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When I look at dog breed ratings on different sites, most breeds receive high ratings in at least one of these two categories: playfulness and affection. Some breeds, though, like Rottweilers, Schipperkes, Chows, and Schnauzers (excluding minis) to name just a few consistently get low ratings in both areas. What I love most about my dog is how affectionate and playful she is. I'm not saying these other breeds are bad dogs by any means but I've always had trouble understanding why someone would seek out a dog that isn't playful or affectionate. Just curious what your thoughts are.
 

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Personally, I'd rather have an independent breed then one that is not independent. It's not that independent breeds aren't playful- Rottie's are some of the goofiest dogs you will ever meet- such a great breed. They just prefer to have things on their terms.

On another note, I dislike most labs and weims I meet. I'd MUCH rather have a somewhat aloof spitz or northern breed then a dog that is as needy as those two breeds. I don't like dogs that are constantly underfoot and in your face with wanting attendtion and having to have constant interaction.

But, some people do like that. One wiem owner I know says she has weims because she needs her dogs to need her.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. That's really interesting. I think I'm closer to the Weim owner you mentioned. I have a Spaniel mix that loves to follow me around and always wants to play with me. She really makes me feel special. Sometimes when I want to get work done, she'll stare at me as if she really wants to play. That might annoy some people but I find it really cute. After a minute or two she'll usually just go lie down instead.
 

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Rotties are extremely affection with their people. I haven't had much experience with the other breeds so I can't say about them.
 

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For me it's about the variety and challenges that the independents present. Handler aware dogs bore me with their "needs". I do have one dog that had that kind of constant want for attention with the following around that comes with it. It took a year for her to finally adjust to the fact that I was going to ignore her (now her attitude is more like the rest of the pack). That's another thing too, I love it that my dogs ignore me most of the time.
 

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I've always had trouble understanding why someone would seek out a dog that isn't playful or affectionate.
I'll assume these lists mean playful and affectionate with their guardian, because play and affection are subjective and dependent on whatever criteria the list creator is using.

Basically you're asking the question, why do people keep cats? I can't answer that question for you, I have no idea. :p

But I will say this, the enjoyment of a dog is not just on how he interacts with his people. It is how he interacts with everything in his environment. If I chose an Elsa only for how she interacts with me, I'm not likely to appreciate how she interacts with a scurrying fuzzy. For me, to appreciate Elsa, I need to understand that being a dog is much more than being a companion.
 

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Personally for me, when I want an animal to be affectionate, playful, and depending on me I turn to my dogs, when I want an animal who is content to ignore me and only wants attention when THEY see fit, I turn to my cats. Generally I spend more time with my dogs than my cats :p

Though to each his own. Every person is different and because there is such a variety in breeds and personalities of dogs, it's impossible not to find a dog that suits your lifestyle ;)
 

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I think those dog rating things, while good in some ways, don't offer the best information about breeds of dogs. Because all the Rotties I've known have been attention hogs..

Some people like dogs with more of a work ethic than a playful goofy attitude. I think it's really just all in what a person's looking for.
 

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Because not everyone wants a dependent or needing dog. Different breeds for different needs.

If I want a flock guardian I don't want a dog that is going to be dependent on me. If they are busy being playful and want to be affectionate with me that would make them useless. I want a dog that is independent, calm, and alert. Independent dogs can still be affectionate IMO, it is just in a different way from the typically I'm a dumb goof at your feed, must be by your side all the time of certain other breeds. It is still affection non the less. Some might not be as playful, they don't take to certain games like fetch and not understand what a flirtpole is for.

I like both types (independent and dependent) and all in between.

I like Rottweilers because of their loyalty, intelligence and affection, to me they are affectionate. They are also quit playful at times.

I like Schipperkes because of their "spitzy look", smaller size, coat. Their temperament is fine by me also.

