|Barked: Wed Dec 7, '11 1:07pm PST |
|Hey to all! I find these short winter days perfect for deep thoughts and debates. As many of you, I am chosing the right breed, purebred dog for myself too but I never decide easily. I/we have three now – a collie, a small mix and a shepherd-mix (probably part german). My oldest – collie – is heading towards her 12th and it's becoming obvious that she's not 3 anymore. I wish many more happy and healthy years with her but I know she's going to leave eventually. I'm looking for a dog to fill the spot, at least. Since the other two are male, I'm considering a female. Interested in your opinion and experience.
The situation is/will be: we are a family of three adults who may expand in the years to come (children). We live on a small farm by the forest and own sufficient area of land. We will fence the entire yard (4-5 ft high). Not a lot traffic around and just a few neighbours. We also own cats, goats, hens, rabbits and plan a few more.
I'm in love with my collie and I'll always keep at least one but I find her so darn cute that no one or thing seems to keep out, not to mention the other two – one is tiny and the other finds guarding me off our land more important than on it (idk, maybe he'll change eventually since the collie is first in line now). What I'm interested in is somewhat larger version of the collie, no limits in hight. Imposing, yet gracious but not cute at first sight. I am a determined and confident person and I love working with dogs but I'd prefer a less stubborn breed. One that will be willing to do some obedience training and will behave outside the property when socialized. I am a small-ish person myself and don't want my arms to come off when walking the dog, at the same time i'm interested in dogs higher than 20". I believe I'll be the one to take most care as this is the case now but with that in mind, we seek a family dog. I'd appreciate tolerance towards kids. Needs to be good with our animals. No herding required here but I do take rounds in the goat pens occasionally, check the fence and animals and the collie is happy to come along. I'm seeking for a guard dog that'll alert us about intruders and protect it's home and family (human and animal) from them when no one of us is present. I don't seek agression, the size alone should normally work. Some independance wouldn't hurt. What I find disturbing about the collies is that they take a few steps back from the intruder, I want a dog that'll stand it's ground and wait for the owner before allowing the intruder to enter the gate. In other cases I'm perfectly happy if the dog just potters around when we're there, stays in his favourite spot, inside or out. I'll tolerate a barker but not for no reason. I like loving, cuddly dogs and have a soft spot for longer coats and don't mind grooming at all but I will choose a more darker coloured. I'm not a neat freak and won't clean the house spotless if a muddy dog enters it. Collie works perfect here - I just comb it out when it's dry, clean later . Our climate consists of warm/hot (95°) summer and cold winter (5°) with snow.
I'm not a complete beginner, though I do fall into the category that claims to have lived with dogs all their lives but have poor knowledge of proper training. I walk my dogs but never run or hike for more than a few hours at once, couple times a week. I find my dogs satisfied if they don't leave the yard for a day or two if I don't find the time. I'll play fetch instead or they'll play with each other. They are well socialized and can be taken almost anywhere.
I'm flexible and probably won't find a perfect match, I might even adopt but either way will love anything that comes into our home. A list of possibilities does exist but I'm interested in your Anyone had a similar situation? I'm more than happy to go beyond the common breeds list, but should be available in Europe.
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