Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?
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    Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Me and my family are looking for dogs. We are looking at dogs like the Golden Retriver, Siberian Husky, etc. They are fine and dandy, but our current dog (a chihuahua) is way too friendly, and we like to joke and say that she will go off with anyone who gives her a good rub. When I have friends over, she'll even greet my friends before she greets me! We don't want that again. While we want a dog that is friendly, playful, good family dog, we also want a dog that is "aloof" with strangers, and won't really go up to them unless they see that we are ok with the stranger. Now do not mistake this with aggression. We don't want strangers to get attacked, but at the same time, we want a loyal dog who unlike our chihuahua won't make us feel like they'll just go off with anyone. Like I said we really like the Husky, and Golden. We have also been looking at German Shepards, and French Bulldogs. Any other breeds that could fit my description?

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Huskies can be very independent and might not have the "family dog" qualities you are seeking.

    Goldens in my experience are not very hesitant around strangers. Most I meet at quite friendly to strangers (assuming they were socialized).

    German Shepards I think are a good match out of the breeds you listed. Consider the size of the dog though and the age of your children. A bigger dog may not be as desirable if you have small children who will want to play with it. Depends on the dog and your family though.

    I can also tell you that Shetland Sheepdogs are fiercely loyal to their families, very playful, and many are just what you describe, "aloof" with strangers.

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Quote Originally Posted by HerdersForMe View Post
    Huskies can be very independent and might not have the "family dog" qualities you are seeking.

    Goldens in my experience are not very hesitant around strangers. Most I meet at quite friendly to strangers (assuming they were socialized).

    German Shepards I think are a good match out of the breeds you listed. Consider the size of the dog though and the age of your children. A bigger dog may not be as desirable if you have small children who will want to play with it. Depends on the dog and your family though.

    I can also tell you that Shetland Sheepdogs are fiercely loyal to their families, very playful, and many are just what you describe, "aloof" with strangers.
    no children for me. I'm 18, and my sister is 15. I just happen to be the one doing the research for the family because Im the most passionate about it haha. But Im really pushing for a bigger dog. Not a bull mastiff, but something else. My chihuahua is a teacup chihuahua, and I just can't roughhouse with her. All she's good for is sitting on your lap and giving her kisses aha, but I love her. I want a "real" dog. Someone I can take to the park and jog with, and swim with, and roughouse with. But at the same time, I don't want a dog who will run off with just anyone.

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    Senior Member Jacksons Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Wow, that actually surprises me that you have a Chihuahua like that. They are known to be aloof with strangers -- just goes to show you, regardless of breed, every dog is an invidividual and different.

    A Golden will almost certainly not meet your criteria. Every Golden I've ever known has loved everyone they've come in contact with. In fact, the one we had in our agility class was rewarded with praise from all of us humans in the class because she loved it so much and worked so hard for it.

    German Shepherd would fit the bill. They are very much known to be aloof with strangers but fantastically loyal with their person or their family. But they aren't a walk in the park, either. Extensive training and socialization is really important with the breed. Even if you don't want them to love everyone, you at least want them to tolerate them. They also require a lot of exercise and training. We made the mistake of getting a GSD when I was younger and she was awesome with the family (my first baby, really) but grew really aggressive towards strangers. She ended up getting put to sleep at the age of 4 after attacking someone who came on our property. Really really sad because it was totally our fault for not training, exercising or socializing her properly.

    My Yorkie is pretty aloof with strangers and Silky's and Yorkies both are known to be this way. He lets people pet him, and is fine with people, just really could care less about the attention, unless it's our family or someone he loves like my close friends he sees often.

    I am not sure about Huskys... I think they are supposed to be aloof, but every Husky I've evet met has actually been really friendly towards me, without really even knowing me. Ones I've met at the dog park, etc. Akitas are known to be this way, but again, not a breed for everyone. Ummm... a Rottweiler, too. A lot of these aloof breeds can be kind of "hard" dogs though.

    I think there are quite a few breeds who would fit the bill of being aloof with strangers but it's also a matter of finding the right dog. Like in your case, Chi's would usually be this way, but yours obviously is not.

