dog thoughts

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by caberjim, Jun 10, 2004.

  1. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

    Feb 19, 2004
    We're looking into getting a dog exclusively for the kids (7 and 4) - they can raise it and train with it. Something active enough to run around with them all day and big, loyal and protective enough to be a "watch dog" while they are roaming about. Our current guard dog is a Belgian Shepard (a terrific dog) but is getting old and would much prefer to follow me around instead of the kids (dog was around before the kids were). Our 11-year old cocker only goes where he can stare longingly at the chickens. We've thought about a german shepard or another belgian, but it gets pretty hot up in the mid-atlantic in the summers. Mutt is possible, but its always a craphoot with a mutt - though the belgian we found at a pound. Maybe a border collie. Any input would be welcome.

    Another interesting thought - male or female? I have a preference for females, myself (spayed).


  2. Torch

    Torch Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2004
    In the piney woods of the great state of Texas.
    I had a white German Shepard (bred to be white, not an albino). That dog had a sense about it that was uncanny. In addition to being an awesome 'guard' dog she was great around kids. I have 6 kids who all, to some extent, grew up with her. I never once saw her so much as growl at one of my children. She would just lie patiently as babies and toddlers literally crawled over her, pulling on her ears and nose.

    On many occassions I saw her put herself between a small child and the street becase she just knew that the child was wandering too close to potential danger.

    Once, we got a call from a lady who lived about 3 blocks away. My son, on his bike, had somehow gotten turned around and was lost. He was 5 at the time and was crying. This kind neighbor asked him what was wrong. He knew his phone number so the lady called us. I went to fetch him cursing myself for letting him wonder off like that. When I got to her street there was my boy... and there was my dog too, standing beside him, watching over him. I can't express how valued a companion like that is.

    I sure miss that dog.

    I, too, prefer females. They are naturally protective of home and less likely to wander off. If you get a male and don't plan on mating him neuter him early.

    Good Luck,


  3. Katiecakes

    Katiecakes Member

    Feb 29, 2004
    I can't say enough about how wonderful Border Collies are! I had one that I adopted from a shelter and she was incredible with children. She loved to run and was very protective of my nieces. I watched her herd my nieces on several occasions and she would never bark unless someone was coming near them that she didn't know very well. She never growled at those kids even if they would grab her neck while she ate.

    She loved to run and was a an all around great companion for the kids and me. Every person I've known that has had a border collie says the same thing. Good luck on your search. Love, Kathie
  4. Dances In Woods

    Dances In Woods Well-Known Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    Henderson, TEXAS
    I have border collies, I don't recommend them for small children like that. Don't get me wrong they are wonderful dogs but I wouldn't leave the training up to the kids. Its a lot of training that kids usually aren't up for like obedience, manners, basics etc....

    I would recommend a Lab, something calmer but still keep up with them.
  5. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2002
    For children I recommend (in no order)
    1) Golden Retriever- very smart, loyal, active but gentle
    2) Regular Collie (in the north) - they have the same characteristics mentioned above (not the border collie which is bred to work still ordinarily)
    3) American Bulldog (in the south)- I am raising my first and he is my soul mate - a love through and through. This breed must be from a professional breeder who knows your intentions for children. I trust Jack with baby humans and baby animals.

    There are many more suitable breeds (Welsch corgi comes to mind right now). Just as important a factor is choosing the breeder. there are people who have dedicated their lives to breed the type of dog you are looking for. A mixed breed dog or a pound dog (I've saved more than a dozen) is really a great potential too as long as you can read them. I've had dogs destined for death put more energy into protecting my children when they were toddlers than any alarm company or police officer could commit to.
  6. countrygirl26

    countrygirl26 Active Member

    Apr 26, 2004
    ohio soon to be missouri
    We have had only 2 dogs that i would recommend for a guard dog and protector of kids. We have st. bernards. Our female is the one who is loving to all kids and people, but lets us know if there is a stranger or something not right. Every time my son goes outside she has to go to. She is alwaysa by his side. I don't know what she will do when he goes to Kindergarten next year. Just stare over the new baby.? She is lovable and we have had many saints. I have even kept them in my home as Foster kids. I believe from all dogs I have ever had they are the easiest to train and the most well behaved.

    Another dog that was very protective of my son but good with kids was my parents Blue Merle Australian Shepherd. She would lay by him on the couch as an infant and sleep under the baby crib. when he would awake she would let you know. I miss her. she passed away about 1 month ago. my parents now have 2 cattle dog ( blue heeler) pups. My son who is 4 hates them because they chase and tackle and ruff him up... :haha: He is used to our GENTLE GIANTS. I would not trade our saints for the world.

