Giant breeds?

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Lara575

Giant breeds?

Post by Lara575 » Sun May 29, 2016 5:45 am

Hi all

My neighbour is in the process of choosing which breed is right for her and when I was talking with her yesterday ( thats how I found out she was even getting a dog) she was telling me she LOVES the giant breeds. She is fully aware of health problems they all may face and the short lifespan as well as how expensive they can be and all of that she is fine with. She has written a list of giant breeds that she likes . She is a first time owner as she has never owned a dog before. But she has thought of everything out like I have.

My reason for posting is not to ask for breed advice as I think she would learn more by meeting the dogs. But at the same time with this being a giant first dog I also don't won't her to make a mistake. So I wanted to just ask out of the list which one would you recommend if someone came to and said they were going to get one of the following dogs as there first dog which would you recommend?

1\bernese mountain dog

2\ Newfoundland dog

3\ saint Bernard

4\ Leonberger

5\ Pyrenean mountain dog

6\ northern Inuit ( I did not even now this was considered giant)

I just think if I got you recommendations on here it might help her make the right choice.

master2

Re: Giant breeds?

Post by master2 » Sun May 29, 2016 6:32 am

Hi

It will be interesting to see what the more experienced people say.

But if I had to pick one of that list for the Average first time owner in my limited experience I would say the Newfoundland.

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Nettle
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Re: Giant breeds?

Post by Nettle » Sun May 29, 2016 8:35 am

None of those.

I'd say look at deerhound or wolfhound.


But of course I don't know the person or the life she could give the dog. Or what she likes/can't stand with regard to drool and shedding. But the guarding mastiffs are not ideal for an inexperienced owner, and nor is a Northern Inuit - which is not strictly speaking a true breed anyway.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Lara575

Re: Giant breeds?

Post by Lara575 » Sun May 29, 2016 9:21 am

Hi Nettle

I will tell her your recommendations.

I'm really interested in your anwser particularly the irish wolfhound. I always thought an Irish wolfhound would be for the experienced due to there size and from my neighbours list I actually thought any of them would be eaiser than a wolfhound.

How are wolfhound a good choice for a newbie? As this truly has fascinated me.

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Nettle
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Re: Giant breeds?

Post by Nettle » Sun May 29, 2016 10:28 am

They have lovely temperaments and are far more laid-back than the mastiff group or the NI.

As she wants a giant breed I wasn't aware size was a problem.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Lara575

Re: Giant breeds?

Post by Lara575 » Sun May 29, 2016 10:39 am

Hi Nettle

I just spoke with my neighbour and she's told me size is not an issue the wolfhound was originally on her list but she was told there not good first dog :roll: .

She also told me she was actually between the Newfoundland or bernese? But she's now added the wolfhound.

Do you think there is any out of the other tow ( bernese or Newfoundland) she should avoid? She knows they drool and she's fine with that. Should she avoid either of these tow as her first dog?

Thank you

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Nettle
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Re: Giant breeds?

Post by Nettle » Mon May 30, 2016 2:50 am

What is her experience and what is her health and life situation? The problem with all giant breeds is their sheer strength. For some reason rather small people or people not in the best of health often get giant breeds. Then they don't train until the dog is huge. I'm not saying your friend comes into any of those those categories, but if she does then a giant breed would not be a good fit. It isn't just the home situation - it's how to manage a big powerful adolescent going through the defiant stage outside. It's other people, livestock and other dogs that take the brunt if things go wrong. Personally I wouldn't recommend any giant breed as a first dog unless the person is very experienced with dogs already and just hasn't had one of their own.

Newfie and Bernese are about the same temperamentally.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Lara575

Re: Giant breeds?

Post by Lara575 » Mon May 30, 2016 2:58 am

She is in her 40s and is very active and healthy. Her daughter lives with her who use to own a GSD ( who died of old age 2yrs ago)

Her daughter is happy about the new family member and want to be fully involved with care like walks, training, feeding ect.

She plans to go to training class once the pup has had his second vaccination. And will repeat the cass's in adolescent.

I mean if it's just the strength if a giant breed that makes them not good first dogs then she would be fine as she plans to train from a young age as I said plus she is at home all day so the dog won't be left.

master2

Re: Giant breeds?

Post by master2 » Mon May 30, 2016 3:19 am

I agree and disagree with Nettle.

Nettle is right that a powerful breed like a newf is not a breed to be taken on a whim. They are big dogs who need training from an early age. To prevent pulling on the lead , being knocked to the ground when they jump up ect. However I disagree that a giant breed is not a good first dog because of strength. I have seen in my limited experience some owners who were told to get a lab because there a good first dog and the owner is being pulled down the street. To me what makes a good first dog is not the size to me I believe it's the owner. I mean if your not going to do any training until the dog is older than don't get a dog or go small so damage is not huge. But as since as your neighbour is going to train from a young age and is aware how expensive a giant breed is ect. I don't see any reason why she can't have a giant breed as her first dog as she sound responsible owner.

