dog breed

niffer(z5 Ontario)August 15, 2008

Hi Everyone,

Just starting to do some research and was wondering if anyone had a thought on this. I want a medium to large sized dog, that doesn't shed (at least not much), loves kids, doesn't needs tons of exercise (we live in the country and are always outside but I don't want to play fetch 8 hours a day), is intelligent and obedient, will not chase or attack chickens, goats, bunnies, cats or horses. And if it doesn't bark at everything that goes by that would be great too. What do you think?

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We got a Labrador Retriever pup about 6 weeks ago. She is now 4 mos. old. I wanted a short haired med/large dog the color of the carpet so she fits the bill. She seems very high energy right now and I am hoping she will calm down some as she gets older.

She loves everybody and isn't aggressive at all --- She is a little over-powering with the cats though, but she just thinks she is playing.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 7:31AM
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I'd go with a great pyrenees.

If you get a puppy, it'll learn to guard your goats, chickens, etc. and will do an excellent job of it. I have three of them (one is 7 years old, and the others are 2) and they stay out all night and day, even in winter, watching over the animals. They love to play if you offer a toy, but are usually quite layed back. They love to be around other people, but when nobody's around they know its not the end of the world. They do bark on and off at night if a predator is near, but other than that i never hear them.

I think they're the perfect country dogs. :) Hope this helped.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 1:43PM
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I would have to say Labs are the best, but I am a little bit partial cause I have one. They are very smart dogs, but can be high strung if they are not given a job to do. Our lab is great with my 2 year old daughter as well as my goats and my cow. We live in a horse town and she does well with them too! She doesn't shed too much only a little in the summer. If you want a loyal and kind dog that is very smart go with a lab!! Hope that helps

    Bookmark   August 18, 2008 at 7:20PM
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My suggestion would be to shop around and look at older dogs instead of puppies. Puppies need a lot of exercise and attention and can wear you out. A young adult dog (2-4 years old) would already being showing their adult behavior so you would know if they are high energy or prone to bark or run away. Don't be fooled by looks, judge them by their temperment instead. The only large sized non shedders I know of are the standard poodle and poodle mixes (labradoodle and goldendoodle). I like standard poodles but they aren't the best farm dogs and they can be bossy and barky (you don't have to shear them the fancy way, just keep their hair short and they won't look like a poodle). The half poodle mixes often combine the best of both breeds, the smarts of the poodle with the friendliness of either the lab or the golden retriever. Though they are sold as non-shedders, some of them do shed so you have check them out on a dog by dog basis. I prefer the goldendoodle over all of them, I just like their look better but I have known dogs of all three types that were great family dogs.

My dog is a Vizsla/Doberman mix and she is perfect. A lot of the pointers have very short hair and if it is a pale color you barely see it when it sheds. Though most of them do like a lot of exercise and tend to bark at everything there are some out there that don't (my dog is a non-barker and she likes to run but always stays within sight of me). So again, you have to check each dog out because they don't always conform to the breed standard.

Good luck in your search - there are plenty of dogs out there to choose from. I meet tons of dogs when I am out taking mine for a walk and I have met dogs from every size and style group that I would own and I have pretty high standards and low tolerance for bad behavior, so good dogs are out there you just have to look for them. It took me a year to find my prize.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 9:34AM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Labs take to training well, that should not be confused with being smart.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 4:37PM
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I go with a lab as well (for what you described) and I'm sttictly a Border Collie person ( I have 6 :-O) But labs are really great family dogs. Don't be fooled into thinking that short haired dogs don't shed though, they do!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 5:42PM
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My neighbors lab tries to get in my chicken coop all the time. He also chases birds in the yard. I am not sure if I would trust a lab around chickens.

as for the doberman and poodles. not sure if I would trust them around my animals either.

I am not a dog owner so I am NOT speaking from experience BUT I would definately pick something whose nature is to protect livestock. I been thinking of a dog breed myself and to tell you the truth it is very confusing. Some people tell stories of success with their livestock (like above) and some tell of horror stories. My thinking now is that I would stick with what is proven. The other problem is the nature of the livestock guardian dogs. again not from experience but from what I have read they can have a very dominant nature and can over power the owner. Some of them are very ugly too. LOL no hate comments please. I had narrowed my choices down to Great Pyrenes and the Australian Shepard. Then I heard that Pyrenes can become VERY aggressive as they get older and hard to handle. So that leaves me with the Australian Shepard.
Also note that there are some Aussies in the dog pound and I tried to rescue one but after receiving a 3 page questionaire I decided against that. they wanted to know everything about me including profession, hours worked, who lives in the house etc. sounded like a set up for a robbery to me so I decided to go with a breeder if I get one.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 8:22AM
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pegs099(z5 NY)

