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Help me pick a breed?


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Hi all. I'm just after a bit of advice and some breed suggestions. 

I'll start with my own background. I'm not new to DOL, I just haven't used this forum for about 10 years, and thus, a new account. 
I used to show Siberian Huskies, and as a kid, I excelled quite well with junior handling. Over my life I have had a lot of experience with many breeds, I have owned a few, and most recently I have been fostering military working dogs (malinois) on and off.

I do not currently own a dog, and haven't for a few years. I live in Southeast QLD, I have a cat and 2 children aged 4 and 5 (who desperately want a dog), but I have been putting it off for a while, and keeping to fostering in the meantime to abate their nagging :P 

My breed preferences are typically centred around medium sized with mid to long hair. (I do not like small dogs usually). I like Sibes obviously, but the list would include breeds like Golden Retriever, Labs, Samoyed, Belgian Malinois, GSD, Duck Tolling Retriever, Collie, Border Collie... You get the idea. 

Another thing to consider... We have had a few attempted house break-ins. And we have also had a successful house break-in, late at night whilst sleeping. The offenders broke into the house, stole our keys from the kitchen, and then fled in our car. I awoke just as they were leaving the house. 

Now this is a small factor in my consideration, as I'm not specifically after a guard dog at all, and I'm not considering any guard or protection training. But it would be a bonus, if the dog is likely to at least warn me of intruders, rather than inviting them in. 

The most important thing to me, is that the dog is likely to mix well with my children. I have a large house, and a large yard (as far as suburban homes go) on 1000 square meters. Whilst I work full time, my wife and kids are home every day. My children are very much the outdoor type, playing in the backyard. They also take walks to the local parks and wildlife areas for regular adventures. 

TL:DR

So... My ideal, perfect world dog, would be one that is happy to be both inside and outside, is an affectionate and loving family member, loyal, protective, loves children, plays well with children and has the patience and tolerance required to deal with young children, energetic and willing to participate in walks and park adventures. 

At this time I am considering a German Shepherd. However I have not had much to do with this breed specifically, so any insight into that would be great. The closest thing I think would be my experience fostering a few Belgian Malinois.

Any advice or suggestions would be very much appreciated. Thanks!   

  

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If I could have a large breed again it would be a Pointer.

Just suggesting because I can't see them on your list but they are an amazing (and underrated) breed who tick a fair few of your boxes. :) 

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20 hours ago, Powerlegs said:

If I could have a large breed again it would be a Pointer.

Just suggesting because I can't see them on your list but they are an amazing (and underrated) breed who tick a fair few of your boxes. :) 

I was going to suggest a Springer.  Mine is gentle, affectionate, trainable, highly athletic, and hair trigger alert, including waking up when there are sounds in the small hours of the night. I suspect a pointer will be much the same, but larger. 

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9 hours ago, moosmum said:

Bernese?

Yes, I absolutely considered the bernese. But i consulted the wife and she ruled it out for being too big, and too hairy :(

The malinois vs GSD is a real toss up for me. I think it might just come down to availability between the 2. Also, malinois are quite energetic, and can be a real handful at the best of times :laugh:

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I think your wife should have the biggest say in which breed. She'll be the one who has to cope with a pup and 2 little kids as she is home full time. As they say "happy wife,happy life" :) And personally I'd go a GSD before a Mal.

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Giant schnauzer? (Just because I want one). Very protective, and if your wife is home all day, she will thank you for the low-shed coat. You'd need to socialise them well with unfamiliar children, but I think that goes for GSD and Mal, too.

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Excellent advice from others, especially matching suggestions to your stated preferences.... and to the context of your family and home.  On the subject of wanting a dog that would alert you to intruders.... I'm not suggesting this breed as it's not in line with your size/type preferences.  But I know from our experiences with Tibetan Spaniels how valuable it is to have a doggie-alerter.

 

Twice our Tibbie girls have alerted us at night that:

1. A thief had come up on the back deck on way into house (with a bag full of items nicked from downstairs storeroom). 

2. Someone was breaking into a car parked in the carport.

 Both times, the (usually sweet) Tibbie girls let loose ferocious barks that meant business... and the thieves fled.  In the first instance, the dogs tracked him, in the dark,  to the driveway next door & I got a good look at him as security lights turned on. 

 

Last year, the Tibbie boy next door who sleeps in an annexe to the kitchen, woke his family with ferociously loud barking.  Husband got out of bed and searched house and garden & found nothing.  

Next morning, the wife found her coin purse was missing from the kitchen, seems the thief had got that far when he'd walked into the dog.  They were relieved he'd got no further because the husband's wallet was on a table in the next room, containing tickets, passports & money for a trip to New Zealand. 

 

In both our cases and in our neighbours' case, police told us that the thieves had 'hit' a few other homes in the area, but these were the only ones where  dogs sounded the alarm which sent the thieves off.

