Questions?

Breed specific discussion of your favorite breed.

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Lara575

Questions?

Post by Lara575 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:00 am

Hi all

Iv been reading some of the post in breeds Q's and thought it would be better to ask in a new thread.

First question is why are some breeds consider not for newbies? This is purely as learning question. As I believe that any dog can be a first dog I think it's all down to who the first time owner is , how much they know about the breed and how dedicated they are. For example one of my friends has an Alaskan Malmute as his first dog and he said that he succeed because he had researched the breed , spent time with them and from 8 wee OK s had a really good trainer to help him positively through every stage of his dogs life. His Malmute he has never had a problem and found him easy but that was all down to having help from day one. So this is an example that Malmutes can be good first dogs if the owner is dedicated enough to there choosen breed.

Like I don't understand when Scarletsci said that bullmastiff are one heck of a breed to choose for a first dog. But if the new owner is dedicated and has researched the breed and is willing to get help when needed then surly a bullmastiff can make a good first dog?

Second question

Why are females better as a first dog in some breeds but not others. Like GSD iv been told I'm better to get a female as my first dog but Theo400 was told either gender for a soft coated wheten terrier? But yet Theo400 first dog was a male GSD?

I would really like to learn more if anyone can help me please.

Thank you

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Nettle
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Re: Questions?

Post by Nettle » Wed Apr 13, 2016 4:24 am

Those are very good questions :) and you have come up with sensible answers.

A first dog is a shock for most people, and so many don't understand what is going on when problems appear - just see some of the unhappy people who have come here because they are at 'doggerheads' with their dogs. But IF someone has done the right research and has someone on hand with the knowledge to prevent things going wrong as opposed to fixing them when they do go wrong, they can have any breed/gender as a first dog.

Some breeds will always be more difficult than others to fit into a human domestic environment. Sometimes the issues are physical - drool, size, shedding for instance - sometimes mental/emotional - very driven working breeds and very needy breeds that hate being alone, for instance. All breeds have an original job, and no matter how many generations they are from working, they retain the desire to do that job. We NEED to be aware of those jobs before we take the dogs on. We NEED to be aware of possible issues with different breeds - dogs bred to bark, dogs whose job is killing other animals, dogs that need to find birds and make them fly, and so on.

Male/female - males are generally bigger and stronger. They also can be more challenging through adolescence in respect of not liking other males in their space. And they take longer to mature. Once all that is over, a male or a female may be chosen.

In respect of the particular advice on a particular breed that I gave - terriers are equally feisty whatever gender they are, so it makes no difference. But a male mastiff/bull mastiff is HUGE and very powerful, and it takes a big strong human to hold one if it wants to go. Experienced owners of course would never let it get to that stage. But to get that experience with a massive strong dog that has a strong guarding instinct is not ideal.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Lara575

Re: Questions?

Post by Lara575 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:00 am

Thanks Nettle things are starting to make more sense.

The gender for certain breeds like what you said about the bullmastiff would that apply with the GSD? as mastiff are bigger than GSD and iv always preferred male.

I would be just like my friend I would rather prevent problems rather than fix them that why I would also work closely with a trainer right from the start.

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JudyN
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Re: Questions?

Post by JudyN » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:32 am

Coincidentally, I've just come across this via Facebook:
t takes time to learn how to be a teacher to another species.
It takes time to learn how to learn from another species.
It takes time to build understanding.
It takes time to learn how to observe and how to apply what you observe.
It takes time to build a relationship with trust.
It takes time to get to know one another.
It takes time teach.
It takes an enormous amount of time to build skill on both ends of the leash.
It takes time to learn.
It take time to learn about humility.
It takes time to learn how to work together.
It takes time to learn about the things in training you don’t even know that you don’t know yet.
It takes time to learn about your own short comings.
It takes time to forgive your own short comings and learn how to move on with your dog.
It takes a life time to practice compassion.
It takes time, all of i
https://nancytanner.com/2016/04/11/the- ... g-of-time/

