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Discussion Starter #1
Since deciding months ago on getting a dog at the end of summer, I have had a thirst for knowledge on breeds and care as well as insight on the relationships between humans and dogs. I feel as if I have done the most basic research I feel is necessary before anyone is to get a dog, but continue to read books on training, behavior, and psychology along side volunteering at my local human society. As I will be living in an apartment next year with little or no yard I've decided to narrow down what kind of breed I get based on temperament, but I'm still curious as to what people think about Nature vs Nurture so I would like to invite people to provide their intellectual thoughts on this question:

If one were to disregard suggestions as to living conditions for specific breeds but was able to provide adequate exercise and mental stimulation, do you feel it would be suitable for lets say an apartment dweller to own active intellectual or by nature territorial breeds like Viszlas, Border Collies, or Huskies?
 

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If you can and will get your dogs out for running every day (preferably twice a day) I would feel confident to disregard the suggestions. That's a big task, though. :)
 

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With Huskies and Vizlas, it's more physical than mental; it takes effort, but it's doable. With Border Collies, it's mostly mental; in order to function, they really and truly require a flock to herd. If you don't provide one, they'll invent one for themselves, and you'll both be worse off as a result.
 

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I'd be hesitant to live in an apartment with the breeds you mentioned. I'm sure some will say they're currently doing that, but I'd be hesitant. A rented house is another story.
 

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wow! I think there are many things to consider beyond just exercise requirements when living in an apartment. Noise level comes to mind. I assume you will be leaving the dog for work at some point? I know some dogs just tend to be "chattier" then others. This can be an issue in an apartment. For a short time, I was in an apartment with a Rottweiler (not something often suggested) I spent a huge amount of time exercising this dog and also set up things to keep this dogs mind actively engaged while I was at work. Never want to leave an intelligent breed alone to come up with it's own activities. :) I think that certain "active breeds" CAN and do live happily in an apartment with people who are 100% committed to giving them plenty of exercise both physical and mental on a daily basis. It is a huge commitment and one that seemingly few wish to make. Be honest with yourself. Do you really want to be walking/running this dog on rain and snow days? (don't know where you live)
For me, I would stay away from the loud breeds as apartment living can definitely be an issue for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I just want to state that I picked those breeds because I felt that were the best examples for areas of concern (exercise: Viszla, intellegence: Border Collies, territorial: Husky) not because I am considering them for adoption. As I will probably adopt and I know what dogs are most common in shelters, I'm mostly narrowing it down to shepherd, pit, golden retriever, or boxer mixes. The reason why this question intrigues me is because I absolutely love breeds like Aussies, Border Collies, and Great Pyreness and feel as if I could provide the best care within my means, but stray away just because I know the temperament. It also kills me because BC's are so common at my shelter and I know its because of stupid people not doing their research and refuse to provide the right type of care for them.

I know that I cannot provide a farm for a BC to work or sheep for a Great Pyrenees to protect, but I wonder if someone could substitute those things for other activities like for BC's frisbee, discrimination training, maybe even house hold chores that will fulfill the need to think and work thus allowing the BC to be a BC despite living condition.
 

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Have you got kids? The one happy urban border collie (as far as I could tell) I did see was in the park with 3-4 kids; a little one would wander off, and the BC would wheel and eye-stalk him back while the parents kept moving. Coolest thing I'd ever seen.

Vizlas are actually pretty popular in Chicago; if you're physically active and go jogging/rollerblading every morning, and can play frisbee or fetch after work in the evening, you can make it work. I haven't seen too many huskies, but the ones I have seen looked pretty happy. At the shelters, though, I saw lots of miserable Border Collies in desperate need of a flock.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thankfully I do not have kids(only because I'm single and in college) but I do agree that that would be very neat to see. I really like the idea of working agility with a dog. To my surprise there is actually agility classes available just 10 minutes away from me! I am super active and require a morning jog/hike to function correct while usually going to the gym or playing basketball in the evening.
 

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Just wanted to add that retired greyhounds make GREAT apartment dogs. And there are lots that need adopted.
 

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I had a Great Pyr. for a few years, and based on that experience, I think they would be fine in an apartment if they got out for a walk once or twice a day, which doesn't sound like a problem for you. They just sleep, A LOT, lol. A daily walk and basic obedience would probably be all you would need to keep a Pyr. happy.
 

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Border Collies do not require a farm or sheep to be happy...they require a certain level of mental and physical exercise, but there are a variety of ways to get that. In my opinion, bc's are dogs for "dog people"...people who train their dogs, are active with their dogs, walking, playing, and of course bc's are great in sports like frisbee, flyball, and agility. If you enjoy training, there are limitless things you can teach a bc. Ask yourself what types of activities you want to do with your dog and how much time you have to spend walking, playing, training, etc. If you jog every morning and plan on getting into agility (keeping in mind that it can get expensive too), you may be fine with a bc or aussie.

As far as apartment dogs in general, I'd consider things like noise and avoid barky breeds and those known to howl. I'd also not get a puppy unless you are on the ground floor...when I was in an apartment, the single biggest issue for me was potty breaks...a puppy needs to go out every 1-3 hours during training and if you are up three flights of stairs, it gets old fast. I will say having a house with a fenced yard is easier...dog chews up the carpet, it sucks, but at least I don't have to answer to anyone else about it...dog needs to go out and it's pouring rain...no problem, just open the door. But it's doable without those conveniences, even for active breeds.
 

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I know that I could keep a border collie happy in an apartment. Its really not that hard to keep them engaged and happy, you just can't be expecting the dog to be happy while you sit on the couch all night after work. Lots of training, a sport would be good but not neccessary (like agility), some physical exercise too of course. I grew up with a bc, I always had a ton of fun teaching her all kinds of tricks.
 

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I know you say border collie. But what about a rough or smooth collie. a little less extreme then a BC. My collie lives perfectly fine in a town house, while its not a apartment, the back yard isnt anything to see, its large enough for him to use the washroom, and lay in. nothing else (a game of fetch always results in a ball in the neighboors yard (with 7 or 8 foot fences blocking it lol) or on the roof. If he misses a daily walk due to either rain (its really the only time I just cant stand to walk him, give me snow, frezing cold-30 boiling hot +30 and Im fine. just erghhh rain I hate lol lucky we dont get to rainy here) or Im in bed dying from ome sckness, and he is fine for a day or 2. Other wise he gets atleast 1.5 hours of excersise a day and is content and happy.

Only thing would be conserend about is how noisy they can be in a apartment that would be bad.
 

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I'm an apartment dweller (and college student) and I plan on getting a border collie or an aussie this year(or a random mutt is always an option, lol). Border collies and Aussies do not NEED a flock or sheep to herd. Some individual border collies may need a sport or to work stock but the well balanced ones don't. These breeds need an owner that understands them, what they were bred to do, and puts a lot of effort into them. The biggest, most important thing for a border collie isn't exercise, it's being involved in everything you do. Of course they need a fair amount of physical exercise, but they want to work with you- no matter what you're doing. That's what I -love- about them, they're very engaging dogs.

If you want a bc and want something a little less intense you can find that too. The border collie breed specific rescues are fantastic about rating their dogs' energy levels. I have seen several labelled that they would be fine lazing about all day as long as they get a lot of time with their people.

There is a great border collie specific board I can pm to you if you want. There are people from farmers to apartment dwellers in the city who have happy, well adjusted border collies and tons of border collie experience.
 
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