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Discussion Starter #1
So it will be at least 2 years before I will be able to get another dog (currently have a 7 year old dachshund), but I’ve got puppy fever atm and can’t get the idea of a potential new dog out of my mind. I’d love to be able to go out and adopt a dog when the time comes, but the humane societies (fortunately) close by rarely have any up for adoption, if at all...

The one thing I’m having troubles with is deciding which dog would best suit me. As much as I love her, I don’t think I’d be able to do deal with another dachshund haha. What I’m looking for is a loving, loyal companion that would enjoy walks and the occasional jog/hike, but would also be content to lay around on the couch. A dog with an off switch. It would be nice if the dog is capable of being a watchdog, reserved with strangers but not necessarily “aggressive”, yet preferably isn’t a huge barker (my doxie drives me crazy sometimes and she just won’t stop). Ease of training isn’t a huge factor, but a breed easy to train would be a nice plus. It’s also important that they get along well with other dogs and cats. A dog under 100lbs would also be preferable.

I do have experience with Rottweilers, Dobermans, Labs, and lap dogs. I’m really interested in Chessies, GSDs, Labs, Smooth Collies, GSPs, Ridgebacks, and Rottweilers. Any input would be really appreciated!!
 

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It sounds like you would like a low drive GSD or a labrador Retriever with some drive.

I cannot speak to Labs but with the GSD you need to be aware of genetics.
There are basically 3 lineages in this breed in the US.
American Show Lines (ASL) are bred for looks and for a "flying trot" around the show ring. The good dogs are in the ring and competing for conformation titles. In any litter the issue is the outliers to the dogs that can and will compete. These individuals can be over angulated in the hind leg, overly back at the knee in the front leg, and "whispy" without physical substance. They also can have temperament issues since they are bred for looks and a show trot, not for confidence and working traits.

German Show Lines (usually West German or WGSL are also bred for looks. They tend to be less over angulated than ASL and can be more substantive tho many breeders have dogs that lack width (often called 'two dimensional'). These dogs can range from nice, confident dogs that do very well as pets and can do some work to worried dogs that pace and are a bit shy. They are very line bred (seeking that red and black color with a black saddle) and it is amazing how similar they are in behavior but vary on the scale of that behavior from very nervy to not so much. For an active pet home I like the WGSL IF it is well bred temperamentally.

German Shepherd Working Lines or WL (Czech which is mostly west German working lines, East German or DDR, French and so forth in the lineage) are much more solid in their physical structure with less angulation overall. The issue here can be a lack of balance in drives and a lack of an off switch if the drives are not balanced. As these dogs are being bred better and better in the US they are more and more in need of real work or a 'job' be it competition in Agility, Dock Diving, Tracking, Obedience or IPO (formerly Schutzhund). This does not mean every litter produces all working dogs. As with other lines, there are often outliers in the litter that are good in an active pet home. I highly recommend that the buyer of a WL GSD get into classes for training with someone who understands this breed.

From your description of what you want, I think you would be better off with a working line Labrador Retriever but I do not know that breed as well as the GSD so defer to others who know these dogs.
 

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Cane Corso might be a very good fit.
Stay away from people breeding for size.

There not barkers, so if they bark someone if there.
They adapt quite well to there homes, and generally love walks and jogging.
There a very loving breed to there owners and generally a bit reserved with the general public but not aggressive toward.
There general looks alone are enough to make a criminal change there mind, and they are fully capable of backing it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I do like labs, but my only concern is they’re too...friendly? Even working line labs I’ve met through my grandfather’s hunting business. Going to be a single female living alone, I’d feel safer knowing my dog isn’t going to let a robber into the house expecting a belly rub haha.

I do like Cane Corsos, I guess I’m just hesitant about them since they’re still fairly new in North America and there’s a good chance of some bad lines. I read they’re more athletic than a Rottweiler and othe rmastiff Breeds typically are. Are there any good breeders in Canada or the USA that you would recommend?
 

