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Everything posted by corvus

  1. Hi everyone, thanks for your thoughts. Sorry I disappeared for weeks. I said "lines", but it might be a loose interpretation. From what I've seen lately, you can still go visit a breeder and their dogs of the same breed will act similarly. I guess that breeders even if they are paying attention to COIs (and I actually doubt that) are still breeding for temperaments and looks they like, hopefully. Seriously, poodles of all varieties BOUNCE. You see it in oodles as well. I have met some nice standards, but I think I am coming to terms with the fact that I don't want to spend significant time clipping or brushing. Herding breeds I am fond of. Love a good kelpie. If I knew where to find a kelpie that can also be a suburban superstar, I'd be pursuing that. Although OH says he doesn't want a kelpie. Or a Golden. Springers I thought seriously about. I eventually decided something capable of lying down quietly at a cafe without constant bribery would be good. Spoke to a few spaniel people, decided to keep looking. BCs same as kelpies. I have met some delights, but goodness knows where you actually find them. I see a few anxious BCs in my line of work and they are nightmarish creatures I would not wish on my worst enemy. I'm prepared to compromise, and I guess may have to.
  2. I’m just having a bit of a crisis about it. What business does an animal welfare scientist specialising in dogs have buying a breed with a genetic disorder that the breed club is not committed to ending despite having the means to do so? Sometimes I think it’s okay if I just get a LUA dog, and other times I think about deafness and I wonder if that is any more acceptable just because it’s not as predictable. It’s not like we know nothing about it. It matters because I am an expert in the field and I get asked about what dogs I have and why for public audiences sometimes. I push looking for dogs that are healthy and sound first and foremost, and I don’t want that message undermined if it looks like I don’t practice what I preach. Not that the health issues in Dalmatians are widely known, even by people that own Dalmatians.
  3. I can clip and have the equipment. I’m not sure I want to have to, though. I find poodles a bit maddeningly bouncy, but I have met some I enjoyed and this is exactly where suggesting some lines would be really helpful. It’s not just labs I’m not real fond of, and in some ways they are one of my favourites in the gun dog group. They are not as soft as some of the other gundog breeds. I think there are several things bothering us about gun dogs. Aside from the fact our youngest dog hates them. Too big, too boisterous, range too far, too adapted to cold, too busy, intimidatingly active… I’ve considered Vs or a spaniel, and met some CCR and the spin and a bunch of Brittanies. We just seem to come away from each feeling that they’re just not really our thing for various reasons. Hadn’t really thought about Irish terriers. I guess I haven’t really come across them. I will take a look. I guess terriers aren’t the obvious place to look for very dog-social candidates!
  4. I’m not settled on breed. What breed am I considering that suffers from amyloidosis and needs yearly testing? Why would you assume I know that given what else I’ve said??
  5. Yeah, I get that, but I find it really hard ethically to commit to a breed that has a fixable genetic health issue that the breed club seems to have no interest in fixing. I wasn’t even allowed to ask on the Australian Dalmatians FB group for breeders that are breeding LUA dogs, because apparently it’s too controversial. What could possibly be controversial about selectively breeding healthier dogs? So maybe I have to throw the baby out with the bath water on that one out of principle.
  6. I’m not getting a schnauzer, so let’s just end that side discussion.
  7. It’s really not very complicated. I want a short-haired lapphund, I can’t get one, so I’m looking for the next best thing. I have tossed around a lot of ideas because I can’t get what I want, and that’s why there have been some diverse choices. I’m actually asking for lines this time rather than breeds per se. I’m more interested in what the lines are like than what the breed is on the whole. If you don’t get me, then don’t bother replying.
  8. I don't think a Sealyham would be able to keep up on runs. If they can't trot at a nice 5:30 km, they are going to have problems. I've thought about Elkies, but I'm not convinced on the coat. It still seems pretty dense to me. Although I guess it looks a lot easier to get the undercoat out than it is why my lappie. Do you happen to know the breeder of the one you saw?
  9. Dalmatian is not exactly ruled out but not exactly on the shortlist at the moment either. It MUST be a LUA dally. I have found 2 breeders that breed LUA dallies, but yet to actually meet one of their dogs. I'm really concerned about Dalmatian temperament. It seems there are some nice ones out there and a lot of anxious messes. I don't know much about Lakenois. I find Belgians in general a bit handler sensitive for my liking, so haven't really looked into them.
