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Old December 1st, 2003, 03:07 PM
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Lightbulb dog breed for country living

I recently bought a 5 acre wooden lot on a really quiet dirt road in the Ottawa Region. I will only build a house in a couple of years, so I have PLENTY of time to choose the right breed, but I would like to start researching right away. I want to make sure that my dog will be extremely happy where he is.

So here are some specific wish-list items. (I realize there is no perfect dog, I am just trying to narrow my choices down. )

1. He must be good with other breeds, including small dogs, and young children (my sister has a yorkie and they need to get along fine.)

2.The breed must be independant. There will be nobody around from 8-5 on weekdays, and I don't want to come back to a sad dog. He needs to be able to entertain himself in that time without demolishing the house/yard.

3. Because there's squirrels,deers and birds and bunch of other exciting things going on in the country, I'd rather not have a dog that barks too much.

4. I prefer medium to large dogs.

5. I'd also like him to have a low-shedding coat. Brushing once a week or less would be ideal.

6. As mentioned, I don't want him to be fenced in, and because I don't think my neighbours would appreciate unanounced visitors, it would be great if he would be of a breed that sticks to their territory, even unleashed.

7. Exercise wise, I don't think I would find the time to go for a walk everyday. I'd most certainly take him outside and walk around the lot, but his exercise would mostly be being able to be loose around the yard when I'm there to romp around.

Last but not least, I would love the dog to really enjoy the country living. Few dogs have the opportunity to live on a quiet rural road where they can explore little critters and stomp in puddles freely, and I want to make sure he'd be in heaven in that type of setting. My sister's yorkie walks around the lot and tiptoes around the muddy areas asking to be picked up...haha..she's adorable, but I'm looking for a more robust country-loving breed.

Suggestions for outdoor dogs are also welcome. I think it would be great if I could find a breed that would love to be outdoors on our cold winter days and our warm summer days (it's never too bad in the forest..) nd not be too miserable if not around his family.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!
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Old December 1st, 2003, 03:50 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Re: dog breed for country living

Quote:
Originally posted by 2ndGear
I recently bought a 5 acre wooden lot on a really quiet dirt road in the Ottawa Region. I will only build a house in a couple of years, so I have PLENTY of time to choose the right breed, but I would like to start researching right away. I want to make sure that my dog will be extremely happy where he is.

So here are some specific wish-list items. (I realize there is no perfect dog, I am just trying to narrow my choices down. )

1. He must be good with other breeds, including small dogs, and young children (my sister has a yorkie and they need to get along fine.)

IF you want a dog who is good with kids and other dogs, I suggest you get a rescued young adult dog, who is already KNOWN to be good this way.

2.The breed must be independant. There will be nobody around from 8-5 on weekdays, and I don't want to come back to a sad dog. He needs to be able to entertain himself in that time without demolishing the house/yard.

Same suggestion as above. That's a long day for a dog to left alone. It's doable, but no dog will like it. Dog are pack animals, and it's very important to them to be with their families.

3. Because there's squirrels,deers and birds and bunch of other exciting things going on in the country, I'd rather not have a dog that barks too much.

Setters - English or Irish - may be a good choice. Not too much grooming, usually great with kids and small dogs. But they are hunting dogs and must be fenced in or on leash.

4. I prefer medium to large dogs.

Hounds are great for country life, but they are very vocal and cannot be trusted off leash. Greyhounds fit most of your requirements - they are not barkers, are generally tolerant of kids and are couch potatoes - but of course cannot be left outside in the cold, and will run off if given the chance.

5. I'd also like him to have a low-shedding coat. Brushing once a week or less would be ideal.

Standard poodles are robust, intelligent and shed very little, but need regular clipping. Rottweilers dont' need much grooming and can be great with kids and small dogs, but I don't know how independant they are. (Carina??)

6. As mentioned, I don't want him to be fenced in, and because I don't think my neighbours would appreciate unanounced visitors, it would be great if he would be of a breed that sticks to their territory, even unleashed.

I'm confused - will you have a fenced yard? If not, no dog can left loose outside for hours and be expected to stick around.

7. Exercise wise, I don't think I would find the time to go for a walk everyday. I'd most certainly take him outside and walk around the lot, but his exercise would mostly be being able to be loose around the yard when I'm there to romp around.

