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Discussion Starter #21
Thank you very much! I'll definitely look into the kelpie and working gds. If someone experienced would see my training, it would be definetly called amateurish. Before I get a pup I'll have to search for a experienced trainer that will help me make some good routines.... Nevertheless, thank you :)
 

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A huge amount of training comes from precise timing, so ideally you want a trainer to work with you and your dog together. Also please look for someone who uses positive reinforcement and force free methods. If they talk about dominance, pack leadership or alpha, walk away.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited)
I would scratch the idea of the czechoslovakian Wolfdog. It’s not an easy breed and I would not reccomend it to a beginner. I think a more easy motivated and more trainable breed would fit your wishes the best. They can also be difficult to have off lead because of their prey drive. As for the Border collie and Weimaraner I would say the same. These breeds doesn’t fit your lifestyle. The bc needs to herd and all in all need more “high” ambition training. The Weimaraner is a hunting dog and should be used for hunting or if you would focus alot on tracking etc. Since they’re hunting dogs they can also be rather difficult to have off lead. It’s just in general a breed that doesn’t suit the activities you want to do.

The malinois, groendael and dutch Shepherds are definitely more suitable breeds. As for the differences between them people tend to state different things. Some claim that the dutch Shepherds are more stable than the malinois while others will redirect you from the dutch because they can have a rather weak mentality. But in general I would say that the malinois is the most extreme, hyper and over the top, while the two other breeds tend to be more collected. But since all of these breeds can have some issues with being weak and nervous it’s important to find a good breeder that breeds stable dogs with good mentality. I suggest that you look into how the different breeds are doing mentality wise in your country, because it can differ quite much from country to country. Make sure that they’ve desirable performances on MH-tests and speak to different breeders of the different breeds to figure out which would suit you the best.

Have you looked into the Australian Kelpie (not the working kelpie)? A smaller and lighter breed than all the others. Great working dogs that need a lot of exercise and training. The kelpie will be good for both IPO (igp) and agility. My general picture is that it’s easier to find a stable kelpie with good mentality than a dutch/Belgium shepherds. But again, the breeds and the breeding differ from country to country.

I would still recommend the German Shepard since I believe it’s the safest card. Working lines aren’t as heavy and blocky (or overbred) as the dogs that are show-bred, but maybe you find them too large either way.

Regarding the Nosework/scentwork and tracking there’s absolutely no problem to train this with any of the breeds mentioned. It’s a great activity that they’ll love and do very good at.

I would not recommend you to only focus on the show bred-lines. Often the health and mentality can be forgotten in this kind of breeding and the weak and nervous individuals are often due from this breeding. It’s extra important to be carful with the mentality since these are sensitive, high energy, working breeds, if they don’t have the right mentality it can end in a disaster. You don’t have to get a dog from the highest elite working lines, but make sure they breed on stable dogs with a good mentality.

All of these breeds are bred for working and aren’t typically good for beginners. So keep that in mind. But if you can offer the right life it could be great. What potentially could be an issue is the activity during the week. It depends on what ambition and level you will train the dog on. If it’s “more for fun” they would need more. I would say that 2 hours is definitely the absolute minimum of what they need. Of course it depends on what you do during these hours, it’s a difference if you dedicate at least one hour to strict training rather than some “hobby” training, if that makes sense? With these breeds you need to have high ambitions and a lot of dedication. They need serious training and exercise every day.

But regarding this I would also recommend you to speak to different breeders, tell them about what you want and what you can offer for them to decide if it’s a good match. To go and visit the different breeds is also great for deciding which breed would suit you the best.

