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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:15 PM
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Please suggest a dog breed for me

Ok, let's try this instead.

Growing up we had a Registered Shetland Sheepdog named Lacy, she died in 2003. She was our family dog. She barked a lot, had some minor dog aggression, would nip at kids, but was my obedience princess. She was a very easy dog to train. She was good at flyball, very good at agility, and was really quite fantastic at obedience. I had ambitious plans to get her Companion Dog title, but for some reason I never did. Her training was up to that level though. I won a lot of obedience shows with her. I was a pre-teen and young teen for the majority of her life, and I did all the training with her. Back at this young age I used to co-teach obedience classes with a dog trainer. Kinda cute to think back on.

My next dog was an APBT cross named Myka, she died this last January. She has always been my world. My life revolved around her for the most part. She rarely barked, had minor dog aggression, loved kids and people in general, would gladly get attention from any stranger. She loved agility and frisbee. She was smart and would pick things up quickly, but would always push the boundaries. She could be a "bad dog" in the wrong hands (ie timid owners). Most people who met her would say she was the best trained dog they had ever met. They didn't realize I put a decade of constant training into her. She would have had no troubles passing a CD trial.

So that's my "experience".

Nowadays my common-law has a 4 year old Chihuahua that has no training. I have been working with him, and he is much improved. Almost worthy of being called a dog. He is protection aggressive of his humans both to people and other dogs. If he is on the floor/ground with another dog he is very evasive, but will try to play with a dog of any size once he is comfortable.

I don't have any kids, and don't plan to have kids in my lifetime, but who knows? I'm at the age and point in my life that if kids are going to be in the picture it will probably be within the next 5 years. There are a few kids in our immediate families that are 5 years old and under though.

We have a house with a medium sized yard. Big enough to play frisbee if you don't chuck it too hard.

I can spend an hour a day or more training/playing.

I am always interested in a breed that is a bit out of the ordinary. Oh, and budget-wise...maybe $2000?


Some things I think are important:

~ Not a barker.
~ Short haired.
~ 40-80 lbs.
~ Extremely devoted, loyal, trusting, and attached to me.
~ Good with kids and other animals.
~ Stranger friendly.
~ Not prone to major health issues.
~ Not drooly.
~ Enjoys fetch, agility, flyball, frisbee, that sort of thing.
~ Off-leash candidate (hikes and such).

I realize a lot of these things are greatly influenced by training, but obviously breeds have tendencies.

Some breeds that attract me:

~ American Bulldog (purebred would be too big, worry about dog aggression)
~ APBT (love em, but worry about dog aggression)
~ Bull Terrier (worry about dog aggression)
~ Whippet (I know very little of these dogs, but have heard they may be a good match for me)
~ Jack Russel Terrorist (maybe too independent)
~ Basenji (maybe too independent)
~ Thai Ridgeback (I know very little of these dogs, but enjoy the look of them)
~ Portuguese Pointing Dog (came up in breed match quizzes, don't know anything of them really, but they sound like nice dogs)


Some breeds and breed groups I'm not a fan of:

~ Small dogs (bark, scatter brains, health issues, generally annoying)
~ Border Collies (too hectic)
~ Spaniels (too hectic)
~ Labs and Retrievers (too meat and potatoes)
~ German Shepherds (dog aggression, meat and potatoes, I've met many skittish ones too)

I am also open to "used" adult dogs of mixed breeds. I am not in a hurry, and will wait for the right dog to come along, but it would be nice to have the majority of the summer for outdoor training.

So at the end of this painfully long thread (sorry!!), what breeds would YOU recommend to me?

Last edited by Myka; March 9th, 2010 at 07:30 PM.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:22 PM
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What do you mean by "meat and potatoes"?
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Old March 9th, 2010, 07:25 PM
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Common.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:10 PM
aslan aslan is offline
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You really can't guarantee that any dog is going to be attached to you, by breed or any other way of the imagination..being a creature with a mind and soul they are going to be attracted to whom they are, not because of how they're bred. Even with the best bred dog you have no absolute guarantee that it wont' have any health issues, personality quirks etc..