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You could look into bullmastiffs. I've owned 2 and they fit what you're describing very well. If you get a female on the smaller end of the standard, they're actually not much bigger than a big lab. They're physically dense, so they dont typically look as big as they weigh. More athletic than they get credit for, albeit not as much as a corso.
Only drawback to what you described is ( like most mastiff breeds ) they can have a short fuse with other dogs not respecting them.
Both of mine enjoyed going for day hikes in the woods very much. Very laid back demeanor in the home.
 

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I would suggest a Cane Corso as well except that I'm not sure how well they would get along with cats and other dogs.

A Boxer fits most of your requirements too, except the "off switch". That would take a bit of training.

A Rottweiler would be a good fit overall.
 

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I suggest against a Cane Corso, because they can be a little more protective than you need without close training.

I think a Rott or Lab may fit your needs. Both can be trained to be very friendly with people, but Rotts can take or leave strangers, unless trained to be friendly. Labs are normally friendly, but if you don't expose them to lots of people, you get a less friendly dog. You may want a little personalized guidance with a trainer to get what you want, but Labs are very adaptable, and fairly easy to find. And, from about 3yo onward, Labs tend to mellow and settle into your lifestyle.

I have the 'perfect' dog for you right now. My Lab mix was in a Rescue until he was about 1.5yo, and didn't meet many people. He will be friendly with people that he knows, but it takes patience for a stranger to move slowly so my dog can sniff and acclimate. Personally, I like my pets to be very friendly, so I'm expanding his social sphere. But, if someone comes to the door, he barks like a vicious wolf [all noise, but big, scary noise], and if someone comes into the house and leaves when he is not there, then he 'clears' the house 3 times to make sure the stranger is gone.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I actually hadn’t thought of a bullmastiff. My friend owns one, he’s a rescue, and he’s the sweetest dog I’ve ever met. He actually gets picked on by all the dogs he meets.

They’re considered a brachycephalic dog though aren’t they? How well do they handle the heat? Where I live it can get pretty hot and humid in the summer, would it be best to keep one inside and only take it out when it cools down for needed exercise? It’s what we do with my parent’s Frenchie.

Also, I’ve heard they can be “aggressive” towards other animals? I’m not sure if my friend’s dog is just the odd one out, but if raised and properly socialized, would a bullmastiff (and corso) be fine with smaller animals (small dogs and cats) as long as they’re also being respected? My dachshund doesn’t put up with other dogs not respecting her either, but a mastiff type dog isn’t going to be as easy to pick up when things start getting hairy.
 

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I actually hadn’t thought of a bullmastiff. My friend owns one, he’s a rescue, and he’s the sweetest dog I’ve ever met. He actually gets picked on by all the dogs he meets.

They’re considered a brachycephalic dog though aren’t they? How well do they handle the heat? Where I live it can get pretty hot and humid in the summer, would it be best to keep one inside and only take it out when it cools down for needed exercise? It’s what we do with my parent’s Frenchie.

Also, I’ve heard they can be “aggressive” towards other animals? I’m not sure if my friend’s dog is just the odd one out, but if raised and properly socialized, would a bullmastiff (and corso) be fine with smaller animals (small dogs and cats) as long as they’re also being respected? My dachshund doesn’t put up with other dogs not respecting her either, but a mastiff type dog isn’t going to be as easy to pick up when things start getting hairy.
Most mastiff breeds are fine with other animals and people it is all about socializing them when there a pup so they learn manners, with people it's about walking them when there a pup so they learn peoples reactions and the correct responses.
People in your neighborhood will also take to a dog alot better that they have known since it was small to the dog it will become.

Mastiff breeds are not known for starting fights, but no they do not back down, there generally known for using there size over biting.

Know a few people with corso's and bullmastiffs that also have others dogs and cats that do not have issues.

Bullmastiffs can be brachycephalic but not to the degree of a bulldog or a frenchie, you just have to look at the lines.

