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Old 11-13-2012, 02:46 PM   #21 (permalink)
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the larger the bread the shorter the lifespan. also, having owned gsd s, which imho , are fairly easy to train, you may find some of these large "mountain dogs" trying. many have loose lips and drool quite a bit., think turner and hooch when looking at some of these breeds. i have had good success with owning an airedale. he is just a happy fun loving goofball clown. so far except for a tick bite infection, he has been totally healthy at seven years of age. like gsds though, i think there are different flavors. i also believe, mixed breeds are normally healthier than pure breads, but i will let our resident vet techs comment on this with their observations and experience. a a kid, a friend had a mixed gsd and collie which was a loyal, smart and friendly dog. seemed to learn who belonged on our block and who didn't. only barked at strangers.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:50 PM   #22 (permalink)
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It doesn't have to be a huge dog but I'd like one GSD sized at least. Maybe over 24"?
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:03 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Giant Schnauzers - look to what they were bred for, I believe (without trotting to google) it was bred to be guard dogs.
Rather like GSDs in temperament, I would think, standoffish/aloof?

I personally would look at Leonbergers but there again you're into the "giant" dogs category and shorter life spans.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:03 PM   #24 (permalink)
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my airedale is 24 inches at the withers and 68 lbs. close to gsd size. there is an "ozark" or something that is a larger airedale which i know nothing about. at a local dog show i was up close to a to giant alaska malmute, also hd another name attached to the front denoting larger size. seemed like a nice outgoing friendly breed.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:11 PM   #25 (permalink)
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even with the health issues, I will always have a german shepherd (or two) in my life.

Of course I can say I've been pretty blessed to have/had gsd's, with minimal health issues to begin with, but of course have had some astronomical vet bills at times.

I like my aussies as well, tho not 'big' dogs, mine are both 21" at the shoulders, but I have seen bigger. and tho they can have health issues as well, Mine at 12 & 13 years of age are still wild little devils, and while majority of my gsd's have lived to be 12/13 years old, I can see the difference structurally between the two. My aussies are going nowhere soon

Don't know if your into malinois, but there are bigger mal's around as well, a friend of mine had a male who was around 25" (showlines) just had to put him down at almost 15 years of age..
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:18 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I'll second collies, I had a Scotch Collie Old-Time Scotch Collie Association | Reviving a near extinct breed of working dog They do not look like lassie persay, more like a longer haired smooth collie. Wonderful dog, we put her down just shy of 15 years, had cataracts, but that was her only health issue, with the exception of routine check-ups and vacs, she only cost money when she was spayed. So maybe $1,800 over the span of her life, now Ozzy or Dolly (GSD Mix and a Saint), they can do that kind of damage in a weekend
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:33 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzymama View Post
I'll second collies, I had a Scotch Collie Old-Time Scotch Collie Association | Reviving a near extinct breed of working dog They do not look like lassie persay, more like a longer haired smooth collie. Wonderful dog, we put her down just shy of 15 years, had cataracts, but that was her only health issue, with the exception of routine check-ups and vacs, she only cost money when she was spayed. So maybe $1,800 over the span of her life, now Ozzy or Dolly (GSD Mix and a Saint), they can do that kind of damage in a weekend
Oh my gosh. I now know what my Libby is!!!!



Founding sire of that breed!
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:35 PM   #28 (permalink)
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What about the Samoyed? I grew up around my aunt's samoyed and that thing was one of the best dogs! Not aggressive, very family oriented, awesome at pulling kids on sleds (hehe) and it lived a really long time.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:43 PM   #29 (permalink)
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How about an Anotolian Shepherd or a Kuvasz?
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:04 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I think and this is just based on my own research into the giants as dh is a huge fan and we will always have a Saint or Newf in our house with whatever mixed shepherd/collie thing I drag home from a rescue, that the life spans will begin to increase. The dogs being bred 10-12 years ago are much different than those being bred today. At one time size meant everything and the giants were almost ruined by it. The jokes it took them 45 minutes to circle the conformation ring, or they were winded and done half-way down, they were jokes, but a frightening reality. With well-bred dogs and breeders, breeders breeding to better the breed, to reestablish the breeds to their former glory and aptitude which was working dogs, rescue dogs, the sizes need to diminish. Many of the original Saints were lost doing rescue work, the foundation of the breed, as a result they were out-crossed to Newfs, which, while very similar have a different body, you will also find people looking to make the dogs bigger breeding to mastiffs.
We are fortunate with our Dolly, she has some issues which are rescue dog issues, she's clingy, she is tight-lipped, but we still have to wash the walls almost weekly, she gets water outside and has a heated water bowl because she will wash the floor and I don't care how much you think a GSD sheds, it is nothing to a Saint, think thick double coated GSD X 3.
I do believe though, because we do realize we are lucky with her, the next dog we will be going to a breeder who breeds for temperment, not size, who does health checks etc. I wouldn't rule out a giant or larger sized based on health, because the times are a changing, the public and breeders are becoming more educated. I mean we get the "OMG you should get her up to 200lbs" - OMG how bout we don't! She's far better at her height and weight and healthy, or she seems small for a Saint. She's top end of the height for a bitch, she also grew a bit after we got her.
The reason I say it, there are so many large and giants in rescue, they are hard to place, not everyone can deal with them. Imagine a 150lb, hairy, drooling lap dog - like the worst date you had in college everyday in your home for the rest of your life.
I believe you will see longer lifespans in these dogs.
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