I do have to say tho,,that comments like " almost worthy of being a dog" are offensive and saying small dogs are scatterbrained and generally annoying is not only offensive but as big a generalization as saying all bullies are vicious child killers..could you please re-phrase comments in the future.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:26 PM
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Hey Myka have you thought about these 2 breeds: boxer or totally opposite to that the greyhound? Sounds almost like your looking for something not typically the average dog or perhaps even something that is not the standard purebred?

You could also try just heading on down to your local SPCA or Humane Society and take a walk through, see what interests you? perhaps you will find a pupper that is a hit! Good Luck whatever you do!
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:31 PM
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I had a rough collie (now belongs to my mother in law, he's about 4 1/2 now ), and they could be a good match for you. In general they're non aggressive (actually really hard to even MAKE bite), silly dogs, with a ton of energy when you want them to have it, but calm in the house.
The only downside is they do take some brushing, but if you keep the coat raked out they're usually not prone to knots. You can shave them in the summer to minimize grooming (but you will need to put sunblock on any pink areas. ours has pink on the bridge of his nose and it burns easily).
I know you said shorter haired, but they are actually not bad about shedding when kept brushed, unlike german shepherds or something which will blow their coat periodically.
They are common enough to find a good breeder but not as common as something like a golden retriever if you want a less common breed. They can also be found in rescues periodically.
They ARE barkers but can easily be taught to keep it to a minimum unlike some of the yappier toy breeds.

There are also smooth collies, which are the same breed only with short fur. They do tend to still be bred as working dogs though so they are higher energy. You may have trouble finding one of these in a rescue as they're not all that common (I couldn't find any at all when I looked.)

Collies are a medium-large sized breed but can actually excel at agility and also herding.

I would actually NOT suggest a whippet for you since they are prone to ignoring recall in an unconfined area and could disappear FAST. I also don't think they'd be that great for hiking since they can have sensitive feet and very short fur which causes them to get cold easily.

German Shepherds, btw, I disagree with your assessment of. There's a reason they use them as police dogs. They are usually NOT at all skittish (this is an odd temperment for a GS and either due to poor breeding and/or training socialization errors), dog aggression is usually non existent or manageable as long as they're well socialized and trained.
A German Shepherd would be a great breed to consider for you if you didn't have a problem with them being common. They can shed a ton though and will blow their coat periodically.

After seeing several of your posts I actually don't know why you don't consider a mixed breed? My best dog is a mutt. She's a German Shepherd, AUS shepherd, and chow mix. She's one of the most agile dogs I've ever seen and EXTREMELY smart. If you look at rescue organizations you can find a great mixed breed dog that would fit right into your family.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:46 PM
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My husband mentioned a an australian cattle dog (also called a blue heeler),

Pretty short fur, medium sized, excel at agilty and things like flyball. Most can be taught recall and LOVE to hike and do other outdoor activities. Many are pretty clingy and will become very attached to the owners. Very smart. Some are independent, but IME most aren't, at least within their family. You will just have to assess that depending on the individual. Generally gentle with children (can be nippy due to being a herding breed but can easily be trained not to do this with people.)

On the downside VERY VERY VERY high energy. If you are not serious about exercising a lot and taking them for long walks not a good candidate. WILL chase small animals (but not usually dog aggression as far as I know. the ones I've met are gentle even with tiny dogs).
These dogs are also a lot like border collies as in they are VERY smart and need an owner that can train without being repetitive. They will catch onto things quickly and don't need to be told repeatedly. Keep training exciting and variable. Usually couch potatoes in the house though.

And on the plus side (down side for the breed obvious, but a plus if you're looking for one) they are pretty easy to find for adoption since many people get them not knowing about their exercise needs.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:51 PM
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Ok, with some of these breeds you stated you are worried about dog aggression. ANY breed can have dog aggression. It is all about the temperment(and parents temperment) and "socializing" of a dog. My cousin has a AmStaff who is about 12 years old. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. She also ended up adopting a senior Golden and a German Shorthaired Pointer. Not ONCE has Zak ever gone after them. He has never gone after any dog.

Having raised GSD's, NONE have been dog aggressive. My brothers 4-legged partners have been GSD's, again NONE have been dog aggressive. My first GSD was 4 years old when my daughter was born. Because he was socilaized with kids and my own nieces and nephews, I never ever had issues with him.