There not the biggest fans of heat but ok with it as long as they get acclimated to it.

My English Mastiff does 5 to 8 mile walks with me on the weekends in the summer in the high 80's to low 90's, but we have walked everyday since he was 12 weeks to 4 years currently.
Friend has 3 cats that will climb up and sleep on him when we visit, they have known him since they where kittens.

Biggest thing with any mastiff breed is you have to start teaching them the day you bring them home, and keep up with it throughout there life.
 

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I think whether a Mastiff would work really depends on how much you're wanting to put into the dog. I don't have a lot of personal experience with Mastiff breeds, but they seem to need very consistent training and socialization, especially more intense ones like Corsos (granted, most of the Corsos I know of are being bred from a breeder interested in her dogs doing PP and IPO type work, so they may be a little more intense than a more pet bred line).

I did want to comment directly on working labs- I don't know what kind of lines you're used to, but I will say- as a young, single woman living alone and about to be moving to a fairly secluded house- I definitely feel that my working line lab (imported British lines) is more reserved with strangers and a good deterrent. He's slow to warm up to people, and will let me know if there is a stranger hangin' around. I've spent a lot of time around service bred and show bred labs, so I can contrast well with more "typical" lab temperament. My health has been not great, so there are days where he gets almost no exercise. Most days he gets a 45min run free in a field next to my house, often a training session as well. I wouldn't say he's content to lounge around and not do anything all day, but it is possible with him, he just gets a little more reactive to the world (ie, jazzed up to be out, not aggression related).
 

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I think whether a Mastiff would work really depends on how much you're wanting to put into the dog. I don't have a lot of personal experience with Mastiff breeds, but they seem to need very consistent training and socialization, especially more intense ones like Corsos (granted, most of the Corsos I know of are being bred from a breeder interested in her dogs doing PP and IPO type work, so they may be a little more intense than a more pet bred line).

I did want to comment directly on working labs- I don't know what kind of lines you're used to, but I will say- as a young, single woman living alone and about to be moving to a fairly secluded house- I definitely feel that my working line lab (imported British lines) is more reserved with strangers and a good deterrent. He's slow to warm up to people, and will let me know if there is a stranger hangin' around. I've spent a lot of time around service bred and show bred labs, so I can contrast well with more "typical" lab temperament. My health has been not great, so there are days where he gets almost no exercise. Most days he gets a 45min run free in a field next to my house, often a training session as well. I wouldn't say he's content to lounge around and not do anything all day, but it is possible with him, he just gets a little more reactive to the world (ie, jazzed up to be out, not aggression related).
I do have some experience with Mastiff breeds and I would say they need some work put into them, especially because of their strength and size, and I would definitely be willing to do all I can to get the most out of my dog. With Rottweilers especially, we had to put tons of work into them, especially based on the public's perception of them. Training these type of dogs I've found may take longer than some other breeds such as labs or shepherds, but once they get the hang of it and know you mean it, they're pretty good. From my experiences anyway.

I'm definitely not against getting a lab, it's just a minor preference I have to have a more intimidating dog. This is why I also mentioned chessies, as they have qualities I like in the lab, but are more reserved. I'm used to American working line labs - dogs spending almost every day during hunting season retrieving ducks and geese, and spending the summer months hanging around with the whole family. The only labs I've ever met who are standoffish with others are the kind whose owners keep them locked/chained up in the backyard all day, so maybe this helps where you can kind of understand where I'm coming from in regards to having never met a well-trained yet reserved lab? Labs certainly are not off the table for getting a new dog, I'm just in the researching process of what will fit me and what I can give the dog. If I do get a lab or chessie, I'd think dock diving might be something we could also do.

In regards to GSDs, there's a nearby breeder whose dogs are West German show lines as well as Czech working lines. Is this a common thing for some GSD breeders to do? Perhaps he's looking to breed for dogs who are family companions that also have the ability to work when needed, and also have potentially less health issues? Here's his website: http://blackgoldshepherds.com/
 
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