Had a Border Collie, great dog but not for the ill-prepared, all that intelligence in an animal can be something to be reckoned with. Currently my father has a blind bearded collie. Another great, smart dog, little more upkeep but what enthusiam! I would ove to get another Border Collie or a Golden Retriever. It’s tough sometimes to get what you are looking for from the pound or humane society. They have a large number of “unknown” breed puppies so it’s sort of luck of the draw. That said I had two mutts growing up and loved them both, both smart, easily trained dogs.
Answer to the OP: I love Shelties and Rhodesian Ridgebacks, but the two dogs that I have now are each “their own breeds” (some say “mutts”, but what do they know?). One we got at a pet store, the other we found in a parking lot. I love them every bit as much as I would love a purebred and they were a heckuva lot cheaper!
Ultress: One of my dogs used to run off into the woods for 5-10 minutes. Really infuriated me. Then I bought a remote-control, electric training collar for about $120. After two days and about five small shocks (I know they are small, I tried them on my self) she stopped that behavior. You choose the shock level and the shocks should NEVER elicit signs of distress (i.e., jumping or yelping). You can get the collars from many on-line pet stores. I highly recommend them. In my case, Poco also used to charge people, including small children, who walked on the road in front of the house. If not for the training collar, it was a matter of time before she hurt someone, resulting in legal action and (ulp) her untimely demise. I would gladly pay twice the price for the superb behavior she shows now.
Labrador Retrievers are the greatest breed ever created!!!
Multi-purpose, excellent temprament, relatively short hair, smart(eventually) good looking, strong, loyal, available in 3 colors to match your house…and on and on and on.
What other dog compares to the mighty lab. The ultimate in utility.
If a Lab bites you either you had it coming or the owner of the dog is a real pile of shit who should be dragged out behind the barn and shot!!
I did not go via the pound because I wanted to maximize the bloodline as a hunter. However, Gazoo’s dog is a pound puppy and is a great dog also.
On the idea that mutts are healthier than pure breds. Pure fantasy. for example let’s say you have a great dane sheppard mix. It could inherit bad hips from both parents. The only reason that mutts seem healthier, is that people do not keep track of the health as a breed. It’s impossible, they aren’t of any breed.
Your best bet for getting a helathy dog is to go to a reputable breeder and check out the facts on the parents and grandparents of the dog you are getting.
I’m not sayign you shouldn’t adopt from the pound, it just won’t garauntee you a healthier dog.
IMHO the Akita is one of the best breeds. They do need a lot of attention but are great with kids. A good Akita is very loyal to the family unit and is a great companion.
Thanks you guys, nothing I love to listen to more than dog lovers!
A couple of notes-
Are purebreds more succeptable to problems such as hip dysplasia? I have always heard yes, but I’m open to expert opinions.
Someone (aenea, I think) mentioned breeding for temperment, rather than just a pretty dog. This can cause just as many problems. The old story about breeding in the nose on collies, while breeding out the brain? Our dog’s line, it turned out, had the same grandfather dog on both sides- great for temperment, bad for other things… Always ask for documentation on several generations of a puppy, not just sire & bitch.
And no, I don’t have anything against purebreds (I just get tired of people whining “you paid HOW MUCH? When dogs from the pound need you so much?!?”), quite the contrary. We have a Newfoundland, great stock from an established breeder in SoCal, both parents AKC champions (in fact, dad Don Juan was #3 Newf in US!), cost us a fortune. And yes, he has hip dysplasia, so do his two half-brothers, also in our family. You never can tell which dogs will have it, but literature in my vet’s office talked about St. Bernards & Newfs having an up to 98% chance of hip dysplasia. Yow.
One dog had 4 surgeries before the age of four- one to replace a hip, one to put artificial hip ball back in socket 3 weeks later, one to clean up infection in artificial hip, and one to remove artificial hip.
