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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I'm going to be getting a new dog. I don't have one yet, and I don't even know yet what breed I want. I'll give you a little history on us.

I was raised with Malamutes and I LOVE them. When DH and I were first married, we had a pair of afghan hounds. My husband simply adored his boy, Bandit. Kitkat was my girl and she was the sweetest, most loving and most feminine dog I've ever owned in my life. My neighbors in Utah had a property dispute with the prior owners and had lost in court. They continued harrassing us. We called the sheriff on them when they shot our lamb. We couldn't prove it was them, so the sheriff merely went and had a talk with them. A week later, both of our afghan hounds were laying in our fenced in back yard, dead of gunshot wounds. Both hubby and I cried like babies over those dogs. We also sold out and moved. (I didn't want my kids to be next!)

Since moving here to Ohio 9 years ago, we've raised Pyrs, that we really love too. But they are outdoor dogs. I do have them housebroken, but they don't like to be indoors. They cry and whine to be outside in the pastures. I think it's too hot and confining in the house for them.

DH is out on storm work often. I have the pyrs on patrol outside, but I'd like a companion dog for me, indoors. I don't want a little dog, I'd like a medium or large dog.

Our property is mostly fenced in and the poultry are inaccessible to any dogs. I don't want a lab, as my mom had one and it was terrible about trying to dig into our poultry house, whatever it had to do to gain access to our birds. I'd love to have a dog that is as affectionate as my Kitkat used to be, but I know there's no real guarantee. I've considered a great dane, but I don't like their short lifespan. I've checked out my local shelter, but they are inundated with lab-mix puppies, hound-mix puppies, and pit bulls. I'm leaning more towards purebred, but I haven't ruled out the "right" mix (whatever that may be). My husband suggested a heeler, which I'm considering. They are a little smaller than I'd previously considered, but what I've researched on them, I like. I need a dog that is "homestead safe", if you know what I mean.

Now, this is where you all come in. What was your best canine companion, and why? Drawbacks? Suggestions?

Thanks,
~Dona
 

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White German Shepherds are great, ours have all been a bit more mellow than the german imports we had.

We have currently in the house a neutered male Australian Shepherd, show bloodlines, so a bit less drive. We bought a female pup this past spring out of more herding lines, OMG - H Y P E R! She drove the old male GSD nuts and I sold her to a working home, she was too rough on my goats too. DH loves our Aussie, but we'll never own another, we got lucky with him.

THese are small - but if you want the ultimate 20-25ish lb house dog, you absolutly can not go wrong with a Cavalier King CHarles Spaniel! Have two neut. boys and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them.

One of our coolest dogs was a big old male Akita we rescued from a breeder. Awesome dog, but very independent and can be quite dog aggressive, so with your Pyrs, maybe not good.

My next "dream" dog for the "big" house dog (when the Aussie passes) is a Rhodesian Ridgeback. They sound wonderful and are beautiful.
 

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Newfoundlands are a great companion dog:baby04: They are gentle giants.

I have two of them and would not have a different dog. My siblings can lay on them with out them moving, and my little brother who is 11mo will take food from them, And they SHARE! MY 9yo sister is teaching the older one to pull her kick sled and she is doing quite well:clap:

Well that is my two cents, They may not be the dog you want and ultimately it is you choice.

Tillys girl

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I have an airedale and she is an absolute joy in my life. She's 65 pounds and needs lots of attention and mine needs exercise. She is very loyal and lovable and really quite a jokester.
She is a giant terrier, so she has the terrier energy and mischieveness in her, but worth every bit of energy I put in her. I'm sure you'll find love in whatever dog you get bc you are clearly a dog person.
Good luck and let us know your choice!!
 

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Hey, it's not the dogs we love, it's finding a dog you will love.
The breeds that you have described as adoring them, are all breeds with a more independent personality. Which suggests that a clingy, high maintenance or intense dog wouldn't suit you.

Was I you, I would read Steven Cohen's book "Why we love the dogs we love" If you research breeds, you will find things that are written by those that love the breed. Affectionate with a golden means this is a dog who will wag himself in two anytime he sees you and wants lots of interactive time and will want part of himself touching you and being touched often. He will be your dedicated shadow.
Affectionate with a Mal means the dog is noticeably happy to see you, will sometimes bring and leave for you things that are important to them (leaving a favorite toy near you) will always be somewhere it can see you and while it doesn't exactly follow you from room to room, always happens to be where you are.

So someone who wanted a dog with golden-type affection, would be very disappointed in the Mal and someone who was used to Mal-type affection will feel smothered by the golden.

The same word means different things to different people. Reading between the lines of breed descriptions can be very hard. I'll bet you found your afghans easy to train, but someone who trained border collies would have been disgusted with them. So even if a breed is described as "affectionate and easy to train" Easy to train for what? Affectionate to who and how?

