Originally Posted by Laurelin
Ok, I already have plans for what Nextdog will be but I was just curious what breeds come to mind when I describe this:
- Size doesn't matter for this really. <50 lbs?
Adult males don't common fall in the 40 pound range, but you could find a smaller bitch. Quinn weighs 42 pounds. There are adult girls that weigh as little as ~35 pounds.
- coat doesn't matter
Lots of variety in color and length - girls do tend to have less coat. They are all wash and wear and easy to care for though!
- Energy level- moderate to high with great off switch. Puts in a lot of effort when need be but also is totally cool to sleep part of the day.
Quinn will go all day if you ask her to. She's very motivated and loves to do stuff with you, whether it's intense 1-on-1 training or she's just following you around "helping" with chores. She does not do well in the heat and will go lay in the shade for 2-5 minutes, but then runs right back as soon as she's a little cooler. Even outside she doesn't have to always be doing something - for instance, last week I was outside for two hours sitting on the lawn cleaning tack, and she lied with me the whole time. She got up a couple of times when my dad came out of the house (had to go say hi and see what he was up to) and to chase a bird once, but she came back totally on her own and settled with me again. She has a great off switch (we slept until 9:30 this morning, I took her out for a pee, and we've been on the couch ever since). She will start to get a little edgy on the second or third day of not doing anything, but is never demanding about it.
- Extremely high biddability and desire to work with you.
Quinn is biddable... but I wouldn't say she's extremely biddable. They are bred to be slightly more independent and able to make decisions when you're not around. She is all about being involved though and loves to do things with me! I would describe her as more of a co-pilot sort - she does things because she is inquisitive and adventurous and we have fun together. She definitely does care what I think though.
- Some sort of high useable drive
Quinn will work for anything! Her toy drive was a little lower as a puppy, but now I'd say her food and toy drive are both very high. She's very easy and adaptable that way because I can make anything into a game or toy for her and she loves it. I do tend to stick with toys or food though - when she's in a state of excitement she doesn't really like to be touched and will find something to offer me (either a toy or anything she can bring me if no toys are around) as an alternative.
- Extremely people friendly. Very outgoing that way.
Quinn is wonderful with people. Some English Shepherds are a little more reserved (not timid, but a confident disinterest) but Quinn is not one. She loves meeting new people, and the really nice thing about her is that once she meets someone she is happy to lie down at my feet when we talk. She adores kids! She has a good guard instinct, and has a big bark reserved for strangers at the door, but once we let them in she is pleasant and welcoming.
- very athletic/likes to jump.
Want me to jump onto that stump? Run along that fallen tree 6ft off the ground? Jump that rock wall? No problem - let's go!
- Very suited to agility training/fast. (essentially lightly built)
Agility is Quinn's true love - which is saying a lot because she loves herding too! She is a great agility dog, which actually makes me sad because I wish I was more consistent with her. She has a lot of potential and our old trainer really saw that. She is very fast and drivey but also has great self control and is very handler responsive. She is also extremely forgiving of my many mistakes.
- dog friendliness- not necessarily a dog park dog but can live peacefully with other dogs easily
I handled Quinn wrong as a puppy which is why she could be dog reactive - I do not think that she would have turned out DR if I had handled her personality more appropriately (she also had a couple run ins with aggressive dogs, which scared her and made her think she had to protect herself). They are bossy dogs and Quinn is definitely VERY bossy on that scale, so I think it's important to let them know early on "Thanks, but I got this". That being said, most ESs I know live in multi-dog homes with absolutely zero issue! Reactivity or aggression is definitely not rampant in the breed. And Quinn... now I don't even worry taking her out to doggy places now. I just take care to protect her from loose/rude dogs and to set her up for success, but she can go out and be calm around other dogs and trust me to keep her safe.
- relatively sensitive personality. But also very confident. I am not sure if I am wording that correctly. Not a very hard or sharp kind of dog?
Confident, definitely. Quinn is a nice soft dog as long as she's in a relaxed state of mind. When she's more excitable (OMG SHEEP!) she can be quite hard, and impossible to shut down. I think it's just a sheep thing though and the fact that we don't get to go herding more than once every 1-2 weeks. Even when she's excited doing agility she is surprisingly still very handler sensitive - not because she is a finished agility dog or anything, she is just very attentive.
- Very confident with surroundings and new things. Takes everything in stride. Maybe not as prone to needing such extensive socialization like Mia does and a lot of breeds I like do.
Yes, yes yes. She is a very naturally stable and solid dog. Even things I didn't naturally expose her to she takes in stride (buses, trains, fireworks). We both fell asleep outside one night watching our across-the-street neighbour's firework show. She wasn't even startled when they started. If anything does weird her out she checks it out immediately with no prompting from me, and then is totally over it. I was just thinking today how easy she is and that it would be challenging and a little disappointing to get a timid dog, after her.
-Happy/up personality. Easily excited, lol. I guess some would say just a touch hyper.
This is the one point that Quinn doesn't totally fit. Quinn is a happy dog but a serious one - she'd rather evaluate a situation than jump in feet first. She dislikes when I get excitable at her out of nowhere, but get out a toy or a treat and she will turn "on" instantly. Even if those things aren't available, if I ease into an excited state (like get her doing some tricks and nose touches, vs. WHEEE QUINN COME PLAY) she is ready to go go go!
- Extremely handler oriented/velcro
Quinn always needs to know what's going on, which means she's always with you LOL. She is never in a different room. Outside, she has a wonderful, natural boundary and doesn't like to go further than say 30 or 40 ft. She is always checking in and I don't worry if she goes off the trail to look for chipmunks or anything, because I know she'll be back in about 30 seconds. She's funny too because on hikes she'll naturally stop and wait when she reaches points where I would have told her to wait anyways - like when she reaches a fork in the trail, a bridge, etc. I don't know how she knows...but she does!
Bonus: toy drive and likes water (which is a trait I don't have at the moment lol)
YES to the toy drive. Quinn isn't an extreme water dog but likes to swim to retrieve toys and will willingly and on her own go into water and wade.