    Brit & Jackson



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    Senior Member Porphyria's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    The breeds you are looking at are all very different from each other, so some more information about what, specifically, you are looking for would be helpful. What kind of/how much exercise will you give your dog (there is a huge difference between, say a Sibe and a Frenchie)? What size dog are you open to? How much grooming are you willing to do? Since you want a good family dog, I am assuming you are looking for a breed that is more trainable/willing to please, am I correct? I'm sure there are more questions that others will come up with, but those are the ones that popped into my head.

    Just looking at the breeds you listed, the Golden is probably not a good idea if you want a dog more reserved with strangers; they are great family dogs, but the ones I've known have been very friendly with strangers too. Huskies are generally more reserved with strangers, but they need tons of exercise and mental stimulation, they are more independent (and thus not the easiest to train), and they shed a great deal. They also tend to have a high prey drive and are known "escape artists.". GSDs are also very high energy and "drivey" dogs. They are more biddable thank huskies, but they are much more challenging than most people think. I don't know anything about French Bulldogs, sorry.

    Most sighthound breeds tend to be aloof with strangers, but many have a high prey drive, which can be a problem since you have such a small dog. Perhaps, if you are open to sighthounds, you could look into a greyhound rescue? The people fostering the dogs get to know their personalities well, and could help you find a dog that is small-dog safe and has the personality you're looking for. Greys make wonderful family pets, and are generally reserved with strangers. They are not always the most trainable dogs in the world, but they are usually very well-mannered, sweet dogs.
    Last edited by Porphyria; 09-29-2011 at 03:32 PM.

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    Senior Member Jacksons Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blacklite View Post
    no children for me. I'm 18, and my sister is 15. I just happen to be the one doing the research for the family because Im the most passionate about it haha. But Im really pushing for a bigger dog. Not a bull mastiff, but something else. My chihuahua is a teacup chihuahua, and I just can't roughhouse with her. All she's good for is sitting on your lap and giving her kisses aha, but I love her. I want a "real" dog. Someone I can take to the park and jog with, and swim with, and roughouse with. But at the same time, I don't want a dog who will run off with just anyone.

    Small dogs can do almost everything a big dog can do! My 16lb boy swims all summer long, he runs on the beach, he runs around the dog park, loves other dogs, does agility, hiking, running, long walks, etc, etc. He also can roughhouse pretty well but maybe that's the terrier in him!

    Brit & Jackson



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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacksons Mom View Post
    Wow, that actually surprises me that you have a Chihuahua like that. They are known to be aloof with strangers -- just goes to show you, regardless of breed, every dog is an invidividual and different.

    A Golden will almost certainly not meet your criteria. Every Golden I've ever known has loved everyone they've come in contact with. In fact, the one we had in our agility class was rewarded with praise from all of us humans in the class because she loved it so much and worked so hard for it.

    German Shepherd would fit the bill. They are very much known to be aloof with strangers but fantastically loyal with their person or their family. But they aren't a walk in the park, either. Extensive training and socialization is really important with the breed. Even if you don't want them to love everyone, you at least want them to tolerate them. They also require a lot of exercise and training. We made the mistake of getting a GSD when I was younger and she was awesome with the family (my first baby, really) but grew really aggressive towards strangers. She ended up getting put to sleep at the age of 4 after attacking someone who came on our property. Really really sad because it was totally our fault for not training, exercising or socializing her properly.

    My Yorkie is pretty aloof with strangers and Silky's and Yorkies both are known to be this way. He lets people pet him, and is fine with people, just really could care less about the attention, unless it's our family or someone he loves like my close friends he sees often.

    I am not sure about Huskys... I think they are supposed to be aloof, but every Husky I've evet met has actually been really friendly towards me, without really even knowing me. Ones I've met at the dog park, etc. Akitas are known to be this way, but again, not a breed for everyone. Ummm... a Rottweiler, too. A lot of these aloof breeds can be kind of "hard" dogs though.

    I think there are quite a few breeds who would fit the bill of being aloof with strangers but it's also a matter of finding the right dog. Like in your case, Chi's would usually be this way, but yours obviously is not.
    Sweet answer. I want a dog kind of like yours. If I have a friend over, I dont want said dog to jump on him excitedly or on the opposite end, attack him. I want a dog that will more or less tolerate them. They won't mind being petted, or caressed, but won't follow my friend around until he leaves, and eventually once my friend becomes a regular, then they can be affectionate. But you brought up a good point, I am not sure my family can "handle" a "hard" dog. We are all for exercising said dog, which would entail taking him to the park where he will see other dogs and people, but if that's not enough for a dog like a GSD, then my family might not be able to handle it.

