Breed Ideas/Suggestions - Tiller perhaps?

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.

Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 1:58am PST 
Naturally, I've brought up breeds on here several times over the time I've been on Dogster, and most of that was of the GSD because they're one of my favorite breeds. I've got a list of dogs that I particularly am fond of, but would like ideas or suggestions as to specific breeds instead, whether they are or are not on my list, and I'd like to be told about a few others.

List of Breeds I Like:
German Shepherd
Hounds(literally all hounds - particularly Beagles, Pharaohs, and Greyhounds)
Australian Shepherd
Great Dane
Golden Retriever
Mastiffs(all, particularly Bull and Dogue)

Breeds I'd Like to Know More About:
Irish Wolfhound
Golden Retriever
English Springer Spaniel
Belgian Tervuren
Saint Bernard

Now, here's the thing.. I'm not sure what breeds(other than my Beagle and my Lab mix of course!) would fit my criteria later on. Maybe I'm biased, lol. This would be several years down the road, however, when I'm further into dog training and behavior, and more immersed in the dog sport world.

1. Has to be good with kids(if it can be raised with kids, that's cool too). I HAVE and CAN manage dogs that aren't entirely FOND of kids(Maya and a few of my fosters weren't), but I'd prefer a dog that tolerates children well. I will have a child by then, as well as having much much younger siblings frequently visit.
2. Eager to please and biddable is best, but if I can train my Beagle forty commands, I'm sure I can deal with a more stubborn breed no problem. It would just be better to have a dog that ENJOYS working with me more and having a partnership.
3. I love velcro dogs, so that would be awesome, but is not necessary.
4. Aloof is good, and I like to feel safe when I walk my dogs at night(had that with Maya, do not have that with Charlie or Ria, bol), but I don't necessarily want a dog that will be suspicious of everyone if you know what I mean.
5. Grooming doesn't matter - I love all fur types. Except Huskies. And yes, I've groomed many breeds, including Huskies and Newfies(I liked the Newf's more because they had a tendency to just lay down and let you do whatever).
6. Can be raised with smaller animals to be okay with them(I own rabbits - AND a Beagle, so that should give you a hint of what I can handle in terms of prey drive), but doesn't necessarily have to ever be unsupervised with them either.
7. Exercise requirements.. Hmm.. My fiance and I go hiking in the mountains or out of town whenever we get the chance. I LOVE jogging with my dogs, and walking them on a regular basis so we can handle higher energy, but a dog that has an 'off' switch in the house would be best.
8. A dog that would do well(or at least enjoy!) in dog sports would be good - I'm particularly interested in Tracking, Agility and Obedience.
9. Size preference is medium to giant - I don't like dogs that are smaller than my 25lb Beagle and he's the exception.
10. I don't like neurotic OCD type behaviors, and I don't like super crazy separation anxiety(I'm talking super as in defecating, urinating, barking and destroying the house super crazy - whining or barking is fine).
11. If it helps, I'm great at rehabilitating out resource guarding/food aggression, and can manage and work with that really easily - I've got loads of experience with it, so breeds that tend towards that are perfectly fine. I don't necessarily want a breed that is ABSOLUTELY going to have dog aggression, but if that can be avoided through proper socialization and training, I can do it.

I hope I gave enough criteria to truly break down potential breeds and that someone can tell me about the breeds I hope to learn more about. I'm just curious for right now and hope to truly break down potential breeds for the future.

Edited by author Sat Dec 1, '12 2:02am PST


The Muddy- Princess
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 7:50am PST 
A Golden would work except for the aloof criteria. They are not threatening and are not perceived as threatening. I always say that a Golden would protect you if they perceived another human as a threat...but they rarely if ever perceive a human as a threat. They (Goldens) think they are so wonderful that no one would ever do anything bad to them or anyone with them.

