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Discussion Starter #1
I'll give you the best description I can give you, though some of my mom's ideas are conflicting.

Past:
They were breeders of Miniature Schnauzers for 8 years.
They have owned Mini Schnauzers, a Lab, a Pom-Poodle, a Pomeranian, and a Mini Poodle (not by choice).

Situation:
They live on a farm with 24 acres, which isn't ridiculously far from the highway (like a block distance or 5 minute walk from the highway). My dad goes for an evening walk every night with their now 13 year old lab. He used to play fetch during the day but she can't handle hard exercise. We have a dugout (area with water) and my dad part-time hunts muskrats there, and gophers everywhere else. He has been very impressed with the labs ability to retrieve fallen kills. My dad works from home as a mechanic so would be there almost 24/7, but isn't the bubbly happy dog person to give the dog attention. He's looking for a roommate and not a companion, unless they are useful to him (likes to play fetch, has any aptitude for hunting). My mom 100% wants a companion to cuddle and groom.

Qualities they like (as told by mom)
Quiet - they've had problems with VERY barky dogs in the past
Size - smaller than Sans who is slightly taller than a standard lab, bigger than a mini-schnauzer (I know, you can ignore this criteria if you think of something better)
Energy level - laid back indoors, good off switch, but enjoys playing fetch and being outdoors in all sorts of Canadian weather
Friendliness - Preferred to be aloof with strangers, loves the family (there's no kids and just mom and dad. My older brother and me live elsewhere). Pet friendly. This dog will be dealing with cats/kittens, occasional livestock, and other dogs on a daily/weekly basis.
Coat - My mom likes a soft fur that's "enjoyable to pet" she has experience in grooming and enjoys being able to change the way an animal looks via grooming.
Look - She likes dogs that look tough. She enjoys the look of bully breeds and boxers for short hair dogs. Otherwise she wants a dog that looks handsome with a sturdy build. (Think Golden Retriever, Enlgish Spring Spaniels, Kerry Blue Terrier, Welsh Terrier, Wirehaired Pointing Griffon, Bouvier Des Flandres)
Shedding - Neither of my parents want a dog that sheds in abundance. Both of them can't get it out of their head that length of coat doesn't necessarily mean a heavier shedder. I mean, they own a lab and think and dog with long fur would be horrible to live with.
Train-ability/Personality - They'd want a fairly smart dog that can be trained relatively easily. They DO NOT want a soft dog. My mom really likes the terrier personality and my dad is a loud person in general, though we've been training him as of late on how to approach - my - very soft dog, I do not believe a dog that would/could take his tone personally and be crushed by it would be suitable.

Shouldn't be a dog with a history of roaming as it's a large area to be off-leash, but the dog may be indoor/outdoor. As in indoor when they're home and at night, but outdoor during the day (they have a very heated dog house), and when it's nice out.

They will be getting a puppy there is no leeway there.

If you think of anything please comment. I'm also posting this for my reference to see what I can come up with.
 

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If they like labs they could go with a poodle, same talent for retrieving and no shed :D. Also a Portie might work, VERY sturdy dogs and great temperament. I spend a lot of time with one and she's pretty quiet, but as a breed I'm not sure about their noise level.

Edit: just saw that your mom has grooming experience!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Standard Poodle - Intelligent, can be pretty much any weight/size they want depending on which size they get, would be good at fetch, doesn't shed a ton, can style the hair in anyway they want. They're mostly good with other animals, can be watchdogs... Con: Skittishness or nervousness in lines.
Standard Schnauzer - We just have a pretty crappy breeding pool around here. The reason we stopped breeding is because every dog we tried to raise into our program was not mentally sound enough for us to want to breeder his/her characteristics on. As in they were neurotic, barky, flighty, nervous at all times. So I've been trying to talk them away from going this route.
Beagle? - As far as size, coat, sturdiness, and natural look goes this guy is right on the money. He probably wouldn't be left outside ever if he were this small so don't really worry about that. Only thing I'd be concerned about is wandering/escape artists. From what I read they're calmer indoors but have some hunting capabilities and would enjoy the amount/types of exercise my dad is used to providing. They also sound like they get along with other animals.

It's hard for me to recommend because I'm slightly biased and I have preferences in mind of my own, even though it's not going to be my dog. I'm not a fan of a lot of the terrier looks, and I find a lot of the terriers are more barky than they think they will be so I have a hard time researching them unbiasedly. But I DO like the idea of a Beagle or a Standard Poodle. What do you guys think?

Yes, she has extensive grooming experience!

I like the idea of a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier I will added it to my proposal list.
Beagle
Standard Poodle
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There are some breed recommendation websites online. I'd try those.
I sure did!
They mostly said to get Corgis, Schnauzers, or Golden Retrievers. Which I personally, don't think are a good fit. Thanks for the suggestion though! I mostly wanted the opinion of the people on this site! :)
 

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My first thought was standard poodle. They could probably go for the most boisterous, "dominant" puppy in the litter to avoid getting a dog that's too soft. That's what we did with Louie. Chihuahuas tend to be very soft and with my dad as a staunch alpha trainer, we just picked the most dominant, outgoing puppy.
 

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My first thought was actually a beagle.

They can be loud when they do bark, but they're not yappy and while they're not the easiest dogs to train that's more a matter of not being easy to train to a high level. Ie: You'll have no problem with sit/down/stay and house manners, but they're probably not a dog I'd select for someone who wanted a dog who would know and do dozens or tricks or sports.

