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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What it is about your breed (or breed mix) that owners aren't prepared for, and ends up with (at best) surprised or unhappy owners or, (at worst) dogs dumped in shelters?

I'm having a hard time articulating this, so hopefully an example will help.

Rat Terriers: People often expect their rat terrier to be, basically, just like a slightly large chi. When they get a terrier with prey-drive, that digs, and is stubborn, they're taken aback. ( I should add here, for full disclosure, that I expected Jack to act like a terrier. He doesn't. He's basically a 25 pound chihuahua - that is not normal).

Or Boston Terriers: Many people seem to expect them to be low energy lapdogs *or* to actually be terriers. They are neither. I'd expect the people looking for the low energy lapdog are further over their head.
 

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I have Jack Russells, and my cousin when out and bought one after she met mine, because she thought that they were such nice dogs. Well she has no training knowlage, she grew up with 2 toy poodles that never had any real training any way. Turns out the dog isn't really a jack (it's way to big and just looks like a lab mutt to me) She says it is, but thats not the point. The thig is wild and untrained now.

I think most people know that jacks ar crazy, but people that don't, might see one that is well trained, and think they are nice pets.
 

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Dachshunds: Notoriously bad breeding out there since they're cute hot dogs. They end up with piss poor temperaments, some because they're not lap dogs. My blinding nearly 7 year old is very much not a lap dog (even if I hold him to my bosom). They're also difficult to house train, so I'm sure that plays a big factor in the world of dumb.
 

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I'm sure that Laurelin will have lots to say about papillons, but basically, people think they're getting a mellow little lap dog and are more likely to end up with a toy-sized border collie.

People think that the Alaskan Klee Kai is like a miniature Siberian, but AKK have a very different temperament -- they're cautious around strangers, sometimes to the point of being extremely shy. They can end up nippy when people reach over their heads. Although they are small, they need a decent amount of exercise and they have the high prey drive and escape artist tendencies of bigger huskies.
 

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People seem to think hounds are all low energy couch potatoes. Those people have never met Callie. She was surrendered for "digging in snow"....??? But it might have been the energizer bunny thing that got her in trouble. Now that she's 5 we've been able to tire her out once or twice after only 3 or 4 hours of hard exercise, clearly she's getting lazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
People seem to think hounds are all low energy couch potatoes. Those people have never met Callie. She was surrendered for "digging in snow"....??? But it might have been the energizer bunny thing that got her in trouble. Now that she's 5 we've been able to tire her out once or twice after only 3 or 4 hours of hard exercise, clearly she's getting lazy.
I grew up with hounds. My first dog as an adult was a beagle.

Ahahaha. Low energy couch potato my butt. (...there must be low energy couch potato dogs - anyone want to bet they're the ones people assume are hyper? I'm thinking Greyhounds, but there must be more.)
 

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I think its all the extra skin... people imagine a basset or a bloodhound lazing in the sun and they just look tired with that droopy face. So of course all hounds are like that... YEAH.
 

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there must be low energy couch potato dogs
I've never owned one but from what I hear most newbie owners think big dogs like Danes will require massive amounts of exercise and space when really they'll warm your couch quite happily after a long walk and some fetch.
 

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I was shocked to find out basset hounds get surrendered to shelters often. They said the number one reason is people believe they are going to be a small dog and then soon find out they are actually quite large and do not like that. also they are hard to train and no matter the training they will always seek every chance to eat your garbage. hence why I am up at 530 am on a Saturday morning cause my Basset hound woke me up crying which is not like him. I let him out of the bedroom thinking maybe he had to use the bathroom and he FLEW into the kitchen and jumped in the garbage can. Sigh.
 

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Labs- They are very mouthy puppies. Most are not ready for the exercise requirements for a lab.They also shed like crazy. Not as bad as some breeds but some people do not like the shedding. It is all year 24/7,7 days a week. They also drool....when you have food and will not give it to them,lol. They also eat everything and anything from dog food to a car.
 

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Great Danes- people are not prepared for the size they get. No word of a lie. They also aren't prepared to do the training and have the responsibility of what comes with owning a giant breed dog (can't scoop up 130 lb dog if they are acting inappropriately and walk away!), plus with horrible breeders out there - our gentle giants are not as 'gentle' as they should be sometimes and people can't handle it (and are shocked as to why they aren't so gentle!). People also aren't prepared for the higher expenses of owning a giant breed (food, vaccines, vet expenses). I also think people get suckered into this notion that Danes are lazy - which is true to a degree, but there are exceptions to every standard and a puppy is still a puppy, regardless of the breed.
 

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Black Russian Terrier:

Let's ignore the ones (the majority)
which are not particularly well-bred.
Sadly, the sole prerequisite many breeders have
when looking at a prospective puppy owner,
is that they have a cheque (or, for our American friends, a "check")
which doesn't bounce.

Looking at a well-socialized, well-trained BRT,
most people have no idea of the depth,
complexity and uber-serious side
to these lovely hairballs.