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacksons Mom View Post
    Small dogs can do almost everything a big dog can do! My 16lb boy swims all summer long, he runs on the beach, he runs around the dog park, loves other dogs, does agility, hiking, running, long walks, etc, etc. He also can roughhouse pretty well but maybe that's the terrier in him!
    Well I can't do all that with a 2lb teacup chihuahua haha

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Porphyria View Post
    The breeds you are looking at are all very different from each other, so some more information about what, specifically, you are looking for would be helpful. What kind of/how much exercise will you give your dog (there is a huge difference between, say a Sibe and a Frenchie)? What size dog are you open to? How much grooming are you willing to do? Since you want a good family dog, I am assuming you are looking for a breed that is more trainable/willing to please, am I correct? I'm sure there are more questions that others will come up with, but those are the ones that popped into my head.

    Just looking at the breeds you listed, the Golden is probably not a good idea if you want a dog more reserved with strangers; they are great family dogs, but the ones I've known have been very friendly with strangers too. Huskies are generally more reserved with strangers, but they need tons of exercise and mental stimulation, they are more independent (and thus not the easiest to train), and they shed a great deal. They also tend to have a high prey drive and are known "escape artists.". GSDs are also very high energy and "drivey" dogs. They are more biddable thank huskies, but they are much more challenging than most people think. I don't know anything about French Bulldogs, sorry.

    Most sighthound breeds tend to be aloof with strangers, but many have a high prey drive, which can be a problem since you have such a small dog. Perhaps, if you are open to sighthounds, you could look into a greyhound rescue? The people fostering the dogs get to know their personalities well, and could help you find a dog that is small-dog safe and has the personality you're looking for. Greys make wonderful family pets, and are generally reserved with strangers. They are not always the most trainable dogs in the world, but they are usually very well-mannered, sweet dogs.
    Excellent question. I am personally willing to take the dog on walks daily, and take him to the park whenever I can. My sister is probably the same. Because I want a dog I can roughhouse with, and in essence, a more manly dog, I am about to about any size (not bull mastiff big though, that's a big way too much). For example, also on my list of breeds is a plain old english bulldog. My mom didn't like the english so we settled for the french haha. Also, yes. We would like a breed that is relatively easy to train

    But you worded it exactly right. I want a dog that is a great family dog, but reserved with strangers. NOT aggressive towards strangers, but reserved. I guess somewhere in between a watchdog and a guard dog.

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    A french bulldog is not what you are looking for.

    Mine is a major major lover to everyone he meets, and I say the same thing, except, I think he would wave at me out the back window while driving away with someone. He is not loyal. He is obsessed with meeting people. He runs up to them as soon as he seems them, even if they are a distance away.

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Sheltie could work. You do have to be careful about temperament, it's pretty common for them to fall at the other extreme of painfully shy and distrustful of strangers. And they are a barky breed. You can impose some limits, but a Sheltie is going to bark. But they're active and biddable and good family dogs if you are discriminating in picking a breeder/litter/puppy/dog.
    Tell a Lab, ask a Golden, negotiate with a Chessie, play with a Toller

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Here's the thing also guys. I want a manly looking dog. My chihuahua is girly enough, (teacup, girl, pink leash). This time we want a dog that is more neutral or leaning more towards a manly side. A dog I won't look flamboyant walking down the street with haha. Essentially; a badass looking dog.

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Quote Originally Posted by RaeganW View Post
    Sheltie could work. You do have to be careful about temperament, it's pretty common for them to fall at the other extreme of painfully shy and distrustful of strangers. And they are a barky breed. You can impose some limits, but a Sheltie is going to bark. But they're active and biddable and good family dogs if you are discriminating in picking a breeder/litter/puppy/dog.
    Shelties do need to be socialized very well or they are quite mistrusting of any stranger.

    On that note a rough collie has a similar temperament to shelties but with less of the extreme shyness. Most collies are friendly with strangers but don't go out of their way seeking attention.

