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  1. Collie - Mmm, I'm a bit scared by reports of high rates of soft tissue injuries. Weim - I know precisely one weim with a stable temperament. I don't know what is going on with that breed, but there are some very troubling anxiety tendencies emerging. Ridgeback - I feel like being a behaviourist ruins a lot of breeds. I know rationally there are some nice ones, but lordee can these dogs be scary. I can't bring myself to take a punt on them. ES - 1) I can't stand the show look. 2) They are usually used as the benchmark for a breed that works far from the hunter. I already have one dog that thinks nothing of being 200m away from me and it's hard work in suburbia despite lots of training. I'd prefer something that will tend to stay close. Xolo - I don't think these guys are quite as unflappable/sociable as I am looking for. Buhund - Certainly tempting, but would like something a little bigger.
  2. It's not about the maintenance so much as the heat tolerance. I have spent the last 13 years having internal debates like "Can I take Kivi to this? How hot is it going to get? Will there be shade? Is it likely to run overtime?" There are plenty of times I left him at home when I would have not had to worry about it at all if he was the pod. The coat maintenance itself is another factor. I mean, I'm certainly over manually stripping impacted undercoat out with a comb. I'm over grooming a dog that hates it because it always hurts no matter how gentle I am. That is a welfare compromise I am not willing to make. But, if it's a bit of brushing here and there, no biggy. I have clippers and scissors, even and don't really mind using them. I wouldn't want it to be something I had to do religiously, though. My life gets unexpectedly very busy at times and it will be a few weeks before I finally get around to spending several hours in a block on coat care. So I don't want a dog that will need several hours in a block on coat care. Or a dog that will get hot easily.
  3. Yeah, I am frankly terrified of the idea of a coonhound off leash in the bush, though. I get the impression they will find a scent and follow it to the ends of the earth and I will not exist. They are supposed to be very persistent. I do love me a hound dog, but I am not going to have fun trying to negotiate some of the steep trails around here with a large dog attached to me because it can't be trusted off leash at all.
  4. I've been hareless for probably about a decade now. I still miss him. My lapphund is 13, vallhund is 12, and the "new" tyke though she still seems like the baby is nearly 6. She is a podengo. I don't think she would have been compatible with the hare!
  5. Do you mean a stumpy tail cattle dog? I don't think a cattle dog of any type would be a good bet for us, regardless of the fact I think they are cool.
  6. I don't want a soft and also boisterous gundog. Honestly, I think that wet beard is a bigger deal than the softness of the breed. Elkhounds I think have too much coat. It's very dense.
  7. I don't think Chows are remotely sociable. If I knew what the "right" lines were for a kelpie like this, I would be very happy. I have met them, but all the ones I've ever known like this were randoms off a farm somewhere. I think the wet beard thing on spins might be a deal breaker! German spitz is too much hair and too small. Toller I think are not really cruisey/sociable enough for what I want.
  8. Help me with the next breed for us. Still a few years away yet. Non-negotiable: Gentle with other dogs and motivated to befriend them. Medium to large in size. No excessive drooling. No significant grooming requirements. Really needs to be able to switch off quickly regardless of the environment and be nice and steady. Ideal but can compromise on: Can handle long, slow runs in warm weather. Will enjoy (does not need to be good at) flyball. Current list: Field line Golden retriever, Dalmatian (must be LUA), Curly-coated retriever, Italian spinone Not really a gundog kind of person. GSP, Pointer and Vizsla are all kind of soft for my liking, and also excessively boisterous. Spaniels I think are not steady creatures. I can't stand Labs. Berner is too much coat. Newfie too big and too much coat. Brittany a bit too predatory. I don't want anything that is likely to range far and wide when off leash. Whippets I think are not really designed for the kind of terrain I run in. I worry they will go after a wallaby and rip themselves to shreds in the scrub or go over a rock ledge. We live in the outer city. Honestly, if I could have a Samoyed or another Finnish lapphund with a short coat, I would not need to ask for suggestions. The gentle, friendly, outgoing temperament is exactly what I'm looking for. I just can't do another coat like that.
  9. My dogs have raincoats because I'm not a huge fan of a house full of wet and smelly dogs. Some dogs can be easily unsettled by "clothes". I have two such dogs, and both of them tolerate the raincoats, but sometimes it's a matter of getting the right design. Some are more restrictive than others. I would opt for least restrictive, most quiet, and lightest. How you prioritise those features depends on your dog.
