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Discussion Starter #1
Some of the breed suggestion threads had me wondering: Do you often find yourself recommending "your" breed (either the breed you own, or your favorite breed) to prospective dog owners? What are your caveats?

Both of my dogs are typical of their breed, so I'll use them in my examples.

I recommend papillons fairly often as long as the prospective owner is prepared to exercise the dog both mentally (as paps are very smart) and physically (as they tend to be more energetic than other toy breeds). I don't recommend them to anyone who wants more of a lazy lap dog or one they can carry around most of the time. I find I most often end up recommending them to "big dog" people who want/need to scale down, because that's exactly the situation I was in when I got Crystal (my last big dog and I were fond of long walks), and I was not disappointed with her at all.

I recommend the Alaskan Klee Kai to very few people. In general, they are very aloof dogs and many are quite shy. They hate people reaching over their heads and are often nervous around strangers, especially children. Even my guy, who I socialized quite a bit, is not fond of strangers and will sometimes bark and lunge at them if something about them (a billowing dress, a limp) startles him (we're working on that). They're biddable to an extent, but don't care overly much about pleasing their owners. I find you have to work to earn their respect, and if you slip up, it will take an AKK a long time to "forgive" you (if they ever do). When Cas was a puppy, my brother thought it would be fun to rush at him, yelling "ARRRRRR," to startle him. A year+ later, Cas still barks angrily at my brother every time he sees him.

When someone expresses interest in the AKK, I usually send them here and tell them to really consider everything that page says.

Okay, your turn!
 

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With paps yes and no...

I think a lot of people that think they want papillons really do not want papillons. And a lot of people that would LOVE them don't look into them because they're toy dogs. I know some people I just wish would go get a pap because they'd love them. I also dissuade a lot of people from getting them. Typically people meet Mia and decide they don't want a pap after all xD. They're really dogs for people that want to put a lot of time into their little dog just like they would a big dog. Almost everyone I know with paps is more of a big dog person that needed to scale down for whatever reason. If people understand they need time and more exercise than most toy dogs then they're a really easy breed. But I can't count the times people have told me my dogs are hyper and they couldn't live with them. Neither of my roommates that lived with summer are papillon people at all. They liked her okay but I can guarantee neither would choose the breed for themselves (and Summer is easy peasy).

Shelties I suggest pretty rarely. I just think they're kind of odd dogs. I pretty much just warn people and if they can take the warnings then they're good to go. It also might be a case of the fact shelties aren't 'my' breed really, I just had them a long time. There's a lot of temperament problems too in the breed so I just want people to be prepared. I think they're also an easy breed it's just hard to find a good one.

Border collies I never recommend pretty much. I actually get kind of nervous when people say they want one. I figure if people really want one they'll hopefully do a ton of research on them.
 

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I can't really recommend my breeds to anyone since my dogs are all mixed and not really representative of any one breed.

Back when I had German Shepherds, I would've recommended them to anyone, but today's shepherds are just not the same. Our dogs were very stocky and had nearly flat backs. All weighed over 100 pounds, but none was really overweight. Our first GSD died at the age of 2 from a brain tumor. He was well known in the neighborhood. Was written up in the newspaper for pulling a toddler out from in front of a truck. When the mailman would come, he'd get in the back of the mail truck, ride to the end of the street and back, and then get out again. Scared the heck out of the substitute mailman. LOL

The next 2 shepherds we had were similar to the first in that they were gentle, friendly, & protective when necessary. The third was a little too tall for his blood supply, but what he lacked in intelligence he made up in personality.

It may just be the gene pool in my area, but I haven't seen a GSD whose looks I really liked in probably 20 years. My brother's shepherd has a really sloped back, she's skinny as heck, high strung, and she walks like a cartoon dog. They walk her 2 hours a day and she's still a twitchy wreck. I'd give anything to find a shepherd like I had when I was a kid, but I suspect if I did, I wouldn't be able to afford it.
 

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I have mixes, so it's a little harder to recommend a specific breed, per se. However, Loki is predominantly a GSD and I wouldn't recommend a GSD for an "average" or first-time dog owner. I think the reason the GSD bite ratio per overall reported dog bites in this country is so high because many people out there mismanage their GSDs. Lots of people aren't equipped with the knowledge to understand herding breeds, what their habits and triggers are, etc. Whenever I see someone asking about GSDs, I make sure to say that the breed can be a handful, chock full of health issues and that their large size and head strong nature make them a poor choice for a first time dog owner, especially one with small children or small animals in their homes.

I find the breeds that I mostly recommend people not to purchase or adopt are Border Collies, Huskies and Akitas. All three seem to be very popular breeds with people who don't understand their training needs and exercise requirements.

I have also lately recommended against Labs for people without a lot of time to devote to puppy training.

I wish more people out there would take purchasing a dog seriously and actually do some research instead of simply relying on popular beliefs, such as "Labs are easy to handle and good with families" or "Huskies are beautiful and all act like the dogs in Snow Dogs".
 

