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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone :)
as suggested here is what I'm looking for in a puppy and what I can provide:

I like medium-large breeds although not too big (like Bermese mountain dog is a bit too big right now).
I like dogs that make good companions, loyal and loving but also need excercise and mental stimulation that being said I know people will probably say lab or golden, I like golden retrievers so they are an option but labs are a bit too big and have tons of health issues :( I also prefer less "stalky" dogs...but I'm not too picky about looks, just no poodles please and if I'm being honest I prefer dogs with cocked/stand-up ears! That being said, looks don't determine what dog breed I'd get, characteristics and traits are much more important and I'd quickly take a dog with good character over a good looking one.

Would love to do agility or SAR training although flyball and skootering are also options (i'm really open to anything that involves the dog and the handler working together, I also like competitive sports but non-competitive is also enjoyable)
My family is moderatly-fairly active. We go biking an/or hiking at least once a day on the average day. I spend a lot of free time outside. On the average day I would be able to provide 1 hour of stimulated excercise, of course throughout the day when I take breaks from my school I would do short 10-15 min training sessions with a puppy but these would be more mental then physical (such as learning basic commands as well as tricks).
We have a fenced in fairly small yard.
I have a cat.
I prefer low shedding vs tons of hair (my cat has really long fur :s so I already brush her every-other day) grooming once a week is fine.
I like dogs that are more of a challenge, alert and ready to learn new things but they still need to have a somewhat calm side once they're an adult (I know puppies will be more active which is fine)
Did I miss anything?

Thanks in advance everyone, opinions and ideas are welcome!
 

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Nobody ever likes this suggestion, but have you ever considered getting a Standard-Giant Poodle?
They don't have to be froo-froo in the show clips and if you get clippers, grooming/maintenance in a generic all over length is fairly simple.
Poodles can be whatever size you want, they're good natured, incredibly smart, and active but not to an excessive degree. They get along with other pets and do well as a family dog. They wouldn't be excessive shedders and are hypoallergenic. Depending on the puppy in the litter you could get anywhere from a bold, pushy puppy, to a soft, reserved puppy.

Try to push aside the stigma of poodles and just do a little looking into the breed itself, they're very impressive!
 

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Second the poodle... very smart, great trackers, funny, loves agility sports... Might be a good fit. My mom currently has a standard poodle and she pretty much meets all of your requirements. (She does tracking and agility)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestion, I have looked at the standard poodle before since they are basically a retriever not a poofy show dog if you give them the puppy cut (I think thats what its called...) I know my parents are both against poodles though and I might want a dog with a bit more energy, I'll talk to my parents about that option.
 

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Poodles have PLENTY of energy.... On the higher side, in my experience. Only downside is they can be a little nervous and inclined toward SA but I think that can be managed pretty early on with good puppy training.
 

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What about aussies? I think goldens would be a good fit as well. Possibly dobermans.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@ireth0
It would be my dog.

@elrohwen
I do love aussies but they do shed a lot. :/
We had a Dobie when I was little :) Maybe a dobie mix since a Doberman can get quite big.
Thanks for the ideas everyone!
 

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@ireth0
It would be my dog.

@elrohwen
I do love aussies but they do shed a lot. :/
We had a Dobie when I was little :) Maybe a dobie mix since a Doberman can get quite big.
Thanks for the ideas everyone!
If shedding is a huge concern, keep in mind that most short hair dogs actually shed more than long haired dogs.

What about an Australian Cattle Dog? I think some would be too much dog, but many would be similar to a border collie as far as exercise and mental stimulation requirements.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good point about the shedding.
There is an Australian cattle dog litter of pups that I've been "monitering" so to speak. After a lot of research though I think they aren't what I'm looking for. I do like that they are considered a "velcro" dog which I like.

And yes I'll be paying for food, crate bedding etc. My parents will do the vet bills (until I move out). And there's no question about it, the dog I get now will be my dog for the next 10-20 years so it'll come with me when I move.
 

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Good point about the shedding.
There is an Australian cattle dog litter of pups that I've been "monitering" so to speak. After a lot of research though I think they aren't what I'm looking for. I do like that they are considered a "velcro" dog which I like.
What about them don't you like? They fit your description pretty well and the look that you like. Just curious because it might help us to give you better suggestions.
 

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And there's no question about it, the dog I get now will be my dog for the next 10-20 years so it'll come with me when I move.
Particularly this bit means we should also be considering what dogs will also do well in apartment life, and will be easier to move with. Many breeds are banned from rentals, for example, and many do not allow dogs over a certain size limit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
At least from what I've researched and read online, it seems like Australian cattle dogs need more mental stimulation than border collies. They also tend to be dominant always challenging the owner, dog aggressive and don't do so well with cats. Correct me if I'm wrong with any of this, I don't have first hand experience with the breed.
You are right though, I do like the look and the shorter fur. So an ACD mix might be okay but can be hard to find? and it would be hard to determine which pup has "less" ACD in him.
 

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They can be challenging, and the DA and cat aggression is a possible thing. I don't think they're typically as hard to handle as a lot of websites make them seem though. At least the ones I have met or known abou through people online are not that crazy.
 

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Particularly this bit means we should also be considering what dogs will also do well in apartment life, and will be easier to move with. Many breeds are banned from rentals, for example, and many do not allow dogs over a certain size limit.
This means that a Doberman or anything Dobie/mix would be out, most likely.

Banned lists are generally as follows: Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Presa Canarios, Chow Chows, Akitas, Mastiffs, Cane Corsos, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies.

Anything that is mixed with any of those breeds and has their physical characteristics will generally also be banned.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@ ireth0
I hope not to have to leave my dog in an apartment if I do Uni, but that could happen especially if I go to Uni away from home. That being said, I live in Europe so if I go to Uni here somewhere, they are a lot more dog acceptant than in the US, I think its a rule that dogs have to be allowed in rental places (at least in a lot of them...)
But yes breeds that are banned (especially banned from flying) would most likely be out.
 

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Where in Europe? That might open up some other options. Some of the Dutch breeds like the Stabyhoun might fit well.
 

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FWIW, I don't have a LOT of personal experience with ACDs so take this with a grain of salt... but the two I do know in our friend circle are not particularly dog friendly.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yep dutch breeds are in, stabyhound, kooiker etc, although both have longer fur :)
@TGKvr for the moment I think ACD's are out,
 
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