    Just an idea....Good luck in the hunt, but i do agree females are alot better.
  7. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2003
    I'd look for a shepherd x BC cross at the pound. If you want to go with a purebred.... BCs are great, but they're a LOT of dog, and not necessarily a great choice for kids who may have trouble being as precise as you need to be with some of them for training. (This is largely because of their intelligence- a dumb BC is still a darn smart dog ^_^, and may be a LOT easier to train) Some of the other herding breeds are a lot easier- Aussies are nice but hard headed, and (not that I'm biased LOL) Cardigan Corgis are EXCELLENT kid dogs.

    I'd recommend going with a male over a female, just because it seems like more males will put up with kid antics- the girls tend to be more 'what's in it for me' (at least in the herding breeds I've worked with) and the boys tend to be more easily motivated.

    If you have a specific purebred him ind, you might try going to a show breeder and inquiring about a retired show dog or a show prospect that didn't work out. You'll get a good dog, with health-tested parents, past the irritating puppy stage, who is probably already got basic training (ie, housebreaking and walk on a leash). Breed rescue is another great option.

    If you arein upstate NY, or want to come visit, drop me a PM- I can think of a number of really excellent breeders in my local area who might fit your family.

  8. babetteq

    babetteq Well-Known Member

    Jun 7, 2004
    Very North, Very West, Very Canadian
    there are websites devoted to 'family dogs' with lists of animals tht aren't good around kids. I would suggest that you look through them. some of the dogs on the 'not good with kids' list surprised me a bit (like cocker spaniels), but its always worthwhile doing the research.

    also, mutts are good. You don't get the problems with over breeding, the weird congenital problems (cherry eye, dysplasia, stinky ears...) nd often they are beautiful, friendly dogs. Your spca is a good place to look. they usually mnow the animals well enough to ttell you how they are. (excuse the typing, one hadn is acting up) and they need homes. If you get an adult dog, then you know the personality already and don't have to wait until they get out of their very cute puppy phase to know if it's what you want.

  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    I've had border collies, very protective and loyal. Also VERY hyper, need lots of excercise. The best dog we had for kids was a golden retriever. I have seen her get down on her belly to crawl after a year old toddler, being so careful not to knock the baby over, yet had lots of energy to play with adults or older kids.
  10. babyedna

    babyedna Member

    Jul 25, 2003
    western Kentucky
    We have Akita's and they are wonderful, very kid friendly we got our first one as a puppy male. Then when looking for another one we found a female age 6 owned buy a breeder (both were pure breed), our son was only 3 years old and a new baby girl (2months). We went to see her and she took to us right away running in the yard with our son and we took her home. Anytime anyone came towards the door they would let us know. Now there offspring are doing the same, we live in the country and if the kids go to far they bark and let us know, if someone drives in the driveway they do the same. They let the kids do just about anything and when they (the dogs) have had enough let will go lay down.
  11. MaKettle

    MaKettle Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    We had an English Springer Spaniel when the kids were small. She had an unusual ability to determine friend from foe. Absolutely no one was going to stick a hand inside the car when the kids were in it, and would bark at the neighbor kids when play got too rough (but never bit them). But I remember a neighbor's boxer who took exception when a visiting child got rough and took off after hiim, with the owner-child dragging along hanging onto the collar yelling for his Mom. That was scarey.

    Think very carefully about assuming children 4 through 7 will be able to care for and TRAIN any dog. A big puppy on a leash will bowl them over. And house breaking? Any dog needs adult supervision, and needs to recognize the adults as the pack leaders. Your dogs are probably too old to bond with the kids. A puppy will be so much fun for all of you.
  12. Amy Jo

    Amy Jo Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2003
    When i was a little girl, my mother bought me a border collie & some kind of shepherd mix... Polly was loyal loyal loyal. Once my mother was giving me a spanking on the closed in porch and polly went wild outside the screen door wanting in to protect me. She was a wonderful dog.

    I have a new grandson so we want to get a dog that will love children as well. I also want our dog run to be along side the vegie garden to keep deer and other snackers away from the people food. I really would like a dog to be able to run loose and stay to our property (for reasons of protection for our animals, garden and people). We'd still have to contain the dog for occasional coon hunting events in our area... there's a hunting club less than a mile from our property... I just can't see a tied up dog being much good for discouraging human predators - unless she's tied on the porch ;)
  13. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2003
    I like mutts! Mixed Breeds.They make good pets & they are not so likely to have the medical problems that the Pure Breeds have.
  14. Tracy Rimmer

    Tracy Rimmer CF, Classroom & Books Mod Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    Manitoba, Canada
    Be careful with a border collie -- friends did the same as you are thinking, got one for their kids, and they ended up with a real problem -- the dog was constantly "herding" the kids. The vet said that sometimes these "working" type dogs shouldn't be around small ones, or kids who are submissive -- the dog starts feeling like the kids are "stock". Understand this isn't my personal experience -- I love border collies, and think that any animal needs to be trained to understand where it falls in the family pecking order, but our friends ended up getting rid of the dog because of this.