Some breeds, and some individual dogs, are inherently more 'challenging': more prone to frustration, jumping up, mouthing, guarding, fearful behaviour, 'independence'. And it's a rare dog who has no issues you need to address, and seems to have read the puppy-training books. When any unwanted behaviour pops up, it's going to take time for a first-time owner to take stock, regroup, come up with a plan & put it into practice. It's like driving a car - you can read all the books you want, but you're not going to be able to drive safely straight away, and by the time you've developed those skills, you're going to have had a few accidents. Continuing the analogy, maybe some dogs are more like Ferraris and some are small sensible hatchbacks :lol:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Nettle
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Re: Questions?

Post by Nettle » Wed Apr 13, 2016 6:59 am

BRILLIANT analogy! :D

To step sideways into another species - Thoroughbred horses are amongst the most sensitive fast-reacting types you can get. Physically they have very soft skin, easily damaged, are very sensitive in their digestions, and often do not have the best of hooves. They can change direction so fast you can be a hundred yards down the road facing the other way before you have any idea what has happened to cause it. Their cruising speed is 10mph faster than other horses at top speed. They can flick a five-foot fence behind them without noticable effort.

My first (and only) horse was a Thoroughbred.

However, before I bought him, I had worked in two dealing yards, two riding schools, and several other professional yards. I had ridden a couple of thousand horses of all types, and tried nearly every equestrian discipline. I kept him to the end - 17 years of fun and quite a few frightening moments too. :wink:

He taught me loads :lol: but I was never seriously out of my depth. However, as a 'first horse' he would.......not have been suitable.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Ari_RR
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Re: Questions?

Post by Ari_RR » Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:01 am

I would also consider the level of tolerance for imperfections when choosing the first dog.
Ours is a large size Ridgeback, a stubborn hound with strong opinions on things, independent and not easily influenced, male, and intact....
Hard as we tried reading, researching, etc - we've made lots of mistakes during early days/months, in socialization and training.
What offsets this for us is a fairly high level of tolerance, and ability to manage around issues.

For example - he can be a hit or miss with other males. He is mostly a miss with large size adolescent males (most of whom are neutered in our part of the world). Consequently, he cannot, for example, be let off leash in areas where he can encounter lots of unknown dogs. So, we don't go to doggie beach where dogs run around, and owners socialize. But this is not a big deal for us, we are just as happy taking long hikes in the nature park on the trails, and he is fine being on 50 ft long leash.

We can't bring him to large BBQ events... He will be stealing food from people, which can I guess be cute in some cases, but not when it's a 100+ lb monster with crocodile teeth, he just makes humans uncomfortable when he comes over focused on their burgers. So, he stays home, when other folks bring their fluffies along. But we can live with that too.

Also, the bigger the monster - the more visible the imperfections are to other people. When there is an altercation of any kind - it's usually the Big Dog's fault, the cute and fluffy one just wanted to play and be friends... And it's usually the intact one that's aggressive... And some folks don't hesitate to express their point of view. I am lucky enough to have thick skin, but I can see how someone more sensitive would be upset rather than humored.

In retrospect, it would have been probably more sensible to get an "easier" breed, but this would also mean delaying getting what I really wanted by 10-12 years, and that's a long time.. Bottom line - worked for us, but if we cared more about what others think of our dog, or about bringing him to large gatherings - I don't know... Reading and dedication were there, but if one wants perfection with a somewhat challenging dog - first hand experience is invaluable, IMHO.

Lara575

Re: Questions?

Post by Lara575 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:26 am

Ari_RR wrote: but if one wants perfection with a somewhat challenging dog - first hand experience is invaluable, IMHO.

Thanks Ari_RR your advice really open my eyes to how much I want a GSD and like you waiting 10+ yrs is unbearable.

The quote above this is what I really want to know about and why I created the post what exactly is "easier" than a GSD or other challenging breeds? Are there breeds that are "eaiser" compared to a GSD to get first hand experience?