Also, on your things are important list, well it all depends on how YOU raise and train the dog.Yes breeds have tendencies. BUT not all dogs of the same breed do. You hear Huskies can't be off leash. Ummm not true with my sisters. She lost her first Sibe. She still has her other 2. She is on a farm and the dogs can run loose. They stay near the house. Mind you they are not out unsupervised.

It's called a Portuguese Water Dog. My sisters SIL has one. This is her second one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aslan
I do have to say tho,,that comments like " almost worthy of being a dog" are offensive and saying small dogs are scatterbrained and generally annoying is not only offensive but as big a generalization as saying all bullies are vicious child killers..could you please re-phrase comments in the future.
I have to agree with this big time.

My suggestion, keep working with the Chi first before deciding to get another one.
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Old March 9th, 2010, 08:56 PM
Jim Hall Jim Hall is offline
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how about a mutt from the pound?
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Old March 9th, 2010, 09:16 PM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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how about a mutt from the pound?
Most actual pounds don't assess the dogs for anything but aggression and health, that's the only reason I wouldn't suggest that. A foster home or small scale rescue would be a better bet.

That's another thing though. Have you considered fostering? They'll give you a dog that matches your home envirnoment and you can see how well it fits in while you're fostering. If it's not exactly what you want at least you are giving the dog a home while he's waiting for his forever home. There are a lot of dogs that need fosters that are great and the rescues just don't have enough people to foster for them.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:09 AM
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I believe Myka was referring to this breed--not the Portuguese Water Dog.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:30 AM
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Yes Double RR, that's the breed I was referring to. A Portuguese Pointing Dog (aka Portuguese Pointer aka Perdigueiro Dog), not the Portuguese Water Dog.

Thanks for everyone's input. I don't blame you guys for not reading the whole thing thoroughly and missing one of the last paragraphs where I say that I would consider a mixed breed adult dog. I have visited the local SPCA a few times, and a couple of the "rescues", and have been thoroughly discouraged. I haven't written them off, but I hold little hope of finding the right dog in those places. I have been looking for people re-homing on Kijiji as well - lots of dogs on there, but sometimes I do question how honest a person will be on there, and when a small dog and kids are involved that's rather a big risk.

I have also considered fostering, but haven't made a move yet. Not ready. I'm not ready to get a dog right now, but soon.

Winston, I have considered both Boxers and Greyhounds. Greyhounds would be a bit big for my liking (height-wise), but a cross may be interesting. Funny thing is that I was VERY set on getting a Boxer as my next dog a couple years back, but it seems they are prone to a lot of health issues. I have heard more than one person say, "If you have a Boxer, you should buy health insurance!"

Last edited by Myka; March 10th, 2010 at 08:51 AM.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:36 AM
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Boxers do have health problems. They also tend to be very hyperactive, which it seemed like you didn't want.

Greyhounds can't be trusted off leash in an unfenced area. They're sighthounds and will run after small animals and they can make a large distance fairly quick. They can get lost and don't do well wandering around by themselves. There are plenty of horror stories about this and rescues ALWAYS tell you to NEVER Let your greyhounds off leash in unfenced areas. Any dog is at risk when off leash but sighthounds are a greater risk than most. So if you want a dog that can go out into the woods and follow you around or play fetch with in a large field or something they're not a candidate. If you are only going to have them on leash or in confined areas it's not an issue.
Actually most hounds are a pretty bad idea to let off leash. Scenthounds (bassets, bloodhounds, etc.) will go after a scent and wander for miles, way out of the area you lost them in before they wonder where you went.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 01:02 AM
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Have you ever considered a Lurcher?
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Old March 10th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myka View Post
Ok, let's try this instead.

~ Not a barker.
~ Short haired.
~ 40-80 lbs.
~ Extremely devoted, loyal, trusting, and attached to me.
~ Good with kids and other animals.
~ Stranger friendly.
~ Not prone to major health issues.
~ Not drooly.
~ Enjoys fetch, agility, flyball, frisbee, that sort of thing.
~ Off-leash candidate (hikes and such).

