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Discussion Starter #1
So I had the "pleasure" of taking care of a puppy for a month...not my own though. My mother thought it was a good idea to impulse buy a puppy (from craigslist) even though she lives in an apartment that doesn't allow pets! So she sent him down to the farm for ~yours truly~ to take care of. He's a 3-4 month old pitbull puppy fyi. Now on one hand I'm irked that my mom randomly decided to buy a puppy but on the other hand...I got a free trial run at puppy rearing!

Obviously puppies are pretty clingy which is understandable. I have stuff I need to get done outside so I put the puppy on a long lead hooked to a tree. His only two options are be in the crate while I get stuff done or be outside. I figured outside was the better option. Lots of barking ensued. I would have put him on the side of the yard closest to me...but we have farm cats and free range chickens...did I mention he loves to chase, stalk and lunge at them? The next day I thought maybe he'd be okay if he was tethered in the barn with the hoomanz while we worked on stuff, only a couple feet away. Nope. ~Barking and Whining 2: The Fast and the Furriest~ coming to a theater near you! :pop2:

I did manage to start him on crate training while he was here. He willingly goes inside too! The only time he really whined is if I left the room. He also seemed to wake up from a dead sleep if I went to get up or leave the room...no matter how quietly I did it. Unless he was only pretending to sleep. Haha.

Now taking care of him got me thinking about some things. I always thought I probably wanted a velcro breed but now I'm second guessing that a bit haha. I know he's a puppy so I shouldn't think too much of it. I just imagine dealing with SA in an adult dog...

What I'm looking for:

  • More independent I don't know if I'd necessarily use the words aloof...but something like it. Just a breed that's more okay with being alone sometimes
  • Still trainable/biddable I adored training the puppy. That was probably my favorite aspect honestly...
  • Not particularly SA prone
  • Uninterested in strangers but not to the point of being overly suspicious or guard-y
  • Low prey drive...this is an important one. I need a dog that will be trustworthy around livestock and cats
  • No giants preferably 50-60lbs and under
  • Moderate exercise needs
  • Long Haired not a big issue but I just like the look of long haired breeds (body feathering/long silky/long plush/long curly/etc)
  • Not extremely barky...also not a super important bullet... cause I don't want to make the potential recommendation pool too small :p
Thanks for reading!

P.S. I'll probably be making a puppy post later...maybe
 

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I honestly can't think of a single dog who is both independent/aloof and biddable. The few I can think come close are dogs with preydrive, and even then they are WAY less biddable/trainable than a velcro dog, just by the nature of lacking the same handler focus that is the foundation for biddability/willingness to please.

The nearest I can come are Rat Terriers. They're really moderate prey drive (for a terrier - mine lives with rabbits, mice and cats, many are safe with small livestock (they're bred to be multipurpose farm/hunting dogs - even do a little light herding as well as squirrel hunting), and he'll pull off prey to recall. He will, however, still eat the heck out of some squirrels and rodents outdoors) and by and large softer tempered and more biddable than any other terrier out there. They're also quiet, and really disinterested in people not family.

Of course, they're also somewhat stubborn, independent, and have super short hair.

Pom maybe? That might kind of strike the right balance, though they're small. American Eskimo? That's... about everything I can think of, but I'm sure others will have ideas, too.
 

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Typically the breeds that are bred to work more independantly from people are the less Velcro dogs. Hounds, northern breeds, terriers, but in return, they tend to then be less biddable. That doesn't mean less trainable per se, just that you often have to work at it more than the really people oriented dogs

But hounds and northern breeds tend to be poor off-leash candidates and have moderate to strong prey drives. Terriers might be a bit better off leash until prey comes into the picture.

So maybe a working breed or a retriever? Shepherd or mix, even a Rottie maybe. Rough collie ?

Jindos are very smart, aloof type dogs and are often seen on Korean farms but i don't know how their prey drive level would be with cats and livestock. They are a hunting breed but they'd be a good size, medium to high energy, and not really interested in strangers.

For what its worth though, I know a gazzilion pit bull types and few to none have actual SA. Sure they love to cuddle and love their people when they are around, but the vast majority are also fine settling in alone for a day of napping and window watching. And on the flip side of that, one of the members here has a hound with major SA.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Right! That's the conundrum I had as well. Everything I've read tells me that if they're typically independent/aloof they probably aren't very biddable. Which makes sense. I'm totally open to compromising btw. I very well might be looking for a unicorn with my set of criteria... I was just curious if such a dog existed! Everything you said makes sense though. Handler focused breeds will certainly be more biddable. Doesn't seem like I can have it both ways. Boo!