That said, they aren't reliable off leash at all (as in they will LEAVE and you will never see them again) and as puppies (dogs under about 2) they're heck on wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My first thought was actually a beagle.

They can be loud when they do bark, but they're not yappy and while they're not the easiest dogs to train that's more a matter of not being easy to train to a high level. Ie: You'll have no problem with sit/down/stay and house manners, but they're probably not a dog I'd select for someone who wanted a dog who would know and do dozens or tricks or sports.

That said, they aren't reliable off leash at all (as in they will LEAVE and you will never see them again) and as puppies (dogs under about 2) they're heck on wheels.
They definitely wouldn't be demanding much of this dog in the trick department. Besides the basics they might teach him to "Give kisses" and "Shake a Paw"
Yeah the main thing is that they don't bark in excess.

However, if they're not able to be off-leash that is a MAJOR problem. Our lab at the farm has never even been trained on leash, I can probably count on one hand the amount of times she's worn a collar too. How would a beagle be able to be a hunting dog if the owner can't trust it not to bolt off leash? ... Just out of curiosity.

@Biglittle ~Our dad's sound like they could be best friends!

@Sandakat ~ Good suggestion for the two characteristics you mentioned! Further digging into the breed sounds as though they are very busy outdoors, AND indoors. They are also often nervous/fearful if not socialized enough and I want to stay away from a dog that may be too soft or just TOO much (high energy/busy/destructive) for them. But thank you for the suggestion!!

I sent them the idea of a Beagle and a Standard poodle and am waiting to hear what they say. Though more suggestions are more than welcome!
 

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Beagles don't hunt with people. You turn beagles loose, beagle chases the rabbit, barks while tracking, and then the hunter chases the beagle (or tracks it via sound of the baying) to find the rabbit - does that make sense? You can usually get them back at the end of a LONG run, but lots of hunters use tracking collars and lost dogs are not uncommon. They don't *stay* with people. Their entire hunting method is to basically run rapidly away from the people end of the equation, following their nose. The process involves basically no cooperative work with the person on the dog's end. They just do their thing. Very different from retrievers/pointers/setters.

Coonhounds work much the same way. Actually, I think all the scenthounds do, more or less.
/brought to you by a childhood with rabbit beagle packs and hunting.

So, yeah. I wouldn't go there I don't think. The dog would probably come back eventually, but it would be very eventually and only probably.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah Beagles are definitely out then.
Too bad, otherwise they seemed pretty good!
We're too close (5 minute walk) from the highway to have a dog with a tendency to roam, and my dad would absolutely LOSE HIS MIND if he had to chase after a dog every time he let it outside with him haha
 

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Is Purebred necessary? There is a breeder in your area that breeds lab x blueticks for hunting, I have met several of his dogs(and himself as he makes himself available to help his puppy buyers) all the ones I have met have been the same, loyal happy retrievers that stay near like a Lab, but like hounds, not so in your face, and more independent.

FB_IMG_1441514381348.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good suggestion I'll mention it to them tomorrow. Purebred is not necessary at all they don't really have high criteria for a breeder.
That would be super cute, does he have a website or something online I could look at? You could PM me it if you don't want to post it here for whatever reason.
 

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No website that I am aware of, he is just an older fellow, just outside Moose Jaw. I dont have his info anymore unfortunately, its been a few years since I met him. But I see his dogs around all the time so he shouldn't be too hard to track down. They pretty much all look similer to the black dog in the picture
 

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I'd suggest a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Nice, compact, short haired and easily trained. I've met a number of these that when raised with livestock and other dogs were quite agreeable fellows. With the bully breeds comes a streak of dog aggression that is always a risk but while not all individuals display this, it's always good to be aware of the potential for it and same sex aggression.

They have an off switch and while they'll soak up affection, they can settle in the room in places other than your lap. They are complete clowns but can be a deterrent when it comes to ne'er do wells creepin' about. They also have the "tough" dog look and terrier mentality and aren't dogs that will run for cover when people get loud and boisterous. They're not well known as retrievers but your folks wouldn't have a vermin problem with a SBT around.
 

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I'd suggest a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Nice, compact, short haired and easily trained. I've met a number of these that when raised with livestock and other dogs were quite agreeable fellows. With the bully breeds comes a streak of dog aggression that is always a risk but while not all individuals display this, it's always good to be aware of the potential for it and same sex aggression.

They have an off switch and while they'll soak up affection, they can settle in the room in places other than your lap. They are complete clowns but can be a deterrent when it comes to ne'er do wells creepin' about. They also have the "tough" dog look and terrier mentality and aren't dogs that will run for cover when people get loud and boisterous. They're not well known as retrievers but your folks wouldn't have a vermin problem with a SBT around.
Staffy Bull= DA and high prey drive.
Sounds like a shelter/pound dog would suffice them just fine? Have they looked around locally?
 

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Other than coat, I think an English shepherd would be a great fit. They are good farm dogs, not inclined to roam. Good with other animals. Love their family but not in love with every stranger they meet. Some are smaller, and I know a 35lb male, but there is a lot of variety and big males can get up to 80lbs. They are not tough looking but are stately and handsome. The small male I know has a manageable coat (think working line BC or aussie) but some of them have a lot of coat. Not soft tempered like BCs. They are kind of the lower key working farm dog version of BCs and Aussies - not as much drive, and not specialized herders. Just good farm dogs who can do some herding or hang out with the family on the farm. The couple I have met are awesome.
 

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Does it have to be a specific breed? Can they go to a shelter and look?
 
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