If you mean walking around 5 acres, this would be adequate exercise. For greyhounds, one or two good runs a week would be o.k.

Last but not least, I would love the dog to really enjoy the country living. Few dogs have the opportunity to live on a quiet rural road where they can explore little critters and stomp in puddles freely, and I want to make sure he'd be in heaven in that type of setting. My sister's yorkie walks around the lot and tiptoes around the muddy areas asking to be picked up...haha..she's adorable, but I'm looking for a more robust country-loving breed.

A robust country loving breed is the Retriever - Golden, Labrador and Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake Bay retrievers also tend to be more independant, but with independance usually comes aloofness with strangers. These are good watch dogs.

Suggestions for outdoor dogs are also welcome. I think it would be great if I could find a breed that would love to be outdoors on our cold winter days and our warm summer days (it's never too bad in the forest..) nd not be too miserable if not around his family.

The only dog I would consider leaving outside for periods of time in our Canadian winter would be a husky or other Northern breed. But they are heavy shedders and cannot ever be trusted off leash. Any dog with minimal grooming requirements cannot stay outside in the winter.
Thank you in advance for any suggestions!
You are asking for a lot, and you won't find all these requirements in any one breed. You may be better off with a mix. You might want to check some all-breed rescues out. Most of the dogs are in foster homes, and their temperament and behaviours are known
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Old December 1st, 2003, 04:07 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply.

No, the yard will not be fenced in.

This may sound extremely odd , but yes, it's possible to have a dog unleashed on a 5 acre lot who doesn't run away.

Our current dog is a Golden Retriever. For some reason, when we got him he didn't really like being indoors, always begging to go play outside so we made him a really nice insulated dog house outside and he's been happy eversince. He's never run away, never been tied or caged in and even though he likes to sleep in when there's storms, I think the outdoor life is for him.

Our previous dog was a rescued border collie. We couldn't leave him outside a minute without him wanting to run away to neighbouring fields to look for sheep hee hee. I'm not looking for that stress again. (Man, can those dogs ever tug on a leash! - I've got the scars to prove it)

So to clarify: if I have an indoor dog, I'd like to be able to let him play outside without always being panicking as to whether he's run off or not. It's not that I don't want to keep an eye on him, but when you're on a 5 acre lot, you have a lot of gardening and chores to do, and I don't want to keep him in the house while we're outside enjoying the sunlight.
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Old December 1st, 2003, 08:39 PM
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Please look at LuckyRescue's post here:

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread....&threadid=2458

I think two dogs would keep one another company and enjoy the rural area, these two need a home and if you have a loving one to offer them I think it's worth looking into.


Are you intending to have a means for these dogs to get in/out of the house through a doggie door or something during the day...as thats a LONG time to leave a dog w/o it going outside or having any companionship. Have you thought about that?

And just to clarify, whats the reason for wanting the dog?
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Old December 1st, 2003, 08:40 PM
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OMG are you ever asking alot.My aunt had a 75 acre farm and bread Great Danes and also had a Nefie and a St Bernard.They never took off.And news flash.She was home all day.How could you want a dog if you are not home most of the day?Is that fair?5 acres or 50 acres doesn't mean the poor dog should be on his own for that length of time.That is just cruel.Sure it will have a lot of room.But for what you are asking you need to have the time to train him young not to take off.Yes it can be done.But you have to have the time to do it.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 07:54 AM
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So then what you are saying is that anybody with a normal working day schedule shouldn't have a dog? Because that would qualify a LOT of dog owners as cruel. Most of us don't have the opportunity to have stay-at-home careers.

I understand about the training part..and I realize getting a puppy may not be an option unless my schedule opens up or if someone could stay at home with him...I've been trhough pup training before and know how demanding it is.

My house isn't built yet, so I'd have the dog in mind when I build it. I was thinking of having a fenced in area accessible through a doggie door so he could have access to the outside.

And those 2 are absolutely adorable. It's too bad I'm only looking to get a dog in a couple years. I'm not much help for them now...

