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Working Dogs?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Buster

1201864
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 9, '12 4:22pm PST 
There's a chihuahua search and rescue dog in Japan I think that beat a load of collies and gsds in the trials laugh out loud. They can be good little dogs if the owner is willing to work with them but I don't know how good they would be at bitework

A standard poodle could probably do most things as well there are a few in the bitework sports and they were bred as water retrievers, they could probably herd as well given the chance. I know someone who took great delight in beating the collie people in obedience and tracking with a toy poodle in full show coat laugh out loud

Edited by author Mon Jul 9, '12 4:31pm PST

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Taggert

Semper Vorax
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 9, '12 4:35pm PST 
ohh they can definitely be trained to bite and target areas. The problem with bitework is it takes a dog with mass to stop as well as jaws to hold, so while they can be trained to go through the motions, I don't think they could do everything required for the actual sport.

I do agree with airedales being a great dog for sport. I also think Giant Schnauzer, Dogo Argentina and Akita all make great all purpose larger working dogs. I think the better question is what do you want your dog to be doing?

Edited by author Mon Jul 9, '12 4:44pm PST

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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 9, '12 6:35pm PST 
To the GSD's credit, they can actually do a lot more than is even usually credited.

People often cite that Labs and Poodles and what have you can do bitework and so on, but people rarely mention that the GSD can, for instance, be trained as a bird dog. Or a retriever. Some can even point.

Take a look at these dogs from Ridley's breeder:
Hunting pheasant
aaaaaaaaaaaand retrieving duck wink
they even blood track big game...
(the later two are actually Ridley's half siblings)

There's no job a good GSD can't do.

Edited by author Mon Jul 9, '12 6:37pm PST

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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 9, '12 7:54pm PST 
If you are looking for a dog that can do it all, do it well and love it get a GSD.
There are lots of breeds that can and do excel at many things but the GSD was designed to be versatile. It's what they do.
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Lucille

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 10, '12 6:21am PST 
I agree with the Airedales. They are the most versatile hunting dog, in any terrain on any quarry. They're natural trackers, so any scent work is right up there. Bite work? oh yes. They can stop a bear. I even know some that herd goats and sheep, although I don't think they'd do as well in the simulated trial type of herding.

They were the police and war dogs before the GSD edged them out. Dales aren't as handler responsive and bore easily with ob reps that are required for that type of work. But Dales have the solid nerves I prefer in the field. The temperaments of the modern GSDs are really hit or miss these days, fear periods can be quite extreme, they've suffered more from bad breeding practices than the Dales. If it's about the goal, I'd want an Airedale. If it's more about how you get to that goal, if precision is key, I'd use a GSD. IMHO, ofcourse. smile
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Zephyr

1213425
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 10, '12 6:37am PST 
Dales are serious dogs. There's an excellent breeder not to far from where I grew up and his dogs are man stoppers. Sharp little buggers too.

For a Jack of All trades try anything dogs, I'd say a Dale or a GSD. Most Border collies just lack the size needed for most applications though they certainly have the brain power but a good one will do anything for you.

I think as far as working dogs go in terms of working dogs, the Malinois have the field cornered currently. Detection? Check. SAR? check. Police? Check. Sport and performance events? Check.

Much like the GSD you see them in a lot of events but it's not necessarily the ones that are spoken about (A mal was in a field trial for charity not too long ago and he won a few placements. They're big in herding around here. While I wouldn't have considered tracking a breed highlight, I've yet to meet one who hasn't at least mastered the concept after one or two scent pads. I believe nearly all the top 'Dock Dogs' are actually Malinois). Probably the best thing about them is their versatility if you know how to channel their energy.

Down side of course being, they're a really bad choice for 95% of dog owners, they're unfatiguable and they're a lifestyle rather than a pet.

It mainly comes down to intelligence balanced with the physicality, desire to work and trainability to get stuff done.

Edited by author Tue Jul 10, '12 6:42am PST

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Mulder

Spooky Mulder
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 10, '12 7:21am PST 
I think have a good beside manner is "work" in and of itself for a lot of these breeds.

Imagine a dog with the brains and drive to do all these things, how relativity special it actually is for them to be able to sacrifice all of that to "just" be a good pet.

And that's something I give the GSD an edge in almost every time- despite the oft repeated phrase, "such and such dog NEEDS a job in order to be happy", this is not true for the GSD. A GOOD GSD certainly would like a job, but does not NEED one. His default is and always will be his family. Which isn't to say you can just throw them in the backyard and never do anything with them, but for instance going jogging at the park or playing fetch or hiking IS a "job" to them, in the respect that they are working with their families and they are happy.

Very rare to find a breed who can do that as well as the correct GSD.
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Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 10, '12 7:22am PST 
I've seen video of poodles herding and lure coursing. I think they'd do anything but they might not be "the best" one out there at it. I'm into poodles because I want to try a lot of things and I'm okay with not being the best. Plus I live for the hair! cloud 9
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y

dog-sitter in- charge.
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 10, '12 7:41am PST 
Well, OP talked about working and sports in the same paragraph, but they aren't the same thing, so..

I'd say if you're looking for a general all-rounder, then a breed which was meant to live and tend to general every-day, functional farm stuff - say, some of the herders- would probably be good all-rounders. That doesn't mean they are particularly good at any particular sport, though.
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Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
 
 
Barked: Tue Jul 10, '12 12:16pm PST 
Agree with Lilith, these are two different things. But as for all around good working dog, I'm going to go for a rarer one and say Berger Picard. I love these dogs, and I've seen them do everything from herding, to guarding, to ring sports, to weightpull.
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