Honestly those list are just people's opinions. I'd really talk to breeders and owners to find out more about specific breeds. Of course some are less affectionate or not very playful. I only doubt the validity of some because its highly unlikely the person who created it has owned multiple dogs of every breed rated.

I have both independent and velcro dogs and maybe some kind of in between. They are still loving dogs in their own way. Some want to always be around me as much as possible. Others might want to be around but not up in my face/space. Example one likes to climb on DH lap, she also tries to climb on my lap when I'm here. When she can't do that she keeps hitting under my arm when I'm trying to use the mouth. She demands attention. The other is content to lay 10ft from me, not even paying attention to what I'm doing. Maybe even walk off to survey whats going on in the next room. She might walk over to me, then walk away and go lay someone else. Not to move for quit sometime. If I go to her and start petting her she will nuzzle me, rub her head on me, ect. She won't reject my attention but she won't demand it either.
 

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Personally for me, when I want an animal to be affectionate, playful, and depending on me I turn to my dogs, when I want an animal who is content to ignore me and only wants attention when THEY see fit, I turn to my cats. Generally I spend more time with my dogs than my cats :p

Though to each his own. Every person is different and because there is such a variety in breeds and personalities of dogs, it's impossible not to find a dog that suits your lifestyle ;)
see, for me, when i want to have someone to play w/, be affectionate w/ and "depend" on me, i turn to my dogs....when i want someone who is content to be independent and not want to much of that, i turn to my dogs....luckily, w/ the Borders, you can have it both ways....some are affectionate and "spooners", some are not but all are very independent dependent dogs....they need that partnership but also need to be able to think on their own....they're not robots to follow your every whim.....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll assume these lists mean playful and affectionate with their guardian, because play and affection are subjective and dependent on whatever criteria the list creator is using.

Basically you're asking the question, why do people keep cats? I can't answer that question for you, I have no idea. :p

But I will say this, the enjoyment of a dog is not just on how he interacts with his people. It is how he interacts with everything in his environment. If I chose an Elsa only for how she interacts with me, I'm not likely to appreciate how she interacts with a scurrying fuzzy. For me, to appreciate Elsa, I need to understand that being a dog is much more than being a companion.
That is a really good point about how the dog interacts with his/her environment. I've always found Doxies fascinating even though they usually don't get very high ratings in affection or playfulness. I think I find how they interact with the environment fascinating. I definitely love to watch my Spaniel mix interact with the environment. It's fascinating to watch how she plays with different toys.
 

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My dog is a rat terrier. They were bred to be independent hunters (not too many humans want to hunt vermin with their dog :D Rat terriers patrolled the grain silo while the farmer worked the field).

But she's still a dog. She'll give plenty of attention when we want it...and knows how to politely ask for attention when she wants it. But as long as she's had some decent exercise in the last 24 hours, she's just as happy to take a nap in a sunny spot on the floor.

Since we're used to her behavior and habits, it's hard to imagine having a real needy dog.
 

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see, for me, when i want to have someone to play w/, be affectionate w/ and "depend" on me, i turn to my dogs....when i want someone who is content to be independent and not want to much of that, i turn to my dogs....luckily, w/ the Borders, you can have it both ways....some are affectionate and "spooners", some are not but all are very independent dependent dogs....they need that partnership but also need to be able to think on their own....they're not robots to follow your every whim.....

I can't answer the OP's question but I can say that when I look for a dog, being a spooner is one of the most important criteria. I like owner attentive dogs that are very active. So I've narrowed my search down to aussies, smooth collies, or border collies.(I will gladly accept any advice)
 

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I think it's a very good idea for people to research the types of dog that meet their personality needs. :)

Most people on this board seem to research carefully, and the rescue people seem to be very attentive to the needs of their individual dogs, no matter what mix they are. I think that's pretty awesome.

Dogs are good at conforming to what their people want. It's why they've been around so long. :)
 

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I have dogs on both ends of the spectrum.

