|Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M|
I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
|Barked: Thu Dec 6, '12 1:45am PST |
|OK! I am ready
Jake, one of the things I do is get a person's mind more focused on what they really want, talk about pitfalls, and then recommend breeds. It's not like a hard cold list, but a good foundation to grow from.
The number one thing you want is a special relationship. The number one quality? BONDED. You want/need to feel that the dog feels belonged to you from a standpoint of loyalty and friendship. This is why you favored the onepersonish-ness. This is why you said if the dog were more of a training challenge, you wouldn't mind as long there was that bond, as trainability in the end signifies bond. This defines EVERYTHING to you. Never forget that. Dogs who are too outgoing may leave you feeling a little underwhelmed...."everyone's new best friend," so to speak. Dogs who seem to cling to you simply because they love food or because they are a little overwhelmed by the world....not the ideal either. Independent? Forget about it An affectionate dog is a decided plus, but an "at your side" type is your definition.
The number two quality is more what you don't want....antsy. You want a "cool" dog. Not a lump or a log, but definitely not too busy, either. I would stay away from overly eager or naive breeds....I don't think they'd connect. Look for STABLE, because that is what you want. This desire/description feeds into your ultimate desire of the quintessential at your side dog. Fantasy realm? You unhook his lead and he wants to walk with you...more animated, but at all points he wants to be your dog.
The number three thing you need, although we did not speak of it....ADAPTABILITY. That's good to have any way (more on that below), but as you are young and starting out, the life you can offer your dog will shift in his lifetime. New places, new work schedules, new people in your life. As you are drawn to the "cool dog" anyway, you additionally will want to avoid overly sensitive breeds. A lot of what you are saying indicates you will match best with a dog who is steady.
A couple of more comments. I think you need to avoid dogs with high exercise needs. It's not that I don't think you could or would deal, but it is not your ideal. Why not shoot for that ideal? Minimally, it will help your list to be realistic in size. You seem mostly to be what I term as a "weekend warrior" type, and by that I mean you want a dog who is always there for you and into fun activities, lots of play and adventure, but you don't necessarily want to be paying the price every other day of the week for the luxury. You likely far prefer a dog who is able to turn it on as needed, but does have that "chill switch," so to speak.
Also, due to your age and changing life, I'd caution you against a dog prone to separation anxiety. Just because you don't know the demands of your work week for the next ten or fifteen years, so best start with a dog able to deal with time alone. That's my theory and the list has avoided such breeds, but if you'd like to discuss this aspect further, we can
Here's your master list and we can talk more....this isn't the "only" list but the best matches, and further discussions can firm things up better. I have tried my best to give you a size range. Others qualify "somewhat." Two of the three breeds you listed actually were on the mark, so you are doing well so far!
In terms of small dogs, you did come up with the PAPILLON, and this was a sound choice. They can be rather busy, so this you would need to expect/accept, or minimally think of a dog who is a busier bee. Of course he's small, so that helps. Amongst the toys, however, they are clearly one of the most trainable and do truly love it (and have much athletic skill), and not nearly as scrappy or spoilable as some would be, and cope better than most with the separation issue. They are delicate, however, which does limit some of their considerations. If you want something sturdier, you should consider the far less flashy but equally trainable BORDER TERRIER, an undresung breed nowadays but has one of the fastest learning rates of all dogs, like Papillons love to learn, and they also are very sturdy and rugged; little is beyond them. Borders do not deserve the "terrier" moniker in many ways we consider it....they are more social, less independent, comparatively speaking get on with other dogs reasonably well and are extremely engaging companions and are not typically that barky. As with the Pap, the price you pay for this is some rate of a timidity trend with strange people when not properly socialized, and they are too brilliant a dog to live too boring a life. They do adapt reasonably well, however. This breed has a pretty intense prey drive which can be somewhat limiting in off leash situations....supervision required.