I like the idea of a GSD. Hits all the marks as long as you get one from a good breeder (to eliminate possibility of separation anxiety).
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 8:27am PST 
I will say that my "hard" assertive Golden, Holmes, did protect me from people he deemed a threat. I think that he was so well socialized that he could just 'read' people.

Irish Wolfhounds are great dogs, very mellow, level-headed, neither sharp nor overly sensitive. They do have prey drive, and I would not choose them for agility. They of course love lure coursing. They are very mellow around the home -- couch potatoes in fact.


Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 9:50am PST 
It's a pretty unusual wolfhound that can do more than play at sports, there have been a few there was one with a working trial championship here tracking, obedience, schutzhund style jumps, but they were the exception. Very much gentle giants and pretty low energy but probably not what you're looking for.

What about a labrador. A black one could work for the intimidation factor and a well bred one should be able to do anything.

Edited by author Sat Dec 1, '12 9:52am PST


When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 11:21am PST 
If you are interested in dog sports I would cross Danes off your list. The ultimate couch potatoes. laugh out loud And they are definitely not what I would call biddable, easy-going for sure but with no motivation, they will do the minimum work and at their own pace.

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '12 3:34pm PST 
Well, a Saint fits most of your criteria except jogging.

A good Saint should (this is the Moose) love kids, like small dogs, cats and like medium/long hikes, depending on the weather. Anything above 65 degrees shortens that hike drastically.
Saints can be velcro(y). Moose isn't obsessively velcro, but just enough that I love it. He's also all about snuggling when it's bedtime and time to wake up. My absolute favorite part of his personality.

In regards to kids, Moose hasn't been around them much. Just the neighbor kids saying hi on our walks. But, here's what he did the morning he met his first toddler.
This little, almost 2 yr old, came waddling down towards me and Moose as we were standing out in front of my house. (His mom was holding his hand and she knew Mikey and knows Moose).
As the little guy got close, I got a good grip on his leash so he wouldn't take one step too many and accidently knock him down, but Moose automatically laid down on the ground to greet this guy. And he stayed there for a few minutes waiting patiently. The little guys mom's eyes lit up and she asked me if I taught him that and when I told her no, she was extra impressed by Moose.

Aloof? Not so much, but if you're walking a 140lb and up dog, no one is gonna mess with you. At night Moose is not as wiggly when he sees someone walking. He stares down the person coming our way and is quick to let out a bark if he can't make out who it is or what. It's a bark that will for sure make someone cross the street.
I don't live in the safest of cities and I used to walk Mikey and now Moose after 11pm without worrying too much.
Grooming is constant. Even having a smooth coat, the shedding is obscene so brushing is an every day event.

They do have a stubborn streak, but nothing that will get on your last nerve when you're training. For how little I've worked with Moose, he shocks me on how well he does what I ask.

Edited by author Sat Dec 1, '12 3:43pm PST


The Muddy- Princess
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 7:54am PST 
My Dex, who spent the last six years of his life as a shop dog at my self-service dog wash and was neither hard nor soft, but a super-confident chill dog, was more than willing to protect me from aliens (some friends who came into the shop one Halloween wearing alien heads), but he was more than willing to try to make friends of the homeless people living under the bridge near a park we walked at.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 1:06pm PST 
Thanks everyone so much for the quick responses! And yeah, if I do EVER get a Dane or Wolfhound, it would be MUCH MUCH later in life when I own a home and don't necessarily want the dog for more than being a good family dog, laugh out loud

I do see that you mean about the Golden not being necessarily aloof or intimidating by any means and I definitely get that, haha. I asked about them mainly because I fell in love with my cousins Golden, Maverick. Beautiful boy, who protected his family and the children with his life(literally in the end), and was very very sweet with everyone he met unless of course they threatened anyone in any way. He was sooo super gentle with the kids and incredibly smart. In the end, when a mutt attacked my cousin and her two babies, Maverick went after the dog to protect them. He'd had problems with seizures all his life, but this was the worst of it. In the middle of the fight protecting his owner, he dropped into a grand mal cluster seizure, and was never the same again. He was just completely 'off' after that and was becoming unsafe, so she had to let him go.

