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So, I am looking at getting a new dog. I have researched and researched and I just want to run this by everyone here to make sure I am on the right track. I have narrowed my search down to a couple of breeds, but I want to know if these are my best option or if any of you all have any ideas for a breed I may not of even thought of!

First off I am a grad student that lives in an apartment. However, there is a 3 acre field across the road and a dog park a short walk away, so plenty of places to go exercise. This is not my first dog, I owned a Chow prior to this, but she died 2 years ago at the age of 16. I have missed having that companion in my life.

As for the dog, I'm looking for a true companion, one that just wants to be around me as much as possible and go everywhere I go. I am also looking for one that is highly intelligent and trainable for frisbee events. Needs to be medium size (30-50 lbs.) mainly out of preference. Should also be able to deal with cats (if at my parents house) and other dogs (brothers house). I know that is generally temperamental based and can vary widely in individuals, but I'm just looking for personal experiences.

The 4 breeds I was looking at were Canaan, Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, and a Whippet. I have 0 experience with the Canaan, but from what I have read they would be perfect, but are very rare and I am looking to adopt, not go through a breeder. The Border Collie would be great from what I have read and I have a friend in my complex that owns 2. (yes, in an apartment and they love it) They just may be a little too energetic. I am looking for a breed with good indoor manners. (again, another temperamental issue) The Aussie is much like the BC, very good on paper and I have loved the ones I have met. They seem to have everything the BC does with an off switch, which is nice. I'm just not sure about adopting with the genetic problems Aussies have. As for the Whippet... well... Again, 0 experience with a Whippet, but from what I have heard they are exactly what I would want for the indoors. Outdoors tho I really need a breed that can go leashless and stay with me. A Whippet would be gone with that insane speed the moment it sees something! Also, I'm not sure how a Whippet would hold up playing with my brothers lab. The lab is still a puppy, but his dad was 120 lbs and he is looking to be a big one!

Also, I had a quick question about adopting. Since this will be an athletic dog is there any way to have them checked for things such as CHD? When I adopted my Chow I was fairly young and did not know about things like that. She was thankfully very healthy her whole life as you can tell... 16 years on a chow isn't too bad. I am concerned this time, however, and was just wondering if getting the certifications done for genetic problems was possible before adoption. I will also most likely go through a rescue network, but I will keep an eye out on the shelters as well.

Thanks for any help you all can provide! I just want to make sure I am not leaving out a potential breed that could have everything I am looking for!
 

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I have no advice for you, but I just wanted to say thank you for considering adoption! Good luck and keep us updated on how it goes!
 

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If your looking for a very energetic dog Aussies are for you. You can get wonderful purebreds from shelters all the time, but if your seriously considering a breeder here's a thing my aussie's breeder told me when i bought her. White ones, solid white Aussies tend to have more genetic defects, so you'd probably be ok with a really reputable breeder. Personally I'd go for a shelter aussie or aussie mix.
Whippets a sight hound breed, so they're very attracted to moving objects and will often chase things, they have high chase drive.((not sure if that's real or not but I made up the wording as I went ^__^)) They have a tendency to be shy and timid when not socialized enough ((same for most dogs)) I don't know about getting one in a shelter but for appartment life they sound pretty nice, not too big or anything.
Now this next suggestion, please no one bite my head off, if you want a smaller sized dog, with an Aussie attitude, go for a miniature Australian Shepard, they are the aussie in a small dog body. Their very active dogs just like the regular sized aussie.
 

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My first thought about a dog that does well leash-less is that I think any dog can have an "ooh shiny!" moment and forget he or she is supposed to stay with the owner... where are you planning on taking the dog where he or she will be off a leash?
 

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Thanks for the help so far! I am actually looking to adopt from a shelter, not go through a breeder, so it is great (or sad depending on how you look at it) to hear that it souldn't be hard to find a good Aussie to adopt. I like the warning before mentioning a Mini Aussie. It is actually a great suggestion. I had never looked into them mainly because the word Mini, but there size actually isnt all that bad. I would be open to a Mini if it was on the large side.

As for being leashless. The area the dog will be off a leash is fenced in, but it is rather big. It isn't so much a worry about the dog running off after something as it is having a 100% reliable come. The Whippet owners I have talked to have all agreed that a Whippet will never have that, especially once something has caught their eye. It is also just a ease of mind thing for me to know that if I ever have a reason to go without a leash I will not have a problem. My brothers lab is fantastic at this. We will take him hiking all the time off leash and if he isn't right next to us then he is no more than 15 feet away. He doesn't chase anything, he doesn't even bark at it, he just sits down and stairs at it. Kinda cute actually.
 

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I hope you get just the right dog for you. The only advice I have to offer is to consider where you'll be 10 or 15 years from now as you choose your companion. You don't say how old you are, but if you went to traditional grad. school right after undergrad, you're probably still in your early 20's. A lot can change in the next 10 years or so. For example, do you think you may become a parent while the dog is living. It's something to consider because some breeds do better with children if they are socialized with them form a young age. I've been researching breeds myself, and I may not get a Canaan if there was a chance I was going to become a parent while the dog was living. They sound like great dogs, but they are one of those dogs that prefer older children and adults and do best with young children if they grow up with them. Of course, like you said, they don't seem to be common. I don't recall ever actually meeting one.Maybe you don't plan to have kids. I certainly don't think everyone should have children. I'm just throwing it out there because so much can change so fast.
 

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What about an English Springer Spaniel? Lots in rescue. They aren't as bright as a collie, but they are "velcro" dogs since they have been bred to stick with their hunter, very lively and active, but much better in apartments than a border collie (and probably an aussie, as well).