I'll go talk to my future neighbours to see how they went about it. Nobody's fenced in, so it should give me good ideas.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 09:56 AM
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What I am saying is that I just think it is wrong to have a dog if you are gone all day.Unless you drop it off at doggy daycare or have a walker come in and take it out for a walk a few times while you are out.What I was going to suggest is maybe thinking about adopting from your local shelter.But if your gone all day they will not let you adopt.I live in the city but with my first Shepherd we would go to my aunts farm and I was worried that if I had him off the leash he would take off.But with all the training I did when he was a pup he was great.The only time he was tied on a long chain was at night.It can be done.There is no spacific breed for the country.Any breed is good.It's all in the training.Maybe think of getting 2.This way they have each other to keep company.My sister is on a farm with 3 Siberian Huskies and a Border Collie.And not once in 7 years have they taken off.And they have horses and cattle.All the best when the time comes.But please think long and hard before deciding.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
So then what you are saying is that anybody with a normal working day schedule shouldn't have a dog? Because that would qualify a LOT of dog owners as cruel. Most of us don't have the opportunity to have stay-at-home careers.
Of course people can have dogs when they work all day. It's just more difficult. We rescued a 5 year old dog who was going to be killed and kept him for 9 years and we worked every day.

It's tough because we had to rush home from work every day - no dinners or movies on the way - ,and even felt guilty going out on weekends because our dog was alone all week. But he was very well cared for and loved and got lots of attention when we were home.

It's not ideal, but for a rescued dog who has had a miserable life, it's not so bad. And if you're going to have the fenced area doggy door thing - that's a good solution.

What I personally find very inhumane is dogs being left in crates all day.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 11:29 AM
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Yeah...

I suppose what I'm looking for is impossible to predict....a dog that is least likely to suffer from seperation anxiety. I know that this is all based on how the puppy is trained.

What I usually do is that when I get a puppy, I leave 10 minutes at a time, then 20, then 30...and see how he reacts....I do this for a week, incrementing times and then after I see I can leave him alone for the right amount of time without problems, I go to work. There is no point in taking weeks off to train a puppy and be with him, because dogs base themselves on routine. They need to know how it's going to be right from the start. If they see you leaving as a normal thing, they won't make a big deal out of it. But if everytime you leave you make a big deal out of it, and when you come back you get all excited and hug him and say "oh I missed you"...then yeah, the dog will see it as a big deal. Even people who are always at home need to do this...you can't exactly bring your pup along to a wedding.

I don't like crates either, but I find it works well with puppies at first. They seem to enjoy the security of it. I move from crate to a closed room, to a couple rooms and to access to a fenced yard....then if I see he's doing great, the whole house.

As for getting 2, I would rather wait until one is settled in to get a second one. I find they learn by example and it's good to have a "leader" dog.
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Old December 2nd, 2003, 02:35 PM
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Well what you were doing sounds right.It is best to ease your pressence.A friend of mine adopted a pup at the S.P.C.A..She was working at home so had the time to train her.And took her to training.She is a great dog.She's about 2 now.Well my friend ended up going to work outside of home.Which was ok.Bud( i know a male name hehe)was fully trained and roamed the house.Well they just adopted a pup a month ago.Bud is a Shepherd mix,and the new one Molson is also a Shepherd mix.4 months old.He is going to be huge.Well no one is home all day.He is not getting the proper training.Is not listening at all.And now the sad thing is,they are lifting Buds dry food so the pup doesn't eat it.To make a long story short,Bud is getting the short end of the deal.He used to have his dry so he was able to eat it when he wanted.So now he is more or less hungey all day till the family is all home.Puppies need training at an early stage.Sit,stay down.I just think it's sad I can see it now.This pup will be out of control if not nipped in the bud now.
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Old December 11th, 2003, 05:45 PM
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if you want a dog for a property, be sure to train it or get a breed that wont chase cattle, if it is not going to be fenced this is so important, you dont want to come home to a dog that has been shot by a farmer (happens alot here, a general rule here is that if your dog is seen near cattle it will be shot no questions asked this is pretty reasonable considering one cow can be worth thousands). but my shepherd X has lived on cattle farms, it is just a matter of choosing a smart breed and training it to do what you want, most dogs will learn anything. i think that crate thing is terrible, i have never seen it done here and just cant imagine treating my baby like a feral animal it truly does make me think of over controlling humans, dogs need freedom and exploration and room to develop their personalities, training and dog school should be enough to get what you want, dont cage it up, just imagine if your parents did that to you as a child, they would be done for abuse and i think it is the same with the crates, why get a dog to stick in a crate doesnt sound like a fun thing to me or any way to live!!!!
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Old February 9th, 2004, 04:45 PM
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You are going to have to prioritize you wish list. Like it was said you can't have it all, so decide which part is more important. My grandfather had a dob that he trained to stay in the yard, even when they went on vacation. We would go by and play with her and feed her daily, but she NEVER left the yard. Takes a lot of work though. Once you decide what order your wish list should go in, you might want to resubmit it then, because then we would know were to start on what breed would be best. Also there are invisible dog fences. That way you don't have the fence breaking up the land but your dog will be protected.

