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Old 12-03-2013, 08:30 AM
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Question Brainstorming suitable breeds?

Okay, so my current service dog is a field bred golden. He's about 4 years old now and I plan to get a pup in a year or two to start training as his successor. He's my heart dog, and I would love another golden because he's been so easy and perfect for the job, but I'm also exploring other breeds that will fit my criteria. Help me brainstorm?
I have generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder (type II) and Aspergers syndrome. Macleod's job is to provide a buffer between me and other people, alert to rising anxiety, respond to panic attacks with deep pressure, respond to depression by engaging in play (bringing me a toy and nudging me until I get up), find and guide me to exits/my car/person I'm with when I dissociate, crowd guiding (navigate dense crowds and guide me through) among other things. He's also very dual purpose in that he does sports (flyball right now) and is in training for SAR (note: I don't expect my next dog to be dual SAR and service dog, I don't even know how Macleod does two jobs so well)

Important traits: confident, high energy and high drive enough to do sports but mellow enough to be calm on duty as a service dog (great off switch in other words), velcro dog, tall enough to be effective with guiding and crowd blocking tasks. (around 24" and up)

Preferred traits(but not crucial): Dry mouthed, smooth coat, long life span, friendly with strangers (goofy, lovey on everyone, not aloof).

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Old 12-03-2013, 08:44 AM
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A Lab with the right breeding just might fit what you're looking for.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:01 AM
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Honestly, I think another Golden or Lab would be a very good choice. I know of few large breed dogs that are as dual purpose, goofy, and lovey dovy as a Lab or Golden towards strangers.

I've met some Rotties that are super loving goofballs towards strangers, but that may not be the norm. They're not what I would consider a flyball dog, either, if you have any desire to continue with that sport.

Most other breeds I'm thinking of tend to be politely disinterested in strangers, so probably not what you're looking for.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:05 AM
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gosh what you have sounds so perfect i dont think theres any way to top it. can you go back to his breeder? other ideas would be a smooth collie, SD-program lab, or sportbred mix of some sort, like a borderstaff or something
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:57 AM
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Smooth collie. Because they're awesome service dogs and you know it Logan is everything you describe in your wants, except velcro dog. He definitely cuddles and wants to be around me, but he's willing to give me space when I want it, too. Gavroche, on the other hand, just looks hurt and offended if I want space

Also, Logan was training to be a wilderness SAR dog before I got him, but plans changed. When he took his ATTS test, the evaluator said he'd be a fantastic SAR dog based on the way he observes and SNIFFS EVERYTHING lol. In practice, he's a bit clumsy for a SAR dog, but that's something that can be improved.

Last edited by Saeleofu; 12-03-2013 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 12-03-2013, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frostfell View Post
gosh what you have sounds so perfect i dont think theres any way to top it. can you go back to his breeder? other ideas would be a smooth collie, SD-program lab, or sportbred mix of some sort, like a borderstaff or something
I wish I knew who his breeder was! He was a shelter dog though. I've been on the impossible mission of tracking down a golden retriever's breeder... no luck so far lol. I have been in contact with two other field/working golden breeders (gaylans and topbrass) and I will most likely get my next dog from one or the other. I've also been in contact with a bracco italiano breeder (Aulico Kennels) who I've been considering, although they're a lot different from most sporting breeds, so I'll need to meet several in person before deciding if they're the breed for me.

Super people friendly isn't a must, but having anxiety problems myself, I don't want to chance a dog being nervous or fearful of people and any sort of proneness to that would be hard for me to work through training-wise. Doberman-like aloof is fine (not seeking attention but not minding it), prone to nervousness or being weary of strangers isn't, if that makes sense.

I'm not a big fan of collies (no offense to Logan!) my girlfriend has a smooth collie who's having to wash out of SD training because she's been reactive with strangers (insecurity/nervousness seems to be the cause) with little to no progress made overcoming it with training. Another smooth collie SD I know has anxiety problems in busy situations which really limits where he can work and will probably retire him early over it. I fostered a rough collie a few years back who was completely neurotic and overall I'm not too fond of the breed. There are probably good lines out there but I don't know if I want to chance it with what I've seen so far.

