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Looking For Advice Re: Choosing A Breed


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Hi everyone!

I’m soon to be embarking on my first solo-living adventure and I’m finally in a situation where I can get a dog, so I’m looking for some anecdotal input from actual dog owners RE: the breed I’m thinking of or others I might not have thought of!

My family has always owned dogs while I was growing up (everything from an English Sheepdog, a Whippet, a Jack Russell, and even a Newfoundland) but this will be my first solo-venture into dog ownership.

As I’m a single woman who’s going to be living alone, I’m definitely looking for a protective sort of pal. I want a dog that’ll look out for me, and that I can take with me on my evening walks to help me feel a bit safer.

My general dog criteria is the following;

- Affectionate, generally calm (when fully grown), and happy to stick with me throughout the day as I work a lot from home

- Large enough to deter anyone threatening (so nothing too cute or with a reputation for being overly friendly with everyone)

- Short-coated, since if I’m honest with myself I’m probably not up to intense grooming (the shedding I'm willing to budge on, any grooming other than a nice brushing is probably too much)

- Up to long walks. For health reasons I need to take a long daily walk and I’d like my dog to eventually be able to come along (since I do tend to feel a little nervous out when it starts to get dark)

- Minimum drooling (I loved our Newfie, but my god the drooling!)

- Trainable, I’d love to do some real obedience training so I’d like a dog that takes training well

- Able to cohabitate with other animals, since I already have a cat (this is partly where I hope the training will come in)

After a lot of research online I’m leaning towards a Dobermann. They seem to be really intelligent, affectionate, and taken to bonding strongly with their people. I also really admire how elegant and sleek they are.

I’ve had friends recommend German Shepherds due to their intelligence and loyalty (and presumably because they love their GSDs desperately) but I’m a little concerned about shedding and grooming with their coats being quite thick.

So basically I was wondering what recommendations people had based on my situation.

Also if anyone has owned/owns Dobermanns or German Shepherds do you have any advice?

Thanks in advance!

Edited by Catfishers
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I've owned both breeds, but I'm more a doberman person because I like that slight stubborn/tenacious attitude they have and much prefer the look of them. Also the shedding of a GSD is kind of insane! I find Dobes nicer to have in the bed and cuddle with because they are less hairy, and I just love dogs that are physically affectionate and want to be touching you all the time. I found our GSD was quite independent and liked to be outside keeping an eye on things.

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I've owned both breeds, but I'm more a doberman person because I like that slight stubborn/tenacious attitude they have and much prefer the look of them. Also the shedding of a GSD is kind of insane! I find Dobes nicer to have in the bed and cuddle with because they are less hairy, and I just love dogs that are physically affectionate and want to be touching you all the time. I found our GSD was quite independent and liked to be outside keeping an eye on things.

Our Newfie was like this and I always found it very sweet. His presence was really comforting, even if he did take up most of the couch. :laugh:

I'm definitely looking for a dog that'll cuddle up on the sofa with me of an evening.

Cattle Dog? or a Ridgy?

I hadn't even thought of a Ridgy! From what I can tell they seem to be loyal and quite trainable. And they have that same sort of proud and regal stance that I like so much about Dobes.

I'll definitely have to research them a little more.

Thanks!

Edited by Catfishers
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I suppose the other obvious suggestion would be a Rottweiler. Intimidating to strangers, trainable, and not too hairy.

Are ridgy's trainable? They are a hound, and hound aren't usually particularly trainable, but I don't know much about them. They are certainly very nice looking dogs :)

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I think a GSD would suit if you could do lots of training and activities with it through out the day - otherwise it might be bored. Maybe you could consider an older GSD?

They shed constantly... constantly! I would brush mine weekly (all of 5min, but when he learned to enjoy it it could go for a loonnn g time and bathe him ~monthly

My boy wasn't particularly affectionate

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I suppose the other obvious suggestion would be a Rottweiler. Intimidating to strangers, trainable, and not too hairy.