The book I recommend is unusual in that it doesn't categorize dogs by breed type (herding group, hound group) but by personality (independent, affectionate, etc) and then tries to get you to look past breed descriptions to what a breed is like to live with. It also helps you evaluate yourself; how much time do you want to put into training a dog, two breeds may have similar personality, but one demands that it's owner be a master to it, while another is not so challenging.

Good luck in your search!
 

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I like Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs...ours is very sweet and thinks if it is alive it must love him. They weigh over 100lbs. and are harder to housebreak (think 6months to 1 year min.)
 

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otter--so well said. i plan to look for that book even tho. i am not looking for a dog. i love dogs!

and when i have 'an opening' a dog always seems to find me. when my cherished little terrier pasted at 18, i said no more for a good while. hubby had 2 borders outside, and i just couldn't see any other dog than chewie. admittedly i still grieve for him. but my boss found this pup in a ditch, and here he is, 2 years later. i doubt i woulda picked him, but he sure fits well. i know i'd never have gotten that little terrier as liked bigger dogs,(chewie was only 25 lbs) but i now doubt i'll ever have another to mean so much to me. ppl who didn't like dogs (my mom!) loved him.

may i ask why a purebred? and sorry to hear of your past hounds, what a horrible thing to happen. i can't imagine...
 

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I wouldnt begin to make any kind of desicion for you on what type of dog, and I am VERY sorry about your afghan hounds. It is good that is wasnt MY neighbor or I would be in jail right now for murder.
As you can tell I am a bit parital to another afghan hound........

But I can tell you Steven Cohen is an ............................ well I cant say it on a family list. But I can tell you he doesnt do any real research, he uses "Thats what everyone says" when he uses descriptions of dogs. When you pin him down on who "everyone" is he gets VERY upset. When he first published his list with afghans as the stupiest breed of dog, our parent club and many memebers questioned him on it. He just said "well everyone knows that is true" we asked him who was everyone and he refused to answer. His basis was, there were fewer afghans with advanced obedience degrees therefore the breed as a whole is dumb.

If I read his book, and I wouldnt waste my time or $$ I would get the exact opposite breed that what he suggested.

Alice in Virginia
 

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Inside 1 person dog get a Chow . Make sure it is a pup they bond at a very young age and will harly ever except a new owner when they are older , However they are very protective of their person . Make sure you can see the mother and father and you should be able to pet one or the other . A lot of bad breeding went on when they were popular . No love Like Chow love
 

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Dona,

I'm not familiar with afghans, so I cannot compare dispositions. That being said, if you like an independent minded, intelligent dog, consider a terrier. They are not easy to train compared to say gun dogs or cattle dogs, but once they are trained, they are trained for life. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors, as well as different personalities. They have a moderate activity level, which makes them suitable to many different home settings. They are often "tough little dogs", so not as prone to being yippy or snappy. We are partial to scotties and westies, but it sounds as though you may like something larger.
Laura
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for your input everyone. I certainly wasn't asking anyone to tell me what type of dog to get. I wouldn't dream of having someone else make that determination for me. I was more asking about YOUR experiences with YOUR dogs, and what you do like about them and what you don't like about them. I figure that's the best way to make the determination, to study out the pros and cons of each and the best way to do that is to talk to those who have first hand knowledge.
Alice, I have found afghan hounds to be very, very intelligent, very loving, but very sensitive. They do react positively to anyone with a heavy hand. They need structure, lots of love, and constructive training. But the rewards are so worth it. I simply love them!
And yes, Malamutes are an independent lot, but can be very demonstrative in their affections to their owners. I suppose I do like independent dogs, but I want them to be affectionate too. I don't want a clingy lap dog that suffers when I'm away from him/her.
What is the temperment of the airedale, Jmrhike? I understand they are a hyper type of dog, but are they really needy? Mischevious?
Tillysgirl, your newfie doesn't suffer in the house? Do they have a lighter coat than a pyr? Do they shed a lot? (I don't mind grooming at all, but I detest hair in my house)
As far as purebred vs rescue or shelter dogs are concerned, as I stated, I don't mind a shelter dog, but I would prefer not to get a lab-mix, which is all our local shelter has. I've looked through petfinder, and I've seen a lot of setter-mix dogs. I'm not sure how a setter would do in a farm type setting. Anyone have experience with them and livestock?
My daughter has an australian shepherd and that dog is sooooooo hyper, I don't think I could handle it. We all thought she'd calm down as she got older. Nothing doing! She acts like a 7 year old puppy still!
I've been considering a bouvier, a heeler, a bearded collie, or another afghan or malamute. But I'm open to other ideas as well.
Thanks again for your advice, suggestions, and knowledge.

