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  #21  
Old 08-19-2008, 09:36 PM
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a mix of show/field springer would probably fit the bill. The show side tends to mellow out the active side of the field springer. They average 45-50 lbs, I'd say they are on the large side of medium in size over all. They are always up for a game of fetch, ball, frisbee, or a romp in the water or park. They are obedient and listen well if taught young, good natured, yet love to be with you and snuggle when you need them to. I find them a wonderful companion. I do have to caution as was mentioned already, make absolutely certain that you get one from a reputable breeder, ask about epilepsy, if there has ever been rage in the lines, or an eye issue called PRA. You also want to see the pedigree and make certain there is NO inbreeding in the lineage. For some reason springers, in my experience anyhow, do not fair well with temperament or health when there is any form of inbreeding in them. They do ok with a bit of linebreeding, but not inbreeding. Also I have found the males to be much more even tempered than the females and it doesn't seem to matter if the females are spayed or not. Most tend to get snippy with other dogs as they get older. The males tend to stay more even keyed their whole lives.
They need a firm hand for training but not a harsh hand. They respond best to praise as they love to please. Its' very easy to break a springers spirit if you are too hard with the training methods.

Brittany's, again in my experience, are very high strung, not quite as eager to please and many many of them have allergy issues. Although they are smaller than the springers are. The show brits are a bit more mellow, but if you get field in them watch out!
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  #22  
Old 08-19-2008, 10:20 PM
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First of all, welcome to Chaz. I'll try to help you here . None of those breeds would fit your family at all, as it sounds.

But before you decide on a breed or anything..
why not take a couple drives to the local shelters around you and see if you can find a dog that you like, is of acceptable size for your family, and has desirable tempermant traits for your family. There are a lot of mixed breeds or dogs that don't exactly fit their breed tempermant standard at shelters. I'd strongly suggest you visit a few! You can enter your zip code and such at www.petfinder.com and see shelters and dogs for adoption nearest to you.

To be breed specific, I would say a Lab mix or a Golden Retriever mix.
I almost don't want to suggest a Lab, because they are very intense on toys, and hyperactive. My youngin Labs are anyway, all three of them. They can be quite the trouble makers as well [I suppose any dog can, but I've never had a trouble-making dog like my good ol' Labs]. Goldens, though, do not seem to be so intense, set on and demanding. A lot of Goldens and Golden mixes can be on the medium side.

A Springer may be a good choice, as mentioned in the post above. They don't get too big.

But Border Collie's are more likely not to want to romp with you guys. And in my experience they don't play. They fetch the ball, bring it back, crouch down and get intense, and wait for the throw again. He'd probably be more interesting in herding you rather than playing with you. There ARE exceptions, though. Shelter dogs are usually quite different from the bred-for-what-they-were-bred-for dogs. We had Merle for a little while; a short-haired black and white Border collie who was wonderful. She loved playing on the trampolein, running, romping, etc. But your best bet of getting one of these BCs is from the pound.

Brittany's, I would say, is a no. They are very high strung and set on their own decisions, stubborn, I'd say. Two friends of mine had Brittanys. One had a Brit named Jackson. He wanted what he wanted and that was that. Stubborn dogs and they take a bit of time to train. They absolutly thrive on positive reinforcement and praise, which may be tough with kids that aren't old enough to understand that they do NOT react well to punishment.They are on the smaller side, but never run out of energy in that little body. They're going, constantly. My other friend had one named Annie. Annie was very hard to rehabilitate after being adopted. She had been attacked by cats, and still, after six years is set-on being terrified of them.

Red Heelers are a mix of Dingo and collie-type dogs. Dingos aren't great at tolerating kids and I have found that most Heelers aren't, either. We've owned one before, and they're hardy little dogs. A friend had a farm and their Heeler worked all of their cattle. He bite the heel of the cattle, and then flatten himself on the ground when the cow kicked so the foot went right above his head. They're smart, but also stubborn and set-on. They're not hyperactive, but more ready for work than playtime.

So, none of those three dogs seem to fit you guys, especially for people new to owning dogs.

