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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Eventually, I would love a second dog. This won't be for a few years, but it doesn't hurt to plan ahead :D. However, I am not sure of what breeds. I thought I loved herders, and don't get me wrong I still do. But I think I love the idea of a herder than the reality. Dealing with an Aussie with severe fear issues definitely cooled my herder interest. For similar reasons I am only interested in adopting a puppy I can socialize from the beginning. A rescue puppy would also be on the table.

What I am looking for:

I hike a fair bit and in the past year taken up backpacking with Ezra. I want an active dog capable of keeping up with me for hikes/backpacking on the weekends. As far as size goes, either big enough to carry some of their own stuff or small enough that if I have to carry it all it won't be too heavy. Ezra is 35 pounds and he's just big enough to carry his stuff. So either 35+ plus or probably less than 20.

During the week, we go to the dog park pretty much every day for about an hour. It is awesome- 42 acres, including 10 of fenced in woods. It is actively managed which keeps the issues down. Ezra is in the best shape of his life. I think I could handle a pretty active dog given my access to safe off-leash running but I like being able to take days off if needed or do short-ish walks (~2 miles) instead.

I have come to the realization I like "hard" temperament dogs. Practically nothing fazes Ezra and I love that about him. He loves all people and almost all dogs. He is unfazed by new situations for the most part. Socialization is super important obviously, but I'd like to start from a good base. This is super important to me. I definitely want a dog breed that is more likely to be confident in new situations and adaptable. A lot of this will be puppy dependent, but a dog like a border collie probably wouldn't work out well. Similarly, I want a dog with brains but not *too* much. I certainly would be interested in doing agility and formal obedience with the dog, but I am also not looking for a dog that needs a job to be happy. I live in Florida now, so liking water would be a plus but again some of that is socialization.

I am not too picky about grooming levels, but I would like to avoid overly long, shedding coats. Ezra sheds badly enough. But I wouldn't mind grooming so long as it wasn't super complicated or I could learn to do basic things myself. I am more concerned about overheating than I am about cold tolerance.

As far as breeds go, I am considering a few: Standard Poodles, JRTs, hounds (Coonhounds, Treeing Walkers, etc.), some gun dogs (Weims, GSP, Vizlas) and maybe a field bred Lab. Not 100% on labs, seen too many badly bred ones. Field labs are completely different in my experience, but still wary. I will forever have a soft spot for ACDs, but not sure I want a herder, especially that intense of one.

I am totally open to suggestions, too. Let me know what you would think would work!
 

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Those are all good options!

I also hear great things about Britanny's or Munsterlanders. Both are smaller then Weims or GSP, but big enough to carry their own stuff. I think Brits are usually about 35-45 lbs and Munsters are 40-50ish?

Flatcoat retrievers are fabulous dogs that would fit the description of what you're looking for, Novia Scotia Duck Tollers, and most poodle-crosses as well (all three are water-loving dogs).
 

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I didn't know you were another Floridian! Very cool!

I was thinking a nice field bred lab would be a great fit. I have a teammate that has a WONDERFUL field bred lab that she does pretty much everything with. Great versatile dogs that can definitely keep up. And are smart.

Another breed that I have recently been introduced to is the Dutch Shepherd. Now I am not usually a fan of shepherds but the Dutch has really caught my attention. Small, quick, and very versatile.
 

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I'd say if you don't want a soft temperament stay away from poodles and weims- they're generally very sensitive dogs- even the well bred ones I've known have been relatively soft.

I think labs are a good choice and there's a group on FB I'm a member of, "Fact or Fiction: Uncensored Opinions of Breeders" where you can ask people to recommend a breeder for a particular breed or ask people about their experiences with different breeders and lines.

Hmm that's a pretty wide range you listed- JRTs, hounds, and the sporting dogs (even the difference between a weim and a lab) are all very different. Why are you considering these particular breeds?

I think a sporting breed would be a good option for what you're looking for, but I'm curious about the terrier because if you're willing to deal with the "terrier personality" there are some good options in that category as well. I know a lot of sport people who really like rat terriers for example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for the suggestions!

I might have to take another look at Labs. It has been a while since I have seen a well bred, skinny lab. That may be part of my hesitancy.

I grew up in Florida (and it is good to be back) so I grew up around hounds and gun dogs. I have the most experience with Weims, Vizlas, and GSP but have been around a fair number of hounds/mixes. I just like their personalities. Hyper, but not nerve-y in my experience. Most gun dogs just want to run, sniff stuff, and be with their people. Most have been fairly aloof but aloofness with strangers doesn't bother me. They also seem responsive to their people without being overly soft. Pretty unbothered by most things. Doesn't hurt that there is a Vizla that I would literlly take home with me today that is a dog park regular. Hounds are a bit more aloof and stubborn in my experience but are fairly similar.

I do love terriers though. Beyond the JRT, didn't think there were many good matches. APBT are out for breed ban and DA concerns as much as I like them. Dogs like Airdales require waaay too much grooming. Plus I haven't met one that I actually liked in the flesh. Same goes for fox terriers. JRTs though..... I love those little assholes. I like the smaller terriers as a whole but didn't think the little guys could keep up besides a JRT.
 
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Also, along the line of Jacks, what about ratters? There are a few good rat terrier breeders in Florida, my trainer has gotten his Ratters from Call Me Farms. IDK where you are located in Florida, but I know they have puppies competing in agility all over the state.
 
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