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  #11  
Old 04-28-2013, 08:59 AM
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Aleron Aleron is offline
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That's interesting, I would've never considered a boxer. The ones I'm around on a regular basis are pretty rough and tumble and not super considerate of doggy etiquette, although I also don't know anything about their background/how they were raised/etc. There are a couple I really like, but they've always been the minority. I'll read more about them!
I've been around a lot of Boxers of all different lines, both well bred and not and raised in all different ways. IME your experience is typical of the breed. They are extremely rough and physical dogs, like to body slam for fun and their play style is often very offensive to other dogs. And young Boxers tend to be really wild and active. They do settle down into only sometimes really wild and active as they get older. Boxers are not a breed I'd suggest if "must get along with other dogs" is super important. They are definitely prone to DA and SSA, some of them seem to really enjoy getting into a good scuffle.
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  #12  
Old 04-28-2013, 09:23 AM
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Emily Emily is offline
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This is maybe a year or two out. That way Rowan will be 8/9, so not too old, and Riff will be 3/4, so not so young and crazy!

- I prefer between 25-50 lbs, with 30-35 being ideal. Could go a bit bigger or smaller for the right dog, but nothing tiny or huge.
Boy ECS are supposed to be 28-34 lbs, girls 24-32 lbs. Obviously there can be variation, probably more so in the field line dogs than the show line dogs, but yep, they fall right into your ideal pocket. Great size IME, very much a sturdy dog but still portable and doesn't need a huge crate.

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- Trainable, eager to please. I like intelligent but don't need it as long as the dog is relatively easy to teach. Rowan is problematically intelligent AND pretty easy to train; Riff is kind of dumb but also not very easy to train which I find to be a frustrating combo.
Ollie is extremely eager to please and learns very quickly. He is still a puppy, just turned a year old, and can certainly be wild, lol, but he responds extremely well to formal training. High food and ball drive.

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- I like a Velcro dog, but I have two dogs with SA already and am really tired of dealing with it. Ideally the dog would be happy to shadow me when I'm around, but be independent enough to handle being alone for periods of time (usually not more than 4 hours.)
Yup. He loves his people, lives to be with us, but is well-mannered in a crate and has no SA whatsoever.

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- I really want an affectionate/cuddly person. I'm very touchy-feely and want a dog that can at least tolerate that, although I'd prefer they enjoy it too
Very much so. He likes to sleep with his neck draped across your neck, prefers to be touching his person while resting. Loves to be scratched and snuggled.

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- I want a dog with enough drive and "oomph" to enjoy playing dog sports, but I don't want a dog that is so go-go-go that they need a job all the time. I'm willing to sacrifice some drive for that; I'd like to put a few titles on the dog (agility, maybe rally) but don't need a real high end competition dog.
Ollie has cracked nails and skinned his paw pads open fetching, and refused to quit or even show signs of pain. He's also extremely food motivated and has fairly excellent focus considering my mom's done...nothing with him.

He has no problem with settling in the house though (unless I'm over with my dogs and that's because he's not used to having other playful dogs at his disposal, lol). My mom always says that if she can't do anything but throw his ball for 20 minutes, he deals with that just fine, and has no problem spending a day snuggling on the couch.


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- MUST GET ALONG WITH OTHER DOGS. This is huge. Rowan has a very low tolerance for rudeness, so while there's certainly a training aspect on this requirement (learning boundaries, proper greetings etc) I really need an easygoing dog that is ok with Rowan being a little bit of a bossy punk. This one is a little hard to pinpoint because his favorite dogs and some of his best friends are cattle dogs/cattle dog mixes which are just as pushy and snarky as him. However they've all had good dog sense; they seem to read each other well and never push over each other's thresholds. The real problem is crazy, excitable oblivious dogs (like sweet Riffers) who has no idea how obnoxious he's being.
He doesn't have a DA bone in his body. Having been raised with Keeva and Mackenzy he totally accepts their corrections and Keeva's bossing him around. If anything, he's timid with strange dogs but not to the point of any sort of reactivity or anything resembling an issue. Very good with household dogs. Occasionally wants to guard high value chews but who doesn't? Not a resource guarder or pushy with other dogs in general at all.

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- I prefer a coat I can bury my fingers in, so like a lab's fur or thicker/longer is my preference. I could go for a smooth coat for the right dog, it's just not my favorite. High grooming requirements are ok, not my favorite thing to deal with but it's a compromise I'd be willing to make.
Single coat with feathering, no real grooming required on the field line dogs. Showline will be much more intensive. Ollie gets a sanitary trim and his feet cleaned up. As his coat develops he may need his feathering trimmed, but that's about it. That said, the coat (this is true of all spaniels) can change with spaying/neutering, and get softer and less wash and wear, so that's a factor to consider. Ollie is intact, so I have no feedback on possible coat change.

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- Ideally will get along with cats in the house as well. I don't have one now but likely will in the dog's lifetime. They would never be left alone together, I just don't want the dog constantly chasing the cat either.
Ollie had never seen a cat before and met my cat, and was totally friendly and curious but respectful. Shouldn't have any issue there whatsoever with a cocker.

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- Temperament with strangers doesn't really matter. I like anything from aloof to extremely friendly. Rowan thinks everyone is his best friend but I would be just as happy with a dog who didn't care.
Very friendly, and happy to say hi, but not obsessed with the affection of strangers. Great for stuff like professional grooming and vet exams, no handling issues.