My Newf is the best dog I have ever had- loyal to a fault, loving, great with my 9 month old, maybe just a little too smart. Just breaks your heart when they’re ill. Thinking of a Great Dane next, any ideas on rescues or breeders?
The thing about hip displaysia is that it affects most large dog breeds. We (humans) took an animal and developed it into many breeds, changing it in ways that mom nature never did. Large dogs are heavier, and have more weight, and larger bones. This is one of the main reasons they have this problem more often, it’s not always a genetic defect that is inherited. Feed them too much grow food as a pup? Dysplasia. Push their hips, or abuse their hips very often, and viola - dysplasia.
EJ - the Great Dane is a wonderful dog! Unfortunatly they are one of the breeds most prone to this hip problem.
German Shorthaired Pointers. They’re very friendly and loving smallish but not too small, and they have short fur which you pretty much never need to groom. They’re also very pretty. The only downside is that they need lots of exercize.
I’ve had 4 dogs - 2 GSP which we both got from different breeders, a dachshund that came from a petstore (yeah, icky, I know. But we got him about 10 years & I believe it was before everyone was making a big deal about puppy mills. Either way, we didn’t know that this was a no-no.) & one mutt that came from a neighbor’s litter of puppies.
The first GSP came from a really awful breeder. She had maybe 50 dogs with a few each in little fenced up (maybe 10’x10’) sections (remember that GSPs need lots of exercise). She probably had about 4 litters of different breeds of puppies. It SMELLED. She docked their tails by putting rubber bands around them until the tip died and fell off.
The dog was supposedly purebred but didn’t have papers, so the lady (who was a really big bitch to us) sold her to us for $50. I wish I could have gotten them all out of there. Sigh.
I’m particular to Siberian Huskys. Easy going temperment, great with kids, and they just look so damn cool.
And, I’m kind of curious–I used to show dogs (Irish setters, sporting group, same as a GSP) and usually both these breed are about 24-27 inches at the shoulder and about 60 -70 pounds.
Your first breeder (if you can call her that) is a crook. Even “backyard breeders” can do better than that. No papers mean no purebred. Even if in some remote possibilty they are purebred, it is meaningless. There is a reason there are no papers.
Not all backyard breeders are lowlifes. Actually, many breed quality animals. Not everyone can afford to run a kennel, do breeding as their income, etc., but that doesn’t mean that many people don’t own quality animals that are good stock. My recommendation on that is that the breeder has shown animals at some point, the animals are healthy and happy, and that there is a pre-purchase vet check!! This is very important. If they won’t let you do this, don’t buy the pet. This applies to cats, horses, any animal.
Also many reputable breeder will allow a return policy. I know it sounds shallow, but with some animals it’s the best choice. I really don’t want to raise a dog with Dermoid Sinus. It’s just cruel that it even has to live like that.
My recommendation on that is that the breeder has shown animals at some point, the animals are healthy and happy, and that there is a pre-purchase vet check!!
The dogs all seemed healthy, but seeing them all like that made me so upset. The first time we went there to pick her out, she told us that all her puppies were healthy and had all the shots they needed at that age, so we were under the impression that they had seen a vet to get checked & get their shots. We called her before going to pick up the puppy and she told us that the puppies did not have papers because the person that owned the father dog refused to give her his papers, but that she will keep pestering him until she gets them. We called a few other breeders (of other breeds) we saw in the paper and asked them if they thought the dog was still worth the $350 she wanted for it, and they all said no, that when you pay for a purebred dog you’re mostly paying for the papers. When we went there and told her this, she got very pissy and said she’d sell the dog for $50, but that she wouldn’t give it the shots that it needed. Wait a second, we said, you said the dog already had the shots! The lady grumbled, went into the house, came back with 2 needles and injected the dog with something or other. We gave her our number and told her to call us when she got the papers and we would give her the remaining $300. She never called us back (this was 3 years ago) and the puppies were still being advertised in the paper 6 months later as AKC certified.
