying I don't love Tessa for who she is, and I'd adopt her all over again because she is my heart, but she's just so dang smart it's exhausting.

Add to that she has anxiety issues and she's always constantly needing to do something, she is not the dog for the average owner. I have to keep 8 steps ahead for us to live happily and it can get exhausting. I love every moment of it, we spend a lot of time together and I spend a lot on a training, but sometimes I wish I had a dumber, easier going dog that is just happy to exist...then again, what's the fun in that? lol:p

That being said, I have a co-worker that "fell in love" with heelers. She had never owned a largish/medium dog, let alone a working herder, only a shih tzu that had passed. At least I knew what I was getting into. Labs aren't new to me, I grew up around them and I also have plenty of friends that work BCs on their acreages.

Anyway, my co-worker adopted a HIGHLY reactive Heeler/Border collie mixed dog that would work amazing on a ranch - he's an amazing herder when he focuses and is handled correctly, but he isn't regularly handled and his herding of things is not appreciated in a city. He's mentally bored, you can see it in his eyes. He has also bitten people, and drawn blood, because he's very fear aggressive and my co-worker a) doesn't protect him from his triggers, and b) Doesn't believe he has issues c) He doesn't listen to her at all when off leash - she's one of those "Don't worry, He's friendly" people:eyeroll:. I fear running into her and her dog off leash, it wouldn't be pretty.:(

So I suggested a few things she could do to lessen his reactivity/fear aggression, because with a little draining activity (herding) and training he could at least be less of a danger to society if she was so adamant on keeping him. She took 0 of my suggestions. I recommended Tessa's trainer who has done wonders working with us, and I got a big "My dog isn't a problem so I don't know why you think he needs a trainer", the proceeded to whine about how her dog bite her friend, or how he attacked her mother's dog, How he chased a bus, or how he pulls on leash, etc.

So here she is with 1 dog she can't handle, who bites, is fear reactive and aggressive, pulls, trees her cat, etc.. So what does she go and do last summer? She buys another heeler:headbash:; because obviously the first one needed a friend! ugh. Now the new dog is turning a year and is a holy terror too. Double ugh. She is now thinking of buying a Catahoula Leopard dog, because I'm sure adding a Houla would help:eyeroll:.

I drew the line the other day after hearing her whine about her current dogs and slip right into "I can't wait till I get my Catahoula, everything would be so much better.." and told her that she is in no way capable of owning a shih tzu, let alone a Catahoula, with how her other dogs are. She got made and refused to talk to me for a while, it was very pleasant experience for me.

I have to half laugh about it all. Here I am working with Tessa, contemplating adding another dog to our home that can be my sport dog Tessa was supposed to be, but I worry it won't work so I research. I research and worry if the time will ever be right. And here is my co-worker, obliviously adding dogs she can't handle, that are a risk to themselves and the public, and will probably add another strong, stubborn bred dog....I hope she listens and doesn't get the houla.

**Just realized that's a long, vent like post. Sorry :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh yikes! Heelers can be wonderful dogs but again, they are wrecks in the wrong hands. Another pet peeve of mine is people who complain about things without working towards a solution. And no, the solution isn't to bury the problem in more dogs. If I were you I'd tell her I don't want to hear about her issues until she is neck-deep in professional dog training. ;)

I am actually considering a mal when I can afford to buy a dog. Again, another dog that is definitely not for everyone, but after having borders and aussies I feel that I would really flourish with a dog of that intensity. I got to work with one a few weeks ago and his owner asked me why I didn't have one yet. :)

I totally feel what you're going through with Tessa. I have a pitty/pointer thing that I love to pieces but I would never do again. I love him to the moon and back and he is a wonderful dog, but our relationship is difficult sometimes because we aren't compatible.
 

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Yes, this is so true. Honestly I have to admit Stella isn't the type of dog that would typically fit my lifestyle, but I work at it like crazy to make sure she's physically and mentally stimulated enough to be happy, and learns how to behave. But next time? Yeah, I think we're going the Basset Hound/senior dog route!

I do hate how more often than not people get certain kinds of dogs because "They're so cute/pretty/cool! Or worse, because they're trendy. I admit I internally roll my eyes almost every time I see someone with a "doodle" or call their mutt a "designer" name, unless they say they rescued it. So many people seem to think breeds look different because they're designed that way like clothing to be different and interesting.

Let's hope your friend doesn't actually get an Aussie or BC. And since you said neither of those are your favorites, what would you say are your favorite breeds? I'm curious now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, this is so true. Honestly I have to admit Stella isn't the type of dog that would typically fit my lifestyle, but I work at it like crazy to make sure she's physically and mentally stimulated enough to be happy, and learns how to behave. But next time? Yeah, I think we're going the Basset Hound/senior dog route!

