And besides that- look at this thread and tell me those aren't gorgeous dogs!! Spotty Dogs
I do believe a I'd own a Dal if not a GSD or Border Collie...
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I just remembered that Black and Tan and Redbone coonhounds are pretty healthy breeds. They are the same size range as a shepherd and are known to be friendly, social dogs. I've seen a few and they were very attractive dogs.
How about a shepherd mix? Some are really attractive and mixes tend to healthier. Someone on this forum, I can't remember who, has posted pics of their GSD/Golden mix and that dog is gorgeous.
I agree with this. Mixes can be the most beautiful and smartest of dogs. Sometimes the genetic diversity seems to promote better health and waters down some of the more intense traits of any one breed. I love mixes.
Someone mentioned the Samoyed. I had one. She was gorgeous and probably the sweetest dog I have ever owned. She came from a reputable breeder and champion lines. She was on the larger side of the breed standard - probably 21". Sadly, she had hip dysplasia, an Aortic stenosis and a digestive disorder. She died at the age of 3.5. I think we were just unlucky. Very sad.
I had looked into Bernese Mountain Dogs and Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs before. The Berners seem to have a lot of health problems and short lifespan, Swissies are a little longer-lived and have less health issues although since they're both giant breeds still they may have shorter lifespans.
I was thinking of a Swissie as an option (especially before I was looking for higher longevity) but they are apparently aloof and can be quite cautious/protective, not like the Berners, and I was not sure if they would be a good dog for taking everywhere.
I have dog sat for several well bred Swissies and they couldn't be sweeter. I would highly suggest taking a closer look at them and possibly visiting a few breeders if possible. I adore those boys They go to doggie daycare when their owners are working but other than that are 100% a constant family companion. They go to baseball games, camping, walking, everywhere with their families!
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