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    You might look into collies: http://www.chelsea-collies.com/information76.html They seem to be devoted to their family but not the type to want to run off with a stranger. They aren't as big as Huskies or Goldens but I'd say they fit your criteria of a "real dog".

    ETA: HerdersForMe beat me to it

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    Senior Member Jacksons Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blacklite View Post
    Sweet answer. I want a dog kind of like yours. If I have a friend over, I dont want said dog to jump on him excitedly or on the opposite end, attack him. I want a dog that will more or less tolerate them. They won't mind being petted, or caressed, but won't follow my friend around until he leaves, and eventually once my friend becomes a regular, then they can be affectionate. But you brought up a good point, I am not sure my family can "handle" a "hard" dog. We are all for exercising said dog, which would entail taking him to the park where he will see other dogs and people, but if that's not enough for a dog like a GSD, then my family might not be able to handle it.
    I will encourage you to look into Silky's if you are curious. Maybe I am biased. Jackson is probably just a badly bred Yorkie but has a lot of Silky Terrier traits.

    Plus, it's big enough to do all that fun stuff with, but still not too big to play with your Chi.

    Jackson is the perfect "All American" dog if you will, IMO. He's a great dog park dog, he loves to travel, just constantly wants to be WITH you involved in what you are doing... not necessarily all up against you, or licking your face, or sitting on top of you, just NEAR you and in the same room. Aloof with strangers, very active but not "hyper". Needs a good amount of exercise but not so much to where they are completely unbearable without it. Jackson can go a few days just chilling in the house and not doing much, so long as you provide him with a game of indoor fetch and some mental stimulation and chew toys. Pretty biddable for a terrier and can catch on quickly to training. Easy maintenance if you keep their coat cut short, no shedding, etc.

    You can watch Jackson in Action (hehe) on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/brittanyjadexo

    A couple other "harder" terriers like JRT may be too much for your family but might want to possibly look into them as well. But again, they need a lot of exercise, like a whole lot, and training.
    Last edited by Jacksons Mom; 09-29-2011 at 03:51 PM.

    Brit & Jackson



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    Senior Member Jacksons Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blacklite View Post
    Here's the thing also guys. I want a manly looking dog. My chihuahua is girly enough, (teacup, girl, pink leash). This time we want a dog that is more neutral or leaning more towards a manly side. A dog I won't look flamboyant walking down the street with haha. Essentially; a badass looking dog.

    Well, maybe nevermind my Silky recommendation, although I tend to make Jackson look pretty bad-ass in his leather collar and Buddy Belt harness, and short 'do. lol. He wears a lot of skull-things too. So it's doable, lmao!

    Brit & Jackson



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    Senior Member Porphyria's Avatar
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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blacklite View Post
    Excellent question. I am personally willing to take the dog on walks daily, and take him to the park whenever I can. My sister is probably the same. Because I want a dog I can roughhouse with, and in essence, a more manly dog, I am about to about any size (not bull mastiff big though, that's a big way too much). For example, also on my list of breeds is a plain old english bulldog. My mom didn't like the english so we settled for the french haha. Also, yes. We would like a breed that is relatively easy to train

    But you worded it exactly right. I want a dog that is a great family dog, but reserved with strangers. NOT aggressive towards strangers, but reserved. I guess somewhere in between a watchdog and a guard dog.
    I think you've got plenty of options. Many terriers, while not huge, are very sturdy and fit the "reserved with strangers" bill. But terriers tend to be high energy and not the most biddable. I mentioned sighthounds; and many spitz-type breeds (huskies, Finnish spitz, chows, etc.) are also reserved with strangers. If you're going to do one or two 20 min. walks a day, with occasional trips to the park, I would shy away from really high energy breeds like huskies and most other spitzes, and GSDs. If you're interested in really long daily walks, and/or hikes, then you may consider the higher energy breeds.

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Shiba Inu.

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    How bout boxers? any opinions on how they fit my criteria?

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    Re: Dogs that aren't too "friendly"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blacklite View Post
    Well I can't do all that with a 2lb teacup chihuahua haha
    There's small and then there's micro-sized.

    I think 2 lb teacup chis fall under micro-sized. There's toy dogs that dwarf a tea cup chi

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