 I'm sure other DOLers would tell similar stories involving different types of dogs.   They can offer great security.  

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GSDs are never recommended here for some reason. I have both show and working line GSDs and if you can cope with and like mals, you’d be fine with a GSD. I’d actually suggest a good working line if you want more of a deterrent - they’re a bit more serious. A well bred one is social and a good family dog also

 

good luck with it

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On 20/10/2020 at 7:16 PM, Darkrai said:

Why not adopt a Malinois? 
 

small breeds make excellent guard dogs, everything wakes them up. :laugh:


That brings me to my current gripe. 

I have actually been trying to adopt/rescue several dogs over the course of the last few weeks. And whilst I most certainly meet the standard rescue criteria (large yard, always home, active lifestyle, lots of experience), none of these rescue agencies have made any effort to contact me after submitting applications.

Except for one... They have a young Rotty (looks like cross with labrador) puppy up for adoption. But the rescue agency has a strict policy, that they will not give a puppy under 6 months old, to someone who doesn't currently have a dog. I asked for clarification on why they have that rule, but they wont respond. 

Seems absurd to me. The only reason i can think of, is they dont want someone picking up a puppy, and then dumping it 2 years later. But i did explain that i had my last dog for ~13 years. 

Beats me :banghead:

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Just now, Lemon said:


That brings me to my current gripe. 

I have actually been trying to adopt/rescue several dogs over the course of the last few weeks. And whilst I most certainly meet the standard rescue criteria (large yard, always home, active lifestyle, lots of experience), none of these rescue agencies have made any effort to contact me after submitting applications.

Except for one... They have a young Rotty (looks like cross with labrador) puppy up for adoption. But the rescue agency has a strict policy, that they will not give a puppy under 6 months old, to someone who doesn't currently have a dog. I asked for clarification on why they have that rule, but they wont respond. 

Seems absurd to me. The only reason i can think of, is they dont want someone picking up a puppy, and then dumping it 2 years later. But i did explain that i had my last dog for ~13 years. 

Beats me :banghead:


These rescue agencies are all very slow to respond, or i just get absolutely nothing. (And social media comments from others seem to show that this is standard across the board). 

I'm really starting to understand why puppy farms are (unfortunately) so successful. 

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One issue that hasn't been made explicit : do you want a watch dog (will alert bark, but not threatening) or a guard dog (will scare people, may or may not be trained for protection).  I personally avoid rottis, Malanois, GSDs, cattle dogs, etc because they scare people just by breed reputation.  Also, dog aggression is fairly common with the guarding dog breeds. You may or may not find this a good thing. 

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5 hours ago, sandgrubber said:

One issue that hasn't been made explicit : do you want a watch dog (will alert bark, but not threatening) or a guard dog (will scare people, may or may not be trained for protection).  I personally avoid rottis, Malanois, GSDs, cattle dogs, etc because they scare people just by breed reputation.  Also, dog aggression is fairly common with the guarding dog breeds. You may or may not find this a good thing. 


No, as i said before, it's really only a small consideration. I would make no attempt at guard or protection training. 
I would just consider it a bonus, if the breed is likely to bark at intruders, rather than lick them to death. 

But as it is the least important factor, it is why I am still considering breeds such as golden retriever and labrador. 

I currently have expressions out for GSD, Malinois and Golden Retriever. Unfortunately, rescue groups are not responding, and no breeders I have contacted are having litters any time soon. Covid border closures pretty much rules out NSW sources at this point in time.

I'm also seeing a lot of breeders selling dogs upwards of $5000. 

I mean, I've been out of the game for a while. But when we had litters for the show ring, we typically priced them in the order of $1.5 - $2.5k. 
Like... Is $5k normal now or something? I feel like anyone selling a dog for $5k is doing it to make a hefty profit, and I am certainly not about that. Money, is all the wrong reason to be having a litter. 

Correct me if I'm just outdated on this pricing, but it seems absurd to me. 

   

 

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Re price, I think the high price of ‘designer’ breeds,  backyard crosses and unpapered purebreeds has kind of dragged the registered breeders of popular breeds up in price. People were  getting tired of doing all the testing etc and then seeing much higher prices from those who didn’t do all that. I have heard a number of accounts of dogs being ‘flipped’ too,  bought at a lower price from a registered breeder and on-sold for much more. I think a number of breeders decided no virtue in being an easy target. 

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Prices have also sky rocketed due to covid.

People who who are now home more, lockdowns or working from home etc. has made many who previously weren't interested to now want a dog.Same thing happening overseas, apparently.

 

I expect there will be a lot of re-homes coming up, followed by unplanned litters. A price crash on the way and and shelters will be over run :(

Prices seem to be easing tho' very slowly as those willing to pay the inflated prices dry up. (adds are on a bit longer for some)

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