I’m sorry if this text is a disaster. My brain is way to tired to construct good sentences in English.
Sorry, but it just came to my mind: you said to avoid working kelpies and to look into just kelpies. I just started reading on them and am quite perplexed. Aren't they just the "working version" of the breed, as it is in most breeds that weren't bred just for show (toy dogs, etc)? There seems to be quite the debate, but I, as of now, only found sources talking about how one is better than the other, but not why...
Those sources also said that they are more independent, energetic, harder to control and thus less suitable for beginners than BCs are. I really don't know what to think about it because I have no (even socond hand) experience with either
 

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Sorry, but it just came to my mind: you said to avoid working kelpies and to look into just kelpies. I just started reading on them and am quite perplexed. Aren't they just the "working version" of the breed, as it is in most breeds that weren't bred just for show (toy dogs, etc)? There seems to be quite the debate, but I, as of now, only found sources talking about how one is better than the other, but not why...
Those sources also said that they are more independent, energetic, harder to control and thus less suitable for beginners than BCs are. I really don't know what to think about it because I have no (even socond hand) experience with either
In my country they’re considered two different breeds. for instance I believe they count as two different breeds in America as well. But you should be able to look it up on your country’s kennel club. I’m not sure if the working kelpie is recognized by the FCI however. But they are considered two different breeds in many countries.

The biggest difference I would say is that the working kelpie is mainly (and often only) bred for herding. They’ve got a distinctive herding instinct and should always be allowed to herd. Hence why it doesn’t fit your lifestyle. If they’re divided into two different breeds in your country it’s easier to “avoid” them, but if they aren’t, avoid the pure herding lines.

The thing with Border collies is that they demand a very specific lifestyle. They’re tireless workaholics that need to work for hours constantly and should be allowed to herd (as the working kelpie). Many breeds are more difficult than the border collie, because of the border collies high trainability. But it’s due to this it’s so difficult to meet their need of training. Their need for activity is probably the hardest to fulfill and that’s why it’s not a beginners dog. Often the working kelpie and the border collie are considered to be the only breeds that still are obligated to herd, so if you compare those two it’s different. But if you compare the Border collie and Australian Kelpie you’d find that the bc definitely have a higher need for specific activity and work.
 

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Since you don’t have that much experience, are you sure that you’d have the same interest in dog sports and training in reality as you aspire? And the ability and dedication to keep it up for 10-15 years. If you have little to no experience it can be difficult to be fully realistic (I’m not saying that you aren’t, just that it’s possible) or to even know that you really are seriously interested in dog sports and training. For a beginner it can be a handful to just accomplish the basic dog care and training. It’s a big decision and responsibility for anyone to get any of these high demanding breeds, but for a beginner that step is significantly bigger.

It’s really fun that you want to practice dog sports, but I just want to make sure that you know what you’ll get yourself into, since these breeds are very demanding and require a lot from its owner. If it wasn’t for the protection sport you’d have a bigger range of suitable breeds to choose from (Possibly you could try out protection sport with these breeds also). Breeds that would be excellent for dog sports and amazing to train, but maybe not as demanding as the breeds previously mentioned and more suitable for a beginner. Breeds that would give you room to explore the dog world and to try it out in your own pace. While these other breeds will demand much more of you and there’s no room to figure it out, they’ll always need this specific lifestyle and activities.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
It is possible that I'm being a bit naive at that point. As I said in the beginning, I had a dog before, but although she had some health problems which made her an expensive little love bug, she forgave almost every mistake I did while training her. I got her when I was 15 and she still lives with my parents. She never listens consistently or immidiately, but knows when I'm being serious. My family said (my mom had big dogs in the yard her whole life, my father worked with searching dogs, my aunt has goldens) that this level of obedience is actually enought to be happy. It is possible that I'm drowning in an idealized version of a big, energetic dog that would be my hiking buddy and would motivate me to go out everyday and give me strength to meet people and ask for help.
That's why I'm also a bit worried. I'd love to get a groenendael, as my dream dog, but I only know the breed from YouTube, where the information isn't reliable. I also do not have the possibility to gain first hand experience where Iive, as most shepherds here a considered useful only for attacking and i only saw (one) fearful malinois, not speaking about other breeds.

Would a kelpie or gds be a good breed to start with without committing fully to a specific, only dog oriented, lifestyle? Or would be another, medium to large, breed be suitable?

I'm afraid of choosing the wrong one and hurting the dog, maybe people near me or myself in the process, just because i was stubborn and uninformed...
 

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Discussion Starter #28
In my country they’re considered two different breeds. for instance I believe they count as two different breeds in America as well. But you should be able to look it up on your country’s kennel club. I’m not sure if the working kelpie is recognized by the FCI however. But they are considered two different breeds in many countries.

