Another vote for Dobermans, if you're ready to take on a dog that needs a lot of time and training. They're not always the best for first time dog owners. They're loyal, protective, and very smart. However, socialization is extremely important and so is obedience training. My guy in my profile pic was rescued from the SPCA, I got him at 3 years old and he's been a fantastic dog. Likes the Jeep too.
Just a word of caution with Dobes, the males do not always get along with other males. I'll only ever have a male/female combo if I'm lucky enough to be able to have more than 1 dog. Renting with this breed is also a challenge, because they are banned in a lot of rentals, and some towns or cities too. And again, I'm emphasizing discipline and exercise with these guys. They require a lot of exercise, my first Doberman could get an hour before and an hour after work of hard exercise and still not be tired out. He went through three homes before he turned 2, as well. It was a simple lack of training and not enough exercise that got him tossed out.
They also need to be trained to be well mannered. Dobes don't have the greatest reputation, and I've had people cross the street and yell at me to get that vicious dog away from them. It helps if the dog is quiet and calm. They can vary with how they are around strange people too. My first guy was an attention you-know-what, my current one is very reserved around folks he doesn't know. However, he took it on himself to guard my niece the first time he met her. I'm pretty active on the Doberman Talk forum, if you've got Dobe questions or just want to get an idea about the breed, that's a good place to start.
Location: Northern Michigan near the tip of the mit
I’ve had great success with Labradors and Golden Retrievers, I know not very original, but what can I say they are great family dogs, great with children and get along with other dogs. If you hunt then there is another added benefit. You will find them loving, kind, and eager to please.
2008 soft top, stick, in red
The problem with the world...too many nuts, and not enough squirrels!
Go to petfinder.com, search the shelters in your area. Visit a few.
When a dog chooses us, rather than the other way around, it's a bond for life.
Most purebreds available today are of very questionable lineage, the result of generations of backyard breeders. Multiple health and behavior issues as a result. It is very difficult to find a purebred without one or the other or both.
Add to that fact that shelters have millions of beautiful dogs, there is one (or two!) with your name on it.
Our last 6 dogs have been rescues. We will always adopt from shelters.
You kids are probably saying to yourself, "Now, I'm gonna go out, and I'm gonna get the world by the tail, and wrap it around and put it in my pocket!!" Well, I'm here to tell you that you're probably gonna find out, as you go out there, that you're not gonna amount to Jack Squat!!" You're gonna end up eating a steady diet of government cheese, and living in a van down by the river!
I think a lot of it depends on lifestyle and what you plan to do with your dog. Be careful with high-strung breeds unless you have the time to work them or space to let them run. They can get bored with nothing to do! We have Labs, and while it's not a very sexy breed, they are smart, loving, gentle and loyal dogs, and they are protective - until there is a juicy bone offered. One of my Labs will retrieve and work until he drops, but his half-brother thinks a ball is a bump on the floor! We also have a rescue and she is as sweet as can be, but she did come with a few issues. Find out what issues a rescue might have.
GSs are historically bred for protection, and I personally choose to make myself invisible when I see one - but that's just me. My brother professionally trains certain breeds for defense and narcotics/explosives detection, and a well-trained dog doesn't mess around. Be very specific on how you train any animal.
I totally agree with what you say - there's no such thing as a bad dog, only a poorly trained / educated one... Or one with a bad master - that's the same thing, right ?
I once met a guy at a terrace, who claimed I should be doing "mordant" (biting) training with Seypah, her being a GS and all. A friend of that guy then noticed the corsican necklace around my neck, saw my face not approving the comment, and tactfully grabbed his buddy to another spot where I wasn't... He also added that his buddy had had a few drinks too many, and we shouldn't be taking his comments seriously.
I decided to treat my dog with love, and she's therefore very generous in returning it. She's extremely social, will come with us everywhere, and will be taking a nap under the table while we eat at any restaurant. She has a soft spot with our daughter's cat, even though that tabby won't play with the tennis ball with her... You should see Seypah push the ball towards Kiwi with her nose, and wait for him to push it back her way, it's so sweet.
But us "owners" of large dogs are frequently shunned by people with shorter friends, even though their pets are a lot more agressive than ours often are. I know Seyopah will go meet and greet any other dog, regardless of size, with no animosity in her approach. She's just being friendly and polite - and many of the small ones often do not respond kindly, it's such a shame... I'm very happy to have found a special path alongside a river, not very far from our house, which has a reputation of being visited by larger dogs. It's a paradise for them, they can finally play along and in the river, it's pure joy. And there's not a poodle or snappy Yorkshire in sight to "feel agressed", our buddies can really enjoy the place.
Oh, one last word: the GS may have been mis-categorized as an attack or a protection dog, let's remember that they were first used to protect sheep. It's not their fault if Humans gave them a bad rep, what should we say about so many other breeds that got the same shame placed on them ?
Oh, I'm not trying to give the GS breed a bad rep, just saying my limited experience makes me a scaredy-cat! I'm glad you mentioned the true origin of the breed -again, I'm showing my limited knowledge. I suppose it's just the evolution that I'm thinking of. Thanks for the education!
My friend, I promise I was being as friendly as possible - we ARE a friendly group after all :-)
The only bad rep or bad treatment was for the dude on the terrace - who was way past his fifth drink... And he got close to seeing me in an unpleasant way, not my Seypah ;-)
And as for people being wary (I won't say "scared") of a GS or any other dog, I totally understand the feeling. I know my dog, I know how she is - and I know someone with a totally unpleasant fright of s... Darn, can't even type the name of them crawly beasts, just seeing one makes me climb walls. And yet so many people have them nowadays, I hear they're not slimy and rather cool to the skin ? Not for me, that's for sure... Yikes............
Oh - I like your avatar, but why vodka ? Try some aged rhum some day :-D
Haha- not so much vodka as the fish having an alternative experience and reporting back to his friend! Sharing is caring, you know!
I think I must've had a bad experience when I was little. Couple that with one animal sensing fear in another, my brain goes all irrational and I just choose to walk away. I haven't shared my fears with my kids; I want them to have their own opinions and experiences. Funny, the same brother breeds and raises Boas...I'll take the serpent over the canine. THAT'S how irrational I get!
Count me as another for the "shelters rule" crowd. Ive had both pure bread hunting bird dogs (setters) and our current mutt is the best dog Ive ever had. Shelter rescues know that you saved them and they really do pay you back. Our current pup is a border collie mix and she is one of the smartest and most well behaved dogs Ive ever known.
95' YJ 6" lift 35"x12.5r15's D30/8.8 locked with 4:88's
"Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines."
Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, USA; 12 February 1918