Are ridgy's trainable? They are a hound, and hound aren't usually particularly trainable, but I don't know much about them. They are certainly very nice looking dogs :)

To be honest my knowledge of Ridgys pretty much boils down to what I can google up. And from that I wouldn't say they were trainable to the degree of a Dobe or a GSD, which seem to really thrive on advanced obedience training, but more to a general degree of them still taking on basic training easily enough.

Sadly, I've never been a huge fan of Rottweilers. Not due to temperament or anything like that, a friend of mine has one and he's a real doll. I just find their faces a bit... square? It's a silly aesthetic thing.

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A good GSD is a great choice if you don't mind the insane amount of shedding. I personally prefer a nice GSD to a Dobe, though I do like how sleek and athletic Dobes look. I also find GSDs in general a bit more trainable than Dobes. They tend to have more drive which can make them easier to motivate.

Edited by huski
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Have you thought about a boxer? They're super friendly and cuddly but do act as a deterrent because of their appearance. Some people think they look aggressive. I don't know why. I have always thought boxers and dobermans were similar breeds.

I have always liked Boxers, I feel like they look more goofy than aggressive. Haha. I haven't seriously considered owning one though, as a very close friend of mine lost hers and I feel like it'd probably make her terribly sad if I had my own jovial little reminder of that scampering about.

A good GSD is a great choice if you don't mind the insane amount of shedding. I personally prefer a nice GSD to a Dobe, though I do like how sleek and athletic Dobes look. I also find GSDs in general a bit more trainable than Dobes. They tend to have more drive which can make them easier to motivate.

Some friends of mine have two GSDs and they're lovely sweet girls. I just keep having flashbacks to our Newfie redecorating the couch and car with all his fur. But I suppose it's something I could learn to deal with and manage.

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I would also consider if you want a dog that will just be a deterrent/ watch dog that will alert bark or if you wanted to get a dog with a view of training it in personal protection. Two very different things but if you are interested in training and want to take on that level of commitment it's worth researching and talking to trainers and breeders to see if it would be something you're interested in.

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So you want a trainable, people focussed dog that will deter unwanted attention?

Any big dog will do the deterence thing.

They DO shed but I think a nice black Labrador Retriever would do the trick. Any big dark or brindle dog would deter people.

Labradors shed. Oh dear maude how they shed.

Course you could buy an all black lounge and carpet. And have black Lino in the kitchen. And wear black all the time. And have black bedsheets... :laugh:

Sez me who's contemplating relocating in chocolate lab brown.

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I would also consider if you want a dog that will just be a deterrent/ watch dog that will alert bark or if you wanted to get a dog with a view of training it in personal protection. Two very different things but if you are interested in training and want to take on that level of commitment it's worth researching and talking to trainers and breeders to see if it would be something you're interested in.

For the most part I'd like a dog to be more of a watch dog/deterrent.

My cat is very good at alerting me to the presence of strangers in my yard at night, but she's not so good at offering peace of mind that she could actually scare them away if necessary. She really just makes me more paranoid. Haha.

So at the moment I'm not really looking to specifically train a dog in personal protection, but it's not something I'd want to totally discount in the future either, depending on how well the dog accepts training and how I'm feeling safety-wise. So that's definitely something I'll want to discuss with a prospective breeder once I get to that stage.

Thanks for the advice. :)

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If it's something that you think you might want to look at in the future you need to take that into account when selecting your dog as not every dog will be suitable, you'd likely be looking at a working line GSD for eg over a show line one.

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Catfishers - any dog with a reasonable bark on it is going to keep people away if thats what you want. Even more so if they can't see the dog and they can only hear it.

Even my overly friendly BCs can make enough noise at night to keep people away from the yard if needed.

I live alone and feel perfectly safe with my 2 BCs.

Edited by ness
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Catfishers - any dog with a reasonable bark on it is going to keep people away if thats what you want. Even more so if they can't see the dog and they can only hear it.

Even my overly friendly BCs can make enough noise at night to keep people away from the yard if needed.

I live alone and feel perfectly safe with my 2 BCs.

So true, my greyhound bitch sounds like one of the hounds from baskerville!

Having had 5 GSD's in the past my vote is for a GSD and I never noticed the shedding being too bad.

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