Having grown up on a farm in a family that owned, showed, and bred many breeds over the years, maybe I can give some insight. Herding dogs can be wonderful. In fact my ds does herding professionally. BUT, they can be high energy (read lots of exercise, don't relax well), and can sometimes be a one-person dog. In fact, sometimes they need to be a one-person dog for the work they do. They train well, but really need a firm hand and lots of guidance. Big dogs can have great temperments, but they can also shed a lot and cost more to feed and for the medicine at the vet, and to board, etc. Also, they can be the sweetest thing in the world, but strangers and others might be afraid of them.
Most working dogs have a good herding sense, too. You also want to avoid breeds known for running away. Of course, any given dog may have some of these qualities, but some breeds are more known for certain traits than others, including hip and/or eye problems. A mutt can be wonderful, but it's hard to predict.
We are particularly happy w/ our Schnoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle). Great with kids, doesn't shed, doesn't yap, seems to have herding instinct, and is absolutely devoted to us. They come in sizes from mini to giant, so you can find one to suit yourself. Ours looks a little Benji-ish when his hair is long. Doesn't drool, and trains easily. In fact, he's probably the best housebroken dog I've ever known. Good luck finding the right breed for your family, and I hope you find as good a dog-buddy as we did.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 4:22PM
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How exactly can you find out about the natures of dogs? Like which dogs are prone to chase cars, run away, bark all day and night etc? I think if you can find out the nature of dogs you can find one that fits. Some people are not happy if they get a dog that doesn't bark, some people like dogs to be trusting of everyone and some only want their dog to love them and no one else.

I think getting one to match your expectations would make for a happier experience. I have yet to find a website that explains the natures of the dogs. Personally I would be happy with a dog that lays around all the time but keeps a watchful eye out for predatiors. One that will not jump on me, won't bark at the slightest thing, can stay out in the yard without being chained, will not attack my goats or chickens and kid tolerant. oh yeah and not do his business all over the place or cost an arm and a leg. LOL is there such a breed?

I haven't heard of one yet thus I have no dog yet.

Niffer do you have any breeds in mind? Maybe someone can help you narrow your list down some.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:13PM
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The dog you describe can be found everywhere and in every breed. You have to TRAIN THE DOG to be what you consider a good citizen. It doesn't happen by itself.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 8:41AM
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bill7(NW MN)

It seems to me you are asking for a lot. Those of us who have a dog we consider a "good citizen" know that it requires the investment of some quality time. From your descriptions, and considering where you live, both to the north and out in the country, you want a dog with a good coat (i.e., sheds?). For a dog not to chase anything, get a lap dog :)

I have two friends who have picked up the newer trend of a cross between a standard poodle and a golden. These are supposed to be very good, low key (golden), non shedding dogs (poodle).

We have a golden lab. Sheds, not low key, chases everything she sees, birds, deer, squirrels, etc. (the sheep she has learned Will stand up to her- so she just runs up the the fence, then stops). She is a handful (think Marley and Me), but a wonderful dog. She stays outside (kennel) during the day when we are at work. Frankly, the summers are harder on her than the winters (she loves being out in the neg. temps with the winds howling at 20-30 mph.)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 9:12AM
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I`m going to give some insight into the livestock guardian dog we chose for our small farm, the Maremma. They don`t fit everything on your list, but quite a few.

Size - 75lbs, female
Coat - white, medium length, slightly coarse. Shedding is not too bad in the spring, but she lives with the goats outside year round, so we don`t pay attention to it.
Temperment - loves people, loves kids (and goats), chickens
Exercise - Sleeps (with one eye open) most of the day if we aren`t around, but loves to go for walks every once in a while. At night, she patrols the fence line and her boundaries and is training the new Maremma pup we just bought. They dig many holes to lie in when hot, so to keep a Maremma in a small yard is asking for trouble.
Intelligence - very smart and independent thinking, but they need to be to take care of their territory. If the owner is not home and a coyote comes around, they need to decide on their own what needs to be done. However, she does listen and understands who is boss, us. This comes with firm training.
Behaviour with animals - the goats, chickens, cats and us, are hers to protect and she has never attacked anyone. She takes care of everything from the smallest chicks, baby goats to the adult goats, and even the neighbours horses if they come close. I will admit that when she was in her teenage stage, she had a tendency to want to play and chase with the animals. Chickens don`t handle that very well and we lost a couple, but not as many as we lost to coyotes. Again, training is important and to us, the loss at that time far out weighs the benefits of not losing any to predators. Now that we have another pup, they take their energy out on one another.
Barking - if there is danger around, she will bark. There is always a reason for barking, which occurs mostly at night. We find that the coyote pack moves through every few weeks, so there can be nights when there is a lot of barking, but it is her job to keep them off her property. Then, there are nights when she doesn`t bark at all. We spent some time rewarding her for good barking, versus I-want-attention-barking. Now we know that when she barks, there is a good reason for it.

My opinion on retrievers of any kind - they were bred to retrieve birds while hunting. It is in their nature to go after birds, whether wild or domesticated. I wouldn`t feel comfortable leaving them alone with chickens.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:53PM
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I believe dogs are the product of their environment,,just like children. They can be aggressive when treated and trained to be,and will be faithful gentle souls and protect you when they're given the proper care and training. I know of dobermans who are the sweetest dogs ever,,as well as a pittbull down the road who is a charming sweetheart too! you can have a nasty dog of any breed and a great dog as well..depends on how you treat them.
I have a lab/boxer mix I rescued from a bad situation,,,I was told by many that I should give up on her and get rid of her. After lots of love and proper attention she's my absolute angel now,she's wonderful with my 3 year old son and all the animals outside! I can't imagine what would have become of her if I did give up.
It's all in the treatment and environment the way I see it...Good luck

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 12:40PM
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