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Hello. I am looking to get a dog. I grew up with dogs so I am familiar with taking care of them, but the type of dog I want for myself is not what I had before, which were lazy house dogs whose primary points of popularity were that they A) didn't shed and B) looked cute.

Well, both of those points for me are irrevelant. I am hoping to buy a dog before I meet my future wife because I know the aforementioned points would be her primary ideals. Women.

What I want in a dog is this:

1) A large or medium sized dog. I dont want it being pushed around by children or picked up every two seconds like a toy. I hate seeing dogs look helpless and stupid. I want it to be too big to be a lapdog.

2) Loyalty. I think most dogs are loyal to their owners if they are raised correctly, but I am just throwing this out there.

3) Intelligence. I want my dog to have the capability to be trained to walk without a leash and be a clever companion.

4) Energetic. I want my dog to actually do... stuff.

5) I want to work for my dog's affection. I don't want it to be a shallow super-nice dog that everyone loves or will simply love me for giving him pork or something. I want him to be a bit stubborn and principled, if that is possible in a dog.

6) I know I have referred to my future dog as a "him" but I actually think I would prefer a her because I don't want to get the dog neutered or spayed but people say un-neutered dogs are evil homewreckers. I figure I would rather have an occasionally temperamental lady dog than a crazy territorial guy dog. Correct me if my conceptions in this point are totally off.

On point #4. Whenever I see some overview of a dog breed that is intelligent, the same dog is usually very energetic and requires "work" everyday to be happy. Unfortunately, I do not:

- Have sheep to necessitate the skills of a sheep dog, nor do I plan on purchasing sheep to keep my dog busy. Frankly, I don't even know what sheep dogs do.

- Live near an international airport so my dog can go off in the morning and check baggage while I go to work.

- Know of any kind of daily employ for a dog that fills the task of "making sure your dog has work to do every day".

So, unless dogs possess special capabilities that they can use to keep them being active during the day, I am at a loss on exactly what I would have my energetic working dog do. I once saw a dog open a refridgerator and deliver beer to his master, and I thought that was pretty cool, but I don't think that quite covers the dog's daily activity nor do I want to encourage my dog to pursue a career in bartending.

Anyway, I hope I have outlined some parameters on what I'm looking for in a breed. Which would you recommend? I don't want a lab or a golden retriever.

Thanks in advance.
 

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German Shepherds are manly, beautiful, medium sized (a female of working lines), and intelligent- and also rather one-man loyal.
 

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I would definitely suggest looking at your local shelters for starters. But as for breeds I'd go with something like a Border Collie or possibly an American Pit Bull Terrier if they are allowed where you live. Border Collies do need a lot of stimulation and exercise, but they very smart and loyal.

I have two pit bull mixes (and have met TONS) and they definitely fit the descriptions that you laid out here. They aren't as energetic as a Border Collie, but they have a lot of energy and are very loyal to people. They can also be a bit stubborn as well.

But again I recommend going and meeting some shelter dogs. Maybe going and walking dogs to see if one really stands out to you. It's an awesome way to pick a great dog!
 

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I second the german shepherd recommendation.
Also, not all intact males are crazy. Personally, I would rather live with an intact male than an intact female.
 

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I'd actually recommend looking at some of the performance lines of GSD, possibly Amstaffs (moreso than APBTs) and possibly some of the performance lines of collie. Not so much BCs or Aussies, though. POSSIBLY English Shepherds.

If you get a bitch, I'd recommend spaying her. Frankly, with bitches, the health effects (if done at maturity) are undeniable. Keeping boys intact is MUCH easier to do.
 

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I think you should look into:

1. Brittany (very smart, energetic, medium sized dog)
2. German Shorthaired pointer (loyal, energetic, loves people and eager to please, smart, likes to have a "job")
3. German Shepard (very smart, loyal, working dog)


I have a GSP/Brittany mix and I think its the greatest dog ever, so I guess I'm biased haha.
 

