Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,698 Posts
I didn't get my dream breed as my first dog, and tbh I really don't regret it. I also am really in love with a rare breed, but for me it came down to availability and cost. Not that I couldn't have saved up and waited for the rare breed, but we had an opportunity to get Samwise and it was more practical at the time to set that money aside for vet/supplies.

Sam's a mini poodle, a breed that also fits our criteria and lifestyle well, and a wonderful dog. He wound up being an amazing first dog for us for a lot of reasons, but I still have my heart set on my dream breed for our next puppy. Honestly? Outside of dog events, I'll be surprised if more than a couple people a year recognize the breed (it's Lagotto Romagnolo. 99% of people are going to assume doodle). I'm basing this mostly on the fact that I am that dog nerd who IDs people's rare breeds on the street, and more often than not the reaction is some combination of shock and pleasant surprise - I often get comments about how rare it is that anyone knows the breed!

Researching is one thing, but have you actually met and spent time around dogs of both breeds? That can make a big difference! I've had many more opportunities to meet Lagotti since we've had Sam, and while I'm still positive it's the breed I want, I'm glad I now have more in-person experience with the dogs so I can be sure they really resonate with me. Some breeds look great on paper, but when you meet and interact with them, the magic isn't there. Could be perfectly lovely dogs, but just not for you.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,698 Posts
Cool! I did wonder a little, haha.

Another thing to consider is that every Lagotto I've ever met has been very stranger-neutral. That's from the show and agility dogs to the puppy we spent several weeks in a training course with. They all cared way more about doing their own thing or engaging with their owner than anything to do with me. And these were dogs from varied lines and regions, so it's not a single kennel thing. IMO this is probably why some individuals and lines wind up with fear or reactivity issues - they aren't a natural social butterfly breed, and no puppy rearing or socialization protocol will change that core personality (though can build confidence and help a dog become more neutral than fearful). I love that about them, personally, but if you feel that it's important for you to have a dog who will love people and soak up attention and admiration from strangers, you might be disappointed.

My poodle, on the other hand, has never met a stranger. He greets visitors with enthusiasm whether they're the delivery person he's never met before or his "grandma" (my MiL, one of his favorite people ever). He very often enjoys attention from people out on the street, and isn't above soliciting it with his big brown eyes and a hopeful tail wag. Kids ask to pet him. Basically, he's a ham and a charmer and people respond to his eagerness to interact with them. Now there are lines and individuals with fear issues within all poodle sizes, but as a whole the breed is much more social with people. Especially if you find a breeder whose breeding dogs are therapy dogs (or are regularly producing therapy dogs). And, of course, you could always keep a poodle in a non-traditional cut if you prefer the fluffy face look!

It's been years since I last kept up with breeders in the US (if that's where you are), so I'm not sure which you're referring to. But if you have a shot with a breeder you trust and respect, who's producing dogs you like, then it might well be worth the wait. Whichever you choose, nice Lagotti or poodles aren't going anywhere, and the Lagotto Romagnolo breed isn't exactly poised to become the next French Bulldog, haha. It's been rare since I discovered them a decade ago, and while the number of breeders and individuals are slowly growing, they'll likely still be rare in 3, 5, 15 years.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,698 Posts
In the end, if both breeds work for you but you have a preference for one, it's up to you if you're willing to wait longer (and probably pay more) for the Lagotto. I think what most of us are getting at is that the dog's rarity really shouldn't be a factor in the decision, except for how it will affect you (as in, the availability of breeders). Most of the general public won't know your dog is a rare breed, or honestly care that much. Heck, even friends and family might not 'get' why you'd go get an expensive rare breed when you could just have a doodle that "looks the same". The important thing will be how well the dog fits into your life and makes you happy.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,698 Posts
The majority of the general public is going to assume a Lagotto is a doodle, and doodles have at least as big a stigma around them (for being 'designer dogs', badly behaved, poorly bred, overhyped, etc.) as poodles have (for being silly frou frou dogs). In both cases the stigma isn't necessarily true - I have photos somewhere of my boy hiking in the woods, covered to his chest in mud - but the fact is you'll probably get negative attention with either breed. And even if you explain that Lagotto Romagnolo is a rare breed, a certain percentage of people are going to stay convinced you've been scammed by yet another fast-talking doodle breeder with yet another funny name (because sadly a lot of doodle owners are convinced that their mixes are breeds, rare or otherwise).

And either way, no dog is going to heal social anxieties and trauma. They can help, sure - being a socially anxious person myself, I'm a lot more comfortable 'hiding' behind my pup and talking about him, letting him take a lot of attention, than I am dealing with strangers on my own. But despite having a sociable, charming dog that 95% of people adore upon meeting, I still struggle. I'm not more popular, nor less anxious in difficult scenarios. I still spend a lot of time feeling isolated, and I struggle with aspects of dog ownership that require me to be assertive or attract negative attention and judgement. For example: asking people not to pet my dog, or allow their dog to meet mine. Or asking them not to feed him junky treats that'll make his stomach upset (or potentially worse).

Samwise is also frustration reactive: he pulls and screams and generally makes a scene when we get too close to other dogs on-leash, because he wants to say hello and - for everyone's safety - isn't allowed to. Even though he's not aggressive, letting him meet another dog with unknown temperament, on leash, when he's so overexcited he can't think straight is a recipe for a fight. The real and perceived stares and judgements you get when your dog is acting like a butthead are difficult and embarrassing for most people, let alone someone with anxiety, and even though I know I'm working on it and we're improving, nobody else witnessing his fits does.

What is helping me? Medication and therapy.

I'm not saying don't get a Lagotto. I'm saying be really sure you're not putting too much on the dog's head, whatever dog you get. There will be times they aren't perfect, they act like jerks or idiots, when they embarrass you. Having a dog will open you up to all kinds of unsolicited criticism and advice from strangers, even when they're behaving beautifully. And the dog is just a dog, they're not going to understand that you've placed these expectations on them, and you may well have to - at least occasionally - be the "mean" dog owner and tell kids they can't pet your (scared, injured, or uninterested) dog, or that your dog can't say hi to their amped up large "friendly" dog that's straining so hard to get to yours that it's choking itself. You're going to have to be able to look after the dog first, to fulfill its physical, mental, and emotional needs even if if doesn't always fulfill yours, because you're the one who made the choice to bring a dog into your life, and you're the one with all the power and control, which means you have all the responsibility as well.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top