A breed like Chloe?
Well, her good parts, anyway.
Although I'm 99.9% certain my next dog will be a Lab, I really find myself appreciating some of Chloe's character traits. She's a mix breed (Australian Shepherd and farm collie - I was told he was a purebred Rough Collie, but I'm doubtful) and some of her personality traits I could do without, but she really is my perfect dog in other ways. And since I know I just don't want to own Labs, I thought I'd see if there was a breed(s) that I should also be looking in to for the future. I also thought I should make this post now while Chloe is having a good day and I'm marveling out her finer points instead of wanting to strangle her.
- I love her size. I think the smallest size I'd ever really want to own would be Cynder's size, which is about 30 pounds. Chloe is 45 pounds and that is just about perfect. She's "small" enough I can easily lift her, but she's big enough to be a "big dog", too. Even though she's not small height wise, she is lighter boned and more flexible than other dogs her size, which I also love.
- I love her athleticism. Although most dogs I know are just as athletic as she is (she's nothing special), I love that she can run, jump, and do things. If I need her to hop up into the bed of a truck, onto a grooming table, or into the tub, she can. I've seen some dogs that lack that skill (and when I want them to jump out of the low tub in at work they end up almost face planting because they can't figure out how to get their hind feet out of the tub as well as their front LOL).
- I love how physical she is. She loves to wrestle and just generally rough house. You push her around, she'll push back. You want to play tug and she's all over it. She's not sensitive towards roughness, I suppose, and I love that.
- I love her energy level and off switch. She is game for whatever I'm game for. Bike ride? Sure. Hiking? Brilliant. Trip to the park and lots of fetch? Sweet! It's cold, wet, and rainy and I just got home from a ten hour day on campus, so all I want to do is sleep even though she's been in the house all day with nothing to do and it has been a similar scenario all week long? No problem. (Granted, she wasn't like this as a puppy, but puppies are teh evil.) She'll initiate play when she wants to play and is always game for whatever we initiate, but she is also content to just lay around. As I type this she's laying on my bed sound asleep with her head sticking out the hole in my window screen and we've done absolutely nothing today.
- I love her intelligence and eagerness to learn. She is really smart and so much FUN to work with. Blackie was kind of like that, but he was in it mainly for the pay off in treats. Chloe learns because...she loves to learn. Watching the little wheels in her head crank around when she problem solves and figures out a new trick just for the sheer joy of learning it (and to get the treats) is awesome. She isn't what I would dub "eager to please" (Blackie would obey because that is what I wanted him to do - Chloe gives me the bird and says, "Why should I?"), but she is eager to work and enthusiastic ALL the time.
- I love how emotive she is. Not only is she sensitive to our own body language, facial expression, and tone of voice, she is also very expressive. She utilizes her eyes, ears, mouth, tail...every ounce of her body to express what she is feeling at any given moment. Some of it is subtle, some of it is not, but the end result is a dog that has a very large personality.
- I love her instincts. She has an innate drive to guard the property, drive off intruders, and protect her family. She alerts to strangers, does not tolerate strangers coming onto the property that we have not acknowledged the presence of, loves people when in public or after she's been introduced, she "critters" the yard, runs to us when we are in distress (my sister saw a spider once and screamed like she was being murdered - Chloe was sound asleep on the couch, but she immediately jumped up, ran to my sister while growling and barking her head off, and then promptly attacked the spider when JeanAnne pointed at it), and she accepts any and all small animals I bring in to the house as her "babies".
What I wish I could change:
- her noise level. I don't mind it when she talks, but I have a very hard time getting her to STFU when I need her to stop. I'd be much happier if the amount of noise she made was reduced by about half. I'd cry if she was any more vocal.
- her reactiveness/anxiety. I wish she wasn't sound sensitive or so reactive to things. If she could just take things in stride and accept all as well then I'd be much happier. I never again want a dog that can't just go with things/handle stress.
- her dog/dog manners. Frankly, she's a bullying, snarky bitch. This ties in a lot with her reactiveness, but I wish she would tolerate dogs getting into her bubble while out in public and be able to politely interact with them. I don't particularly want a dog that is all, "Yey!!! DOGGIES!! BFFs!!" to every dog it meets, but a polite dog...that would be nice.
- her coat. Although I really don't mind clipping it down with a 5/8" comb every month and a half (since I don't brush her), it would be nice if she was wash and wear.
- her willingness to please. I really liked having a dog that would do what you said because your word is God's. Made training application so much easier. LOL But, if given a choice, I'd pick her smarts and love of learning over a push button dog. It would just be nice to have my cake and eat it, too.
So. Are there any breeds that would fit who Chloe is? I'm assuming Aussie, since that is what she's mixed with, but most of the Aussies I've met have been nerve ball spazzes that never shut up. Which is Chloe, but not the part of her I'd like to duplicate.
~*~ Cynder ~*~ Abrams ~*~
Daddy's Girl Lab/Spaniel muttly and Momma's Boy Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Home Away from Home: Chloe, Gracie, Cooper (dogs), Apollo (cat)