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A couple of points to consider. Most of the anti-small dog bias, most people have, is a result of seeing small dogs treated like precious little figurines. Treat a little dog the way you treat a big dog, and he'll never figure out that he's small. I've never met a well mannered Poodle I didn't like, and I would be proud to drive my car with a mini Poodle in the back seat and my EG&A sticker on the bumper.

Lots of "shallow, super-nice" dogs offer their own set of challenges. The fact is, if you feed a dog--pretty much any dog--he will love you. That does not necessarily mean they have any interest in behaving the way you want them to, though.

Smart, energetic, medium-to-large dogs are generally a class of dog that "needs a job". Sheep dogs don't need sheep, and retrievers don't need ducks, but they (and other working/herding/sporting types) do need an outlet for their energy and problem solving skills. There are lots of ways to accomplish that.

The intact male problem is easily solved with training.

Suggested "guy" dogs:

German Shepherd -- 'nuff said.

Rottweiler -- a personal fave of mine.

Chessapeake Bay Retriever -- smart, rugged, and not overly friendly. Requires some finesse to train correctly.

Entlebucher -- one of the coolest dogs on the planet, but somewhat rare and expensive.

Giant or Standard Schnauzer -- not exactly different sizes of the same breed, but both great dogs. The Giants can be sharp tempered if from certain lines.

Doberman Pincers -- another breed where selection is super important. Lots of bad breedings from casual breeders.

Bull Mastiff -- depends quite a bit on how you feel about drool.

But do check out rescues, as well. There's a dog by me who's been sitting in a shelter for almost a year because (I assume) he's a very large Great Dane (X hound?) mix. He's a really nice boy, though not perfectly mannered. He'd be a real handful, but he's a good looking dog and I'd snap him up in a minute if I could swing it. He's got real potential--did I mention he's BIG?
 

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Here is his comment on req #4

On point #4. Whenever I see some overview of a dog breed that is intelligent, the same dog is usually very energetic and requires "work" everyday to be happy. Unfortunately, I do not:

I do not think a border collie or GSD or anything that requires a job would work for him...So that being said I have

boston terrier - which are a smaller breed they are pretty cool great dogs (our first breed) energetic but not hyper.3 weight sizes (from about 10lbs to 25lbs) women and men love them ..THey love car rides other animals mine are great with cats,kids other dogs.



American Bulldog - we just got an American bulldog she is fun playful but not hyper.They are good with cats other dogs,kids (oh she is great with my kids very gentle even with my 3yr old and she is only 8 weeks old) they can also go in protection or obedience work ect if you wanted to.They are large around 80 to over 100lbs

 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
my EG&A sticker on the bumper.
S/F

... need an outlet for their energy and problem solving skills. There are lots of ways to accomplish that.
Such as? Fortunately I have a lot of time to spend with my dog, but I don't know what sort of activities I could busy a dog with. Let's say I have a front and back yard and a house. I don't live on a crazy farm or live in deer and antelope country... Dogs don't even barbeque and I could only have so much fun in my own backyard.

Also, why do some prefer a male dog over a female dog?

I also realize that I didn't mention that I plan to get this dog as a puppy so I could raise it and get it properly socialized from a young age.

EDIT: I'd also like to add that there are a lot of GSD owners and I know that many of them live in environments similar to my own, and perhaps many in worse places for large working dogs, so I know I could raise a dog like that where I live, but I want to raise one properly and not coop it up all day. Run on sentences for the win..
 

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I always tell my puppie people it is the personality not the sex that you should look at or for in a pup.So I say find a breed that you like and then visit a few breeders keep an open mind on the sex of the pup.Ask the breeder about that pups personality/temprament (depending on age at the time).

Any dog can be territorial I have had females that are more so then the males.I would strongly suggest Spaying or Neutering any dog you will have if they are only for a pet.This will curb alot of the temprament/dominace,marking,bleeding ect that comes with intact dogs
 

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Based on this post, please don't get a female if you have no plans to spay. You will go nuts trying to contain her, manage her bleeding, and keeping all male dogs away from her when in heat. And since pregnancy can happen accidentally, I don't think you want to deal with that.

