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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! This is my first post but I’ve been doing tons of research and am looking for my next dog. I currently have a smooth collie that I adore, but he is very mellow and I prefer a higher drive dog. He was my first dog and he was perfect for that, just want a bit “more” dog! Breeds I’m currently interested in are Beaucerons and German shepherds. I want a dog that can compete in lots of dog sports but also do conformation showing as well.

But what I want is:
  • A high drive dog that loves to work. I compete in agility and rally and we also go to herding lessons at least 1 or 2 times a month.
  • High energy with an off switch.
  • Affectionate. The dog will be primarily a pet and competing is really just my hobby.
  • Can be silly and goofy!
  • Aloof with strangers but not aggressive
  • Large 50-90 lbs
  • Biddable! A stubborn streak is fine as long as they can be motivated by food and toys!
  • Handle oriented! This one is huge. I love vizslas and weimaraners but they seem to be hyper focused on their environments and what animals may be around. I don’t want a dog like this!
  • A dog that is playful and silly but can also be serious and focused.
If anyone has any advice or any suggestions I would love to hear :)
 

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I have a German Shepherd that is all of those things.

The recommendation is for you to choose the right BREEDER who knows the genetic traits that will fit the bill and can consistently produce those balanced genetics.

No dog is stubborn. They are what they are. If you run into a "stubborn" dog it is usually due to the training, handling and relationship.. and a lack of understanding of the breed you are dealing with.
 

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Poodle, German Shepherd, Beauceron, Giant schnauzer, Dobermann, Belgian Shepherd, , Rough & Smooth collie, Flat Coated Retriever, Chesapeke Bay Retriever, Australian Cattle dog
 

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In my part of the country (Colorado), Goldens are more prevalent in the rally and obedience rings than any other breed, and if averaged out, I suspect they do more winning of classes and HITs, but of course they aren't aloof with strangers. I don't do agility because of my own knees, but if I did it seems to me smaller would be better, and for herding one of the herding breeds. Aussies, for instance, can excel at all the things you mentioned, but I don't know about aloof on them either.

I used to think GSDs were the perfect dog, but these days I think you have to be very careful about the breeding to minimize chances of soundness problems. Same is true for Rotties in honesty.

IME an off switch on a high drive dog is like a blue rose until they're at about 6, but that could be just a confession of my own failures in training.
 

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Hm, if you want a dog that will have the natural instincts to succeed with herding, it might eliminate some of the breeds that I first thought of, like standard poodle or sporting line goldens.

I do, however, know of at least one GSD breeder who includes herding in the sports she does with her dogs. You definitely have to be careful to find lines that align with your temperament and sporting goals, since there's a huge variety out there, but the right GSD could fit many of your requirements (though many tend to be a bit more on the 'dignified' side of things than 'goofy').

The belgian shepherds may also be an option - Malinois, Groendael, Teruvian, and Lakenois/Laekenois (seen it spelled both ways). They began as different coat types of the same breed, but are now sometimes classified as separate breeds and may have slightly different temperaments because of it, but they're all working breed dogs with herding in their breed history, and all considered pretty intense and high-drive.

The french sheepdogs (other than the beauc that you're already considering) may also have temperaments that fit your bill, based on the little I know about them! Briards would be on the larger side, with Berger Picards being more medium sized but still in your preferred range. Rarer breeds in the US, but might be worth looking into - they're supposed to have lots of personality!

EDIT: I also adore smooth collies and would love pictures of your boy if you want to share!
 

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Beaucerons and German shepherds are what I would suggest if you had come in here just asking based on those traits, so I think you've answered your own questions, haha. Perhaps a Belgian Malinois if you want that much dog? I don't know your experience level, so you'll have to decide for yourself, there!

Carefully research the lines of any breeders you choose, though. Theirs going to be different "flavors" in these breeds, with some being more "show line" or "pets" and others bred for work or sports.
 

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Oh, I would also suggest a Border Collie, but they're just under the size you want. The largest seem to be around 45-50 lbs, but most I've seen/met seem to be in the 30 to 40 lb range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
as
Beaucerons and German shepherds are what I would suggest if you had come in here just asking based on those traits, so I think you've answered your own questions, haha. Perhaps a Belgian Malinois if you want that much dog? I don't know your experience level, so you'll have to decide for yourself, there!

Carefully research the lines of any breeders you choose, though. Theirs going to be different "flavors" in these breeds, with some being more "show line" or "pets" and others bred for work or sports.
Right now I’m leaning towards GSD and also looking at dobermans because there seems to be a lot of problems with american Beauceron lines. I love mals so much!! Most I’ve met have been just a bit too drivey and twitchy for my liking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In my part of the country (Colorado), Goldens are more prevalent in the rally and obedience rings than any other breed, and if averaged out, I suspect they do more winning of classes and HITs, but of course they aren't aloof with strangers. I don't do agility because of my own knees, but if I did it seems to me smaller would be better, and for herding one of the herding breeds. Aussies, for instance, can excel at all the things you mentioned, but I don't know about aloof on them either.

I used to think GSDs were the perfect dog, but these days I think you have to be very careful about the breeding to minimize chances of soundness problems. Same is true for Rotties in honesty.

IME an off switch on a high drive dog is like a blue rose until they're at about 6, but that could be just a confession of my own failures in training.
Yes finding a good GSD has proven to be extremely difficult, especially since I’m looking at show lines. Also I love aussies but they bark so much!!
 

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Aussies, for instance, can excel at all the things you mentioned, but I don't know about aloof on them either.
I'm no expert, but most if not all of the Aussies I've ever known could easily be described as 'aloof'. Based on the OP's wish list, an Aussie would definitely be the first avenue I would choose while doing my initial research. They seem to have all of the desired characteristics and qualities.

I would also consider Bearded Collies, not sure how well they fare in herding but I think they're quite capable, at least when compared to, say, a Weim or a Golden Ret.

Also not sure about this either, but the Rough Collies may have a little more 'drive' than the Smooths. I've only known a few Smooths over the years as the breed numbers don't seem to be as high as the Roughs. The Smooths I've seen are terrific comp dogs all around, but the drive just seems a tad lower. If I'm correct in my assumption, maybe a Rough would be a possible candidate then ?

Research, beginning with National Breed clubs. When contacting individual breeders. look for lines that are titled "at both ends" as they say, and hopefully have VCs / Versatility Champion titles within them. And talk with the breeders about this regard. Ideally, lines that might have agility, herding, carting, rally, OB, scentwork etc, plus conformation.
 

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Check out Marcato German Shepherds. They're the breeder I mentioned that I know does herding. I do not and likely will never get a puppy from them (I'm not a GSD person and they don't do overseas placement anyway), but they're a former forum member and they do excellent work from researching pedigrees for every litter to health testing and titling to oodles of support offered to their puppy buyers. There aren't many breeders out there I'm confident enough to recommend hands down, but they're on that short list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Check out Marcato German Shepherds. They're the breeder I mentioned that I know does herding. I do not and likely will never get a puppy from them (I'm not a GSD person and they don't do overseas placement anyway), but they're a former forum member and they do excellent work from researching pedigrees for every litter to health testing and titling to oodles of support offered to their puppy buyers. There aren't many breeders out there I'm confident enough to recommend hands down, but they're on that short list.
The main breeder I am looking into is Marcato!!
 

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seemed to have missed the herding part <.<

good thing i mentioned mostly pastoral breeds..
 
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