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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

We will be looking for a puppy next year but have some doubts on the breed.

Info about us:
First of my wife and I live together in a large house, with a 1500m2 (fenced) garden and a big plot of land behind that which we can use for all kind of activities.
In my younger years I had a dog (Golden Retriever) and I was always a dog person, my wife is more a cat person but fully support the dog.
We will get around the same time a kitten. We both work from home but also travel for work. However there will always be someone at home.
The dog and the cat will both be in the same house, not confined to any room (when trained properly) and will be indoors unless we take them out or let them out in the garden.
My Wife doesn’t like a German shepherd unfortunately, so that one is of our list

What are we looking for in a dog:
  • Loyal
  • Trainable
  • at least be able to be ok with the cat
  • Being ok to snuggle up on the couch with
  • Enjoy going out for a walk/hike but also is able to switch off
  • Large or medium size dog
  • not too much drooling
  • Protective, we don't train it to be a guard dog, but the dog should not have the same character as a Golden Retriever who would invite the burglar in.
Which dogs are on our short list
  • Beauceron
  • Australian Shepherd (minus for us might be the energy level of this breed)
  • Nova Scotia Duck tolling retriever
What other dogs would fit our requirements that look a bit similar as the dogs mentioned above?

Thanks for your input and have a nice day!
 

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It sounds like you live in a rural area. My thinking is that if you are going to be hiking with the dog off-leash then it's best to have one with some kind of a herders instinct. A dog with a built in need to "keep everyone together" isn't going to run off and leave you wondering where it went.

Some kind of a shepherd like a german shepherd might have fit the ticket but honestly my very first thought when I read your description was "Rottweiler".
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It sounds like you live in a rural area. My thinking is that if you are going to be hiking with the dog off-leash then it's best to have one with some kind of a herders instinct. A dog with a built in need to "keep everyone together" isn't going to run off and leave you wondering where it went.

Some kind of a shepherd like a german shepherd might have fit the ticket but honestly my very first thought when I read your description was "Rottweiler".
Thanks for your reply. We moved from Rotterdam to our current place which is indeed a rural area. Quite a change for us and therefore we also want to wait just a bit longer not directly dive into our next adventure.

unfortunatly a Rottweiler is not the type of dog that we’re looking for. Might be bad examples In the past but a shepherd (whichever it would be) is a dog I always fancied having next to us.

since I cannot find a lot of info on the Beauceron except for the generic info, how does it compare to a Australian Shepherd? From what I read, it would be mainly the energy level, size and protective nature. But perhaps I missed some big things?
 

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I don't know anything about the Beauceron except for a rough idea of what it looks like. What I know about Australian shepherds is that they can go stir-crazy if left alone or confined for any length of time. If you left one in your house all day when you are at work it would probably lead to a very unhappy dog. That makes them time-intensive but very good pets otherwise (according to my neighbour, who is the only person I know who has one).

As for Rottweilers, a few of my friends have had them. You need to know what you're doing when you train them or they can be inclined to be a bit disobedient, which can be bad or even scary with such a powerful dog. If trained well they make excellent pets and burglars won't even TRY to come in your house :D

I know the Dutch put them on their list of "dangerous" breeds (They may have put everything bigger than a dachshund on the list) but I've personally literally never seen a Rottweiler that made me feel nervous of being bitten the way some Chihuahuas do :D As a general rule that just confirms my thinking that you shouldn't listen too carefully to what bureaucrats think. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't know anything about the Beauceron except for a rough idea of what it looks like. What I know about Australian shepherds is that they can go stir-crazy if left alone or confined for any length of time. If you left one in your house all day when you are at work it would probably lead to a very unhappy dog. That makes them time-intensive but very good pets otherwise (according to my neighbour, who is the only person I know who has one).
The dog (and cat) will not be alone in the house, or only for a short period of time (3-4h max) and also not every day. We both work from home so the dog could freely walk through the house and come by both of us. ofcourse not all the time 100% attention for the dog, but we are at the house (not just during covid, we also work from home normally).

As for Rottweilers, a few of my friends have had them. You need to know what you're doing when you train them or they can be inclined to be a bit disobedient, which can be bad or even scary with such a powerful dog. If trained well they make excellent pets and burglars won't even TRY to come in your house :D
Yes, that's what I meant with bad experience. The Rottweiler was absolutly not obedient at all which with it's size and weight is not fun.

What about a Friese Stabij? Would that bridge the gap between you and your wife?
Proposed it to my wife and she didn't like it from the apperance.