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Discussion Starter #6
(Oh, I hope this does not turn into an argument about "sloped back" GSDs... I think we've had enough of that around here.)

prntmkr: Black Russian Terriers, right? I don't know much about them. What would make them too challenging for most people?
 

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I have a lab shepherd mix - and no. I wouldn't recommend to many.

Many simply don't have the energy, time, or stamina to deal with a dog of this energy level.

Many are apt to get the "cute little puppy" and they can't really grasp that "cute little puppy" growing into a monsterous, high-energy dog. So they surrender it once it gets to be "too big" or "too rambunctious". If only they realized THEY were the ones at fault for getting a dog they failed to research, failed to train, or failed to see that adoption is a life-long *commitment*.

This dog is very smart - it craves and needs mental and physical stimulation and *guidance*. This dog *craves* structure - it needs a job to do. If it doesn't get enough mental or physical exercise, it becomes very destructive and high-strung. It will bark, whine, cry, challenge everyone in the house, nip playfully at the kids, chew everything in the house, terrorize the cats, and generally drive everyone crazy. If you're the couch-potato type who wants to argue about the chore of walking or feeding the dog - forget it. This dog will run circles around you and you'll just be holding your head in misery. Similarly, if you're someone who works or travels all the time, who has other more important priorities, or for some other reason can't devote the time to the dog, you're asking for trouble. This dog demands to be a member of the family - and a very important member. If you're someone whose house is always filled with chaos or your life is somehow unstable right now - as many I know - then this dog isn't for you.

However . . . .

If you're someone who can offer structure, control, training, guidance, and commitment...
If you can offer regular exercise, at least a few hours a day...
If you are not always gone from the home...
If you promote and enjoy a relaxed household with rules and respect...
If you're eager to accept a dog as a family member...
If you have the space and money and stability in your life to keep & provide for this dog...

Then it is the best companion you could ever have.

IMO, too many people adopt labs (especially) thinking they're innately the "perfect family dog" and it isn't the right breed for them *all all*. They see the well behaved labs and don't realize how much training and socialization went into that dog. Frankly, most people just don't have the stamina.

Don't really have an opinion on mixes - all of my dogs but 1 has been a mix, and the full-blooded lab was anything but "breed temperament" - I think all dogs are individuals.
 

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I can't really recommend my breeds to anyone since my dogs are all mixed and not really representative of any one breed.

Back when I had German Shepherds, I would've recommended them to anyone, but today's shepherds are just not the same. Our dogs were very stocky and had nearly flat backs. All weighed over 100 pounds, but none was really overweight. Our first GSD died at the age of 2 from a brain tumor. He was well known in the neighborhood. Was written up in the newspaper for pulling a toddler out from in front of a truck. When the mailman would come, he'd get in the back of the mail truck, ride to the end of the street and back, and then get out again. Scared the heck out of the substitute mailman. LOL

The next 2 shepherds we had were similar to the first in that they were gentle, friendly, & protective when necessary. The third was a little too tall for his blood supply, but what he lacked in intelligence he made up in personality.

It may just be the gene pool in my area, but I haven't seen a GSD whose looks I really liked in probably 20 years. My brother's shepherd has a really sloped back, she's skinny as heck, high strung, and she walks like a cartoon dog. They walk her 2 hours a day and she's still a twitchy wreck. I'd give anything to find a shepherd like I had when I was a kid, but I suspect if I did, I wouldn't be able to afford it.
GSDs should never weigh over 100 lbs. Or even close. Nor should any dog have a "flat back" so I think the problem wasn't your breed, it was your breeders.

No, I don't recommend Dachshunds to people. I can't recall if I ever have. Generally I am talking people out of Dachshunds because they have the wrong idea about them. Elkhounds I wouldn't recommend to many others, either. And in general, I think most people flee from hounds. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I can understand that, Kibasdad! I've met a couple of shibas at shows and they were beautiful, but not at all interested in me, and not fond of Casper. They seem similar to the AKK in some ways, and even less biddable.

My dad and brother are the type of guys whose idea of a dog is basically a stereotypical lab -- friendly, bouncy, happy, eager to please. My brother's pit is like this and he thinks she's perfect. They don't understand that different dogs have different personalities, and I don't recommend the more aloof, less biddable breeds to anyone with a mindset like theirs.
 

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Nope never, I don't feel most people are prepared to handle a Siberian Husky. However I do think Smooth Collies can be a good choice for some people so I will recommend those every once in a while if it feels like a good fit.
 

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No, I don't recommend my breed to anyone,
I probably try to discourage them if anything.
This!

The only person I know in person that I would recommend a Rottie to is my dog trainer. For the most part when people start asking about Rotties I tell them how much work I have to put into Porter and how much of a pain in the ass he is. I also tell them how he doesn't handle being alone outside well at all so they don't think they can just toss them in the yard and they wont have to walk the dog.
 