I do hate how more often than not people get certain kinds of dogs because "They're so cute/pretty/cool! Or worse, because they're trendy. I admit I internally roll my eyes almost every time I see someone with a "doodle" or call their mutt a "designer" name, unless they say they rescued it. So many people seem to think breeds look different because they're designed that way like clothing to be different and interesting.

Let's hope your friend doesn't actually get an Aussie or BC. And since you said neither of those are your favorites, what would you say are your favorite breeds? I'm curious now!
Senior dogs are the best and Basset Hounds are SO cute. :) Good for you accommodating your dog! I do the same with Gimli.

Aussies are not my favorite, but I love the crap out of Border Collies. They are the ultimate dog: smart, loyal, funny, friendly.

Dog breeds I love and would like to own:
  • Border Collies - when I own my own place I will have a majestic herd of Border Collies trained for television and print work and I will stroke out from the joy.
  • Chinese Cresteds - I adore these little weirdos. They are so silly but quiet and trainable, kind of like a kicky retriever personality in a little dog body. I would really like one in the future as a lap/therapy dog.
  • Great Pyrenees - never met one I didn't like. Obviously wouldn't be a trick or task dog, but I think they make wonderful low-key companions and I always feel safe having one around.
  • Belgian Malinois - when I can afford to buy a nice well-bred Mal for Ring Sport, I will. All the intensity I love in my pit with the trainability and energy of my BCs/Aussies.
Dog breeds I love but would (probably) never own:
  • Komondors - they are phenomenal looking animals and tremendous at their jobs. I would love to own one but, again, they would be a terrible choice for me. A little too much singularly-focused drive.
  • Bull Terriers - I have never met one that didn't just tickle me, and I love their musculature and bizarre head shape. Like I said though, I am too stubborn to have a breed as stubborn as they are.
  • Dogo Argentinos - again, truly beautiful animals that are absolutely amazing at what they were bred to do. Unfortunately for me, I don't boar hunt so I'll probably never own one.
  • Heelers - so cute, so funny, but a little too crotchety for me as I have a lot of other dogs and I always have people coming in and out of my house.
  • Great Danes - I love everything about these dogs except the lifespan. If someone asked me to take a deaf Dane puppy I would in a heartbeat, but I will never actively seek one out.
This was fun to write out! I like thinking about all the different aspects of dog ownership and how each breed plays into what I want in my "complete package".
 

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Those are some interesting choices, especially some of the rare breeds like Komondorok and Dogos. :) Chinese Cresteds are sweet but...ech, I hate to sound mean but they're kind of gross. When they age it's like they slowly fall apart, especially the teeth and they get all warty. But very silly and fun. Danes are nice dogs but I agree the lifespan is so short, and eh, they're just ridiculously large. I do remember once at a pet expo there was a Dane rescue with a deaf pup for adoption.

Have you ever seen this book? I recently gave it as a Xmas gift to someone and I thought you would enjoy it if you don't have it already.

Robot Check
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Those are some interesting choices, especially some of the rare breeds like Komondorok and Dogos. :) Chinese Cresteds are sweet but...ech, I hate to sound mean but they're kind of gross. When they age it's like they slowly fall apart, especially the teeth and they get all warty. But very silly and fun. Danes are nice dogs but I agree the lifespan is so short, and eh, they're just ridiculously large. I do remember once at a pet expo there was a Dane rescue with a deaf pup for adoption.

Have you ever seen this book? I recently gave it as a Xmas gift to someone and I thought you would enjoy it if you don't have it already.

Robot Check
I was trying to think of dream dog breeds that I would never own. There aren't that many common breeds that I would like but would never have. The only one I can think of is the Bloodhound. The Bloodhound should have been on that second list. Love 'em. Won't ever own 'em.

Deafness is common in Danes because of the high white patterns, same as collies, boxers, etc. I would never apply to adopt one but if someone said "Hayden, take this dane puppy" I would.

I have not seen that book! I need it as a coffee table book! I love the premise for that project. So many people tell me my girlies should have been put down when they are AMAZING dogs living lives full of love and happiness.
 