And I'm honestly just in love with my SIL's Wolfhound pup, Andre the Giant. He's only six months old and taller than my hip at his back already. Beautiful dog. I LOVE how he's been with the kids since day one, and how gentle and smart he is. You ask him to do something, he does it without questioning it. Very clingy too though.

I'd consider a Lab... If I wasn't already living with Ria, haha. She's very much her two breeds. She's quite the 50/50 mixture of the two, being Lab and Border Collie and she's a lot to live with at the moment. Her energy levels are out the roof and DOES NOT have an 'off' switch in the house at all. Although that MAY be the Border side of her.

Moose - with a Saint, I'd have to find a particularly good breeder, right? I've worked with one before at the doggy daycare I worked at, and she was THE MOST fearful dog I have ever known. She was such a soft sweetie, but she was absolutely terrified of anything or anyone that she wasn't familiar with. I felt BAD for her, because she just seemed too frightened to be happy at all. Unless she was IN the daycare(playing with other dogs she knew), or at home(familiar). I do recall people heading across the street whenever they saw me walking the Saint or the Dane, haha. I actually didn't mind that at all and neither dogs were aloof by any stretch of the means.

Spooky Mulder
Barked: Sun Dec 2, '12 1:48pm PST 
Of that last, probably the Doberman.

Like Tiller has said in previous threads... not all GSDs are "velcro" in the way people often define that term. Some are, some aren't. Most enjoy being with you, but do not have to be ON you at all times, if that makes any sense. Being in the same room is usually good enough... they don't need to sit in your lap or walk right under your heels to be "with" you. I think you'd find that more in a Doberman.

I think GSDs are a better bet with children in terms of actually being social and enjoying their company. Dobe can certainly be tolerant of children, but I do believe they much prefer being with "their" person vs. having to babysit... which I do think the GSD is more about. Going out and playing with the child, for instance, may be more of a "oh goody! the little person wants to play!" type deal, vs. the Doerman's "sigh... ok if I must".

Can't go wrong either way as far as feeling safe on walks. Gotta be a real moron to try and start something with someone driving a GSD or a Dobe around the block, though I do personally feel the Doberman (provided cropped/docked) has more of that instant "whoah" factor than the GSD, in that a Doberman is UNMISTAKABLE. Slick, sharp, there's no question as to what's up when you're walking a Dobe down the street... where as with the Shepherd, unless they are classic black/tan, some people don't quite know WHAT they are.

Both breeds have the capacity to be social. I think "aloof" tends to be more of a GSD thing. That said, most are perfectly willing to play nice once introduced. I think Dobermans appreciate the attention more, sort of like a vanity thing with them maybe, where the GSD is content saying hello and then moving on. Some lines are more social than others in both breeds, and a lot has to do with individual character and upbringing. Mulder is social. Ridley is not. Being raised Mulder met and was allowed to greet every living thing we passed... Ridley was much more controlled. That makes a big difference.

I think you have better odds in a multi-dog household with a GSD, particularly a male. GSDs may or may not enjoy the company of their housemates (in that they really bond with the other dogs), but as a rule they tend not to be as confrontational if you (the owner) knows whats up and don't let them get away with silly business. Doberman may not appreciate having to share its time with others, and can be quite jealous and may actually become resentful of you spending too much time with your other dogs..../child/spouse/etc laugh out loud

Questionably bred dogs from either breed can have screwy behaviors. Dobermans are known for odd OCD type quarks such as flank sucking or self mutilation. GSDs can be tail chasers, obsessive self-groomers, barkers, etc. Both can be nervy if not carefully bred.

All told though, I think either would be an OK fit. I personally consider the GSD a better "family" dog, but I think a Dobe could work if you put the time into making him social.