Ugh. You are a helluva Rat Terrier salesman! I didn't even know they existed until I read a post with you talking about them + pics of your Rattie. Then I got a little obsessed over them for a while. They do seem like really nice dogs. I'm definitely going to keep them in mind.

I was looking into Poms & Eskies. So that could be a possibility. Smallness is okay. Ideally I like the Poms that are considered "poorly bred". They seem much more sturdy, which I like. I'm not opposed to little guys. I just figured the small lapdog breeds would be most prone to SA? But maybe I'm wrong.

Are all handler focused breeds extremely velcro-y typically? Or is there a spectrum? Hmm I should also take into account individual personalities...though that's hard to know when getting a puppy.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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It really depends on what you mean by velcro.

Is your idea of velcro a dog who is up your butt 23.5 hours a day, and maybe prone to SA? Or is it just a dog who is where you are and interested in what you're doing?

If the later, handler focused dogs are going to be velcro. They're... well, focused on their handler and that means you and paying attention to where you are and what you're doing. If you mean the former, IMO, it's pretty separate. My BC has CRAZY amounts of handler focus (as well as crazy amounts of prey-drive), and she's always in the room with me, will get up and follow me from room to room and poke her nose into whatever I'm doing, but she's NOT a dog who is always touching me or loses her crap if I leave her home alone. In fact if I sit down beside her on the couch when she's napping, she often gets up and huffs off to another piece of furniture to finish sleeping. When we're out and about, if I'm not being entertaining, she'll toodle off and chase birds or whatever on her own, until I ask for her.

But. She's not the dog who stays sleeping on the sofa when I leave the room, I never go pee alone, and she's often sprawled out on top of my feet when I'm at the computer. When I cook diner, she's lying down at the doorway. When I do laundry she's in the laundry room with me, etc. So she's always at least CLOSE. Something exciting might happen, you know? I might need help? SOMETHING?

My chi-X is pretty balanced on that scale, too, though a little bit more willing to continue her nap if I get up and go take a shower or what have you. Of course, her handler focus is a little less, too. So you might still be looking for some balance.

(And I live to sell RT to people. They're REALLY well balanced, good, dogs.)
 

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Corgi?

Working/herding dogs, moderate sized, smooth but thick coats, not usually super interested in strangers, trainer oriented but I don't think they are particularly prone to SA
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Definitely understandable. It's kind of a trade off I guess! Do you think the so-called independent/less biddable breeds are not such a good idea for a first timer? When I had begun my dog research a couple years ago I completely avoided all the independent/aloof breeds because most dogpeople said those type of breeds weren't great for new/novice owners. So I set my sights only on biddable/people-dependent breeds. At the time I really was looking forward to having a loveydovey shadow of a dog. Who never met a stranger. Now I'm thinking I want to go another direction. I don't know.

Or I could just be overreacting about over my experience raising a young, needy puppy. Haha. It's just that taking care of him gave me flashbacks...er "flashforwards"? of what it might be like to have a dog as a Siamese twin. Not sure if want. Lol

Do needy puppies tend to grow up as needy dogs? Or is it just a puppy thing? How can you tell your puppy will develop SA? Or is SA usually pretty severe (like you'll know it when you see it?) Sorry if these are stupid questions. Trying to take advantage of you guys and your vast knowledge and experience, because it's pretty much all I have to go on. :p

Thanks Shell! I was originally super into Retrievers (well I still am...lol). Rough/Smooth Collies as well. They seem a bit more lowkey than a Retriever. I always thought they were quite velcro though...Retrievers that is. Am I wrong to conflate velcro-ness with probability of SA? Never considered a Rottie. I shall do some research on them.

Oh Jindos. I really don't know much about them either. Probably cause I never bothered looking up any of the Asian Spitz breeds. I figured they were all out of my league. I'll check them out. That's good to know. I suppose it was just a puppy thing! Still got me thinking. :p
 

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There is no such thing as a non-needy puppy, really. They all want to be with you. They'll all cry and yelp and whine and follow you around and be distressed if you leave them. That's just... the definition of puppy, and even the most independent of them are pretty similar that way. It eases off around 4-5 months, but young puppies are the definition of clingy. It's not a precursor to SA or anything.

As for less biddable dogs for a first timer, it just depends. Biddability can make training easier, but if all you want is good house manners and basic obedience on a leash it probably doesn't matter much as long as you have something the dog likes (like food). I would avoid super strong drives for environmental things (like prey or smells or what have you) but beyond that it's just not a big deal. It BECOMES one if you want to do more advanced training or complicated behaviors, though, so it's something to balance.