I think this thread will be very interesting to anyone else who joins and is interested in challenging breeds :D

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Erica
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Re: Questions?

Post by Erica » Wed Apr 13, 2016 10:12 am

I think the main thing to remember is:
You will make many mistakes when raising your first dog. It's inevitable. For some breeds, this can be disastrous, if they're prone to aggression or fearfulness. For others, it might just mean a dog with "bad," but not dangerous, habits. (You will make mistakes with your second, third, seventh, twentieth dog too, but as you gain experience there will probably be fewer mistakes, and smaller ones, and you'll know how to go about fixing them or you'll know who to call to get help with fixing them.)

So if you want a breed that can be prone to dangerous habits, get experience first. Whether that's with another breed, or through volunteering at a shelter, shadowing a good trainer, dogsitting, dogwalking, whatever.

I still would absolutely love to have a Belgian Shepherd (of any of the varieties, for various reasons), but when I was choosing which breed of dog to get, about two years ago, I talked about it with several knowledgeable people, and decided against getting one at the moment for a few reasons. One, they're very intense, and can be very bitey. You have to be on the ball at all times raising them. Two, my living situation was not ideal for that kind of dog - too many dog-oblivious strangers coming and going, too many small children who are allowed to walk in our house whenever they please (we have a friendly neighborhood :lol:). Three, my schedule, variable as it is, might put me in a place where I could not provide what the dog needed to be fulfilled. I'm not inexperienced with dogs. (I'm not an expert, either, but I am fairly sure I have a stronger knowledge base than most dog owners, as I've spent the last several years learning something new daily.) But it wasn't the right time for me to get that kind of dog. And I'll be honest, I made mistakes in raising Delta. Poodles are prone to separation anxiety, and I didn't put in quite enough work to totally prevent that. What he has is very mild and manageable, but if I slip up in how I manage it, he does get anxious and cries. And it has improved since I admitted this to myself and started working on it!

Delta, my poodle, is a very bright and active dog, and I love him to pieces. I would absolutely choose him again and again, given the chance (though I'd not take him to the left side of the yard that night when a copperhead bit him, and I'd stand far away from that boulder he fractured his neck on when calling him away from playing with Denver, and I dunno what I'd do about the abscess but I'd try to prevent that stinking thing too). I looked at my situation, I listened to the people who know more than me, and I made a decision to forgo the breed I wanted most to get a breed that was appropriate for my lifestyle.

Honesty with yourself is the most important thing. Do you have the knowledge to properly raise a "difficult" breed, or should you work on gaining that experience first? What will you do if your dog develops those dangerous habits? Are you in a situation where you can manage them while you train? These are things somebody would need to think about when choosing their first (and second, and third, and twentieth) dog.
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

Lara575

Re: Questions?

Post by Lara575 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:26 pm

Erica wrote:Honesty with yourself is the most important thing. Do you have the knowledge to properly raise a "difficult" breed, or should you work on gaining that experience first? What will you do if your dog develops those dangerous habits? Are you in a situation where you can manage them while you train? These are things somebody would need to think about when choosing their first (and second, and third, and twentieth) dog.

Thanks Erica. I was thinking about this part of your reply and my anwser would be no I don't have the knowledge to raise a difficult breed, I would get help from a trainer if anything went wrong but the trainer won't be with me 24\7 so I still might do something wrong when the trainer is not here. I think getting experience first is going to be the best path so I don't let my GSD down when I do get one.

What large breeds would everyone recommend to get experience?

I can provide 2hrs+ of physical exercise a day and don't like drool or squashed faces. I also can provide plenty of mental exercise as well.

as I'm not in a position to do either of the other things suggested.

Many thanks
Last edited by Lara575 on Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

master2

Re: Questions?

Post by master2 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:56 pm

My recommendation would be either a Labrador Retriever or Golden Retriever.

Goldens to me are the perfect first dog for people who have no idea what there doing or like you want to gain experience. I will explain why later as I'm not feeling very good at the moment.