The biggest difference I would say is that the working kelpie is mainly (and often only) bred for herding. They’ve got a distinctive herding instinct and should always be allowed to herd. Hence why it doesn’t fit your lifestyle. If they’re divided into two different breeds in your country it’s easier to “avoid” them, but if they aren’t, avoid the pure herding lines.

The thing with Border collies is that they demand a very specific lifestyle. They’re tireless workaholics that need to work for hours constantly and should be allowed to herd (as the working kelpie). Many breeds are more difficult than the border collie, because of the border collies high trainability. But it’s due to this it’s so difficult to meet their need of training. Their need for activity is probably the hardest to fulfill and that’s why it’s not a beginners dog. Often the working kelpie and the border collie are considered to be the only breeds that still are obligated to herd, so if you compare those two it’s different. But if you compare the Border collie and Australian Kelpie you’d find that the bc definitely have a higher need for specific activity and work.
... The previous post has gotten really to long, sorry.

I didn't reaserch the topic to deep at that point, but kelpie breeders here mixed the lines at some point. Some show and work the dog simultaneously. They are a quite rare breed, so there are only 2-3 breeders in Poland, not many more that are certified in Germany or the Czech Rep.
 

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I think your phrase that your dog you grew up with was 'forgiving' is quite important and makes a very good point. The breeds you are looking at are usually not recommended for people with less experience because they are not forgiving or tolerant.

Have you thought of softer breeds like working line labradors, who could still match your needs for hiking etc?
 

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Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
I know it is quite stupid for me to say, as aesthetics should matter the least, but I sadly, simply don't like floppy eared dogs. Working labs are quite light on their feet and the size is also alright as they aren't that heavily build as the show lines, but I never imagined myself being a lab owner.
I don't have too strict preferences, but I do have some... For example no wire haired , maybe solid colored (not a must) coat , pricked ears and a normal muzzle (limited drooling ) , big (~60cm?), but not heavy in build and that was it. Are there breeds that go near those preferences or should I abandon them completely, because of my lack of experience, as of now?
 

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In my country they’re considered two different breeds. for instance I believe they count as two different breeds in America as well. But you should be able to look it up on your country’s kennel club. I’m not sure if the working kelpie is recognized by the FCI however. But they are considered two different breeds in many countries.

The biggest difference I would say is that the working kelpie is mainly (and often only) bred for herding. They’ve got a distinctive herding instinct and should always be allowed to herd. Hence why it doesn’t fit your lifestyle. If they’re divided into two different breeds in your country it’s easier to “avoid” them, but if they aren’t, avoid the pure herding lines.

The thing with Border collies is that they demand a very specific lifestyle. They’re tireless workaholics that need to work for hours constantly and should be allowed to herd (as the working kelpie). Many breeds are more difficult than the border collie, because of the border collies high trainability. But it’s due to this it’s so difficult to meet their need of training. Their need for activity is probably the hardest to fulfill and that’s why it’s not a beginners dog. Often the working kelpie and the border collie are considered to be the only breeds that still are obligated to herd, so if you compare those two it’s different. But if you compare the Border collie and Australian Kelpie you’d find that the bc definitely have a higher need for specific activity and work.
I have to respectfully disagree about the border collie not being happy without herding. I had a border collie and she was so laid back and happy as a regular non working dog. She was from show stock vs working stock. I would never recommend a working stock border as a regular family pet. My friend who has always had show stock german shepherds has recently got a swiss shepherd cross working line german shepherd and he said this puppy is nothing like his other shepherds as puppys. Its non stop on the go
 

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I know it is quite stupid for me to say, as aesthetics should matter the least, but I sadly, simply don't like floppy eared dogs. Working labs are quite light on their feet and the size is also alright as they aren't that heavily build as the show lines, but I never imagined myself being a lab owner.
I don't have too strict preferences, but I do have some... For example no wire haired , maybe solid colored (not a must) coat , pricked ears and a normal muzzle (limited drooling ) , big (~60cm?), but not heavy in build and that was it. Are there breeds that go near those preferences or should I abandon them completely, because of my lack of experience, as of now?
Theres a female groenandel a few streets away and it is so sweet and friendly. What actualy is protection sport?
 

