|Tiller- I've been watching that AB thread. I'm impressed at her perseverance and agree that is definitely some breed love.
I was just talking to my partner about this last night, actually. If I find myself gone for a Mal, and go with a practical shepherd, I'm going to be looking at that dog for its whole life as 'the breed I got instead of a Mal', and that's not fair at all. If I'd gotten another breed besides my Akita, I'd still be pining for the breed and unconsciously holding it against whatever breed I got instead (I was looking at shepherds then, too, and thinking the Malinois was probably too much for me.) Meanwhile, my Akita can do no wrong, even when he does wrong.
Current dog pros and cons, this is going to be fun (and wordy)!
Kodiak (American Akita)
- Handler-soft. (His emotions float on the current of my demeanor. If my tone or body language are harsh, he is SO SORRY, if I'm happy, he's elated. He is very into me and doesn't care much about anyone else.)
- Suspicious of strange strangers. (He's socialized well enough to be a sap for attention, but he's keen: He's taken issue with a few people and they've all been creepy.)
- Protective but not vicious. (We had a prowler at the back of our property once, just outside of the fence. All the dogs alerted, but only Kodiak actually stepped up. I'd been shining a flashlight around looking but couldn't see him. Kodiak found the man and stayed RIGHT on him, hackled, silent, and hard staring until the man showed himself, hands up. Kodiak walked with him off the property and then refused to come inside so he could make sure he stayed gone. Alternately, neighbors and lawncare people can reach into our yard and pet our dogs, and he barks, makes sure I'm ok with it, and then goes to be pet. That is absolutely invaluable to me.)
- Bored VERY quickly with training (Training is fun the very first time I ask for something, and after that he's miserably bored and is tossing his head around, huffing, flopping over and refusing to budge until I YAYAYAY LETS DO THIS THING ramp it up and then he's with me through another couple commands.)
- Low drive, low motivation, sloooow (He works at his own pace. Doesn't care about food, doesn't care about toys, doesn't have a prey drive, doesn't do anything particularly enthusiastically. Never been trouble, never really wanted to play, happy to just lie around all day.)
- Strange dog intolerant (He is MARVELOUS.. for an Akita. He is an obedient boy who wants to do right so he graciously tolerates new dogs for my benefit, as long as they don't challenge him in any way. Very expected with the breed, not a huge issue, but something that I wish was different.)
Nikolai (Siberian Husky)
- Bright and eager (LOVES training, as long as it's very positive. Willing to go much longer than the Akita, and willing to do several training sessions per day. FUN to train and learns QUICK, though his over-eagerness sometimes turns into spazzy EVERYTHING IS GOOD HERE HAVE A SIT-LAY-ROLL-SIT-JUMP-BARK-ROLL!.. lol)
- Drivey and motivated (Willing to do whatever as long as food or toys are at the other end of it. Understands that if he's quick he gets rewarded quick and can get pumped about training games.)
- Very lovey with me and social with dogs (Kissy and snuggly with me, amazing with even the rudest dogs. Knows how to tell a dog no without having to fly into FULL ON pinning attack.. which is very nice, since I spend a lot of time around groups of dogs and dog people.)
- Loves everyone (Eeeeveryone. During that prowler episode, this one barked a couple times and then ran around the yard pouncing and hopping and squeaking a ball. No loyalty, no protectiveness, every person is as OMGWONDERFUL as the last.)
- Before I 'got' him, he drove me up the wall (Before I understood how he needed to be worked, he drove me CRAZY. He took many months to housetrain, chewed everything, tore up carpets, shredded couches, snarled and snapped and escaped and stole and generally was a little white demon. Now he's crazy fun, but for a while there.. DEEP BREATHS, WALK AWAY.)
- He's so ugly!! ( I don't know, I'm out of things to dislike.)
Pharaoh (Basenji / Manchester terrier Supposedly. JRT/Brussels Griffon/St Bernard according to his breed test, haha.)
- Overflowing with personality (Super sensitive, super in-tune with our emotions, pushy, bold, willing to bite you up if he needs to but knows that growls pretty much always suffice. VERY playful, very energetic, alert and thoughtful. Can be playing HARD with me one minute, full on teeth bared, nastiest sounds, and then I ask for a kiss and he's wiggly and kissy.)
- Smart (Clever enough to be a brat. I once caught him digging at the fenceline. I went out, told him no, and went back in to watch him through the window. He frowned at the door and then went back to digging. I went back out, told him no again more sternly, and this time led him off to an appropriate area to dig, dug a little, and he was like ':] Yeah, ok!' so I went back in...
Watched him through the window as he waited to be sure I was inside and then BOLTED back to the fence spot, dug FURIOUSLY for a moment, kicked off the spot like a turd, and then zoomed away before I could catch him. He'll do things like get a bone and lay it against something he wants to chew but isn't supposed to, so he can chew on the bad thing but when caught can chew the bone. Trouble, but in a mostly harmless way.)
- Clingy (Has to be underfoot at all times, has to be touching someone when he sleeps. He's figured out exactly what buttons to push to make me turn all my attention on him and pushes them constantly-- As I type this he's rolling upside down at me squeaking a toy and kicking my seat.)
- Loves everyone (He's not as SUPERSOCIAL as the husky, but if a stranger talks sweet to him he's trying to climb in their lap. I may be doing this myself with the amount of socializing I do, haha.)
- Very easily frustrated by training (I'm guessing he was started harshly because he shuts down if he doesn't know what's being asked. Trying to lure and free-shape with him leads to him automatically sitting and worrying at me, as if he'd get in trouble for being creative. We're working on it, and I'm sure he'll come out of this shell eventually..)
-Wrong size (Just a bit too small!)
PHEW. Hopefully that covers everything. That was a lot of thinking and typing. :] I'm sure that's full of typos, so hopefully everything is understandable.
Edited by author Wed Nov 14, '12 1:11pm PST