Anyway, I think a boston terrier is an excellent suggestion. Smaller that what you thought you wanted, but really great "guy" dogs. Other dogs the single guys around here have: basset hounds, beagles, and boxers. And bulldogs. Hmm. All beginning with the letter "B". Weird.

Things to do with your dog without a farm: obedience, agility, fetch, hiking, dog park, therapy dog training, frisbee, jogging, flyball, running with you while you bike, do I need to go on?
 

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I've seen a guy (single, mind you... and macho too) at the DP that owns a Boxer and a Boston. The Boston is way cooler than the Boxer. :p
 

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Well, both of those points for me are irrevelant. I am hoping to buy a dog before I meet my future wife because I know the aforementioned points would be her primary ideals. Women.
Sexist much? I'm female. I own German Shepherd Dogs. The aforementioned shed a ton and are only "cute" to the right people.

Most of the women I know own large/medium dogs that SHED (Inga anyone? Keechak? Hiaja?).

I personally would not recommend the German Shepherd for this person. They require a lot of physical and mental exercise, and they will not only make an owner WORK for their respect, they are VERY good at taking advantage of that. They are not for the weak of heart.

Ask anybody here that has met Strauss....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sexist much? I'm female. I own German Shepherd Dogs. The aforementioned shed a ton and are only "cute" to the right people.

Most of the women I know own large/medium dogs that SHED (Inga anyone? Keechak? Hiaja?).

I personally would not recommend the German Shepherd for this person. They require a lot of physical and mental exercise, and they will not only make an owner WORK for their respect, they are VERY good at taking advantage of that. They are not for the weak of heart.

Ask anybody here that has met Strauss....
You live in Wisconsin. I live outside of NYC. The suburban housewife here is all about designer dogs and small things that won't ruin their home with fur or force, and a dog they can physically control. Call me a sexist, but I am right. Most women in this area are more agreeable with smaller, cuter, dogs than big dogs that require a lot of work in between their busy schedules of playing tennis and going to starbucks.

So yeah, when you get off your femenist horse and contribute something useful other than the smug implication that I am somehow weak minded and realize that I am not intending to be sexist but jabbing at the likely dissagreement in dog characteristics arising between myself and a woman partner, I will consider your input.
 

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I have a border collie mix. Points 1-4 fit my dog to a tee. 5 doesn't fit - she thinks everyone is her new best friend. 6 doesn't fit either, cause she's spayed.

As Trixie suggested, you really need to think about why you want your dog to be unaltered. I couldn't find a reason in your original post. A female in heat is probably one of my worst nightmares. If you don't plan to breed, there's no sense in going through the trouble, and the risk of mammary cancer increases a lot. Think about it!

As far as giving your dog a job to do, I do most of the stuff on Trixie's list with my dog: obedience, fetch, hiking, dog park, frisbee, jogging, flyball, running with you while you bike, etc. Just try a bunch of stuff and see what sticks.

One last thing: As Xeph says, not all women fit your mold. I, for one, dislike traditional "lap dogs" - sorry folks, nothing personal. Sometimes I wonder how my future husband will take to my medium-sized, loyal, intelligent, and energetic dog. I know she'll take to him just fine!
 

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I was thinking an Australian Cattle Dog, Border Collie, Burnese Mountain dog or maybe a Brittany Spaniel. The Burnese would be the biggest of the bunch. They are all smart dogs that you will have to give lots of exercise. Good luck and be sure to let us know what you get.
 

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You'll find much better information about Berners if you spell the breed right- Bernese (as in, the city of Berne.)
 

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When you say you want your dog to be energetic, can you give us a better idea of what that means? There are dogs who...

...will run with you for an hour and decide it's time to go home.
...will run with you for 3-4 miles daily, but won't go crazy if they miss one day.
...will run with you for 5 miles daily and WILL go crazy if they miss one day.
...will run with you for 10 miles, go home and bring you a ball to throw.

And so on. What "band" of energy level are you looking at? What kind of grooming/shedding levels do you have in mind?

