|Barked: Thu Sep 13, '12 1:34pm PST |
|I live in a townhouse, with no yard. Although my fiance is working daily 9-6, I'm on medical leave and normally would be working all sorts of shift hours too.
I own an adult Beagle, and a Lab/Border Collie puppy. It most certainly can be done, assuming you put in the time and work it would take to make sure the dog was happy.
I definitely agree that a Border would be much happier with a working partnership than in a submissive/dominant relationship - that kind of dog/human relationship is old and outdated and many, many people now use positive reinforcement with far more success. Push a Border around, alpha roll, etc and he'll likely not want to work with you at all and be more content to go be by himself ransacking the house because he doesn't want to spend time with someone who treats him that way. Not sure if you actually alpha roll or anything. But the term 'alpha' being used in a sentence with 'submissive' got me thinking that route. Please if you get a dog, join the forums and check out the Behavior and Training forum for many tips, suggestions and ideas on how to go about training a dog with positive reinforcement.
My Lab/Border puppy is only five months old and super tiny(her lab mother was very small as well and Ria is barely an inch taller than my Beagle), but she lives for her ball and the frisbee. You take those outside and ALL her focus is on you. She lives to play, loves to play and even more so, loves to please me and my fiance. She kind of got a half and half personality from both ends - pretty much all good stuff too. But be warned, a bored Border will test you a lot more than a content, tired Border.
Australian Shepherd is another good one to look into. What about looking into rescue mix breed puppies too? You can often go in and even interact to find if the pup has enough play drive to eventually get into frisbee. My pup rocks in her breed mix. Also, I don't often suggest them... But some Cattle dogs may suit you - depends on the individual dog though.
Oh, and Savvy and Hucky - Ria is half lab - lab mother. She hit that phase of destruction too in her first three months. It was a nightmare. She chewed on everything she could get her little teething chompers on. Cords, shoes, my leather seats on my kitchen chairs, the wooden legs of the kitchen furniture, etc. She's gotten out of that and is fully housebroken now and I couldn't be happier with how she's turning out, but I definitely hope she doesn't hit that phase again. I found plenty of exercise and OTHER, more appropriate things to chew worked to calm down her chewing on inappropriate objects. I also kept a VERY close eye on her whenever she was out so I could catch her in the act and replace it with a toy.
But otherwise, yes, a lab would be fantastic too. They're eager to please, can keep up with an active lifestyle(thrive with it actually), are very intelligent and love to play.
All in all, before deciding, please do your research on any and all breeds brought up in this thread! Ultimately, it comes down to you.
Don't want a destructive dog? Exercise and mental stimulation keep a thinking/intelligent dog happy. Need ideas for mental stimulation? Definitely check out the Behavior and Training forum. But often a few training sessions a day - especially WHILE exercise, can quickly tire a dog out.
I also wouldn't say Huskies aren't intelligent, or that theirs is lower than a Borders... Their intelligence is just more focused on what they were bred to do - run, and their stubborn attitude that's more cat-like("You feed me. I must be a God." attitude versus the "You feed me. You must be a God!" attitude). They're also more difficult to train for off leash, but they can be great dogs in the right hands. Definitely don't sound like the right fit for you though.
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