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Discussion Starter #33
With protection sport i ment Schutzhund (IPO), French and Belgian Ring, KNPV and i believe there are some more. When, than I would choose IPO, because I heard the dogs need the least drive (still much, but less compared to other sports) and it demands high obedience, the learning of which would be great to getting a better feeling of the dog and improving teamwork

If this is what you meant
 

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With protection sport i ment Schutzhund (IPO), French and Belgian Ring, KNPV and i believe there are some more. When, than I would choose IPO, because I heard the dogs need the least drive (still much, but less compared to other sports) and it demands high obedience, the learning of which would be great to getting a better feeling of the dog and improving teamwork

If this is what you meant
I had never heard of protection sport before it sounds interesting. Since your dream dog is the groenandel, is there any breeders near you you could visit to meet the adult dogs or any other shepherd breeders to meet?
 

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I'll try to get to one as soon as possible, but because of corona and some personal reasons this can last a bit. Still, considering everything going on right now, the waiting period for getting a pup and so on, it is unlikely that I'll get one before winter, so I still got some time. I want to make the right choice, not the fast one c:
Will a breeder let me spend time with his dogs without me being there just for a pup? Like, sure a good one will let me see the conditions and at least the mother if not both parents when choosing a puppy, but just spending time to get to know the breed and ask questions?
 

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I'll try to get to one as soon as possible, but because of corona and some personal reasons this can last a bit. Still, considering everything going on right now, the waiting period for getting a pup and so on, it is unlikely that I'll get one before winter, so I still got some time. I want to make the right choice, not the fast one c:
Will a breeder let me spend time with his dogs without me being there just for a pup? Like, sure a good one will let me see the conditions and at least the mother if not both parents when choosing a puppy, but just spending time to get to know the breed and ask questions?
Sorry i completely forgot about coronavirus for a minute. In australia the restrictions are easing everyday and its so easy to forget about other countries.
When this virus business is over a good breeder should let you visit and be more than happy to discuss the breed.
 

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A good breeder should let you spend time with his dogs, but many good breeders don't own both sire and dam - they will look for a male that complements the female's characteristics and conformation.
 

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It is possible that I'm being a bit naive at that point. As I said in the beginning, I had a dog before, but although she had some health problems which made her an expensive little love bug, she forgave almost every mistake I did while training her. I got her when I was 15 and she still lives with my parents. She never listens consistently or immidiately, but knows when I'm being serious. My family said (my mom had big dogs in the yard her whole life, my father worked with searching dogs, my aunt has goldens) that this level of obedience is actually enought to be happy. It is possible that I'm drowning in an idealized version of a big, energetic dog that would be my hiking buddy and would motivate me to go out everyday and give me strength to meet people and ask for help.
That's why I'm also a bit worried. I'd love to get a groenendael, as my dream dog, but I only know the breed from YouTube, where the information isn't reliable.
Make sure to meet the breed/breeds in real life before getting one. Meet as many as possible to get the correct picture. A good and serious breeder would be more than happy to welcome you to meet their dogs and for you to get to know the breed. You don’t have to buy a puppy to visit a breeder and they don’t need to have puppies for you to visit. Contact different breeders, ask them questions, and if you can visit them. You can also attend to different competitions or trainings where you might get the chance to experience the breed/breeds.

Another great way to get information about the breed is also to join Facebook groups specified for that breed. Then you can get information from owners of that breed to get a better picture of how they are.

I also do not have the possibility to gain first hand experience where Iive, as most shepherds here a considered useful only for attacking and i only saw (one) fearful malinois, not speaking about other breeds.
I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean by this.

Would a kelpie or gds be a good breed to start with without committing fully to a specific, only dog oriented, lifestyle? Or would be another, medium to large, breed be suitable?

I'm afraid of choosing the wrong one and hurting the dog, maybe people near me or myself in the process, just because i was stubborn and uninformed...
No that’s not what I meant. They’re also working breeds that require a lot of commitment and effort. The GDS might have breeding lines that bring forth dogs more aimed for companion. But these lines is nothing I recommend whereas they’re rarely any good or healthy (or ethical right imo).