With their extreme intelligence,
puppies are normally very, very easy to raise and train.
However, when puberty hits, somewhere around 1/1/2 yrs
(and this can appear to happen, literally, overnight),
that cute black fur-ball becomes a fully functioning,
very serious family guardian...

At that time, if the owner had not already established his/her leadership
(and yes, I know, this is not a politically correct concept for many)
he/she will find themselves in over their heads!!!
It can be quite disconcerting to suddenly have a guard dog
which determines, for itself, from whom you need protecting!

Horror stories are remarkably similar,
and most of these stories revolve around
that critical age.

This seems to be more pronounced in the males
(although females make, at least, as good guardians!).
And although this can be true of of other guardian breeds,
I've never seen "the change" as dramatic as with these guys.
 

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BORDER COLLIE

- the obvious energy of course. My BC is always, always ready to go. The moment you stand up, even if it's just to walk from the table to the couch, she's up and eager.
- in inability to turn "off" in the house unless you train it into them. Even then, if Gyps doesn't get hard exercise every day, she's a PITA. Even when she does get 4+ hours of hard exercise, sometimes we have to insist on quiet in the house by taking away her fetchable toys or ignoring her pointedly.
 

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I'm sure that Laurelin will have lots to say about papillons, but basically, people think they're getting a mellow little lap dog and are more likely to end up with a toy-sized border collie.
Hehe yeah I talk too much especially when it comes to papillons.

The main reason I've seen in rescues has been energy level. Paps are pretty easy dogs imo but people get them wanting a purse dog or lap dog and they're usually not that. There's a reason the breed does so well even at the top levels of agility and obedience. Take a look at the history of the US World Agility teams... the third most represented breed is the papillon. After shelties and Border collies. That should tell you something. They're little dogs but they can have a lot of energy and drive. A dog like Mia treated like a lap dog would be a nightmare. That brain of hers needs something to do. They're just... needy dogs all around. The biggest complaints- I can't get my papillon to stop moving! My papillon won't cuddle! My papillon is hyper!

There was a pap at the local Petco for adoption here and I felt so bad for him. He was so hyper he was shaking and jumping and barking the whole time I was there. They were only letting him go to a performance home. Some really do need that kind of work and that attitude is unusual for a toy dog. Not what people expect.

Other issues I see a lot are failed potty training or a dog that marks. And then temperament problems, possessiveness and aggression, which I blame on puppymill breeding of toy dogs. I've never met a well bred pap that was aggressive or owner possessive.
 

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I have a Siberian Husky.


I figure most dogs like Diesel would surrendered for the same reasons as sibes. He's a Border Collie cross, most likely with APBT or American Bully. I've had guesses of golden being thrown in there, but after 4 years of him, I'm pretty firm in what I say. But he's intelligent, driven, powerful and loyal, and he really needs somebody to call him out on his crap (and by this I mean mostly stay on him, keep his exercise up, make him feel like he has a job to do, etc.) People see him and think he's a big teddy bear that could lay in your lap all day. Well, yeah, sure, but he's also a ball of intent energy who will dig to china via your yard, he will pull you on a leash, and he will steal your shoes and hide them somewhere inappropriate.


I'd say a lot of Chihuahuas end up in shelters because not a lot of people expect them to be dogs. They want this dainty little thing that shakes and they put clothes on before they stick it in their purse and pack it around everywhere. Sure, they're tiny, but they're DOGS. They need exercise, training, rules, boundaries. They need everything a bigger dog needs and more. By not doing these things, this is how people end up with snappy, rude chihuahuas. Biting other people's cute until it happens to you, then it's off to the pound.
Like this woman for example: http://animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/my-cat-from-hell/videos/my-cat-is-a-bully.htm -Before you click, it's a link to a My Cat From Hell episode and the first part includes a woman who goes beyond babying her chihuahuas. I actually got ill watching it because it's so ridiculous. She's part of the reason chihuahuas have an awful reputation. (if you don't want to watch it, basically, she'd feeding them with a fork, giving them baby bottles, putting them in a stroller. They don't go out to potty, and they are not allowed to walk because "they'll get germs". She washes their feet in her kitchen sink :| )
 

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I grew up with hounds. My first dog as an adult was a beagle.

Ahahaha. Low energy couch potato my butt. (...there must be low energy couch potato dogs - anyone want to bet they're the ones people assume are hyper? I'm thinking Greyhounds, but there must be more.)
Yes my first dog as an adult was a greyhound, and EVERYONE we met on walks would say or ask something along the lines of "She must need SOOO much exercise!" When in reality while yes, she liked her walks, at home she was a total couch potato.

