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Looking for a New Dog - Advice?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by WildernessLofts, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. WildernessLofts

    WildernessLofts Songster

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Topeka, KS
    Basically, I have the perfect dog. She's loyal, protective, empathic, she doesn't bark at random (she doesn't even bark at people that show up unless it's a time they should not be here), she doesn't jump or lick, and I can take her anywhere I desire off-lead with no issues whatsoever. Even camping, she'll sleep by my tent without the need for a leash or crate.

    However, she's getting old. She'll be nine soon. As a large breed dog, that means her days are coming to an end sooner rather than later.

    I've tried other dog breeds here and there, but I always get the same results: They want to chase and kill the birds. I've tried several different training methods that I've read in books and online, but it always comes to the same thing: I have to rehome the dog before it becomes too destructive.

    My question for all of you: What dog breeds (or mixes) have you had that have worked out well for you? What breeds would most people suggest that you have found to have undesirable traits?

    I really don't want a livestock guardian because they tend to be TOO pushy. My dog knows it's her job to defend the property and the animals, but ONLY at home. When we go on hikes or out in public, she's on her best behaviour and doesn't show aggression to other dogs or people. (Whereas, at home, a strange dog would be attacked or chased down the road before they knew what was going on.)

    I've considered a livestock guardian mix, but what kind of mix?

    Honestly, I'm starting to think getting a good dog is more luck of the draw than anything to do with any sort of breed. My dog is German shepherd, Irish setter, chow, lab, and pit; and while she has a huge prey drive (she goes on daily hunts through the field for rabbits and rodents), she knows better than to touch the birds. I never trained her for this. She just... knew.

    Examples: As much as she loves to catch and kill wild rabbits, she knows that MY rabbits are not to be harmed. I can let them hop around her and she'll do nothing more than sniff them. As much as she loves to hunt out weasels, possums, raccoons, etc; when I had ferrets, she simply played with them and let them bite her all over with no signs of wanting to harm them. I can put a tame mouse/rat on her back, feet, face or whatever and it's fine; but a wild one is a goner as soon as she sees it. If she gives chase to something and I don't want her to, a simple, "No," and she stops on a dime.

    I would trust her with anything.

    Did I really just get super lucky, or will I find another dog like this again someday? Because honestly, I'm terrified that no dog I find will measure up to her. She's set the bar pretty high. (As my roommate says, she's spoiled me when it comes to dogs. Haha.) As a child, people that came over to our house would comment, "We all know who her owner is," because she would follow me religiously wherever I went - even just across the yard!

    With all of this in mind, I'm open to any suggestions on breeds or maybe even training methods from firsthand experiences, not a book.

    In case anyone was curious, here's a pic of her from a few years back: [​IMG]

  2. Ghostbelly

    Ghostbelly Chirping

    Nov 20, 2012
    in predators and pest you should look up what i asked in how to protect my chickens the people there gave me a lot of breed names and stuff. [​IMG]
  3. WildernessLofts

    WildernessLofts Songster

    Jun 4, 2009
    North Topeka, KS
    Thanks for the tip. [​IMG]
  4. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I really think it is training. Any dog you get from the start is not going to be perfect because it does not know you or recognize you as it's family. It takes time, trust and training and by training I mean DAILY training. Lots of time put it.

    I highly recommend looking around at your local shelters and rescues for a mix. Mutt dogs tend to have less health problems and you could save a wonderful dog from being euthanized. Also, you could get a dog that is a year or two old that will be a little calmer and easier to work with than a very young puppy. However, if you really want a puppy shelters have those also. Ask to visit with the dogs. Sit with them, walk them around, talk to them and get a vibe. Pick a dog that is the level of maintenance you can provide. Dogs that are under exercised or bored have behavior problems and it is really not their fault.

    I have a pit mix from an urban shelter who was very wild when I brought her home but is now a very good dog who is loyal and gentle and good with all of my other animals. Let me know if you want some training tips and I will PM you.

    This is my rescue pit Lou with a silkie chick and below is Lou with my other two rescue dogs, Sam and Olive.



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