  10. Still a few years away from the next dog, but trying to settle on something sooner rather than later this time. What would sell me in a heartbeat is a Finnish lapphund or Samoyed with a short and manageable coat. Honestly, I am having coat PTSD at the moment. My 14yo lappie has decided he's not doing grooming anymore and will scream and cry about it. Probably it hurts more than it used to. The whole household is traumatised by my efforts to groom my elderly dog. That aside, what we want in our next dog is something a lot like our lapphund's temperament. Very sociable, but gentle, easy going, extremely tolerant, non-aggressive, pretty steady, comfortable in a crowd and with novelty. Before everyone says that's all in socialisation, it is TO A DEGREE, but I will never have my Portuguese podengo at home in a busy cafe or cool with random strangers wanting to pat her. It's just not who she is. She also really really likes to explore and requires significant bribery to, say, quietly stay put while I am filming a short segment for television or something (I will probably never attempt that with her ever again!) Let's assume I am a good trainer, I understand how to raise and socialise a dog, and I am looking for something that will be suited to what I want rather than spending a lot of work shaping what I want in a dog that's not really suited to it. Secondarily, I trail run and do flyball and would love another dog to join me in this, so ideally it can handle 2 hours of trail running in the summer without keeling over. The pod is possibly the best trail running companion you could have, but she has exceptional heat tolerance. We are NOT gun dog people. We have learned that much. We do not like being knocked around by big, goofy dogs with excessive exuberance for life. The other half is campaigning pretty fiercely for a Landseer ECT, but I have vetoed repeatedly on the grounds of too much coat. He won't look after it. I start hyperventilating when I imagine maintaining a big coat on a bigger dog than the lappie. Other half wants a Berner, but has also been vetoed on the grounds of too much coat and health problems. Additional considerations: It needs to be biddable and with a tendency to range close when off leash. The pod is stressful to manage off leash because she doesn't get lost and thinks nothing of being 400m away from us. We have worked HARD to tie an imaginary line to her and very proud of how good she is off leash, but I can't do two like that at once. I need something that is naturally a bit easier. It's probably fair to say we are spitz and hound people. We like our dogs spirited and opinionated and sassy, but can be convinced to cooperate. We are quite good at getting traditionally "stubborn" breeds to hang off our every word, but we don't want to work hard for it this time. Something a bit easier would be welcome. We have ruled out: * Spinone - the wet beard. OMG, no. * CCR - probably ruled out, too big and boisterous. * MRR - that breed is a hot mess, tragically * Smooth collies - word on the street is this breed has a high incidence of serious injuries pertaining to structure. Not looking for an argument on that one. Let's just assume it's not a risk I'm willing to take with a flyball and trail running hopeful. * Whippet - I am concerned it's going to go over a cliff after a wallaby. We live in that kind of area. * I badly want an Ibizan, but I'm not keen on being pulled down a steep and rocky trail by a dog that can jump 2m vertically without even preparing. Also, our property backs onto bushland and wallabies visit the fenceline. Any dog that is capable of jumping our playground fencing and might do it to chase wildlife is a no. * "The right" Kelpie/BC/Aussie/Koolie - sure, but I'm gonna need breeder recommendations. I'm not looking for doing a lot of leg work to find something special. * Brittany - too predatory * Yakutian Laika - I am disbelieving of the people that keep telling me the coat is not that bad. It looks as dense as a lappie coat to me. *cue hyperventilation* * B&T Coonhound - I fear too persistent in following scents for off leash trail time, and I don't want to be tethered to a dog that big on some of our trails. * Bracco Italiano - seems to be not really settled enough for what we are looking for. Questionable off leash reliability. Current contenders: * Buhund - yet to meet one * Cirneco - not really, but lordee I covet the racy little primitive hound that probably is less breakable than a whippet. * Alaskan husky - if only there was anyone at all breeding them much. Spoke at length to someone who mushes with them in Oz and we agreed it would be a good fit, but they were only breeding for themselves and didn't know anyone else who was breeding them. * Some kind of very thoughtfully and carefully bred mixed breed.
  11. FWIW, the way I handle these kinds of things is to basically train the dog to be responsive around the object of obsession, which is simple in principle but a little tricky in practice. Basically, we set the dog up to succeed. Train disengagement from a non-ball toy, train impulse control around non-ball toy, move to a ball-like toy, incorporate games of getting the ball on cue and giving it up on cue so there is a lot of structure and control around the activity, start again with a ball but no the preferred type. Start again with a ball but not the favourite type. Start again with the favourite ball. Start again with other dogs and balls.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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?
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