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- I'd LOVE a dog I could train to go hiking and stuff off leash.
The field-line Cockers are bred to be close working and hunt with someone who's on foot, so they tend not to run far or too fast. Ollie is excellent off leash. I recently took him and Mackenzy to the dog park and he came every time I said his name, lol. Every. time. And my mom hasn't even trained him, he just wants to stick around. Not saying they're born with a recall but I think it's very much in their nature to be responsive and stick close while off leash.

What you should know: The world of field-line breeders is different than that of AKC show/performance breeders. Don't expect much by the way of contracts. Personally, when I selected Ollie's breeder for my parents, I made my decision based on:

-Health testing, and OFA listings. She's big on health testing and recording it with OFA

-Dogs lived in the house. IME Cockers should be companions, and my parents wanted a house dog so we wanted a puppy from house dogs.

-Excellent reputation in the world of Cocker field trials

-Producing dogs that have been successful in not just field trials, but real hunting, AND pet dogs, the occasional service dog, performance dogs, etc.

-She answered emails in a timely fashion and scheduled a time to make a phone call with my mom before accepting a deposit on a puppy.
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:35 AM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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I was going to say English cocker, or something from the spaniel family... But Emily beat me to the punch
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  #14  
Old 04-29-2013, 11:35 PM
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Hmmmm, I might have to look more seriously into Koolies, then. I'm not thrilled about the prospect of importing, but it's not a deal breaker, either.

Thanks for your input, Aleron Yeah, that's always been my impression of them.

Wow, Emily, Ollie does sound like... pretty much exactly what I want, lol. Your list of requirements in a breeder is basically what I would be looking for, too. How difficult was it for you to find a breeder willing to sell to a non-hunting home? (at least that's what it sounds like) I feel like in my very basic beginning search, almost all of the breeders I found bred specifically for hunters, although that's obviously something I'd have to just talk to them about, too.

Here are some of the other breeds on my "maybe" list, any input on these guys?:

Golden Retriever (show type) - bigger than I'd like, maybe not quite drivey enough?
LH Whippet - worried about off-leash reliability with any sighthound
Welsh Springer Spaniel
Aussie (show type) - I think I'd love a Merlin or Journey
Collie (rough or smooth, leaning toward smooth) - I love what I've read about them but all the ones I've met have been kind of... boring. Lacking a little "oomph." But I'm hoping that's just the local lines and not a breed thing because they sound so cool!
Sheltie - Probably the least likely, at least for the next dog, but I feel like I would enjoy a good sheltie from confident/outgoing lines. Not big on barkiness but I think that's just a compromise I have to make with a lot of the herders.
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  #15  
Old 04-29-2013, 11:45 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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but that was what I was looking for and cultivated in them.
This. Not all drive/activity levels are genetic. Nurture has a lot to do with it.

Also, Koolie is what first popped into my head.

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Collie (rough or smooth, leaning toward smooth) - I love what I've read about them but all the ones I've met have been kind of... boring. Lacking a little "oomph." But I'm hoping that's just the local lines and not a breed thing because they sound so cool!
Collies are bigger than your ideal range, for the most part. Logan's a little over 70 pounds (but he is on the big side, he's 26" which is the top end of the standard). I have yet to meet a boring collie, so my bets are on your local lines lacking that something extra. Logan is such an awesome dog, and always up for a good joke. I was studying earlier, and saying names of bird families out loud. Apparently the sound funny, because Logan came up out of nowhere and booped me in the face Then he had to roll around and make wookie noises for a while. He's really just a fun, fun dog.

ETA: BYB collies around here do tend to be a bit dull, but I haven't met a well-bred collie that was. Logan has a bit more drive than your average collie, but not to an extreme...smoothies seem to be a bit more driven overall, anyway.
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  #16  
Old 04-30-2013, 08:41 AM
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Emily Emily is offline
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Wow, Emily, Ollie does sound like... pretty much exactly what I want, lol. Your list of requirements in a breeder is basically what I would be looking for, too. How difficult was it for you to find a breeder willing to sell to a non-hunting home? (at least that's what it sounds like) I feel like in my very basic beginning search, almost all of the breeders I found bred specifically for hunters, although that's obviously something I'd have to just talk to them about, too.
Not hard at all, honestly. IME field Cockers are generally kept as house pets anyway and breeders are actually pretty happy to brag that their pups also have lovely temperaments and make excellent pets. My mom did start her initial email with the information that she's an active person, a runner, and has a large fenced yard.

The breed culture might be different in different gun dog breeds, but my experience has been that in Cockers, breeders are happy to sell to active pet homes.

ETA: Yeah, they may seem to breed specifically for hunters but definitely contact them, because I bet you a great many are not opposed to selling to pet homes.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:46 AM
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Sael you need to bring Logan to a show down in OK so I can meet him. I've had the same experience as the OP in that collies are pretty...non drivey and totally laid back kind of dogs. Really soft and sensitive and slow moving when they get to going. It may just be they're not a good breed for me.

The last reveille at Texas a&m is a fun little collie though.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:57 AM
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As far as Sheltie barkiness goes yeah they're vocal but it's not that bad. Or else papillons are a lot worse than people think. My Shelties weren't any worse than Mia or Summer as far as barking goes. They did make more kinds of weird noises though.

Shelties are fun dogs.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:32 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Sael you need to bring Logan to a show down in OK so I can meet him. I've had the same experience as the OP in that collies are pretty...non drivey and totally laid back kind of dogs. Really soft and sensitive and slow moving when they get to going. It may just be they're not a good breed for me.

The last reveille at Texas a&m is a fun little collie though.
There are some shows in OK over the summer I'm considering if I can get a car that will make it
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:34 PM
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You should!!!!
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