They are great with kids (but not too small as they might knock them over) and just overall sweet and fun dogs. And very active.
 

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Wow, I'm not the only crazy one wanting a border collie in an apartment. It can be done from what I hear. I've been researching a while. It's easy to find mid/lower energy border collies and border collie mixes in rescues. You CAN find ones that are able to turn off inside. However, judging by your situation, it's not easy to get a rescue to adopt to a 'student'.

Yeah, I'm in just about the same position as you- student, wanting high energy dog. I'm very active as well. The only difference is that I already have one dog and am looking for a second. (Which I guess makes me extra crazy)
 

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If you want an off leash dog, I'd rule out the whippet. It *can* be done, but generally not advised with sighthounds. Also, not the first...second...third...etc...breed that comes to mind when I think "frisbee dog." Can they do it? I'm sure. But, sighthounds should be independent hunters (coursing dogs), so the aren't necessarily genetically pre-programmed to hang on a human's every word and command. They are wonderful little dogs, but they aren't a border collie with short hair, KWIM.
 

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As for being leashless. The area the dog will be off a leash is fenced in, but it is rather big. It isn't so much a worry about the dog running off after something as it is having a 100% reliable come.
Thanks for the clarification! :) Have you looked into Brittany Spaniels? They can be an active dog, but if you're planning on giving the dog daily exercise it shouldn't be a problem (actually, the Border Collies I've met have been more exercise demanding than the Brittanys). The Brittany my friend owns always comes when called... she just loves her owners to pieces (although she has a favorite among the family) and is simply thrilled to come when called. She also loves to play and to run free... so a fenced in dog park would be an ideal place for exercise. She's never shown a bit of aggression towards other dogs, either. Not sure if that's a common breed characteristic, or if she's just one special dog. :D
 

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Whippets are wonderful dogs, but as others have noted they are not as focused on you and more likely to pursue their own agenda outdoors.

The other issue is the climate where you live or might live in the future. Whippets have very short hair and virtually no body fat. Their desire to be outside is a linear relationship to the temperature: under 40 degrees it's a quick pee/poop and then back inside pronto.
 

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Yeah if I were looking at dogs for frisbee and to be off leash reliable ( in the weight range your talking about) it would be Manchesters, Standard Schnauzer, Aussies and BC.
 

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The Aussie is much like the BC, very good on paper and I have loved the ones I have met. They seem to have everything the BC does with an off switch, which is nice.
This is going to depend on the individual...I have a bc and an aussie (mini by the way) and the aussie is more active and has less "off switch" than the bc, though they both "turn off" ok when I need them to.

If you're interested in a mini aussie, try ARPH aussie rescue...they frequently have smaller sized aussies. My mini came from the pound, I thought she was a regular aussie puppy but she turned out to be a mini...20 lbs now at 8 months, but otherwise just like an aussie...very smart and active.
 

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Not to throw another monkey wrench, but Standard Poodles fit the bill, for these reasons:

- TOTALLY amazing companion... bright, personable, wonderful, friendly. Our 6-year-old Standard is my best buddy... she's by my side when I need a companion, or does her own thing when I need to do mine. I talk to her throughout the day and I swear she understands half of it (see next point! ;)).

- Incredibly intelligent... our 6-year-old Standard has a crazily large vocabulary; in fact we had to start spelling certain words, and she quickly learned the spellings, in addition to countless subtle nonverbal cues. Standard Poodles are great problem-solvers and are just overall extremely intelligent (one of the two most intelligent breeds). Our two new Standard puppies had learned basic commands and were pretty much housetrained within the first week/week-and-a-half! Like I heard someone else say once, they're so easy to train it's almost like cheating!

- Very athletic... they LOVE to play ball, frisbee, swim, whatever else you have in store for them. My puppies have made obstacle courses out of the various rocking chairs etc. on our deck and it's hilarious to watch them run laps around them, making them as challenging as possible (high-jumping etc.).

- A bonus is that they are "hypoallergenic"... they don't shed and don't aggravate allergies (a plus if you have visitors with allergies)

- I'm sure this is true of all dogs, but they are so incredibly empathetic. If I so much as stub my toe, she flies to my side, offering kisses and wagging her tail to cheer me up. She knows when I'm having a bad day and seems to know how to make me feel better, whether it's a cuddle on the sofa or some sweet kisses (she even stands and puts her arms around me like a hug!).

- GREAT with kids... they're very sociable and it's so sweet to watch her greet new people (especially kids). Our 6-year-old Standard isn't as quick to make friends with large dogs (smaller ones and cats are fine), but that's because she wasn't socialized (at all).

- Great watch-dog too (another bonus)! Standards have a powerful bark (she only barks when my husband or I come home, or when a stranger comes onto our property, so it's not annoyingly constant) and she sounds so ferocious it cracks me up. (Definitely a good burglar alarm!)

- They love traveling, going bye-bye... if it's been too long since her last bye-bye she will let us know she's ready to go somewhere... it's adorable! Here's a quick video clip of our Dixon on her first airplane ride... I thought she'd be scared (that plane was LOUD and kept dipping and lurching) but she was calm as could be... such a great travel companion!
http://www.vimeo.com/1942143
 

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I love Standards too, but they tend to get larger than the OP wanted (I believe the top weight was 50 LBS). Had the OP wanted a larger dog I would have suggested Standards and Dobies.
 

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I love Standards too, but they tend to get larger than the OP wanted (I believe the top weight was 50 LBS).
True, some Standards grow to be more than that... my adult Standard stays between 45 and 50 lbs. and I know there are some Standards that are even a bit smaller.
 
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