I am also open to "used" adult dogs of mixed breeds. I am not in a hurry, and will wait for the right dog to come along, but it would be nice to have the majority of the summer for outdoor training.

So at the end of this painfully long thread (sorry!!), what breeds would YOU recommend to me?
Any one of the millions of *used* sheltered MUTTS fits your description
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Old March 10th, 2010, 08:19 AM
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I live next door to two female Staffordshire Terriers. My 12 year old daughter used to dog sit for them. They were lovely, social, agile, kid friendly dogs.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:35 PM
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Boxers get another vote from me. They fit exactly what you are looking for. They are very devoted, very intelligent, have plenty of energy to keep up to your training demands, if you are a relatively experienced trainer they are a breeze, they also have that funny clown like personality like the bull terriers, which is something I think you would appreciate.

Honestly there isn't a health problem free breed out there. The key to decreasing chances of any health issues will be where you get the dog from. If you decide on a pure bred pup, make sure they come from a reputable breeder who does health testing.

I could see a whippet working out, but you would have to keep in mind that all of the sight hounds can't be easily trusted off leash. You could potentially end up with a dog that can't be off leash in an open area, not a tragedy and lots of people can deal with that. They are intelligent, fairly mild mannered although still energetic.

A greyhound would totally not work out, they are couch potatoes. They're not dumb dogs, but I think you would have trouble keeping one motivated to train.

German Shepherds from GOOD lines and a GOOD breeder make excellent dogs and would excel at what you're looking for. It is unfortunate that this breed has been so ruined by popularity, and yes a lot of the GSD's out there are a very poor example of what the breed should be. Finding a good breeder would be your challenge on this one, and I would strongly recommend looking into some of the working line as opposed to show line breeders. I think you would be very pleasantly surprised if you met some of the working line GSDs.

Other breeds that come to my mind for you would be the German Short Hair Pointer and Vizsla (both can be very high energy dogs but tend to settle very nicely at home). Both very intelligent, and very family oriented.
Dobermans absolutely and completely fit what you're looking for and there are lots of those looking for good homes. I would also suggest Airdale Terriers and Standard Poodles, again they fit all your criteria and are not necessarily as high energy as some of the hunting breeds I mentioned earlier.

Blue Heelers (aka Australian Cattle Dog) are also nice but they are very hardy and hard dogs, they can be stubborn, assertive, and aggressive if not raised properly. They were bred to be hardy cow herders, and behave appropriately. They do need a lot of structure, physical and mental exercise, but if you could provide this they do make excellent disc dogs. My only concern would be about their nipping and herding tendencies with kids.

Jack Russel.. I thought you wanted a big dog
Basenji, not sure how that made it on your list as to me that would be very much the opposite of what you are looking for. Yes they can be very independent and very cat like.
Ridgebacks are great dogs, but if you think a greyhound is too big, Ridgebacks are most certainly bigger. Also not a breed that comes to my mind based on what you're describing on your wish list. They can be very aloof with strangers and can also be stubborn. Very intelligent dogs but not necessarily the breed of choice for a start obedience or disc dog.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 02:13 PM
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German Pointers I can second as being good dogs. They're very trainable and can be extremely smart. They're pretty much a standard sporting dog though and they will chase smaller animals and need a fair bit of exercise.
They love water and they love to retrieve though.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 02:15 PM
boxerlover2008 boxerlover2008 is offline
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boxer

Well I'm definetly a little biased, but would suggest a boxer as well.

~ Not a barker (Stella only barks if she see something/someone strange outside, which is a good thing I think)
~ Short haired (yes)
~ 40-80 lbs. (My boxers weighed just over 60lbs)
~ Extremely devoted, loyal, trusting, and attached to me (OMG yes!)
~ Good with kids and other animals (kids yes, other animals as long as properly socialised)
~ Stranger friendly. (normally OK if have been properly socialised)
~ Not prone to major health issues (they are prone, but there are plenty of healthy boxers out there that die from nothing more than old age)
~ Not drooly (my boxers only got/get drooly when they play in the hot weather)
~ Enjoys fetch, agility, flyball, frisbee, that sort of thing (love it!)
~ Off-leash candidate (hikes and such). (both my boxers were my off leash hiking buddies and did great)

Boxers are very high-energy, but as long as they get regular exercise and mental stimulation, they are normally well behaved. A tired boxer is a happy boxer.