I’m very glad that we DID get the dog, because she was the best I have ever met and we all loved her to death. Unfortunately she passed on a little over a year ago.
I’m pretty certain that this woman made her living by breeding dogs, which IMHO is wrong, and breeding should only be for the love of the animals and to improve the line & the money just a pleasant bonus and to pay for the costs of raising the animal.
EJsGirl, sorry for hijacking your thread, but I just needed to rant there for a little while. Feel free to slap me.
My favorite dogs have always been mutts. One shepherd/collie/something mix; one Hawaii poi dog; one retriever/setter blend…bunch of others.
OTOH, if I had to pick a favorite breed it would most definitely be Brittany spaniels. Not too large, not too long a coat, not too hyper. And I would choose the runt of the litter from a breeder who actually uses his dogs to hunt.
I also ADORE blue/Australian/Queenland heelers - but I wouldn’t get one unless I had at least 40 acres of land and a bunch of livestock.
My favorite dogs are Brittanies (NOT Brittany Spaniel, thank you very much), from hunting stock, not those over-feathered brainless show dogs. Smart dogs, great hunters, and small enough for the average-size backyard.
Our current dog is part Doberman and part German Shepherd, and is the sweetest dog you could ever imagine. She lets the kids abuse her no end, and when she’s tired of it, she just gets up and wanders under a prickly bush where they wouldn’t dare follow.
Um. What’s the difference? My dad’s Brittany spaniel and his hunting buddy’s Brittanies were all relatives.
The AKC dropped the ‘spaniel’ several years ago, largely because Brittanies aren’t really very spaniel-like in their behavior and breeding. They’re versatile hunting dogs (that is, they point and retrieve), not flushing/retrieving water dogs, as spaniels are. True, they’ll bust water just fine, but they’re bred to range out, point the game, and hold them until the guns arrive. Spaniels, OTOH, quarter close to the guns and flush the game out.
I call it nitpicking. Nothing personal at all, ricepad - please don’t take it that way. I just think that the AKC sucks.
BTW, the characteristics you give for Brittanies is the same reason the guys have pretty much switched to labs and English setters. While the dog may serve well IN Brittany, the dog is only about 2 feet high. Great in short grass, but a 2’ dog standing next to a ringneck in a cornfield is pretty useless, eh?
I still think that a Brittany would make a great house pet.
You’re not the first person to call me nitpicky! I don’t really care for the AKC, either, since their first priority seems to be the show ring.
For my money, labs are too big to keep around the house, especially if it’s going to be a house dog as well as a hunting dog, and the same for every other pointing dog, too - their size, combined with a generally high activity level, spells trouble for glasses on the coffee table, vases, and small children. Brits are much more compact and manageable.
Most of the pheasant hunting I do is over stubble, alfalfa, sugar beets, or in asparagus, and only in the 'gras do I have a problem keeping track of the dog. Quail are out there in relatively open land. In standing corn, a pointing dog isn’t going to do you much good anyway…better to send the labs into the really tall stuff.
And you’re absolutely right…Brits make great housepets. Well, compared to most other gun dogs, at least.
I got a poodle called Jack.
He is 10 years old and still likes to play and have fun.
He’s a great dog, lovely and very intelligent,
actully, I read that poodle is nr 2 of the most intelligent dogs.
Nr 1 is Border Collie(that’s the Swedish name for it,
don’t know if it’s the same in English??).
And the most not intelligent dog is Afghan dog,
I didn’t make that list.
Once a poodle always a poodle.
I don’t think it matters what kind of dog you have,
it’s more important that you’re a good dog-owner
and treats your dog well.
Don’t leave your dog home alone to long,
if that’s the case, you shouldn’t have a dog
or you should have someone you can leave him too.
And, as long as you loved your dog, that’s all that really matters! I’m sorry to hear that she died. My dog just died too and it’s really rough.
I have had plenty of non-papered and mutt dogs also in my day and I loved them all.