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Yes, I did know that about Danes being prone to deafness with the loss of pigment issue. Have you ever read Amazing Gracie as well? It's a great book about a deaf Dane. I'm a bit of a bookworm if you didn't notice! And yes, that photo book was quite impressive. She has three others, one of rescue dogs, Pits, and mill survivors. The whole series seems great
 

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When I was younger I was that got to have the puppy based on looks alone person. I got my puppy when I was 19, saw him at the pet shop and just had to have him. The shop was selling mixed breeds, which was what he was, along with the pure breed puppies, and when I saw him I needed him. The worker at the store warned me about him, warned me that he had been returned because he was to active, and asked if I was sure I wanted him. Yep I did. I named him Shadow. I didn't know that he was a small, hyper active, peeing machine. He turned out to be a terrier mix and was eventually housetrained but the hyperactivity lasted until he was at least 8 years old. Unfortunately while I was active, I was not into running, biking, skating, agility, or other dog sports. We made it work, but barely and more then once I had people ask why I didn't give him a doggy tranquilizer. Luckily while he was hyper he was not very smart so at least he rarely got creative in order to burn off energy, he was however stubborn so when he did get something in his head it was very hard to dislodge it.

Because of him I know better then to be so impulsive when getting a dog. He taught me to carefully weigh whether or not I can handle the dog. I know that now I could never handle the energy and hyperactivity he had, I'm simply not up to it.

I have Zody now, and he's very large energy which is very lucky for me because he's also incredibly smart. Yesterday his new puzzle toy came in, the blocks he has to remove were to large, weirdly shaped, and smooth for him to get a grip on them. Tonight I threaded a short pieces of cord through the holes in the blocks thinking that he could use the cord to remove the block but I'd likely have to show him how to do it. I put the toy down, looked away for a second, and by the time I glanced back he had the block out of the toy. I watched and he removed the second one using the cord. I never had a chance to show him what to do. Considering that I'm lazy about training him if he were high energy my goose would be cooked. it'd really be cooked if he was a larger dog. I'm just grateful that he's content to nap most of the day!

Between Shadow and Zody I know I don't want to handle a hyper dog, but I certainly don't want a high energy, intelligent one.

I love Border Collies, Australian Shepherds, and Australian Cattle Dogs, but know they are not the dogs for me.

I love Collies, Poodles, and Yorkshire Terriers, but dread the grooming requirements. At one point I could kid myself and think You'll brush them daily... No I won't. Shadow was double coated but at least didn't need daily brushing, he should have been brushed at least a couple times a week and sometimes I was lucky if I brushed him once a week. Thing is that I adore a long double coat.

I love Danes, Boxers, and Bull Dogs, but I do not have the funds to care for them if they develop some of the horrid genetic diseases those breeds are known for, and I couldn't afford to feed the Dane on top of that.

Hopefully some other people learn from experience like I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Tracie, I saw those! And I haven't read Amazing Gracie. Is it about a deaf dog as well?

Rain, I have so much respect for you for honoring the commitment you made to Shadow and thinking more critically about your next dog. They both sound incredibly lucky to have you!

If grooming requirements are the only thing holding you back from collies, you could look into some of the smooth varieties. My dog is more smooth coated and very low maintenance.
 

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I have a labrador i got him in 2005 when i was turning 20(few months off) he is called charlie and he is the most amazing chocolate labrador i could ask for! but he may have been easy to house train and train in general esp at obedience classes but walking with me he would pull me flat on my face and my mum for that matter only with mum she landed bum first into a tree! and now he is 11 years old in a few days the costs for his food(acana light and fit) plus his previcox and synoquin comes to around 300 a month! i now know i cant afford to have a labrador again much as i love them.

I also love border collies they are georgeous dogs but never worked with one. I also love fox terriers. Jessie is half australian terrier nad half shih tzu and i dont think i could handle getting a terrier dog again! the amount of training to get Jessie to this point whew but most of all the escaping drove me to a point when she was 10 months old i seriously considered giving her to a shelter because she kept escaping. Havent had it easy with her health allergies etc but she finally passed CGC foundation at 3 years old. No she wasnt easy to house train but she did well in other areas and she is the best little dog i can ask for.

Told my dad im going to have kids and the deal is its either i have kids or another puppy from a breeder who health tests etc he went for the puppy rather then me having kids. claims they alot cheaper the a kid.

yes id love to own a few breeds but i think small dog with some charater that isnt too smart and can chill out will be right for me.

