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Discussion Starter #1
I used to be an active person, but not so much anymore. This is unfortunate. Every breed of dog that I hope to own someday is an active breed. I love herding and working breeds. I also hope to be active in obedience and agility. I want to go walking/biking with my companion every day. At the moment though, this is not the reality. If people were to recommend a dog to me, it would be an older, laid back shelter dog.

I'm slowly working on becoming more active, because I want my dream dog. (Australian Shepherd). I hope by the time I can actually get an Aussie, I will be ready. I should also point out I like being active, and want it for myself as well. So I guess my question to everyone is..

Did you choose the perfect breed for you? Or did you choose your favorite breed and become a better owner for it? Did you stick to the "best match for you" or try something a little more challenging? How did it work out? :wink:
 

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I have owned, when younger, challenging dogs that happened to come into my life. Been there, done that, and often hated that. Thank God I always have had a partner that likes active dogs. I would NEVER choose an unsuitably temperamented dog purposely. I think it is very unwise and often it ends in dogs that are given up on.

With dogs that I have chosen a suited temperament has been the top priority.

SOB
 

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I gotta admit, I had no idea how much energy my Kelpie/Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix would actually have, until I got him and did further research. I figured I could handle it, but I was pretty worried I wouldn't have enough time or energy for this dog. We're all pretty inactive in the winter time, but in the summer its a different story. Anyway, he's actually not as bad I would have thought. I mean yeah, he's hyper and has tons of energy - but I don't have to go out of my way to exercise him for an hour every day if time doesn't allow for it or i'm just not ambitious. On weeknights throughout the week, we might do a half hour - 45 min walk once or twice, not running..just a fast paced walk. I might jog a little but its icey and dangerous this time of year, plus i'm all bundled up I get too hot jogging for too long. On days I work out on my elliptical, I put Thumper on the treadmill on a light jog pace for half hour - 45 mins. Some evenings we dont do anything and he's still fine, thankfully I have vaulted cielings and when I'm having the a lazy day I can play fetch with him from the couch and throw his toy up to the top floor of the house and he has to bound up 2 flights of stairs to retrieve so that gives him quite a bit of exercise. Me and my boyfriend also occasionally play hide and seek recall, we have a 2 story with a basement so one of us will hide in different rooms upstairs, while the other hides in different rooms downstairs and we take turns calling him back and forth and this requires him to go up and down 4 flights of stairs back and forth several times. But even when he gets zero exercise.. he's not a misbehaving, destructive dog. He eventually tires himself out and plays by himself or just lays down at our feet or cuddles with us while we watch a movie. He's pretty easy going that way. On weekends if its nice, we go for a 1.5 hr or so walk at a dog park and I throw his ball a lot and that's probably the most exercise he ever gets on a weekly basis.

So.. although I was afraid I was going to have to get up early every morning and exercise this dog vigorously twice a day for over an hour each day in order for him to be a nice pet indoors.. that is not the case at all. In the summertime he will definitely get probably twice as much as he gets now becuase we will be rollerblading and jogging outside in the evenings and in the mornings, but this winter and him being 8 months old.. getting only moderate exercise doesn't seem to be affecting him what so ever.
 

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I have a mutt, who I got as a 9-week-old puppy, so there really wasn't any way for me to tell how active she would be. I was looking for a dog that was low/medium energy, but I also had grooming preferences and a need for a dog that would be cat-friendly (or that would be raised to respect my cats from an early age). So, I took a chance on her after not being able to find what I wanted in an older shelter dog for about 2 years.

She turned out to be way more hyper than what I thought I wanted, but I wouldn't trade her for anything. And, I couldn't imagine going back to a dog that wasn't at least close to her intensity and energy level. I adjusted my life and my priorities to fit her exercise needs. She's not nearly as active/job-driven as an Aussie though. (I think she's Pug/small Terrier/ACD/mystery mix.)
 

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Well, there's limitations and then there's limitations. Muggsy was way more dog than I was expecting when I got him, but I managed. Fortunately, he got old at the same time I developed arthritis and my husband developed MS, otherwise I don't know what we would have done. (We're in our 30s, btw.) Sometimes there's not much you can do, there's only so hard you can push against rotting joints and brain plaques.

So, this time I deliberately picked a much more mellow dog and I'm very glad I did. Kabota is exactly what I can handle and it's fantastic. I don't regret a minute with Muggsy, but I couldn't possibly do right by his young self nowadays. Which is why we don't have a GSD, even though we really love the breed.
 

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Mercy's rescue listed her as a GSD/Aussie mix with maybe a little Sheltie mixed in. After my super soft Sheltie, Valen, I was really excited to find a mix of easily trainable herding breeds. Once she came home, I had her DNA sent out and the results came back as Akita/JRT with a splash of BC. She can be willful and slow to figure out what I want from her, but she has really made me step up my game in the training department!