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I try and dissuade almost everyone from cattle dogs. I love my boy, but I think it's kind of one of those breeds where "If you don't know what it is, it probably isn't right for you." Not many people can make it work with an extremely high energy yet very stubborn dog. :p

I might recommend them to someone who has the space and understanding of high energy herding breeds, but wants a dog with a little bit more of an independent streak, but I haven't found that person yet. :p
 

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Nope I do not reccomend Aussies or Brittany's to anyone for similar reasons as eeloheel.

I also do not ever recommend a mix seeing as how the temperaments are generally not predictable at all.
 

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Deeken's mixed and I often find myself suggesting to people that they look into adult mutts or adult dogs. I really think this is the best way for a first time dog owner to go (and they're usually the one's asking). With an adult, you know what you're getting temperament wise and if you go through an organization that utilizes foster homes or a reputable breeder (retired breeding dog), you can get a pretty good idea of the dog's training and potential issues.

As for "my breed", I would say that it is the APBT even though I don't have one ATM. All my rescue work is with a pit bull rescue and my next dog will be a pit bull. I would say I talk people out of them more than into them but that's probably because a lot of the time the people I'm talking to are applying for a dog with the rescue I volunteer for and they really aren't a good fit for the breed or the particular dog they are interested in.
 

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I don't really have a breed. I guess my breed is the Pit bull or American staffordshire terrier. I have an old one and his only problem is at the age of 10 has very very bad elbows. Besides that he has been a great dog and I he was a rescue. I have done rescue work with pits before so it a breed I know well. I also had a border collie and she was the best dog for me at that time in my life.

Recommending a breed is hard unless you know the person really well. I recommend pits to people all the time because they are great dogs and make awesome family dogs. I understand they are not for everyone. My best friend got a pit bull mainly because I talk to highly of them and she loved her till the very end.

So yes I do recommend pits to some people but most people are too turned off by the name to look at the breed.
 

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Yes and no.

Since I got Chester from the humane society and I don't technically know his breed, when asked what breed he is, I always reply "The kind you get from the shelter" and when the questioner laughs, I mention something about getting him as a young adult and how great it was to find a housetrained dog and how I was able to see what type of personality he had. And then I highly recommend considering an adult rescue since so many of them (at least here) are actually coming from families and people that are having financial issues and it is rarely a problem dog (per se) that is up for adoption.

As for what I think his breed is-- best guess based on both personality traits and looks is Rhodesian Ridgeback. Now, since I am basing my recommendation (or lack there-of) on his traits, even if I guess wrong the logic still stands. I tell them about the 10 mile runs we do in the cooler months where after 30 minutes, he is raring to go again. I tell them he is strong enough to knock over a full grown man and without a LOT of training, he would. I tell them that he is a hunter and took over a year just to be moderately safe around cats. Etc. But... for those energetic people looking for a running, hiking, camping and hunting companion, I say go for it and also highlight his virtues (very calm inside, very very quiet, nearly bombproof, reasonably protective)
 

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I don't have actual "breeds", but Pixie is maltese x toy poodle, and I would recommend either of those breeds for someone looking for a nice pet dog. Obi is a JRT x, and there is no way I would recommend JRT's to anyone who wasn't doing sports and had a lot of time to spend. For agility people though, I would recommend JRT's in a heartbeat. There are a lot of JRT's in shelters here, which is probably because people get them as pets and then realise they're not really a relaxed pet dog.
 

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I don't recommend Mastiff's to anyone. If someone wants one, they can put the work into deciding that for themselves. If they are already interested, then I'll offer them my personal experiences with mine. Generally, I think they are "too" much dog for a lot of people and then there is always the drool factor which tends to gross people out.

With Labs, (they aren't my breed of choice), I always want the person to actually be aware of how a Lab really is. They aren't necessarily the great first time, or family friendly dog.

So generally, I don't recommend a certain breed of dog to anyone.
 

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No, I don't recommend my breed to anyone,
I probably try to discourage them if anything.
More often then not, that's me as well. If I really feel like someone has what it takes, then yes, I'll recommend IGs, but more often then even people that come to me looking for IGs I recommend other breeds to. Same holds true with my Afghans. Afghans are absolutely wonderful if you like living with a 55 lb cat! I adore my Lola, she's very affectionate with me, strangers she couldn't give a flying rat about, and I like it that way! My IGs are also very loyal to me, very clean, very easy to live with little dogs, but they need some room to run, they don't make good lap dogs - I am a very firm believer that an IG should be treated like a SIGHTHOUND, not a toy dog! I treat my IGs like DOGS, now true, my Aiyana is very spoiled, I paint her nails, she wears clothes, she is my constant companion, but at the end of the day, she's still a dog. I do far to much rescue with this breed to think they're a good match for the average home. They're not a good choice for kids, most aren't interested in playing ball or playing with a kid at all and the smaller ones can easily become injured. The younger IGs are not a good choice for anyone older or disabled, they need alot of exercise and attention when they're young! At the end of the day, I'd say really only people that are looking for a sighthound in a small package are ever going to be happy with an IG. People that don't understand sighthounds and their needs and think they're beautiful elegant little toy dogs are disappointed with a dog that runs laps around their house, chases the cat, and runs away if it's not on a leash!
 
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