You seem to be into the 'bully breeds' - and boxers have very similar appearances to the other 'bully' breeds you mentioned.

Also, there are tons of boxers in pounds, shelters, rescues, etc... So you wouldn't be narrowed down to a few selections - you'd be able to 'shop' around If you prefer to go the breeder route but are worried about price for a properly bred puppy; white boxers are always much cheaper than their fawn and brindle littermates - since their considered a 'default' for the show world.

I've had two dogs in my life, both boxers, and I think I'm sticking with this breed till the end. Good luck with whatever you choose, or whomever chooses you
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Old March 10th, 2010, 02:25 PM
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Thank you very much for your reply Choochi.

There are some breeds out there that are particularly prone to many health issues. A few that come to mind would be Dalmations, Boxers, and Bernese Mountain Dogs. Finding a reputable breeder makes a huge difference, but some breeds are just more susceptable.

A Jack Russel Terrorist would be one of the very few small dog breeds I would consider, but "on paper" they wouldn't fit the bill. Same with Basenji (which I would also consider a small dog). I have only met one Basenji, and it was a really neat dog. Very devoted to his owner, very quiet, always alert, and ready to go. Maybe he wasn't typical...? I have read many people describe them as cat-like, which is how I would describe Peewee, and definitely not a trait I am interested in.

The Thai Ridgeback is very different from the Rhodesian Ridgeback you are referring to. The Thai is only 40-60 lbs. They are a pariah breed, and probably wouldn't look like a good match for me "on paper" because of that. I would have to raise my budget for this breed too.

An Airdale is one I haven't considered, but maybe one I will look into a bit more. I'm not keen on all the coat care though. I would much prefer a short-haired, flat coated dog.

I think I would be rather disheartened if I had a dog that I couldn't have off-leash. My dogs have always been very responsive of recall through training. This worries me about a Whippet, but they do seem like neat dogs.

Greyhounds, GSDs, Dobermans, and Standard Poodles would all be too big for my liking. I say 40-80 lbs (I was thinking bully breeds when I said that), but also not taller than about 22" or so. I don't want a dog bigger in height or weight than Myka was.

Viszlas seems to really be gaining in popularity. I have never met one, but they do sound like great dogs, albeit I do read a lot of complaints regarding: "Will my Viszla EVER calm down?" I often wondered that about Myka when she was younger. She didn't calm down until about 6 years old. Viszlas seem like they could be a bit more active than I would like, but I will check into them more.

I have definitely been interested in a few different breeds of Pointers. I have been reading quite a bit about them. I am most interested in the Portuguese Pointer because of their size, look, and also tendency towards few health problems.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 02:30 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Well it looks like that you narrowed down what you like and do not like. So just stick to what you like...I guess.

Go for the 'heart' of an animal. Like in people - looks is secondary, it's the soul that counts.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 02:55 PM
Kay9 Kay9 is offline
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Hi Myka;

Here's a link that might be helpful:

http://www.canadogs.com/Prov_ON.htm

Friends of mine had Kerry Blue terriers, and they were absolutely wonderful dogs.

I also like Brittany Spaniels. Their hair is maybe a little long for your liking, but they are low maintenance and very sweet and smart.

Miniature Australian Shepherds sound interesting; however I totally LOVE Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 02:55 PM
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Boxerlover, thanks for your detailed reply too! It's the health concerns about boxers that really bother me. Definitely not a breed I would choose without going to the breeder.

Thanks for the link Kay9! Checking it out now. Kerry Blues seem kind of interesting. I will check them out more.

Last edited by Myka; March 10th, 2010 at 03:00 PM.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 07:41 PM
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I'm probably quite biast because of my Brynn, but I adore the Boxer breed and can picture one fitting into your lifestyle quite nicely! Yes, they do have some health issues that can be quite serious, but IMO what breed doesn't? They all have their "list" of health concerns. Their average lifespan is 10-12 years (quite standard for a dog of that size - but certainly not significantly shorter). Because of their brachycephalic head, caution must be used when exercising them in conditions of high heat and humidity. Some of their health concerns can be treated. For example, skin/food allergies and gastric torsion. True, they are prone to cancers and some heart conditions, but if you purchase a Boxer from a reputable breeder they should use tests to screen their breeding stock in an effort to minimize the prevalance of these diseases in the offspring.