She's got a wonderful sense of humor and is a total snugglebug when she's in the mood. I wouldn't trade her for anything!
 

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We compromised. There are many dogs that we just love (e.g., GSD, St. Bernard, Irish setter), but we knew they're not right for us for a number of reasons. We also realized that getting a dog would take some adjustment on our part. We chose a standard poodle; she's smaller than we originally wanted, is a little more active and requires much more grooming than either of us would have initially wanted; however, she's super smart, calm in the house, (mostly) biddable, and very much attached to us. We have adapted our schedules to meet her needs; so, I now go straight home after work instead of stopping at the store, we both added daily walks (something we very much wanted to do anyway) and weekend outings, and we will probably always be involved in training classes or other activities.

We've had Katie for four months, so I have no long-term report. Sure, there are days when I just want to go home and crawl into bed, but Katie needs a walk - it's good for me ;) We've had to improve our time management skills so we can give Katie proper attention, while still getting everything else done. I've had to adjust my expectations for keeping a clean house. Yes, there are days when I wonder what I've done, but overall, I love having her around.

I should say that we were realistic in what we could / would do and what we could not / would not. Adding two 45-60 minute walks a day - fine. Adding two 45-60 minute jogs a day - no way. Doing advanced obedience or other activity - fine. Working with a super drivey dog - probably too much for us. Regular grooming - fine. Living with a German shedder - not so much.

A retired greyhound is probably a great match for us - I just need to learn to love their super skinny bodies ;)
 

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as my health deteriorates, i can no longer have the dogs i want...which are the cardigan welsh corgis....awesome dogs.

i have a pug and a corgi mix....and i am thankful she had seven acres to run on when she was younger. but she's old now, my corgi mix, so has slowed down.

my pug is well, a love bunny....which is what they were bred to be....if ever i get another dog, it shall be a pug or a french bull dog or a lowchen.....all bred for love and velcro.

my dogs go on the treadmill when it's nasty out and we take walks when it's nice....

i have accepted what i can no longer have and that which would be so unfair to the breed....there are plenty of dogs out there that are suitable for my situation.....and the two i have are perfect for my needs now. :)
 

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I always figured I was a shepherd person until we got Charlie. I loved him and I still do, but he did make me think that my father, sister and I could not have handled a young Charlie and we were lucky to have gotten him as a senior dog. It was then that I decided that sighthounds or mountain dogs may suit my own personality better. I figured I'd get a rescued Greyhound when I would get a place of my own.

But now we have Mike, a vibrant young white shepherd. Personally it wouldn't have been my choice to get a young one but the three of us talked it through and decided to go for it. Turns out, having a young shepherd is awesome, and now I'm starting to think that maybe I'm a shepherd person after all. They're loyal, intelligent, alert, attentive, protective and focused on the owner. I also like how in general, they're reserved towards strangers. I like how they got tons of energy and can go on and on playing ball and going on hikes, but switch off when told to. I love their expressive, mischievous, shiny dark viewers, and their big pointy ears. I love their size (I'm a big dog person) and I love their wonderfully white coat. And I don't mind the dog hair that turns our house into a snow globe if we don't vacuum clean every day :p

Mike's throwing his ball at my feet as we speak, demanding play. They're dang manipulative too, hahahah! I like how he's trying to get his way, trying to manipulate us and, realizing he's failing, tries to come up with different strategies. :D He's absolutely hilarious.

Yeah, maybe I'm a shepherd person after all. :)

Mike zwarte kijker.jpg Charlie zwarte kijkers.jpg
 

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I have always had energetic active dogs as Dobermans, GSD's,Rough Collies and Afghans ... I feel I have always picked the proper breed for my lifestyle and abilities. I have only miscalculated once IMHO and that was when I saved Benny from his fate of euth. I do not regret the actual act ... but sometimes when we get older our brains say yes we can and our bodies say no you cannot! It was the only time I believe I bit off more than I could chew. But I righted the wrong by making sure he has the best possible life for himself. I still miss him though. :(
 

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Oh, Avie, you just reminded me so much of my Muggsy. He was a GSD x Golden Retriever, but the more I talk to people who own GSDs, the more I realize how Shepherd Muggsy was. He used to do that ball thing, too. The only thing in your description of Charlie that wasn't pure Muggsy was being reserved with strangers. To Muggsy, a stranger was just a friend he hadn't met yet.
 

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I think both. There are breeds that sound great on paper but then I have no real spark of interest in them. One that comes to mind is the toller. I think they sound great but I just cannot get myself excited about the prospect of owning one. If the breed doesn't have that spark to me, then I find it really hard to even entertain the idea.

