|Barked: Tue Oct 7, '14 7:28pm PST |
|In my opinion your best bet would be a Labrador. They're easy to train, generally sweet tempered around everything, and pretty low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Like someone else suggested a Spoodle would be worth looking into too.
Get a dog from wherever you feel most comfortable. For some it's a breeder, others prefer rescue. Frankly it's hard enough to get a good fit for Service work even when going with a dog from an excellent breeder, let alone when it comes to the russian roulette of picking from a shelter. Not that it can't be done, but I personally have just found it doesn't stack the odds in my favor.
Sadie, you've touched on a sore spot for me. To be blunt, you are wrong. Some dogs simply are not cut out to be SDs, no matter how much love you put into them they will never be comfortable working in public, and it is not only unkind to them but dangerous for the handler to do so. Breed DOES play a huge factor in temperament, yes, there are outliers, but each breed has a distinct personality. My Newfie will never have a burning urge to herd sheep. My hound will never feel the need to be velcroed to my hip. It's characteristics of their breeds. A good breeder not only will have outstanding examples of their breed, tested and cleared for genetic health concerns, but will be able to match the person with the puppy that will best work for their needs. A dog from a good breeder will never end up in a shelter, because the breeder is always there to take it back.
Furthermore, while shelter trainers and volunteers do their best to know the dogs in their care it's an overwhelming task. I was told that Holly did will with dogs, cats and children. She chases cats and has ongoing issues with dog reactivity. There are many issues that simply are not apparent when a dog is in the stressful shelter environment. As I said before, it isn't that there are no good candidates in shelters, but for myself, having both rescued and gotten from a breeder, I find the latter is my preference. Far less of a guessing game. Either way, rescue or breeder, do lots of research!
Best of luck with finding your candidate! They are such lifesavers and well worth all the time and effort!
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