Do you have any possibility to get more involved in dog sports/ training (or just the dog world in general) before getting a dog of your own? So you can figure out if this really is something you’d find interesting to invest a lot of time into. You could for example visit the club, competitions and trainings. To see how it is.

Maybe you also could get some more experience of dogs by starting to look after others dogs and to foster. As for myself, I don’t have the time for a dog right now. I also don’t want to, or have the possibility to make a lifelong (the dogs life) commitment to a dog. My favorite breed is the Doberman and hopefully I’ll get one in the future(if I’m able to find healthy lines) to use for IGP etc. But I won’t get one until years from now since I want to make sure that I can offer the right lifestyle. Meanwhile I’ve chosen to foster dogs and to work as a dog sitter. I’ve fostered six dogs and been looking after maybe 20+ dogs. This allows me to carry through my interest and I get a lot of experience without the need of making a 10-15 years long commitment.

Maybe that could be something to start with? Then you could get more experience of dogs and could find out how much time and effort you truly are able to, and want to, spend on the dog. If you decide that you have the time and interest as you aspired, you can proceed to get a dog of your own.

Another possible solution could be to get an adult dog that needs to be rehomed. Then you can make sure that the dog isn’t too difficult for you (since you’re a somewhat beginner) and know the dogs activity level in beforehand. It’s also possible that you’ll be allowed to have the dog for a test period, before committing to getting it.


I know it is quite stupid for me to say, as aesthetics should matter the least, but I sadly, simply don't like floppy eared dogs. Working labs are quite light on their feet and the size is also alright as they aren't that heavily build as the show lines, but I never imagined myself being a lab owner.
I don't have too strict preferences, but I do have some... For example no wire haired , maybe solid colored (not a must) coat , pricked ears and a normal muzzle (limited drooling ) , big (~60cm?), but not heavy in build and that was it. Are there breeds that go near those preferences or should I abandon them completely, because of my lack of experience, as of now?
As for the working labs I just want to make a disclaimer that a Lab bred primarily for hunting is probably not suitable since you then would have to fulfill their need for hunting. But a lab that is bred for their work and training ability could possibly be a good match (except that they’re not suitable for protection work).

I understand that you have preferences about the dogs appearance. But what preferences do you have when it comes to the dogs personality and characteristics. Everything from trainability, barking, prey drive, friendly, reserved, people focused etc. And if you now would think a second time about the life you could offer, would it be the same or has it changed? If you’ve come to the conclusion that it’ve changed, describe the new conditions. How much time, what activities etc.

Could you link to a site where I can see the approved breeds in Poland and Germany? I’ve tried to find it on the kennel club sites but I can’t find it.
 

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I have to respectfully disagree about the border collie not being happy without herding. I had a border collie and she was so laid back and happy as a regular non working dog. She was from show stock vs working stock. I would never recommend a working stock border as a regular family pet. My friend who has always had show stock german shepherds has recently got a swiss shepherd cross working line german shepherd and he said this puppy is nothing like his other shepherds as puppys. Its non stop on the go
Well I guess that also differ from country to country. Where I live all border collies needs to pass through a working test of herding if you want to breed them. In this way you’ll keep the initial working abilities that the border collie are so rare to posses. Therefore all border collies will be bred for herding and have the need to get an outlet for it. Whetter if it’s right or not to make these working dogs into pure show dogs or companion dogs is another discussion.

What actualy is protection sport?
Protection sport is basically a sport where the dog is trained to defend itself and its handler. You could say that it’s a reconstruction of police work where the dog should deal with “criminals”, to find, follow, guard, attack etc. It’s a sport that demands a lot of discipline, obedience and a strong relationship between dog and handler. Not all breeds (or dogs) are fit for this or should be exposed to it.
Here’s a video that shows it quite well:

IPO (or IGP as it’s also called) is not solely protection work. It’s a sport that tests three specific areas and protection work is one of them. The other two are tracking and obedience trial.
 
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