Labs, my vet always says if in doubt get a lab. He always recommends them to newbies as there so food motivated and just want to please you.

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Erica
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Re: Questions?

Post by Erica » Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:05 pm

What do you want in a dog? What can you not stand? What do you want to avoid?
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

Lara575

Re: Questions?

Post by Lara575 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:12 pm

Hi Erica

I mainly want a family companion who I can enjoy long walks and play session with and enjoy training.

I was going to try sports like Agility to see if my dog likes any of them but it's not a biggie if he does not like or want to do any. I want a dog who can help in experience.

I want a dog who is not overly hyper or driven to work. I don't want drool or squashed faces or any breeds who are prone to barking likes hounds. I want large in height.

I don't want a massive grooming commitment.

Hope this helps?

Theo400

Re: Questions?

Post by Theo400 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:00 am

Lara575 wrote:Hi Erica

I mainly want a family companion who I can enjoy long walks and play session with and enjoy training.

I was going to try sports like Agility to see if my dog likes any of them but it's not a biggie if he does not like or want to do any. I want a dog who can help in experience.

I want a dog who is not overly hyper or driven to work. I don't want drool or squashed faces or any breeds who are prone to barking likes hounds. I want large in height.

I don't want a massive grooming commitment.

Hope this helps?
I would say Showline Labrador. But I first want to say I know how you feel wanting a GSD I wanted another one and properly will in the future but it's not the right time now. Even though my first dog was a GSD I would always advise against it purly because I was lucky with Theo I had a good trainer who helped me through any issues I may have had without her I would have really struggled with him. In the first few months it was really hard socialising him were my brother who did not do as much never had any issues with his Labrador as his lab loved everyone and everything but that is what labs are like half the problems you may encounter with a GSD you won't with a Labrador. Like Theo was car reactive but with the trainer's help we sorted that out yet again my brother had no such problem. Theo would always size other males but my brothers does not care he wants to play with every dog that comes along.

Even though I loved Theo and I miss him every day I know a Labrador would be much eaiser.

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Nettle
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Re: Questions?

Post by Nettle » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:59 am

All breeds present different challenges. Labradors too! I would strongly suggest you spend time shadowing different trainers, and also time where people walk their dogs in a relatively small space such as a park, so that you get your eye in for what is likely to happen before it does. Learn dog body language, read modern dog training and behaviour books (we have a list but it isn't exhaustive) observe dogs in every environment you can. It is time well spent. And you will learn much more from watching other people's dogs misbehave because there is no emotional attachment and no embarrassment factor.

It is far better to anticipate and deflect unwanted behaviour before it develops into habit. For instance, I advise countless people to work on their puppy's recall while it is still at the stage of following them everywhere and they smirk and say his recall's fine and do nothing. Six months later they are begging for help and the job is much much harder.

Each dog presents different challenges too. My lovely Avatar Lady bit like a fiend when she was a puppy. If she'd been a first dog, I'd have been all at sea with her, but as she was not, I knew it was a phase and how to manage it. She has been Mrs. AlmostPerfect ever since. I have a client whose puppy is only now coming out of the Land Shark stage at two years old.

You have a family and need a family dog. You will learn a lot about your family that you never suspected in the first few months of dog ownership! :wink:

So you are a wonderful person taking so much trouble and doing so much research. As many famous military commanders say: Time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Lara575

Re: Questions?

Post by Lara575 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:11 am

Hi Nettle

I do watch other peoples dogs quiet a lot and I agree it can really help understand not only dog body language but also were most owners go wrong.

Thinking of some of the things I have seen in the parks and the replys I have gotten I do think that as a first dog it would be eaiser to mange a dog who would have bad habits like jumping up then a dog who can become aggressive or fearful. I would be working hard anyway to prevent things rather than fix them but things don't always go to plan so if things did go wrong I think I would be able to mange bad habits better.

And watching dogs is good but it's nothing compared to owning your own dog and getting hands on.

Would you agree with the recommendations so far Nettle for experience?

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