ETA: I don't really have breeds now. The closest is probably Maisy, whatever scent hound is in her, is really in her. I do think there's a stereotype among the general public of the larger scent hounds in particular as super laid back, lazy and sort of dumb... but oh god she is the exact opposite of that stereotype in every way possible. The only thing she ISN'T is super, super vocal, which is nice because it's probably what would bug me the most. :p
 

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I can attest for Schnauzer/Poodle mixes. :) I love them ... but I like dogs who need constant grooming ... I enjoy it. I also can handle dogs who love to bark and dig and lay all over your lap and get hysterical at strangers who come near you. Yep ... I almost forgot the tear stains. These dogs are really great little dogs ... but they need exercise ... both physical and especially mental. This mix is a combo of feisty Terrier and Poodles who are hunters as well as Terriers. My experience has been that they are crazy smart and definitely need something to do ... a job. If left to their own devices they will get into all sorts of trouble! Lol! :)

It seems that folks who aren't ready for that all out up and ready to go personality ... find out that these cute little guys aren't just fluffy little lap dogs.
 

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Ridgebacks (since, though a rescue, everyone from vets to breeders agree Chester is a RR):

I don't see a huge number of Rhodesians in rescue, I think in part because they aren't being overbred. But I have known a few people who had problems with theirs and I have met a lot of people who would have problems with one if they bought one.
Energy level- they were bred to run for miles in the heat, while lazy in the house and not "hyper", they can go for hours.
Power- physically strong. Without leash training, they will drag your butt down the street. I think the slim body shape and long legs understates their strength.
Protectiveness- being the guard dogs of the hound family, some people undersocialize because hounds are all easy-going right? and then end up with dogs that have to be put outside when people visit and guard their owners on walks.

Pit bulls (aka pit types):
Too many people get them for what they are NOT rather than what they ARE. They aren't guard dogs at all for example, my ridgeback is far more suspicious of people acting oddly (like a drunk the other day that he was barking and growling at while the pit just looked on like "hello")
People underestimate the tenacious energetic terrier factor and discover that they will destroy a house when bored, then they get tossed in the backyard.
Noise- the howling, high pitched noise that pitties make is earsplitting.
Neediness- not everyone wants a velcro dog and every single pit I have met has to be plastered to their owner's side
and something that isn't at all the dog but some people aren't prepared for the reactions of other people to them having a pit.
 

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For my ACD mix I've known several people that have gotten cute little ACD puppies with no concept of how much energy and drive and how much work they take. Most of them I've known became outside dogs with little training because it took too much work to get them how they wanted (if that makes sense sorry!) People are always wanting to pet Chloe and get upset when she walks away or avoids them. I tell them she's very family oriented and doesn't really care about other people. She's a mix so her ACD traits are watered down pretty well. Going to school in AL there were tons of ACDs around that were poorly trained and overly aggressive because people liked the look of them but not the attitude so they gave up and ignored them.

I have seen a large number of catahoulas in the shelters and on craigslist and the majority of them are 2-4 years old. They're so pretty people get them as puppies and don't care for the adults that they grow up to be.

Our dogs are very well behaved and people will comment on it and ask their breeds and talk about getting pups of their own and I always try to emphasize how much work it took to have them so good and its a constant effort to put their energy and drive to good work. I start talking about exercise and training and watch their eyes glaze over; mission accomplished!
 

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. . . there must be low energy couch potato dogs - anyone want to bet they're the ones people assume are hyper? I'm thinking Greyhounds, but there must be more.)
My experience is the lowest energy puppy I have had - completely easy all the way around - was the first mixbreed girl I purchased. Both her parents and grandparents are of the spaniel type - but they are mixed. They are both easy dogs as well. Around her area there was a Tibbie breeder for years, and as well a Papillon commercial breeder, and many, many Shih tzu Bichon mixes and a farmbred Cocker or two, so many of the small mixes bred forward by farmers etc. there are from that foundation.

The lowest energy purebred puppy I've known has been a Tibetan Spaniel pup . . . but they also come in 'terrorist puppy', so I think that is an individual thing. I've heard the same about Cavalier puppies . . . that many are low energy, but again they do have the occasional 'terrorist' amongst them.

As for what gets breeds into trouble (from my experience):

Border Collies - brains. People think they want smart until they have a dog that is smarter than they counted on. I actually don't like a smart dog myself and am not a fan of this breed but have been the fosterer/rehomer/rescuer of 6 different Border Collies or Border Collie mixes in the past, as I have the land they can run some energy out on, and have heard all the excuses from those giving them up.

Cavalier Spaniels - their neediness (separation anxiety is a problem that is one of the hardest to deal with).

Papillons - higher energy than many people think they are going to get. (It is actually incredibly fun if you know to anticipate it).

Pomeranians - barking. Of my first two that I took in, the one Pom often times made me crazy (my OH used to comment, when she was on a roll, 'just put her in the garage!':). She just LOVED to bark. I liked everything else about her. I HAVE met other Poms that were less inclined to bark than my girl.

Huskies - their shedding. Really. I just cannot explain how profuse the shedding is . . . and I've always owned shedding breeds. I'm NOT great about coat care, though and don't enjoy that aspect of dog ownership. I like a medium length easy care coat that doesn't easily matt (love field coats).

SOB
 
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