New question
Innitially, like many people i guess, we fell in love with the australian shepherd, but due to the hyper activity we lowered it down on our list as sometimes you read people suggest 3h of activity per day, which is something during the working week we definitly cannot do all the time. The amount of activity is also dependend on the blood line I guess and comes down to the individual dog.
Would 30min walk in the morning, depending on the weather having some goofing around time during lunch break in the garden, 30min - 1.5 hour in the afternoon (including some mental and physical stimulation of the dog) and just before we go to bed a quick walk be enough for an Aussie?
 

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The Friese stabij wouldn't suit anyway they are active dogs.. They need to hunt and swim a couple of hours per day is a minimum.

I would like to add that a duck toller wouldnt suit either ...for much the same reason these are active dogs that need a purpose in life...
Maybe a greyhound or ckc spaniel would be a better suit they are both loyal but less active.
 

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Innitially, like many people i guess, we fell in love with the australian shepherd, but due to the hyper activity we lowered it down on our list as sometimes you read people suggest 3h of activity per day, which is something during the working week we definitly cannot do all the time. The amount of activity is also dependend on the blood line I guess and comes down to the individual dog.
Would 30min walk in the morning, depending on the weather having some goofing around time during lunch break in the garden, 30min - 1.5 hour in the afternoon (including some mental and physical stimulation of the dog) and just before we go to bed a quick walk be enough for an Aussie?
I've never had one but according the the AKC (American Kennel Club) they need a lot of exercise. I have a mid-sized poodle, which is less energetic than and Australian Shepherd. We walk him 3 times a day, twice for about 1/2 hour and once for an hour. In addition a walking service takes him in a group of 8-10 dogs for some off leash time for about 3 hours twice a week. A friend of ours comes takes care of him once a week due to work schedules. On the three "big" days he's getting about 4 hours outside. On the two days follwing that it's about 2 hours of which one of the 1/2 hour walks is jogging with my wife. One day in the weekend we take a 2 hour walk with him instead of a one hour walk and the last day we just do the functional stuff so he gets some time to rest. So all together that's about +/- 20 hours of doing stuff outside in a week. Some of it is low-key, some of it is high intensity and much of it is brisk walking.

That's about the minimum amount of exercise we think that dog needs in order to "feel right". We can get away with less than that for a week or 2 but then he gets restless.

My point here being that I think that with the schedule I just mentioned you'd barely be getting into the range of what an Australian Shepherd would need.

BTW, check out the website I linked. They have a lot of good breed information and it's easy to navigate.
 

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Thanks, also for the insight in your walking routine!

The thing is, if I fill in the breed selector on the AKC, the shepherd comes in at number 6 (and I pruposly selected only 6-10h per week, although normally it would be ~16 hours or so) and the Beauceron is at 9. If I up the activity to 10+h, it lowers the Shepherd in rank to 9. I know these numbers are not exact science, but lead me to believe I would be spending enough time with the dog.

Looking at the breed info on the AKC website, the Beauceron needs even more excersice then a Aussie actually.

It's a shame no one around here has an Aussie or a Beauceron just to get a good feeling for it since I don't want to bore the dog by not doing enough and so we are getting frustrated because the dog is frustrated.
 

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I used to have a border collie and they are devils if they are bored. A BC can take your house to bits if they get bored and they get bored quickly if they dont have enough movement of a job to do..
I taught my BC sign language just to help exercise his mind after he was banned from chasing a ball due to a back injury. I would hide the ball and then use signs to help him find it at walking pace,, I would say the routine you outline would be too little for an Aussie..

The Beauceron is also a herding breed which is also why I mention this.. If bored these types of dog become very desctructive and very frustrated leading to all sorts of bad behaviour. To own any herding /working type dog you have to be dedicated to walking and training regardless of weather or your own health / limits etc..

Again I think you might be looking at the wrong class of dog the ones you list are all dogs in need of stimulation both mental and physical.

I have a stabij and a beagle. Each day we walk for 1- 2 hours in the mornings covering 5-10km over fields and woods allowing them to track and sniff. Then they get at least two more half hour to 1 hour walks later in the day/evening and they have a garden . Plus games and the time they spend chasing each other round the house.
 

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Thanks For your reply. The weather I was referring to, would only be for the mid day (lunch break), but any other time will definitely not be skipped or shortened due to weather. Looking back at the previous dog I had, she loved the rain and mud so the dog made me forget about the weather and you have good clothing for that. We also have a shower (guest bath) near the entrance of our house which we are planning to use for the dog if the need for it is there.

For the routine, we we're thinking about dog frisbee as we have a lot of grass land behind our house where the dog can do all the running chasing and catching. This will not be in any competition just for the 3 of us.
During the walks, we will always take a ball with us, so it's not just a walk or a run but also some chasing and if the dog has interest in it we can also do hide and seek with toys, or a person of course :)

The weekend will be a longer walk, a hike, to the lake close by or some other sort of road trip.