My Lab, Eddie, is the type of dog that loves to play and is very affectionate and seems to just get more affectionate the older he gets. However, he's not always underfoot either. If he needs to entertain himself, he can. If he needs to be in a room alone, he can and still be quite happy.

Then I have Uallis, my Mastiff. Most of the time, he's really lazy and serious. He's not much for cuddling and rarely gives affection as most people define affection. However, he DOES give affection in his own way. He lays on the floor next to my feet, whereas Eddie would try to squeeze himself in my lap. He does want attention, but he expresses it by quietly sitting next to me and nudging my hand for a pat or a good scratching, whereas Eddie would be shoving toys at me to play tug or fetch. Uallis does like to play and will initiate it by picking up a toy and quietly sitting it in my lap or he'll paw at me with his tail wagging.

Both dogs want affection and play but they just express it in different ways fitting with their breeds and their different personalities. It's just a question of which type the person prefers. As for me, I prefer...both. :p
 

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I'm not saying these other breeds are bad dogs by any means but I've always had trouble understanding why someone would seek out a dog that isn't playful or affectionate. Just curious what your thoughts are.
Interesting question. While I love playful and affectionate dogs, if that's pretty much all they are, it would be fine but I would feel there was something missing now that I've had our dog for 3 years. Yes, sometimes I'm envious of the people with velcro dogs who are trained up the wazoo (can I say that?). But the challenge of working with an independent dog is so much more interesting to me. Frustrating, sure, but I look at it as a test of my skill vs. as something lacking in the dog.

The quality I most prize in Poca and the one that really defines her is her curiosity. She seems to want to explore everything and is crazy for the stimulus of new things. I've watched her around other dogs - the playful and affectionate ones. While they're rubbing up against people asking for attention, she's the one pouncing on the worm on the ground or toying with something she's never encountered before. Watching her explore is fascinating and much more interesting to me than a dog that just wants to be petted. I like her independence. I didn't choose her for it since I had no idea what her personality would be like when we got her. In fact I had the playful and affectionate model in my mind when we agreed to get a dog. But now that we've had her for 3 years, I wouldn't undo the decision and get a different kind of dog if I could. She's just too much fun to be around!
 

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I too always wonder why people chose the breeds they do? I have asked that question myself. I kind of wonder why certain breeds came up for me on those breed selector tests also as most of the breeds that ranked high are ones I would NEVER consider owning. As far as "Why Rotties?" for me it is their sense of humor. Even my Carsten, who has been said to be "a very serious dog" has such a wonderful sense of humor. Rottweiler's ARE big teddy bears to their owners. Heavens, mine are big teddy bears to anyone they come in contact with. Oliver would just as soon knock people over so he can suck on their earlobes while sitting on their laps. ( I help him refrain from this behavior) My boys think they are little lap dogs and thrive on tons of affection. Carsten is a wonderful Therapy dog for that reason alone, he seeks out attention from strangers. The breed standard says they are aloof and do not make immediate friendships but I think this speaks more of the dog without enough socialization at an early age. I socialize the heck out of my dogs and it shows.
 

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My Rottie was very affectionate. They have strong, dignified personalities though, and aren't extroverted 'stranger-loving' dogs, they generally only really are affectionate to their families, so probably that and their reputation intimidates some people, and with an ignorant owner, they can go 'bad'. This is probably why folks rate them low.

If you've met a well-trained Rottie, they're just wonderful dogs.
 

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The rotties I've known have been really affectionate and quite goofy. Not in the same way a lab is but they're far from the aloofness of some other breeds.

I have extreme velcro dogs. They're so demanding sometimes I wish I had an independent dog. I think maybe my next breed will be something a bit less dependent on me. It's nice... my last sheltie, while a 'velcro' breed was very aloof. I adored her. She was a character and not really ever concerned much with people. On her terms, she was a lover. she was also brilliant and quirky and just an enjoyable dog.
 
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