I don't live in Canada so I don't know about your winters, but I know in Missouri, there is no way I could leave my dog outside in the winter. I have three of them, and they spend half the day outside running and the rest in the house warm. I do leave the dogs out when we are gone, because of the protection they offer, and I do work a full normal job, but it takes some work to make sure the dogs aren't forgotten inmy rat race!
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Old February 9th, 2004, 04:55 PM
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be aware of how a invisible fence works, most work on the concept of defining a boundary with wires ect and giving your dog an electric shock when it steps over the boundary, i feel they are inhumane, put one on your children and see how they go, might just be unpleasent. good training will have the same effect
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Old February 9th, 2004, 05:13 PM
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I guess it just depends on the situation. I live in the country with some acreage, but we have a very busy road in front of us. I have lost one dog and two cats to that road, and I would much rather have the shock then to lose them like that. We have cattle right across the road, and have been unable to train our beagle to not chase them, and in the end we lost him, when he managed to sneak out. And I would put it on my child to prevent them from going to the road, if nothing else worked. I don't have an invisible fence, as we have a fenced in area and the dogs are inside majority of the time, but I would rather see a the dogs get a shock then hit by a car.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 05:27 PM
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hi 44, some breeds i suppose are just hard to train. i have a shepherd X and she has lived on a farm on a busy road with lots of cattle, she never wandered, neither did the neighbours rotwheiler, but i did tie her up when i went out as i didnt want her to scare visitors or eat cow poo(this is her favourite past time ). i just believe animals are natural creatures and should be treated as such and that training can be the best solution, why not hit the dog with a news paper or a kick with the boot when it is naughty isnt this the same as shocking it?? there is a trick i once heard of called boundary training, it involves walking the boundaries very often with the dog and using praise rewards ect. apparently it does work for alot of dog breeders ect on farms, never tried it myself but it wouldnt be to hard to look up on theweb. but essentially a fenced area is best, and on a farm that is easily acheived.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 07:35 PM
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I agree that training is by far the best way. My grandfather did that with his dog. He walked her around the yard and showed her her limits. But since this person doesn't seem to have the time to train it, and we aren't going to ever be able to convince her not to get a dog, I was thinking about keeping the dog as safe as possible. No matter what I tried with my beagle he just wouldn't stop chasing those cows. That is why we never would let him out without being on a leash, but the kids left the door open for a second to long, and that was all it took. He was in so much pain. It broke his hip in three places. The vet worked on him for a week, before he gave up, because buddy was in to much pain, and may not have ever been able to get over that pain. I would much rather have seen buddy get a little shock and learn not to run out across the road, then to have gone through what he did the last week of his life!
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Old February 11th, 2004, 10:04 PM
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Frankly, I don't understand why you want a dog at all. Sorry to be blunt - but you don't want to have to exercise him (which assumes the fact that you also don't want to have to train him) you don't want him to bark, wander around off the property or be concerned about you at all for that matter. Yet you want him to amuse himself and have a rimping good time when you aren't home. Dogs don't typically exercise themselves, so I don't really think your expectations are realistic.

Your dog isn't going to have a lot of reasons to stick around your property if you don't want to interact with him at all. And all it takes is one time for him to wander off to get shot, poisoned, hit by a car, eaten by wildlife, picked up by Animal Control or stolen.

I think the notion that people who work outside the home shouldn't have a dog is utter rubbish. I have a full time job and my border collies are fine, because I make sure they are well exercised morning and night. I don't do doggie daycare, dogwalkers or the like. But I DO make the time for them when I am home, and I don't expect them to exercise themselves - and wouldn't leave them outside alone even if I had a yard, which I don't.

I've lived in Ottawa and your winters are harsh. There aren't a lot of breeds I would subject to that kind of life.