Perhaps we need to add 30 minutes extra in the morning as the dog had also a rest so is full of energy after a good night sleep.

I was thinking about learning the dog to "speak" with some buttons but have to research a bit more on that.

Edit: measured on google maps the shortest morning walk and I was underestimating the time needed anyway since that would be 3.5km
 

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Thanks, also for the insight in your walking routine!

The thing is, if I fill in the breed selector on the AKC, the shepherd comes in at number 6 (and I pruposly selected only 6-10h per week, although normally it would be ~16 hours or so) and the Beauceron is at 9. If I up the activity to 10+h, it lowers the Shepherd in rank to 9. I know these numbers are not exact science, but lead me to believe I would be spending enough time with the dog.

Looking at the breed info on the AKC website, the Beauceron needs even more excersice then a Aussie actually.

It's a shame no one around here has an Aussie or a Beauceron just to get a good feeling for it since I don't want to bore the dog by not doing enough and so we are getting frustrated because the dog is frustrated.
I'm probably going to get grief from the mods for saying this but my experience is that the exercise requirements on many sites don't just look at the dog. I think they try to find a balance between what the dog needs and what a typical American can handle in terms of physical activity. The AKC doesn't give you a number but some sites say that a poodle, for example, needs about 7 hours of exercise a week. My poodle would commit suicide if this is all the exercise we gave him.

The other thing of importance is the owner. We're very active, as you can imagine. My wife runs (I don't) but I walk 8-10km a day on a normal day. Your pet will get dialed in to the "rhythm" of the family they live with. A friend of mine, who is (not surprisingly) pretty sedentary, has a dachshund who you can hardly get off the couch with a whip. 2 walks a day of about 200m is more than enough for that particular dog. Other dogs of EXACTLY the same breed are MUCH more active and need a LOT more "outside time".

The point I want to make is that the information you get online isn't a "hard line". Dog's, just like people, are very flexible in their exercise/activity requirements. They will "dial in" to how you live. In our family, members are coming and going all the time and "watching tv" is rare. If we watch the TV a few hours a week then that's a LOT. In other families, the members watch as much TV in one day as we do in a week. The dog will adjust to either of those rhythms.
 

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I'm probably going to get grief from the mods for saying this but my experience is that the exercise requirements on many sites don't just look at the dog.
Not at all, at least not from me. I've seen some pretty critical stuff about several of these matchmaking sites; but in any case (and this is really more for anyone else reading in future) disagreeing with someone's opinion is fine as long as it's done respectfully.
 

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Not at all, at least not from me. I've seen some pretty critical stuff about several of these matchmaking sites; but in any case (and this is really more for anyone else reading in future) disagreeing with someone's opinion is fine as long as it's done respectfully.
I'm feeling confused about Americans at this point. I think it's because of the elections. There is SO much happening that is SO foreign to me that it's left me thinking that even speaking the word, "American" wiil somehow make people think that I should be protested against.....
 

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I'm feeling confused about Americans at this point. I think it's because of the elections. There is SO much happening that is SO foreign to me that it's left me thinking that even speaking the word, "American" wiil somehow make people think that I should be protested against.....
Sorry i know its off topic but this did make me laugh...
 

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Dog's, just like people, are very flexible in their exercise/activity requirements. They will "dial in" to how you live.
This is new information to me, and it is very interesting. Before I thought that one should look at energy level and individual personality rather than breed stereotypes when one is looking for a dog to adopt. But now it seems that dogs can also adapt. How flexible can we expect dogs to be? Let's say we have a medium energy dog. Are we talking about the range of medium + or - 10%, or can a medium energy dog become a low energy dog if he gets a low energy family?
 

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French bulldogs,. well known as fat couch potaoes but I know a couple that we meet in the woods OMG they whizz around like olympic sprinters..They walk about 5-10km a day no time for lounging they are off on adventures.
I know a guy with chi's they walk and play again walking several km a day.

We have a beagle(ish) and we walk a lot with him tracking stuff but I know a load of beagles who have the greatest time lounging and only go out to walk round the block I dont think its a decent life but they have adjusted to their family.

How many labs are couch potatoes and yet when you get a high energy owner these dogs are brilliant walking compainions enjoying whole days out in the woods and fields.
Some dogs will adapt.. Others like border collies tend to take your house to bits, herd your kids or eat your rugs when they dont have enough to do,
 

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You said you have had Goldens in the past. Have you thought about another Golden. They are generally great family dogs, and love to be loved. I am not an Australian Shepard fan, their temperament's, are inconsistent, at least that has been my observation.
 
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