|Barked: Sat Oct 6, '12 7:19am PST |
|For the record, here's the skinny on Chows:
WIDELY over and POORLY bred, so if getting a puppy you need to go to not a good, but an exceptional breeder. As a breed they suffer a lot from misunderstanding and mismanagement... which isn't wholly the fault of the dog's. Chows are a SHARP breed, meaning their tolerance for improper handling is low and they have no qualm with letting you know it. They are not what I would consider a "serious guardian" breed, protection isn't something on the mind 24/7, though they are certainly capable of those instincts and have the ability to back them up if they so choose. They are fluffy, bear-like little dogs and that is their ultimate downfall.. because as much as their physical appearance screams "TOUCH ME!", they absolutely do NOT appreciate being groped my strangers. And yes, they CAN be snappy in those circumstances, especially when not bred and raised with absolute precision and perfection.
I love Chows, grew up around them and will own them someday down the road. And I honestly don't think one is a BAD choice for you in your situation, as many of the things you are looking for can be met with a Chow. However, as someone who has not dealt with dogs like this before, you would seek out an older rescue who has been in a foster environment long enough to know the full details of the dog. Pick a dog from that scenario who best fits your lifestyle and temperament requirements, and I think you would be quite pleased with this breed.
Its hard, outside of that suggestion, to really recommend breeds to people who want large protective dogs, but also can only commit to a certain amount of time/training with them. Truthfully, any OLDER rescue of just about any breed could potentially fit your criteria, its just a matter of selecting a breed YOU like and trying to find the right individual for the job. You haven't said your heart is set on buying from a breeder, and that you don't have to have a puppy... so really, your options are wide open.
One thing I can recommend to you as well, is check out your local German Shepherd rescue. For starters, being a painfully popular breed the rescues are typically overflowing with them... so you have a broad enough selection to choose from. Look for older dogs, maybe 4-5 years old, who are starting to slow down but are still alert and spry. They are a working breed, but there are plenty of GSD (especially mature adults) who would be fine with an hour of running a day, and bumming around with their family for the remainder. They are protective, but not shut off from people, VERY attached to those they consider family, and can be good around rabbits/cats/etc barring you select the right individual and take care to introduce them properly.
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