Why don't you fence a portion of your property that can be accessible by a dog door and get a dog who can come inside if it pleases him, or go outside if he feels like it, and be safe? And set aside some time for him, so he's not merely a lawn ornament. If you can't find an hour or so in your day to give a dog some much appriicated and necessary aerobic exercise and training, you don't have time for a dog, IMO.

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Old February 12th, 2004, 07:54 AM
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Good opinion. I agree that you can have a full time job and have a happy dog. I didn't work outside of the home when my kids were young because daycare is to expensive and I can't see paying for it for my dogs either! My husband is home during the day, but sleeps since he works nights, so half of the time our dogs are outside until the kids get home from school. But we don't have just one dog, so they play together for the few hours they are out there, and we don't leave them out in the winter, and I don't live in Canada were it can be harsh. You have to provide a home that the dog will want to stay in, no matter how much you train, if they aren't happy they will run.
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Old February 12th, 2004, 10:09 AM
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this is an interesting discussion with a lot of interesting viewpoints.

We have 2 dogs and live in a townhouse and my bluetick coonhound is a large dog that people usually use for hunting. Some of my neighbours who don't like dogs have said that big dogs don't belong in a place like this. But I think that in a lot of ways my dog is happier here! As long as the exercise requirements are met (for us that means long walks at a nearby wooded area) a dog can live anywhere it just means more effort for the people.

I think its not right just to assume that in the country one can just let their animals roam free. They could get in trouble with wildlife or lost and hurt. Living in the country would be more convenient because we could let our dogs exercise out our backdoor, but I would not want the dog roaming around unsupervised. living in the city also puts a high priority on training so our dog can interact and behave here.

Not that living in the country can't be a great advantage! but it doesn't mean your off the hook for training and supervision.

As for working and being gone all day, I think this is fine as long as the needs of the dogs are met around this schedule. Part of being a good owner is being able to afford good veterinary care, which means earning money!
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Old February 12th, 2004, 10:31 AM
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And what a lot city people don't know is that having a dog in the country,say a farm,you as the owner have to keep the dog on your property.

Farmers have all the rights to shoot a dog that comes on their land and anywhere near their livestock.It has been done many a times.

My sister is on a farm.She has 3 Siberian Huskies and a Border Collie.The dogs are out and run around.They stay out front when let out.They never leave the property.Yes I am talking about the Huskies .LOL....It took alot of hard work with the training when they were pups.But they are VERY well trained.My brother-in-law is home all day.His health is not good.Triple heart bypass 2 years ago.And his diabetes is very bad.But when no one is home,the dogs are inside.And they are inside at night.

When I go to visit them,I see alot of dogs on the farms chasing the cars and going after the horses that people ride on the side of the road.My sister has had some dogs from the other farms coming on her property.She knows who they belong to.She has talked to them a number of times.
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Old February 12th, 2004, 10:41 AM
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True. I don't live on a farm, but I do live out in the country andthere are cows all around us. When my dog would get out, he would chase those cows. Excercise means they lose weight, and then the cows weren't worth as much. I didn't know he was sneaking out like that because the little devil would be back at home when I got home, and I thought everything was great. The neighbor approached me with this, and told me he loved dogs, but that was his lively hood and he was going to be forced to shoot the dog. Needless to say, he is not left outside, even in the fence if we are gone, or if the front door has to be shut!
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Old February 13th, 2004, 07:20 PM
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If I were you, 2nd gear, I would get a mix of standard Poodle, so it wouldn't shed. Most dogs are good with nice kids, and if its mixed with Lab there is a good chance it would be. Any Poodle needs brushing at least three times a week, but I'm not sure about a mix. I have a poodle X who needs brushing only about once a week. As for the independent part, I'm not sure if it would be fair to just leave a dog for most of the day almost all week. Good luck in finding a dog!
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Old March 9th, 2004, 02:15 PM
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I live in the city and also have a cottage on 16 acres of land, my bernese x german sheppard ( that I just recently lost from bone cancer) was trained on leash for the city but was also allowed to run loose on our property. He never wondered far and never got into any trouble unless a spray by a skunk is trouble. I find herding dogs don't wonder too far from their families, unless they are unfixed males looking for love. I also work full time and think that there is no problem with people who work having dogs as pets as long as they are not left alone for 12 hours a day or anything. Not too many people could own dogs if that was the case, training is the key to most of your questions, a well trained dog is great company.
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