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So ill be getting a 2nd dog in the next 6mo or so. Im looking for some general advice on 3 breeds. And what you guys think will best fit into my life.

The finalist:
Smooth Collie
Female German Shepherd
Airedale Terrier
And a back up if none of these fit or i cant find them is another lab.

To start i have a 6mo old lab currently, her name is Stella. I live in an apartment with a unfenced yard, its about 25x25yards. However i have a local dog park about 15mins away, a river about 5 mins away and friends that have fenced in yards. I have 2 cats that im not willing to part with. I have 2 nieces thag will come into contact with the dog. I work 40 hours per week and am i fairly active person. I jog, hike, bike, swim, walk nearlyr everyday of the week. I also enjoy playing fetch with my current lab in the river or on a 30ft lead in my yard. I dont intend to show the dog. May compete in events, that is undecided.

So the basic info im looking for for each breed:
-how much exercise each breed generally needs (i know this can vary based on breeding)
-how easy each is to train
-how well each does as a watch dog
-how easy each breed is to properly socialize to accept cats, other dogs, and childern.
If its easier, you can put them in order of easiet to hardest, or least to most, least/easiet being = 1

Breed apecific questions/ concerns
German shepherd: im a bit confused with the difference between a level top line and a sloped topline. If a breeder states they brees for companionship, should i assume that this shepherd would possibly need less daily exerxise then say one that breeds for a working dog?

Smooth collie: im wanting a merle however this is not set in stone. I know this breed has eye problems and medicine allergies but they can be tested, and i will look for a breeder that does so. My concern with this breed is that im having trouble finding breeders that arent breeding show quailty dogs, which means they are selling them for top dollar. Its not that im not willing to pay for a healty dog but im not looking to pay show quailty price. So how common are smooth collies? I live in MD, am i going to have a difficult time finding one bred for companionship and not show quailty?


Airedale terries: i know pretty much nothing about these dogs. I saw them on animal planets "dogs 101" and they seemed to fit what i was looking for. So really any info on them would be appreciated.

I will most likely be buying a puppy, possibly adopting from a rescue group. I wont buy a retired show or breeding dog.

I dont think i left anything out but please feel free to give me anymore info that may be important to look out for or in keeping said breed. Thanks for the help!

Also this is a given but i will be lookong for reaponsible breeders!
 

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I would seriously recommend against a GSD. The only ones that aren't horrible genetic messes are working line GSDs, which aren't really appropriate for someone who works 8 hours a day.

I love Smooth Collies, I looked at them for a while while deciding on my first dog. I will say that the eye/MRD1 problems should be resolved by going to a reputable breeder. The breeders I spoke to were all very cautious of who they were selling to, because in general, Collies tend to be quite sensitive to corrections.

Aaaaand I don't know anything about Airedales. :)
 
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