Trixie gave a very good list of "jobs" that your dog can do. My dogs sit-stay next to me while I work for 20 minutes. That is their "job." In my world it accomplishes nothing but in their world it is a task to focus on (sitting in one spot for 20 minutes without doing anything else is difficult even for humans). My dogs sniff out treats that I have hidden around the room; that is their "job." In my world it accomplishes nothing (consumes quite a bit of time and energy, come to think) but to them it is work. One of my dogs does therapy, etc. When people say that a certain breed needs a job, it basically means they need something to expend mental energy on; they need to think. Training sessions, dog sports, puzzle-solving activities are all ways in which dogs can think and let out their mental energy.

To actually answer your question, I would look into German Shepherds. They are loyal, trainable, somewhat aloof with strangers and very high-drive. Possibly an Australian Shepherd or a Doberman. Stay away from northern breeds and the hound group -- they are very energetic, but generally not reliable off-leash. Go to dog shows, meet with breeders and talk. They will be able to give you an accurate, detailed picture of their breed's temperament.

EDIT: I'd also like to add that there are a lot of GSD owners and I know that many of them live in environments similar to my own, and perhaps many in worse places for large working dogs, so I know I could raise a dog like that where I live, but I want to raise one properly and not coop it up all day.
Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying here. Do you mean you know people who own GSDs in your type of environment, but you personally don't want one because you don't think you'd be able to raise it properly there? GSDs are very much indoor dogs who will occasionally enjoy a romp around the yard... with enough physical and mental exercise they can live happily in apartments as well. A GSD in your type of housing should be fine. By the way, do you rent? Some people have trouble renting with breeds like the Rottie, Dobe and GSD because of the general perception of these breeds as "dangerous"... so you may want to look into that.

As for male vs female, males tend to be a little more happy-go-lucky... they are a lot more velcro, follow you around, willing to please, from what I've read. I only have experience raising females, but I have interacted with males and females are definitely bitchier. (Pun intended.) They are more aloof with strangers, which you might like, but they are also fairly aloof with you; they might come over for a cuddle, for example, and then walk off when they feel they're done. A male dog might be more likely to climb into your lap and stay there. Again, these are sweeping generalisations; there are exceptions to everything so please, save the "I have a female dog who loves cuddling" posts.

http://www.dogforums.com/19-first-time-dog-owner/53009-difference-between-males-females.html
http://www.dogforums.com/19-first-time-dog-owner/2458-difference-between-male-vs.html
 

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So yeah, when you get off your femenist horse and contribute something useful other than the smug implication that I am somehow weak minded and realize that I am not intending to be sexist but jabbing at the likely dissagreement in dog characteristics arising between myself and a woman partner, I will consider your input.
That is absolutely ridiculous. There was no feminist high horse. There was a disagreement of you throwing all women in the same group.

I know plenty of NY people that train dogs too...women...with German Shepherd Dogs. Met plenty of Suburban NY women....large breed, small breeds, mixes, purebred, and whatwhozits.

The suburban WI woman is really no different from the suburban NY woman, sorry to burst your bubble

If you got the impression that insinuated you were weak minded, that's your problem.

I've lived in a dinky apartment with two GSDs....took a lot of work and a lot of literal sleepness nights. Dogs potty first, dogs eat first, dogs are taken care of FIRST. Hey, I haven't slept in 12 hours, 18 hours, 20 hours, but the dogs need pottied, fed, and worked (notice worked, not walked).

Pulled two double shifts....aaaaand off to kennel club for four hours to work the Shepherds. Lather rinse repeat.

My dogs run in agility, obedience, rally, and a whole bunch of other stuff....we'd be tracking if I knew a darn thing.

They are a high octane and relatively high maintenence breed if you don't know what you're doing. Sifting your way through all the lines, breeders, and health issues is also a real trip.
 

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Sifting your way through all the lines, breeders, and health issues is also a real trip.
Amen, amen and amen. And you don't want to be on Xeph's bad side if you're thinking about getting any help with that.
 
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