GO!

Breed for next PSD in a couple of years - 2 considerations - ADVICE PLEASE!

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

  
Cooper

1263340
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 15, '12 10:27pm PST 
Okay, so I have on PSD who's currently working on his PAT and is a Basset mix I've had since he was a baby. Needless to say, he's a very special dog and works amazingly with me but he's a bit small - only about 33 lbs. He does well but I sometimes feel bad for him with such short legs and all the walking and sometimes, such as in large crowds, a larger dog seems like it would be better. In the next year or two I hope to finally acquire my larger dog I've wanted since I was a kid but seeing as now I need it to be something I can also turn into a PSD, either to retire Cooper, at least from public work, or to tag-team with him so he wasn't going out all the time, I'm having to re-evaluate what to get.

Here are the breeds I'm looking at atm (in no particular order):
Golden Retriever
Bloodhound
Black & Tan Coonhound
German Shepherd
Collie

Now, I need y'all's advice in two different sectors here - which breeds are going to be most suitable for PSD work and the easiest to train, AND what is each breed like in general? (grooming, feeding, health, etc.)

Also, after I got Cooper as I puppy, it was so awful swore I'd never get another puppy again but I can't help wondering if the only way I'm gonna get a reliable PSD is by raising and training it from a puppy. What do y'all think?

I'd appreciate any help from PSD owners as I'm new to all of this and I got incredibly lucky with the first one!
[notify]
Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 15, '12 11:18pm PST 
Of your list the best two are going to be golden and collie, not sure if you're looking at rough or smooth collie (I recommend smooth since the coat is much easier to keep clean and it's important to keep a service dog clean).

Goldens are of course the easier of the two breeds to find, however if you find a good collie breeder they are easily a breed that can make a good service dog.

German shepherds are tentative yes. It can be done but depending on your MI you have to be aware that they can be more sensitive and get pulled into a handlers issues. They can be protective which if not managed can be a problem. And it is difficult to find a breeder depending on what you are looking for in a shepherd.

I will be really honest and say I personally recommend that you scratch both hounds from your list. They are good breeds, and have a lot of good qualities but hounds as a whole are not nearly as easy to train, and tend to blow off commands if they have a scent that they are interested in.

Ultimately a breed will depend on what you need based on your specific disability.
[notify]
Sir Selik SDIT

I'm a PSD and- proud of it!
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 16, '12 9:56am PST 
I have a GSD puppy which I am raising as my PSD however I chose the puppy from the little with the mildest and least agressive temperament, and starting from a young age I did everything I could to make sure agression problems and protectiveness, however I recomed a golden they are much less agressive and protective
[notify]

Cooper

1263340
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 21, '12 12:13am PST 
Thanks for the imput and after thought and deliberation, I think I've pretty much settled on the Golden. Now my next thing is, I really can't afford to do the whole breeder thing and would prefer something like 5mo to 2yrs, since I feel that age could be better managed with my lifestyle but still leave room for training and impact. Little puppies are like newborns - a 24/7 job but, at least in my experience, by about 5 mo they can hold their bladder longer and things like that. I know some people have gotten dogs who made fantastic PSDs from shelters, rescues, or through rehoming but I need to know exactly what to look for to judge what dog is worth looking into and which one wouldn't make the cut. I know you can temperament test puppies but what about older dogs? I really don't want to get a dog I think will work, get attached, have it not being suitable for one reason or another, and end up having to rehome it and start all over again. (I am definitely prepared for this to be a very long process and take a while to find the right dog, which is why I'm starting now) Any suggestions?
[notify]
Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Tue Aug 21, '12 1:02am PST 
I always recommend you check first with breeders, I've heard of a number of people who have gotten dogs for free or for a drastically reduced rate. Talk to the breeders in your area and if they don't have anything ask them about which rescues they recommend. Often they will have a better idea of which rescues are doing what than other places. You might also look into career change guide dogs if you have a school in your area. Occasionally the issues that would wash a dog from a guide dog program would not be an issue for a sighted handler or in the case of some allergy issues might be something you can work around. If you do contact them be upfront about what you are looking for and why.
[notify]
Cooper

1263340
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 1:17pm PST 
Found an 8mo Golden/Lab mix I'm going to look at tonight. I told her I was looking for a service dog and she said he's great with other dogs and young kids, already knows some commands, is housebroken, and loves to swim so I've got my fingers crossed. Any last-minute tips on how to tell if he's got what I'm looking for when I meet him?
[notify]
Polly

Lolly girl
 
 
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '12 6:20pm PST 
The Volhard puppy test is good one to follow, it is on line. smile
[notify]