Your best bet might actually just be an older puppy or adult dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for clearing that up for me! I always thought it was both the latter and the former, though moreso the former. With your BC does she get upset if you're not constantly giving her attention or entertaining her? (after her mental&physical needs are met of course). I'm still wrestling with the idea of whether or not that's something I want. But it's good to know it's not nearly as extreme as I was imagining.



Frankly I never thought about Corgis! Could be a possibility. I have no idea the difference between Pems and Cardis (other than looks). Welp off to Google! :D
 

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No, she doesn't. Oh, she'll follow me around if I'm up and moving around in hopes that I'm going to do something but if I settle down to do something that doesn't involve her she's basically a dog fur rug (with your caveat that she's had reasonable mental/physical exercise and attention overall - and she has other issues that would make a lot of people miserable, but she's a pretty good example of a handler focused dog).

Puppies are full on, demanding, all the time stuff. Even my most velcro dog will lie the heck down and get out of my face if I'm otherwise occupied.
 

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I'm not sure if you'd consider toy breeds but, honestly, reading through your list, I'd say a Chihuahua could be a pretty good fit. I definitely consider Corona to be independent (as I type this she's lying on the other side of the room in a sliver of sunshine), but she is SO trainable (she was invited to try out for the Canadian SuperDogs team and we compete in agility). She does bark, but it's not out of control. She's completely fine being left alone and her prey drive is only high when it comes to hunting flies in the house, lol.

My mum's Chi is similar, maybe a little more clingy but that's largely a training thing and she's also totally fine being left alone, but also loves going to training classes and can be super smart and willing to please.

Oh, and if you're worried about tiny dogs not being able to fit in if you enjoy long walks or hikes… don't be! Although they're fine hanging around the house all day, they also have NO problem keeping up on an 8km hike.
 

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I believe that a "velcro" breed is as velcro as you allot them to be. I have a MAS (miniature american shepherd) which is a herding breed and is considered very velcro, he follows me from room to room when inside, but on walks he isnt up my butt all the time, he stays with me, but he also is off doing his own thing, too. In fact right now I am sitting on the couch and he is on the floor by the door, pretty much as long as he is breathing the same air I am he is good. But, that being said a lot of MAS are very touchy feely, they like to touch you a LOT (rubbing against you ... say bye to any white clothes haha ... laying against you etc ...).

on to other breeds: My ACD was VERY independent, she loved me, sure, but she was like a cat that only wanted to be petted on her terms haha, and a lot of good ACD I have met are like that, even my hubby's questionably bred rescue ACD is like that, she likes to be WITH him, but she is also fine on her own.

In short, a "velcro" dog is as velcro as you allow them to be, sure Lincoln and Josefina did all that stuff you are saying this puppy is doing:
not wanting us to be out of their sight
whining when left alone
up our butt all the time.

The good thing is this will get better as the puppy gets older, if it is possible, if you have a safe fenced yard or can make a safe fenced area like a pen or ex pen outside when the weather is nice (not sure where you live haha) you should put your pup out (while you are home to check up on them) in the yard or in a dog safe pen alone with lots of toys, maybe a treat or food dispensing toy and fresh water so they can learn to amuse themselves. We have an acre fenced back yard at the family ranch, and a small porch here at the apt, when I first got Lincoln, he went out into the yard during the day and inside at night, the ranch house has huge picture windows all around so every bit of the yard is visible from the house. I also put a bell on his collar (like the ones they sell for hunting dogs LOL, they have them at TSC)so I could hear him as well.

Good luck with your pup, and give it some time :)
 

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English shepherd. To me they are the quintessential farm down who is aloof with strangers and good with live stock. But they are not independent (though not prone to SA either). I can't think of any breed that is good off leash and biddable who is not a bit of a Velcro dog. Those things ar going to occur together most of the time.

I find that females tend to be more independent. The females I have had have been extremely trainable and interested in what I want, but also totally ok hanging out without me if necessary. The males have been more momma's boys who *need* to be with me.
 

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There are many online calculators into which you can plug all of that. Get a puppy at 8 weeks though given what you said above. You get out of it what you put in.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm not sure if you'd consider toy breeds[...]
No I totally would! Thanks for the suggestion! :D My family had a Chi. She was rehomed to us randomly when she was an adult. She was only bonded to one person in our family for a long time (my Grandmother). But when she passed away the Chi re-bonded with my GrandUncle(?) lol. In her old age though it appeared she developed some SA and was perhaps going senile. Especially when my uncle started working again and wasn't home all the time like he had been. She was a sad howler! Poor girl. I'll definitely keep Chihuahuas in mind though. Oh that's good to hear! I definitely want to go on walks and nature hikes with FutureDog. And hey...if they do get tired at least I'd be able to carry them!