~Dona
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dona,

I'm not familiar with afghans, so I cannot compare dispositions. That being said, if you like an independent minded, intelligent dog, consider a terrier. They are not easy to train compared to say gun dogs or cattle dogs, but once they are trained, they are trained for life. They come in all sizes, shapes and colors, as well as different personalities. They have a moderate activity level, which makes them suitable to many different home settings. They are often "tough little dogs", so not as prone to being yippy or snappy. We are partial to scotties and westies, but it sounds as though you may like something larger.
Laura
Are there larger terriers? I'll spend some time looking up the terrier group and checking them all out. I do like larger dogs, but temperment means more to me than anything as I want this to be my companion when my husand is gone on one of his many trips. That's also the biggest drawbacks to a larger dog is that it is harder to stick them in the car with me and take them places. My malamute took up the entire back seat!! My afghan was easier to fit, but she didn't travel well. My pyrs LOVE to ride, but are so darned big, they simply don't fit in anything but the truck!
I'll check out the terriers. Thanks for the suggestion!
~Dona
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I did find a 4 year old boxer-mix in a town 45 mins away, and I went to see her. She seemed sweet enough to me, but she doesn't like men at all (they want her to go to a home with no men. I think she was abused by a man.) Since I'm not getting rid of hubby, I've decided against her.

I'm not against a mix. I just haven't found one that's right yet. But then, I haven't found a purebred that's right yet either. (I would have probably gotten another afghan already, but I can't find one within 5 hours of my home.)

Oldmanriver, I'd worry about a "1 person dog" as I do have a husband, and kids and grandkids as well as an elderly mother who are always coming here.
 

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I have shelties, and I think their the perfect dog, but you want something larger. I'm so happy with them that I really don't want any other breed, but from time to time the hub thinks about getting something larger to back up our small furry alarm systems. We've considered Vizlas, he was raised with one, or German Short Haired Pointers, I'm familiar with them and their rather laid back for birding dogs and do well indoors. I've thought about Aussies and Border Collies, afraid both would be bored here, and drive my couch potato shelties crazy. I am very interested in English Shepherds, they seem so perfect and dual purpose, one might be our next dog, although I'm not pushing for one. Like I said the shelties are all I would ever want in a dog, I prefer smaller dogs. Their loyal and loving and very smart, seem to know what you want before you know it. One point though, temperaments can really differ from line to line in any breed. I have a girl here that I've decided not to breed, she's too high drive, and her mother had the most incredible natural herding ability I've ever seen, but this girl is just too much, I prefer a much more laid back personality. Think personality, not breed. Shelties are still the bomb. Good Luck, I hope you find the perfect dog.
 

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White German Shepherds - I have had 2 females spread out over several years - not simultaneously - and both had been holy terrors, each in her own way. I must say that I have had dogs all of my adult life - both rescues and mutts from questionable backgrounds as well as purebreds of various sizes, and there is really no type of dog that I can't handle or am afraid off, but I won't go there ever again!

All the obedience training in the world didn't stick with either of those two girls - they learned easily enough and tried hard to please when I was with them, but as soon as I got busy or had to leave for several hours [like go to work] - they went ballistic. The first one ate the entire floor in the laundry + kitchen and dismantled the kitchen cabinets in the house I was living in; she also was terrified of lightning and an escape artist. While the first was not aggressive per se, and she tolerated chickens, cats, kids and other dogs just fine - by the time the second was fully mature, she turned into a sneaky murderess as soon as your back was turned and she felt she was unobserved and could - quite cunning.

She bit the fence guy when he came to measure our property [and was quite conniving in the way she went about it - you could actually see her measure and test - she was on a chain while he was there, as I needed my hands free to walk with him and she literally layed in wait for him to come to close - I was right beside her and didn't see it coming, or rather didn't think she would with me standing right there. She also went after the electric reader several times - and he didn't even come onto the property - she went over the fence after him on multiple occasions, chasing him in his truck.

Perfect dog when she was with me - obedient, smart and all that [although I didn't trust her in public or around other ppl at all after she started biting], and she wasn't abused or any such thing, while the first was a foundling, the second one I bought from a breeder as a pup. When she turned about 2.5 yrs old, she started playing "things" to death and ended up killing several neighbors kittens that wandered over onto our property [left ours alone though]. Two of my larger dogs died under questionable circmstances while I was at home and I suspected her but had no proof of who started the fight etc, until she went on a murder spree and killed 7 of my toy breed dogs in the house one afternoon while I was at work. I had her put to sleep after that. Not ever again a white GS for me.

A friend has an older sibling pair - a traditionally colored female that is smart as a button and a huge white male [not so smart - let's put it that way] - and she loves hers to pieces. With those two the female is definitely the brains of the operation - she keeps him out of trouble, but she also can get quite aggressive if some of my friends breeder dogs ever get loose [she also raised toy breeds] - so overall speaking - they need a seriously firm hand and they need to work and have something to do in my opinion. You really need to look for mental soundness and quality if you'll consider a GS of any color, especially when you have kids and other pets. And they do shed something awsome though!