If I had to choose between a lab and a golden, I would definitely go with another golden. Keep the ideas coming :P
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Old 12-04-2013, 12:00 AM
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You need a Moxie collie. There is ZERO weirdness temperament-wise in that line.Sae's Logan is one, and Lizzybeth (who hasn't been on chaz in a while) is a professional SD trainer that uses one for her demo dog (Logan's half brother I think?).

Those puppies go through the ringer. Poppy popcorn toy vacuums? Yup. Plastic wading pool full of crushed empty pop bottles and tinfoil? Yup. Crawling all over people hooked up to oxygen tubes and strapped into a wheelchair? Yup. Her lines produce a lot of SDs and SAR dogs.

Aside from that, I'm going to throw out gordon setters and spinone as possibilities. They don't have exactly the coat type you're looking for, but the gordon shouldn't be any more grooming than a golden and the spinone being a wire coat should actually be a lot less shedding overall.
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Old 12-04-2013, 01:12 AM
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Anxious is the LAST word I'd ever use to describe Logan. He's the most stable dog I've ever met. Rock solid temperament. Scored right in the middle of most of his ATTS test items, which is exactly what I want in an SD. He had the crap socialized out of him, and that alone is more than enough reason for me to go back to the same breeder when I look for a successor dog (well, and the possibility of a harlequin...I mean come on, they're ADORABLE lol). I was super glad Logan got to spend a year with his breeder, because I don't think there's any way I could have done as great a job socializing him as she did.

There ARE a lot of collie lines riddled with anxiety and weird temperaments. Logan's line is NOT one of them. He is indeed a Moxie collie, and Keegan (Lizzybeth's dog) is his half brother. Another dog from the same litter as Keegan is also a service dog (he was temporarily washed for what his handler thought was seizures, but was actually a shoulder injury). There's another rough collie that's an SD, I can't remember in what way he's related to Logan, but he is related to Logan lol. I think one of Logan's littermates was also headed to an SD home, to be a hearing dog? There are probably others I'm forgetting. She has a LOT of dogs in service dog placements compared to the number of dogs she's bred (I think Logan was from her very first litter). Much higher percentage than you'd expect of any breed, and she doesn't even breed them specifically to be service dogs. They're just bred to be awesome

My mom keeps saying she wants a dog like Logan - confident and bombproof (and yet she won't listen to me when I tell her she just needs one of Logan's nephews...) because their last few dogs (GSDs) have basically been nerve bags.

That said I'm sorry to hear Piper's washing out It seems to me the BYB dogs and the purely show dogs have the worst anxiety issues. Those bred for working are also usually bred for temperament. Logan's breeder is also excellent at evaluating dogs for SD potential and places dogs accordingly. I actually had my eye on Logan's brother, but when I asked about him she said Logan was available and would be perfect. I met both Logan and Amos when I went to pick up my dog, and she was definitely right that Logan was the perfect fit. I'd take his daddy in a heartbeat, too <3

The ONLY thing that's thrown Logan for a loop (outside of adolescence) is the bronze statues at the zoo. I mean, I can't really blame him, I'd react MUCH more strongly than he does if I thought there was a chimp or a tiger sitting there But walking up and letting him sniff gets him over it in an instant. And once he sniffs one, he doesn't worry about it anymore (seriously, though, our statue of one of our chimps, Marbles, scares the crap out of kids, too. It's very well done).


I'm not really a sporting-dog person, but I DO want a standard poodle. Like, bad. That's what I was looking for when I found Logan, but as they say, you look for the right dog, regardless of breed. I also like pointers, though most of the ones I've met are not SD-type dogs. They're nutters and absolutely fantastic and loads of fun, but not SD material. I do want a pointer someday just to train and do sports with.
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Old 12-04-2013, 02:27 AM
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Knowing Dani and knowing collies, they're definitely not the correct breed for her lol.

You know what breeds I recommend!
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:03 PM
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Update: Gayle of Gaylan's Golden Retrievers got back to me and approved me for a waiting list! She recommended a litter out of Glee. I met Glee, her dam, and her granddam when I met Gayle and toured her property/facility. I loved all three, but especially Glee. She looks and acts so much like Macleod. Glee's sire is also a dog I've admired for a while! This is going to be a perfect match. Can't wait to see what sire she chooses for her!it won't be for another year or so though. Now I try to wait patiently
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