  10. The couriers don't want to take chances with dogs they don't know, and they shouldn't have to. It's dangerous. Lots of dogs would bite a courier if they got the chance. We moved into a place with an enclosed balcony as an entrance, and I love it and the couriers love it. We put a bell on the outer door so they don't need to come in and the balcony acts as an airlock. Most of the time, packages are quietly left on the balcony and the dogs never even know. The dogs stay inside and if they happened to get out as I came out, the courier is safe behind a second door. We don't have any of the problems of missed packages we had at our old place where the dogs had access to the front door where the courier would knock. I always put my dogs behind a baby gate before I answered the door when we lived there, but the couriers don't know that. If they have had some bad experiences (and they most likely have), they can become very risk averse and who would blame them. Be kind to your couriers and provide a dog-free zone where they can leave packages or clang a gong to alert you or something. It's not on them to solve this problem for you. You solve the problem for them.
  11. There are nuances to this, though. For my pod, a field with swallows to chase is not the same as a mountain bike on a single track in the bush all of a sudden, or finding herself on top of a startled possum, or bouncing around in the bush and flushing something. She's also influenced in her choices by potential payoff and a risk assessment. Chasing a cat is a tiny payoff for her next to chasing a rabbit, and the possibility of finding a sandwich on the ground near a clubhouse or in a school playground is extremely alluring. I know she will go check out playgrounds if she were given the opportunity. She will come right back, but she's gonna check it, even if she has to run 200m away to go and check it. That distance is certainly enough to introduce enough conflict with my spitz dogs that they won't go, and a lot of people say their whippets wouldn't venture that far from them. Some of this kind of thing is much easier to manage and train for than others. I can manage access to clubhouses and playgrounds pretty easily, and training for recall from swallows was challenging, but doable. Recalling off animals running away from her in the bush is a completely different scenario. I think if she were as keen to chase wallabies as she had been to chase swallows, I wouldn't be able to call her off wallabies, but I can call her off swallows. The difference is in training opportunities and environment and the behaviour of the chase objects.
  12. My dog at least is least reliable when she's either startled or right on top of the object of the chase. If she's startled, she tends to just dive in there without thinking, but I can still recall her if by the time I pull my whistle out, she's still at least 5m from the object. If she's already on top of them by then, her recall reliability drops a fair bit and my fingers are crossed. At that point, it matters a lot what she is chasing. A wallaby she will leave, but if it were more her size, it would be a different story. I've always felt there's a lot to be said for having slow dogs to make recalling off fast-moving objects easier.
  13. I have met some fun, sweet Lagotti and some Lagotti that are anxious/fearful and will bite readily. I understand grooming can be particularly challenging with this breed's temperament. Some groomers have asserted to me that they've never met a Lagotto that wasn't aggressive during grooming, even if it was sweet and easy going any other time. The nice ones I've met have been really fun dogs that are great to train and pleasantly sociable. I wouldn't get one myself just because I'm ultra risk averse these days when it comes to temperament and I think too many for my comfort are being reported as problematic, but I've been tempted.
  14. I have become intensely curious about hound recalls. Especially sighthound recalls. I have been asking on breed-specific groups, so maybe I should ask here as well. To provide context for my intense curiosity all of a sudden, my 5yo Portuguese podengo pequeno trail runs with me off leash. This was not an easy achievement training-wise, and I can easily see why it's not recommended that this breed be let off leash in unfenced areas. However, on the weekend my very excited, chase-prone dog was belting up the side of a rock outcrop, barking for medio backup (as if it ever comes), which she does when she can smell or see a wallaby nearby. I called her casually, she broke off the chase straight away, and ran back down the outcrop to join me. This is not unusual for her on a trail run where she knows I may not wait for her. It has been my belief for years that this kind of recall has been possible with her because 1) She's a multi-sensory hound bred for rough terrain, so she always knows where she is and she always knows where I am and she hears my recalls. 2) She is not a super persistent hound. 3) She is small and mighty, but ultimately the terrain takes a lot of energy for her and she's not that fast, so she will get tired/lose the object of pursuit fairly quickly. Nonetheless, it occurs to me that she is committed to running WITH me to the exclusion of all else, and really, wouldn't we want a hunting dog to not be prone to getting lost? Thus began my efforts to understand what makes recalls on a chase-prone dog possible. If my podengo were bigger and faster - like a whippet or Pharaoh hound - would she be more of a liability off leash? How does her persistence really compare to that of other hunting dogs that haven't been bred for hunting for generations? At the end of the day, we really did work HARD on that recall, and I don't think I would have been so successful 10 years ago when I wasn't as experienced a trainer. Might it be that what we have achieved with her really is replicable with other breeds that are faster or more persistent? What are your thoughts on hound recalls and what is realistic in naturalistic environments where there will be prey animals?
  15. Check out Bergamasco if you don't mind a sensory wonderland for a coat. Otherwise, don't forget Basset Fauve de Bretagne as well. The dwarf scent hounds are usually sociable and easy going, but can be a little like "Shh, I'm busy right now." if something else has their attention. I think comparable to a Beagle but more neutral evil than chaotic evil. I second Lowchen. Not sure about TTs, I've only met one that was a bit on the bouncy side. We have American Hairless Terriers now, which might be worth looking at.
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