If you want a very loving and affectionate dog, bright - intelligent and easy to train, not overly needy but loving and intuitive enough to read you well and behave accordingly, I'd suggest a larger Mini Poodle or even a Standard Poodle, or an English Springer Spaniel. Poodles don't shed but need regular grooming and clipping [and no they don't have to come in the frufru cuts - there are some very nice utilitarian cuts available], and Springers do not shed much at all - a bit seasonal in late fall and early spring is all. Heavy coated bench types may need some grooming and regular brushing, pet quality or field springers have shorter coats that are easily managed by the owner. Neither breed has doggy odor when they are kept clean.

Many ppl equate springers as oversized cockers - nothing could be further from that mistake! They are way smarter [sorry if I just offended a cocker owner or lover], generally no potty issues [such as submissive or excited urinating], and they love full heartedly on wide open. You get one - he is yours forever and you are his one and only, although they tend to love the entire family and are very forgiving to the occasional rough kid. They often have a preferred person, but tend to be very diplomatic about that - that's the best way I can put it. In my opinion they are mellower and perhaps more affectionate than Brittanys too... I think they are simply the best of the Spaniel breeds out there!

Both poodles and springers are very smart and can be easily trained to be safe around life stock, as both are originally from retrieving stock. They are kid safe, senior safe and just huge love buttons all over. While they are affectionate and sometimes would like to be a bit clingy - they also understand what "not now" means and know how to patiently wait [well maybe with a bit of sighing and eye rolling, LOL] until you have time for them. Both love to ride in cars, and especially the poodles can fold themselves into surprisingly small compact packages, and it is absolutely hilarious when a 60 lbs springer is trying to fit all 4 legs into your lap, so s/he can sit on you, LOL - mine usually manage to get 3 in and are pleased with that, and I have a goodsized lap.

Mini poodles start roughly at 10 lbs up to 20 lbs max [actually they go by size 10-15"], standards are 15+" up to the huge Royal or King Standard Poodles that may weigh as much as 70-80 lbs. ESS start around the 40-45# for the smaller ones, and the larger ones average around the 50-60#, with the biggest boy we ever had topping 65#. You want a smart and attentive dog - either will fit the bill, be a good watch dog without being overly aggressive but are and can be intimidating enough to hold off a bad guy until the Pyrs come in to help. And they all tend to get along just fine with everybody and then some...
 

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Steven Cohen might personally be a ....not nice word ... and I haven't read his book on the intelligence of dogs. But I can imagine just from the title that the book wouldn't go a long way to making friends, esp with those who's best loved breed was at the bottom of the list.

I have read the book I recommended and found it to be very well researched, helpful and thought provoking. That's why I recommended it.

Dona, the breeds you had questions on,
Newfies don't really suffer in the house, but they do shed alot. Their hair is a little more oily then some other breeds (bred that way for water resistance) and some people notice a little more doggy odor. Grooming cuts down on it, but there will be hair.

Airedales are very mischievous and need an owner that enjoys staying a step ahead of them. Very fun dogs if you're into that. Think terrier squared.

If you aren't keen on your daughter's aussie, forget a heeler. They are just as active and need an owner who is very much the boss. They don't want an owner but a master.

As far as a setter mix, it depends on the setter and the mix. If the setter part is from show lines, it will likely be sweet and not too interested in birds or stock. If it is from hunting lines then it will be keenly interested in your birds, maybe a little too much. And mixed with what? You'd have to look at each individual.

Beardies are way too smart and have a sense of humor. Smart isn't always good in a dog, trainable is better - it is NOT the same thing. But if you enjoy dog training and a dog who will every once in a while go "Hey y'all, watch this" then you might like one.

Bouviers are a little like beardies, but very serious. Both good, smart workers who are very devoted to their owners without being clingy, but where a beardie will clown a Bouvier will say "Ahem, that is NOT how things are done" One might be a good choice for you if you can find one. They are rare in this country so it can be hard to find a breeder who breeds a female because she is a good bouvier, rather then just because she's a bouvier.

If you contact an Afghan rescue, sometimes they will arrange transport. You never know until you try.
 

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I'm a cat person. Affection and lovin, then off to nap.

We had an aussie cattle dog we got as an adult when her home became too crowded. she was great, but again, we got her as about a 9-yr-old. She liked being outdoors, but loved being with us, not pushy, not needy, in short, she was great, and fun to play little games with, but when we were done playing, she was good with that.

She lived to be 16 and she was way smart. She knew where home was and ... she's the only aussie I knew ...

but I'd get another aussie as an adult. I'm not patient for the puppies.
 
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