    When we were kids we had a spitz/samoyed cross that was the most incredibly protective, loyal animal I've ever known. The dog would walk us kids to the bus stop, wait with us, then go back to the house to lay in front of the door. Mom said she seldom moved from that spot, and God help anyone who tried to enter the house without mom knowing! About four o'clock every day, she'd get up and walk to the bus stop, and park herself there until the bus pulled up to drop us off. She kept foxes out of the chicken house on more than one occasion, too.

  15. givemeadozen

    givemeadozen Member

    Jun 11, 2004
    Oregon Willamette Valley
    Like the saints newfoundland make great children's dogs, they are also very good around small animal as well. Newfs are also known for pulling kids out water when they go in too deep. You're kids could teach it to pull a cart and then you'ld have someone to help with yard chores.

    Good luck on finding a great dog
  16. Amy Jo

    Amy Jo Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2003
    My Polly was a great dog, but she had something other than just border collie in her, so maybe she'd have been different if she were just collie.

    When my kids were little I got a full grown female golden retriever from the humane society. Jenny LOVED my kids, they could lay on her, move her and she was wonderful with them. A cat came into the yard (same color - it was a cute scene) and Jenny started washing it's face. The lady at the humane society said she was given up because she lived on a farm and was chasing the chickens. Her brother was in the cage beside her... they were probably used for breeding until they got older, huh? She looked underfed and found out a couple weeks later that she was underfed AND still pregnant with 6 puppies.
  17. evilbunny

    evilbunny Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    Check out this site.

    I have found so many pets on there I'd love to adopt. They are usually in "foster homes" LOL so the people can post what type animal they are personality wise. The people are very wonderful. I've looked at several animals but ended up with a bit of a surplus in dogs. LOL

    Someone found out I was considering adopting a dog that had been in foster care for a bit and so they asked if I would take their female terrrier mutt who was accidentally was bred to their golden retriever. I already had one male (neutered) dog. When she came to my home she ended up having 2 puppies. Next thing, my ex ended up not being able to keep his dog where he was going so my son brings it here.

    My vet bill is going to be out of this world. I need to get her spayed, all shots and wormed, of course puppy shots, and then when they are old enough, snip snip for them. Son wont allow me to neuter the ex's dog... he's a good dog but geeesh he's not breeding stock.

    :no: Sigh, I now have 2 adult males, one lab mutt mix from petsfinder, and my ex's australian sheperd/blue healer cross, a female terrier mutt, and two male puppies that are 6 weeks old. Watch out what you ask for. LOL

    By the way: anyone need a puppy?

    Out of the bunch, the lab mutt from petsfinder matches my personality and is the most loving, intelligent, not overly protective but always watches out, and friendly to everyone, dog I could ever ask for. He's a perfect match for me and I'd say probably my best friend.
  18. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2003
    OH DEAR!! I see trouble brewing here! :)
    FIRST OF ALL: 4-7 yr olds are NOT.. I repeat NOT equiped to "raise and train" ANYTHING.
    2. If you already HAVE a guard dog...??? why another.... Maybe something smaller and more FUN for the kids could be considered, too? (Course, they eat/kill/chase chickens too!)
    3.If you WANT chickens.. forget the German Shepherd. Been there.

    Now.. for a good, easily (not too much needed) trainable dog that WON"T EAT YOUR LIVESTOCK... try a Great Pyrenese.. (Y'all just KNEW I was getting to that, didn't you?) Not so rambunctious to knock down your kids either! And if raised with whatever he's supposed to 'guard'.. he'll DO IT! (See all my other posts.. You'll find a lot of info on GP's.

    Good luck!
  19. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Apr 30, 2002
    North Alabama
    Bullmastiffs are excellent family members, work dogs and protectors and always primary bond to the children of a family. My parents always had to put our bullmastiffs out before spanking me even though they were the ones who trained the dogs.
  20. RandB

    RandB Well-Known Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    southern New Jersey
    Caberjim, since you already have and like the Belgian, did you know that there is a short-haired variety, the Belgian Malinois? They look similar to German Shepherds, but have the Belgian size & square body, instead of long-bodied like the GS. They are used a lot in police work. We have had 3 of them, they are incredible dogs. There is a Belgian Malinois rescue website, with dogs available all around the country, mostly young ones that are homeless by no fault of their own. A friend of mine is currently "fostering" a nice female she rescued from a pound in Ohio. You might want to check it out, do a Google search for it.