The GLEN OF IMAAL TERRIER does not suit your trainability preferences....he is a bit of a hardhead ....and like the Border Terrier has a stronger prey drive which requires some supervision romping in squirrel territory. That said, I see some potential in this breed for you. They are not very terrier characteristic in that they are far more level in the home and do have a discernible devotion to their masters, preferring to remain close, lay by their feet, etc. Always happy, but not in that bouncey way, lol, they have a natural but striking look for how sturdy bodied they are. Definite "cool dudes," they are pretty chill for a terrier and yet the quintessential "big dog in a smaller package"....very confident and capable, there is not much they cannot or will not do. Very adaptable, rock solid stable and unfailingly loyal, with a great sense of humor to keep things interesting. They need to be well socialized to get on well with other dogs, but do have that potential. If I were to recommend a breed to you cold, this would be it. They are an ideal "weekend warrior" dog, establish an amazing bond, and are a very cool combination of docile yet up for being intense. Sort of like getting a lot of different dogs in one package
DOBERMAN PINSCHER. Here was one breed you mentioned where you are on the right track, for sure! Dobermans have a very reasonable indoor energy and are very pleasant to live with. They have a goofy side that can come out to keep it interesting, and also tons of human-like intelligence to make life with them fascinating. They are sickly trainable...one of the true cadillacs of breeds training wise. Onepersonish, you do always feel the Doberman is your dog. They are a little on the sensitive side, but nothing you can't manage, and their exercise needs are reasonable. You also, however, have GERMAN SHEPHERD written all over you, and I think that is a breed you would enjoy. Stick with American lines to get the sociability and exercise needs that are your ideal. This is one of the most adaptable of all dogs and they do exceptionally growing with a young adults life....one of my more recommended breeds for young adults for this reason. They have a good social center with the sort of politely measured reserve I think would appeal to you, and compared to Dobermans are more "doggy." Dobermans can have a pickiness to them that can leave some unaware until they are in it....a refinement if you will....whereas GSDs are more overtly doggy. Of course, highly trainable and always up for anything! They tend to love everything...retrieve, tug, hiking, scent work. Going one better is the LABRADOR RETRIEVER, who loves water. Some GSDs do, some don't...as in LOVE. Retrievers, of course, DO, and if you are more looking for "outdoorsy" (hiking, camping, water fun), you'd be better set considering one of those. Of them, I agree the GOLDEN RETRIEVER is best, but you'd need to be careful in your selection. Some are a little too "I love'um you!" pleading, some are a little too outgoing for I think your tastes, some require heavier exercise, some are too naive. I don't think you'd mind a dog who has some good discernment. There are such Goldens, and then you get the rest of the package....very affectionate, very trainable, very into you, very loyal and wise, up for anything. Labs are great but more independent, often will require more exercise, and are just more dog to handle.
I have a really big dog to put on your list....LEONBERGER. Probably ultimately impractical for their size, but if you wanted a really big dog on the list, that's the one I'd recommend. Not overly narive, have a moderate reserve, pretty mellow, very stable, and is a bit more of an athletic "up for anything" sort of dog. Newf are more trainable...Leos can be a little more stubborn....but I think the Mr. Dogooder personality might niche a little less with you personally, and Leos are a little more flexible.
I would take English Springers off your list, incidentally. They are one of my top ten favorite breeds, but do have a bit of a Peter Pan thing going on, referencing your earlier comment that a dog mellows when he grows up. ESS' are affection junkies....great for anyone to visit, but some don't want to live there. There is a Norwegian Elkhound Dogster who was forced by marriage to live with ESS, and I always laugh at her posts, because she considers them a trip through hell (her breed is very steady and sure) I don't think you necessarily want too much of a good thing, and that's probably how they'd end up for you. One of my own lines about them is that their three states are getting affection, yearning for it, or asleep Willing to please? Some are desperate to please. I think they might drive you a little bonkers. I myself could live with them all day long, but I sort of vibe with dogs who harrass you
Edited by author Thu Dec 6, '12 1:55am PST
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