Btw Corona and George are super cute! Is George a Chi as well?

I believe that a "velcro" breed is as velcro as you allot them to be[...]
Thank you OwnedbyACDs! I appreciate the response!

Well that's reassuring :D I think maybe I got a little ahead of myself after my "near-puppy" experience lol. As I said in other post I'm still unsure if I want a touchy-feely breed? I don't know. It sounds really good on paper. I think they also are probably better for noob owners like myself.

The way you describe the ACD...I kind of like... Maybe...I think I like the idea of a dog that mainly cares about their family as opposed to any old stranger off the street. Are your ACDs more "subdued" personality-wise? Like not so exuberant like a Lab or something? I'm afraid to get a breed that's too standoffish. I don't want hackles raised when a stranger is spotted. I do not mind indifference though. With all that being said I do plan on heavily socializing with FutureDog so that should negate a bit of that anyway.

More confirmation that was all just typical puppy stuff. Good :D Hopefully the Puppy Blues won't hit me too hard when the time comes lol.

Those are great tips! I think one of the things that compounded my stress was that I barely had any toys/barriers/containment/tether/etc. My mom had purchased nooone of that stuff aside from a few toys...which he would get bored of after a while. He didn't even have a crate for the first few days! Had to go buy one for him (praise cratejesus) I think I should ~hopefully~ do better if I'm prepared and actually have all the supplies ahead of time. I'm kind of a planner. So I think that's what threw me into stress mode.
Plus I'll be taking my puppy/dog to fun classes and play dates for socialization and burning energy. I'm definitely going to try something similar to what you did. The food dispensing toy is a good one! The bell too!

BTW your MAS sounds pretty stinkin adorable.


English shepherd[...]
Hahaha. That's cool you suggested ES. I've been eyeing them for a while now. I was a wee bit obsessed with black and tan ESs in particular...


A farmdog breed might be a good way to go! I don't know if that translates to being good with cats...but I would assume they should at least be okay with chickens and/or small young livestock? I don't know if this would help or anything but I would like to (if possible) get a dog from a breeder who raises their dogs/pups around cats and other animals. I'm not sure how much nurture(over nature) can influence anything but it's worth a shot.

Awesome :D I always did want a female more so than a male. Mainly for the smaller stature on average than males. I've heard that quite a bit, Gals being more independent vs. Guys being mushy goofballs. But I wasn't sure if it was true or not! I wonder what the reason for that is. Fascinating either way.



Thanks for all the helpful responses guys~!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Missed your post SeaBoxador!

Good idea! Maybe I'll get some more suggestions with my new criteria. Last time I tried a bunch of breed selectors I kept getting spaniels and retrievers which was amazing to me because at the time that's pretty much what I wanted..and maybe I still do...maybe. (This fence is pretty comfy!) It will be interesting to see what I get now.
 

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No I totally would! Thanks for the suggestion! :D My family had a Chi. She was rehomed to us randomly when she was an adult. She was only bonded to one person in our family for a long time (my Grandmother). But when she passed away the Chi re-bonded with my GrandUncle(?) lol. In her old age though it appeared she developed some SA and was perhaps going senile. Especially when my uncle started working again and wasn't home all the time like he had been. She was a sad howler! Poor girl. I'll definitely keep Chihuahuas in mind though. Oh that's good to hear! I definitely want to go on walks and nature hikes with FutureDog. And hey...if they do get tired at least I'd be able to carry them!

Btw Corona and George are super cute! Is George a Chi as well?
Haha, carrying IS always an option… but honestly I've never had to resort to that.

Thank you for the compliment. I actually went to adopt George thinking that he was a Chi mix, but after having him home for a little while I realized that wasn't the case. I'm pretty confident that he's a Boston Terrier X Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
 

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Yeah I was going to suggest a Pom or an Eskie.

Meeko likes his fair bit of attention, but he's often off doing his own thing. He's sometimes not even in the same room as me at home. He's super biddable (pretty sure if I wanted he could get his intermediate trick dog title at this point), and food driven... he is a bit of an anomaly though because he is NOT good off leash. If he sees a squirrel or a bird he's off and he's not going to come back. He is good with the family cats and cats he meets at other people's homes though.
 

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The farm collies we had when I was a kid were both obedient and not particularly needy. But I don't know how much of that was because of their inborn traits, and how much was because they were raised to be working farm dogs.
 
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