Good luck!
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  #23  
Old 08-19-2008, 10:39 PM
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Can I suggest you look into gordon setters? The gordons I have met sound a lot like the kind of dog you are looking for, they have been a lot more laid back than other gun dogs I have met.
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  #24  
Old 08-19-2008, 10:53 PM
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a lot of hair tho...grooming and such to keep them free of tangles...something to consider.
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  #25  
Old 08-19-2008, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmexyPibble View Post

Red Heelers are a mix of Dingo and collie-type dogs. Dingos aren't great at tolerating kids and I have found that most Heelers aren't, either. We've owned one before, and they're hardy little dogs. A friend had a farm and their Heeler worked all of their cattle. He bite the heel of the cattle, and then flatten himself on the ground when the cow kicked so the foot went right above his head. They're smart, but also stubborn and set-on. They're not hyperactive, but more ready for work than playtime.
Good post but I disagree with this bit, Dingo may have been used in their original makeup but they are a long way from that now. But there are so many conflcting stories on how this breed began, its impossible to really know

They are a great dog, very loyal, protective and loving but they are by no means easy, the well bred ones have a more stable temperment, but they were originally bred here because very few dogs could survive/thrive the work they did and where they did it, they had to be smart enough to avoid a kick from a bull and tough enough to go back when they don't duck fast enough. All the time working in dry hot conditions conditions.
These dogs were cattle fences before there were fences. Some sources say they were mixed with kelpies at one stage to bring in some heading abilities, some say not.

Its sad seeing so many poorly bred ones, here atleast they are in every second home it seems, some are just your average family dog, but DA and HA are very common in the badly bred ones, even with socialisation. They need extensive training, excercise, mental stimulation and a strong, kind leader. They're family is there one and only, no one and nothing else matters outside that really. They can be a great family dog, but you have to be after more than a pet if you want one.
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  #26  
Old 08-19-2008, 11:13 PM
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Great post mrose
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  #27  
Old 08-19-2008, 11:18 PM
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I didn't think about Setters! Nice suggestion, Gina. I've met quite a few Gordons in my lifetime, and they are more laid back than the English & Irish Setters. The Gordon is much heavier boned, and not as hyper and hoppy as the Irish. A great family dog [a better family dog than the Irish or English, in my own opinion], but yes, a lot of grooming. The clipping and such is not as neccesary for a pet as for a show dog, and from the looks of it you are not looking for a show dog. They'd be very willing to romp and swim with you, and when you're done playing and ready to be laid back, they're happy to sleep on your lap.

The Gordon.


The English.


& The Irish.


If you decide to go for a setter, I'd go for the Gordon. I am confident you could find a Gordon of the smaller type.
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  #28  
Old 08-20-2008, 08:05 AM
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I know a lot of people have said this already, but I think it bears repeating. NONE of those breeds you mentioned are good for your family! You said you wanted an active dog, but not a hyper one. All three of those breeds are known for having an absolutely insane amount of energy. I'm talking pull-your-hair-out-drive-you-crazy energy. It can drive even experienced owners to the point of tears. It's part of what what these dogs were bred for---the energy to work and run at full throttle all day long.

Instead, I think your family may do great with a sheltie (Shetland Sheepdog). Playful, active, but not with the over-the-top energy of those other breeds. They know when it's time to play and run, and they know when it's time to settle down. And they're not overly large dogs. I believe they usually weigh anywhere from 20-40 lbs. There are several sheltie owners on this board---maybe they can give you some info.
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  #29  
Old 08-20-2008, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmexyPibble View Post
I didn't think about Setters! Nice suggestion, Gina. I've met quite a few Gordons in my lifetime, and they are more laid back than the English & Irish Setters. The Gordon is much heavier boned, and not as hyper and hoppy as the Irish. A great family dog [a better family dog than the Irish or English, in my own opinion], but yes, a lot of grooming. The clipping and such is not as neccesary for a pet as for a show dog, and from the looks of it you are not looking for a show dog. They'd be very willing to romp and swim with you, and when you're done playing and ready to be laid back, they're happy to sleep on your lap.

The Gordon.


The English.


& The Irish.


If you decide to go for a setter, I'd go for the Gordon. I am confident you could find a Gordon of the smaller type.
*drools* I've always had a thing for setters. especially the irish and english.
I'd still love one one day but my list keeps getting longer and I don't know if I ever will.
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  #30  
Old 08-20-2008, 09:15 AM
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If you get an older puppy, you should know the size it will be, and many lab mixes are medium sized. Puppies are extremely difficult, and while there are advantages to raising a puppy, I'd seriously recommend an older puppy or young adult. They're much easier on the entire family, and puppies are unpredictable. With an older dog, you'll know the outcome of personality, size, etc.
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