Now i need a bit of a vent here @HaydenK because i know where you coming from but my brother 6 years ago got ozzy a black lab whilst renting a place(i rent but parents own it) he couldnt find anywhere to live with him when he was moving out of the current flat , ozzy had never ever been left by himself. only reason he got ozzy was because at 5 month old he was still in the pet shop by himself. Yes poor dog but seriously? ended up moving into my parents 4-5 years ago and guess what? he didnt take time off work to settle ozzy in and parents house was getting destroyed skirting boards chewed, chairs chewed and alot more! brother moves out and leaves ozzy with parents and ozzy still lives there

2 years ago in april/may he and his partner(now wife) they saw a golden retriever 10 week old? and bought him after ozzy and charlie met him. Well like ozzy poor cooper hasnt had any training apart from brother training him himself with down(which cooper does ten gets bk up) sit and waiting and he uses it for stay too :( now cooper wont listen to either of them does his own thing, wont come back when called, he doesnt get groomed often enough, they ask me or parents to look after him when they go out. tehy dont like leaving him by himself because he has been known to destroy a few things yet they wont crate or muzzle him! his wife wanted a golden retriever because she loves them esp the look of them and beautiful dogs.

it makes me annoyed and angry when people buy a dog offload it on someone else and dont train the dog!
 

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I totally agree with OP about the frustration that comes with seeing someone buy or own a dog that aren't compatible and they refuse to do anything about it. The dog's life is quite miserable and it seems very obvious to everyone else BUT the owner. A while ago, I took care of a kelpie for an elderly owner because he broke his leg. Anyways, after returning the kelpie to them, I went frequently to visit the dog and found out that they were not giving him the toys I bought for him. The dog was not getting any walks (maybe once per week maximum), no mental stimulation toys such as kongs and was locked in the backyard all day long. The dog is very ill mannered (humping legs, biting sleeves, stealing shoes, digging holes, stealing food). The sad thing was that kelpies are so smart and he learnt 5-6 tricks in one week alone with me and did not behave badly when he got enough exercise e.g. 2-3 walks a day, 30 minutes of fetch and agility, some food puzzles as well as some short sessions of training. He was just happy to sleep and chill aside from that.

I was so angry when I found out that the owner's son came regularly to visit and went on walks with his daughter but did not take the dog with them. The adult son is perfectly healthy and able to walk the dog but he just refuses to because he believes that it is too troublesome. The dog pulls like mad. Well, no wonder because the dog doesn't get any walks usually!?

People sometimes get breeds that are not quite compatible with their lifestyle but that is fine as long as they try to do something about it because they are aware of this issue. Personally, I don't think my kelpie is absolutely compatible with me as he is kind of aloof while I really wanted an affectionate dog. I've come to accept my dog for who he is as he does show affection in other ways rather than cuddling. Yes I often get comments from people about how kelpies are super energetic, intelligent and not suited for suburban lifestyle. Knowing this, I try my best to accommodate my dog's needs by changing my lifestyle. I wake up earlier to walk him and train him. I sleep earlier so I'm not exhausted the next day. I try to go out as much as possible to different places so that he can smell new things even though I probably just want to chill in the house.

Luckily, my kelpie is not too hyper and is happy with 2-3 walks a day and a little bit of running time with fetch along with a few training sessions, tug sessions and food puzzles including some kongs. He is happy to sleep the rest of the time. However, if I wasn't so lucky and I ended up with a more energetic working kelpie, I can't imagine how I can handle this.
 

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I can relate to this.

My neighbor a lab mixed with some other large breed (he's huge), and she can only spend 45 minutes excising him. She gets so frustrated when the dog does not listen to her, which is quite often.. She recently found a GSD/Brodercollie/Husky mix she wanted so bad. I told her that that dog would require a lot of work and asked if she would honestly have the time for a dog like that. She was so convinced That this was the dog for her.. Thankfully the dog was sold before she could get to it.

Another example.. There is this German family who just moved to Canada. Now they think that they need five huskies (for each member of the family) to go dog sledding, which is actually not done in this part of Canada. They live in town, they have no former experience with dogs, their Children are very very young. All of this screams disaster!

If I could pick a breed that I love that would not work out for me right now it would be a Belgium mal, a husky or a Australian Cattle dog.

I guess when people really want something, they only see the good things about it and not the difficult things that probably won't work out.
 

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I have a border collie and get that a lot too. They see how awesome he is, how bonded he is to me, how reliable and well he listens, how stable and well rounded he is.....they see the end result of hours of training. They didn't see the psycho puppy that he once was. And if they see us out and about when he's on his best behavior, they don't see the bouncing off the walls energy he can have at home.

He's perfect for me. But he's waaaaay too much and over the top for most.
 

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@TiggerBounce - I always tell people to come spend a day with them, and then tell me you still want them. :p
 

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I have a friend who adopted a dog about 6 months before I got Aspen... the dog is rude, out of control and WILD because they do nothing with it, including basic manners. I started working with Aspen pretty much the day I brought her home. When he and his wife come over, they always say, "oh, you got so lucky with Aspen!"... Yeah, luck. That's how it happened...
 
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