Boxers ARE clown-ish (much into their later years) but they should NOT be hyperactive if they are exercised properly and are given adequate mental stimulation (which could be said for all breeds). Brynn is actually quite lazy... she loves to join me on a bike ride or a jog, but is perfectly content to snuggle on the couch during those long winter months with me. I found during this winter a short walk every morning and lots of mental stimulation was adequate for her.

I am a huge fan of the bully breeds myself, and Brynn really fit alot of the characteristics I wanted in a dog, which are a lot of yours! I love the short coat, the playfulness, the friendliness (Brynn is absolutely wonderful with children and other adults, including strangers!). The only thing I struggled with Brynn is that she can be quite stubborn and is not overly eager to please me as some other breeds may be. This didn't bother me, as I love a good challenge, and if you are a dominant and strong-willed owner, I think this would be a great choice for you Myka.

Plus, that beautiful brindle coat... sigh!
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  #25  
Old March 10th, 2010, 07:50 PM
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MyBirdIsEvil MyBirdIsEvil is offline
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The boxers I've been around seem hyperactive, but to be fair I guess mine do too when people see them because they get excited around new people. Normally they're huge couch potatoes.
Almost any puppy from an active breed is going to be quite hyperactive for the first few years anyway. I remember Walnut would get zoomies and run around the house in circles bouncing off the furniture and walls, even though she was taken out and played with and exercised a lot.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 09:46 PM
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cassiek cassiek is offline
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One of the main reasons why I chose to adopt an older dog was for that very reason... almost any puppy is going to be high-energy and demanding (but yes, they are oh so cute! ). I didn't have all the time and energy a puppy requires and was willing to accept that my adult dog may come with some bad habits (which she did) but I was willing to work on those over potty-training, the chewing phase, etc. Plus, an older dog was a better match for the dogs I already have.

I find, like many working breeds, the Boxer needs a job. My gal could easily become hyperactive (as could all breeds) if she wasn't provided with the proper physical and mental stimulation. Sure, she requires more physical stimulation than my little dogs (although that can't be generalized in all cases - a JRT is very high energy for it size, and many giant breeds are incredibly low energy), but that's what I wanted... I wanted a dog I could take hiking, biking, etc. Brynn's job is to do therapy work in a Special Needs Unit in the city I reside in. It's not physically demanding at all, but mentally she needs to practice patience, willingness, and being gentle. I think with any working breed it is almost a necessity that they are given a job, whatever that may be.

Alot of it varies with the individual dog, and it's impossible to generalize all dogs of one breed based on their energy level. I have met many, many, MANY Border Collies that were crazy hyper-active and nuts, and completely turned me off the breed. But I have recently met a few that have changed my mind as they seem quite mellow, largely in part I think, too, because their owners have worked with them extensively into channeling their energy into a constructive use.
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My babies: Sassy - Maltese X (9), Furby - Shihtzu X (7), Brynn - Boxer (3), Diesel - Boxer (1)

"Many of the Earth's habitats, animals, plants, insects, and even micro-organisms that we know as rare may not be known at all by future generations. We have the capability, and the responsibility. We must act before it is too late." - Dalai Lama
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  #27  
Old March 11th, 2010, 08:26 AM
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clm clm is offline
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a Norweigien Elkhound might be another choice for you. Sturdy breed and very smart. I believe there is someone here who has them. Perfect dog for hiking with too.

clm
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  #28  
Old March 11th, 2010, 01:27 PM
Choochi Choochi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clm View Post
a Norweigien Elkhound might be another choice for you. Sturdy breed and very smart. I believe there is someone here who has them. Perfect dog for hiking with too.

clm

but their coat requires a lot of maintenance compared to something like a boxer
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Old March 12th, 2010, 04:05 PM
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clm clm is offline
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an Elkhound doesn't have long fur, they're double coated, but not a lot of work. Even my guys (Keeshond), are surprisingly easy to take care of their coats.

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