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Old 06-20-2012, 10:42 PM
crazedACD crazedACD is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: West Missouri
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Default Breed Thoughts (Std Poodle, Aussies?)

Alrightie. This might be a bit long.

I'm seriously looking at obtaining a puppy, probably next spring. Although my primary concern is fitting into the household, I am interested in a dog for sport purposes. I guess I'm looking for an 'all purpose' breed..if I want to do competition obedience today, or agility tomorrow, or tracking the next day, they will be up for it. I need a breed that typically lives well with other dogs...and won't drive my poor mother crazy while I'm living here. Eventually I am whisking away to a warm state by myself, but not now. But, to be realistic, it gets cold and miserable here during the winter and sometimes you can't walk across the yard without sinking waist deep in snow. So...a dog that can at least chill and not drive me nuts during those periods where outside exercise isn't wise. But..I do like a dog that is sharp and intelligent..zaney and crazy with some good drive and trainability. There's a bit of a catch-22 there, I know.

I have a love affair with herding breeds. I would really love a breed that I could dabble in actual herding with. I am really on the fence about Border Collies or like a Terv...I'm just not sold on them being the breed for me right now.

Honestly I think the ACD temperament is perfect, BUT, not the dog aggression. There is a problem with SSA in the breed and I'm not sure I'm really comfortable adding a dog that is more inclined to cause problems upon maturity.

I am interested in Kelpies but I'm not importing from overseas and I'm unsure about temperament over here in the US, being almost strictly bred for stock dogs. I've read a bit about human aggression in the breed. I also see it quoted that they are independent...I do best with velcro dogs .

This brings me to Australian Shepherds, and the herding breed I'm leaning closest to. Everything sounds really good, I've always fancied them, until I think of a forum member that had an aussie that bit strangers. And my friend that put one to sleep for HA. And that other friend that had one that wasn't stable. Oh and there was that one in the boarding kennel...the list goes on. I've met nice aussies but the HA thought is still in my head. Otherwise I am very interested. I am in no way afraid of training or socializing, but I would truly like a 'bring anywhere' dog. Thoughts? of the forerunning breeds in my a working bred Standard Poodle. They seem to fit the bill pretty well, with the exception of the herding part. The ones I have known, have been active/athletic, but content to crash on the couch. Slightly reserved but friendly, good with other dogs and pets, relatively quiet. I just personally haven't seen them much in anything but the conformation ring. I'm a little concerned about drive and desire to do sports. I don't know.

Told you it would be long . I'm open to other breeds but I am a bit picky. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-21-2012, 12:07 AM
Bigpoodleperson's Avatar
Bigpoodleperson Bigpoodleperson is offline
Megan and Draco
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: WI
Posts: 889

Well, I can tell you about poodles! I think they are great, and would fit all of your needs perfectly! There have been some that have herding titles actually. They are a "jack of all trades" kind of dog. Obedience one day, agility the next. I am actually working on training my puppy in tracking, obedience and conformation currently with possible future plans in agility or whatnot. I fully expect him to be able to do it all, and well. He has alot of drive to work with and for his people! I have known really drivey poodles in general too. Ready to go when you are, but able to crash if needed. Just really awesome dogs!

I will speak of some of the negatives about poodles though. You NEED to go to a breeder that health tests their dogs for all the tests!! Health is a major major issue in poodles, and they have major things that go wrong! Autoimmune problems being one of the biggest. Look at the VIP poodle website for a list of recommended testing.
Temperament can also be a concern in some lines. Some poodles can have a tendency to be shy/sharp. Make sure the breeder is good, the parents are stable, socialize alot, etc. I have not had an issue with shy/sharp in either of my boys!
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Old 06-21-2012, 12:27 AM
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Zoom Zoom is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 40,739

Straight up HA is not a typical part of the Aussie breed, though they are protective and supposed to be wary of strangers, or at least reserved. A dog that will flat out bite someone without provocation though, that's something else entirely. There are Aussies out there with off temperaments, or undersocialization that give the rest of them a bad name. There are also those who have never been taught how to handle their thresholds, so they go from not knowing what to do to biting. They are "heelers" in a sense though, so their method of control often involves teeth to some degree, as well as lots of barking. They can be taught bite inhibition with people without much issue. Teeth should not be a first resort though.

Socialization and finding a breeder that has stable dogs is a big thing. I got super lucky and my Aussie, from rescue of unknown background, is truly a bring everywhere dog. I also socialized the daylights out of him since the day I got him at 18 months, so he sort of got used to me throwing anything and everything at him.

A good Aussie should have a good amount of drive but with a good off-switch as well. These guys were bred to be the "all-around ranch dog", going from herding stock during the day, to guarding the ranch and keeping an eye on the kids. I find they have a great sense of humor and know when to be silly and when to be "on the job". Obviously depending on lines you can get higher drive, etc.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:15 AM
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Romy Romy is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 10,234

Honestly, a wirehaired pointing griffon fits all the criteria you listed. I can write more later if you're interested.
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