I got Mia when I wanted a BC badly. I almost wish I'd gotten one at that point because I had much more free time back then, but oh well, Mia is the best dog ever. I got a pap instead as a companion for Summer. The funny thing was a friend of mine got a BC pup around the same time frame. Mia was by far the harder puppy. Her dog was very adaptable and mine was pulling up all the carpet and had me out doing 2 hours of running exercise at the park for her first 2 years... All dogs are individuals and she ended up with a very calm BC and I ended up with a very hyper papillon.

I would rather get a breed I really like but get an individual suited to me than get a breed I have no interest in. I've been around enough rescue BCs to meet some that are pretty low key. Why not get an older rescue Aussie with a known temperament?

On the other hand, I adore Malinois and have loved them since meeting the first one in a training class a long time ago. But I think it would be dumb to get one because of my lifestyle at this point. You do have to be realistic too.
 

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If you are not active b/c of health issues or job demands then I wouldn't get a high energy dog. I took a good honest look at what lifestyle I currently lived and tried to find a dog that fit. And I think we made the right choice. We are going to look at puppies this weekend to add the second dog (3yrs after the first). So obviously we are happy with this breed. We are going back to the same breeder. I have the SS. I'd describe her as a Aussie crossed with a JRT with an off switch. She is smart, sensitive, highly trainable, high pain threshold, very tolerant of young children and drivey enough w/o being so drivey tgat she gets into too much trouble on her own. And when the weather is bad she can chill inside.
 

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I stick within my type NOW, but if I had gone with my projected type to start with, I would have a toally different life right now lol..I have 2 BCs, 2 ACD x's, 1 JRT x and 1 Toller...guess my type! lol my orginal projected type? small quiet companian types.
 

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I was really obsessed with the Shiba Inu, just thought it was the most amazing breed. However, conceptually I knew I wanted the complete opposite--a cuddly dog. Boyfriend and I ran out to the local pound when they had a purebred shiba, when we looked at it were knew instantly it was true to breed. We went with the unassuming mutt who climbed into my lap and put her head on my shoulder. Moral of the story is be honest with yourself about what you really want and can handle in a dog, regardless of looks. I definitely got the perfect breed--she even has a curly tail (and that Shiba was picked up by a breed rescue).
 

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Both. We picked out Sierra because we wanted a sweet, smallish dog that would be loving, obedient and had a desire to please - and she was cute to boot. She is the perfect fit for us. She will walk if we want to, sleep in if we want to, obey - she is the perfect dog. We got Misty around the same time as a shot gun decision - we knew nothing about Siberians at the time but she was up to euthed the next morning so we had a very hard time saying no - she had already been at the shelter for a few weeks with people placing extensions on her and her luck seemed to be running out. Turns out we can make life with a husky work but they are not a suitable breed for us. We enjoy her and we have adapted to meet her needs but she has not meshed as well into out lives as Sierra. Sierra seems much more apart of the eb and flow of life - Misty sticks out like a sore thumb. As someone above said - I don't regret getting her (and she is slowing down now that she is 4) however I doubt we will get another husky after she passes. They are gorgeous amazing dogs but just not suited to us. I'm secretly kinda glad she will be going on 6 and 7 when I get into grad school - a middle aged/senior dog will be easier to exercise and her hips will be going bad (they are already seem to be - although the vet has not limited activity yet) so I foresee lots of indoors, chews, puzzles, etc as she ages with walks and not runs everywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Interesting responses!

I haven't slowed down due to health or anything.. I'm a 20 year old college student who hadn't had time to do anything but study. So my spare time became relaxing (well, in the winter anyways). My current dog is also a senior who can barely go on walks anymore. She used to be a very active dog in her youth and kept my butt moving. When I'm done with school, I want the challenge of a more energetic breed. I've been researching for years, and I'm going to be committed whether I find it's for me or not. I'd rather do it while I'm still young and have energy.

Still, I'd never get a dog if I decided I couldn't handle it. I know that I cannot handle the drive of an ACD or working BC from what I've read. But I've met many many Aussies, and I love them to death. Their crazy wiggle butts, their intelligence, their playfulness.. it's what I really want. I just hope that I can build up my stamina enough so that I can have my exercise buddy in a few years.
 

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Oh, Avie, you just reminded me so much of my Muggsy. He was a GSD x Golden Retriever, but the more I talk to people who own GSDs, the more I realize how Shepherd Muggsy was. He used to do that ball thing, too. The only thing in your description of Charlie that wasn't pure Muggsy was being reserved with strangers. To Muggsy, a stranger was just a friend he hadn't met yet.
Reserved with strangers in general :p I like that characteristic in a shepherd, and Mike wears the description well. But Charlie was just like your Muggsy, he loved every human being, would jump into a stranger's car if they beckoned him (he did that once! D: ) That experience made me realize I like friendliness, but I like reserved even better. ;)
 
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