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Nettle
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Re: Giant breeds?

Post by Nettle » Mon May 30, 2016 3:51 am

It isn't just the strength, though the strength is a big part of it. I see people being dragged along the road by far smaller dogs that haven't been trained to walk on-lead. But giant breeds are even stronger, unimaginably so for people who haven't an idea of how strong a dog can be. But also to be taken into account is the mastiff (or husky) attitude. That coupled with giant breed strength is something a lot of people just aren't prepared for. If people are already experienced with dogs in general, then sizing up and managing attitude should not be a great problem. But when giving advice on an internet board, we are limited in knowing what the prospective owner knows and is like, or the lifestyle they offer, so we have to err on the side of the angels. :wink: Lots of other people read these posts too, and we also have to bear them in mind.

One of the reasons I mentioned wolfhounds and deerhounds is that they are sighthounds not mastiffs, so have a quite different character. Even so, they are not a piece of cake to own and train, and they are also very strong. The really big dogs are not for beginners if safety is to be maintained - or even pleasure in owning the dog. However, if people have the experience and the commitment, then that puts a better perspective on the prospect.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

master2

Re: Giant breeds?

Post by master2 » Mon May 30, 2016 3:55 am

Mastiffs I agree with but lara already told us that her neighbour is between either the Bernese or newf who are not like mastiffs.

Plus she has said she will be starting training from an early age.

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JudyN
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Re: Giant breeds?

Post by JudyN » Mon May 30, 2016 4:24 am

Even if you do train from day one, training will still be a work in progress by the time a large breed is LARGE, so size and strength will still be an issue. We see plenty of people on the board, including those who have done it by the book from puppyhood, who have dogs who lunge and pull. I can manage Jasper, at 35kg, though I can't always walk him on and stay in control if he's kicking off at something - I have to stand still and wait for him to get himself under control. And he's quite 'respectful' of the lead. These large breeds are likely to be far heavier, and the non-sighthounds more likely to plough on as if you're not attached at all.

On the other hand, having a large breed can make you focus more on postive training and teaching your dog to be calm and self-controlled, as you simply can't drag it along or pick it up.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Theo400

Re: Giant breeds?

Post by Theo400 » Mon May 30, 2016 4:26 am

Hi

Me and my sister have decided on the Bernese as our second dog once we move.

I think they can be a great first dog if the owner is committed to the said breed.
Last edited by Theo400 on Tue May 31, 2016 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

master2

Re: Giant breeds?

Post by master2 » Mon May 30, 2016 4:36 am

So in that case most first time owners would be better with a small or medium dog. I disagree think of the shock from owning a small 10kg dog to going to a 60kg dog. Honestly I think that even as a second dog she could still have trouple if she's then not use to such a big dog.

ScarletSci
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Re: Giant breeds?

Post by ScarletSci » Mon May 30, 2016 6:38 am

master2 wrote:So in that case most first time owners would be better with a small or medium dog. I disagree think of the shock from owning a small 10kg dog to going to a 60kg dog. Honestly I think that even as a second dog she could still have trouple if she's then not use to such a big dog.
It isn't just about size, it's about the challenges you face with a giant breed, when you've no experience when it comes to training reading body language, the special considerations when it comes to selecting a puppy with the right health checks so you're not heartbroken by a genetic health condition a year down the line, knowing how to handle the right diet and exercise regime for a giant skeleton that needs to build bone before packing on muscle and fat, AND being prepared for the fact that a giant can literally pull you down the street on your face because they are so strong. It's a huge commitment.

Smaller isn't always easier either. I'm sure we've all seen enough examples on it's me or the dog, and in real life for that matter, of people getting a chi or a yorkie, and treating it like a dress up doll rather than an intelligent dog, and facing behaviours they can't handle because the dog isn't having it's basic needs fulfilled.

We also see a lot of dogs coming into fashion because of a film or TV show. When Beethoven came out, St Bernards exploded in popularity. As did Dalmations after 101 Dalmations, when dalmations are not an easy pet for an inexperienced family. After Harry Potter, an explosion in people keeping Owls, then a lot of unwanted owls on the market... Now, huskies and husky crosses are filling animal shelters because people wanted something like a direwolf from game of thrones.

I'm really not suggesting any of this is the case when talking about Lara's neighbour. But it's the reality of what happens in the world, it really is. Of course people can still face challenges with their second dog, third, fifth, twentieth! I still face challenges with my Springer, when I've raised dogs with my family my whole life, and had their own lifetimes of experience with dogs to draw upon. Each dog and each situation is going to be an individual.

It's why we urge careful consideration, a real look into your own circumstances and facing whether you're really set up to handle a certain breed, meeting breeders, and endless, endless research. It isn't to be a downer on first time owners, or say that some breeds are off limits. It's to try to prepare people who post for the reality of what life may be like with whatever breed they've fallen for, and whether they can truly give that dog the life it deserves, long term.

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